Monday, May 31, 2010

To do today

I wanted to write out a list of things that I have to get done today. Boring post but it should help my brain stop running up and down and round about!
  • Call lawyer and sort out issues
  • Call chiro and sort out payment
  • Book a massage, accupuncture and/or something
  • Look adoringly at my daughter
  • Photograph clothes I want to sell
  • Pay for sling
  • Post yarn
  • Get uni to send my portfolio back or arrange to go and collect it!
  • Renew membership with Australian Breastfeeding Association
  • Sew up quilts
  • and dress for Sally

Friday, May 28, 2010

10 things we're looking for in a "new" car

Self-explainatory I guess. We will be in the market for a new-to-us car in the near future so here's a list of things we're looking for on which I use because you can search by colour:
  1. Extra safety perks and lurks - airbags and all that.
  2. Bright colour. Strange to start off with that but at the moment we have a yellow car and we want a bright colour again. Red or blue or green or yellow or orange would be fine. Not white, or blah blue, or grey, or black.
  3. 5 seater.
  4. 5 door - we have a 3 door at the moment (so 2 side doors and a boot) but as Sally is getting bigger I'm struggling to get her into her seat.
  5. Sports wagon type of car. Something that we can put bikes racks on the top of and go away in as well as park easily.
  6. Manual. It was heartbreaking for me when we had to change from our manual car to an automatic a few years ago, because of my left shoulder not being able to drive one anymore at the time. It'll be strange to have one again and a bit of a learning curve but we both want one!
  7. Fuel efficient around the city but gutsy enough to be on the highway/freeway.
  8. Quiet on the road.
  9. Good sound system.
  10. Cup holders, bottle holders in the door, flap thing around the sun visor, storage options and so on. These are all perks that I had in my Hyundai Accent and it's the creature comforts that I enjoy in a car, not the size of the engine or the

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I love the postman

Not literally as he is not someone so much as the entire distribution centre that we have a post box at. But per my post about what I was waiting on, I thought I'd update you on what did arrive:
  • My glasses in all of their awesomeness:
  • These were "free" in that I only paid $13 odd for postage and handling. I am spectacularly nearsighted so I need to have a spare pair of glasses handy in case I break/lose/ruin my working pair. Without them I can only clearly see maybe a foot in front of my nose which makes functioning without them pretty impossible. Anyway, I received a voucher for them from Clearly Contacts, went to an optometrist for an eye test (which was overdue anyway), picked a frame, filled in my order and two weeks later, as they came from the USA, I received perfectly suiting glasses. They are deeper and wider than my old ones but I think they're prettier, more elegant and way more fun than my old ones plus - I CAN SEE PROPERLY as despite being 30 my eyes still change fairly frequently. Interestingly though, even if I'd paid for them, these glasses would have been less than $100. Which is a lot less than I can get them locally, and I don't need service or advice or two pairs of glasses so I'm not in need of the in-shop experience either. So if you're motivated and keen I highly recommend using an online store for glasses. Yes it's a leap of faith to choose frames without seeing them but it's not impossible and actually kind of fun.
  • Tshirts yep. I bought the xl size as my awesomely milky breasts are now putting me into strangely sized clothes, and the tshirts kind of fit there but baggy everywhere else. But the l sized ones I already have don't quite fit either. I hate this part of being post-baby, where I'm in between sizes.
  • Lawyer stuff was dealt with. 
  • VistaPrint stuff received. I bought some things for my midwife and will give them to her shortly I hope. Except the door magnet I ordered for her was tucked into the bottom of the box so I didn't find it on unpacking my order. So I contacted VistaPrint to ask wtf and am being sent another one. So my midwife gets two. Oops.
  • One lot of nappies arrived. I bought some second hand itti bittis in medium for Sally as she is getting to the end of wearing her smalls. They are seriously cute and very useful and user friendly.They are so cute and she is petite so they should last us a while and with winter coming I don't have any qualms about having a few extras.
  • The other lot is the first time in a long time that a seller has screwed me over for something. I purchased secondhand nappies from her on a forum and paid for them and... silence. Nada. I am angry because I so don't have money to send to strangers, but I sent her a message last night via Stalkbook and have let it go to the universe.
  • No news on the Mums and Bubs market stall pass as yet but I did piece the quilts together on the weekend, and have dyeing planned!
  • Felt embellishments arrived. One of them is really scary in person so I'm not sure that I like it.
  • And the stitch markers arrived except AustPost's machine ate the envelope so I only got 2. Which is a real shame but meh they were part of a karma swap (ie they were free because I sent something on to someone else) so I'm not fussed.
  • And yay buttons!

