Jun 11, 2015

The nursery one year later {Then & Now}

You know how I basically never ever actually "finished" our nursery room for Ella because when I was pregnant I made really poor decorating decisions and couldn't be trusted? But I tried anyway?
Well guess what, I still don't like it. But it has changed quite a lot and after a whole year of vaguely mentioning this (during my umm about 4 posts that I wrote in that time) I thought I may as well share some photos.

The paint colour is still a very stark stark white which looked amazing in all the Pinterest rooms I admired... but Pinterest deceived me because it neglected to mention, that stark white looks awful if you are pairing it with, say, all your white furniture which now turns out to be not actually pure white and everything looks dirty, like a smoker baby lives there.

These are not After photos. Just saying. I'm actually still gathering my energy to change a few things e.g. paint and curtains. I bought blackout curtains which saved my life but they are so thick and rubbery and greyish even tho I thought they were pure white, too. But can anyone tell me how you repaint a room when there is a 1 year old sleeping in there several times a day? Hmm.

 Meaningless explanations aside, here is a little "Then and Now" to show how this room suddenly became very girly and pink which was never my intention but now as I write this post I realise that's what happened...


View from door way then:

View from doorway now: 
 Points of note:

  • cream rug which doesn't look great in photos but actually it makes the room seem so much bigger. This room is super super bright in the sun and looks kind of ethereal at times - it can be gorgeous in person but clearly my photography skills are failing to show that.
  • Random dining chair with a quilt over it because I soon realised my child sleeps in a merino sleep sack and all the quilts and blankets don't get used. Also, it covers the big rips in the chair upholstery. I use that chair to sit on in the middle of the night when I'm rocking a sick baby.
Right hand wall before:

... And currently:
 
Again another average photo that doesn't really show any improvement - maybe because there isn't any - but the original wall art was old and had a yellowing background which looked pretty gross against the stark white walls. So I pinned a tea towel there instead, naturally.

Oh and Wellington ladies with babies - any tips for earthquake-friendly wall decor that can go above cots? No way am I hanging pictures or anything remotely heavy there now that she sleeps in this room.

Changing corner before:

 ....and the same corner now, below. We don't read to Ella in this room so the books are in the lounge, and the armchair has been gone since my breastfeeding days ended so long ago. I do love the extra space and organised changing tables make me happy. P.S how long does one use a changing table for a baby or toddler?????

 And finally, some more current shots. I have to include the wardrobe one because baby wardrobes, once they are past the onesie-and-nighties-all-day phase, are my favourite.



 Anyone else find they never really finished their nursery? I've accepted that this will probably never be our 'dream house' and there are plenty of things I would like to change but am never going to. Having said that, a few simple changes could make this room quite pretty. I just haven't figured out the logistics of painting a room with a baby on the loose... yet.








Jun 8, 2015

A Day in the Life

Oh you want to know every boring detail of a day in the life of a one-year-old's mum? Who stays at home and has basically nothing to show for herself except a happy child who is still alive despite various accidents and incidents that scared the pants of both of us over the past year? You want a peep into this magical world of glamour and child-rearing? You want to see our kitchen floor covered in gremlins that literally stick to your socks every single time you head for the fridge and then get smeared in the carpet later? To smell my sub-par cooking that gets thrown on the floor and mashed into my child's hair (by her) even when I spent like 30 precious minutes cooking it and now I have to throw it all out? And then do all the dishes again and clean the floor again and change her outfit again and wash her face and hair again? And then do it all again several times throughout the day and then go to sleep and then wake up and do it all again the next day too?

Ok since you asked.

7am - Baby wake up call. Now, I'm fully aware that 7am is like blissful luxury sleep-in'o'clock to most parents and that at some point reallly soon my child is going to start getting up at 6 or 5.30. Which is why I have no inclination to get up at 6am for some 'alone time' before she starts sqawuking. I know it would feel really nice to be dressed and showered before the crazy starts, but without that hour of sleep I would be even less productive than I currently am and probably spend all day after 3pm crying for no reason. (I only do that after 8pm now. Wink wink)

7.15 - I actually get up and if I'm really onto it I will go to the toilet before releasing the little monkey from her cage because the moment she is in my sleepy arms, she demands my full attention and seeing me sneaking away down the hallway to go pee is quite offensive to her. She knows who's boss and it's not me.

7.20 - I start making her porridge (also called oatmeal by some strange countries ;)) with raisins and then leave it to cool. For some reason she loves eating this stuff. I make myself a coffee at the same time even tho I don't really feel like it, it makes me feel like I'm still doing something for myself that's like a little luxury. Granted I won't get to drink it because my minion will be all over me trying to grab it and potentially burn herself so it's not THAT enjoyable but I do it anyway.

