Tuesday, December 24, 2013

In memory of darling little Arya (22 July 2013 - 22 December 2013)

For one mother in the world, her very worst nightmare has come true. Her arms are empty and her  heart is heavy because her darling little girl was taken much, much, much, too early from her bosom. When MiniMr was born, a friend said to me that from that day forward, my heart was walking outside of my body. So I'm left wondering how this sweet little girl's mother is expected to carry on without her heart?? No mother should ever have to bury a child. Ever. But burying a child that has barely lived seems that much more tragic. Why? Why? Why? I feel so sick with sorrow for her family. There are no words or actions or anything at all that will ease their pain now. Only time. Time. The only thing that can't be hurried, or bought, or taken. Time. The only healer. I'm in utter awe of every single parent that has ever lost a child and is still here to tell the tale. I'm humbled. I'm heartbroken. I'm not sure I'd survive. I pray that I never have to find out.

Rest easy little Arya.
You will never be forgotten.

Friday, December 20, 2013

If only I could I would....FIJI!

I love travelling and have done a fair bit in my time but not nearly enough to satiate my wanderlust! There is still sooooo much that I'd love to see and do and just hope that I'm blessed with enough years to do it all in. As I used to work for LUXURY Holidays & Corporate Travel magazine, I got a bit of a taste for the truely sublime and breathtaking.  But now that I'm otherwise occupied with a pint sized little dynamo (yes, let's blame him for the lack of travel!), I thought I'd treat myself with a regular post called 'If only I could I would...' of where I'd be galavanting if money, time and all other restrictions fell away. 

This week, I'd be on a flight to Fiji with family in tow. I'm feeling like a wee lie on the beach, or around the pool with a (virgin) cocktail is EXACTLY what I need. The plane would be dropping me off at Dolphin Island... actually, no, the plane would drop me off at Fiji International and from there I'd transfer by float plane or helicopter.... I'm not really fussy! And this is what would be waiting for us...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Love Wednesday...

Rather late than never... and its Wednesday somewhere in the world!  

This week, I got a contribution little readers! Oh, yes, we're seriously on our way to hitting the big time now! Thanks Mz Bex for flagging Stickygram - an awesome site that promises to bring your Instagram photos to life by allowing you to get them printed onto iPhones, iPad covers or magnets... I mean, is there a better way for the world to see how amazingly talented you are behind a camera?? And, hello, FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE. Boom. I'm sold.

On the fabulousness of the world wide web, wouldn't it be cool if there was an app with ideas on how to amuse your almost five month old. Hold up.. there is one! Welcome Knoala! The website claims to 'Raise happier kids'... now I'm not sure about that but it sure keeps them happier if they are entertained! Basically, after you've registered, you load all your kid's deets in and where you're based (that's so that they don't give you summery stuff and its -13 degrees outside) and it will suggest activities. Its totally genius I tell you as I often feel like MiniMr and I have rehashed the same songs, funny faces and toys over and over again. Check it out, a total must have for anyone that often has ankle biters on their hands. And just as an aside, the video on their home page makes me a bit teary eyed. Stupid mommy hormones!

Its summer in this part of the world, so along with glorious days comes not so glorious FLIES!!!! Now, I know we're meant to love all of God's creatures alike but I am so NOT a fan. And since we've got MiniMr, my usual line of defence in the aerosol can is not an option. So I purchased a Bug Zapper. And here's the thing... it really works. Not as easy as a quick spray since you have to hunt them down, zap them, and then locate their stunned little bodies to dispose of. And the smaller ones are HARD to catch. But still, sooooo much better than having six of the little fockers swarming around me while breastfeeding. And it works for pretty much everything with tiny wings.

Why oh why oh WHY did we not have uber cute linen like this when I was growing up?? I had a crocheted bed cover and I just know - JUST KNOW - that I would've been happier and had a whole bunch less hang-ups if only I'd had this princess duvet to go to bed with at night. Oh well, I'll indulge my childhood fantasies through my wee boy... I'm sure he won't mind a princess duvet!!! (There is in fact a rather fabulous astronaut one for boys!)

And just because its Christmas, and I just know there are some of you that will be furiously wrapping pressies at 11.10pm on Christmas Eve... only to realise that you forgot the tags. Well fear not as now you can MAKE YOUR OWN. Check it out here. Okay, maybe not really ideal at almost midnight but still cute!

And last but not least, I bet you've been wondering ALL week what's caught my eye on Etsy. Well, wonder no more because here are my little bits of deliciousness...

I'm not sure what's with all my winter picks since its SWELTERING in Auckland at the moment, but how adords are these little baby boots! All together now...'Cuuuuttttteeeeee!"

And I just know there is someone out there that's freezing and ABSOLUTELY requires these little beauties. There are also mo' ones, heart ones, dog ones, even Christmas ones... basically something for everyone. 

Then there's this awesome shop that sells teething paraphernalia. A little bit cute, a little bit quirky, a whole bunch of 'Add to cart please'!

And that's that for another week. 

Um, I don't think there will be a 'Love Wednesday' next week since its likely I'll be comatose from stuffing my face. And the week after is New Year... but then its all systems go! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Santa's in da house....

Ho, ho, ho. I frecken love Christmas! Love, love, love it! I think its because I'm slightly obsessed with creating traditions and Christmas gives you a truck load of opportunity to do just that. And of course, Christmas is one of the most exciting times if you have a baby... I can now create some awesome Christmas traditions for our family! In reality though, what's likely to happen is that I'll get totally overwhelmed and do nothing. But right this minute... THERE IS SUCH PROMISE!!!!

I can't say that I've started the way I mean to proceed with all this family tradition stuff. I failed miserably at getting Xmas cards out this year - as I have for like, well, the last 10 years or so. I used to make all my own Xmas cards. For real. And then suddenly, I didn't. So this year, MiniMr's first, would have been a GREAT time to get started on that again and send out a homemade card with him on the front dressed all cute and stuff, like a Christmas log or something. Oh, I thought about it. I thought about it heaps. But I NEVER DID A THING!!! For once in my life though, it wasn't plain laziness - babies keep you busy, man!!

I'm on some great mommy sites on Facebook - shout out to all the mamas that are reading this :) - a lot of which are American and man oh man... they do traditions like nobodies business. I've had card envy, tree envy, Santa envy. In fact,  I've had Thanksgiving envy, Halloween envy, you name it envy... I've had it. They just do this stuff so well. Their Santas at EPIC, and the family photos just rocking. It makes me WANNA BE AMERICAN!!!

But back to my reality and the real world, I'm now trying to get some Salt Dough ornaments made (as you all know from a previous post, I'm yet to use the plaster of paris kit I bought to immortalise MiniMr's feet and hands!!!). I must, I must, I must. Its not that hard for goodness sake. And the tree. That was a major 'Should we start getting a real one or just stick to the old trusty artificial tree that has served us so well for the last 10 years or so??'. Lordy, that dilemma bounced around in my head for WEEKS while I talked to people about it and all the pros and cons. Eventually, I just pulled out the frecken tree and put it up. Not like MiniMr is going to know any different at the mo and it might be nice to change to the real thing when he's old enough to be asked his opinion. And then there was the Santa photo...Do I take him to the flashest place in Auckland to do one, and wait a million hours in the queue with screaming kids and disgruntled parents? Or do I just take him to the local shopping mall because again.... ITS NOT LIKE HE KNOWS WHAT'S HAPPENING. Anyway, his father told me that we're not fancy people (although I secretly fancy myself just that) and off we went to the local mall. Well, SANTA NEEDS TO GET A NEW JOB!!!! I'm not sure who looked more somber in the photo - MiniMr or Santa, who was evidently rather over it and already thinking about the cold beer waiting at home. I even had to ask for MiniMr's gift... from the photographer!!! I WANT AN EPIC AMERICAN SANTA!!!!

Anyhoo... on the bright side, the photo is done, the advent calendar was bought (MiniMr had a wee chew on the corner and then moved on) and he's got a Christmas Eve outfit and Christmas Day outfit so its not all a complete fail. And, there'll be another Christmas around in a mere 365 days. Ooooh, and then I'm going to do it all.... homemade cards with a corny family photo on the front, a Christmas book for every night, a homemade advent calendar with teeny tiny gifts, Xmas pj's for the whole month, Salt Dough ornaments for all and sundry, maybe the tree will even be real. Ooooh, and... and... and....   

