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I’ve moved over here now………….. come on over and say ‘hello’…….

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I am no longer writing in this space – since I have moved to Australia now, I thought the name ‘Made With Love UK’ was a bit misleading – but please come and say hello over at my new blog – 2 plus 1 – it’s full of all of the same¬†ramblings ūüôā xxx

thanks for reading x

this moment……….

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this moment ‚Äď A Friday ritual. A single photo ‚Äď no words ‚Äď capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. ‚Äď soulemama

(feel free to add a link to your own ‘this moment’ in the comment section below)

Yarn Giveaway from Countess Ablaze (and a winner)

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Hooray – it’s giveaway time again!

This week I’d like to introduce you to Countess Ablaze – the adorable Etsy shop stocking tons of beautifully hand-dyed yarns in an array of colours. There is a huge selection in the store, which is based in Manchester, UK and the lovely Lynsey has kindly offered one lucky winner the chance to choose any skein from her store as a fantastic prize!

I am the lucky owner of some of the iron oxide lace yarn:

And I intend to knit a scarf with it, I will let you know how my progress is going with that soon!

Here are some of the other beautiful yarns currently available in her store:

For yoru chance to win,

Either:

  • leave a comment below.
  • share this giveaway on the web (blog post, twitter, facebook etc) and let me know that you have done so.
  • ‚Äėlike‚Äô my facebook page (over there at the top on the right) and let me know that you have done so.

(or do all 3 for 3 chances to win!)

The winner will be drawn on 18th¬†March¬†‚Äď good luck everyone! xx

And for the winner of the Chunky Bunting giveaway I have used random.org to select a winner………………..

Congratulations Carrie.W!!

(PS. I have been flagging a bit on the creative front this week – I have just been knitting squares for the Aids orphans in South Africa but head over to 1st Unique Gifts to catch up on what the others are doing!) x

Sleep

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What’s a full night’s sleep like?

Little ‘T’ is still not sleeping properly and I am still to work out why; and to be totally honest it is leaving me feeling weary, exhausted and grumpy. She will sleep through on¬†a very rare night (perhaps twice a month?) and she has gone through the odd phase of sleeping 4 nights in a row every now and then, but she is almost 2 years old and I’m feeling completley worn out.

I’ve read countless books, followed the Gian Ford plan, monitored her TV time, what she eats, checked her iron levels, been to the Dr, seen a sleep specialist, spoken with the Health Visitor but still no soloution. The Dr. and sleep specialist both¬†think that she is a very active thinker (which I must agree with, she literally never, ever stops ‘doing’ or ‘thinking’ from the second she wakes up, she is permenantly sorting, reading, making, playing, building, tidying etc.) which leads her to start ‘thinking’ every time she wakes during the night, instead of just dozing back of like most toddlers.

Sometimes she wakes up moaning and crying and other times she starts talking and shouting, often “Look Grandma, look – Maisey’s having snacks” (Maisey is Grandma’s cat by the way) or “Dolly, where are you?, Dolly?, Dolly?, Dolly?”. Sometimes she plays hide and seek and I can hear her running around her room shouting “hide, hide, FUN!!”.

She has 1.5 hour nap at lunchtime every day and goes to bed at 7pm and gets woken up at 7am, she has gentle stories before bed, hardly eats any sugar, only drinks water or pure fruit juice with lunch, daily outside time (walks, playing at the park, playing in the garden etc.). 

I know that before long she will be at school and is growing up so fast before my very eyes but I cannot help but wish for her to hurry up and sleep through the night properly, I’m really looking forward to the day that I can go to bed without fearing how long I have before she wakes up, over, and over, and over…….. I might give controlled crying another go again (though I’m not keen on doing this unless things get totally desperate), I may shorten her lunch time nap, I may introduce a little porridge for supper, I’m not really able to think straight to decide what is best to do but I’ll keep searching for ideas.

The outcome of being so tired has made me too nervous to drive somedays, but it has made me do more knitting in the evenings (simple, easy knitting, requiring minimum brain power) and my wonderful husband has got up with ‘T’ at the weekends to let me have a rest in the morning. We have been going for walks instead of driving anywhere and been busy in the garden lapping up a little bit of Spring that seems to be just around the corner.

I’m sorry that this is a bit of a moan, I’m feeling a bit moany today, and a bit tired as last night was particularly bad!

(Photographs taken this week)

Weekending

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This weekend I have been:

  • Eating Tapas as our Saturday night treat. It made a deliciously lovely change!
  • Dreading falling asleep at night as I know I will be woken up many times throughout the night by little ‘T’. I’m getting bored of trawling through library books, websites, and moaning about it, I think I may just have to reside to the fact that one day she will sleep but for now I have to try and stay awake and keep positive on little sleep!
  • Enjoying seeing the spring bulbs coming into flower in various places.
  • Taking comfort in making lots of soup and cheesy scones with ‘T’.
  • Out for a splashy-puddle walk.
  • Slumping on the sofa in the evenings and looking for knitting ideas, this new hobby of mine is a good one to do when tired!
  • Visiting the in-laws for our last meal before our move away.

and on another note:

I have stopped knitting the dolly cardigan Ok, so here is the final look of the dolly’s cardigan. I’m not going for a one-armed look, it’s just that I’m not going to finish it as there are just toooooo many mistake on that arm! I intended it to be a practice piece (thanks goodness I didn’t do anything bigger!) As I wanted to learn how to use circular needles, dpns and try out some new stitches too so it was a great size for learning on, I was hoping that it may resemble something worth saving for dolly to wear but I can’t face looking at it with all of those mistakes!:

Young learning through the TV and internet

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The amount of TV that ‘T’ and the content of ‘TV’ that ‘T’ watches at home is carefully monitored. For her first year I was very keen to ensure that her ‘TV’ time was very limited (see here for previous post and my reasons for this).

