Category: Parenting

What Happens If Something Bad Happens To You?

 


What Happens If Something Bad Happens To You

I was moving a lot of stuff out into the garage today and had the strangest thought come over me.

I was moving a full length mirror down some stairs, and I suddenly thought “what if I dropped this on myself right now and I got all cut up and bled so much I passed out” … (morbid I know)

“What would my kids do?”

“Do my kids even know what to do?”

“How would Chloe know who to ring?”

So I went inside and asked her what the emergency number was, and she said “Um … 1, 1, oh I don’t know”.

So I explained it was 111.

I then asked if she knew how to make a phone call – she didn’t.

We don’t have a house phone; only cellphones; so I showed her what to do.

She also doesn’t know our address. Not because I haven’t told her, but because she can’t remember it yet.

OH SHIT … If something bad was to happen I don’t think she could confidently phone someone and tell them something was wrong.

Do you guys ever worry about that? How do you deal with it?

Obviously I know Chloe needs to learn where we live, but all of that takes time. Just like learning how to make a phone call on a cellphone (although I know that one is easier for her to pick up).

Should I be worried about this? Do I need flash cards?

It just suddenly dawned on me that I need to start thinking about this. I would HATE for something to happen to me (or Phil) and the kids not know what to do or to be stuck.

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The Lowdown: Meal Planning

 


The Lowdown: Meal Planning

I am NOT a meal planner. In fact I’m the exact opposite of it. Usually I get to 3pm and am like “whoops I have no idea what I’m doing for dinner” and then run around like a headless chicken.

I’m still NOT a meal planner but I am trying to get better at it.

After a few weeks of my husband being away and me feeling like I have no control in my life anymore, I decided to get the meals sorted. So I sat down and tried to write a meal plan for the week out.

I even Googled it to see what I could find out about meal planning and will share it below with you. Also below is a meal planner that I have designed which also doubles as a “to do” list or anything you need to remember for the day.

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1. THEMES
You don’t have to create an elaborate list (or meal) each day. If you’re anything like me, even thinking of something to have can be difficult – even when I’m planning in advance; so keep it simple. Perhaps have a theme for each day of the week. Like this:

Mondays – Meat free Monday
Tuesdays – Slow cooker Tuesday
Wednesdays – Pasta / noodles
Thursdays – Stir fry
Fridays – Home made pizza
Saturdays – Wraps
Sundays – Roast

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2. PLAN BEFORE YOU SHOP
If you do a Saturday shop, plan the night before so that you have an idea of what you’re shopping for. We have a shopping app on our phones called “ShopShop“. This syncs with our dropbox account – so if I update it, it updates on Phil’s phone too. This is how I add things for him to get.

Also try and utilise what you already have in your pantry. Stand up and look in the pantry as you’re planning your meals – you don’t have to buy a million ingredients – especially if you’ve already got them!

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3. KEEP IT SIMPLE
You don’t have to create elaborate meals. Meat and two vege are absolutely acceptable forms of meals. My own list for the week includes “sausages and pasta”, “spaghetti bolognaise” and “chicken drumsticks with rice”. Very basic – and the kids love it.

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4. USE A MEAL PLANNER
I have created a very basic meal planner (which is below) that also doubles as a bit of a “what’s on today” type of list. You can either print it out yourself, or use this Adhesive Meal Planner from Kmart.

Click the image to download a PDF version of the file:

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The Lowdown: Toy Libraries

 


The Lowdown: Toy Libraries

Toy Libraries: did you know they exist? Within each community are these not-for-profit places that offer quality toys for a minimal annual fee (or weekly hire charge).

Honestly I don’t think I had any idea something like this existed when my kids were younger, but if I had, I would have totally taken advantage of it.

Toys are expensive, and infant’s / toddler’s / children’s attention spans are often that of a goldfish. So you might spent a lot of money on amazing toys only to find they play with them for five minutes and never look at them again.

The beauty of a Toy Library is to give each and every person the opportunity to have different types of toys available for their child.

Toy Libraries offer a range of quality toys, puzzles, games and learning activities for members to hire for a set period of time. In NZ our toy libraries mainly cater for children 0-8 years. Many libraries also stock games, puzzles, sport, musical and other play items suitable for the entire family. Some therapeutic toy libraries such as those run by CCS focus on children with special needs.

Toy Libraries are run by a group of volunteers for the benefit of children in your community. Fees vary from library to library.

The Toy Libraries are often located in public places such as your local Plunket Room – which gives you the opportunity to meet other families in the community.

Hiring not only allows you to change up the toys easily for your child, but also it is a good environmental option as you aren’t throwing the toy away.

If you’d like to find out if there is a Toy Library near you, check out the Toy Library Website.

Thank you to all of those wonderful volunteers out there who set up, run and manage each Toy Library – what you are doing is amazing for our community and families.

