Monday, April 30, 2012

Cloth and Disposable Round Up

A lot of great feedback was left on my two posts last week from my readers about the use of disposable and cloth nappies.



If you've had a baby its something you would have spent a fair bit of time thinking about, in those early days, easily changing 10 nappies a day, maybe thinking to yourself "is there something better out there?" Whatever way you chose to go, after my posts last week I thought I would summarise and also publish your suggestions and tips on the blog!

CLOTH

Since posting last week I have increased my use of modern cloth nappies. I am finding they are a lot more absorbant than I first thought. Its really amazing what they can hold but I still haven't used them over night.

Storage - Make them accessible - Have your cloth nappies at your changing station. I have a little basket in our lounge with everything I need to change the Baby. In it is disposables, reusables, baby flannels, wet wipes & baby powder. It hides behind the couch so its out of sight. Seeing the reusables when you go to get your supplies will remind you to use them.

Have a plan to wash them - At this rate I do one load of washing a day, I alternate between whites and darks everyday. So far I have been washing my nappies in the white load. I toss the nappies in a rubbish bin with a closeable lid in the laundry until a white load day. So far I have not needed to do any extra washing. If I was using the cloth nappies around the clock it may add an extra wash during the week but that would be the extent of it.

Washing - Keep powders to a minimum, you don't want to get power stuck inside and clog up the microfibre fabric. If you do, you can strip them. I think you do this with hot water but I'm not entirely sure :) Don't soak them.

Poop - Any poo in the nappies I 'knock' into the toilet and flush away. If things are a bit squished I rinse them under the tap then chuck them into the rubbish bin in my laundry. There are such things as nappy liners - you put them inside and then can lift them out with the poop attached. You can get them from the supermarket but I don't know what they are made out of so I haven't looked into them.

Smell - Things can get a bit stinky in that rubbish bin. Miriam suggested sticking on the inside of the lid a panty liner that has a few drops of smellies on it. I used lavender oil and it works a treat! I have also heard baking soda in the bottom of the bucket to soak up the smells but I tried that and didn't find it worked.

Stains - If you find you have any stains after washing hang them out to dry in the direct sunshine. If you didn't know this already, the sun will get most stains out of your clothing. I only learnt that last year and it has REVOLOUTIONISED our laundry. Its now my mission to tell everyone this. The sun is your laundry friend!

Folding - If you're using insert nappies like I am (and love them!) put your inserts in when you're folding your washing. It only takes a few extra seconds then and there so they are ready to go later (making them accessible, remember?)


DISPOSABLES:

If you're buying nappies before your baby is born you need to know that you buy them by the weight of your baby. Each brand has their own weight measurements so it can get a bit confusing. Before our baby I bought 6 packs of newborn nappies (around 4kgs) and 3 packs of the next size up (generally called 'infants' (6 or 7kgs ish). With a new born you're changing nappies pretty regularly. Some days I was using up to 12 nappies a day in those first few weeks. That chugged me through a pack in a matter of days. I was worried I'd have too many new born nappies left over but I didn't have a big baby so she fitted them for a while. 


Huggies seems to be a very good nappy choice for those babies with sensitive skin. I have heard of many cases of babies coming out in rashes when in other nappies and not in Huggies.


Widge also suggested Cherish, a Pams brand that supplies sizes over 6months old.


If you're worried about the environment but still need to use disposables like Max you could look into 'enviro-comp': For a fee they pick up your nappies and compost them. Otherwise disposables sit in land fills for years while their contents rotts and chemicals leak... You get the point. Composting is goooood.


If you're not composting and just chucking them in the bin (argh, a part of me feels so irresponsible talking about this, but I do it, so i'll talk about it) keep some bags handy. I use that huggies wet wipes container (the travel flat one with the lift up lid) to keep my bags in because I feel its much safer than just having them float around the lounge or my baby bag. Some times I buy bags. You can buy nappy bags from the supermarket or a $2 shop, or often I use our left over plastic fruit and vege bags from the weekly groceries or bread bags. They are pretty perfect sizes.


