In another lifetime…

CJ

I was having a conversation with Corrine the other day about the study that she is doing – it’s in a field that has always fascinated me and I made the passing comment “In another lifetime…”. I’m really happy with my life the way it is; I’m a case in point that you can always change careers, having changed from marketing and PR to secondary school teaching. The reality is, however, that in order to establish yourself in any type of career you do need to maintain some focus – there really are a finite amount of things that one can do in a lifetime. But it’s fun to think of the “what ifs” sometimes.

So alternate universe me might have:

Become a midwife

The idea of assisting in bringing babies into the world has always fascinated me, even more so since I brought my son into the world. A really bad experience with a science teacher at high school put me off pursuing any of the the sciences further and so by the time I was selecting tertiary study, any science and health-based subjects weren’t even on my radar. I’d love to be present at a birth one day though, even just in a support capacity. I was so not with it enough at my own birth to really appreciate the miracle of bringing a new human into the world.

Travelled more

The downside of studying two separate qualifications in my teens and twenties meant that I missed out on that quintessential Kiwi experience, the O.E. While slumming it in backpacker hostels has never been my particular style (I’m a horrendously light sleeper), I feel like there’s so much of the world to see and I’ve barely seen a sliver of it yet. I know there’s still time, and I’m a huge advocate for travelling both with your kids and without them, but a part of me does wonder what it would have been like to “do Europe” while I was still young and free from responsibilities.

Moved cities

I LOVE the beach, and as I moved into my teaching qualification I was seriously toying with the idea of moving to Tauranga/Mt Maunganui once I graduated. I saw myself teaching during the day then strolling along the beach at night to wind down. Then I met a man whose specialist job is likely to keep us in Auckland, where the housing market prices keep us far from the beach… ah well, at least petrol is cheap enough at the moment that I can drive there on a regular basis!

Opened a cafe

To be honest, I still think about doing this sometimes. Our current town lacks a cafe with a really decent child-friendly zone and most parents are stuck driving to the nearest Mitre 10 Mega  – they do have pretty awesome playgrounds. I’m a foodie, plus I’ve had years of customer service experience so it wouldn’t be completely out of the blue for me to do, but it’s a heck of a lot of capital investment and I’m pretty content with my life right now.

Been a “professional student”

I think that one of the reasons that I love teaching is because I LOVE learning too. Off the top of my head I can think of at least three other courses of studies that I would love to do and I would honestly be happy attending university for the rest of my life… but that’s just not a practical step to do when, you know, you actually need to earn some money to support your family.

Stayed at home longer (or worked out another solution)

I moved out of home at seventeen, due to the difficulties of having a sister with a high level of special needs – she was still at the time not very verbal, so a lot of screams – and also due to just sheer stubborness and strong will. I can’t deny, however, that Present Me would have been a lot better off financially if I’d managed to stick it out at home or come up with another solution like moving in with family. Hindsight, huh?

It’s so interesting to look back and see how you might have done things differently if your life had bene just that little bit different. It’s never too late to make changes but it’s also alright to just leave them as dreams “in another lifetime” and enjoy the life you have.

What would you have done in another lifetime?

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Currently – the April edition

It’s hard to believe the school holidays have drawn to a close and we’re all back to work and daycare again! We got to cross a lot of fun things off our holiday checklist and I’m pleased because this term is shaping up to be an absolute cracker. It’s hard to believe the year is slowly ticking by into winter, and CJ’s 15 month check-up is just around the corner. He’s becoming a little helper to me though, able to bring me items when I ask for them and handing me my shoes when he wants to head out!

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So currently:

CJ is full of talking – loves to chat away to his parents. Shoes, bananas and kitties are all big topics of conversation, as is the unfortunate insult of “meanie”

I’ve taken up a short-term contract and there’s another potential short-term contract in the offing that I would be REALLY excited to take up. Fingers crossed!

I’m absolutely loving my new exercise regime – it’s so easy to stick to when it’s something that you enjoy and that is something that I had forgotten.

CJ is still not walking. We’re trying to be zen parents about it but it’s driving us (and him, I think) a little bit nuts. We catch him standing by himself on a regular basis but then the moment he realizes, he’s back to holding onto something. Yet he’ll climb up flights of stairs, all over playgrounds and on top of tables… I don’t get it.

