Thursday, September 05, 2013

Advice for my girls

Collecting tidbits of wisdom to pass on to my dear girls so that they can stay as sweet and lovely as they are today without being eaten up by the world.

"There are boys out there who look for shining girls; they will stand next to you and say quiet things in your ear that only you can hear and that will slowly drain the joy out of your heart. The books about vampires are true, baby. Drive a stake through their hearts and run away." - Caitlin Moran

Also, some fantastic advice I got from a 20 year old I used to work with when I was worried about rejecting somebody for fear of hurting their feelings; "they wouldn't worry about hurting yours".  So, very, true!  For a start, men don't feel things in the same way that women do, secondly I have found it in the past to be a pretty good test of character (not that I intended it to be).  If they get angry or nasty about it precisely at the time they should be on their very best behaviour, what sort of behaviour can one expect later on in the relationship?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Alfresco Dining

Why no bib? Silly mummy
Crazy tongue

 Because I am too slovenly to clean the up the lunchtime aftermath in the house.  Actually, I have been getting my clean on today now that I have a sleeping baby again after a week of boycotting the day sleeps.  As much as I love hanging out with one my most favourite people in the world, it is not conducive to getting the housework done (well that is my excuse anyway). Also I probably shouldn't be posting so many pictures of her here, but she is just way to adorable. I can't resist.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hello New Shoes

About half way through my pregnancy, I discovered Crocs and have been wearing them pretty much exclusively ever since. Ahh, the circulation boosting, extra weight bearing wonder of Crocs. When they first came out, I thought they couldn't possibly comfortable enough to justify looking that bad (although way back then I actually cared what people thought even strangers, why?). But my word, they totally are. Fortunately, they have come a long way in the looks department and are mostly pretty cute now. However, as cute as they are, they are situations where they probably shouldn't be worn. Especially when one no longer has the excuse of pregnancy.

 My faves

In a moving house/we have too much stuff/simplifying frenzy, I authorised my husband to cull some of my shoes. I am only now starting to realise how severely. Hence, I was left in a situation where my choice of footwear was pretty much limited to Crocs, running shoes, hiking boots, work shoes and a couple of pairs of sandals. I needed some pretty new shoes. Well, perhaps I didn't need them but I think it is a good thing for my marriage and self-esteem that I look somewhat feminine or as we (jokingly) pronounce it in our household, fenimine.

 My new faves.

Yes, I have dedicated a whole blog post to the questionable fashion choice, Crocs - I'm deep like that.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Re-evaluating plus new mama essentials

After nearly six years, several name changes and an embarrassingly small number of posts; I am still deciding what I want this blog to be. Craft blog, random life stuff blog, inspiration board, wedding blog, marriage blog, mama blog. I even created another blog recently just for the mummy stuff. However, given how little I post on one blog, dividing that by two would just make them both extremely scant things. So to that end (and considering my whopping 92 pageviews over five and a half years), I have decided to make it all of those things. A publicly accessible personal diary.

So, becoming a mum was a real hazing experience for me and without going into too much detail; it was brutal, slightly life endangering and at times, just kind of humiliating. I have made a mental note of things that, at the time, I felt would have literally saved my life. Although, obviously I managed to survive (barely) without them. Now that life is much, much easier I want to make a list for next time before time heals all wounds and I forget completely. Some things I have explained, and some stand alone because to explain them would be a little bit (or a lot) gross.

For the Hospital

1. Paracetamol and ibuprofen - lots of it!!!

This was something I found myself having to practically beg for every six hours in hospital. Regardless of the level of care provided in hospital, these magical capsules will be required at the maximum dosage for perhaps weeks after birth. I have a pain threshold of ummmm zero.

2. Lansinoh nipple cream

To help with breastfeeding.

3. Nipple shields

See above. These are apparently the worst thing in the world, excluding formula feeding in lactivist world but if it means the difference between being able to breast feed or bottle feeding I can't see why.