It’s one of those touchy subjects; when in a local shop recently¬†the shop-keeper said to ‘T’ oh¬†you must like Peppa¬†Pig; here’s a Peppa¬†Pig book’, my daughter looked bemused as she has no idea who ‘Peppa¬†Pig’ is. I personally don’t like the programme that much and I would prefer her to watch more educational and gentle programmes. I find it quite scary and daunting that as I explained to the shop-keeper that ‘T’ doesn’t watch ‘Peppa Pig’, she looked at me in such a shocked way and I immediately felt like I was a completely¬†strange and weird hippy-type mother (which I’m not!). I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with Peppa Pig and I know plenty of parents who let their children watch the programme, it’s just that I choose for ‘T’ to watch other things for my own personal reasons. Our main favourites are Postman Pat, Spot the Dog, Abney¬†and Teal, Maisy¬†Mouse and Come Outside. I like the simple and educational aspect that they all hold as well as the calm and simple storylines and characters.

Since ‘T’ has been very young we have had a bit of a routine where I prepare the evening meal and get the dull, household chores mainly done first¬†thing in the morning from 7am – 8.30 am, where I also drink my coffee, run around doing some housework and get myself ready for the day. In that time, ‘T’ spends 30 mins reading in her bed from 7.00 until 7.30, she then comes down to the kitchen where her breakfast is waiting for her at the table and then she reads a book and eats some fruit watching some educational clips from YouTube whilst I run around getting things sorted for the day. This is what suits us and our routine and it’s one that I would like to keep with however many other children we will have. I find it makes the 5pm dinner-time-preparing time easy and quick so I have less need to turn the TV on then to ‘babysit’ her rather than spend time with her or out and about somewhere.

I often struggle to keep to my beliefs as it seems like there aren’t as many parents out there who use the TV for the same reason as us in our home, I’m sure it’s all about balance and what is right for each family and I want ‘T’ to have a balanced life though I hate the way that limiting TV time makes you out as a ‘strange’ parent. It’s not the easiest choice as I’m sure it would be quite easy to turn on the TV some days and have ‘T’ interested in that instead of reading books or going for walks etc. but I feel that I am doing the right thing for my child. I try and find programmes that I think will help and be good for her life, rather than buying into a commercialised franchise for branded TV programmes, bedding, toys, books, etc – the list is endless.

When I said that she doesn’t watch any TV to some people when she was a baby I seemed to get a lot of surprised reactions or comments such as ‘just wait till she’s older – she’ll watch TV then’¬† they annoy me a lot! I believe that being a Mum involves looking after, watching, caring, nurturing¬†and educating your child on so many levels and sticking them in front of a TV as a minder is not mothering. Yes, she will watch more TV as she gets older and I’m fine with that, just as she’ll eat more chocolate as she gets older, and one day she’ll be old enough to drink alcohol if she chooses – it goes on; but for today, for now, whilst she is my little-almost 2 year old, she watches what I think is best for her, she relaxes, she gets educated, she can recognise letters of the alphabet, she can (almost) count to 20, she is learning to swim, she is playing in the garden, she has weekly trips to the library, socialising¬†with friends, we make together home-made¬†healthy dinners¬†and is hopefully having the best life I can giver her as a mother. I find it so weird that we live in a world today where it is more unusual to spent half an hour showing your child how to bake or cook, or¬†educate them about nature or¬†paint a picture on a daily¬†basis¬†than it is to stick them in front of the TV.

I have found a fantastic site on YouTube for some really lovely, basic, simple, gentle  and very educational videos to educate toddlers and babies (these are what she watches in the morning). The link is here

Giveaway from ‘Eleanor Makes Nice’

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Oh my I was excited when my post just came through the letterbox today, it was some absolutely adorable jewelry from the lovely Etsy Store; ‘Eleanor Makes Nice’

Eleanor lives nearby us in rural Wiltshire and In 2009 earned a BA in music composition with visual arts practices from Dartington College of Arts in Devon, where¬†she specialised in the hammered dulcimer and folk harp. In¬†Eleanor’s words:

I had always found high street jewellery too gaudy, traditional jewellery too fussy, and set out to create the simple, unusual and practical jewellery I wanted to wear.

I find inspiration for my pieces in natural history collections, English folk music, and the wildlife and countryside that surrounds my home.

I make each piece entirely by hand ‚Äď saw piercing sheet metal, drilling holes, soldering components and connecting pieces. My current range is entirely made to order, so there are no mass-production methods involved.

Here are just some of the beautiful pieces available in her lovely Etsy store:

Now for the best bit – your chance to win these beautiful bird earings. I can proudly say I own a pair too and they are just so nice to wear!:

Either:

  • leave a comment below.
  • share this giveaway on the web (blog post, twitter, facebook etc) and let me know that you have done so.
  • ‚Äėlike‚Äô my facebook page (over there at the top on the right) and let me know that you have done so.

(or do all 3 for 3 chances to win!)

The winner will be drawn on 28th Feb – good luck everyone! xx

(Pssst. – head over to Eleanor’s beautiful blog for more information about her and what she does best!)