28 March 2010

On the move - Mr. Determination!

The active baby who loved to kick and move inside me (see Crazy Belly Movements) has turned into a determined wee soul who was always going to be desperate to get on the move from an early age.

After mastering rolling from back to tummy at around the 5 month mark, the past month has seen Mylo spend most of his time on his tummy gaining great upper body strength in preparation for his big moving debut. Yesterday morning he did a full rollover from back to tummy on the mat on the change table even with its raised sides - it hasn't been safe to leave him alone on it for quite some time!

About ten days ago, we noticed him starting to make some backwards movements, and then for the past few days he has been up on all fours rocking and doing some graceful belly-flop forward lunges. So although he's yet to fully move forward in a continuous motion, this is probably just days away. Although at only just six months old, I'm mourning the loss of my little baby who is fast turning into a moving dynamo. Whilst encouraging Noah to crawl and chalking up this great milestone when it happened at 7 months, with Mylo I'm thinking 'If only you could stay stationary for just a little longer - please don't grow up too fast!'

He is already very adept at swiveling right around to get to toys, and if something is placed outside of his grasp, he can always manage to manoeuvre himself to the point where he can get his fingers on it. I have never seen such determination in one so young. He has an incredible reach on him, and will surprise us by managing to grab things which we have assumed we have placed well out of reach. It appears everything is fair game to be grasped, grabbed, tickled or touched - whether it is toys, hair, bibs, wipes, books, food, faces, clothes, or dummies.

He is definitely more excited about texture and touch than Noah was, but at the same time is also a real snuggle bunny. Particularly when he is getting tired, he loves to just nuzzle into your shoulder and will often try to reach his arms around our necks for cuddles which is pretty lush - even if it is at 4am!

We started trying not to swaddle him a month or so ago, with gradual success. He has 3 fairly regular day naps now, and can usually nap without being swaddled, although if he wakes early from a nap we can sometimes get him to go back to sleep by wrapping his arms inside his Safety Sleep and giving him his dummy. Lately we have also managed to stretch out his night feed to 3-5am, although he often still wakes around 12-1am. But we can usually resettle him easily enough with the dummy and wrapping up his arms until the early hours of the morning when he wakes and actually needs a feed.

Solids are still a bit hit and miss, and vegetables are a big challenge to get past him most of the time unless sweetened with some fruit. He has started to accept mashed banana or avocado which is progress though. He continues to relish all things fruity - particularly my pureed combinations of peaches, nectarines, apricots and even mango (spoilt boy - I had never even bought a mango let alone knowing how to cut and cook it before Mylo came along!). He still seems quite sensitive to textures though, and is happiest eating smooth rather than chunky foods, often grimacing and choking if I try to sneak in some bigger chunks. All in good time.

Feeding time really is 'at the zoo' with Mylo, and there is a lot of extra washing of bibs, his clothes and even my clothes don't escape unscathed. When I think back to what a tidy eater Noah was, and how we could just prop him up on the couch on a pillow for feeding in the early days, I have to laugh. By comparison, mealtimes with Mylo are a mad melee of moving and manoeuvring and general muckiness!

Mind you, we wouldn't change Mylo for the world. He is a delightful and endearing morsel who is growing more entertaining with each day!


Out and About with Grandma

We have certainly been making the most of having Grandma here to stay. Here are a few of the things we've enjoyed so far:

A quaint coffee hour snatched at Martha's Pantry - my first time drinking a latte from a fine china tea cup accompanied by a lovely cheese & paprika scone. Except the coffee didn't even touch the sides so we just HAD  to have another one.

A special afternoon showing Grandma all the new developments at the zoo over the past year. In particular, we had great fun in the African village beating the bongo drums which brought the roaming chickens in to see what all the noise was about. We also showed Grandma the new animal hospital The Nest complete with penguins swimming in the salt water pool.

An outing as parent helpers on Tuesday with Noah's daycare taking all the children to story time at the library with John Zimmer. Noah got to choose 2 friends to hold hands with, Phoebe and Maddie being his chosen pals. There were some entertaining stories read with great gusto including: Kung Fu Moo Cow and Mr Magee and the Biting Flea.

