Monday, 30 November 2009

End of an era (a small era, but an important one)

Today was the last day of kindy for my youngest son. I was surprised that I didn't feel at all sad. I was incredibly happy in fact. Not one single tear was shed. I had a stupidly large grin on my face right throughout the little kindy-leaving ceremony.

Is there something wrong with me? You always hear mothers talking about how much they're going to miss having a littlie at home. Many mothers miss it so much, when the first batch of kids have moved on to school, they start the second batch! Sure, sometimes I see a wee baby and think they're absolutely gorgeous. I love the cute little noises they make when they're eating, when they're trying to talk to you, the little snuffles they make in their sleep. The beautiful smile you get when you walk into their room after they've woken from that sleep. Hearing them laugh. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and going to check on my boys, just because. The realisation that you love your child so much it hurts, and you couldn't imagine life without them. Watching them learn how to do things for themselves, like the buttons on a shirt, putting on their shoes. Those pesky jacket zips! Using a knife and fork. Yes, I enjoyed watching my children grow from babies to school boys, and yes, I will miss that.

But I also remember the horrible ligament pain, back pain, not being able to get comfortable for months, sleep deprivation, mastitis, screaming tired sick or hungry babies, nappy rash, teething, temper tantrums, poos and wees, the milky power chuck across the room when they've got a big air bubble in their tummy (and the clean up that ensues), not knowing what's making them cry and having no way of figuring it out because they can't tell you what's wrong. A continuously damp chest because my milk supply never knew how to turn off!! The list goes on, and to be honest, I'm kinda glad it's over!

I'm really excited about having them both at school. It will be interesting to see how they interact together and with others at school, especially since they'll be in the same class for the next few weeks until everything winds down for the year. Next year they'll be in separate classes and that'll be a whole new experience again. I wonder what homework time will be like? Fingers crossed it will go well!

Well I must head out into the horrid, totally not summery weather to the local fish and chip shop to get dinner. Gotta love it when your children prefer takeaways to home cooked meals for their birthday dinner - minimum effort :-)

There will however be chocolate birthday cake for dessert, so I did do something at least.

One more sleep and my wee boy is off to school with his brother. I can't wait, and neither can they.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The in-between

This week is in between X's 7th birthday, and T's 5th birthday. One celebration is over, and another is yet to arrive. X's birthday was a fairly quiet affair - presents in the morning before school, treats for his classmates at the end of the school day, a friend staying over on the weekend, and a pretty boring looking round birthday cake with some writing and some coloured chocolate drops scattered about on the top. He seems to be okay with it.

Once that was all over, I asked T who he would like to invite to his birthday party, since he was turning five and it was a rather important event. He said "just X". What, no kindy kids? "No". Oh well, I guess T's fifth birthday will also be a fairly quiet affair. Less stress for me I suppose, but it just seems... not quite right somehow. We've decided to head up to Napier for the weekend, as he seemed rather keen on seeing nanny, poppy, nana and the cousins, so I guess that will do. I'll fit a birthday cake in there somewhere! It is now less than a week until he starts school and I don't know who is more excited. Probably me. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be a blubbering mess at the kindy farewell though. Possibly also the first day of school. Note to self: take some tissues!!

It occurred to me recently that I've become one of those overly emotional women who cries at everything. I'd never considered myself much of a 'girly' girl - I played cricket as a child, loved to help dad outside with building, brickwork, mixing concrete, lifting heavy objects, the usual tomboy stuff. Wonder what happened? I find myself crying, not only at actual weddings of people I know and love, but weddings of fictional characters on TV!! I was watching a NZ Post ad the other night, and got all teary-eyed. (Ended up sending a text message to Deane lamenting the fact that I have 'stupid irrational female emotions'). I'm quietly searching for the perfect handbag, have a new interest in shoes, occasionally wear makeup (makeup for Pete's sake!!) - did I grow up somewhere between 25 and 30? That's the only explanation I can come up with... The thought that I could be walking around some day soon wearing a dress with a pair of strappy heels, makeup and a handbag!! What is the world coming to?

