31 January 2010


If at first you don't succeed....

have fun trying! I think that will be our motto with the new camera. And although we are yet to find the time to sit down and learn much about the manual functionality, we have already had a lot of fun snapping away on the auto setting. And Mylo makes for a pretty irresistible subject!

First outing in the jolly jumper....and cottoned on pretty quick!

There is nothing more beautiful than a peacefully sleeping babe

Nestling in #1

Nestling in #2

Fingers - good for chewing #1

Fingers - good for chewing #2

27 January 2010


Having made it to the 4-month mark breastfeeding Mylo, I made the decision last weekend to start weaning him onto formula feeding. I know it's not as long as a lot of mums choose to breastfeed their babies, but the time was right for me. And when I thought I might not make it past the 6-week mark to start with, I do feel a small sense of achievement at having lasted this long. It's about as long as I fed Noah, so they have both had a good start.

Mylo's sleep had gone a bit downhill of late, only sleeping 45 minutes at a time during the day for about the last month, and he had started to have the odd night where I was up feeding him 3 times at around 11pm, 2am and 4am. I'd be lying if I said his sleep wasn't a factor that contributed to my decision. Last week, as the number of bottles he had increased, he had several longer day sleeps (coincidence?!) for the first time since before Christmas, so I'm hoping that eventually it will have a positive impact on his nights as well. I'm not asking him to sleep through the night like his older brother who was already sleeping 10-12 hours straight through most nights by now, but even a getting a more regular 8-hour stint till say 3am would be very welcome! When I look back on how well Noah slept through the night from such an early age, I am kicking myself that I didn't appreciate it more at the time....aah the beauty of hindsight!

One of the other advantages of Mylo being fully bottle fed is the extra freedom for us as parents to share the responsibilities between the boys, where up until now Mark has had the lion's share of looking after Noah taking him out and about on weekends, whilst I have mostly remained at home with Mylo. It felt like a real thrill when I took a turn and went to the supermarket for our weekly shop with Noah on Saturday morning.....the first time since Mylo was born. I took Noah to the zoo early Monday morning (long weekend in Welly) for a sneak peek behind the scenes at the new animal hospital, meeting up with his daycare friends Phoebe and Sam. Later that day, we went to the movies together, just the two of us, to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks. I loved spending this one-on-one time with Noah, really loved it. That's not to say I expect to be able to do it all the time, but to have the choice felt SO liberating.

I will say that I am grateful that I could breastfeed for as long as I did, because I know many mums aren't able to at all. So I do feel privileged to have been in the position to choose to continue or not, and I'm really glad I persevered with it past the 6-week mark when 4 months seemed like a very unreachable milestone.  But now the decision is made, it is time to move on and focus on what is next around the corner.... which is likely to be when to start Mr. M on solids.

I have come to realise that parenting really is just one decision after another, some easier than others! Another decision we made a couple of weeks ago was to encourage Noah to try going through the night with no nappy. After buying a mattress protector and having a couple of accidents whilst wearing undies to bed the first 2 nights, we then tried a pull-up for a couple of nights rather than a nappy, and Mark also started taking him to the toilet at around 10pm before he himself went to bed. We are up to about a week of dry nights in undies now, with Noah's reward for his efforts being the 'Monsters vs. Aliens' DVD after he had two dry nights in a row. It came with a bonus movie to watch in 3-D with 4 sets of glasses...Noah showing off his 3-D look below!

Making decisions is never easy, especially as a parent, when your decision not only impacts on you, but also on your child, partner and sometimes even other members of the family. But once you have made a decision, you just have to have confidence in yourself that it is right. Some decisions may later prove to be wrong, in which case there's a chance to reflect and either reverse the decision, adjust it, or simply learn from the mistake, all of which is a valuable process for us mums and dads to go through. And in the event we get a decision right, whether through sheer luck, careful consideration or otherwise, we need to be humble enough to realise that this will not always be the case, and therefore not get too over confident that we have this parenting lark downpat! That's truly the beauty of parenthood....we learn as we go, and the learning never ends!

26 January 2010

Baby Bathtime

Couldn't resist posting a few shots taken of Mylo after his bath tonight. Scrumptious boy.

And loving the new camera too...

Weight Watchers are us...

After the excesses of the past year (my excuse being that I was feeding first baby on board and then having to eat enough to make milk for Mylo, and Mark casting a sympathy eating vote) we have commenced 2010 with a bold New Years resolution. This being to get back to basics with our eating, and to ideally lose about 5kg each. This will get Mark back to his original post WW success weight, and help me shed the last baby kilos hanging around so I can fit the few remaining pre-baby clothes which so far have been eluding me!

