Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Picasso's Maternity 1905

I love the soft tones of this painting by Pablo Picasso. That little hand holding mummy's breast is so sweet and the way the mum is looking down at her bub reminds me of the early days with Adele when I got sore neck from gazing down adoringly at her too much! I just wish I could look this serene and beautiful!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

My big night out

Last night was a big deal for me. I left Adele for the first time in the evening. I am surprised by how at peace I felt to be honest. I had been planning it for a couple of weeks and had been doing a lot of praying.

I went to the playcentre introduction meeting. I fed A to sleep nice and early and put her down to sleep in our bed. The amazing thing was that she was asleep by just after 7pm. Bedtime usually ends up closer to 8pm. I was then able to go out at 7.20, relaxed and unhurried.

I arrived back home at 9.30 and as I drove in I could see my wee poppet in her Daddy's arm through a gap in the curtains. She was awake. But seemed to be happy.

She had woken at 8.30pm (1 1/2 hour sleep - not too bad for her!) and Mike hadn't been able to resettle her so they'd gotten up and read some books, watched a DVD and had a wee party it seems :)

I was stoked. It didn't really matter so much whether she slept, as long as she was happy and ok without me.

A was pretty happy to see me when I got home so we snuggled up in bed together, and I gave her some more mama milky and she quite quickly drifted off to sleep. I managed to sneak back out of bed and have a hot chocolate with Mike before going to bed.

Yep. It was a good night. I reckon I could do it again.

My two fav people watching Love to sing one morning last week.
I imagine last night was a bit like this!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Creation a week # 18 & 19

Here are a couple of creations I've been working on in the last few weeks...
A nappy pouch for me. Lined and with a drawstring. It fits the Huggies travel wipe pack a few nappies an old fashioned flat nappy (I use these as change mats) and nappy cream etc. Great to have it all in one pouch that I can just throw in whatever bag we're taking. Although to be honest, Adele rarely needs to be changed when we're out these days.

And a shopping tote for my mother-in-law's birthday. I love this fabric. I got it at the op shop. It was an old cushion cover :) It looks like birds sitting on telephone wires. My MIL loves birds so it seemed appropriate for her. Hopefully she'll get good use out of it - getting groceries or as a library book bag perhaps?

Monday, 23 August 2010

Madonna with the Green Cushion

Thought I might start a new series! Breastfeeding art! And what better place to start than with Mary and Jesus.

Madonna with the Green Cushion is an oil painting by Italian painter Andrea Solario from about 1500. It now lives in the Louvre.

I love the way Mary is intently looking down at her nursling - almost like she's sharing a joke with him. But then again, on second glance, she looks quite serious too. Solario was strongly influenced by Leonardo da Vinci. So perhaps it's a Mona Lisa smile?

Ooh, and the way Jesus is holding his foot - just like a real bubba would. And I really like how he is a chubby bubby. 

Nice to know they used pillows for breastfeeding back then too! Although, it does look like she's standing behind that marble bench...

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Oompa loompa overalls

We went to the lake today for coffee group. For most of the time all Adele wanted to do was play with my wallet (obsessed). And then when it was time to leave all she wanted to do was stay.

She looked so oompa loompa-ish today in her overalls and beanie. The outfit really showed off her 'toddleriness'. She has now completely given up crawling in favour of walking. She's even started running. And it seems that since she started walking she's become a toddler in temperament too. She certainly knows how to express herself!

Wordless Wednesday: Cupboard mischief

I know, I know, it's Thursday. But I meant to get this up yesterday but it just didn't happen. Adele loves the herb and spices packets.

Friday, 13 August 2010

A little milk atop a mountain

What a gorgeous place to breastfeed. These were taken during the holidays during our walk on Maungatautari (it's taken me ages to get round to posting them). We did the short walk through the northern enclosure. (Maungatautari is a fenced inland 'island' where native wildlife is flourishing because rats, stoats, possums etc can't get in.)

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Creation a week #17

I made this wee purse for my niece Jacinda who turned 7 this week. (It's in the mail... or will be in the next day or so...)

