Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Peace

There is a peace to be found, sometimes.
In the curtain-darkened room.
Sitting on the floor, playing a card game on my phone, waiting for my toddler to fall asleep for his nap.

Sometimes I hate sitting there.
I would rather be almost anywhere else.
Its an imposition. A frustration.

But when he's not demanding I be there?
When he's just decided to take a long time to fall asleep for his nap, and I've decided to stay and keep him company for a bit?
It is peace.

Listening to him wriggle to get a little more comfortable.
Listening to his breathing settle in to its rhythm.
Stealing a glance at his ever-more sleep-glazed face.

Thinking back to the days - a year ago - when I was desperate for every nap.
When the depression had a hold of me and I hated almost every minute of being a parent.
And now, when he cries because he is freaked out at bedtime, we sit.
And we wait.
With him.

Because crying beyond a grizzle brings up immense anxiety for me if we ignore it.
It reminds me too much of those days.
Days when I had to call Mark home from work before I did something I regretted.
Days when I could see no way out. No way through.

But now there are hard days and good days. And really excellent parts of days.
No day is perfect.
But its so much of an improvement on hard days, bad days and ok parts of days.

Yes, my PND has shaped my parenting. Absolutely.
How could it not?
I have so much grief and guilt over those lost times.

I will forever tell him I love him.
Because for the longest time I couldn't tell him.
I love him so much I cant give him a sibling.
I cant take the risk of it happening again, and him suffering through that at an older age.

So, I sit.
And wait for him to fall asleep.
Learning to treasure these moments.
Because, one day, he wont want me to sit with him while he falls asleep.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Fun 15: October 2014

1. Congratulations / Thanks / Good Luck: Thanks to the awesome teachers in the Tui room, LJ had such a wonderful time in there for the last 8 months and we are sad to be moving on, even though it is well and truly time.

2. Annual Goals, Checking in:
Exercise: Getting back into it. Some days better than others. I have a fitbit now, so can actually keep track of how much walking I am (not) doing.
Job / Course: All assignments in, most results back - two left to get - and I am sitting pretty for at least B's. Which is actually somewhat disappointing, that last assignment for one paper dragged me down from an A-.
Clothes: Yeah, I have a box of "might fit come summer" stuff still.
Weight: Hovering. Fluctuating. Not shifting. Driving me mad.
Creative: Cleared in July.
Online:
Spent 2 weeks barely online for assignment chaos, and that went well. Hoping to do the same for summer.

3. This months goals, summary:
*Drink 2L of water every day - Again, not every day, but more days than not now.
*Do 45 minutes exercise twice a week - starting up again. According to myFitnessPal, I did 45+ minutes of exercise 10 days in the last 30 - and that doesn't always include just walking.
*Edit 5 days of Europe photos - I'm down to 8 days to go. I might get there before Christmas.
*Eat at least one piece of fruit a day - Poor effort this month. Even with strawberries coming in to season.

4. Next months goals to aim for:
*Spend max 1 hour online a day. In total - facebook, blogging, flickr, news, reading other blogs
*Have my daily steps average over 10,000 for the month
*Walk up Mt Kaukau
*Cook 4 new recipes

5. Book Review: The Search for Anne Perry. Not bad. A bit fragmented - I somewhat wish that the story was told chronologically rather than in chunks. And my biggest peeve was the way that the book used peoples modern names in the modern sections, and their previous names in the historic sections, without any introduction as to who was who.  But all in all, a different take on a historical crime in NZ. Wish there was a similar book about Pauline Parker and who she became.

6. Motherhood Moment: I'm just so proud of my wee man and how well he talks. All that reading to him must have helped. All his teachers comment on it. We have upwards of 100 words now, including some incredibly random ones like Hyena, Crocodile, Dino and Helicopter (not all the syllables are there for the longer ones!)

7. Been there, Done that: We started our month out with new carpet (thanks insurance!), have had a couple of visits to the zoo, a new season of swimming lessons and a 3rd Birthday party. We've also been to a couple of BBQs (roll on real summer), I got to go to an exhibition opening (shame we had too much cloud to see the lunar eclipse the same night), LJ went to the beach house without us for a weekend. We saw the dinosaur exhibition at Te Papa (awesome) with Ange, and went to the beach house ourselves for Labour Weekend. 