7.40 - After watching her trying to feed herself porridge with a spoon that she can't actually get any food onto while I try to help and cheer her on if any gets into her mouth, then perform the torture known as wiping her face, we play. Well, to be honest I often sit on the couch chugging cold coffee while she crawls around bringing over random objects to show me, giggling hysterically like she is so chuffed with herself for helping mummy by showing her her shoe! Look mummy I'm opening your purse! What's this thing in a wrapper? *unwraps tampon*. Oh thanks honey for finding that for mummy NOTE TO SELF do not let her play with my purse in public.

{Except usually we are wearing trackpants and dirty cardigans during this scenario}

9am-ish. Somehow we have made it to 9am and I'm still in my pajamas still sitting on the couch still thinking about whether I should have another coffee. I always decide not to, because I'll wait for the little miss to be asleep. This makes me really anxious for her to go down for a nap.

9.30 - nap time! Yay! It's earlier than a lot of other babies I know and I love that. We go through the whole nap routine which is VERY specific to the point that my wee sausage won't drink from her bottle unless we are reading a book from her collection of books that she likes to read before sleeping. She will literally slap the bottle onto the floor unless I have the right book in position. We do this book routine with her wearing her sleep sack which is stupid because she tends to dribble milk onto the merino and that's such a pain to wash and makes it go yellow. #mummyfail

9.30-11am - naptime! I finally have a shower, get dressed, get a decent coffee that I can sit down to drink, and start to tackle the dishes from last night, the porridge dried onto the highchair and the surrounding floor... maybe put some washing on... tidy away the bombsite of toys from the last 2 hours so I can sit on the couch and not feel like I'm going to cripple myself if I try to walk away. And then I make plans for what I will do with this glorious naptime and open my computer and sit down and then she wakes up. 

11-1.30 - Two and half hours of the same thing as before. Only this time it's lunch instead of breakfast which is actually more stressful because I have to cook something nutritious and create more dishes and more food mess. But USUALLY we will go out during this time. Also known as The Window because all our activities must happen now. Sometimes it's a coffee catchup, or going to Baby Gym (which is just a room full of obstacles and tunnels and slides for babies), or just going to the supermarket once again. Which is not my favourite at all and I feel like I am there so often it's actually got to awkward levels with the cashiers.

{Getting a workout at baby gym by lying perfectly still for 10 minutes whilst licking plastic balls that have no doubt been urinated on by other children}
1.30-3pm - nap time again. Yay! I spend this one doing more of the same. Cleaning up the lunch dishes, on my hands and knees wiping the floor again, scraping dried food off things, hanging washing that will take 4 days to dry, etc. And then when I think I have a moment to sit down, I remember the dreaded task of DINNER. yeuch. Seriously. I have already made 2 meals today (have I eaten, myself? I don't remember. Maybe just another coffee will do. Oh wait I ate the crusts from her toasted sanwiches and then I ate the sandwich off the floor when she biffed it. And I enjoyed it.)... do I really have to cook AGAIN? And make more dishes again? And wash the pots and pans again? 

At this point I remember I haven't gotten any meat out to defrost so we're already on the back foot for dinner. I think of all the mediocre meals I could make with cans of beans and frozen peas... there must be something??

3pm - seemingly years away: Playtime with baby. Playtime and desperate glances at the clock to see when Daddy is coming home because these 4 walls and this attention-demanding little cutiepie are getting quite tiring. It's basically already getting dark (winter) and too cold to go on a walk. I try to create some excitement over the same old toys and secretly hope I won't have to read all the books again as we've done that twice today already... and each book must be repeated at least twice.

5ish - We are literally waiting at the stairs something when Cal gets home. I create a lot of enthusiasm for this event by banging on the stair gate with Ella and chanting "Dad-dy, Dad-dy!" when we hear him getting out of the car. A celebrity welcome every time... And then suddenly he's here and I am like GREAT well you just watch her for the next 2 hours while I do all the other things I haven't been able to do all day such as check if the washing is still damp (it is) and try to force some meat to defrost in the microwave (it cooks) and do a super quick food and toy cleanup because crackers have been crumbled all over the carpet and couch in the last hour but I like to try to maintain this image of the perfect household even tho he and I both know it's filthy 98% of the time and there is no point cleaning because it stays clean for exactly 0.1 seconds before our small human tornado blows in.