A mini-break flying up to see GeeGee in New Plymouth for 2 days. Even though we've been enjoying some fantastic warm sunny days, Wednesday dawned windy and http://www.stuff.co.nz/ reported delays and cancellations of flights. It was not looking like a good day for travelling, particularly when there was a massive downpour accompanied by thunder 2 hours before we were due to fly. As it turned out, we were very fortunate to get a break in the weather to allow us to walk out to the plane to board our flight in semi-sunshine. However, it was a pretty bumpy, hairy ride - particularly the descent into New Plymouth when as well as some substantial bumps and jiggles, the plane dropped several feet without warning causing Grandma's magazine to fly up and hit the ceiling and then drop to the floor. But there was no time to be scared, as we had to put on a brave face for Noah, reassuring him with 'Isn't this fun?!!!' whilst Grandma and I looked at each other across the aisle somewhat terrified over Noah's head! I kept telling Noah that all the bumps were like going over speed bumps in the road whilst driving in the car, whilst he gripped hold of my hand very tightly. But it can't have put him off flying too much, as when we disembarked he exclaimed 'Well that was a fun ride!'

The not quite 2 days at GeeGee's sped by,  especially with a couple of visits from my aunt and uncle Wendy and Derek and (Great Aunty) Shirley who were all really keen to catch up with Grandma. Wendy and Derek had been able to stay with Grandma during their trip to Europe last year, so it was great to have another opportunity to catch up on all the family news with each other. The weather wasn't too flash while we were there, but we enjoyed a brunch at Zanziba and I allowed Noah to watch a fair bit of Playhouse Disney which I wouldn't usually do - although I have so far managed to convince Noah that we don't have this at our house....ssshhhh the longer we can keep that secret the better!

I must admit to being extraordinarily tired upon our arrival back into Wellington, to the point of having a bit of a meltdown on Friday evening. The responsibility of travelling with 2 children, 2 bags, a porta cot, a stroller and a car seat definitely took its toll even though Grandma was a fabulous help throughout the journey and especially on the flights etc. What also didn't help was disturbed sleep with Mylo who was up more than usual in the night, and sharing a room with Noah who was up not long after 6am - although he did lie relatively quietly in bed till nearer 7am, whisper singing nursery rhymes to himself - cute. Thankfully, Daddy (who had somewhat enjoyed 2 days peace and quiet without us all) has let me have the past 2 nights off the night feeding to try and catch up on a bit of sleep to restore some sanity.

I am now viewing the trip to Hamilton I have booked for me and the 2 boys in a month's time with a bit of trepidation....but will endeavour not to think about it too much in the meantime.

Yesterday, a chance drive by to our aeroplane spotting site allowed us the opportunity to see some of the unique and varied aircraft on display at the Wellington Aero Club open day including seeing a Catalina seaplane and some gyrocopters touch down inbetween the normal scheduled flights. In the afternoon, Daddy, Grandma and the boys walked down to the Gardens and braved an hour long wait to view the newly re-opened Carter Observatory on its open day.

Last but not least, we can not forget our fabulous weekend away with Grandma and Baba at the beach house last weekend - see Beautiful Beach Break.

This coming week we have Nana & Poppa arriving for Easter, and Mylo's Dedication to look forward to on Good Friday. We will  then have to sadly farewell Grandma on the Tuesday after Easter..,..but we shan't start thinking about that until we actually have to!

21 March 2010

Beautiful Beach Break

This is one time when the photos pretty much speak for themselves.....as you can see I went a little crazy but it is such a stunning setting that it was impossible not to keep taking pictures (and 265 photos whittled down to a final 85 is not bad!). Hardly surprising that the camera battery ran out this morning!

It seems hard to believe we were actually only there for one night!

17 March 2010

The boys make a SPLASH

We took advantage of the opportunity to spend an hour at the pool on Sunday so Noah could show off his amazingly confident water skills to Grandma. It is a year since Grandma was last in NZ, and she can clearly recall the boy who was too scared to even jump into the pool then.

What a difference a year makes. Our Noah now jumps, dives, and swims underwater as if he had fish for cousins. We gave him some goggles for Christmas and this has really aided his underwater confidence to the extent that some of the other daycare parents asked whether Noah had been having swimming lessons when they saw him in action at George's pool party a few weeks back.