When I had a new born I had a clear plastic zip up bag that stayed under our change table and I put the dirty nappies straight in there after changing the baby. I also put a few drops of lavender oil in there because when you get a few dirty nappies in the bag it can start to stink. Once a day I would empty the bag and it would mean you weren't always going to the rubbish bin after every change, especially during the night! 


I hope some of that information helped, it certainly helped me and I loved receiving all of your feedback! Do you have anything else you'd like to share? Leave a comment and I'll edit the post to keep it up to date :)


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Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Few Things...

Those eyes!! Milla and her friend at Church :)


Just some things going on inside this life...

I feel like these last few weeks have been the longest of my life. At the end of the evening I am finding I have spent far too much of the day chasing after Camilla, finding her in other rooms, saying "don't touch that!" "leave it!" "not for eating" and anything else like that. Camilla loves chords and no matter how hard we try to hide them she'll find them. I find I can't go on my laptop during the day, she will beeline straight for it and then I get the guilts because she has realised that something else has my attention.

I have discovered that if I crouch down nice and low in the hallways she will try and get past me and crack up laughing when I block her way, its the cutest thing and it can use up 5 minutes of our time quite nicely. As I've said before, she doesn't say much, so to be able to make her giggle is the best part of my day!

I am realising that I am having to intentionally parent and teach our daughter about life. Do you have any tips or experience as to what worked for your family? Especially for such a young age.

If you were wondering, I'm healing up nicely. Still low on iron and I can feel it everyday. By 2pm I'm ready for a sleep, most of the time I don't get one, but if I do they make a great difference. I am SO glad that I went in to have the procedure done. Mentally I feel so much better for it, and that is worth a lot in my books.

Did I ever mention how great my husband was during and after? Well, he was a star! I can't really tell you specifically what he did to be a star because I was a bit out of it in hindsight, but I know he made a huge difference to my healing and allowed me room to be and rest. I might talk about this a little more in the future as I process what happened (okay, it really wasn't that much of a big deal, but it helps to talk about these things).

Last week we were given an amazing gift. I will probably tell you about the generosity at a later date; Hang tight and in the meantime know that there are few thoughtful, generous, kind people out there.

We are still collecting money for Free The Slaves. You can visit our facebook page here, so far as I write this we have raised over $400 $500! Amazing.

Thank you for being so kind. If you are here on your own free will I really do love you. Thanks for taking a moment to read these words and see a little more of who I am.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our Beautiful Home



Our home; a place of refuge, relaxation, family, memories, peace, love, joy and heart. Somewhere we can meet and be

Our home travels wherever we do, from rental to rental each year, around the suburbs of Christchurch we go, planting ourselves for a matter of months. Each home and apartment has been an answer to prayer, exactly what we needed in each short season. This home is no different. Although just an apartment it was the response to a prayer; safe, secure, 2+ bedrooms, space for a dining table, storage cupboard, wardrobes, grass, washing line, laundry room, undamaged. Those things sound so simple but in apartment living with our small budget they are hard to come by.

We have signed our lease for another year here, we like it, and in this Christchurch property market I am reluctant to let go of our cheap rent that was reduced for our budget. I have started to think less "rental" and more "home". Organising, unpacking, making things more workable; rearranging shelves and pantrys. Allowing this home to work for us so that we can be comfortable here. Rather than walking in and going "arrr" we walk in and go "ahhh"


I'm a listy, so I have a list of somethings I would like to do around the place. All simple, but if they are not thought about they wont happen. 

The first step was making something to put on the fence outside our lounge sliding doors. Our whole home faces this plain old fence. Every room has sliding doors and lots and lots of sun. All. Freakin. Day. Its amazing. The hottest house in Canterbury! This homemade bunting flaps in the breeze and makes my heart ridiculously happy. I made it 3 weeks ago and not a day has gone by that I have not appreciated what it does for our home; Pretty, thought out, decorative, expressing who we are.

