Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My first baby starts school.....again

So my first baby started her new school last week and has now settled in nicely.

Why this deserved a blog? Well,,,sending her off last Monday morning was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do,,,other than give birth to her of course lol. Really!

It was more difficult than her very first day at school when she was five. At five years old she was soooo ready to leave preschool and hit the big time.
Cailtin started school at Ashley School where I had already been working for three years. She knew my classroom and most, if not all, the teachers and teacher aides. It was a very smooth transition into the classroom for both of us.
It was also expected, planned etc and I had been a working mum so was quite used to leaving her each morning at preschool, until Molly was born.

So last week began with huge emotion. I felt very mean asking her do and go somewhere that she didn't really want. What right did I have removing her from a small, supportive school environment where she was extremely happy and settled? I have always believed in the
saying " if it ain't broke, don't fix it"
Part of this emotion was born from remembering the many changes I had in my childhood, which included changing many schools. I remember the loneliness, the fear, the anxiety...of day and possibly week one.
Caitlin came home from her first day with a sad face. My heart nearly shriveled up and died.
Some of her expectations had not been met,,,high expectations I must add. She was used to having a best friend and knowing every face in the school.
The first day was a disappointment to her. I reminded her that good things do take time and that she really should give herself until the end of the first week to make any real judgment about her new class and school.

On a purely selfish note,,,I had also found myself in a very odd position.
I was usually one of the staff, knowing the inside secrets and inner working of the school. Suddenly I am the dreaded "teacher parent". Yes, one of 'those' parents that simply can't resist putting comments in her own daughter's homework book. Comments that look suspiciously like report comments. Arrrrrrrrrrrgh!
As the week progressed I saw a change in my gorgeous daughter. She began entering the house or car door with her usual spring in her step and lovely smile. She has a friend,,in fact, two BEST friends. My heart jumped up and did a dance when the first phone number came home. She is even walking up the hill from our house to and home from school. Molly, Phoebe and I waving furiously every day!!!

So it was over the weekend that I reflected, hindsight being a remarkable thing. I do remember the joy of making new friends. I know how flexible, change has made me over the years.
Despite any sorrow we might have caused her over the last month I hope that in the long run Caitlin will be a better person for it. She will be adaptable, flexible, reflective and have skills that are transferable across many avenues.

A big move certainly brings challenges with it and we are all experiencing it in different ways.
I cant wait until Molly starts kindy in Term 3. She had a visit recently and decided it was four year old heaven!! That should be a fantastic blog to write.

On an more positive and fun note. Phoebe has enjoyed the challenge of having a stair-gate in our two storey house. She likes to rattle it and squeals with delight if she can get Caitlin's attention from out of her downstairs bedroom.
We also have to watch we don't trip over the assorted items that get thrown down the steps between the bars.

If you lose something in this house...check the stairwell!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Well, we made the move safely on Friday 19th June to our new house in Stanmore Bay. A new friend of ours kindly watched Molly and Caitlin for the day while Crown arrived to deliver our long awaited containers of furniture.
I arrived at the new property (after dropping the girls off) to find Mark armed with the itinery ticking off boxes as they were marched into the house. It certainly took fewer hours for the delivery compared to the pick-up in Rangiora.

The guys were amazing...carrying couches and t.vs on their shoulders. Only one piece of furniture was slightly damaged in transit,,,so we were pleased with the result.
I decided not to take photos of the boxes...we have all seen enough of them.
But I made sure to get shots of the beautiful bay which is so close to our new home.

Although I miss aspects of Canterbury and sooo many people I am astounded by the beauty of this wonderful peninsular I am living on. Surrounded by water I feel very calm and happy when admiring it. If I ever feel lonely or nostalgic I certainly get some warm fuzzies from the beautiful views!! lol

Unfortunately the same weekend we moved, I caught some icky virus that gave me terrible
headaches and vertigo so the unpacking has been a slow process. Phoebe is teething again and daily mother duties continue of course. I have given myself until the end of this coming week to have the house in order.....nearly there.

About the house...it reminds us of a bach, and is nestled into the hill with other bach-like houses. Most of the bay is like that. In fact the whole township feels very relaxed, despite having a lot of houses all perching together over the hills. But the place we are renting is hilarious. There aren't any nurtains in our curtains, but it makes me giggle all the time.
Our landlord has done a great job tidying the place up,,,renovating inside and out so it feels clean and fresh. A wonderful environment to find for my children, especially floor travelling ones.
However, the building reminds me of a Dr Seuss book. The floors slope, window frames don't sit in line with walls and floors. Our dining room table is leaning on a downhill slope and Phoebe's toy balls roll across the lounge floor. It makes the place quirky and is giving our middle ears a real work-out. It is the funniest building I have lived in for a long time!!!!