8. Coming Events: I guess we can start talking about Christmas! Yikes! And of course, guy fawkes.

9. Links Round-up: A neat science experiment I couldn't pin for some reason, a wonderful video full of memories of a wonderful woman who lost her battle with cancer on Labour Day, and OMG these potatoes were divine - I could have just kept eating. And so simple!

10. Life list update: No action. No love.

11. Wish Lists: I really want the new Tramping in NZ book- apparently OUTC contemporaries are in it.

12. Life Lesson this month: People are busy. I did an experiment this month. I stopped inviting people to do things with me. Mostly it was because every rejection was like a paper cut. I know people have honest reasons (and I hope its not just that no-one likes me), and they are busy. Turns out they are so busy that no-one noticed. I recieved only 3 social invitations in 6 weeks - one as a family to a birthday party and the other two to catch-ups with the antenatal group. And not one single "I haven't heard from you in a while, how are you doing?". I've definitely found it easier emotionally to assume that the answer will be no, and not bother asking.

13. Days gone by: 4 years ago, I cut my finger open just on a week out from the wedding. Damn that was painful. I still have a scar. Apparently, 6 years ago I went to New Plymouth (was meant to be Holly Hut, but we got blown off the Razorback), and met "sue" the t-rex, we were up to rugby world cup stages 3 years ago.

14. Fave memory from the month: Drinking beer and eating chips and dip in the sunshine on the deck of the beach house while LJ ran around nudie, playing with mutiple bowls of water.

15. Photo of the month:
I haven't actually uploaded ANY photos from this month to flickr yet, so here's one awesome shot I got last year at the night market in Cathedral Square, Christchurch. We went down for Labour Weekend, and it was (I recall) the first time many people had been in the Square at night in 2.5 years since the earthquake.
Night Market

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Fun 15: September 2014

1. Congratulations / Thanks / Good Luck: Thanks to the lovely ladies who came along with me on my first tramp in over 2 years mid September, and the awesome team from the Rangitikei Tramping Club who we shared the hut with, and walked out with. Awesome.

2. Annual Goals, Checking in:
Exercise: Was going ok, till I sprained my knee while tramping! Still agree with last month, I need to get a PT asap.
Job / Course: Studying hard and actually doing quite well. October will be hectic, I have a huge workload the next couple of weeks.
Clothes: Yeah, I have a box of "might fit come summer" stuff still.
Weight: Steady again this month. Would love to drop that last 3kg though.
Creative: Cleared in July.
Online:
As always, far too much time spent online. But have decided not to go on Facebook for the next at least 2 weeks while I get all these big assignments out of the way.

3. This months goals, summary:
*Drink 2L of water every day - Darn. Again a fail. Same issue as last month with the water fountains at uni. On the plus side, I am drinking less fizz.
*Do 45 minutes exercise twice a week
- was well on track till I went tramping.
*Edit 5 days of Europe photos - I dont think I did any. Too busy with travel and uni.
*Eat at least one piece of fruit a day - Probably about half the days. Better than last month.

4. Next months goals to aim for:
*Drink 2L of water every day
*Do 45 minutes exercise twice a week
*Eat at least one piece of fruit a day
*Edit 5 days of Europe photos
(I give up setting new goals at the moment. I'm just not achieving well enough to try!)

5. Product Review: We purchased a garlic press from Countdown the other week and it is USELESS. Two large cloves of garlic got me a tiny little splurt of garlic. Waste of $12.

6. Motherhood Moment: Being told that my "little" is being moved up from the babies room at daycare. Sob. I know he is far and away the biggest child in the room physically, but really? He cant be that old already??

7. Been there, Done that: Hectic in September! We started with a week in Queenstown, which included a daytrip to Arrowtown and Wanaka, a day skiing for Mark, and a trip up the gondola. Then it was back in to uni with assignments and assessments galore, a careers talk and a scholarship application to complete. I went out for tea and scones with friends one sunny Saturday afternoon. For my birthday, LJ spiked a 39.6 fever at daycare. But Mark and I still managed to go out for dinner, even though we were then home by 7:30. The weekend after my birthday, I went tramping for the first time since August 2012.