I was thinking about this for a while, I spoke to Miriam, Kirsty of Sew Pretty and Deb about what sort of fabric I should make outdoor bunting out of. Deb just went ahead and said screw the fancy stuff, regular cotton will take about a year to fade and then I can make some more. Perfect! I used fabric I actually won from Sew Pretty about a year ago. My sewing skills are limited (as is my non existant stash). I wanted to save it (the fabric) to make something for Camilla but I didn't know what, so it went on the fence. I went all fancy on it - interfacing, backing, handmade bias. Boom!



And my heart is so happy. 


While you ladies are taking photos for Wardrobe Wednesday I might be posting a few more things like this throughout the year as I turn our rental into a Home (before we pack up and move again)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On My Favourite Nappy - A Review

In all my life I never imagined I would be so consumed and focussed on the contents of a nappy.

Nappies are so important and I completely underestimated their value prior to Baby. I found myself carrying around multiple changes of clothes because of the inevitable poo explosion. It is a total pain in the *bum*, holding a baby and realising you have poo on your arm, on your clothes, on their legs. Gag. I am SO glad we are past that stage and have moved onto something more solid and more cloth nappies!

I tried a lot of brands; Huggies, Treasures, Baby love (aweful), eco genius nappies, Budget Brand (sucks!!). My favourite nappy? Homebrand.


What!!?? You don't have to pay the earth for a good nappy? I know! The cheapest nappy of all provided the best coverage, absorbency, fit, price, range of sizes and well, I couldn't really fault them.

I know. Disposable nappies! Cue the nappy banshees raining down on me! I know disposable nappies are filled with only God knows what chemicals. I'm not condoning their use, but if you're going the disposable way; I can recommend Homebrand nappies - Ain't no shame in havin' Homebrand in your nappy bag!

What did I think about the other nappies I tried?

HUGGIES REVIEW: Huggies were always the most expensive. They did their job, but I'm a Mum looking for a bargain and it wasn't anywhere near huggies. They have cute designs on them, but honestly, my Baby doesn't know who Winnie the Poo is, and I'm not fooled by your expensive marketing campaign! The outside of the nappy felt almost like brushed fabric

TREASURES REVIEW: I quite liked treasures. They were unisex and purple, not sure if that effects the use by a Mum of a boy, but I enjoyed them none the less. When my baby got a bit older and was rolling over during her sleep she would wake up in the middle of the night and be soaked in her own pee - I think it was because her tummy was squishing the nappy and pee was coming out the top. Don't ask me how that works by it only ever happened with Treasures nappies! The outside of the nappy feels a lot more papery than Huggies - very different!

BABY LOVE REVIEW: Aweful. Don't even bother. I bought them because they were on sale and I immediately regretted it. They leaked nappy contents 70% of the time and I didn't even use up the whole packet, I gave up. They do have good sales on their nappies though so sometimes you can grab a bargain, but i'll never be fooled again! The outside of the nappy has some sort of synthetic layer on it, supposedly to stop leaking, but I found my baby was very damp and sweaty underneath even when the nappy was relatively dry. I think it prevented her bum from breathing. Unlike all the others they don't have a stretchy waistband at the back. I don't know why, but the stretchy waistband is definitely good. Oh, and they have the wiggles on them. Marketing to my 3 month old? No thanks! I would never bother with these again.

ECO GENIUS REVIEW: I am having nappy-brain. I can't remember using these but I know I wasn't fussed.

BUDGET BRAND REVIEW: Leak, leak, leaks!

**All of my opinions, no sponsorship involved.

Oh! Can I say something else about Homebrand? Yes? Thankyou. Last month I bought my Babys regular size and when I got home the nappies inside the bag were huge! I emailed them, and went in and they exchanged my nappies and gave me a full refund! A 200% guarantee! Huzzah Countdown!

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Monday, April 23, 2012

On Cloth Nappies


Lately I have been cloth diapering Camilla up - She's more solid; It's MUCH easier to clean up (but still kinda gross), and its much cheaper. I read an article a wee while ago on the impact of chemical disposable nappies and it shocked me - but not enough to go cold turkey. I was convicted, but not that convicted. So, I've started using the cloth diapers we bought before she was born, we got them all on sale from one of those daily deal sites, and a few we bought second hand from Trade Me.

