Travelling for work: Tips to help kids when they’re missing Mummy or Daddy

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Dave returns today from an 11 day work trip and lord that plane can’t get to Auckland soon enough.  I find it super hard to parent without Dave as he’s the steady, stable half and I’m the emotionally fractious one who struggles to hold her shit together!  The boys seem to get on with daily life without Dave but despite the volume being lowered somewhat in the house (always a welcome change imo!), there are many notable points throughout the day where we all miss Daddy.

Nixon is now 2.2 and this is the first trip when he’s actually shown interest in chatting to Dave on the phone.  This helps of course, but is doesn’t assuage the never-ending questions;

Where’s Daddy?

Where’s Wellington?

Daddy in Nu Ziland?

Daddy on a plane?

You get the picture.

Ethan who’s almost 11 tends to miss the things he does with his Dad, so he’s been dreaming up elaborate fishing trips and getting his tackle box ready because as soon as his Dad walks through the door there’s a HUGE agenda waiting lol. Roll back three years to when Dave was in Europe for 6 weeks and things were a wee bit different.  Ethan didn’t articulate it so much as show us in his behaviour and emotional outbursts, how much he was struggling with his Dad’s absence.  It took us weeks to get my young man back on an even keel once Dave returned home, travel weary and with lots of laundry!

So, when Maria from Happy Mum, Happy Child asked me if I had any ideas to help her 3 yo daughter deal with increasing separation anxiety when her Dad travels, I put my thinking cap on and came up with some easy to implement tips.

5 Tips to Help Kids When They’re Missing Mummy or Daddy

  • Make the absence visible 

Missing Mum, Dad or a significant other caregiver isn’t something to be brushed off and glossed over.  Acknowledge how little ones are going to feel and give them tools to cope.  Make the time away something tangible that they can see and measure by printing out a blank calendar page like this one and marking the number of days until Mum/Dad return.  Combine this with a big goofy picture of the damn parent that gets to escape from the house your other half and you’ve got yourself a DIY shrine to your significant other!  Just what you always wanted lol.

  • Give Little an Important task to do 

Creating  a ‘responsibility’ will initiate purpose and a little distraction.  If Dad has a ‘very special’ task that he normally does, like feeding the dog, enlist your Little Guy to take over this job, emphasizing that we must ‘soldier on’ and all pitch in without Daddy…….I know, I know lol.  If this is out of the question try entrusting a very ‘special’ item belonging to Travelling Mum/Dad into the care of your little person.

  •  Ooohh, look, there’s mail for you!

A short, pre-written daily note from Mum/Dad ‘arriving’ in the mailbox could be just the ticket to getting through each day.  Keeping the travelling parent front and foremost in Little’s mind really is key I think.  This way they are less likely to experience sudden pangs of ‘OMG I miss …….. so much!’.

  • Use Technology

Make use of the myriad ways we can use technology to keep in touch.  Send texts, pxt, FB messages, emails to the travelling partner, use IG, Skype, Facetime and let your Little take the lead here.  Help them to make a list of three things to tell Mum/Dad about their day at kindy or school and encourage your partner to tell them 3 interesting things about the place they’re working.  Familiarity with what each other is doing will help to minimise the ‘strangeness’ of someone being away.

  • Plan Something to Look Forward To

Make homecoming a double whammy.  When Dave arrived home from 6 weeks in Europe, 7 year old Ethan was sure that what Daddy would want most in the world was a disco.  In our lounge.  So  ::sigh:: we shopped for disco snacks, made a playlist of all of Ethan’s Dave’s fave Katy Perry songs, we pulled the blinds and my jet lagged husband had a cracking time limbo-ing and eating Twisties.  Kids LOVE this shit, plus it will give them something to focus on and plan, rather than fretting about missing their Mum/Dad constantly.

Somedays will be rough, I guarantee it.  Maybe most days if I’m being completely honest.  When your routine changes in a household due to one parent travelling, take liberties, run with it!  I order Ethan a Pita Pit for lunch now and then when his dad’s away, we eat breakfast for dinner and we have Fish ‘n Chips! – Dave hates all of these things so we pony up and make the most of our time sans Dad.

Good luck Mama’s, and if all else fails, there’s the TV, YouTube and wine xx

 

 

 

 

I had Mummy Guilt…….then I let that shit go

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So Dave is away in Wellington for 11 days completing a project that’s been ongoing for about a year I think, resulting in many trips back and forth. Now is probably NOT the best time to be writing this as we were FB messaging this morning and he was grumbling about work so I called him to make sure everything was ok, turns out he was still in bed and hungover.  What in the actual fuck!  Excuse me while I go and wipe your kids snotty nose, clean chili sauce off the carpet after Nix decided to try his hand at abstract art at 8.15 this morning and try not to cry about the smashed bottle of $140 Murad skincare I discovered after Ethan was finished in the bathroom this morning!  Woe.  Is.  You Me.

Moving on lol.

I was invited to attend the Women’s Wellness in NZ event on Sunday hosted by Makaia Carr and Julia & Libby.  I SO wanted to go but with Dave away and Mum up north I was a bit stuck.  E dislocated and broke his toe in a rugby tourney on Thursday (read, we were at the ER until midnight on Thursday night, sigh) so was a bit hobbly and precious and Nixon, well, usual state of affairs there – chaos.  

So, I did the unthinkable for me.  I asked for help.  I find this so hard to do.  I sat on the texts for ages, willing myself to hit send and when I finally did the first reply was a negative.  Wahhhhh!  I tried again and success.  Nixon was all set to spend the morning with his cousin and Ethan was off to nerd out at a friends house.  

It was a swift morning hustle, the usual morning routine combined with me trying to look presentable and depart the house by 9.15.  On a Sunday.  We did it without any kid/mummy rage and I headed east to dispatch Child #1 and then south to deliver Nixon.

When I finally got on the motorway I was overcome with IT, a sickening case of Mummy Guilt.  Why had I said yes to attending?  Why had I rushed the kids out of the house on a Sunday?  Why had I bothered running in 3 different directions when we could be all together, cozy and relaxing?  Major fretting ensued, then I woke up and gave myself a good mental slap.

I said yes to Mak’s invite because I knew I needed to go.  Catching some fleeting time by yourself when your partner is away is hard.  Even the drive to the event was relaxing without the boys yelling and screaming in the car!  I had rushed the kids out of the house because we all needed to get out of the house – without making the beds, with dirty dishes on the bench and with laundry on the floor.  We/I needed to say, who cares?  I dropped the kids off with two different people because I asked for help.  And that was totally ok.

I know it was ok because when people ask me for help (and they do ALL the time, every day) I say yes.  I don’t think twice I just say yes.  You know that old adage, “it takes a village”?  Well it does, and I need to remember to knock on more doors in my village and say “please, my turn.  Can you help?”.

If you liked this post, LIKE this post on FB too! (I’ll love you forever xx)

On Holiday in Rarotonga | Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes

We visited some amazing spots in Rarotonga on our family vacation and I’m going to share my favourite Kid Friendly activities right here.  Follow along for the entire series and hopefully you’ll get inspired to start planning your own Cook Islands adventure.


Mummy Blog new Zealand TRavel rarotonga Family

As soon as I mentioned that our family was traveling to Rarotonga, the first place people recommended if they had visited The Cook Islands before was Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes.
Not going to lie, when I checked the website I was SO freaking excited!  After emailing an inquiry through and receiving a super quick response from Lynne, we scheduled our cruise for the day after we arrived in Raro.
Of all the excursions we had planned, I was the most worried about how Nixie would survive such a long day – on a boat!
We arrived to overcast, average day on Thursday which unfortunately deteriorated into a bit of a cold rain on Friday morning.  We were instantly cheered however, by the beautiful singing and drumming that greeted us upon our arrival at Captain Tama’s Muri Beach location.
After a quick (hilarious) intro we boarded our glass bottom boat and headed out into Muri Lagoon to go snorkeling.

Mummy Blog new Zealand TRavel rarotonga FamilyThe lagoon is quite sheltered so don’t worry about a bumpy ride, plus the pontoon style boats are super stable so no need to worry about feeling seasick.
After a short spell of motoring, 15 minutes or so, we arrived at our snorkeling spot, stripped off and stepped overboard into the most beautiful water I’ve ever seen.  People took their time, hopped in and out of the water, always assisted by one of the guides who stayed onboard, keeping a very watchful eye on all of their charges.
We had packed a flotation ring for Nixon so Dave and I took turns exploring the reef below and hanging out with our little guy who had a great time bobbing around, chatting to everyone and pointing out all of the ‘whales’ he kept spotting!Mummy Blog new Zealand TRavel rarotonga FamilyEthan was in the water before anyone else and was the last to get back on the boat.  He loved every second of it.  One of the guides was in the water showing people where to spot two huge moray eels so that was the icing on the cake for our big boy.  The fish were everywhere.  We saw Giant Clams, Butterfly Fish, Trigger Fish, Damsel Fish, Blue Fin Trevally, Parrot Fish, Needle Fish and so many more.  The incredible range and varied scale of marine life was so abundant that often you didn’t know where to look. We were all a little overwhelmed and so, so grateful for such a memorable snorkeling experience.

