Cosy Pom-Pom Scarf – Knitting Pattern to fit Toddlers

Getting my hygge-inducive knit on now that the temperature has nicely dropped and it’s appropriate to think about all things Cosy. It’s fun to do on the commute/in down-time.

Adelyn lost her only scarf on our recent trip to beautiful Edinburgh. I wandered into some gorgeous boutique for kid’s clothes and picked up an adorably chunky knitted scarf and promptly dropped it in disgust at the £35 PRICE TAG – ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?!??

Then realised that I could whip together a scarf with my own two hands. This is a simple-ish pattern I devised, the subtle “points” at each end lend a little something extra in detail to what is otherwise a pure knitting pattern. Add two pom-poms and you’ll have a delightful little homemade scarf to adorn upon a little one in as little time as a weekend.

If you need any help whatsoever with the graduations to increase/decrease your stitches to get the (what are essentially) triangle shapes at either end of scarf, I use the lovely videos from Purl Soho to show me!

You’ll need:

  • 4mm knitting needles
  • 6 or 8-ply DK wool (one normal sized ball for the scarf and another colour for the poms!)
  1. Cast on 3 stitches
  2. K all
  3. Sl1, K f&b, K1
  4. Sl1, K f&b, K2
  5. Sl1, K1, M1R, k to the last 2 stitches then M1L, K1
  6. Sl1, K all

Repeat step 5 and 6 till you have 21 stitches.

  1. Sl1, K all – for all of your rows until you have the desired length

Then when you’re ready to finish off the scarf and do your decreasing…

  1. Sl1, K1, SSK, K to last 4 stitches, K2tog, K2
  2. Sl1, K all

Repeat 1 and 2 still you have 5 stitches left and finish off with…

  1. Sl1, SSK, K2Tog, K1
  2. K and bind off

Make your Pom-Poms and then attach to each end ^.^

 

My First Day Back At Work

Last Pre-Working Mum Selfie

Let’s live-write this experience, shall we?

0104 – crying for milk feed. Mmmm sleepy cuddles.

0244 – crying AGAIN. WTF not even two hours since last feed. Remind self to treasure sleepy cuddles. Can she sense she’s about to be getting less milk?

0304 – what I should wear for my first day back…?

0525 – can hear her mewling. Go back to sleep baby it’s 35mins too early and I’ll miss you but I’m not ready for cuddles yet.

0555 – KS asks me what time it is. Then we ponder the merits of calling in sick. (Note to employers – I’M SO JOKING)

0610 – marvel at the luxury of being able to get ready without an audience as MiL takes Adelyn and KS has gone to make his breakfast.

0614 – bring her back upstairs to keep me company anyway (Adelyn, not the MiL). Contemplate dressing smart for first day back but it’s cold out so double leggings and slouchy jumpy it is. Jazzing it up with some hoop earrings that I can actually wear today without fear of being yanked.

0640 – sit down for breakfast and entertained watching someone else deal with the squawks/spoon swipes/when-she-pushes-food-back-out-by-sticking-out-her-tongue.

0655 – bye bye to Papa. Commence play time!

0725 – getting sad again. My “little sister” at work tells me she’ll make baby crying sounds in the office if I miss Adelyn too much. Makes me smile. Must remind self to live in the NOW and not mope.

0748 – OWW forgot I had hoops on till Adelyn made an enthusiastic grab at one during cuddle.

0800 – MiL says I can go get dressed now. Have to explain that I am dressed. She manages to keep face neutral.

0830 – cry my way through putting Adelyn down for her morning nap. She looked at me like I was crazy – this was actually helpful. Breaks my heart to think of her waking up and finding I’m not there. Oh god want to cry again FFS.

0845 – nearly miss the train. For once am grateful for Southeastern Rail delay. Looking like slightly deranged bag lady with my layers and puffy red eyes.

0859 – just realised have got my headphones on but not actually playing any music. This doesn’t bode well for my attention span.

0907 – ugh this feels like a break up where you start crying at anything that reminds you of them. Should probably turn off James Bay’s sad songs. Geez. Ooh Bruno Mars can cure all blues! 

0915 – have been back to office many times over my Leave. First time coming back in as official Colleague – daring to let myself feel excited at being part of a Team again. Get your game face on – LET’S DO THIS

0919 -£6 effing 20p for a peak time single?!?!! WTF.

0922 – quick check in bathroom to make sure am less deranged looking.

0930 – let the work begin!

1045 – sweetest hubby sent flowers to the office for my first day – such a thoughtful surprise.

1430 – interesting sitting through training sessions for tools I helped create or processes I helped develop haha

1625 – full on refresher day. Knackered. Must get Outlook and Skype set up again.

1630 – ooh where’d that Pandan cake come from?

1645 – 10,144 emails. Actually less than expected considering it’s a year’s worth. 

1650 – Marked all as read LOL

1657 – Time to leave for train. Huh I can’t zip up my coat – boobs have apparently gotten that full

1658 – hah can still do the 75 steps at Waterloo East *victory dance*

1723 – Good Lord this feels like the slowest train ever.

1753 – home

REUNITED! (I swear she was happier about it than she looks)

Kx

The First Year of Motherhood: Expectation vs. Reality

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-20-57-29

(Left: this time last year and 35 weeks pregnant, Right: Now, with the most serious Elf ever)

I read heaps of books when I was pregnant. I re-read them again in the months after Adelyn was born. I Googled things to prepare for what changes to expect. I remembered things from TV shows (for the record, Catastrophe has been pretty accurate in terms of tone). I had a vision of how I’d spend Maternity Leave and as it draws to a close, I had a little look back at how that panned out…


EXPECTATION: A whole year to get down the gym to regain and then surpass my pre-pregnancy physique.

REALITY: have not stepped foot in a gym. Went to a swimming pool a bunch of times though but holding a baby in the water doesn’t really get the ol’ heart pumping.


EXPECTATION: Worrying about not being able to produce enough milk and stocking up on foodstuff to help with milk production.

REALITY: Surprisingly leaky. Had to read up on how to reduce milk production as I ended up having the opposite issue (which I had no idea could happen) where I had a little TOO much milk going on.


EXPECTATION: Whole days spent soaking up culture in the V&A/Natural History/Science Museum.

REALITY: The thought of trying to get Adelyn up London and then across it by Tube and walking around and carrying stuff and…do you see where I’m going with this? It’s logistically exhausting trying to plan it let alone execute on it. And what if she has a crabby day and doesn’t want to sit in her pram? Or won’t nap? Or won’t eat? Or won’t stop eating and I run out of food?


EXPECTATION: Chatting and Knitting with Yummy Mummy groups in local cafes and baby groups.

REALITY: Finding that my local playgroups were oddly cliquey amongst the mothers so only attend them occasionally. Spend a disproportionate amount of time trying to distract Adelyn to steer her clear of the snot-streaming babies.


EXPECTATION: Plenty of free time to travel the world and not have to rush to get back home because you’re on Maternity Leave for a whole year yay!

REALITY: The most f**king stressful experience I’ve had. Going away is not a holiday any more. It is an inconvenience and a chore and exactly the same routine as being at home only you have none of the comforts of being at home and a crabby, probably ill baby. And you’re paying for it!


EXPECTATION: Being too tired/baby-focused to get dressed/wash/brush hair.

REALITY:  Even when trying to avoid touching or looking at my C-Section wound in the early weeks and not really knowing what time it was any more, I always maintained personal hygiene. The only thing that changed is my love of elasticated pants to the point that my Mum expressed surprise that “oh wow you’re wearing actual bottoms for once”.


EXPECTATION: Being adamant that we would not become a household drowning in baby things.

REALITY: I have bubbles, wet wipes, a baby nail clipper, two sets of baby slippers, the baby Elf hat, a baby sock (just one) and a baby cardigan all within arms length from the computer chair.


EXPECTATION: That I’d have the time to pick up new crafting hobbies/finish old projects.

