All posts filed under: Long Stuff

Don’t worry, baby.

Even the briefest of scrolls through parenting sites indicates that anxiety in children and babies is a hot topic. Anxiety in adults can be difficult enough to identify and treat – let alone in a tiny person who is just learning about their world. I had a chat to registered psychologist, Cate Hey, about  developing emotions. This article appeared in Little Treasures Magazine, and is easier to read here in this pdf: AnxietyinBabies

Now it matters

At the risk of coming across as a bit neurotic and high maintenance, I think having babies has made me a bit neurotic and high maintenance. Previously mundane or everyday situations have taken on a whole new meaning now that there are two tiny humans in our life. The little things have become big things, and motherhood can feel a bit like one of those reality TV shows where people have to make it through obstacle courses covered in soap while big padded gloves throw unexpected blows. Except there’s no cash prize, and instead of an exciting purpose-built course, the obstacles are things like long queues at the supermarket. For example: Holiday traffic with the husband before kids: “Oh rats, traffic is at a standstill. Never mind, let’s listen to some music, have a chat, and share the chocolate bar that’s in my small and tidy handbag”. After kids: “Noooo! I’m down to the last three crackers for the bored toddler, and then there’s nothing but a half-empty packet of crystallized raisins somewhere in the …

The name game

Before I had my own babies, I couldn’t understand why people would say “still deciding on a name” in their birth announcement. What? You’ve had nine months to prepare for this moment! How hard it is to choose a name? Er, actually harder than it looks, I discovered when pregnant for the first time. Jeremy (my husband) and I had decided not to find out what we were having, so we needed options both ways. We set perimeters on name-choosing rules, such as checking there were no notorious criminals with that moniker, no names of ex-partners or meanies from school, and making sure it wouldn’t sound silly with our last name (when we got married, I was keen on having one family surname, but filled out the forms somewhat reluctantly because my married name makes me sound like a drunk Irishman). We both loved the same boy’s name. Sorted. A girl’s middle name would be Clare, after my mother. BAM, we were nailing this naming thing and I was only about eleven minutes pregnant. But …

Review: Dawn O’Porter, ‘The Cows’

COW [n.]/kau/ A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd. Recently I had the sheer pleasure of taking lone flight to see my best friend. It was too early in the morning to summon the drinks trolley, but the in-flight entertainment app seductively touted season one of ‘Big Little Lies’, which I’d been meaning to see for ages, so I was as happy as a temporarily childfree woman on a trans-Tasman flight at 6.30am could possibly be. Alas, the entertainment app gave the middle finger to all passengers by refusing to work. The technology fail turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I had an uncracked copy of Dawn O’Porter’s ‘The Cows’ stashed in my bag (there were no blessings, disguised or otherwise for all the parents on the flight who had to find other forms of entertainment for the next four hours), and five pages in I was wishing the plane could just fly until it ran out of fuel so I could read the whole …

Leave it on the playground

  With the weather sending out flirty sunny signals by way of apologising for the recent flooding in our city, we decided to get together with some friends and their kids for a combined family lunch and play. Given that there were nine of us in total (four adults, five kids), there was a bit of a wait for a table, but with a fantastic playground adjacent to the restaurant you could buy wrist bands to play on, the wait was no bother at all. The kids got stuck in to the busy playground, and the adults chatted while keeping an eye out for any potential flight risks, and an ear out for any “I’ve fallen off this thing here and something is probably broken!” shrieks.  A good waiting time was had by all. Or so I thought. Just after we’d sat down and all disputes over coloured cups had been settled, my five year old daughter whispered “oh no, here comes that mean girl”, and shrank back into her seat as a little girl …

Rachel’s Boob-boo

On Valentine’s Day, Rachel Smalley used her ‘Rachel Smalley’s Opinion’ slot in the NZ Herald to have a substantial crack at women who’ve gone under a plastic surgeon’s knife or needle. Boob jobs, in particular, have really gotten Rachel’s natural tits in a tangle. Rachel takes a stab that she thinks plastic surgeons like to call ‘boob jobs’ ‘breast augmentation’. Great sleuthing! Plastic surgeons DO like to call boob jobs ‘breast augmentation’, because that is the medical terminology for the procedure. Enlightened by the first few paragraphs that small nipples are in, and a B-cup is the new D-cup, I started getting a bit antsy when Rachel waded into “just be happy with your body; plastic surgery is for weirdos” territory. “Ooooh, careful, Rachel”, I thought to myself, “have you forgotten #LardoGate? Remember that one time you accidentally left your mic on during the ad break in your radio show and said that New Zealand women are all a pack of lardos and heifers for having an average weight over 70kgs? People got pretty cross …

Step aside, Sanctimommy

Not only does the Internet offer up things that make me laugh and give me the opportunity to see what complete strangers are doing with their lives and décor, it helps me feel connected to the world on days when I don’t see any other adults. The Internet has also introduced me to the concept of the ‘Sanctimommy’. A sensational mash-up of the words ‘Sanctimonious’ and ‘Mommy’, a Sanctimommy exists to tell the rest of us exactly when and how we’re screwing up parenting, without sparing our mediocre mothering feelings. Let’s say you entered a picture of your family enjoying a picnic at the beach for an online competition. “Oh cute”, chimes in the Sanctimommy, “but I can see a bottle of bought sunscreen on the blanket there – it blows my mind that people rub toxic chemicals on their precious baby’s skin. I make my own from organic oils. It’s time consuming, but I actually love my children so it’s worth the effort. Those sandwiches are clearly made from refined flour – are they …

Go with your gut

In the glamour stakes, the gut ranks somewhere alongside the armpit in the eyes of most people, and is generally left to its own devices. Far from simply being a means of getting food from one end of our body to the other, the gut is the powerhouse of our immune system, and a factory for brain chemicals. I spoke with Rosanne Sullivan from The WellBeing Centre in Auckland and found out why we should be giving this part of our body a whole lot of love and attention. “It’s estimated that roughly 80 per cent of our immune system is location in our gut”, says Rosanne Sullivan, ” and a significant amount of serotonin (our ‘happiness hormone’) along with other brain chemicals are made in the gut. Yet despite being one of our biggest organs, the gut is not often a popular topic of conversation. But it’s something we should pay a lot more attention to, as the negative effects of an under-performing gut can present in surprising ways. “The gut is a big, long …

Secondary Infertility & IVF

This is part two of a blog originally written for If Only They’d Told me, about endometriosis, IVF, and (spoiler alert) motherhood. You can read part one here I’ll just do IVF I remember breezily thinking in my twenties, “oh, I could always just do IVF if I don’t get pregnant naturally.” The reality of IVF was a little more intense than I anticipated. The first hurdle was All The Needles. I’m a needle-phobe. I turn into a gigantic child in the face of injections, IVs and blood tests. I’m fine with actual surgery, but not the needles that come with it.  You’d think after three surgeries for endometriosis (which involve IVs and drainage tubes) and Amy’s caesarean delivery I would have gotten over myself. Nope.  I had to do my first injection about an hour before we were leaving for Jeremy’s 40th birthday dinner, which was probably for the best as there was no time for stuffing around. We’d already decided that for the sake of our marriage it would be best for me to …