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Sweet 16 months

Sweets is kinda going through a gorgeous phase. She is a playful, affectionate and generally happy wee thing.

Examples, one night she woke up needing to go to the toilet. I picked her up and took her there. She did her business, told me she’d finished (she says “ishish” and does her baby sign) and then kissed me on the cheek. By the time I’d got her back into the bedroom she was already asleep.
We’re working on toileting (I probably could toilet train her properly, but nappies are easier to clean than floor etc, is that wrong), so I sat her on the toilet and she demanded her “baba” (normally she “reads” books or magazines). Once given her Baby Kate, she breastfed her (held her close and made sipping noises), then put her to sleep (rocked her a bit and shushed her), after that apparently Baby Kate woke up and wanted a horsey ride (bounced on knee with clipclop noises)!
She still loves bubbles and I recently found out that she can dip and blow them herself!

Beau and I are both really enjoying her increased communication skills too. Words include Car (meaning cars, buses, trucks and her pushchair), Khao (apparently she prefers the thai word for food), Baba (for babies and her baby doll), Dodo (door), Do-do (slightly different sound means dolly), brow (eyebrow), Na Ma (for her Aunty Muggle, Na is thai for younger maternal aunt or uncle), ish (fish), bok (book), bok (bonk, referring to having hit/hurt herself frequently on the head), A-ma (Maya the cat), cup (cups and bottles), shoe-shoe (shoes *and* socks, she know the difference, but she calls them both the same), gah-ga (Grradhai, thai for rabbit) and help (she does the sign for this too). Favourite words are probably Mama, Dada, No and Moar (more).

She is also trying out a lot more words (people’s names etc), but they are often not so consistent, eg she said “phone” today and I think she’s been trying to say “read” too. Sometimes she seems to prefer the thai word to the english, eg I’ve heard her attempt “Tankayah” more frequently than “rubbish bin”.

She is also really keen on helping/taking part in activities. I can’t do anything in the kitchen now without Sweets wanting me to set up the step ladder for her to join in too. She especially loves when I do dishes. Mostly because it’s an opportunity for her to indulge in water play. The other day I was in the kitchen prepping dinner and my Mum (Yai Ja) was playing with Sweets. I heard Yai ask Sweets (in thai) to put a piece of rubbish in the bin. Yeah, right, I thought. What happens but Sweets toddles in and goes straight to the rubbish bin and deals with the rubbish! I thought she’d try and get it out again, but no. She did want to join in with cooking then though.

Sweets likes to dance and listen to music. Her movements are getting more and more controlled, she recently learned to spin and can jump! She is kind of addicted to watching videos on the computer, special favourites are *any* videos of her, animal videos, Beyonce’s Single Ladies (Sweets will do the action of putting a ring on it) and new favourite, the algorithm march (she dances and sings along because she is awesome).

We also make our own music. Sweets will get out the Ukulele for me (the music book too) to play and sing. She often likes to strum it herself. When she’s decided we’ve played enough she will tell me (ishish + finish sign) and try to put it away. She can also blow and make noise with a harmonica and a recorder. She thinks keyboards are pretty fun too.

A couple of times we’ve been out and people have remarked on her good behaviour. I don’t think she is freakishly good (for example she is a fiend for taking food off people’s plates), but here are my tips for “good behaviour”.

1) Make sure they are well rested, well fed and recently changed/toileted
2) If you only ask them to do things they want to do, you are going to get good results
3) Have distractions (and snacks and clean nappies) ready at all times

Point of Fashion: Ok for play, but also OK for high tea
Current Obsession: to budget?

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Silver Kiss LARP – an NPCs POV

So, this weekend past, I crewed in the debut run of The Silver Kiss of the Magical Twilight of the Full Moon: The Live Action Roleplaying Event written and run by my fabulous friend, Jenni Dowsett. I’ve played in and even GM’d the tabletop version and when I heard Jenni was writing a LARP version, I was keen to play in it. However when she did the call for crew, I put my hand up and I’m really pleased I did.