Mark and I were chatting about how it reminded us of our first flat,,,Burke St, Sydenham, CHCH. Although this Stanmore Bay place is much bigger and far more sanitary lol.
Our first flat in Sydenham was a a very old cottage, split down middle, sloping floors, doors would never stay open because everything sloped all over the place. When you jumped out of the shower you had to stand, squeezed into a small gap beside the washing machine to towel dry yourself and it was so cold in winter we would sit in the one bedroom wrapped up in a duvet watching the snow outside.....the good old days huh!
I'm quite sure it has contributed to our characters or at least made us appreciate how far we have come. It is a little strange to be renting after owning two homes, but in some ways nice to not have the responsibility and to simply RESIDE.

Once the unpacking is over,,,our weekends will be ours to explore again....in fact we still have boxes lying around and the bay is surrounded in fog, but we couldn't resist popping out for a drive today! Got some great snaps, but you will have to read about this over the next few days.

Tomorrow I must tell you about Caitlin starting her new school. More emotional for me I think.
Until then....the unpacking continues :-)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Girls just wanna have fun!

Well...we did it!
The girls and I drove all the way from Auckland to Waiuru and spent three nights with my cousin and family. It was a great break from house hunting and the girls especially enjoyed it as the photos should tell.

We left on Tuesday morning. It was drizzling in Auckland but reasonably warm. My little car was chocka full of baby supplies and things that girls need, mints and goodies in the glove box and a full tank of gas. 
Hitting the road about 9am meant that we missed most of the weekly work traffic. Cailtin and I discussed as we toddled along that it was in fact the first time I had driven over the Harbour Bridge, through Auckland and the Southern Motorway myself!!! Up till then I had kept my driving adventures to the North Shore.

We discovered the Tip Top factory on the outskirts or Auckland city and later discovered, when researching online that they have currently stopped tours due to the "swine flu". Bummer,,,,we will keep watching that one for up-dates. That could be another fun weekend activity.

The trip down was fairly uneventful,,,,a few toilets visited and nappy changing stations.

Collectively we decided that Tirau was our favourite place,, closely followed by Taupo. 
Tirau has a small number of shops and businesses but the entire township is full of corrugated iron sculptures and signs. The girls were screaming and pointing in every direction as we passed through. I promised to stop on the way back home to explore and get a closer look at the creations.

This doggy was actually the information centre and public toilets...which we obviously needed to use at least once LOL

Taupo was also a good place to stop on both journeys as it had beautiful views, even in the rain, and every takeaway or eating joint you can imagine. To my amusement they had a McDonalds in which a large passenger plane had landed..well not literally but it looked amazing. 
Now throughtout the journey, Molly, being a little confused about the location of our destination kept asking us if we were going on a plane again. Caitlin and I tried to help her understand where we were driving by using the map as a learning tool and telling her under no circumstance would we be boarding a plane.

Until McDonalds made a liar out of both of us. 

Molly's eyes and mouth nearly touched the ground when she saw the McDonalds playground. You could even eat your meal on the plane. Fantastic idea and it made my little girl's day!!!

The lake at Taupo was serene and glassy, but a little overshadowed by misty rain and fog. The girls had a run along it's edge tho and posed for a photo :-)

While in Waiuru we hit the playcentre where little Holly plays and socialises each week now. Molly thoroughly enjoyed it,,,she misses her preschool friends and doesn't start at her new kindy until July (Term 3).Phoebe enjoyed the music corner, almost as much as I did LOL. It seems a budding percussionist in the making.

Holly enjoyed the painting so much it was written all over her face, and hands, hair, mouth, clothes, toes......lol. At least Nick and Jo now know what to feed a growing girl at home.

Nick, Jo's hubby played games with the kids, inside and out. Dare I admit it, I even managed to have an afternoon nap after a night of early morning baby feeds. Thanks guys.....that hasn't happened for quite a while :-)

Lovely Holly and her carrot :-)
Babies sharing their toys.

Our few days with my cousin and family were fun. I actually did very little...which I'm pleased about. The girls on the other hand keep themselves and our guests very busy. 
Jo, my cuz loves to paint and to the girls delight had a whole box of canvases that she allowed them to paint on. Messy bliss!!!

Arriving back into Auckland traffic on Friday evening was an eye-opener...
We got a little squished in some extra traffic from the "Field Days" in Hamilton. The girls and I spent TWO hours sitting in crawling traffic jams. We did invent some songs, jokes, etc but it was an interesting end to our road trip. The girls got to see the skytower lit up in the dark and thank goodness we had gingernuts to keep Phoebe happy.

