30 November 2009


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We couldn't wait...

till the official 1 December to put up the Christmas tree this year. Saturday was so grey and cold and reminiscent of an English winter's afternoon that we indulged ourselves in a little early Christmas cheer. With Christmas carols on the iPod, and the cold rain beating down outside, we were well and truly wrapped up in our own festive world for an hour this afternoon.

The opening words of 'Slinky Malinki's Christmas Crackers' by Lynley Dodd came to mind:

"Christmas was coming, out came the tree
dressed up in finery, splendid to see
With trinkets and tinsels, baubles and bows....."



23 November 2009

Our Little Dribbler

We've just enjoyed what was a very quiet weekend by our usual standards! Friends to dinner Friday night, a quiet day on Saturday, followed by Sunday morning football for Noah/Mark and a family outing to Ellie's 4th birthday party in Tawa yesterday afternoon.

As a result, we didn't take any photos at all (very remiss!), so instead I thought I'd do a little blog about Noah's football.

He's been along 3 times now (and scored a goal the past two times), the photos were kindly taken by Jackie last weekend when she went along to support Noah as Mark has to run around the field with the other parents so can't really take photos at the same time.

I wouldn't necessarily say that Noah is raving about playing so far, but he does enjoy hanging out with his friends from daycare who are in the same team. Sometimes the kids get a little distracted and they can just as easily be found playing off the pitch as on, much to the amusement or frustration of some of the parents (depending on how serious the parents are!) However, that is the beauty of Little Dribblers, as it doesn't really matter, at this age it's all about getting the kids used to the idea of playing in a team, kicking a ball around and generally letting off some steam!

This week, Mylo and I are flying up to see Nana and Poppa in Hamilton for 3 days via a very cheap Jetstar flight booked back in June in anticipation of Mylo's arrival. I recall at the time having to book the infant as 'TBA' with a birthdate in June as it wouldn't let me future date his birthdate which I found a little odd!

I'm in the process of packing my bag which is 70% for Mylo and only 30% for me, the joys of all the paraphernalia you need for one so young! Thankfully I think we may have sorted out the last minute hitch around our infant car seat fitting in Dad's car (it won't and don't get me started on our experience with car seats generally as I could rave on about how annoying and difficult we have found it getting various child seats to fit in our various cars over the years!), so now Dad has had to hire one short-term from Baby-on-the-Move.

Just as a little aside (yes I am going to start raving now!), the infant seat we are currently using will only fit in the front seat of our red car due to a short back seatbelt and also doesn't fit Dad's car for the same reason hence the rental required! Having been given a bit of a lecture from Plunket about the front seat not being ideal from a safety perspective, I obligingly went off to the car seat rental scheme Friday afternoon to pick up another one designed to definitely fit in the back. Well after many attempts by both me and Mark (and a lot of muttering later!), it would appear this supposedly 'better' seat also won't fit securely in the back of our car due to our seats being quite bucket-shaped - this being the main reason we have always had trouble with child seats fitting properly. So this morning I was back on the phone to reserve a car seat with a base (there were none available last week) which should come available in the next few days ... sigh......At least I know the seat with base option will definitely work as it is what we used with Noah. We had been trying to avoid getting a second seat as the one we're using (borrowed from friends) transports quite easily between the two cars and fits perfectly in the back of the blue car. But oh the best laid plans...! Having said that, safety-wise we should be able to rest much easier with Mylo in the back of the red car, but talk about a palaver!

Three nights away from Noah is the longest I will have been away from him, but with the possibility of Skyping, a sleepover at George's planned one night and the promise of a wee present on my return if he's good for Daddy, he seems to have accepted that I'm going off to Nana & Poppa's without him. The other saving grace is that our trip up at Christmas is only 4 weeks away now so it won't be too long before he will get to see them again anyway!

21 November 2009

Back on track.......

Two reasons for the above titled blog!

