Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sneak peak - immie&ollie photo shoot

We had our photo shoot yesterday in New Farm Park and the Powerhouse. It went beautifully, as you can see from the photos above.

The photographer is Katie Walker-Smith, a twin-mum-to-be I met while selling liners at the Mathilda's Market. She's a fab photographer and was so wonderful with the babies yesterday.
You can check her out here.

The little girls in these photos are my beautiful friend Rachel's twin daughters, Moleigh and Leeyah. We were due to have our twins on exactly the same day! We both went early though. Rach a week earlier than me. We spend a lot of time together and our four bubs adore each other.

And the adorable toddler is Ava, Katie's daughter. She certainly knows how to work the camera - she's a pro!

I'm getting a website - truly. Soon. Promise. Will keep you posted.

The first time

I have just waved my boys off. They're with Grandma for the day.

This is the first time they've spent a whole day with someone else, without me in earshot.

I blew them a million kisses.

I feel strange. Like part of me is missing. Like something has wrapped itself tightly around my chest and won't let go.

And, oh, there's a tear.

I know it will get easier. It's just the first time.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The trouble with eating

The boys have been 'eating' solids for quite some time now.

Lach is a human vaccum cleaner. There is nothing he won't devour, given half the chance. He's a big fan of spaghetti bolognaise. Loves lentils and veg. Smashes down moroccan lamb with quinoa. Grins with delight when he sees balti chicken with rice coming his way. Licks the vegemite off toast fingers, can't get enough yoghurt, and is a true-blue weetbix kid. In fact, the littlest man loves food so much that he shuts up the bottle shop if he thinks there is even the slightest whiff of possibility that real food might be coming his way. Given milk is still supposed to make up the majority of his intake, this is slightly concerning, but he always manages to get enough I think.

Hamish on the other hand, seems to have a quite dramatic textural issue. Mush off a spoon has never been a winner with him. He projectile vomits - every single time. He involuntarily shudders and gags, and the poor little mate ends up with everything all over himself.

I discovered by accident that if he can touch the food first, play with it a bit, and then put it in his mouth himself, he is much much better. He still vomits, but nowhere near as often.

So, I've been giving him things that he can pick up and munch on.
But it's not good for my heart. I panic that he is going to choke. My heart is in my mouth the entire time. Especially when he sticks something too far down and goes all 'googly eyed'. I swear it will be the death of me.

The other issue I have with this style of eating is this: how can it be enough? how can it be nutritionally sound? With Lach's food, I give him everything. It all goes in the whazzer and its done.
But with this stick-food approach, there are only some things that work. Not everything lends itself to becoming a 'stick' of food. I

've tried putting some of the puree in a bowl and giving him a spoon, and this works too - but the mush ends up everywhere, and he actually eats very little of it.

The challenge is finding the time to do all of this properly.

I have been blessed with very good babies - beautiful temperaments. But they don't need much sleep. And they just will not sleep at the same time. They also won't eat at the same time anymore. So I have less time than ever. There literally is barely time to make a cup of tea, and I never get to finish it. Ever.

Producing one sort of meal for one baby, a different one for the other is so much work.
And, quite frankly, once the first flurry of 'ohmygosh, look at how cute you are with mooshy stuff all over your face' photos, it's just plain HARD work.

Solids. Pfff.

At the moment my life feels like groundhog day. Bottle, burb, highchairs, mush, sticks. Clean up babies. Clean up washing. Clean up floor. Clean up high chairs. Bottle, burb, and so on, and on, and on.

I'm hoping that one day is just 'clicks' into place. Please tell me that it does :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

sweating on it

When I was 16 years old, I found out that I was lucky to be alive.

One day, while my orthodontist was examining an x-ray of my teeth, she discovered that I didn't have an odontoid peg. Sounds a bit star-treky doesn't it? In very crude terms, the peg is that thing that your head sits on and rotates around - kind of like the pivot, I suppose. Without it,the whoel thing is very unstable, and can sever the spinal cord, which at that level would more than likely result in death.

Apparently, she called my mum immediately to tell her what she had discovered and urged mum to keep me very still and call the doctor. Mum phoned our GP, who just simply didn't believe it. He said mum must have mis-heard. He said it wasn't possible for someone with no odontoid peg to make it to 16 years of age. So the orthodontist sent the x-rays over to the GP, who immediately called an ambulance for me. From that minute, I wasn't allowed to move my neck at all. I was in a full body brace.

I had a big operation and the surgeons 'built' me a peg out of grafted bone and wire. All fixed.

But then, when I was 22 a tumour formed in the same place on my brain stem. But because of the previous surgery and resultant limitations (movement, headaches etc) I didn't notice anything wrong for a very long time. I thought all the headaches were normal. It wasn't until I woke up one day unable to move the entire right side of my body that I realised something was up.

My spinal cord was compromised. In fact, it was bent into almost an s bend.

Again, I found out I was lucky to be alive.