Mummy Blog new Zealand TRavel rarotonga FamilyThere was another two year old on our boat and both he and Nix were totally happy throughout the lagoon trip.  I couldn’t believe our luck that Nixon was relaxed and loving his time on the boat.  This can definitely be attributed to the friendly, fun atmosphere that our guides made sure to maintain, even in the less-than-perfect weather.
After another short spell of motoring we pulled up to a gorgeous island in the lagoon and hopped off for lunch just as the sun came out.  The boats are flat bottomed so you literally disembark into ankle deep water.  There was an elderly gentlemen on board that the guys took such great care of, carrying him gently to and from the boat so don’t worry about accessibility!Mummy Blog new Zealand TRavel rarotonga Family
We had about 20 minutes before lunch was to be served so Ethan grabbed a snorkel and headed back to the water whilst we explored the beach with Nixon and tried to ignore the incredible smells wafting from the BBQ.
Women and children were served first, of course, and we were not disappointed.  We feasted on fresh tuna, grilled bananas, onions, potato salad, coleslaw, bread, oranges and papaya with coconut.  Ah.  Maze.  Zing.
We all had seconds…….and maybe thirds.
Mummy Blog new Zealand TRavel rarotonga Family

Mummy Blog new Zealand TRavel rarotonga FamilyMummy Blog new Zealand TRavel rarotonga FamilyEthan headed straight back to the lagoon and snorkeled his heart out for the next hour or so whilst we enjoyed a cultural performance including Rarotongan song, drumming, the complete coconut how-to guide from climbing the palm to making coconut cream, sarong lessons for both men and women and finishing with a hilarious haka.

Mummy Blog new Zealand TRavel rarotonga Family

Mummy Blog new Zealand TRavel rarotonga FamilyThe day’s schedule was so well planned, there was value added at every transition.  All five of us thoroughly enjoyed our day with the boys from Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes.
This is such a professionally run operation but one that retains it’s cultural authenticity.  We are in full agreement that we would all pay to visit Captain Tama’s again on future holidays in Rarotonga, the total package (plus the amazing food!) was totally worth the ticket price.  All you have to bring on board is a towel and a water bottle if you need one – all snorkeling equipment is provided.  

This is an excursion suited to all ages and after 12 days on the island I’m rating it a must-do (be prepared for tired kids – it’s too much fun!).Mummy Blog new Zealand TRavel rarotonga Family

* We were generously hosted by Captain Tama’s, however, all opinions expressed are my own. 

Cook, Eat | Chicken, Leek & Spinach Pie Recipe

I have an ‘easy dinner’ method of making chicken pies for those nights when you have zero time to get some good-enough food on the table.  Basically I layer spinach and feta on 1/4 of a chicken breast, season with garlic salt and salt ‘n pepper and wrap this in flaky pastry.  Too easy.

I wanted to revisit this recipe and spend a bit of time creating a pie with ramped-up flavour and more of a lasting impression – in a good way hopefully!  I also wanted to include seasonal vegetables and combine ingredients in ways I hadn’t tried before.

I’m proud of this recipe, it was a gorgeously savoury success!  The two heroes of the dish are the Queen Vanilla Pure Extract and the buttery, authentically french, Paneton pastry.  I’m a ridiculous creature of habit when it comes to grocery shopping and as a result I have always purchased the same brand of pre-rolled pastry sheets.  Not anymore.  Once you go french, you never go back……..or something like that lol.

Ok, recipe time people!  As per usual, not all measurements are accurate as I’m a shambles chef but I can cook a mean pie ok!? xx

Mummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand Chicken Pie RecipeChicken, Leek & Spinach Pie Recipe
Ingredients
  • Approx. 800 grams chicken breast, diced
  • 1 x Paneton Flaky Pastry Roll
  • 3 tsp Queen Finest Vanilla Pure Extract, Single Origin Madagascar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Minced garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 40 gm Slivered almonds
  • Fresh spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • One leek
  • Feta
  • 1 egg whisked for pastry wash
Method

Remove pastry from freezer to thaw.  Preheat oven to 180°.

Heat approx 2 tblsp olive oil in a large pan, add minced garlic (I probably used around a tbsp) and chicken pieces.  Season with salt and pepper and cook through.  Remove from pan.

Add slivered almonds, when toasted add leek and cook until starting to turn translucent.  Add mushrooms and one teaspoon of Queen Pure Vanilla Extract.