The first is because I finally feel like I'm back on the exercise wagon, having managed 2 hours (3 x 40 minutes) on the stationery bike trainer plus nearly 2 hours of yoga/muscle workout on the Wii Fit this week. Yeeha!

Eight weeks post-partum isn't bad for getting back into it, given that it took me eight months to get myself in the right mental space to start proper workouts again after having Noah (which is when I started running again). Ok, so I did do a lot of walking fairly soon after having Noah (as it was the only way he would have a long sleep during the day) but am trying to avoid this with Mylo, as I prefer he sleeps in his bed since he's proved lately that he can and will sleep there during the day.

This week I've seized the opportunity to get my 40 minutes on the bike when I put Mylo down for his first sleep after the boys leave for work/daycare around 8am. It's worked out well as I've gone down to the garage and thrown a load of washing in the machine at the same time. By the time I finish on the bike, the washing is finished and Mylo is about to wake up for his next feed. First thing in the morning works best as I definitely have more energy for it then too.

As for worrying that the exercise would make me more tired, it's actually just like I found in pregnancy, the more exercise I did the more energy I had. And this week I've actually been less tired rather than more tired, not to mention feeling really mentally positive for getting off the couch!

The other reason for this post is to report that Mylo's weight is also back on track. Last week we went to Plunket and both the Plunket nurse and I were a little concerned after he only put on 90 grams in 10 days (the minimum desired weight gain being more like 100 grams a week). So I must admit I had a week of worrying whether my supply was enough or whether Mylo was himself feeding properly since he often only feeds for 5-10 minutes at each feed. And as I've so far managed to continue breastfeeding exclusively - which I'm pretty proud of after a few early doubts, I certainly didn't need the thought that my supply wasn't sufficient to give me yet another excuse to think about quitting and switching to formula feeding.

I dutifully took Mylo back for another weigh-in yesterday, and the scales showed he'd gained 300g this past week - earning him the title of the 'Week's Biggest Gainer' from the 50 babies the Plunket nurse has seen this week. So while I'm not entirely sure why his weight has fluctuated so much over the past few weeks, I am just pleased that at 2 months he now weighs 5 kg (11 pounds), and is gaining as he should be.

And with our next Plunket visit a whole 4 weeks away, I should now be able to relax knowing that he is back on track.

16 November 2009

8 weeks

This has been a busy weekend of blogging with lots of action to report on (4 posts including this one if you read futher below).

However, having taken some rather sweet photos of Mylo yesterday, it seemed timely just to provide a little update on how our baby boy is progressing.

My Pics of the Week:

Highlights from this week include:

Much better day sleep - including a 2.5 hour mid-day nap Friday and a 3 hour nap mid-day Sunday - it would seem letting him get to sleep on his own has paid off with him now settling himself reasonably easily for most naps....having a little time to myself during the day has had a wonderfully positive effect on my sanity and mental health I must say!

Lots of smiling and gooing (as evidenced from the photos). He smiles so readily with a cute little dimple on one side that it just melts your heart, and it is all I can do not to keep trying to get him to smile all the time!

Earlier bedtime of around 7.30-8pm means Mark and I have reclaimed a little of our evenings!

One 10 hour night sleep this week - and most nights his first sleep is stretching out to 6-7 hours, usually waking between 1.30-3.30am now for a feed, which helps me get a little more shuteye!

Being a super chilled and relaxed baby most of the time - he hardly cries now compared to what he was like at around 4 weeks, it seems he only cries when he settles for sleep, wakes for food or occasionally when getting dressed after bathime

Mummy (and Daddy) are even more in love with this gorgeous little morsel as he grows day by day!

Christmas is coming!

There are a few things that herald the coming Christmas season, the first of which is attending the annual Christmas parade in Wellington. Although we will refrain from putting our tree up till the traditional 1 December, going along to the parade seems obligatory (now that we have children!), and heralds the beginning of the season's festivities.