I would love to start using them more (we only average about 1 a day at this stage - but still, thats 7 nappies a week we've saved on! Thinking of positives people!) so I'm wondering if you have any tips and tricks to make life easier when doin' the cloth...

How do you store them when they are clean or dirty? What do you wash them in? Do you wash them all together or include them in ordinary loads? Does your baby sleep with them at night? Other helpful info?

I figure my bum was covered in nice flannelette cloth all the time, it can't be that hard, can it?

Please leave comments with what you or people you know of do! Thanks! :)

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Camilla Vlog

Here's a little video I filmed last week to capture a rainy afternoon in time.

Camilla loves to stand up at our sliding doors and loves it when co-incidentally her Daddy comes home and surprises her there!



Enjoy your cute baby quota for the day! ;)


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hope and Giveaways!

I want to update you on whats going on with Unfolding Hope.


If you haven't heard yet, a group of people around New Zealand are donating to Unfolding Hope so we can send money to Free The Slaves.

We are turning our heads, opening our eyes and looking at whats really going on. We are looking past the lie that is "slavery was abolished in the 1800's" and seeing the reality that 27 million people are still bound and locked into slavery. They have masters and punishments and they live their life in service of another. This happens because of social classes, race, sex, age. We are believing this truth that is so well hidden amongst other lies and instead of turning away from it we are turning towards it, pledging to help.

We are raising money to provide a young girl with a sewing machine who has been freed from slavery. The sewing machine means she can make her own income and not rely on those who rule above her.


If you would like to make a secure donation, please click the link on the right hand side of this page. For every $10 that you donate you will go in the draw to win one of our fabulous prizes that have been donated from all over New Zealand. Some of these prizes are even open internationally! And just this morning, Sailor Spy have pledged to donate a $100 gift voucher for their hand made fashion when we reach the $404 mark, and then she'll double it(!) when we reach $500. (We currently have $303 donated!)

We are running this campaign for the duration of April. Please, donate if you can.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Goin' CRAZY sans BABY!




It turns out it is relatively easy to slip into friend mode - especially when you are an extrovert needing a night out without holding a baby. Too easy actually, because I kind of went over board; My heart was pounding, my mouth was running away from me and I ate far too many sweets! I. Was. Nervous!

Hens parties with christian women are kind of hilarious. It really depends who you have there. I have been to a few hens parties over the year, some of them are very very tame, a few cute games about handbag contents, some dresses made out of toilet paper (I always win that game), but then there are others when you have a few young married in the mix (and older ladies. They are the best! Older married women have lots of stories to share!) who are very good friends. Our hen has very very good bestest friends who are in town for the weekend. They are so tight. They even track each others periods (I know!)! Hilarious games were organised by one of the bridesmaids (one of my besties). I think a few were very stunned by the conversations, mostly marriage and sex tips for a vigrin. Mostly the stunned ones were unmarried unsexed girls. Eek. Sorry girls!

I laughed a lot, ended up over sharing (sorry girls!) and had a great time.

I had to call the hubby afterwards and admit to somethings I shared during some funny games. Thankfully he has a sense of humor and thought it was hilarious.

This friday I am grateful for like minded friends (who wont hold anything against me!), laughter, babysitters (and babys who now sleep through the night!) and letting your hair down once in a while!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Going On Lately...

Its been a long while since I posted here about everyday life. For the most part I have been leaving my camera at home which is most un like me and with a lack of photos comes a lack of posts about the everyday mundaneness that is our life.



I kind of love that. So here's a quick recap:

Easter weekend here in Christchurch was absolutely beautiful. For the last 6 years I have always struggled to maintain a "this weekend is about Jesus" and also "Yay! Four day weekend!" attitude. We attended 3 church services over the course of the weekend and each one challenged me in my relationship with Jesus. I am praying that God would help me understand more the sacrifice he provided for us. We also decided that next year we'll do an easter egg hunt for Camilla. It's kind of a little bit exciting to be thinking about the future and about what our kids will remember as traditions and fun family times. Why an easter egg hunt? Mostly because its exciting and fun. That's about it really.

