Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Beautiful gifts from special friends.

I have been meaning to post these pictures but have just been so busy with Christmas and getting to know the little man. We received many lovely gifts from family and friends when Tom arrived in the world, but since this blog has a 'craft' slant, I just wanted to show you the ones that are handmade.

Here is a soft cushy block with a rattle inside made especially for my man-i-kins by our lovely friend Lisa. She is a whiz with all things linen and patchworky. This toy takes pride-of-place on his toy box.

This snuggly, cuddly blanket was made by Leslie. She has her own shop here and blog here. Wonderful handmade toys, blankets and more. Tom and I both appreciate the loveliness of this gift.

For all things projectile we have one-of-a-kind bibs made my Jo. Jo has a great blog and three delicious kids. We have been very spoilt indeed.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

**Advent Calendar**

It's finished! Horray! So pleased with the final results on this one. It was the one project that I wanted to complete before the end of the year and I managed it. (And only three days late too!)

The frame I found at savers for $7. The Linen I bought online through Duckcloth (so lovely!). The small floral fabric on the inside of the pockets was kindly donated by a friend and the small pins were a fab find on etsy.

The stamped numbers were a steal at spotlight for only $15. I used some ink that I bought years ago at a crafting festival in Canada. All in all, quiet a cheap project.

In each little pocket there are chocolates or decorations for Annie to add to our tree. I plan on bringing this calendar out every year for our family to enjoy!

Thank you Lisa for the inspiration!

Friday, November 19, 2010

mother of two.

Ten weeks have gone by since the arrival of the little man. I can't even believe it has been that long. Time hurtles when you're dealing with late nights and spew. Thomas has added a lovely dimension to our family. He is reserved and shy. Delightfully happy and wonderfully easy going. His only issues to date have been cat napping in 45 minute stints and smiling too much during feeding.

Annie finds him quite amusing. She will deliberately hit him just to hear him cry. I caught her biting his eyebrow the other day. Now that was a mere 15 minutes I never want back! Lately though she is getting used to him. She wants to hold his hand and kiss his forehead. I encourage all of it (because there has been such a lack of love lately) but we have stopped letting her just do what she wants with him. It was getting to the point that I thought social services would knock on the door any day now. Miss A has taken some getting used to Mr T.

His parents have taken just as long. I have to say that I am gobsmacked at how challenging two kids can be. When Tom wasn't sleeping well I spent a good deal of my time on the floor sobbing my heart out. I felt helpless. Like I didn't know how to care for him. It was a very tough few weeks.

When I managed to come up for air I grabbed a copy of 'Save Our Sleep' by Tizzy Hall. I was so over tired and caught up with caring for Annie as well, that it has escaped me that he needed awake time. I know, how silly, right? With a little help from Tizzy I was able to put some kind of system in place that allowed me the right to say 'well, he cant be tired, he can't be hungry...' etc etc. It was the confidence that I so sorely needed.

In the last few weeks Tom has been much better. He still catnaps a lot, but I have stopped fighting it so hard. I get him up, smile at him a lot and keep him wrapped in his bouncer. He usually ends up falling asleep. I know he will eventually learn how to sleep longer, but I don't have the time or the patience to stand in his bedroom for 30 minutes trying to teach him myself. My other child just wont allow it :)

With all this commotion there has been little time for me. Time to sew. I have so many things that I would love to make, especially with Christmas on it's way, but I have to be realistic. There simply wont be time. I have decided that the one thing I would like to achieve will be an advent calendar. My friend Lisa made a beautiful one on a sewing weekend we attended together and I have thought of it ever since. I bought myself some pins to secure each day and am currently working out how this thing will look and work.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A letter to me.

Before I went into Labour I wrote myself a letter. It helped to get all that was going on inside my head on paper. My brain was in overdrive preparing for the arrival of Tom and I wanted to collect my thoughts. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to enter into their birth with an open mind. It helps a lot.