Add a heaping mound of spinach to the pan, you know how it wilts down so add more than you think!  Add two more teaspoons of Vanilla Extract to taste – this is one ingredient I carefully measured so you can trust these amounts!  Combine with chicken, seasoning again to taste.

Grease your pie dish and line with Paneton Flaky Pastry.  Spoon chicken and spinach mixture to fill the pan.  Crumble feta over the filling and close pie with another sheet of pastry.  

Crimp the edges and make the pie look as fancy-pants as you like.  Brush with egg wash and bake until your pastry is fluffy and golden.

Bon apetit!

PS these retro enamel pie dishes from the Wiltshire range are amazing to work with, even cooking and easy clean up.  Available from The Warehouse.

Mummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand Chicken Pie RecipeMummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand Chicken Pie RecipeMummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand Chicken Pie Recipe

Mummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand Chicken Pie Recipe

*I was sent the pastry, vanilla, and pie dishes to use in creating my own recipes, all opinions expressed are my own.

The Tiny Dictator; Our 2yo is running our household.

It pains me to write that as, if I’m being honest, I’m a total control freak, and I have lost control in my own house. 

We’ve all fallen victim to a smiling assassin.  16kg of pure cute that does what he likes, bites whomever he chooses, throws tables and stools willy-nilly, draws on walls and furniture when the mood takes him, rides dogs when he feels the urge, demands cookies before breakfast and snaps his fingers for an Ipad and can justify his outlandish behaviour by batting his eyelashes at you and explaining his actions with the eloquence of a preschooler twice his age.

We are in so much trouble.

It sounds naive, but this rather unacceptable state of affairs has crept up on us as over time.  Certain behaviours have become the norm over a period of a few months, mostly since Nixie’s last hospital stay, until things have reached their zenith over the past 7 days and I’m at my wits end trying to contain the ‘baby’ when he goes into hulk-mode.

There are many factors that have combined in a perfect storm of parenting fails;

  • The 8.5 year age gap that left us all gooey over a new baby after so long
  • The Big Brother factor – Ethan is also all gooey over little bro and these two boys love nothing more then going mental and hyping each other up with daily wrestling matches and games of indoor rugby……..{the Crown Lynn and the dogs live in FEAR!}
  • Nix is the baby that arrived after my Dad died > insert all the sad feelings
  • Nix is the baby that arrived after a miscarriage > see above
  • Nix is the baby born with a congenital disease {read about his Hirschsprung’s Disease here} and as such has had mega-parenting-sympathy on his side after multiple hospital stays and major surgery
  • Nix is the baby with the longest eyelashes in the world, the biggest personality and the most beautiful blue eyes and bung ear you’ve ever seen plus he’s ridiculously smart and funny.

 

He has us wrapped around his chubby fingers and he knows it.  He has his fake cry on point, when I ask him if he’s watching people unwrap toys on YouTube he says “No Mummy” and quickly switches back to Tayo or diggers, he has said the word yes one time in his whole life – I’m pretty sure he’s actually allergic to any form of  willing compliance at this stage.  A lot of this can definitely be attributed to his recent stay in Starship.  Traumatic things happened to him in order to get him well again and receive the medicines he needed, but it fuelled his instinct to resist and to fight.  He still hasn’t stopped fighting.  Every diaper change is a massive ordeal and can be really physically demanding.  We liken it to alligator wrestling if you’re wondering.

But, Nixon {#nonixonno} needs to be disciplined.  I say that in the nicest possible way one can say that one’s two year old needs discipline, but we can’t deny it any longer.  The child is on the fast track to the naughty step and it’s time for Dave and I to step up and get down to business.

I can’t write all of this though without recognizing Nixie’s beautiful nature, compassion (usually towards his brother) and his gift for making you feel like you are the most amazing being in the universe.  His beautiful smile reaches me when little else can and reminds me of all that’s good.  He’s also a freaky FREAK with numbers and can tackle like a five year old who has no time for rippa rugby.  

Heart melt Nixon.  

Now BEHAVE!