Progress over the past 3 weeks has been good, with the scales showing we're already about halfway to our goals, through a very staunch regime of counting and sticking to our daily WW points allowances. Before we embarked on the diet, I must admit to one very tedious day where I made up a list of the points values of all our regularly eaten foods and evening meals, but after that we were away laughing. The list is posted up on the pantry door, which also has the desired effect of making us think twice before we open the cupboards to see what we could possibly get our hands on. Mark's old WW points calculator and exercise calculator have also come in very handy for figuring out any other points values we might need to know along the way (extra points for exercising....yussss!).

Our new best friends....for the next few weeks anyway

Funnily enough, I have not been half as hungry as I expected to be, which just goes to show that all the extra food we were consuming, particularly in the evenings after dinner, was not really necessary. And we have certainly been really savouring and enjoying our evening meals when we know there's no extra chocolate or snacks to come later. In addition, knowing how many calories you have to burn to cancel what you're eating does make one think twice, e.g. a small but naughty slice of chocolate cake with white-chocolate icing from a 4-year old birthday party on Sunday = 40 minutes on the bike...it hardly seems fair!

Anyway, it is not all work and no play on the diet front, as we have planned in a fish n chip night on Sunday as a 'well-done' milestone. We then plan to celebrate again with a meal out for our wedding anniversary later in February as we hope to be even closer to our goals by then.

The thing I really like about Weight Watchers is that it is everything in moderation, there's nothing forbidden, but you do have to really think twice about that lemon muffin or that piece of cake knowing how much of your daily allowance it has just sucked up!

Poor Noah must be really feeling the effects of Mummy and Daddy's new diet though, as he asked us the other night 'When are we going to have pizza from the pizza shop or fish n chips again?' Poor mite. Mind you he is winning out of the current arrangement, as if any treats are brought into the house by friends at the moment, we are sending it all his way.

Speaking of treats, I played a slightly evil trick on Noah tonight. After watching Willy's Wonky Chocolate Factory on TV1 Mark had ordered some specialty chocolate over from the UK which we are again going to save for a rainy day when we can really treat ourselves. It arrived today in a little brown box, complete with polystyrene chips. Noah had been allowed a few Twisties the past couple of nights once he finished his dinner, so I asked him again tonight if we wanted some, which he did. Instead of putting Twisties in his bowl, I put some of the polystyrene chips in. He gave me a really funny look, to which I replied 'They're white Twisties' which he readily accepted. It wasn't until he had chomped down on the first one and found it somewhat plastic to the taste that the game was up. 'Not funny Mum'. Well I had my 5 minutes of fun for the day anyway! Luckily we still had some real Twisties left so I could make amends!

Mum's white Twisties didn't quite live up to expectations!

20 January 2010

Someone's growing!

Mylo is 4 months old today and how our little boy is growing! Video added a couple of days later on Fri 22nd Jan!

19 January 2010

Take 2!

Another jaunt along the waterfront this afternoon making the most of the return of the sun. This time no lost cars, no forgotten tickets. Just me and my boys having fun, and I even remembered the new camera this time!

And check out the clouds today, they were amazing!

Where oh where has summer gone?

We are in the grips of some unseasonably cold and wet weather, so much so that I found myself unable to stop ranting about it on Facebook yesterday to vent some frustration. These were the posts I put up during the day:
  • Not one of your finest moments Wellington. No wonder people move away.
  • How do I love thee Wellington? Let me count the ways....not many, if any, today.
  • Why wear 1 layer when you can wear 4?
  • Our poor tomatoes....a good chance our 2nd batch will die after today's weather! After already replanting when the first lot died after our coldest October in 60 years, the new ones will not know what hit them today!
  • Looks like 10 is the new 20 (degrees in Welly)
  • Summer City my %$#.......
  • OK I feel much better now.....(see previous posts). The ranting can now cease, even though the storm clearly hasn't.
Except I couldn't help myself today with one last post:
So as you can imagine, the past 3 days have been spent firmly indoors, and with the heating on full bore....a travesty in January when we should have the doors and windows open and be spending more time out than in.

We enjoyed another M.N.M day on Friday (aka Mum and the 2 boys all day), and then Jackie came to stay and the two of us went to the movies to see The Lovely Bones on Friday night. Yesterday the wind howled and the rain beat down, so much so that our front door looks like half the dirt from the garden has been plastered across it....and no point cleaning it till this weather abates...maybe by Tuesday?

