Wednesday, 28 August 2013

A mini photo shoot..


Fathers day is coming up here in New Zealand and I wanted to create something special for Nick. I am not going to share any of the pictures I am using for his actual project, but I thought I would share a few I took today. I only needed 3 photos, but ended up with about 70. Here are some that didn't make the cut! Isn't she a wee mini model in the making? (This is where you just agree and say yes)


Distracted by the neighbours




Laughing with Mama!

Uh Oh, that didn't last long!

Now I have really said something to upset her!

Clearly her model pose

Just a funny wee face!

Don't you just want to squeeze her? She has so much personality and talks non stop! I can't believe she will be two in November! Anyway, this was really just a post to show how cute my kid is (and I even left the cutest ones out!).





Sunday, 25 August 2013

Why don't you want me?!?


I have been trying to get a job for a while now. At first, it was half heartedly. But now it is rather serious. I need money, and I need some adult interaction in my life. I love being home with Sophia, but I feel myself getting stupider by the day. I need a challenge again.

My profession isn't actually over run with adult interaction. I am an early childhood teacher. It means that I will be trading looking after one kid to looking after many. However, I love the job, and I love looking after the little tikes. It's like having a whole heap of children, you get to share in their joy, excitement and learning. Yet I have struggled getting a job. I think there are two reasons.

1. Sophia, people are worried I will take too much time off if she is sick because I have no family here, and Nick isn't always available to do it. 



2. I am too honest. I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. What you see is what you get. Most people put on a huge front in an interview, but I don't. I tell potential employers this but I don't think they always believe me. I think they expect when they hire me I won't do what I say and I will get shite. I don't talk up what I will do. I don't want to disappoint them. I would rather they know what they are getting. I am beginning to think that honesty is not always my friend.

So potential employers that might google my name may in fact be reading this. Here are the facts. I will take care of my daughter. My family is important to me. However, I will also do my damndest to be at work every day. I work hard and I enjoy what I do. So please, just say yes. 















Saturday, 24 August 2013

Had enough!


Why did I start blogging? 

I actually have no idea. I thought maybe I would have a story to tell. I thought it might lead me to meet new people? Or was it because I follow a million blogs and wanted to be just like them? 

Probably the later. As you know imitation is the biggest form of flattery (or something like that) but I have honestly decided I am going to be myself. I am not that witty, usually offensive. 

I am not slim, fashionable or overly 'pretty' I make an effort on a occasion. I am a good mum, in fact, I am a great mama. That is something I can say. But the rest of it? I am not sure. 



I can be a pretty crappy partner. Nick is a freaking saint. I am also a terrible writer. Look at all these short paragraphs and sentence fragments. Yuck. No one likes terrible writing. 

I don't care though, I am sick of trying to be something I am not. I am a kind person but not overly positive. I give fantastic advice, but would never follow through on it myself. I can motivate people to change their lives, yet can't control how much chocolate I eat. I am me. I am not going to change. I am 26. I think I am fairly set in stone. I would love to be into beauty, but putting on makeup is often a chore. I would love to be a DIYer, but I am not, I have FAAAAR too many unfinished projects. 

Here are some things that I am:
  • I am exhausted a lot of the time. Not because I overwork myself, no no, it is because I stay up to ungodly hours watching youtube. I even find some of the content incredibly boring, yet I watch.
  •  I am a great mama and proud of it. Sophia is incredibly smart. I have also been known to switch on my phone, put it on youtube so I can get an extra 20 minutes sleep. I have also yelled at her, and got mad at her for no fault of her own. I usually feel terrible, but I have done it more than once.
  •  I am a good friend. But you have to be able to take the good with the bad. I can be honest. Brutally honest. Some people don't like that, but it is what I am. If you try on a dress, and it looks terrible, I will tell you. No matter how much you love it. Some people wan't 'yes people' in their lives. I am not one of those people. 
  •  I can be a negative nancy. I complain a lot. I like to let you know what is bothering be and I want you to care. However I will do the same. Tell me your woes, I will offer any advice or help I can. 