There was a time when my wardrobe consisted of jeans, track pants, t-shirts and sweatshirts, and my only footwear was a pair of Doc Marten boots (minus the laces). I don't think I even owned makeup of any description, nor did I have anything resembling a skirt. Now, I have four dresses and three skirts, and at least one pair of girly strappy heels that have sparkly diamantes on them. Don't get me wrong, I practically live in jeans still, but now they're usually teamed with a nice top or cardigan. I hardly ever wear t-shirts any more. Amazed? I am!

Anyway, moving on (this post is starting to get a little disturbing). My running is going fairly okay - I'm alternating between Karori Park and the waterfront. Unfortunately I've put on about four kilos in the last month, and I'm pretty sure that's because I've been eating stupidly large amounts of not-quite-so-healthy food. I'd better stop eating so much crap, and get stuck into the fruit and veges. Set a good example for the children and all that. And continue running of course. Now that we're coming in to summer, and T will soon be at school all day with X, I might add a bit of swimming into the mix as well. Ahh, the convenience of the local swimming pool being just a few doors up the street!

I'm onto the last of six pairs of socks for the boys, so I'll be able to get on to all the other Christmas presents I was planning to make this year. I'm still not sure if I'll get them all done - some friends and family may be receiving IOU's this holiday season!! Knitting seems to go faster when you have a view like this:

My little knitting group meets every second Sunday at the Wellington Botanic Gardens. This is the view from outside the cafe (Lady Norwood Rose Gardens). Bliss on a lovely warm sunny day.

Soon it will be the 5th December. This may have no relevance to your average person, but this is the date I will be attending the New Moon movie in Napier with my bestest friend in the whole wide world - can't wait!!! I downloaded the soundtrack a little while ago. At first I wasn't terribly impressed, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it. It really grows on you! It's great for running to. I'd like the Twilight soundtrack as well, which I really enjoy. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get my hands on a downloadable version of it yet - I'll keep working on it.

Things are winding up for the year - had the last PTA meeting for 2009 this morning (held at the same venue as my knitting group - great place for a meeting!!), tonight is my last kindy meeting (ever!!). Wednesday night will be the last Quilters Guild Committee meeting for the year. Next Monday is T's last day of kindy (eep!), Tuesday I have my last work meeting for 2009. 10th December is the final Guild meeting for the year, and the 18th is the last day of school. So much to do in between now and Christmas! Tempus fugit...

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Summer's on the way - finally

Today has been a lovely day. Granted, it's not as warm as my home town, but I'm okay with that. I never liked being too hot anyway. Reasons why today has been so good:

1. It's X's 7th birthday

2. I heard a classic conversation between two manly men this morning while wandering through town. It went a little bit like this (please note, it's very hard to spell the typical manly grunt of approval, so just imagine one whenever you see 'ungh'):

Man #1: So I bought myself a new barbeque for summer on the weekend.
Man #2: Oh yeah? How big is it?
Man #1: Six burner
Man #2: ungh. Stainless steel?
Man #1: yep
Man #2: ungh. Hooded?
Man #1: yep
Man #2: ungh.
Man #1: yep. Even got a rotisserie. Bought it from Mitre 10. They've got blah blah blah blah...

From here on it got a little more indepth (although I'm not sure exactly how much more in depth you can get, I mean, it's a freaking barbeque!!) but they crossed the road and I couldn't hear the rest of the blokey exchange. No great loss.

3. When I got back from town, the second instalment of the Needle Food sock club had arrived via courier:

Pretty isn't it? The yarn colour is called 'Picnic in the Rain'. I rather like it. There's also a couple of Buzz Bars (well, one now), a cappuccino sachet, gorgeous stitch markers, a notepad, pen and highlighter. Awesome :-)

4. After picking T up from kindy, we headed to the beach for an hour or so.

5. T has another school visit tomorrow at 10.30am. Looking forward to it.

6. X wants McDonalds for dinner tonight. I'm cool with that, only because it means I don't have to cook ;-)

7. Only two more days until New Moon comes out at the movies. Although I'll have to wait to see it. Oh well, I can always console myself by watching Twilight instead. (For the eighth time...)

8. It's supposed to rain tonight. I love rain.

9. I have a veritable treasure trove of goodies for this week's Laundry Lottery:

The usual suspects of course, food packaging. I know this paints a rather ugly picture of my childrens' diet, but I swear they eat fruit and vegetables - they just don't come in packets!! The extras are a small rock, pieces of orange and blue chalk from the school tennis court next door, and a pair of Deane's cufflinks. Exciting huh? ;-)

10. I'm finally managing to get a bit of knitting time in - I've nearly finished my Felicity hat, and I'm up to the heels in X's first pair of Christmas socks.