I used this tutorial but put some stuffing in the tail instead of quilting it like she suggested.

I hope J likes it! Might have to pop some goodies inside it as well :)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Creation a week #16

Oh dear, it's been so long since I posted anything let alone a creation. I have been making stuff just need to remember to photograph them.

I'm in love with this one though. I never thought I'd need a pincushion. It seems like an old-lady type thing to have but boy! it's useful.

This is made from an old baby food jar. I used this tutorial. I wish I had a pile of buttons to go inside but my collection is nil at the moment! But I found some paua pieces, the colours go well with the fabric I think.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Walking in Waitomo

During the school holidays we went down to Waitomo for the day. We skipped the caves etc cause they're too expensive and went on a couple of walks instead.

Adele rode in style on Mike's back in the Mei Tai carrier where she had a great view of everything. Lots of pointing!

The day was lots of fun. I'd really like to go back and do some more walks - there are so many down there and it's a great way to get some 'family time' in. Mike and I enjoy the chance to talk without distractions too!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Adele's first birthday party

Finally a quiet moment to do some blogging.

We had Adele's first birthday party last weekend. She had a blast. She really does love having people over to play at her house.

She was so spoiled with all her gifts, I'd love to say what her favourite is but to be honest she's been playing with pretty much all of them.

As for the cake. Ahhh, butter cream icing you still elude me... And the cake itself ended up a bit dry cause Adele and I went outside to play while it was cooking and I forgot to take it out of the oven. Ooops! Totally still edible though and didn't look too bad after all.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Creation a week #15

Can you believe that my little girl is one?

Her party is coming up this weekend so I thought I'd better have a practice run at baking a cake & icing it. The baking part went fine. But the icing... why does my butter cream icing always split? Noone I've talked to seems to have this problem. They just look at me like I'm a freak. Apparently butter cream icing is easy. Sigh.

For the actual party I'll be attempting a teddy bear!

So anyway, I forgot to photograph it before coffee group - here are the remains.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Creation a week #14

And here's another creation. I made these pocket tissue holders to give as a wee gift to the facilitators of the SPACE programme Adele and I have been attending over the past year.

Really simple and quick to make - 5 minutes? I even used a pair of my old jeans :) I think I'll make a few more to pop into my box of 'emergency gifts'. There are tonnes of tutorials online but I used this one.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Creation a week #13

Finally made use of the two formula tins my friend gave me. Adele loves these drums. I put uncooked popcorn in one and chickpeas in the other so they double as shakers.

Adele sits up on her knees and rocks side to side while I beat on the drums and sing a Mainly Music song,  'I can beat on my drum, on my drum..." Love it!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Creation a week # 12

I know, I know, it's been ages since I did a creation a week post (May 10th!). That's cause I stopped creating. And then I started again but kept forgetting to photograph them before I gave them away as gifts! But now I've started again in a flurry... might even have enough to catch up! So I'll eek them out over a few days :)

I've been making these crayon rolls for 1st birthday gifts (we've had a few of them lately). This is the 4th or 5th that I've made. Finally remembered to photograph one. I used this tutorial.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Such a little trooper

You know, one of the good things about having a baby who isn't so keen on sleep, is that she can stay up happily for hours!

This morning she woke at 5.30 (arrghh, too early little lady!) played in the lounge with mummy and daddy for a good few hours (Mike and I took shifts) then went to church at 10.30 not getting home to nap until 12.30. That's 7 hours awake.

Now, you'd expect that she'd be a mess by the end of that, and yup she was definitely tired (evidenced by the fact that she lay still as I changed her nappy before her nap!). But she didn't throw a wobbly at church, no crying in the car or even really excessive clingyness.

She's just a little trooper.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

My three roses - part 1 of Adele's birth story

I've started writing Adele's birth story. I need to do it as part of my La Leche League leadership application. It's something I've been meaning to do for the past year but have been putting it off cause it's going to be hard. I've promised myself I'll finish it by her birthday - 9 days to go! I'm not sure I'll share all of it with you but here is the beginning...