Dear Emily
If today is the day that you go into labour I need you to know this. I am proud of you. I am proud of what you are about to do. Of what your body is about to do. It’s a wonderous thing that you can push this baby into the world all by yourself. Your body is built to do this. It knows how to make this happen. How to get the baby down and into position to be pushed gently into this world. You will cope so well I am sure of it. You will use water and breathing to get yourself through, believing fully that you are capable of this and so much more. Do not let fear envelope you. Do not let it steer your thoughts and run you off this road. Yell back at fear. Tell him to shove it where the sun don’t shine. Think of the Flemish woman in the fields who smiled her way through childbirth and welcomed her baby with open arms. Keep your lips loose and your heart open to a miracle. I have never believed in you more than I believe in you on this here day. You are inspiring. You make me feel uplifted. This baby is so lucky to have you helping them into this wonderful world.
Nothing you do today, no decisions you make, are wrong. You are right and true in all you decide. Be sure that you will be ok. Don’t make yourself feel guilt if things don’t go the way you planned. At the end of all this the result is exactly the same. You will have a beautiful healthy baby. A treasure to behold. A sibling for Annie. Another light in your life. You are so lucky to be able to have this experience. Remember that. Remember how lucky you really truly are.
Trust in yourself. Hold Bens hand. Trust in Ben. Listen to the midwives. Hold the midwives hands. Take a deep breath. Trust in your breath. Visualise the waves crashing in on the cave. Welcome the warmth. Open yourself up to this delivery. To the arrival of your baby. To the possibility that you just might be as brave as you have always wanted to be.
With much love, respect and belief in you,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thomas Gerald Brocklesby 09.09.2010

::update:: found this photo of when Annie was born and weighed. They look a like, don't you think?

I'm not quiet sure how to begin this birth story. I have an urge to start it with Annie's birth story as it paves the way for so much of my thought and wishes with this one.

To recap: Miss Annie was induced a week over her due date. I spent a long and sometimes annoyingly painful two days strapped to monitors in Sandringham hospital. On day three they told me I wasn't even quiet 1 centimeter. *sigh* They broke my waters, encouraged contractions but 6 hours later I was still that measly 1 cent. At this stage I begged for an epidural and in hindsight it was the best thing I could have done. With the threat of a C-section looming I felt weary and emotional and as if my whole birth plan had been blown up by the Americans. I surrendered. And because I did, I fell asleep and managed to wake up two hours later, full dilated and ready to push. That epidural saved me from a worse faith and for that I will be eternally grateful.

On Wednesday night 08.09.2010 I went for my 40 week checkup. My midwife laughed when she saw me. 'Surely you should have a baby by now?' she exclaimed. We had been joking non stop about this because for weeks now I had had serious Braxton Hicks and as my midwife put it 'a head so far down it was ready to come out any second!'. I was pretty emotional at this appointment, feeling that I would NEVER have a baby. I was due to head to a friends after wards, but feeling exhausted and highly sensitive decided not to go. Thank god for that.

At 11pm on that same night I woke with period pain. I would describe it as cramping in my lower abdominal. I came and went and for the first time in months, I could not go back to sleep. I decided to time them.


Shit. That's a bit fast, I thought! I decided to jump in the shower. My midwife had said that if when in the shower the pain does not subside, you're probably in labour. As the water pounded my now aching lower back i noticed we had dropped to 2 & 3 minutes apart. Things were speeding up.

I woke Ben. He sighed. I think every time he looked at me over the last month of this pregnancy he thought 'the 30-something year old who cried wolf!'. He patted me groggily and said 'when it's time it's time chook'. I mentioned the 2-3 minutes apart and that roused him from sleep. We called the midwife who listened to me over the phone for 10 minutes. 'Ok, that's 5 in ten minutes, I would get going to the hospital if I was you'.

No arguing with that! We bundled Miss Annie into the car and met my parents at 2:30 in the morning at emergency Royal Women's. They took my baby girl home and I was admitted at 3am. The midwife on duty was a little aloof. I wasn't sure I liked her. She came in and out of the room without speaking much and only touched my stomach occasionally during a contraction. She mentioned we might go home again - I shot Ben a look that screamed 'Not bloody likely!'

At 4am she announced that I was 4 centimeters and doing well. I decided to shower. It helped - a lot! After an hour of being in there with Ben spraying me like a beached whale, I got out. I strapped on the tens machine and buckled in for a bumpy ride.

