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Turning 30 and a Trip

To celebrate my thirtieth birthday, my husband, son and I went away to Hamilton (New Zealand) for a few days. It was something I have been looking forward to for months.

Hamilton is an inland city surrounded by many farming areas with warm days and cold nights. I was born there and my family lived there for about two and a half years. It feels a bit like an anchor point for me. My Maori mihi grounds me in my land (Hamilton), my mountain (Taupiri) and my river (the mighty Waikato river).

Me at the Hamilton Gardens
Me at the Hamilton Gardens

On the way down we visited my Dad’s oldest brother and family. Once we arrived we explored the stunning Hamilton Gardens. My husband loves taking photos, so we posed for a fair few.

On our second day we were at the Hamilton Zoo bright and early, my son and I adore animals so we had a blast. With the animals fresh from a night away from the humans, we were lucky to see most of them wandering about. Nu especially loves birds.

Just Nu, me and some birdsTwo lovely ladies that I worked with a few years ago live in Hamilton now, so we visited them after Nu’s nap. I felt so special, they had prepared afternoon tea, dinner, dessert and a cake!

On the last morning, I did something very special, I made myself ride a horse. I have been scared of these giant, mostly gentle, creatures since an incident at a petting zoo in preschool! I met the most fantastic horse and his team at the Pirongia Clydesdales and we took a few turns in the garden. Me and my new friend

While we were away, we kept to usual (early) bedtimes due to Nu and I performed a body scan meditation each day. On the way home I was not feeling particularly well, so I performed a body scan meditation and sat quietly with my eyes closed for most of the trip.

The fatigue flared up and I had to leave work early on the first day back. Each day since, I have progressively become a bit less fatigued. It is different for the fatigue to be the most dominant symptom, though my neck joined in on the third day. I have mindfully taken it gently.

I am feeling spectacularly blessed, it was an ideal way to sail into my thirties. I look forward to many more experiments, more fun, more challenges and more love. x

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Three Good Things August 17 2015

I’m a member of a Fibromyalgia support and information group on Facebook with an amazing administrator. She introduced me to the concept of Three Good Things.

This concept has really inspired me. On days when I’m past exhausted and in a lot of pain and can’t see beyond that, I force myself to write my Three Good Things in my diary. 97882024561081

This week I want to share Three Good Things as a kind of round up:

1. I’ve settled into the routine of my new job with the baby and conquered the week of my husband’s nightshift. I’ve been exhausted, but I’ve done it!

2. Something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but always found too extravagant, was to have a private yoga session. A very experienced, very excellent yoga teacher helped me to create a modified sun salutation sequence to build my strength and ability back up. I want the stretching, the breathing, the calm and the exercise of the practice. I’m looking forward to fitting it into my week, hopefully three times per week so that I can build up to a whole class. I also got the Yoga Girl book from the library today.

3. Food experiments! I bought a whole free-range chicken on Sunday and roasted it in white wine, salt, pepper, vinegar and paprika. I served that with roast vegetables I cooked with it. On Monday I had a sandwich for lunch with sliced chicken meat. On Monday evening I put the rest of the chicken into the pressure cooker with water, salt, pepper, cumin, tumeric and coriander for an hour. After that I de-boned the chicken and put the meat, stock and vegetables into a saucepan for another hour. I’m feeling very virtuous eating my soup!

I’m mindful of these things to be grateful for (and passionate about). 

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Some Fun with the A to Z Survey

I found this on Counting My Spoons, who in turn found it on another blog; this survey seems to have done the rounds a fair way around the Internet world. So, just for fun, I have filled it in. 
 
A to Z Survey

A – Age: 29
B – Biggest Fear: Hopelessness and that my symptoms would worsen to the point that I couldn’t even attempt a “normal” life.
C – Current Time: 11.30am
D – Drink You Had Last: A coffee using my Nespresso machine with Chai spices thrown in.
E – Easiest Person To Talk To: My husband and the middle of my brothers.
F – Favorite Song: If That’s What it Takes by Celine Dion.
G – Grossest Memory: Fresh in my mind! My son and I are down with a bad cold at the moment and he keeps coughing until he gags. A few nights ago he actually vomited, over me, him, his cot and the floor. I took off his clothes, my dressing gown and then he puked again. Off went the last of the clothes and we had to clean up orange/red (he’d had pasta and sauce for dinner) vomit with a very upset baby.
H – Hometown: Born in Hamilton, New Zealand. We moved down to Hastings and then to Wellington for 20 years and then up to Auckland. I consider Wellington my hometown, despite never wanting to live there again!
I – In Love With: My baby boy. My husband. My dog.

