this is lemonade

A mindful, grateful, creative life: Life constantly hurls lemons at us. I’m on a mission to make lemonade as best I can, by God’s grace.


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A little hello…and my first trendy #TBT post

Greetings to anyone who is still hovering around my blog despite my protracted absence…! How are you all?

My little toddler was singing to herself in her cot as I was reading this article. I was getting ready to give up on the idea of her napping today, when she unexpectedly fell asleep….so I though I’d write a little bit of a response to the article – a little peek into what I went through in the early days of unintentionally abandoning this blog space. I know I never set strict confines for the subject matter of this blog, and this is a personal post. However, I’m aware that many of you may not find the topic relevant or interesting. Please feel free to move swiftly onto something else if so, but I hope you are still doing well in your corner of the world, wherever you are passing by from!

In the meantime, for those of you on Instagram, I have recently joined so that I can have some sort of creative outlet… I’m there under @thisislemonade – hope to hear from you!

I miss you all! ❤

* * *

My, now very healthy, greedy little toddler, struggled to feed in the early days and was quite severely jaundiced at birth. The doctors could not tell whether her difficulties with feeding caused the jaundice, or the jaundice affected her desire to feed.. either way, it was a very stressful few months at the beginning as she also suffered from reflux and cried a lot needing to be held and refusing to settle to sleep on her own. Looking back, I now recognise the myriad of mistakes I made in terms of attempting to breastfeed, not helped by the seemingly thousands of different changing suggestions and instructions from different health professionals and concerned family members or friends during my most vulnerable time after having given birth.

She is now almost 18 months old and I am able to read about breastfeeding without suffering pangs of regret all the time. I am currently looking back to look forward…..

* * *

After many weeks of struggling with pain, doubt and expressions of concern all around, I finally managed to achieve a couple of days of exclusive breastfeeding – still with some pain, but my baby was starting to really gain weight and seemed to be doing a lot better.

I will never forget the single incident that completely shattered my confidence, which was of course very fragile at the time… I had been banking on an endorsement from my GP to help give assurance to those around, who were concerned for the effects of my struggle to breastfeed on the health of my baby. We were due a weigh-in and check up… I arrived in his office and sat down, triumphantly announced that I was now 100% breastfeeding:

“Why?”

He had been very supportive of my efforts up to that point, but had thoroughly endorsed mixed feeding. His own sister, in his words “supplemented formula with breast milk” – she struggled to breastfeed exclusively and managed to get around it by giving baby some formula first, and then nursing at the breast. My GP could not understand why I wanted to put myself through the struggle to exclusively breastfeed and became concerned I would not manage it.

The grief and remorse I felt at eventually having to give up breastfeeding at 10 weeks has subsided very gradually over the past 15 months or so. I finally had to stop, because in spite of attending every breastfeeding clinic and cafe I could find, the pain was just inexplicable and became physically and mentally unbearable.

By the dawn of 2016, I am hoping that I will have been given another chance to try again. Apart from the fact that not having to sterilise bottles seemingly incessantly has always been a great incentive, I’ve always wanted to breastfeed because it is just the most natural instinct for me as a mother. I know not all women feel the same, and I personally don’t feel the need to preach to those around me that “breast is best” because in my social circles at least, there is enough information out there being promoted by health professionals and so on. Some mothers I know have their own pragmatic reasons for not breastfeeding and enough have struggled and have been unable to overcome difficulties with breastfeeding without everyone reminding them of how they “failed”.

But I hope that, given my previous experience, I will at least be armed with more confidence and have a clearer idea of what not to do next time. And this time, I’ve also put my foot down and refused any visitors in the first few weeks who I know will not be supportive. It’s not easy, but it’s what I have to do to give us a fighting chance. Although I don’t intend it to be a fight… I hope it will not have to be….


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Finally Friday

I need to get back on this blog! I have loads of ideas but no opportunity. It’s not even that I have no time, it’s just that when I have the time it’s not always possible to get to the computer. Much as I appreciate the WordPress app, blogging from my phone just isn’t good enough.

So here’s the plan: I’ve spent the past 6 months since Baby Girl arrived, looking forward to Fridays. Because after Friday, is Saturday. That normally means that I have back up and don’t have to do everything by myself. Even if back up sometimes needs gently nudging out of bed…

So I’m starting Finally Friday. A short thought, that sums up the mood of the week. Or something that just came into my mind at some point during the week. Perhaps it’ll have a photo accompanying it, perhaps not. So….hey, I hope this plan works 🙂

Hi everyone! It’s Friday tomorrow! Watch this space 😀


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Happy Easter!

Just popping in to wish you all a Happy Easter. Without Easter Sunday, there would only be Bad Friday and no good in the Easter story. So I’m thankful for God’s grace and for the hope and joy after suffering that comes wrapped up in the gift of Easter.

