Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Easter decadence and a giveaway!

Yes, Easter is almost upon us already. And Easter wouldn't be Easter without hot cross buns, of course. I can't recall an Easter without them.

My earliest memory of them is the very early morning Easter services held at the Anglican Church we grew up in, followed by hot cross buns and coffee at the Reverend's house. I must have been about nine. I never liked hot cross buns then. They grew on me as I got older.

When Baker's Delight approached me to sample of their hot cross buns, I was keen to be a part of it. I'm not a huge hot cross bun fan, but I was sold when I heard there were options available other than the plain ones.

Baker's Delight have three types of hot cross buns on offer this Easter:

traditional, choc chip and mocha.

Any guesses for which was my favourite?

If you guessed mocha, you guessed right, me being the coffee lover that I am. They were pure indulgent, decadence. Full of choc chips with a hint of coffee flavouring. And I could only manage to eat one at a time...which is a good thing.These are definitely my recommendation. Even if you're not a coffee drinker, the flavour is only hinted at and does not overpower the other flavours of the bun.

Mr Samoa's favourite, however, was the plain, old traditional bun. Turbo would not touch any of them, but then what's new there? And Smiley liked the choc chip...based on the overwhelming evidence that when he was presented with the mocha or traditional, they were chucked off his tray.

The choc chip or mocha ones are definitely the right option for people who don't like currants or sultanas (I'm talking to you, Sammy).

In terms of whether these buns are better than the good old supermarket variety, Mr Samoa (a hot cross bun fan) certainly thinks so.

You may also be interested to know on Saturday 9 April ,‘Bundraiser’ Day will see all Bakers Delight bakeries across New Zealand, donate $1 from every six-pack of hot cross buns sold to Starship Children’s Hospital in an effort to raise more than $5,000 for Starship’s Air Ambulance Service.

I am a HUGE fan of Starship and all the help they gave Turbo, see here and here, so
I know I'll be getting along to my local baker's Delight next Saturday.

Now for the giveaway.....

The first 5 (New Zealanders) to comment on this post will receive a Baker's Delight voucher for a pack of hot cross buns to use at your local branch. Get in quick!

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

An actual laugh out loud

I'm grateful for things that make me laugh.

So my lovely friend, Leisl, has a blog, as mentioned in the last post. She is a witty and talented writer. And by the way, this is not a plug for her blog. Just the plain facts. She's brilliant.

Read this little excerpt:
"The next time someone tries to tell you that having children close together in age is a good idea, tell them to get lost. Seriously. They have either never tried this particular brand of torture out themselves, or they’re so badly traumatised by it, they’ve split off a personality that keeps the horror at bay.

Alas, I was dragged like a hapless fool into believing this conspiracy theory. But here’s the thing – all that rubbish about them being best friends when they’re older? What they don’t tell you is that the REASON they’re best friends is because their mother turns into a psycho nut-job and they need to join ranks to defend themselves against her."

And then she went on to say how her husband came home to find her jumping on the bed with ther baby in her arms and...o, you better read it for yourself. This got an actual laugh out loud from me. How often do we put the famous LOL and truthfully, it's only a moderate chuckle, or a smile.

Maybe its that I know her and can picture the scene in my head. Or maybe it's because I've been there, in her shoes. O, the ridiculous and desperate things I did to get my boys to sleep at times.

And just for fun, here's a song that I just can't get out of my head. You know those ones with the extremely catchy and contagious tunes? You've been warned.

Linking up with....

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Turned the corner but still remember

I spoke to my amazing friend Leisl the other day, who called from South Africa on my birthday. We were in high school together and are still really good friends, despite the thousands of miles that now separate us. Thank you, God, for technology!

She has two boys, one of which is just five months old. And still wakes up three or four times a night. I really feel for her, and can totally relate. Because I was there not long ago. Unfortunately for me, this continued until Smiley was 11 months old (which was not welcome news to Leisl!). Remember this post?

I was so desperate, especially as I had done all the 'right' things. I had a good bed time routine set up and Smiley could soothe himself to sleep unaided. But when it hit 10pm, it was like none of that counted for anything.

I was exhausted, running on empty, and honestly surprised I did not develop post-natal depression as I did after the birth of Turbo.

Now I've turned the corner and I'm on the other side. I get a good night's sleep most nights, although my boys are early wakers and we're up at 6am. I refuse to complain about the early start. I know where we've come from.

The breakthrough was not by accident by the way. And he fought hard. But thankfully only for three or four nights. And this was not my first attempt either. I had tried at four months, which took weeks. And then he swiftly regressed back to square one, even though I was not feeding in the night and not going in to him.

So, what I'm trying to say is that I've been there....

When you're incapable of making any decisions because your brain is in such a fog.

When all you feel like doing is crawling into bed but you always have to keep going.

When your eyes feel constantly heavy-lidded and tears often and easily flow.

When you get sick because your body has absolutely no reserves.

When you have no patience (poor Turbo often got the worst of me) and feel like you're going to tip over the edge at any moment.

When you want to strangle other mothers who have babies younger than yours who sleep through the night.

When you wonder constantly what it is you're doing wrong...especially if it's your second time around with a baby who doesn't sleep well.

So I wanted to send cyber hugs and some prayers to any mums going through that awful phase where the night wakings are still frequent, and where you live in a constant fog, just trying to survive the day.

It does pass! I promise.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

The BEST night

 I had the BEST night for my recent birthday celebration.  
Dinner in a lovely, intimate, Italian restuarant, surrounded by close friends and family. 

I'm not a 'hold a huge party type' girl. I'd rather have a few close friends around me and keep things more low key.

There was a cake (rich, dense amazing chocolate mud cake!! thanks Mom) and candles and a few elegant decorations.
The food was scrumptious and the cocktails, delicious!

I got to talk to and enjoy the company of everyone there.
I was totally blown away by the gifts I received, too. They were exactly what I would love to buy for myself. Shows how these amazing people all know me so well.
I felt soooo spoilt.

And I got really dressed up, of course...a women's perogative on her birthday.

And for the benefit of linking up with Fancy Pants.

Dress by Cue, heels by Hannahs,
and hair done with a ghd straightner by my talented friend K

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Friday, March 18, 2011

A little bit busy

It's a bit of a crazy week! Busy, busy.
Turbo has dropped his day nap so there's much less no down time during the day.
Bit of a shock to the system.

Things are coming at us thick and fast. Good things, I should add.
Like being approached by a neighbour as I got out of my car on Monday about moving into one of his rental properties in a couple of months.
Round the corner. The right size house, the right price.
No hassle, no looking through house after house with the other 100 applicants.
A little bit of a blessing in this rental crisis we're having!!

And to top it all off (cue music....da da da da), I'm turning 30 on Sunday! EEEEEEK!
Life begins after 30 right?
No, seriously. I don't think I've ever been more settled in who I am than now.
Anyone else find the same?

This was meant to be my Wordless Wednesday photo entitled "Dreaming of Summer."
It's amazing what things they manage to take into bed with them. Cute huh?

Hope your week is going well!

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Bad mummy moments

What do you get when you put Turbo in a room full of little girls?

A lot of scared little girls who then start crying!

My coffee group met at my little place on Tuesday. Which is fine. But my place is, well, quite little for a group gathering. Turbo was his usual self that morning and we played inside (well I frantically cleaned, as you do before guests come over) until it was almost time for them to arrive.

Error number one. We played inside all morning.

So when they first girl arrived, Turbo literally started bouncing off the walls. Literally.

He was jumping on the couches, on the chairs, and roaring and bellowing loudly into the one year old little girl's face. As you can imagine, she clung like a limpet to her mom. And so loud were his roars that they woke Smiley up from his nap. Great, a 20 minute nap = a grumpy little boy.

Then more mothers arrived with more of their little girls. Turbo managed to make one cry before she even got a foot in the door.

Error number two. I was still keeping him inside. Although when you're the hostess, it's a little hard to exit the room.

The roaring continued, along with jumping around and throwing toys in the small space. My efforts to restrain him and calm him fell on deaf ears. He was not listening to me at all.

And then I felt it. Sheer embarrassment. It's been a while since I felt that about Turbo. He was out of control and I had no idea what to do.

Error number three. You're still inside, lady! Don't you get it?

