Morning chaos makes way for moments of still

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You know how you read about ‘those’ people who Love mornings and get up ‘on purpose’ at like 5am (or before) to seize the day!

 

Sun flare - Christchurch

 

Yeah, well…that’s not me, I LOVE my bed…love love love it and I LOVE sleep!

My bed is so comfortable, so cozy, each day it is incredibly hard to get up out of it as it’s just so damn good and sleeping is so much more awesome in the mornings – am I right?

I sleep in whenever I get the chance!

That coupled with the fact that I am a serial ‘Snoozer’ doesn’t make for easy mornings and I still struggle daily with the opening of my eyes, sitting up and swinging my legs out of bed.

But, once I’m up, fortunately from then on it’s all ok, I’m off and going.  I’m then wide awake and it’s all on from there.

I also am quite happy to be up and out early…once I’m actually up and out.  But its the getting there that’s tough.  (#FirstWorldProblem I know)

Because we leave for School and Work fairly early, each weekday see’s Miss 14 and I begrudgingly up at what I call ‘Ridiculous O’Clock’ (or seize the day time in other people’s world).

This is so her and I can cycle through showers and still have plenty of time (for her) to get ready.

Because I like to use the bathroom before Miss 14 gets in there, it means then I am 100% ready at least 30 mins to 1 hour before she is.

Parenting for 14 years has taught me, that in our house, our mornings run 98% smoother and easier if I ensure to allow her plenty-plenty-plenty of time to get ready.
If I don’t have to ‘say’ anything to keep her moving and she can get done all of the things she wants to do, it makes such a difference to the ‘feel’ of the day.
(It’s a whole other thing on early morning Winter Sports training days though when it feels like we are leaving the house in the middle of the night!).

So I have learnt, give her plenty of time, even though it means getting up at ridiculous o’clock, but its a compromise I’m ‘usually’ willing to take.

The plus is, I’ve come to really enjoy that extra time I then get in the morning once I’m all ready.

I have found in amongst the Morning chaos, moments of still.

Time to just sit for a bit.

Have some quiet time with God and read my ‘The Word for Today’ and my bible.

Then I aim to work on some writing for a little while.

Have a little calm before the storm of the day.

Last term I found myself leaving more and more chores to “Oh, I’ll just do that in the morning” and when I got to the morning being really annoyed with myself, that I had left those jobs til the morning, as it was eating up all my ‘morning’ time.

It does mean we always need to be completely organised the night before.  Lunch is packed (minus fridge items), bags are packed and by the door, sports bags, extra bags and rubbish is ready to pick up and go.

But today is a new day, the first day back of the School Term and I sit here early once again to do some writing with 45 mins up my sleeve.

I like it :-)

I really hope I can be disciplined again throughout this term to keep ensuring I have this ‘still’ time in the mornings.

Have you found some little pockets of time throughout your day, that give you time to just take some breaths, some moments of still?
How do you make it work?

Update: It’s tomorrow now as I publish this, I didn’t give us quite as much time this morning as I should have, but it wasn’t too bad :-)

Lux – An epic night out in Wellington

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We left it til the very-very last night, but it was totally worth it. We have just come home from Lux – an epic night out in Wellington.

Miss14 and I wandered down from home along with seventy billion other people, as it was such a calm mild night perfect for wandering along the waterfront and around the city.

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I had seen a few photo’s floating around on Instagram and Twitter, but didn’t quite know what to really expect until we got there.

Miss14 thought I was taking her to see the crane by Helipro with lights on it, she wasn’t that excited to begin with and thought it was going to be a bit lame….until we got there that is and she totally changed her mind :-)

Lux was awesome!

So many awesome ones, from the:

Monster’s Inc type Screamometer light flappy things ~ Screaming Rapture

• to glow in the dark lights ~ Potion Forest

• to Squid Bacteria that glows when irritated to ~ Vibrio Nimbus

• to Light reflected through water mist to music ~ X

• to Diamondy lights you can yell at to light brighter ~ Square things

 

I also really loved just wandering through the city casually and cruisey with Miss14.

We had lots of time to just chat and Joke around, Laugh, Dance, Sing and take silly photo’s.

