Daily Look | At the End of the Path

Some days you just have to put on your overalls and go riding in the rain.  Or Mama will go cray-cray.  He won’t melt, he’s warm and so so happy, plus the potential for puddles is all a bit too exciting!  It’s hard to remember to say yes and think outside the box but when we do it can be so rewarding right?

Mummy Blog Blogger New Zealand NZ

Thou shalt not judge my parenting on Mondays

Nix turns two in 2 months and he’s all about the tantrums.  All.  The.  Time.

I can deal with this just fine, however, a grande mal paddy sometimes causes a bit of a time crunch when you are trying to leave the house by 9.30am.  God that sounded like eons of time once in my life – getting on your way and in the car by 9.30?  pfffftttt, nothing to it.  Now I’m on struggle street with such an ‘early’ departure, I hate it.

Anyway, swimming at 10am + a multiple paddy morning = frazzled mama.  I realized about halfway to the class that I had failed to pack Nix any swimming togs.  I had a disposable swim nappy so that would have to suffice.  But the LOOKS!  I was officially deemed ‘that’ mother in the eyes of my peers, the instructor was quite horrified  and every time I launched Nix out of the pool with gay abandon all eyes followed his nappy clothed, swimming trunk-less bottom as if at any time it was going to blow!

We survived the lesson and in the creepy silence of the changing room where no-one talks to each other, the Mum next to me began cursing under her breath.  My swimming togs faux pas was trumped by a forgotten bra!  My worst nightmare.  It was obviously Monday-itis all round.

We emerged from our joyous time in the chlorine and headed to the mall to pick up a few things.  Much like taking Nixon to a restaurant, taking him shopping is also an exercise in speed, distraction and mostly just speed.  He hates being confined to his stroller with a passion.  A very loud and vocal passion.  When I saw there was no line at my $10 eyebrow waxing joint I made an executive decision – we were going in, stroller and all.  I handed Nix my phone {breaking parenting rule #71 right?}, found him some videos of himself to watch and told the beautician it was Go Time – we had a ticking time bomb on our hands.  She was totally the mistress of speedy wax jobs and I headed on my way, ready to brave the mall, with the addition of bright red waxing marks on my face. Such a babe.  

It was then a caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and learnt a hard lesson; my trackies may be from Country Rd, but this does not make them fit for wearing in public.  One word, pajamas.  

So I was feeling really pumped up as we hit Kmart (not) and there were signs that Nixon was rapidly descending into shit-losing-mode.  I found The Wiggles on Spotify and pumped it up to full volume and handed him my phone again, I know I know!  I skipped the ‘trendy’ homewares section and powered through to the boys clothes department.  Nix needed some winter play clothes so I wasn’t leaving until I had them.  

By the time we left the shoes, it was all over.  Back arched, screams at mega-decibel level, I ran to the check-out only stopping to demonstrate my next display of uber parenting – I grabbed a Kit Kat and a juice bottle and said ‘have at it kiddo’ {Breaking parenting rule #3 I’m pretty sure}.  I had bought myself enough time to pay for the clothes, and power my way through another store to pick up Mum’s Mother’s Day gift.

So yeah.  Monday.  As I said to the bra-less mother at swimming, “it can only get better from here right?”.

 

Say hello! Twinkle Twinkle Little Star + Giveaway

I AM IN AWE OF THE MANY INCREDIBLE MUM’S OUT THERE, DOING A FAB JOB OF RUNNING THEIR OWN SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES WHILST SIMULTANEOUSLY HOLDING DOWN THE FORT AT HOME. I’M FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE ‘MET’ MANY OF THESE LADIES ONLINE AND CAN’T WAIT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO SOME NEW FACES AND THEIR AWESOME ENTREPRENEURIAL ENDEAVOURS.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET INVOLVED AND HAVE YOUR BUSINESS FEATURED, PLEASE SAY HELLO!  MELISSA@THEBESTNEST.CO.NZ

Kate from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is one of those brave souls you read about who knew they needed to make a change in their lives and just got on with it. That’s living with no regrets I reckon.Little Grippers Socks Mummy Blogger New ZealandKate is a mum to three kids all under 5 {!!!!} – Jacob 4, Lilly 2 and Scarlett 7 months, who were her main motivation to open her new store.  Opening a physical store as well as an online shop was a choice involving a fair amount of risk.  However, believing in the future of Papakura and wanting to invest in her town gives her a great base from which to run events and workshops to bring local businesses and shoppers together.  Kate hosts breastfeeding, car seat and baby wearing talks as well as book readings, Cloth Nappy Week Coffee Group and fun stuff like crochet classes.  She is also starting a cloth nappy library and baby wearing group to further give back to her community.

Busy, busy lady.  Did I mention she has three kids under 5?