I am not really sure what else I am. I am sick of not being me. However, I am not entirely sure who I am. Maybe this is the turn my blog will take? Probably not. I am just going to write what I feel like. It is just going to be a blog about nothing, or me, a girl you have never and probably will never meet! 






Friday, 26 April 2013

Baby baking...

So since it was ANZAC day here today, earlier this week Sophia and I decided to bake some ANZAC biscuits (well I decided, whenever I ask Sophia about anything I usually get a very decided 'no'). I had never baked with Sophia so started with something easy just to see how it would go. I must say although it was very messy, it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. 


She helped me to sift the flour, add the other ingredients, then mix it all together. For her own special take on the recipe she decided to take some out with a measuring spoon and tip it on the counter and herself. Then I added the next few ingredients as they were hot, while Sophia played in the mess she had created. 



Then once all the mixture was mixed we rolled the mixture into balls. Well I did anyway, Sophia was too busy taste testing the mixture to really help but then we flattened the remaning balls down with a floured fork, put them in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes. 



As they were baking Sophia made a quick job of the bowl, leaving behind hardly any mixture. I forgot to take a photo of the finished product but I did manage to get a quick (albeit slightly blurry) picture of Sophia enjoying the fruits of our labour. It was sooo much fun! I wish that I had baked with her sooner! I certainly needed to have a lot of patience and time to do it, but she really enjoyed herself and so did I. It was a great way to spend an afternoon.

Baking and babies,


Monday, 22 April 2013

A moment to be proud of....


*DISCLAIMER* This may be a very controversial topic to talk about, and if you don't have the same opinion as I do then I respect that. However, please also respect mine!*


This week was a proud week for me as a New Zealander. I am not usually a very patriotic person and I never really get involved in politics. I have my ideas, I know who I want to vote for, but it is not something I am ever passionate about. However this all changed the other night. I was glued to my seat watching parliament TV. Yes, it is exciting as it really sounds. It is broadcasting what is happening in the debating chamber, and what politicians are talking about. Normally I would find this a yawnfest but on this occasion I was so moved I even shed a tear. 

So what was so riveting you ask? I was watching history in the making. I was watching politicians give speeches on their stance on the marriage equality bill. They were deciding whether or not Gay, Lesbians, Intersex, Bisexual and Transgender people would be able to marry their partner of choice, male or female and it didn't matter what sex they were. Of course there were some people against it. However it was the speeches supporting the bill that moved me the most. 

This is controversial, and many of the letters and emails that the politicians included in their speeches shocked me. I was a supporter of the bill, as I didn't see it as fair for anyones right to get married taken away from them, not matter what their sexual orientation. However, I do understand the fact that it is something people are uncomfortable with. Some people feel as though marriage is a religious thing, and that homosexuality and marriage would not be okay under the eyes of god. (This is just some opinions that were brought up during parliament  I am sure not all people feel this way, and some will. I am not judging the way anyone views this topic.)

However the spin that was put on it by many politicians was that marriage was no longer just a religious thing, it was something that is entered into by many people who are not religious and have no religious ties whatsoever. Therefore it becomes a human rights issue. Since our government is not officially affiliated with any religion, how was it their place to tell a group of people they could not marry? Under their government, marriage is a legal contract that two people enter into. Therefore, with 77 votes to 44, the bill was passed and now everyone can marry the person they love. The moment the votes were read out, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. Although this bill did not affect me directly, I just knew how important it was to so many kiwis.

Here is a speech from that parliament sitting that has begun to spread around the world.

  

Proud Moments, 



Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Another mans trash....

....is a little girl's treasure. 

We all get them. Dandelions. They grow so fast and so tall telling all your neighbours you haven't mowed your lawns and most people I know hate them. There are a weed, and not something I treasure. The following post is why I love children, (especially my child) they can see beauty in the world where us adults can't. A weed, and a reminder to do yard work turned into an hour of fun and exploration for my wee girl... Something so annoying (to me) was adored by Sophia, I will never see dandelions the same again... 



Hey mama, Look what I found...

Isn't it pretty?
They smell so pretty

Here mama, you hold them for me...


Just a few more....
Let me just have another sniff

I insisted on bringing them inside so Mama
put them in water for me...


And they took pride of place on the living room mantle...


We had such an awesome time outside. Sophia loves the outdoors and especially flowers. She sniffs every flower she sees (even those in books and magazines). I was amazed at the time she took to pick nearly every single dandelion on the lawn. Its moments like this I really cherish being a mama, watching them discover the wonder of the world around me. So often she teaches me to see the world in a new light, no longer is a dandelion a weed, it is just a beautiful flower in an inconvenient place.

Treasuring Toddlers  




Friday, 15 March 2013

Factual Friday...

I love random knowledge. I love little bits of interesting info. So I have decided that every Friday I am going to share with you a little fact! 


Did you know.... 


The hole in a pencil sharpener where you put the pencil it called a chuck?

I never knew it had a different name!

Fun and facts, 



Monday, 4 March 2013

Monday Munchies!


Ok, I am an average cook, but I can not present it amazingly or photograph it well (I really should download instagram, all food seems to look good on there). However, the other night we had no food in the house, a few veges and come chicken drumsticks. So it looked like meat and three vege in our house, which is NOT a favourite. I know I probably could have whipped up some sort of casserole or something a little more eye appealing, but I did come up with something which was rather tasty. 


So here is the unappetising oh so delightful meal...




It's nothing special, just peas, carrots, broccoli, potato bites and coated chicken. It was the coated chicken that was the crowning glory. I quite often use chicken dipped in yoghurt and coated cornflakes and seasoning as a crispy coating which is just quick and easy. However, I had coated my chicken in yoghurt but realised I was out of cornflakes. Instead I used some breadcrumbs that I had made as a pasta topping (bread placed in the food processor with garlic and olive oil then toasted in a pan) some left over corn chips, and various seasoning. Then it was baked. I am usually a follow a recipe kinda gal, who tries lots of new foods, but out of a book. This chicken was super crispy, and soo moist and delicious. I just wish I could remember exactly what I had put in it. 


I love cooking, so I thought I would make this a weekly feature. Either a family favourite or a meal that I have tried that week. It will inspire me to try new things and hopefully you can enjoy looking at my triumphs and failures. 


Friday, 1 March 2013

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

I have to share this, for anyone that read my Laying it all out... blog post, I have good news..

We are getting a kidney! 


Well I'm not, but Nick is! His Aunt is a match, and I think the transplant will happen around mid April (with any luck). I am so excited. I absolutely wept when I overheard his phone conversation, and he did once it was over. It is such a relief and a weight off our shoulders. This post will be short and sweet, I just wanted to share our amazing news. 

Excitement and happy tears







Monday, 18 February 2013

A bit of a pat on the back...

I am quite a negative person and usually I focus on what is wrong in my life and not is what right. So I thought in this blog post I would try and be positive. I am quite proud of some things in my life. So here are 10 of them (in no particular order):

1. I am the first person in my entire family to graduate from University.
Graduation! OOOhhh Yeah!
2. Sophia. Enough said, that little girl is my best achievement so far. 


Photo: Cooool!!!!
I love this little lady!
3. Backpacking through South America. My best friend and I did this in the summer of 2009. It        was one of the best experiences of my life.

Me and my bestie looking worse for wear
 after a 3 and a half day trek to Machu  Pichu.

4. My ability so save for the things I want. Other than my student loan I have no debt. I don't do it. Never, I always pay for what I want outright. You usually get better deals that way too!

5. How I just take things in my stride. Although I can be negative, I don't usually let these things get me down, I am more of a "what will be will be" kinda gal.



6. My relationship with Nick. Nick and I met pretty young. We were completely different people and I would have never thought we would be where we are today. We have been through some fairly tough times, and there has been moments where I didn't think we would last. But here we are, 6 years on, two completely different people from who we started out as, and I couldn't be happier. 


This is us pretty brand new,  sometime
during our first year  of romance!

7. That I have managed to breastfeed Sophia for over a year, she is 14 months and we are still feeding about 3 times a day. 


8. My relationship with my parents. There was a time in my life where I couldn't imagine being as close to my mother as I am. I realise now that we are more a like that I would care to admit! I was a horror teenager. I did not respect rules or boundaries and although I was never into anything illegal or really 'bad'. I didn't listen to my parents, I did what I wanted, when I wanted. I am actually surprised I have turned out as well as I have. Every day I feel closer to my parents. I call them often and ever since I left home to go to university, I tell them I love them. It is not something we say often enough, however I will never end a phone call without saying 'I love you'.


Me and my Mama being silly!
9. The way I have learnt to cope with my temper. I used to be quite explosive, and I still am. However, I am proud of myself in the fact that I have a lot of time and patience for Sophia. I know that many won't see this as an achievement, but during my pregnancy I was actually worried whether or not I would yell at Sophia when she did things wrong. Whether I would be able to control my temper when I got annoyed. I knew I would never ever smack Sophia, but I can get frustrated really quickly. I have tried my damnedest that I will not be a mother that yells. If I am honest, I have on occasion, but usually it is for safety reasons (ie she is about to touch the oven while it is going). I am a gentle and loving parent just like I had hoped I would be, and I am definitely proud of that!

10. My sense of adventure. I try new things. I have eaten a live grub. I have tried gunniea pig. I've been to Maylaysia. I travelled around South America. I walk the Machu Pichu track while I was incredibly unfit (which by the way was bloody really hard at high altitude) and I hang-glided over Rio de Janeiro. I am often a yes person. I like to try new things, I give it a go even though I am afraid. I act silly in public and I have fun. Isn't that what life it about? 




I'm flying Jack I'm really flying (little titanic reference in there
even though I wasn't on a ship and his name was Claus) 

So there you go, not everything I am proud of, but 10 things that came to mind. 


What are you proud of in your life?

Bursting with pride




Friday, 15 February 2013

Be my Valentine..

I have always been kinda against Valnetines day, thinkning it was just a wee bit of a money making scheme. HOWEVER, this year I did a little something to celebrate it without spending money on thee the junk they push at you (take that corporations selling 'love'). Nick and I have never celebrated Valentines, so he didn't get me anything, which I wasn't worried about! Sophia and I just wanted to show him how much we love and appreciate him!

The card we made!

The back, the middle just had a drawing from
Sophia and a nice wee message

Sophia's Valentines outfit, you will have to excuse the photo,
she is too fast for me these days  so it has to be an action shot!

The banana cupcakes with chocolate
butter cream we made, they say I<3U and <3U
and others just have hearts


"We <3 U"
Sophia's painting for Nick.

Yes stones were included in the design, and dried
stuck to the paint! It was a mixed media piece

So that was our Valentines, nothing too special but just something to show Nick how much we love him. We made some of his favourite cupcakes, and made him some keepsakes.


What did you do for Valentines?

Hearts and Hugs





Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Laying it all out...


I am really thinking a lot about my life at the moment. Where I want to go, what I want to do. Obviously there are some things that will remain unchanged. There is Nick, my amazing partner of 6 years, I would not change him. There is Sophia, my beautiful 14 month old girl, I couldn't or wouldn't want to live without her. I feel like 2012 was such a horror year, I mean truly terrible. I am pretty sure I went into a state of depression. 


I was going to keep my blog a happy place and free of this, but I feel like this is a place to express myself and I am not truly expressing myself when I leave a huge chunk of it out. In 2011 we found out that Nick had a kidney disease, we were told that he would eventually need a kidney transplant but this was not going to happen for around 20 years as it was a very slow moving disease. This was a huge blow, Nick got really sad about it. He was supposed to be doing his masters that year but never really got onto it. I thought it was just a state of depression and I tried to motivate him. He always seemed tired and down and wanted to spend a lot of time sleeping, he was also putting on a lot of weight. His family and I worried about him, he seemed so down. 

When Sophia was born he had a hospital appointment to check up on him, it seemed to go ok as usual and they changed some medications.  We carried on with our plans of moving to Nicks new job. We had Christmas and New Year with our families and then Nick set off to find a house in our new city. We moved up in the beginning of February 2012. We had our wee family and it was exciting to be in a new city. Nick had another hospital appointment not long after we moved here, we thought it was a meet and greet. It wasn't. I forget exactly what happened here, it was a year ago. After a few tests and things like that it was discovered that Nick's kidney function had gone down dramatically. We were now looking at 2 years before Nick needed a new kidney. We. Were. Devastated. 2 years? 2 YEARS?!? We had so much time a year ago, now we have 2 years. Nick was just starting in his career. We had just started a family, we didn't own a house and weren't married. We wanted to do so much, but now all we could think about was 2 years and he would be on dialysis. We dealt with the news and Nick started his new job. Nick's doctors were trying to get his medications right and just keeping an eye on his progress so he was having regular appointments and blood tests.  

We had another appointment in February  Nick's blood work wasn't good. It was here we discovered more about his percentages. In the beginning of 2011 his kidney function was at 80%. By December 2011 it had gone down to 30% function (which explains the weight gain, it was fluid, and also the exhaustion  however the doctor had failed to mention this). This appointment we discovered his kidney function was at 13%. This so called slow moving disease was now moving very fast, he was started on very strong steroids to stop the progression. Over the next few appointments over the next few weeks his percentages seemed to go down by 2% every week. During that time they did a biopsy of his kidney which revealed nothing. So by the end of March we were told Nick was being booked in for surgery to start dialysis. Once again we were devastated. We knew it would help Nick to feel better in the long run, and it was needed for him to live. We were still upset. The surgery was set for just after Easter. The doctor told Nick that since the steroids weren't working he could stop taking them. So he did. 

The next few days were hell. Nick was busy at work and had stopped taking steroids. Which we assumed would be fine. Boy were we wrong. Nick went through major withdrawal  Like shaking uncontrollably, sweating and his skin hurting all over. I urged him to go to the doctor or at least call in sick. However, he was on a huge project at work on wanted to contribute and make a good impression. He hated being sick, and letting people at work knowing that he was sick. So he soldiered on. This just shows what kind of stubborn but amazing person Nick is. 

April came along, and he had surgery to prepare him for dialysis. It was only two weeks away and Nick would be on dialysis and feeling better. We thought we had reached rock bottom and the only way was up. We had the training, and it we got it really easily. We knew what we were doing and it was time to start dialysis. The first night and Nick was about to hook up to his machine when we noticed something. His scrotum was enlarged. We had chosen peritoneal dialysis so this was not a good thing ( I have included an explanation on this next so you can understand this part of the story).

"Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a treatment for patients with severe chronic kidney disease. The process uses the patient's peritoneum in the abdomenas a membrane across which fluids and dissolved substances (electrolytesureaglucosealbumin and other small molecules) are exchanged from the blood. Fluid is introduced through a permanent tube in the abdomen and flushed out every night while the patient sleeps."


So basically, it puts fluid in the abdomen which draws out the impurities from the blood which the kidneys normally would do. We were told that sometimes the membrane could tear with the pressure of the fluid. We were to wait two weeks, and then Nick was given a scan to see the progress. He had a hernia. Turns out rock bottom was a little lower than we thought. Nick now had to get another surgery and wait FOUR more weeks after that to begin dialysis. It was 6 weeks after he was supposed to start. He was feeling terrible, had no energy and the 6 weeks were hell. 

Once dialysis started Nick felt so much better, although we were having trouble with Nick's dialysis. It wouldn't drain our properly at night, it would beep and he would have to sit up for about 30 minutes. Not for every drain, but two or three a night. They have x-rayed, and tried a few different things but this problem had not been fixed to this day. 

So when things started to get better we found our his mother was a match for Kidney donation and they began to work her up in order for her to donate. Nick only has his mother and Aunt that are blood relatives that can donate, so his mother was our best bet. It looked great and in October Nick was chatting with his doctor who said as long as the last test for his mother went well he should have new kidney either late 2012 or early 2013. However, it was not meant to be,  they didn't think that her kidney would be big enough for Nick, and that if anything were to happen to her, there is a chance that her one kidney wouldn't hold up. 

So we are back to square one, Nick's Aunt is now being worked up and we will see how it goes. But if I seem up and down, its because my life is. I honestly feel like I go through stages of happy and sad, and stages of depression. I know it is not me going through this, and I am lucky that even though Nick is sick, he still agreed it was best for me to stay home the first year of Sophia's life. I think I found it hard not having my family near by. Sometimes in times of hurt, you just need that reassuring hug from your mama. 

This is why I have decided that 2013 WILL be our year. Nick will get a new kidney, there will be minimum setbacks. We have been approved for a mortgage and are house hunting. I am looking for a job, and I want to start something new, a hobby? A craft? We will be in a new house. This year will be good, I have laid all my cards out, and now the only way is up! I know this post was a bit much, but I feel that I wasn't talking about the big elephant in the room!

Inspiration and info-overload, 



Sunday, 20 January 2013

Technology Fail

My last post I complained that my camera was dead (or maybe the post before that) and it still is. For the life of me I can not find my charger! I would use my phone for photos.... but that died a sad death. Ugh I am sorting out a new phone tomorrow and will be back on the  blogging band wagon soon. 

Technology fail and flaws


Thursday, 17 January 2013

An apology and a pending arrival!

I know I was going to blog every day. I missed yesterday, I had a post planned to write but instead I got some VERY exciting news! Someone super close to me is pregnant! I know that is not really giving you a lot of detail, but if people in my real life read this then i could be letting the cat out of the bag before said person has a chance to tell other people! 

So today I shall do a double post, one this morning and one this evening at normal time! I am so incredibly excited! Sorry for not  posting!

Secret Squirrel 

\

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

My toddler has taken over my house!

Unfortunately here in our house I am playing second fiddle. My things don't matter any more and everywhere I look there are Sophia's things. She has more books in my book shelves. There are more of her products beside the bath than mine. My handbag is more of a nappy bag and where there used to hang pictures of Nick and I or pictures of our friends now hangs a picture of Sophia.

We managed to be pretty minimalist for her first year of life. We moved across country when she was just a few months old (and new about the move prior to her birth) so people were fairly restrained when she was born and Christmas. However, this year we have not been so lucky. She is the first grandchild in Nick's family and although she is the first grandchild for my mother on my side! So people love to spoil her. As her birthday and Christmas are less than a month apart, I feel like we have gone from a appropriate amount of toys, books and clothes to being overrun.

When we moved here we bought a very small set of draws for her teeny clothes and it was perfect. However, now her clothes are a little bigger and everyone (myself included) bought her far too many they literally do not all fit in her dresser any more. Everyday I feel like my living room is overtaken by masses of toys. So last night I decided that I would take away some of them, and set the rest out for her to see (so she doesn't just pull them all out too see what is there).

My camera was not charged, so you will have to do with my crappy mobile pictures. I have taken pictures of the little areas I have set up with some of her favourite toys. I am hoping that this will encourage her to play with them rather than just becoming DESTRUCTOOOOOR (read that like you would announce a pro wrestler about to come out onto stage, it has much better effect that way). Note, this is nothing fancy, but just a little experiment to see if it changed the way she plays with her toys. 

Here we have the storage boxes with books and a doll in a box reading nook, where Sophia can remove books and then pull out everything in storage boxes as well sit down and read some of her favourite books (all board books so I don't have to worry about leaving her to read them alone if she chooses). I have added the cushion and a cosy blanket for maximum comfort. Just to the left you can see that there is a puzzle for some more quiet play as well as her favourite doll all tucked up in her bed. 






Then we have the farmyard corner. Sophia genuinely loves these animals and all the noises this farm makes. Usually we just have all the animals in a wee container and the farm sits there. I decided to make it into a real wee farmyard to see if this encourages her to pretend a little more, or at least explore the set further. I think I will sit with her and play with this one, I love it too and I love hearing her make her animal noises. 




Finally I just have a few other toys she likes in her normal toy area with her toy box. She loves playing with her duplo, 'laptop' and rummaging in her toy box, so if she chooses it is still there for her to play with. 



So there is what I have set up for her, I will report back to let you know how it went. The rest of her toys are safely in the other room. However this is where she plays the most. I hope this stops my house becoming a disaster zone in 2 minutes flat in the mornings (I doubt it, but it is worth a shot right?).

Wish me luck