Sunday was also Mylo's first outing to the pool! He spent about ten minutes in the shallowest, warmest toddler pool with Daddy and Noah, serenely soaking up his surroundings. He wasn't at all fazed by the noise, splashing and general commotion of the pool. And he looked very grown up in his little rash vest! I can see many more fun Sunday afternoon family outings to the pool in days to come.


Only the hardy shall survive

Last Friday we had what is known as a 'southerly buster' hit Wellington at 4.30pm. I had been upstairs about half an hour before and noticed that the skies over near the airport were very black. But that in itself is not unusual for Wellington. I just thought it meant we were due for a bit of rain within the next couple of hours.

At 4.30pm I was sat on the couch on the computer when the sky went instantly dark and a fierce wind blew up out of nowhere. My first thought was to rescue the clothes on the line. By the time I stood up, walked to the door to get my jandals and opened the door to our back patio where the clothesline was, the wind was galeforce, and swirling so wildly that leaves were plastered all over the clothes.

The winds in the next ten minutes were as wild as any I've ever encountered in Wellington, and that's saying something given the number of southerly storms we've had, even in the past year. When we opened our front door and saw dirt from the front garden plastered all over the front door, walls and even up under the eaves (!), it was clear that we had experienced the edge of the tornado winds that ripped a roof off Samuel Marsden school just up the road in Karori.

There were some spectacular photos and video taken and posted on Stuff of the 'buster' as it arrived in Wellington. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3443374/Southerly-buster-hits-Wellington.

Apparently nature has deemed only the very hardy shall survive living in this beautiful yet unpredictable place. And I am sure there are still plenty more amazing things that nature has in store for us Welly dwellers in the future!

09 March 2010

And while we wait (weight) ...

This time tomorrow Grandma will be with us. But for now we wait. Wait for Wednesday. And wait to feel better - I'm struggling with a headcold and a tickly cough keeping me awake at night. I'm trying to be patient and take it easy (those last 3 words aren't often found in my vocabulary as those who know me well will know!). Mark is also suffering from a terrible back, and has been for over 2 weeks. He's been to see the osteopath 3 times and the doctor today to get some painkillers (a bit of a swear word in his vocabulary!).

The frustrating thing is, having both reached our goals of losing over 5 kgs, our bodies seem to have decided to pack up on us. I was also on antibiotics a couple of weeks back with my wisdom tooth playing up which has never happened before. And now I'm booked in to see an oral surgeon in a week's time with a view to having it out. Bummer.  The osteo also said to Mark today he thought his back problem could be related to the rapid weight loss we've achieved. So it would appear there's a downside to losing weight. Not fair really when we should be feeling top of our game.

Today, while I waited for tomorrow to arrive and to feel better, I tried to take it easy. Which involved cooking up a mango, 5 peaches and 8 apples to puree and freeze for Mylo. I cleaned the bathrooms. Tidied the house. Oh and stopped to enjoy my boy and take some photos....

Thumbs Up, Mum. Must be time to get up.

Whatever did we do to deserve these beautiful dark eyes and long eyelashes!

And I'd love to imprint this photo forever on my heart.....and never ever forget this moment.

Chase Me.....

A couple of weekends ago, Noah and I headed to the botanical gardens with his bike to let off some steam. We had a great hour feeding the ducks, playing with the water fountain, and smelling the flowers before heading up to the play park. It was pretty crowded being a pleasant Sunday afternoon in the Capital, but we made the most of what space we could find playing games of chase around all the equipment. Boy did Mum get a good workout...where do 3-year olds get their energy!

The day before we had attended Noah's friend Phoebe's 4th birthday party, where they had very professional face painting for entertainment. Even the adults indulged!


04 March 2010

Things I'm Loving x10

This is not an original idea by any stretch of the imagination. There are a quite a few lovely Kiwi mummy blogs out there that do a regular 'Things I'm Loving' post. So I thought it was time I got in on the act, hopefully nobody will mind me poaching the idea!

