Turning a corner | Weaning my toddler

Nix has always hated the car.  Vehemently.   Road trips are a knife edge experience of gritted teeth as we wait for him to lose the plot and turn on his air raid sirens.  Child is L O U D.  He has been this way since birth, and looking back I wonder if his body position in the capsule and carseat was painful for his wee tummy for his first 9 months pre-Hirschsprungs diagnosis.  Until he was about 6 months old he would be in tears or close to it after only 5 minutes into our journey.  School pick-ups were a nightmare if we arrived early, let’s just say Ethan never had trouble finding the car thanks to his baby brother!  I also suffered a lot of postpartum pain for months after Nixon’s birth,  the simple task of getting the capsule in and out of the truck required heroic effort that I simply didn’t have most of the time.

So, we stayed at home a lot in the early days.

Yesterday we popped up the road to go to the bank, the post office and the vege stand – no stroller or carrier and I didn’t hold Nix while in the shops.  Because this little free spirit is generally a non-compliant tornado, I’m quite loathe to let him loose in public, however it’s time for him to learn and for me to get over my mental block regarding taking Nix out and about. Yesterday he we did great.  Awesome even!  Quite a line in the post office sent fear shooting through my heart, but we survived with only a small tantrum when Nix couldn’t press the eftpos buttons for me – that I can handle.

I was driving home and we were chatting away about diggers and diesel in the truck, Our House, ‘Nouie’ = Louie and a myriad of Nixon’s other favorite topics, when I realised it was all I could do not to pull over and just sit and stare at him, to try and drink him up with my eyes.  

I remember being wonder-struck with Ethan at around the same age.  This Autumn season of baby-ness before they turn 2 is one of my favorite ages.  Every day when he wakes, Nix seems to be joining more and more words together, finding new and more inventive ways to make mess and lavishing hugs and kisses on all of us with much gusto.  

What’s really got me feeling all gooey is that I know it’s time for me to stop breastfeeding.  Nix will be 20 months in a couple of days and is 15 kilograms of raging baby bull.  Feeding this particular baby bull is no easy task.  He yanks and pulls and whips his head around, he kicks my face and thrashes like a shark in a net.  It ain’t pretty.  But it’s quite lovely still.  I’m ready to move on but I know without a shadow of a doubt that Nixon will not give up the boob on his own.  After months of thought and ummming and ahhhing over the issue, today was the day we started weaning – no good reason why, I just had an idea I thought I’d try.

Nix asked for milk {or guhhhguhhh as he calls it, don’t ask!} at around morning tea time which was weird as he never usually feeds then anyway.  I jumped up and said “guhhhhguhh all done, but you can have some Big Boy Milk”.  I proceeded to make a huge fuss about the pouring of the Big Boy Milk, complete with a fancy bendy straw, and voila!  The boy drank cows milk.  Just like that.  

Naptime at 1pm was not quite as easy, there were tears but we survived.  Just.  At bedtime Dave and I introduced a new routine of quiet time with both of us, a book and some more Big Boy Milk.  I followed this with his normal nighttime routine, sans breastfeeding of course, and it worked.  He asked again for good ol’ guhhhguhhh, but I stuck with the party line of “all done”  and that was that.  Off to sleep without a peep.

And I just feel conflicted, sad and weird.  But I’m also damn ready to ditch these crappy bras I’ve been wearing for 2 years and put on a dress!

So wish Nixon and I luck.  He’ll be fine.  Me, well, time will tell x

Toddler Weaning New Zealand Mummy Blog

Win| Sample New Zealand’s finest cheese at MiNDFOOD CheeseFest

The ultimate experience for cheeselovers is back with New Zealand’s largest cheese event offering the chance to sample award-winning cheeses and mingle with the experts who produce them.

MiNDFOOD CheeseFest will be held in The Langham Auckland’s Great Room on Wednesday March 18 from 5pm – 8.30pm.

The mouth-watering event gives you a unique opportunity to enjoy free samples of New Zealand’s finest cheese from the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards. The popular cheese sale tables are back, and guests will enjoy a complimentary Crossroads wine or Epic beer on arrival.

We have one double pass to MiNDFOOD CheeseFest to give away, valued at $30 a ticket.  To enter, head over to The Best Nest’s FB page and get in the draw, prize drawn on Friday 27th February at 9pm.

www.cheeselovers.co.nz

https://www.facebook.com/CheeseLoversNZ

MiNDFOOD Cheesefest Logo

“I don’t know how you do it Mum”.

Ethan said this to me about 4kms into my run yesterday.  We preempted a bit of a lazy day for him and insisted he accompany me on his bike.  He usually just “gaps it” – his words – completes the distance as quickly as possible and I see him back at the house.  Yesterday he stuck with me over the course as my Support Person, was very sweet.  He hadn’t come with me in a while, so maybe he was a little surprised at my progress?  More likely was that he had been watching me stumble along for 4 kilometres and was genuinely amazed that someone who looked so ungainly and dead on their feet was actually still managing to put one foot in front of the other!

Either way it was just nice that he noticed something unrelated to himself.  Selflessness is an important quality to cultivate, yet it seems to be a touch slow in blooming and living with a big-little person consumed by their own agenda is exhausting!  He is such a lovely, lovely boy but we are butting heads continuously right now!

He made me think about why I am running though.  I hurt right now.  I have some painful runners condition that starts with P affecting my heel/arch in my right foot causing me to hobble around like an old women for the first 10 minutes of my day, every day.  Google suggests this is a result of a change in exercise frequency and intensity – yes, hill running – yes, excessive jandal wearing – guilty.

 The reason I’m running isn’t actually getting measured on the scales, though I wish it were!  See I haven’t lost any weight at all over the past two months.  My clothes are fitting so much better so I’m finding consolation in that and in how much better I feel playing touch rugby.  Being so much fitter than I was at the start of the season has improved my confidence so much that now I feel like I’m totally ‘in’ the game rather than just one of the token 3 girls on the field.  Small things right?  Often they can be the biggest motivators.

Dave and I refreshed our runners this weekend so hopefully the pain comes to end after a few km’s in these loud and proud NB sneaks.  As a child of the eighties it blows my mind to see these fluoro hues come blasting back for another go-around.  The last thing I remember wearing that was this blinding was a multicoloured rah-rah skirt and matching scissor-clip circa F2 disco.  Good times!

Have a wonderful week everyone, make yourself proud x

Running Mummy Blog NZ

Squish Delish Reusable Pouches | Product Review & Giveaway

Munch Review and Giveaway Mummy Blog NZI’m so pleased to have joined Munch Cooking this year as one of their Munch Mums!   Look out for my reviews and giveaways each month as I introduce you to some awesome {and pretty innovative} products from The Munch Cupboard.

We are big fans of using our frozen dessert maker {a poor-mans Yonanas I found on a daily deals site} to whip up yummy summer treats and I’m also a big fan of anything that makes feeding the babes easier.  I decided to combine the two and put the Squish Delish reusable pouches through their paces by serving Nixon his frozen banana and strawberry treat in one – freaking excellent idea if I do say so myself!  Independence has taken hold of my now 19 month old ‘baby’ boy but the thought of letting him loose with a bowl and a spoon every time we have an ice cream substitute gives me the heebies.  As my day is a never ending cycle of cleaning and wiping as it is, I have no desire to add to the 3 meals a day + snacks mess that we already have rolling.  Needless to say I was crossing my fingers that Nixon would enjoy the independence offered by the Squish Delish…….and manage to keep the ‘delish’ inside the pouch.

Reusable Food Pouch Mum Blog New Zealand

Home boy loved this arrangement!  I found it super easy to fill the pouch and seal it, the double press seals were totally leak-proof plus these pouches are just the perfect size for little hands to grip.  Nix wasn’t giving up his faux-ice cream-banana-and-strawberry-treat until he had sucked the very last drop out, which took him about 10 blissful minutes in which I was able to NOT feed him!  Hooray, everybody wins!

I made all of Nixon’s baby food and have no idea why I didn’t invest in these awesome little pouches.  Washable, reusable, BPA free, freezable, 6 would have been perfect for baby meal-prep. 

If you would like the chance to win 3 Squish Delish pouches for your sweet little babe, head over to our FB page to enter, or if you just can’t wait you can buy your own here.

 

Slip, slop, slap and slide | Little eyes need protection too!

Summer has returned to Auckland over the past two days, and it is hot and bright out there.  Nix and I head out every morning to squeeze as much fresh air and play time in as we can before nap time rolls around.  I’m always super vigilant about ensuring sunscreen and hats are in play but after purchasing a pair of baby sunglasses that didn’t fit well and hurt Nixon’s head, I’d relegated toddler sunglasses to the ‘ too hard’ basket.
The problem is that it’s not really something we as parents can afford to ignore.  The ridiculous levels of UV radiation in New Zealand can cause cumulative and irreparable eye damage, particularly between the ages of three and twelve years.  What we can do to minimise ongoing damage is be proactive and introduce our kids to sunglasses at an early age to encourage habit-forming behaviour.
OPSM Senior Optometrist, Peter Murphy recommends these five tips to help prevent damage to little eyes this summer;

  • Make sure sunglasses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays
  • Choose sunglasses that fit your child’s face well
  • Look out for sunglasses that are large enough to shield the eyes from most angles
  • Add a wide-brimmed hat to help reduce the amount of UV radiation that reaches their eyes and skin
  • Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day; the sun’s rays can pass through haze and clouds so stay protected.