We met up with our daycare friends again this year on a very windy Wellington afternoon. Gale force winds of 120 km/h and rain were forecast, and although there were some strong gusts of wind during the afternoon the rain held off and the show was able to go on! It was definitely one of the windier days in a while, as evidenced by the wind bringing down tents at the annual Toast Martinborough wine festival held over the hill in the Wairarapa, none of which failed to dampen those attending's spirits it seems, Toast Martinborough a Blast.

We decided not to attempt parking in the centre of town and took the boys via the cable car which exits right onto the parade in Lambton Quay. I was envisaging having to find a sheltered spot indoors somewhere to feed Mylo, but he was oblivious to the occasion and slept for nearly 3 hours, only waking when I found a quiet spot in the children's section of the public library whilst Mark and Noah checked out the after party in Civic Square.

It has been quite some time since Noah took a ride on the cable car, which we used to do a lot in the good old days of walking home from work every day. He was obviously rather delighted to be able to ride it again as on the way down to the parade he said, 'Hey Mummy....' 'Yes Noah?' 'I love this!'. Perhaps we can find an excuse to ride it again in the near future!

It was quite the relief to get home afterwards though, mostly just to escape indoors from the battering wind, and to sit down and reflect on what an action packed weekend we have had!

Arguably one of the Best Moments in NZ Sport History

The whole nation is celebrating! We who were too young to remember the 1982 football team qualifying for the World Cup are in awe of the achievements of the All Whites on Saturday night, beating Bahrain 1-0 to launch their official journey to the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup in South Africa.

What a gutsy, commanding performance the team put on, not only to score a great goal to go ahead, but to then defend so well for the next 50 minutes to secure their historic win. Mark and a few of his friends (Jared, Jonny and others) had prime seats on the half-way line at the stadium, whilst Jackie and I watched it from the comforts of the couch at home looking after our two boys.

The win certainly had a big impact on Mark, as I heard him say what I never thought I would hear. After seven years in NZ, this is the first time he has watched a team play and truly felt like a New Zealander, something which he would never say about the All Blacks (and I don't blame him, given the grief he has got from All Black supporters for being an Englishman).

It is so lovely to see that football fever has surpassed any interest in rugby this past few weeks, and with the $10m FIFA will now invest in NZ football, one can only hope it will be a turning point in the game here, and encourage a whole new generation of footballers to take an interest and pride in the 'beautiful game'.

Two articles which I've read this week along footballing lines have really resounded with me, both of which focus on the team members who had the two stand-out performances on the night, Rory Fallon for his on-target headed goal, and Mark Paston for his brave defence of the NZ goal under pressure.

One is an article Mark found on Rory Fallon's Christian faith, evident for all to see in some of his after-match comments. The story of how he came to find Jesus in a church in Tenerife a couple of years ago is quite wonderful.

Rory Fallon: Playing on the Side of God

Also during the week, Stuff had a great article on Mark Paston with a picture of his 10-week old son Jack. Just this year, I've gotten to know his wife Amie through our mutual friend Sally, and also as members of the team who put together the Vessel women's magazine for church a few months back. I've not yet had the privilege of meeting Mark but have met his gorgeous wee boy Jack, as Sally, Amie and I got our 3 babies together a couple of weeks ago (we all have boys born 3 weeks apart!). The article on Mark's perspective on the importance of winning or losing the game versus his family life showing he has his priorities aligned.

It's Childs Play for Paston

The timing of the win couldn't have been better as the All White team were able to lead out the Wellington Christmas Parade yesterday afternoon, and the team received a very warm reception from the 50,000+ crowd who turned out for the annual event - our video of the team in the parade below!

I can only imagine how life must be for all the families of the team at the moment, it must feel incredibly surreal to suddenly become household names overnight, and to have played such a pivotal role in potentially altering the name and status of NZ football for years to come.

