Mad Hatter's Tea Party

For my daughters second birthday we had a Mad Hatter's Tea Party. The kid loves hats so it just came to me one day, we had to have a Mad Hatter's Tea Party!

I nade a bunny cake (complete with coconut fur). We borrowed extra kids chairs from our neighbours, so we had lots of mismatched chairs which looked kind of mad. The kids decorated their own party hats with stickers. For food we had fruit, gingerbread hearts, cucumber and egg sandwiches, fairy bread and my husband likes to make rainbow jelly cups.

Christmas activites

My friend from Mother's group held a Christmas craft party for the kids, so I decided to make some gingerbread men with E to take to the party. I must admit I find it hard to relax and let him get too messy while cooking and crafting, I am too much of a control freak and my husband hates mess too. The recipe is a great one from Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2. I want to use this recipe to make a gingerbread house because it made a nice sturdy gingerbread.

She read a book about the Christmas story, we sang Silent Night and we did some craft activities like these star pictures using bits of paper stuck on vellum with a star frame around it. When you stick it on the window it looks really pretty with the light shining through it.

Feeding problems

The last 10 weeks have been the hardest weeks in my life thus far...

Written at 7 weeks old Well my bub is 7 weeks old now. I must say that my first was not an "easy" bub but I can honestly say that looking after him was a walk in the park compared to my experience so far with Zoe.

E had reflux as a bub and was constantly regurgitating his feeds, where here I think Zoe has what is called silent reflux. I feed her on a slope so her head is up high so gravity helps her with digestion. When I put her down flat for a play, or on her front for tummy time she will scream the house down. I need to hold her upright on my shoulder for at least half an hour to an hour for her to digest after a feed and then put her in her bassinet which is propped up by towels. If I'm lucky she'll go to sleep. But mostly she is hungry again by that stage and we start the process all over again. She is using up so much energy through lack of sleep and crying that she isn't gaining weight. Although she is getting taller. If I need to put her down to tend to something else I put her in her bouncer which has a good angle to it, she is sometimes happy enough in this position for a short while unless she is having a particularly bad bout of reflux.

8 Weeks old. Her Paediatrician admits us to hospital "Failure to thrive." She is diagnosed with insufficient suck and reflux. We had tried feeding her with all different types of bottles at home and she couldn't get milk from any of them. We ended up feeding her with those plastic syringes you get with children's medicine. In hospital she has all sorts of tests for various problems that babies can have. She has an ultrasound, barium test (scary), blood test (just horrible) and urine test (messy). All of these tests come back clear thankfully except for the barium which confirms that she has reflux.

Zoe is 10 weeks old now
and she is finally putting on weight. She is having breastfeeds and then is supplement fed with a nifty bottle called the Haberman feeder. This great bottle allows her to feed a lot quicker. She is also taking a supplement called poly-joule powder. It basically extra carbs to give her more calories (energy).

I am taking motillium to boost my milk supply since Zoe cannot draw the milk well and keep my milk coming strong. And I'm pumping when I can. I'm also eating all the things that are meant to help with milk supply.... Weleda breastfeeding tea (which contains fenugreek), steamed fish (the Chinese believe this helps) and sago (Indians say this helps).

And now I am looking towards breastfeeding her normally, am trying to see Speech Pathologist who specializes in infant feeding problems. There are only a few who practise in Sydney.

Some pages that have been useful...
Fact sheet on bottles

Visiting friends

On the way to and from Queensland we stopped in on our friends in Coffs Harbour. Going by what fun two days we had, I think we should have stayed there the whole time we were on holidays!!

My friend Fi created all these fun things for us to do. Steve and her husband went fishing whilst we took the two boys to look for soldier crabs. We didn't find any crabs, but the kids and us mum's loved splashing in the water! Then we had a little picnic and played on the play equipment. When we got home we filled up their canoe for the boys to splosh around in. We threw in some beach toys and empty squirty bottles for them to play with. Then I decided we should do some painting so the boys did some painting and then hopped back in the canoe pool to clean off. Now that's what I call toddler fun! Fi's husband makes homebrew beer, very good ( a bit like bees knees) so Steve had a couple. Fi made 100% fruit sorbet with mango, banana and peach, it was so yummy and healthy. The boys loved it too.

