Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's raining FUN!!

It rained today. Not men, but it was fun ;-)

We know it's going to rain in Auckland, we have accepted the fact now. With three children at varied ages, cabin fever is a common occurrence in our house during winter. So Sunday afternoon is the perfect opportunity to venture out into the wet and see more of our surroundings.

Today's outing was to the Auckland Domain. Smack in the centre of the city, but a lovely place.

The weather was perfect for water loving birds.......and my children.
Eight and half years between them, but best of mates

Goose feeding

Puddle stomping....


and gazing.

Tree and stump climbing

Fountain watching

Rain, rain don't go away. Come and play with us!!!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

A child's words......

This week at school is interview week. Interviews with the children. At this primary school they call these interviews "Student Led Conferences".

In separate conferences my two school girls sat me down and shared their goals, learning journey and next steps with me.

They also shared some of their recent work. Here is Miss Year 6's poem written for me (this is the kid that tells me she hates writing). Simple, but I absolutely loved the sentiment.

I love my mum because...............

She bakes with me and my mum is the best, caring mum in the world.
My mum buys me toys to play with.
When I'm mad with her she still loves me.

I love my mum because..............
Me makes me yummy dinner.
I love my mum because she fixes the fights between me and my sister.
She does my washing for me, she loves me.
She likes my friends.
She lets me go to my best friend's house.

I love my mum..............just because!

Every now and again those little gems that seem to take everything for granted surprise you.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A rare moment.....................

She sits.................still!


0h the serenity :-p


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Out West!

Well winter is here in the winterless north. We are certainly not as cold as our South Island friends and family but we are feeling the cool wind and cooler evenings. But mostly our noses are pressed up against the window panes watching the endless showers and bouts of rain that pass over every half hour or so.
Well......that's more my job, because even though I love being an at home mum, cabin fever can hit us domestic goddesses too!

Mark is away for work soon and I was very keen to go out for a 'whole family Sunday drive'.
We headed out West this time. We have seen a large chunk of the East coast beaches and attractions over summer. Armed with bananas, biscuits and rain-jackets we drove to Muriwai Beach.

The weather was wild and the ocean was fierce. It was a crazy day to visit, but I'm so glad we did. Little Miss P could hardly stand up against the wind and our ears were aching by the time we returned to the car. It was pretty awesome to experience the beach in such a furious state. For the kids it was a lesson in safety as they spent many days in the ocean during summer.
The West coast was beautiful, black and rugged. The waves churning and swirling all sorts of colours and debris up onto the beach.

Thankfully the hospitality at the Muriwai Lodge ust up the road was fabulous and treated us to a warm pot of tea, sandwiches, hot chips and mussel fritters. A great 'kiwiana' experience. A view of the wild coast out the window and warm friendly faces of West Coast women who treated our kids like their own grandkids.
The drive to the coast and back took us through farm land and pockets of fabulous Northland native bush. We saw gorgeous baches and coastal houses snuggled into the bush. The kind of places we could imagine ourselves writing, creating and growing. That part of the country produces many artists. How could your creative juices not flow in such a beautiful part of the world???

Oh and in the township of Helensville we stopped and wandered into the most incredible junk shop we have ever seen. The guy running it had collected beautiful and fascinating artifacts/antiques from NZ and around the world. Mark, the girls and I stood in the shop and stared, jaws gaping, looking from floor to ceiling at the treasures piled and perched before us. It was chaotic and GORGEOUS! Even Miss P, with only 20 months behind her was very quiet and could obviously sense we had stumbled upon something pretty special. What a cool guy and he took such pride to display everything so carefully and with an obvious love for collecting.

The water churning up the sand as it came into the rocks.

The sun did try to come out but didn't last long.

Beautiful black sand.

Sea spray hitting the rocks.

Wild scary ocean

Warned of its fury!

To finish a great day. Mark cooked roast chicken.
Now that's what Sunday should be and a good roast!