Well, better go do some housework, all this lazing around enjoying the good weather can't last all day!

Thursday, 12 November 2009


I just had to share something that happened last night, simply because it's so hilarious.

My youngest son, T, has got into the habit of sneaking into our bed once we've put him to bed for the night. It's not a problem, we just move him later. Anyway, last night I had the ladies round for our fortnightly stitching group and once they'd left I decided to head to bed for a bit of reading. First, I had to move T.

So I went into the bedroom, picked up his toy panda, and blue blankie. Then I picked up T, who snuggled into my shoulder still fast asleep. On the way to his room he let out an absolute ripper of a fart! I barely contained my laughter long enough to slip him quietly and gently into his own bed. I then proceeded to run to my own room where I collapsed into a heap of giggles. It was just so adorably funny and cute, in a gross kind of way. He didn't wake himself up of course, but oh, the hilarity! Anyway, on with my day...

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Yay, it's over! On with life

Phew! I finished all my sewing in time! All 70 hearts done in time to take to school on Thursday afternoon, costumes finished in time for the weekend Christmas party in Auckland. I ended up sewing on the domes, not Deane (no surprises there!) Although I did have a bit of an 'oops' moment. I'd marked out exactly where to sew the 12 domes, and did one side, put it on Deane and marked where the other half of these 12 domes would need to be placed in order for the robe to close properly. I then proceeded to sew them on (while watching Twilight - Deane didn't say anything about it, maybe he was just happy he didn't have to do it). My 'oops' moment came when I'd finished sewing on the other halves, and went to try it on Deane, only to find that I'd sewn the other halves on backwards, so the domes couldn't close. So what did that mean? I had to take them all off and do it again :-( Oh well, that allowed me to watch pretty much the whole movie without interruption. I think Deane felt sorry for me so he let me watch the rest of it in peace, before we went to bed for the night. My dear sewing machine is all packed away again, and who knows when it will have it's next outing?

Mum arrived at around 2pm on Friday afternoon, so we all went to pick up X from school. Called in to the supermarket to get a chicken for dinner, home to bung it in the oven, and sat around for a lazy afternoon. That night, mum and I watched a movie - can you guess what it was??? Yep, Twilight again! Mum hadn't seen it, so of course I had to make her watch it :-) Oddly, Deane still didn't say anything...

Saturday morning dawned with fairly decent weather so I headed off for an early morning run along the waterfront, and was back before 7.30am. Quick shower and boys ready, before the special effects makeup lady came to do Deane's Voldemort makeup for the party at 9.30am. Here are some progress pics for you:

All done just in time for the taxi to pick us up at 12.30pm to take us to the airport. Yes, Deane had to fly to Auckland looking like that (in muggle clothing of course) - it was hilarious!! Oh, the looks we got!! And several (hundred) more while we wandered around Queen Street in central Auckland getting last minute bits and pieces, and some dinner before getting dressed and heading to the party which started at 7.30pm. Lots of photo opportunities with random strangers walking down the street. Here are a couple of pics of us - please bear in mind we took these at about midnight after we'd got back to the hotel, so I look like crap and can't strike a pose to save my life:

::How is it that you can look perfectly fine in real life, but absolute shite in a photo? I don't get it!::

The party was pretty awesome, held at The Civic in Auckland. There were six separate bar areas - a King's Room where you could get 'beheaded' or 'knighted', a Children's Story Room where you could sit on toadstools with the white rabbit downing shots, a Rock & Roll room where (oddly enough) you could have a game of table tennis, a 60's dance room, and a couple of others that I didn't really see. The costumes were varied, ranging from punk, Ginger Spice, a telephone box, Thomas the Tank Engine, British Guard, royalty, Alice in Wonderland, and war heroes, to Ali G, Vyvyan from the Young Ones, polo players, Essex nightclubbers, Lewis Hamilton and Andy from Little Britain.

