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  • Welcome to GOBLIN CHILD

    Goblin Child was created and named by Amber, a former little girl who had a little curl. Its management is shared with Kirsty, who has always been unremittingly good.

    Goblin Child features blog posts on a variety of subjects, including but not limited to pregnancy, same-sex parenting, photography, knitting, twins, minimalist living and the busy but fulfilling life of Posy, the four-legged firstborn.

Is it Autumn? Because we’re having babies in Autumn – Amber

Is it Autumn?  Because it feels like Autumn.  And I’m not ready for that.

You guys, we’re having babies this Autumn.  Tiny ‘Year of the Horse’ babies.  And now the leaves are orange and scuttling in the wind and I had to wear a jumper this evening, a JUMPER. And I think it may be Autumn.

Today, I’m at 31+4 with the twins.  Mostly I feel fine – enormous and I have to plan my day around the closest bathroom, but fine.  Sleep is a little less comfortable.  Occasionally the boys experience a growth spurt and I find myself doing absurd things like waking up every hour in order to eat multiple breakfasts, but that’s not frequent enough to be a real issue.  And I think that I’ve cracked it by stuffing myself full of protein now anyway.

So if nobody minds, I think I’ll have it still be Summer.  Or at the very least, I want an assurance that these ginormous babies will be content to stay put until 35 weeks at the earliest.  I’m not ready to be a mum to outside-of-womb babies yet!

This was a bit of a spur of the moment photoshoot, totally inspired by the doughnuts that I had picked up at Sainsbury’s this morning.  The colours are so cute.  The one that I shared with the dog was rather delicious too, although I must admit to binning most of them – they’re just more sugary than I’m inclined to eat at the moment.  My own bodyweight in carbs, though?  Bring it on.

Huge thanks as always to the lovely Kirsty for taking over my camera and doing a marvellous job.  It means the world to be able to properly document this experience.

I don’t think that it can be Autumn yet.

POSTED BY AMBER

+ - 2 comments

September 13, 2014 - 9:23 pm

Rebecca - What beautiful photographs you have you remember this magical experience! Not long to go now, you must be so very excited x

September 14, 2014 - 11:49 am

Goblin Child - Thank you! We really are. Also, absolutely petrified. I’m better with dogs than babies!

Knitting Project: A Gift From Prometheus – Kirsty

I came across Stacey Cilia’s Stacked Stag-horn Baby Sweater on Ravelry and fell in love with how smart and professional it looked. Stacey has written up the instructions to make this jumper in both dk and worsted weight. I used her dk pattern, and here is my result:

Pattern: Stacked Stag-horn Baby Sweater by Stacey Cilia

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Citrus

Needles: 4.5mm and 5mm circulars

This pattern is one of my new favourites. I didn’t have to change a thing. It was straightforward and I found it to be a very relaxing knit, even with the staghorn cable to keep things interesting. I’m finding my feet with cabling, and though this jumper needs some heavier blocking to really open it out, I love the way it ended up looking!

Madelinetosh Tosh DK yarn is just beautiful; I’ve never knit with anything that works up so neatly. It’s soft and bright and if you’re working with the right pattern, it gives you a really professional looking finish.

This jumper would knit up nicely for a boy or a girl and it works up faster than one might expect for a cabled piece! If you want to know more about the designer, check out her website and see all of the wonderful, mouth-watering things she has been cooking! Alternately, keep an eye on her Ravelry page to see when she adds new knitting designs!

POSTED BY KIRSTY

+ - 4 comments

September 12, 2014 - 10:02 am

Rebecca - wow, that is gorgeous and I really love the colour! x

September 12, 2014 - 7:16 pm

Goblin Child - Thank you, Rebecca! The boys are getting a lot of orange in their clothing collection, it seems. – Kirsty

September 13, 2014 - 3:01 pm

vicki-elliebearbabi - Oh my goodness this is gorgeous! The colour wow! I love it! you are soo talented!

September 13, 2014 - 3:31 pm

Goblin Child - Thank you so much! I’m so pleased with this one.

