31 July 2009


sleeps textbook by day, and a really scary horror story by night. Prior to the past two weeks, Audrey has been sleeping fine, waking once and sometimes twice during the night for a feed. But something happened two Sundays ago and once put to bed she sleeps for 45 minutes at a time, waking with a roar. She does settle with brief reassurance or a quick feed, but it's impossible for her to be hungry an hour after retiring with a full tummy.

After two Dr's visits (she had bodily things going on too) which came to nothing, I finally decided myself that she was having a reaction to the amount of brewers yeast I was taking (for making good milk, how ironic!). I mentioned brewers yeast in my other blog being good for nursing, but, if my suspicions prove correct, take it easy on the stuff. Things were on the improve a mere day after cutting it out. She's still not 100% and still wakes me up so indelicately during the night, but I have high hopes it must be running its course. I will surely pass out if this persists much longer!

Funny thing is, she is so charming and smiley during the day (though this photo doesn't paint that picture) that if the night waking was due to her being overtired, surely she should be a right old bag by day? This is the second time round I've done this baby thing but by dang, it seems no two are alike. They really should be born with their own user manual. Or maybe I do have one, it's just that it's written in Arabic.

Thank goodness for makeup.

27 July 2009

birthday dress

Lucy is in want of a birthday dress. Her specific request is that it be yellow, along with girly/fairy in design. She is girly but more like wear-a-skirt-on-a-fast-bike girly so it had to have an edge and not be prissy in any way.

This dress is mockup number one. The underside of this coated linen offers quite a nice contrast, but Lucy's right - it ain't yellow. I tried to explain that this was a draft to get the right fit and design, and it took a month of Sundays to get her to try it on. Afterwards I couldn't get it off her.

It's fitted, with a zip down the back and overlapping petals around the skirt that fan out when she spins and jumps. And, because she is a girl (girly girl or otherwise), beneath the petals is a modesty skirt. There will be boys at her party, after all.

The September Issue

I do love a good fashion movie and can't wait to see this. Except I don't seem to venture out of the house past 6pm these days. Maybe a matinee viewing...

If you watch the above preview you will see that Anna Wintour does actually manage the smallest of smiles and laughs. Who would have thought?!

And I do have the September '07 issue, and yes it's a whopper. Aren't March and September issues the best? Though they seem to be heavily padded out with advertisements.

25 July 2009

and then there was two

A few dilemmas I faced when we expanded our brood from one to two was giving both Audrey and Lucy equal attention. This proved, and still does prove, difficult when I am, say, nursing Audrey. If I am sitting on the sofa, Lucy will decide it is time to start gymnastics (or 'physical jerks', as my father used to call it), bounding within inches of us. As you might imagine, this does not create the most peaceful breakfast/lunch/dinner environment for Audrey. Luckily Audrey is a quick feeder, and I can distract Lucy with 1) a video (or 'bidebo' as she calls it), 2) homemade iceblocks (rain or shine/winter or summer she can't get enough (they're very diluted juice)), and 3) painting. With each of these activities they need to be set up before nursing starts, but it alleviates frustration on my part, and gawping on Audrey's.

The other area of frustration is settling Audrey to bed at night when Brendan is not here. He works a roster so often is away during the day and evening, or for days on end. Lucy wants to be with me all the time, and though it's not so much of an issue now, Audrey still does require a reasonably quiet environment. Again, a video or the promise of a 'sweet treat' if she stays downstairs and is quiet. I guess with Lucy being almost 3, I can reason somewhat with her, so I'm not sure how this would go for a sibling who was younger. Lucy also has a star chart, and one of the categories is 'Ssssssh!!' - which encompasses being quiet outside Audrey's room when she is sleeping, and also when I am settling her. It's working pretty well now (though the promise of a treat seems to work the best), and frustrations are easing. Though it's amazing how a lithe 15kg child is capable of sounding like a wildebeast rampaging through the house, wooden floors afoot.

And to Emily - first, congratulations! Wonderful news all the way from the U.K.. And yes, it will most certainly get better (either that or we just lower our expectations...). Does anyone else have any great tips for managing two (or, heaven forbid, three+ children) during these delicate moments?

23 July 2009


in our bed, around 10pm

For some reason, Audrey refused to sleep for any respectable length of time last night. Finally at 3am, I got three uninterrupted hours of sleep. Prior to then, up and down, and all around. Her clueless mother finally realised that she must have been a touch on the cool side, though with a room heated to 22 deg C, two sleeping layers on, swaddling, a flannelette sheet and a blanket how could I possibly know this? It wasn't until I put the extra blanket on her bed did she submit to sleep. It was an understatement to say this ordeal was very taxing.

Next time, I'm calling my mother to come and sing Lullaby in Ragtime. Oh, why must you live five hours away, dear mama...

21 July 2009

audrey, handmade

I find buying baby bodysuits (onesies) a bit of a mission. Chain store/cheap ones often stretch sideways so you end up with a queer rectangle shape and shoulders falling off shoulders. There are some good bodysuits around though - Mokopuna, Gaia, Bobux (pity about their customer service) and Country Road to name a few. I'm not really into paying $50-$55 for a made-in-China bodysuit though, and I think all the aforementioned ones are (though Gaia is made in India , the land of organic cotton). Nature Baby offer nice organic pieces too (made in India), and Absorba (Made in France) make some fabulous one-piece side snap bodysuits.

The last lot of bodysuits I bought Lucy were from Organic Island Baby. The owner, Joanne, is super lovely (and has six children so knows her stuff). The bodysuits I bought were brands Under the Nile and Pureborn Organic and I've been so impressed with them. Beautiful quality super-soft brushed cotton, they don't stretch, and wash and wear so well. They cost around NZ$25ea which I thought was a great price for a great product. Well worth the money, and a visit to her lovely shop in quaint Devonport is time well spent. Just checking Joanne's website, I see she has a sale on too with the Under the Nile bodysuits now only $16. Think I'll have to take a drive over tomorrow!

Anyway, on the handmade side of things, I bought some wonderful cotton/angora (80/20) knit fabric last week and made Audrey her second hand-sewn bodysuit (and pants to match, but I've made these before). I'm not set on the pink domes, but I had them and thought I'd give them a go. Upate: The pants in this photo are the next size up, hence the bemused comments I got from my sister and the fact that Audrey's legs do look unusually short and her hips unusually large. Audrey would like to inform everyone that she is in perfect proportion for her size.

With knitwear, instead of labels, I sew a cross into the back waistband. Tags schmags.


I find Carla more appealing now, in her 40s, than in her 90's supermodel heyday. She just gets better with age.

19 July 2009

cycling with style

A blog about cycling wouldn't usually spin my wheels, but this one I came across today, all about cycling with style, is actually rather fun. You'll find out about successful biking skirts, biking with a belly (pregnancy on wheels!), bikes with names and meditative cycling. I actually thought of Erica when I came across it, recalling her fondness for biking.

Would you admit to naming any equipment you own? I guess I could call my sewing machine 'Nina'. Has a nice ring to it (albeit totally unoriginal considering its maker).

18 July 2009


Lucy's off to a friend's birthday party today, but instead of choosing one of the many dresses from her closet, she chose the linen bubble dress I had in the shop. It's blowing a gail, and wind and rain look likely to lash us today, but with two pairs of tights, a bodysuit and coat on top Lucy won't notice a thing. Thank god it's an indoor party at a playland nearby. Lucy's favourite is the merry-go-round (horsey-go-round).

And for the birthday girl I made a bubble skirt, not in Liberty unfortunately, though I did have the S/S Cacharel look in mind.

17 July 2009

beautiful music

What an incredible pianist. This video was added to You Tube only yesterday and already has close to 55,000 views and 1,000 comments. Based on those numbers it would be fair to assume I live under a rock, having only just discovered him today.