My three roses

Sitting on my porch are three roses. They are my babies. Adele has the smallest rose which was planted just a few months ago. Her whenua (placenta) is buried beneath the apricot-coloured blooms. I hope that this will be a special plant for her in the future.

The white rose belongs to Taran, my special baby who grew inside me for only 13 weeks. We hadn’t planned to get pregnant but we were over the moon at the idea of starting a family. Those first 12 weeks were so hard, my morning sickness was unbearable. But then the sickness eventually faded and the excitement of seeing our baby at a scan took over. But Taran’s heart had stopped beating. The screen showed a perfectly formed little body, but no heartbeat.  The devastation of losing our first baby was overwhelming. I despaired and wished I could join that precious life in heaven. But time heals. Taran’s remains are buried beneath the white rose.

And the pink rose is Jay. Poor wee Jay who didn’t have a chance at all. Jay was a blighted ovum. The shock of Taran’s loss was not present  with Jay. From the very beginning I knew that we would not meet this baby. I never felt pregnant, there was no morning sickness and the pregnancy tests weren’t promising. But I certainly did grieve. I grieved for the loss of that life, and especially the loss of my innocence and the feeling that my body had let me down.

When I got pregnant for the third time, I felt much more confident that this time, things would work out. The morning sickness was even worse than the first time. Not just nausea but also daily vomiting. The awfulness of those first three months is still so clear in my mind. I was so ill I quit my job and Mike and I moved to Hamilton.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Cousins are the best-est ever!

Adele's cousins came over the other day. She ADORES them. 

They all sat up at her little table and ate cheese on toast. She looked so proud of herself up there with her big cuzzies. And then she started shaking her sippy cup up and down so water spilt out the top - that got lots of laughs so she kept going!

We're so going to miss these guys when they head to Thailand later this year!

And here they are a few weeks ago. Can you see how chuffed Adele is?

Monday, 21 June 2010

Trading my drivers licence for a carrot

Most hilarious dream last night.

Mike and I had to go get our drivers licences renewed. We went up to the counter and handed over our photo ID cards. The police officer took our expired cards, cut them in half with a pair of scissors then reached under the counter to produce our new drivers licences.

He pulled out two carrots. Peeled carrots no less.

Apparently, NZ law requires that drivers have a police issued carrot on them at all times.

I woke up from the dream this morning and recounted it to Mike. I was giggling maniacally with tears streaming down my cheeks. Adele was giggling too but it was one of those "I'm laughing cause you're laughing but I don't know why we're laughing" kind of laughs. And Mike, well he was groaning and wishing he could sleep in longer (he got up to watch the soccer - Go the All Whites!).

I can just imagine being pulled over for a breathalyser test and being asked to show my drivers licence and pulling a carrot out of the glove box. LOL.

(Photo credit: nickwheeleroz)

Friday, 18 June 2010

Feeling a bit guilty

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my previous post. I'm glad that y'all love reading about my lil gal as much as I love blogging about her.

But I do need to explain that the person who said I needed to have a bit more to my life than just being a mum was actually my dear hub Mike. And his comment was really in the context of a deep and meaningful about such things. So he wasn't being mean to me, although the comment did make me a bit grumpy. Hence Tuesday's post.

So sorry for miss-representing you hub. (BTW he wasn't bothered at all.) And thanks so much for all your encouragement bloggy friends!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

It's been a while

It's been quite some time since I blogged. One of the main reasons is that I've been busy and tired. Adele has dropped down to one sleep a day and that has thrown my day (and mind) all out of whack. I still haven't adjusted to the fact that we need to get out and do things in the morning rather than the middle of the day. In addition to that I have less time to myself cause she is awake more during the day. On the plus side it is heaps easier to get her to sleep for that nap (cause she's usually exhausted by 11.30am) and she's also going to bed at night earlier and easier too. Woop woop!

The other reason I haven't been blogging is that I've been getting criticised for mostly blogging about Adele. Well, people, you see - if I don't blog about her then I have nothing to say! (As the last month clearly demonstrates.)  I also had it suggested to me that I needed to have something else in my life besides being a mum. But honestly, I just find this job all consuming. 