What We’ve Been Buying/What We’ve Been Making (AKA: Nesting?!) – Amber

The urge to nest has manifested itself in different ways for Kirsty and me.

She has been doing an awful lot of this:

Whereas for me, it’s been all about this:

This mama may not be so creative but she sure as anything knows how to use her credit card.

Adorable jumpers in the first picture were sourced from Filemon Kid.  In addition to being supremely cute, they feel tremendously sturdy and durable.  No fears of these coming apart in the wash!

Leggings in the second image are Doodle Pants and are literally the most squee-worthy things that I have ever seen.  The foxes are my favourite, but I’m so excited about dressing the boys in ALL of them and was very tempted to buy the same designs in varying sizes so that they could never outgrow them!  Plus, I’m told that they fit beautifully over cloth-nappied bums.

It’s all feeling rather imminent now, and yet surreal that in a matter of weeks, somebody is going to hand us TWO tiny humans and let us take them home.  Without a home check or an assessment or anything (can you tell that I’m more used to dogs?!).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be doing some more online shopping…

POSTED BY AMBER

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In Defence of the Older Dog – AMBER

I don’t think that I’ve mentioned it on here before but I actually spent quite a bit of my free time – and almost all of my annual leave – volunteering with various animal welfare charities.  As a result of this, I come into contact with lots of dogs who for whatever reason, are in need of a new home.

And yes, the puppies are flipping adorable and when you look at a young dog, it’s exhilarating to see so much potential, but my particular favourites are the older dogs.

Having a puppy is like having a baby.  Having an older dog is like having a friend.

A common misconception is that, with the exception of the ‘blank slate’ puppies, dogs must have done something ‘wrong’ to end up in rescue.  That is so not true.  Certainly, some find their way there because of poor behaviour, which is generally down to poor training, which is the fault of the owners and generally remediable, but for the most part, dogs aren’t abandoned because they are irredeemably poor characters.  Frequently they are surrendered to the shelters for other, heartbreaking reasons – a house move following a divorce, a change in working hours, a child’s allergies.

Thinking before I act is a concept that has eluded me since childhood, so when I decided to adopt a dog of my own, I leapt in feet-first.  I was volunteering at a dog shelter on a Greek island at the time and had fallen wildly in love with a small orange puppy who followed me around and slept tucked up in my jumper like a baby kangaroo.

It didn’t take long for me to decide that I couldn’t leave him at the shelter, and guilt made me decide to take two of the older dogs too.

One beautiful, shining tabula rasa baby.  Two older dogs with no history and a lifetime of experience behind them.  Who do you think proved to be the most difficult to manage?

Not Cordelia Worzeldog, who faced every day of her life with courage until she was taken by the disease that I knew she had when I adopted her.

Not Posy, who walked out of that shelter a paragon and continues to make me look like a steller dog trainer rather than just her lucky guardian.

Hello, Teddy.

Luckily for me, my in-laws were in the market for a puppy.  Even more fortunately, they had the time and resources to cater to his baby needs and then his adolescent quirks and then his young-adult naughtiness until finally, aged almost three, he is beginning to turn into a reasonable dog.

Almost three.  That’s two and a half years of puppy chewing and shredding, rambunctious don’t-care-if-I-flatten-you playing, refusal to come back in the park, an absolutely mortifying incident where he stole somebody’s woolly winter hat right off of their head (and no – he was NOT allowed off-lead for some time after that!) and other horrible but quite normal behaviour.

You guys, puppies bite.  And that’s normal.  They have horrible needle-like teeth and they don’t half chomp down with them.

The older dog, on the other hand, generally comes to you with a bit of training.  Their gums aren’t throbbing with emerging teeth and they know not to defecate on your carpet.

A good rescue centre will evaluate the dogs.  Your new friend will be assessed around children, around other animals.  No hidden surprises.  You know what you’re getting; they’re grown and for the most part, their personalities are formed.  So are their bodies – your tiny mongrel won’t suddenly stretch into a donkey.

Some of them have this glorious, quiet dignity.  Some are just so grateful for a warm place to sleep that it breaks your heart.