OPSM sent Nixon a couple of pairs of sunglasses from the Ray-Ban Junior range and omg, they are SO cute…… and effective, let’s not forget those super UV blocking powers!  I was so surprised at his enthusiasm to not just put them on but keep them on!  Let’s not forget that if there’s one thing toddlers are good at, it’s mimicry and I am a sunglass fiend, I never leave the house without them so I guess it’s only natural that he would be down to sport his own pair.  How amaze are these shades!  
Toddler Ray-Ban Sunglasses from OPSM
Toddler Ray-Ban Sunglasses from OPSM
Toddler Ray-Ban Sunglasses from OPSM
Toddler Ray-Ban Sunglasses from OPSM

Ray-ban Junior are available nationwide at OPSM from $90

 

Come at me Wednesday

Mummy blogger New Zealand

It’s amazing how much one can actually manage to cram into a day but still not find the time to take a shower!  Not that anyone notices.  Dave is away for the second week this month so we are floundering around, manless up in here without our handsome leader.

Actually we’re pretty sweet lol.  

Day two of my ‘working week’ was pretty much like Day 1 and like Day 1-5 of the week before; the off-to-school/breakfast routine, morning chores and FB phafffing, an impromptu decision to leave the house before Nix and I lose the plot completely, a couple of hours meandering around a park or playground – preferably involving checking out diggers at close range cause you know how much I love hanging out around a bunch of construction workers right, RIGHT?  Then we haul ass home so my babe doesn’t fall asleep in the truck {so help me god he must nap in his cot otherwise he will only sleep for around 30 minutes, and ain’t nobody got time for a 30 minute nap!}. 

This is where things unravel.  When Nix napped earlier in the day I sat down and I blogged, almost every single day.  Now he doesn’t go down until 1-1.30pm, at that time I find my brain full of all the things I didn’t finish in the morning, or things I need to begin before the after school madness of Ethan’s life commences.  Damn kids and their needs……..

So, here I sit at 10.30pm, trying to blog and not really succeeding.

  • No running at all this week, it’s too hard to fit it in with Dave away, the only thing that is making me feel slightly better is that I still got my 10,000 steps today and also no alcohol – even with Dave away and mummy-stress!
  • My new, very large tattoo is itching like hell, I think I’m done now.  I love what I have but no more.
  • I went to an amazing cooking class on Sunday and learnt how to make dumplings!
  • My 10 year old lost a tooth today!  So weird, it’s been a long time between tooth fairy visits in our house but I think she can probably squeeze in another one.
  • Nix outdid himself tonight with the mother of all tantrums.  He wanted to mow the lawn in the front yard, which Mum had already finished mowing.  There was still the entire back half of our section to go, but you know, toddler logic always wins.  Ethan heard his brother screaming from an entire block away.  For over 10 minutes!  I’m sorry neighbours, but at least we’re even-stevens for that goddamn bass speaker right?
  • Other hideous neighbors continue to burn household rubbish in their fireplace wtf?  I pretty much have the Auckland City Council hotline on speed dial.  I need to move to the middle of nowhere, when I’m unable to see, hear or smell my nearest neighbors – any suggestions?

Anyway, it’s now Wednesday {getting a blog post finished in one sitting is obviously out of the question!} and I have had a shower so all is right with the world again.  Have a lovely day friends x

 

 

 

Getting our craft on with My Fun Box

Subscription boxes of all descriptions are huge right now, am I right?  Whatever you’re into, be it make-up, jewellery, food, organics, kids toys……..you can part with your cash and get a box of ‘happy mail’ landing on your doorstep once a month.  From my experience these boxes of glorious consumerism can be a bit hit and miss.  I know my own family has more than enough tangible possessions as it is, so despite the allure that a monthly box of surprises holds, I won’t be setting up any recurring payments anytime soon.

Rant over.  

E and I were stoked to have been sent The Ready, Steady, Go! box to review, filled not with toys but with activities!  This is where My Fun Box departs from the crowd.  Instead of a box of curated items, each box is packed with everything you need to fully complete three projects.  Essentially, you make your own fun.  Um, did I mention that everything you need is included in the box?  No, well, guess what?  EVERYTHING you need is included in the box!  Even glue!  Even tape!  Scissors were required which is totally do-able, even in my house which is pretty barren of craft supplies.  No subscriptions required either, you can order a one-off box or send one as a gift.

