Sunday, 23 February 2014

You know those days you have with your toddler, where right from the moment they wake you up at some ridiculous hour, to the moment they fight you to sleep, everything is a battle? They tip their Weetbix on the floor and smear Marmite toast into the carpet. They tip water over your books, and eat the cat food. They figure out how to climb the fireplace, and how to hang from the bath rail. They refuse to wear clothes, and take bites out of every piece of fruit in the fruitbowl. They hop back in the bath once they're dried with pyjama's on, and they like to make phone calls without your knowledge, often to 111.
I'd like to carry on saying that these are one off days but in reality, this is my life. The Terrible Two's. Which start at one, and end at five. When your child suddenly realises that they don't need Mum for everything, that they have some choice in their life. So they choose. And they choose the most frustrating and messy choices they could ever choose.
And guess who has to pick up after them? U-huh....Mum.

And so although you may not like to admit it ("oh heeell no, my life doesn't revolve around my children"), fact is, your entire world is now dictated by this tiny being who has a meltdown if you don't let them wear their shoes on the wrong feet, but is overjoyed at running away at bathtime.

You spend every waking moment trying to supervise every task and when you think you can quickly sneak off to the bathroom, you return a minute or two later to a mess (generally in our case it is the kitty litter tipped up or milk she's tried to pour herself) that takes up MORE time to clean up, by which time they have started up in another quest to decorate the house.

So if you've been through this stage, you know exactly what I mean when I say, I need a break.
It's not that I don't love my kids. In fact, its the total opposite - I love my kids so much that I put everything into them, rarely leaving any energy for me to focus on myself. By the time bedtime rolls around each night, all I want is to mung out in front of the tele in a little bubble and ignore the world.

So I'm at that point where I just cant wait to have the night off in 2 weeks for our 1st wedding anniversary. I will jump at any opportunity to have 5 minutes quiet time. So when I realised I needed coconut cream for dinner, I thought YES! I need to go to the dairy! (How sad is that?)

So I yelled 'BYE!' to the husband and kids, jumped in the car, and put it into reverse. Then I looked up to see wee Olive standing at the {locked} door, peering out and grinning. I wound down the window and could hear her yelling 'Lullooo Mummy!! Byyyeee Mummy!!! Lulloooooo!' and blowing smoochy kisses off her chubby hand while the other smeared some crap all over the glass.

And that makes it all worth it. Every ounce of frustration and annoyance that comes with being a parent is taken back in the knowledge that this small child trusts, that even after all of those hair-tearing incidents, you love them no matter what. To the moon and back.

My babies are my world. My life DOES revolve around them. Everything I do, is for them. In my last post I mentioned our goal to go take our family to Australia for the next nevus conference. This is in January 2015, and it is extremely important to us. It is not only important for my children and ourselves to meet others who walk a similar road, but it is invaluable for the information we can acquire for Olive's health down the track. With this information, and support from international organisations, we can also take the next step in building an officially recognised charity organisation in New Zealand for CMN. If anybody would like to donate to help us achieve our goal, you can do so by visiting Please do not feel obliged to do so by any means, even sharing the page will be just as much help.

Thank you everybody for your continued support, it means the world to our family.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Eminem played an amazing gig last night!

Apparently....I wouldn't know much about that because I didn't go. Haha (can you tell I am just slightly jealous?). Our family went to the hot pools instead, along with my sister and her family. The kids had an absolute blast! My older two had new snorkelling gear to try out and loved practising what they learn at their swim lessons with my sister and her fiancée's older girls. All the kids (including the two biggest kids - my husband and my brother in law) spent ages running up to the top of the hydroslides and coming zooming down on the mats, being hurled into the water at the bottom and fumbling around a sea of people to find the right way up. The bigger kids at the pools kept blocking the slides so that when the next lot of people came down the water would come gushing out, tumbling people upside down. Was hilarious to watch peoples faces as they came caning out into the sunlight.
Of course, after watching for ten minutes or so, Olive decided she wanted a go. So Eddie took her on the slide with him, and shared his mat. My sister and I watched, phones poised to record, expecting them to come out the slower slide. Next minute, Olive and her Dad come whooshing out of the faster slide, Olive being held high in the air so as not to go under the water.
'MORE!' comes her little voice.

