| An Autumn Holiday |

We took the boys on a mini holiday over ANZAC weekend.

We spent a day in Queenstown, watching boats, climbing trees, and buying wine.

We did our first whole-family walk up Mt Iron (the littlest one made it all the way to the top; the biggest faceplanted onto a rock and is now sporting an impressive black eye), scootered alongside Lake Wanaka, and climbed things we thought we couldn’t climb.

We recharged our batteries, ignored much of the outside world, enjoyed the autumn sunshine, and returned home feeling rather relaxed.

It was blissful.

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Easter 2016

Autumn in Central Otago is one of my most favourite times of the year. The Clutha River winds its way through the region, accompanied by lines of tall poplar trees that are slowly shedding their cloaks of green for capes of red and orange. It’s a stunning time of year to visit, and we are so very lucky to have a place to stay that is just over three hour’s drive from Dunedin.

We spent Easter in Wanaka, and it was unseasonably warm (hot, even), but predictably beautiful. We went with no plans, and spending a relaxed few days with my boys and my parents was just what my soul required. I didn’t check the internet once, we paid little heed to the clock, and we had a blast.

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My parents very kindly looked after the boys one morning when the hubs and I decided to climb Roy’s Peak, a 16km round trip just out of Wanaka. We started our climb around 7.30am, claimed the peak before 10am, and enjoyed a morning tea of fruit and cold sausages looking out over a bed of thick clouds. Sadly, this meant the views were obscured from three-quarters of the way up, but under the cloud bank, the views were breathtaking. As we descended, we met hundreds of others beginning their climbs, and even though we’d missed the views, we had to admit that having the peak to ourselves for a while was a good trade-off.

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We celebrated Tiny’s 6th birthday on Easter Monday, with playground visits, a fish-and-chip dinner, and a chocolate sponge made by my mum. He thought it was pretty special having a holiday on his birthday, and my parents thought it was pretty special spending the whole day with their grandson on his birthday.

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Currently: 1 Jan 2016

2Waverley (130)

  1. Listening: at this very moment, to birds chirping in our front yard, and my husband “trimming things” out there. I should be worried – he is an…..enthusiastic trimmer. Earlier, I was getting my dance on with a global top 50 from Spotify because it was sunny and hot which requires, nay, demands, good tunes played a little louder than normal.
  2. Eating: anything from the barbecue, and delicious things from Chelsea Winter’s latest cookbook.
  3. Drinking: lots of water and a cheeky glass (or two) of Little Goat Creek pinot gris. It’s organic, which is a little bit hipster of me, dontcha think?
  4. Wearing: a denim mini I bought from Gap in London about a week before I found out I was pregnant with my biggest monkey, a floaty top from House o’ G, and no shoes. No shoes. Dunedin is HOT.
  5. Feeling: sleepy, and I don’t even have the excuse of being up ’til midnight last night. I made it to 11pm, but couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. My eyes are a bit dry and scratchy…hayfever, you suck.
  6. Weather:¬† hot. By Dunedin standards, anyway. The sun has shone all day and the sky has been bluest-blue. I’m sure we’ll be getting rain soon, but meh – I’m enjoying the summer regardless.
  7. Wanting: chocolate. Uh-oh.
  8. Needing: sleep, water, and the motivation to do some form of exercise.
  9. Thinking: about the year ahead, and hoping inspiration strikes to ensure something marvellous happens in 2016.
  10. Enjoying: hanging with all three of my boys, the sunshine, and empty washing baskets. And fresh sheets on the bed.

Joining up with top gal Melissa of The Best Nest xx
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2015: The Year of New Adventures

As Christmas and the end of the year approach, I find myself looking back in wonder at every new adventure my family has had this year. It’s been a big one, and to say we’re tired is an understatement. However, it’s a pleasant tiredness, the way you feel after a full day spent in the garden; we’re weary, but we can see how far we’ve come, and it’s satisfying.

Active Mums Kids

One of the biggest changes around here would have to be Tiny turning five and starting school. After a rough first day, my biggest his found his rhythm and absolutely loves school. He started the year not being interested in writing or reading, and is now often found with his head in a chapter book, reading quietly to himself. He’s made some lovely wee friends and likes to come home and share what he’s learned with his little brother which is so sweet to see.

Reading at 5 Pickle also had a big year, finally starting kindergarten. He would go every day if he could, but has just three sessions a week; his friendships have been developing over the year and while he’s not as talkative as his big brother, he’s very good at articulating his ideas and games to others.

Kindy Kids

Both boys are currently Avengers-obsessed, and Pickle has joined his brother in thinking Lego is the best toy ever. They play together so beautifully, and Tall and I often remark how we feel a bit redundant because they don’t need or want us to play with them anymore!

Pickle and AvengersBoys playing

Pickle and I had the pleasure of attending very good friends’ wedding in Fiji, which was amaaaaaazing, and as a family we embarked on a tiki tour from Dunedin to Taranaki and back again in the last school holidays. Tall’s sister welcomed a gorgeous baby boy into the world, I got to get my rock on at Rod Stewart and Fleetwood Mac concerts, and my braces finally came off.

Fleetwood Mac Dunedin

I’m sure there’s been many more highlights, and there has been some sadness, but mostly, 2015 has been a good year, and I’m looking forward to more fun times in 2016.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas, surrounded by people you love, and a marvellous start to 2016 xxxxxxxxx

 

Mama of Boys

Things I never thought I’d say:

“Knees back, hips forward, now PEE!”

“Where did this Lego man’s hands go?”

“Please don’t fart on your brother!”

Pickle in boots “Sure, you can go dressed as a superhero cowboy.”

“How did poo get on the wall??”

“What on earth possessed you to put a rice bubble in your ear??”

Tiny & Pickle“Stop wiping snot on your sleeve!”

“Who put the barbecue tongs in the bathroom?”

“Yes, you do look cool in my boots.”

Summery Fun

Summer took its merry time arriving in the south, but when it finally arrived, it did so with a flourish and a grand entrance.

Having my sister and her family here from Melbourne has meant we’ve been having lots of fun in the sun, and my boys have been getting to know their cousins wonderfully well. They love them, so much.

Tunnel Beach, Dunedin

Tunnel Beach, Dunedin NZ Tunnel Beach, Dunedin NZ Tunnel Beach, Dunedin NZ Tunnel Beach, Dunedin NZBackyard Camping

Backyard camping, Dunedin NZ

Orokonui Ecosanctuary, DunedinPort Chalmers, Dunedin NZ Tui at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, Dunedin NZ Kaka at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, Dunedin NZCentral Otago Lindis Pass, NZ Toy & Transport Museum, Wanaka NZ Albert Town, NZ Albert Town, NZ Albert Town, NZ Clutha River, NZ Clutha River, NZ Carrick Winery, BannockburnCarrick Winery, Bannockburn NZ Carrick Winery, Bannockburn NZ Carrick Winery, Bannockburn NZ Carrick Winery, Bannockburn NZ

Our hearts will break when they have to go home.

Oh hi, 2015

A few weeks into the new year and I feel like I’m owning it already. Yesterday, I was crossing things off lists like a woman possessed, and today…well…today, my brain is busy with a plethora of ideas, tasks and plans.

Tomahawk Beach, Dunedin NZ Last year, my main goal was to finish the final dozen or so books left on the BBC Big Read. I didn’t finish them, and by the end of the year, I didn’t care. I will finish it, but there are so many other good books I want to read, so I’ve decided not to put a time frame on it. Seriously, when someone as awesome as Angela says, “You should read this…”, you can’t say no.

NYE 2014This year, my goals are a bit more complex and perhaps not as quantifiable. Among them are the usual culprits of saving money and budgeting better (or in my case, just “budgeting”, something I am completely rubbish at). There’s the obligatory fitness goal, however instead of vowing to exercise more, I’m simply hoping to maintain the good health and level of fitness I ended 2014 with. I also have little goals like making contact with friends I don’t (or can’t) see very often, and saying “No” without worrying I’m missing out on things (this relates directly to the saving money one).

NYE 2014On a loftier level, I want 2015 to be the year I do something important. I have various ideas swirling around my head, and I hope this will be the year I can make one (or some) of those ideas into reality. My boys are growing up (see below) and I’m not going to be a stay-at-home mum forever (sadly).

NYE 2014On a more philosophical level, I want to embrace the changes that 2015 is going to bring. Recently, I had a minor drifting-off-to-sleep freak-out over Tiny starting school in roughly 12 weeks time, and Pickle starting kindy in less than two weeks. I can not stop my children growing up, so why am I resisting these things?

Waikouaiti Races, Dunedin NZSo bring it on, 2015. I’m going to throw myself at you….once I’ve dug my way out of the pile of washing I need to get through.

A Spring Wedding

At the end of October, Tall’s little sister married her lovely fianc√© in a wonderful ceremony at The Farm. The day we arrived was wet and windy, and Tall’s mother was a little bit stressed…but the wedding day dawned sunny and bright, and the weather held out for a beautiful day. Our biggest was a very proud, and very handsome, page boy, and our littlest looked pretty suave in his shirt and tie.

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Sharing Spaces

You know those times when someone asks you to make something happen, and you instinctively say “yes” because you just know it will make them insanely happy?

Tiny’s wish was granted last Friday, and the excitement on both boys’ faces when they saw their beds side-by-side was immense.

Shared boys' bedroom Shared boys' bedroom Shared boys' bedroom Shared boys' bedroomSomething so simple has made my babies incredibly happy, and even though we moved into a bigger house so we could have more space, I couldn’t think of a better use of the extra. Turning Pickle’s room into an upstairs “playroom” makes perfect sense, as they both like to take themselves up and play away from the boring adult stuff anyway.

Boys' playroomThose little hobbit doors in each room? We think they’re connected – there’s a loose panel in the wall of the one in the shared bedroom – but we’re not going to tell the boys until they’re a little bit older. But – FUN! Boys' playroom Boys' playroom Both rooms are a work-in-progress, but I think they look pretty good for just a few hours’ moving of stuff. We plan on painting over the flowers and replacing those floral-monstrosity curtains, and I’m looking for a suitable desk to pop in the playroom for my sewing machine, but for now, we’re happy with the spaces as they are.

The “couch” in the playroom is Pickle’s old cot, simply with the drop-side removed. I’ve covered the ugly mattress with two cot blankets, and even though the cushions don’t match, Tiny arranged them and thinks it’s the most comfortable couch everrrrrrr.

Cot becomes couch(Please feel free to contact me regarding where we might have purchased items shown)