Kate sent me some Little Grippers socks for the boys to try and we are huge fans!  At the speed Nixon races around the house I find sagging socks way too risky so he’s usually barefoot at the moment which is obviously not ideal in this cooler weather.  Little Grippers are available in baby socks, school socks and a new sports sock which all Stay On and Up all day long!  The secret is a very thin layer of 100% natural silicone on the cuffs which is entirely hypoallergenic ensuring no irritation.  This amazing band of silicone lasts the lifetime of the sock, can be washed as normal and won’t lose it’s effectiveness over time!  Ethan has also put the sports socks to the test and they passed with flying colours, doing time at rugby training and staying up is NOT to be sneezed at lol.

Shop the range online at www.ttls.co.nz, prices start from $7 for baby socks!

Little Grippers Socks Mummy Blogger New ZealandLittle Grippers Socks Mummy Blogger New ZealandLittle Grippers Socks Mummy Blogger New ZealandIf you would like to win your choice of any two pairs of Little Grippers head over to The Best Nest on Facebook and follow the competition instructions.
Open to NZ residents only, competition closes Sunday May 10, 10pm.

Say hello! | Mud Mates + Giveaway

I am in awe of the many incredible Mum’s out there, doing a fab job of running their own successful businesses whilst simultaneously holding down the fort at home. I’m fortunate enough to have ‘met’ many of these ladies online and can’t wait to introduce you to some new faces and their awesome entrepreneurial endeavours.  If you would like to get involved and have your business featured, please say hello!melissa@thebestnest.co.nz

I kind of get the feeling that in years to come Mud Mates may be one of those companies that becomes a kiwi institution; one of those products that everyone will remember wearing as a child and then go on to purchase for their kids in the future.

Owner Alana, got in touch with me and I jumped at the chance to work with her because, um, NIXON!  Crazy baby is crazy, and he needs to be covered head to toe in plastic at all times.  Some don’t find that acceptable however, so instead, there is Mud Mates.  Thank goodness.

Alana is a Hawkes Bay mum of two, who developed her awesome products out of the frustration (desperation?) that I’m sure every Mum has felt as a result of the constant washing and often ruining of clothes that can result from letting your kids be kids and get dirty.

Mud Mates has been going strong for a couple of years now, continuing their awesome commitment to producing their products at home in New Zealand, Napier to be exact!  Reserach and design has seen the introduction of a new fabric to the range; coveralls, overpants and shoe covers are now made from water-resistant and water-repellent fabric.  This is a breathable, polyester, PVC-free fabric with a polyurethane (PU) coating on the inside and a 3M Scotchguard water-repellent coating on the outside. The fabric is soft and lightweight (yet durable and hard-wearing) which means the garments are comfortable and easy to wear without restricting your littlies movement.


I am a mother of two boys.

Two full on, balls to the wall, dirty, grubby, stained and scuffed boys.  I love it, and them.    An unfortunate side effect of having feral children and failing to rein in their dirt-ambitions is that I have allowed plenty of ‘nice’ clothes to be ruined.  I refuse to tell my kids they aren’t allowed to get dirty.  In fact I don’t think that particular phrase has ever left my mouth!  Needless to say, I had never really considered the need for some coveralls.  Never until I actually tried them out!

I may be down with dirt, but one thing I’m paranoid about is letting my kids get cold.    Easter weekend brought amaze weather, it was so, so hot up in Waipu at Mum’s but the mornings were very shivery and cold with heavy dews.  The end of Daylight Saving also added super early wake-ups to the holiday weekend {arghhh!} so we were up and at ’em before the sun had a chance to warm up the chilly autumn mornings.  Nixon was gifted a pair of Mud Mates Coveralls and lawd I was stoked I remembered to pack them!  They proved themselves as soon as the little guy settled on the water-logged sand-pit as his play location!  He was able to splash around in there, doing his roadworks, burying and excavating tractors and I didn’t worry a bit about him getting wet and cold – ain’t nobody got time for a sick toddler!

One important thing to note here; these are not lined, which I love.  Here’s why; last winter I purchased a pair of lined overalls with shoulder straps.  They were gorgeous and thick and warm, but they were so thick that when popped over clothes Nix could barely move in them.  Working around this meant that I had to strip Nix’s pants off before and after play time which was a little bit chilly at the beach mid-winter!  The shoulder straps fell down constantly and the plastic buckles didn’t hold their position, so again I found a workaround by tying knots in the straps-  again, less than ideal.   When I saw Nix was heading for the water, I busted out a deft intercept, zipped the coveralls over his clothes and he was good-to-go.  They pack down super-small as well so you can always squeeze then in your diaper bag and make the most of those random, muddy, FUN opportunities.  I absolutely love these coveralls! 

Mud Mates coveralls are so low-maintenance I’m thoroughly recommending that all babies and toddlers should wear them 100% of the time FOR EVER.  Just kidding.  Sort of.   Every Mum should be so lucky to have a pair of these in their arsenal, these would be the most useful and appreciated first birthday gift ever!