(Let me just say that I had no grand plans about this birth. I had read Ina May Gaskins book and watched numerous episodes of 'One every minute' on SBS but really I figured I would just give it a shot and if it got too much 'hook me up love'.)

Throughout the next hour or so the contractions really increased. Sitting on the toilet with the gas was one of the only comfortable positions I could muster. I begged the midwife to tell me what stage I was at, but she just kept saying 'you're doing really well, that's all you need to know'. Before long I was begging Ben for help. 'No more, no more, no more, no more, no more' became my chant through contractions. He left the room to move the car (hello?) and the midwife went outside to flap around. I stood next to the bed, bent over it, naked from the waste down, clutching my gas and focusing on my breathing. Not having them there to whinge too helped, and I learn't later that it was a planned strategy the midwife had concocted with Ben.

When they reentered the room I began begging for help again. 'I want an epidural' I spat. Again I got 'You're doing great, just wait until the other midwife gets here, half and hour and then we'll get you sorted' BOLD FACED LIE! Within 20 minutes I complained that there was pressure below. My midwife encouraged me to get on all fours on the bed and start pushing...

...Ok stop. This is where I freaked out. Did she say 'push'? My brain started to numb (could have been the gas) I stopped momentarily and took that comment in. Oh shit, I thought. We've come too far now. There's no going back. This would be a drug free birth whether I liked it or not. I buried my head in the pillow, left the gas permanently in my mouth and turned the tens machine on to 'REALLY TRULY PAINFUL'.

Over the next hour or so the midwife and Ben coached me through the most pain I think I've ever felt in this life. All of it bearable though. I could feel his head as it moved down the birth canal. I moaned at the pressure of it all. When I got the urge to push I relished it. I pushed slowly and thoughtfully all too aware that I didn't want that head tearing any part of me. We got to the crowning and like some poster child for birth I yelled 'It stings!'. With another push I felt the most amazing thing. My vagina came back together around his neck. The relief was immediate. I felt his little body turn giving him the best chance to get his shoulders out and with one mighty push he slipped right out of me.

It was 7:31am.

I kept sucking on the gas. Ben buried his head in my hair and said 'you did it, you did it.' over and over and over. I was a little light headed from the gas but managed 'What is it?'.

'A boy!' Ben beamed. 'A little boy'.

I couldn't spin around fast enough. The Tens wires were all wrapped up and the gas machine fell to the floor. I just was not going to believe it was a boy until I saw him.

And there he was. In all his wondrous glory. A little boy. Perfect and sweet and with MASSIVE balls. I held him close. I kissed his yucky head. I thanked God it was all over. We stayed like this for a hour as they tended to my 1 stitch and called everyone we knew to tell them the news.

I went into this pregnancy looking for one thing - to go into labour naturally. It was my only goal. I came out of it having the most amazing experience of my life so far. It was a damn painful one, but by god it rates high on my list of things that rock. I managed to conquer the fear of the pain, rather than the pain. It was a moment for me. It was a hurdle that I think has been holding me back for far to long. I'm way too cautious, not spontaneous, always worrying about what might happen rather than what could happen.

My midwife was sent from somewhere very special. She got me. She knew how to get me through. I will be forever grateful for the experience I had at that hospital and with those people. This vigour for life has charged me into my care with Tom. I am far more relaxed. I am much more maternal. I am slowly edging towards the person (the mother) that I have always wanted to be. I don't just put that down to Tom's birth, I put it down to my rebirth. Someone who wont let fear stand in the way of all that life has to offer.

And that's it. My story. It's by no means spectacular. In fact, it's probably only interesting to me, and maybe Ben, and possibly Tom when he's 20. to care for my two precious kids...

Friday, September 17, 2010

I think I'm in love...

Introducing Mr Thomas (Tom) Gerald Brocklesby. Born Thursday 9th of September 2010 at 7:31am. The full birth story will follow shortly, but for now I am just going to bask in the words 'I have a son'.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Waiting for baby...

Since this baby seems to want to take its time, we have forged ahead with getting little jobs done around the house. Most people are calling this 'nesting'. I'm calling it 'necessary'. As we tick things off our list, I love this house even more. Sure, she's damn ugly on the outside (and will be for awhile) but slowly, slowly, her insides become more and more delightful. And don't they say that beauty is on the inside??

