Once, twice, three times a Caesar

28 May

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It’s ok, remember you have just had major stomach surgery and you are also looking after a newborn…the nurse said with a comforting smile, when I apologised for buzzing in for more pain killers…

Having my 3rd Caesar you would think that I would be all over it? Been there, done that…but no, this time it was the great fear of the KNOWN, instead of the unknown, and this time it was quite different to what I was expecting…3 times, all different. (Emergency, elective and elective). This time my emotions overwhelmed me.

When I had my first 12 weeks appointment, I was told it’s my 3rd, so another scheduled Caesar – which I was fine with, and absolutely expecting, as it was spoken of when I had my second, I was also asked if I wanted anymore, and if not, did I want my tube tied at the same time? Which to be honest it wasn’t anything I had ever thought about! He said if its the slightest bit no, don’t get it done. It was an easy decision for us not to get it done. Never say never (yet) hey!

I know some women feel failed from having a caesar (they shouldn’t), I know some even see it as an easy way for birth (I tell you it’s not! Although I am also very, very glad not to experience my first labour ever again), I have to be honest with you, when I was first pregnant I really really did not want it to end in a caesar, I don’t know why, I was initially terrified, and of course it ended in a caesar ha! I was also very well informed of a caesar to a certain extent, as after all I was caesar baby myself 35 years ago (a breeched bub), my mother always explained exactly what happened, what it ‘felt’ like and I know her scar well, because that is where I came from. But I still have never ever had any negative thoughts or feelings about those who had one, or once having my first – even about myself having one. I just see birth as bringing bub into the world however the safest way possible, not one way is harder or easier (of course there are personal easier/harder births) but everyone has their own birth story and their own pain thresholds.

I do think knowing a bit about the procedure, helped me during my first emergency surgery, I know of some women, who didn’t know you could ‘feel’ what is going on during the surgery (don’t worry its not painful, just a weird sensation), or about the recovery process. Of course there are lots of other things that I did not know – about side effects and recovery, and of course there is no time in an emergency to tell you these things, and every one of my surgeries I’ve come across something new, and especially this 3rd one I’ve come across things that I didn’t have with others!

For some reason inside I had totally and absolutely worked myself up about this one, quietly… I was dreading the cannula being inserted and the spinal block. I was so overwhelmed and nervous, that once I was left alone for the first time just before the surgery when the midwife took the Mister to get his scrubs, I burst into uncontrollable tears quietly, lying there alone on my bed. I was so overwhelmed with emotions, excitement, nerves, fear!? Then everyone came back and turned up all at once. The midwife, my Ob, the Anaesthetists assistant, nurses and of course, my Mister. A nurse spotted me in tears and he ran over with a box of tissues for me, I calmed down once the Mister was back to hold my hand, I think I just needed to let it all out! I really just wanted it all over and done with!

My Anaesthetist was great, asking me to tell her if anything she was about to do, is what I was nervous about and I told her. She explained all the plan B’s if plan A’s failed. I said I put it down to each time I’ve had an epidural or a spinal there has always been a little issue ( I think because I have slight scoliosis ) so I get nervous that something could go wrong as it’s not always an easy find – nothing has ever gone wrong. Of course the cannula is fine being insert as always (although I HATE having one), and once it came to the spinal, I kid you not, it did not hurt me one bit, and the sensation was not nearly as heavy or as warm as I had previously remembered, what was more uncomfortable was that little baby G was moving around with such big movements (I think she knew she was about to be free! I was actually having tiny contractions that morning we discovered while being monitored), and the way you need to sit curled over the edge of the bed was so uncomfortable with my belly in the way. I had great support, the Anaesthetist assistant, the nurse and my Mister all holding me over, and very STILL.

Now what I didn’t get that I had previously with other 2, is that shortness of breath, and the shakes. The Anathestist said it ‘feels’ like you can’t breath because it needs to come up well over your belly, but it is exactly just that, but she is there, and if it happened that I really cant breath, she is there to put a tube down my throat to help me breath. I was expecting this to happen, it always happened as I was cuddling bub, it didnt come, nor did the shakes, my previous two I would shake that my teeth would chatter. I got the shakes for like 30 seconds slightly going to recovery.