Here are some great Christmas Tradition ideas that I loved and thought I'd share with you:

-Homemade Christmas Advent calendar, with small and personal gifts
-The Christmas stocking, with one gift that stays consistent, eg socks, or an orange, or a bar of white chocolate.
-Christmas book Collection, either in a basket under the tree, or individually gift wrapped so that every night is a surprise as to what book will be read. Start buying a book a year and your collection will be rather meaty in no time.
-The Christmas Bake-off, where the whole family gets together and bakes awesome treats for neighbours, teachers, co-workers and such as gifts.
-The Christmas lights tour, every town has one street that is awesome... make it a tradition to drive along it as a family. Or, why not become that street
-Christmas Eve = one gift to unwrap before bed. With cocoa. And Christmas songs. Love.
-The Tree Trimming, where everyone mucks in and gets that tree put up. Again, cocoa and carols a MUST! 
-The Big Christmas Clean up, an awesome way to get de-cluttering (you know the saying - one in, one out). Plus, by donating good and in working condition stuff to charities etc, you'll also be paying it forward 'cause you know that other saying, 'One man's trash is another man's treasure!' 
-Christmas PJ's, either a few sets that are worn every night on the lead up to the big day, or a special pair that only gets worn on Christmas Eve. Extra points for the families that wear matching. 
-Special Christmas Decoration, where every year  you either allow your child to chose their own decoration, or you choose one for them, and it gets presented to them at the Tree Trimming. Or, here's an even better one... DIY it!! 

What traditions do you have?? I'd love to hear them. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wonder-weeking wonder...

We're wonder-weeking in this house at the moment.... and its completely FASCINATING!!! You may have noticed that I'm a real information hoarder, I love it and research things up to me eyeballs. When I'm interested in something, I've got to have the books. And now the apps. Only problem is finding the time to get through it all. 

At the moment, I have the following next to my bed, all of which at some point or another have been dragged to the lounge, the kitchen, the computer room, and dare I admit, the toilet! as I grab pockets of time to fill my boots with reading.... 

-Blogging for dummies: Not yet opened
-Mom blogging for dummies: Not yet opened
-The baby-led weaning recipe book: on page 15
-The baby-led weaning cook book: Not yet opened
-Baby-lead weaning: Almost onto chapter 6 (of 8 chapters)
-Your self confident baby: More than half way there
-What to expect: The first year: currently on pg 322 of The Fifth month (I've just covered 'Starting the Cup)
-The Wonder Weeks: I've just finished Chapter 6 on Wonder Week 19: The World of Events

But its Wonder-weeking that I'm on at the moment as MiniMr will be 21 weeks on Saturday so he's right in the midst of Wonder Week 19, which can run for anything from one to six weeks. 

Anyhoo, I noticed last week that he's feeding really badly, mostly in the day (how can 2 minutes on the boob possibly be enough??) and that he's pulling his ears again (how many visits to the Dr for potential ear infections can this mommy make??), and that his settling for sleep has got, well, very unsettled. He also reached for both Mr and I on Saturday at different times when he was being held by people he wasn't familiar with, he's become rather demanding of mommy's time, and he adores the 'little boy that lives in the bathroom' aka his reflection in the mirror. And I'm sure he knows who I'm talking about when I mention daddy... he's eyes light up and he becomes super animated. But, I'd been so busy with general day to day stuff like washing, cooking and baby looking after that I hadn't had chance to read where he was at in this 'leap' even though I knew it was on the radar... at the very same time as the notorious '4 month sleep regression'. BTW - a lot of the above I was blaming on teething.... which I understand will get blamed on for everything from now until 3 years old! 

Well, last night, I pulled the wee pink book out and lo and behold... all the very things I'd noticed - and sometimes been worrying about e.g. feeding!! - was all there in black as white as signs that he's experiencing 'The World of events'. And this my friends, is why I love information. I was utterly fascinated by how on track his development was. Not from a 'Wow, he's so clever, watch him go!' perspective (although, if I'm honest, I have those moments too) but from a 'Wow! How about someone has studied this and ALL babies will be going through a range of this at the moment!'. Just frecken FASCINATING!!!! So after this 'leap', our wee little man will really be his own person for the first and no longer think that he's an extension of me or his dad. He'll explore his surroundings with renewed gusto and I'll no longer be his only toy. Basically, he's a man looking for action!  

And the thing I'm most looking forward to from this leap.... when he responds to 'Leo' for the first time. 

PS For all new moms, do yourself a favour and grab a copy of 'The Wonder Weeks' by Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooij. You won't regret it.    

Love Wednesday FAIL...

Sheesh, we were almost there team, so very, very close... but it just didn't happen. Bright side though is that I'll post a meaty 'Love Wednesday' next week! 

I thought though since I LOVED this, it would be a good stand in. Go and grab the tissues, click play and be ready for your feel good juices to crank up! It's Christmasssssss time! 


Monday, December 9, 2013

Once upon a time...