Here's a little peek at our accomplishments.

We bought this old Cottees sign for $5 at Camberwell Market years ago. We were going to put it in the kitchen when I suggested we turn it into a coat rack. I like it.

These fantastic space savers are only $1.49 from Ikea. The tubs are $1.49 from Ikea and the S hooks are about $2 for 10. Love it.

We wanted to save money ($800 to be exact) so we are painting our wardrobes ourselves. Well....I'm painting them. Ben is busy with restoring and painting the bedroom doors. See below.

I am now 40 weeks pregnant and feeling it. I woke every hour on the hour last night with period-like pains and Braxton Hicks tightening but woke this morning with not a sign of things progressing. This has been happening for a week or so now and while it's a promising sign, I feel so disheartened when things stop. Hopefully, over the next few days, I will get my wish. For now though, it's back to my chilli pizza, tweaking nipples and occasional clumsy sex.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sew much done.

I've been busy. Busy finishing things before this baby comes along. Here's just a touch of what's been going on at my machine lately.

Miss Maggie loves to claw her bed. She tore up the one we bought so I fashioned this up out of left over material. She loves it. And I like how funky it looks in the house.

This is a bag I made for my hospital stay. All our other bags were just too big or too small. This will do nicely for my things and the babies items are in a wicker basket. So...we're all set

The front of our very old Victorian house is a bit ugly to say the least, so I thought I would make a cute little cushion for the verandah and add a few plants to pretty things up until we have money to renovate. I recycled some old buttons on this and I love the look it created.

We were given an sofa bed recently, in excellent condition. It has some horrid fabric on it though, so I have covered it with a white sheet and made these cushions to funk it up a bit. The fabric is from Ikea at only $9 a metre. Love. A. Bargain.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Soon to be Big-Sis.

Dearest Miss Annie Jane,

This morning you would not let me shower on my own. You wanted to be in there. With me. Keeping an eye on me incase I went to work or something. I did go to work. But by that time we had distracted you with 'Babe' the movie. You simply love animals at the moment. Although you seem to be confused between a pig and a horse and point to the DVD cover saying 'Horsey? Horsey, Mumma?'. It's hard to resist.

You're 19 months now. Nearly two and getting so much bigger. In about three weeks time you're going to be a big sister. You have no idea what's coming. You're like Kevin Rudd before Julia Gillard turned up and slapped him in the face. Absolutely no idea. Sometimes you point to my ridiculously big bump and say ;'tummy' or 'baby'. But I think that's just because we taught you, not because you know the actual miracle that's happening in there.

Of late you're a little cranky pants. You want things your way. ALL THE TIME. This gets tiring to fight/discipline, especially when you're 37 weeks pregnant. I choose my battles with you. I give you chances to behave yourself (most of which you take) and when you don't you end up in your cot - pretend crying while Mumma waits outside for two minutes before saving you.

I need to harden up.

You have so many words now my lovely. You start each day with 'Mumma?'. Our bedrooms are pretty close so I think you know I can hear you, even with three pillows over my ears! Then you follow it up with ' Wow, look at that'. 'It's in there' 'Hi Hashim' (our neighbour). I always respond to you talking which can sometimes lead to us chatting for twenty minutes. Most of it is baby babble but you throw in a few notable words for good measure. I ask you things like 'Did you play with the babies at child care today?' and you nod and say 'yes'. This form of communication/conversation really delights me. We are chatting. You and I. Finally.

I think Dada is the favourite at the moment. He has so much more energy and time for you at this late stage in the pregnancy. I beat myself up over this all the time. I cant stop thinking about all that needs to be done or cleaned before this baby arrives and as such I find myself giving you less time. The guilt is gut wrenching.

You've really noticed Maggie lately. In fact, you think she's the funniest thing you've ever seen. She literally cracks you up. Whenever food drops on your lap in the highchair Maggie is there to clean it up. I think it must tickle or something. And besides being really unhygienic it's very cute. I think you two will be good friends in the end. I hate to think about when Maggie is no longer around. I know you'll be old enough to understand her passing and I dread to think how I will explain it to you.

