Friday, June 29, 2012

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

I suppose it's not a bad week if after I got over my pregnant self and started being nice to Mr S again (sorry Mr S) the thing that peeved me the most was the drive home from work yesterday?

  • I drove on to the Southern Outlet to get on the highway to Huonville and inevitably as the speed changes I get stuck behind a slow car. There's also a slow car in the right hand lane determined to get past the slow car in the left lane. FFS.
  • Then when I finally get my glory moment in the right hand lane I put pedal to the automatic Handsome James metal and he speedily clunks through the gear changes and we're on our way. Then I notice the lime green Nissan Micra on my tail. As in, really on my tail. FFS.
  • HJ and I get past the car and merge back in the left hand line (AS PER THE LAW) when Nissan Micra zips around me and does not merge back. Eventually they do and we all mosey along the Southern Outlet. When it comes to changing lanes to get on the Huon Highway the Lime Green Nissan Micra (LGNM) zips around me in to the right hand lane (incidentally, the road to the Channel, not an overtaking lane) and merges back misses me narrowly without an indicator in front of me. LGNM then turns right at the roundabout with an indicator and sits on the tail of the car in front. As in, less than three seconds. As in, tap your brakes and I'll hit you. FFS.
  • Eventually we hit another overtaking lane and victory is mine. LGNM, it is no secret that your ilk have no engine grunt to speak of, and I do. I know it's petty, but I really enjoyed overtaking you. That's when I noticed you are a hire car, and some would say be forgiven for your driving sins. I say read the freaking road rules of the state/country you are visiting. FFS.
  • This week I found out that tickets to Wayne Brady in Hobart are $89 each. Chuck in dinner and petrol and it's an evening we'll be staying at home. I need to find a cheaper Last Pregnant Hurruh. FFS.

The Unspoken Chocolate Wars

aka Mr S doesn't know how much this annoyed me. I should probably tell him.

  • My M&M addiction continues. After I hid my jar of M&Ms on my desk a week or so ago, I caught Mr S sauntering over after dinner and helping himself. I would not mind this at all apart from the mini Boost Bars and Mars Bars in the cupboards that he will not let me eat. FFS.
  • I figured he had his chocolate under control, so I didn't buy him any when I did the shopping this week. He was unimpressed about this, and was mildly cheered up when I told him to take my entire packet of Chocolate Monty biscuits to work instead. I have no chocolate biscuits. FFS.

The Only Thing I'll Say About The Mummy-Blogger Haters

Why do you care? No one forces you to read. And I'm not entirely sure what the uproar about sponsored content is. Hasn't anyone read the paper where there's big ads that say 'ADVERTORIAL' on them? Or watched the TV? Or driven past a billboard?  Seen a gig poster that says 'Sponsored by'? FFS.

Shiny Things Friday

I started making bibs. I can't stop now.

Kitty was helping.

When ironing for sewing, I like to keep my iron set to Grey Cat.
Lion Cub is surprisingly ineffective.

An unpressed bib next to a pressed bib. See the difference?

Something got in the way when I was trying to take the above photo.

I went to get my hair cut. I had company. She sat on my
lap and ate a vegemite sandwich. Bless.

Millie can't get enough of the front camera on my phone.

I made a Chicken Pumpkin pasta bake. Millie approved.

It was -4 here yesterday morning. Yup. This was at 8am, when my
outside thermometer said 0.2oC.

Mike Meyer the lemon was feeling the cold too.

Singlet, long sleeved shirt, jumper, vest and coat.
Scarf, gloves and ugboots. Off to daycare.

Project Runway and nail polish.
I had to call it quits after 2 coats, I was falling asleep sitting up. You'll note
that my clock says it's only 9pmish.

Go and say hi hi to Sarah over here. Compliment her on her blog's boob job. It's oh so perky-riffic.

Dear Baby G

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Busy

Or is it just a nicer way of saying 'I live in a bubble and all of my friends are in my computer'?

As this pregnancy progresses I think about what was happening this time around with Millie. I certainly left the house a lot more. And I slept a lot more. I also ate a lot more and gained a lot more weight.
I had a friend who lived 600m up the road and I rarely spent an entire weekend at home. 

I was still playing gigs 2-3 times/week so I saw my band a lot, as well as speaking to people at gigs. I worked 4 days a week too.

This time around things are different. I was about to say quieter, but that's not true. Millie makes enough noise for ALL of my previous circle of friends. My friend moved to town, I don't play gigs any more (or should that be right now?), and I work 15 hours/week over three days. The quantity of face to face human interactions is less, but I have a sturdy support network a phone call, email or tweet away. That's right folks, I just said I have friends on twitter. And at 21 weeks pregnant... man, I'm TIRED. There are entire afternoons when M and I sit on the floor, play with blocks and watch Project Runway.

As first time parenthood loomed I was so unsure of myself. I surrounded myself with friends who had children and they all kindly helped me find my way. And post-birth they were amazing, and helped around the house and advice about breastfeeding and that indeed, it can be devastatingly normal for your baby not to sleep. Then I found my way, and realised that my way was different to theirs. This can be a hard place to maintain a friendship, and seemingly, we've all moved on. No fall outs, no harsh words, just neither of us taking the time to call up and make plans to catch up. Suddenly it's been almost a year and... well... I'm okay with that. 

The friends Mr S and I have now are mostly parents too, and people we don't get to catch up with very often, but when we do it's glorious. What I love the most, is that they understand. They understand The Busy, they have it too. 

But non face to face friend-wise... I'm blessed with many. I'm so glad for iMessaging, because otherwise my phone bill would be enormous from epic conversations with Sarah, and Melina. My sister is a new mother too, and we talk every few days, and we've started FaceTiming once a week. My nephew is the cutest little boy I've EVER seen. I have an online mother's group, and that's 38 ladies who are always around when you need them, with kids exactly the same age as Millie. I'd be lost without them. Our friendships extend beyond the realms of Facebook, and I'm always touched to receive a 'Just to say hi!' text from one of them every now and then.

I'm pretty bad at leaving the house with Millie. I spend three days per week shuffling M to daycare, racing 45km to work, working for 5 hours, racing 45km back to the Valley, picking M up, getting home and then dishes, dinners, baths and bedtime. On our days off I desperately need some semblance of 'Me' time and spend our days pottering around the house, sewing, reading books with M and generally not doing housework beyond the bare minimum. I like home.

My hesitation to leave the house with Millie stems from the early times when she hated the car and screamed for high heaven every time we went in it. Sleep deprivation and a screaming sad baby do not a happy car trip make. However, she's a bit older now and not too bad. We tootled around town all day yesterday and she was ace. She naps in the car as we make our way from A-B, but I think I'm a bit selfish. I really like when she naps at home... time by myself driving somewhere isn't quite the same as creative time by myself.

There you have it. My name is Amy, and I have The Busy. I live in a bubble, and I like it.

Do you have a bubble? Do you have The Busy too?

Friday, June 22, 2012

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

The Preggo Whinge

  • This week has been the week of me suddenly looking and feeling very very pregnant. Despite only being halfway through... FFS.
  • I find myself lying on the floor playing with Millie, and she runs off looking over her shoulder so I'll chase her. And I just don't have the oomph to move quickly. Move aside people, slow moving hippo coming through. FFS.
  • That's not actually true. I weighed myself fully clothed with boots on at the midwife today. In stark contrast to my first Lilypad pregnancy, I have only gained between 6-8kg at this point in time. I say stark contrast, because I think I'd gained about 16 by this point with M. However, my M&M craving will take care of that if I don't keep to strict rations. I have not been keeping to strict rations. M&M's get me through the day. FFS.
  • Preggo Asthma appears to be highly annoying. I walked 20 minutes to work the other day and spent the next four hours wheezing. FFS.
  • None of my winter clothes fit. I have two maternity shirts in high rotation, coupled with trackpants and a striped thermal short for home wear. Mr S dared to wash his only winter zip up jumper that fit me. FFS.
  • Where does one buy winter maternity clothes that do not cost the earth? Please share your secrets. FFS.

The 'R' Word

  • You will notice I've not mentioned the 'R' word. That's right, renovation. It's still not a sensation, although Mr S and I have begun Operation Vanity Unit. In our (Mr S') quest (stubborn mission) for a timber vanity unit we found three, all made by the same company.Cheap - looked ok, pine with mahogany veneer.Less Cheap - looked cheaper than Cheap, some sort of better wood with a better veneer.Frighteningly Expensive - solid blackwood. Beautiful. Worth as much as a second hand car. Not the vanity to put in your Not Quite Forever house.And I need to add the following table for scale of price:Cheap - Costs 6x Bunnings white vanities.Less Cheap - Costs 8x Bunnings white vanities.Frighteningly Expensive - Costs 11x Bunnings white vanities.
  • So we Mr S went on a different mission. He eventually found the Antique Mecca of Hobart, tucked up a side street with West Hobart. We have found and purchased something suitable for less than the price of Cheap. More to come and that progresses.
  • We were going to replace the walls of our shower with Laminex, thinking it would be miles cheaper. It costs the same as buying the tiles and hiring a tiler. FFS.
  • We have found a tiler, who Mr S assures me is a lovely chap. Hallelujah! We will be not only funding his holiday, but hopefully his driving sense, and maybe his motivation to quit smoking. He turned around in our wintery muddy yard and got his van bogged. My lawn now has holes and skid marks in it. FFS.
  • Two weeks ago I went to park in the Early Bird Parking ($10! All day parking!) but the 'Full' sign was up. So I didn't park there. However, because I parked before 9am I got slugged with a $2 fee on top of my parking fee. When I mentioned this, the gentleman explained that they put the sign up before it's full, so if you just drive up to the roof there'll be someone there to give you a redemption ticket. 
  • The next week I did just this. Except there was no man there. I got slugged again. I mentioned again. To the person who this time said 'Oh yeah love, it's always full by that time. You're best to park in the garage a few blocks up, that never fills up. That'll be $14 thanks.' For 4 hours parking. FFS.
  • We lost Manuel the Blue Ram fish on Wednesday night. He got stuck behind the filter. We thought his mate Consuela would be said, but she looks surprisingly perky... Now she can really say in her spanish accent 'Meester Manwell, no, no, he no home.' FFS.
  • M woke up at 4.45am this morning. Mr S kindly brought her in to our bed. Where none of us went back to sleep, except Mr S when he mumbled to me at 5.45am 'Can you hold her for 15 minutes please?' I am surprisingly perky for only having had 5 hours sleep thank you pregnancy insomnia, leg cramps and the cat that won't leave me alone, but I expect that as I cannot keep imbibing cups of tea all day I will crash and burn shortly. FFS.
  • M has sneezed and coughed her way through the morning until now, as have I. I hope we are not getting sick again. FFS.
  • I am sadly addicted to Project Runway. Oh Tim Gunn, I can't get enough of your comments! 'Designers! You have thirty minutes to sketch. I KNOW!' 'Thank you Mood!' FFS.

Shiny Things Friday

I have not grown weary of CatEffects.
Here is my cat, docked for the evening for recharge.

I have worked out why my bump is so huge at 20w.

Millie was given some trackies by her Nanny. They kept riding up at
the ankles, so I de-elasticised them. It took a Very Long Time.
(who overlocks elastic to a band, THEN hems it?)

Finished a dolly quiltlet with pillow for our niece.

Made M a new handbag, with a zip. (she loves it!)

Mr S and I had a post-dinner conversation about something mundane,
when he realised that M had handed him every stuffed toy she owns.
Naturally, I took a photo, added Cat Effects and put it on the innernet.
Last night I went to take a pic of him and he ran away, saying

I re-did my nails. Then added cats. Too much?

Beautiful wintery sunrise here this week.

Sunrise to the south.

I haven't had time to fix M's other pair of NannyTracks, so she rocked
a suitably 80's look for daycare yesterday. (OH! What a feeling!)

M feeling suitably weary after her 4.45am wakeup call. It's also freezing
so she's very fashion forward with her slippers and jumper.
Note to self: make her a dressing gown.

What were you doing at 6.55am? We'd finished breakfast,
I'd had a shower and M was watching ABC whilst tooting
her train's horn. I know.

Finally, new fabric! Washed! Ready to use! I'm in love with the first three,
and had no idea what to do with them. I just had to own them.

Go and say hello to Sarah, who keeps making yummy things in her thermomix and making me want one. Mr S says that when I have six kids like Sarah and HB we can have one too. Um...

Dear Baby G

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mrs Smyth Creates... #4

Hello again!
This fortnight has been a bit light on, due to Operation Renovation (is not a sensation) combined with an 8 day visit from Mr and Mrs S Snr. I had many many craft plans for this time (TWO BUILT IN BABYSITTERS OMG!) but M got sick, then I got sick, then I got sicker and... there was 8 days of small talk to be made with the Snrs. Then my trusty sewing machine got sick. She's better now, thankfully.
But here's what did happen:
  • I made a dolly quilt and pillow for our niece for her 2nd birthday. Despite buying all the fabrics and notions, and preparing the fabric at least a month ago, I did not start it until her birthday was 10 days away. And they live interstate. Oh my.
I was doing okay with the quiltlet until I realised I needed to use the
craft batting. And I had no idea how. I googled how, decided I
didn't like those instructions and made it up. It worked fine. 
  • I was steaming along until I started feeling tired (yo, 20 weeks pregnant, bite me) and M started screaming yesterday. Despite all the Daddy cuddles... the screaming didn't stop. Then my machine died. It was not a pretty afternoon... there was plenty of cursing followed by 'Mummy said 'Fudge', Millie.'
  • Today I rang the Elna Australia hot line and politely asked them if they could tell me what might be wrong with my machine. They put me through to an absolutely delightful woman named Carol, who not only told me what was wrong, but also gave me plenty of tips and wanted to know all about Millie. I wanted to put her in my pocket and take her home with me.

Dolly quiltlet and pillowcase with matching pillow finished. Shazam!

  • I also went through my mending pile and turned a few too-short onesies into t-shirts for wearing over long sleeves. It's all about extending the wardrobe, if only to make me feel like she's actually worn some of these clothes. I'd put off doing it for months, but it only took me 10 minutes on the overlocker. Rock on, jersey fabric!
    I simply cut the bodysuit bit off and overlocked the edges. Then they sat there for another week whilst I vowed to look up how to tidy up overlocking tails. I don't know if I did it right, but they'll hold...

This is a gorgeous Country Road onesie that Mr S bought for Millie
when she was 8 weeks old. Despite being a 3-6mo size, the top still fits her
fine and I get to pretend she's still a baby.

See - overlocked! 

I also made Millie a new handbag. Every girl needs a handbag stash, right?
I needed to practice zips, and Millie wanted to know how
zips worked. Win/Win! (don't look to closely at the zip... I need more practice.)

She loves it.

  • High on my list for Millie's room was some curtain tie-backs for her brand new curtains. Until now, we'd been using something that might have been kitchen twine, or some sort of canvas coloured bias binding. At any rate, some new ones were well overdue.
    I didn't really have a pattern for this, so I made one up. Are you interested? I can do a post on it if you'd like.

Raspberry coloured corduroy with purple teeth...

They match her curtains perfectly!

Purple felt teeth... or pretty girly purple felt bunting. Whatever you prefer.
I like to think they're like dinosaur teeth... RAWR!

Also on my list for the next little while:
  • Finish the gosh-darned kid's apron.
  • Choose some fabric and make Millie her own apron. She's big enough to fit the pattern now and has recently been given a whole bunch of Millie-sized pots and pans... I think she'd really enjoy it.
  • Finish the two-shirts-to-one maternity shirt. I need to research some more about stretch stitches that leave a good finish. Can any of you help?
  • I've seen some awesome fabric at Spotlight that says to me 'Make me into a new handbag for yourself, Amy... do it!' Well ok then, I must.
  • Make Mr S a little polar fleece 'sock' to slip over the end of his silk sleeping bag liner for hiking. To keep his delicate size 13 tooties warm in the remarkably cool weather that is Tasmania.

What have you been up to?

Link up your creative posts from the last little while - I'd love to see what you've been up to!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Somewhat Silent Sunday: Someone else's words...

This week brought some devastating news for us, and so many others. The news that an acquaintance of ours, a friend of friends of ours had passed away suddenly.
My memories are those of a joyous man, who wrote me a recipe off the top of his head when I mentioned that I wanted to make an almond torte, a fantastic coffee, an infectious laugh and sharing his wisdom of cooking tips and hanging me many sheets of industrial sized baking paper when needed. (these later made great pattern paper for sewing...)

My friend Skye says it all over here, and this is one of the most beautifully written and saddest stories I've ever read. 
I urge you to go and read it, perhaps with a tissue in hand.

Dear Chris...

Should you ever need to chat to someone or find help, Lifeline is available 24 hours per day on 13 11 14. You can also visit Beyond Blue or simply pick up the phone, call a friend and tell them how you're feeling.

Friday, June 15, 2012

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday - The Renovation Is Absolutely Not A Sensation Edition

Seriously? Renovation? Bite me.

The bath stays. We're quite fond of it and too cheap to get it relined
a different colour.

This is masonite, scored to look like tiles and painted
an enchanting avocado green at one point.
  • Mr S and Mr S Snr have been working SO hard in the bathroom. They have pulled up the old floor, replaced the rotten floorboards, laid new concrete sheeting and siliconed the gaps. We are up to tiles and waterproofing. We got a quote from tilers today. Not only mind numbingly expensive (just their time, not including the tiles) but there's a 6 week wait. Yes, we probably should have thought about this sooner. Alas, we did not. FFS.
  • Mr S will do the tiling himself. Take THAT professional tilers, I know you're hurting right now. No no, I'm sure you're not. I'm sure you're taking your yacht for a sail right now. The weather is fine and you're rolling in cash. Perhaps literally. FFS. (Update: We are now looking for a tiler again. We have looked at the tiles we want, and the space to be tiled, and decided it's money well spent. Yes, Tilers, I will fund your next holiday. FFS.)
  • Flu ridden and tired, I threw an epic pregnant hormo renovation tantrum on Sunday. I'm not proud of myself. FFS.
  • My epic tantrums are not even proper tantrums. I go silent and glare lasers. This one was bad though, I said to Mr S 'I am really not impressed Mr S.' Yeah. I really went all out there. FFS.
  • We went to town on Monday (me dosed up on cough mixture and panadol and coughing the whole time) to find that it's a public holiday, and in Hobart, people don't want to part with their hard earned cash on pretty much anything. Except us. We had a wallet full of cash to spend on tiles and vanities, and no where to spend it. FFS.
  • Take that tiling shops. We bought a washing machine instead. And not from you Harvey Norman. We took your catalogue to the Good Guys and got it even cheaper. ANFFS.*
  • I do not know how to use the new washing machine. It's so hi tech it's scary. But man, does it wash my clothes well. I am clearly now an old lady. I'm excited by my new washing machine. Send help and fabric softener. FFS.
  • It's only Tuesday and I'm almost at the end of my FFS text limit. Oh dear. What does the rest of this week hold? FFS.
  • Friday additions: We have finally purchased a new toilet for the bathroom, and after we purchased it, brought it home, unpacked it to check the fitting pipe blah blah blah (clearly by we did, I mean Mr S did), we get a bathroom catalog in the paper this morning... with the same toilet $50 cheaper. FFS.
  • BNHQ have bought a new CD - I believe it might even be a rare CD Single. We heard Foster the People's 'Pumped Up Kicks' on repeat from 5pm-10pm on Monday night. Again, we don't believe they have a stereo in their house, just in one of their six cars. FFS.
  • Again, back to six cars?! It's a 1.5 bedroom house. FFS.
  • And, their dog crossed the highway and came up our path to say hi to Lucy, who was having a brief moment outside. Seriously, FFS. 
  • I rang the Doctor's surgery on Tuesday after 4 nights of virtually no sleep from coughing. The receptionist listened to me saying 'My daughter had croup, now I'm coughing and wheezing after having the same cold symptoms as her, I'm pregnant and I can't sleep.' She takes my number and calls me back later in the afternoon saying 'Now, I've just spoken to the Dr and she can't get you in today, but as you're pregnant there's a high risk of a pulmonary embolism and if you're having trouble breathing our official advice is that you go straight to the emergency department.' Which is 50 minutes away from home, where I would spend 7 hours sitting in the waiting room for someone to tell me I do not have a pulmonary embolism, it's just bronchitis. No thanks. I get into the Doctor the next day who promptly diagnoses me with Asthma (which I have not suffered with since I was a kid), prescribes me an inhaler, and tells me to keep an eye on the wheezing. After much huffing (literally) about how I couldn't be asthmatic, the inhaler works and I do not cough as much and feel generally much better. Oh, FFS.
I found a packet of fancy Robert Gordon muffin liners in the cupboard.
I told myself 'There's no point in keeping the good china in the cupboard' and
used them. I now remember why I shoved them in the back of the cupboard.
They do not hold their shape or peel off easily. Give me Home Brand muffin papers anyday.
*ANFFS = Absolutely Not FFS.

Shiny Things Friday

We were caked bombed by Skye last Friday. This is a chocolate cherry syrup cake.
It came with a bottle of syrup to warm and drizzle over the cake.
We saturated it. DELICIOUS.

Mrs S Snr and I took Millie to Cambridge this week after the
hormo preggo reno tanty... to get out of the house whilst there was much noise.
I bought a lamington to share with my tiny beloved.

I did not see much of it.

I bought a new book by a fantastic lady and some nail polish to cheer myself up this week.
This book is fantastic. I will be writing a post about this.

A girl and her Daddy playing peekyboo.

The result of my nail polish book expedition.

Last night I changed M's nappy before dinner.
I knew she was tired when she didn't move after we'd finished...

The 'Sarah Got Me Addicted When I Was Meant To Be Working' Shiny Things

Sarah started tagging me with her Cat Effects app pics yesterday. I couldn't help myself.
If you like it then you shoulda put a cat on it...

Preggo pimple? Not here. No siree bob.

The ducks thought there was something odd when they were crossing the road...

Go and say to Sarah, who said she was pissed that I made her cry twice in one week... but has clearly gotten over the emotional upheaval.
Dear Baby G


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