We wandered back to the hotel around midnight because I was wiped. Deane removed all the makeup and went out again, getting back to the hotel about 4am. I happily went to bed and straight to sleep. The next morning I enjoyed the view for a couple of hours:

Then woke Deane up so we could check out and scoff ridiculously large amounts of yummy breakfast before the shuttle arrived to take us back to the airport. We arrived home at about 12.30pm with a large box of Dunkin' Donuts in tow (mmmmmmm, donuts...) mum went home, and we went to watch the Wellington Phoenix play Perth at the Westpac Stadium. It was a 1-1 draw. I've never actually been to a football game before, and must say it was rather entertaining. I gather the standard chants I heard from the crowd were gleaned from the Brits - things like "All we want is a decent referee" sung to the tune of Yellow Submarine, "Who are ya?" yelled over and over while pointing at the grounds, "The referee's a wanker"... you get the idea. Of course that's just my assumption. Footy crowds are definitely more vocal than rugby crowds in any case ;-) Oh yeah, and the kids got their faces painted, coincidentally, by the same lady that did Deane's makeup the day before:

Guess the popular superhero of the day ;-)

T had his first school visit on Monday, which I think went fairly well. X has finally found his Nintendo DS (it's been missing for about four months!!). I've started reading An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, and am yet to finish that third pair of socks for T. All in good time... (but hopefully before Christmas! Better get cracking).

How was your weekend?

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Is it over yet?

This is what I have woken up to every morning for the past two weeks:

I love my sewing machine dearly, I really do, but by God am I sick of it right now! It took me a week to sew my wizards robe for the Vodafone Christmas party this weekend - that was done last week - all 12 metres of fabric hacked and slashed to create something I'm mildly proud of, although it could certainly do with improvement (not that I'm going to do any more alterations, I've done enough already!). When I was nearly finished, Deane informed me that I would have to make his costume too. So back to Spotlight we trotted, purchasing another insanely large amount of fabric, the choice of which took forever thanks to Deane's indecision on exactly what he wanted (boys whining the whole time of course - they finally ended up entertaining themselves for the last ten minutes pretending to be bolts of fabric on a shelf, waiting for unsuspecting customers to come along and buy them). That took me almost another week. I'm nearly done, just have to sew a hundred million domes onto one of the robes - yes, one of them. He required two! Urgh :-/ Anyway, pictures of these wonderful creations will just have to wait until after this weekend - hopefully we'll get some good shots of us in full garb at the bash, which I will upload into my next post.

So anyway, that's three items complete (all black, I'm getting kind of sick of black now too, but don't worry I'm sure it will pass). What I'm sewing now is 70 little fabric hearts, which will be turned into little beany bags - one for each student at X's school. That's taken me the last three days. Here's the pile, almost complete:

Doesn't look like much, but there's 60 hearts there. I still have 10 to do, which are sitting on the floor waiting to be completed:

I should have them finished by the time I go to pick X up from school this afternoon. They will be passed on to the remaining PTA members for filling and finishing. They need to be finished by next Monday, when the older school children head off to camp. It's a lovely idea and ordinarily I wouldn't mind making them, but in conjunction with the other sewing projects in the last fortnight and the limited amount of time available to complete them all, I didn't have time to enjoy any of it really. Sewing is supposed to be fun and relaxing, but I found it stressful and frustrating. Another half hour though, and it will all be over (except for those gazillion domes still to be sewn on - Deane offered to help with that... should be interesting!)

Just to be clear, and so you understand why this sewing is such an issue, all I have done besides this sewing is some cooking, washing and running the boys to and from kindy and school. Oh, and a little TV watching and reading whenever my back gave in to all the crawling around and sitting on the floor. Literally nothing else, just sewing allllllllll day!! I haven't had time for any knitting at all. That list of Christmas knits is not getting any smaller!! Hopefully by the week's end, I will be able to get back into more of a routine which involves normal every day stuff like actual housework (you should see this place, it's a tip!!) and some knitting time. No more sewing until next year I think (except for the rest of those shopping bags I was going to make for Christmas, darn it!)

So there's no knitting finished objects to show in this post :-( I'm still half done on that third pair of socks for T. I'll finish them next week for sure, then I can move on to other pairs. Yay! And maybe for a little variation, a hat or some wrist warmers for me :-)

As mentioned before, I have managed to get some washing done, so here is a couple of weeks worth of Laundry Lottery winnings:

Just the standard food wrappers/packets, and a random piece of maths equipment, presumably picked up at school at some point and forgotten about.