 

Mummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand

 

Shop Tour | Global Baby

This little blogging gig does wonders for getting me out and about and exploring different parts of Auckland – it’s also pretty deadly on the credit card as I discover more and more fabulous businesses that are doing things so right in this very competitive retail market.  Our declining love affair with the bricks and mortar storefronts of old makes sense in a lot of markets.  Hell yes I’m going to order groceries online if Countdown sends me a code for $1 delivery – why wouldn’t I?  I can’t drive to the store for a $1, plus my time………

However, there are some things that one simply must shop for in person, and let’s be clear, I’m talking about everything related to baby-on-the-way.  For me, the nesting, list-checking, stroller perusing days were some of the most fun and special shopping days I can remember.  So much time, energy, planning and lets face it, money goes into ensuring you’ve got all of your bases covered before baby arrives – then you do it all over again after bubs is born when you realise you had no idea what you needed and what you didn’t!  Ethan, Nixon and I visited Global Baby during the school holidays and spent some time in the store with owner Anita and her lovely shop assistant Danielle.  These two ladies were the very picture of calm whilst the two boys manhandled everything in the shop and just as Nixon was about to lose ALL of his marbles Danielle sat down with a box of stickers and peace was restored.

That’s the kind of shopping experience I want need from every retailer!

I’ve picked out a few of my favourite, lust-worthy items that are available in-store or online if you can’t make it to Global Baby at 161 Manukau Rd, Epsom.

Mummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand

Mutsy Strollers

It was love at first sight when I saw the Mutsy range of strollers.  Never before have I considered a stroller an object of desire but the finishing and leather detail on these are gorgeous.  Further complementing their stand-out range of strollers which also includes the Casual Play and Brevi ranges, Global Baby have their very own Stroller Technician who carries out any repairs and adjustments in-house so you and baby are back on the street in no time.  Both Anita and Danielle are NZQA certified Child Restraint Technicians; these are the ladies you need when deciding upon the very best travel system for your family.Mummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand

Perfect Gift Ideas for Baby and Mummy
Mummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand

1.  Pretty Brave Mint with Stripes Slip On $49.90.  I’m dying inside a little that Nixon never got to wear a pair of these super stylish shoes, so sad!  Global Baby has an amazing selection of Pretty Brave Moccasins, Slip-ons and Espadrilles in stock in BOTH boys and girls styles – they’ve just arrived though so be quick!

2.  Haakaa Natural Rubber Teether $14.90.  Shop the NZ designed Haakaa range here, all products are BPA, PVC, Phthalate and Lead free + are scratch and chip proof

3.  All mama’s, new or not so new, need recognition every now and then for the wonderful job they’re doing.  These gorgeous candles, exclusive to Global Baby are blended to promote sleep, relaxation and stress relief.

4.  Kip & Co Bamboo Baby Wrap 2 Pack $64.90.  One of my favorite brands, Kip & Co never disappoint and these stylish, functional swaddles are a nursery essential.  Shop Kip & Co here

5.  Mamoo & Lou Zig Zag Pullover $65.  I spied this NZ brand in the latest Good magazine and was even more enamoured after seeing these fabulous 100% merino knits in person.  Gender neutral, classic styles and superb quality.  Mamoo & Lou tick all the boxes for me and with carefully thought out features such as the folded cuff design on their pants, this range should be at the top of every baby shower wish list.

6.  Baby Wilson Lola Boot by Kathryn Wilson $64.90.  I don’t think these need much of an intro, swoon. Handmade, 100% leather, Baby Wilson by Kathryn Wilson boots make an ideal baby gift, christening gift or christening shoe.  These are the heirloom item every mother will cherish!

Mummy Auckland Blogger New ZealandKaylula Baby Furniture

Design perfection and functionality plus have finally arrived in the nursery.  The Kaylula YoYo cradle may be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever laid eyes on.  Crafted from bentwood, this cradle is a lullaby-inducing dream!  The Kaylula range also includes 4-in-1 cots and changing table/drawer combos. 

If you’ve done your window shopping/research and are ready to order then head to the Global Baby website to shop their comprehensive range.  If you’re after advice and high-end service then the in-store experience with Anita or Danielle is a must!  Visit Global Baby at 161 Manukau Rd, Epsom, Auckland.  Phone 09 630 1960Mummy Auckland Blogger New ZealandMummy Auckland Blogger New ZealandMummy Auckland Blogger New Zealandmummy-blog-new-zealand-nz Mummy Auckland Blogger New ZealandMummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand

 

On Being a Blogger with Depression

Living with depression and anxiety of course means vastly different things to different people.  

But, over time, it also means different things to those who live with it; each month, week, shit…….even each day, I can find myself mired in different manifestations of the same old thing.  It sucks for me and I’m sure it totally sucks for my family who have to soldier on while Mum’s head is spinning.

How ironic then, that without even digging down too deeply (and psychoanalysing myself even more than I already do!) I know with conviction that what’s feeding this recent influx of anxiety is the one thing that used to bring me so much joy and creative freedom.  This blog.

