Thursday, 25 August 2011

Hello Sunshine!

We have had some glorious weather these last few days. Its been perfect weather for backyard picnics (said nic-nics), washing the sheets, and general outdoorsy - ness.

Cue sunny day photo montage …

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It was warm enough to wear shorts although Noah was insistent on still wearing his gumboots. A very interesting fashion statement especially when there is no gap between the end of your shorts and the start of your boots (as seen in the rugby shots above – did you notice my little future Dan Carter?)

In other news… We had Plunket today and Isabelle now weighs 7.1 kg (petite but perfect), Noah has been wearing his glasses more often than not (yay!) and … he did a wee in the potty last night. I was so shocked I almost did a mini victory dance in the bathroom to celebrate. You will understand why I’m so excited if you’ve read this. Lets home this a sign of things to come!

Have a great weekend!

Jen x

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Ta da!

Remember this?

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Well I’ve been busy these last few days sanding, priming and painting… with the end result being this :

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I’m super happy with the result. There are some areas where my paint job is not perfect, but I’m choosing to overlook these. The drawers really suit the rest of Isabelle’s room – and just because I feel like it (and am pretty proud of how her room looks) I thought I’d show you some more…

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Can you tell I love having a little girl?

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Have a good day!

Jen x

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Glasses (Pronounced “Gah-gees”)

On Monday Noah got his glasses.

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I thought I’d share a bit about Noah’s glasses journey (so far) – in case you’re interested or just embarking on this journey with your little one. Feel free to skim read / exit out altogether if this a bit boring for you! It has developed into a rather lengthy snooze-fest!

We became aware of Noah’s eye problems earlier this year when I began noticing his left eye sometimes turning in. The Plunket nurse picked it up also (and informed us the eye turning in is called a squint) and referred us to the ophthalmology clinic at our local hospital.

We had a little bit of a wait (but not too bad) until his first appointment, where they basically just gauged his reaction when showed pictures that progressively got fainter and therefore harder to see. They patched one eye at a time while they did this. (You can’t exactly ask a 2.5 year old to read the eye chart, can you?) He struggled to see some of the faintest pictures with his left eye (although at the time I told myself that by this time in the appointment he had just got bored) – anyway based on this it was presumed highly likely there was a problem and were booked in for a follow up appointment.

In this next appointment they put eye drops in Noah’s eyes which dilated his pupils and then the doctor was able to shine a torch into Noah’s eyes and therefore write his prescription.

His prescription is + 3 for the right eye and + 5 for the left eye. I need to read more up on all this, but my understanding is that his eye sight really is not that great – especially the left eye. Although from what I have observed of him (without glasses) he is able to pick out all the animals, numbers he knows etc in his books, although he does seem to point at strange men and old ladies when we are out and calls them Daddy or Nana. (This can be embarrassing!)

From what I understand of it, his focussing muscles are not great which means he has to do extra work intently staring at something or squinting a bit which is very tiring and then his left eye sometimes just gives up and that’s when it turns in (especially when he’s tired.)

Anyhow …! We went to Spec Savers, Hastings a couple of weeks ago to pick the frames. They were super helpful and didn’t mind that we  Noah got choc from his M & Ms all over many pairs! The M & Ms were a necessary bribe so the staff there could get measurements they needed. We ended up picking out 2 pairs of really cute Mr Men glasses on their 2 pair deal. Kids glasses really have come a long way.

I was really blown away by the level of service we received at that shop. We had checked out many other places and they just could not compete and had in fact told us that Spec Savers (SS) would not be able to do the 2 pair deal with Noah’s prescription. They were wrong, We were also advised by other places that we should pay an extra $100 to have the left lens thinned for aesthetic reasons. Of course we wanted Noah to look good so we were all planning on doing that. But then Steve at SS showed us that it would only reduce the thickness by 0.3 of a mm!! (For a $100!!) And because it was a small child’s lens the angle was much smaller and it wouldn’t look too thick anyway.

… Just so you know this is NOT a review for SS and they are not paying me to say this at all – but they were just so helpful in what could a bit of a stressful thing. (Isn’t anything involving your kids health/ and or departing with large amounts of money somewhat stressful?) I’m probably going to forward a link to their head office so the Hastings staff can be patted on the back .. and if they decide to use Noah as a super cute model in any of their campaigns I wouldn’t complain!  (Although they better be armed with M & Ms!)

Back to the story at hand – The glasses were then sent away to be fitted with Noah’s prescription lenses. When we picked up the glasses on Monday and Noah was amazed at what he could see. He always gives me a running commentary anyway but this was different and more intense : “Mummy house, house, car, blue car, old lady!”

Its early days yet and I’m aiming to have about a week of easing into the glasses. First day he wore them for about 2 x 1 hour blocks. Yesterday, he wore them when out and about in the buggy. We had talked them up and he was excited and amazed as described above, but he still thinks as them kind of like a new toy that he gets bored off and then discards, and still has to get used to the bits behind his ears etc.

 These are my observations and thoughts on it so far:

* Despite the initial (and in my opinion very helpful and necessary) M & M fest, I am trying to keep treats/ bribes (especially food ones) to a minimum. When I was a kid I bit my nails so Mum offered me bribes to stop. I’d stop, get the bribe then start again to get another. And then my sister started seemingly to get in on the bribe action! And we don’t want to add teeth problems and childhood obesity into the mix as well! (joke!)

* I don’t really want to punish him for not wearing his glasses – I want to avoid a negative association with them. Intentionally breaking them or the like will be met with an appropriate response though!

* I want to be encouraging and give lots of praise, yet also hang back from doing this too much as I want them just to become part of normal life … and I’ve noticed after a while if I don’t mention them every 5 seconds, he forgets he’s wearing them.

* As with any property, I’m encouraging him to look after them (He is very much into trying to ‘clean’ them with that cloth!) and to give them to me when he doesn’t want them anymore (hopefully this becomes less and less.) I also have to get over worrying that he might break them – it likely will happen but better damaged worn glasses than pristine never worn ones!)

* I have developed a sticker/ stamp chart – inspired by Angela of Striking Keys, toilet training chart – see here. Actually a lot of her and other general toilet training strategies can be applied. There are a lot of parallels  - in that I just need to keep consistent, keep offering him to put them on, and I plan to try and get some cool toys and books about glasses. However, I’d take a wet puddle on the floor accident over a broken glasses, few hundred more dollars down the drain accident any day!

The plan with the chart is that every day before bed, he can put one sticker on if he’s worn them for at least 1 hour, two if he’s worn them most times I’ve offered them for at least an hour at a time, and three if pretty much all day – pretty bad measurements, but that’s the best I’ve come up with!

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Blah, Blah, Blah (sorry for the novel!)

If you have a kid that you’ve already been through this with and have some helpful hints of your own. Please let me know, I’d be very appreciative!

I also haven’t yet turned to the google machine for suggestions – but sometimes I’ve found with other health issues all the info the internet spouts out can be somewhat overwhelming!

And, in case your wondering … I was a bit sad when I found out Noah had vision issues. You wonder why? As of about 25 I developed short –sightedness and have glasses for distance, but other than that there is no history in either mine or Andrew’s family, and Noah wasn’t prem or anything, which can be a contributing factor. I guess we’ll never know and besides there are much worse health issue which he does not have.

And I think wears them pretty well… don’t you think?

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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Shiny. New. Toy!

At the risk of sounding materialistic, I just want to talk about my our shiny new toy for a moment!

An interior designer I like says that every room should have at least a tiny bit of red in it, to make it “pop!”

I couldn’t agree more!

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Loving the retro red!

Best thing is – it was a freebie. Andrew got it free with a computer he needed for work.

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Noah thinks it is his ‘Fluffy Machine!’

The only downside, is that this thing literally eats your milk. There have also been some 'customer’ complaints about this ‘cafe’s’ lack of "marmoes" … awww well, might have to swing past the supermarket some time today to (re)stock!

Happy coffee/ fluffy-ing!

Jen x

P.S.  In other news we pick up Noah’s glasses (pronounced ‘gar-gees’) today! … And nothing whatsoever to do with this post but check out this cutie from the weekend:

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Thursday, 11 August 2011

List of the Week: Decorative ideas with paper

The list of this week is a little self serving in that I was planning on blogging about my first item on the list (paper bunting) anyway. (Noah and I made this yesterday.)

But then I realised two things; 1) that I hadn’t done a list of the week this week, and 2) I have a few things I have made out of paper that are currently decorating our house which put together amount to a list… and therefore I am able to kill two birds with one stone, as they say.

When you think about it paper is a pretty awesome craft medium. Its cheap and unlike fabric it doesn’t fray and you don’t have to sew it (unless you want to) and therefore can make for some pretty quick, easy yet effective projects.

So without any further ado:

1) Paper Bunting

Noah loves Mickey Mouse and the rest of the Disney characters (along with Elmo, Buzz, Woody, Tigger … the boy’s not fussy!) On one of my recent op shop trips I picked an old well loved (tatty) Mickey Mouse book for 20 cents that I knew had potential for a project like this. There is something about those vintage illustrations in old kids books that makes me go all gooey inside.

For the rest of the flags Noah and I did a little painting …


I tried to make my paintings kind of look like fabric, but at the same time have that perfectly imperfect look (with not perfectly straight lines and that paint brush textured look.) I think I like Noah’s paintings more though, and seeing the amount of enjoyment he got out of it.

After that I just waited until they dried and cut them and the pages of the book I was using out in a triangle template I previously used when I made fabric bunting for Noah when he was a baby. (Yep he’s got double bunting in his room now – perhaps a bit OTT?)

Then wedged each flag between fabric bias binding I had and sewed them in. I would have probably just stapled them to long strips of paper if I had had some lying around the house.

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Heaps quicker than fabric bunting and pretty much the same effect.










2) If you like it then you should put a frame on it

(That’s my attempt at a joke.)

Everything looks better in a frame, it makes things look professional. And shops like the Warehouse, Kmart and Briscoes (when on sale … and when are they not having a sale?) , stock some affordable frames.

Here’s some examples of things I’ve framed:


Exhibit A: There’s some of those vintage kids book illustrations again. We had been given this frame and I didn’t know what you use it for and this idea came to me.

Exhibit B: My son is an abstract artist. Putting kids art in a frame makes it look a bit fancy! I think those little yellow handprints make me all gooey even more than the vintage illustrations.

3) Stretch it over canvas


I made this for Noah when he was small. I just used a cute wrapping paper I liked and wrapped it around and glued it down on these three canvases. You could used your child’s art or cool illustrations from old books … etc

4) Make your own graphic art

I love the current trend of art with funny slogans usually made on the computer, and usually characterised by simplicity and bold colours. (Think the “Keep Calm and Carry on” kind of idea.) I recently have been playing round on my computer making some of my own (but that’s a completely different post for the future!)

Anyway, yesterday, as kind of a spin off to my bunting project (I had heaps of our paintings left) - I made this:

Not an original idea or slogan but I’m happy with the result.

I just cut lettering (and some random triangles) out of the paintings we had done earlier and glued them along with the cut out letters at the bottom on plain white paper. And framed it of course.

So that’s my list this week. Short but sweet Smile

Have a great weekend

Jen x

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The ‘Flood’

Every now and again (although reasonably frequently of late) Noah creates a mini flood in the bathroom. What can I say the boy loves to brush his teeth and somebody bought him a stool and taught him how to turn on the tap (what was I thinking??)

Tonight was one of those nights…

… but I guess if you name your kid Noah what do you expect? Next thing you now he’ll be bringing home lots of unusual pets!

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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Fun with Family

The last couple of days the kids and I stayed at my Mum’s (Nana’s) house. We are lucky enough to live only around 20 minutes away, and see a lot more of her since we moved up from Wellington at the end of last year. But we had an extra special treat Sun-Tues staying at her house and seeing my sister, Holly who was very briefly visiting from Wellington.

Unfortunately I never seem to take many photos of Holly and I together (I think we are always too busy talking and catching up) - and this time was no different. It was great to see her although it was too short. I will have to remember to take lots more photos next time I see her. Although I seemed to get a bit more snap happy after she left.

The Hawkes Bay put on some beautiful weather the last couple of days and we had a lot of fun. Noah enjoyed collecting lemons in Nana’s backyard, throwing rocks at the beach and playing with toi toi and downing a fluffy at a little cafe in the Esk Valley. Isabelle enjoyed rolling round on a blanket outdoors, stuffing any amount of leaves and grass in her mouth (just as fast as I could retrieve them) and trying to keep up with her big brother.

I now have about 5 kilos of lemons, a couple of shaggy toi toi (is that plural) and a bunch of ‘Holly-less’ photos as a reminder of this great time spent together.

… And the fun hasn’t stopped yet – This morning we are going with Nana to see Cars 2 at the movies. Wish me luck, as this will be the first time either of the kids has been to the movies and I’m unsure just how this will turn out!

Thanks Mum and Holly for a lovely last couple of days xx