8. Coming Events: hmmm. October is promising to be reasonably quiet, since I'm bogged down with uni for the first half of the month! Perhaps a weekend at the beach house.

9. Links Round-up: DoC have released a multi-layer map online. It has options for tracks, huts, topo and all sorts. Awesomely usable, love it. A recipe I really want to try at some stage soon. A different way of getting news, and another couple of recipe sites.

10. Life list update: No action. No love.

11. Wish Lists: More books, although I've actually purchased a couple this month, as well as some music off itunes. A macro lens for my camera. A fitbit.

12. Life Lesson this month: There are never enough hours in a day. Honestly, I sometimes feel like I just haven't stopped all month, and like I'm still falling behind, on everything - study, housework, sleep, everything. 

13. Days gone by: September two years ago we were telling people we were having a baby. Of course, there are all the birthdays to remember - like high tea at Hippo last year, or dinner at the KTC the year before. 7 years ago I went on a daywalk to Cone Saddle, over the new Waiohine Bridge. We had Nicola and Toms wedding 4 years ago (and Mark and I took a night at Hanmer over the weekend after), the preparations for the Rugby World Cup in 2011. In 2007, I went on a steam engine trip on the Overland, which was awesome.

14. Fave memory from the month: Jetboating in Queenstown. An hour long ride, and I dont think I stopped smiling the whole time. Fantastic.

15. Photo of the month:
We went up to Glenorchy from Queenstown for the morning while we were on holiday. I love that this looks almost like its fisheye, but its not.
 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Fun 15: August

Apologies for the delay, we were away on holiday in Queenstown for the first week of this month :) It was awesome - more on that to follow soon!

1. Congratulations / Thanks / Good Luck: To the ever-increasing number of ladies from the Due March 2013 group I joined who are expecting another baby, I wish you much luck!

2. Annual Goals, Checking in:
Exercise:
I'm exercising, honest! I do need to get sorted with a PT again though.
Job / Course: Studying hard. Fingers crossed something comes up for summer work for me too.
Clothes: Yeah, I have a box of "might fit come summer" stuff still.
Weight: Steady again this month. Would love to drop that last 3kg though.
Creative: Cleared in July.
Online: As always, far too much time spent online.

3. This months goals, summary:
*Drink 2L of water every day - Sigh, this is getting depressing. Probably only 1/3 of the days? I'm finding it especially hard on uni days, when the water fountains are all out of my way, so I have to decide whether I want to sit down and eat something, go to the toilet, or fill my water bottle in my 10 minutes between lectures that are 7 minutes walk apart (by the time you take packing up and finding a new seat into consideration).
*Do 45 minutes exercise twice a week - I reckon I've made it this month. Only because of uni though. And I did take a few days off to wind down at the end of trimester.
*Edit 5 days of Europe photos - I think I got through two this month. This is rediculous. We've been home over two years now!
*Eat at least one piece of fruit a day - Nope, again. Have been eating far too much chocolate this month too. But I need to get back on to the FODMAPs diet bandwagon again, as I've been having a few issues, so no more chocolate for me!

4. Next months goals to aim for:
*Drink 2L of water every day
*Do 45 minutes exercise twice a week
*Eat at least one piece of fruit a day
*Edit 5 days of Europe photos
(I give up setting new goals at the moment. I'm just not achieving well enough to try!)

5. Movie Review: We recorded Field Punishment No 1 a few weeks ago, and I finally got around to watching it on a day "off" where I wasn't feeling well. Holy hell. People DID that to each other? People who were on their own side? Between that, War News, and my history paper at uni, I'm starting to find myself struggling with the reverence that people give to WW1. It was horrific, nasty and brutal (like every war I guess).

6. Motherhood Moment: Taking LJ out for dinner with the grandparents. Apart from when he threw a tantrum and banged his head on the floor, he was actually quite well behaved, which was a relief.