...I had all the opportunity in the world to enjoy a leisurely cup of tea on the couch with some biscotti and a magazine. Now its at the top of the stairs waiting for a teething babe to settle, with maybe a quick flick through the first few pages of a mag that's two months old, a few of sips of a partially warm cup of tea, and biscotti that would be considered breakfast. 

Once upon a time....
I never left the house without making the bed first. Now its a good day if I can get back in to it without getting tangled up in anything other than bedding.

Once upon a time...
I would never have worn something that wasn't ironed. Now, if it smells clean and looks clean, we're good to go.

Once upon a time.... 
I got ready for the day in my bedroom. Now its mostly in the hallway, spare room, or laundry, using whatever mirror I can find that's not fogged up.  

Once upon a time....
My dishes never piled up. Okay, that's a lie, they always did and its likely they always will! 

But once upon a time, I did not have this rolling around in the bed with me first thing in the morning, giggling with me at noon and snuggling at night .... so it seems like a reasonable trade I thought.
Over to you mamas... what has changed for you?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

And then they grow up....

I think its fair to say that I was NOT a fan of motherhood in the first 14 weeks. Don't get me wrong; every time I looked at my wee boy I was overwhelmed with love. But I was also just, well, overwhelmed full stop. I think I might even be guilty of wishing some of my days away! But now, well, now it all feels like its going much too fast and my baby boy is pretty much growing up before my very eyes. 

He's rolling now - its the cutest thing ever!! - and I have a very strong feeling that my non-sleeper is to become a sleeper, as with this new found talent comes tummy and side sleeping... and this little guy LOVES IT!!!! Once we get over the initial rolling around like a seal on its tummy, and mommy having to save arms and legs that are stuck out of the cot bars (that's the crib for all my wonderful American readers), he's off to noo-noo land and out cold. Earlier in the week, he slept for 3 hours straight in the afternoon. THREE HOURS!!! That's unheard of in the day if he's not using mommy as his mattress. I had a chance to sort out all his clothes (how is it possible that he'll soon be in 6-9 months stuff!!), do the dishes AND some blogging. Gosh, it got to the point where I was almost, well, bored, and wondering when he was going to wake up!! I am so not used to that anymore.

And then that night, after he found his groove, albeit across the cot so that I had to move him, he was out until midnight. Which is a bit earlier than usual but I never heard a peep again until just before 5 am that morning. That's right. 5am!!! There was no early morning feed, just straight through to 5am. Which is great, but also so so so sad because if I'm honest, I love breastfeeding my boy and getting cuddles in bed at night. Night times are my favourite, with both my loves all tucked up and sleeping. Ironically, it was night times that I hated the most in the beginning... they stretched out endlessly before me with sore nips, engorged boob and an unsettled baby. Sometimes in the early morning, I would just go outside and absorb the first rays of sun in quiet relief. Oh, life, you're such a fickle old thing!

Since MiniMr was very small, at around 5am or so, he becomes very unsettled and bucks around like a crazy person. So I started to bring him into bed with us. Initially, he slept with Mr because the smell of my milk would send him into a tailspin (and I avoided all unnecessary latching in those early days!). But as he got bigger, he started sleeping in my arms as, dare I admit, we both feel asleep breastfeeding. So that became the status quo. But over the last few days, I've started thinking that he might be getting too big for that now and is probably a lot more comfortable in his cot after a feed where he can stretch out. Mr kept saying to me that I do it because I love the cuddles, and I would vehemently defend myself and say that it's because I just want to sleep and this is what I need to do for us all to have that! But it turns out he might be right... I think I really do love the cuddles. I love to feel his warm 'n squishy little body wrapped around mine, chubby arms thrown out in complete trust that I'll always be there to hold him and never let him fall. Its utterly, utterly delicious and makes my heart swell so big, I fear it might burst.

Oh, I know there will be other, different cuddles but these cuddles now, while he's still so tiny and can be completely enveloped in my arms, will always be so very very special to me... and I'm sure just a few more (million) mornings like that won't hurt either of us!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Love Wednesday...

Funny how some weeks just get away with you, without any real rhyme or reason as to why. Well, this has been one of those weeks. Mr was away in Palmerston North for some training for the entire weekend, so it loomed before me like a gaping chasm of 'What the fluff will MiniMr and I get up to??'. We were fine though, even after two rather unsettled nights and one very tired mama. I even managed to get my Monday post all typed, checked and ready to roll... it was just the picture that needed to be sorted. For that, I needed an editing program so I decided to download Picasa. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? Well, here's a bit of advice for you.... whatever Picasa downloads from your system, and you delete because you don't want certain images on Picasa.... IT DELETES THE ENTIRE FOLDER FROM YOUR HARD DRIVE!!!! Thank goodness I realized this before the trash was emptied. And double thank goodness that iPhoto doesn't allow you to delete from Picasa like it does folders because it would have been even more of a debacle then!!!! I only hope I got it all back.... I'm yet to come clean to Mr... he is going to go ape shit! 

