Sunday, March 23, 2014

small bites on a monday morning...

I am sitting here enjoying the rain, and a cup of T2 vanilla tea, while the small one naps, taking the opportunity for a quick blogging update!


Feel like we may have finally cracked the sleep thing - even if she does move around the cot during naptime like a crazy thang! Having her able to self settle was so so so important to us - I feel like the ability to sleep is a life skill we have to be taught, nothing something innate, and I wanted to give her that for herself for the future, the fact that it's good for me too is a huge bonus heh

Someone's learning to sit herself up! And is remarkably pleased with herself every time she manages it

(Ishk I sometimes feel I am running out of meaningful content - I desperately don't want to fall into a "mummy blogger" category, but wow it's hard sometimes to find other things to write about when I'm with her so often! Would there be interest in "mummy" type posts? I should do a Q&A post, not that I know much of anything hahahaha)


V headed off at sparrowfart for work on a project this morning - he has recently been head hunted for a supervisor role with the industry leader, which is extremely exciting for him (but sadly travel is again involved). This time he is only 2 hours away from home, and it's a short project, so not too bad.
We farewelled him with southern chicken burgers and wine at our local.
Speaking of rain - much as I am loving that autumn finally has arrived - I'm going to miss my mornings in the sun with this girl!
And coffee, always coffee haha
Now that several of the bubbas in my mums group are mobile we are having to explore new venue options - in a few months time I am imagining a handful of extremely mobile babies climbing the walls inside whilst it's rainy and drear eek!
In super exciting news, my little brother returned from his placement in Sweden at the weekend (and he brought Moomins yay!) He has started his obstetric rotation this week which is pretty cool - cannot believe he's nearly finished a medical degree! So so proud.
Here's to a good week, may it be kind to you, and may your babies (if you have them) grant you lots of sleep


Monday, March 17, 2014

baby goods - my top 5...

I've been promising to do a Baby Essentials type post for months now! These are of course so personal, and several other bloggers have recently published great lists (Blithely Unaware springs to mind). So I thought I would condense it down to my Top 5 most-loved, most-used baby purchases - and also my Top 5 money wasters (again, this is what we found, I'm sure plenty of our least used items are others' must haves, and vice versa).


The 5 Best:


1. A car capsule that clips onto your pram base:-
We chose the Maxi Cosi Titan capsule, which is compatible with our Bugaboo Bee. It has been so amazingly convenient to be able to transfer sleeping bebe from car to pram and back again, without ever waking her. So many other mums have commented on how great this system is, and how they wish they'd done this. There are many brands of capsule out there that are compatible with various prams on the market, so go with what suits you.
2. Skip Hop activity mat:-
Evelyn LOVES this, has from day one! Even now that she is crawling all over the shop, she will lay there and talk to the forest animals, or squeak the mat squeakers, or just chill out. A real life saver for morning showers! I love it because it's not garish and ugly like so many baby items! I will happily have it in my living room.

3. Angelcare bath seat:-
This is possibly my number one baby purchase, and cheap as chips! We have been using this in the bathtub since wee girl was about three weeks old and it's genius, genius I tell you! New parents, you need this! V baths Evie of an evening and he just sits happily in the tub with her sitting happily in the bath seat. It weighs next to nothing and it's comfortable because it's webbed and sort of soft, unlike a lot of other bath seats. It also has a great indicator mark on the side to fill the tub up to.

4. Love to Dream swaddles:-
I'm sure these make a lot of "top baby item" lists because they are truly fantastic, every new mum needs a stash of these! We tried several different swaddles on loan from my sister, but the kiddo far and away preferred the Love to Dream. We loved the lightweight version for summer. She has been in a LTD sleeping bag for months now and we similarly love them.

5. Ergo baby carrier:-
Quite simply essential - I have heard similar rave reviews about the Tula. Wee girl adores being in here when we go for a bush walk, especially if V is wearing her (being so tall I guess she gets a good view!) It's super easy to use and easy to adjust, and it breathes well, and the weight is carried on your hips to save your back, plus it's clearly extremely comfy for bub.
The 5 least useful:
1. Baby bathtub:-
See above comment on the bath seat. We used a baby bath for the first few weeks but it was so inconvenient to fill and empty, weighed a ton when full, and Evelyn never really seemed to like it. Not something I'd go for again.
2. Cloth nappies:-
I purchased these with the very BEST of intentions, when I was about 20 weeks pregnant. My sister used them exclusively, and I was all buoyed up on a wave of Eco-friendliness and nappy-superiority LOL They literally never got used. Last month I looked at them languishing in their drawer and finally accepted they were never going to be used, and sold the lot on eBay (for more than I paid for them, god bless an Ozsale bargain for initial purchase!) For some mums I'm sure these are fabulous, but for me, it was just never going to happen. I've made me peace with it.
3. Nursery night light:-
We have this cute little Oricom digital cat light, which has never really been used. The light disturbed Evie's sleep and ours, and I got so accustomed to seeing in the semi-dark, it's just never been used. I'm sure it will be great for her bedroom once she's a bit older, but if I had my time again I wouldn't bother.
4. Bouncy seat:-
We we're give a Fisher Price one that was fairly uggers, and Evie liked it fairly well, but nothing to write home about. And then she started rolling before 3 months of age and the thing was literally useless, she kept trying to flip out of it! Heart attack material. Not something I'd purchase, it's was big and ugly looking and she never really took to it.
5. Angelcare sight and sound movement monitor:-
I know so many people swear by this, and we thought it sounded like an absolute essential for bubs' safety, and our peace of mind. We used the video monitor from day one, and loved it, but didn't use the sensor pads because Evie was in her bassinet which was too small. Before she was ready to go into her cot, we read about the recall in UK and America due to infant strangulation with the sensor pad cords (we were actually amazed they weren't wireless to be honest!) So there was no way in hell they were going in with my baby girl. We returned this and bought a plain video monitor instead, which works just fine. Bub is in our room still at the moment anyway so we aren't really worried re the motion sensor pads.

So there you have it! Hope this is helpful to some. Any additions you would make to my lists?


Sunday, March 16, 2014

kiwi catch up...

We arrived home safe and sound last week with our little frequent flyer - as V pointed out, she has already been to New Zealand as I found out I was early pregnant with her over there, December 2012! So a homecoming of sorts haha We had such a lovely time introducing her to family, eating lots of good food and generally just chilling - V started a fantastic new job this week in a supervisory role (which I celebrated by spectacularly smashing a bottle of Veuve on the bottle shop floor - I don't wanna talk about it), so this holiday was perfect for us to really spend some quality time as a family before things get crazy busy for him.
Here follows some serious NZ photospam!
The view from my parents' front door is pretty damn gorgeous

Tried to pack light, but did end up taking most of the kiddo's toys with us

Even in March, NZ weather calls for stripey jammies at night (stripey bunny is optional)
In a truly civilised society, your pot of tea comes with an egg timer for maximum tea-steeping accuracy. Australian cafés, take note! On that point, why have we failed to cotton on to the deliciousness that is cinnamon instead of chocolate powder on a cappuccino??? I think I need to campaign for change...
Speaking of truly Kiwi food quirks, behold the amazing beauty that is he orange choc chip ice cream! Food of the gods, and sadly unavailable back home
Amazing grilled brill!
Everywhere on all day breakfast menus, there was pancakes with grilled banana, bacon and maple syrup - may have lost count of how many times I indulged...
Visited the Orakanui bird sanctuary, always a favourite - Evie seemed to enjoy the walk and all the birds!
The lunch is pretty spesh too - loves me a cheese platter!
Visiting the seals at Pilots Beach along the Otago Peninsula went down well too...
Took myself off for a child-free morning and had a pedicure and a coffee - looked like a local wearing sandals in the rain!
Couldn't get the poor kiddo a Kiwi passport, the least I can do is start her off supporting the right team!
All in all, a fantastic time was had - my poor wee girl seem to be missing waking up and seeing her grandparents every morning! I'm sure the feeling is mutual. Luckily they live so close, but we are already planning our next trips way - aren't you supposed to book the next holiday when you get home from the previous? Keeps you sane heh


Saturday, March 15, 2014

travelling with the kiddo...

I take my motto from the Scouts and try to Always be Prepared, especially when travelling (multiple packing lists anyone?) Add a baby into the mix and I went a bit into overdrive! I had to get my passport renewed and it arrived two days before we were due to fly out, causing a minor mental meltdown over here (I don't want to talk about it LOL)


Below is what worked for us in terms of essentials to pack, and tricks/techniques for a calm and easy flight. (I should add a disclaimer that this is what worked for us and may not work for all babies - and also, for the seasoned travellers-with-bebe, please refrain from rolling your eyes at what is probably the blatant obviousness of the contents of this post LOL As a first time traveller with the kiddo, I would have liked some info along these lines.)


In-flight essentials:

- a dummy (and a spare!)

- a snuggle blanket or familiar cuddly toy

- baby wipes!

- bottle of formula/express milk (even if you are breast feeding this can be a lifesaver! See below)

- pouch of baby food and a spoon (we like Raffertys Garden pear and cinnamon) I wanted to take home made but was worried about Customs

- one or two little toys

- change of clothes for bub

- change of shirt for mum and dad! (in case of mid-flight messes)

- Ergo carrier or similar (so handy once you check in the pram!)

I packed far more thank this of course, but these are the only real essentials in hindsight.


The kiddo was a champion traveller, she handed it like a pro. We had two flights to get into Dunedin, the second being on a small, 30-seater, but she was cruisy and happy and basically ate, slept and charmed the cabin crew. I clipped up her seatbelt, wrapped her up in her snuggle blanket (which I hadn't washed for about a week, sorry!, so it smelt familiar), popped her dummy in, and she snoozed on my lap for most of the flight.

We booked the bulkheads seat with the bassinet on the longer stretch out of Sydney and it was fantastic, I highly recommend doing this! Even just to let your baby stretch out a bit and play, kick their feet, and get a break from sitting (let's face it wouldn't we all love to do this on an international flight!)

If your baby is a bit squirmy/active, don't put that infant seatbelt on until the last possible second! Some kids just hate it, even my cruisy kiddo wasn't the biggest fan (luckily once she was asleep we had no issue).

I packed everything into ziploc plastic bags for easy access and also in case of mess.

I made up a few "nappy grab bags", basically just a nappy and some baby wipes in a nappy sack, so I could grab one quickly if we needed to do a quick change at 30,000ft in a teeny airplane toilet (as it turns out these weren't needed, but better over prepared than under!)

The baby food was a good little distraction and a way to use up a bit of plane time - a bit messy with one holding her, one feeding, but we worked it out with minimal damage.

I took a bottle for each leg of the journey, because I know from past experience that if Evelyn is particularly upset (sick, in pain), she will sometimes refuse to feed, but will always happily take a bottle. I was worried about this happening during takeoff/landing (prime time for pain in little ears!), and so the bottles were my insurance policy against this happening. They weren't needed as it turns out, but better safe than sorry.

If you can get access to a lounge, this is another great flying tip, if you have a stopover. We had a couple of hours to kill both ways and being in the KoruClub lounge rather than the airports itself was fantastic.

Having a carrier like an Ergo is great for negotiating customs, security etc and even on the plane if bub gets antsy, you can pop them in and walk hands free. It was really useful to have both hands available for passports and all the other flying paraphernalia! I found the staff at Sydney customs were a bit funny about wanting me to take it off etc but in New Zealand there were no such concerns.


That's pretty much it in a nutshell! I can't really think of anything else. For a long haul flight you'd obviously need to get much more serious re baby supplies! But if your just jumping over the Tasman, it's far simpler. Let me know if you have any specific questions! Would you add anything to the list? What worked for you?


Friday, March 7, 2014



Welcome to New Zealand! V and I are over here for a fortnight with Evelyn and my parents for a wee holiday, staying at their house in Dunedin, and we are having an absolute blast. I will write a post on travelling with kids later on this week, so far she's been a gem! I will admit, I was worried!
Homemade cookies are essential during the travel planning process!
Dropped the poor cats off to the cat motel for a stay...
Taking a much needed break from running pre-travel errands...
My biggest concern (strangely enough) was the drive up to the airport on Saturday morning - we needed to be on the road by 6am, and wee girl normally sleeps until around 7:30-8am. I actually agonised for days over whether to wake/feed/dress her early, or try to put her into her car capsule asleep and in her jammies, and just gogogo. We ended up leaving her asleep - I managed to transfer her into her capsule and into my parents' car, and she didn't wake until we arrived at the airport over an hour later! Will admit I was more thana little pleased with myself
Collapsed with relief in the Koru lounge over breakfast and coffee - successful run!
Air New Zealand were so fantabulous to deal with at every stage, Cabin Crew most of all, such lovely people! Helps that we have such a charming kiddo of a daughter hehe
In-flight bebe! Such a little trooper - the bulkhead seat and bassinet were fantastic, highly recommend booking these if you are travelling internationally!
NZ is cold peeps! Loving the weather after the stifling hot summer we've been having back home - I do not cope well in the heat
Things were a tad warmer aka tropical in the butterfly house at Otago Museum - this was during the morning butterfly release, seconds before this Blue Morpho climbed up onto Evie's face. She was slightly unimpressed haha
We have been touring the South Island, eating lots of yummy food and drinking lots of good wine - hopefully I come back home several kilos heavier! So nice to see family and introduce them to the kiddo, she's been a hit! Enjoying the local seasonl goodies as much as we have (blackberries and Central Otago plums have been a notable hit!) She has also started "proper" crawling *cries* I see some babyproofing in our immediate future on arrival home.
Will try and post a bit more while we are here including some scenery, food etc and not so much babyphotospam heh


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

weekly outfit recap....

Monday - shopping in the southern highlands

- Country Road jeans and ballet flats
- Everlane silk shirt

Tuesday - errands

- Witchery silk skirt
- Cotton on top
- Country Road ballet flats

Wednesday - casual for mothers group

- sass&bide jeans and tee
- Country Road ballet flats

Thursday - Gymbaroo! (and Evelyn-ised mirror heh)

- Cotton on pants
- sass&bide tee
- Country Road ballet flats

Friday - coffee with girlfriends

- Forever New skirt
- sass&bide tee
- Country Road sandals


Monday, February 17, 2014

colour the small one...

This kid, she is pure joy. Life with her is pretty amazing