The crew consisted of a bunch of people playing NPCs (non-player characters) whose job was to drive some of the storylines and to make sure the players were having a good time. The game is set at a highschool dance and the characters (PC and NPC) were made up of both students and adult chaperones. NPCs had a higher adult to student ratio. We had a crew meeting the day before the LARP and talked about various storylines and our roles in driving them etc. It was really neat being on the “inside” like that, being part of a team with a common goal and knowing what was in store for the players.

My character was Kelly, a stereotypical mean girl cheerleader. I was to spread rumours, go along with my BFF (PC head cheerleader, Chris), find out more gossip, bother people, flash my shiny silver cross covered jewellery around and over-react to lots of stuff. Jenni actually gave me an “exposition high-five” for a job well done at one point. Several people didn’t realise I wasn’t a PC and in truth, there wasn’t much to differentiate us NPCs from the PCs, only that we didn’t have goals in the way the PCs did. As one of the other NPCs said to me that night, “I have to keep telling myself not to try and solve anything”.

It was so great watching the various storylines unfold. Giving hints here and there. Just knowing I was part of it.

Various highlights:

Sharing a piece of cake with “Chris”, we each had less than a cubic centimetre.
The dirty *dirty* photographer!
Screaming (I have a really good scream and *surprise* don’t get to let it out often).
Slow dancing, just to see how the principal would react.
Forgetting about the “no touching” rule and cuddling up to a PC in the corner, only to get seperated by a teacher *and* the principal.
Fornicating sealife!
Being shocked when people were mean back to me.
Watching the staff dance.
Being convinced that I was the only normal person in the room 😉

Point of fashion: dressing up jeans
Current Obsession: Preserves

Weekend for me

So, this weekend been I spent most of my time in Regency dress. This was significant for a few reasons,
1) I made my ensemble
2) I was out at both public and private events
3) I left Sweets home with Beau

1) The stuff what I made consisted of a boned petticoat, a white short puff-sleeved dress and a bonnet. I also wrapped a scarf into a turban for regency evening headwear awesomeness. Click on links for tutorials/tips if you are interested in doing similar 🙂

I’ve made myself various costume stuff before. This is first time I’ve made myself a dress (looking back, everything else has been seperates). The dress was actually very straightforward. I was silly and cut two of one sleeve, but that was fortunately not a big deal. Most exciting thing was doing the darts on the petticoat. Star helped with the fitting, but it’s the first time I’ve ever done my own darts. I really should make more time to sew as I have fabric and patterns all bought, but don’t make the time to actually sew them up into useable things. We’ll see.

2) I was out at a two-day event in my outfit with bonnet. Day one just straight regency (and I was caught on camera, my Dad and MiL both spotted me in the background of a news piece). I looked very pretty and while out and about that day was “Aww”‘d at by a couple of older women! Day two I got make-up done and it was Regency Zombie! I was costuming with friends and one joined me in Regency zombie fun 🙂 She opted for much more full-on zombie make-up than me and grossed people out with her infection site (it was a big bite near her neck)! Her costumed highlight was turning around and growling at a guy who had stepped on the back of the dress. He was mightily shocked 🙂

I also got to wear my new clothes to a Regency evening party LARP. I was the daughter of the house. Wore my turban with an ostrich feather and a brooch in it too. I also wore a pair of gloves I made for my first cosplay ever, Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts (I made 5 pairs of gloves, enough for our whole group). Betrothals and Betrayals was mighty fun, but I don’t want to give too many details in case it gets re-run. I’ll talk to you in person though, if you want. April is a month of LARPing for me, got two more this month!

3) Now, Sweets has been left with Beau and various others, the big deal about this was the length of time I was away. The Saturday wasn’t so out of the ordinary, Sweets went out with me in the morning and I put her down for her nap before going out for the afternoon. Was back to help with dinner and bedtime before heading out againt too. However, I was out Sunday for 8+hours in a row. This meant Sweets had to go down for a nap without me or any nom. I wasn’t sure how this would work and imagined Beau having to take her for a long drive to get to sleep. No such drama! She apparently fell asleep very easily for her Dad. I know she doesn’t need Bmilk anymore, but I thought she’d still want the ritual of feeding before her nap. It’s great and kinda freeing to know that she was not bothered, but it also makes me a wee bit sad. My little girl is growing up! I know it’s what we want, but still.

Anyhoo, busy weekend doing stuff on “my own” left me very tired, but it also recharged my Mama batteries.

Unrelated, I made Quince Jelly today! First time using a jelly bag. It looks lovely and tastes good (licked spoons). Hopefully I get a good set, will know tomorrow. Also, if I buy more sugar, I shall make Quince paste with the pulp 🙂

Point of fashion: Practical, but not jeans
Current obsession: Fruit jellies and pastes

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Busy Day in the life of Giffy and Sweets (15mo)

Sometimes Beau will come home and ask me what I’ve done in a day and I feel like I must justify my existance as a Stay-at-home-Mum. I feel like he is demanding evidence to show why I get to stay at home and he goes to work. At times like this I often blank and feel like I’ve done nothing. Today was not one of those days.

This morning Sweets and I picked up a friend each and headed to the pool. We splashed and chased and she drank a bit too much pool water for my liking, but meh. On the way home both toddlers fell asleep. Sadly FOSweets woke during the transfer to bed. Happily Sweets was so tuckered out she slept almost 3 hours!

While she was asleep I hung out togs, had lunch, made butterscotch sauce, pootled online and then another playdate arrived. This has happened quite a few times now that A and L arrive and Sweets sleeps and sleeps. Nevermind, we had fun, hot chilli chocolates and gember koek (ginger cake?) 🙂

*Then* my parents and my brother arrived from Airport. Brother is here on holiday, he is normally in Thailand. Sweets conveniently woke then. Got some playing done with L, got some cuddles from her Yai. A and L went home. Bro started making calls and texts to various friends. So, I left Sweets with her Yai and Da(/Dha/Tha/Ta?) went outside and weeded the vege patch.

Beau got home near the end of weeding time. My Parentals and Bro left. I prepped dinner, we ate, Sweets is now in bed and I am planning to go out to a friends house for some sewing (well, probably pinning and cutting).

Feeling good.

Point of Fashion: easy to get changed
Current Obsession: Regency Zombies


The teenage months

So, people talk about the terrible twos, what they don’t tell you, is that they start when they are one. Yup, you have this gorgeous biddable baby who turns into a toddler who has her own mind and gets frustrated as her desires outpace her abilities. Throw in the fact that she still isn’t sleeping through the night and well, I sigh.

However, this doesn’t mean that Sweets (cheeky pea, Terror etc) isn’t awesome. She is! She does still generally do her best to please and can be utterly gorgeous. Her language continues to develop at a steady pace. One of her first words was shoe (shi-shoe), I think because she knows “shoes on time = going out time”. Other “first words” include Mama, Dada and Yai ja. Since then she has learned fish (‘ish), up (UP! also means Pick Me Up!), more (Moor, often accompanied by her version of the sign for it of both hands to her chest), car (ca), down (dow!) and (awesomely) Bubble (bubblebubble, sometimes we blow bubbles and she likes them).

She has also started in on symbolic play and likes to cuddle her baby doll and put it to sleep (there is much patting and shushing involved). She has also occasionally given her baby doll food and drink.

Sweets loves “This is the way the lady rides” on our laps (or anywhere) and will sway and go “hmmhmmm”) on her own if you happen to stop before the “farmer rides” part. Also, horses “clip clop” rather than neighing.

She is still obsessed with animals, in particular dogs and cats, probably because she gets to see them and pat them. Star and Jazz Master Sv took us to the zoo the other week and Sweets loved it, however, she easily spent as much time looking at the other kids around as she did looking at animals. Also, apparent a Peccary is a cat and a sun bear is a dog. Just so you know.

In non-Sweets news (???!!!), I recently GM’d my first game in over 10 years! Yikes! It was my darling Jenni‘s Silver Kiss of the Magical Twilight of the Full Moon. I’m pretty sure we all had fun, but then considering my players (Muggle, Beau, JM Sv and Star), that was almost guarranteed. We didn’t quite finish, so will be doing that later this week. Maybe I’ll blog about it, probably I won’t. However, I have quite enjoyed GMing. Mostly what I don’t like about GMing is the prep and there isn’t much prep in a game like Silver Kiss. Would def be tempted to GM it again. I also played in it the other week, which was awesome.

Other stuff I’ve done this year, made jam (rhubarb and ginger), sewed an a-line dress for my god-daughter, made 7s costumes, went to and played games at Kapcon, went to a movie (Tangled 3D, it was cute), made myself a fabulous felt hat.

And back to Sweets, check her out in this youtube clip 🙂

Point of fashion: warm autumn afternoons
Current Obsession: Beau’s exam results

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So, I have a one year old and like all normal one year olds, she is amazing.

This morning I woke up (Beau was letting me sleep in) to the sound of her hooting. Sweets is really into making animal noises, she barks for dogs, aiows for cats, hisses for snakes, clip clops for horses, ooh ooh ah ahs for monkeys and Rahs for lions, tigers and bears (oh, my!). Anyway, I thought she must have been reading the Gruffalo’s Child and said so when her and Beau appeared in the room. That was not the case, she had started hooting in lounge, so Beau told her to find the book then, instead she went into her toys and pulled out a soft owl ornament (made by Jenni). Sweets then showed me the owl, kissed it and passed it to me to kiss too (hooting the whole time).

Yeah, she’s really into kissing her toys right now. So Cute!

Anyway, after the kissing, Sweets scrambled half onto me and signed in succession “Eat/food” followed by “Milk/Breastfeed”. It’s the first time I’ve seen her really combine signs like that! I started to cuddle and sit up, telling her she would get Nom (thai word for milk/breast) and she kept scrabbling and signing “Milk” and started to say “Mumumumum”. Bless! She then had a good feed while cuddling her owl and lifting it up to me to kiss too. Funny monkey (ooh ooh ah ah!).

Point of Fashion: PJs
Current Obsession: So much stuff to do!

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Wait… I have a 10 month old?

Sweets (aka Grumplestiltskin, the wiggler, Gumbersen, lovely bubbly, the Terror, curious George, cute pea) continues to change and amaze and is going through a freaking adorable stage (no bias of course). She does so much stuff now, it’s crazy. Please exuse me as I record and gush over her…

She loves clapping and claps along to songs, esp “if you’re happy and you know it”. She’s quite sociable and is already (pround Mum much?) into passing things to people. She has played passing “games” a few times with adults and toddlers too. As an extension of this, she thinks feeding me or Beau is *hilarious*.

She has really gotten into waving in the last few days. Last night she waved her way to bed. At the recent family reunion she cuted people out with waving hello. I may even have heard her say “Hi” one time. Fluke? Possibly. Awesome? Definitely.

On with things she says, she says “Ha ha ha”. Surely she is too young to understand social laughing, but she does say it at appropriate times. H visited with her 16month old yesterday and he is into a big phase of copying noises, so they “ha ha ha”‘d back and forth for a bit. She also likes “Da da da” and “ba ba ba”. There are other consonants and vowels too, but those are the current favourites, still no sign of “Mama” though.

Beau and I are both sure we have seen her doing some “baby sign”. We’ve seen her definitely signing for “milk” (breast) and “finished”. She has also been seen “waiing” for Hello and thank-you in Thai. My Mum is regularly coaching her to say “Yai” (maternal grandmother). She does sometimes make a noise similar to Yai. With her age and level of development, it’s difficult to say whether she is doing things on purpose or just randomly, at least until she is doing it a lot.

She’s been properly crawling for a while now and roams around getting into everything. She is very inquisitive and has a penchant for handbags. If one is left in the lounge she is right there and taking things out one by one to examine. She is also getting very good and pulling herself up to standing. She entertained Chelle and me yesterday with her determination to get Chelle’s handbag from just out of her reach on a chair. She got it too! She is working on cruising on furniture, but is still more inclined to drop back down, crawl a bit and then pull up again.

Now less cute, but more to help me remember:
She is still napping twice a day and waking at night.