4. Dummy/pacifier

I was pretty neutral when it came to dummies before Evie was born. I had a few that had been given to me as samples but didn't think to pack any for hospital so effectively spent the entire first night acting as a human pacifier to a baby with a sore head (hence the breastfeeding problems). Now, I am a devoted convert. Even now, ten months down the track it is awesome. Dummy + cot = sleep. It is truly a miracle.

5. Visitor protocol

This may sound a bit harsh and only apply to introverts like me, but six hours after giving birth really was NOT the best time to meet my brother-in-law's childless, whooping cough infected, new (short-term) girlfriend (TRUE STORY)! Likewise, making small talk with just about anyone is going to be difficult when you dealing with an inconsolable newborn and impending nervous breakdown. Decide who you are prepared to see you more disheveled than you will ever be in your life and let everyone else know a set time when you will be taking visitors. I first came across this idea via a Facebook friend and childless me thought "ooh hoity toity", but really it makes so much sense. You only have to make the house (and yourself) presentable once, it shouldn't interfere with feeding the baby if you do it beforehand and it won't be taking up too much time when you would prefer to be caring for your baby or napping and not entertaining. Because it is difficult to be the hostess with the mostest when a baby is glued to you and you are barely able to walk. Also, my wish for every mama of a newborn would be visitors who do a load of dishes.

First days at home

6. Pre-sterilized bottles and formula

Not so much for in hospital as for 11pm on your first night home when both you and the baby are crying inconsolably. The baby, because she thinks you are trying to turn her into a vampire and you because you just cannot bear even the thought of trying to feed her. I think these are great, especially if you do want to breastfeed and don't want to buy the whole bottle set up for a just in case scenario. Breast pump may also be handy, preferable electric.

7. Hot and cold packs

For your shoulders, tummy and anywhere that just needs a little comfort. My grandmother bought me a cute little giraffe which was was intended for the baby but it became my constant companion for a while there. Apparently, it can help soothe baby tummy pains but I never found this to be the case.

8. Pear juice, prune juice, prunes, Metamucil, coloxyl and senna.

9. Hemorrhoid cushion

10. Peri bottle and witch hazel pads (apparently, I didn't actually try either of these but they sound good).

11. Amber

I didn't try this until Eve was about 4 months but it helped no end with my own shoulder pain and seemed to calm Evie too.

12. Almonds

An easy and breastmilk producing snack, win/win.

13. Natural yoghurt

To prevent/treat potential yeast infections. Also good breastfeeding food.

14. Cranberry juice

To prevent UTI's, especially in the case of multiple catheter insertions.

I'm sure I could come up with a lot more. At the shops I will often see things that I think would be handy (still after all this time; yep, I'm scarred or maybe just super prepared for next time), but this is the stuff that I absolutely wouldn't want to be without again.

Friday, February 03, 2012

(Belated) Goals for 2012

My old pastor commented on Facebook recently, that January feels like "holding inhaled breath and waiting to expel it and start breathing again". It is something a can relate to, perhaps this year more than others. Moving to a new town in December and all the traveling for Christmas and New Year celebrations (our first with an extra little person), has left me desiring a life pause button. However, as January has waned and February is new, I am ready to start breathing again and get stuck into living with gusto! So without further ado, my goals for the rest of 2012.


Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. - William Morris

1. Declutter. As much as I love making and collecting things, there can be too much of a good thing.

2. Make a daily/cleaning routine and stick to it.


I have managed to accumulate quite a few unfinished projects over the years and would like to see some to completion.

1. Grandmothers Flower Garden Quilt

I started this quilt at the end of 2006 and then promptly commenced a nursing degree in 2007 which I found consumed much of my time but now I would like to have it finished for Evie's big girl bed. My husband pointed out to me that I had been "over-engineering" it by hand-stitching each stitch on top of the other. A completely unnecessary and time-consuming task. Now I am leaving at least one to two millimeters between each stitch and also using some of the flowers my mother has done which I had previously considered not good enough in my perfectionism. A quilt with slightly less than perfect stitches (which won't even be noticeable) is infinitely better than no quilt at all.