It's not just that my poor brain has no room for anything else, it's that I love this job. It's the best one out there. At the moment I just want to put all my energy into being the best mummy I can be.

Having said that, I'm actually meeting with my La Leche League leaders tomorrow to talk about me becoming one too :) There is a 'training' process to do so that will keep me well occupied I am sure. Very excited about this.

But, yes, I have taken on board the feedback that perhaps I could broaden my conversation beyond bragging about how cute my girl is or complaining that I had to resettle her 6 times last night.

In the meantime I'm gonna love being obsessed with my job!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Who me?

Dell has finally gotten back in to eating again. Hoorah!

We started solids when she was about 6 months and she got in to it slowly but surely for the first couple of months but then around about 8 months she just kind of gave up on food. All she wanted was breastmilk.

So we just had to go with it.

And finally, after a good 2-3 months of barely eating anything she's started tucking in to meals again. Phew!

Favourites are breadsticks, mandarins, meatballs, baked beans, blueberries, cheese, celery, cucumber.

And yoghurt. You can see what she likes to do with that in the pic above. She also likes to try and drink it! (See below...)

Friday, 14 May 2010

Things I'm loving on Friday

Sneaking in on a sleeping baby

There can't be anything more beautiful and peaceful than a sleeping baby. I love to sneak a peek at Adele when she is having a snooze and see that gorgeous face so relaxed and that little chest rising and falling. Last night she was lying in bed on her back (unusual cause she usually sleeps on her side) one arm flung straight out and little legs all froggied up. I had to go get Mike to come take a peek too. Ahh. Thats why one becomes a parent.

My new heatpump

We got a heatpump installed last week. It's amazing. One push of a button and the room is warm. Now deciding whether to rip out the old pot belly or not...


I've been really enjoying my friendships this week. I'm slowly making friends in Hamilton and it's great! And it is especially nice to make like-minded friends. Sometimes I can feel a bit like I'm the odd one cause I do parenting things a bit differently to others (demand breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, baby-led weaning etc) so when I find other like-minded girls it makes me so happy. I had a lovely day out with one of these fab girls on Tuesday and we walked around Hamilton lake. [Hi M!]

Monday, 10 May 2010

My first Mother's Day

Yesterday was my very first Mother's Day.

Adele let me sleep in - she usually wakes at 6.30 but she slept till 7.15 :-)

Then Mike looked after her and let me keep sleeping till almost 9am!

Then when I did get up waiting on the table for me was a pressie and card! The gorgeous card was made by an enterprising student of Mike's. And the pressie - a Michael Buble CD. I'm a real mum now. That's a real mother's day gift!

Then Mike cooked me french toast for breakfast.

Then he looked after Adele while she napped so that I could go to church.

Then he took me out to Chartwell for lunch.

Then he bought me some new shoes!

Yep. A pretty good day :-)

Of course we also took the time to ring our Mums and reflect on how great they are!

Creation a week #11

Made some cards this week. Just to store away for a rainy day. The top two are my favs.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Dear Adele, you're 10 months old

Dear Adele,

You turned 10 months old this week. And you are growing up into an awesome little girl. It's such a delight to be your mummy and I pinch myself all the time to check whether you really are mine!

Here's a snapshot of what you're up to these days.