7. Been there, Done that: August was a bit of a rough month. Mark was away a lot, and I was really busy with uni assignments. Lucas and I didn't get up to much! Mark did one Wednesdays swimming lesson, I won chocolate biscuits (OMG, Red Velvet Tim Tams? Divine). We went for a walk around the waterfront a few times, and LJ had a short ride on Pops motorbike. One Thursday afternoon, we had the most impressive hail storm I have seen in a LONG time (I was out and about when it hit), and then Grandma J & Grandad came up from Christchurch to visit for a weekend. We discovered Gym Jam at the local recreation centre, which I think will be popular ongoing, and rounded the month out with a couple of evenings out without LJ.

8. Coming Events: Technically, at the end of August, coming up was our trip to Queenstown, but thats been and gone already! My birthday this month, and the countdown is on to Christmas.

9. Links Round-up: A very cool site my friend Jim found, which indicates sunrise and sunset times anywhere in the world. Sadly, it doesn't seem to take local topography into account - given it suggests yesterdays sunrise at our Queenstown hotel should have been 7:06, and I gave up waiting at 7:20. Ahh, the randomness that is a young baby. Our friend Angela is desperately trying to raise funds to go to America for an attempt at life-saving treatment not available here.
Then there was the suckiness of a local dairy being held up by a stupid pre-teen, and the excitement of realising that the next Commonwealth Games are happening Just.Over.There in the Gold Coast, the week of LJs 5th Birthday.

10. Life list update: No action. No love.

11. Wish Lists: More books, although I've actually purchased a couple this month, as well as some music off itunes. A macro lens for my camera.

12. Life Lesson this month: I either studied entirely the wrong thing my first time around at uni, or courses are substantially easier. At least, thats what I want to think, and am trying really hard not to, when I rounded out my half-semester with my lowest grade being a B+, and an average across all my assignments of an A (almost an A+), including multiple 100% results.

13. Days gone by: August a few years ago I did snow craft. Must have been 2007, since I hadn't met Mark yet. Then there was all the fun of reflux last year, with a bonus trip to after hours with a sick baby after a weekend at the skifield. In fact, August seems to have historically been a weekend that involves snow. I think the CUTC snowcraft trip I did where I almost broke my leg was August too.

14. Fave memory from the month: High Tea at Marthas Pantry for Wellington on a Plate. The food was scrummy, the tea cocktails were divine and the company was hilarious.

15. Photo of the month:
Looking back up to the uni as the thunderstorm advanced towards me. I was going to try and outrun it down to town, but decided to go for the cable car instead when it had already started spitting at this point. About a minute after I got to the top of the cable car there was a massive lightning strike and then the hail arrived.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Finis

About a year ago, breastfeeding finally got “easy”, after three months of hell. Pumping to build supply, assisted lactation for nipple stimulation, cracks and bleeding and screaming pain. I dont remember it suddenly being easier, but it obviously happened.

Just under a month ago was LJs last breastfeed. Over the previous four months we had cut back from 4+ a day to one a day with two bottles. Because I’m like that, I got into a habit of feeding one side and then the other, always starting on the same side.

One week, LJ started refusing the second side. He would put his mouth on, and then pull away and shake his head. On the Saturday, he bit me on that side.

Suddenly, one Wednesday morning he refused the first side as well. Mouth to nipple, he suddenly started crying. He pulled away and started saying “doh” (“no” - he has a blocked nose at the moment, his new word is unbearably cute for the time being!) and shaking his head.

My parents had offered to take LJ to their beach house for the weekend without us, so accidental weaning by loss of supply had been in the back of my mind over the previous couple of days if he went.

So, his refusal was perfect timing. I simply stopped offering. Our morning routine has had a bit of a change to remove the reminder of breastfeeding, and we are still ironing out the creases of the morning routine, but on days I am out at uni, I have time for a shower before LJ goes to daycare. Which is an improvement on my old lunchtime showers previously!

Its both a relief and a sadness. I feel guilty for desiring this above all other things for a long time, and I know I’ll miss it a little. But its a decision made together, with LJ leading the way with fortuitous timing.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Sharing the creativity

The second video I made for photography class in June.

I had been sick through much of the eight-week course, and so put all my effort into sadness. Kictchen was very much last minute, and very different to what I had originally planned.

But I still enjoy it :)

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Fun Fifteen: July 2014

I have written other things this month, honest. I just haven't got around to sharing them!

