Friday, August 30, 2013

Katie's Birth Story

(I'm sharing Katie's birth story as a way to encourage you in your own. For women everywhere, power and strength is possible, and courage can be found. Be blessed and thank you for reading and supporting us in this journey!)


My second time giving birth was the same, and yet completely different to the first.

Camillas birth was mostly everything I knew that I wanted. I can see now in hindsight that it was fast progressing and I went into shock, I was shouty and panicy, but at the time I wasn't aware that happened, I only had happy memories. I kept saying to my midwife "If I could just have a repeat of Camilla's birth then that would be perfect".

I didn't see how I could possibly have it any better!

Being my second I felt much more clued on to the options that were available to me (not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well) and the things that I wanted and how I wanted them done. I felt I could prepare much better this time around as I knew what I was heading into. Believe me, I did a lot of research heading into my first home birth, but this time I was more aware as to how my particular body and mind coped, and what I would like to do differently to support that.

Physically we planned the same birth - to be at home and in water.

But to be different, in a nutshell: I wanted to feel much more in control of the labour - I wanted to be able to listen to my body instead of a text book and a clock, I wanted a whole range of natural tools to manage the pain if I needed to, and I wanted to feel strong and powerful rather than filled with fear. We also planned to be much more organised and set up for the birth at the beginning of labour, rather than waiting for it to progress (my last labour was 6 hours but the last stage happened very quickly and we didn't get the water birth we hoped for, and we expected this one to be even faster.)

I had been feeling uncomfortable on Snow Day (Friday) while I was 39 weeks pregnant. I didn't think anything of it though. The last few weeks of pregnancy leave you with lots of niggles, aches and pains. We had a great day at home that Friday, snow was on the ground and Milla and I built huts and read books all afternoon. I had received a handmade hot-water bottle cover gifted from my friend Deb that morning from the courier and Nanny Moo2 had braved the snow to gift us a new fan heater and PJs. (These 3 things actually completed our "to get" list for the birth, it was perfect timing).

Graeme went out on Friday night to play poker at a friends house. I spent the evening cleaning and organising. I just knew the baby was coming. I set up the lounge as our birthing area with as many things off our check list as I could. I also text my two support friends, Dawn and Amanda, to warn them that I may be going into labour at some point in the night.

Katies bunting was hung as a last minute touch and I went to bed excited. In bed I downloaded a contraction timing app and phoned Graeme and warned him that he should probably come home at a respectable hour and to be prepared that I might go into labour during the night.


Graeme arrived home around midnight and watched TV programs and basketball on his laptop in bed (much to my annoyance and constant nagging "you should get some sleep, we might have the baby today"). He finally closed his laptop at 1.30am, seconds before I had my first contraction. He was already asleep so I tried to time them as quietly as I could. At 2am, half an hour after the first I couldn't possibly stay in bed any longer, they began and continued to be 5 minutes apart and were getting stronger and stronger.

I woke up Graeme and told him this was it, we needed to get organised. He asked to pray for us, and we told God how excited we were to meet out little girl and asked him to look after all of us. Then we both jumped out of bed and got into action.

I stopped timing the contractions after that first half an hour. I really wanted to be able to connect with my body and have it tell me what was happening and to go with it rather than being told what should be happening.

Our beloved midwife and support girls were called along with Nanny to pick up Milla. One by one they arrived. Our midwife, Janine, arrived straight away. I was given an IV in my hand which was another pre-planned tool we had. I wasn't so good at the last stage of labour last time and lost a lot of blood, this was a "just incase" (it wasn't used in the end, I aced that last stage!)

The heaters were on, the pool was filled up, the lights off and the fairy lights on. It truly felt perfect; like a dim hot nest for me to be in. I so enjoy labouring in my own space. I really cant use words to do the scene justice. It was completely perfect. I felt so comfortable.


I laboured completely differently this time around. I really tried to feel in touch and in control of the contractions and my body and to go with them rather than against them. Instead of talking and yelling my head off (like last time) my labouring was much more gutteral this time, I "ooo'ed" and "mmmmm'ed"and "hummmm'ed" and pushed myself into our couch and pillows. Graeme applied hard pressure to my lower back, another thing that was different (last time I didn't want anyone to touch me). We had practiced acupressure but in the moment I preferred the rounded feeling of his lower palms, I felt like I was able to communicate that really clearly and knew what I wanted, and Graeme was really responsive to my needs and was able to fulfill them.

I talked and made bad jokes in between contractions (apparently I'm the chattiest in labour person my midwife has come across - yuss!). I felt like I was having fun, it was a real joy to have everyone there. It felt exciting and I had a little buzz within me.

I looked around and appreciated that every single person in the room was there because they loved us. I thanked them over and over again. Knowing why they were there made everything all the more special and I felt so supported and loved in those moments. They were very defining in how relaxed and peaceful I felt. And I really did feel peaceful. Everything just felt so... right.

It was time for me to get into the pool which felt like instant relief. The weightlessness, the warmth; My body felt wrapped up and supported and it was the best relief. I'm so glad we made the effort to prepare for a water birth again!

Once in the pool it took a while for my next contraction to come, Graeme sat beside the pool and whispered his story about getting Milla out of bed and Nanny taking her away. His eyes welled up as he told me how she responded to hearing that we were having the baby, just like how she does with her baby books. I could see the love in his teary eyes. He loves that girl with everything he has and I felt so much gratitude then in knowing I was about to give him another little girl, knowing he would love her completely too. He's a good husband and Daddy, we are so blessed.

The contractions resumed and I was in the pool for about 25 minutes when I started to lose the grip on my control, I started to say "I couldn't do it" - the mantra of Transition. Dawn was sitting right in front of me and I saw her face light up as she recognised that saying from her own three labours, her face shone with joy and I remembered that the baby must be close.

Moments later I announced that I needed to push, which I spent 6 minutes doing. I could feel every movement and every millimeter that she decended. That sensation was so real, I could feel her moving out. I didn't get that with Camilla, it was all hasty at the end and I had to push her out in one go. But with Katie I could take our time. She slowly (actually, rather quickly) decended, and I waited for her to turn, then finally her head.

Throughout the labour and pushing I spoke to Katie and my different body parts out loud. I was so aware that Katie was doing a lot of hard work too, having to squeeze through all those bones, I wanted to make the journey for her as painless as possible. I commanded everything else to open up for her and to do as they were supposed to do. I really did feel so strong and powerful. I believed everything I was saying and I really do think that my body listened to my commands.


Katie was born at 4.10am on Saturday morning.

My midwife caught her and brought her up and around to me. I wept dry tears of happiness. She was quiet and warm and placed in my arms. She was breathing so quietly almost as if she was sleeping. We cuddled in the water with Graeme's arms around us while I blew on her face and we spoke to her, our Daughter. Finally she gave a tiny little cry, my heart sighed of relief. I kept saying thank you over and over again, and an indescribable, involuntary tongue slipped passed my lips, what I can only guess as being a thanksgiving prayer.

We sat for a very long moment and soaked her in. She was so tiny and so beautiful, absolutely perfect.

I moved from the pool to my birth mat set up with blankets and pillows for a comfortable last stage, along with the biggest umbilical chord my two midwives have laid their eyes on. I needed a few stitches, which was nothing compared to last time (and have already healed now, unlike needing further surgery months later last time).

Katie began to latch, cups of tea and toast were made for everyone involved and I was the happiest woman alive.


My support girls left after a long while tidying up and took my washing with them. Then we were tucked up in bed with Katie snoozing naked on Graeme's chest our midwife did a final check and left at 8am. We slept till 11am together in our own bed.

Our friends had changed our sheets and rehung Katies Bunting above our bed. One of my favourite parts of having a home birth is slipping into a clean bed with a naked baby and a handsome husband, skin to skin for hours, it's a breeding ground for Oxytocin.

From my first contraction the labour took just over 2 and a half hours and I spent 6 minutes pushing. It was much quicker than my last 6 hour labour but it felt like the perfect amount of time. Nothing about it felt rushed or out of control, everything was organised and peaceful and felt completely normal.

I love Katie's birth. Every part of it happened with peace, strength and power just like I had hoped and prepared for. I felt completely supported through every moment and if I knew that I was doing it all again tonight I would go into it confidently, just as I did that Saturday morning. It was an empowering experience and one that I feel blessed for having. My lasting memories of it will be of joy with an excited buzz and a peaceful calmness.

I am so glad I spent all those months preparing myself mentally, spiritually and physically. I was in a different mental place this time around and I believe my labour experience and Katie's birth reflected that.

I am so thankful for those who were there: 
Graeme - My man who knows how to read a check list and how to read my mind.

Dawn - For those strong hands and your joy at me saying "I couldn't do it"

Amanda - All those hot jugs you boiled! I so appreciate your braveness at supporting me in a home birth.

Janine - My incredible midwife who believes in bodies and birth, you empower woman!

Jo - My back up midwife, thank you for coming all the way from Diamond Habour in the middle of the night!! (And on a day you were competing in a big ocean swim comp! Incredible!)

Nanny and Poppa - For taking Milla at 3am and her being cool about it really helped me. It was so nice to know she would be having a great time with you!

And God - thank you for being with us.


READ MORE:
Camilla's Home Birth (my first daughter)
Everything I've written about Home Births
Katie's Monthly updates
Katie's First Day Of Life
Breastfeeding Katie

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Steppin' Out In Ezibuy


I'm really struggling with this whole "looking like I've woken up" post baby fashion thing. Its hard to get out of the trackies in the morning, and even harder to go shopping with two babes in tow and limited, single income funds. 

Surely you find the same, right?!

I tried my fingers at online shopping last week to see if that would help the situation. I've never done clothes shopping online and was a little nervous!


I tried out Ezibuy's online catalogue, just the same as the physical thing but with the ease of doing it from my computer! I was pleasantly surprised with their selection, and as its coming into spring they already had all of their new stock listed (and their winter stock on clearance) so I made sure I was getting something that would suit the upcoming weather! 

The brilliant thing is, instead of spending an afternoon at the mall going in and out of the same shop, humming and haa'ing over whether to purchase an item (because you know, tight funds mean I need to seriously think about it!), I just loaded up my online shopping cart and picked through them one by one at 10pm at night. I narrowed down my purchase to my budget, then flashed the screen in front of MrMoo to see if he concurred with my choices. I even emailed my cart to my Sister in London to get a second opinion.

I'm wearing The Skimmer pants in lipstick ($49.99) and Emerge Pocket Blouse in floral ($49.99)

Like my choices? I'm so desperate for some bright colours in my life after what seems like an eternally drab colourless winter.  The top is a little crazy and I feel a bit out there wearing it, but I love love love the pants. They fit perfectly to my measurements that the sizing chart on the website said I would be. (Post baby body and all, it felt like a risk, but it wasn't at all)

This was my first time using the Ezibuy website and I'll definitely be buying more from there. When you sign up first time to the website it takes a few seconds to enter your details, then they email you a code to get your first order's shipping for free. It took one day for my goods to arrive on the "standard shipping" option. And if I order again, its only another 7 bucks or so for the same shipping option. (they also have a super easy returns policy, but I didn't need to use it!) Bargain. It's my new favourite way to shop! No more crowded shops wrangling kids and prams!

There's still hope for this busy Mama's wardrobe!

(ps, they also sell other things aside from woman's wear - Like NEXT kids clothing! My favourite brand of kids clothes straight from Europe! (but don't tell my Sister in London, she might stop sending them over if she knows I can get them here! Hehe)

As a mum, how do you buy your clothes? Have you tried doing it online? Leave a comment and let me know!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Just Stay That Little

We've had a great day celebrating our eldest's 2nd birthday!

Last years birthday (her first) seemed to be all about us. In a way, we celebrated the occassion while patting ourselves on the back "we made it through the first year" I thought. We celebrated with parties to thank our friends and family for being with us on the journey.

This year, it was all about her and seeing that smile. I woke her up first thing in the morning by singing happy birthday to her and placing her birthday crown on her head (a hand-made felt crown)(something that might become a tradition I think!). When I took her down to our bedroom where MrMoo and Katie were sitting up in bed waiting for her she lit up. Oh my goodness, instant excitement! I can't forget that joy, don't ever let me forget it!

We gave her simple gifts. She's been loving baking lately, we seem to bake every Wednesday so I wanted to encourage that within her and gave her baking themed gifts, along with a Mama-Made apron and some clothes that I knew she needed.

She was completely spoilt by all of her grandparents. Someone please tell them to settle down on the spoiling?? I'm going to need to devout one of our bedrooms to toy storage.

Today we had play-dates with her little church friends, skyped family, and visited grandparents. Nanny and Poppa and Uncle Phil also brought around dinner and ate cake with us.

As I put her to bed tonight we said and extra long prayer and had an extra long "moment" before turning off the light. My big girl.

Then it was Katies turn to go to bed, I held onto her extra tight and asked her to never grow up. Just stay that little. It seems only months ago that I could do that with Milla.

Happy birthday Milla Moo.

*sigh*

Happy 2nd Birthday Milla!


Happy Second Birthday my beautiful girl!

Is it strange to say I could never imagine this day until it's happened? All of a sudden you are two years old, and I didn't even see it coming. 

You're a beautiful toddler, inside and out. You have such a caring soul, always concerned for others, willing to let them go first, to share your first chippies with me, always looking out for your little Sis, telling me when she needs to be fed or rocked or burped. 

You hair is so find and straight, you have a bald patch on the side which is slowly growing back. You're a twirler, you see. You twirl and twirl your hair in your sleep, it knots up and breaks off. When you get up in the morning having done it you hold your head and say "o ohhh, knots!". When we put you down to sleep your hand automatically goes up to your head and you look at us, shake your head and say "No" then put your hand under your blankets. 

You love to clean. Oh my goodness. Long may that last! You have a little cleaning kit with a tiny broom and other bits and pieces. You love to wipe condensation, and to sweep the floor while I vaccum. I don't even need to ask you, you just do it. You also turn on the dishwasher and the washing machine. They both combine your love for cleaning and your love of beeps! The perfect chore for a two year old!

You're quite independant with your play and can happily play by yourself for hours! Lately you've been playing near me though, and not venturing too far away.

You love your Dad. When he comes home at night you break into dance. We call in the Daddy Dance. It consits of a routine of spinning in circles, a headstand into a rolley polley and then the splits! You'll do anything for your Dad. Its really sweet to watch the two of you.

Technology. Far out. You are a whole new generation of tech. It scares me a little seeing how at ease you are working all our gadgets. You turn on the play station and our amps, play Fruit Pop and Dots on our iphones and scroll through our photos and play our videos till your hearts content. You love the "caps lock" button on my laptop. I've had to stop using my laptop and phone during the day (a really hard thing to do for a blogger!!) because you are just so obsessed with them! Its easier just to avoid them some times.

All of your Grandparents are completely smitten with you. They often tell me how completely amazing you are. I say its all you and your personality. You can't help but shine and be a beautiful light in their lives. 

You have lots of little friends that you visit, but the ones who seem to have captured your heart are Sacha, Lucy and Kenzie. 

I cut you in a front ways fringe, I think it suits you! 

Your favourite books right now are Hungry Caterpillar and Green Sheep. You point to all the different sheep and declare which ones they are "Bath Sheeeeep!!". You love to draw, you're so specific about all of the marks you make on your page, each is done with intention. You also love puzzles, your tea set and anything that involves organising and bits and pieces. 

Every day you learn a new word or phrase, your speech is really coming along! You said your first unprompted sentence last week, it was "O Ohh, watch out for Katie, oh dear" while you were putting things in our supermarket trolley! You parrot everything you hear, last night you said "motivation" after you heard the news presenter say it. You blow us away with how aware you are of your surroundings! 

You've been in your bed since you were about 19 months old. Recently though you've been spending more nights in your cot, it just works out easier than you getting up in the night when you hear your Sister, and we've all been a bit sick lately so the extra sleep has been nice. Hopefully we can buckle down again and get you back in your bed regularly, because you've started to ask to go in the cot and seem to prefer it. 

You still love your Duckie, and the newest favourite is Dolly. She does everything Katie does and you do everything I do. Dolly gets her nappy changed throughout the day, she gets rocked to sleep, breastfed by you (super cute), and she even put out the washing on Monday morning! You're a little mother! You have such a nurturing soul, lucky Dolly. 

I love you so much. So completely. You have blessed our family so much and we have loved the last two years with you in our lives. 

Keep being you, Milla.

xxxxxxxxx


READ MORE:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Meet The Sisterhood: Hazel

The Sisterhood is made up of so many beautiful women, many of whom have been with us since the very beginning. Along the way they have given, inspired, spurred and supported. I wanted to introduce them to you as they mostly stay under the radar and behind the scenes but they are so very important to me!

I've asked them all a few questions, and they replied! I hope you enjoy getting to know a few more Sisters! (I'll be posting these interviews each week. Make sure you leave a comment and some love for them!)

Introducing Hazel!




Hazel told her blog readers about a sweet little girl she knew who was in Christchurch with her parents  away from their home town receiving treatment for leukemia. I happened to read, and I quickly decided this would be among the first things The Sisterhood did together! She was one of the first few people we LOVE BOMB'ed. After that, Hazel's been a regular contributor to The Sisterhood by donating butt-loads of beauty products and regularly advertising us through her blog and magazine "Hazed". I feel like Hazel really "gets" the Sisterhood and what we're about, and because of that (and she's amazing) I consider her a friend.


How did you first hear about The Sisterhood

In early 2012 I posted on my blog about a family close to mine that had a three year old daughter diagnosed with Leukaemia, the family had to travel away from their home, family and support system in Wellington to get treatment in Christchurch. When The Sisterhood heard about it, they stepped up, out of no where, to offer support and a package of love for the family whilst they were living at Christchurch hospital. I was completely overwhelmed that people out there were willing to do such a beautiful thing!

What initially made you get involved? How did you get involved?

How could you NOT get involved? Helping people without a need or desire for thanks is something that I couldn't help but connect with. My contribution to the Sisterhood hasn't been huge or amazing, but that's the great thing, it doesn't need to be to make a difference when there are so many others involved also offering a little something to each of the Love Bombs.

How did that make you feel?

Giving always makes one feel the warm and fuzzies inside. What I love about the Sisterhood is that you are giving to people that aren't expecting a hand out, you are giving to people that genuinely are having a rough time. They're already making lemonade with their lemons, and this is just a way to offer solace to them during this time.

What is your favourite part of The Sisterhood

I have been so lucky to watch the Sisterhood transition into a fabulous community of woman. In the early days there were only a couple of us, now there are quite literally thousands! It is an amazing beautiful thing to watch. I also love spreading the word about the Sisterhood, introducing others to the beauties of the projects it is involved with. Each time I post about it on Facebook someone new discovers what it is all about.

What would you like to see us do in the future?

Honestly... more of the same, keep headed where you are headed, the evolution is already happening and it is going to the Sisterhood and all of it's members to beautiful places. I thank Sophie for allowing this beautiful thing to be created, and I really can't wait to see where it is headed next! Kudos Soph! xxx 

If you want to make friends with Hazel, you can find her here:



Friday, August 23, 2013

Pepin Giveaway Winners!



Thank you so much to Pip of Pepin Design for giving away two sets of three prints to my lucky readers this week! I hope you got the chance to hear the news and enter for yourself!

Pip and a whole lot of other crafties are going to be at Elements Market tomorrow in Christchurch. Christchurch is cranking in the crafty scenes these days so I'm super excited that this new market has been started to join the other top notch, high quality events! If you're here (i'm not :() check it out!

Congratulations to these two winners of the dictionary prints! You'll receive an email from me and Pip to arrange your new art! 






Happy weekend everyone! We'll be visiting my family on the West Coast this weekend, join me on instagram (sophiemoo2) for lots of pictures of Milla and animals!

xxx

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Random Thoughts On A Thursday


Random Thoughts On A Thursday

(Thanks for the inspiration Ange!)

