Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The results are in, and other fun stuff.

I will start with the news that after feeling smug that Cleo had not been sick or fallen off any major piece of furniture yet, she promptly manages to wriggle her way off of my bed head first.  She sported a lovely lump for a few days but was otherwise totally fine.  I on the other hand had a nervous breakdown, and was reassured by my mother that I fell on my head many time's as a child and look how well I turned out.  Not much reassurance there. In other news, Cleo is so close to crawling.  She is in the dry humping the floor phase, which is a hop, skip and a jump for the big push.  She can also now sit up for extended periods of time with minimal interference, and is becoming more Machiavellian by the day.  Teeth are almost through (yay, not) which means torture, explosive toxic poo, screaming, general bad temper and copious amounts of drooling for her, and torture, a shit load of laundry, and general exhaustion for us.  She also think's George is the most hilarious thing in the world, riding on Papa's back is the bomb and bread is awesome.  Business as usual here.

 In other news, I have also finally bought the fabric and started the quilt for my brother's impending baby.  I can not begin to describe how excited this makes me.  Here is a sneak peek.

So this weekend has been a bit hectic. Mum was here, shopping was done, wine was drank, cuddles were had and I managed to squeeze in some time at the sewing machine.  (This is my mum.  She will not be happy with this photo but I think it is lovely.)

My friend Monika came over for lunch (she even bought the food and cooked it, what a result!) and I finally getting to meet her lovely girlfriend Tess.  That is Mo' on the left with the boy.  He will manage to squeeze in anywhere.

Finally, the big news is that I have chosen the winners in the great nappy experiment.  Some were a bit hit and miss, some were just not what I was looking for at all, but over all the choice came down these three.,

They were the Fuzzibunz one size,

the Pop-in's

 and the Smartipants.

 All of them are bloody marvellous, but for my needs there were certain criteria that needed to be met.  I started to write a comparison of these, but got half way through and bored myself.  I may do it at some other point but right now I can't be arsed.  So the out come is that I have ordered a 10 pack of the pop-in's with 5 refill's and 12 pack of the Smartipants, with 9 boosters.  They worked bloody well, they fit like a dream, easy to maintain, are cute and were only blindingly expensive instead of heart attack expensive. This is more than enough to keep us goimg until the Monkey can go on her own.  The total outlay is approximately the same cost as  5-6 months worth of Pampers.  Yes that is a lot of money to lay out in one hit, but in the long run it will save money and I feel a bit better about not contributing to 500 years worth of land fill.  There is also the added bonus of being able to use them on the next baby (if there is one) or selling them on if there isn't.  For me it is win win.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

They are here!

God it is so sad that I am this excited about nappies.   I can't help myself they are so soft and pretty.

They have been through the wash and are now ready to go.  First up is the Fuzzi Bunz.  Yup that is the name.  It comes with 2 liners, but I am only using 1 to see how long it lasts.  It fits like a dream and is so soft.   Did I mention she looks super cute in the too.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The sound of silence and some help from a friend.

You hear that?  Nope, me either.  That is the sound of my child sleeping.  Finally.

For the first few months of her life my kid was the baby all parents dream of.  She slept, she fed, she pooped.  All the things that babies are supposed to do.  I was blessed with the most easy going baby in the world.  That is not to say that there weren't issues, but they were the usual kind.  Nothing major.  99% of the time Cleo is the stuff of dreams.  She is happy, and funny, wiggly and cute.  She has never been sick (touch wood) and so far is growing like a champ.

Recently though we have discovered sitting up.  There is an exciting world out there and we want to see it.  This sadly is not a solo activity, and can not, I repeat can not be done stationary.  Never mind that she is so tired that her eye's are like the proverbial hole's in the snow, sleep is the enemy.

Sleep is for looser's and God forbid she fall into that category. The lengths my daughter will go to to stay awake are spectacular.  At almost 6 months old she has an iron will and determination of a sugared up toddler.  If only I could harness that energy for good instead of evil.  I want some too.  Gone are the days when a mobile could entertain her for an hour so I could sneak some time with my sewing machine or get some jobs done.  Now it is all about Mama, and I am her bitch.  I am loosing a battle of will's with an infant.