Another piece of good news that has less of a wide-reaching impact and more of a personal one, is that Baby Girl arrived last week! ♡ She was a tad early, and the birth didn’t go as we’d hoped, but words cannot express what a joy it is to finally get to know the little human that has been growing inside me for the last 9 months.  It was all worth it… and the poo and feeding and crying and lack of sleep hasn’t dampened anything… except perhaps the urge to blog 😛

So please forgive my impending absence. I’ll be back hopefully in the not too distant future (and resolve not to flood this space with endless poo reports when I return!) In the meantime, thank you for being there, supporting and encouraging me. Take care! X


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Not quite a ball…

It’s been a bit of a tough old time since I last posted. Still not out of the woods yet, but consoling myself with some knitting and learning yet again to trust in God’s plan and grace. In the past Sunday, a friend shared a song that I missed. I received news of it just when I needed reminding most. I’m feeling very thankful and at peace.

As I posted on Facebook last week, I’ve started another mini project. I promised to update you today so I’m posting photos below. But I’ve been winding yarn all day today because

  1. I’m currently convalescing and have nothing better to do and
  2. my mini project has run out of yarn and I need to get some more and
  3. my mammoth cable project does my shoulder (and head) in if I do too much at a time (although it has more than doubled since I last posted that photo)

So, today I took apart a project I finished previously that I did not like so much once I finished it. I think I should have used a softer, simpler and consistently coloured yarn for it. But I’m not going to make it again. I love the yarn and the mottled greys in it though, so I did some searches for ideas on balling yarn with a centre pull. What I’ve ended up with is the equivalent of two balls of yarn into a elongated rugby ball shape. Still a ball of sorts I guess, but not what you’d normally call a ball.

Balling yarn by hand

As for my lovely mini project, I could never bring myself to bother with knitting up anything but scarves and phone holders or random not so useful things. I would look at the yarn needed to knit up a cardigan and baulk at the idea. But then, after enjoying knitting up the booties so much, my mum encouraged me to try some mini jumpers etc. saying that they knit up really swiftly and it’s a great way to learn the skills. So I’m currently working up a mini hoodie with the view that it can be for a girl or a boy because I’m not yet sure who’s will eventually end up wearing it. I’d really recommend trying baby knitting if you are just starting out, because my mum was right – it’s addictive!

Corey Cardigan

I’m quite frustrated that I’ve done the back, front sides and just over one sleeve but have just run out of yarn! I can’t wait to get some more! How many yarn lovers do we have reading today? Please say hello and let me know if you have some ongoing projects!

In the meantime, with the yarn I’ve balled today, I’m going to make up a quick snood using inspiration I’ve pinned here and here. Hopefully it’ll be nice and quick and will turn out well. It’s definitely spring though, there is not a cloud in the sky and when I open the back door an unmistakeable fragrance of life wafts in. Hopefully the resulting snood will not be needed until the end of the year!

Thank you all for reading and leaving your comments. I’ve still to respond to some of them. I’m getting quite bad at this – sincere apologies! Trying to get into a good blogging rhythm. Missing some of your blogs too – I can see many friends of this blog have also been busy – thanks for popping by and leaving messages, even when you’ve obviously not had time to post yourselves. It always does me no end of good to hear from you ❤

Candy Floss Hat


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Wonder Wool

OK…so I’m a tiny bit late to the party. National Wool Week was last week. But then, I was ill. Aaah. But, I’m still in the recovery position this week. The near-solid slime, glueing together my ENT passages is showing no intention of shifting. Sorry, tmi. At least my sexy voice has left me. Unfortunately, that means the only external clue to my being under the weather has dissipated, and I appear to be well enough to do all things.

Well. I haven’t been blogging so much. But the thing is, as I hinted here, I have been getting cosy with this:

Candy Floss Hat

I love wool. I picked up knitting and crocheting again last winter. It didn’t seem to make much sense, seeing as wool is expensive in the UK. And Primark is cheap. And let’s not beat about the bush, I am also expensive when it comes to hiring myself to knit. I recently bought some four jumpers at £6 each. Whereas, the total amount of money spent on that is not enough even to buy me the wool required to knit myself a jumper.

Candy Floss Hat

But in short, I will knit because I want a good quality garment. Even though synthetic yarns are cheaper, I will only bother with good quality stuff, because otherwise I can buy it for cheaper in the shops. Even if it is not Primark. I will buy synthesised yarns, but only when the synthetics add to the texture of the yarn. I will only do this, if it is good quality and it does not make up the majority of the fibre.

Candy Floss Hat

So. When a friend of mine requested a warm woolly hat, I took the chance to knit this. My head is massive (I have big empty braincells). So sorry, I am not modelling it. But I hope you’ll agree, that pompom is like candyfloss. Beautiful, wonderful, super soft merino wool. It’s also my first foray into thick and thin. And with the same yarn, I am knitting myself a scarf. It’s getting chilly, and I’m almost done. I will soon be the envy of you all 🙂

I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves the good old sheepies. I LOVE WOOL 🙂 And to prove it, as well as the abovementioned scarf, I have two others on the go:

Scarves

I’m also researching baby blankets, I have a plan to deliver a hat with a surprise gift inside! Any pattern ideas? I’m thinking I might crochet it. I’m so excited 🙂

Candy Floss Hat