See more of David here.

stretching out

Feet were touching bed ends, and arms were protruding outside bassinet railings. This week Lucy's big bed arrived. You would think the circus had come to town the way she reacted when she saw the bed truck backing up the drive. Though 'bed' and 'trampoline' are one and the same to her. Audrey seems to be enjoying her hand-me-down cot (stripped off all rogue Charlie and Lola stickers), padded with a Nature Baby organic wool knop mattress. Lucy's bed still needs a head board (which her clever Grandpa has offered to handcraft), but she loves it all the same. Especially her new pink blanket. It's a wool/cashmere blend (coating-thickness), which I am going to blanket stitch around the edge and then embroider details on to the front. I'll show you when it's all complete. Though I'm having a hard time getting it out of Lucy's hands - she winds herself up in it (2m x 1.5), and shuffles about the house like she's in a straightjacket. Makes a good floor duster though, albeit a fancy, dry-clean only, one. Breathe....

audrey's room

Lucy's new bed

13 July 2009

Bebe Alive

I guess I am a fully fledged parent now - Lucy got her first Baby Alive last week. Thinking about it, it would probably have been worthwhile buying it when Audrey was born so Lucy would have a baby to take care of too. We ending up choosing - wait for the naff name - 'Wet n Wiggles'. This baby drinks from a bottle, squeals, wriggles and then wets herself. In theory, this sounded perfect but for the past week I've been cleaning up little puddles around the house left by Bébé. So essentially, I now have three kids to care for.

Today, while listening to Keith Urban (gotta love a bit of country, very calming for A-types like me), I've been sewing clothes for Bébé. The patterns I made are minuscule, like 10cm from shoulder to hem! I decided against a set-in sleeve for that reason... Now Lucy's baby is not whining about the cold, and her nappies are dry so there'll be no more puddles. Well, for a while, at least.

Audrey checks out her competition...

11 July 2009

sibling gift

This is far too cute.

cold weather Lucy

It's getting pretty cold in our neck of the woods, though South Islander's would laugh at us Aucklanders saying that. There is a quiet rivalry/mockery between the Islands here. Auckland seems to get a lot of coverage in the news, and in local mags, so we get labelled as hoity and self-important. Quite mean of the rest of the country really. People outside of Auckland think that people in Auckland think nothing exists south of the Bombay Hills (most of New Zealand is south of the Bombay Hills). My father actually calls it SoBBBH (south of the bl**dy Bombay Hills, seeing as all his children are held hostage North of them).

Anyway, as I mentioned, it's getting pretty cold here yet Lucy gets quite stroppy at being dressed in all the neutral woollens I have sewn for her. Left to her own devices the other day, she came up with her own outfit. She chose the purple boots (over the dark grey I wanted to buy her, but I have warmed to the purple), and she thinks some of the darker spots on her shorts are pieces of chocolate. Excellent imagination (or just very hopeful)!

And Audrey is a few days away from being 5 months. 5 months! Unreal how fast it has gone. She got her first two teeth at 4.5 mths, which is pretty early. Lucy got hers right on 6 months. Audrey is a very happy baby, but still getting me up during the night. Once is okay, several times during the night turns me into Cruella de Vil. I would much rather wake up Mary Poppins. I get an inkling Lucy and Audrey feel the same way.

10 July 2009

on my mind

The price one woman has paid for her Doctor's misdiagnosis. I hope that for most of us we will learn from what this woman is going through rather than go through it ourselves. I'm still dwelling on it. Very sad, yet well worth watching.

It's 12 mins long, and you can watch it here.

7 July 2009


I hadn't visited Betty's blog for a while. When I stopped by the other day I found some incredible (and incredibly simple) summer outfits. Betty seems to look good in everything she wears. She even looks polished in distressed jeans and faded t-shirts. And the surprising thing is, a fair amount seems to be American Apparel, Topshop, H&M...

I think her secret, apart from super hair and porcelain skin, is the way she accessorises. I mean the bow-tie necklace?! I am so making Lucy a bow-tie sweatshirt now. I don't wear much jewelry (I generally wear only a necklace and a ring) but Betty is inspiring me to wear more, especially the cuffs.