  • Crawling is no trouble at all. You zoom all over the place. Your Daddy especially likes to make you crawl through to the bathroom for your bath each evening. You giggle and pant all the way cause you know what's coming!
  • You love standing up. Whenever there is something to pull yourself up on you do. One of your favourite spots is the gate between the lounge and kitchen. It is the perfect height for you and it makes this great banging noise when you rattle it. You'll happily stand there for 5 minutes giggling and rattling the cage while Mummy and Daddy work in the kitchen.
  • You've now got 4 teeth. Those top two have been working their way down for the past month. It hasn't been that fun but you're a trooper.
  • Puzzles are a favourite of yours. You especially like the one with wooden shapes that go on pegs (hard to explain!). You're an expert at taking the shapes off now and try really hard to fit them back on. And you're starting to get the hang of your Shape-O.
  • Books are the other favourite. You have your own special shelf and adore pulling all the books off and flicking through the pages. You don't really stop to look at the pictures - you just turn turn turn the pages back and forth. And you're so gentle with them too - no ripped pages (even of the grown up books!)
  • You love to sing and dance. You like to make the busy ball dropper play music so that you can wriggle to it. When it stops you'll put a ball in again so that you can sit back and dance. I often catch you humming along too!
  • You think hats are hillarious. Although I'm not sure you realise that you're actually meant to keep them on! I put a hat or beanie on you, and you pull it off, and then you try to put it back on again.
  • You're still not sleeping all that well. It takes you ages to fall asleep at night (Mummy nurses, rocks and cuddles you in your room) and then you wake up often. Once Mummy and Daddy go to bed you come in to our bed and sleep with us. It's so nice to have all the family in one bed together. And it also makes it much easier for Mummy to feed you in the night.

  • And in the day time you sleep in the buggy so that Mummy can rock you when you stir. You cuddle Sunny the Lion (Great Aunty Alison knitted him for you) while you sleep during the day.

  • You're slowly slowly getting more interested in eating solids. You went through a real feijoa frenzy last week!

  • You're quite a quiet peaceful girl when we go out and play with other babies. You'll hang back for a while and watch everything thats going on at first and once you're confident you'll happily run off and play without a second glance back at me!

  • Other mummys often comment to me on how confident and contented you are.  I always say "I'd like to think it has something to do with our parenting, but I think it's mostly personality!"
So, Dellie, that's a few things that you're up to these days. I can't wait to see what you'll do in the next month!

Love you so much,

Monday, 3 May 2010

Creation a week #10

I made this taggy blanket for Emma's baby. It was her baby shower yesterday. Sooo excited that she's gonna be a mama too!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

One reason I love Hamilton

 Looked at the window this morning while eating breakfast and saw this...

Hamilton rocks!

Friday, 30 April 2010

Things I'm loving on Friday

This is a fantastic website devoted to breastfeeding support. Got a question or problem that is breastfeeding related? Then it is bound to be answered on this site.

Kellymom is run by an American lactation consultant named, you guessed it, Kelly.

I find it such a positive and encouraging place to visit when I'm doubting myself. I've got great advice on milk blisters, giving baby water, starting solids, iron needs and sleep!

And there is so much more to read.

Modern Family

My new fav telly show is Modern Family.

I love it so much. I laugh out loud almost the entire episode and can't for the life of me work out why Mike barely cracks a smile.

It's on Sundays at 8pm on TV3.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Wordless Wednesday - I ♥ Mary Janes

I can't help myself. I have to add some words!

These are Adele's first patent leather Mary Jane shoes. Sigh. This is why I love having a girl. I think I'll have to keep these shoes forever.

I ♥ Mary Janes!

FYI - They're Tip Toey Joeys from Wobble.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

What defines me?

I was trying to update my profile the other day and was struggling to describe myself. My first thought was to say "I'm a mum and a wife". But I thought, no! thats too boring. I must have an identity of my own??

But then I started thinking about it. What's the alternative?  We usually introduce ourselves by saying what we do - I'm a teacher, I'm a lawyer, I'm a truck driver.

So what would I say? I'm an internal communications adviser.  I'm a public servant. But that's not who I am. That's just the last job I had. Why should my employer define who I am?

No. I'm a mummy. I'm a wife. I'm a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a sister, a friend.

I choose to be defined by my relationships. By love.

What could be better than basing my identity on those I love?

But I haven't mentioned the most important relationship of all. I am a daughter of God.

Here's me with the whanau. They make me who I am!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Shock, horror, I showed too much

He he he, Mike was a little shocked yesterday when he saw yesterday's post about breastfeeding and spotted the obvious in the pic of Adele latching for the first time.

He was like "thats showing a bit much isn't it?" and I said "I put it in black and white!"