15 November 2009

Fun with a good friend

This weekend has been full of fun for our Noah. We offered to look after Phoebe for the day on Saturday so Faye & Glen could have some time to work on their house (having been delayed getting back in after their major renovations). Faye dropped Phoebe off about 10am and the fun began. Within half an hour we could no longer see the carpet as every toy in the toy box had been investigated, the sandpit had been explored, and Noah's room had been pulled apart by two very excited and exuberant children! Then it was time for fluffies and smartly followed by bacon/banana pancakes for lunch, before a little fruit and quiet time in front of the TV watching Dora the Explorer. Then we headed up to the park with both strollers, Mylo and Noah in one and Phoebe in the other. It was the first time we'd had both the boys in our big stroller and seemed to work well, Mark doing a sterling job of pushing what we calculated to be over 30kg up the road to the park!

If the day had been a little warmer and less windy we may have stayed on a little longer, but in the half an hour we were there the kids explored every piece of equipment, and enjoyed being chased by the 'monster' - an older boy (probably about 5 or 6) who obliged by engaging in their game.

Then it was home for a Milo (hot chocolate drink - not to be confused with Mylo!) and choccie biscuit, before Mark dropped Phoebe home again about 4pm. Phoebe also had lots of lovely cuddles with Mylo throughout the day, and loved sitting next to me while I was feeding both to touch Mylo's head, and so she could be first in line for a cuddle after he was nicely full of milk!

Whilst he was out dropping Phoebe home, Mark picked up his friend Jonny and they came home for a quick bite to eat before heading off to the All Whites game (but more on that in the next post!). Jackie also arrived late afternoon to stay the night and help me out with the boys' baths and bedtime (which turned out to be a little easier and less stressful than last time Mark was out - and the more we do it the easier it'll get I imagine).

Anyway, here's all the fun and antics of the day from Noah and Phoebe, it was lovely to see them playing together so nicely and having such a great time!

09 November 2009

Just Tricking...

The title of this week's post is Noah's latest favourite saying, and I get the feeling he is going to inherit his daddy and grandaddy's teasing sense of humour. Noah is using the phrase whenever he can, he will deliberately say something wrong so you can correct him and then his reply is 'just tricking!'

This week Mark was out on Thursday night for the first time over bedtime, so I enlisted the help of 'Aunty' Jackie to come and stay the night so she could help me out. It went reasonably well all things considered, apart from a couple of explosive poo incidents from Mylo (in the bath and on the towel I put him on when I went to get some fresh bathwater), and Noah playing up a bit to the fact that Daddy wasn't home. It happened to be Guy Fawkes night so as Mark arrived home by 8.30pm, us two and Jackie went upstairs to view the spectacle from our upstairs bedroom, the 20 minute display was most impressive this year I must say.

Having decided enough was enough with rocking Mylo to sleep for half an hour for him to then only sleep for half an hour, I tried a much more tough love approach last week, leaving him to 'self-settle' for 10-15 minutes before returning to soothe and offer the dummy if necessary with fairly good results. It certainly made my mental health a lot more positive by the end of the week knowing that Mylo could actually get himself to sleep with a lot less intervention from me, and made my days a lot more bearable and enjoyable. We've also started trying this at night too, and usually only have to return 1-2 times to settle him for a few minutes which beats holding him till he goes to sleep which was taking us up to an hour, not to mention the sore back/dead arm from carrying him around!

Our gorgeous Boy at 7 weeks old

Mylo's 6 week jabs passed uneventfully, other than him being decidedly more sleepy and less hungry for a few days (the timing of which fitted nicely with our little attempts to do some 'sleep training'). I finally visited my work for an hour on Thursday afternoon, and also took Mylo to the cranial osteopath for a session on Friday afternoon to assist with freeing up his neck as he has a definite preference to turn to the right and I could see the beginnings of a slight flat patch on one side. Thankfully he was an angel throughout the treatment, as I clearly remember Noah screaming through his sessions for the same thing!

We had a much quieter weekend (thankfully!) with a trip to the shops Saturday morning, and it was (incredibly!) the first time all four of us had ventured out together, although Mark and Noah went off to do the supermarket shopping whilst Mylo and I headed to The Warehouse. In the afternoon, Maya & Ryder came to play and we caught up with Laura and Adrian, before Mark cranked the BBQ up for it's first outing this spring. We topped it all off by indulging in chocolate fondue - Noah had a ball dipping his strawberries and marshmellows in the warm, melted chocolate. His face certainly was a picture afterwards!

Sunday morning Noah and I took a quick trip out to the garden centre to buy some tomato plants to replace the ones bought a few weeks back. Unfortunately the coldest October NZ has experienced in 60 years meant that the original plants were in a bit of a sorry state, so we shall try again with this lot and hope for better luck! Then Mark headed out to a game of indoor football whilst I made the most of both boys being asleep at the same time to spring clean the kitchen. Mark and Noah then headed out for their usual Sunday afternoon swim, and then collected me and Mylo to enjoy fish n chips with George, Maya & Ryder and families at a park in Karori. It was a gloriously fine weekend (the first in a while!) and I think, much needed to lift everyone's spirits!

This week's fun!

Here's a few pics of Noah at about the same ago as Mylo is now for comparison

01 November 2009

A Monster, A Pirate, and A Footballer

Noah has had a rather busy week as a monster on Friday, a pirate on Saturday, and a footballer on Sunday, social butterfly that he is! The monster was a daycare creation by the teachers, the pirate was Noah's costume for his friends' Maya and Ryder's joint birthday party, and the football kit was for Noah's first football game.

This weekend we had GeeGee to stay, and she relished the opportunity to see Mylo at such a young age. With Noah's hectic social schedule, she didn't get to see as much of him or Mark, but the two of us enjoyed some quiet time together at home with Mylo, plus my friends Tracey and Marissa both popped in separately to see me on the Saturday which was lovely. Granma also treated us to takeaways both nights, pizza Friday and cury Saturday so Mark enjoyed two nights off cooking in a row...a rare treat!

Sunday morning, Noah and Mark went to try out Little Dribblers football with a few of his friends. Although Daddy would be the first to encourage Noah to become a world class footballer, Mark did say he wasn't sure it was necessarily the best environment for Noah to learn in, as some of the other parents running round the field were quite aggressive and in-your-face.

I dropped Granma at the airport mid-morning Sunday and then we had a much needed quiet afternoon at home. It was a bit of a shame as the airport had an open day for its 50th anniversary celebration and Noah would probably have loved to go and see all the displays, and the model rail expo was also on all weekend, but after Mark had spent most of Saturday out at Lindale for the birthday party (an hour's drive away), and then out to football in the morning, there just wasn't the time or energy to spare to pack any more into the weekend! Amazingly on Sunday both the boys went down for sleeps at the same time (a first I think!) so Mark and I caught up on an episode of our new favourite TV program, Flash Forward and revelled in the serenity and peace of the household for 2 hours!

Today, I had a lovely catch-up with 2 friends Sally and Amie, who have babies 3 weeks older than Mylo, Jack (Amie's baby) and 3 weeks younger, Joshua (Sally's baby). It was the first time we had managed to get the 3 boys together so it was lovely to chat about how the first few weeks had gone for us all, and share tips and stories about life with a newborn in the house.

Mylo has surprised us somewhat the past 2 days by actually having one longer sleep of 1.5 hours in his bassinet both days. It was a bit of an experiment, but yesterday we brought his bassinet out into the lounge and with all the noise of the house including Noah at full pitch and the TV going, he went off to sleep reasonably happily. I thought it was worth a try after he slept in the sling on me most of Saturday when I had visitors. I get the feeling he just wants to be part of everything that's going on in the family and prefers not be shut away in the bedroom in the quiet. Could just be beginners luck but we'll still take it nonetheless!


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