Goes Live

For quite a while now my lovely wife has been working on a small hand made sewing business known as Mushiyaki Sews.  She makes bibs, bandana bibs, wraps, pom pom garlands etc. for the cherished little ones in your life and sells them at various markets around perth, as well as in the SewLab popup in Many 6160, Fremantle.

Today she launched her website.  Show some support and visit and have a look around, leave a comment, or perhaps even place an order for a little present for someone you know with a baby.

Lazy blogger

OK, here it is, I’m a lazy blogger. Who knew it had been five months since my last post? Where did that time even go? Was there a rip in the space-time continuum? Did aliens abduct me? Was I suffering from amnesia and assuming a whole new identity? Well, nope, nope and nope. Just a lazy blogger. Oops.

So what has been happening since August 6 2014? Plenty! Highlight reel below:

– we headed to Albany for the ANZAC Centenary Commemorations. This was a great weekend, really well organised and executed. We enjoyed various events including the laying of 30,000 poppies on the beach, the parade down the main street and the re-enactment of the fleet departure. Callum and I stayed on after the weekend for another week, enjoying family time in Albany and catch ups with some old friends.

– I have started learning how to knit. Yay. Old school skills are the best skills.

– James’ mum and her husband came to stay. We had a lovely time while they were here and Callum loved having his Grandma and Pop around. James and I even got to sneak out for a date night! Oooooh! We also had Callum’s first Zoo trip with Grandma and Pop and James and I joined up as Friends of the Zoo given we live so close and its a great place to explore with Callum (although sometimes Callum is more excited about looking at bins – yes, bins – and ducks than the actual animals we’ve come to see…).

– my mum came for a visit in December, including Christmas. We had two weddings to go to in the weeks leading up to Xmas, so mum was chief babysitter! Both weddings were beautiful and we really enjoyed sharing these special moments with our friends. Callum had a great time with Nanna over the two weeks and we all enjoyed a relaxed Christmas Day with my brother’s extended family.

– after my mum headed home, we had a week together for the three of us before James had to go back to work. We had a couple of beach mornings including BBQ brekkie, another Zoo visit and some relaxed play dates with friends. Callum and I were a little sad to see James head back to work but someone’s gotta earn the spendoolies!

– Callum is growing into a fun loving, curious, spontaneously loving little dude. He is rapidly picking up more and more words and signs (we still do Toddler Sign, although it’s in recess over summer holidays), loves anything to do with water or wheels and is still pretty keen on playing with pots, pans and onions/potatoes

That’s us. Things coming up – a long weekend down south with some friends and their bubs plus a weddings, parties, anything trip to Queensland for one of my close friends’ wedding and James’ Dad’s 70th. Lots to look forward to. Somewhere amongst all that I’ll try and write a blog post or two. Daring.

Changing it up

A few days ago I was talking to a friend of mine about how easy it is to get stuck in a baby routine rut. You know, this day we do that and that day we do this…  Even at home you tend to get into a certain way of doing things.  So sometimes you have to change it up!

I’m not talking about massive things here, today for example I just thought lets tweak something here.  Normally I grab the washing off the line in a hurry and take it inside and fold it up.  Today was one of those lovely sunny winters days in Perth.  I decided to clean off the outside table, take the washing off the line and fold it up outside.  Callum and I got to enjoy some lovely sunshine, Callum also got unexpected extra outside time (he LOVES being outside) and I still got my chores done. That’s win-win in my book!

It’s the little things in life that can make a big difference to your day 🙂

Hi-ho, hi-ho…

It’s off to work we go. Or not.

My last post ended telling you I was returning to the work force. So that happened. Part time for two and a half weeks…

For me personally, turns out it just wasn’t the right time. I found that I was simply going through the motions and not really enjoying being at work like I used to. I did like catching up with my old friends and colleagues and having a moment to myself during the day (in fact a number of whole moments in a row – wowsers!) but beyond that – blergh. Callum was still unhappy for day care drop off (and yes, I hear the chorus of “that’s normal, lots of kids are like that”) but I figured if I’m not truly happy being at work, why would I put the little guy through that stress twice a week?