Nap's here used to be about an hour or so, now they can consist of anywhere from 15 min power nap to a full on 2 hours.  Sadly I never know what I am going to get.  Could be a cup of coffee and a Facebook catch up, or could be a serious sewing session.  Do I start a job that will involve at least an hour of attention or not?  So today when I put her down for her late morning nap, I took the gamble.

Rookie mistake.  30 mins into cleaning the oven I am up to my ears (literally) in noxious chemicals until.... Hark, is that 2 cats fighting? Is one of my neighbours kids having a melt down?  Nope, my little angel is awake.  

(Oh hell, she really is awake.  Be right back)  Continued 2 hours later when Matt got home.

Crap.  So there I am, up to my elbow's in my marigolds (that is rubber gloves to those not in the know), a half clean oven, and kitchen that looks like Armageddon.  Cleo is awake and wants out.  Double crap.  I am now faced with the eternal question of all mothers.  Do I a, scrub like the devil, and hope she goes back to sleep? or b, cave in and down tool's.  Fortunately, for me there was a c option.  I was saved by my friend Karien.  Bless you.  For saving my sanity and listening to me whine.  For hugging me when I cried and entertaining my jacked up kid so I could finish.  Lastly for making me leave the house and go out for a walk and coffee.  My sanity is saved for another day, and frankly my heart melts every time this kid smile's.  So whatcha ya gonna do?

Now, let's see what fun bed time battle brings tonight.  Let the games begin.  (yes that is my foot, and thank you instagram and my crappy phone for the photo's.)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Paper or plastic?

Bloody Hell!  


These are a few of the lesser blue words that have been running out of my mouth this morning.  All because I decided to try to educate myself on washable nappies.  At this point I imagine a few of you will now moving on to check your Facebook status or what ever, but bear with me.  For the handful that are interested let me try to educate you.  

Now I am certainly not a tree hugging, soap dodging, tie die wearing hippy, (not that I have anything against that, if that is your lifestyle choice) but every time I change one of Cleo's nappies I feel this great big twang of guilt.  Now I am not going to go into the whole landfill v's washing energy debate, greater minds have done that to death. What I can tell you for a fact is that it takes 500 years for one of those suckers to decompose.  500 frikkin years!  This  mountain below is what 1 baby creates in 2 years. Scary huh? 

Matt and I half heartedly looked into it before she was born, and I don't know about you, but the initial investment is hefty and we had other things to worry about.  Also I had visions of this in my future.

I am from the generation (as my mum so lovingly tells me) of the old muslin and terry cloth nappies.  Soak, sterilise, wash, dry, fold, pin, wa wa wa.  It all sounds frankly a bit hazardous and a whole lot of work.  But the time's they have a changed and boy was I in for a shock.  This new generation of washable nappies look like they have been designed by NASA.  

They have funky names and cute prints.  They are organic, non organic, wool , suede, bio mesh, flushable, all in one, all in two, systems, pockets, fitted and so much more.  Seriously the list is endless and intimidating.   So this brings me to my earlier point.  With all the style's, design, and options now available, how the hell do you choose.  It is a serious whack of doh to spend on something that may not even be right for your kid or life style.  These are some of the question's I hope to answer.

How much extra laundry is actually created?
How idiot proof are they? 
How many do you really need?
How easy or scary is it for other carer's to use?
What about night's or travelling?
Just how much time is needed in general faffing?  
Now that she is not going through 10,000 nappies a day, is this a cost efficient choice?
Comfort, size, etc etc?
and yes, call me shallow, Is the extra effort worth it?

So in my lengthy research I came across a web site called www.fillyourpants.com.  Based out of England, it was very informative and the lady I spoke to (with a screaming Monkey in my ear) was very helpful and patient.  Best of all though, is they have this offer.  For the bargain price of  £110 that is approx €150, you get 8 of the top names in nappies delivered to your door to try out.  Now here is the best part.  If you find that it is not for you, you can send them back and all but 10 squidoo's will be refunded back to you.  That's right.  Not store credit, but your cold hard cash.  You get the nappies for 21 days to fiddle and faff with and if you find one you like then keep it and the price will be taken out of your deposit.  How cool is that huh?  Now because I live in the Netherlands and I am a cheap git, I've had them sent to my mum's house in old blighty so the delivery is cheaper, and who conveniently will be coming over next weekend.  So there it is folk's.  I will embark on this grand experiment to find out if you really can have it all.  A slightly less guilty conscience and a few extra pennies.  Could these cute little numbers be in my future? Watch this space.   

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Loose ends.

Finished up a few things this weekend.
I finally finished the straps for my Bugaboo.  I am rather pleased with it if I do say so myself.

I have also completed the hoods for this Bugaboo Donkey.  Had to make a new pattern, lots of faffing involved, but the results are great.

These girls are cruising in style.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Monkey time.

I have been getting a little lazy recently with taking picture's, so with that in mind I busted out the big boy camera.  Don't get me wrong, I love my little compact.  It is handy and can take a nifty snap, but it just isn't the same.  My muse for today's play is of course monkey pants herself, Miss Cleo.  So here are a few of my fav's with little or no altering.

She really does sleep like that.  I muslin over her head.  My perfect, silly, juicy, happy little girl.  Mama love's you Monkey.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Back in the saddle.

If you didn't know, (and frankly if you are not related to me, why would you?) there are a few talented artist's in my family. In what ever medium they have chosen, it is impressive.  At school, I loved art.  I was never exceptional and knew I would never make a living out of it, but I enjoyed it none the less and over the years I would pick up a pen, doodle a bit or bust out some paints and slap it on some paper, never really happy with the results.  But an odd thing happened though a last year, I stopped trying so hard.  It started off with goofy little character's here and there, ( I will show those another day) little comic strips of basic animal's, doodles and lines that start one place but end up somewhere else.

This evolved though, unable to keep my hands still I started to draw the buildings in my neighbourhood.  Living in Den Haag is a bit of a gift as the architecture here is so eclectic.  Any one street can have such a splendid variety of design that it is often difficult to know where to start.  I stopped trying to recreate what I saw in perfect detail.  Stopped trying to get perspective but instead kept it one dimensional.  In short I winged it.  I never use a pencil only a pen and if I make a mistake, well then I make it work and try to incorporate it somehow.  I'll take elements from one building and add it to another.  They are not exact recreations, just interpretations.

Now imagine my surprise when one day my dad discovered my sketch books and wanted to have some framed.  It had never considered that anyone would actually see these drawing's, let alone want them.  They hang proudly now in my Dad's study. I even have a few others scattered around some of my family.  So on a recent visit, one of my aunts happened to see them and asked if I had any to sell.  Sell?!?  Panic set in. Giving them away is one thing selling is a whole other ball game.

So here I am.  It's been about six months since I last picked up my sketch book and pen, but this last week I decided to jump back in the saddle again.  I had stopped drawing, you see, during the later stages of my pregnancy.  It was impossible to find a comfortable position, or the will power to draw.  Starting again was not easy.  My sketch books have been mocking me, and I lacked the inspiration and incentive.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy it and everything was put away. I had no end of excuses. Nothing seem's quite so intimidating as a blank sheet of paper though.  So after a few false starts, a sunny day and a napping baby, it all fell into place again.  My style has changed a bit.  My lines cleaner and I concentrate more on the roof tops now, but I am getting back into the swing of things once more.  I am still shockingly insecure about my drawings, I fall in and out of love with them and have a pit of self doubt when giving them away.  I constantly forget to take pictures of them and when I do I am not happy, but here is the one I have started for my lovely aunt Pepi.  My block is slowly ebbing so thank you Pepi for inspiring me to start again.