I have found that the older dog gives back more than she takes.  She is not so needy.  She has more patience with her owner’s flaws and ineptitudes.  If you’re lucky, you will aquire one that was taught everything she needs to know in a previous life and will surprise you by parking herself, bum-down, when she spots a treat in your hand or will walk beautifully to heel whilst you manhandle the buggy.

Of course, everyone has their preferences and I love the new puppy smell as much as the next person, but realistically, it will be older dogs for me from now onward.   They are totally worth it.

POSTED BY AMBER

+ - 2 comments

September 9, 2014 - 9:07 pm

Honest Mum - Gorgeous post, twins, so exciting. Love your blog x

September 11, 2014 - 9:48 pm

Goblin Child - Eee, thank you! I practically live on yours. x

Baby Bonding – Kirsty

I haven’t had any particular trouble when it comes to bonding with the two tiny people growing inside Amber’s uterus, but throughout this pregnancy so far, I’ve been very prone (as I suspect many are) to forgetting that they are there at all. Of course, it’s always a wonderful jolt back to reality, but not carrying the babies can definitely make me less aware of their presence at times. Here are the ten ways that I have strengthened my bond with my sons, and kept everything feeling wonderfully real:

1. Buying their books

I have, over the last year or so, slowly built up a collection of around 250 second hand books. It’s been wonderful fun and it’s affordable enough that I can do it quite frequently, so popping in to charity shops when I’m out and about and picking up a few books is always a nice way to remember that, not only are there babies on the way, but these babies will turn in to toddlers who will (hopefully) come to appreciate their Charlie & Lola and Elmer books.

2. Reading to the bump

I really love putting the book collection to good use already. It feels very gentle and peaceful to sit beside the bump and read a story to the boys, knowing that in good time I’ll be able to recreate the memories with them when they are here.

3. Feeling movements

My fondest bump memory so far is being woken up by one of the boys kicking my hand! Feeling the babies move around is lovely, and a fabulous way to be reminded that there are babies.

4. Going to the ultrasounds

For me, there has been nothing quite like actually SEEING the tiny boys on the screen. We’ve been spoilt with the number of ultrasounds so far, as we are having twins, and I have loved having a little peek in to their private space every single time.

5. Finding out the sex

This was really key for me. Finding out the sex changed things from possibilities to certainties and I’m so glad we went ahead and did so. It turned them from abstract babies in to real little people in my mind, and of course, it made shopping that much easier!

6. Choosing names

This has been a mixture of fun and stressful. On one hand, researching and picking out favourites and throwing around middle name combinations is exciting but on the other, these are real people we’re naming and I tend to lose interest in names pretty quickly! We have found two names that we both love, so hopefully this problem is solved for us now.

7. Clothes shopping

These real little people will actually WEAR all of these gorgeous, bright items of clothing in not that many weeks! Hard to believe, and such a scary thought!

8. Talking about them

To anyone who cares to listen, really, but mostly I’m referring to conversations with Amber. Talking about the babies, our plans and hopes and dreams for them, what we do and don’t agree with in terms of parenting, what we want them to experience; all of this is fantastic for really cementing the fact that we are becoming a family.

9. Knitting for them

This is probably the strongest factor for me, and I wished I had started making things for these babies long before they were even conceived, because now I’m running out of time! I absolutely love being able to make things for them. It’s really important to me, and I’m currently devoting so much time to it. In my head, it’s a beautiful way of providing; I might not be creating them myself, but I am at least creating FOR them. It may prove to be a little more difficult once they are here, but I hope to continue this for a long time, so that they’ll always have mama-made things in their wardrobes and toyboxes.

10. Preparing our living space

Whilst Amber is busy gestating, I find that I have more than enough motivation to put cots together, wash clothes, research cloth nappies and babywearing and spend probably too much money on things that we don’t need. It’s been great for adapting my mindset; even things as simple as having a cot put up serves as a constant reminder that soon there will be someone other than a ginger cat sleeping in it!

What were your favourite ways to bond to your baby before it was born?

POSTED BY KIRSTY

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