Friday, July 28, 2006

Conflicted

For the Dares.


Sorry, it's a bad photo but it's raining here and I couldn't get enough light. I think you can read it. I hope so because I'm doing this quickly while the baby is asleep. He's due to wake up any minute and then we're off to lunch with Shelley who's in town visiting (yay!).

I have been thinking a lot about going back to work lately. Because I don't want to. I want to be a SAHM. But unfortunately I am getting pressure to return to making an income. Why doesn't society value childcare? If it brought me an income, I could do this important job. Because it doesn't, it looks like I'll have to go back to work. At least part-time. Waaaa!

Loved doing this. Inspired by Teesha Moore. I love her outline letters and how she mixes brights with sombre victorian style imagery. That fitted entirely with my conflicted theme. My little poppet is a bit confused too. Doesn't know what she wants to be. Business woman or cosy cumfy mummy. Look at my workclothes, lol. How dull. At least Chatterbox double sided paper helped with co-ordinating my work wardrobe. Bwahaha. Isn't Jamie cute all swaddled up in his little blue blanket :). Man, I may have loved those outline letters, but at 1am this morning I was not lovin' them at all. The novelty wore off after the third line :0. But they look great. I might have to include them on a few more layouts now. I got pretty good by the end.

That's all for today!
Kathie

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Finally I have pictures!

Photos of Jamie and my Granny. Look at how he went for her mouth! What a little cutie.


The room where we had Granny's birthday party was about 100 degrees celcius. Insane! The heater was on full blast and no-one could work out how to turn it down. So all our family photos look like it was the middle of summer - we're all in singlet tops and t-shirts with red cheeks, lol.

And here's another layout, now that I can finally update:

[removed for publication]

Early this morning as you finished your feed and I sat you up on my lap, I caught sight of your face in the faint dawn light. We silently exchanged smiles and then you heaved a giant contented sigh - almost exaggerated - and slumped forward, totally relaxed and milk drunk. For some reason that silent communication, that combination of smile and sigh, touched me. Was this my first thank you Mum?

And this one, of my brother-in-law and his two gorgeous boys. Unfortunately the scan has cut off about a cm off the LHS of the LO. But you can imagine it being balanced :).

The regular trip to the deli for bread and the paper. Two little boys. One steep hill. Four little legs that tire easily. One strong rope that pulls little bikes up hills and controls runaways on the way down. One very weary dad at the end of the journey.

Yay! Finally I get to upload some piccies again. Well, it's bedtime again. Jamie doesn't seem to want his midnight feed. Again. So I'm off to bed. This weaning thing is making me a bit sad. No more milk at midnight. No more milk at lunchtime. No more milk at teatime. And you know the worst thing? ;) no more cake and biscuits for mummy.

Kathie

Birthday greetings and more layouts

We went and wished Granny a happy birthday on Sunday. It was her 93rd birthday and my Auntie had arranged a little party for her. I went up and introduced us when we arrived, because she hasn't a clue who anyone is anymore. She said to me "Hello Dear. Tell me all about yourself now, because while you're standing there I'll remember. But when you walk away I'll forget." How's that for having insight into your situation?

So, I told her. "Granny, I'm Kathie, your grandaughter and this is Jamie my son. He's only eight months old. We've come to wish you a happy birthday". So we sat next to her and she had a bit of an examination of the new baby. Jamie, of course, tried to put his hands in her mouth, which I think sort of made her happy in a strange kind of a way.

I have some photos of the hand in the mouth, but once again Blogger isn't playing ball tonight. Grr and double grrr with Blogger.

I also have more layouts, but I can't put them up either. Triple Grrr.

No, I haven't been doing any more scrapping than normal. Many of these latest LOs were done while I was on the For Keeps DT. The Design Team had an exclusivity clause in their contracts and could not submit to any of the other magazines. So, I just kept layouts that I did in my albums, thinking that I might use them for some of the competitions that were coming up. But then, the Masters was so restrictive and none of them fit the themes, and this week I decided that I'm not going to enter any more competitions this year. Life's just too unpredictable at the moment and I want to enjoy my scrapping as a hobby, and not be worrying all the time that I'm not going to meet some deadline. My home life just goes down the gurgler when I do that. I figure that a hobby is a hobby and should take a back seat to the other more important things in my life. It's hard to remember that, because scrapping can get so all-consuming. I continually have to pull back and assess where I'm putting my energies and my thoughts. I have to remind myself what my priorities are.

And, on that note, I should go to bed. I've been staying up with the excuse that I have to see if Jamie's going to wake up for a midnight feed. He does that 50% of the time. But it's now twenty to one and it's quite apparent that he's in there sleeping away blissfully. And I should be doing the same.

G'night!
Kathie

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Remember El Paso?

Remember this post about the Marty Robbins song El Paso? Well I finally got to scrapping a layout about it. Mum took a photo of me up at their place, sitting on the couch feeding Jamie. And this is the result. It's hard to tell because I haven't put a border around the page, but it's a 12x12 page on white cardstock.

The lyrics to the song are on the little tag.

And this next layout is for you, Britta!


Eine kleine Pause und dann geht sie wieder los!

Isn't Britta's daughter just adorable? So sweet, I just love getting my girly fix by scrapping photos of her.
Hope you like it Britta! :)

I've had around 200 visitors this week. Wow! A big Hi to each and every one of you who drops by. And a huge smile to everyone who takes the time to talk to me. I love hearing from you all!

Take care everyone
Kathie

Great Grandmothers

Today it is my Granny's birthday. She is nearly 100. Sadly, she suffers from dementia and is in a nursing home. She lives firmly in the past. She hasn't known me at all the last few times I've visited. But, we are going to visit her, Jamie and I. She won't know who he is. He won't know who she is. But it won't matter.

I learnt this yesterday when we visited my Grandma (my other grandmother) in hospital. She is 98. She had a bad fall a week ago and has been in hospital since. She's very scared, confused and just wants to go home. My parents and my uncle and auntie are away interstate, so she has limited visitors. She's lonely. She sleeps in a strange bed. There's so much comings and goings and she gets tired from all the activity.

So, Jamie and I have been visiting. Even when she's scared and confused and doesn't know who I am, she loves to play with Jamie. And he loves to play with her. And so we wile away an hour or so. It's beautiful. For the first time though, I've seen her really frail, vulnerable and scared. And it's scared me. I cried on the way home the first time. It hit me more powerfully than ever how limited our time with her is. How I must make time now.




Yes, my mind is on family this weekend.

Kathie

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Family

Hi+dear+just+found+your+call
will ring you tomorrow luv
m+d

It looks like they finally worked out where the space key is on the mobile phone. I love these messages. These messages are so my parents. I asked myself a while back if I should show them where the space key is on the mobile phone, and decided against it. I love getting their quirky little messages. They say "this is my family". And now, it looks like Mum and Dad found the space bar themselves. *sigh*

Which makes me think - what does family mean to you? To me it's little things like funny text messages. It's the three rings that we used to give my grandparents on the telephone. Ring once, let the phone ring three times. Hang up. Ring again, let the phone ring three times. Hang up. That little morse code meant we were on our way to visit.

I was reading Kate's blog about her parents' house and how they have a family tradition of gathering at her parents' house every Sunday night.

And I'm wondering what family will mean to our son as he grows up. I'm wondering what routines, rituals and traditions Phil and I will choose to keep.

So, today, I'd love to know what family means to you. What are the little things that say "this is my family"?

Kathie

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Eight months already

I have tried three times to upload photos to this post, to no avail. Blogger has not liked me the last coupla days. So, sorry folks, but today you get the plain text version. Shame, I have some great photos to share! Maybe next time.
Kathie

Dear Jamie,

This month was marked by the purchase of a Jolly Jumper. You know, kind of like a baby bungie. You hang from a spring and can bounce up and down. Why, oh why, didn’t I get you one of these a long time ago? You adore it. And I love watching you enjoying yourself in it. The first time I put you in it, I couldn’t believe how much noise you made. Shrieks of delight. A grin that threatened to split your face in two. We put the radio on and you danced to the music. It amazes me how you can pick out the beat.

Our introduction to the Jumper was not without its problems though. The first couple of times that I put you in it, I didn’t realize that your arms are supposed to go between the straps hanging from the top. It didn’t say anything about that in the instructions. So, imagine my horror when, on the second time, I watched helplessly from the doorway as you rotated slowly (ever so slowly!) until you were hanging upside down. Luckily, you were left dangling just slightly above the ground and didn’t hit your head or fall out. I was able to quickly rescue you without any damage. It was only when I went and had a look at the picture on the front of the packaging that I realized that your arms had to go between the straps. Oops!

You are an inquisitive little boy now. You can sit up really well and sit on your mat, playing industriously with your toys. Everything gets a good examination. Inside out, upside down; it’s all very interesting to you. You have a little doggie activity centre that has lots of things on it. You like tipping it upside down best though, and playing with the wheels on the bottom. The same with the little driving console you have. You’d rather use the bottom of it as a drum than play with the steering wheel, gear shift or indicator stick. You tap anything and everything at the moment, listening to the sounds they make. You love that you can make noise. A sign of what's to come, I fear!

Your coordination skills have been perfected this month. You reach with one hand and grab with the other. You want to reach out and touch everything. Your arms seem to be rubber, with the ability to extend to twice their length if there is something nearby that you want to examine. Whew! I have to make sure everything is out of the way!

At the start of this month we went through an unsettled patch and I felt totally miserable with my lack of ability to coax you to sleep. You would scream as soon as I put you in your bed. You were only happy to sleep on top of me, or to be lulled to sleep in your pram while we walked around the block. Luckily, the weather was fine, so we walked quite a lot. Finally, you have started sleeping well again and are back to our happy little boy. You haven’t grown any new teeth this month, but your cheeks are quite rosy this morning and you are dribbling again, so I suspect there’s a couple more on the way.

You are eating so much! You eat nearly two weetbix for breakfast along with half an apple, pureed, and prune juice. You eat a big lunch – chicken and vegetables, couscous and vegetables, ricotta cheese and vegetables. Yummy! And then you seem to be a bottomless pit again by teatime. Your tea just disappears and I keep having to heat up more and more food for you. You are eating two new vegetables this month – peas and broccoli. Sweet potato is still your favourite though. We concentrated on foods that would fill you up the last few weeks: couscous, cereals, chicken, cheese, yoghurt.

You are starting to play with your food and it is getting to be a messy business. You smear it all over the tray on your highchair, dragging your fingers through it. You are also learning to drink from a sippy cup. You funny thing, you tried to blow into the spout the other day. All the water spurted up the sides of the spout and straight into your eye! You got such a shock. Grandma and I laughed so hard.

You love visiting Grandma and Grandad. We visit once or twice a week. You are captivated by the clocks that Tommy and William made and that hang on the living room wall. You and Grandma stand in front of them and she says “the clocks go “tick tock, tick tock””, and you are entranced. You also are learning to love “Wee willy winkee” and associate that with Grandma. And you love the pink elephant she knitted. Grandma never got around to giving him any eyes or a mouth, but you love him despite his lack of facial features. You sit on your mat in the dining room window, where the sun shines in, and play with the elephant and the leggo blocks that Grandma and Grandad have for you.

You make a lot of noises. Lots of chortling and shrieking. Lots of babbling to your toys and books. “Gek”, “ma ma ma”, “th” you go. A couple of weeks ago you were learning how to make loud noises. Grandad would roar at you, and you would tense your little body up so hard and roar back at him as loud as you could. These last few weeks you seem to be concentrating more on the different combinations of sounds you can make.

This month you have realized that objects don’t cease to exist just because you can’t see them. You know, for instance, that when your teddy, Dufus, disappears over the side of the arm chair, he’s down there just waiting to pop back up again with a big “Peek a boo”!

Bathtime games are such fun now. You can sit up in the bath and play with toys. You only have one, mind you. The hippo on a boogie board. When I put you in the bath, you look up at the shelf dish longingly. Because that’s where Hippo lives between bathtimes. You just look up at him. With a confidence that he’ll soon be with you in the bath. Ah, I love that confidence, Bunny. That the universe will deliver. Because, generally it does J. Last night we were playing with him, ducking him under the water and then watching him “pop” to the surface. Everytime he surfaced, I’d say “pop!” in a silly voice and you giggled and giggled. I surprise myself with the silly things I do, all in the name of a giggle.

Love you Rabbit!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another layout

Here's another page that I just finished on the weekend. Another one that's about the story. Another one using the gorgeous photos from our photo shoot with Grant Walkley, when Jamie was 6 weeks old. This layout's all about the colic.

To look at this photo no-one would realise that you were suffering from colic. It started on Christmas Eve - you were five weeks old. You would just cry and cry and cry. Only when you were asleep did the crying stop and then we would get blessed relief.

Almost the entire layout rotates - see that red brad at the top LHS? Yes, the whole thing rotates on the blue background to reveal hidden journaling:

5 January 2006
He won't sleep! He cries as soon as I lay him flat. At his worst he won't even settle in the baby sling. A walk around the block in the pusher is greeted with blessed silence, but the crying resumes on arriving back home. Even a ride in the car doesn't help sleep arrive.
"He has colic", says someone.
COLIC: more than three hours of crying on three or more days in a week.
Yep, he certainly does that. How about 7 hours straight?
"He's hungry", says someone else. "He wants more frequent feeds."
"Don't overfeed him if he has colic", warns another adviser. "No less than three hours between feeds".
Meanwhile my heart breaks to look at his unhappy little face; his legs pulled up into his belly and then flexing straight out.
"It's something you're eating", says someone . "You have to cut out dairy."
Nuts, fish, dairy, coffee and chocolate may all cause wind in babies, I read on the internet. So might cauliflower, broccoli, onions, cucumber, capsicum and garlic.
"Don't eat fresh fruit", says someone.
"Tomatoes are too acidic", says someone else.
"Stay away from salads", someone else warns. "Eat steamed veg instead."
Good grief!!!! It's enough to do your head in. And in the meantime the baby cries. Finally we find a Gripe Water that he'll swallow. And gradually we learn what helps. Jiggling, warm baths and tummy massages.
"He'll grow out of it by the time he's three months old", someone tells me.
I hope it's sooner because that's still six weeks away!


LOL, I love that I recorded my thoughts in these early days.
Kathie

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

More photos

I promised more photos.



My Mum made this cute little knitted elephant. He never did get eyes or a nose, lol. But Jamie loves him regardless of his lack of facial features.

Out in the garden. Oops, we didn't pick the background very well, did we. Look at those weeds! Another good photo for the everyday moments competition, lol!

Thanks everyone for your concern with Jamie's sleeping (or lack of it). We had a couple of fairly bad weeks there. The daytime sleeps (or not-sleeps, lol!) I could sort of handle. But the wailing in the middle of the night I found totally distressing. I can understand why they use loud noise and sleep deprivation as very effective torture techniques. After a week of it, I started stumbling over my feet. I started tripping over things. I dropped things. I couldn't talk properly anymore. I would walk into a room and forget why I was there (oh, alright, I already did that..). It was like I was in a drunken daze.

Anyway, we have definitely seen improvements. And we changed Jamie's routine around a bit. And I bought a Jolly Jumper and he bounces around in that each day so that he wears himself out. He loves it! He bounces around and crows gleefully. I have never heard him make so much noise. And the grin! He looks like the guy in the flip top toothbrush ad. So slowly we are catching up on sleep.

'night!
Kathie

Friday, July 07, 2006

I need sleep!

Well, at quarter to three this morning, I bit the bullet and started controlled crying. As Phil said, I could have picked a better time to start it, lol! But desperate times call for desperate measures.

I really didn't want to do it. And I'm even hesitant about posting it, because I know it's a really emotive issue. But, I am totally happy that I tried everything else: reading, singing, patting, patting the mattress, rocking, plus others... but nothing worked. And Jamie was crying for longer and longer, and waking up more and more frequently. We were all getting sleep deprived. And husband and a baby with sleep deprivation are just no fun at all!!!

So, thanks wens, for the tip about Silent Nights. Some girls from my Mums group had spoken glowingly of Dr Symons, so I decided to give it a go. My Goodness!

Jamie woke at 1.30am, so I fed him and then the fun started. As he's started to do, he just point blank refused to go back to sleep. I spent an hour and a half sitting by his bed, rocking, patting, hushing etc.

And, you know what? All it took was 45 minutes of controlled crying, then I fed him again and he was out to it. Today he has gone down for his naps with about 30 secs of whining. :0 :) :)

So, we are hibernating this week. I have cancelled all my engagements and Jamie and I are staying home and practicing going to sleep. I might even get some too!

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and support. Here's a couple of photos taken this week of my little guy. He really is cute. When it's not bedtime, lol.


My baby is in a high chair! I think that's pumpkin all over his face ;).

I haven't decided whether to enter the Everyday Moments competition being run by FK at the moment. If I do, this will definitely be one of my layouts. Jamie has a little activity centre doggie. And he'd rather play with the wheels on it than anything else. That's it there, lying face down on the mat and he's having a great time playing with the yellow straps on the back of it.

Kathie

Monday, July 03, 2006

The little thief

I had just given Jamie a rusk and had gone to the kitchen to fill up his drink cup. I heard an exclamation - a curious sound - not distressed, a bit different to any sound Jamie's made to date. (Mind you, he is getting very vocal and learning new sounds every day - la la la springs to mind as the new sound of the day.)

Anyway, I filled up his drink container and went to investigate. And as I walked into the living room, I saw the dog on the mat with a rusk sticking out of his mouth. The thief!

I had to laugh. Have you ever tasted baby rusks? The are the most bland thing in the world. And this is the dog who will only eat Scotch Finger biscuits after they've been dunked in coffee.

The sleep issue seems to be resolving. I have been reading to Jamie when he is in his cot. I don't lie him down. He just sits there with Popcorn, his teddy and listens. When he's ready he lays down (read: flops). I just read. We are reading the tale of Mr Tod and Tommy Brock (Beatrix Potter) at the moment. Grandma and Grandad have given him the complete works of Wind in the Willows, so when I'm sick of hearing how Mr Tod poured a bucket of water all over Tommy Brock (well, thought he did), we'll start on Wind in the Willows. It seems to be working. At first it took an hour. Today it took half an hour.

That's progress.
Kathie