We went to the beach on Good Friday, our first proper beach trip of the summer season (even though its now autumn) Graeme skim-boarded and lost his glasses (okay, technically I lost his glasses) and we introduced Camilla to the sand and the ocean. I kind of forget that these are all new and massively big deals to a little baby. Camilla was suspect of the sand and ended up crying if she looked at it for too long and the waves come in up the beach had her yelling. Oh dear. More beach trips needed me thinks (yay!)

I'm going out this week sans baby and husband (he's away for FOUR days!!) to a hens party. Oh deary me. I just realised that I've forgotten to go OUT!! Wait. I have to dress up? And make small talk? And for a few hours pretend like I'm not breastfeeding and don't have a baby and my ladyparts aren't still sore from surgery last week!? How does all this going out business work anyway? It's going to be different, thats for sure.

This has also made me realise and I need to get out more. I got out during the day lots, and often we go out at night but its always with husband and baby and I am always in Mother Mode. I think I should have a few nights in Friend Mode. That's healthy, right?

Last week I got off my bum and figured out my sewing machine and made something new and exciting, I'll show it too you some time, but it has also reminded that I like to make things, and this has caused the crochet hook to come out of its jar to finish off a project or two. Hoorah! Happy hooky.

Thus concludes the thoughts of Sophie at this current point in time.

Oh, one last thing - We have awesome new friends, and we love them to pieces! You might hear about them some time in the future too.

Peace,
Sophie xxx

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Shack - A Book Review

Enouraged by Mrs Readalot I picked up the shack at my small temporary quake library, it has only the most popular books stocked because it is in such a small space (only 3 shelves). The Shack awaited my arrival.



I remember this book going around christian circles a few years ago and I remember people taking it as gospel. That's why I didn't read it. "That's not gospel!" I would tell myself. It's a novel; A completely made up, ficticious book that a man created for his family to read. And it is brilliant. Instead of telling you about I'm going to tell you what it did for me.

Not many books have the power to do something for you which is what makes this book unique, it ministered to me in quite a different way.

At first I was disturbed, I had to face the realities of loosing a young child and dealing with blame and guilt and fear and absolute disgusting MESS. This world is so messy. Good people get hurt, some people are twisted, evil and scary and are words that I don't even have to describe them. I couldn't read these parts alone, I had to be near my husband. They upset me and opened up my heart "Please God, not us" I prayed.

I was then confronted with meeting god and she [He] wasn't what I expected. I was confused and challenged and determined to push through. I came to meditate and accept that perhaps God is far bigger than myself. In the book god explains that often peoples picture of him is of a better version of themselves. That is definitely how I have viewed God. Just maybe 100x better than me. But still, that limits him. Still, that shows that he has flaws, as I do. But in reality that is not the case. God is far bigger and greater than I could possibly imagine and I started to believe that because of the picture that was written in this book.

I started to believe in God. 

The real God of the universe. Not my small God.

Through reading this book my prayer life has changed. I especially loved the story where the main character Mack was at the dinner table where god had prepared him a meal. He bowed his head and went to say "grace" before looking up and thanking god. God had literally provided his meal for him. It was a little comical. Also, at the dinner table the Holy Spirit asks Mack how his family is. Mack goes on to tell the 3 his familys troubles and triumphs and about each of his children until he stops and asks "Don't you know already?" the Holy Spirit then goes on to tell him that they do know, but they choose to give up that power for a relationship with him. Who wants a friend who knows absolutely everything about you so there is no reason to speak to each other? Who wants a relationship that is based on power and having that lorded over you? Instead, she [because in the book the HS is a female asian] explains that they would rather hear from you, from us, about whats going on. They like to hear it from our perspective. Isn't that wonderful? I have known this of course because the bible encourages us to pray in all situations, but hearing it in this form put a whole new understanding and perspective. God wants to hear from us. Mind blowing!

I started to pray.

