Wednesday, October 29, 2008

AWOL and hospital dumbfoundedness

AWOL-internet-free again for me, going back to a more anti-rat lifestyle again. So i'll be blogging offline and avalanching here with posts when I get the chance. I'm looking forward to it, I spend very little time online compared to what I used to do, but it's still too much for me. I don't have much spare time after all.

And the hospital...........well, suffice to say, they're morons. I went for the second part of my booking-in visit and it's just silly. I got into my 9am ob appointment at 9.45. Took in my blood test results which she looked at but didn't read, or if she did read them didn't think my low iron levels were worth talking to me about. She also didn't read the u/s report I took in, seeing as i'm sure she would have given me a referral for another u/s as recommended (it was only for clearer pics, not issues, so I wouldn't have gone anyway, but should have been picked up on.) She didn't ask me a single question about how I was feeling or how the pregnancy was, just became fixated on the fact that I haven't had a full blood screen done. After going and asking the consultant about it after I told her I didn't need it she came back and gave me my orders, told me that it's hospital policy, you MUST have it done, here's the referral, you HAVE to go and get it done now, it's VERY IMPORTANT. Go STRAIGHT to pathology. So we left, scrunched it up and chucked it in the nearest bin. Hey, I KNOW I don't have syphilis!

I did get an apology from D though. He's never come to many appointments before and was absolutely flabbergasted at how they treat us. Now at least he understands why I loathe the whole process. So that's it for appointments for me, i'll ring and cancel the next one and the next time they see me will be in labour!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Something more positive

Mostly anyway. I'd been brainstorming on how to fix a couple of things with my night nappies-not major issues, but the little niggly things. The best idea I had was to overlock them, rather than turn. Now, I was right-it means the front sits straight and flat, the sides have less bulk and the leg frills make the legs a little more secure in terms of containment. The problem? Well, I cut it and mostly made it yonks ago. But I didn't allow enough space around the snaps for the overlocker so just left it half-made. Plus my black wooly nylon was all odd and kept sticking for some reason-it was just one of those things that was a PITA from start to finish. So i'm almost offended that it worked so well when I finally got around to finishing it (overedging with the sewing machine-shamefully messy)-because it means I keep having to make them like this.
I'm sulking now-i've got six cut out and i'm deliberately ignoring them.
So here it is, pocket with 10 layers of heavyweight bamboo/cotton and 2 layers of 2.5mm needlefelt on my skinny little 13kg 3.5yo. My three still in night nappies have all had a shot at it and it fits them all beautifully-it's still the same pattern after all.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bounty Bags

Well, I had my first antenatal visit at the hospital today. I'm not going to go into details-suffice to say I am a child abuser according to hospital standards.

But I got a Bounty Bag. I thought they'd all been discontinued but obviously not. I thought of refusing it by telling her that I don't like disposable or petrochemical based products for babies, but thought i'd probably pissed her off enough by that stage. They have at least taken out the bottles and dummies.

The things I never knew I needed! Like a $790 baby bag. Or a $609 cradle and $1250 cot. Not to mention the $70 feeding set (fork and spoon). Something that rocks your baby to sleep for only $250 (go the arms-length parenting). No wonder there were also books advertised on 'how to afford baby'. Here's my advice for free-don't buy so much CRAP.

Now, some people would say 'But if people can afford it, why shouldn't they buy it? It's their right!' Well, why not buy something decent for a tenth of the price and donate the rest to a charity? Sponsor a child? Or save to buy yourself some solar panels, a fantastic investment in your child's future?

Apparently smearing your child's butt in a petrochemical derived product at every single nappy change is the best way to avoid nappy rash (from those disposables that are apparently clinically proven to reduce nappy rash?) And the hospital grade detergent I got will ensure #5 will never have his poor fragile immune system exposed to any nasties.

I will begrudgingly admit that they did have a one-page spread about cloth nappies-no info, just pictures. And quite a few slings advertised. There was also a token 'eco-mama' section-with organic needless stuff so you can satisfy your need to buy but assuage your conscience at the same time.