1. Congratulations / Thanks / Good Luck: Congratulations to my brother- and sister-in-law, who are expecting their first child just on Christmas. Now all our siblings will have kids!

2. Annual Goals, Checking in:
Exercise:
Its been a great month actually - uni finishes at 2 or 3pm most days, so I'm making a real effort to go to the gym before I come home. It means I have less time hanging around the house in the early afternoon, so laundry and housework have fallen a little behind, but thats ok.
Job / Course: Study is underway! Feels like I've been at it for ages, but its only been three weeks. Somehow!
Clothes: After cleaning out the old clothes box, and only keeping a handful of things that dont yet fit, I've gone and filled it up again with summery stuff I cant layer (except by adding a cardi), so its easier to pick outfits each day.
Weight: Fluctuating, but holding steady in the 83kg range, which is good enough for now.
Creative: Cleared last month.
Online: Given how much of my uni stuff requires being on the internet? But I'm definitely spending less time on social media. Trying to make a point of not checking my emails / facebook / flickr / twitter / blogs during uni time.

3. This months goals, summary:
*Drink 2L of water every day - Managed about 50% of days
*Do 45 minutes exercise twice a week - Not quite 45 minutes, but a good half an hour + 3 days a week. Actually, if you add in the walk from uni to the gym (about 20 minutes), plus all the stairs I'm taking around the university while carrying tablet, notebook, ringbinder, waterbottle, raincoat and gym gear...
*Edit 5 days of Europe photos - One down.
*Eat at least one piece of fruit a day - Nope, again. Have been eating far too much chocolate this month too.

4. Next months goals to aim for:
*Drink 2L of water every day
*Do 45 minutes exercise twice a week
*Eat at least one piece of fruit a day
*Edit 5 days of Europe photos
(last month was poor, so continuing the same again)

5. Recipe Review: We've been trying some new recipes recently, and we've had 2 that were absolutely fantastic this last week - both from Simon & Dame Alison Holsts book "Year-Round Recipes for Slow Cookers and Crockpots". The chinese-spiced pork belly was chosen by dint of the fact our supermarket didn't have the boneless pork shoulder steaks another recipe we wanted to try needed, but they had pork belly on special. The other recipe was Nacho meatloaf. Surprise hit of the week! Both are definitely on our to-cook-again list.

6. Motherhood Moment: First full weekend with no baby. That was wierd. In a good way. I went for a daywalk on Sunday, Mark worked all weekend.

7. Been there, Done that: Kaka watching with LJ at Zealandia, afternoon tea of scones and tea with the photo guys, the playground at the Botanic Gardens (and the excitement of watching the cable car come and go), the Zoo with E and Jenny, swimming with Alexis and Jared when they came down to visit for school holidays, afternoon tea at the Spruce Goose (to watch planes taking off), the zoo as a family. Lots of not-great weather.

8. Coming Events: Christmas, and a trip to Queenstown for my mid-semester break, which is awesome.

9. Links Round-up: Some fantastically useful advice for taking a toddler tramping, I can see how all the ideas would help. Satisfying my need for gossip about the stars of Australian reality TV shows after all the drama around House Rules. The new Boeing being taken through its paces (Wowowowowow). I really wish the whole Palestine - Israel thing wasn't happening at the moment. Nullschool have bought out a new imagery called "misery index", on days like today thats quite apt.

10. Life list update: No action. No love.

11. Wish Lists: More books, although I've actually purchased a couple this month, as well as some music off itunes.

12. Life Lesson this month: After last months not getting well with a clingy toddler - not taking care of myself is an incredbly bad thing for both LJ and I.

13. Days gone by:  I've installed the new TimeHop app on my phone, and am really enjoying seeing things pop up again. Last year included our first big earthquake (another one followed a month later), 2 years ago we were just home from Europe and I was at Scout Photography School in cold Wainuiomata, 3 years ago we got Checkers.

14. Fave memory from the month: LJ and that lion at the zoo. And when Mark helped him pat a kangaroo. The look on his face when he patted a rabbit at the petshop. Going for a long walk on my own and actually enjoying it.

15. Photo of the month:
This one has been aired on Facebook too, everyone loves it (as do I). From our trip to the zoo
"You doubt your value. Don't run from who you are"