This and that. AKA, random nothings.

There are truly very few pleasures in life as great as sitting around with friends and consuming food. It even makes things like doing the dishes afterwards a bearable occurrence. We visited some friends on the weekend, and had a freaking delicious meal. The meal was immeasurably improved by the fact my kiddies were entertained and pottering around elsewhere the majority of the time.Image Aside from the meal, and the company, the surroundings were as close to perfection as I could imagine for my future. Aah for a little more land to rattle around on and an Apricot orchard. Le sigh…

Autumn in Hawkes Bay is the time of year where food is in an abundance, every market has more varieties of apples than you can shake a stick at, every garden has at LEAST one Feijoa tree, every bike ride has to be to a destination hosting free range Walnut tree’s. We even have a chicken or two now that are managing to supply us with a few eggs.

The kids like nothing more than gathering every Feijoa within property boundaries, and gorging themselves. ALWAYS this occurs immediately before dinner time, and I am left with two smalls feeling nauseous from over eating, and an untouched meal. Found them out there again today, along with my cutlery drawer.

ImageImage Little punks!

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PS, my chickens still detest each other. WHY! 

Entertaining my kids during the witching hour(s)

Often in the afternoon I pick the kiddies up from their respective daycare/school and wonder how I am going to fill the time until dinner time. This NEVER ends up being a problem. It seems like, by the time I have answered questions about every single aspect of every single event in known history, my brain has begun to shut itself down, and suddenly it is dinner time.

Aaaahhh dinner time. Usually the kids have tried to gnaw their own arms off by the time 5 o’clock rolls up. I have fended off five million arguments, and diplomatically avoided impending fisticuffs.

The other day though, we were wandering aimlessly around the block (to build the appetite back up after I accidentally gave in to their constant demands for pre dinner snacks) and we found this totally sweet pile of cardboard boxes at the base of the hill.

Simple, simplest of pleasures. A dry slope and a cardboard box.

What a way to keep the kids calm until dinner time, and ensure they were exhausted by bedtime.ImageSuburbia. My old friend.

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And then if that wasn’t enough, I forced them to climb the rest of the way up the hill. Being an adult is awesome!ImageSee those specks? They mah babies. Climbing without too much complaint. Oh, no, wait. Heeeaps of complaint.

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I wish I was a Gentle Person

Photo of my son. It looks like he will become one of the Gentle People.Image

This is a real thought in my head. When I was growing up, I knew a Gentle Person. Actually, my own father is pretty close to being one himself. You may know one of these Gentle People. The type that will take ten minutes to make a proper, perfect cup of tea, rather than the insipid cup of milky water you are likely to get given in my house (apologies family and friends).

The type that (don’t read this if you are squeamish) fold, nay, IRON their clothes so that they are flat and sit level in their drawers. I am ashamed to say that my folding ability is lacklustre, to say the least. I have more of a rolling action with the washing. Bundling things into piles, then looking on furiously as the piles topple over at the merest provocation. The drawers in our house are a barely contained maelstrom, I actually sometimes have to kick the drawers shut, and once with my fingers enclosed trying to force in some stray bit of shirt or pant leg.

These gentle people are truly a joy to watch, even if sometimes you want to hurry them up. You want to scribble over the borders they have lovingly given their assignments, the ruled, squared off, triple checked documents they will inevitably hand in for marking. Gentle People excelled at bubble writing in primary school, they also always have neat tidy haircuts, and never the double crown/cowlick I grew up trying to reign in.

Ah, I wish I was a Gentle Person, instead of the weird juxtaposition that I actually am. Slightly perfectionist with a healthy dash of complete feral.

Aaaaand, here is a completely irrelevant photo of the hill behind our house.

It’s lovely.ImageAs is my wee daughter (most of the time.) Excuse the photo, it was dusk.IMG_2905Although, I suspect, like me, she will not be a gentle person, this makes her no less lovely.

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Ten ways to hurt a zombie*

  1. You have to tie a sewing machine to the roof and then if it can’t see you throw it up to a rope, and it can’t hear you. And it bonks its head down and you can hammer a nail into it.
  2. Another way is to get some paper or food, and make it look like a brain, and zombies will eat it, and they will get hurt from eating human food.
  3. Or you can cut a tree down beside a zombie, and it will hammer the zombie down.
  4. Or you can make your house into a zombie trap by putting pointy toys all over the house, and mess it up with christmas decorations. Put a square hole into the roof, tie a rope onto it. Tie a washing machine onto the rope, and it will hammer the zombie on the head.
  5. Put power lines up and the zombies will get an electric shock.
  6. Make a giant Venus Fly Trap, put a brain onto it, the zombie will try to eat the brain and the Fly Trap will trap it.
  7. Put prickles all over the floor and the Zombies will stand on them.
  8. Get a bow and arrow and sneak up on the zombie.
  9. Put a rake on the floor and the zombie will stand on it.
  10. Put nails all over the floor.

ImageSeriously, I would not want to be a Zombie stumbling into this house.

And also, there is a storm a brewing in little ole NZ, Cyclone Luci. We are battening down the hatches in anticipation. 

This morning was the last of the sun we will see for a few days…Terrible photo, but you get the ideaImage

*Disclaimer – My boy has a penchant for the macabre, he is under no influence of mine here.

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This is my life now.

 

 

 

First of all, it is key to note that it’s Friday night. Also key, is that it is not an unusual Friday, sadly, the opposite. This is my view.ImageExcuse the image. Grainier than a desert. Don’t despair for me, somewhere under 2 billion items of clothing/bedding misc, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Oh, no wait. There is no light, just a constant, never-ending stream of folding /washing /hanging out/ getting in /folding /washing /rewashing due to leaving the wet clothes in the machine too long…And the ultimate, PUTTING CLOTHES AWAY. Worst job ever!

And so it goes on.

Somedays, I would like to incinerate the entire lot and just wear one hemp sack, between the lot of us. But then I suck it up, and go and get the washing in so it can be folded… … …

Heavy stuff, I know!

ImageMy father and his partners linen cupboard. I can barely look at it without withering with envy. Everything these two touch turns to fold. (See what I did there? No? Meh, I’m delirious with over-folding).

Anyway, I’m off to put the washing away, along with the kids I can hear sneaking around the house behind me.

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Fifty Shades of Bay

When I was young and brave I tried living in Australia for a while. Aside from the ridiculously good weather, even better health system and pay bracket, I still struggled with how pleasant everything was. The animals, insects and wildlife in general were of a scale that nearly blew the mind. When you found a spider inside on the table, it wasn’t just an ‘Oh Dear’ moment, it was jaw dropping expletive moment. Of course I have no proof of any of this, it just happened okay?

Anyhoo, the point I am meandering to is I really missed the changing of the seasons.

In Australia the summer is nearly, literally endless. Gelato stands can happily trade throughout the winter with no drop in sales. The beaches are still full, albeit with Aussies wearing wetsuits for some strange reason. The morning starts out before sunrise hot, and ends up in a big melty frazzled puddle.

Here in NZ at the beginning of Summer, you breathe a sigh of relief that the nastiness that is Winter is now behind you. If you are based in Wellington, then you look forward to the one day that is Summer. It’s gone in the blink of an eye, but by the gods it is good! Everyone is out and about, the streets are filled with cheery folk, and the beaches are full of the beautiful people.

Here in Hawkes Bay, the summer dawdles on and on forever. It’s bliss! But after a couple of months of it, the thought of Autumn lurks tantalisingly on the horizon. Here we are then. Finally Autumn feels like it has arrived. The weekend has, of course been insanity, but between all the madness, there have been some pleasant moments.

See…

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Looking for the perfect tree…Image

Juniper looking pensive

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Excuse the angle, I was biking and attempting to multitaskImage

Again, Juniper finding her own dribble hilariousImage

Sharing Ice Cream at the market. Lucky lucky smalls.x

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Independence Day.

Can I hark back to the 80’s again? I know it’s been well thrashed out by the media and advertising agencies, but what happened to the independence of youth. I don’t want to get too deep into this, but I was the quintessential child of the 80’s. Catching crawlies, making my own lunch from the age of 5, my mum didn’t use glad wrap, so her lunches were always a bit soggy and cross contaminated (farm bake cookies rubbing up against the classic marmite sandwich), walking myself to and from school, neighbourhood wars, etc…

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Castle Point, Wairarapa – 19Ancient History. And the rad gentleman to the right was my Uncle Richard. Also, don’t laugh, I had a thumbsucking issue which meant my teeth protruded at every which angle.

 

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So how come my kids can’t really do any of the above?

Seriously, no one can be trusted anymore, my child can’t walk the 500m to the school gate without supervision until he is 8. There is fear at every turn. I must admit, it is all a little exhausting.