You're a social butterfly at the moment. We catch up with a few friends a week and venture to the local café every week where you play with new friends all the time. You're an observer. Watching the other kids to see what they do. Some of the bad habits you take home with you, but overall I get such joy to see you potter around and share toys and smile with glee when kids share with you.

We started you in occasional care recently. It was rocky at the beginning but now you are motoring along. I walked in the other day to pick you up and you didn't even move from the chair. You said 'Hi Mumma' and then returned to your food. Your arm lay casually over the back of your chair as you surveyed the room. I had to turn my head for fear of laughing at you. What a character we have on our hands.

Just so you know little one. I love you. I know the next few months are going to be tough on all of us, but with it will come much bliss too. You're going to have a sibling to love, to fight with, to play with. At first it might be confusing. You might wonder why I don't have as much attention for you. It's not because I don't find you utterly delicious. It's just because I am trying to help your new brother or sister to become as fantastic as you. Be patient with Mumma. I promise to be patient with you.

This baby is lucky to have such a wonderful Big Sis.
Love Mumma

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Time. I demand you, stop flying!

There are now about 4 weeks until this baby should arrive. Five at the most. This pregnancy has gone by so quickly. I can't even believe it. I think it doesnt help that it's been overshadowed by the new house, the renovations, Miss Annie, being back at work, my sick mum (who's now much better) and just everyday life. I hope this little one can forgive me for not lying on the couch more and giving it a rest. Mumma plans many movie evenings to make up for it.

I am frantically trying to get last minute projects completed, knowing full well that a little newby and his/her sister Annie will zap all spare time. Here are a few things completed in the last week or so.

A pram blanket for my friend who is due a boy in December:

For backing I used the cot top sheet that they provide in cot sheet sets. No one ever uses them (for SIDS reasons) so I thought I would be thrifty and use this lovely blue spotted one to finish the blanket.

A snuggle blanket for a friend having a C-Section on Monday - she doesnt know if it's a boy or girl yet - fun!

A doll for my beautiful niece Caila who turns 1 late August.

The next post will have to be about Miss Annie, who grows more delicious every day. Until then, I better get back to yelling at time.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Keeping up with the crafty projects.

I am delighted to say that there has been a few crafty projects completed of late. Most of them are adjustments to old curtains found in savers to try and keep the heat in our fer-fer-fer-freeezing old home. I won't show you photos of them, they're just not that exciting. What I will show you though, is the things that have been on my list

I made a doll to give Miss Annie when she comes to visit me and bubs 2 in the hospital.

It has a reversible smock. The most difficult thing to turn out, but well worth it. I am extremely happy with this doll because I have NEVER MADE A GOOD TOY! The pattern was simple and so, so cute.

I also made a new lining for the car capsule for bubs 2. I wanted something nice and fresh and clean as the capsule we have has been borrowed from a friend and pre loved.

I also really liked the dress (featured in the photo of Wild Hair Miss Annie and her Dada below) and wanted to make her a few more.

The design is so simple and putting it on and taking it off is pure Mumma happiness. Simply slip over the head and secure using buttons. They are great with winter tights and warm thermal tops. Here are the two I lovingly finished last night for my baby girl.

Next on the sewing agenda:

More curtains
Pillow cases for our verandah
A blanket for my lovely friend Karen.
A little gift for bubs 2.
Mending Ben's jeans (these are always last, poor guy!)

Monday, June 28, 2010

The renovations in pictures.

Here are a few picture of the house, before and after the renovations. We are by no means finished either inside or out so take note when you see bare walls and patchy paint. We have so much more to do. The list is like a huge weight. But, weekend after weekend we manage to get something done and this slow progress makes us blissfully happy.

::hallway before/during::

::hallway after::

::bedroom before (we bought it like this - are we mad??)::

::bedroom after::

::living room before::

::living room after::

We havent actually started renovating the back of the house (kitchen, bathroom, laundry) as this will be expensive. However, we managed to make some small changes to the existing kitchen to make it a tad more livable.

::kitchen before::

::kitchen after::

::kitchen after (different angle)::

Monday, June 7, 2010

photo booth - what fun!

*Mumma so distracted looking at herself that she doesn't realise Miss Annie is ringing Japan*

'Hello? Japan? We need to talk about how much fish you're eating over there!'