I did however get superficial stretch marks on my arm from my blood pressure being taken during surgery, this happened in my last surgery.

I was still exhausted from the surgery, even though I didn’t labour, and all I wanted to do was have a nap…same as my last elective.

I didn’t really feel bub being taken out of my belly, like I did with the other 2.

We did however smell the burning, I guess cutting open my stomach (sorry for the squeamish)

My heart did swell 1000%, and the tears did really flow, once I heard Lil G’s cries as she entered the world, I wait patiently for that sound while lying there, which happened with them all! (Its one of my favourite sound of all! Strange as it is, I love hearing a newborn cry, it must be the fond memories it gives me)

I remember the Mister getting to hold her first and telling me over and over again how gorgeous she was, he.could.not.take.his.eyes.of.her.

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Me during my first emergency Caesar, see trying to sneak in a few cheeky minutes of shut eye!

I was very very hungry! After fasting since 9.30pm the night before, I just wanted to eat, because of my Gestation Diabetes this time I had to have my blood sugar tested (as well as bub 3 times that day), and of course it was low, and I had to have an apple juice – I had forgotten that I would be on a clear liquid diet for the next 24 hours!!!!!! I almost died inside haha it was agonising the wait – I had pictured myself eating one of my fav Rueben sandwiches our fav cafe down the road for lunch, haha fat chance!…I just kept asking for more chicken broth when the catering ladies came by for morning or afternoon tea, outside of the normal meal deliveries. Chicken broth never tasted so good!

My mouth was exceptionally dry this time, this I didn’t remember from the others, and the recovery nurse, the midwife, and the Mister kept feeding me ice cubes to relieve it.

I hadn’t taken Endone (I had previously take Tramadol) for the pain previously, 2 of them was too much, and it made me feel nauseous and hot and I felt like I need to vomit! We cleared that up quick with some Zofran through my drip, and only a dose of 1 Endone and a Panadol, and the slow release one (sorry forgot the name already).

Same as the other 2 bubs, I utilised the night nursery for my first night as I can’t get up out of bed to pick bub up to feed, settle, or change nappies.

I kept being asked to tell them when I passed wind…. by 10pm that night, yes I was passing wind indeed! hahaha this I also do not remember this from my other surgeries, but I was told by my Ob the next day that it was good and a sign that my gut was working after surgery and that I could move slowly onto solids – Yippeee! I was never more excited to eat a tub of custard and yoghurt and even more excited to eat a small cream of mushroom soup and a ham and cheese, tomato sandwich for dinner!!!

Like the others I had morning surgery and I was up the next morning, I was so happy to have my catheter out, to be up having a shower – that time confined to your bed, without pants and a huge pad sitting between your legs, and having to be cleaned periodically gets old quick – but I admit since the first time it doesn’t phase me at all.

Finally my cannula, (did I mention how much I HATE having a cannula???) could come out after I did 2 wee’s on my own, it had moved a bit and it was just an annoying bit of pain everything I  moved that arm!

I did get those ‘baby blues’ on the second night, but this time I knew why… I was tired and sore and it’s really hard to get up to tend to bub after a caesar, I’ve always wondered if it would be easier those nights in hospital, having a non complicated birth would it be any different (of course still hard, a newborn is never easy just after any birth), but its so painful and you can’t move fast, and bub was so unsettled constantly up, and my breasts /nipples they just ache from the new sensations of breast feeding again, and milk starting to come in. I had tried to sleep at around 10ish, but didn’t lay my head down and sleep until 3.30 that night, when I had called the nurse in for some pain killers from getting up so much, and I got teary asking for them, she had told me its the 2nd night baby blues – bub wants more food, and is more unsettled, and that for some reason all the bubs in the ward that night were so unsettled haha, she suggested baby G went into the night nursery so I could get some rest, and I did…. and I slept until 7am when the nursery closed.

Baby G was a fab feeder, just like her siblings though, and she brought in my milk quick! I didn’t get the massive 10 times too big for me plastic looking exploding at any time boobs that I got with the others, but I was told it was because she was feeding so often! But wow over the next few days and weeks (even now going into the 3rd week) they aches and are so tender to touch, that sting when my let down happens (I have a hard/fast let down) I can’t wait for them to regulate!

By the 4th day I was moving much better, feeling much better, and to my excitement on the morning of the 5th day I got asked if I had wanted to go home a day early! YESSSSS! The hospital was fantastic, but I missed my family incredibly, and having 2 at home, the  Mister couldn’t be with me all the time, and as mentioned before Im not going to lie it can be challenging trying to recover and look after bub at the same time, rest just doesn’t really happen like you want it to!

My wound was healing great, and I went to see my Ob a few days later to get my staples taken out – as I walked in, he said ‘WOW, you are doing good for a caesar patient’, I thought he was joking as I swear I still slow and crouched over a little, then he said ‘You only had the surgery less than a week ago!’ So he wasn’t joking, I told him that I think it was actually my best Caesar yet as I didn’t get a lot of the side effects as I did with the others in theatre and recovery – he did say that it being my 3rd, some of my nerves may be gone too haha! Ok then!. one got stuck, and he offered to put a local in, and I really was not in the mood for more needles, and eventually out it came! (don’t worry I barely felt them come out last time, and the others this time, it was just one of those things!) and a part of my wound had opened, BUT again nothing scary – he said it was superficial and it will still heal great, be stripped it over, and now in week 3 you wouldn’t even know it happened there.

Feeding one night just on her first week home I got extremely painful lower abdominal pains, that then it shot out through… wait for it…my bottom – sounds bizarre right? It was so painful I was yelping a little every time a wave of it came over me, it felt like contractions. I couldn’t sit up it hurt too much, I thought it was the way I was sitting, that it was a nerve thing, it didn’t really help, I couldn’t hold Little G, I had passed her off to the Mister quick! I had it again through the morning, and off to the GP we went! Turns out it was very normal, it was just those good old bowels trying to get back into order – I just needed to keep on trucking with lots of water and lots of fibre – WOW I didn’t not have this with the others, I seriously thought something was majorly wrong. So of course I severely upped my already good water intake so much more and made a conscious effort to eat more fibre (I admit I spent those days in hospital eating what I call pregnant contraband – all those foods I missed… cured meats, soft cheeses, prawns, oysters, and sweet stuff that I held back on from my diabetes. I didn’t get it again, although it did still hurt a bit to go (and it will for a handful of times at the start) your diet will help get it back on track!

So Im heading into week 3 and my stomach has gone down a lot, still there of course, I have night sweats – again I don’t remember these for the last two, but apparently it is the fluid releasing from your body, each night it is getting less and less – I am regretting my decision to cut my hair too short to put up from my neck, I have been wearing head bands at night to keep it up and off my neck, and I have a beach towel underneath me, and a Ben & Holly towel over my pillow – its very glamourous ;)

I am walking better, still taking it as easy as I can (when you have 2 other kids) and so far, so good. I wish I could drive, but at the same time, I definitely know I am NOT ready to drive and I’ve never felt ready until the 6 weeks anyhow. Each day my wound stings less, and I’m moving / longer (I actually did a big walk with the family along one of the beach tracks following them their scooters yesterday).

So for now, I will wait for my scar to heal, as much as I look after it to make it disappear, I am also absolutely fine if it doesn’t as it is always a lovely reminder of where my babies came from :)

Sneaky mum – my ‘mum’ uniform

22 Apr

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It has clearly become more evident that since I have become a ‘mum’ I have regained my love for sneakers, and my collection has really grown…as the Mister put it, every time he sees me eyeing off a pair – he will say ‘Remember Lea, this is your life now…comfort’ and then off I go to the sale assistant ‘A size 6 in these please!’ Thanks for adding to my shoe addiction….

Just recently we knocked away a cupboard underneath the stairs to a storage space like 5 times bigger than what was there, that cupboard held all of my shoes…well to be corrected…it held all of my heels and boots! Most of which has barely been worn for the past few years, I clearly had my favourites to wear when I do wear do heels (like 2 pairs), but many were dusty and I actually did a big cull and I realised how much I just wear sandals and sneakers (saltwater sandals have been my sandal of choice for the past 2 summers – tan, black and rose gold and these are all I have been wearing, and yes you can wear them in the water, I often wear them at the beach, and I don’t have enough time to take them off when chasing the Lil Mister when he spots the ocean from the many parks down here that we go to, on the beach, and yes they still look like new).

I also noticed that most of them are black! I am dying to get a pair of white superstars. I kick myself and cannot fathom why I threw out the 3 pairs I had as a teen/early 20’s – I had black stripe, baby pink, and lime. But I do feel that a white pair of sneaker + myself + my children and their choice of activities would not last!

Anyways I thought I’d share with you my absolutes favs – I am in love with all of my Reebok classics they are honestly the most comfy ones yet, as well as my New Balance 410’s. Another thing that has changed is that I started using a backpack, more so when I’m doing activities with the kids solo, so that I’m hands free. I know, I know, I am still conscious of what my backpack looks like, so instead of using the small one I already had attached to our massive backpacker bag hahaha I bought this tan fake leather one from Sportsgirl last year, being non leather it wipes really well, lots of messy hands and lots of outdoor floors! Another lifesaver of mine are twist knot or turban headbands! I buy most of mine from Topknotgirl, I like the basic plain colours, if I don’t have time to do my hair, up it goes with one of these babies, during the day or even at night and I’m done baby!

Ever since I had Lil M, I always found the best way to deal with the day, even if you are not going out, is to change out of your Pj’s or whatever you wear to bed, into a new outfit, and get presentable, just to pull your hair back (or in my case get that headband on) and make a coffee. AND yes I use reusable coffee cups around the house. My trusty Frank Green, my kids are so unpredictable at least I know its not hot to touch, and I close it off when I’m not drinking it, so there are no breakages and spillages hahaha yep organised hahaha!

Apart from right now, where if you read my last post leggings/jeggings or no pants at all are my choice of pant right now, I also wear lots of pairs of jeans, preferable high waisted for comfort and skinny leg, and this my friends, is my choice of mum uniform ;)

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Third times a charm…and I hate wearing pants

14 Apr

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Here I am, Im 36 + 2 weeks (thats 36 weeks and 2 days for those who don’t know the pregnancy jargon talk)* Yes that is a bit of food on my top, and yes I am wearing leggings. I was taking some pictures for another post and had to sit and have a rest, and thought it would be a great photo opportunity hee hee! My butt hurts to sit for now short periods, and my feet ache standing on them now for short periods. Man some days it can hurt down there from the pressure of bubs position, this baby likes to move and groove like all.the.time. I feel very stretched, and it’s becoming evident that I hate wearing pants even more right now, so at home I’m pretty much pant-less, but hey I prefer no pants at home anyways haha! Oh and by the way last night I bought my first ever pair of…Jeggings (ok maybe I bought 2 hahaha) I met the Mister and the kids after I tried to squeeze myself into pants that I mainly intend to wear in the next few weeks, but also post pregnancy when I’m not carrying as much water in my legs, but still have that little baby bump, so hard to tell! He looked at me with my shopping bag and said ‘How did you go?’ and I coyly said I bought my first pair of jeggings and laughed, and he said ‘you say that like its a bad thing, is it?’ and he smiled and kissed me. This is why I love him so hahaha. So even my sacro belt (it’s a special pelvic belt, I have worn in my last 2 pregnancies to help stablise my pelvis better for PGP – Pelvic Girdle Pain) doesn’t fit as of last night, as I walked around the shopping centre, the sound of velcro kept ripping apart and this awesomely sexy belt would tail off my hips!

Even though at this point I am pretty much feeling my most uncomfortable and I know it will only get more uncomfortable, I am still in awe of my pregnant body, and knowing it could be the last time, I am still taking it all in. I am also carrying very different to either of my other 2 pregnancies – for Lil M, I carried so much water in my face, arms, and legs, so much so, I was always so cold to touch, and I was wider and carried so high. For the Lil Mr M I barely carried water, I definitely carried outwards and lower. This time, I’ve barely put on the weight, only in the past few weeks the water has been filling my ankles /legs/thighs. I really am all belly, and really out. But I think a lot of this has to be because this time around I have GD (Gestational Diabetes) and I’ve had it from real early on, from the 4.5 weeks that I had my bloods done at the GP to confirm my pregnancy. I was initially upset and thought it meant I was unhealthy and that I’d need to take insulin, but soon learnt it was purely a hormonal thing, and that this time around I do sit in the risk groups (mid 30’s and asian) even though I am only part Asian, but it just something that my hormones are blocking more than some women. I am lucky that the whole time it has only been diet controlled and that I’ve had great levels. I have to test (pin prick and test my blood levels) 4 times a day, but unlike most I only need to do it every second day…. thank goodness! But I do feel as though this has contributed to the different pregnant body I am carrying. At times it can be really really frustrating, I’m huge foodie and I love my sweets – even though its more about carb loading than it is about sugars – in my case its a bit too much rice that can send my levels high, rather than sneaking in a piece of chocolate or cake! Worst person to get GD haha!

I have said to friends, that I have never hated pregnancy, although maybe I should, as the first trimester I am always horribly sick, I mean I’m not just nauseous, I’m like seriously nauseous 24/7 and vomiting pretty much every day, everything around me makes me want to spew, I feel chills constantly and I am so lethargic, and I take medication to get through it, I get good again a little bit halfway through trimester 2, once it passes and my energy comes back, then once I hit 3rd trimester my PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain) which is really is a really PAIN! hahaha! The first time I got it with Lil M, what I thought was a tight muscle at the top of my thigh from a cramp, very quickly, I mean within hours, turned to me barely being able to walk, well it was like the slowest pace ever and so painful, and it was just before Christmas eve and I couldn’t get into see anyone and we were driving down the South Coast (we lived in Sydney back then) for our last little getaway (not really a Babymoon) just a quiet Christmas the 2 of us. I was having weekly, sometimes bi-weekly physio sessions just to keep me moving after that, at least the next 2 pregnancies I could tell when it was coming on and maintain it. BUT it’s still pretty painful, I’m at the stage where it hurts to drive anymore than 15-20 minutes, even sitting as passenger at times, hurts to walk at times, and to even sit or stand….but I’m on the home stretch baby, and once that baby its out its gone, and I’m just going to have to deal with recovering from a c-section.

3rd time a C-section too. Lil M was an emergency c-section at 41 weeks to the day. I started pre labour 4 days prior (I didn’t even know that existed until it started), and then I had a long labour, and it was pretty much all in my back until the very late stages (yep so contractions through my lower back and not around my belly), that would progress, then not progress, and I had pretty everything I was frightened to have (I had a stretch and sweep that afternoon, I had to be hooked up to an IV for induction as I wasn’t progressing again (that was friggen painful and I hated being stuck on the bed), I eventually had an epidural , and then it ended with Lil M in distress that she wouldn’t (well couldn’t) engage properly down my pelvis once I was fully dilated, she kept bobbing back up and had become pretty much posterior. When she came out, my Ob had said that she had tried really hard, and was very determined to get out, she had a little bit of a cone head from really trying to push her way down and all that bobbing and she was so swollen and red, but you know what, this is exactly her personality now as a 5 year old, and always has been, a really strong, independent, determined little thing ;) so right from the get go this was her! But I still never saw it as a negative experience.

I did learn from that first birth that you never know what is going to happen, and that I needed to go with flow, and for me it was to trust the professionals, and that body and baby doesn’t always do what it wants or necessarily needs to do. It was recommended that my next be an elective c – section, unless I really wanted to go VBAC but the risks would be high, bub would be in the same predicament (and you know what he was pretty much almost the same size and everything as Lil M – just on 3kgs and around 49-51cm, with both 33cm head circumference – all my babies including this one have always measured about a week and a half behind even this one with GD, I’m pretty small and only JUST on 5ft haha) Anyhow my first elective was very calm, very quick, and relaxed, but that doesn’t mean I’m still not nervous again for my next….from that wait before theatre, having the catheter put in…the spinal! (with Lil M it took ages to get it in, as I have slight scoliosis and I had crazy contractions to keep still) – with Mr Lil M, it was taking a little while, then I heard the anaesthetist say to his assistant…’can I please have the largest needle’ hahaha my eyes widened at the Mr, and then the anaesthetist asked him to sit in from of me, and to hold my hands hahaha, even the smell of my skin as my belly gets cut freaks me out a bit…. BUT its that first cry that I long for, that I long to hear. That was the most amazing sound when Lil M was born and I longed for that with Lil Mr M. Once I hear it, I just relax and fall to pieces…….

The Mister asked me if there was anything I am scared of or afraid of, with this 3rd baby…. Apart from the above, I am super, super scared to go into spontaneous labour early, before my 39 week c- section, and that we won’t have time for a c-section, and it will be the labour of Lil M all over again, yes I said it was also that shortness of breath just after baby comes out in theatre, that my chest feels so heavy and its so hard to breathe, I tend to panic a bit, not feeling my legs for a day, the sore bleeding nipples (if I am able to breast feed again), and the pain of the shrinking of the uterus those first few days – so ouch, I never got told about this first time round, and those baby blues, yes I got them with both, just for a few days – crying uncontrollably at times and I couldn’t pin point the reason as I was happy – I guess its just the body being overly overwhelmed with emotions and physically draining – yes I was also surprised at how tired I still felt after a c-section even though I didn’t labour, I still felt so exhausted. I’m not looking forward to when my boobs fill up with milk – that they look and feel like they are going to explode and somehow look shiny and like I got implants 10 times too big for my body. I’m afraid of that first poo hahaha the midwives and doctors asking every day if you have had one. I hate having to show them pee in the pee catcher every time I go in the toilet too hahaha. I hate that last day when they have to take the stitches/staples out (Im going staples again – my first was a keloid scar of course being red and raised (I didn’t really care about the appearance – that is a while new post altogether),  it was pretty painful and itchy at times well after the birth, so it was cut out the next time and healed really well. I am anticipating the nights being up feeding and having to strategically dress to be able to breast feed when out haha. I am also not looking forward to the 5 or 6 weeks of recovery – each time Ive learnt to take it a little bit easier to recover faster. Oh and that constant bleeding for weeks after, its like… you haven’t had your period for 10 months so now you can have it constantly for a month or so! After writing all of this it sounds like it’s not a great experience, but these are only very tiny things in the big picture, that of course I’m here again for the 3rd time, and it’s all worth it……. even though for some reason weirdly a lot of people have asked if this was planned? Not me personally but the Mister lots!? It’s only 3 years after our last, everyone knows the Mister is a huge family guy…is it our age? I never think of mid 30’s to be too old? Again this is another post to come – how I changed my decision to keep our family growing. That you can never say never.

I am looking forward hopefully being able to breast feed again (just being fed at all is best) and having that little tiny body so close to mine, I am looking forward to those times feeding through the night when I get to steal cuddles and time with that tiny bub, and that the nights that the Mister, bub and I will all be up together, feeding, changing, settling, cuddling. I will be looking forward to when my scar heals, a reminder of where my babies came from (Lil M points at it all the time and is proud saying that is how she came out of my tummy). I am looking so forward to see the bond form between the 2 M’s and new bub, they are super excited and already so intrigued and caring for my belly bump.

So the wait is here, I can’t believe its like 3-4 weeks and soon there will be anther little cute in the house. I can’t believe I’ve started wearing leggings (no offence to any legging lovers Ive just always been a leggings is not pants person haha people can change), can’t believe I bought some jeggings. So every twinge I get in my back or little soreness in my belly, I will be stressed that I am going into labour hahaha – my hospital bag is pretty much packed and I’m pretty sure I have way too many black full brief undies in there, and I’m really ready to just slow the F down right now….. x

 

Get your Easter Bark on!

11 Apr

20170410_123844So disappointedly I ordered some special sprinkles for the kids birthday cake last month, and they didn’t arrive in time  – a week after I might add :( BUT I was left with these awesome jars of colour, so I had decided right then and there once Easter came up I’m going to make some Easter bark. I have always wanted to make it, it was super easy I just winged it, and the kids loved it. After posting about it on my social media yesterday I got a lot of messages about it so I thought I’d pop it all in a post.  I wasn’t planning on doing a blog post about it, so I only have my little Boomerang videos that I put up on my Instagram stories, and just the few pics I took of it, but at least it explains the method better :)

I used…..

1 x packet of Cadbury dark choc melts (and I had some old gold dark choc left over that I added) This would be a good recipe to use the billions of Easter eggs that are hanging around next week

1 x packet of Cadbury white choc melts

1 little box of Cadbury mini eggs

Sprinkles and food colouring/gel of your choice

Line a baking tray with baking paper. I melted the Dark choc first (in the microwave as per directions – remember when using the microwave, only do small increments of time, and stir lots in between, it doesn’t need that much heat and the stirring helps heaps)

I poured the dark choc onto the tray and used a spatula to spread it all out (then I gave that to the kids to lick hahaha) I then melted the white choc, once melted I divided it into 3 – left one as is, then coloured one up blue and other pink. Then using a spoon I just randomly blobbed the white choc over the dark choc. I gave the kids a skewer each and told them to draw/swirl around in it :) (my OCD did tell tell them not to mix it too far it was beginning to just become all dark brown again). Then we placed the mini eggs cut in half ontop and then the sprinkles. I popped it into the freezer for half an hour (you can use the fridge, but I didn’t have enough room) once set, I just broke it up into pieces, and the result is delicious, and the kids had a lot of fun making it!

Enjoy! x

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This was the Kids joint birthday cake by the way! Both of their loves in one :) x

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DIY Advent Calendar Keepsake (under $20)

21 Nov

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Ok we all have awesome memories of those cardboard choc advent calendars right? Choosing the coolest one of whatever cartoon character you are most interested in, and that cheap, but oh so familiar good feeling Christmas choc taste! I bought these for my kids, but I thought that maybe I could do something a little more fun… so I searched for Advent calendars that were larger, and boxes that I could put other little treats in that weren’t always choc leading up to Christmas Day. I couldn’t find any that were big enough to fit more than a sticker or a little choc, so I decided I would make my own, in my own style (big, bright, fun and quirky – if you know me by now I’m not into traditional Christmas colours).

I made this last year, really cutting it close to Dec 1, so I really didn’t have time to take tutorial pics or write about it. This year I was a little slow on getting it down from storage. But honestly it is super easy, and uses extremely basic sewing skills, and if you are a terrible terrible sewer, you could do it all with a good hot glue gun, as it is just felt!

So I am going to give you the measurements, and where I bought everything, and ideas on what to put in it.

Lil M remembered it as was sooooooo excited when she saw me pull it out again yesterday!

Ok so I’m going very basic about it all.

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I bought everything from Spotlight – I bought the felt off the roll (its like $8- 9 a meter) and I doubled it over to make the back stronger to hold up. Lying flat it measures at 85cm in height and 49cm in width. So make sure you get at least 170cm in felt length ways so you can double it over!

The felt squares, numbers and icons, I used off cuts I already had, plus some coloured squares I also bought from spotlight, including the black and white patterned ones, you can buy them by the square or in a pack of all the patterns.You will need a long piece of black felt for across the top which is larger than a square, you will need it to be at least 49cm across. It would be best to buy your black felt for the top and numbers from the roll, 8-10cm in width (for the top bit) so get about 30cm-40cm for the numbers too (remember it will depend on the width of your felt from the roll, how much you will get for the numbers, keep that in mind) if you are not great at hand cutting numbers I would suggest buying transfers to iron on – again you can find these at spotlight!

The twine is cotton rope from the finishings section, get one thick enough to hold up on a hook, get 1 meter to be safe, the dowel I also bought from spotlight, I cut mine to 60cm.

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Each pocket is 10cm x 10cm, I did 4 across, and 6 down. As you can see its not exact, its very rough haha.

I cut the black top first, it needs to be 49cm across and 8cm in length and fold it over the top of your white felt (so it is 4cm on front & back), and sew the edges so that you create like a pocket for you to slide the dowel in later. from the edge of that black I started the squares about 6cm down, about 4cm in from the sides and 2.5cm in between each pocket. But as it is felt lie it all out first and make sure it all sits even, then pin it all and sew (or hot glue gun it) Just sew the edges and bottom.

Hand cut the numbers and any icons you would like (I went for an Aussie summer Christmas theme), and hot glue these down  (as you can see I need to just do a few touch ups on ours before it goes up again with the hot glue gun hahaha)

Once it is all done, then slide your dowel in the top and attached the rope, I attached some homemade pom poms to the edges to decorate.

What you put in yours is up to you! Last year I had sticker and choc, and every 5 days or so there was something a little big bigger… (such as a pack of glow in the dark stickers, some Lyra coloured pencils, wind up Christmas toys). This year I have choices, tattoos, pencil erasers, hot wheels cars, hair clips. You could also add little lego figures, shopkins, stickers, or activities for them to do! Just have fun with it!!!!

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DIY Rotating Kids Artwork Wall

6 Aug

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Our Lil M LOVES to draw, is there something bigger than love? If there is that is how she feels about drawing. She also loves to create things, and ‘craft’ of course being a child of the Mister & I, she has an abundance of different materials and media to use. Different types of crayons, different types of pencils, she knows Daddy’s Posca’s are for drawing not colouring in, I have a tray under my desk that I fill with scraps of papers she is can use and take when she wants and we have 2 large boxes full of craft supplies upstairs and downstairs. So of course we have a lot of artworks created for us. The fridge just wouldn’t do! So we set out to create something we could hang a lot of her artworks on, and also use it as an ‘artwork piece’ itself, if you have read previous posts (or you know us) we love to different artworks all over our walls. At first it was going to be just a few lines of wire held up via wood posts, but once we chose the space we wanted to use – a wall in our kitchen/dining area – we initially chose a wall in our front living room, but we spend so much time in this space that we thought it would be great to have it in here, we often find ourselves just standing looking at them all, and Lil M telling us stories about them. Once it gets full, and an artwork gets taken down, I bought a large scrap book to paste them into afterwards to keep.

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We used dowel, and a wire kit ( we actually had left over wire and wire ties from recently doing our deck fence – you can buy similar at Bunnings/harware stores, we bought ours from a wholesaler in Mascot, you could also use rope and knot the ends instead)

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Again it is very self explanatory, but we bought a thick piece of dowel, and had it cut into 10mm lengths (you can get them to do this for you at Bunnings / Masters etc).

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A hole was drilled through the centre, and then drilled through into the sides where the wire will go, and then crewed into the wall using wall anchors.

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The finish on the ends is up to you, originally we had painted them bright colours, but the final finish I cut black vinyl to cover the ends (you could use contact or decals).

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Once you have screwed the pegs into place it is just a matter of working out how and where you want the wire to sit. We drew ours out first, the design went from 3 horizontal straight lines, to a zig zag formation, to the cross formation we ended up with. We use wooden pegs to hang them up. It just really depends how big the piece is that you have to work with.

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This project is something we have been talking about doing for months, like 6 months or more and didn’t get around to doing, we wish we had done it earlier, but we are so happy it is up, but Lil M is going to have to share the spotlight with Mr Lil M soon, as this little guy looks like he is following in her footsteps, and is happy with a crayon in his hand too!

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