Isn't that amazing? As a result I have been talking to him. Not just when I need things or huge things are happening. I have been vocalising my little worries, my little joys, how I feel when I see my beautiful daughter, my nerves, my triumphs, my relationships. I have been sharing almost everything with him and it is amazing. I really hope to keep it up. You know how it is. Ebbs and flows and all that.

The novel ends, and wont ruin it, but I could definitely think of 5 people off the top of my head who I thought needed to read this - people who needed a new perspective on a God they felt had left them.

Thank you for suggesting this book Mrs Readalot.

Next on my night stand is Growing Great Girls by Ian and Mary Grant. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Healing Souls

Just a cute photobooth picture - this girl has me completely smitten and in love


I believe giving to others can heal their souls.

 As well as meeting physical needs giving can also meet emotional needs. Like I've said, often times its less about the physical gift and more about the intention and heart behind it. It lets another know that they are not alone, there are people who care about them. Perhaps the gift is a sign that things can and will and are getting better.

In everything I do I want to be doing it with God. In every gift I give I want God to be in it because He is the greatest healer.

Some times this is a little bit tricky. I want everyone to be involved in The Sisterhood, I don't want for it to be an exclusive christian sisterhood. Its all inclusive. Anyone can give and anyone can receive. I know for sure that being generous is not limited to religious beliefs (although it can often help). That doesn't mean that God is not involved, even though I'm not saying "God bless you every chance I get"

I think God is much more subtle than that. He doesn't need me to throw his name down peoples throats. God can work and heal people without me even mentioning His name. Even though sometimes I do and sometimes I don't mention His name, he is in all and through all. He is in every bag of clothes, every dollar, every cup of coffee, even if the person donating them doesn't have a relationship with God, I do, and my prayer for the Sisterhood is that God would do something miraculous with the lives we are able to reach. And you know maybe just a smile is a miracle for that particular day. Every situation is different and I am honoured to be able to make a way for a miracle and an opporunity.

Our God is so big, so strong and so mighty there's nothing our God cannot do.

Like I said, it's an honour to be involved in this little initiative. Its an honour that God would use me to reach out to his people, Its an honour that you would trust me with your goods. It's humbling, consuming, fulfilling and every other 'ing' you could think of. This is more than "social justice". This is reaching ordinary people where they are and giving them a little bit of HOPE.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Act of Giving

Hi Friends :)

I've been thinking a lot about charity lately. You know, the whole Sisterhood thing, the plunket collecting thing, and now the Unfolding Hope thing, and our Church just did its yearly Rise and Build offering.  So, giving has been in the forefront of my mind lately and on the tip of my tongue "What am I giving to this?" I seem to always be finding myself asking.

155 articles of clothing + toys from The Sisterhood for a family whose home burnt down 2 weeks ago


The danger with charity is that it can often become about the act. And you know, the act really isn't why I give. In my opinion, charity is often stale; Charity can become about people giving because they feel they have to. A few coins in a bucket and we'll call it being charitable. "Thanks a lot! It all adds up!" I would chime at the sound of a few coins dropping into my bucket a few weeks ago while collecting for an organisation we all know and mostly love and rely on. And you know what, it does all add up. Lots and lots of peoples 50c coins added up to $900 collected over the course of the week. That's a lot of small change and meant that our local Plunket could meet their yearly budget. However, charity can't end at small change but it often does for many people. That's why I think that charity is stale. It's a pre-after-thought. It's walking past a bucket and thinking "What change can I spare? I'll give them the silver and keep the gold". Thankyou, sincerely, but in my own opinion that's not being a giver.

Starting this humble little thing called The Sisterhood has taught me so much about what it means to be a giver. I have had regular conversations with ordinary women, stay at home mums, teachers,  sales people, advertisers, crafty folk, about what they can do to help and every time it blows me away. "You don't need to give every time!" I find myself saying over and over again. "But I want to!" they respond.

I am forever blown away by the givers out there. Giving is a way of life for these people, its who they are, what they stand for and how they live.

