Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Testosterone X 2


Grayson on his trike. Definition of "boy": noise with dirt on it. 


When Andrew came to be a permanent fixture in my life, he was 4 years old. He was a shy little guy, but if you talked about monster trucks, or anything with 4 wheels for that matter, he was your best friend. When I became pregnant with Cassie about a year and a half later, I was petrified. Sure, I knew what to do with a small boy, but what do you do with a baby? And especially a premature one at that??? (She was 6 weeks early). Turns out I was fine. When I had Sydney almost exactly 3 years later, I had it under control. Cassie may be my tomboy, but there was still some slight girlishness involved, and when it came to Sydney, you couldn't GET more girly. So when Grayson was born 17 months after her, I had quite a bit of a jolt when we found out he was a boy.

Living with Andrew for a majority of the time (he is with us all week, and sees his mother every other weekend and wednesday nights for dinner), I thought I was completely prepared for the boyhood. And at first, I was! Grayson likes trucks and things that go too (his favorite is a "wee-ooo", which is his word for anything that has a siren)! He likes to get dirty! See, I got this! Well, turns out these last couple of weeks have been quite the test.

Imagine your life with a toddler boy, tornado and all. NOW add in a teenage boy. Thats right, Andrew is now 13 years old. There are days I want to rip my hair out. In Andrew's case, its homework woes, cell phone habits, video game restrictions, and a sometimes bad attitude. And the smell? What IS that?? I think his clothes can walk on their own, especially since its a fight to have him even look at a washing machine. "Yes Andrew, you HAVE to wash the clothes". "No it is NOT ok to wear something 3 days in a row". Those are just sample sentences I say regularly.

With Grayson, its the opposite spectrum at 2, almost 3 years old. He has exploded in chatter. He used to be so quiet, but since all the kids have started school, and he is the only one in the house, his vocabulary has improved immensely. He has also become very mischievous. He plays tricks on his sisters, he tries to make me laugh constantly, and he pretends to burp after each meal. It is unfortunately a fight now with potty training. Some days he wants to, other days he wants nothing to do with it. I guess that is now common knowledge to me: boys don't care if they are gross.

Although they are so many years apart, what brings them together is their bonding over fart noises and the words  "butt"and "poop". UGH. Boys: its not that funny.

With all that said, one thing has not changed with these 2: their sweetness. Andrew still cares for his siblings (mostly) and goes out of his way to make them laugh. Even though we sometimes fight (YES! Cutting your nails is a necessity!), he still finds away to make me laugh too. Grayson is still a huge mama's boy, one that constantly cuddles with me, hates to be separated from me, and still carries his "chewy" everywhere (Aden and Anais swaddles he's had since he was born).

Don't ever change boys. Well, please stop saying "poop".

Xoxo
Clarissa

Monday, 20 October 2014

Pokemon Lightning Attack Pikachu - Review

Pika Pika!

Pikachu happens to be daddy's favourite Pokemon so he was just as excited as Rocket to review the new Pokemon Lightning Attack Pikachu from TOMY!

Pikachu comes with a shoulder harness that allows him to sit on your shoulder ready for battle. He fires out little yellow foam discs as fast as you want them by gently pulling Pikachu's ear.

Pikachu also makes lots of noises (including some angry sounds, perfect for battling other Pokemon!)

Rocket absolutely loves playing with this toy which is great although it would benefit from having some more foam discs with it as you cannot use anything else to fire out of Pikachu and being a young boy he has lost a few - it would be handy to buy a spare pack.

Loading the foam discs can be a little fiddly but then again he is only 4 and a half, he manages it though!

The harness I think is made for the older child as we had problems with is sliding off from Pikachu's weight, even when we tightened it as much as possible.


Rocket jumps at the chance to go in the garden and shoot daddy with the discs and it has kept I'm busy for hours so its won points in our minds! I feel this would be a great Christmas present for any Pokemon lover!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

It's Been Awhile

Hello all!

It's been awhile since I posted from the good old USA. I forget how busy a summer is with 4 children at home! Please forgive me for being absent, but let me fill everyone on whats been happening:

Summer was a whirlwind to say the least. There was a lot of time spent at the beach, where I am lucky enough to live. We got into a nice routine with that, although I feel like I ran a marathon by the time I actually set foot on sand!