1. Code Crackers - I am totally addicted to these to the extent that I have found myself doing the daily Mindfood online version. I've also cheekily asked GeeGee to cut the one in the Taranaki Daily News out each day and send a bunch to me every so often. Obviously am in need of some mental stimulation whilst being a stay at home mum. And it beats Sudoku any day for a good brain workout if you ask me!

2. Speaking of Mindfood, I LOVE this magazine. We first received an annual subscription as a corporate gift through Mark's work and when the 12 months was up, treated myself to another 12 months as my Christmas present from Mark. It is a great read, it always has really interesting articles, and is not at all trashy. It features articles under categories such as Community, Health, Self, Beauty, Environment, Culture, Food and Drink, Travel. I particularly enjoyed the magazine covering Michelle Obama, as I didn't know that much about her other than the fact she was the president's wife. However, she is so much more than that, and even though she travels the world and does heaps of philanthropic work, I loved the fact that she first and foremost sees herself as 'Sasha and Malia's mother'.

3. This puzzle sent to us by Mark's parents. It's a limited edition George Luck puzzle (no longer being made). It's worth about 80 pounds and Mark's dad got it for 1 pound on one of his weekly car boot sale pilgrimages. We've only attempted it once (it arrived on the weekend), and this attempt was only successful because we took a photo of it first before we broke it up! We think that my mum in particular would love to have a go at doing it, so we'll have to bring it out at Easter when they're down to visit. I'm not usually one for doing jigsaw puzzles - other than helping Noah complete his Hairy Maclary or Postman Pat puzzles, but with all the different pieces, it's just such an unusual puzzle that it oozes coolness. Plus it reminds us of all our travel back in the day round quaint hillside Tuscan villages in Italy like San Gimgnano - and that's also super cool!

4. The Land before Time - we discovered these DVDs at the library a few weeks back, and I think we've just about seen them all now! They have lovely cute animated kiddie dinosaurs who all have very different personalities. The songs are sweet, Ducky is my favourite!

5. Noah's bike. I know I do go on a bit about this, but it really is the bomb.

6. Glee. Does anyone else dig this program? We stumbled upon it quite late in the piece and caught up by watching all the episodes in one week. Loving it so much that we now have the soundtrack playing in both cars. Noah asks for 'Bust a Move' everytime he gets in the car. I'm also loving their version of 'Golddigger'.

4. Fresh garden produce. This year we've enjoyed wine berries, cherry toms, strawberries, peas, courgettes and mesculun salad leaves. Even though I doubt we make our money back in the amount of money invested in buying the seedlings, it is such a great thing to do with your kids, and seeing Noah happily munching on fresh tomatoes and peas is worth every cent and more!

5. New recipes. Being on this WW diet since Christmas has definitely had its advantages and I'm not just talking about the weight loss. It has inspired Mark to come up with all manner of new fare, from carrot, zucchini and pineapple cake, to sticky date pudding, bacon and asparagus strudel, trifle, and gnocchi. Always good to get out of a cooking rut.

6. Learning to take better photos. The new camera has helped a lot!

7. Sleep. Looking forward to the night I sleep uninterrupted for 8 hours. Reality is that could still be a way off if Mylo has anything to do with it. Therefore, indulging in sleeping in till 7:30 most weekdays and 8:00 on the weekends is my coping mechanism. I'm getting really good at going back to sleep even just for an hour if I am up to feed him at 6:30am. I love this last hour of wriggle time.

8. Sunsets and sunrises - trying not to take for granted how amazing the view is from our bedroom upstairs early morning and evening. Shots like these totally make it worth living in this house!

9. Creative fun. Last Friday avo after picking Noah up from daycare early, I was trying to fill in an hour before Daddy came home. Hit upon the idea of a leaf hunt in the garden. Noah enjoyed finding long and spiky, coloured, big and round, smelly and shaped like a hand leaves which we put in a scrapbook. I was impressed with his dexterity with the scissors too, although I nearly lost a finger a couple of times!

Actually the most fun part of the afternoon was finding a baby snail hiding under one of the leaves shaped like a hand. We enjoyed watching her stretching her antennae out as far as they would go, and seeing the slimy trail she made on the table. I even managed to get Noah to hold her in his hand and feel how tickly she was crawling across his palm before we 'saved' her and put her back out in the garden.

10. Blogging. Nuff said.


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