Thursday, July 18, 2013

A chair to finish the nursery

The wing chair for Leo's nursery required a month to be made, so I was almost happy when he didn't arrive on the due date because I'd only ordered it three and a half weeks beforehand. I couldn't hold him in forever though, even for a chair! He was eight days late but the chair was even later, eventually arriving two weeks late.

I'd been nervous about having a chair made in my choice of fabric and having to commit to it before seeing it finished. I sweated over the fabric choice. There were hundreds of options and I can be a procrastinator when deciding on big items like this. A neutral fabric would have been an easier choice but I really wanted something a bit more fun and distinct.

Eventually I settled on a Warwick fabric called Mystere Honey.

I found the manufacturer on eBay (seller rosemedley). They are a small, Melbourne company and hadn't made a wing chair in this colour before, so I had to visualise the fabric on this chair. 

Not long after ordering the rug, I stopped in my tracks while reading Domayne's Winter Launch 2013 catalogue because there were a few items covered in the Warwick Mystere fabric. I loved how the colour appeared in the catalogue, making me feel less nervous about my choice. Though being a velvet, I knew it would look different depending on the lighting in the room. Here's a shot of an armchair from the catalogue. My chair only looks this colour when it's really bright which isn't often given it's the middle of winter in Melbourne. 

Last time I shared a picture of the room, the wool dhurrie rug from Temple & Webster had arrived but there was a sad space in the corner.

The room feels a lot more complete with the chair, even though there are a few other things I'd like to do in here, namely another artwork for over the cot (haven't decided if I will create something myself as I did with the others here). For now, I love putting my feet up and watching the world go by while feeding in this sunny corner.

Best of all, Leo seems to enjoy cuddling up on the chair. Well, I don't really know that for sure. He definitely enjoys the milk I feed him while we're on the chair, so that's a start. I think his favourite spot in the room is the change table! Perhaps it's the undivided attention he gets on there, or maybe the nice feeling of having a dirty nappy removed? Whatever it is, I just enjoy the smiles and cute noises he makes on there. Can you see him in the picture below, holding his stuffed puppy and waiting patiently for his mummy to take photos?! What a little beauty he is.

Speaking of the change table, I've added more baskets since the baby arrived. I particularly wanted somewhere handy for the dirty laundry, so one basket at the bottom is devoted to that, but there's now lots of storage generally which is always a good thing. I'm not a big fan of stuff not having proper "homes"!

I'm currently working on a nifty little home for picture books so stay tuned for that. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Welcome Leo Reid

Leo's birth announcement by Saint Gertrude Design and Letterpress

We had a baby! Somehow he is already 12 weeks old today.

Our little man, Leo, was born on April 24, eight days late. He weighed an impressive 10 pounds (4538 grams) at birth and was 54 centimetres long. My only explanation for how I did it was having five weeks off work beforehand! Lots of time to listen to relaxation music and birth preparation tracks. By the time labour came, we were so ready and excited to meet our baby. If I'd known how big he was I may not have been game to do it with just a TENS machine and some gas. I should mention we did an active birth class through Birthready and we found it invaluable in preparing us for birth. We are also so fortunate to have received brilliant care at the Royal Women's Hospital. To think this is public health care is amazing and makes me thankful to be Australian.

We didn't know we were having a boy and we found it easier to agree on girls names. Just after Leo was born, the Mister had to whip out our shortlist of boys names and quickly settled on Leo Reid. We liked that it was an old name but short and easy to spell as opposed to our surname McLoughlan which has many variations. We chose Reid as it was also my late father's middle name so he'll have a little piece of my dad with him even though they won't be able to meet in person.

He's a beautiful boy and the funniest thing is watching him smile when we tell him that! He's even more beautiful now that he sleeps in his bed regularly during the day. When the Mister returned to work after four weeks, it took me awhile to get him into a good 'eat, play, sleep' routine. In the first weeks, he got so many cuddles from visitors and us but all these cuddles and gorgeous naps in someone's arms are not sustainable once you're home alone. A mother needs a few moments to herself or she can momentarily forget how lucky she is!

I can't pretend I've mastered it all by any means. Yesterday he really resisted his sleep in the late afternoon. Generally though, we feel we have been so lucky and stumbled on a really happy, content baby. I now understand why people use the phrase "he's a delight"! He really is. That fact doesn't change the enormous adjustment to being a full-time mum at home. I don't think I expected to be looking for stimulation outside parenting or contemplating part-time work so soon. Getting out of the house each day is pretty essential for me. Sometimes it's just going for a walk with the pram and grabbing a coffee, other times it's taking advantage of the many activities and groups for new parents - I've been to a mums and bubs exercise class, 'rhyme times' at the library, a pram walking group and 'gather and chats' organised by the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Plus I'm in a mother's group organised by the local council full of lovely local mums and their babes. I enjoy all these activities with Leo but I crave doing my own projects and hobbies. There are only snippets of time available and it's hard to feel I'm making progress on something. 

Being a mum and doing all I can for Leo's development is my first priority, but if I'm really honest, most of the associated tasks feel repetitive. I guess it's this repetition that is the foundation for routines and the stability children need. So it's a matter of balancing the needs of the baby with needs of my own. The age old balancing act! At least I know I'm far from alone. I haven't decided when I will return to paid work. I don't want to blink and find him grown up.  He is just so adorable right now so I try to savour each moment. Even the constantly dirty nappies!



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