This morning (Sunday), Mark and Noah made a camp in Noah's bedroom and Mark snapped some cute pics of the boys hanging out in their camp on our new camera. I just love the way that Mylo is looking so adoringly at his big brother as if to say 'Hey you're cool, I can't wait till I get bigger so we can REALLY have some fun together'.

Oh yes, the new camera. After seeing the stunning shots my brother took over the holiday, we were sorely tempted to invest in a digital SLR ourselves. However, commonsense prevailed when we thought long and hard about the time investment required to fully learn how to get amazing shots like Nic has, and the fact that children on the move don't really give you the time to perfect a shot! Instead, we've opted for a half-way compromise, a great automatic camera that still has plenty of options to manualise (is that a word?) settings to more out of a shot.

A few shots taken while getting familiar with the new camera

Monday update: 10am the fog lifted, the sun returned, and all is well in the world again.

08 January 2010

Nappy Brain on the Waterfront

For someone who always prides themselves on being super organised, in control and having a good memory, becoming a mummy of not one but two boys has made for some interesting 'nappy brain' moments.

I'm not sure whether its sleep deprivation or the amount of 'stuff' one has to remember when going out and about with 2 boys or both! Today was just one classic example of a nappy brain moment.

Noah was back to daycare yesterday and today, and as I had promised to pick him up today, I decided to go and get him a bit early so we could take advantage of a lovely, sunny and relatively wind-free afternoon to ride his new bike along the waterfront. Given how confident he is and how much enjoyment he is getting out of riding, we're keen to make the most of any opportunities to get out and about on the bike. We even tried to take the bike to the zoo earlier in the week but found out it's a no biking zone...shame, but I guess it makes sense given how hilly some of the paths are.

Anyway, we drove along Oriental Parade, with me thinking that there would be plenty of free parking once past the Pay and Display spaces. Sadly there were very few 120 min parks with most being coupon or resident parking. So after driving the entire length of the parade, I turned the car around and went all the way back to the Pay & Display spaces which at $1.50 an hour were reasonable anyway compared to the usual $4.00 an hour in the centre of town. Then began the fun of getting everything out of the car ready for our outing, which went a little like this:
  • Meg out of the car with backpack full of essentials
  • Open boot, get out Noah's bike and helmet and put by the kerb
  • Get stroller out, put into upright position, clip sunshade on, put carrycot inside stroller
  • Open Noah's door, change Noah's croc slip-ons for shoes and sox (easier for bike riding)
  • Wipe excess sunscreen out of Noah's ears after his attempts to apply own sunscreen
  • Noah gets out of the car, I put his helmet on and ask him to wait by the kerb
  • Open Mylo's door
  • Go back and redo Noah's helmet after I manage to squash one of his ears in the helmet and he gets upset
  • Get Mylo (who by this time has fallen asleep after all the driving up and down the parade) and his wrap/dummy out of the car (which then wakes him up)
  • Lock the car
  • Put Mylo in stroller, finish attaching the sunshade, lift the brake, off we go
  • Get 100 metres down the footpath and then realise my mistake....can anyone guess at this point?
  • I have to tell Noah 'Sorry Mummy forgot to get a pay and display ticket, we'll have to go back to the car'
  • Walk back the 100 metres to the car, actually we walk more than the 100 metres and start to wonder where the car is
  • Stand somewhat bemused by the side of the footpath thinking 'I'm sure we weren't parked this far down the road'
  • The penny drops.....I'm looking for our blue car and I'm in the red car today so have walked straight past it!
  • Walk back the 20 or so metres till we find the RED car
  • Open my wallet to look for $1.50 in change - nope no coins
  • Attempt to do TXT-A-PARK instead (God BLESS text a park it has got me out of lots of tricky moments)
  • Attempt to send the text and my mobile tells me I have too many messages in my inbox/outbox, aaagh!! When my phone can hold over 500 messages and I have been getting warnings for the past few days that it's getting near capacity, why is it this text that must fail to send! Then my phone asks do I want to delete some first so I can send the message? Sure I do, since there are 2 other people waiting behind me to use the machine by this time!
  • Delete one message quickly so I can have enough space to finally send the text and get my ticket which I put in the RED car!
  • Off we go again, 2nd time lucky as we decide to venture down the footpath in the other direction towards Waitangi Park while I mourn the loss of all the brain cells I have clearly lost in the past few months and years!
The rest of our afternoon, however, was delightful. Apart from forgetting the camera altogether, I think that pushing the stroller would probably have prevented too many photo opportunities anyway (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!), so we'll just have to make do with my prose instead!

