Friday, July 19, 2013

Grumpy mug

This combines three of my favourite things: Grumpy Cat, ceramics, and mugs - win win win! Melbourne artist Kirsten Perry created these for the Mr Kitly x Dagmar popup shop coming to Sydney in August.

This little dugong

I thought it was about time for a Ray update. I haven't shared any pics of him for a while, either here or on my instagram. Mostly because I'm trying not to be that person, but also because he still has his yucky nasal gastric tube, covering his sweet wee face. We are still trying to get him to start breastfeeding, and no one thought it would take this long for that to happen. He's still getting all his milk poured into a syringe at the end of the tube - expressed breast milk, which I am now into my sixth month of pumping out at least six times a day! Feeding using the tube has to be done slowly, it takes at least 20 minutes and needs to be done every 3 or 4 hours, and with a baby who is now very alert, crying more and struggling, life becomes pretty awful. Most premature babies start breastfeeding from around 36 weeks. Ray was born at 29 weeks (full gestation is 40 weeks), and he's now 10 weeks past his due date. Because he is gaining weight, and is a very healthy, alert wee boy, nobody has seemed that concerned about how long the tube has been in. For us, however, it has become a HUGE problem! Now that Ray is older and more alert, and crying more (!), it's just been really tough. Feeding using the tube feels so wrong. All my 'mother instincts' have been kicking in, and it kills me having to force feed Ray. I know that he can breastfeed because every so often he will latch on for a few minutes, giving me small glimmers of hope. A good friend of mine pointed out that you don't see grown men walking around with nasal gastric tubes, so even though it feels like it's taking forever, I know it'll come out one day.

However, I am happy to report that things are finally looking up. We heard about a specialist, a wonderful woman who has years of experience helping babies with feeding problems. We saw her last week and she gave us a plan to get Ray weaned off the tube, and he has slowly been making progress. She told us that feeding is one thing that little babies can have control over, you can't force them to do it. When they've spent such a lot of time in hospital, like Ray has, with tests and so many things being done to them every day, it makes sense that they shut down and won't cooperate when feeding. This makes perfect sense to me, and it's a relief to hear something that does after all the tests Ray has undergone trying to figure out if there was any major thing wrong with him that is stopping him from doing what should come naturally. I know a lot of people have problems getting babies breastfeeding, and a lot of babies don't pick it up straight away, but I've just been hearing all along that Ray will 'turn a corner', and things will change, and the tube will come out. When it's been this long, and people are still telling you about this 'turning a corner', it gets pretty frustrating! I think it might be happening finally though, now that we've had some sensible, expert advice, this corner turning might actually happen!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Weave!

I finally finished my weaving! It took a lot longer than I expected, which is what happens when you have a baby in the house. Not a lot of crafting time! I have managed to start my second weaving project however, so watch this space!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Nice Socks

Nice socks are one of the little luxuries in life that I cannot do without. Socks with holes actually really depress me. I got these pairs from Vanishing Elephant a few weeks ago and they are just so nice that they have barely left my feet. I haven't even been able to part with them to wash them. Which is pretty gross. I haven't really been going out much though. Alright, it's still pretty gross.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The 90s are Coming

Graphic designer Mike Wrobel has done a series on Game of Thrones characters as set in the 80s/90s. AMAZING! I can't believe we have to wait a whole year for new epsiodes :-(

See the rest here

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Winter Recipe

I've spent a lot of this year feeling sleep deprived, and generally on the verge of sickness, so trying to eat some healthy meals has been a top priority. Now that winter has arrived, I'm sure there's a lot of you out there feeling a bit sniffly and miserable too. Might I suggest this super immunity boosting dish? Adapted from Marion Grasby's Beggars Chicken recipe, this is a meal to help you get back on your feet if you're feeling rundown.

  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • few cms of ginger
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 6 x chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 5 star anise
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar or palm sugar 
  • 1 litre chicken stock or water 
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • one bunch of spring onions

Cut the leaves off the coriander, and rinse the roots and stems. Chop into a fine mush, along with the garlic and ginger. Use a pestle and mortar if you have one big enough.

Heat your oil in a large saucepan and add the coriander-garlic-ginger, heating through for a minute or so to create a fragrant paste. Add the whole chicken thighs and cook for a few minutes until slightly browned.

Pour over soy sauce, fish sauce, and stock or water to cover your chicken.  Add the star anise, black pepper, and sugar, then simmer the lot for about 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, and you have a delicious broth.

While this is cooking, get your brown rice on. I use one cup of rice, to two cups water. Or pour enough water over to sit two centimetres above the rice. Cover, then once the rice is boiling away keep an eye on it until it looks like the water has just about evaporated, and then turn it off. If you keep the lid on the rice should just steam itself cooked in about 20 minutes. This is my fullproof rice cooking method.

Add your chopped broccoli to your pot of rice, and it will all steam up nicely together.

Before serving, add chopped spring onions to your chickeny broth, and the shredded coriander leaves. Pull the chicken out and slice into bite sized pieces, to make it extra nice and easy to consume. Layer up your rice and broccoli in bowls, and cover with your chickeny broth. Delish!
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