So we sat down on Saturday morning and got to work.  I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t done anything like this with Ethan in way too long, so I was rearing to go.

Together we made 3 exploding chalk rockets, a balloon car and a convertible frisbee.  Each of the three activities called on different skills and levels of assistance from me, though the origami-style folding required for the paper frisbee got even me a bit lost!  Thank goodness there are video tutorials available if you’re a bit of a mung like me and need some extra help lol.  My Fun Box suggests these activities are suitable for ages 3-10, and that’s probably true, however Ethan is 10 and he did require some assistance, so be prepared to help!  Actually, I think that is the beauty of My Fun Box, actually sitting down and completing a project with your child is freaking awesome.  Not going to lie, we had a couple of moments as we always do but it was a lovely hour or so with no electronics!  I can totally see the value in having a box on hand to bust out during winter when cabin fever sets in.  

We did require a bit of extra sticky tape to complete the balloon car and had a bit of a problem with the length of the axles, but we actually turned this into a really cool problem solving task which saw Ethan troubleshoot and figure out what we needed to do to get the little wheels spinning.

Read more about this kiwi company and Mum-preneur Renee here

Kids Subscription Box New Zealand Mummy Blog

Toddler Swimming Lessons | The Great Equaliser

In true second child fashion, Nixon began swimming lessons last week at the ‘advanced’ age of 19 months.  Ethan on the other hand, had his swimming debut at 3 months and has never stopped – 10 years of swimming $!$

Dave and I were in complete agreement that the need was not there to subject ourselves Nix to hours upon hours of singing nursery rhymes in the pool while spinning him around like a motorboat.  Child loves the water and has had plenty of swims over his two summers in pools and at the beach, so we decided to wait a bit until he could actually comprehend swimming instruction and potentially benefit from it.

Unfortunately our weekly swimming lesson seems to be the thorn in my schedules side.  I can’t seem to remember the damn date/time.  We completely missed the first lesson, I was at the library, chatting away to another mum about how our lessons were beginning the following day, only to get home, check the calendar and find that I should have been in the pool that morning instead of talking about the pool.  Monday was my chance to redeem myself – I was prepared for the 10.30 lesson, I was packed and ready to go {apart from being actually in my togs, dressed and with my teeth brushed}.  I was almost ready to go!

Then I walked by the damn calendar and 10am leapt out at me like a cattle prod.  10am!!!  It was already 9.40 and…..see above…..

I think I may have been trying to sabotage swimming as the make-up lesson graciously offered to me for being so ditzy the week before was a freaking nightmare.  A terrible, toddler nightmare.

Dave was working from home so decided to come and ‘work’ via the pool.  We thought it would be a great idea for him to take Nixie swimming as you never know when he may be able to attend again right?  Such a bad idea.  Nixon dominated the whole lesson, bossing, yelling, screaming NO NO NO.  You would think he didn’t enjoy it – truth was he was having a great time, as long as he could do what he wanted to do.  Baby boy had zero tolerance for listening to instructions, no time whatsoever for doing what the other bubs were doing and certainly no interest in co-operating with his Dad.  It was almost embarrassing.  There, I said it.  My son’s volume goes up to 13 and he DEMANDS attention.  The only time he stopped yelling at everyone was when he and Dave would ‘swim’ past the seating area when he would raise up a little arm and wave at the spectators with a huge smile on his dictator-like-angel-face.  We left without even getting changed and simply popped a dry nappy on Nix in the car.

I was so scared of a repeat performance.

Luckily we arrived with minutes to spare and Nix was on his best behaviour.  We only had one incident where he climbed out of the pool and ran away from me, laughing of course! This was the moment I realised that when you are in a pool filled with numerous small people and their parents {and who knows what volume of wee mixed with chlorine} you are all equals.  There is no time to visually measure yourself up against the other Mums, to check out mani-pedis and the brand of swimwear each other is wearing – my nana-esque tankini is from Shanton if you were wondering.  There is nary an ounce of grace and beauty to be found in my being whilst I am in the pool with Nixon for his swim lesson.  It feels like helping a blindfolded baby hippo/octopus navigate through Farmers when all of the pensioners are shopping on cardholder day.  Excruciating in other words.