After my first week back I was already considering the fact that I wasn’t in the right place and then week two rolled around and I was still sitting at my desk during the day thinking, frequently, uh, why am I here again? Monday of week three after having a fairly sleepless night with Callum being up and down, I broke the news to my boss. He’d seen the writing on the wall. Smart guy. And awesome – totally understanding of the situation and reassured me that I needed to do what was right for my family. Couldn’t ask for a better manager to be honest.

As I told James that night when I got home – I already have a job – looking after our little man. Why on earth did I think I needed to “go back to work”? I am working. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For better pay – I get paid in smiles, laughs, cuddles (and tears – but that’s all part of it).

Here are some things I love about being home with Callum:

1) Snuggling up to him when he goes down for a nap.

2) The way his little face lights up with a big smile and he cries out “MUM!” when I return to the room after being away for two minutes.

3) Feeling his soft little hands on my face when we’re mucking around playing.

4) Hearing and making Callum laugh.

5) Watching him concentrate and try to figure out how something works.

Seriously, why wouldn’t I want to stay at home with this kid? 🙂 Being a stay at home Mum is what works for our little family right now. Its not the right choice for everyone and that’s what life is all about – making the right choice for you and your situation.

Has anyone else had a successful (or not) return to work recently?



Twelve months already

James and I have officially survived a year as parents. Wow. Awesome. Who woulda thunk it? We rock.

Oh, and Callum turned one 😉

Once again life has been a little crazy with a hospital stay for myself a few months ago resulting in keyhole surgery. This was the first time I had spent the night away from Callum and it was very emotional. I had a horrid bout of gastro and then experienced severe abdominal pain after the gastro cleared up. As the pain kept coming and going I figured it was just a hang up from the gastro. Wrong! Ended up in Emergency (twice – the first time they kept me in overnight and then sent me home) and had a week long hospital stay. I couldn’t hold anything down and was on IV fluids only for a number of days. This also affected my breast milk production and that combined with some of the medication I was taking possibly not being approved for breastfeeding had my emotions all over the shop as I considered I might have to have a forced weaning. Thankfully it didn’t come to that. Phew.

So I knew I was really sick when I didn’t care that I couldn’t eat – apart from the breastmilk production concerns (note, I LOVE food). My symptoms had the doctors stumped so they decided to put a camera in through my belly button. Turns out I had bowel adhesions – extra bits of tissue attaching the bowel to the abdominal wall and after my nasty gastro part of my bowel had twisted around this tissue 🙁 Luckily the surgeons were able to remove the tissue via keyhole surgery whilst they were checking things out with the camera. Post surgery I was back to eating in no time – huzzah!

Just when we thought things had gone back to normal, Callum had a stay in PMH – the children’s hospital in Perth. After being diagnosed with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), (Side note – in order to confirm the UTI I had to catch a wee sample. Yes. That’s right. Callum and I had to hang out in the bathroom, Callum sans clothes, waiting for him to pee. Fun! Ha.) Callum was sent for an ultrasound to check if the UTI had impacted his kidneys. Oh yes, it had. Left kidney and ureter (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder) were inflamed. So off to PMH as the paediatrician there was concerned about kidney stones. Thankfully that wasn’t it and after a four day stay at PMH, three canula insertions, one traumatic catheter insertion and two scans that came back clear, we were sent home with additional antibiotics. Still not sure why Callum had the UTI or the inflammation but we have a follow up appointment soon so perhaps the doctors will have figured something out in the meantime.

In far more fun news, we have had some lovely visits recently from Callum’s Nanna (my Mum) and his Grandad and Janma (James’ Dad and his wife). James spent some quality time with his Dad doing manly things like rearranging our shed and building a work bench and Mum and I had fun making Callum’s birthday duck cake (Callum loves ducks) and organising his party. We also went to bunny chow together for lunch one day (delicious South African curry in bread) – do yourself a favour and check it out at Caffé Verro in Subiaco. Yum!