Sooooo, I spent aaaaages trying to work out what the hell I'd done... and as all new mama's will know, the window of free time is fairly limited. So no post! But hey, at least the next one is ready to go for later in the week. 

Let's get cracking on Love Wednesday why don't we....

If you will be breastfeeding, then please know this all you new or soon to be mamas.... it's very likely that most of your clothes will be useless during this time in your life. Yes, probably even all that maternity stuff you so excitedly bought. Crazy, I know.... another range of clothing to be purchased. For me, tops and leggings have pretty much become the staple. Just normal tops though because breastfeeding ones have mostly not been to my taste. But this introduced another dilemma - the post-baby tummy dilemma... on top of huge milky boobies and the feeds that kind of have to take place outside of the home occasionally. Luckily, I stumbled across these beauties so that no one needs to stab their eyes out - the clip-on cami from BreastmatesAnd while you are there, grab some hydrogel pads for nips that want to commit suicide and these bust out beanies that are soooo wrong, they are right!

I have to say, some people have come up with some pretty novel ideas for some pretty boring things. Like this construction dinner set... how could dinner time - or in fact anytime - ever be boring with these. Love it! 

Ah, and here's something I've wanted to do for MiniMr and still haven't... and um, he's only going to be 5 months soon!!! But for those much more organised mommies, or for those looking for a great Baby Shower pressie, check out this Inkless Printing Kit. Yes, you so need it to record those teeny tiny feet and hands. You'll look back and soooo not believe that once your precious parcel was THAT small.

Moving over to what the USA has on offer, how amazing are these Colour Discovery Boxes?? Almost makes me want to re-learn my colours! And for those of you that are like me and have family that live on far away shores, these 'All about me' personalised books are perfect for little ones to learn about family near and far.

And a last wee treat for those of you that live in Auckland. If you're craving a very good cupcake, head to Bluebells Cakery in Hillsborough. The surroundings are sweetness personified and all the food we tried exceptionally good. I had no coffee though, so if you do head that way and indulge in some of the brown stuff, do let me know what you think. And if you're not in Auckland.... have no fear; they now have a cook book out so you can purchase that and whip up a delightful tea party to impress all your friends. I was seriously tempted to purchase one myself its so gorgeously presented but since I don't really bake, I restrained myself. I'm not sure though that when I return I will be able to hold myself back on a second occasion.

There is more.... but it will have to wait for next week otherwise I'll never get this up. Let me know what you think, or if you've seen any bits and bobs that you know I'll just love for Love Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Love Wednesday...

Once upon a time, I looked on with envy at other people's shoes. Now, its car seats and buggies. My latest  'eye spy' was a Maxi Cosi car seat of a girlfriend that came over to visit.  It's seriously the sexiest of sexy seats ever... now I'm just trying to convince my hubs that its the type of sexiness I HAVE TO HAVE on my back seat. (Please note that if our car was a person, it would be on the pension... so it will take a lot of sexy to sex it up!) (Oh, and we already have a car seat!)  

I adore books, and before MiniMr arrived, I spent a rather embarrassing amount at the Book Depository. I spend a less embarrassing amount with them now but recently purchased a Peter Pan pop up book by Robert Sabuda as a gift that genuinely took my breath away. It was absolutely magnificent!!!  The Alice in Wonderland one looks utterly enthralling too. I'll definitely be purchasing soon for my own book shelf. 

Right next to books is my obsession with really nice stationery. Is there anything else in the world that compares to a beautifully wrapped gift, or hand written thank you card? Well, yes, I'm sure there is but still, its pretty cool. Toodles Noodles get this. They're awesome.     

If you have a little boy, or know anyone with a little boy, you'll often hear them lament that girls' clothes are far more exciting than boys'. This is true, so it's a delight to find somewhere like Harlow Clothing that makes some pretty cool duds for boys. Those little black sunnies and grey skull shorts have MiniMr's name all over them. Adorbs! 

I know that I'm soooo late onto the train for this one, but I've fallen in love with the Pandora concept and have asked Santa to please make sure that I have one under the tree this year.