We headed past the boat marina, across the bumpy bridge which Noah thought was great fun as he bopped up and down on his bike. We headed round the back of Te Papa to see if there were any ducks in the mini lagoon (which there weren't). We watched the Bluebridge ferry coming into the harbour alongside what seemed like a tiny personal pleasure craft, and Noah was fascinated by the statue of Solace in the Wind leaning out over the harbour.

Then we headed down a ramp (me with a careful watch on Speedy Gonzales on his bike, keeping the stroller between him and the water at all times!) to see the water up close and personal. We followed some ducks who were bobbing in and out from under the jetty whilst trying to steer clear of all the people out on croc bikes (2 or 4-seater side by side pedal bikes)

On the return journey we spotted some small, grassy hills in the distance near New World which Noah was keen to roll and tumble down (his latest thing!). He spent a good few minutes entertaining himself, trying to avoid the bees in the clover and getting grass stains galore whilst I continued to rock the stroller to keep Mr. Mylo asleep.

After a quick chat to Daddy on the phone with Noah checking that toad-in-the-hole was still on the menu for the evening, we headed back to the car, a much more straight forward exercise this time round. That was apart from the little pit-stop Noah had against the side of the car after informing me he needed to go wee wees, and me doubting he would last the 15 minutes home, especially knowing that Mylo was gagging for a feed as it was. Oh well, what's a little wee on the road between friends..as I raced to get everyone and everything back in the car, Noah informed me 'You're stepping in my wee Mum' every time I went backwards and forwards with children and belongings. So ends a lovely afternoon out with my boys...!

And I shall try not to let the fact that the organised and usually in control head on my shoulders seems to be bobbing around a little these days like one of those toy dog heads you see in the back of car windows!

03 January 2010

Family Portraits

Our first 'family of four' photos..all credit to Nic & the lovely setting of Hamilton Gardens

Holiday.... Part 2

We're safely back in Wellington now...phew! And super glad to have the car journeys from Hamilton to New Plymouth, and New Plymouth to Wellington safely behind us. I think we both feel in need of a holiday from the holiday though as travelling and being away from home with Mylo wasn't as relaxing as one might imagine. He seemed to notice he wasn't at home in his cot snuggled up in his safety sleep when it came to sleeping at night, managing to 'houdini' himself out of his wrap pretty easily which made for extremely tired parents most days. I am looking forward to the time when he starts to regularly sleep 8-10 hour stretches (currently only managing between 5-7 hours waking somewhere between 12am and 2am and again at 5-6am). At this rate baby rice might be on the cards as soon as he hits 4 months to see if that helps!

Nonetheless we had a fantastic time away and have many lovely photos to show for it. Even after the last mammoth post of photos, there are still more to come! Highlights being:
  • A walk to the end of mum and dad's road allowed Nic free rein on photos of the rarely used train track (only 2 goods trains a day come through), and gave Noah another chance for more bike riding

  • Another expedition to Hamilton Gardens providing the back drop for some very arty shots as well as the opportunity for our first 'family of four' shots, thanks to Nic for offering his services for the pictures which we think turned out quite well (see next post)
  • A wander down the walkway in New Plymouth in the bracing westerly wind gave Noah more opportunities to get out on his bike. His confidence knowing no bounds now as the video shows - speeded up to double time for a bit of extra fun!
  • Annual pilgrimage to the Festival of Lights, Noah was completely wowed this year and found complete wonder in everything that was glowing, including the external and internal car lights which turned on with the door opener we got back to open the car (I think he thought they had specially turned on for the evening, bless!). Thanks to Daddy for offering to babysit Mylo so we could go out!

And so ends another fantastic family holiday, I'm already looking forward to next year when Mylo will be that much older and able to participate in all our fun! It was great spending time with Nana, Poppa and especially Nic, not just because of all the shots he took but also as it may be the last chance to hang out together for quite some time. It was also good to see Sam and Aleisha a couple of times over the week. And it is always so lovely to spend time with my gran (GeeGee), every trip we take to see her is special and she always goes out of her way to spoil us with delicious food and comfortable surroundings! We try not to take it for granted that she will always be around, and so treasure the memories we create on these occasions.

A lovely trip to end 2009!


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