A 17 hour operation later (involving separating my lower face in half through my mouth, down my throat and up to behind my right ear, and then also through the back of my neck), having a tracheostomy (I've never been so quiet - I had to write on an etcha-sketch!!), wearing a 'halo' for many many many months, and a good strong dose of golden staph needing intravenous antibiotics for 6 months - I was fixed.

And so far so good.

But I am sweating on a call from the orthopaedic surgeon. My condition was congenital, but is it hereditary? Will my boys have it?

Now I understand how my parents must have felt when they learned about my condition.

My fingers are crossed that in my case it was some bizarre DNA muck-up in utero and not a hereditary disorder.

I was supposed to hear back today, but despite phoning again, I've still heard nothing.

I'm hoping no news is good news :) And I'm going to enjoy the looong weekend.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tomorrow is a big day

Tomorrow is a massive day for me.

I didn't mention anything last week because I was so busy sewing, but I also pitched to a QLD based NGO to be their new marketing/PR agency. I found out a couple of days ago that I won the job!

So, I am officially a back-to-work-mama from tomorrow. Tomorrow is our first proper meeting since winning the business, so I have to follow up the initial impression with some hard-core action. I need to convince them entirely that they made the right decision in trusting me with their brand, with their stakeholder communications, and with their strategic planning.

I also have a meeting with a boutique baby store first up - I'm taking my pram/carseat liners, blankets and spill cloths in to guage their interest in becoming a stockist!!

I also had a financial offer today - someone wants to heavily invest in immie&ollie. It's a huge decision. I'm not entirely comfortable or sure about it - I feel like it's too early to take that sort of step just yet. After all, I've only just dipped a toe in the water.

I'm not sure which I'm most nervous about to be honest.

There's a change in the air. I'm open to the possibilities. And I'm excited about the future. But I'm quietly shite-ing myself too..;)


I won!!!

Thank you beautiful Chantelle! I can't believe I won the pampers nappies. I am super excited. Possibly over-excited. But when you go through as many nappies as I do per day, this is truly a Big Deal.

I've never won anything - ever. Not even $2 on a scratch-it. This probably means that my long-term 'secure financial future' plan of winning the lotto probably isn't the best thing in the world to rely on, but hey, maybe this is the start of a new winning streak.

So, thank you Chantelle and Pampers. I'm very grateful (and so too are my little darlings).


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy, grateful, and looking forward to the future!

Today's Mathilda's Market was a resounding success! I woke up this morning with a serious case of butterflies and spent the drive there telling myself that it didn't matter if we didn't sell anything, because we would be learning and be able to use this feedback to improve things.

But, we nearly sold out! We made over $1000 of sales before lunchtime, and finished the day on about $1400. I am so flabbergasted, and humbled. Everyone was so generous with their feedback, and enthusiastic about our products.

I'm feeling excited and positive about the future of this little venture. Exhausted too. But in a lovely, smiley, contented way.

Life's good people!

Friday, April 16, 2010

What will be will be!

Well, there is officially nothing more we can do for our first ever Mathilda's Market tomorrow.

The goodies are all sewn, rolled, ribboned and packed. Bags are stamped. Care instructions are printed. Tablecloth is ironed (what the!!).Friends have been told. Everything is in the garage waiting to be loaded into the car in the morning.

I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be a very valuable day I think. Not necessarily in terms of sales, but in listening and learning.

Nothing more for me to do here but savour a lovely glass of red and watch my favourite Grand Designs episodes (met Kevin McCloud when I lived in London - we had the most excellent chat about his daughter - and he was so lovely).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

First cab off the rank - the home office

I have so far been super slack with my 'one room at a time' project. I've been kinda busy....

But, as of right now, I have no choice but to get cracking on one area - our home office.

Because.... I have my first client! This consulting gig might just pull off. It's an NGO who need some serious help with their social change strategies and stakeholder comms, so from next week, I am officially a work-from-home-for-actual-money-mama.

Since the boys have been born, I've barely ventured downstairs, except to do the washing. I use my laptop upstairs for blogging, emailing and quick web searching (usually stuff like 'nappy rash', 'projectile vomit', etc).

But I'm going to need a good workable space, a calm space, and a practical space. And, as per the rules of the game, I have practically no money to spend. And I have one day. So I'm not going to be buying new furniture, or putting up wallpaper, or getting new lights installed, or anything like that. It also has to be used by T for his stuff, so I can't go too swirly whirly sadly.

Here are the scary 'before' photos:

What a mess!! Oh dear Lord.

(and yes, there are 7 bottles of wine in that photo - but don't worry. It's not all me. T is a wine-reviewer/lawyer (personally, I think there's a reason they're connected...))

Let the games begin!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who went for a run? Me? What?

I didn't mean to. Honestly. I'm not a runner, not even a jogger. Frankly, I'm barely even a walker.

But this afternoon I loaded the boys into their pram and headed out for a gentle suburban walk. I was planning to point out the trees and the birds and gently amble around my suburb and its rather revoltingly (if you're walking) steep hills (that's what you get in the inner eastern 'burbs in Brisvegas).