We had a really early dinner so we could just take our time and not feel pressured to ‘get home’ because it was getting late or anything.

So we spent hours and hours down there and it was awesome. My photo’s don’t do it justice at all, but check out some of the fab picture galleries online, like on Twitter or Instagram, just search for the hashtag #WgtnLux or on the official pages @WgtnLux

We wandered into the Wellington Chocolate Factory which was open late.

They make organic, ethically traded chocolate on site and we had rich Hot Chocolates to take along with us.  Yummo :-)

 

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Somehow we also had room for Gelato from Gelissimo Gelateria on our way back home too ;-) trying new flavours…if you can imagine what “Ambrosia” tastes like…yup, it was GOOOOD!

It was so great to see so many Wellingtonians out on a Sunday night with their family and friends, in the middle of Winter/Spring might I add.

So, thanks Lux for putting on an amazing installation and great entertainment for our city. I was highly impressed and we loved it.

Looking forward to it next year.

Did you get down to Lux?
What did you think, did you have a favourite installation?

 

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Source: Lux

 

 

 

 

My ‘NFP’ Date

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In last Monday’s post my over-energetic-smile gets a friendly smile in return and the raised eye brow lift of acknowledgment ;-)

 

Was this some hot new guy I was waiting on, for a date? ….

 

Well they were really lovely … but no … it wasn’t a guy … and it wasn’t a date … well not in the traditional sense of the word .

This part of Parenting ‘wasn’t in the manual‘!

mynfpdate

 

How did I get there…
…what was I doing there…
…just WHO was I meeting?

 

Well it starts with … Last year Miss 14 started High School at a School were none of her friends were going.

So both her and I were starting the year from scratch.

Miss 14 was making new friends left right and centre in the classroom.  Which meant I also needed to meet all her new friends Parents, Teachers and Coaches some how, some other way.

You see, at her previous School she had been there for 7 years, so we knew pretty much EVERYONE (at least by association) and everyone eventually knew us too.
Yes it took time to get to know everyone in the beginning there, but when the kids are only 5+ years old even as a working Mom, I was still up at School alot and made an effort to get to know the other kids parents, not just her friends.

So when it came to inviting them to our house or Miss 14 getting invited to theirs, I already knew them and knew if I was happy for her to go, or because they were only little you were ‘dropping them off’ so would be invited in for Coffee etc…

Yes, new kids arrived at the School, but in no time at all you ran into them at School, or when you were picking up or dropping off at another friends house or at Sports Practice.  In no time you knew them too.

 

Cut to starting High School, you hardly go INTO the School for anything anymore.

 

You don’t stand outside the classroom waiting for them to come out at the end of the day (they would love that wouldn’t they!!!).  So you miss all those normal opportunities to meet parents.

There is so much more simply ‘dropping off and picking up’ that happens and the kids are even more independent getting themselves around more places.
If Sport is played during the week after School, not many parents are able to get there to watch.  So you don’t meet them there either.

Did you notice a huge shift in Parent involvement once your kid went to High School?  I would love to hear about it in the comments below what changed for you.

Even weekend sport, I have found less parents on the sidelines watching.  With High School being bigger, there was also less of a chance Miss 14 was in a team with any of her close friends anyway.

 

 

But she was busy making so many NEW friends (which is nice) with Teenagers I didn’t know and where I didn’t even know what their Parents looked like, let alone had had a conversation with them.

Then the invites started to roll in and especially the Sleepover invites.

Miss 14 would ask, “Can I go to Regina’s house for her Party and Sleepover”. 

I would like to be able to say Yes, but the Trouble is, I haven’t met Regina yet and have no idea where she lives or who her parents are.

I want Miss 14 to have great friends, have lots of fun and to get chances to relax and let her hair down with her friends, so of course I WANT to let her go.

BUT, how can I agree to letting her go when I’m completely blind.

In true Teenager fashion she assures me “They are not Axe murderers or anything and their Grandmother lives with them, so they must be ‘fine”! 

Yes, you could take a chance and meet the Teenager and the Parents ‘when you drop them off’…but if something doesn’t sit right, it’s a bit late then to have ‘reasons’ to turn around and leave again.
Also with many of the girls living quite a distance from School they mostly are all together catching Buses/Trains home anyway, so your not taking them there.

