3rd Birthday 12 Questions

11 Feb

Each year on her birthday I am asking Zadie these 12 questions. So far it’s fascinating that many are the same as her 2nd birthday answers last year! Despite an unexpected tropical down pour in the middle of summer the 3rd birthday was a success. People seemed to come and go all afternoon in the end we had 27 kids racing around indoors at the grandparents house. Highlights included; pass the parcel and a Plants Vs Zombies cake made by her father and I.

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3rd Birthday 12 Questions

1. What is your favorite colour? Blue & Purple (Snap)
2. What is your favorite tv program? My lil Ponies (1980s version)… Dora… no Diego
3. What is your favorite fruit? Oranges (weird she never eats them but demolishes bananas, apples and kiwifruit?)
4. What is your favorite movie? Ice Age the one with the evil monkey (Ice Age 4)
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Fruit
6. What is your favorite animal? Giraffe (This was a surprise, I thought it would be a monkey, dinosaur or pony).
7. What is your favorite snack? Crackers. (Snap)
8. What is your favorite book? Humpty Dumpty… noooo…. Green Eggs and Ham…. nooooooooo…. I got a Cha Cha Chimp book.
9. Who is your best friend? Maja and Luca is my best friend too and yeah and Finn. (Well Daisy, Lize and I have probably engineered these friendships since birth.
10. What is your favorite song? Favourite Dad Song (aka 1985 by Bowling for Soup, probably not appropriate as it is about a frustrated housewife).
11. What’s your favorite toy? Sophie the Girraffe (not her toy but her baby sisters, interesting…)
12. What do you want to be when you grown up? Umm, umm, ummmm doing a puzzel, umm Sophie the Giraffe, I’d like to be a teacher and can be a fireman too and and and and I can be a Doctor to Ripley (her baby sister) cause cause cause she has a sore tummy.

Happy Birthday Zadie

Love your mum x o x

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Do Bloggers Recieve Maternity Leave?

14 Dec
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TOUCH DOWN… Daisy has landed in New Zealand

We’ve been so busy raising girls, making babies and shifting countries that we did it again…

Yes, ahem, yup, woops, this is the second time we have forgotten to celebrate our blogs birthday of our very first entry on the 9th November 2011.  We are still learning How To Be A Two Year Old and experiencing epic journeys.

We would like to thank all our  loyal readers who shared our informative piece on co-sleeping.  Not This Again  had over 12,000 views  a 24 hour period – WHOAR!  We felt it was really important to continue voicing that co-sleeping is a healthy and natural way of sleeping with  tiny, new human beings.

So what else have we been up to? Daisy finally overcame her intense morning sickness or NVP. Meantime Zelda tried to raise awareness for mothers who suffer from serious Postnatal Depression. In honour of The Fearless Formula Feeder, we took part in the I Support You Movement. We’ve also delighted in the many guest posts especially Steph’s Christmas Challenges – how did you get along? Did you empty those bathroom cabinets? They were gross weren’t they? Feel better now?

So as you can see we have been flat out with work and ever expanding families, we have decided to end our mummy blogging guilt and take some well earned maternity leave. What do you think? Should bloggers receive maternity leave? How would that even work? We aren’t sure either, all we know is that we need some quality family time, so lets turn of our computers and enjoy that harsh blinding New Zealand sunshine.

If you miss us we will try and keep our facebook active with interesting and inspiring stuff. Please swing by and don’t be shy.

Merry Christmas!

Daisy and Zelda

X O X

Breast and Bubbles

PS Yes that is a breastfeeding shot – why? Because breastfeeding should be celebrated. Want more information on breastfeeding and alcohol check out Evolutionary Parenting.

100 days to Xmas challenge: Day 57!

13 Nov

Shameful apologies for the belatedness of this one! I take FULL responsibility. -Daisy

***

Yes, here we are at day 57, meaning there are 43 whole days until Christmas! This week all your three mini challenges are fun, easy and guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit.