The terrible mood I was in when I got home was definitely NOT the best for me to go through this perfect example of rampant consumerism and wastefulness.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Breasts and such

OK OK, I know I said I wasn't going to buy anything for the new baby but i've slipped. I bought one of these t-shirts tonight. It is organic and ethically made though.I couldn't resist when I saw them on sale at Brindabella Baby on Ozebaby. Anyone who knows me knows that breastfeeding is not something that comes easily to me, but i'm determined this time will be different. After all, if I fail now I don't get another chance!
So this shirt can be one of my motivators. D is completely onside this time-he's never really cared how the babies were fed any other time, but i've pounded into his head how important this is to me (and how it means he can't do night feeds :P). I have to admit, I can see his previous stance though-making a bottle and taking over after seeing me sitting crying with bleeding nipples and a screaming newborn at 3am is an act of mercy, not undermining. However he knows this time that that a quick fix is not what is needed.

OK, i'm blathering now. But as penance for buying the shirt here are some hemp and needlefelt prefolds I made him this week. I also have a heap of PUL and FOE on the way to complete the baby stash. Not long to go now, if the scan's dates were right and I go a week early like I did with R that's only 7 weeks-eek!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wool covers & pinny

Catch-up post here-I finished these last week. The two wooly covers, ready to go. They've given me motivation to recycle more fabric, I can't believe they were ratty old blankets.

They're a lot bigger than newborn, probably a medium. I haven't used FOE in yonks and forgot it doesn't have anywhere near as much stretch as swimwear elastic. I bound the front edges in suedecloth, eliminating the need to bugger around with overlapping FOE, which nearly always looks messy.
Holli's dress. Overall i'm pretty happy with it, but even though I narrowed it down more from the last time I used this pattern, it's still too wide across the shoulders! My skinny little clones swim in everything. It still fits adequately though, and she adores it-hence the dirty marks already, as trying it on involved going outside to show everyone and then having a shot on the swings.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A new obsession

Dyeing! I've wanted to do if for ages but it's one of those things that never got around to. I bought a Procion pack the other week from Fairy Fabrics (and also got excellent, prompt service and some freebie FOE) but as I haven't yet had the money to go get the rest of the gear needed it's still sitting on my desk. No, it won't cost much, but D has only been working for two weeks and before that we were stuck on the Centrelink studying lifestyle-not so good when we've moved interstate and since then had to pay our rates, insurances and rego.
However, someone suggested wool dyeing with food dye. I have old woolen blankets i've been felting up specifically for this, I have vinegar, I have food dye, so yesterday I got cracking on some newborn covers.

Method-soak wool in some water with vinegar for four hours. I used a large mixing bowl with 2 cups vinegar.

Mix up some food dye with water-I used a dash in about 3/4 of a cup.
Lay out some Glad Wrap on a surface you don't care too much about (mental note-not the cream laminex benches of my rental)

Squeeze out wool until it's fairly dry, then pour/drip on dye. I used a tablespoon and a medicine dropper and liked the dropper best, but one bigger than 5mL would have made life easier.
Wrap in Glad Wrap and microwave for two minutes, then rest for two minutes. Do this three times.
Let cool, remove from wrap, rinse with water and lay flat to dry.

The stripey one was first, and I don't think it was quite wet enough or the dye colour strong enough. I then overcompensated on the splotchy one and made it too wet, so my yellow and blue splotches mixed a bit too much! I also need to find something reusable to replace the Glad Wrap, I went through a disgusting amount to make these.

Now to stick some fold-over elastic around them and see whether i've drafted up a decent pattern! It's also inspired me to dye up some yarn in nice, strong boys day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Who needs ornamentals?

I've borrowed Jenny Allen's Paradise in Your Garden-Smart Permaculture Design from the library again-I love it, and will buy it one day. I love how her whole property is lush and productive and looks fantastic and it makes me want to go out and buy a block (any block!) so that I can get cracking on a food forest. But for the moment we're stuck in this rental so I decided to potter around and see if I could get some nice pics of our rather woeful 'gardens', inspired by the ones in the book. I'm no photographer but I can try!

This one's obvious-scrummy strawberries.

Zucchini Nimba flower

Mmm, fresh peas-i've already eaten them. Rockmelon or honeydew flowers-I have two next to each other and can't remember which is which!
Macro wasn't good enough for me to get a clear close-up of any of the zillions of ladybugs on the potatoes, but you get the idea. Raspberries-in the subtropics! They don't taste as succulent and I doubt they'll fruit again-they got to chill in Tassie before coming here. We'll probably end up giving them to family the next time we go south.