I’m writing this at 6.30am on a Saturday morning.  I awoke suddenly, minutes ago as if I never actually slept.  Kicked out of my precious and desperately needed slumber by one thought.  Blog related of course.  What.  The.  Fuck.

See, this blogging game is a serious hustle right now.  The thing is and (revelation!) I’ve just realised this right this second, I’ve been hustling for all of the wrong reasons and all of the wrong people.  Blogging in New Zealand has evolved massively over the past 18 months and it’s on the cusp of being a semi-lucrative little ‘hobby’.  Or perhaps more than a hobby.  Maybe even a ………. job?

When you have a ‘job’, there is someone paying your wages.  The Man, so to speak.  When a blogger, ie ME is working for The Man, guess what?  More often than not it means I’m not working, writing, creating for ME.  Or you for that matter.

This gives me the shits.  Oh and massive anxiety, by the way.

I feel like I’m actually buried in obligations to people and brands, the trouble is, I’m not sure if these obligations actually exist or whether I’m just creating mad-precedents and expectations of myself that are a bit OTT.  I remember a couple of years ago when one of my favourite bloggers Talia, who was totally on top of her game at the time – so I thought – announced that she was done with all of her commercial relationships and was just settling in to blog for herself again.  I remember thinking “Whaaaaat?”  But, Talia, someone sent you FREE stuff, isn’t your life complete now?

Bwahahaha.  Oh how I laugh now.

Because I get it.  And it’s totally doing my head in.

This little tour on the depression bus is almost entirely blogging related and I hate that something I love so much and am really, really proud of building is beginning to build me a little prison in my head.  I’m just not sure I can keep up with the online-Joneses anymore.  The pace this industry is moving is so fast and hectic that it’s entirely possible to lose yourself and everything you believe in in the process of ‘making it’, of getting ‘invited’, of receiving ALL the stuff, of being on ALL the lists.

I brainstormed the things I used to love blogging about – when I had the time – ie before the ‘obligations’ began to strangle me;

  • I love cooking, photographing and blogging recipes.  I was reminded of this yesterday as I finished a sponsored post involving baking.  I miss this.
  • I love just writing about LIFE.  I am reminded of this EVERY DAMN DAY when I don’t write at all.
  • I love crafting.  I used to knit, crochet, make rad antler necklaces out of FIMO.  I NEED more of this.
  • Wardrobe Wednesday.  That was fun.  It challenged me to actually get dressed up and shop my closet.  Does anyone still do this?
  • I love taking beautiful pictures
  • I used to love the blogging community.  I don’t anymore.  I miss you guys xx

These things may not be SEO friendly or currently kicking ass on Google Trends but they made me happy, and that’s got to count for something right?

I don’t know where this post leads, but I do know where I begin.  That’s with my family.  Secondly, the answer is right here in front of me, it’s in these words on this white page of pixels.  Words that are true and are me and that I felt compelled, rather than obligated to write.

 

 

Oh yeah. Hirschsprung’s is for life damnit.

Friday, 12th June 10pm: I’m in my bed, eating the hell out of a packet of Lindor Balls.  I just got out of the shower.  A long shower into which I took my trés classy bourbon-in-a-can and sat on the floor.  I didn’t cry, but I could have.

This week broke my baby.

{If you’re a new reader, and not sure about Nixon’s Hirschsprung’s Disease, these posts will fill you in > Nixon and Hirschsprung’s Disease, Last Night’s Hospital Dinner}.

There were a couple of factors contributing to our slow admission that there was something seriously wrong with Nixie this week;

  1. He is teething hard out.  His two year molars are mucking around and I blamed his diarrhoea and general lethargy and grumpiness on this.
  2. Dave, Ethan and I were literally walloped with what we can only imagine was food poisoning on Monday night.  The.  Worst.  Thing.  Ever.  You don’t need details.  So, as you would, we assumed Nix had the same bug. 

Wrong on both counts.  

When he woke up in vomit on Wednesday morning and actually couldn’t do anything but lay on his side, barely able to even speak we rushed off to Starship, with my bags packed.  I knew we would be staying and I instantly knew that he had enterocolitis – a Hirschsprung’s Kid’s nemesis.  

After failing him for a week, I finally got something right.  Surgeons from his operation last year came down to assess him in the ER and he was admitted fairly quickly.  Not that we settled on the ward quickly.  It took a gargantuan EIGHT HOURS to achieve that feat.  We arrived at the ER at 8am, there was no-one else waiting and we were triaged and seen by the doctor very quickly.  Once it was established Nix was going to need IV antibiotics and fluids the shit hit the fan.

