26 September 2015

‘feel-good’ little job that beaten my stress - vol.2: sorting baby clothes & making lavender bags

What do you do with your children’s old clothes? Give away to someone? Charity shop? Or throw away? Well, I was thinking about taking part of table tot sale, which used to be held at local school near our house. So I kept a whole lots of my daughter’s clothes that no longer fits and the boxes continued to be piled up in the spare bedroom. I have been rather worried if I ever manage to sort these out, but kept my eyes shut for 2 years!

The sudden but great news from my Japanese friend, who is coming to stay with us next month. Now I have a deadline to sort the clothes boxes out in the room. I quickly viewed the tot sale website and I realised that they no longer do the event in that school. That made it easier for me to clear out without hesitation, so I tackled the whole lots with my daughter. (well, that wasn’t a great idea, but she certainly enjoyed “helping” me!) Numbers of bin bag full of clothes to go to charity shop and clothes bank, except a small amount of clothes to keep for memento, such as her first shoes. All the boxes are now out of the room! Phew! (Oh, but I kept only some body suits with pretty patterns to make a patchwork blanket for her, hopefully! (when??))

Prior to her operation, I cut and hung lavender. When we got back home, there were lots of dried lavender. I thought I could make lavender bags, but did not bother spending time for cutting and sewing. So I used her socks and mittens.

Put about 5 spoonful of lavender into baby socks and tie with ribbon. Now they are in the drawers. Put about 3 spoonful of lavender into baby mittens and tie with rubber band. I hang it around the bath tap so when water runs, it smells lovely. Next day, when I turned it out into a compost container in the kitchen, lovely lavender smell spread. You can simply wash the mitten and pour some more to use it again. Simple, easy and feeling good! 

The rest of dried lavender are now stored in a beautiful porcelain jar made by Sun Kim and placed in our living room. I have had this jar for a long time but it used to be hidden somewhere high up. Now I can enjoy watching it everyday and even I can use it by simply opening the lid to smell inside when I ever get stressed! (No one hasn’t seen me doing this yet though!) 

By the way, I used her old socks for Christmas decoration two years ago. Baby socks are just too cute to throw away! (But I must stop keeping them from now on…) m x

20 September 2015

‘feel-good’ little job that beaten my stress - vol.1: making a photo album

As I mentioned on the previous post, I went through quite a stressful period for last three months. It was so long for me to wait for my daughter’s op to start with, then prolong post-op home care. She’s got extremely clingy and sensitive at hospital (though it was understandable), when we returned home I found it difficult to get things done with a child holding around my legs (literally!). Won’t last ten minutes before she cries for mummy, or annoys and throws two-year-old tantrum. Obviously she is more important than any house chores so I played with her as much as I could and only managed to prep three meals a day and daily washing, that’s about it. Other things got behind, ignored and eventually house became chaos, which led me to more stress. Because I was at home for 24-7, I could notice more and more parts of home that made me feel uncomfortable. On the top of that, I hurt my back and got ill. I became grumpy. I spoke unkindly to my family. I blamed my husband for house being untidy etc. I was the worst mum and wife, especially when most needed by my daughter. 

Then something have saved me. Got several Japanese books about “tidying up and storage system”. All written by mothers with young children. I felt connected by realising that others have similar experience. They accept they cannot do everything. They make things easier to be able to follow up by the rest of the family not just mum. I felt encouraged. So I have started a little bit of tidying up everyday. Not too long, just a short period of time a day, but that made a huge difference. I felt good - that was a big stepping forward. The more I did it, the easier it got to tidy up where used to be a full of clutter. This is an ongoing process still, but the realisation was a big step for me. 

Anyway, enough for whinging!

I would like to blog about several things I did during this stressful period that made me feel good in the end. First one was making a photo album.

Old method worked for her but not for mum! too much work!
I love taking photographs. Since my daughter was born, numbers have increased a lot. But making an album is another issue. With a little one, finding time is almost impossible. Nevertheless, I did make a photo album for my daughter’s first year, using Japanese old fashioned photo album, collaging and commenting each photos. Gosh, it took so long but she loves it. But I thought I cannot continue like this each year as it takes so much time and effort, and the big album itself takes so much space to store, so I’ve already given up! 
First photobook I made via CEWE photo world
Printing and collaging are more to my style than a digital photo album, but this time I decided to have a go. Once I searched and practiced, actually I did manage ok. How did I find such time? At hospital. When my daughter was waiting for op, during op and post op ICU period. I utilised the time that can be stressful and long to wait by making my daughter’s photo album. It was brilliant because I was watching her smile after smile on screen so I did not feel awful whilst waiting for op. Such big chunks of time that I cannot usually get at home provided enough time for me to finish last year’s album and half of this year already!

Just like collage handmade album, I could add comment of each month such as milestone and arrange photo sizes how I wanted, but did not need printing, cutting, writing etc so it went quick. I love the result and feel that I can continue this from now on. The best thing was that it made me feel so good to complete one of the accumulated jobs.

By the way, it's coming to the end of home care period. She will be back at the nursery and I will be back to work at the end of this month, which means she can finally play with others too! Hurray! m x 

16 September 2015

daughter's word

Long since last blog. It’s been rather a hard time since my daughter’s been back home from hospital, despite that I should have been happier than ever, I got a bit down with stress, illness and some changes in my mind. I did not feel like I’d blog anything. I was not patient enough for my daughter right in the middle of the terrible two, either.

We went for a walk today as the sun was out after continuous rainy days. As we walked among tall trees in the field, she said “mummy, tree so many” in Japanese! She has tendency to use English but only lately Japanese has started to come out. When I looked up, I saw a beautiful autumn sky. Instantly I felt so refreshed. Sorry for not being a good mum always. And thank you babe for being here with me. xm