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The Dreaded C Word

 


The Dreaded C Word

That word … the dreaded C word … the one you never want to hear or know in your life at all.

Croup.

Some of you know about our struggle with Asthma and Croup, others don’t. You can read about it here, or I’ll briefly cover it in a couple of sentences:

For a period of about 8 months, Chloe had croup several times – to the point she was hospitalised twice. Finally we had a diagnosis of Asthma and since then we haven’t had anything.

Until yesterday.

The night before, Chloe had a terrible sleep where she couldn’t stop coughing. Because I know of her history with croup / asthma, I kept her home from school yesterday.

We headed off to the doctor first thing in the morning, and you know how it was – Chloe was fine. No coughing, nothing.

It wasn’t until lunchtime that the cough came back and she just couldn’t stop.

So we headed back to the doctor around 3pm, and he said “yep it’s Croup”. We got Redipred, and I went and bought a pineapple (apparently it has a natural cough suppressant in it).

Thank goodness I went back – otherwise we might have ended up in hospital last night.

We got home and I gave her a dose of Redipred and some fresh pineapple. I also gave her a shower to steam things up – but also highly recommend an ultrasonic vapouriser if you have one.

Croup is VERY scary for everyone – for the child AND for the parents. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

Hopefully this is the only dose of it this year.

Last night I was petrified I was going to end up in hospital though, and am so so glad that the Redipred worked and Chloe had a wonderful sleep.

She deserved it after the struggle she went through yesterday.

Has your child ever experienced croup?

Check out Kid’s Health for more information about Croup. If you are ever concerned please phone Healthline (0800 611 116) or visit your GP or local doctor. If you are worried that your child can’t breathe please do not hesitate to dial 111 and get an ambulance – your child’s health comes first and that’s what they’re there for!

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It’s Ok To Stop

 


It’s Ok To Stop

This is my post to say to you as a parent – if you’re sick, it’s ok to stop.

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It’s ok to say to your kids “TV is on ALL DAY”

It’s ok to say “I’m lying on the couch, I don’t care what you do”

It’s ok to ask for help

It’s ok to not do your washing

It’s ok to leave the house a mess

It’s ok to stop

It’s ok to not cook dinner

It’s ok to have random shit for dinner – spaghetti from a tin, or toast, or scrambled eggs

It’s ok to have takeaways

it’s ok to bitch and moan

It’s ok to cry

It’s ok to wish you were somewhere else

It’s ok to eat crappy food

It’s ok to do whatever the f*k you want!!!

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When you’re sick – IT’S OK TO DO ANYTHING YOU WANT

In fact … want to know a secret? Even if you’re not sick, it’s also ok to do this. But we all know that when we’re sick, parenting is a million times harder.

Don’t be hard on yourself, in fact the easier you make it for yourself the better.

If you have a baby – then shit that is TOUGH. A toddler is one thing, but a baby is another. If you have a baby – just remember that a child does not need entertaining 24/7. This rule applies to a toddler too. OR ANY HUMAN BEING.

Being bored is good for kids – it lets them use their imagination.

WHATEVER YOU DO, look after yourself. Take vitamins. Drink water. REST REST REST as much as you can. Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you have to do EVERYTHING all the time.

If you have a partner then communicate with them. TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT AND HOW YOU ARE FEELING.

When you’re sick, it’s your body’s way of saying “slow down and let me get better”.

So do just that if you can.

PS nothing against solo parents, because I know that shit’s not easy. In fact, when I was my sickest my husband, my parents AND my in-laws were all not around. So I was doing it alone. hence why – “it’s ok to stop”. Because it is.

On flights they say “put your oxygen mask on first before assisting your child” – this is the same. Look after yourself first so you can look after your kids.

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Being Fun Parents

 


Being Fun Parents

Yesterday afternoon when I picked my daughter (5) up from school, she was upset because we are not the “fun parents”. She said that we yelled at her all the time, and that we told her off too much.

She said that she wished someone else was her parents.

I was shocked and a little upset, but to start with I didn’t show her that. I questioned her and what she meant, and we spent the 5 minute drive home chatting about it.

My heart did break.

If you follow me on Snapchat (happymumnz) you will have seen that when we got home, I changed it up a bit and we did have some fun.

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After the kids went to bed, and Chloe and I had a chat, I realised where the comments from her may have come from.

When she was sick, my Mum came over (her Gran) and she had a lot of fun with her. Just like most kids have with their Grandparents, or Aunties, or Uncles, or ANYONE outside of the immediate parental unit.

When we debriefed together at bedtime, I explained to her that we will always be parents first and friends second – and that every other parent out there is the same.

I explained that “Gran and Pa” will always be more fun than Mum and Dad.

And that’s right – Grandparents (for the most part) have done their time as parents, and it’s their time to enjoy the grandkids.

