Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hooray for maternity leave

Well I am enjoying not going to work! I finished up last Friday and have been taking it relatively easy, sleeping with Romily in the afternoons when I feel like it and getting some study done for uni - yes, I am studying one unit by distance this semester - it's the first unit towards a degree in management studies, which will take about three years part-time.

Today I took myself off to the movies and saw Mamma Mia - it was lots of fun, but I did find myself getting teary half-way through during one of the Abba numbers! I blame it on the pregnancy hormones, but it was a song about watching your kids growing up and then letting them go, wondering where the time went. Romily is three on Tuesday, so I guess I've been thinking along these lines already. But who would've thought I'd cry during Mamma Mia? Meryl Streep has that effect on me apparently - I cried and cried in Bridges of Madison County. She is a wonderful actress - and has a pretty good voice too! We won't talk about Pierce Brosnan's singing though...!

Yesterday Carl and I took Romily to 'Kids Rampage' - an indoor play centre for 1-5 year olds - and she had a great time climbing through all the nets, etc. She loved the ball pit, as you can see.We went to our favourite chocolate shop - Bruno's Truffels - on the way home, stopping there for lunch (alas not of chocolate). We each selected one 'special chocolate' and ate them in the car on the way home. Romily also loved her chocolate, as you can also see from this photo of a very happy girl!I made Carl take some photos of me too - I won't be pregnant for much longer and I'm trying to enjoy it, as it's definitely the last time for me. There's nothing quite like having another human being inside you. And you forget it so quickly after the birth.
Romily also took some photos - it's very interesting to see the world through a nearly 3yo's lens. Here's one of Carl.No sewing getting done here, but I have submitted my first assignment today, so that's given me a bit of breathing space to do some sewing over the weekend. Hopefully I'll have something to show for it early next week. And then it's on to making cupcakes for Romily to take to playgroup on Monday (I bought packet mixes, should be nice and easy now that we have had our oven repaired!) and then her birthday cake for Tuesday. I caved in to her repeated requests for an Iggle Piggle cake - if you don't know who Iggle Piggle is, don't ask! Trust me, you do not want to know. (He's in a British show called In the Night Garden, which is completely weird and off the planet - best viewed only by toddlers!!) I'm going to attempt to make an Iggle Piggle out of royal icing - wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Winter's Garden wow

You know those days when you're feeling a little down and sorry for yourself? And then something magical happens to pick you right back up again? Today was one of those days!

I've been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions and they are getting stronger and stronger - to the point where you just feel like death warmed up. I had an appointment with my obstetrician this morning and he 'had a look' at how things were going - he thinks at least another two weeks to go (at least with all these practice contractions, the labour should be a little more straightforward this time!). This, on top of general '38-weeks and over it', was enough for me to throw a little pitty party. But then I remembered I had two parcel dockets and so headed to the post office on my way back from my appointment.

One was expected - a slow cooker I ordered using my Fly Buys points (which means I got it for free, having accumulated the points from grocery and petrol purchases), which I'm planning to use extensively while the weather's still cold and I'm still in 'oh my god I've got a newborn, a toddler and have had no sleep' phase. I'm going to make chilli con carne later this week to test it out :)
Winter's Garden
The second, was most unexpected and all the more exciting for having received. The lovely, lovely, thoughtful and generous girls in my online quilting group got together and made a quilt for the baby! It's absolutely stunning and I absolutely love it. Romily and Carl both oohed and aahed over it too. What an amazing thing to do. I am totally overwhelmed!
Winter's Garden, photo by Romily

Thank you AJ, Bee, Cylie, Helen, Joy, Kylie, Leah, Mands, Xena and especially Emma, who did all the organising, the construction and the quilting, all the while managing several commissions, a one year old and a toddler. You truly are amazing.
Funny Face, photo by Lily (at the instance of her highness)

Monday, July 21, 2008

The countdown is on

Well, we've made it to 37 weeks and all is well. I'm hoping to see out this week at work, have a week to 10 days at home and then Bub #2 is all clear to make his grand entrance!
Here's a photo from last weekend - 36 weeks - sorry for the blurry pic...

We had a lovely weekend this one just past, with my father-in-law up from Bendigo for the weekend. It was lovely to see him with his granddaughter.

No sewing to speak of...just too tired! I'm taking it easy until bubs arrives, so there won't be much progress on the crafty front unless I get a burst of energy from somewhere!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Christmas in July

Some friends of ours have a 'Christmas in July' dinner party every year and we went along on Saturday night. There were five couples and Romily came along to entertain and be entertained by our friends' youngest daughter Emily. Romily adores Emily, who is 11, and Emily is quite the little mummy, so enjoys looking after Rom.

We had a lovely night and it was good to catch up with friends - some of whom we haven't seen for a while, being the social recluses we are!

One of the highlights of the night is the Kris Kringle present giving - you bring along a present each of very low dollar value and pick one out of the basket in return. I decided to make them this year, winning me lots of brownie points with our hostess, who is a keen patchworker!

