Oh little Phoebe, we are so very thankful for you. You are the baby of our clan and we all adore you!
All our children were planned, except for you.
What a wonderful surprise you were.
What a fabulous person you are becoming.
Today is all about you and the four years you have spent with us. Today is your fourth birthday.
You are the most adventurous and courageous of all our children, with a kind heart to match. Your pregnancy was smooth but also plagued with worry. Scans had placed doubt and fear in our minds about your well-being. Twelve days overdue and two attempts to induce, you finally arrived with a squawk and delighted tears of relief from us. You were perfect. Healthy, beautiful and more perfect than we were brave enough to imagine.
You contribute to our family in so many ways already and we've only known you for four years. What a treat it will be to spend a lifetime getting to know you better.
We have been preparing for this day for a wee while.
Molly personalised a t-shirt for you.
Helped you get ready for bed.
Helped you get to sleep the night before when you were a bit excited. "Only one more sleep to go!"
While you were at preschool Caitlin turned the kitchen and dining room into
a secret surprise for you.
You went to see Grandy, who has been unwell lately. We're all very thankful that he is well enough to be at home and could smile with you today!
Caitlin helped Mum decorate your cake.
You had a special place to sit at preschool today.
You have found a special place in your teacher's heart too I'm sure.
Today I'm a bit of a misery guts. Well only a little :-)
I have finally succumbed to one of the kid's viruses and am feeling a bit rotten. As is Phoebe. But the sun is out and it makes things seem happier all round.
So what have we been up to?
Well, I had a back massage this morning. My head was so stuffed up with mucous I didn't think I was going to get through it without sniffing loudly, coughing, choking or some other embarrassing, horrific noise.
But I didn't. In fact I nearly fell asleep.
Mark said I was snoring last night (and I certainly don't do that normally!!) So my sleep is probably a little lighter at the moment.
My whole body felt lighter and EXTREMELY relaxed. Deserved I'm thinking!!
I've also been thinking about these National Standards that the NZ children and schools now being measured against. I missed out on the professional development surrounding these guidelines as they came in when I was leaving teaching to enjoy maternity leave. I am learning about them as many other parents are.
For those of you reading from afar, the news has been 'alive' with the talk of schools having their National Standards results and achievements published to the public.
I really feel for teachers and principals during this current period of public "revealing" of achievement. Over the past couple of years, as a parent, I have attended school interviews that have become a "handing over of graphs and charts" so that you may understand where our child is achieving nationally.
In a 10-15 min interview there really isn't much time for much else. Gone are the days of discussing a child as a whole - I guess?! I know that there is so much more to my children than numbers and I would be sad if schools felt the need to focus on this more and more.
I'm thinking it will create more competition between schools as well.
I like competition, if it is used to build the skills of an individual, group or team. I'm not so sure the National Standards "race" to achieve will be so positive. The competition that may occur between schools may not be of the healthy variety.
As I said, I'm still trying to get my head around this myself. Mark and I ARE happy to know how our children are achieving nationally, but we choose not to compare very often. What really IS it achieving?
Speaking of teaching. I am now a RE-REGISTERED TEACHER again!!!! Came through the mail this morning! The teachers council advise that I follow all medical advice provided to me and discuss workload with my employer, but they are satisfied I will be able to teach soundly and safely.
I'm extremely satisfied too!!! (smiling widely).
A little nervous and excited too. People believe in me. Even the "me" with this tumour. (To my dear Tumour, just being polite here. Stay snoozing for many years to come. I got some work to do. Thanks).
Today is Friday and the school holidays are beginning tomorrow. I love holidays. As long as my girls don't fight too much.
This time I am one step ahead of them. If they begin to battle, groan and announce "I'm bored" we have a plan in place. To keep busy for the next two weeks we have compiled together a long list of either free or very cheap activities. Walks, park visits, ice-creams, bike riding, libraries are just a few.
Everyday we can just visit the list (on the fridge) and make sure there just isn't time for grumbles. I'm expecting it to work!! Can't hurt to try!
Enjoy some pics from my week:
Some of the lovelies I have been teaching.
The asparagus bed snuggled in its spring duvet. Apple trees in blossom in background.
GTFOTG Teepee to stop doggie jumping and trampling new vege seedlings.
Spring beauties hiding amongst the roses.
Secret garden path loved by doggie.
Waterlily Magnolia loved by me!
Thankful and loving all the stories that revolve around these boots. A dad and mum who love to garden and seem to like snuggling.
An older child who's feet are ready to grow up towards a great young adult future. (And who's gumboots are the same size as mine now!!!!!)
Two younger feet who are competitive, but also really good buddies.
Amazing how a photo can say so much about us.
A family of five earth lovers.
Five people who don't mind getting their hands dirty.
Three children, I'm hoping, learning some good work ethics and how to be proud of their environment.
Five potential gardeners of the present and future.
Just a grizzle about living with these crazy eyes of mine. Yep, I'm grizzling. A little over 'keeping calm and carrying on"
I'm still living with double vision, for almost two years now. I wear glasses which is not an issue, other than the fact that it makes the double vision clearer to detect.
This is what I see if I don't tilt my head.
I want all those people who see me on a daily basis to know and understand that I do tend to blink a lot, I have to move my head slowly to look up or across at you and I will tilt slightly. Hopefully it just looks like I'm particularly interested in what you are saying or wearing. (Which of course I am!) :-)
I am considered safe to drive, yes sir eeee!
My double vision seems to be better controlled with distance vision. I also drive with my head tilted to the side, and bob's your uncle, it's like a perfect world out there.
The tilt is the answer to a perfect world for my eyes!!
I get tired keeping my head to the side. (Not just driving I mean.........it's ok.........you're safe :-)
I get sore keeping my head on the side.
I get grumpy occasionally too.
I can fix it, by wearing an eye patch. But most days I want to look normal. Be treated normally.
I wake, glad I've made it to another day, but down hearted knowing it will be an inner and physical struggle.
Of course like always and every other day I play the 'glad game' and I'm ok.
When you are not under threat it is easy to forget that each day is really a gift. As we go through the motions of the same breakfast routine and off to the same work place.
I remember that time fondly but I'm ashamed at how blase I was about life. The "I'll always be ok" mentality, "it'll never happen to me!"
Well it can and sometimes does. I really hope you can find good stuff in your life amongst all the routine and mundane. I know a lot of you are good at reminding me of how far through my journey I have travelled.
What about your journey? I hope you are happy with it!