31 December 2013

See ya, 2013!

2013 was a bit of a crazy year for our family. I am happy to chalk it all up to experience, but I'm also happy to have a fresh start that the beginning of a new year seems to bring.

The most notable things to happen were Hayden's bike accident and subsequent head injury, the arrival of precious Gryffen, and the beginning of contact with my wonderful birth mother, B. (Stay tuned for another update soon, by the way.)

Beach babe - sister's towel for a mattress, brother's towel for a swaddle, under the shade of the big monkey-tail tree.

We enjoyed our holiday to Papamoa before Christmas (as above), particularly as we got to welcome my sister home for a visit from the UK, where she's been for 3 years now! We're looking forward to a few more foray's into summer holidaying. It's so great having a husband who's a school teacher that gets 7 weeks of summer holidays too!

So, my friends and loyal readers, see you on the other side! Happy New year to you and yours, love from me and mine.

10 December 2013

Let's Catch Up

A bullet point-ed post for today.

- I am thoroughly enjoying listening to LOTS Christmas music this year. On my playlist at the moment is Michael Buble's Christmas, Pentatonix' PTXMAS and Chris Tomlin's Glory In The Highest. I listen via Grooveshark to be able to hear lots of different albums.

I'm getting pretty good at the Baby-Mama-selfie now

- My baby is growing up. I'll admit to some sadness when Gryffen outgrew his 000 clothes and moved into 00 (3-6mo). But of course he's just as cute and bright eyed as ever. Last weekend he was a bit fevered and came up in a viral rash - we raced to the doctor in a bit of a panic - but it was harmless and he's fine again. He's such a delight. Being his Mama is so easy; I'm enjoying it so much. Long may it stay that way!!

Excuse Hayden's big yawn!

- Elliot is just about finished school for the year. In 20 minutes (!!!) I get not only my oldest son back, but my husband too! For 7 whole weeks! I'll admit to being very pleased that homework is already stopped for the year. It's nice for Elliot to come home and just be able to play until dinner time, instead of having to force him to sit down and do his work = worst part of the day! I'm so looking forward to the months ahead; we've got some lovely holidays planned.

- I'm loving seeing my curls come out in my children. Tristan has a gorgeous golden curly mop. I'm glad he sleeps mostly on his tummy so I don't have to torture my childcomb the knots out every morning - a certain daughter's least favourite activity.

- I'm enjoying making smoothies for breakfast. I'd been - unintentionally - skipping breakfast by running out of time and then getting busy (small children will do that to you). Of course, I make time for my coffee first though... In my smoothie I add 1c milk, half a banana, some strawberries and raspberries, pear or mango, and some chia seeds. I feel awesome in the morning now.

- We've been enjoying the warmer weather (except for this rain we've had lately). It's so great to be in t-shirts and shorts - and to be able to send the kids outside to run off all their excess energy! We've even indulged in some simple water play which results in happily entertained children, so this Mama can put her feet up for a while.

- We enjoyed celebrating Mum's birthday a few weeks ago. Considering that 35 years ago, her oncologist gave her a 5% chance of survival, we feel pretty thankful for every special day we get to hang out with her.

Roll on Summer Holidays! We are going to enjoy you!

05 December 2013

Renovations reveal: Rosie's room

Finally I can show you some of our finished renovations! Rosie's room is my favourite part. If you remember back in this post about our renovation plans, I explained how we planned to rearrange things to make space for an extra room. At first it was going to be for Baby Four (since revealed to be Gryffen!), but along they way we changed our minds and decided to make a special space for Rosie-girl.

We took extra space from the laundry, hot water cupboard and shower and turned it into a small but lovely bedroom.

Please excuse my sub-par photos...
Before and During:

L: The shower room R: The old laundry, pre-demolition. I've marked where to new wall for Rosie's room will go, see?

L: Walls come down! R: Looking through to the laundry. I've marked the framing for the new wall.

Hayden painstakingly scraped up all the old vinyl off the floor.

Shower in your room, Rosie?


L: Dry-walled and plastered ready for painting... R: Painted and curtained!

L: Pink wall! R: Small-ish in size...

For interest's sake, a comparison of before and after:

A brand new GIRL room! Pretty exciting.

L: These pictures hung in my room when I was little. R: Rosie's 'baby animals' and some of my old special nik-naks on the shelf my Opa made for me one Christmas when I was young.

It's pretty exciting to be nearly finished. I will be very glad to have it all done and dusted! Next up on the blog will be the bathroom reveal!

04 December 2013

Kiwi Mummy Blog review: Breastmates Dress

Friends, I have to tell you about this incredible dress. Franny at Breastmates teamed up with Kiwi Mummy Blogs to send me her Grace Short Dress to review for you - which I can tell you: not a hardship at all! I would go so far as to say this is just about the perfect dress.

Suprise! The glamorous blonde is not me. Pics from Breastmates.

The Grace dress is from Franny's Bump and Boob range, and is designed by her. It is so easy to wear - stretchy and not clingy, cool and comfortable. And - importantly - it is easy to breastfeed in. It did take me a few days of wearing it to really get the hang of how to feed my little guy without exposing myself, but now that I've got the knack, it's super simple.

I know I'll live in this dress over Summer because I don't have to wear any other layers to be completely decent. Tummy covered? Check! Boob covered? Check! In fact, a friend said to me the other morning, "Did I just see you feeding AND wearing the dress?!" Can I get a resounding "woo hoo!" for not overheating by breastfeeding in Summer?!

The length is perfect - I can run around after my gaggle of children, get down on the floor to change a nappy and reach into the back seat to do up a seatbelt buckle, all without flashing my knickers. A pretty important feature, I think! And speaking of important features: it's easy to wash and dry. I know this because I've had to do this two times already. Each time I wore the dress, my Gryffen spit up or dribbled milk over me - the hazards of my occupation! Hassle-free washing is important, and the Grace Dress delivers.

I just love that the super-stretchy, easy-wearing knit fabric makes this the perfect dress for every day wear, while still being beautiful enough to wear for special occasions. Wear it on the school run with flats and a sun hat, then wear it out to dinner with heels and a sparkly necklace. I'm already looking forward to wearing it to my cousin's wedding in a few weeks and know I'll be incredibly comfortable AND oh-so-glam.

If you're looking to invest in a piece of breastfeeding-friendly clothing I wholeheartedly recommend the Grace Short Dress from Breastmates. Perfectly versatile, flattering on all body types - I am what you could loosely describe as a curvy girl (read: still trying to lose that baby weight from four babies ago...) and this dress makes me feel beautiful. Go on, you won't regret it.

Buying from Breastmates is so easy - and quick! I bought a top on Monday morning and it arrived on Tuesday morning! Breastmates also have a no fuss returns policy to combat the occasional uncertainty of buying online. Go and have a look; you're sure to see something you like. Find Franny on Facebook too!

Kiwi Mummy Blogs

**Breastmates and KMB sent me this dress to review for you, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!**