Sunday, 30 November 2008

From his Sunday best to his Wednesday worst

How to begin.....a confession perhaps? Forgive me, it's been 24 days since my last post.....

It's not that there's been a lack of activity Chez Kitchen Table - quite the contrary. But I have put myself on a little internet diet, trying to savour the last days and weeks of my maternity leave. I think it's working, because it's 8:05pm and I've just turned on the computer for the first time today to write this post. Normally I turn it on on the way from the bedroom to the kitchen to rendezvous with the teapot first thing in the morning.

A few things have been going on, so here are some random (love the random) points.

1. As alluded to above, my maternity leave it nearly over. I'm due back at work on December 15th, just TWO WEEKS away. To say I feel quite unsettled would possibly be understatement of the year. Childcare for the Princess doesn't begin until the new year though, so I'm taking more leave until January 12th. That gives me a week to settle her into childcare and get our feeding routine sorted out.

One of the perks of the Public Service is that I am entitled to the very glamorously named "lactation breaks" to go the the centre and feed her, or to express. I hope to do a combination of both - go and feed her once a day and express however many more times is needed.

I went into the office last week for a meeting about my return to work, and it was made quite clear I wouldn't be getting any projects of my own. One of the downsides of those afore-mentioned perks, and working for a group of middle-aged men with teenage or adult children, is that I obviously have to prove myself all over again, while dealing with my emotions about returning to work and continuing to breastfeed my 6 month old daughter.

Looking forward to January. Not.

2. As I said, lack of blogging does not signify lack of activity. Today, for example, I kicked off the Christmas baking season with the first batch of biscuits and two plum puddings, dyed, dried and skeined 200g of yarn, did the menu for next week (in which Beloved is away and Nana is visiting), cleaned up the living room three times, and the kitchen twice, fed the Princess 5 times, picked a kilogram of mulberries (it turns out we have a tree in the backyard!), put away 2 loads of washing, made lunch and dinner, bathed both kids and read several stories to PJ.

3. There has been mucho crafting. I've got several knitted FOs to blog, several more things on the needles and I've been continuing to sew up a storm. Almost finished (and to be blogged - all in good time my pretties) is my first Softie. It is for the Princess for Christmas and I love it. PJ saw it and immediately wanted one of his own.

Although I haven't taken the Handmade Pledge due to lack of time and confidence, I've got a few things on the go. The kids will each be getting something handmade, and gifts for friends will be handmade too.

4. This internet diet. I have been reading blogs every few days (keeping Bloglines closed when the computer is on is a good way to cut down the computer kilojoules), but obviously I haven't been commenting. Or emailing. If I owe you and email, I really do apologise; I think of you all the time and I promise I do love you and care! Part of my To Do list every week is a list of emails to write. I think I've crossed off two names in the last three weeks. Please don't abandon me just yet.

One of the upsides of returning to work (I'm taking all the upsides I can get) is that I get to spend 8 hours in front of the computer. I will get back into online life then.

5. The Princess is growing! I say this with some excitement because despite being almost in the 90th percentile when she was born, she had dropped to 10th percentile at 3 months and was only putting on about 80g a month. I nearly slapped the Maternal and Child Health nurse when the first thing she said was "You should try giving her formula". A baby who sleeps 10 hours straight, who puts herself to sleep several times a day with barely a whimper, and who is happy and calm and alert and engaged for her waking hours is NOT HUNGRY and it made me furious that the first thing they think of is to give formula to a happily breast-feeding baby. Her next suggestion was that I WAKE UP in the middle of the night to feed my otherwise sleeping baby. Not doing that either, sister. The Princess has since started waking for an early-a.m. feed, but entirely of her own accord.

So when we weighed in last week and had gained 250g for the month, so we are now tracking along a percentile instead of crossing it, I was really happy. And she's finally into the next size clothes! We are off to the paediatrician this week just to rule out any underlying cause for her slow weight gain, but I'm really not terribly concerned.

Is this a starving baby?What I am concerned about is that this nurse is advising first-time mothers, who are probably anxious and uncertain when they face issues like slow weight gain, and take what the MACH nurses say as gospel. Your baby is low on the charts, therfore she isnt getting enough food and it must be a problem with your supply, or with you in some other way. Grrrr.

And no, I've no idea where that red hair comes from!! She's quite the strawberry blonde.

So, that's enough then. I don't pretend to be caught up; hopefully that will come soon. I also don't pretend that I'll suddenly become a super-commenter and timely emailer (at least not until January!), but be assured that I'm lurking about and you're often in my thoughts.

G xo

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The answer is sewing in the wind

Phew, after Blogtoberfest I needed to have me a little lie down!

But it hasn't been all feet-up here at Chez Kitchen-Table. There has been crafting. Not so much knitting, but lots of sewing.

For some bizarre reason, I cannot justify in my mind sitting down and knitting during the day. There's some ancient hind-part of my brain that feels like it's wasted time, and I should be out in the fields or milking the cow or something.

Sewing, on the other hand, is a justifiable pursuit, as it involves moving between table, ironing board and machine, and is somehow more active than knitting. If i knit, I want to have the teev on, and that is a no-no for me during the day. The exception is when I'm feeding Grace and would otherwise be staring at the wall, since I can't knit - or sew - and feed her. Television during the day feels very lazy, passive perhaps. See Mum, you did have some influence!

But I digress.

Much of the sewing has been for gifts, so I can't reveal it yet.

But the first item was gifted on Monday, to Bec's newly-three-year-old Charlotte, so I can show you. And in the words of someone much more famous than me, I'm loving myself sick over it!

The hat is from Kwik Sew pattern 3079, and the bag was based on this tutorial. Of course I made it much harder for myself because I wanted the bag to be reversible, so it's a little gumby at the side-seams. The hat is also reversible, lined in the same plain purple cotton as the bag.

The birthday girl was pretty impressed - you can see the hat on the intended noggin here.

As for the other projects...all will be revealed in the fullness of time. And at the pleasure of Australia Post.