J – Jealous Of: People who can go to sleep and wake up refreshed.
K – Kindest Person You Know: My husband.
L – Longest Relationship: My husband and I have been together for two years, this is the only relationship that counts, it’s forever 🙂
M – Middle Name: Nicole.
N – Number of Siblings: Four!
O – One Wish: To be healed of the pain and fatigue.
P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last: My mum.
Q – Question You’re Always Asked: “You don’t work full time?” Mostly by people who have no idea that chronic pain and fatigue make living tough enough, but to do it and be a good mama is even harder, then to add more than 20 hours of work – no thanks!
R – Reason To Smile: My baby. Even thinking about him makes me grin.
S – Song You Last Sang: “Here I am, Lord” the last of the four songs I always sing to my son when he is getting ready to go to sleep.
T – Time You Woke Up: 7.30am
U – Underwear Color: Black.
V – Vacation Destination: Doable and planned: Tauranga, New Zealand (my nana is there). Potentially doable but on the long-term list: Europe. Most dreamed of: Somewhere warm with a spa!
W – Worst Habit: Pushing on when I know my energy levels are gone and I’ll pay for it later.
X – X-Rays You’ve Had: Last, my back. Previously, pretty much everywhere, mostly my neck and back though.
Y – Your Favorite Food: Burgers. Mmm burger…
Z – Zodiac Sign: Libra, but I’m not really into that stuff.

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Family Rituals

Being a relatively new family, I have all sorts of ideas for some rituals and traditions and I have spent this first year of marriage deliberately putting the framework in place for our own little family traditions. Some we have started and some we have to wait for our boy to be a little older for, but here they are:Picture
  • Family date day – recently we took advantage of a midweek day off (my husband works rotating shifts which include weekends) and wandered to the local beach where our nine month old was placed on varying items, including trees for us to photograph and for his delight. He adored the swing and turning wheel. On the way home we stopped for coffee. Divine. While baba and my husband napped in the afternoon, I got to read! Perfection.
  • Christmas Eve tradition – I recently read an article about Christmas Eve Boxes in which you can put new pairs of pajamas, popcorn, hot chocolate, a new game and a Christmas movie. I’d like to do this when my boy gets older. We just have to fit it in with my husband’s family’s tradition of midnight mass and present swapping (after midnight mass, I know, late!)
  • Birthday Sleepover Tradition – I like the idea of the three of us getting into pajamas and sleeping bags and snuggling up to watch a movie together (it could be like the Christmas Eve one!).
  • Anniversary traditions – because my husband’s family typically celebrates anniversaries with parties and in mine it is celebrated by the couple (think date night, alone) I have decided we are double celebrating! We are going to do a family lunch party and a fancy date night together.
  • Date nights – being in our first year of marriage and parents of a baby, I like to make the most of our time together. So we claim “mini date nights” regularly. We will either cook something nice for each other or order in. We typically snuggle up together and watch a movie we have been meaning to see. This is something I have deliberately put in place, even when I’m exhausted and sore, because if we start the way we mean to go on, then we will be having date nights and celebrating our relationship for years to come!
  • Time out – one of our resolutions this year is to have one night a month off. We started it off in January with a night away for a friend’s wedding, while my mother stayed at our house with the baby. It was lovely. We hope to alternate weekends alone with weekends with friends.
Are there any other family rituals that you follow?
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Last Adventures

We embarked upon our last adventure before baby this weekend. We joined 10 friends in a beautiful beach front location, about two hours drive from our place, for one of their four night holiday. 

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From: www.dreamstime.com

It was the last time we would be able to join them for that sort of holiday as those holidays are not the type for a baby. As a pregnant woman I struggled! But it was fun. 

We also ventured over to visit some of my family, about 50 minutes further away from where we were. This will be the last time I see most of them until after baby. It was so lovely to have a family BBQ and spend time with my nana. My husband enjoyed the more in-depth meeting than the usual wedding catch ups that have previously passed. 

Baby is due in about nine weeks! It’s crazy how fast this time is going. We have prepared nowhere near as much as I’d like! I am counting down the last four weeks of work before my leave kicks in, as I am exhausted and have so much to do! 