They don’t have to parent the child 24/7, so they can be the fun ones.

Of course I realise she might not understand this, but one day she will and until then I will be doing my best to encourage her to continue talking to me when she feels upset about something.

I am beyond proud of her for telling me how she felt, and I hear her loud and clear.

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It is a hard wake up call for me but one that I truly appreciate I have the opportunity to have.

Our family have a lot of fun together, but we are always parents first because it’s our job to guide our children in this world.

Yes I do yell at my kids. Yes I do tell them off. But we also laugh a lot more than both of those things and for me that is just as important. Our family is full of fun and laughter, but with guidance inbetween.

What do you think? Parents first, friends second?

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Every Child Learns Differently

 


Every Child Learns Differently

I have two children – Chloe (5) and Ronan (3) and they couldn’t be more different from each other.

Chloe is my eldest and definitely takes on traits of the eldest child. She’s eager to please, listens (mostly), and loves a challenge.

Ronan on the other hand, does not really care if he doesn’t please us – he does his own thing. He listens when he wants to, and if he doesn’t want to do something, he won’t do it.

When Chloe started Kindergarten, she jumped right into their morning schedule of finding her own name to put on a board, and then writing her name on the attendance register. I encouraged her to do this, and this helped her to learn how to recognise, spell and write her name.

I thought I would do the same with Ronan, but realised early on that because Chloe and him were different, I had to take a different approach.

Therefore, when he started Kindergarten, I didn’t push him to write his name. In fact, three months in and I don’t think he’s written it once – he hasn’t shown any inclination to do it either. I do ask him, and he says NO.

I’m ok with that though – because I know that each child (no matter who) learns differently, and they’ll all get to the point where they do know, eventually.

My husband is dyslexic and learns quite differently to me; he learns best by watching, rather than by reading.

This has been a great lesson for us when it comes to our children – that we need to be aware that each of them will learn differently; and sometimes they won’t learn the same as what is in the schooling system (Phil was a prime example of this).

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This was reinforced when I realised that Reading Eggs have a Junior edition of their programme; which is tailored specifically to 2-4 year olds.

Reading Eggs Junior helps our kids to take their first steps towards learning to read with fun and engaging activities. So fun, in fact, they won’t even realise they’re learning.

Reading Eggs Junior is the most comprehensive early learning programme for children and has been carefully designed by experienced educators.

Chloe has had so much success with Reading Eggs that I couldn’t wait to get Ronan started on Reading Eggs Junior; but again I haven’t pushed him, which is why we are still on the basics.

He really has loved it so far, and actively asks to use it during our night time “device time”. I don’t mind if he only plays it for five minutes at a time – it’s all learnings and it all counts!

Start your toddler’s reading journey with a FREE 4 week trial to Reading Eggs Junior. Visit https://readingeggsjunior.co.nz/happymum.

*Offer is only available to new Reading Eggs customers. Ends 5 October 2017.

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New Zealand’s First Parenting Chat Show Goes LIVE

 


New Zealand’s First Parenting Chat Show Goes LIVE

Two years ago I had an idea to have a series of couch conversations with parents. Back then though, I was going to call in the NZ Mum’s View.

The driving force behind it was to have a dedicated chat show helping parents discuss parenting issues.

Obviously life does happen, and it took a while for my idea to really take effect and by the time I was ready, it needed a name change; because I wanted it to be about parenting and not just about Mums.

There are a lot of breakfast shows out there that discuss all types of topics – from parenting, to sports, to book reviews / movie reviews, etc etc. And I feel there is something missing specifically for parents.

I felt like I had nothing to watch of interest that was specific to me, and I felt like I could change that.

Part of the reason it’s taken so long to happen is because a part of me was scared to do it – scared to take a step into the unknown and do something that could potentially be BIG.

I also had no idea where to start or what to do.

So after a year, my big change happened – the name change. The Parenting View was born, and out of that I also created a Facebook Group. This has now got over 15,000 members and is a place for parents to come and chat about everything.

I gained the support of my friends, and slowly my confidence built to start this show.

For the last year or so I have been worried though – that someone will come along and use my idea and do their own show. So it was important for me to do this for that reason too; especially because I had been talking about it in my social media circles.

But now it is here, and it is here to stay.

Episode one is out now on YouTube and on Facebook. You can watch it below here:

The chat is between myself and Lisa Stirling (No Filter Mum) and Lisa Hays (Owl & Monkey). We will be chatting together for the first few episodes until I get my bearings around what I’m doing and eventually we will have other guests.

I want to be able to talk about everything – from struggling with pregnancy, to tantruming toddlers. Even want to tackle vaccinations and the smacking debate – but I want to have professionals involved in those shows to get a broader perspective.

Would love you to follow my YouTube channel and of course keep an eye on my Facebook page too.

I am very very excited about this moment as it really has been a long time coming.