And last, but certainly not least, if you love, love, love your slow cooker like I do (thanks again Rach!), then you sooo need to try McCormick Slow Cooker packet mix. There is always at least one, if not two, in my shopping every week and so far they are all dee-licious. 

Enjoy hump day Wednesday. xx  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Is there a doctor in the house....

I'm a bit of a hypochondriac. And rather dramatic too. Soooo, not really the best combination for a calm and peaceful existence. Seriously, the shit that goes on and the scenarios that I create - ALL IN MY HEAD - are astounding!!! Luckily, Mr is the complete opposite and often calms this runaway train down. It was probably madness then on my part to throw into the mix a precious and gorgeous, but in my mind, utterly vulnerable, baby. O.M.G... total mayhem in the head space!

The craziness started while I was pregnant. I had my 1st scan at 7 weeks - yes, 7 weeks people!! - because I was so paranoid about losing this wee peep. Of course, the scan was fine... turns out that you can be a bit crampy and then not. And then a bit crampy and then not. All totally normal. One would think that after I' d passed the dreaded 12 week mark, I'd calm down. Oh no. I then accidentally listened to the words of Ed Sheeran's 'Small bump' and that sent me on a whole new tangent. My problem is that I need the information about what's worrying me - so that I can spot the symptoms/first shows/whatever - and so I research the bejeebers out of said concern, becoming slightly obsessed. Then I freak myself out because I believe so strongly in the Law of Attraction and 'your thoughts create things', that I go in completely the opposite direction and totally avoid ANYTHING related to said obsessed topic, while in reality, it still simmers under the surface. Its not a good system as you can imagine!!!

Great news though! MiniMr arrived in one whole and healthy piece. 'Sorry, what was that about SIDS?? And what are the stats?? Around 60 die in New Zealand a year! Wow! That's a lot.' And then starts the mind jabber, and here we go... I over research, freak myself, step away, ignore but still quietly freak myself out. Like I said, not a good system.

So I've been stressing about the first time MiniMr gets sick.  So much so, that I kept him away from 'society and its filthy germs' until he was 12 weeks old, and now spend what I consider a unreasonable time at the doctors... I'm starting to get quite embarrassed every time I see MiniMr's doctor! 

Ear infections are my latest obsession. We've been twice already for that and no, there was nothing. And then last week, MiniMr had a very unsettled night, more crying than usual, wouldn't go into his cot, just not himself. He seemed to have another cold, and craddling/pulling of the ears was taking place. Now, that's why I took him the first two times, you see... but apparently, at this age, they've just kind of found a new toy to pull and tug on so its not necessarily sore ears, plus they can't actually identify where the pain is... they know that they are uncomfortable, but they wouldn't know its their ears, if you get what I mean. 

So, I nearly didn't go to the doctor (see me trying to NOT be the drama queen!) but after another weird, and snotty, crying spell, I thought I'd phone the nurse instead and just have a chat. Just in case. She suggested I might as well come in, because, you know, rather be safe than sorry (one of my all time favourite justifications for health obsessions!). Well, HE HAD AN EAR INFECTION!!!! Poor little guy is hardly four months and already on antibiotics, which I despise, so I was feeling very sorry for myself. And MiniMr. And also a bit guilty because I just KNOW that this was the Law of Attraction in action. Thank goodness he's now had the effin ear infection and I can move onto other worries... like if the cramps I'm feeling is the return of aunty Flo and how this will affect my breastfeeding. Now what does Dr Google say about that, I'll just have a quick wee little look... 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Love Wednesday...

Guess what?? 

I've done most of my Christmas shopping. Yes, feel jealous! Go ahead. I know you are. And it was all without stepping into even one single mall, which at Christmas, as I'm sure we all know, is its own level of torture.

Our Christmas list has progressively grown over the last four years from one wee lone niece, now 14, to six nieces and nephews and two god children... all under four. And MiniMr of course, which at all of five months, really did not require the majority of gifts I've got for him, or probably any. But, the truth is, I COULD NOT HELP MYSELF! I adore Christmas and can't wait to start creating traditions that MiniMr will look forward to every year. My online 'mall cruise' found some real wee gems, some of which I've shared with you below:

I loved these personalised doodle mats, just perfect for creative little hands. A few are in Santa's sack for my nieces and nephews. 

I love books... its one of my favourite gifts to give! This range totally tickled my fancy, they are just soooo cute and soooo cheeky. Love it. And we all know that kids love anything with the word poo in it. 