My nightmare is having kids like you see on Super Nanny or Nanny 911. Out of control, kids calling the shots, and desperate, powerless-looking mothers. Shudder.

I finally took him outside. He then threw his bike at another little girl. I marched him into his room, trying to get a grip on my emotions. I prayed. I just wanted everyone with their little girls (nothing against girls, just in the moment kind of thinking) to go home! Where the heck were some boys anyway?!

After a bit of trampoline jumping he calmed down. I then finally realised he needed to let off steam. A typical characteristic of a spirited child. His acting out was a result of pent up energy, coupled with the excitement of unexpected visitors (I had forgotten to tell him people were coming...another no-no for spirited children). Duh!

On the whole though, things have been a lot harder since Mr Samoa started work. He definitely is listening to me a lot less and it's harder to get him to do things. Frustration station!

Could he still be adjusting too? Children feel things as much as we do. He's used to having his dad around a whole lot more. And I've been told they also go through testosterone surges at certain ages. He'll be three next month. Could that be a typical age for that? I really need to read my ample spare time.

Anyway, the coffee group ended up ok. The little girl who had clung to her mother like a limpet at the beginning was laughing at Turbo's crazy antics by the end. And Smiley, despite being woken, was his usual cheerful and lovely self.

I know we all have these days. And that it's part of being a mom. But you always want your kid to not be like that, you know what I mean? You want your kid to show with his behaviour what a darn good mom you are. Yeah right. Ha ha!

Thing is, we're great mothers in spite of their challenging behaviour. Even in our worst motherhood moments.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Haircut hysterics

To say Turbo does not like having his hair cut is an understatement. We only cut it every few months because he goes into absolute hysterics. Every. single. time.

Turbo is loud at the best of times. We live in a block of units. I can't imagine what the neighbours thought when at 5.30pm last night, there were tortured screams and hysterical sobbing, non-stop for about 15 minutes. Non- stop. From the depth of his belly, he used his lungs full force. I'm not talking about the kind of crying kids do when they don't want to sleep. This is much worse. My stress levels go through the roof.

And for what? A skew, terribly done, shorter in some patches hair cut. Mr Samoa does his best but when your subject is also thrashing for some of the time, it kind of limits what one can do.

Then to top it all off, I popped him straight into the shower, where he once again, went hysterical, because he doesn't like water coming down into his face. I had to forcefully hold him in the shower just to rinse the hair off his body. It left me wondering where the heck we had gone wrong.

I am actually getting a little worked up just writing about it!

We bought clippers to avoid this happening at a salon, but I wonder, would it be better to let the experts try?

Do you have any toddler hair cutting tips? Surely it can't be like every time?

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Grateful For & Things I'm Loving

Parents who can babysit and good movies!

Mr Samoa and I went out last night, just us. It was so needed.

I enjoyed every minute of it. So worth it if you're looking for a movie to see.

Colin Firth is such a great actor and played the role so incredibly well.
And his relationship with his wife was beautiful. She was so full of love and support for him.
What a gem of a movie. See it!

Dancing in the rain
Don't you love the way children delight in the simple things?
Here's Turbo having an absolute ball in the rain.
Which is what we're having quite a lot of lately.

A bit of magic in the garden
Caused by all the recent rain.

Joining in with these two today


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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Smiley has his first party

Today the nation observed two minutes silence in honour of those lives the Christchurch earthquake claimed. When you live far away from the devastation, one can easily forget what people are going through, even when it's in your own country.

In one sense, life has to go on. Like this couple who got married only days after she was pulled from the rubble. And of course Smiley's party, on that same day. We've all had a rough week, filled with emotion. But we had a great day on Saturday, surrounded by family and good friends. We felt so blessed!

The party was a Summer Fun theme - so easy to put together. We held it at a park, which I highly recommend (no messy house to clean up afterwards!) and the weather was lovely.

We had beach ball biscuits, chocolate fish diving into blue jelly, a fish-shaped cake, the popcorn and chips in buckets, and instead of balloons and streamers, blow up arms bands, tubes and beach balls!

Thanks to everyone who came and helped make it a great day!
And thank you for all your generous gifts. We love you all.

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