So what else has been happening? Not much... I officially resigned as Minute taker for the school Board of Trustees. Oddly though, I don't really feel any sense of relief. There's only one kindy Committee meeting left for the year, so perhaps I'll feel a little better once that's over. Although as far as I know, they still haven't found a replacement, so that could be a bit of a problem...

Only PTA and Guild Committee left, and work. Doesn't sound like much, but over the last month or so it's felt like a lot more. My brain appears to be returning to normal (or at least as normal as my brain can be). In other words, I'm not forgetting absolutely everything like I was a couple of weeks ago. Maybe all that sewing has had something to do with it - basic, monotonous, repetitive tasks? Hmmm...

Less than two weeks until X turns seven, and less than a month until T turns five. Must get on to organising something for these important events! X not so much, but T deserves a celebration - he's going to be five!!! Wow :-)

I've managed to keep up with my running too, which is going fairly okay. I'm no longer driving out to Karori Park for my runs, I've joined the posers that run along the waterfront ;^) a) I'm no longer embarrassed about my lack of fitness and inability to run for any length of time (because now I am reasonably fit, and I can run for a decent amount of time), b) it's much closer to home, and c) the view is nicer. Although yesterday's run was cut short, because it was blowing a gale. I kept getting blown sideways, or had to stop and walk because the headwind was too strong and walking was actually faster. I kept getting hit with seaspray as well, and in the end I just gave up. I still ran for about 20 minutes though, so it wasn't all bad. The weather is getting warmer so I'm now in running shorts instead of baggy trackpants. I hope I'm not blinding people with the almost transparent whiteness of my legs, which haven't had a tan since early high school :-)

I've nearly finished the book for book group, The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty. On the front cover is a quote by New Woman (presumably a magazine) that reads "This is one of those beautiful books you're going to nag your friends to read" -- not so much. Sure it's an okay book, but nothing spectacular. Although to be fair I still have about 1/4 left to go, maybe it'll have a really good ending...

I'm horribly behind on the Ravelry Harry Potter RAL - I have about six or eight chapters of Chamber of Secrets to catch up on. Although it looks as though everyone's lost interest, as nobody appears to be participating in any discussion on these chapters, so no biggie. I'll get around to it eventually. X and I have two chapters left of Deathly Hallows before we've finished the entire series, I'm pretty sure X can't wait until it's over - I don't know how much he actually listens to the story. Oh well, it gave me an excuse to read the books again! Once I've finished Deathly Hallows and The Memory of Running, I'll start on An Echo in the Bone, the latest Diana Gabaldon that is sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. Can't wait! It's been a while since I finished A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I always recommend these books to people - they're really good. Hmm, after that it must be about time for another Terry Pratchett... ahh, so many books to read, so little time!

So to end this post on a slightly brighter note, here is my list of "Things To Look Forward To" (in no particular order):

1. Vodafone Christmas Party - which involves flights to and from Auckland, leaving the boys behind in Wellington with my mum. A whole evening and morning kid-free!

2. The New Moon movie, due out on 19th November (squeeeee)

3. X's 7th birthday

4. T's 5th birthday - and possibly starting school (maybe next year???)

5. Trip to Napier in early December to visit my bestie Tans and go to New Moon together

6. Returning to knitting - finally!!

7. Christmas

8. The last book group meeting of the year - book group is always a laugh-fest

9. End of year Christmas parties (other than Vodafone)

10. Lots of good books yet to be read (and some good books re-read just because)

11. 2010

12. Sleep - lots of sleep

13. Warmer weather

14. Christmas food!!! I love food, especially Christmas food. I think it requires it's own mention, completely aside from Christmas in general

15. Lots of beautiful things to see every day, like the sparrow that decided to visit me in the lounge this morning (and poo on my dining table), pretty flowers that the Board of Trustees gave to the PTA members to say thanks (currently sitting on my coffee table), little lizards on the footpath, gorgeous blue skies that go on forever, my desktop wallpaper with the topless picture of Jacob Black from Twilight (mmmmmmm - yummy)... the list goes on.

Have a good week :-)