As I was hoisting myself out of the pool after my naughty boy, I caught a glimpse of another mummy blogger waving at me from the seats.  Of all the times in my life to bump into one of the most put-together, 10/10 babein mamas it would be on the day I was running super late, ergo I look like shit, I’m in my togs in public – FML –  and I’m wrestling with Nixon.  Too good I tell you, but you know what?  None of it mattered.  My little guy had so much fun in the pool which was a huge relief and I loved the feeling of his little hands gripping me tight around the neck when we did exercises he wasn’t quite sure of, I loved the joy on his face when it was time to jump off the edge of the pool and how it felt to catch him and pull him close.  I loved the whole damn, wet half hour and I’m kinda looking forward to next Monday to do it all over again.

God, this parenting gig never ceases to amaze.

Toddler Swimming Lesson 

 

 

Cook Eat | The EVERYTHING Muffin Recipe

You know when you have that one brown banana that you don’t want to waste, but one isn’t really enough to whip up a banana cake or banana bread? Yeah that happened to me today.  Not to be thwarted by my lack of over-ripe fruit, I decided to attempt a recipe makeover.
I love breakfast muffins and have a great recipe that is decidedly unhealthy {1 1/2 cups of sugar!}.  Boo.  Using ingredients that I had on hand I mixed things up and the result is a delicious, easy recipe and a perfect lunch-box filler, plus I managed to cut down some of the sugar and flour content without sacrificing on taste!  

Everything Muffins
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup raisins/cranberries soaked
  2. 2 cups grated carrot
  3. 1 ripe banana
  4. 1/2 cup mixed seeds
  5. 1/2 cup coconut
  6. 3 eggs
  7. 2 tsp vanilla
  8. 1/2 cup melted butter
  9. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  10. 1 cup flour
  11. 1/2 cup wheat flour
  12. 1/2 oats {or one packet of instant oats}
  13. 2 tsp baking powder
  14. 1 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine carrots, banana, seeds & coconut.
  2. Beat eggs until thick.
  3. Beat in vanilla, butter, sugar.
  4. Combine dry ingredients.
  5. Combine everything and add soaked fruit, gently stirring until just mixed.
  6. Add to greased muffin tins or use cupcake cases for no mess!
  7. Cook at 180 degrees for 15-20 mins until cooked through.
http://www.thebestnest.co.nz/

Munch: Seasonal Cookbook for Baby & Family + Giveaway!

Munch Review and Giveaway Mummy Blog NZI’m so pleased to have joined Munch Cooking this year as one of their Munch Mums!   Look out for my reviews and giveaways each month as I introduce you to some awesome {and pretty innovative} products from The Munch Cupboard.

A cookbook for kids is quite a hard sell for me.  Kids grow so quickly and move through the varying infant nutrition phases with such speed {in hindsight lol} that investing in a book based around baby purees just doesn’t work for me.  That’s the point of difference which sets the Munch: Seasonal Cookbook for Baby & Family apart from the rest.  Author Anna Bordignon has successfully combined the meal requirements of the whole family to produce a comprehensive compendium of fab meal ideas that everyone will love.

Munch Cookbook Mummy Blog NZ

Our family menu is based around classic, nourishing meals.  There is no soaking cashews or avoidance based diets in my kitchen; we like hearty, sustaining meals that are as healthful as possible.  Every recipe in Munch ticks these boxes for me.  Wendyl Nissen sums this up perfectly in the foreword, noting that this is a ‘return to a more simple way of thinking about food.  Eating in season, eating fresh and eating for nutrition as well as taste.  Just like our Nanas used to”.  I love this philosophy!

Recipes are organised based upon seasonal availability which is an awesome way to meal-plan and ensure that your family’s food miles are minimised, you are making the most of seasonal savings on produce and you are receiving the maxed out nutritional and taste benefits that accompany eating in-season fruit and veges.

I wanted to ensure my big boy was totally rested and fuelled up for the first day of school on Monday, so Sunday was spent relaxing at home and unwinding, .  Dave and I enjoyed a few hours in the kitchen baking lunchbox snacks, but a yummy Sunday lunch was definitely required!  Honestly I could have picked any of a multitude of recipes from Munch because they all consist of pantry staples that I pretty much always have on hand.  This is another huge plus when you are perusing a recipe book right?

I settled on the Busytown Pizzas as I knew both the boys would love them.  Omg.  Kumara based dough!!!  Pure genius.  We all agreed these were so delicious and we’re throwing out our traditional pizza dough recipe for good.  I made mini pizzas and froze some extras for quick after school snacks for Ethan or dinners for Nix.

If you would like the chance to win a copy of Munch: Seasonal Cookbook for Baby and Family RRP $28 enter via the widget below, or if you just can’t wait you can buy your own copy here.

Kids Pizzas Mummy Blogger NZGiveaway open to NZ residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway