Austin’s First Year

Let me start with an apology: Mum and Dad, I am sorry that I chided you numerous times for not having as many photos of me as a baby as you did of my (older) brother. I know you had your reasons but I also know this (hopefully pretty universal) truth: the second child does NOT get the same photos (or in my case, photos, blog posts, quilts) as the first born. Evelina has monthly letters I lovingly wrote with photos and anecdotes aplenty. She has photos books for the first three years. I wrote weekly about my pregnancy with her. In short, I have a lot of explaining to do when Austin gets old enough to appreciate the inequality of it all. My saving grace is that I have been using Instagram and Twitter to help document his milestones as much as I can.

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Crafty Things

Baby Boy Quilt


After much deliberation, I have finally made a decision about Austin’s quilt fabric and bought two Chic Neutrals layer cakes. I plan on making a relatively simple block quilt using Amy Ellis’s Talk of the Town quilt pattern as inspiration.

I will keep you posted but don’t be expecting any news any time soon! Who knows when I will get around to making this!!


Our First Family Trip as Four


Over the Easter holiday break, we went away as a family of four for the first time. I had put off making the decision about whether or not to go since I wasn’t sure what kind of baby Austin was going to be and I am still not sure about this – people ask me “Is he a good baby?” and I have no clue how to answer. Against what criteria? He seems pretty good in that he rarely screams crying (immunisations day aside) and he is sleeping pretty well at night – for five to seven hours at a time which seems pretty good – but then he is also dependent on lots of cuddles to sleep during the day and is pretty good at the low-key whingy talk when he is not 100% happy. I think he’s good but he’s still a baby so…

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Introducing Austin James Matthew

Austin James Matthew was born on 6th February at 11.19pm. I was induced at Warwick Hospital at midday and although it took a while to get going, it was VERY quick at the end. After having some lasting negative feelings about Evelina’s birth, I definitely feel better about everything now that Austin is born.

He was a healthy 8lbs 13ozs and everything went well although we still have an ongoing issue with his renal pelves being dilated. Despite our general anxiety about this and our concern for him being on antibiotics longterm, the medical professionals all seem very relaxed about this issue and it appears to be a relatively common issue.

Evelina is thoroughly enjoying being a big sister and our home is definitely fuller and complete with Austin here. My heart is bursting.


Crafty Things

Making for Baby Boy

It’s been a ridiculously long time since I sewed anything more than a button. I am hoping that I will get to make at least of couple of projects that are at the very early stage of I Want to Make It.



Like I did for Evelina, I want to make a twin bed size quilt for Baby Boy. I have really struggled to find the fabric I want, though, and I may have to resign myself to paying high import fees / VAT and buy it from the States. These are a couple of quilts I have seen on Etsy that are inspiring my vision for the nursery and I would love to get fabrics like these (in similar colouring).


Quilt 1; Quilt 2; Quilt 3

I also want to make a wall hanging for the nursery inspired by this wall mural:


I have bought some fabric for this project so I am hoping to make a start on it this week.

Journal, Mama


My emotions have been a little bit all over the place with wonderful, excited highs and snappy, grouchy lows. Going from an all-consuming job to having so much spare time (and so little energy to use it) is an adjustment. 

I am now 37 weeks pregnant which is classed as full-term. I could do with having this weekend to get Baby Boy’s room a bit more sorted although his clothing and bedding is all washed and folded which is satisfying. But otherwise I’m ready to get this show on the road.


5 Songs for Welcoming Baby Playlist

I need to get this made and I’m not sure what kind of thing I’ll feel like listening to so I’ll start with songs that I can lose myself in:

  1. Just Breathe – Pearl Jam
  2. Falling – The Civil Wars 
  3. Disarm – The Smashing Pumpkins
  4. The Day I Tried to Live – Soundgarden
  5. State of Love and Trust – Pearl Jam

The Hospital Bag(s)

So naturally it starts with a list. I am using  modified version of the one I used last time.

For baby

  • 3 sleepsuits plus one for going home
  • 3 short-sleeved vests
  • 3 long-sleeved vests
  • hat
  • snowsuit
  • 3 muslins plus one giant muslin
  • 10 new baby nappies
  • nappy disposal bags
  • new born baby wipes
  • blanket
  • cotton wool pads
  • Bethanthen cream
  • 2 Aptamil baby formula (in case the breastfeeding doesn’t work out)

And then for my bag:

Inside this huge bag, are smaller bags to make it easier to find things.

In the flat spotty bag:

  • Notepad and pencil
  • Headphones
  • Phone charger
  • Charging unit
  • Purse (will be packed last minute)
  • Maternity notes (will be packed last minute)
  • Phone (will be packed last minute)

In the large spotty bag:

All my clothes for during the labour and afterwards including:

  • Nursing nightwear
  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers
  • Going home clothes
  • The nightie I wore when Evelina was born
  • Bed socks

In the red toiletry bag:

  • Shampoo / conditioner / shower cream
  • Moisturiser
  • Lip balm
  • Water spray
  • Hair brush / grips / bobble
  • Deodorant
  • Make-up (yeah right!)
  • Toothbrush and paste

And at the bottom of the bag is a pillow from home as the ones in hospital are not great especially with the waterproof covers.

If you would like a copy of the list, you can click here to download.


A Day of Appointments

Our peace lily

My first day of maternity leave has entailed a lot of waiting around in waiting rooms with a scan, a clinic appointment and a separate midwife appointment. The scan was fine – still showing an issue with Baby Boy’s kidney (which *should* be easily resolved after the birth) but otherwise A-OK; I found out I will not be allowed to go overdue because I am OLD (wahh); We saw that the boy is still a fair good size (now about 7lbs 6ozs with 4 weeks still to go); I realised how anxious I am about the birth in general.

Last time, I was totally calm about the birth but worried about the ‘caring for a tiny human’ bit afterwards. This time I know how horrible the birth was last time but am feeling pretty easy breezy about the afterwards bit (the bit that last 18 years 0r so). I rarely manage to find the right thing to focus my anxiety on, though, so I am right just this second getting anxious about all of it!!! Time for some chocolate…




Today we spent some time getting ourselves organised ready for Baby Number Two. I am now 35 weeks pregnant and time is ticking on. We brought all the baby stuff out of the garage into the house and sorted through it, picking out the girlier toys. Whilst I don’t like toys being specifically gendered, I also appreciate that boys probably don’t want an abundance of fairy jigsaw puzzles. And having a sister will mean our Baby Boy will have plenty of access anyway to dolls etc. should he like that kind of thing.
It feels good to get more and more organised for the new arrival. My hospital bag is coming together and I think we have all the basics. Rich has the unenviable job of painting the nursery furniture. I have started ordering some furnishings for the nursery but I still can’t find fabric for his quilt. I will be wanting to finish it in time for his first birthday, like I did with Evelina’s, so there’s no immediate hurry.

5 weeks to go…