Monday 29 December 2014

Cross Quilt

For Christmas this year we tried to make the majority of our presents. It feels good knowing that you can still give a quality gift without having to spend a lot of money. Thankfully Addison is a good napper so I was able to get some crafts done in the two-ish hour chunks she naps.

I made this quilt for one of my really good friends. We met through Plunket and have children the same age, as well as living right round the corner from each other. I knew she would love the simple monochrome design and I made it slightly larger than her cot size so there is plenty to tuck in.

I pieced the top together but I just added a backing onto it and didn't quilt it so I probably should call it a blanket. The backing I used is the softest chevron minky fabric that I just love.

Looking closely at the quilt, I can see that my pattern designing skills need a LOT of work, I'm not sure what happened in the bottom few rows but it definitely isn't how it is supposed to be. Lets go with baby brain - I can still claim that right? 

Anyway, it was well received, flaws and all, and is now doing a great job keeping her baby snug, warm AND on trend. Win!

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Dear Addison - 7 Months

It seems I can't keep on top of these updates, a month goes by so quickly with a baby around!

Dear Addison,

7 months in this world. It is true what they say, we can't imagine what life was like without you. We don't even want to!

This month held the privilege of tooth #2. You now have your two bottom teeth and they have sprouted up nicely. No sign of the top two yet but I'm sure they won't be far away. You quite enjoy having teeth, you use your tongue to play with them a lot and you can deliver quite a firm bite on our fingers or noses if they are presented in front of you. With teeth comes the need to brush them and you have your very own tiny pink toothbrush which you have embraced and love to have your teeth brushed then suck on the toothpaste-y goodness afterwards.

You have a couple of new 'tricks' but they are rarely replicated so I'm not sure I can quite claim them yet. You can give big open mouthed, sloppy kisses when you feel like it and they start with you grabbing our faces with your hands and bringing them towards your open mouth. Adorable but oh so slobbery.

You have a hilarious excited face where you scrunch up your nose, smile really big and snuffle quickly in and out. It is usually accompanied by flailing arms and legs. So adorable.

You are a champion at knocking down towers and you have discovered that banging two or more objects together makes noise and you do so with great gusto.

You like singing. Christmas carols and MJ have been popular and you seem to eat your food better when there is singing going on.

Food time equals fun time in your day. You enjoy your food and wolf down whatever we give you. You haven't quite mastered feeding yourself yet but you can swallow nice big chunks of stuff like peas and corn kernels. Marmite on toast is also a favourite, but it always seems to get everywhere. You also love your water bottle and can gulp down a lot of water at each meal. During the hot days and the teething days we give you an ice cube of frozen apple puree wrapped in muslin cloth and you absolutely love sucking on it until your mouth is numb and the apple has turned to pulp.

It is the beginning of Christmas season and our tree is up. You like to touch the fake branches and grab the decorations. We will enjoy this Christmas since you aren't quite mobile yet. I think next year the decorations will only be on the top half of the tree. We are going simple with presents this year, just a couple from us, one fun one and something beautiful your Daddy is making you. I think the wrapping paper will be the most fun for you on Christmas day!

You were baby-sat two nights in a row last week! Once you went to a friends while we had our Anniversary dinner and the other time your Aunty and Uncle came around and hung out while we were at a Christmas party. You were pretty good, you woke up the first night a bit scared because you weren't in your own room but you got lots of cuddles and settled back down fine. The second night Aunty and Uncle had it easy - you didn't make a peep the entire time! It was nice to get out and to know that you were in safe hands!

You have become quite attached to your comforter toy who is there when you sleep. It is a blue dog with a small blanket body called Dwight (any guesses who gave it to her?). It has been in your cot for a while just hanging in the corner above your head but we have noticed lately you have been reaching up to grab it and cuddling it while you sleep. So very cute. We might need to get you another one in case it becomes 'that toy'.

Your vocal range is increasing quite rapidly. Still no discernible noises but you have a lot to say! You babble away to yourself and try to have conversations with us.

Addison outside the church where we got married in Oamaru
 You are still a quiet observer. You take in a lot that is going on but are in no hurry to get moving or explore. You do love people though and are always ready to charm them with your smile.

We love you Addison!

Wednesday 3 December 2014

My 1st Baby Lifesavers

Being a First-Time Mum is extremely daunting. Not only do you have your lives flipped upside down with a beautiful new squishy arrival but you have a million and one companies yelling in your ear, telling you that you NEED their products. Even asking seasoned mums for advice can get confusing when they all swear something different worked for them. 
I'm going to add to that list and tell you why these products worked for me. They might not work for you - I get that! But if you are in that desperate phase where you are willing to try anything then here are my suggestions.

(This is not a sponsored post - these products genuinely saved my sanity and I just want to share)

This pretty little device is worth its weight in gold. From the week we brought Addison home we used white noise (sounds like radio static or the ocean) to help her get to sleep. At first we used apps on our phones but we quite liked to have our phones handy so we went in search for a portable version. White noise helps Addison by helping her tune out any noise or distractions going on around her - even her own crying. It is quite soothing and eventually she drifts off. We still use it for most sleeps here but she can go to sleep without it. Now she is older it is more about providing an association with bed - when we turn it on she knows that it is time to sleep, even if we are away from home.

The Sound Spa comes with a few different sounds - a heartbeat, white noise, ocean waves and a lullaby. You can leave it going indefinitely or use the timer and it fades out after 15 minutes. We use the timer function to save on battery and if she hasn't fallen asleep by the first round or two we get her up and try something else. It takes 3x AAA batteries which last a couple of weeks each if you buy the budget versions (18-24 for $6 at Kmart!)

The Swaddle Up swaddle worked great for Addison during the first 3 months of her life. When we first got home from hospital, no one had shown us how to swaddle so we were just tucking her into her bassinet with a blanket. She would drift off then wake herself up after 10-15 minutes because of the startle reflex that newborns have. Her little arms would fly up in the air and she would wake up crying. We tried a few different types of swaddles, we used large cloth nappies while she was still tiny but she soon became too strong and wiggled out of them quickly. We tried Miracle Wraps and these worked for a while but she would wake up in the middle of a sleep grunting and straining to get her arms out so even though she wasn't waking herself up by startling, she was still having a restless sleep and because she was still in our room at that point, I wasn't getting much sleep either. 

The Swaddle Up works well for babies that like to sleep with their arms up by their face, which is what Addison was trying to do while being swaddled. It keeps their arms confined enough that they don't startle themselves awake. We 'graduated' Addison out of her Swaddle Up once she grew out of her small size and just went cold turkey with no swaddle and we had no issues but you can get larger sizes and different varieties so you can wean them off by only having one arm out.

Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment is one of those magical cures for almost anything. Well probably not but it sure seems like it. We only just started using this stuff when Addison got a bad dribble rash from teething and it cleared the worst of it up overnight and almost healed it within a couple of days. I have friends who sing its praises for nappy rash and all types of cuts, rashes and chapped lips.

Sunlight + Air for Nappy Rash

The best thing about this is that it is FREE! Little bottoms are bound to get some degree of nappy rash and the best thing for it (unless obviously infected or super raw) is a bit of nakey-bum time with the sunlight hitting it and a good amount of air flow to air things out. It pays to invest in some sort of waterproof sheet for them to lie on though because sunlight and air seems to trigger the bladder to empty too! The larger the sheet, the better!

The pram we chose is listed below but we loved the bassinet attachment that came with our buggy. It was actually Addison's bed for most of the first 15 weeks of her life until she grew out of it! The bassinet we had bought for her was quite narrow and had rungs that she could reach out and grab even from early on which kept her awake. It also rocked which she wasn't a fan of. A few weeks into our parenting journey we decided to put her in the carrycot in the lounge next to the fire (it was the middle of winter) overnight and I would come out into the lounge and make a wee nest of blankets for night feeds. I also slept in the lounge on the nights that she wouldn't settle. She also used the carrycot for her day sleeps and conked out pretty quick no matter how much noise was being made. If we needed to move her we could just pick up the carrycot and put it in another room or we could clip it to our pram if we were headed out for a walk.

We didn't do much research into buying a pram. Our friends had a similar Mountain Buggy and it worked for them so we bought one too. We got ours second hand and it is an older version of the Urban Jungle model but still functions perfectly well. The feature I like most is the inflatable tyres - they are necessary for the cracked and broken Christchurch streets. I use my pram most days and it stands up to the use. I will have to sell this one if we have another child though because this model doesn't support a second seat. I'm ok with that though, a change will be nice!

Jingle Lion

When Addison got a bit more alert and was able to have a bit of play time her Aunty bought her this musical lion toy. We have named him Jingle Lion. He plays the first verse of 4 different nursery rhymes - Mary Had a Little Lamb, If You're Happy and You Know It, Old MacDonald and This Old Man. It has a pull cord to activate the songs and we used to hang it from her play gym. She was very quick to figure out how to make it work and those songs are well ingrained into our brains. Since she plays with it so much it is very familiar to her and if she has worked herself up into hysterics or hurt herself then all we need to do (usually) is get the songs going and she is distracted and wants to pull the cord again. It has saved our sanity many, many times.


I am blessed with a good supply of milk for Addison but when she goes a bit longer than usual without feeding, especially overnight, I tend to wake up soaking wet. Not a good look, or a good feeling. I used a few boxes of disposable breast pads then someone gave me some washable ones and I haven't looked back. I have about 6 pairs on rotation which works well. I found bamboo cotton or suedecloth were the most absorbent. Baby First were a good brand, Avent weren't as absorbent. If you are crafty they would be cheap as chips to whip up.

                     Jolly Jumper - Infasecure Jumping Joey

Addison LOVES her jolly jumper. Her eyes light up when we start to set it up. We have the Infasecure Jumping Joey which we found great because it offers a bit more support around her hips and back, especially when she was smaller. We started her in the jumper when she was around 3 and a half months old, she had great head and neck control and we only had her in it for 5-10 minutes at a time. It took her a while to catch on to the jumping part and spent a good month just stomping around and turning around and swinging. Eventually she got the hang of jumping and we haven't been able to stop her since! We have an area between our lounge and kitchen where we have installed a heavy duty hook in a roof beam to hang the jumper from and she loves it because she can see us whether we are hanging in the lounge, eating at the table or cooking in the kitchen. 

The jumper has been great for Addison because she loves to be upright, even from birth. She was never a fan of being cradled in our arms, she liked being up over our shoulders and had strong legs from early on. Being in the jumper gives her a sense of independence doing what she loves. Plus anything that will keep her occupied for 20 min or so is a win in our book!


A mirror is a great toy for a baby of any age. We have used our full length mirror in a bunch of different ways and Addison loves her friend in the mirror. I think she has figured out it is her reflection but it is very entertaining to watch. We used our mirror leaned up lengthways on the floor while Addison had tummy time, propped it upside down on two chairs and lay Addison underneath it so she could look up at herself and propped it upright where her jumper is set up so she can watch herself bounce. We also hold her up to other mirrors around the house and make funny faces which she also likes.  

I have a lot of other things I could add to this list but these are the things I like the most! Feel free to email me if you have any questions about these products or how I used them.