Back Into It

I’m rested and ready to roll! Super excited about what 2015 may hold for us… 2014 was obviously extra special as we welcomed Axel into our lives; he has brought a huge amount of energy and excitement into our wee world as well as reducing the amount of sleep and ‘us’ time we get! We also enjoyed two wonderful trips to Australia, resurrected the house after flooding damage and created countless memories with family and friends.

I haven’t made any resolutions this year as I don’t tend to stick to them! However I do have personal goals that I will be doing my best to carry out to help me grow as a person in a positive direction. Do you make New Year resolutions? Do you stick to them?!!

We (by ‘we’ I mean Eli mostly!) have been busy in the back garden area over the break laying new lawn, building a concrete planter box, and renovating the outdoor studio which will be used as a playroom. My Dad also kindly built Axel an awesome sandpit which I’m sure will be used endlessly over the years to come (it does have a cover but wasn’t as photogenic with a blue tarpaulin over it!). Still have lots of planting to do in the garden but we are getting there.

We are looking forward to enjoying our outdoor area next summer without the need for so much hard work!

Hope you have all enjoyed a relaxing, fun and productive festive season x

Here are a few pictures of the fruits of our labour…

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Finally Feeling Festive

Our whole family was struck down at the end of last week with a nasty stomach bug so apologies for a lack of posting but I was in no fit state to do anything other than sleep!

Thank goodness it didn’t arrive this week though as the forecast is for balmy summer weather and I have my fingers crossed for a stunner on Christmas Day.

The washi tree is finally complete! I started at the bottom with the trunk and worked my way up, then went on a mission to find something to jazz it up and make it feel a little more Christmas-y. I found these cute glittery (we all know I love a little bit of sparkle!) star decorations at Bed Bath and Table that I chopped up into individual stars (they were in lengths of three) which I then blue tacked on.

Axel has yet to remove any of the stars from the wall so I think we are winning!

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Weekend Round-Up

I actually did a very poor job of taking photos to document the great time we had at the Christchurch Wine and Food Festival on Saturday!

This year we had tickets in the VIP area which meant we enjoyed a delicious lunch put together by celebrated Christchurch chef Jonny Schwass and his team, and we had the luxury of a bar area rather than having to queue for tastings… This culminated in far too much frivolity and pathetic photo taking – I had demolished half my lunch before I even thought of taking a snap with my iPhone!

The weather wasn’t fantastic (overcast and a little chilly) but we had a fab day anyway and then I even managed to soldier on into the city to try out one of the latest offerings on the restaurant / club scene, Engineers.

Engineers has brought the first roof top bar to Christchurch and it is pretty fly. I liked the industrial feel of the interior, the outdoors area was lit up with pretty lights and the DJ was spinning some good tunes. The food coming from the kitchen looked and smelt delicious so I would definitely head back to give that a try too.

Sunday saw us take Axel to Ballantynes for his first photo with Santa – he HATED it!! The look on his face when he was sat on Santa’s knee was priceless – pure shock, turning to horror – check out the ‘get me out of here!’ look below!!

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Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed some festive fun along the way x

 

Stash

These Santa sacks from Henry and Co are a super cool place for the big guy in the red suit to stash all the treats for your little ones.

I have ordered Axel a pillowcase one as we always had pillowcase Santa sacks growing up. I’m pretty excited about starting festive traditions at our house this year – having a bubba definitely brings the excitement of Christmas flooding back!

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Henry and Co. Santa Sacks

NUD lighting

While in Perth I picked up a NUD pendant light for Axel’s room. I wanted to use it as a lamp by hanging it from a bracket so needed to get my Dad to complete some quick DIY electrical work to allow it to be plugged into the wall. Mission complete and I’m super happy with the soft glow that illuminates from the Edison style bulb. The bulb I got at Mitre 10 (Bunnings also has them) which was great as I was able to see the different sizes in person rather than ordering via the internet. I also found the grey powder coated wall bracket there too.

The hardest part of the whole thing was choosing from the amazing range of cord colours and deciding not to go for a concrete socket (and then taking the photos – Axel’s room has terrible natural light for photos; the ‘tool using the tool’ as my husband would say may also have something to do with it! Hopefully you get the idea and imagine it looking 10 times better in real life!)

NUD is available from a variety of places in NZ. Try here, here and here.

 

 

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6 Months – We made it!

Males may not be overly interested in this post, females may not be either but if you are ok about reading some gushy words related to the little guy that stole my heart (plus some honest reflections on how hellish life as a new mum initially was) then please do read on – if not, then on Monday I promise to have returned to more regular content!

When I finally came up out of the fog of the first 6 weeks (hmmm, maybe more like 10 weeks) I was blown away by the love that you can have for such a little speck of a human being. Who would have thought that your heart could almost burst with love? So much so that you actually don’t mind getting up in the middle of the night once, twice, three times, as you get to hold that precious bundle that we made, WE MADE!!!!!