LADIES’ NIGHT

Send out a message to your awesome pals who have gotten you through the year, and invite them over or out for a Xmas drink! You could even make it a ‘crafternoon tea’, at which you do some Xmas baking together, or make a few Xmas ornaments. I went to one at a friend’s one year and we all had to bring a $5 gift for each attendee. It was great: I got a magazine, a jar of kiwifruit jam, a homemade ornament, some coffee sachets, fudge and a bath-bomb! Lots of places do two-for-one specials. I know this time of year is crazy, and sometimes it seems like an effort to head out, but trust me, a few hours with your besties are so much fun, and buoy you up for the next few weeks. Get a date in the calendar now!

Mmmm... like this but with crafts!!

Mmmm… like this but with crafts!!

HOLIDAY FEVER

Work out what you are doing for the holidays. Everyone hopefully has a few days between Xmas and new year for relaxing! You don’t need to spend a fortune, or even actually go away. A recent issue of Your Home and Garden had a fabulous article about having a ‘stay-cation’ at your house. Heaps of great ideas, like having every meal outside, not doing any housework or jobs, BBQing all your meals and having them on paper plates, and even being a tourist in your own city, and doing a few of the things you always mean to check out but never do. My aim this year is to have coffee at three new cafes and check out a new walkway in the Wellington region. I’m also going to go to the Weta Cave, as I never have.

De Luxe cafe, Kent Terrace, Wellington. (A-MAZE-ing cupcakes.)

De Luxe cafe, Kent Terrace, Wellington. (A-MAZE-ing cupcakes.) Image: www.onewaynewzealand.com

INVENT A NEW TRADITION

Or ask your friends and family about ones that they have loved over the years, and think about what would suit your family. One I love is having my niece and nephew over on Xmas eve to open one gift from us. As a kid I loved the vigil mass, and all the carols and singing with mince pies. These little traditions are what makes Christmas so much fun. I know it’s really hard when the in-laws’ ideas don’t match up to your own. I had to laugh once when I was getting my eyebrows done, and my beauty therapist was telling me all about her boyfriend’s family, and how ‘they just do Christmas wrong!’ I heard what she was saying, but there is no right or wrong with these things. A good attitude goes a long way, and controlling what you can and letting the rest go helps too.

Merry (almost ) Christmas everyone!

Steph

The Arctocephalus model for surviving NVP

6 Nov

So, I’ve got a big not-so-revelatory revelation (in real life I blurted out this news ages ago, way before you’re supposed to …)

I am up the duff again!

Yep, I’m five months pregnant: we are expecting another little girl in late February. Hence the recent tagline change. Turns out neither Zelda nor I can help breeding girls … so we decided we may as well celebrate it, and commandeer the biological facts to reinforce the focus for this site that we’re most passionate about – the issues that matter the most to women here and now, and the ways in which we can make the world a better place for our daughters.

Hence also the considerable lack of activity on Daisy and Zelda on my part. I was totally hit for six by this pregnancy up until very recently – I’ve only just started to feel like I can handle life – at all – again.

So I thought that for the benefit of others out there, I might write my own little personal guide for getting through the hell that early pregnancy can be.

I am not going to use the phrase ‘morning sickness’ here, because to tell you the truth the term pisses me off a bit – it seems to me to belong in the Victorian era alongside diagnoses such as ‘female hysteria‘ or an ‘attack of the vapours’. Something that happens to upper class leh-dehs who are ‘in a delicate situation’ in the hour just before the maid brings in the morning tea tray – nothing a few smelling salts won’t fix.

fainting

‘Where the f*** are my smelling salts?’

No. NO.

It’s old news to most women who’ve been through pregnancy, unlike the researchers from this study, that the grottiness of early pregnancy can and usually does strike at any (and/or every) hour of the day: ’75 percent of women with moderate-to-severe symptoms indicated that their general enjoyment of pregnancy was compromised.’

A more accurate term for the affliction that compromised my ‘general enjoyment’ of early pregnancy is nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, or NVP. I’m going to use that term.