A typical July 4th holiday photo with Grayson

There were a lot of changes these past few months too. My husband Danny has been working more, so my hours dispatching (3 days a week, at 13 hours a day) had to be put to an end. I had mixed feelings about this. I loved the fact that now I would see my kids more, and be more involved (since I never saw them those days), but I hated the fact that I would not be able to see my friends on those days. I know that sounds selfish, but mom's need a break, and that was my break, as crazy as that is. Plus I don't have a ton of people I can call friends, so this bothered me a bit.

This summer wiped me out, just like him
Another good thing was that I could now focus on my photography and really get my business running. I must say, now that I have devoted more time to this, I have been getting a lot more sessions, and have been able to really hone my craft. I am really impressed at some of the photos I come up with it.

Sydney and Grayson's first race
I also have been able to really get into my running again. I ran multiple races this season, signed up for even more, and got my 2 youngest kids into it. I know come close to running 5 miles every other day. This has been such an outlet for stress, but also a way to keep my depression at bay, since I have been really fighting it lately. (In fact, as I write this, I guess I am having an "off" day, since I kind of feel sad). I hate admitting that I am depressed, or that I have been fighting depression. I feel like people think that I have such a great life, and that I shouldn't be sad, and sometimes I get mad at myself, since I think that should be true. However, things aren't what they seem, and its something I just "feel". I have fought it for so long, that there are times I don't even remember what its like to not fight this demon inside of me. I know running and photography keeps that monster away, so I have to keep going with that. Plus my kids, when they aren't trying to kill each other helps out a lot too.
Sibling love, at its rarest

There have been a lot of stresses that I am dying to talk about, because I wonder if anyone can relate. I will definitely talk about that soon, as long as you'll still have me. For now, before I go off on a tangent, I will leave things here. It sounds like I have to break up a fight downstairs :)

xoxo
Clarissa





Saturday, 18 October 2014

Flarey-Marey Autumn with HMS

This is not really a baby related post - it's an 'oh no it's nearly winter' type post.

My HMS is awful, depressing and restricting. I'm so fed up with it at the moment, it can feel so isolating and with 2 children to look after (one that doesn't walk and needs to be carried it's hard)

My doctor has started me on new meds which work by targeting your nervous system and changing the way the pain is interpreted by your brain but I'm only 2 weeks in and its making me really sleepy and slightly nauseous and I'm on a very low dose! The doctor wants me to increase it slowly over time so I'm hoping my body adjusts.

In terms of the pain they are helping, I'm taking less cocodamol and tizanidine which is a good thing. My new bed is beginning to help as I've started adjusting to it and having my legs raised really takes the pressure off my lower back. My hands haven't been working as they should though with is stopping me doing certain things.

The rain is the main culprit, I don't know why but I can always tell that its been raining in the morning before i even open my eyes!

So i know this is a bit of a pitiful post but I wanted you to know the reason that Ive not been posting as much recently.

Good posts to come though as Bee turns 1 next month!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Primula Kids Cheese - Review

Trying to get Rocket (4.5) to eat different foods is a nightmare, truly! Anything with sauce on he has turned his nose up at and for the last 2 years (although getting better now) we have had a fight to get him to eat anything other than chicken nuggets!

Primula have bought out a squeezy mild cheese just for kids that has reduced salt and added calcium.
I was a little worried about using it as I thought it wouldn't get a second look by the four year old but it was a fun challenge!

Primula wanted us to experiment with recipes and see if we could come up with different ways of incorporating the cheese into dinners.

We set about making 'Easy Peasy Squeezy Cheezy Broccoli Pasta' as named by Rocket!

First we cooked the pasta and the broccoli together and strained off the excess water, then I told Rocket he was the chef (which he loved) and he has the job of squeezing the cheese into the pasta whilst mummy stirred! Then he helped put it in a bowl and he proudly told his dad that he had cooked it all by himself and to my utter disbelief he ate the lot!

Whats even better is that Bee, who is now 10 months old happily ate a bowl of the pasta too and I don't have to worry about what hes eating as its incredibly mild and has no added nasties to it!

We also have the Primula kids cheese on toast and sandwiches, its so versatile - I think it's definitely something we will continue to stock the fridge with and it gets a 10 out of 10 from Rocket! (and mummy;) )

Here are the Ingredients:

Cheese (50%) (Milk), Water, Concentrated Skimmed Milk / Whey (Milk), Modified Starch, Emulsifying Salts (Potassium Triphosphate, Sodium Polyphosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate).  

Allergen Advice

For allergens see ingredients in bold.

Additional

Natural Source of Calcium
Naturally High in Protein
Thumbs up from Rocket!
Contains no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives
Gluten Free

Pasteurised product suitable for mums to be

You can find Primula Kids Cheese in the following stores: