I am… unfit

Posted by on Mar 21 2012 | General Ramblings

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I know I have a fairly good excuse, but I was in good enough shape before I had the baby, and now, well, I’m just not. I would like to be fairly fit again. More importantly at the moment, I would like to be able to fit into my old clothes again, as I don’t want to have to go shopping for new ones.

So, I’m taking action. I’ve signed up for the Great Ireland Run in the Phoenix Park on April 15th. It’s a 10km run, and I think it’s perhaps a bit ambitious as a goal. Nevertheless, I shall try. I restarted the couch to 5km programme recently, and if I can make it round the 10km in a mixture of jogging and walking I will be happy.

This morning I went to my first bootcamp-ish class in the park. It’s a mother and baby class, so the baby and pushchair came too. I imagine we were quite a sight – walking along pushing the pushchairs while lunging, and doing jumping jacks in a circle around the pushchairs. However, before you laugh, remember that going to the gym takes the best part of an evening and you can’t bring the baby. It’s just not going to happen.  I am exhausted now. Exhausted. I’ve signed up for two classes a week for the next five weeks, and hopefully that’ll get me back on track.

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Chocolate cheese?

Posted by on Mar 20 2012 | General Ramblings

When I heard about the new chocolate flavoured Philadelphia, I didn’t think it sounded particularly appetising.  Why mess with perfectly good chocolate, and why mess with perfectly good cream cheese?

Then people I follow on twitter started trying it, and raving about how good it was. “It’s like chocolate cheesecake!”, I heard more than once. I was still sceptical. I prefer my cheesecake baked, possibly served with a fruit coulis.

However. My curiosity got the better of me:

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Inside the pot the cream cheese is very similar to Nutella in colour and consistency. So far so good. I love Nutella.

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I decided to try some on a rice cake, as a neutral surface. This was a good plan in theory, but my rice cake was stale, so it didn’t work as well as I’d hoped.

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My verdict – Honestly, it’s not great. I’d take Nutella over it any day of the week. It doesn’t really taste like cheese, and it doesn’t really taste like chocolate. It was only when I abandoned the rice cake and just ate it off the knife that I worked out what it tasted like and what it would be great for. It tastes like chocolate icing, and it would be super on cupcakes, possibly sweetened up a tiny bit with some icing sugar. I don’t see me buying it again except to use that way.

 

Nevertheless…

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I am a crocheter

Posted by on Mar 16 2012 | General Ramblings

Who knew?

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I have a thing for crocheted blankets, and for ages I’ve wanted to make myself a giant granny square blanket out of sock yarn. The only problem was that I didn’t know how to crochet, and then I didn’t know how to make granny squares.

Enter the indomitable She Knit Up That Ball, who had me crocheting in next to no time, and then finally, a web tutorial and some pointers from Duilleoga got me going with granny squares, and I was away. Until I was hit by my chronic indecisiveness. My plan had been to make one giant square, for less seaming, and to have something that just kept on getting bigger, but when I had the yarns together I started thinking about making one from smaller squares instead. A discussion on twitter was inconclusive, with votes for both methods. It was crocheter extraordinaire Irene that swung it for me though, by pointing out that larger squares are more prone to sagging, and the seams add structure. I want to learn how to use crochet for seaming too, so doing it this way will add another skill to my repertoire.

I think that this is a project that will take me a long time to complete.

 

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So, not being content with having one crochet blanket on the go, I’ve started a second too. This is from a chunky cotton-acrylic blend on a 6mm hook though, so it’ll be a bit faster than the sock yarn one. I have two balls each of purple, cream, and a silvery grey, and I’m making stripes of double crochet, working a whole ball at a time. This is my mindless project for middle of the night baby wake ups – so oddly, I hope it’s slow going, as that means I’m getting more sleep!

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I am a knitter

Posted by on Mar 13 2012 | General Ramblings

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I may have less time for it these days, but I am still a knitter.

We were given lots and lots of lovely knitwear for the baby (deserving of a separate post), which made up for me not getting many things made, but he needed a new hat recently, so I made Carol Feller’s Iceling Hat from some leftover cashmerino, and knocked up some mittens to match. The mittens are removed frequently, and he’s just worked out how to take hats off too, but they look cute while they’re on.

 

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I seem to have been on a bit of a Carol Feller spree, as I made myself the Ballyragget hat from her wonderful book Contemporary Irish Knits.

 

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Or maybe I’ve just been on a hat spree, as I made one knitted gift for christmas – the Escargot Hat from Knitty. I love this hat, especially in the Donegal Tweed, and I might have to make myself one too.

 

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This is the unblocked inside view, but you get the idea – a christmas stocking for the little man. It was hung up by the fireplace and he must have been good because santy visited and left some presents. I’m really happy with this, and looking forward to him being old enough to understand what’s going on.

 

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And I finally finished my Jaywalkers in a lovely fyberspates blue faced leicester wool. They’d been on the needles for a long long time, and now they’re on my feet as often as possible. They’re really soft.

I’m going to stick to plain socks for a while though, rather than fancy ones. My goal is to be able to wear handknit socks more than shop bought, in the winter at least, and I want to be able to just pick up a pair in progress at any time and knit away, without having to consult a pattern.

What’s on my needles at the moment? Some plain socks, a scarf, and apart from the older WIPs that’s it for now. I really should tackle some of those older WIPs though.

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Who I am.

Posted by on Mar 12 2012 | General Ramblings

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One of the reasons for not blogging for a while, is that I’m trying to figure out who I am now. My life is so different. I thought I had an idea about what it would be like to be a parent. I knew it would be really hard work, and really tiring, but I don’t think I really grasped just how hard it would be.

I like to be prepared for things, and to know what’s going to happen, and to be organised. I find spontaneity stressful now, and I wonder if that’s partly because I wasn’t in control of the things I thought I would be after the little man was born.

He arrived slightly early, right at the beginning of my maternity leave, and I wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t quite finished up with work, mentally, and I was expecting to have a couple of weeks to get myself used to not being at work, and to get organised at home.

The birth was fine, and is something I’m not going to get into here, but the stay in hospital afterward really knocked me for six. As he was quite small, and didn’t gain weight quickly enough, we weren’t allowed to leave for four nights, so I was in for five in total. I’d never spent a night in hospital before and it was miserable. (He’s all caught up now and is perfectly average, size wise).

Although the vast majority of the hospital staff were lovely and caring, a couple were not, and the hospital policies around food and visitors were not conducive to a restful stay. This isn’t the forum for that rant, but 4pm is not an appropriate time for the evening meal, and having new mothers left alone without their partners from 9pm to 9am is not helpful.

I am extremely lucky to have a great support network in place, and I abandoned the hospital food altogether in favour of Marks and Spencers food brought in to me. Meanwhile our mums went into action at home, getting the house cleaned, the cot set up in the main bedroom, and the freezer stocked with delicious meals that just needed to be put in the oven. We’d had no reason to suspect that the little man would be quite so little, so hadn’t bought a lot of newborn sized clothes, as everyone said that you don’t need many. Our mums went shopping. In the end, he was wearing the newborn sized clothes they bought for the first couple of months.

The help from our friends and families was invaluable. I couldn’t have managed without their help in so many ways.

My memory of the first eight weeks is of living in a little bubble. It’s dark around the edges. It was August and September but I can’t tell you if we had a summer or not.

Anyway.

Now it’s seven months later, everything’s on track, and after six months where I didn’t sleep for longer than three hours at a time, I’m much more rested. The little man is a happy baby, and is developing a lovely personality, and I’m finding my feet and trying to find my personality again.

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