I wanted to write this because I feel that lately I have been asking for a lot of you, this is also something that i need to wrap my head around and learn; Its okay to ask. I suppose I am worried that you will feel weary of being asked for things, I can totally understand.

But I need you to know that if you don't want to give then I don't want you to. For me, giving is not about the act. Whether you give or not really isn't an issue for me (or God). I'm far more interested in the heart behind it. Are you giving because you want to? Or do you feel that I have guilted you into it? More rather, have you been moved by a particular story and you want to give but your heart is hard and you wont give?

The recipient of articles of clothes after her family home burnt down


When we give we are performing a physical act, but I have always said that its less about the act and more about the intention behind it. For example, we have a new mum who is tired, worn out and almost at the end of herself. She needs some time alone, or a night with her hubby, or she just needs a full nights sleep. To be honest there's not a heck of a lot we can do about that. That mum needs help beyond what we are able to offer - sure, we could buy them dinner out, but thats probably the extent of it as I don't have secret baby whispering powers. What we CAN do is provide some physical relief that represents what she needs. Maybe a hot cup of coffee? Some sweet treats in the mail that she would never go out and purchase herself? A magazine she can sit down to that gives her a break from morning infomercials and an unsettled baby?

Really, those little things are just representing what we would like to communicate: "You are cared about" and most importantly "You are not alone". This is the act of giving; When we leave our own world and join in someone elses.

So please be encouraged, whatever you give, whether its 50c or a few hundred dollars, you are telling someone that they are not alone. Some home-made biscuits can go a long way in healing someones soul. 

More on that later.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fare Thee Well


Best friends of ours are preparing to move over seas. They've been preparing to move for almost a year and it isn't any more real now than it was 7 months ago. *sigh* Hubby got a transfer over there with his relocating company. Lucky things. 

I miss them already and they haven't even left yet, they are just caught up in the busyness of life, saying goodbye to loved ones, packing, organising, all of that essential stuff. That's okay. We were lucky enough to be invited to their good bye family BBQ. It was such an honour to be invited to a family BBQ! We celebrated them with delicious food and backyard cricket. Milla played in the grass (she loved it) and we enjoyed the sunshine. 

We've known these two for 5 years, before Graeme and I had even gotten together. They have been members of our church for 5 years - before it even started, they were involved in the creation and planting of it in Christchurch. The hubby used to be Graemes 2IC in the Youth Pastor days. They are close friends and we will miss them so much. 

Tonight we have our connect group and it will be the first official time they wont be members, since they have been coming when it started 2 years ago.

At times like this I celebrate technology! The wonders of skype and facebook and email! Nothing can beat a hand written letter though. I plan to send them many.  

It will be different and sad but we are super excited for their new journey. Life has a way of carrying us through and we know they are on a great path!



Also...  I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone for your concern. I am definitely on the mend. Phew, all that blood loss really knocked me around. I have a lot more strength today than I did at the weekend and I am feeling much better for it. Unfortunately my mind is still a bit of a mess, I'm not entirely sure if this post will make sense, its hard to concentrate. 

I met up with some other bloggy ladies in Christchurch yesterday and their love and concern for me was so touching. Afterwards I was pleased that I brought it up on the blog and shared what I am going through this week. I think out there somewhere a lady needs to know that she doesn't need to put up with anything like that. I might talk about it more in the future. No regrets.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Intro to Unfolding Hope





Recently a group of incredibly generous and talented women have been gathering in secret, planning and scheming ways that they could create, donate and save.

Now is the time to reveal all, and I will be doing so over the course of the month, this definitely wont be the last time you will hear about Unfolding Hope from me. Miriam is the brain behind the whole thing and I have been one of her many helpers and over time this cause has become quite close to my heart.

In short, Miriam is raising funds to donate to Free The Slaves; an American organisation that is freeing slaves all over the world. It is a sad reality that this is still happening and if you let it sit for a while, I'm sure it will stir your heart into action. Just take a moment to think about it; Slaves. In 2012. I know.