Monday, May 24, 2010

New glasses!

I wanted to see if this works so here's a pic of my new glasses.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

An anniversary of sorts

ETA: Hmmmm I did write a post here but it seems to have got et. So I'll repost something about what I meant.

On 21/05/2007 I was noodlng along on my beloved Zip50 scooter on the back streets of the 'burbs when an idiot got distracted at a roundabout by a young man collecting rubbish for the local Golden Arches "restuarant" and failed to roundabout correctly, hitting me and my scooter base over apex / arse over tit / for 6 / clean off the wheels / whatever euphamism you like. I wasn't badly hurt, in the scheme of things, but for the past/next 3 years I have had to deal with a rather impressive list of injuries, both mental and physical.

So on Friday just past I celebrated the passing of 3 years since that fateful day. It has been a shit of a time since then really. The whole experience has coloured my studies and life and relationship and friend's experience of me in a way that I don't really understand. I hate hate hate dealing with it and having to visit with my lawyer last week to finalise another step in the claim was shit. But it's another step in a journey that will definitely end, hopefully this year.

The end point will be money. It won't be an apology from the idiot who hit me, or a medal for not giving up, or anything meaningful. And frustratingly no one can tell me whether that money will be enough to make a difference to my life (because there is NO amount of money that is going to compensate me for the loss I've had to deal with) or whether after medical costs and lawyers fees there will only be a few magic beans left. So TheHusband and I play a fun game sometimes of "what would we do with lots of money". Which is rather fun, similar to "what happens if we win the lottery" but yah know, the chances are probably a bit higher.

We therefore have a list of priorities:
  • new car
  • new fancy top quality mattress
  • kettle that doesn't BUZZ all the time (not really but it just started BUZZING AGAIN and I have a babe asleep on my chest and a laptop on my lap so can't be bothered getting up to it)
  • laptop for TheHusband
  • trip to see my paternal grandparents
  • trip to New Zealand
  • little house to call our own
with lots of things in between of course, and setting us up with investments and plans for Sally and so on.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

10 things I'm waiting for in the post...

I am actually waiting on a LOT of things in the post at the moment which is great! But I am impatient!!
  1. New glasses!!!! They cost me postage as I "won" a free pair. Can't wait to see how they go.
  2. Threadless tshirts x3 (2 for me, 1 for TheHusband)
  3. Notice from my lawyers about my claim (as it is coming up to 3 years since my accident)
  4. Several boxes from VistaPrint (purchased before the Icelandic volcano exploded and delayed the already-slow postage I chose)
  5. Nappies
  6. x2 lots actually
  7. Stallholder pass for Mums and Bubs market 13 June 2010
  8. Felt embellishments
  9. Stitch markers
  10. Buttons
It's funny though because I didn't pay for much of this. The glasses were free ($14ish postage), the Threadless tshirts were from money I earned from selling yarn, the VP stuff also from yarn sales, the nappies are modern cloth nappies that are saving us a bucketload each week, and the last 3 were swaps with others to get my crap gone (it's called a karma swap - I take something from someone and offer something of mine up instead). #7 I hope will be $$ coming in!!

What about you? What are you waiting for in the post?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Project list!

So for at least the next 4 months we are living quite close to the bone money-wise, which means that I in particular need to watch my pennies. But entertainment is rarely free, so I am having to look for ways to amuse myself around baby wrangling.

On Ravelry, I signed up for the "shop the stash" thread, so that I am committing not so much to not buying yarn (zomg! don't tell me I can't do something!!!) but that I'm going to use what I have to hand. Which is hard when I really want to knit a Rose Red beret in a bright green but instead I am knitting it in a purpley-pink because I don't have any green.

A good thing that I love dyeing yarn, and have some amazing stuff to use up still. This one in a wool/alpaca blend and is a smooshy but loosely plied yarn which will be awesome in the cable and lace pattern planned.

In an effort to be more frugal and to get some $$ on the inwards side of our ledger, I am also going to list the craft that I have things in the cupboard with which to do and haven't had the time. I have some more of that time now, so I plan on using it.