 

So, what’s a Mom to do…..?

 

Cue … “Man Up” (or Mom up in this case) and make a phone call to say Hi and arrange to meet them, the parent, first.

(NB: I’m writing a post on roughly what I might say when making a Cold call/Phone call to a New Friends Parent – eeekk!! and will post that when it’s ready.)

Even though I have worked in industries for years dealing with new people all the time and worked in the new Guests area of church making conversation with complete strangers…actively making it happen to meet these new friends parents is still a huge step out of my comfort zone.

I can be such a scardy cat about stuff like that!

Can you relate?

But, whats my other options?:

• Say no you just cant go – that’s not fun!

• Wait for the new parent to come to me, not so likely.  (and that’s also just a cop-out)

• Say yes to a huge unknown and feel really uneasy about it, potentially putting Miss 14 into a situation that may not be good and that I wouldn’t be happy with.

So, I may be wrong, but arranging to meet with the Parent first is the only way I could see forward.

What do you think?  Was this the right idea?

I make a point to introduce myself to Teachers, Coaches, Tutors and parents whenever reasonably possible.  So that those people know that I am involved in Miss 14’s life and that I give a damn and that opens up those avenues for if they ever need to talk to me about anything that there is one less barrier of not knowing me.

 

 

I have now had NFP ‘New Friends Parent’ dates with many Moms now (and often met the Dad’s, siblings through them latter).
They have all gone really-really well and I have really enjoyed getting to know them. They have also been mostly really appreciative that I had made this happen as it put them at ease too.

I also mention to all the Mum’s that I meet, that they are welcome to call/text to check the plans/details the girls make with me anytime, I don’t mind at all.
One, because organising Teenage Girls is incredibly difficult to lock down (like herding cats) and two, because again that further helps to open those avenues of communication.

 

So, how did THIS particular NFP date go? …

 

With my over-energetic-smiling and my eye brow lift of acknowledgment?

Awesome.

Even though I was strangely really nervous and picking imaginary fluff off my dress, fidgeting around and over-energetically-smiling every single person that rocked in that door.

We had a great chat, got on really well, worked out we had an unbelievable amount of stuff in common and both her and I left comfortable that we now knew each other and were happy for the girls to keep spending more time together.

It also gives me 1 more person, who now isn’t any longer an un-familiar face, to chat with when we go to School events when I feel like a Fish out of Water  !

 

Do you allow your Child/Teen to go to Parties or Sleepovers when you haven’t met the Teen or the Parent/family yet?

What have you done to work around this in your family?

Did I do the right thing?


 

 Regina, fictional friend name based on Mean Girls ;-)
Our real *Regina was actually really nice, I like her alot and she is nothing like Mean Girls Regina!

That’s another Post – How to handle School Events as a Single Parent…for those of you who have been there, it’s not easy.

Sorry to disappoint those of you that really thought it might have been a date with some hot new guy…even though I wrote it like that, on purpose, to make it sound really unambiguous…but it was fun writing it like that…

It is weird though as the nerves were of a similar vein that I remember from the last time I had a first Date…some 13+ years ago…OK, that’s just a little shocking adding that up just how long it’s been since I have been on an actual date!!!!

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: Vitarium Sugar Free Drinking Mix – Chocolate, Strawberry & Banana

 

In our House we LOVE Milkshakes … & Smoothies … & cute mustache straws!

Rarely no day goes by without Miss14 or I making one at some stage. We think our Milkshakes Rock our taste buds love us for it :-)

 
milkshakeflavourstext
 

Early morning Winter Sports Training, means Miss14 is up having breakfast at 5.15am.
It has to be a quick piece of Toast, then into training gear and out the door at ‘Ridiculous O’Clock’.

I make what I call a ‘Smoothie & Go’ for her to take with her, as after training she is starving again.

It needs to be a quick refueling as then she is immediately into First Period at School. She drinks it while on the move to class.

I whizz it up at home, pour it into a
Nalgene bottle and pop a small ice pack beside it to keep the milk portion cold.

It works really well.

She LOVES them and says it’s the ‘best thing ever’ to have after hard-as
training.