  • The Babymoon has officially been over for weeks. I knew it was as soon as I had Homebrand drinking chocolate in my online shopping cart. As much as I like living frugally and buying the cheap stuff and therefore having more food in our cupboards, it was also deliciously nice to constantly have Milo and Toffee Pops and other delicious (usually luxury) treats in the cupboard.
  • My Baby is now 2 months old, and my big girl is turning 2 next week. 
  • My Dad had a hip replacement yesterday, his get well card said "To the hippest Grandad..." but he didn't get the joke. Infact, no one got the joke. What a waste! I was sure that was going to be my top joke of 2013.
  • I've been sewing lately and I have more projects cut out on my desk ready to go when I get a spare moment! Yipeeeee! Its so satisfying. I'm loving getting a few minutes behind the machine. (Except that Camilla is too scared of her new felt crown and apron to try them on *sigh*)
  • Katie is doing really well. She is really good at being a baby. Like, she's a natural. And I'm thankful. She sleeps really well. Eats really well. and does all the other things baby's do.  
  • Camilla is obsessed with her Dolly. It does everything Katie does and Camilla does everything I do. Its adorable!
  • Every time I can "trick" Camilla into doing something by convincing her with options I smile to myself and think "oh yeah, i'm the bomb!" and have a little chuckle. Anyone else?
  • I have a little film crew coming over to Sisterhood HQ on Monday to film a piece for CTV (Canterbury Television)'s local heros news slot. Sisters are heros! Yes they are!
  • I'm having to daily ask for more and more patience. But that's cool because I get it. And I'd rather ask and have than not ask and not have. Makes sense huh.
  • MrMoo and I have set savings goals and debt paying off goals. We hit a milestone each 5ish weeks and we celebrate by having a little stay at home dinner date. Lots of icecream, chocolate and treats (See point one). It's funny that we've never had so little money and so many bills as we have this year but been able to do so much with it. Funny how focussing and budgeting can achieve you so much (to a point). So we're living off a crazy tight budget, but its crazy worth it. 
  • I'm giving away two sets of three prints for Pepin Design tomorrow. Make sure you enter while you can! 
  • I really love my blog and I really love that you read it. Thank you for being here! xxx

Monday, August 19, 2013

Meet The Sisterhood: Angela



The Sisterhood is made up of so many beautiful women, many of whom have been with us since the very beginning. I wanted to introduce them to you as they mostly stay under the radar and behind the scenes but they are so very important to me!

This is the first in a series of inspiring, generous and beautiful women.

I've asked them all a few questions, and they replied! I hope you enjoy getting to know a few more Sisters!

Introducing Angela!


I knew Angela through blogging, and loved her (despite having never met!). She starting giving to The Sisterhood as soon as she heard about us when we started back in 2012! She was also due to have her second baby so we sent her one of our original LOVE BOMBs to bless her back. The funny thing is, she heard about the Love Bomb being sent and she donated items towards it, heehee! Sneaky sneaky, we sent it to her! (She's put a link to her blog post about receiving a Love Bomb in her interview)

Ange is dedicated and constantly sending in little items for each package and she must spend a fortune on postage alone!! I got to meet her in April and she is every bit as lovely as I imagined! She's also a blogger, you can find her at Tall Short and Tiny blogging about food, travels and her kiddos.

How did you first hear about The Sisterhood

I first heard about The Sisterhood about 18 months ago, when lovely Sophie first wrote about her idea on her blog. 

What initially made you get involved? How did you get involved?


I was disheartened by the tendency of so many women to put other women down - I just don't get why anyone would do that! - and Sophie's idea really struck a chord with me. Being involved in a way of showing other women that what they do matters, regardless of their situation, was a no-brainer for me. 

The first call for The Sisterhood to act was when a family in Christchurch lost everything they had in a house fire; they had small children, and as I was expecting our second, my heart broke for that family. There had to be something I could offer, however insignificant it might seem, because losing everything would mean than anything would be better than nothing. From there, I was hooked. When Sophie and The Sisterhood put out the call, I respond in whatever way I can. 


How did that make you feel?

Every time I send something, a little piece of my heart sings. It's an indescribable feeling, an exciting feeling, to think that a small gift that you've provided, whether it's handmade, or shop-bought, or monetary, is going to make another person or family feel that they are supported and that people - strangers - care. I love the anonymity of this; I don't want a thousand thank yous, or to be patted on the back for doing something like this. When we did our Ninja Cookie Drop and had our National Kindness Day, I was mostly excited by the thrill of not being seen, rather than the face-to-face acts (although those were pretty special, too!). Being kind, doing good things, sharing what we have, caring for strangers...how can it not feel amazing??!

What is your favourite part of The Sisterhood?

My favourite part of The Sisterhood would have to be reading people's reactions either on Sophie Slim, or on The Sisterhood's Facebook page. I love hearing about how the Love Bombs, Ninja Cookie Drops and random acts of kindness are received, how they make the recipients feel (having been on the receiving end of one of the very first Love Bombs, I have a pretty good idea already!). And hearing about the nominees - it is so heartwarming to hear that so many want to love on people they know.

What would you like to see us do in the future?

I'd love to see The Sisterhood do another Ninja Cookie Drop, because it was so much fun - the baking, the packaging, the stealth-delivering - but then again, every aspect of what The Sisterhood does has been fun. A nationwide brainstorming morning tea could be fun - getting other Sisters in your area together for coffee, cupcakes and chinwags - or some kind of nationwide fundraising/goods-provision event aimed at benefiting a specific charity. And more Love Bombs for more deserving, (extra)ordinary women - because those packages of love are simply amazing.

If you want to make friends with Ange, you can find her here:


Friday, August 16, 2013

Pepin Design GIVEAWAY!

Introducing a give away by Pepin Design

(my 3 favs)

The chances are you have seen these beautiful hand illustrated prints around the internet but didn't know where to get them from, the answer is Pepin Design! Totally unique hand illustrated prints (and more!) are sold in Pips Felt Shop. You'll also see her at local markets around Canterbury, like Elements Market next week and on Hazels Online Emporium.

Pepin Design are giving away TWO sets of THREE dictionary prints to my lucky readers (That means two people can win any three dictionary prints. IKNOW!)

To Enter:

Mandatory entry:
Visit the Pepin Design store and choose your fav three prints, leave a comment here on this post with the ones that you love and want to win, and make sure your email is either linked or in your comment.

Earn extra entrys (and leave extra comments) by:
1) Liking the Pepin Design Facebook Page
2) Following the Sophie Slim Blog
3) Liking the Sophie Slim Facebook Page
4) Tell me your fav from Hazel Loves Design Online Emporium

Winners drawn Friday 23rd August 2013 and contacted via email

Woohooo! Good luck and happy weekend to you all! (Seriously. I'm having a mega blog readers crush right now. You are all amazing. I hope you win the giveaway!)

Thanks for the sweet and generous giveaway Pip!

xxx

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I laughed about "Their Rights"

My husband and I are National Party voters. We also laugh at Americans and all of their "rights" they yell about.

Well, I've never been more disappointed in the National Party and more scared of loosing my basic rights as I have this year.

As someone who puts herself out there on the internet everyday, who shares with perfect strangers parts of my life you might be quite confused about my concern for privacy.

The difference being that I choose what I put online. I give it and hand it over freely. The GCSB bill will take away those rights that I have. It will take information from me, and store it, forever.

Previously the government have been able to do this with foreigners in New Zealand, but the bill is changing that to allow spying on NZ citizens.

You might think that the government will only be spying on supposed Kiwi terrorists, but this bill will give them access to all manner of information. Your cash jobs and phone calls with your business partner or customers, your emails admitting your hopes and dreams and schemes, a teenager telling their friends they are depressed, or what their parents have been doing in secret. Journalists talking to their anonymous sources and politicians planning a campaign. A Sister talking about "Love Bombs" might get some attention. And they can use this information at any point in the future.

You may have "nothing to hide", but I assure you, you probably do. You may not be planning to blow up the beehive, but your activist status' and your "free thinking" might just get you into trouble in the future.

Don't even get me started on the storing of said information. The government have proven time and time again that they really have no control over our information being leaked and hacked (ACC, EQC and government websites, just to name a few from the last few months).

I also find it rather amusing that the "tea cup tapes" were never released... "A private conversation" they said. "Illegal and unethical" they said. And I agreed. And I still agree. But it seems like those ethics don't apply to us any more.

I've been thinking about this for a long time, I've tried to start many conversations with my husband about this, and I'm only just speaking about it now. I feel our privacy is a basic right we have and a "right" is very hard to articulate, and politics even harder to speak about in an open forum. But can I request that you do? Open those lines of conversation so you can be heard. If you have concerns, speak them out. They don't have to make complete sense, you don't have to know all of the facts. 

But now's the time to be informed and to do something about it. Surely the government must listen. We voted them there in the first place. Otherwise they should remember how they betrayed its people.

If you're concerned about the GCSB bill, here's what you can do:

Join a Facebook group opposing the GCSB
Read about and sign the biggest national opinion poll by Campbell Live (it takes two seconds)
Attend a meeting in your area - a message said with numbers is a loud voice
Write a blog post
Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, call talkback. Explain how this will affect you!

And a message from a policitcal friend of mine (who I normally don't agree with at all (heh!))::
"The Government only has a 1 or so vote majority on the bill at the moment, if you wanted to write a letter to your local National MP, or to Peter Dunne, explaining why you are worried about it and why you'd like them to stop it, that might help as well.I know from working in parliament that MPs do actually start to get really worried when people take the time to write to them!"


Peter Dunnes Email: peter.dunne@parliament.govt.nz (he does read them, I've already received a reply to mine)

Peter Dunnes Twitter: @PeterDunneMP
Peter Dunnes Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hon.peter.dunne


So in practice at speaking out, leave a comment and be heard! And let me know what other action you take!


A Model From Way Back


Postie Plus was started on the Westcoast and was based in Westport when it expanded into fashion and a mail order catalogue. That just happens to be where my family is from, and around the time when I was a small child! Hello employment opportunity!

The other photos mum has stored somewhere show me sporting a hideously self-cut fringe. In all those photos I'm bawling my eyes out and in every photo have a bag of chippies in my hand (I must have been hard to please!)



I don't know who this boy is but he's pretty cool!

For the slightly older readers, did you buy your kiddies Postie clothes from the catalogue? Perhaps you ordered from one I was in?! It is a small country after all!

Showing these photos as requested from my Milla Makes post yesterday

Monday, August 12, 2013

Milla Makes - Pea Coat






I couldn't wait to show my budding model in her new corduroy emerald green coat I made her last night! I'm not usually so nifty behind the sewing machine so I'm thrilled this turned out so well! (like seriously, I'm stumped!??)



I used Big Little's Pea Coat pattern, you can buy a digital copy from Lisa's Felt Shop. It was pretty easy to follow, definitely suitable for beginners (like me)!

The strawberry lining on the inside is so much fun, along with the big yellow buttons! I'm in love! I wish it was in my size! (In fact, I just remembered now I actually had a green coat like this as a teen!)

The sweet head band is from her Aunty in London.

And the poses? Well, I think she's a natural model. Heh. Just like her postie-kid-model Mama, perhaps I could dig up some photos to prove it?

Enjoy the cuteness!





READ MORE:
More Milla Makes
Sewing on Sophie Slim
Other things I've made

What have you been making lately? Leave a comment and let me know!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Beginning of a Blanket


The beginnings of Katie's first birthday blanket. Milla's was 6 months too late,so I'm thinking now is a good time to make a start!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Feeding Katie & Wearing Breastmates


Happy Breastfeeding Month!

There I was on my high horse, telling everyone how easy breastfeeding was. I did all I could to prepare to have a successful feeding relationship before my second baby was born. 

My last daughter, Milla, was SO easy to feed. She latched straight away and we never had any issues. I thought that would happen again.

But there we were, moments after birth, sitting in my nest of pillows waiting for Katie to latch. And she didn't. Not to my left side anyway. I didn't think too much of it and swapped her over to the other side where she spent the following hours.

The next few weeks were a struggle with the left. I didn't understand why she wouldn't latch to that particular side. I prayed and I hoped "please, just let me feed my baby". I was scared of going out of the house knowing I couldn't feed my baby without a fight admist tears from both of us. 

I ended up admitting that I was struggling a little on Twitter and booked in an osteopath appointment. As soon as I publicly admitted that I was having a little difficulty I felt a huge weight lifted off our shoulders. So many people replied saying they had initial trouble too, but babies and Mamas can both learn, they can get better. I felt so much hope instead of shame.

After that Osteo appointment Katie has been feeding perfectly. I am so so grateful. 

I am still glad I did all that preparing. The flavoured water was invaluable, the PJs perfect and I wear my breastfeeding cami's everyday. 

But then I hit that 3 week slump. The one when you're ready to leave the house, but you have absolutely nothing to wear. Everything is stretched from your big belly, old, or in my case, tracksuit material or flannelette. 


Breastmates were so kind to send me their brand new Nuture feeding top. Its another one of Franny's self designed in her Bump N Boob range and this one's for the cooler months with its long sleeves and layers. (And I helped name it! Aye Franny?)

It covers all my wobbly bits and hides my canyon of cleavage. The fabric is so lovely and soft and stretchy and drapey. Its slim where it should be (I love having my sleeves fit well!) and gathers where it should (around my chest and tummy!). 

The model on the website looks absolutely beautiful and perky, but I think my F Cup looks pretty good in it too ;)

It feels flattering for my body that struggles to find its happy place post birth, when everything's stretching and tightening and changing, this top is a perfect fit that seems to go with whatever my body is doing.

The front of it opens up at each side to feed, my midwife witnessed it in action and said it was brilliant! Er. I KNOW. Completely modest and stylish for public feeding, which I have done multiple times (Hoorah for well designed tops and feeding babies!) Just don't leak in it, the soft fabric soaks it up!

If you've seen me in the last month outside of my home, its probable that I've been wearing this top. Its my go to for public appearances! 



I am so grateful for babies who feed, friends and family who encourage and for lovely maternity wear that flatters and makes you feel good about going out!

If there's a next time, I'll be buying a few tops specifically for feeding before I have the baby, maybe it'll help avoid the 3 week slump?


Do you have any practical or mental ideas for a successful feeding relationship? Leave a comment and let me and other expecting Mamas know!

And hey! I'm on the cover of Breastmates Mag! (along with hundreds of other beautiful Mama and Daddys!) If you want to become a pin-up-girl check out the Breastmates Facebook page

READ MORE:
Nuture Top
Bump n Boob range
Preparing for Feeding & Clip on Cami Review
Glory Maternity Dress Review

Sisterhood Fundraising



Good Mornin' Sisters!

What do you think about the images above?

I went through my pivotal Sisterhood posts and found quotes that I had said over and over again and turned them into these, bright and cheerful greeting cards that speak a Sisterhood message!

I'm always on the look out to raise some money for The Sisterhood! I love that some of you have made cash donations in the past, but I like to keep those specifically for blessing others because that's obviously what you've given your hard earned dollars for!

There's still other things to pay for in The Sisterhood though, and I would love for those costs to be covered by The Sisterhood (because that just makes sense, right?). There's always packing tape, ribbons, poems printed, extra bits and pieces and specific items to add to love bombs, rural delivery and extra postage costs. The random list goes on!

I've been trying to think of some on going fundraising ideas, and came up with a product range similar to this one! Greeting cards, tote bags... other.. things?

All Sisterhood-ish that you could buy anytime and use for yourself, or gift to others.

The money raised would cover the cost of the product and any extra would go towards everyday Sisterhood costs.

What are your thoughts?

I wanted to check with you first, you see theres no point in making something and no one wanting it, so please be honest:

Would you buy something like this from The Sisterhood? 


Do you like what I've done so far?

Do you have any other ideas? 

 I'd love it if you left a comment here, on our Facebook page, or sent an email to my inbox with your thoughts and ideas. Please and thank you! x

[[PS - We have a secret ninja bake coming up. I'm just beginning to plan it! And I have sent out 2 love bombs in the last week. More details soon!]]