2. Marriage Sampler from Cross-stitch and Embroidery in Red, White and Blue.

Another hand stitched project I would be delighted to finish.

3. Linen scrap quilt

A blue and natural colored quilt using linen salvaged from op shop clothing and incorporating the embroidered table numbers from our wedding.

4. Purchase a decent sewing machine

I have been struggling with a cheap and nasty Brother for a number of years and dread machine sewing because of it. This probably less of a goal than a desire but I am including anyway. I have my eye on a Bernina 380.

5. Regency style dresses for Evie and I from this material

6. Some aprons.

I find housework a lot more tolerable (and easier) when wearing a pretty apron.  I like the empire style of Butterick B5509 and the largest style of Simplicity 3544.

I daren't make any more sewing goals lest I don't complete the ones I already have.

I am keeping these goals modest so as not to spook me self and not do any at all.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Evangeline's First Birthday Garden Party


Oh, what shall my blue eyes go see?
Shall it be pretty Quack-Quack to-day?
Or the Peacock upon the Yew Tree?
Or the dear little white Lambs at play?
Say Baby.
For Baby is such a young Petsy,
And Baby is such a sweet Dear.
And Baby is growing quite old now—
She's just getting on for a year.
~Kate Greenaway

Evie is just getting on for a year so my thoughts have turned to organizing her first birthday party.  At first it was to be an Edwardian garden party, so that we could wear 1914 dresses by Sensibility, which led to the question of invitations.  This is when it occurred to me to have Beatrix Potter invitations which is quite sensible due to the popularity of Peter Rabbit merchandise.  However, this in turn led me to consider Kate Greenaway invitations, which has now turned the theme of the party to be Regency via the Victorian Gilded Age.  Due in no small part to the dearest depictions of childhood, maidenhood and motherhood as illustrated by the said Miss Greenaway.

There will be badminton of which we fortuitously received a set of for Christmas, perhaps a maypole and other Regency outdoor amusements (of which I am yet to research).

Evie and I will wear dresses made of swiss dot in a soft blue with mustard accents of which I have six metres on account of it being on sale for five dollars a metre.  I am thinking of making mine about knee length so that I can wear it in day to day life, maybe slightly longer at the back.  If I were to wear it as a Regency costume (not that there is much scope for that where I live) I would just layer a mustard coloured underdress.  As a beginner, I will use Mrs Chancey's Regency Gown Pattern and the matching dress, apron and pantloons for Evie.

Signing off in order to take care of the little lady.

Michelle xoxo

Friday, January 27, 2012

Visit to Glengallan Homestead.

In celebration of Australia Day and Michael having the day off work, we decided to take a trip to lovely, historic Glengallan Homestead.

Building of this lovely old homestead commenced in 1867 but was never completed (being only one room deep) and eventually became practically derelict.  Even after having two million dollars spent on it received from a government grant, it is still not completely repaired (which I rather think adds to its charm).

 One of the fireplaces

The flushing toilet

The toilet originally had a beautiful blue and white delft bowl.

Cot and Graffiti :(

There are areas of the house that have been restored but I didn't take pictures of them for some reason.  I am a little bit disappointed in the pictures I did take, I am still not used to using a digital SLR as opposed to my good old film.  Maybe a belated goal for this year could be to improve my knowledge and skills.

Another interesting thing about the homestead was the mummified cat found in the chamber in the foundations, believed to be due to an old builders superstition.  Poor kitty.

In the guide book, it mentioned that occasionally volunteers as required for archaeological digs, which I have acquired a recent interest in.  However, being a listed building no digs are allowed unless they are certain there is something there to dig, but they cannot be certain there is something there without digging (It doesn't sound like they have the resources for thermal imaging).

Michael and Evangeline on the upper verandah.

Evie and I downstairs.

More farmhouse charm.

And the most miniscule bird I have ever seen.  More like a butterfly in size really.

All in all, such a lovely day.  Looking forward to going back with better camera skills and perhaps an Edwardian tea dress.  I love this 1914 afternoon dress by Sense and Sensibility Pattens.  Not quite Edwardian but a very lovely thing.