So here is my definitive lifestyle guide to surviving NVP.

Sisters, colleagues: my overarching principle is this. Take this magnificent creature as your role model – your totem – your spirit guide. This is your new persona – this is what you’ll be aspiring to. Naturally, indulgently, unapologetically. This is you:

Galapagos fur seal

Arctocephalus galapagoensis: the Galapagos fur seal

Here’s the thing: you will not feel like moving around a lot. You will probably be most comfortable horizontal, on your back or your tummy or your side (at the very most, tentatively heaving yourself up onto your front flippers). The most important, crucial thing is that you acknowledge your body’s need to be in that position and heed it – for long hours at a time. As long as you feel the need. As long as you can bargain for with your significant other or (good luck – I know this is much harder) with your existing offspring, and then an extra 10 minutes (and by 10 minutes, I mean 20) after that.

You will probably feel constantly exhausted. The smallest tasks (showering, toileting, reading your two-year-old Hairy Maclary) will feel like a workout and a half.

So don’t push it! Like the seal, be gracefully indolent. Lie in the sun.

Lie in a family group.

Fur seal group

Or lie alone.

Lie down with a gripping, very long book. Or Facebook on your phone. Or your tax returns, if that’s the sort of thing you can’t escape. But don’t – DON’T – feel bad about lying down. Like Arctocephalus gazella, be elegantly, fantastically, luxuriously lazy.

If anyone feels like arguing with you about it, go like this at them:

Seal roar

Schedule non-activity. By that I mean, give yourself the time: in your calendar, write things like: ’3.30pm-6pm: lie down’. This is something you NEED to do, just as much, if not more so, as ‘Clean bedroom windows’ or ‘Schedule appointment with accountant’ or ‘Prune apricot tree’, or anything else on your to-do list.

Eating

Seal eating

My thoughts boil down to this: eat absolutely instinctively. Researching this online, you’ll find a lot of sites telling you what sort of foods you should eat – crackers, dry foods, plain foods. In the two days I spent following such advice, I quickly learnt to loathe crackers with a passion that I think shall never, ever leave me. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best you can do is to listen to your body, and eat whatever it lets you eat without feeling like puking. Chances are that will be a very small range of things – for me it pretty much came down to salted boiled potatoes and fresh fruit. Reasonably recent research (again from the makes-so-much-sense-you-wonder-why-they-bothered genre of scientific study) suggests that NVP can be looked at from an evolutionary perspective as the body’s way of ensuring that you don’t eat anything that introduces a risk of making your new little life unwell: for humans in the ancestral environment that largely meant meat and dairy, through which nasty things could easily be introduced to the body. This idea also explains sensory aversions to caffeine and alcohol in those early days.

Eat like the seal – biologically, evolutionarily – the stuff that your species is designed to eat. Nuts, berries, fruits, clean fresh water: chances are that you’ll find it’s what your body is telling you to eat anyway.

The aesthetics
You feel bloated. You’re starting to look a bit thicker around the middle than you normally do. You’re not big enough for maternity clothes yet, but your normal clothes make you feel a bit gross around the waist, and give you PUC. So you’ve got a challenge on your hands. In these weeks, baggy tops and leggings are your friends. Any dresses that aren’t too tailored; button-down shirts that go beyond waist-length; Tshirts ditto. Stretchy things. Any clothes a size bigger than what you usually wear will be starting to feel really good.

BUT if you don’t feel up to the challenge, wear the same pyjamas eight days in a row, and refuse to give a crap. Even when they get smelly.

If your partner ever dares to make rude jokes or comments about how you choose to dress at this time, do this to him/her:

two seals

Accept help

Don’t feel bad about enlisting help – at work, around the house, with kids; wherever you need it. This will inevitably involve a renegotiation of responsibilities between you and your partner. Again, prioritise your body’s need to look after itself; refuse to feel guilt at making sure that becomes the whole household‘s guiding principle – not just yours. If all you can face cooking is a pot of plain pasta, then that’s what’s on the menu tonight for the family – unless they’re willing to take on the task themselves. And if they are, and then they make a big disgusting mass of butter chicken and the smell of those spices makes you feel like projectile vomiting, request – and expect – plain pasta just for you on the side.

Get in-laws to look after kids (chances are they would love to), and relax your stance on their tendency to spoonfeed them refined sugar or bestow hideously gendered toys upon them. Take as many sick days from work as you can get away with – now is not the time for career angst anyway. Lower your standards for housework – no matter how low they are now, you know if you’ve been there before that they will only get lower when that baby arrives. (Measure yourself against THAT, if you must measure.) For myself, I’ve long since realised that my standards of cleanliness are the highest of the three people in my household – it was reassuring to me to reflect that most of the time, I was probably the only one worrying about that scum slowly, sloooowly building up in the bathtub over the weeks it wasn’t cleaned.

Enjoy the new you
Irregular skin tone, tired eyes, unplucked facial hair. Roll with it, sister. You’re gorgeous.

ginger seal

Moan

As in labour and certain yoga exercises, making sound can help you through discomfort, pain or even a bit of psychological despair. I’m no expert in yoga mantras. I’ve never given ‘Om’ a test drive, for example. But in my personal experience, certain four-letter words can be very effective moaned out over a very long exhalation – even if you’re by yourself in bed at 2.15pm and the moan is because you’ve just been to the toilet for the third time today to unsuccessfully retch into the bowl.

Make life easier for yourself, shamelessly

Put cushions and a rug down next to the toilet, if you find yourself hanging out there a lot. Move your office to your bed – one of those little breakfast-in-bed trays that stands on legs is excellent.

Put a plastic stool in the shower, if you’re finding you just want to sit down once you’ve made all that effort to haul yourself in there. Shift the fridge closer to your sleeping quarters.

Watch TV

Watch a loooot of TV. TV is the best. Brilliantly, TV gives you the opportunity to snuggle into whatever position your ravaged body feels most comfortable in, while providing your mind something to distract itself from any remaining discomfort that you’re otherwise unable to ignore. Watch Firefly. Watch Mad Men. True Blood before it started getting crappy. Californication. Gilmore Girls – all the bazillion hours of it you can find. A Peppa Pig marathon with your toddler – there are worse ways to spend an afternoon.

Bottom line

As I hope I’ve made clear, I really feel that the bottom line in a successful approach to NVP is looking out for number one at all costs. It’s something that doesn’t always come easily to us – especially, it doesn’t come easy to women who are already mothers, and have thus already trained their bodies and their minds absolutely to always put someone else first. But then the paradox of NVP is that in putting yourself first, you are also doing that very thing – you’re looking after this new little life. In looking after yourself, you’re looking after both you. It’s healthy, and crucial, and beautiful, and right to do so.

And there is an end point. Yep, that old cliche – not always the most helpful to hear, I know. In the throes of my NVP, I obsessed over the horrific idea that I’d be one of those women who suffered throughout the whole pregnancy. As the disgustingness stretched on past week 12 and into the fourth and fifth months, I exhaustively researched stories of pregnancy-long nausea, and tried to figure out whether it was statistically likely in my case. Well (although at the time I pessimistically refused to believe it), as a result of that, I can tell you that it is NOT likely – most women get through NVP long before they give birth.

Inside that marvellously roly-poly, perfectly indolent, seal – anciently beautiful as she is and all – I can reassure you that the old you exists, just waiting to emerge. She WILL rise again.

And then, one day, before you know it …

Peace, love, health

Daisy

100 days to Xmas challenge: Day 64 …

5 Nov

Dearest readers,

I must apologise for last weeks’s silence – I went on holiday: no computer, no phone … bliss! I had good intentions of writing when I got home, but work kinda blew up, we all got a cold, and it just didn’t happen.

Feeling good though: I’m about half way through my Xmas shopping, my Christmas plans are sorted, and the front garden, which we’ve been meaning to do forever, is complete!!!

Just the Ticket Christmas gift tags from felt.co.nz

Just the Ticket Christmas gift tags from felt.co.nz

Your challenges this week, should you choose to accept them, again should only take 30-45 minutes each once you get stuck in. Do as much or as little as you want!

1. SUMMER LOVING. Give your summer stuff some love. No point attempting to crank the BBQ Xmas day only to find last year’s remnants mouldily clinging to the grill! This has happened to me! Clean down all the summer deck chairs … umbrella, boogie boards etc. Throw out anything old, damaged or broken. Wash the summer towels. Check last year’s sunscreen to see if it’s expired. See if you fit your togs, and the kids too. If they don’t and anyone asks what they can get the kids for Xmas, there’s the answer.

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Baby wetsuits. BABY. WETSUITS!

For your new togs, see my next point. Pack down your winter clothes, flannelette sheets, heavy blanket, and electric blankets. Switch out the winter wardrobe for summer stuff. Put fresh summer sheets on the bed – and bring in a vase of new flowers (i just raided my Mum’s garden! Talk nicely to any handy gardeners in your street and see if they will share … you can offer some home baking or lemons etc if you have a surplus :)

2. TREAT YOURSELF to some new summer sandals … and all those pedicures you’ve been giving yourself can now be shown off. Or go one better: book hubby or a pal to look after the kidlets and hit the mall for late-night shopping and a pedicure. You’ll smash your Xmas shopping, and as a bonus have some child-free time out for meeting a girlfriend, your mum or sister, and having coffee and cake.

Snazzy summer sandals from NZ brand Minx

Snazzy summer sandals from NZ brand Minx

3. TACKLE ONE LITTLE HORROR on your to-do list that you never get to. You know by now that these things are never as bad as they seem. And when you’ve done it – let us know in the comments below! I did mine tonight: I took all the covers off the highchair and put them in the wash, then scrubbed it down. So satisfying – and a bit shameful, thinking ‘when did I last feed her grapes?????’

Have an awesome week everyone! We are now 9 and a bit weeks out! I have my girl’s first birthday this week … After that I’m getting stuck into my Xmas cake, and my food gifts of chutneys and preserves. Yum!

Steph

100 days to Xmas challenge: 72 days and counting!

21 Oct

DAY 72!!! Hard to believe, but we are now at 72 days until Xmas. If you’ve been following the challenges you have hopefully tackled a few areas at home and gotten a few things off the to-do list. I am super proud of myself for making two gifts recently, rather than buying them. It was fun to see a creative project through, and it really didn’t take that long either. I used to spend a lot more time watching telly, and noodling round the web, but my focus the last few weeks has meant I’ve got so much done. Some were things I thought I’d NEVER do, so it just shows you: sometimes we just need to make a start, and see where it takes us.

This week’s three mini challenges should again all only take 30-45 minutes, but they will leave you feeling that Christmas is doable, fun and a great time of year to reflect over all the good things!

audit

1. CHRISTMAS STOCKTAKE

That’s right, you are going to audit all things Christmassy, write a sensible list of what’s needed, and stick to it! We’ve all been guilty of rushing off to the shops last minute and throwing all manner of cellophane, gift tags, Christmas cards, curling ribbon, paper and ornaments, mega packs of chocolates etc etc in the trolley, just to get home and find last year’s stash. I’ve just audited my collection and counted: 8 packs of curling ribbon, 50 gift tags and about 25 assorted Christmas cards. Make a deal with yourself: no new stuff you don’t need. Audit the Christmas decorations, the lights (do they work?), the stockings. Make any repairs, and throw out anything that’s really past it. If you get all sentimental about the Christmas decoration you make as a kid with its broken legs and fallen-off glitter, take a picture and record it. Now write a list of things you actually need. Set a budget and wait for the sales.

2. Talk to friends and family, and make sure you are on the same page with gifts. Get creative: suggest a homemade Christmas, or a second-hand Christmas, or a dollar limit. Remember, you’ve still got 10 whole weeks to get this sorted. I’m quite into food gifts: there are millions of ideas on Pinterest, and Martha Stewart is amazing with holiday craft. Don’t get bullied into ‘but we’ve always done xxxx’. Traditions have to start somewhere, and you don’t need to be guilted into spending money you don’t have. if you manage to make some savings, consider donating them to the Wellington City Mission’s ‘Pack the Bus’ appeal, or your favourite charity. There are lots of people who are in for a lonely and sad Christmas, and your gift could make the world of difference to them.
Vintage Christmas card

3. Prepare 10 Christmas cards. If you write one or two a week you’ll be all done in no time. Pick people that might not receive a card from anyone but you. Send a photo too: not a big staged Christmas one; just one that’s representative of something or somewhere you’ve been this year. It will only take you 10 minutes or so to jot a few sentences down, and it could really make someone’s day. Or send cards to those awesome people that have got you through the year … again, you don’t need to write a novel, just a few sentences that say ‘ I loved knowing you in 2013 because …’ I think often we forget the real meaning of Christmas, and it’s such a good time to acknowledge our support network.

Stay tuned for next week, when we move further on the countdown. I’ve a few ideas up my sleeve, but if there is anything specific people would like me to cover then please leave a comment.

Happy Christmas auditing!

Steph

100 days to Xmas challenge: 10 weeks to go!

14 Oct

Believe it or not, we (here in New Zealand) are in the throes of spring. After the winter storms and with the spring rains, chances are our homes are in need of a bit of a lift, and a reminder that summer is just around the corner.

Spring cleaning isn’t just some random idea dreamed up by advertising executives to sell vacuums and cleaning products. It all goes back to the days of the Romans, with the idea of having a god for each season, and welcoming the changes each season brings. So channel your inner goddess to attack each of this week’s three mini challenges. Do them in any order, and – again – as much or as little as you like.

Image via indulgy.com

Image via indulgy.com


FRONT FIRST

What does the  entrance to your home  say about you? ‘Hello, welcome to the shoe graveyard’? ‘Here is our recycling bin – we drink a lot of wine’? Put away anything that doesn’t really belong there. Broken toys, half-dead pot plants – they’ve had their day. You need a coat rack or hooks; a welcoming vase of flowers; no clutter. Wash the front door; polish the glass; clean the front steps. Consider planting some spring bulbs. Mow or weed the front garden. Give the letterbox a scrub. Throw out any rubbish. If you pile up things by the front door that you’ve been meaning to donate or return, then go and follow through with that. As we are coming into summer, big heavy coats, hats, scarves etc can be packed down and stored away. Time to spend on this task: 45 minutes.

DEEP CLEANING

Buy oven cleaner, dishwasher cleaner, and washing machine cleaner as you see fit. Run the empty dishwasher and washing machine through a cycle to clean them. You will be amazed what builds up: they will look a million times better! Clean the rubbish bin and disinfect it. Spray the oven: remember to put down newspaper and ventilate the room. Don’t use commercial cleaners if you’re pregnant! There are heaps of green cleaning recipes on the net, or try Wendyl’s Green Goddess products, available at Commonsense Organics. On a fine day, wash the windows; it’s amazing what you can achieve with a brush and a hose. Choose two things to deep clean! Time to spend on this task: 45 minutes.

LET THE SUN SHINE

On the next fine day, open all the windows and doors and air the house. Strip the beds, put the pillows in the sun, and wash the sheets. Make the beds: write the occupants of the beds a little note telling them how much you love them, or draw a wee picture. Put a dab of lavender oil or tea tree oil on a cloth and wipe down the window sills. Vacuum: throw down some Shake n’ Vac, or some baking soda mixed with some of your fave essential oils.

Air it out!

Air it out! Image from Plimoth Plantation

Breathe deep. Enjoy your beautiful sparkling home. Then book the babysitter! you’ve earned a child-free coffee, wine or meal – or even just a walk on the beach or in the bush. Have a great week everyone!

Steph

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