Thursday, June 25, 2009

She sews ...

It's been a bit crafty round here lately. Months ago now I finally had my sewing machine serviced. Would you believe that Dulwich Hill, once featured in the travel section of the New York Times, has a sewing machine repair shop? I didn't but there it was, on New Canterbury Road, staffed by a very helpful woman who admired Chet and helped me get the serviced machine out to my car.

My grandmother gave me my sewing machine 20 years ago when I finished school and it has been good to me over the years. It has however been sadly neglected of late - the last thing I made was a curtain for the K-man when he lived in a skungy share house quite a while back. And, after it was serviced, it sat in the hall for a while, gathering dust, along with an amp, baby clothes to be passed on and growing piles of fabric and jars. Last weekend, I finally got around to setting it up on the dining room table and going through my fabric. I managed to make a bib pattern from a bib I had and then made two bibs using a funky piece of atomic bark cloth and some red towelling. Here they are with the K-man's crossword.

Then, whist flicking through the Meet Me At Mikes book I found a pattern for baby yoga pants and decided that Chet really needed a pair of bright red towelling pants, so I made them as well. And don't they look fab? They make me smile every time I see them because they are kind of silly and because the fabric is very forgiving of my rusty sewing. And they are toasty warm. So, since I was on a roll, I found some orange and white animal print fabric and made a pair of pants out of that as well.

Here are all my crafty efforts together. After months of reading crafty blogs it was very exciting to actually get it together and craft something myself. And I have to say, baby clothes very easy to make as they are small and it doesn't matter so much if they don't work out as well as they might. Next up, something for me although the K-man was asking if I could make him a pair of inside trousers like Chet's animal print pants. Unfortunately I don't have enough of that fabric to make him a matching pair but I am sure I can rustle something up - hopefully in time for summer.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Prearicular tags

Chet went to hospital yesterday to have a prearicular tag removed from his right ear. Here is a picture of it taken when we were in hospital just after he was born. It was basically a smallish extraneous bit of skin, a skin tag situated near the tragus - coincidentally, in a similar spot to where I used to have a piercing. While it was quite cute and certainly set him apart from the rest it was indeed extraneous and the decision was made to remove it.

Apparently, in the embryo, the ear develops at the same time as the kidneys which means that there can be a very small chance of kidney problems with prearicular tags so Chet had had to have a renal ultrasound a while back. All was fine so he was then referred to a paediatric surgeon at the Sydney Children's Hospital who looked at it, said that he could we could either hold Chet down then and there and tie it off but that would hurt him quite a bit or we could have it removed surgically under general anaesthetic. We opted for the latter - I wasn't really up for holding Chet down while he was manhandled.

So, as instructed we turned up at the hospital yesterday at 7am. Chet had to fast and had had nothing to eat or drink since 2am. He was pretty cheery considering - he rolled around in his hospital cot wearing his tiny hospital gown grinning and gurgling at anyone who came his way. This was in direct contrast to some of the other children at the hospital who were there for much more serious complaints. Someone the K-man knew was in our ward with his little girl who was going to be there for 5 days, having a tumour removed, followed by chemo. I felt almost embarrassed to have Chet there so obviously well and happy and only in hospital for a few hours for what was really a very minor operation. And, all in all, Chet was a little trouper. I went into surgery with him and was there while they administered the anaesthetic which he really didn't like but he went under pretty quickly. I was then escorted to a waiting area where the K-man and I waited until the surgery was done and he woke up. We then went to the recovery area where we found a very unhappy little boy, which apparently is normal after anaesthetic. I fed him and we went back to the ward where he was observed for a while to make sure there were no side affects and then we were discharged at 11am.

A pretty short and smooth hospital visit I have to say. I was prepared to be there all day so we were happy with the whole process. Chet now has a dressing on his ear, with 3 internal stitches and a small bruise on his hand where the cannula was inserted but otherwise seems none the worse for wear. And I feel grateful to have a well and happy little boy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tripping the light fantastic

On Monday we managed to get to an event in the city. This may not seem like such an achievement but even before Chet we would often see an ad for an exhibition or some such and talk about it, discuss going and then just not make it as the time didn't seem to be quite right. Somehow the winds of fate managed to get us into the city just before dark which meant that we could actually view the Light Walk exhibition as part of the Vivid Sydney Festival.