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Our Struggle With Asthma

Constantly Sick Child

 


Our Struggle With Asthma

Has anyone seen the ad on TV about New Zealand lactose going into asthma inhalers? It totally blew my mind! It also really touched home for me because Chloe has asthma, and for a long time we struggled because we had no idea what was happening …

BACKSTORY

When Chloe was 4 years old, she developed a chronic cough. For 6 months she would have it, and we had no idea what caused it. When she got a cold, it got worse; much worse.

We tried a nebuliser, and herbal cough syrup.  We raised the head of her bed, and tried eucalyptus oil.  We gave her teaspoons of honey, and started her on probiotics. We even swapped the kids around – so my boy was now in my girls room, and she’s went into his room. Just to see if it made a difference – it didn’t.

We even had her tested for allergies.

We actually ended up in hospital a couple of times because it turned into croup.

The One With The Hospital

Eventually, during one of our hospital stays, her oxygen levels were so low they started considering asthma. Her levels didn’t increase, so she was admitted to a ward and placed under observation.

It was then, the doctors said “yes it’s asthma” and we were given the appropriate assistance to help her at home (inhalers).

It was a really long and rough 6 months though, to get to that point. Nobody got any sleep, and we were incredibly worried for Chloe; and as parents really had no idea what we were doing.

Whilst a lot of people experience wheezing and shortness of breath with their asthma, Chloe had the cough-variant type – which meant she coughed to try and help her lungs get more air, and to clear what was in them (even though there was nothing there, they were just having trouble getting air).

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WHAT WE DO NOW:

After the asthma diagnosis, we were given inhalers to manage Chloe’s breathing – these have been absolutely crucial in stopping the constant cough and giving her system a break from the breathing struggle.

We also worked really hard to ensure her room wasn’t damp, and was at a consistent temperature. We brought in an oil heater which has a thermostat to keep the room warm during the winter nights.

We also invested in an Ultrasonic Vapouriser – which vibrates cold water to produce a fine mist.

As I said above though – the truly amazing thing were the inhalers that we received. Since starting Chloe on this we haven’t had a single problem with her asthma.

I just found out the other day through the ad on TV, that there is inhalable lactose in inhalers. Did you know that the lactose takes the important drug (that helps the asthma) to the part of the body that needs it the most?

In fact, the lactose that’s in most inhalers comes from our very own cows right here in New Zealand; making it the most pure lactose in the world.

New Zealand is the largest provider of inhalable lactose in the world.

I personally find that fascinating and am very proud to have New Zealand milk able to help so many people with asthma, including my own daughter.

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Chloe’s asthma is still under control thanks to the inhalers, and we are absolutely grateful for all the help and assistance we’ve gotten since the diagnosis.

If you’d like to learn more about inhalable lactose, visit the Fonterra website.

Thank you Fonterra for making such an educative advert about inhalable lactose and for sponsoring this post.

13 Products That Will Make Your Life Easier

 


Products You NEED In Your Life

Every day I look at my disgusting cupboards full of useless products and sigh. I know I don’t need them so why do I keep them?! There’s only a handful I truly find useful. I’ve gone through what I love, and what I want, and have compiled a list of 13 products that will make your life easier …

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1. A Philip’s All In One Cooker to make cooking easy. Don’t have money for a Thermomix? Next best thing really LOL.

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2. A Tile Mate to make finding your keys easier. Trust me when I say my husband has used this several times.

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3. A Sodastream to make fizzy water. Fun for the kids, and great for those “after 5” drinks.

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4. Depending on your physical needs, an acupressure mat to cut back or eliminate massage or chiropractor appointments. This one from Shakti Mats is great! You can also get 10% off by using the code HAPPYMUM

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5. An ice cream scoop is for more than just ice cream, You can use it to scoop cookie dough out, get the perfect portion of pancake mix into the pan OR roll meatballs up.

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6. Having a solid Kenwood stand mixer is well worth the money. Even better when it’s on special LOL

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7. Silicone food huggers so you stop wasting half-eaten veggies and fruits and have makeshift caps for any sort of bottle or container.

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8. A freaking decent food processor. It will revolutionise your life and make prepping food so much easier. Gone are the days of crying over cut up onions.

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9. A sandwich press is not just for making toasted sandwiches! You can use it to perfectly cook pancakes, or heat up kebabs.

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10. A decent coffee machine will change your life. Promise.

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11. When the power on your phone runs low, this portable power charger is PERFECT. I have two of these in my handbag because apparently I use my phone too much …

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12. Shatterproof glasses have changed my life and I haven’t smashed a single one since being given one. I highly recommend!

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13. This window vacuum cleaner has changed things in our house. It wipes down windows effortlessly and collects the water at the same time. We used it every day in winter once we bought one …

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Do you have any products that make your life easier?! Let me know below!

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