She is eating 3 good meals a day, plus drinking a fair amount of breast milk. She gets quite grumpy if she doesn’t get her food when she wants it! If you are eating something she wants she flaps her hands and squawks! She is very good with her sippy cup, but is actually quite good with a regular cup too. She’s had soup a few times from a chinese tea cup and made surprisingly little mess. She feeds herself with a preloaded spoon. I’m not ready yet for the mess of letting her spoon itself out. Otherwise has lots of finger foods. Loves meats and mushrooms. Quite fond of brocolli. Doesn’t really like mashed kumara or potato. Bread and rice wafers are also favourites. She loves her Khao Tom… I really need to do a seperate post about her food. Maybe tomorrow?

Point of Fashion: … clean and comfy?
Current Obsession: cute knitting

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Toileting the Baby

So, I’d heard about “Elimination Communication“, but I thought it sounded like too much work. My idea of it was people not using nappys at all. Apparently this is possible. However, the thought of trying to get the energy to deal with all that and a newborn… *shudder*. However, when Sweets was 6 months old, eating solids 2 to 3 times a day meant that her bowel movements (there is no real way to be delicate) had changed from weekly to sometimes daily… and one day I saw the unmistakable “poo face” and realised she was in a nappy with no liner. I had three choices:
1) leave it and clean that nappy later
2) try to quickly swap her nappy for one with a liner in
3) put her on the toilet

I chose lucky number 3 (huh, should have made that the second option…) and she’s been going on the toilet since.

This does not mean she doesn’t use nappys. She wears them almost 24/7. It’s just that she wees several times a day on the loo and almost always poos there. It’s pretty neat actually and I’m quite impressed with her (never mind that thousands or millions of babies do the same or better, I’m pleased with her spoon use and her crawling too). It turned out that even though I didn’t “want” to do EC, we actually kind of were.

As a newborn, Sweets, like many babies, would wee when her nappy was changed and if my Mum was there she would do a cue noise a “Shh, shh, shh” (different from a shushing to sleep noise). Also, when Sweets was doing her weekly poo, she always pulled a face and we would put her in a squat position (to help her out, I mean once a week!) and pull the face back to her to encourage her (much to the amusement of any other friends or relatives around). Mum didn’t consider this toilet training or really think about it at all, but this was building associations for Sweets so that when we did put her on the loo, we were able to cue her.

I have ulterior motives for toileting her too. We do cloth nappies, prefolds with covers (for those up with the slang) and Sweets would never sleep with a wet nappy, so I was changing her frequently and knew her routines. If I suspected she was wet, I couldn’t bring myself to leave her like that either, so I was changing her regularly 10-12 times a day… and our dryer doesn’t work. So daily laundry it is, if only to make sure there is space on the line for the next days amount. When I started toileting her, it wasn’t so much about reducing nappies as getting her used to the fact that dry is normal and the toilet is the place to go, plus me getting more in sync with her.

At about 7 months of age a “good” nappy day was 6-7 nappies in a 24 hour period, a “bad” day was 10-12. Now at just 9 months, a “good” day is 4 or less and a “bad” day is 6-8. She has even had a few stretches of 20+ hours without a nappy change!

It’s not a quick process and it wouldn’t be possible except that I do spend so much time with her. I just think it’s kind of neat that it is possible and that we are that in tune with each other. It’s funny, because when I talk about it with people of my generation, they often are weirded out by it, but when I talk to people of my Mum’s or older generations, they think it very normal. Funny how things change, huh?

Point of Fashion: Jeans not trackpants?
Current Obsession: Mascarpone!

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Almost 6 months!

Ok, so I didn’t want this blog to be all about my baby and life as a SAHM, but that’s what I’m busy with all day, so, Oh well.

Sweets (aka Scratchums MacClaw aka Wriggle Bum Biggle Bum) is turning 6months next week. She continues to thrive and delight. She’s doing more *things* now, which is pretty neat. For example, 2 nights ago she started splashing in the bath! Slapping her hand down in the water. Last night she had her flannel and would slap that down into the water a few times and then suck water from it.

