Sickness & Parenting

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 8.17.42 amScreen Shot 2017-05-08 at 8.17.48 amScreen Shot 2017-05-08 at 8.17.55 amScreen Shot 2017-05-08 at 8.18.01 amYesterday was monumental for two reasons.  The first was due to the fact that Wesley and I had both begun to feel well again after a harrowing few days of vomiting, sleepless nights and terrible slippery bowels.  Being on my own made this very very challenging.  Whilst I was vomiting, I also tended to Wesley.

Despite the hardship, we survived with a little help!

Mike’s currently working in Western Australia, so we are managing on our own.¬†¬†His mum was a huge help and took our wee man for a night so I could recover. ¬†His cousin Sarah also came over for a few hours after the worst of it to help me have a nap. ¬†I am so grateful for their help, it was like having superhero’s come and save the day (especially with the risk of catching it themselves). ¬†It got all a bit much at one point after I’d been vomiting all night… thankfully they live so near and were able to help.

So we put on some music yesterday afternoon and danced to celebrate feeling well. ¬†I don’t think there is anything more liberating than feeling your body become so suddenly unwell, and then well again.

This brings us to moment number two.

Wesley, surprised me.

He took his first steps in the midst of dancing!  

He’s 11 months old this week and I had literally just finished saying to my sister Victoria that he might be a few weeks away from walking. ¬†It was such a special moment. ¬†I was truly so lucky to be taking photos of him dancing when it happened. ¬†These are the first steps to independence… ¬†It’s bittersweet Mike is missing this but soon he will be home with us again. ¬†I can’t wait for him to see all the new things Wesley is learning!

Right, now I’d love to know… Have you had to parent whilst sick and what was the worst of it for you? ¬†What’s your horror story?

Plunket Coffee Group Creates Social Wellbeing

Giselle and Lucas 8Giselle and Lucas 3Georgia and Theo 2Georgia and Theo 4Teina and Cleo 2Teina and Cleo 4

We are swiftly approaching Wesley’s first birthday. ¬†Looking at this past year, I know I wouldn’t have felt so secure and sure of myself as a new mother without the weekly get togethers with our coffee group mums. ¬†There are 7 of us who regularly meet and enjoy watching our kids frolic, whilst we chat and catch up on what’s been happening in our little worlds.

This was all made possible by Plunket.  If you are a new mum looking to create a bit of social activities you should get in touch they are so helpful!

The early months, I’ll be honest, I was so nervous to go to these gatherings that I sometimes had to remind myself that Wesley needed social time too. ¬†Being exhausted and worrying about fitting in, made the first little while scary but ultimately I became very comfortable and looked forward to meeting the women each week. ¬†In fact I would attribute a huge change in my social skills to joining this group. ¬†Previous to having Wesley, I would sometimes bail on plans for the worry of not fitting in, or being nervous about talking to new people…feeling I had nothing important to say. ¬†This has totally changed since I’ve been getting together with the Plunket Coffee Group.

It was so good to laugh, enjoy the horror stories, ask questions and just see where our little kids were at and how they interacted with each other. ¬†Had it not been for this group, I wouldn’t have had much of a social life and it’s been the greatest thing we have done for our little family.

Wesley has become very social and loves to spend time with his friends and it’s truly wonderful watching him interact with other little people his age. ¬†These groups are structured so that your little one will be playing with other babies their age, between 0-12 months or 12-24 months.

Social wellbeing and support as a new mum is so important.  I am living in a new country far removed from my immediate family, and close friends back in Canada.  I found there was a void that needed filling as we settled into New Zealand just prior to Wesley being born.  That sense of connectedness was created quite quickly and helped me to maintain a good sense of self worth.  Simply being around other mums who were experiencing the same challenges and triumphs helped boost my mood and encouraged me through the harder days.  Our weekly meetings have been invaluable.

Yesterday I invited the ladies and their little ones to a photoshoot to capture some moments as a thank you of sorts. ¬†While I wrote a little bit about how grateful I am to them on Instagram – I wanted to elaborate here. ¬†I truly do love the sense of normalcy and ease that came about from us connecting to one another. ¬†These photos are a thank you to them…a gift in return for so many months of positive interactions and moral support. ¬†We all believe in each other and that’s one of the best gifts I think a new mum can receive. ¬†In the coming weeks we will all be celebrating some of our first Mother’s Days and I hope you all know how dear you are to us.

Maree & Blake

Giselle & Lucas

Teina & Cleo

Amber-Lee & Te Ahorangi

Georgia & Theo

Tyla & Dixie

Thank you all for being such amazing women and friends to Wesley, myself and Mike.

If you live in Palmerston North and are looking to connect with other new mums and are a bit unsure where to start, you should definitely give Plunket a call or check out their page on Facebook.

There is also a great free program hosted by the Palmerston North Public Library called “Baby Bop” which is at 10.00am each Thursday morning. ¬†Kids sing songs, dance and interact with their parents guidance and there is plenty for the kids to run and be silly.¬† You’ll be seeing us there!

Manitoba & A New Slightly Altered Dad

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.49.31 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.48.42 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.46.58 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.47.41 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.47.54 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.48.02 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.48.15 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.48.28 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.48.55 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.49.18 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.49.44 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.49.56 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.50.10 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.50.25 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.50.38 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.51.32 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.51.51 amScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.52.08 amWell, sitting here in our living room it feels surreal that we were just in Manitoba, Canada for 10 days. ¬†Wesley and I flew over to spend time with my dad who’d just survived a harrowing ordeal which involved a complicated emergency surgery. ¬†Frankly we were expecting him to be in serious shape when we boarded the plane. ¬†The dad that we encountered was walking, eating and generally moving about without too many issues.

His recovery was to put it simply… Amazing. ¬†

Our trip was initially meant to be much longer – but travelling solo with Wesley and trying our best not to get in the way…it became clear early on that we wouldn’t stay longer than we were needed. ¬†So 10 days it was. ¬†My sister and her husband Jordan were our hosts along with the two dogs Odie and Maggie. ¬†Dad was driving himself by his second day and it was really nice to know he’d be basically independent.

The weather at first was quite a shock.  We arrived to -16 degree weather, though over the course of a few days spring took hold and began to thaw the snow and ice.  The dogs were a huge source of entertainment for Wesley which was awesome Рwe were inside quite a bit of the time.

We’d never been to this area of Manitoba before, and in all honesty – I felt like such a tourist! ¬†There were little details I was noticing that the younger me wouldn’t have really paid attention to. ¬†The plants, cats tails, a red squirrel, the geese flying in for spring and the grass turning from brown to green in only a few short days. ¬†We stayed in a trailer at Ron and Madelines property, which was great to escape and sleep in peace and quiet whilst listening to the geese fly overhead. ¬†The property has a very large oak forest which we also had the pleasure of tramping through a few times. ¬†I can only imagine how much more beautiful it is in the summer with the leaves and greenery.

One of the day’s Wesley and I joined Ron (Liz’s boss) and he took us out to do some bird watching. ¬†We spotted 2 eagles and several different species of hawk. ¬†He also took us into a Hutterite colony and we got an up close and personal view of what it’s like inside these exclusive communities. ¬†I might write more about that at a later time. ¬†I did refrain from taking photos – out of respect. ¬†I didn’t want them thinking we were there to gawk.

Agriculture and mass farming is hugely popular in the region.  We were staying in a little town called St. Pierre Jolys which has quite a french influence.  Most of the accents in the region had a slight french style to them which is unusual to find outside of Quebec.

My twin sister also made it down for a day en-route to Alberta to spend some time with the family and meet Wesley for the first time.  Here he was lunging in for a bite.  She was excellent with him, and gave me a bit of a break to shower and was super helpful.

He picked up a few interesting skills whilst we were there including: biting me when he wanted food, eating dog food (almost daily) and throwing a ball for the energetic and friendly Odie. ¬†Thankfully on the way home Wesley stopped the biting. ¬†I’ve a large bruise on my left are from one good chomp he gave me…and refused to release the skin from his teeth.

I drove on the right hand side of the road, which at first was kind of a dangerous transition. ¬†After a day I was ok… but I did blame it on the epic lack of sleep and jet lag.

We ate poutine a couple of times (it was so goooooood) and also brought back some moccasins to keep my toes warm this winter.  They are sheepskin lined and are like heaven on my feet.

All in all it was a successful trip. ¬†We survived the journey to and from (thankfully Wesley is a people person – he made so many friends during each leg of the trip) and it was fairly easy going to and from…lots of games and singing and horsing around on my part to keep wee man entertained. ¬†Travelling with a little baby is daunting, but at the same time it made it alot more fun than usual. ¬†I probably wont be putting my hand up again for that any time soon – but it is nice to know that Wesley loves the planes and is stimulated by all the people. ¬†He was adorable.

Coming home to New Zealand – it was so beautiful to see the green and even though it’s raining and a little chilly we’re sooo pleased to stretch our legs and settle into our little life here again. ¬†Mike had flowers waiting and firewood stacked along the front of our home. ¬†Such a wonderful welcome!

But… I’ll warn you all now. ¬†We have news. ¬†It involves…relocation. ¬†To another country…

Can you guess where we are headed?

I’ll reveal this to you shortly!

Take care all and be well

x

Holly

The Cresswell & Hall Gathering

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-03-59-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-01-29-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-01-47-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-05-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-03-08-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-15-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-48-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-04-15-pmLast night we spent time at Wesley’s great grandma Isabelle’s house. ¬†She regularly hosts the whole family for special occasions, where we all tuck in and enjoy a potluck meal together. ¬†Whether it’s sending a cousin off on a new adventure or welcoming overseas family – we’ve been enjoying these gatherings the past year.

We were all brought together to welcome Mike’s sister Stacey and her partner Dan, from Melbourne.

The house was full to the brim with plenty of laughing children, Aunt’s, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents and one Great Grandma… it was beautiful. ¬†Being so far from my own family, it really helped to lift my heart.

Mr. Giggles

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Mr Giggles.

This little giggly one is now near 6 months old. ¬†He finds plenty of amusement in the silliest of things. ¬†He’s curious and is constantly trying to work things out… like his jolly jumper. ¬†I’ve caught him a few times looking up at the main spring and trying to wrap his mind around how he gets the bounce in it and nothing else.

He has a really enthusiastic deep hearty laugh, that I don’t think we will ever tire of hearing it… Some nights before bed I play videos and Mike and I relive the little victories we’ve had getting to this point. ¬†He’s gotten so big. ¬†He’s now over 20 pounds!

Garden Update:

We’ve been harvesting (and eating) loads of kale, spinach, rocket, watercress and multi-coloured frilly lettuce. ¬†The little caterpillars are growing on our swan plants and just about everything we’ve planted has taken root and is growing really well (apart from our eggplant – can’t figure out what’s up with them!).

The sheep have grown just as quickly as Wesley…they are so plump now!