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Life at 6 Weeks


Life right now:

  • I've made a start on Katie's 1st birthday blanket, since Milla's blanket ended up being 6 months too late I thought this was probably wise.
  • I've started but I really don't have a complete plan yet. I haven't internally agreed on the colours yet. This is incredibly exciting for me (what a blanket rebel!) but also incredibly nerve racking (what if I waste so much time?!)
  • For the last 2 nights MrMoo has been a couch blanket hog. I'm going to have to get our spare ones out of the wardrobe. Leather couches get so cold!
  • I've gone and compiled a master to do list. This whole feeling like I'm getting nothing done is not good for my mental health! I must achieve, and I must feel like I'm working on something, this I now understand. Everything on the master list is achievable within 1 or 2 days, the idea is to tick something off [hopefully] each day.
  • I love the 6 week milestone. No longer a new born but still so little! The cheeks fill out and the neck gets strong. Love!
  • Milla is so sick. She's had fevers on and off since Friday but seems to have turned a corner today. Hopefully she's on the up! The rest of us are cowering away from her germ filled coughing.
  • Waking up to sun today made me deliriously happy!
Whats happening in your household right now? Leave a comment and let me know!

I included all of you on Facebook yesterday saying you had sick people in your household in my prayers yesterday. Take care xxx


Friday, August 2, 2013

Julys Month



July has felt like the longest month of the year in deep dark winter with a new born, a toddler, rain outside and no transport. Some days have been very hard.

In the same respect it feels like I blinked and missed it because it's all been such a complete joy. Where did that time go? I'm scared I'm loosing it. Slow down time, slow down (but please don't go too slow!).

On the whole we're doing really well, I've been pleasantly surprised at how easy Katie appears to be - or is it that I'm easy? Or Milla is easy? Or Mr Moo is very helpful? I'm not sure. But things are working out and I like that.

On days like this where I am tired (we're been out all morning at Toddlerock and took our new buggy for a spin) and feeling that feeling you get when you know you're getting sick, the bench is a mess and I feel like I've done nothing all week I'm so glad for this blog. Its a record and it reminds me that life exists and is happening all the time. Just look at all those memories written down forever. Phew. So glad for this space!

So here's a recap incase you blinked like I did and missed July completely:

While I was cuddling my baby a bunch of AWESOME blog partners ran giveaways through my blog - We called it birth week celebrations and lots of you won awesome prizes! Hip Hooray!

After I got back from my blog "maternity leave" (hehe, I love that term, it makes me feel like I actually do something...) I recaped you on Katie's first day of life, the past two weeks of newborn life and told you all about Milla and Katies first meeting as sisters.

We also took our nappy bag and went out on our first outing together (in which a little boy yelled at me!)

Did you see the post with all the handmade baby gifts ? Incredible! The blessings just keep coming in. We've been given soooo many beautiful things. I wish I could show you everything! Thank you to everyone. Seriously. Blessed!!

After life slowed down a little and MrMoo went back to work Milla and I played with homemade play dough  (she loves it still, but the colours are still seperated! haha!), I also made some personalised pillowcases for our bed (Mr & Mrs Moo) and crochet up some woolly fingerless gloves - I wore them this morning on our chilly walk to TRock - So glad I had them!

THEN, suddenly, everyone grew up. I was forced to do Katie's 1 Month Update - a tradition I did for Milla and will carry on for Katie. It was a bittersweet moment having to write that. The girls grew together and I updated you on their baby - toddler sister relationship. & I gave Milla a haircut. Heh.

Wowweee, thanks for web-logs huh!

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This month for my sponsor highlight feature I thought I would show you my current fav from their business. I have really brilliant sponsors, I hope you'll support them and buy from NZ businesses! 




From Qwerky Home I am loving their Home section (they also sell accessories, kids wares, stationary and small treasures) and this lime green chevron clock ($30)!

I've decided I need more things I love around me. More "ME" things. This must be me because I'm screaming "I love it!!"

...


I'm getting on the aqua bandwagon and loving this colour from More Than Fabric (also totally loving bright pinks and greens!), I have a piece of furniture to paint for Milla's birthday and I think she needs some cushions for her room in this Aqua Remix fabric to match! 

More Than Fabric is an online shop that sells... as their name suggests, more than fabric! 

...



Remember that pink I mentioned up there ^^ here it is, in all its colourful glory. These enamel earrings from Hello Lovely are in their Colour and Whimsy range ($15) - but the jewellery is so diverse there are so many different ranges to suit different styles.

In the mean time, while I crave the fresh outdoors and the sunshining I'm loving the colour and whimsy range. Its just... right.

Thank you Hello Lovely!

...

Scamps Boutique (all things eco Mama and Baby) are right on trend with these sandwhich cutters ($7.90) - Have you seen the Bento craze around the place? If you're into making you little peoples lunches super cute and edible then you'll need these cutters! Jigsaw pieces, penguins, elephants! Rar! CUTE! 

...



Hazel Loves Design is all things trendy, indy, and all about local businesses. She's just launched an online emporium featuring local artisans. (As well as being the creator of Hazed Magazine!)


I'd love me some of these ombre hand dipped wooden spoons ($20 for three). Yes, yes I would. 

...

WOW. I wasn't aware my styling is so colourful and bright! I'm feeling happier already seeing such beautiful products on my blog! 


Here's to a happy and safe month of August! Lots of exciting things will be happening here, including a trip away, Millas SECOND birthday, the onset of spring (yippeee!) and a super secret ninja Sisterhood mission along with interviews with beautiful generous ladies!

love, Sophie x







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