I’m amazed by her drive to survive, ie, how good she is at eating (and drinking). She is *loving* baby led weaning. One of our favourite foods (she likes to eat it and I like how it doesn’t make much mess) is a chinese green, Chinese broccoli or Kai-lan (in Thai, Pak Kha Nar). She gets given the steamed stems and just munches and sucks all the juices out of them. She gets some fibres etc too, but it’s mostly the liquid. She is very funny when she eats because she takes it very seriously and when she gets a bit of solid food in her mouth she goms at it with a very confused expression. Today I also let her spoon feed herself pumpkin soup. I simply loaded up the spoon and then handed it to her to shove in her mouth. Messy but also wonderful!

The soup is what Beau and I had for dinner yesterday, I just made it up with less salt than usual. While Sweets is weaning herself onto solids, Beau and I have been weaning ourselves off salt and it hasn’t been as hard as I thought. Mum was really surprised the other day when she had some roast veges at our house and I told her I hadn’t added salt, she hadn’t even realised. There was kumara, carrot and parsnip. You could really taste the flavours of each vege, so you didn’t need salt. Might not work so well with potato. I cut them up into stick shapes to make it easier for Sweets to manage.

In other milestones, Sweets cut her first tooth a few days ago and is a pro and rolling from her back on to her front. She can also roll front to back, but isn’t as good at it, or maybe she just likes being on her tummy more? Once she’s on her tummy she often pivots around grabbing at things she wants (pretty much anything in reach).

Sweets and I have been going to SPACE which is a programme run through Playcentre for parents (mostly Mums but we have one Dad in our group) with new babies. Each time we have a discussion topic (eg sleep, BLW, heuristic play etc), an activity (making a toy or artwork), afternoon tea and we finish with songs. Sweets *loves* the singing. She has favourite songs that are pretty much guaranteed to make her smile and wriggle. 🙂 I don’t think anyone was surprised by her liking music and singing!

She has also developed set sleep patterns (fingers crossed that me writing about it doesn’t cause it to change). Going to bed between 7 and 8pm and getting up 6.30-7.30am with a morning and afternoon nap. Beau and I were rocking her to sleep each time, but it was beginning to take more and more time, esp as she has gotten more vocal. She would be lying in our arms, eyes shut, but vocalising away. We were getting in the habit of putting her down after a bunch of rocking (still wriggling and squawking), leaving the room for 5-10min and returning to take it up again. She wasn’t ever crying though. So we thought, if we leave her longer, maybe she’ll go to sleep on her own. Well, she does (60-70% of the time, sometimes life and activities intervene and she gets overtired and *needs* rocking)! It’s funny though, Sweets is not a hugely vocal baby, but when she’s settling to sleep you hear her babbling away enough for two babies!

Point of Fashion: Home clothes… I need a new pair of trackpants
Current Obsession: Shopping, sweet online shopping.

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First Cold, first food

Sweets (aka Dougal, bubba goose, and “Noo Noi khong khun Yai”/Granny’s little mouse) is now almost 5 months old and is still doing well. She is currently in the throws of her first cold (a jumped up sniffle, no fever or cough), but continues cheerfully with the aid of saline drops and karvol sprinkled cloths. We’ve been mostly housebound as I want her to recover asap so that we can continue to attend our various activities (playcentre, antenatal “coffee” group, plunket “coffee” group). She’d be fine if we went, but I don’t want the other mothers to blame me if their baby gets a cold. Should be less of an issue in a few more months when they’ve all come down with their first illnesses.

Sweets continues to get her nutritional requirements met via breastmilk, but she has recently become a bit of a pain at meal times, trying to swipe my food (cracker with pate is a baby no!) and getting upset that she can’t join in. She’s very good and sitting up (many seconds unsupported) and has been grabbing and gumming her toys like a fiend, so we decided to let her grab and gum food-type stuff. Her first was a bit of raw carrot that Beau and I grew ourselves! It survived her attentions unscathed although well covered in drool. I’m sure there will be another first food when Sweets actually swallows something!

In case you were wondering why we didn’t start with a puree. It’s because I’ve decided that we’ll predominantly be going the Baby-led Weaning route, which pretty much means the baby feeds themselves. I imagine there will be some Sweets feeding, if only because the whanau will want to have a go, but I’m leaving that until at least 6 months! Food for fun until they’re one! Etc 😉