5.30-7pm - Cooking dinner, eating dinner, cleaning up from dinner. Followed immediately by: preparing milk, running bath, giving bath, cleaning toys from bath, and dressing baby after bath. Then we sit down and do story-time AGAIN with very specific books and this is the 3rd time I have done the rather long bedtime routine today. Which is why it's so distressing if she doesn't go to sleep and I have to get her up, feed her again, check a dozen other things (nappy, temperature, hunger etc) and then go through the bedtime routine once more. The shortened version, anyway, depending how difficult it is to get her to sleep...

7pm - Sleepytime, if it's a good day. And then there is somehow still a kitchen  FULL of mess and dishes to clean and a living room absolutely covered in food mash and toys and grubby clothes. Somehow, attacking these things is the last thing I want to do and I just ignore it until morning. I feel like I have been doing the same things all day and have nothing physical to show for it. I spent all my free time cleaning and making food and guess what, nothing is clean and chances are there is no food to snack on. At this point I am tired and lying on the couch watching Homeland is about the peak of my existance. Such a luxury. And then eventually we go to bed, and wake up to do this day over again.

A day in the life. I wouldn't change it.






May 29, 2015

O N E


Just like that, our girl is one.

I can't get to the stage without thinking about all the times (alllllll the times) I would see other mothers with older babies and feel like they were somehow untouchable. Experienced. In the groove of it. And I can't help but feel in complete denial that we are already there at one year? And we don't feel like pros yet. But we have learned a lot.



And if you started following along here when I spilled my tragic (I felt) breastfeeding story and then wondered what happened, rest assured: It got better. Not for months, but it slowly got better and better. And now my little lamb can feed herself a bottle of milk, which for us, is just CRAZY after her feeding aversion as a little baby. (If you are stuck with feeding issues, sleep-feeding and breast refusal, and feeding phobia, email me!)

And you know, we still call her Little Baby and probably always will!
She's not quite walking yet so I don't have to face the brain-bomb of calling her a toddler yet. Phew.

How a year changes things.
{To think I hadn't slept in 3 days but the delirium was keeping me going!}

{Easter 2015}
From a little wrinkled prune to a child that purposely makes you laugh and loves to play together.

I sometimes think we have the most loved baby in the world. I'm sure every mother thinks that! But what a support crew we have. The best. And see this woman below? My daughter's namesake, my own grandma who is in her 90's and didn't know if she would be able to make it to see her first and only great-grandchild. But her she is, and I visited her just 2 days ago. She is still sitting up like that, still enamoured with our girl.


Ella has got to have the most energetic Dad around. I mean he's crazy, so it's lucky he has someone to wear him out ;). And he is BESOTTED with her to ridiculous levels.


 Hightlights from this year:

A family ski holiday to Queenstown and Wanaka...

Another trip to Australia for her Uncle's wedding, including her first hammock sleeping experience.

Her debut as a ring-bearer for her other Uncle's wedding...

... lots of family holidays, swimming in the ocean and Lake Taupo, and of course her first birthday party and also her dedication at church. Which we left a little late and ended up combining with her first birthday!
{This somewhat shabby looking cake represents literal blood, sweat, and crocodile tears and looks NOTHING like the pinterest image in my head. But it's kind of precious to me now.}

If one thing astounds me more than anything else, it's seeing her personality come through. We didn't do that. We didn't make her cheeky and funny and relaxed. We didn't make her love people and be so incredibly smiley. Babies, huh? A miracle.

This post was brought to you by the power of coffee, morning-nap-time-so-I-can-get-anything-done, and lots of mummy love...

...you know?

xAmy


Apr 22, 2015

Pictures of our house and stuff

I am always changing things in our house and one spur-of-the-moment move was this black wall in a corner of our living room. You saw a little peek of it with a picture hanging on it in this post and now you get to see it as a chalk board. I was never interested in the chalkboard wall trend until I was thinking about ways to write a sort of sign for my daughter's 1st birthday party coming up, and the natural thing to do was take down the picture and draw on this. In true mummy-style I don't have time to style photos so here it is with a big ol smudge.


 
 
Here's how it fits into the room, with the new hot pink and patterned cushions. 
I could get really honest here and say 'Boy am I glad we didn't get new carpet because it's been pooed on twice in the past week!" but don't want to traumatise you next time you come over. #nappyrashfromhell
 
 


I also had my birthday last week so I am offiicially 29.... eeek in my head I stopped counting at 22 so it's always a surprise to be closer to 30. I got thoroughly spoilt this year with a half-day with my husband hanging around town, shopping, restaurants... doing normal things without rushing home for naptime, almost like before we had a baby. Amazing. On top of that I got some sweet gifts! One of which was...