If you're already on board you can donate through the link on the right of my page --->

For every $10 you donate you'll go in the draw to win something from the prize pool. Companies and talented people right across New Zealand have donated their goods to be up for grabs (I know!! This is a BIG deal). You can view whats available here on Miriams blog. New prizes are being added all the time. 

Like us on Facebook too. There you'll be kept up to date with how much has been raised already and what goodies you could be winning. 


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dear Baby, 7 Month Update


My baby girl is 7 months old *wimper*

She is a little Super Baby, seriously. She is so quick to learn new things and is so far advanced beyond her months! She is crawling, sitting, pulling her self up, walking around furniture, practicing with only one hand, climbing up steps and saying "mumumumum" when she feels like it. Oh! And her first tooth is through!

She is very much like her Dad - capable in every way and loves all sorts of different foods. 

As soon as she began to sit up she also began to pull herself up onto furniture and stand. She's a pro now and can also navigate her way around to get where she wants to be. During our plunket catch ups she weaves between all the babies and finds a nice comfy head to sit on. All of a sudden I'm one of *those* Mums who don't watch their children enough! The other day we were having lunch with friends and I looked over and she was climbing up a set of steps! Oh my! I'm preparing for an early walker. My dad is making us a little fence to put infront of our main sliding door. She's fallen out once (no injuries!) and it wont be the first time for our little capable explorer!




She is still attached to me but she is getting much better as time progresses. It's nice though, knowing that I am needed. She is becoming more independant and I think that has a lot to do with her mobility. She is starting to leave the room that I am in and go exploring. I leave her to it most of the time because I know she's safe and I think its good for her. 


This Month we took our first plane ride with Camilla, she did really well and was easily distracted with food and her desire to sleep. Camilla also went to her first big concert, Taylor Swift. Camilla slept through most of the concert and when she was awake for the last few songs was happy to sit and watch. She was the best little baby at the concert and we are so glad we took her! This month we have really noticed that Camilla is loving music, she loves listening to the radio and TV and will make little noises at them, and gets very excited when her Daddy plays his guitar. At church she has been crawling up and standing infront of the stage and staring at the worship band. So sweet!

Oh yes - did I mention she's standing? Yes? Well, she's a pro. Oh, I already said that. Whoopsie.

When we went to Auckland she started sleeping through the night which was a breath of sweet relief. She continued it once we came back but this week has had a cold and has been coughing and waking up through the night. I dont mind though. Its the sweetest thing, just me and her in dark of the night as she rubs her wet nose into my chest and her little shaking hands clutch at my arms. *sweetness* I love capturing moments of her innocence. 

She is a quiet wee girl. She doesn't often make a noise and quite often I can forget she is around. She has just started to say "Mummummummum" which is the first sort of word she has pronounced. Apart from that she doesn't really say much except guttural type noises and grunts. She's not a babbler, thats for sure. 

I really can't express how much I love my little girl. She is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me and I can't believe that God has blessed us SO much. She has changed us for the better and I know we will never be the same. In the last 7 months Graeme has transformed into such a caring and loving husband and dad and I know that love will only continue to grow.



My Sweet Little Milla,

You are a super baby! Your midwife called you that when you were born and they were words of life for you; You have taken that title and applied it to everything! You have turned into quite the explorer, eager to learn and grow, you are standing up, moving about and basically doing whatever it is you want to do! I'm certain you have been saying "Mum" this month, as well as waving. You are absolutely adorable!

And you know your Daddy? Well, you are his Little Princess. Before you were in our lives I thought your Daddy was the kindest man I had ever met, now I know how true that is! He loves to you teeny tiny little pieces Camilla. You melt his heart. When he comes home from work each night only you have his full attention. He cannot wait to have kisses and cuddles with you and you totally lap it up. You reserve your biggest smiles and giggles for after work time with Dad. He is so gentle with you, always careful of you banging your head and worried for your exploring, but at the same time he takes you on big adventures. He puts you on the skateboard and takes you for a roll, he throws you up in the air and you shriek and cackle with delight! You love your Daddy and your Daddy loves you. It is beautiful to watch you both grow in love for each other as you bond. 

Be strong little one,
Love, Mama xxx x

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