Of course she wants more. Of course.

We were all over it by dinnertime and got out to get changed. In the changing rooms, I stripped Oli off and as I went to dry her she, being the mischievous toddler she is, ran off. There were a lot of people in the changing room, and I was well aware that my daughter was zipping around nudey rudey and she had a very very noticeable giant mark across her back that most doctors (let alone your average person at a pool) have never seen. I automatically expected some stares and whispers and as she whipped out into the corridor in front of a woman of about 50, I was anticipating a reaction of some kind from this lady whose view was the different back of my precious babe.

'And she's off!', was all she said, with a big smile at me - obviously someone who understood toddlers....a Mum to Mum smile.

I grinned, grabbed my baby and took her back to clothe her.

God bless that sweet woman, for normalising what I anticipate people making hard for my beautiful and naughty child. She made my day.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Ready or not....

As parents, we are designed to protect our young. It is the natural instinct that comes to us, generally (of course there’s the odd exception), from the moment our child is born. It is instinctual to protect them from harm and to love and nurture them. Of course, our own upbringing often comes into play with how we behave with our own children but the natural course is overall, to protect.

You are probably aware that Eddie and I never wanted to treat Olive any different to our other children, though it is actually inevitable that there will be differences anyway – as there are with each child you have, and their siblings. There are differences in how you parent your eldest and your youngest, your boy and your girl, your twins and your singleton and so on, whether we like it or not.

I’m not sure if it is the fact that Olive is my last baby, or because she has a difference, but I definitely feel super protective of her. In some ways, I am more relaxed in my parenting with her, (letting her climb things even though it gives me heart palpitations, or allowing her to have probably far too much chocolate!) but when it comes to trusting others with her care, I am not very good at letting go.

I let both my older two children cry it out in order to get them to learn to put themselves to sleep, instead of being fed or rocked to sleep. It was torture with Jaxon, and I remember crying on the phone to a friend while 8-month old Jaxon was crying in bed.

When Olive was younger, she would make herself throw up with the way she cried. If she wasn’t ready for bed, she would do this awful throat thing and make herself vomit throughout her bed. For us, letting her do this went completely against the grain of the Nurture side of parenting. So we didn’t let her do it. We let her get away with far too much – we still do! – And have learnt instead to read her signs, as opposed to us dictating when she goes to bed.

Jaxon started community kindy at 2.5 years old. Meisha was 7months old and whenever we dropped him off or picked him up, she would crawl around and play and paint as well. So when she turned two, it was her time to go off to kindy. They both thrived there and it gave them a lot of confidence with other people and in themselves.

With Olive nearing two, and being the social butterfly she is, we have been contemplating whether to enrol her. The kindy in question is not in our current area, we would have to drive across town but I know all the teachers and they know Olive from when she was born (Meisha was 4 years 8 months when Oli was born, so still at kindy for a short while).

Our issue though, is that there are not set age groups. With the 2 year olds are also 3 and 4 year olds. Which worries us because Olive is really active. She climbs, and runs and talks. Older children may mistake her for being more capable, and what if she fell and tore her nevus? We are always going to have this in the back of our minds, but we have decided right now, we are not ready. I think I will enrol her at the local kindy instead, which takes children at just over 3 years old.

So while we are not ready to let her go off into the big bad world on her own, we are ready for a bit more Nurturing. We feel it is a real responsibility as her parents to have an active role in the nevus community, as small as it is. Haley (Olive’s ‘same/same’ friend) and I are going to organise a New Zealand get together, and Eddie and I are going to try our best at getting our family to Australia for the January 2015 conference. It has been a goal of ours since Olive was born and we learnt about Nevus Support Australia and Nevus Outreach. But we always said we would not take her unless we could take the older kids as well, to avoid that ‘special treatment’.

So that is our 2014 goal. To get our family to Australia after Christmas this year.