Your People

On Friday afternoon I was asked to fill in for a touch team that night at 6.30pm.

I’d never played for this team before.  

Didn’t really know who was in it.  

Playing meant delaying Friday drinks.  I say that like it’s an ‘occasion’ but it’s really Dave and I avoiding the children’s bedtime with a can in hand and pretending we’re loving life at the minute until we can’t stand the kids fighting a moment longer!  So yes, playing meant delaying drinks for an hour or so as my mediocre skill level doesn’t really need alcohol impeding my performance anymore than natural selection already has.

However, playing meant leaving the house at 6pm and avoiding bedtime altogether.

Naturally I said yes.

So our touch rugby team plays at the club on Thursdays, it’s a busy night, lots of teams and lots of our friends.  Friday touch is still at our local club, literally a stones throw from our house, but has a smaller league of teams and I had no idea who would be there.

I left the house in a usual ‘Mum-dithery-rush’ carrying nothing which was entirely refreshing as I’ve had to lower myself to using an Iphone 4s whilst my beautiful Samsung is getting a new screen installed.  LIFE IS SO HARD RIGHT NOW, DAMN YOU TINY PHONE!

Needless to say the phone stayed at home and Dave ended up chasing after me with $20 in case I wanted to stay for a drink.  Some people won $44 million in Lotto this week, we won $109!!!  Cash rich yo.

The point to this schpiel is thus;  you might have daughters, in which case, a place you might find yourself often could be a ballet studio, or slumped in the stands watching hours on end of gymnastics, or freezing your tits off alongside a netball court all winter.  I have two boys and live one street over from a rugby club, ergo, we are there ALL the damn time.  Wherever you find yourself because of your kids or your job or your husband, or your parents, make friends, make those people your people.  Take the opportunity to get out of the house on a Friday night when the last thing you want to do is run around wondering if your muffin top is escaping the compression tights yet and throw a freaking ball!

Because the person catching it just might want to sit down afterwards and have a beer and talk about Donald Fucking Trump or tattoos, or kids – subjects you could go on about for hours.  

Find your people wherever life has landed you.  They are there, I guarantee it.  They might not look like you or your preconceived notion of what your tribe should look like but they are there and they are quite possibly awesome.

Let me know when you find them xx

PS love you Old Spice, On Target and all you other westie randoms that make our club so rad x

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Things I’ve learned about Saturday Sport

Our 5th season as rugby parents has just come to a close, and with that our washing machine, gumboots, weekday evenings and Saturday mornings breathe a collective sigh of relief!

Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE rugby, but it’s a big commitment at J1 level – and the commitment is required by the whole family, not just Ethan.

In terms of wins, it wasn’t the greatest season for the team.  In terms of intangible personal growth and the cementing of lifelong friendships for both players and their parents (I hope!) – it was a cracker season.

That’s the beauty of sport.  For boys Ethan’s age, (those navigating the notoriously up-and-down pre-teen Chasm of Angst) having an outlet that is theirs is a must.  They need to be able to forget about who they are ‘supposed’ to be at school or at home, forget about the pressure of growing up while still feeling like a little boy at times and simply focus on a single ball – without the distractions of homework, chores and devices.

Sport can be an amazing respite for both growing minds and parents alike!

Things I’ve learnt about Saturday Sports

  • It doesn’t matter which sport it is, it’s ALL good.  Sports code snobbery exists to some degree, other parents will tell you up and down that soccer/rugby/hockey is the absolute BEST sport for EVERY kid.  Ignore.  The best sport is the one your child enjoys!  Ethan played 2 seasons of soccer before transitioning to rugby and enjoyed every second of it.
  • You can only be *THAT* parent for so long before your loud, bad attitude gets you kicked off the field and your kid is embarrassed by your sideline coaching/bullying.  Just don’t go there guys!
  • Tired kids can’t hang.  It’s so tempting to throw bedtimes out the door on Friday night, but it might pay to reconsider how late you let your little athlete stay up.  Kids enjoy their activities so much more when they are full of energy and can give 100%.
  • You’re going to get cold and wet.  Really wet.  Always keep a large umbrella in your car and expect game time to be colder than you think.
  • Kids playing field sports will get muddier than you can possibly imagine.  Keep a plastic bin in the car for muddy boots and gear and wrap kids up on old towels for the ride home.
  • Just like their mates Tired Kids, Hungry Kids struggle to get up and at ‘em on the sports field.  Make time for breakfast before the game, even if it means cutting your Saturday sleep-in a bit short (I’ve heard sleeping in exists but it’s a total myth in my house lol).  Also be prepared for ravenous kids after the match.  Pack some easily portable, nutritious snacks such as nuts, fruit, vege sticks plus plenty of water.  Pro-Tip: a warm thermos of MILO will do wonders for chilled hands and tummies plus has a 4.5 star health rating!

