Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week 4 of Craft project a week: shirred dresses


I discovered shirring a couple of years ago and love the effect it gives. It is, however, quite tedious sewing - lots and lots of sewing straight lines! I can't work out how to do shirring on my sewing machine either so I have to borrow my Mum's old trusty Janome so I can adjust the tension manually. Despite all this, I decided to make a couple of shirred dresses for Esme this week as she needed some more Summer dresses.

Spotty dress with shirred pockets and cross over straps

Plain Tie-dyed dress (this is the only 'tie-dyed' material I could find at Spotlight - need to invest in some proper tie-dyed stuff!)

My little model is now sleeping in bed so I can't take any pictures of her in the tie-dyed dress - hopefully it fits ok ;)

This week completes a month of making something every week - I'm quite proud of that achievement. Now just to see if I can keep it up once holidays are over and life gets hectic again!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Leaving my baby

This time next week I will be leaving my baby for the first time. I have so many emotions about it all right now. Fear. Sadness. Worry. Guilt. And perhaps just a teensy bit of excitement. Last year, I made the decision that I would return to work one day a week (I was doing one day a week while pregnant with Gideon). Now that it is upon me though I don't feel ready at all.

I didn't leave the other two to return to work until they were 12 months old and even then it wasn't always a weekly thing so I am feeling some intense mother guilt for returning when Gideon is only 7 months old. I know I will be leaving him in very good hands (Chris will have the kids the first two Fridays and from then on it will be my Mum) but I can't help worrying. Gideon has been our most 'attached' baby out of all three kids. He is used to milk 'on demand' and being held when he sleeps so I have no idea how he is going to go...

Added to that, I will need to express milk for him while I'm at work. I'm worried about how my work is going to react. Even though my work is made up of female employees I am still worried about how my need to express and organising a place to do it will go down. I'm very passionate about breastfeeding, probably more so than any other employees at my work who has returned with a young baby. As an ABA counsellor, I know I should be proud to be advocating breastfeeding but all I feel is downright scared about it! I haven't even discussed this need with my principal yet - must put that on the to-do list!

There are many reasons why we're decided that I will return to work when Gideon is 7 months old. Part of that is financial. By going back to work one day a week we will be able to send our kids through Steiner Education (at least for Primary) which is important to us.. Also, it means that I will be eligible for paid maternity leave when/if we have another child. If I had to put my children into care then I would not be returning to work. But knowing they will be with their Nanna and cared for just as I would care for them makes me happy to go back to work.

There's also a part of me that is actually excited about going back to work. I'm a special education teacher and I work at a school for students with physical and multiple disabilities. I find my work very rewarding (although challenging) and I love it a lot - especially when I am only there one day a week!

I know I shouldn't be, but I'm a little worried that people will judge me for going back to work when my baby is so young. While it's probably pretty normal in the wider community for Mums to go back to work when their baby is young, not many people in my circle of friends have done so. And it is true that if money wasn't an issue then I would not be going back to work. I would be staying home with my kids. But I feel that working just that one day a week will actually make a much better Mum. It will teach me to appreciate my kids just that little bit more. And, of course, my kids will get to spend some quality time with their Nanna as well - how special is that?

Now just to get over my own anxiety about leaving Gideon...and start expressing so I have some milk to leave for him!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Time of my life

I was just thinking back over my life the other day and realised that having and raising little children has been the best stage of my life so far. Sure, it can be overwhelming sometimes. It can be exhausting. It can be frustrating. It can be challenging. It can be heart-wrenching. But I would not have things any other way. I love my life, and the chaos that can ensue around here! I love the fact that I am responsible for raising these little people and teaching them to be good human beings. I love that, at this age, they are so formative and that I can have such an important role in helping 'shape' them (I hesitate to say 'mould' as I think children will take their own path in life and all we can do is guide them along the way - ultimately they will be what they will be!)

I struggled when I was growing up. To be accepted. To be confident in myself. I didn't like the person I was. Having kids has changed all of that. All of a sudden I have these little people that I am responsible for. I need to be brave and I need to be confident for them. It's truly amazing how much courage you have when you have to stand up for your own kids! They have taught me that I'm a pretty ok person just the way I am and they love me unconditionally. Which in turn has given me confidence. I love that my body has grown and nurtured my children and I am so proud of what it is! Having children has also made me a much more social person. I have always struggled meeting and talking to new people but suddenly I share a common experience with so many other people. We all share the same fears and frustrations. I have met and made so many new friends that I never would have expected to in the past.

It's so beautiful seeing my kids at this stage in their life. I'm amazed at how quickly they grow and change. How one second they are just little babies and then the next they are their own little people with such strong personalities. I love seeing all three of my kids interacting with each other. Hearing Jacob and Esme have 'serious' discussions about all the really important things in life (like what the 'fox' in our backyard has been responsible for doing!), watching the two kids making Gideon laugh as they run around, screaming. I love that, even though the tantrums can be so full on, Jacob will turn around and say that he 'loves Mummy and Daddy'. Usually every day!

I feel a little sad when I think about this stage of my life finishing. Of never being pregnant again and experiencing the miracle of a new life. Of seeing my first (or last!) child off to school. I wonder exactly what I'll do with all my spare time when that happens (yeah, yeah, I know I won't really have trouble filling that in!) This year Jacob starts school and I feel a bit like it's the end of an era. I will not have all my kids at home with me ever again (unless I do decide to homeschool in the end!) I think I will be *that* Mum in the corner shedding a quiet tear!

So, all you other Mums that have been there and done that - please reassure me that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That the next stages in life are just as enjoyable! (I think I really do know that...it's just hard to let go of this stage!)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week 3 of Craft project a week - Suck pads for slings


Gideon loves to suck on the sling at the moment which results in one very wet sling. I don't like to wash the Ergo too regularly so suck pads seemed like a really good idea. I'd seen them being sold before but decided they would be easy (and cheap!) enough for me to make myself. I experimented with making some a couple of months ago which turned out well. The suck pads I made this week are the end results of my experimentations.

These suck pads are made with a cotton layer, a layer of bamboo and backed with PUL (to stop the dribble soaking through). They have three snaps to hold them together (hooray for finally being able to use my snap machine for something - I purchased it ages ago when I was going to start sewing nappies - and never did!) Each suck pad measures approximately 15x23cms.

'Cat in the Hat' suck pads - shown folded up and as a whole

Dr Seuss suck pads - shown folded up and as a whole

Owl suck pads - shown folded up and as a whole

I ended up making 6 pairs of suck pads as I'd had some friends express interest in buying some. I'm hoping to actually sell these when/if I do get my own business up and running this year. If anyone is interested in buying some I'm selling them for $10 a pair. I can make in the same fabric as above or else I have some other cute fabrics that can be used as well.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Mending Basket

The mending basket - No, that's not actually all of it but it's a start!

I don't know about anyone else but we seem to accumulate a lot of broken things around the house. From clothes that are missing buttons, to broken cups and books that have torn pages - you name it, we have it! Most of these things are fixable but the problem is I tend to put them in random places around the house and never get around to fixing them. Usually I get so frustrated with the 'junk' that we have that I just end up tossing them in the bin. What a waste!

This year I have decided to have a 'mending basket'. Anything and everything that needs fixing around the house will go in the basket and at least once a month I have resolved to sit down and fix things. I'm hoping that by doing this, things WILL actually get fixed and won't just get thrown away. In this basket will also go clothes that need to be re-purposed as well (pants with holes that can be made into shorts, things I have bought from the op-shop that are not-quite-right, etc).

I've already started on the mending basket today - it's a great feeling getting some of those jobs that have been on the 'to-do' list for ages completed!

Week 2 of Craft project a week: Belated Christmas Gifts

This week's craft project has been finishing off Christmas presents for my friend's kids. They were meant to be done by Christmas time but I got caught up with some other projects! Chris has been helping this week too. He did a cross stitch for a cute little dress I found ages ago (I confess - I do not like cross stitch!)

I love this dress - as soon as I saw it I thought it was perfect for cross stitching!

A close up of the cute little teddy bear.

I also made up an appliqued t-shirt. My friend's little boy has an obsession with rubbish trucks at the moment so this t-shirt is perfect for him. I was very happy with how it turned out in the end - especially given I designed the applique myself from a picture!

Rubbish truck applique on the t-shirt

A close up of the rubbish truck.

I will send them off to my friend sometime this coming week - can't wait to hear if her little boy likes his t-shirt!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Elimination Communication: when refusal hits!

We'd been doing so well with Elimination Communication but just lately we've hit a 'potty refusal' stage. I seem to remember this vaguely with Esme although we weren't practicing EC as diligently as we are with Gidoen. This 'refusal' seems to coincide with developmental changes. Gideon is starting to get up on his hands and knees and move around the floor a bit so really doesn't like being 'confined' on a potty. Also, he's much more interested in things around him so is often wanting to reach things when he is sitting on the potty which results in him pushing himself up and off the potty!

So...what to do about it? There's not a lot we can do about it at present apart from just wait it out (and I know things will change - as they always do with a little baby!) Luckily Gideon is still happy to do poo in the potty (I really don't think he likes doing it in his nappy anymore - he will deliberately hold on these days until he is on the potty to do it) but we are having a bit of trouble catching wee at the moment. When we try to put him on the potty for a wee he will often cry and push himself off. We still have times that we are guaranteed to catch a wee (such as when he first wakes up or first has his nappy off) but in between those times, it's a bit hit and miss (literally!) We are quite fortunate in that we have floorboards so don't have to worry too much about carpets getting dirty although do occasionally get misses on our rugs (a terry towel to soak up the wee immediately works wonders by the way).

We do have a few 'tricks' that we can use to keep Gideon happy on the potty if he's refusing to go though. One of those is putting a basket filled with lots of different toys in front of him so he can rummage through it, giving him a favourite toy to chew on, or a piece of fruit that he likes (yeah, probably not the most hygienic but you gotta go what you gotta do!) Also, bigger kids sitting with him and talking to him can also help (although sometimes this is more of a hindrance than a help - especially when they yell and stick their faces in his!)