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

Mudmates Coveralls NZ Blog review

If you would like to win a pair of the amaze Mud Mates coveralls, head over to our Facebook page and follow the instructions on the competition image.  Competition closes Sunday 26th April 10pm.  If you just can’t wait, purchase a pair here 

Daily Look | Winter is Coming

I snapped this photo four days ago.  Just looking at it makes me shiver under my woollen jumper, full length tights, fuzzy socks and nana blanket.  Dave has started prepping a section of our yard for a wee makeover.  It’s going to require a digger and a roller and lots of dirt, mud and rocks.  If Nixon had any idea of what lies ahead he wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

But for now.  Cold.

Hello Nixon | 20 Months “BUBBY-do”

Mummy Blog NZ New Zealand Blogger These are the days you wait for.

I also have a feeling these are the days you miss the most when they are gone.  My faithful sidekick, with me every minute of the day, screaming “BUBBY-do!!” at every turn, at every milestone throughout the day – laundry, meal time, bed making, dog walking, potato peeling, unloading the dishwasher……..son, your domestic training has begun early!

I have never felt so utterly happy and at peace as I did today while I was mowing the back lawn.  Weird, I know, but when a little person is just radiating joy because the two of you are out in the yard, mowing and pretend mowing together, it’s a nice little reminder of how simple life can be – and should be?  I know every parent believes in their child and loves them more and more with each passing second, and I’m totally having one of those ‘my kids is the shit’ moments, but I just wish every single person I know could experience how hilarious and smart, loving and amazing Nix is at this special age.  So close to two, and yet so far from the baby he’s grown out of.  He’s one of those kids whose personality is so huge it takes over the whole house and has everyone wrapped around his little finger, hoping to be next in line for big, slobbery hugs.

The things that make Nix happy are many, varied and random;

  1. Favourite book – Tiddler
  2. Favourite food – Beetroot and avocado
  3. Favourite toy – Trucks
  4. Favourite person – Ethan + E’s friends
  5. Favourite show – Little Einsteins
  6. Favourite jams – The Wiggles
  7. Favourite Soft Toy – Leapfrog Puppy & Sharky
  8. Favourite topic of conversation – Diggers 
  9. Favourite pastime – Helping “I help it”
  10. Favourite weirdo habit – carrying his baby powder around ‘PowPow’

The things Nix hates are also many;

  1. He still hates having his diaper changed.  I don’t blame him, an unfortunate side-effect of Hirschsprungs Disease
  2. He does not enjoy the locks on the pantry
  3. He does not enjoy following instruction at swimming lessons
  4. He is still fighting his battle with Sandpit Rage, it’s a long, hard road
  5. He hates it when we drive somewhere that ISN’T the Nor’Western Motorway ergo no diggers, this makes Nixon very, very angry
  6. He hates it when his mash is late and taking too long to cool down
  7. He very much dislikes getting out of the shower
  8. He appears to be very afraid of spiders and bugs
  9. Despite being filthy and playing outside most of the time, he dislikes his hands being dirty
  10. When he is with his Dad en masse, ie the weekends, he hates being out of reach of him.  Dave can’t easily go swimming, or disappear from sight.  Nix loves his daddy.

Mummy Blog NZ New Zealand Blogger

 

Sandpit Rage

So one day toward the end of winter last year, I had this freaking genius idea to turn a corner garden surrounded on two sides by concrete into an in-ground sandpit.  Bordered by railway sleepers, complete with driftwood and spendy, smooth river rocks, over-flowing with just the BEST sandpit toys {or whatever dregs I found in the tupperware drawer}…….are you picturing this?  It will only take an hour or so I told Dave.

Two weekends later……

Hours of fun for Nixon we thought.  Made even better by the child’s obsession with diggers and dump trucks – oh snap we have a large fleet of those!  Into the sandpit they went.  

And it is awesome.

And we do love it, plus I think Nix thinks it’s ok.

There is a dark side to amazing sandpits though, something no-one talks about.  It’s kept under wraps, bringing shame upon the family because society just hasn’t come to grips with it yet.  Let’s just say if Nixon were a foreign tourist, strangers would be taking the keys to his sandpit off of him.

Nixon suffers from Sandpit Rage.

What begins as a fun game of diggers and dump trucks ends in fists raised to the sky, little muscles bulging, curses and expletives disguised as toddler-babble ringing around the neighborhood at max volume and me carrying Nixon under my arm kicking and screaming back into the house where we can hide our Sandpit Rage behind closed doors.

You see, the diggers don’t always dig in just the ‘right’ way.  The dump trucks sometimes miss their mark and aren’t parked in the optimal spot for sand loading to commence and shit, sometimes everything is just way too yellow or sandy……….and the rage ensues.

When I was pregnant with Nix, Dave and I would laugh and say “there’s no way #2 could be worse than #1” and by worse we meant more intense, more stubborn and with a stronger will.  “There’s no way that could happen right?” laugh, laugh, laugh.  Oh yes way.  It happened and it happened good.

So now, instead of the lazy afternoons we imagined, spent outside, playing calmly and quietly in the sandpit, we now count the minutes of relative peace until it all turns to custard and Nix throws his toys.  Just a phase?  Fingers crossed.

So, who’s up for a play date at our house?  Sounds fun right?

 Toddler in Sandpit Tantrum New Zealand Mummy Blog

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

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