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? ….

 

Perfect place to blow out the cobwebs – Paekakariki Hill Lookout

You know how sometimes you just need the perfect place to blow out the cobwebs?

Well this is one of them.

“Paekakariki Hill Lookout”

It’s situated as you come over from Pauatahanui heading up Paekakariki Hill Road and head down towards Paekakariki.

You will find it here MAP.

 

Test Photo 2 July 2014

 

 

REVIEW: ecostore Volumising Shampoo & Conditioner

 

ecostore_volumising_shampoo_conditioner

ecostore Volumising Shampoo & Conditioner

You know when a smell triggers something for you?

Maybe it’s freshly baked bread … blossom trees in spring or maybe its the CK One fragrance that reminds you of your teenage years (as both you and your boyfriend wore it!).

This is what happened when I poured this Shampoo into the palm of my hand.  The absolutely scrummy fragrance of what I thought smelled so much like Bergamot and Orange filled my shower and my senses with complete bliss!

I lathered it up into my hair and I couldn’t help but just keep breathing it in.  So fresh, so woody and gritty and just soooo delicious.  It felt really nice to shampoo with the ecostore Volumising Shampoo and then rinsing it out, my hair felt incredibly clean and lighter than it normally does.

Plant-based with gentle cleansing agents to protect against breakage and replenish fine hair.

Next it was onto the Conditioner and I slathered that onto the ends of my hair (I’m a very generous conditioner putter on-er).

It felt smooth and luxurious and soaked well into my hair.

Plant-based, enriched with Argan and Avacado oils to protect and nourish fine hair.

The real test was then going to be how my hair felt and looked after the shower and when it was dry…    Read more