We had been out and about with Chet and he had fallen asleep in the car and so we had been driving around aimlessly while he slept. He woke up late afternoon so we headed to the Rocks, parked and loaded Chet into the stroller, feeling like bad parents as we didn't have a hat for him and it was quite cold. I spent the rest of the evening looking for other babies without hats so I wouldn't feel quite so bad about being disorganised. Still, we did have a blanket (only because it lives in the stroller) and he was quite rugged up so we thought he could cope with being out in the cold night air. And, it seems to be part and parcel of how we tend to do things - spur of the moment, a bit half-arsed and with not enough planning - I guess Chet had better get used to it.

Anyway, we wandered down past the observatory towards Circular Quay to look for a convivial bar to have a cheeky glass of wine before it got dark and the lights were all turned on ... and then we remembered we were in Sydney. We headed Number One wine bar as I had just read Tori's post on it and the K-man had delivered stuff there for his work, but since it was Monday it was closed. So we ended up at the downstairs bar of the Overseas Passenger Terminal complex which has all the ambience of a toilet block but we managed to get seating inside so Chet could be out of the cold and we did have a good view of the light show on the Opera House. I had an average glass of rose, the K-man had a schmiddy of Asahi but Chet laughed in delight when we gave him a couple of coasters to play with so it wasn't all in vain. We watched the light show over the Opera House, then walked up to the MCA to see the light show there which I have to say I enjoyed more than the Opera House lights. Then up through the Rocks to see the lights on the Argyle Cut and an installation of lights in empty bottles wandered back to the car and headed off home. It was fun taking Chet out and he coped pretty well with it all so we shall certainly have to have more outings with him.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I am not sure what is going on but there have been a few choking incidents round here. Yesterday I took Chet to a local music playgroup at the Salvation Army. I know, what was I thinking? I don't do religion and I also don't really do organised activities. But, I thought Chet might enjoy it and I had heard positive things about it so I thought we would give it a go. It seems that yesterday was particularly crowded due to an abundance of birthdays - if your child goes during their birthday week they get a cup cake and a present. So, even though I am not really big with crowds we stayed put. The songs were ok, aside from the religious ones, although they were led by a slightly earnest woman with a strained smile and a Madonna style microphone on her head. I can't saw I was that excited by her delivery, or by the anti-abortion leaflets scattered about the place. However, Chet seemed to enjoy himself at the beginning - I don't think he had seen so many kids in one place before - I am not sure I had either. He participated in some of the songs, stood up and shrieked and waved his arms around at appropriate moments and continued practising his raspberry noises. He was a little overwhelmed by the end of the music so we ended up sitting at the back of the room so he could calm down a little bit. After the music, there was a table of food for the kiddies so I propelled myself into the shit fight to get Chet some fruit which he then proceeded to choke on. It was my fault, the piece of rockmelon was too big - I should have cut it in half for him. He went bright red, couldn't breathe, I had to turn him upside down and hit him on the back and he coughed and vomited up the rockmelon all over me. I was sitting near some people who saw all this happen and didn't come to my aid which upset me a little bit. Chet cried afterwards but seemed to recover ok.

And then, this morning, who should be choking on the rest of her breakfast but the Minx. She was crouched in the kitchen making an awful retching noise. The retching noise seemed to clear whatever it was that was blocking her windpipe and she drank some water and retired to the couch.

I shouldn't really be surprised by all this choking - I constantly choke myself. In my first year at college I think I choked on my food almost every day, although that may say more about the quality of the food than my ability to eat successfully. I have choked on water, on air, on food, on nothing. I don't know what it is, I think I just forget what I am doing or something and suddenly I am gasping and I can't breathe. When I was pregnant I coughed so much after choking on some water that my nose bled. Now, that's a skill. I have a similar problem with walking sometimes, I will be merrily walking down the street and then suddenly I am on the ground having tripped over my own feet or the footpath or a leaf. I hope Chet doesn't choke too much, it really is quite upsetting seeing your baby go red in the face like that. And, I hope he doesn't inherit my lack of ability to walk down the street (a trait inherited from my father) ... time will tell I guess.
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