Repeat After Me

Surviving Life, Love & Babies..

Summer Fun with Little Ones..

Don’t know about where you live, but here, when the sun comes out, everyone suddenly comes to life. Not sure what it is about a sunny day that fills people with motivation.. but anyway, with little kids, there are so many fun options when you can get out and about. Our Summer bucket list goes a little bit like this:

  1. Water play! This comes in all varieties at our place on a hot day – a blow-up pool full of plastic balls, a sprinkler to run through, a hose on the trampoline, a hose in the garden to make lovely mud, buckets and pouring cups, buckets and bubbles, washing the car, washing the windows (mum washes, kids spread water), a water slide made of plastic sheeting and bubble bath, and a sand and water table with water wheels and bridges. Nothing like getting wet on a hot day to make the kiddies smile!
  2. The beach. We walk, explore rock pools and shells, build sand castles and water ways for the waves to fill, chase waves and throw balls, draw in the sand with big sticks to make patterns or play hangman and tic tac toe.
  3. Local parks. We like to find and explore new parks and nature reserves in our area – there are so many! Just a different playground can inject more fun into a quick play stop.
  4. Rock Hunts. Paint rocks and hide them in local parks.  See if you can find rocks others have left. Start a rock collection and join a rock hunting page on Facebook to see who has found your rocks.
  5. RAK – random acts of kindness.  Leave little gifts for other kids in the neighborhood, bake cookies for an old lady on your street, make cards of appreciation for people who have helped you, or help out with chores that need doing. 
  6. Hidey holes. Pitch a tent, make a cubby out of sheets or boxes, put curtains around the trampoline, or build a real cubby house, for a shady place to play and read. 
  7. Arts and crafts. So many options! Painting, drawing, making stamps from recycled rubbish or potatoes, paper crafts, marbling, making collages, string crafts, .. the list is endless. 
  8. Baking. Green pancakes, decorated muffins and cakes, cut and iced biscuits, gingerbread men or houses, pastries or bread.. the kids love helping and making a mess!
  9. Bath fun.  When cleaning up, we still like to have fun – bubbles, bath toys and water pipes, shaving foam, glow sticks in the dark, bath paints and coloured water!
  10. Picnics. There is something fun about eating outside, whether it’s on the trampoline, on a blanket or in the back of the car on a windy day. 
  11. Nature walks. We like to explore different walks and tracks in our area..there are waterfalls and quarries, boardwalks and Bush tracks. We bring something home – a rock, stick, feather – to paint or make art with!
  12. Rides and races.  We get out all our wheeled things, including improvised ones, and race around the house. When that gets old, a ride to the local park works great. 
  13. Music! We have a collection of instruments that only come out some days (when mum can handle the racket) and also like to make our own with pots and pans, glasses filled with water, cans and tins as drums, and elastic bands around baking tins. There are also great music programs near us for kids which are on one day a week, so much fun and no cleanup!
  14. The library. Most city libraries have great kids sections these days, with toys and activities, and a reading day one a week for the kids. 
  15. Animals.  We have an animal park and a bird park near us, as well as a zoo not too far away. Or we have neighbours who sometimes drop their dog to us when they go away. Lots of fun for the kids.. and hopefully the dog, too!
  16. City events.  We are always on the lookout for fun things happening in our city. Movies in the park, night markets, morning markets, open days at playgroups, opening events and sausage sizzles, christmas parades and school fetes, international food days.. if it fits in with our schedule, we try to get out there! Sign up to a local events page on Facebook and get notified when things are on. 
  17. Kids cafes. Or kid friendly cafes. All cafes are not equal in this regard! Find ones with playgrounds and play areas so everyone can enjoy an outing with a friend!
  18. Garden fun. Give the kids a section of veggie patch to call their own, and grow seeds and plants from cuttings. Improvise a little hothouse, build a plant tower, or create a strawberry patch. Make bird feeders and bird scarers. Make garden decor – painted rocks, fancy plant name signs, or beautiful outdoor art!
  19. Tiki tours. We love jumping in the car and seeing where we end up. We are lucky to live in an amazing place with heaps of options nearby.. beautiful beaches galore, cute country towns to explore, a nearby tourist town with cultural activities and a gondola, lakes for swimming and fishing, and hot pools.. all within an hour’s drive from home. Pack some snacks and a pillow each. Throw in some car games and toys.  Stop for an ice-cream somewhere. 🙂 good times. Don’t forget the camera!
  20. Fun with friends! All of the above, but with friends or family to make things even more enjoyable! It only takes a little more planning to include others and intensify the fun. Take turns hosting in the yard or meet out there. And if mum is feeling brave, perhaps a sleepover;)

Rock Hunting!! The new craze getting us out and about!

Rock hunting is starting to go viral here in New Zealand ! Apparently it started in the States, but Kiwis catch on fast and we are taking it to a whole new level 🙂

The idea is that you and the kids get onto Facebook and join a rock hunting page, and find out which local parks and reserves near you are rock-hunting hot spots. Then grab a bunch of promising-looking rocks from round the garden, neighbours flowerbeds, or landscaping shops, and paint them up with beautiful creations. Monsters, glittery rainbows, animals or messages – let the kids go crazy painting whatever they can think up. 

Rocks can be painted with acrylic paint or nail polish, and sealed at the end with clear lacquer or watered-down craft glue that dries clear, to protect artworks from the elements. In permanent marker on the back, write your town name, and the name of the Facebook group you are in, so that when people find the rock, they can upload a picture, and you can see who found it, and where!

If that’s not fun enough, now the real fun begins! Grab a snack and head down to a local park for a rock hunt! Hunt high and low, round trees and buildings, fountains and fences, and find as many rocks as you can!! You might find 3 or 30, but it’s the fun of the hunt that counts! 🙂 

Collect your treasure of painted rocks together, take a photo of them all, and then choose a favorite rock to keep for your own rock collection at home. Then re-hide all the rocks so that others coming later in the day can find some treasure too!! Or you might want to re-hide half of them, and take some with you to hide at a different park today or tomorrow. It’s fun to see how far the rocks can travel – some have gone across the country and even to other countries!!

When you get home, don’t forget to upload the picture of your treasures, and say where you found them, so that other kids can see their rocks online and enjoy knowing their rocks made your day fun. You can also watch to see if anyone finds the beautiful rocks that you worked so hard on:) 

Such a great way to pass a Summer day. Kids all over NZ are getting out and about to the different parks in their area, and parents are loving that the latest craze is good, wholesome, and almost free, fun 🙂

The Magic of Exercise..

One key to me being able to lose weight is doing at least 5 lots of decent exercise in a week.  When I was slim, I found that only 3 good sessions was enough to maintain, but to lose, I have to exercise more days than not. I guess it makes sense, you have to be doing the right thing more often than not!

I also find, that when I’m really unmotivated to start losing again (Ie every time).. if I start by focusing on the exercise, the motivation to eat well will follow. Maybe not immediately, but if I’m consistent, it always follows. All I have to do to get back in the bandwagon, and what I’m focusing on this week, is getting my ass off the couch and out for a walk or a gardening session at least 5 times. The motivation will come: as I repeat it, I will feel more like doing my daily walk.  The intensity will come: as I repeat it, I will feel more like going faster and harder. I just need to get up, get out, and create the habit. 

So. Repeat after me: get off my ass and out to exercise at least 5 times this week!

Bring On 2017..

So. 2017 arrives, and with it, new motivation to do better, be better, get more right and less wrong, and make more progress on goals that are important to me.  

In light of the fact that I now have two beautiful kids, have been officially married for 10 years, am off teaching for another 2 years, and currently weigh over 100kgs, well, there are some pretty obvious goals I have in mind for this year. 

Be the best mum I can be – being a mum is the best and worst thing I have ever done, and it takes effort to manage myself and my kiddies on little sleep and sometimes little motivation. Keeping them healthy, learning and happy is really important.

Be the best wife I can be – hubby is a good man, two years into his own business and doing great, and could do with a little more appreciation from his busy wife. 

Losing weight – the old cliche new years resolution haha. But it’s here because I’m not having any more kiddies and so I don’t have any me excuses. Now that I’ve experienced the not-joy of giving myself insulin injections during my last pregnancy, I wish to avoid diabetes and need to get back to a healthy BMI. Like, yesterday. Ha.

Deepening friendships. I’m not sure if everyone struggles the way I do to find regular time for friends and family, but I need to do better at keeping in touch and making time for the people who are important to me.

Improving my spiritual walk. Sigh, this should be first, but I struggle to make the time. I’m sure that’s the trap, lol. I need to do a regular devotional and make more effort to get to church with the kiddies. I also need to start my day with God so I can be a bit more deliberate about facing things positively and well.

So. Repeat after me: there is nothing wrong with a new start. This year gives me yet another chance to refresh my goals and focus on what’s important.  Bring on 2017. I’m ready. 

Winning the Gestational Diabetes Lottery..

Soo. I am currently 35 weeks in my second pregnancy.. so we’ve only got about 5 weeks to go now, little girl due technically on the 24th of Nov, but am having some trouble with gestational diabetes, won the lotto on that one with 4% of the pregnant population, lucky me, so am having to be very good with my diet and things and inject myself with insulin etc.. not much fun. At first I really did think it was the end of the world, and had to go have a diabetes clinic appointment at the hospital where they told me I’d have to eat a low carb, low sugar diet, and prick my finger to test my blood glucose levels 6 times per day till they knew how bad things were. Wasn’t very happy at the end of that appointment.

So i dutifully went home, ate salad and veggies, and pricked my fingers, only to see some unwelcome patterns in my bloods that basically included high fasting glucose levels (First thing in the morning, your blood sugars should be low, but mine were consistently over the limits set by the powers that be, even though all I was doing was sleep.) So.. joy.. the lovely ladies at the clinic told me that there was nothing i could do about overnight levels – pregnant bodies make most of their preggie hormones at night, and my body just wasn’t coping with the pregnancy. So i had to start insulin shots. I know, I’m a big wuss, but when they showed me how to inject myself there were plenty of tears – I hate needles! – and over the next few days I took deep breaths and steeled myself to push that damned needle in, but slowly the fear wore off, and now I do my shots like a good girl each night.

I think mainly it was the hump of having to do it at all! I just wanted to sit on the couch like a sloth and eat cake and get fat like so many other pregnant women, and eating rabbit food and injecting myself on a nightly basis didn’t exactly feature in my slovenly plans.

I’m also really hoping that I don’t end up with Type 2 as a parting gift from this pregnancy, but there’s about a 50/50 chance I’ll get it (if I don’t simply continue to have it after the birth) within a few years with my risk factors and all (being an older mum, being technically obese, and having Diabetes in the family) so lucky me! NOT feeling happy about that part! I have to lose significant weight right after the birth to lower the chances. I know, it’s technically a good thing, but I’m well aware how hard that will be since I put on 10kgs after my son was born.. Cos you know, sleeplessness and breastfeeding (provided i can this time) aren’t enough to deal with on their own… Anyhow.

It may also mean that I get induced early to keep little girl out of danger – I’ve got a raft of medical appointments on the 4th of Nov to decide if they are going to get her out early or not. So we shall see. One way or another as long as we both get through it, I guess it’s not the end of the world, but i was kinda hoping to have a natural birth like last time.. and the more they interfere the more likely I’ll just end up getting her c’d out. so that sucks, but i guess it’s too early to stress about that yet. The joys!! But if there is anyone else out there who has just been diagnosed with GD and is freaking out as much as I did, take heart, in a month or so you’ll be feeling a lot more comfortable with things again. It doesn’t have to ruin your enjoyment of your pregnancy and it IS something that you can deal with. I’m a huge wuss and I am managing. So take heart xx And I guess we do this one step at a time 🙂20161015_094728

Christmas Kilos… and a few more..

Right. Got home from a month in Perth with the family over the summer break, and brought a few new friends home with me, namely, 3 extra kgs. Boo.

So first week home I went hard and did a soup diet as a kick-start. Did well too.. proud of myself, lost 2 kgs… buuuuuut…. died in the ass. damn it. slowly I see myself opening the fridge more and picking at this and that more… joy.. I feel like I need to do the soup diet till my bad habits are gone, but I have a bad feeling that they just lie in wait. they hang out for me to have my first taste of cake and then run riot. They sit on the sidelines till I put a sneaky sugar in my tea when out, and then they jump up and down every time I make a cup of tea at home. They hide behind the goodies on the hidden shelf till I look there in quiet desperation, and then once I’ve been weak once, they call my name constantly till all the good goodies are gone. Boo.

I thought losing weight was hard when I was 25 and had no kids. Add 10 years and a ten month old baby who doesn’t sleep – cue total lack of motivation and sad, sad sodden willpower. My will is like a wet cabbage. lol. No iron here. sigh.

How can I get my weight loss mojo back? How can I get motivated when I’m not at all? I have to, for my own sake. I said I’d never weigh 100kgs again, and yet here I am staring down 102 and feeling like a fat fatty boombah. Ho hum.

I guess I better make soup tomorrow!! 🙂



Anything but controlled crying.

OMG. Currently trying to stay sane and not leap to the rescue of my cute little cuddly boy as he stands at the end of his cot closest to the door, screaming his guts out. I feel like SUCH a bitch. But it’s been such a long time coming. He’s 10 months in 3 days, and he’s been waking us up 4-8 times per night since the day he was born. He’s 11.25 kgs, so he’s a porker, he doesn’t eat much on the night feeds, and he just LOVES a cuddle. But mummy and daddy need some consistent sleep again.

SOOOO many people have looked at me like I’m insane when I say I still get up to him umpteen times per night. I get flat-out disapproval when I admit I’m still feeding him twice (I get 3-4 hours sleep after a feed, whereas I get him waking every hour without them). And I constantly have (well-meaning, I guess, but it doesn’t often feel like it) pushy family members going, ‘ he should be sleeping through the night, you’re just pandering to him. Let him cry and he’ll get the idea.’

WELL – here I am bossy bootses – listening to my little man scream.. we’re going on 15 mins right now. Whole-hearted screaming. This better freaking work or I’m going to punch the next person who tells me to let him scream. Ok, maybe not punch, but certainly tell them to shove their advice. The only thing making me stay in this seat is knowing that others have done it and succeeded, or else so many people wouldn’t give this advice. Right?? It’s got to be worth it in the end. It better be. This sucks.

I’ve been doing it during the day leading up to this joyous night. He takes anywhere between 10 mins to 1.45 hours to calm down and finally lie down and go to sleep. He’s not used to it, and this is his first time in the dark. Sigh. feeling horrible. 25 mins and counting. Looong way to go yet…

The Endless Questions of Parenthood.

The biggest thing parents DON’T bother to tell prospective parents is how mind-numbingly endlessly confusing being a parent is. I’d kill for a week off. Not literally of course; that would make me a psycho. But man – a week in Raro, umbrella drink in hand and my biggest worry how sunburnt my lilly-white ass is getting – that is my idea of heaven right now.

My son has just popped through his first little teeth. Happy joy, right? NO. No happy. No joy.

This last week has been back-to-back whining, crying, refusing food, refusing his favourite boobs, not happy when jumping with Daddy, not happy when rolling about on the floor, momentarily happy on the back lawn (if only the sun would bloody come out a little more!!), winging till he’s got mum AND dad’s full attention but not knowing what to do with it once he’s procured it, waking up at all hours of the day and night, 1.5 hour naps suddenly turning into 35 min ones.. sigh.

And that’s without all the questions. MY GOSH. THE ENDLESS QUESTIONS.

Is he pooping too much? Too little? Is his head too hot? Too cold? Too red? What is that red mark? Why won’t those rough patches go away? Shall we go to the doctor again for a better cream, or wait and see? Are those spots? Shall I google Measles and see? Have you given him a bath? Is every second day too long between? Does that create or ruin the routine? Why does he cry so much when he gets dressed? Do babies prefer to be naked? Will he get cold if I leave him naked for longer than 3 minutes? How long do you have to do nappy-free time for? Are those pants too tight for him tummy? Does he have a poop in his pants? Did I just put him to bed without changing his nappy? Does that make me a mean parent? Why is he crying like that? Should I pick him up? Should I leave him in the cot? Should I just rock him to sleep so we can all have a moment’s rest? Can he see the TV from there? Is that going to numb his brain cells? Is the screaming on the movie going to give him bad dreams? Can he sleep with that racket on in the background? Is it better to turn the white noise up or let him hear some household noise? Will it help him sleep longer? Am I overusing it? Why did he only sleep for 20 minutes then? Should I put him in the portacot now and then to help him sleep somewhere else? Should we just put him on a big bed and let him sleep there when we’re out? Should we even go out at bedtime or is it better to stick to the routine? What if he doesn’t sleep there at all and ruins the evening? Is it better to stay at home and bring people here? What shall I cook – can he eat it too? Should I be making sure he eats some green vegetables? Will he turn orange from all the carrots and pumpkin? Should I be making my own and freezing it? Do we need a bigger freezer? Should I be spoon-feeding or letting him mash it with his hands and make a huge mess? What if he takes a big mouthful and chokes on it? Should I just let daddy be in charge of eating? What about messy play? Am I a bad mum if I haven’t let him coat himself in avocado, ever? Am I too worried about the mess? Will he really not learn as much if I don’t let him get it all over him? What about learning rules though? Are the days of, ‘don’t play with your food’ all over now, are they? What about the wastage and the children in Africa? Should he sit in his chair only to eat? But what about if he’s just chewing on something? Will these rusks dry like concrete on my floor? What about if I’m out and can’t heat up his normal food? Will people give me dirty looks if he cries in the cafe? What if I can’t fit the pram into the cafe? Will I have to hold him the whole time? Should I be wearing him anyway? What if sitting in the pram all day is giving him abandonment issues? What about at home? Am I leaving him to play too long on his own? Should I be offering more interesting toys and activities? Should I look on Pinterest for more ideas again? What if he doesn’t learn to entertain himself and becomes one of those annoying kids who says, ‘I’m bored’ all day long? Shall I leave him longer when he winges? Will he lose trust in me if he cries too long?question mark

Just saying.

Plan for Today. I can do this.

SO I’ve had my first week of being serious again, and I’ve made a start – did x5 exercise which is the best effort for months, but need to really get serious about sticking to my calories. After months and months of giving in to every whim and fancy (and cake and biscuit and chocolate square) – I’m finding it quite hard to be disciplined. I’m counting my points up late in the day and finding ‘m already waay too close to the line, and then it blows out. Hmm.

I’m seriously going to have to plan ahead more if I’m going to get anywhere.


Tomorrow’s plan.

BREAKY: Eggs and avocado for breaky, 1 toast.

SNACK: 2 peanut butter balls and a cup of tea for snack

LUNCH: Tuna, Sweet Potato and Salad

SNACK: Homemade low cal muffin, spirulina smoothie.

TEA: Schnitzel and Veggies. Strawberries & yoghurt for dessert. Chai tea later on.

Right. I’ve put it out there for all the world to see, so now I’m going to have to stick to it. AND do a walk or exercise DVD. AND drink my 4 huge glasses of water (8cups).. AND stay sane enough to deal with my darling son who has decided to teeth and get a rash. Joy. I can do it, right?

Goodo – have a good day, all J

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