I want, for my kiddies, what I had. Complete, blissful, rose tinted youth. Thus the compulsory berry picking and river swimming escapades. I have enrolled my son in the only Primary School in the Lower North island that still allows Bullrush. The only school BR rule being, that if your clothes get ripped, you don’t tell tales.

Again, it is hard to deliver the message accurately with words without sounding a little harsh, but I am VERY keen for my kids to grow up without the cotton wool padding that is all too prevalent these days. A little bit of learning things the hard way. Like me warning off my son cutting up hot chillies for his potions, not once but twice, before the message became clear through lessons learnt.Image

 

 

Ahh, I don’t know. Probably doing more harm than good, but parenthood is a constant cycle of this. A learning curve for all involved parties.

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Reasons my daughter is a force to be reckoned with

My daughter is fierce. She is 100 percent. When her day starts, everyones day starts. Hands down, she is the single most intense being I have ever encountered. She is pictured below in a cafe on the weekend shouting obscenities (not learned on my watch*) at the poor fellow diners.

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When we are out, I seem to spend the entire time fighting fires, chasing her away from cliffs, pulling her off ledges. She seems to survive on half the amount of sleep her brother does. Aside from these qualities, she somehow has the ability to pull the only entirely pink and frilly outfit out of the wardrobe, and proceeds to break down absolutely until she can dress herself in it (heaven forbid one of us tries to dress our two year old.)

I guess we could say she is spirited, but it seems to undersell her epic tantrum capabilities a little. Her favourite place to have said tantrums being anywhere anyone with the ability to roll their eyes is within earshot.

She is Fire and Ice, Yin and Yang. She can fight her brother with a sword dressed in a swathe of tutu, lace and pink fru-fru.

Can be utterly sweet and darling one minute, and flip out completely the next.

Perhaps it’s just girls. Perhaps I was a little too comfortable with my compliant mellow wee lad?

Whatever the reason or explanation, she is completely engaging to me. I loves her, in all her demanding, loving charm.

 

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*Dubious claim, untrue even.

Feeling aged and nostalgic

I took my little boy to school for a visit last week. I know it is the biggest cliche in the book, but I spent the whole time biting the inside of my cheeks, willing myself not to cry. There he was, meeting an entire new group of friends with ease and grace (can a four year old have grace?)

I was massively proud of him, but at the same time, heart-wrenchly aware of the lightning pace our smalls are growing up. They are still little, and we still get the (dubious) pleasure of two or three visits in the night for a cuddle, but FIVE years old! I mean, it feels like such a short time ago I was walking in the hills with him toddling behind at his own leisurely pace, looking at snails and picking up leaves.

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And now look!

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Gah! I know kids start school on a daily, but I was embarrassingly choked up at the thought.

And a token post of the girl this evening. The kids were watching the Pharrell song ‘Happy’ Leo was cutting some shapes, but Juje was mesmerised by all the fancy dancing. See…

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I can’t tell if she was impressed or not. this lady has mastered (seriously) the art of the poker face. If you tell her off, this will be the look you get. Unless she feels like being dramatic, and then it is like the end scene off the Titanic.

Goodnight my babies, thanks for being (mostly) good while your dad is away.

.mamma.

The chickens are restless… And trying to eat my progeny

Good evening. It’s sticky hot here in the heart of Hawkes’ Bay. Like blazing, uncomfortable, can’t sit still as it seems to seep into the bones, but can’t move as the heat seems to follow like a mound of woollen blankets. Incidentally, as I say this, the air does seem to be cooling, but I suspect I’ll still go into the kids room tonight when they are sound asleep, and freak out at the amount of sweat a two year old can produce in her sleep.

On a quest for something a bit different this afternoon, we went to a local park, and got harassed by some chickens. They were seriously all up in our business, like this.

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and this

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Juje was all like GET OUTTA MAH FACE LADY!!  Only in a much more angry type voice. Leo was loving it, in kind of a timid, antsy way.

And then I thought, hey, the kids are tired and have had a long day, why not drag them to get some walnuts. I mean, how idyllic is the thought of gathering walnuts in the late summer sunshine. Unfortunately, the trip involved rather a lot more temper than I had bargained for. I’m not sure why I didn’t bargain for more, it is one of the inevitabilities of my fiery lass. Anyway, as proof of the idyllic nature of the sojourn, see below.

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Look how lovely it appears.

Now look.

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And now closer…

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See that angry pixie in the grass? Ah my baby.

 

And that was today in a walnut shell. 

Idyllic? Maybe in the pictures, with the sound down. 

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