The Duck Cake

The Duck Cake

Callum’s first birthday party was a relaxed little affair at the local park, BBQ lunch, kids hanging out on the playground and the International Beer Shop conveniently across the road! We had a lovely afternoon catching up with friends and celebrating James and I surviving our first year of parenthood.

The weekend after Callum’s party we had our Combined Mother’s Group First Birthday Party which was also a relaxed BBQ lunch. One of the Mums kindly volunteered her backyard for the event and it was a stunning sunny day perfect for an outside chill out. The kids had a great time, there was an amazing rainbow birthday cake and we did a Kris Kringle style Birthday Present Swap.

And finally, I have recently started back at work two days a week. Eeek! We’re still working out our routine for this and its a bit of “lets see how she goes” thing for me.

Any thoughts on returning to work from other Mums out there?

The latest in our household

Once again time has flown and I haven’t written a post for ages – Callum is over 9 months old – wowsers!  So what’s been happening…

We recently went on holidays to Victoria to visit James’ family and go to Callum’s cousin’s first birthday party (that’s a mouthful).  We had a great time catching up with family and friends, plus a random coincidence: our lovely previous neighbours returned to Melbourne recently and we’d planned a catch up.  We were also intending to meet up with some old uni friend’s of James’ in Melbourne.  While organising these catch ups we discovered that our old neighbours live two doors down from James’ uni friends.  Seriously ridiculous.  Of all the streets in Melbourne!  We also had a delightful stay down at Ocean Grove on the coast and spent a few days in Ballarat with James’ family.  Good times!  The difficult part of the trip – the three hour time difference from WA to Victoria was pretty hard for Callum and we had a lot of night time settling angst.  A lot.

In other news, Callum stood up on his own for the first time the other day – in the bath the cheeky little monkey!!  He has also experienced daycare for the first time and is coping quite well with that.  In not so exciting news, the poor little dude has had his first nasty illness – pneumonia.  He is currently on antibiotics to help fight that one off.

James and I are both trying to get in some fitness fun too – he is back on the AFL Umpiring train and I have put my hand up as a fill in player for the most awesome Coastal Titans and have started back at yoga again.  Aaah, yoga.  Its tricky getting to these evening activities on time given that’s also when we’re trying to feed, bath and do bedtime for Callum, but we’re working on it 🙂

Since my last post we’ve also squeezed in a relaxing long weekend at Leeman (little fishing town north of Jurien), James had a work trip to Houston and I headed to Albs with Callum to hang with the fam while James was away.  Its been go, go, go!

Oh and our current trash TV series – MKR!  Some of those contestants drive me nuts though – anyone other MKR tragics know what I’m talking about??

News, news, news, news…

Wow, didn’t realise how long its been since the last post!!  So much has been going on.  The short version:

1. Callum did end up getting his first two teeth, one just before and one just after Christmas.  All things considered, it was pretty smooth sailing.

2. We are now up to three solids meals a day and Callum is loving it.  He’s eating all sorts now.  Chicken, broccoli, pear, carrots, fish, sweet potato, mushrooms, zucchini, pancakes, weetbix, beef, apple, strawberries, spinach, almond butter, peaches, watermelon, toast fingers, tomatos, cheese…. And so on.

3. We had a lovely first Xmas together down in Albany with family.  A very relaxing two week break.  We also had James’ Dad and his wife visiting in Perth just before Christmas and spent some quality family time together.

4. Callum has been going through an ‘interesting’ bedtime phase recently due to separation anxiety (a natural development in babies) as he realises we can walk away and leave him. . We had a week and a half of struggling to settle him before putting in place a revised bedtime routine.  This seems to be working well and things have improved no end.

5. Callum had his first ‘dip’ (I think we got his feet in and not much else) in the ocean down in Albany.  He wasn’t super keen given he’s used to swimming in a heated pool, but he did enjoy just hanging out at the beach in the sea air.  He also had his first fishing experience (well, Callum and I hung out on the riverbank while James and my brother helped my niece and nephew to fish).