After such a full on weekend, I am struggling today. But it was worth it! I do think that I am on the wind down now, though, no more late nights and long drives for me! 

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So Much Has Happened!

The last week and a half have been massive! I was awed by seeing my baby by my 12 week scan on the Thursday before last. Then on the Saturday, as a birthday present from my love, we went over to Kawau Island (off Matakana, North of New Zealand). The water was deliciously blue as we were shown around the edges of the island by boat, before being dropped off by the Governor’s Mansion.

We walked through a track in forest land to a remote beach…where my love proposed!

It was the most beautiful, romantic proposal I could have imagined. I was blown away. Of course, I said yes!

We then spent the week touring the upper parts of the North Island, as I had never been past Matakana previously. It was beautiful. A whole week, mostly alone with my love, to be calm and just enjoy. We experienced the richness of New Zealand’s history in Russell, at Waitangi and in various historical properties around the areas we traveled.

In the middle of our trip, the pregnancy clock ticked over to 13 weeks. Over the past week, I have noticed an improvement in my fatigue. I am still tired, but then I have chronic fatigue so that’s usual, but I am no longer desperately tired from the moment I wake. I no longer crave a nap at 10am or in the afternoon. I am back to afternoon rests (with a book or an episode of a TV series) and I can read before bedtime again! My eating has also settled down. I am still hungry regularly, but I am closer to my usual eating habits, which is great as I have put on a bit too much weight with the fatigue, pain and nausea.

So it is all very exciting!

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Fancy Date Night

Last night was fancy date night. A date for just us, out for a nice meal and I dressed up! We went to a fabulous Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, where our food was cooked in front of us by an amazing chef. She flung the utensils in the air with ease and cooked my seafood dish to perfection.

Being a fairly new couple, about to buy a house and have a baby, we still have some things to talk through. Religion has been nutted out fairly hard, I’m starting Catholic conversion classes this week.

We had to talk financials last night and the issue of being unmarried came up again. I know people get divorced everyday, some celebrity marriages survive shorter than my gestation period will, but it makes me feel insecure. Like it’s a box that’s unticked, but a rather important one to me. My partner would like me to be super close with his family and then he would like both of our families to be close. I can’t do much about the family thing as there are just massive differences, they will get along, but they probably won’t share Christmas. I can hang out with his family more, except that he laughed at the fact that I struggle to go over for a 9pm meal and then drive home alone later.

With my fatigue levels at the moment, I wait for bed all day. By 7pm I am exhausted, I don’t enjoy leaving the house. At 9pm I am usually getting ready for bed. If I get home and take my medicine (to help me sleep) at 10pm, I won’t sleep until around 11.30pm, It takes time to kick in. So nights out for parties with his friends, nights out for dinner with his family and fancy date nights, on top of what I’m currently coping with, is a lot.

Is it the same for every partner, do they not get the level of fatigue that early pregnancy generates?

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Tiring, Awesome Weekend

Chronic fatigue + pregnancy fatigue = devastating!

We had a very busy weekend. On Friday night my partner and I went to a party and I didn’t sleep until about 2am. On Saturday I took my baby brother out for timezone, lunch and mini-golf. We also had dinner and a movie night with my family.

Sunday was a whopper day. We started with my church (Anglican) and then went about 45 minutes drive away to a gorgeous little town where we are considering buying a house. There is a sizable town center, farmland views, a rugby stadium, a beautiful pond with ducks (near one of the houses), many beautiful reserves and parks, and it is so quiet. Just 45 minutes out of the city, we can get three or four bedrooms with a little bit of land in a nicely presented house.

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For the same price in the city, we can get two bedrooms, attached houses in dire need of a makeover with little land.

We also did evening mass and dinner with my family.

When I finally did get to bed, I got quite upset, because my neck was so sore I couldn’t get to sleep and panadol does nothing for a bad neck ache!

But the weekend was worth it. I got to spend some time with my gorgeous baby brother (14 years old next month, where did the time go? I remember my parents bringing him home as a brand new baby!).

We were also able to tell my family on Saturday night about baby. They were over the moon. Which was so fantastic! It was such a relief to have people in the know and the support and love. I don’t know how I hid it this long.

My beautiful partner has also started to perk up and get more excited about baby and our big life changes. He also dealt beautifully with my fatigue, needing to eat randomly and pain all weekend.