All in all we had a great time and it was a pleasant way to fill a week while we wait to get into our Stanmore bay house............which is where we will be at the end of this coming week.

I'll have my couches, photos, coffee plunger,,,,,,clothes....back again.

I can't wait!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sleeping easy - new beds...

So this week has been a little slower...our news?
We have found a rental property in Stanmore Bay  (19b Waiora Rd) if you want google map it!!!
The move-in date isn't until the 19th of June so the racing around has stopped and I can enjoy my children's company and the surroundings.
I shall wait until we move in to blog about the new place. Then I can include photos for you all!!

This weekend Mark and I went bed shopping (armed with cash from our house sale). As we are very new to the Auckland area we started our bed research online. The big question being: Where can you buy a very comfortable bed, at a very comfortable price :-)

A place emerged well above the rest, aptly named 'Kiwibeds'. The lovely G.P.S lady in Mark's car took us on a crazy  tikki tour of West Auckland ....we need to check her current settings! We laughed as we went around and through all sorts of suburbs, but the hungry kids in the back, prone to car sickness were over it in about half an hour!!!

On arriving at our destination Miss G.P.S announced "route guidance completed, you are about to reach your destination". A round of applause from all children in the back seat!!!
The guy who greeted us at the warehouse door was friendly and extremely jolly. The kids obviously looked tired and in need of beds ! LOL 
And as we have three of them....rubbing his hands with glee he began his 'BED SPEAL".

Well.......little did I know....there is a lot to learn about beds. Springs or no springs.....foam or not.
Single, King Single, Double, Queen, King, Super King, Gigantic supreme...the list goes on. It's more difficult than choosing a gourmet pizza!!!!!!

As I have suffered from a sore back lately and am about to move into an area with a few hills to climb. I knew I wanted lots of support and NO roll-together. Mark and I are not quite into single beds yet...too chilly in winter. LOL

Well I found the DREAM bed. It reminds me of a beautifully baked Victoria sponge. Medium to firm, yet molds to your body. I just wont be adding jam to this one!!!
It is made from the most amazing 'memory foam', developed and used by NASA and when you lie down on it you could be on a cloud,,,,,yet your entire body still feels supported. BLISS..mmmmmzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I'm tempted to see if you can purchase cot mattresses out of the same stuff. Phoebe might return to sleeping through the night again. I'm ever hopeful!!

So at the end of our purchase we happily choose the baked delight for us,, a delicious new mattress for growing girl Cailtin and ...wait for it people........a new, comfy double guest bed !!!
Time to start booking those flights lovely people!!!! LOL

How wonderful....they will all be delivered to our new home on Friday the 19th June.

My next piece of exciting news is that the girls and I are driving south to Waiouru...yes without Mark. A truly girly road trip to stay with my cousin, her husband and gorgeous baby girl.
We leave on Tuesday morning and will be taking photos along the way of the event. Can't wait!!

Stay tuned for the 'road trip' post..........

Monday, June 1, 2009

House-hunting, beach combing and brunch!

Mark's first week at work went smoothly.
My previous post described some of the activities the girls and I have packed into five week days.We have driven much of the North Shore now in hunt of the house that has what we need at the right price.

The long weekend came and we spent Saturday showing Mark Red Beach and then moved onto lovely Stanmore Bay. What beautiful views and peace and quiet. So lovely!
On a positive house-hunting note we found several properties to investigate out there as well! I'll keep you posted on the house front as it develops.

Sunday morning arrived, blues skies and sun (sleet and freezing windchill reported down in Canterbury).
We decided to treat the kids, and ourselves to a day without any real estate activities and drove over the harbour bridge, past the skytower and into the Viaduct for a lazy Sunday brunch.
The kids spent most of the drive looking upwards at high rises in awe LOL!

Filling up on blueberry pancakes, bacon and eggs we also got to watch some "rigging' in training on a cool little boat moored right beside our table.

We saw the ferries on the waterfront and found the "Hilton".

While bathing in sunshine we rang Mark's parents (North Canterbury) who didn't believe we had warmth and sunlight. While Mark was chatting on the phone to them I jumped up to take a photo to email them! Maybe they will be believe us now!!!

Following brunch we made our way over to Devonport to ogle at waterfront mansions....(ok so maybe a little property activity) lol
Then to Takapuna beach for handmade ice cream; Mixed berry, Licorice, Feijoa and Yoghurt. Delicious!

Phoebe enjoyed a little sand in her toes before the clouds rolled in for a typical Auckland downpour.

The evening brought dinner at with new friends at their house and a chilly night...Cantabrians will be pleased to hear.

It was nice to have time together, but back into house-hunting this coming week............


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