Monday, 25 March 2013

The home stretch

I will miss this...
Pushing the pram down our long drive towards a pot of sunshine and fun day ahead
I will miss this...
Our local Balmoral Beach, almost better than Fiji
I will miss them...

Mummy friends and their beautiful bubs
And he will particularly miss her...
Bye-bye Zoe
I will even miss this...
Our little shopping mecca just 2 mins walk down the road - coffee, nail bar, bakery and deli - need I say more
I will miss the excited chaos of living in a city that houses more people than my entire home country.
I will miss the endless blue skies and warm winds.
I will miss all of the wonderful, crazy, funny, warm, kind souls we call friends here.
Most of all, I will miss this land, with its red heart, beautiful coastline and the place where we got engaged, shared our first house together and had our first child.

But, I miss our family more. I miss them more than everything else combined and then some. And that is why now is the time to go home. I'm sure we've made the right decision. I hope we have... because we go at the end of this week, eek!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The breast* thing happened last night...

In the midst of all this moving chaos, I have decided to wean the little one. It probably would have happened earlier, but we decided to keep going until we got back from Hawaii so that I could feed and settle him on the plane if needed.

But the time has now come.

I'm not as sad about it as I thought I would be. It's fair to say I've had a love hate relationship with breastfeeding in the past 14 months. I just about threw in the towel many times in the first couple of weeks, but somehow struggled through the endless bouts of mastitis, pain and constant feeling of being attached to my bub (which I kinda was, I guess), and feel lucky that we've come this far. It did end up being a positive, and certainly convenient, experience in the end.

So I started by dropping the evening feed as soon as we got home from our holiday. Between his bath, post-holiday sleepiness and bedtime story, he barely noticed. A few days later I dropped the morning feed, and that was that.

I suppose I should be thankful that it happened seamlessly, without too many tears (from either of us) or tantrums. Naturally, it feels like the end of an era. A 'goodbye' to my baby's babyness. The start of a new chapter for all of us, particularly with a new place to call home in just 2 weeks time.

I didn't really think about the positives of weaning, more that it was just a necessary part of his growing up. But last night I experienced a really massive positive, it was the BEST thing...

I heard the bambino wake just after we'd had dinner - an unusual occurrence - but I could tell by the whimpering cry that a nightmare must have woken him up. I crept up to his room, picked him up to give him a cuddle and then, he fell asleep on my shoulder. He hasn't done that since he was little. I could have never done this pre-weaning, as my presence would have awoken a baby beast inside him resulting in him screaming the house down demanding to be fed before going back to sleep. But not tonight. I gently lifted him off my shoulder (after savouring the moment for a while) and then popped him back into his cot, stroking his little forehead until he was in a deep sleep, tucked him in, and crept back out again. My heart was full. Tonight I was just a Mummy, not a milk bar.

Was there anything you particularly missed when you said goodbye to your baby and hello to a toddler?

Sleeping baby - back in the day when sleeping on my shoulder was the norm

*Please note: this title was my attempt at being clever - the best thing that happened, the breast thing that happened, get it?!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

How to move your life from one country to another

I'm really determined to share more of what is my life right now. I think I need to get the words out as a form of therapy, plus I really want to hear from any of you that have "been there, done that" and can share some sage advice, and I'm hoping that by sharing this experience with you it may in turn help one of you too.

So - to get you up to speed - we're moving our little family across the ditch from Sydney back to Auckland. I've never actually lived in Auckland before, neither has my son for that matter, but as a Kiwi girl through and through and with many of our extended family and good friends there, we should feel right at home in no time.

We've also added a house hunt into this little stress pot. Yep, we're actually going to buy a house, a proper family home with a white picket fence and a chimney (maybe). The whole process is obviously new to us but incredibly exciting. After spending months daydreaming over the online ads of all the houses I'd love to own, it will be exhilarating actually standing on all of our potential doorsteps (the first 5 at least), seeing big family kitchens, spare bedrooms, lush green lawns, and other such wondrous things we couldn't afford in Sydney.

We have less than 3 weeks to go. While furniture is getting sold and boxes filled, we still have a bit to do, like book the removalist... For lil Miss Perfectionist Organiser here, I am [just quietly] freaking out. Moving in the opposite direction, as eager 20-somethings, was so different than now. Funny that.

Anyway, I've clearly got a lot to do so better get back to it. In the meantime, if you know of anyone that needs a new car in Sydney, let me know!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/looseid/3659492102/

Saturday, 9 March 2013

The travelling baby

I was sitting in Honolulu Airport earlier this week (as you do) with sunscreen smudges on my sunglasses, sand on the pram wheels and a heart that was giddy from a blissful two weeks in the sun with my little family.

Last week, my baby saw a turtle or ten for the first time. His fingers were often sticky from icecream. He made many castles in the sand, ate teppanyaki chicken off chopsticks and lazed in his Daddy's arms in a warm saltwater lagoon.

It was *sigh* perfection, all wrapped up in one soft chubby little package.

One happy bubba

While contemplating the 10hr flight home, planning my next blog post (and feeling very guilty that I have been keeping all my stories to myself lately), and trying to keep my adventurous toddler within a somewhat safe area of the departure terminal, I realised something.

This holiday did more than give me a barely-there tan and a dent in my wallet. It SCREAMED OUT in an announcement to the universe that we are now a family. Seems odd to say given we've been a party of three for over a year now, but this holiday confirmed that my world is now truly and completely ruled by a 14-month-old.

Chardonnay and movies on the plane were replaced with sticker books and any other distraction tactic I could muster. Romantic dinners for two were replaced with 6pm bookings and the kids menu. Hours on the sun lounger with a good book was replaced with reading a book on the balcony during afternoon nap time... and I loved every minute of it.

I loved watching my son entertain people on the plane, and getting cuddles from the ladies sitting in the row behind us. I loved seeing him try new foods in new environments and finishing every last tasty bite. I loved having some peaceful time to myself in a beautiful location while he slept. And I loved introducing him to the world again once he woke up refreshed after his lunchtime nap.

Years ago I felt pity at the "poor parents" dragging their children through family-friendly restaurants, blowing up endless pool paraphernalia and going to bed at a reasonable hour on their holiday. Now, I'm proud to be part of the club and can't wait for many more family adventures together.

*Do you have any family travel tips you'd like to share?