REALITY: There is a cross-stitch tapestry that I have had since before we even got married that is still sitting next to the sofa in it’s bag, untouched since I was pregnant. I have not picked up a crochet or knitting needle since the birth because solid pointy things are not baby-friendly and also because when I do get time to myself, I’m generally dozing. Or writing things like this when I should probably actually be sleeping.


EXPECTATION: That I’d quite like being a Mum.

REALITY: I F**KING LOVE IT 🙂

Kx

Mental Preparation for Becoming A Working Mum

Experiencing mixed feelings about my impending return to the workforce, having taken the full year off to spend with our daughter…

Intrigue surrounding how I’ll find stepping back into a fast-paced world of commuting and out of the Baby Bubble (even though I love being in it).

A cold, dark pit in my stomach at the thought of missing out being witness to her new discoveries.

Excitement to be able to be part of something “grown-up” and then immediate guilt for having to focus on anything other than my baby girl.

I had read somewhere once that if you’re 80% sure that you think you might like to go back to work, to just go for it as there’s never right time to return. Just like there’s never a right time to have a baby in the first place. It happens; you make it work.

Just like I buy nice gym clothes to lure me into working out, I’m beginning to amass pretty stationary so that I am even more incentivised to work just so I can make use of them.

Consider – “Why Are You Doing This?”

As a woman and a mother, I want to be a strong, female role model for my daughter and to me, that means being the best version of myself for my family. I’m confident in myself as a Mother, now to regain my confidence as an individual.

Right now, I have the chance to have “Me” time back and to develop myself personally (my company are super big on this). Also y’know, money to buy her ridiculously fabulous outfits and chic toys.

Whatever your reasons, let it be for the greater good of your family.

BE RATIONAL

I’ve found listing out my fears and then telling myself to Be Rational has helped me to stay focused. It’s something that we practiced in the Natal Hypnotherapy classes to dispel any Birthing fears the group had.

If you’re thinking about going back to work, I hope that this exercise will help you too.

Here are some of mine:

I don’t want someone else raising her

There’s an amazing bond, especially between mother and child, this won’t be misplaced just because you have someone else take care of them. If anything, you’ll be giving your little one an opportunity to become more independent and think about it – parents don’t see sending their kids to school everyday as “someone else raising them”.

I’m having to very carefully consider the childcare options at the moment as this will influence her development, but ultimately we as parents will be the ones responsible for raising her with solid values.

Worried I’ll be tired all of the time

Well, you’ve probably just spent the best part of a year (and more actually if you count the insomnia and discomfort of the 3rd Trimester) having subpar sleep so if anything, you might be better rested by dozing on your commute haha.

Housework?! Cooking?! How? When? HOW???

I’ve been told by many people that having a cleaner is a worthwhile expense for a busy family – if this is something that you can budget for then why the heck not.

Otherwise, it’s down to sharing the housework with your partner. Ask for help. But also reset your expectations – the place doesn’t need to be sterile but it does need to be safe for the family.

When it comes to getting food on the table after a day at work – this is one of my husband’s biggest fears. I think we’ll try a combination of bulk cooking at the weekends combined with leaning heavily on Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals…

I don’t want to miss out on anything

This one I’m struggling with. It’s the sacrifice that a working parent has to make as part of being away from your child. If you have a good person looking after your little one though, they should be keeping you in the loop (though maybe have your phone on silent).

I’m fortunate enough to be part of a supportive company who are allowing me to have time to work from home and condensing my week as I make the transition to being a Working Mum – so thankfully I’m not in a cold turkey position! I’m fairly sure the separation is usually harder on the Mum than the Child at this age…

And I must remember that the time you get to spend with your family should be time you spend with your family – not with your focus half on your emails/the TV etc.

So whilst you might not be around your little one as much as before – the very least you can offer is your undivided attention when you are off duty.

Closing Thoughts 

p1040532

We finally got around to hanging some photos on the walls, I wanted to put these in a prominent place in our home as a reminder to my husband and I of the whole reason why we make any decisions in life.

Please share your experience in the comments – sharing is caring! Kx