So if we can make our “Smoothie & Go” ‘better’ for us, by using Vitarium
Sugar Free Drinking Mix (less sugar than previous mix’s we use) then it’s a
Win-Win :-)

I also get serious Mom Kudos for giving her yummy things for after training.

 

Has it really got less sugar?
- Yup, 100% less, as they are sugar free – whoop whoop!

 

I do my best to stay away from products that use Aspartame, so we are very pleased to see Vitarium doesn’t have it and contains absolutely NO artificial ingredients.

No Aspartame, no Saccharin, no Sucrose, no Artificial colours or flavours!

How do they get their sweet taste still?
They are naturally sweetened with Natvia a 100% Natural Sweetner.

 

OK, BUT most IMPORTANTLY – How do they taste?

 

Miss14 and I have made all 3 flavours, initially as just simple MilkShakes:

• 200ml icey cold Milk
• 4 Teaspoons of Vitarium Mix
Whizzed in the bullet up for 2 seconds & poured into a glass with a cute straw

How did they fare?

Full of flavour, Creamy, Milkshakey.  A great deal tastier than previous Sugar Free drinks I have tried.  These were good.

Miss14’s favourite is the Strawberry which is interesting, as it’s not normally a flavour she would gravitate towards.

My favourite Mix was the Banana, again, not what I thought I would favour.  But closely followed by the Chocolate.

Would I hunt these out in the supermarket myself?  Absolutely :-)

 

milkshakesarepartofourfamilysugarfree

 

The mix’s are also:

• Gluten Free
• Nut Free
• Wheat Free
• Egg Free
• Yeast Free
• GMO Free

They also appear to be FODMAP friendly and easily tolerated by those needing to follow that diet when mixed with the likes of ZeroLacto or Lacto free milk.
(I’m not an expert, so please do your own checking first).

 

So in our FODMAP friendly Smoothie we put:

 

• 200ml icey cold Lactofree Milk
• 1/2 Banana
• 2 Teaspoons Vitarium Mix
• Big spoon of Peanut Butter
Seeds (ones you are tolerable to)  We use the likes of Power & Go seeds:
(has likes of Linseed, black Sesame Seeds, Hulled Buckwheat, Chia Seeds, Strawberry pieces)


Whizzed up in the bullet for 5-10 seconds & poured into a glass or bottle – YUM!

 

What else do you think I could use Vitarium’s Sugar Free Mix’s in?
Have you tried any of the flavours yet?
What other suggestions do you have of what I could add to our Smoothies?

 

 

Kiwi Mummy Blogs

In New Zealand we have a fab network of Kiwi Mummy Bloggers.  An amazing mix of hugely talented, insightful, genuine, fun, crazy well written blogs to entertain you for hours upon hours!

Come over, have a read, say Hi and we can get to know each other.

vitarium

KMB’s connected me with the awesome people at Vitarium and let me try out their products for free to see what we thought :-)

 

I walked in & scanned the room looking for that un-familiar face…

I walked in and scanned the room looking for an un-familiar face… that might ‘seem’ familiar.

Someone that would maybe catch my gaze, as they too were also looking for an un-familiar face…

over-energetically-smiled at the person near the counter thinking “that could be them”, but with no ‘eye brow’ lift of wonder (you know, the universal sign for ‘are you them’) I figured it wasn’t them.

That one was a little OLDER than I was expecting anyway… ;-)

 

 

I continued further in and found a seat near the corner, but facing the entry so I could each see each person as they came in.

Not knowing at all what they looked like was proving really difficult, in hindsight we should have arranged a “I’ll be wearing a red top” type identification system.

Every person that came in, I made eye contact with and then did the over-energetic-smile, but nothing yet.

I was happy to sit there, as I was early…as always.

But what surprised me was I had nervous butterflies in my stomach, like you get when you are meeting someone for the first time!

I found myself re-adjusting my dress, my scarf and picking invisible bits of fluff off my lap.  Then doing the dreaded “Wonder what they will think of me” internal dialogue, until I berated myself to “not over think this and just chill out”!

Finally, they walk in and my over-energetic-smile gets met with a friendly smile in return and the raised eye brow of acknowledgment.

Was this some hot new guy I was waiting on for a date? ….