Fi sent me home with some vegies and some orchids she grows in her garden. While we were there she was sundrying tomatoes on the washing line. I admire Fi's energy and resourcefulness in everything she does.

Handmade Christmas

For Christmas I wanted to make many gifts by hand but started too late and ran out of time. I did however manage to make five customized t-shirts and 2 decorative throw cushions. These t-shirts were actually made for a friends little girl for her birthday. The bird print is from a thrifted dress, I cut it up to use the fabric.

The nieces loved the cushions. You may remember the cushion at the back from the Umbrella Prints trimmings competition. The one in front I made more recently.


E in a t-shirt that I decorated with a cute print of ants and flowers. He's been sick this week with a sore throat and he has produced more snot than ever before! I've been chasing him around with tissues for days.

I'm feeling a little bit stressed out about Christmas at present. My mind is cluttered with all this STUFF that I need to do and make and organize.

I am so happy that we have room for a Christmas tree this year! I am also super excited about making a Gingerbread house like this one my Mum made one year.

Our weekend

Ethan has started walking in the last week. He is getting quite good at it but is walking with arms out front zombie style! He has also been riding his fire engine around a lot. Most notably while holding his balloon at the same time. Yeehaw!!

Friday night we stayed with my Dad in the city. Steve took me out in the morning for a yummy breakfast (we haven't been out anywhere for I don't know how long) and he wanted us to look for something for my thirtieth birthday present. This was cut short when I walked into a (very clean) glass window where I left half my face on the window and I quickly left (half in shock and half in mortification) with an enormous lump on my noggin! Steve being the lovely husband he is ran off to find some ice and a cool drink to ease the swelling.

I was going to drive to Jen's place for a picnic lunch but Steve decided it was probably best I didn't drive with possible concussion, so he gave us a lift. Jen's new unit is so perfect for one person. She has decorated it and it looks great. Ethan enjoyed jumping in her beanbag and playing with her different pegs!

Sunday I visited the Mathilda's Market in Sydney. It was a great collection of craft products for children. As always the products for girls were over represented, however my Mum and I did purchase two very cute t-shirts for Ethan.

One was a cute pirate ship t-shirt from Sandt. It looks awesome with his navy pinstripe pants he was given for his first birthday!

and the owl tee from The Raisin Did It. I also bought a birthday gift for my sister from Gifts Created.

First Birthday!!

My little man is one year old. On the weekend we had a party for him in the local park amongst the trees.

We wanted to make a cake based on a train, plane or spaceship but I didn't like any of the designs in my kids cake book. So I created this design loosely based on Ethan's toy aeroplane. I found this easy and very tasty chocolate cake recipe. My Mother made up a new buttercream icing recipe using buttermilk and a dash of vanilla. It tasted amazing! The licorice was pulled at by one of the eager young ones before we sang Happy Birthday, that's why that part of the plane is flapping in the breeze!

Even more amazing was the Medovnik (Russian Honey Cake) which my sister made (pictured in background). It consists of many layers of cake and creamy filling. She fell for the Medovnik when she was living in Prague and has been craving it since she arrived back in Australia. She tried to replicate the recipe. The entire Medovnik cake was devoured, it was so good.

In limbo

Well we made it to Sydney in one piece and we are camping at my Mum 's place until our apartment is available to move in. I can't wait! I miss my things and I miss, well... being sort of organised! Steve wrapped up all the last bits and pieces back in Perth and is getting accustomed to his new workplace here in Sydney.

I have so far caught up with most of my family and my mates Jen, Fi, Kathryn and Anne. Fionna's little 3 month old boy, William is adorable! Jen and I caught up for brunch in Newtown last Saturday. It was great to spend time with Jen and I hope to catch up with her often. We visited a fun new button shop and some of my old favourite stores in Newtown.

Next week my sister Frances arrives back from a year and a half abroad. I can't wait to see her and fiance Kristian, and for her to finally meet her nephew Ethan.