He he he.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Things I'm loving on Friday

Been a while since I did a 'things I'm loving' post...


I'm loving breastfeeding. It's such a great way to connect with my cherub.

My two favourite things are watching her little eyes roll back and her eyelids fall shut as she is overtaken by sleep. It seems to be such a peaceful way to fall asleep - I admit I'm a bit jealous.

The other favourite is when she's been sucking a while and then gets another let down. Suddenly she has to start swallowing regularly again and her eyes often widen as she concentrates hard. Ooh and I love hearing the milk swishing around in her mouth before she swallows it.

Can you tell I think about this a lot? I love the La Leche League principle "Mothering through breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby".

Here's us at the Hamilton Gardens.

And this is our very first breastfeed. She was so clever and breastcrawled and self latched within 10 minutes of birth! (BTW, breastcrawling is super cool - google it! Hmmm, maybe I'll blog about it sometime...)

Send a card

This is a cool service from NZ Post where you can go online, pick a card, upload your own photo, write a message and they'll post out a card to someone for you. I've done it a few times now. I took a photo of Adele holding a cardboard sign saying 'Happy Birthday Aunty Susan" and uploaded that as the front page of the card. Super cute! And a very handy service.

A note though - you do need to do it a good few days in advance. It takes a while for them to print and send.

API speaks

A fav website of mine at the mo is API Speaks. It's the blog for Attachment Parenting International. The say they are the voice for gengle parents everywhere.

A variety of writers contribute blogs and they offer interesting perspectives on parenting.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Tomatoes!

Creation a week #9

I've been awol for a few weeks. Not much sleep, holidays, sickness, busy-ness etc. But this creation I actually did over Easter! It's just taken me this long to get around to photographing and posting it. Adele is getting back in to the swing of things now (sleep-wise) so I'll hopefully have more time for blogging again :)

So here is the Easter bunny I made for Adele. It would have been really cool with a wee bell inside but I didn't have one - next time!

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

On the bookshelf...

At the mo I'm reading The Discipline Book by Dr William Sears and Martha Sears.

In many ways it's seems a bit early to be thinking about discipline with Adele but Marianne and I were having a conversation about discipline the other day so I thought I'd get a head start.

Plus, as soon as she started crawling I've noticed myself saying no, a-ah, not for Dellie a whole lot more!

Oh yes, and one day while boggling on the interwebby I stumbled across the concept of 'No punishment parenting'. Oh, no, I thought. Another crazy idea I'll latch on to to make my life more difficult for myself. (I'll never understand why I can't just do things the normal, easy way!)

So, The Discipline Book. I've read the first section which is about setting the environment for positive parenting. The Sears' say the the role of parents is to help the child feel right so that they will act right. Discipline is best if it is internally motivated rather than externally. So the kid should want to be good because it makes them feel good and makes their parents happy rather than behaving because they're scared of getting in trouble.

Some of their ideas include:
  • understand where the child is developmentally - what are they capable/incapable of doing and understanding?
  • create a 'yes' environment so that you don't need to say no all the time (baby-proofing etc)
  • ensure good nutrition
  • practice attachment parenting
  • use alternatives to 'no'
  • build self-esteem
  • help your child to express themselves safely
One other cool thing they talk about is that the ultimate goal is not independence. It's interdependence. First is dependence, then independence then interdependence. The last stage is recognising that you could do something on your own but that you'll get a better outcome if you get others to help.

I'm just now moving on to the section titled "Correcting undesirable behaviour". Sounds fun...

Thursday, 25 March 2010

More cuties!

Marianne and Joanna came over the other day. Joanna and Adele had a lovely time standing up all over the living room and Marianne and I enjoyed a catch up. 

Adele introduced Joanna to one of her favourite spots - the gate! And Joanna taught Adele how to stand up at the toy box and reach inside (no photos yet but Marianne took a few so hopefully I'll get them sometime).

Ever since, Adele has been having a wonderful time getting in to the toy box for herself. And she can now pull herself up just by putting hands on the wall. (Proud mummy smile.)