Projects on the plan:
  • Central Park Hoodie - yes, I'm amazingly far behind the 8-ball in getting excited about this. Kate at Craftastrophies gifted me some amazingly smooshie possum-merino The Knittery (sadly now defunct) yarn last year as a wedding gift and it's now going to be turned into an awesome cardigan. I actually wound a ball this morning, discovering in the process that each of the 3 smooshy skeins that I have is actually 3 skeins, so there is a lot of ball winding in my future. Will swatch today I think.
  • Rose Red beret as above.
  • Duck Soup to finish. Seriously - it's got 1 and a bit sleeves to do. It's a baby garment so that is NOT a lot of knitting. I should just finish it.
  • Moderne Baby Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting.
  • At least 2 baby hats.
  • Plus a heap of other hats that I've traded things with other lovely mamas.
  • Quilts/play mats - 8 I think. I have tie-dyed some of the fabric and just need to get sewing. Next week. And photos of the fabric as well cause it is AWESOME.
  • Framing of various things.
  • Cards to make.
  • Beading to do.
  • Books to read.
  • Postcards (awaiting delivery) to send!
  • Sell my tshirt collection cause now that I have awesome cleavage care of breastfeeding, my tshirts don't fit. Some of them are AWESOME and it's hard to part with them*.
So it's not like I don't have things to do. But perhaps frugality comes with a dose of stepping away from the shopping and into what is to hand. This is not even touching on the cooking that I could do, the libraries to go to, the people to visit with and letters to write.

* Kate and I had a big chat about this on the weekend when we went for a long drive to see a rather underwhelming alpaca show. It's a catch-22 situation to have a lot of (things - let's say tshirts). I open my drawer and think "Wow I have a lot of tshirts I will wear this one!" and I put it on, and it's too small. Or smells odd. Or has a stain. Or the arms don't sit right. So I either wear it and fidget with it all day, or I take it off and put it back in the drawer. Because I have a lot of tshirts and it's a Good Shirt so I don't want to reject it out of hand. But if I actually tried them all on, my huge pile of shirts turns (turned actually) into a set of maybe 6 that fit and are in good condition. Which gets me thinking about why I keep the ones that don't and aren't. Some of them I adore because they're cute and funky and retro, just like me. Others I keep because I feel that I should own a black one, or a white one. But there is no point in having clutter, which is what defunct tshirts and sweaters and shoes and so on are.

Monday, May 3, 2010

10 things I wish I had known 8 weeks ago

Sally is nearly 8 weeks old! She weighs slightly more than 4kg now which is pretty awesome - firmly on the 15th percentile and cute as a button.

Here are 10 things that I wish I'd known 8 weeks ago though. Or even 12 weeks ago when I was still working. Consider it my assvice to first time mamas:

  1. Keep working if you need to, and muster a "fuck off" face for anyone who exclaims at you still working. You won't be working still (at 32 weeks, or 38 weeks, or up til the day you go into labour) if you didn't financially need to and sadly money does influence how much women work during pregnancy.If you've made a decision, own it.
  2. If you don't need to, then stop as soon as you can. I regret continuing on to 36 and a half weeks to be honest, because the last 2 I was so miserable and sore and wanting to just focus on my bellybabe that I suffered each freaking hour. I also birthed at 39 weeks so didn't get the time I thought I would. But see point #1 cause that was the boat I was in.
  3. Cut back on everything else. Send your partner or your apologies to things without you. Become a hermit in any way that you can, if you can't disengage from work and study and other commitments.
  4. It's a good learning phase for what it's like to have a newborn to be honest, and now is the time to practice it and make peace with the guilt or upset you'll feel at not participating. But the mental benefits of it are huge and it's easier to learn it that way, instead of when you do something, exhaust yourself, get upset (lack of sleep is the BIGGEST dictator of how I cope at the moment) and then take 2 days to get over it.
  5. NOTHING is going to prepare you for having a babe. NOTHING. It is so mindblowing and all-consuming and just insane, in a terribly soft and lovely way as bluemilk has said. Sure the practicalities of it are learnable, the what to dress them in and how to respond to cues and how to tie a wrap. But the head stuff? Nup. NOTHING is going to get you through, around or prepared for that. But you can prepare yourself for *that* element of it.
  6. Know that you are going to have no idea of how you're going to feel and that you'll need people to call and cry to (midwife, friends, other mothers) because I think a lot of mothers will know what you mean and can tell you that it's normal.
  7. Be physically prepared. Have meals in your freezer, in small serves. Have extra baskets around the house with water bottle, nappies, nipple cream, tissues, book, lipbalm etc. Get lots of pads ready. Put dark sheets on your bed. Wash everything. Get some singlets and trackpants and socks and undies and slippers ready. Get a haircut and lots of convenience things that you might not normally get (face wipes, favourite toothpaste, nice soap).
  8. Do some work on your relationship beforehand and get some idea of each other's expectations.
  9. Get your partner to read Birth Partner.
  10. And step away from the computer!! Step away from research and planning and trying to be prepared for this. Embrace that you can't plan or write lists or pack anything that will prepare for all of this. And be ok with this.
Know that first time mother hood is coming and it is something that you cannot plan for, and cannot touch and cannot fathom as yet. And you will be so amazed at how much Love you have yet to hold in yourself. You have so much strength and care and warmth and inate knowledge that you will be fine for the future. Really you will be. You're going to doubt that and revel in it and thoroughly love your babe and that can't be found on google or a forum or in a book.