First I made a set of four 'criss-cross coasters' from a tutorial posted long ago on the fabulous Allsorts blog, from some Christmas fabrics I had in my 'stash'.Then I made a casserole mat from my own design - working out setting triangles for the first time in the process. It finished up about 13" square. I was very happy how this one turned out and may make some more for Christmas presents this year.All going well here. Lots of Braxton Hicks (practice) contractions and finding it hard to sleep...all good signs that the pregnancy is finishing up nicely. (I'm not enjoying being so tired all the time, but hey, it's good preparation for all those sleepless nights after the birth!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hoot hoot

The babies keep on coming! My cousin Liz recently gave birth to her second son, so I decided that he probably didn't need many clothes and that I should make something else for him - I decided upon an owl softie from Handmade magazine (vol 25 #8), thinking it looked pretty straightforward.Well it was, but my goodness it was fiddly. Silly me ignored a similar comment on Adds' blog and lived to regret it! My owl is a bit wonky - he leans to one side and don't look too closely at the embroidery! Fortunately, I don't think babies care much about that! Of course Romily now wants one...we'll see!

I did a couple of appliqu├ęd onesies as well, so hopefully the parcel will be well received.I am doing well. We're 36 weeks along tomorrow...on the home straight! I finish work in another two weeks and can hardly wait. I felt terrible yesterday morning, so took the day off. I am all well again today, so I think it's just being pregnant!

And yes Mum, I'm taking it easy.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Snow ball

Well we had a ball at the snow anyway! Australia has a couple of smallish snow resorts, so whenever there's a decent dump it's time to get excited. The Snowy Mountains in New South Wales had a reasonable amount of snow fall during the week, so Carl and I made the snap decision to take Romily to the snow for the day - her first time in the snow.
We headed down yesterday morning and decided to go to Perisher - it's a nice, wide open space where there's plenty of room for little tackers to muck about in the snow without being run over by errant skiers or maniac borders!The other fun part of the day is catching the Skitube up to the slopes and back again. It's a very big adventure for someone who will be three in one month's time!

We hired some pants and some apres boots for Rom - she already had her Dora parka and gloves - so she'd be nice and warm and dry, and headed out into a glorious day of blue skies and sunshine and snow, snow, snow. (Okay, for you people in the US and Europe, this looks pretty patchy, but for here it's not too bad!)Romily had a great time, learning how to make snowballs and throw them at mummy and daddy, how to walk in the snow (sometimes easy, sometimes hard, sometimes too hard and daddy had to carry her), and not to eat it!After a couple of hours she was getting pretty tired and so was I! With an extra 10kg on board I kept sinking into the snow - it's hard work when you're nearly 8 months pregnant! We retired to the shops for a hot chocolate and a spot of shopping, before heading back down through the tunnel on the train. A leiusurely drive home, with a comfort stop in Cooma, and we were home by about 7.30pm last night.

A long day, but one that was well worth it :)
I made some fleece 'snow' pants for Rom to wear there and back. I had some pink and white fleece left over from a bunny I made her when she was a newborn, and that did the trick...I made the leg panels out of alternating colours - she liked them!--------------------

Last but not least, here's the applique top I made for Rom, using the strawberry fabric again - I promised to make her something when she spotted this fabric when I was putting Strawberries & Cream together. She liked this too. It's so gratifying when your daughter actually wants to wear the clothes you make her...that should last for another couple of years at least (I hope!).
(Yes that is my 'portable' stash that Romily is sitting on! It doubles as a 'train')

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Strawberries & Cream is done and dusted

(Click to enlarge)
Don't you hate those people who finish their swaps before you've even started yours? Makes you feel guilty doesn't it? Well not any more for this little black duck! I have finished and posted Strawberries and Cream and it's on its way to Europe (ouch to the postage charges!). It was remiss of me not to say how big this quilt is! I managed to confuse a couple of you! It finished up at 19 3/4" square. The QSTs finished up at 1 1/2" - all 81 of them!

I am very happy with it - I ended up going with the diagonal cross-hatching for the quilting, using Gutterman sulky thread. Thanks for the suggestions. Here's a photo of the backing fabric - too cute! It's from the Strawberry Lemonade range by Moda.I love it so much that I used it to applique two onesies and make a bib for a girl in my online mother's group who's just had a baby girl. The bib pattern is from Nested. Of course I changed out the velcro tabs for snaps. Have snap machine, will use it!
I was also very lucky during the week to receive the French quilting magazine I won on Nicolette's blog giveaway recently. The very generous and totally sweet Nicolette also sent a gorgeous onesie for Baby#2 as well as some stickers for Romily from the same artist who did the design on the onesie. Thank you Nicolette!All well here. Had a quiet and relaxing weekend. Took Romily down to the lake again and she and Carl had a great time rambling around the castle playground together.
Then we fed some ravenous ducks and went toadstood hunting. There are lots about at the moment.
It was the most gorgeous day...of course since then the weather has turned and it's been windy, raining and freezing the past couple of days. Winter is here with a vengeance! Good thing we spend most of the time inside with the heater on these days.

We have our final ultrasound scan tomorrow - it will be nice to see the baby again before he comes out in about 6 weeks. And nice to see who's been poking me with his toes!