Nix has good veins but also a good layer of fat hiding his veins.  The doctor got a line in on first attempt after not too much hassle.  Nix didn’t like it but that was to be expected.  An hour or so into his fluid replacement a nurse arrived to administer his first dose of antibiotics.  She noticed the IV had tissued and Nixon’s arm was rapidly swelling like a balloon because it was filled with maintenance fluids.  Great.

Second attempt.  Same doctor pincushions him in three separate spots, puts line in, pulls line out.  Nix is being restrained by both Dave and I and two nurses while a play therapist tries to interest him in Thomas the Fucking Tank Engine while his eyes are rolling back in his head and he is screaming and thrashing like he’s possessed by the devil.  In the middle of this another doctor runs in and says “lets give him some nitrous and see how that helps calm him down”.

Slightly better result.  Nix isn’t speaking in tongues at least, same doctor gets line in and rapidly disappears.  Nurse goes to administer antibiotics and can’t.  Again.  Doctor no-where to be found, new doctor takes over.  End result achieved by rolling Nixon in a sheet and me pretty much lying on top of him crying my eyes out with Dave doing the same on his lower half and two nurses assisting.  Play therapist gone back to playing, because quite frankly, this has gone WAY past the point of iPad intervention.

Absolutely the worst experience of my entire life, and I’m sure Nixon’s.  Patients cannot go up to a ward without an IV in, and Nix needed those antibiotics mainlined quickly.  X-rays earlier in the day showed his bowel was badly swollen, confirming Hirschsprung enterocolitis – a life-threatening complication of Hirschsprung disease resulting in a grossly enlarged colon, often followed by sepsis and shock. 

This awful, awful series of events had rendered my sick, exhausted boy into a terrified little puddle, clinging to me for dear life.  Signs of his severe anxiety grew over the course of our 3 day stay, culminating in diaper changes becoming a two man job as Nixon’s severe, thrashing, physical protests made it impossible for ether Dave or I to complete this once simple task on our own.  When his bowel movements were as frequent as every 10 minutes you can imagine how emotionally and physically draining this was for all three of us.  

The four hourly obs by the nurses elicited the same response.  So does oral meds.  You actually can’t even imagine the state twice daily rectal washouts leaves Nix in.  Seeing my once bullet-proof-happy guy go through multiple hysteric episodes each day, is heartbreaking.  I don’t know how to fix it.

We returned home this afternoon, with a shattered little boy.  The visible distention in his belly is gone as well as other signs of untreated enter0colitis (which are too gross to bore you with!), so now it’s time to heal.  

My Mum and Dave, who were both ill themselves, were amazing last week, holding things together at home for Ethan (who was also unwell!) and keeping things as normal as possible for all of us.  I’m sure the dogs were very happy with their respite from Nixon, who loves them so much that he actually terrorizes them with the ferocity of his hugs, too bad suckers, he’s back.

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It’s now Saturday at lunchtime and the promise of being at home has been tarnished by a morning of yelling and bitching at each other, frustration, hysterics and terrible behaviour from Nixon (totally understandable, but so hard to deal with) and just trying to get back on an even keel when it feels like we’ve lost an entire week.  Nix slept all night – so did I, and is showing signs of improvement today.  The nurse on the surgical ward sent us home with exactly the right amount of supplies for today and Sunday, not a ml of saline to spare and the home help nurse said the supplies we need are out of stock so we won’t receive them until mid-week.  That’s the next battle.  Just keep swimming. just keep swimming………

Thank you for all of your love, it is so appreciated xx

 

Out of the house.

Truth: I’m not a social mama.  I don’t have playdates scheduled weeks in advance, Nix doesn’t have a massive gang of toddler mates, we don’t do coffees at the mall, go to baby gym or playgroup.  This suits me just fine but if I’m honest, it’s not the best for Nixon.  It’s pretty easy for me to get very caught up in the ‘routine’, the chores, Ethan’s big kid stuff and my self-imposed blog deadlines (I work every nap time and every night once the kids go to bed until around 11.30).  Nix is anything but mellow, but if we’re talking second child stereotypes, then I have to say, he’s getting a bit of a raw deal at the moment.

Cool your jets for a second.  He’s not ‘neglected’ in any way, I just haven’t been going out of my way to plan many, ok, any Nixie-specific activities or outings during the week.  Enter all the mummy-guilt feels.

So this morning I did something I should have done a long time ago.  Nixon and I went to Mainly Music.  It sounds like no big thing right?  Ethan and I attended our local Mainly Music religiously every week for three years when he was a pre-schooler.  I loved it.  He loved it and we made best friends with a Mummy/Daughter duo whom I still love dearly to this day.  So I have very fond memories of my virgin outing at MM all those years ago.

Last year Nix and I headed off to our local chapter and I was so disappointed.  It wasn’t at all as I remembered, the Mums weren’t really in to it, the leader wasn’t really in to it and I left just feeling awkward and vowing never to return.  Well, that’s the end of that I thought.

But with spirits bolstered, I set off this morning to a different suburban church, full of resolve and a smile on my dial, ready to do the damn thing.

And. It was awesome.  Nix and I both had a great time, the Mums and kids there seemed friendly, fun and welcoming.  

I saw you, Mum-with-the-wet-hair, who had just managed to scramble out of the shower and into the car.  I waved at you (in my head) and thought, that will be me 9/10 times I go, because who has time for a blow dry right?  I saw you, Mum-on-your-phone, and thought how nice it was that you could just sit and relax for 5 minutes in PEACE while your kid was super happy and playing with one of the church Nana’s blowing bubbles.  I smiled at you (in my head) and thought, I know how you feel, those chairs look super comfy, one day I’ll join you and we can quietly play Candy Crush side-by-side in an unspoken gesture of solidarity against being up our kids asses 24-7.  “Let them play!” we’ll say.  And we might be friends.  I hope.

I’m going back dammit.  I’m going to go to Mainly Music every week, and I’m going to shake my sillies out, sing Skinnimarinkidinkydink, march like a majorette and I’m going to make friends with Mum-with-the-wet-hair and Mum-on-her-phone, they won’t even see it coming………………..HELLO, HI?  I’M MELISSA!!

 

 

Some weeks. This week.

Some weeks are just weird. A veritable whirlwind of accidents, events, chaotic scheduling, driving, rushing.  This week, like so many recently, was the epitome of busy.  I look back and can’t think of the cuddly, sweet moments with Nixon that were surely there right (right?!!).  I can’t think of laughing and hanging out with Ethan, because, well, we didn’t (did we?!!).
I can rattle off all the things I ‘accomplished’, crossed off my never ending to-do list but I can’t remember if I stopped to do any living this week.Mummy Blogger New Zealand NZDave was away in Wellington which is always a bit crap and increases the chaos somewhat.  But surely there had to have been more than a couple of moments in the past five days where I connected, was present and accountable, where I was singularly focused and giving of my attention?  I can think of four occasions;
1.  I invited a new friend and her son over for a play.  I forgot to offer any refreshments.  None.
2.  I was commiserating with a beautiful young mum about her melanoma removals the day prior when I blurted out that my Dad died of melanoma, just to buoy her spirits you know!?.  WTF was I thinking, who says something like that? I felt connected and present because I was acutely aware of what a total accidental asshole I was.
3.  Mum made me go for a run. It was dusk in late autumn, it was crisp and cold and beautiful and I felt strong and revived.  Until I got home, then I was just annoyed because I had to take a shower.
4.  Mum made me run again.

Mummy Blogger New Zealand NZSee, I’m terrified I’m doing it all wrong at the moment.  By ‘it’ I mean life. 
I get the guilts when I try and work/blog/shoot photos when Nix is awake, yet I get mega anxiety if I fall behind on everything I need to do.  Which is ridiculous.  I’m a Mummy Blogger, I don’t have a boss, or deadlines {I mean I totally HAVE a boss, thing is he’s two & doesn’t always communicate his expectations that well, so I have some wriggle room ; P}.

I love THIS writing.  The hard stuff, the funny stuff.  The stuff where I can swear and be completely transparent.  But I’m finding it more and more difficult to just sit down and get it OUT, onto the screen/interwebs/blog.  Life’s a freaking balancing act isn’t it?  You’ve got to work through and work hard at the small stuff, the menial tasks so you eventually get to the BIG picture, the place where you’ve always wanted to be.  The hard part is remembering to stop and smell the roses once you get there.  To breathe and take it all in before it slips away, to sit and read to your baby whenever he asks, because he will stop asking.

This morning, we let it all go and headed out as early as we could manage, went to Western Springs and just walked.  We let the kids take their time.  We looked at every eel Ethan could find, meandered around in circles with Nixon until his little legs couldn’t walk anymore.  We slowed it down, did things a little differently and it felt good.  We have to stop going in different directions so much and come back to just being US.  Because that is all that matters.
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Nixon is wearing: Little Flock of Horrors Merino Patch Leggings, The Warehouse Gumboots, Huxbaby Longsleeve from And They Lived Green, Vest from Cotton On Kids