6. James and I managed to have a couple of date nights during the festive season while various grandparents baby sat 🙂

All in all its been a lovely (but busy) few months.  How did you celebrate the festive season?

Mushy, mushy…

Callum is now over five months old!  The time has flown by (although some days have seemed endless, something I’m sure many parents will relate to).  Our little heart breaker is looking more and more like a little boy and not so baby-ish every day.  Its amazing.

I recently attended a talk on solids at my local Community Health Centre.  Not long after this Callum started showing much more of an interest in food, so we tried him on solids a few days ago.  Fun!  So far Callum has had rice cereal, spinach, zucchini and carrot.  And loved it.

Prior to attending the solids talk, I was considering going down the baby led weaning track (for more information on this, check out this website:  The basic premise behind baby led weaning is that you skip the puree and give baby soft foods (e.g. steamed carrot pieces) that still look like ‘real food’ which they can grasp and attempt to self feed.  This concept is fairly well followed in the UK, however the Community Health Nurse noted it is not generally recommended in Australia due to some speech pathologists advising babies need to learn to develop their mouth and tongue muscles starting with pureed food, then mashed and gradually moving to actual pieces of soft food…  I’m still interested in the baby led weaning concept but decided to go down the more traditional feeding route with Callum.

Callum with a spinach goatee.

Callum with a spinach goatee.

Yum I'll have some more please.

Yum I’ll have some more please.

To teeth, or not to teeth…

That is the question.  Not just for Callum, but for us too.  Is he teething?  How do we know he’s teething?  He can’t tell us if he is or isn’t.  Enter Dr Google, check teething symptoms.  Well, Callum appears to have a number of them but apparently some babies show all the symptoms, some babies show one or two and some babies (ahem, not many) aren’t bothered by teething at all.

Last week Callum seemed very out of sorts for three or four days.  His daytime naps went to pot (as well as some of his night time sleeps), he was quite irritable and clingy when he is normally a pretty chilled baby, he had rosy red cheeks on and off, wanted to chew his hand, fingers, arm, my fingers… and he was drooling, drooling, drooling…  Plus his gums have recently flattened out and there are some little bumps under there.  So we suspect he probably was teething as apparently the symptoms can come and go for quite some time prior to any teeth actually making a grand appearance!  Poor little guy.  I got some teething gel and some teething rings that can be refrigerated and that seemed to help a little.

For now he seems better, however I am sure there will be more episodes like this to come as he hasn’t got any teeth out yet.  Ah babies, just when you think they have a little routine going, BAM!  Along comes the tooth fairy and sprinkles a little teething dust on things just to mess it all up 😉

Does anyone else have some teething tips or stories they’d like to share?  Please comment below.

James’ First Father’s Day

Callum was 12 weeks yesterday.  12 weeks!!  Time has been flying by…

Yesterday was also James’ first Father’s Day.  We had a nice, chilled day.  I cooked ‘Dad’ breakfast, James had lots of playtime with Callum and we all went for a walk around Lake Monger together.  James also ducked out to go browsing for a new TV – something he’s been wanting for ages.  He didn’t buy one, but I’m thinking it won’t be too much longer before we move on from our old box telly and enter the world of the flat screen.  We must be about the only people in Perth left without one judging by all the old box tellies you see on the curb during a curbside collection!

It was a bit of a day of mixed emotion for me as yesterday was also seven years since my own beloved Dad passed away after battling bowel cancer for two years.  Somehow having Callum with us made the day so much easier.  I think Dad would have been pretty stoked with Callum (and his other two grandchildren, Callum’s cousins, one of whom was born a few months before Dad passed away).  As Callum gets older I’ll fill him in on how awesome his Poppy was, even though he won’t get to meet him.

I hope all those Dads out there had a great day yesterday.  How did you spend Father’s Day?