Now, I know I've jumped the gun on this one but I just love, love, love Elf on a Shelf... and so I purchased one for MiniMr!!! What?... I might have forgotten about it when he was of age and then what??

How adorable are these coats?? They make something really mundane but necessary into something a little bit exciting. Love. 

And on the subject of zjushing up everyday items, check out these fabulous pencil holders/handbags/treasure keepers? I don't think that I'll ever be too old for one of these, Santa.   

So off you go and spend money to support the economy... I'm doing my bit!   

Monday, November 18, 2013

Huia aroha...

Having a baby has meant that on the weekends we get out A LOT  more in the day than we ever did. Probably something to do with the enforced early starts and that your time isn't really your own anymore... so long gone are the leisurely layins for half the morning followed by hours spent cruising Etsy and Pinterest and then a couple of DVDs and a takeaway.

Since it was such a lovely day in Auckland on Saturday, the three of us jumped into the car and headed to an old favourite -  Huia. We actually hadn't been there in AGGGEEESSSS and now that I think about it, MiniMr hadn't been at all, not even while in utero. When we lived out west, we used to go there quite often, but since we moved more centrally, the visits have been few and far between. So few and far between in fact that on arrival at the Huia Store (circa 1886), I was blown away by the changes as its now under new management and has the cute factor in bucket loads.

To be honest, I was always quite partial to it anyhoo and most visits included a burger and shake, but the new decor has really lifted its game. The only downside now though is that the burger and chips have gone gourmet, with the price tag to match. We got 1 x cookie, 1 x burger, 1 x shake and some wedges for $33... so a bit more than the average take-away. But, forewarned is forearmed, and since we only seem to make it out there every couple of months now, I'll save my pennies and fork out those Auckland prices as the food was pretty good, the service super friendly and the surrounds right up my alley. 

If you do decide to head that way, grab your grub takeaway to enjoy it on the beach, or have a meal in the ole-school surrounds and then get an ice-cream to enjoy at the water instead. Make sure though that you have a cardi as from my experience, its always a little cool down there.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

And while we're on poop...

... check out this awesome advert for a rather interesting product. For reals. No jokes. I reckon this could save marriages. More deets here.  

I love poop...

© Paulbinet | Dreamstime Stock Photos &Stock Free Images
Well, actually, that's not true.... in fact, poop kinda grosses me out! It grosses me out so much that I don't think I could ever have any sort of pets because the idea of picking up their poop makes me feel ill. In fact, when I see dog walkers picking up their dog's poop in those little plastic bags and then TYING it to the dogs collar, I vomit a bit in my mouth. And while we're on that subject, isn't it a bit mean to tie the dog's poop that close to its head, which is the location of its nose?? Just wrong I tell you.

I'm also wholly unable to change the poop nappies of the small people in my life. And don't get me started on the toddlers... this bending over to have their little bums wiped after number twos elicits a serious gag reflex from me!!! I just CANNOT do it. I'm not even a huge fan of my own poop to be honest. I quite clearly remember being shocked when I watched a programme that said I should be checking it out before flushing for health purposes. No thank you. I'll just hope that there are other symptoms and warning signs to tip me off because eyeballing my poop WILL NOT BE HAPPENING!!

But then my wee boy arrived, and I became slightly obsessed with his poop. No amount of colour or volume seems to deter me and each one is looked over (studied??) before being disposed of. Strangely, it's his father that will not change his brown nappies... the very same man that once scrapped dog poop off his drunken brother's shoe with a twig!! (Yes, there is more to that story but that's all we need to make my point at this stage). And it seems I'm not alone in my new mother infatuation with copious websites available containing plenty of descriptive details, forums and pictures - yes, PICTURES - of what baby poop should look like.... all of which I've studied in detail. And let me tell you, when it comes to baby poop, there is a lot of variations of 'normal'.

You see, babies go through these stages....

-First, there's the meconium. This is black and tarry and lasts for the first few days. I can't really recall this stage in much detail as I was in such a daze.
-Then they move onto a very liquid, mustardy type poo that's a little seedy (this applies to  breastfed babies because, yup, you guessed it, bottle fed are totally different!). I remember these poops well; its hard not to when there's basically one in each and every nappy you change. Every 1-3 hours. All day. And all night. I especially remember the one that shot across our cream bedroom carpet like a well shook champagne bottle after a badly timed leg lift to wipe the precious backside of my newborn!!!!!!! That was fun at 1.30am. Not.
-And then you get to around 8 weeks or so and some babies (yes, only some, not all... and its totally normal!) start to go less. And less. And less. Apparently, if a baby is breastfed, its totally normal for some to NOT go for up to 2 weeks!!!! Now, I'm no expert... but that sounds NUTS!!!! Who eats and eats and eats and then doesn't poop. No. That just can't be comfortable. But, apparently  - 'totally normal'.