We’re reshuffling some of our goals at the moment – it feels a little bit disappointing but we have to remind ourselves that they are aspirational, not set in stone, and we have to do what is best for our family.

We’re making lists of winter clothing to be bought and hunting out the bargains – it’s amazing how unprepared we’ve been for  the recent cold snap!

We are plowing through another Wonder Week – I definitely think that it gets harder to deal with the personality changes that these weeks (and this one could be four weeks’ long!) bring. Our previously awesome sleeper now refuses to go down without a fight and that is SO hard. Roll on mid-May and having our happy little guy back!

We’ve booked our flights and accommodation for a long weekend getaway in Christchurch. It’s so exciting to think that this will be the first plane ride that CJ gets to take – coincidentally Papa M’s first flight was with me to Christchurch six years ago!

We’re finally (mostly) settled in to our new home. We had our first dinner party just this last weekend and it was SO nice. It’s great to go out on date nights but it’s also great to spend evenings just shooting the breeze with friends… I think I’d forgotten a bit what that was like!

We’re really excited to see what the next few months bring!

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Getting back on the (healthy) horse: April update

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My first goal is to hit this weight (about 14 kg away), last seen circa 2012

Slowly but surely, I’m beginning to get on my way! I spent much of the earlier part of the year “fluffing around” with no real plan of how I was going to reach my goal. Life was so busy and so much was changing and I had no real sense of how to maintain my self-care as well as look after everyone else – isn’t that the typical “mum life” scenario? After the manic months of February and March, all our massive special occasions were over, we were settled into our new place and I literally had no more excuses. I needed to come up with something that would work for me exercise-wise (my diet is fairly good) and for my family.

Back when I was trying to get in shape for the wedding I was doing aquarobics twice a week and it really worked for me. I know that it can conjure up pictures of retirees slowly ambling through a routine but our instructor drove our mixed-age class hard. Now, with juggling child care and a husband who can’t always guarantee the time he gets home, the class environment doesn’t work for me. But there’s nothing stopping me doing it on my own! I can’t road-run due to old injuries but for the last two weeks, two nights a week, I’ve been slogging up and down the public pool lanes (about 1 km in 30 minutes) as soon as Papa M gets home. Yay for aqua-jogging! Our local pool also has lanes specifically set aside for “Water Walking” so I don’t feel like I’m annoying any swimmers. In the first week I’d already lost 500g, a nice maintainable level of weight loss.

The other thing helping my weight loss has to be my new belated birthday present from my father, a Garmin Vivosmart! This little piece of technology is so fun. Initially I was attracted to it for the ability to get phone notifications on a wristband – I keep my phone away and in silent mode in class while teaching so it’s a very handy way to see if my husband or daycare are ringing or texting me with an urgent message. The reality, though is that the steps counter and the Move! alert (to let you know you’ve been sitting idle for more than an hour) has been very handy. Back when I first lost weight for my wedding, I found Weight Watchers and My Fitness Pal useful methods of actually increasing my awareness of what I was putting in my body – it is SO easy to underestimate. Likewise, I think it can be easy to overestimate the amount of exercise you get in a day. The wristband lets me know at a glance exactly how active I’ve been, and when I need to get my butt out of my chair. The final neat perk is the sleep tracker – it’s really interesting to compare my sleep patterns each night and how awake I am in the morning. It really is my new best friend when it comes to weight loss.

I’m hoping that this is the start of something really positive for me in terms of getting my health and fitness goals on track. I’m going to think positively and say that I’ll be reporting back in June with at least a 5 kg weight loss! If you have any tips for losing weight while balancing a family, I’d love to hear them!

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My 30th Birthday Getaway

Around this time last year I realized the shockingly poor timing of having a baby just before my 29th birthday as the inevitable questions of what I would do for my 30th arose. I love throwing a party as much as the next person but there was no way in heck I wanted to throw two massive parties within a month of each other, let alone a fortnight. As time ticked slowly on, I thought hard about what I would actually like to do for my birthday, what would feed my soul. I decided that a night away with Papa M (child-free) would be just the ticket, and long overdue by the time that our little dude had turned one!

A weekend full of favorite things was in the offing! I wanted to involve my friends somehow too, so I invited a small group of them to have high tea with me at the Langham Hotel, something I did with my mother while she was alive so it was nice to incorporate her in a small way too. The Langham has always looked so beautiful, whenever we have frequented the Palm Court so we made the decision to stay there too.

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We arrived for the first seating of high tea and the service was just as impeccable as usual. It was so fun to be doing high tea there with a group of girls who had never experienced it before, and the range of food offered was amazing. My favorites were the duck leg roulade and and the rhubarb compote with vanilla sauce, but everything was amazing, right down to my Mountain Pearls Oolong tea. I decided against the champagne option, partially in deference to the pregnant women at the table but also…

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because we had a delicious bottle of methode traditionelle waiting for us upstairs! With perfect timing, Papa M came sweeping in after checking us in just as the last of us girls were filtering our way out of the Palm Court. We shot upstairs to explore our room and flopped ourselves down on the massive bed. We spent the afternoon eating birthday chocolates sweetly supplied by the hotel, ordering room service lunch (for him), watching reality TV (nothing like 16 and Pregnant to make you feel better about your life choices) and enjoying for once the fact that we had nothing more important in the world to do.

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After a refreshing afternoon of drinking wine and laying about we walked across to Sky City to visit Masu for dinner, something that has intrigued us ever since Nic Watt had his short series on television about setting up the restaurant. It’s definitely not the space to go for if you’re wanting quiet, intimate conversation – the place is positively bustling with both patrons and staff – but the dishes that we had there were superlatively good examples of Asian fusion. Follow me on Zomato if you’d like to know more about the dishes we recommend! We finished the evening there with absolutely stunning deserts and a gorgeous little birthday plate with a candle stuck in gelato – it was so sweet.

We had a bit of a conundrum the following morning – sleep in late or get up relatively early and check out the epic buffet breakfast at the restaurant of the hotel, Eight. Being the foodies we are, and the concept of the restaurant intriguing, we decided that breakfast was a must-do and took ourselves down to the restaurant. Eight is a buffet-style restaurants that pulls together multiple genres of restaurant-quality cuisine and allows you to choose freely between them at your own pace. In the morning it has a lovely farmers’ market feel to it, allowing you to select anything from a salmon and cream cheese bagel to fresh fruit salad, an omelette made to your exact request or a traditional big breakfast… or all of the above! It was something fun and different to the usual hotel breakfast experience and we really enjoyed it.

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At this point we parted ways, Papa M to pack us up and check us out while I headed to the in-house day spa, Chuan Spa, for a special birthday treat that my husband had organized. I loved EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of this experience from the moment I walked through the doors! The reception set me up with a pot of tea as I filled out the paperwork and then I was given a delightfully snuggly robe and slippers to slip into before heading through into the spa area itself. My masseuse came and introduced herself to me and then we headed into the cosy and dimly lit room for our consultation. A couple of minor tweaks to what Papa M had booked to address some particular muscular issues and I was on the massage table with my muscles being gently pummeled into submission. What made this a particularly special treat was the fantastic after-care; I was showing to a private lounge and had fruit and nuts, freshly squeezed juice, specially chosen tea and water laid out for me. I lounged for a while, sipping away on tea and reading magazines, before deciding that I should really meet up with my poor hubby languishing downstairs.

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The valets brought our car around and it was off to our last spot on our whistle-stop tour of the city. We drove down to the opposite end of the CBD in search of The Crab Shack, one of Auckland’s newest eateries. I was surprised to find it in the premises of what used to be one of my favorite clubs to dance at in my teens – Float (and I’m probably hideously aging myself here) on Princes Wharf. There’s not a skerrick of evidence of the former adolescent meat market here anymore, the whole place has been converted into a light and airy, family-friendly destination. If you’re going, you must try the delicious Rewena bread as a starter – you can find out how our mains measured up here. Completely sated, we decided that we probably should head home and relieve our baby-sitter of her duties, heading back to the real world.

It was the perfect weekend, surprisingly little fuss and with a big focus on relaxation and good food – exactly what we needed. While it’s so important to me that we are the best parents we can be to CJ, and provide him with a wide range of experiences, it’s also really important to me that we keep our relationship strong as ours is the relationship that our family is grounded in. This weekend went a long way in doing that. All in all, a pretty perfect way to celebrate three decades in the world!