We stopped off at the park just a street away and I pulled out the boys' travel playmats and popped them down under a giant gum tree. It was delicious! They had such a brilliant time, and I enjoyed just playing with them in the beautiful (ie not too hot) weather. Lachie even sat up totally by himself for a whole minute. I was bursting with pride so much that I was hanging out for someone to walk by just so I could tell them :)

Instead of turning around and walking straight back home, I felt like going for a bit of a walk. And then, out of nowhere, came this urge to run! So I did. I think it was to get some momentum up the giant hill, but it felt sooooo good! So I just kept going. I didn't even really notice the gigantic double pram in front of me.

It felt so good I might even do it again.

Now, back to the sewing......

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Baptism cupcakes

My gorgeous nephew Henry is being baptised tomorrow, and T and I are going to be his godparents. In a fit of responsibility I offered to make some cupcakes for the day. My experience - or lack thereof - has been detailed in a previous post - so suffice to say I was veeerrry unsure about how these would turn out.

But, they're ok, I think. Far from perfect, but o.k. I've never used fondant before, so this was my first time kneading, tinting, cutting, etc. I think the brown could have been browner, and I have a bit of buttercream 'glue' hanging out the edges of some of the polkadots (which I will try to remove with a toothpick), but I think they'll pass muster :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

7 months!

My darling babies are 7 months old today. And they are particularly delightful at the moment (give or take the middle-of-the-night playtime sessions). Their personalities are on show more than ever. They cackle and babble all day long. They try to sit up, grab toys, grab each other, grab me. Adorable.


Happy 7 month birthday my darling Lach

You are an amazing little man. So much energy and spirit! You're so strong-willed.

You let us know when you're not happy about something, but far more often you let us know when you are happy. Your smile is so cheeky. You have a mischevious look about you, young man!

You've taken to wanting every single toy that Hamish is playing with - even if you're playing with exactly the same one! But don't worry too much, he's figured you out, and he's reciprocating.

You cuddle your Mama and Daddy now, which is seriously the most adorable thing in the world. My heart feels like it's going to explode out of my chest when you reach up with your little arms to touch my face. You put your tiny little hands on my cheeks and pull me in for the biggest, sloppiest open-mouthed kiss - usually straight over the end of my nose. You cuddle your nana and grandma too, and it bring tears to their eyes.

And, your first tooth broke through your bottom gum today! Such a big boy. I think you probably spend a good half of your waking time doing stomach crunches. You are trying so hard to pull yourself into a sitting position from lying down that you actually have a six-pack. You are a little ball of muscle!

You are now 6.65kg, so you're getting bigger and bigger. You're still a little thing, but you're definitely catching up. You're eating spaghetti bolognaise! You can't get enough food to be honest - in fact, I think you prefer it to your milk!

You make me smile my darling tiny one. I can't put into words how much I love you.

All the love in the universe,

Your Mama

Hamish - my gorgeous beautiful little boy

My squishy mishy - sometimes I go a little far and call you my squishous delicious - yes, I know. I should stop that :) But you are just so so cuddly. You are definitely hug-powered.

You're on the move too. You stretch and roll around all over the place. You're never in the spot where I put you down. If I turn my back for a second, you're off the mat, on the floor.

You have two bottom teeth!! We've been working really hard to get you to eat solids, and finally we had a break-through. We think you just don't like mush (and really, I don't blame you!). If I give you steamed carrot sticks, pieces of apple, pawpaw or kiwifruit, rusks, toast, or anything you can pick up and put in your mouth yourself, you are totally fine. If I try to put a spoonful of mush in your mouth - well, let's just say projectile vomit, and leave it at that.

You love your mama, daddy and your brother. I don't think I've ever seen a smile as kind, gentle and joyous as yours. You are a gentle soul, my little darling boy. You charm everyone you meet. You just seem to find so much joy in your life, and you have a permanent smile on your face. Everyone who meets you falls in love with you.

You're 7.25kg! You have the most adorable soft cheeks. And you have the softest kindest eyes.

I love you my beautiful little baby boy - so so much.

All the love in the universe
Your Mama

Crazy mama

that's me. Undoubtedly.

Not only do I have a ridiculous amount of sewing to do, I have volunteered to make pretty cupcakes for my nephew's baptism this weekend. So, am I a pro cake decorator?? Errrm, no. Am I a somewhat competent cake decorator? Errrm, no. Have I ever used fondant before? Hell, no. Exactly how much experience do I have with cake decorating?? Well, none, now that you mention it.....

I have this lovely vision in my head of perfectly baked, perfectly symmetrical, perfectly decorated cupcakes, and I am sure the reality just cannot live up to this dream.

But we shall see! I'm going to give it a red-hot go. At least I'll have a delicious time trying :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Hamish has decided that sleeping during the wee hours of the morning is no fun at all. Day 6 and counting. From about midnight until about 2am he thinks it's play time. Why?? Please sleep little man, Mama is wrecked. And I can't catch up during the day while he's sleeping, because the little darlings don't sleep at the same time. I'm pretty sure it would be bad parenting to let Lachie have full run of the house while I head off for a few zzzzzs.

Monday, April 5, 2010


is it just me, or is he too beautiful for words :)