So, that's where we're up to with our EC journey at the moment. I will update again in a couple of months time and let you know whether the 'refusal' stage has passed - fingers crossed it has!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Week 1 of Craft project a week: Shorts and top set

To start off my Craft project a week, I've made a matching shorts and top set for Esme. I've had this pattern and fabric for at least a year but haven't got around to making it until now! The pattern is a Make it Perfect pattern (I love these patterns and have quite a few of them now!) The fabric I used is so cute as well, it has little red riding hood all over it. We even learnt to make fabric covered buttons to put on the shorts for this project as well (I say 'we' but really I mean Chris - I don't have much patience for fiddly little things ;))


I also whipped up some curtains for the kid's play kitchen - something I've been meaning to do for awhile!


What have you 'created' this week?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sometimes I don't like my kids

There. I said it. So whatcha gonna do about it?

We all know being a parent is hard. Some days can be bliss but other days can be downright hard. Today was one of those days here. It was like the kids were on some kind of mission to do every single thing they could to annoy me. And I really did not like them one little bit. Here's how our day went just so you can see where I'm coming from:

The kids discovered the 10 or so sauce bottles left over from a fundraising BBQ we'd had for our ABA group and proceeded to open and empty out every.single.bottle into the container of wheat we keep for the chooks. I didn't discover this until they came round the book filthy dirty and I smelt the sauce on them. Cue screaming banshee Mother. Actually, I thought I was remarkably composed compared to what I normally am. I have been known to completely lose my cool and smack (yes I know - I'm not particularly proud of this fact either. It's not really the way I want to parent!) This time there was a fair bit of yelling and then I sent the kids off to their rooms so I could have time to calm down.

At lunchtime, the kids took great pleasure making towers with their crockery and cutlery and letting the towers crash to the ground. This also involved lots of yelling and shouting while I tried to get Gideon to sleep.

Jacob managed to get the food for his sea monkeys wet and crushed up the packet on purpose. When I told him that he wouldn't have any food for his sea monkeys and that they were going to die he screamed at me. Huh? Why am I the bad guy when he was the one who crushed up the packet?!

Next on the 'annoy Mummy to bits list' was flinging clean washing from the basket around the couches and then proceeding to drop the basket off the couch onto Gideon's head while they jumped around the couches.

Later that afternoon, I found the kids outside again squeezing out the sauce bottles they had already taken the lids off. They had also painted the car with said sauce as well. Seriously, what is with that? They got in so much trouble for doing this before and then they do it again?!

After that they used the shade sail over their wading pool as a convenient 'slide' to put anything they could get their hands on down (watering can, buckets, outside toys, dustpan, you name it!) This would have been fine apart from the fact that there is a slope with metre tall blackberries at the end of it and we had to retrieve it all from the blackberries.

When Chris arrived home we discovered that the kids had been digging in his pots of carnivorous plants and pulled out/destroyed an entire pot (we've already covered most of the pots with cloth so they can't do this!) Very mad Daddy here.

So, you can see, we've had a super day here ;)

You're probably wondering why I'm writing this post. I guess it's to point out that being a parent is damn hard work sometimes. We don't have to pretend that every day is awesome and that we love being a parent. Because sometimes it's not. Sometimes I don't like being a parent. And sometimes I don't like my kids at all. But regardless of what my kids do, I still love them. I may not like what they do sometimes but at the end of the day, I love them and I love being their Mother. Now I think I shall go and look at my peaceful, sleeping kids so I can remember them that way ;)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Brothers

video

It's so beautiful watching the relationship develop between Jacob and Gideon. Jacob is the most doting big brother. He will happily sit and play with Gideon for ages or share his 'special' toys with him. If he's crying he'll go to him and comfort him. Gideon absolutely adores Jacob too. He watches Jacob intently when he's around and any attention from him is met with huge smiles! It's so special to see. And I think seeing this makes us realise why we wanted our children to have siblings - so they can share that 'special' relationship. Chris managed to capture this video of Jacob and Gideon after their baths the other day - I think you can plainly see the mutual admiration!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My new challenge for 2012

I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions. I find that I just don't stick to something if I make a resolution or, if I do, it lasts a couple of weeks and then I'm back to my old habits again. This year I want to try something different. I've decided to set myself a challenge to do one craft project a week. I'd really like to focus more on my sewing this year and I find if I have something to work towards then I actually get it done.

Last year I was inspired by another blog where the writer completed one craft project a day. One craft project a day is a little unachievable for me (who has time to do that and run around after 3 kids?!) so I have decided to aim towards completing one craft project a week instead. It doesn't have to be a huge project. It can be something small. As long as I get at least one project done a week. I'm hoping that by blogging about it I will have some accountability and it will actually get done for once!

So from now on Sundays are going to be my day for blogging about my craft projects from the week. If you don't see a post from me on Sundays feel free to hassle me about it!

Anyone else up for the challenge?!
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