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Loving It – April 2015 edition

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Loving this photo array I did for a Twitter friend during a conversation on the change back to 10 year passports. It’s not often I actually get a chance to look back over photos but this shows me how even though CJ is growing, he still looks inherently the same – gorgeous!

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I love me a good parents’ room – and this one looks amazing!

Elise sums up perfectly what being 30 feels like – most days I forget I’m no longer in my 20s LOL

Making secret plots and plans to knock off some big hairy audacious goals – have got my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that we’ll be able to carry them out.

Consent is a real bug-bear of mine, especially in this culture where commodification of bodies seems to come from everywhere. I was so pleased to see a Doc McStuffins episode this morning where they dealt with the issue (in terms of tickling, but still) and this is a great piece to use with teens, using the perfect metaphor.

As CJ hits the toddler mark, we’re getting asked more about our family plans; while I’m fairly open and okay with answering questions, here’s a great article outlining how comments with good intentions are still not that helpful.

Getting my two nights a week in the pool – boy were my muscles absolutely begging for mercy after my Tuesday session!

The amazing story of Brother Orange

Ticking items off our holiday fun checklist – so far we’ve visited Hamilton Zoo and been to our local library, and we’ll be visiting a new playground tomorrow!

I hope to raise kids that know to make trouble when it is necessary.

Feeling like our new house is becoming our home and that we’re becoming a part of our new community as well!

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Holiday Fun Checklist

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Sorry dude, we’re not spending the entire holidays watching Paw Patrol

One of the benefits of having teaching as a primary source of income is that I get school holidays off to spend with my little dude. I’m already missing the adventures that me and my little dude used to have when I was a stay-at-home mum so I’m determined to make the most of our time together before work picks up again next term. I’m also cautious of spending too much cash as we’ve also got a couple of trips planned for later this year so here’s our list of fun and cheap (or free!) things that we’ve got planned for the coming two weeks

Holiday Fun Checklist

  • Check out a farmers’ market
  • Check out a night market
  • Go to the beach – it’s still excessively sunny and warm here, so the beach in autumn isn’t as crazy as it sounds
  • Go visit our friend E at the Auckland Botanic Gardens
  • Visit the Hamilton Zoo
  • Have dumplings with our blogger friends
  • Explore three new playgrounds
  • Visit our new local swimming pools
  • Visit Papa M at work for lunch
  • Explore our new local library
  • Go for a big walk at Cornwall Park

and of course have lots of fun, right in our own back yard! Being blessed with a big back yard means that we are able to have a lot of fun without even stepping outside our front door!

Any other great ideas for cheap, great holiday fun?

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The Very Hungry CJ’s Birthday Party

I’m not going to deny it – I love throwing parties. I had been planning CJ’s party for a ridiculously long time and it was so fun to see it all come to fruition! Ever since he was very small, we’ve always read a bed time book to CJ and the first one to really draw his attention was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. With the beautiful colors and all the delicious food, it was the perfect theme for a BIG party (our family philosophy is big birthday parties at 1,5 & 10, little parties in between) with all our friends. To accommodate the masses, we had his party at my childhood home which is now our home and crossed our fingers for weather that would let us make the most of the big back yard.

First up, we needed to sort an invite – we worked with my friend Elyce from Admin Queen to create the perfect invite, which you can also now purchase for your little caterpillars from her site.

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Before we knew it, the day rolled round. We were lucky enough to source a small bouncy castle from a friend that took pride of place in the back yard. My sister and her partner picked up a roller-coaster (all parents of toddlers will be familiar with these!) and caterpillar tunnel from Johnny’s Room and we set these up as little “stations” in the back yard along with CJ’s usual water play table and some pavement chalk so that the kids (and there were a lot of them, ranging from 6 weeks to 13 years!) could run rampant all over the place. We also set up a coloring and puzzle station inside to accommodate those kids who perhaps needed a little quiet time away from the crowds. We went for a green, red and natural theme with decorations, apart from the washing line which we draped with streamers to represent our beautiful butterfly! A big favorite with our guests was our photo wall, made possible with a generous voucher from Fujifilm Photos.