Oh baby baby!!

Couldn't resist doing this.

One year ago we brought three yummy children with us to Auckland. One of them a 7 month old baby.
May 2009

June 2010

Took this photo a few days ago. I'm gobsmacked at the child I see through the lens today.

Where did that baby go so quickly??

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Houdini Baby

My baby, who really isn't a baby anymore at 20 months old, is an escape artist.

The girl can get herself wedged into and out of anything. Five point harnesses are in fact.......pointless.

Yesterday she managed to wriggle her way out of her car-seat, and fall down behind my drivers seat..........all while I was driving. I saw her trying but did not realise she had succeeded until I heard her squeal with fright behind me. I pulled over quickly and secured her again, to her disgust. I am continually dumbfounded that this girl can do these sorts of things. I'm wondering if she has the ability to dislocate her joints/limbs when I'm not looking or something.

She will not stay within her five point harnessed pram either which has made shopping a huge battle and bore. Shopping trolleys are the pits. I am now developing very buff arm muscles, one one side at least from every recent shopping trip.

So have seen a couple of products which I know I will now need to invest in for safety. One is actually called "The Houdini" and should keep all straps in place and a frustrated baby safe.

Those of you who know Miss P the 20 month old will not be overly surprised. She's certainly got a lot spunk, apparent from well before her labour began and she entered this world. Miss P has called the shots from conception. She's vivacious, gregarious and all those trendy buzz words.

But I am totally exhausted watching over her.

Her vocabulary has expanded over the lat couple of months into short sentences. The sentence of the month is ...........


Followed quickly by "I wanna Mummy"

We have visitors coming soon. They will see such a change in this little girl. The baby, a baby no more. The baby who is now sleeping.
I am taking a breath before she wakes and the day brings more giggles, squeals, songs, climbing, hanging, swinging, and grazing on most things in the pantry.

How did I forget the energy displayed by toddlers? I'm envious...........

What a cool kid :-)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

For the love of Vinegar!

Yep.......................nope............I haven't lost it. That is a photo of my toilet. An extremely clean one that is too! :-)

Things are ticking along around here like clockwork. Sooooo.....nothing to blog about.

Today I write about vinegar.

I think you're either a vinegar person or not. You either love or hate salt and vinegar chips. I'm pretty sure there isn't an 'in-between'.

But I'm not writing abut vinegar for eating or drinking today (but of course what you do in your own home is totally up to you :-).

I started using vinegar for cleaning about three years ago. We needed to save money on the grocery bill and I'm always keen to avoid polluting waterways etc. So I experimented with the ratios and found my preferred formula for basic and general household cleaning.

We have saved so much money on cleaning products it is actually ridiculous. I only buy vinegar and baking soda for cleaning the house now. I must admit I always make sure I have Dettol or some viral/antibacterial spray in the cupboard for when the bugs come home from school with the kids. But other than that, nothing else.

So what can you use it for?
* Cleaning windows with news paper (good old Grannie and her handy tips!)
* Stainless steel sinks/draining boards etc
* Getting smells and bugs out of chopping boards
* Mirrors (totally brilliant esp if you use one of those nifty glass cloths as well)
* Carpet spills (doesn't bleach any coloured carpet we have lived with and we have children so carpet spills are inevitable)
* Toilet bombs!!!!! hehehehe refer to above photo. Pour a cup of white vinegar into bowl, shake in some baking soda to cover entire area. Leave to fiz and GROW, come back later and scrub or if in a hurry just flush!!!! SO COOL. Domestic science at it's best!
* Rinse aid in dishwasher (I haven't bought rinse aid for a couple of years. Vinegar makes the dishwasher and the glasses sparkle)
*General surface cleaner; benches, light switches, window sills etc (It cleans wood really well but can dry it out so wood polish is a good idea to keep your wood looking fab)
* BBQ: Just spray and walk away LOL (Oh and come back later and scrape off the gunk that it lifts off otherwise your chops next time will have a distinctive tang :-)
* Bath: spray with vinegar, shake on baking soda, wipe!
* Coffee plunger: BRILLIANT RESULT

There are probably loads more! It is good for cleaning out wounds..........but that depends how stoic your children are. I'm sure my children would never talk to me again cause it stings like CRAZY!

My recipe:
1 part Water
1 part White vinegar (more if you are ok with the smell, experiment)
1 squirt of normal dishwashing liquid ( I make sure it's biodegradable eg "Sunlight")
Couple drops of essential oil (for smell if you don't like vinegar, but I must admit, I got used to it pretty quickly so don't bother with the oil).
Mix together in a spray bottle. The detergent is there really to mask the vinegar smell and add to the degreasing abilities. I don't use the detergent when washing windows, it can leave a smeary residue. Just vinegar and newspaper does the business.

Couldn't be easier, kinder to waterways, kind to your home, kind to your family's health, sensitivities and allergies.

Oh hey, if fighting mould. I read recently that clove oil kills the spores and prevents it growing back. I guess you get it from a health store?

So be off with you now and get yourself to BIN INN to stock up on vinegar and baking soda.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Making a list.......

I have truly found the most gorgeous place and time at my current property.

The rain has just passed over and the sun is so bright I am considering wearing my sunnies inside! The baby is having her morning nap and although the kitchen floor needs a mop, I've postponed this task as my 'story notebook' is calling me.
In my upstairs bedroom we have a stunning view of the sea, just a snippet, but I'm telling's more than enough. I have turned the armchair in my room around to face the view and am now cuddled up on my new chocolate coloured blankie typing this. My neighbours are all at work so the bird song and distant rumble of traffic coming in through the windows is VERY NICE!!! (Well I do live near Auckland, it's not all about birdsong and crashing waves up here unfortunately).
If I didn't miss my South Island people so much it'd be perfect.

I'm finding the lack of hobbies that involve people a bit of a strain at the moment. I thought I was quite a private person liking my own company, but it seems even I need people!
With three kids and a busy husband's work schedule I haven't indulged in the kind of out of house activities I might have when moving to a new place. I support the PTA, but have missed several meetings being at home with the kids so am not a solid member unfortunately. I do get daily contact with the other mums dropping off and picking up their kids. I'm going to send Phoebe to the local Playcentre (she needs some serious entertaining that child!!). But I miss living in an area close to family where you can drop in to chat or help them of just simply get my 'mum at home needs adult conversation" quota for the day.

Instead I'm being patient. The kids aren't going to be little forever. I'm forcing myself to find other outlets to make myself happy. I made a list recently of the things that make me truly happy (aside from being a wife and mother). I only listed objects and activities. I wanted to see if their were things I could reintroduce into my current stage of life and still maintain my mummy duties.

What an interesting thing to do. I sadly realised that nearly all of the 'top of the list' activities had been sidelined. No wonder I have been feeling like an imposter. Im' not allowing myself a dose of my favourite stuff, except for wine that is, which came back into my life about the same time the last baby was weaned :-)

I suggest you do this...............................................the list thing, not the weaning part ;-)

Some things on my list will have to wait a just a bit longer, but I'm glad I reminded myself how much I want and need them.

So today.......I wrote several pages of notes for a children's book. It doesn't particularly matter if a child never reads it, I'm having so much fun writing in my newly found pozzie upstairs here!
I also chatted with Daddy T about a hobby I have always wanted to try, even as a kid. He supports the idea and thinks I should just go for it. Great I am. But I'll tell you about that later, cause I might be really bad at it. If so, I'll probably post here about that too, cause that's what I do!

So I hope you find something really satisfying to do during your day. I hope you love your job and if you don't then you need to make a list and remind yourself what it is that you REALLY would like to wake up and do each day!



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