This espresso maker from my family. I'm not the world's biggest coffee drinker but I love the ritual of catching up with someone at a cafe, and I felt like being able to make a latte at home would be so great to do when people come over. I was going to then buy some proper coffee glasses (those double-walled glass ones that are so styley!) but realised I have a kitchen full of teacups that NEVER get used and look so dainty with coffee in them. Now if I could just learn to make the patterns in the milk froth on top... (it's complicated).

Another gift that I just love was this duvet cover from my husband. It perfectly ties in with the headboard and brightens up the room. The floral pattern is on an almost-white background that is still creamy enough to have warm tones - exactly what I wanted. I'm happy.
Not quite the perfect match with the curtains but let's just ignore that..


And lastly, I put my peacock painting on another wall and hung this simple poster I made instead. I orginally wanted to add 2 more so there is a set of 3 hanging across this wall (because obviously the scale is all wrong with our huge dining table) but I'm going through a phase of simplifying at the moment - so I'm more keen to purge our excess belongings than add new ones, just yet!

Speaking of which, I have a literal hallway-full of cushions that I'm getting rid of, and tonnes of cheap photo frames. It's amazing what we accumulate!


What you don't see: these curtains smell of fish because I cooked fish the other night and obviously the smell wafted over and got absorbed by the curtain fabric... I couldn't believe I could still smell it 2 days later and tracked it down to the curtain fabric. Gross. That's why I'm always paranoid to cook fish - stinky.

That's all for now... I'm off to do 'all-the-things' while my baby naps and then hopefully enjoy a latte or flat white with my little bro. woop





Apr 9, 2015

The happs {All the unfinished decor you could ask for}

Want to see a bunch of rooms of our house that are halfway done and that I am tearing my hair out with angst over the clashing colours and failed risks that I took?

Ok.


1. The bedroom above. I bought the Candy Floss sheeting from collected for super cheap on sale, and a bunch of different coloured pillowcases from the Sheridan outlet store. I had to change the bed today and the clash of the lemony curtains and lime green pillows makes me depressed, as does the fact that the Kas duvet is all in cold colours (in person at least) which brings out the cold colours in the walls, and reminds me that I need to paint them, and makes me angsty that I'm going to make a bad colour choice and be un-enamoured with the result which would be a big fat waste of time. You know??????

 2. The dining room. I got this sample of Hummingbird fabric by Cole & Son and I lurrve it but aside from the thousands of dollars it would cost to have all 8 chairs (only 5 are in the dining room at the mo) covered and have the fabric shipped from America... just ouch. Meanwhile, I forgot to say, I finished something! The peacock painting! I started it before I was pregnant and then after a few months of staring at it while I had Hyperemesis I couldn't stand the sight of it until a month or 2 ago. It's pretty.... BUT (as always) it's not quite right in this room in its current state. I have issues but mainly, the bisque colours walls (complete with 70's wallpaper texture), the hideous window pelmet that they BUILT IN to the ceiling and walls so it's impossible to remove, and more obvious things like the 70's archway to the left, brown curtains, vinyl floors, pointless wall lamp in corner.... etc etc.


 3. I painted this wall black in a corner of our lounge because I was feeling all inspired to do SOMETHING about it and for the first time ever, the circus painting from my childhood looks ok on the wall. I still want to take the black down to the floor but I'm annoyed once again by the window pelmet above and the heater below, which is built into the wall and which I can't paint.
Also, the carpet and the bisquey walls once more.
I also got that new cushion (on couch below) which ties in nicely but will probably never work with florals. And that's an issue for wierdos like me ;)


Speaking of florals, here's the other end of the same couch. I like the hot pink cushion with the floral quilt, it's just a shame that it completely doesn't go with the other end of the couch.

 

And while we're on the topic of couches, here's the opposite wall with yet another ginormous sofa (actually humongous) with a favourite painting and cheap Ikea cushions. And actually I just realised that I didn't open the curtains for that shot so it's looking pretty dark and not very bright and fresh at all. Believe it or not, the wall the painting is on was recently painted and is significantly lighter than the wall to the left. You can't tell in this photo, oops! My plan was the paint the whole room but Easter happened.


 Back to the black wall corner, something else I actually finished: my 'yarn ball bouquet' which is pretty unimpressive but I am weirdly impressed because I see balloons, rather than balls of wool on kebab skewers.


Anyway, the most incohesive and kind of pointless blog post ever, to show you where things are at right now. Basically, a jumble of colours and uncoordinated decor. It stresses me out and I really need to stop looking at other people's 'perfect' houses on social media or I will die.

I know this house will all come together eventually, but the reality is that it will always be imperfect. So I thought why wait to write a post? Why not show you all the jumble of my thoughts and my home? You're welcome.
;)