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I COMPLETELY over-catered – the literary nerd in me wanted every food from the story represented on the table. Some I had to be a little creative with; the cherry pies were really chocolate cherry tartlets. We never got around to getting the ice cream out of the freezer and to be honest I’m not even sure how that would have worked logistically – lucky Papa M gets to eat his way through 10 kg of ice cream! It made for a somewhat eclectic spread on the table and I’m really not sure how many people noticed but if you can’t do things to make yourself happy, what’s the point?

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And the cake – oh the cake! Despite my best intentions to fondant ice the head, the humidity and my haste were not helping. In the end the only fondant was Mr Caterpillar’s little yellow eyes! I was still pretty proud of the effort as it is the first cake I have ever properly decorated by myself! CJ got an entire cupcake to himself, his first proper taste of cake and he absolutely hoed into it. He was pretty astounded by all the people singing to him and watching him eat but he wasn’t going to let that put him off having his cake and eating it too!

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It made me so happy to be able to host all our friends and provide a fun morning for them. While being the hostess kept me fairly busy, I also had some awesome family members help me out and allow me a few moments to sit down and actually enjoy the day, even when we had a bouncy castle pile-up incident! CJ absolutely loved the day and whilst I know it’s a day that he’ll eventually only remember in photos, I know that the memories of his first birthday celebration will stick with Papa M and I forever.

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And I may have an illness, plans are already underway for birthday #2!

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Impatiently waiting: does following the old wives’ tales really help you go into labour?

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With an impending baby boom amongst my friends, two are entering their final weeks of pregnancy. Tonight a group of us girls are heading out for a curry dinner in the hopes of coaxing a rather large baby to enter the world a little early and give its mother a break. We know that realistically it comes down to baby being ready but it’s a good chance for us girls to get together one last time before one of us sinks into the newborn fog again. It got me thinking of all the old wives’ tales that we’re told will bring on a baby – and I’m fairly sure that the list below comes nowhere close to a complete list of all folklore ways to induce labour!

Old Wives’ Tales to Induce Labour:

  • Spicy food – the good old curry. Sadly didn’t do anything for me but hey, I didn’t cook it so it was one less thing for me to do while unpacking the house!
  • Acupuncture or Acupressure – I didn’t end up making it to my acupuncture appointment (my acupuncturist preferred not to do the points until 40 weeks) but acupuncture helped me overcome other crippling physiological issues so I would actually credit this as being possibility
  • Bad weather – the theory being changes in atmospheric pressure and perhaps just the universe laughing at the fact that you’ll have to do what should be a quick drive to the hospital in absolute snail’s pace traffic as the worst thunderstorm in 20 years rolls through.
  • Walk – the theory here is that the gravity helps your baby apply pressure to the cervix. Some argue for the kerb-walking method where you walk with one foot on the footpath and one foot on the road. Personally I think those people want to laugh at you while you waddle along.
  • Sex (or foreplay) – as much as I understand the theory behind this (oxytocin release at orgasm can start contractions, although these will not necessarily turn into labour) it makes me cringe that this is one of the first old wives’ tales that even strangers will recommend to you. Thanks elderly woman at the greengrocers; I really want to answer your question about whether my husband and I have tried sex to get things underway.
  • Nipple stimulation – scientifically, same reason as above. My bosom was a “no fly zone” for the later half of my pregnancy and so I was not keen for this one!
  • Pineapple, papaya, mango, chinese food & eggplant parmigiana – I can’t find any scientific backing for this one (in theory for the active ingredient for pineapple to help you’d have to eat six whole ones) but it sounds delicious. And Lord knows I love delicious food!
  • Jumping on a trampoline – brought to you by the same people who want you to kerb-walk. I cannot think of anything more frightening than me at 38 weeks pregnant flopping around on a trampoline. I may have done a little light bouncing on a swiss ball, that was my limit.
  • Squatting – not like the exercise style but hanging out in a squat like you see little kids do while examining bugs. The theory behind this is that you’re opening up your pelvis and allowing baby to engage fully. I see how this could work but can also see how someone heavily pregnant would end up stuck there. Try this with a spotter.
  • Evening Primrose Oil capsules, pierced and inserted vaginally – the theory behind this is that it softens and “ripens” the cervix. I couldn’t find any scientific evidence for this but put it in the “can’t hurt” file.
  • A full moon or eclipse – but it’s a little hard to just order one of those up.
  • A stretch and sweep (or membrane sweep) procedure – I’ll admit that I had to research this as I had no idea what it actually was despite many friends having had the procedure. I found this fantastic plain-speak definition on the Huggies website:

The midwife or doctor gently inserts two gloved fingers into your vagina and their forefinger through your cervix. They will check if your cervix is what is known as “favourable” e.g. soft, beginning to dilate and effacing/ thinning. A cervix which is high and closed is not ideal for a stretch and sweep. It also increases the likelihood of this being a painful, rather than uncomfortable procedure.

They will then feel for the membranes which are enclosing the baby and resting on your cervix. Stretch refers to the process of stretching the cervix so it opens a little and sweep refers to separating the membranes from where they adhere around the cervix in the lower portion of the uterus.

The cervix needs to be soft and slightly open already so that a finger can be inserted. If the mother’s cervix is not open then another option is for the obstetrician/midwife to gently massage the cervix so that prostaglandins may be released.

The aim with a stretch and sweep is for the obstetrician or midwife is to rotate their finger in a sweeping and circular motion to a full 360 degrees. They need to be careful that they do not break the membranes when they are doing this. Though sometimes this is inevitable, especially if the membranes are bulging and about to rupture spontaneously.

While this is a medically-based rather than natural procedure, I’ve included this in the round up because it doesn’t always work and should be considered a possible rather than inevitable induction.

Big Flashing Sirens Note: Castor oil is NOT recommended as a natural form of induction any more. It works as a powerful laxative – the spasms in your bowels starting off contractions in your uterus – and this leads to increased chances of diarrhea and dehydration in the mother, in turn raising the probability of labour complications. There is also medical debate about whether it increases the chance of meconium contamination of the amniotic fluid but there are no studies to date that prove this. Take at your own peril.

The reality is that unless you are medically induced, baby will come when baby is ready. I stand by the fact that CJ started his journey into the world after I’d had a big bawling cry-session (we’re talking about an hour of tears) and that the oxytocin from that release did the trick. But if he hadn’t been ready to make his way into the world, rushing then like he does now, it wouldn’t have happened. It sure does give us plenty to do to keep us occupied though doesn’t it?

Can you think of any old wives’ tales you’ve heard of that aren’t mentioned above?

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30 by 30 – the summary

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Just a sample of the fab food we had at Masu!

On September 1st, I decided to set goals to be achieved by my 30th birthday on the 1st of March this year. Despite some major changes in our lives I think that I actually managed to do fairly well – here’s the breakdown:

  1. Work a polling booth for Election Day – this goal has already required some preplanning (applying for and accepting position) but I’m pleased to tick it off my nerdy bucket list  Completed 20/9/14
  2. Wean CJ out of a swaddle – I know, funny goal, but it seems like a mountain of a challenge at the moment! Completed – he just decided to do it all by himself
  3. Guest-post on 10 different blogs. Half there No. 1, No. 2, No. 3
  4. Find two new networking groups. Completed
  5. Give cloth diapering a good try – summer will probably be ideal for this given it will increase our washing load! Completed – part of our regular routine now!
  6. Support NZ businesses (where possible) for upcoming gift occasions Completed
  7. Declutter and sell a whole bunch of items – our house is very little and a lot of stuff lives in the garage that we never use. Flick it on, I say! Half there – we did manage to get a lot of this done prior to our unexpected move (would never have picked it when I constructed our list) but there is definitely more that can be done!
  8. Plan a family tropical holiday for August 2015 (we’re thinking Rarotonga!) Half there – we’ve decided for sure on Rarotonga and we’re just socking away money and waiting for a great deal.
  9. Meet with a mortgage broker – we keep putting this off but we really need to find out where we need to be so that we have a goal to work towards Fail – started down the road with this but then with our unexpected move that’s been put on the back burner. Lots of background plotting going on though!
  10. Find an AWESOME at-home child care person for CJ to start with in February next year (eeee!) Completed – we have such a great carer!
  11. Get our wills sorted – how boring and adult, but necessary Fail – need to get on this!
  12. Take a dance class – not fussed as to what, just need to get my body moving Changed my mind – with limited time I’ve gone back to aqua-exercise (aerobics, jogging, swim) as it has worked for me in the past
  13. Find six new recipes to add to the usual menu of meals in this house Completed! One of the best things about having my dad live with us part-time is that I can cook larger family meals!
  14. Find a swim outfit that makes me feel confident at the pool/beach/wherever. I don’t need to have a son growing up with a mum constantly trying to hide her body Completed – I underestimated how difficult it would be to find boardies in a length between bootie shorts and bloomers!
  15. On this note – get to the beach this summer! I was so sore and whale-like last summer, I did not enjoy myself at all. I want a real summer this time, with my big and little adventure buddiesCompleted – and we are still having ridiculously warm beautiful days so there may even be some more beach days yet!
  16. Own a pair of Toms Not yet
  17. Get a proper pair of cross-trainers after getting a stride analysis Not yet
  18. Eat waffles at Ben Gusto Howick Completed 5/10/14
  19. Eat everything (haha) at Masu  Completed – so good!
  20. Take Papa M to Tanuki’s Cave Not yet
  21. Have Giapo ice-cream again – it’s been FAR too long Completed 20/11/14
  22. Take CJ to the zoo for the first time Completed 29/12/14
  23. Have a family day-trip to Waiheke Island Not yet, although there’s a high probability of a day trip over Easter.
  24. Get down to my wedding weight – this is still a good 15 kg above my goal weight but a realistic goal in the next six months Literal big fat fail – this definitely needs more work!
  25. Have a 24-hour girlie getaway as a trial run before my trip to Perth – more a trial run for Papa M Completed 17/1/15
  26. Have family portrait taken in the weeks leading up to CJ’s first birthday Had a non-professional one taken on this birthday – I’ll take it as a pass!
  27. Finish writing my novel and grow the metaphorical testes to try and get it published In Progress – I had hoped to be further down the track with this but moving and workload have conspired against me. I am loving that extra cash-flow though!
  28. Try a flotation tank Not yet and I still REALLY want to!
  29. Throw a kick-ass first birthday for CJ Completed – it was such a fun day!
  30. Book a delicious weekend getaway at The Langham for my 30th!  Completed and it was a fantastic weekend!

So that’s over half completed and only seven that were complete fails – or a failure rate of 23%. That’s a rate I’m willing to accept given the changes (my slow reentry into the work force, our moving houses and towns) that I couldn’t have forseen when creating these goals in September last year. I’m definitely looking forward to fulfilling some of my more materialistic goals now that I’m contributing to our family funds, something that I really felt that I couldn’t justify before. It is hard though, since becoming a mum I want to spend our money on things that will benefit our whole family and it is difficult to be selfish – do other mummies feel the same?

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The light at the end of the tunnel…

As part of my 30th birthday celebrations, I had a high tea with some of my closest girlfriends. One of the girls is 38 weeks pregnant and is right in that over-it, so uncomfortable stage. I remember it vividly, the days of lying on the couch feeling sorry for myself and being pretty sure that I was going to be pregnant forever. At the same time, pictures of my son at a month old are popping up on my Timehop app. While they are adorable, they also remind me of a time where my big world felt incredibly small and claustrophobic; new mother anxiety meaning that we barely went anywhere or did anything.

Happy little vegemite - picture sent to me by his auntie!

Happy little vegemite – picture sent to me by his auntie!

This past weekend was the first time that both of us as parents have been away from our son for a fun purpose (he’s had one night at his grandparents when we moved house) and some decent time for us to sit and connect with each other as a couple. As well as enjoying good food (something that has always been a part of our relationship) and watching trashy TV, the conversation turned to future plans. And future plans will (hopefully) include another child for us – don’t get too excited, not yet!

I’m not going to lie, the thought of that first three months with a new baby – the fourth trimester – scares the crap out of me. Especially with an active kid already on the scene. My introverted nature is going to struggle again, I’m sure. But the thing I have realized, that me a year ago would never have credited, is how quickly the light would appear at the end of the tunnel. It was worth going through all that to end up with the precious ball of light that is CJ and it will be worth going through all of that to have the little one that will make our family feel complete.

Just remind me of that when I am in that tunnel again!

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