So, MiniMr got to around 8 or 9 weeks... and no more 'every nappy' poops. Weird thing was, he seemed to be pushing all the time. His favourite place to do this is on the breast. That's right, in effect, my son likes to poop while he's eating. Which is VERY amusing to watch as its a damned challenge for anyone, let alone a newborn whose still working things out, to SUCK and PUSH at the same time. And here's another interesting poo fact for you... its around this age that they have to start learning to push as it doesn't just sort of... well, drop out anymore like it used to I suppose. So they need to learn to push but relax their bums. One suggestion to teach them this mechanism is to massage their wee little backsides. As in literally their poophole. Mr's face when I told him this was priceless. He added something about it being good 21st birthday story fodder, and declared that he would under no circumstances be massaging his sons butthole. Ever. The other suggestion was a warm bath, with a warning to watch out when they come out. Crazy. Also, don't confuse delayed poos with constipation. Yes, easy error I know. But they are quite different.  

Anyway, long story short, MiniMr still does not go everyday. So when he does, its a good day in our house. I love poop days. More for me than him... he seems utterly unconcerned about it if he poos or not. Even after five days of working on a delivery that literally filled 2 nappies, 10 wet wipes and a plastic disposable bag. And I wasn't at home. Of course. But he pooped, and that's a good day. 

FYI - today was a good day too. Twice. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

So, I had a baby...

Yes, that's where I've been.... instead of blogging, I was working on getting myself knocked up (with some help of course from the hubs!) so that  I could have the dubious honour of saying I'd pushed something larger than my head (but thankfully a little more malleable) out of my wahoo. And then, surprise surprise - I HAD A BABY THAT I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR 24/7. As in all day, everyday, for every single minute. 

And it's turned my life upside down! 

'Ah, tell us something new!' I hear you yawn but its so incredibly true. This is the God honest truth.... YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ITS LIKE TO BE A MOTHER UNTIL YOU'RE ACTUALLY A MOTHER. And its RELENTLESS

Yes, that was meant to all be in caps. And bolded. 

It is bloody hard work. I'm a fully independent 36 year old woman that has lived away from home - as in more than a car ride - since I was 20 years old. And I cried for my mother like a little bitch, all the while trying desperately to keep it together on a mere few hours sleep and be a mom to this gorgeous wee little package that they'd let me leave hospital with and that fully owned my arse!  

Now that I think about it... pretty much from the moment I saw those glorious blue lines confirming my pregnancy, the little man has owned me. I could no longer eat what I wanted to (summer without soft serve it just not the same), I had gross morning sickness - that should actually be called 'all-day sickness' - that made me feel like I was permanently hung over, up until about 18 weeks. And for the 1st time in my life, I knew what it felt like to NOT have an appetite but have to eat because I felt sooooo sick. And I could no longer drink tea. 

Then that passes. Eventually. Although I couldn't drink tea again until after the birth. 

And that's when I started having problems sleeping. I, who can pretty much sleep anywhere, anytime, would lie awake in bed for aaaaggggeeeesssssssss, just willing myself to GO TO SLEEP! I swear, even during the very worst of my anxiety a few years back, my sleep - thankfully - was unaffected. And here I was, as wide awake as a meerkat after a red bull. And that never got any better; my sleep was shit through my whole pregnancy. And now that I'm not pregnant... I still get none! 

And then there was the weak bladder and - look away now if you're squeamish as this is definitely TMI - constant damp knickers! I near wet myself more than a few times after a cough or sneeze, once at the same time, so that when my waters broke, the 1st thing that came to mind was that I'd eventually done it and actually, literally pissed in my pants! But no, it was just my waters breaking 16 days early and on my last day of work. Luckily, it was 4.30am and I wasn't actually at work yet. But I did miss out on my morning tea and instead walked around at home like a leaky teapot for the rest of the day since I was one of only 10% of women whose waters break but don't go into labour. That fun started about 24 hours later and will need a post all of its own! 

But I've survived those hideous, awful, disruptive, soul destroying, sob-a-mania first 14 weeks and come out on the other side without killing either of us. Go me! 

And you know what; its such a cliche and I used to want to clock anyone in the mouth who told me that it would be... but it really is all worth it. 

Although at this point, my gorgeous wee boy will be an only child.