I have to say that the first ten weeks were Tough (yep, tough with a capital T). Any parent who has/had a newborn with reflux will know how much it SUCKS. Holding a screaming baby who looks at you with such imploring eyes and yet you can’t make them feel any better is one of the hardest things in the world. As my husband described it, poor Axel looked like he was drinking razor blades – not a good situation for anyone and a particularly rude introduction to parenting. Lucky he was so cute otherwise we might have traded him in; no of course not really, but having your firstborn arrive a month early, not being able to take him home to your house as it was flooded and you are still in the process of repairing things, then to discover he has reflux, plus feeding not coming naturally to the wee cherub as he was early – hmmmm what doesn’t kill you makes you  stronger right? Absolutely it does.

Things I have learnt on this amazing ride of motherhood so far…

1. Family are the bomb! – I couldn’t have done it without them. Kindly my parents had us to stay at their home while ours was being repaired. It’s funny how things work out though, as I’m sure I would have been asking mum to come stay anyway due to the curveballs that Axel threw at me and my predetermined expectations of motherhood in those first few weeks. Having an amazing sounding board, a shoulder to cry on, someone to cook delicious meals for us, someone to send me to bed for a nap (I could go on and on here) was the most incredible thing to have as a new mum I could have had. It allowed Eli to sort things at our house, without having to worry about Axel and I so much, so we could get home.

2. Mothers guilt gets you from the start! – Axel is apparently not a boob man. After battling for about a month to get the little guy to latch (and finally getting it only for him to feed for 2 hours at a time because my milk supply had dropped due to sleep deprivation/stress) I decided to pump my breast milk and feed Axel via the bottle. SO not what I had wanted / expected  / hoped for and I cried as I sat on the couch at my parents house after making the decision  because I felt like a failure. Axel got four months of pumping before I finally had enough of feeling much like a cow at the milking shed and has been a formula baby ever since.

There is so much pressure to breastfeed these days and I felt as if that’s what we, as women, are ‘made’ to do? Yet for some mums and / or babies it doesn’t work, or they chose not to. Why should we feel guilty? I’m a total believer in happy mum = happy baby – whatever decision families make is theirs and no one should ever feel judged for what they decide or have to do. Axel loves formula – LOVES the stuff, and when it gets vomited back up on our new carpet I don’t feel frustrated, as I hadn’t spent 20 minutes pumping it for him!!!! I had to get over the guilt of not being a prize-winning breastfeeding mum, but Axel certainly doesn’t seem to have suffered because he has had formula. The plus side of bottle feeding is that anyone can do it! This has meant Eli has enjoyed being able to feed Axel and we are able to head out for the occasional dinner date as Granny, Grandad, Nanny, Opa… anyone really can pop a bottle in Axel’s gob and he’ll guzzle it down!

3. Never say never – I always said I would never use a pacifier, oh what naive words those were!!!! When you have a screaming baby who is in pain because their stomach acid is rising up and burning their oesophagus and the only thing that soothes them is the feeling of saliva trickling down their throat you USE A DUMMY!!

4. Mother’s anxiety is a wicked thing – I have developed completely irrational fears since becoming a mum! I avoid reading articles in the news regarding terrible things that happen to babies / children / families; watching TV shows like Criminal Minds now keep me awake at night; when running in the dark in the evenings by myself I always take our dog in case someone jumps out of bushes and accosts me meaning I wouldn’t be able to see Axel again…. RIDICULOUS I know and I am definitely working on improving this one. I was very proud of myself when I recently returned to the gym and popped Axel into the amazing creche there for an hour and a half – I pretty much dropped him off and left; no helicopter mum antics here and Axel was perfect!

5. Honesty is the best policy – I love my girlfriends who have children to pieces (and those who don’t too of course); they are honest about motherhood, both the trials and tribulations, and they make me feel normal. Friends are a fabulous resource and laughter is definitely the best medicine (along with a glass of wine!).

6. You can love a human being so much that it brings you to tears – I didn’t have an immediate feeling of maternal love straight after Axel entered the world. I was in shock. A 4 hour labor, 4 weeks early, resulted in a teeny tiny baby and a new mum who was utterly overwhelmed both physically and emotionally. I needed a cup of tea and a sandwich before I could even think about what had just happened! But this little person very quickly melted my heart. When I would dream feed Axel at night and have sleepy baby snuggles with him afterwards, I would occasionally tear up due to the overwhelming love I felt for him! It’s an amazing feeling to hold your sleeping baby on your chest. At the time I made a mental note to take those precious moments to a special place in my memory  to recall when Axel is a hormonal teenager and is screaming blue murder at me for not allowing him to take the car with a carload of friends while he is on his restricted license (or some such other parent-teenager argument!).

As the saying goes the days are long but the years are short – I can’t believe that 6 months have flown by. Watching his lovely wee personality develop is so much fun, so to is watching him achieve his little milestones (when he rolled over for the first time I felt like he had just received a gold medal – ugh, so proud!).

Axel is such a relaxed bubba (thank goodness for Losec – the ONLY reflux medication that truly works) and really is a dream boat. We think he is delicious but we are obviously biased.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone x

 

Here are some current photos of our happy wee bubba. (Plus one of his slightly over the top collection of shoes – I have a problem!!)

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