Choosing wellness for ourselves and our families is something that we all consider (and are reminded of constantly!) but honestly, sometimes it becomes difficult to prioritize and can seem really overwhelming, especially when you’re doing the parenting juggling act!

Implementing one small change at a time can help make lasting differences.  For example, using the points above, focus on earlier bedtimes for the whole family (Mum and Dad included!) one week, try working on better – more relaxed/more nutritious/less stressy breakfasts the following week.

For more inspiration and lots of tips to help you make small, positive changes in your life take the Nestlé Choose Wellness Quiz here.

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”


ethan:  i realised this week that sometimes two 9 year old boys are better than one, especially when daddy is away.  i love seeing you play with your mates like this; dirty, independent, loud, rough, but also fun, kind, sharing and relishing the camaraderie a like-minded friend brings.  don’t grow up too quickly number one x


nixon:  you have chosen a rough path this week, refusing your afternoon nap 5 days out of 7 and waking me all through the night!  your big denim blue eyes kinda make up for it though.  how about some hair before your birthday?  we don’t actually have a hose in the house, that’s a nixon-special edition, more fun than any toy that cost money, guaranteed!

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Parenting Fail #611 | The Fake Injury


E has been limping around the house, limping around the rugby field and walking on his tip-toes for about 6 weeks now.

As he has some pretty brilliant melodramatic tendencies we just assumed his complaints were to be taken with a grain of salt. That his odd gait was something that had become a bad habit needing to be broken.  The arrival of Nixon pushed the issue a little further from my “immediate action” radar and so we did nothing.

Until last week when he asked me every day when he was going to the foot doctor.  Physio confirmed there was a problem with the growth plates in his heel causing him so much pain that he had been compensating by walking on the edge of his foot and on his toes, resulting in a secondary tendon injury.

Can anyone measure how shit I feel right now?  Poor guy.  He has thrashed his little body this winter, rugby training twice a week, game on Saturday, swimming lessons, barefoot rugby every day at school {I am sure this has done it’s fair share of damage}, plus rugby in the yard every fine afternoon after school.  He is now not just filthy, but filthy and injured and unable to play in the Reps rugby tournament he had been selected for.  He attests that the worst part is he has to wear shoes now.  Oh the inhumanity!

I have fully learned my lesson.  E has always been such a bullet-proof kid but I can’t take that for granted anymore; when you’re built like a WWF wrestler you play hard, fall hard and are hard on your body.  Injuries are going to happen and Dave and I need to be sure we give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to aches and plains.

Have you ever disregarded one of your kids myriad niggles?  Never again I say!



Play | Rugby Barbarians Day

After an amazing game against Helensville on Saturday {Ethan’s team won 120-10!}, he had to don his mouthguard again on Sunday {I had to get up at 6am!!!!} for the Barbarians tournament in Devonport.

I was quite unprepared for the size of the tournament, there were schools from all over Auckland and hundreds of keen-as, rugby mad kids ready to play.  There was a twist….open weight and years 3,4,5 and 6 playing all together.  Against each other.  Big kids vs teeny kids playing tackle.  yikes.

See what I mean?

Barbarians School Fun Day

There are many proud Mum moments that I have filed away over the years but my heart was positively bursting with pride on Sunday.  Tackling a massive year 6 kid at speed who has at least 10kgs on your year 3 self  is BRAVE.  My boy was fearless and played intense rugby.  He never questioned whether he was up to the task, he just tackled like the forward he is and thanked god he didn’t have to wear boots so he felt a little faster than normal.

It was a super fun day.  There were free sausages, bacon butties and Milo for the kids as well as the opportunity to spend time with past Barbarians and meet the Auckland Blues!

Rugby kid

Ethan And Daniel Braid

Milo love's PLAY!

The clip below is from Saturdays game; Ethan’s 2nd try of 3


Roll on Rugby Season

Autumn begins {officially} tomorrow, though some would argue it actually began in December!   All hope of summer is lost so we might as well look forward to the winter sports season hooray!

Kumeu Rugby Club held its first junior registration evening tonight and the turn-out was good, not surprising really.  We all figured Rugby registrations would be up this year following the awesomeness that was the World Cup.

If you are considering enrolling your kids in either Soccer or Rugby, now is the time to act.  Your local clubs will be holding their registrations now, they usually have at least two or three.  To give you an idea of fees, our rugby dues this year are $90.  Definitely an increase from last year, however this includes shorts, socks and a mouth guard (new members also get a bag), though obviously this will vary from club to club.

Take your cheque book to a rego event as often the clubs eftpos facility will be behind the bar and not open.  Also, if you plan to order club clothing eg training jackets etc be prepared to do this at registration as the club will put in one order once all money is received.

It was lovely to see Milo supporting grass-roots sports, plus it provided a welcome distraction {and some afternoon tea!} for the kids whilst the parents were queing and writing cheques!

What winter sports are your kids {or you} getting into this winter?  I’m thinking I might get into some swimming training with my future sister-in-law….ahhhh dreams are free and good intentions are worth everything right?