You just need to get through the last few weeks leaning on the inner mama lion that you have. That's also what she's there for - not just to roar when your babe is here.

Lastly - the shit that I have with my relationship with my mother didn't come out during labour. I didn't stop labouring because of any issues I have. But I did get to a point where I acknowledged that I was terrified of being a mother because of what my mother was/is like. It's at the end of my birth story (yeah must post that), a few minutes before I birthed, where I went through a moment of doubt right before I did it and it caught me by surprise. I guess that really did mean I was 99% ok and processed.

Go for a walk, swim, massage, cup of tea and paper, whatever it is that you need to recharge your batteries. And take every day one at a time. Also good practice for labour and each contraction.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Moths in the stash... and the cupboard... and the ugg boots

I had a friend ask me what to do about moths:

The little green sweater I have on here has been eaten by moths. Just about everything in our house that’s woollen has. It’s really getting out of control. At the moment only things that have been on or near the floor, like clothes in bags in the wardrobe or under the bed and uggboots and slippers so I think they were in the house when we came here, not brought in. I noticed a couple of holes in a woollen skivi last year but just thought I had snagged it on something. That must have been when it started and they’ve reproduced a lot over summer. It’s terrible. I had a beautiful little woollen bag that was made for me by my Japanese grandmother when I stayed there for two weeks back in 2002 and they ate through it completely! Normally moths seem to pop in, have a bit of a munch and then disappear and you find the evidence of them a few months later. This time they were crawling all over it and on the floor where it was sitting! They ate holes in the first jumper I ever knitted too. Anyway…this is my long winded way of asking if you have any tips for getting rid of moths. I kind of want to avoid moth balls cause they’re horribly toxic and Myles is getting into everything. They seem to be everywhere though and spreading so fast. I’ve never seen anything like it. They swarm! They seem to prefer wool over cotton and silk at the moment but I figure it wont take them long. The thought of going through everything and discovering all the things they may or may not have eaten is a little depressing. Oh I don’t even like to think about my poor wool stash!
And I replied:

The moths sound terrible! The non-chemical ways I can think is to get everything you can find that is woolly, and put it in dark plastic garbage bags, and leave them in the sun for a week or so. Leave it outside in fact as the alternating cold and heat will kill them. Little things can go into the freezer though. It will take a week to kill them. Bin anything that has been obviously eaten though.

Then you'll need to use pyrethrin (hardware store - organic, derived from chrysanthamums) to clean the house of them. You can also get pyrethrin traps (pantry moth traps) to get them. Everything then needs to be stored in airtight containers.

Moths tend to go for wool that is not scrupulously clean, such as ugg boots. Anything that isn't eaten should be cleaned thoroughly - wool wash, dried in the sun, and then stored in airtight containers with cloves, lavender, camphor and/or eucalyptus (essential oil on a piece of cotton taped in the top of the container, or on wood beads done the same way, with bay leaves sprinkled through as well).

It's a HUGE pain in the bum to get rid of them. I had this happen to me in Sydney because my pantry was infested and they also got into my stash and my coats. But I'm really sensitive to chemicals so couldn't dry clean and exterminate with chemicals. But you will have to check your stash...
So what are your suggestions? Anything else I've missed?