Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Another year over...

I haven't been very good at keeping up my blog lately, in fact I haven't kept up very well with ANYTHING lately. The past couple of months have been very busy as I dealt with going back to work three full days a week with only about 4hrs average sleep each night, my gorgeous boy turned four (FOUR! Can you believe that? Seems like I only had him yesterday!), my darling girl clocked up her first year and of course there was Christmas to prepare for as well. Those that know me know I don't like to do things in half measures, so did my best to plan both birthday parties, and bake two birthday cakes and of course I planned to do way more home made than I had time for and then felt guilty when I couldn't pull everything off.

On the upside we think we finally have found the reason for the sleepless nights - the poor baby was having tummy pains that could last up to three hours straight, right when we should have all been sleeping, due to eating too healthily! Yep that's right - too many fruits and vegetables! She seems to be intolerant to salicylates, a naturally occuring chemical in just about all of her favourite fruits and vegetables. So a strict ban on things like strawberries, watermelon, rockmelon, grapes, broccoli and her beloved "nanas" (sultanas in Maddy talk) was in order and we have now managed to get her to sleep through occasionally in the past few weeks and only waking once or twice the rest of the time, taking less than half an hour to resettle. We are yet to confirm with her peadiatrician, but will be asking for a referral to see him next time we see the GP for her 12m immunisations. The GP was a little less than helpful when she told us her diagnosis, telling me to look up the list of high salicylate foods on the internet. I am feeling quite challenged in the kitchen lately with a coeliac to cater for as well as a little girl with a salicylate intolerance, and need a little more guidance on how to prepare nutricious and varied meals for everyone so am hoping the pead can be a little more useful with his advice.

Now that the sleep issue seems to finally be coming to an end (or at least a significant improvement) I am feeling a whole lot happier, more "normal" and even finding a bit more time in the day where I don't just feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. Coinciding with the New Year, I guess it's a good time to revamp my blog, get crafty again and rejoin the internet craft world by way of blog hopping for inspiration, posting my projecst again and maybe even finding time to chat to my forum friends again without feeling like an outsider wishing she had time to sew like everyone else. I am currently on holiday from work too, so when I start again in a couple of weeks I hope to give it a "second go" and be better able to fit myself into a routine that works for everyone, without letting the housework and guilt pile up again. Here's to a guilt free year ahead!

To tie up some loose ends from 2009, here are the projects that missed out on being blogged as they were completed in those last two busy months:

1. Michael Miller Daisy Ruffle bloomers for Madelyn
I was going to make a matching top with the aqua dots used for the ruffle however the elastic was a little loose on the legs and needs tightening so I wasn't overly happy with them. They'd be cute if I could get around to fixing them. They have cute pink daisy metal snaps at the crotch for easy nappy changes (although I think that was a bit of a waste since it's easier to pull up pants on a baby that crawls away rather than snapping them up) and I worked out how to do the rolled hem with my overlocker to create the ruffle on the bottom. A side note: Madelyn was with me at a cafe wearing these once (paired with the pink lacey singlet top) and someone asked if "it" was a boy or a girl. When I said, Madelyn is most certainly a girl, the woman replied, "Oh, I should have known looking at those pants!"

2. Madelyn's Christmas Outfit
This escaped blogging because I wanted to do a shirt for Austin too, so they both had a handmade Christmas outfit for the Christmas cards, pageant day, and other pre-Christmas events. Madelyn was going to get a pretty dress to wear for Christmas day, but because I never managed to even cut out Austin's green checked shirt (yes, I have the fabric and he pattern all ready!) I couldn't make another outfit for her wihout that Mummy guilt hitting me, so she wore this on Christmas day too. Actually I am sure she was quite thrilled with that since she's still nowhere near walking and would have got tangled crawling through presents and wrapping in a dress!
3. Madelyn's "Little Princess" sleeping bag
Part of our journey towards more sleep included putting Maddy in sleeping bags instead of under covers. We recorded her one night while she slept (we have a night vision camera over her cot - one of our SIDS police installations!) and discovered her crawling in her sleep, much like Austy did at around 7m old, bumping her head on the cot before screaming and waking us all up. So when she wasn't waking with tummy pains, she was waking cold and with a headache. The sleeping bag helped eliminate those wake-ups at least. I have planned to make some more to help out with having to wash this one all the time. This one is probably about a 1.5tog, quilted (on the inside) with cotton/bamboo wadding in between a cotton outer and soft cotton voille inner. I have had the pattern for a while but was reluctant to make one as I had no idea where to get treated cotton fabric - you know how all sleepwear patterns say not to use 100% cotton for the fire risk? Well I pulled out one of Austin's old sleeping bags only to see the red fire danger tag on it, and that was made by a well known and SIDS approved sleeping bag company, with polyester (ew!) batting between the two cotton layers and I figured my sleeping bag would be fine made with 100% cotton. She'd be wearing cotton PJ's under cotton sheets and blankets anyway and it's not like she'll be parading around near an open flame with her sleeping bag on. (Although the government did send us out a high risk fire danger area residents kit a few weeks ago...)

4. 1st birthday bib
It was obvious by the 17th that there was no way I was going to be able to make Madelyn a birthday dress, so I did the next best thing and whipped her up a 1st birthday bib that night, knowing that on the 18th I'd be busy decorating her cake. I used this tutorial that has been sitting in my file of pdf patterns ever since Austy was little... I finally got to make one up, even though it was a little rushed. I covered the front with a layer of plastic, in preparation for quite a bit of cake mess. My little girl surprised me though and actually ate like a little princess for a change. We were all waiting with cameras at the ready to catch those cake smears all over her but they just never happened, with my Maddy breaking off bite sized peices with her thumb and forefinger and placing them delicately in her mouth!

5. Ravelry favourite colour swap
I dyed up some wool/silk and some wool for this in red and red tones, as well as made a plastic covered zip pouch to store knitter's knick knacks in, and collected the rest of the red items for the swap. Unfortunately in my hurry to post it I forgot to take photos, but I did receive a great parcel all the way from Finland, containing lots of aqua things for me.
6. Matching Christmas PJ's for the kidlets
One day whilst browsing etsy I came across a fun Christmas print that came in two colourways - an aqua and a raspberry. Immediately I thought of matching Christmas pyjamas for my babies, using boyish boxer style shorts for Austy and cute ruffle legged bloomers for Maddy. I was even planning to make the t-shirts at that stage and bought the fabric as well as some matching ribbing for the neck and arm bands on white appliqued tees. In the end the deadline got too close so I raced out to Target on Christmas Eve to buy plain white t-shirts to finish the kids' pyjamas in time to wear to bed. Unfortunately there was only a size 6 left in white for Austy, so we wandered over to the girlswear to look for a white t-shirt there. We found the girly style I was looking for, for her but still no white in the size 4 for him. Instead we came across the perfectly matching "celery green" which seemed exactly the same size and shape as the darker green t-shirt I had picked up in the boys section as a last resort. I quickly swapped the boy's tee for the girls as the girl's is a much better match, and Austy was none the wiser. He loves his Christmas PJ's and only switched to a clean pair tonight since he wet through his night nappy last night. I was glad I got these done as it was so cute to see them matching as they opened up their presents on Christmas morning!

I didn't manage to make the Christmas table runner, or the Christmas tree box cover, or Madelyn's Santa sack (to match Austy's with baby's fiorst Christmas photo on the front) like I had planned, but have decided a "Christmas in July Sew-up" is in order for 2010 which should take care of that for next year without causing me undue stress right when I am dealing with two birthday parties and Christmas shopping once again. I DID manage to bake my Finnish Christmas biscuits (an annual tradition since I spent my 17th Christmas in Finland on Rotary Youth Exchange) and two batches of rocky road (yum!).

A belated Merry Christmas to all my blog readers, and a Happy (and crafty) New Year as well. Next post: My 2010 New Years Resolutions!


Mrs Bloggs Cec said...

love the christmas outfits and am pleased you have found an answer to the sleepless nights, Amber was the same at that age devouring heaps of pumpkin when we took her off it she started sleeping much better...Im a coeliac too so I can sympathise with you and your catering dilemnas! I haven't tested my two girls yet for coeliac the GP's are a bit blaise about testing them yet...Well Merry Xmas to you, your beautiful children and family - enjoy the bikkeis and rocky road yum ! x Cec

Kylie said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - Fingers crossed you get more sleep:)

becanne said...

Joy - glad to see you back and hope January brings full nights of sleep at least occasionally!
I love the kids PJs - I would have left them in them all day because they look so good! Also love Maddy's christmas top and pants, very bright and cheerful.
Have you got a referal to a dietician for your family food issues? Your GP should be able to do that for you and it is a good starting point for advice and support.
Go easy on yourself - love the photo in the pool, I think we all need to do a bit more of that and a little less housework etc.
Happy New Year!

Sereknitty said...

As a recently diagnosed celiac myself, you have my utmost sympathy! It definitely has it's challenges.

Your sewn outfits are all gorgeous -- I especially loved the frilly bloomers -- too cute!

Miss Amy said...

Ahh what a bum with the salycilate sensitivity, I have that, very difficult to deal with, but you may find as she gets older she will be able to tolerate some of the high salycilate foods and not others. Good Luck

Belinda said...

Great job on the Christmas sewing Joy! The sleeping bag is brilliant