Spring cleaning vibes are in the air

It’s been a week of sunshine and warm, winter temperatures of 15 to 18 degrees. Whilst Sophie has been at afternoon Kindi I’ve been busy tackling a list of jobs that I need to do in the house and garden. It’s great having a little extra time. With spring just over a month away, and the daylight hours already getting longer, the garden is beginning to go crazy with growth. After a few months of rugging up and laying low in the dark evenings we are now revving up for the busy season in the garden. In the house I have cupboards to go through, paperwork to sift into organized piles and baby/toddler clothes galore to wash, sort and store (we don’t plan on finding out if we’re expecting a boy or girl so the pink clothes will have to wait till arrival day to have their destiny determined). I know that I’ll find it harder to do all these jobs as the pregnancy progresses (not that this ever stopped me before – it’s just more awkward with a big bump out front!).

The week hasn’t been all work and no play though. Whilst Charli has had a fabulous week at school, Sophie has been happy out and about.

Monday morning we took a stroll along Oriental Parade (Sophie on her bike, me speed walking alongside), stopping for a smoothie, a climb at the playground and a spot of starfish gazing. She always asks me to take her photograph at the top of this climbing frame – so I’m sure similar ones have been posted here before… but here we go again:

Tuesday morning we called in at central library to stocked up on books and went to Story Time. Then we zipped back to Island Bay for a pre-Kindi play-date over lunch with one of Sophie’s new Kindi friends, before heading off to Kindi. After school was Charli’s regular dance lessons – an hour and a half of ballet, jazz and cheer-leading. She is still loving it and with an assessment coming up at the end of term she has been busy practicing (and giving us all lessons too!). She has a CD of all her class music and instructions of which exercises to do to each track – we frequently find ourselves on the floor contorted into various positions.

Wednesday is no Kindi day and apart from a brief outing in the morning to stock up on craft supplies from the $2 Shop we stayed at home. I was determined to tackle the mammoth task of de-cluttering the art / laundry room (a continually on-going job). We (I) spent most of the day on it; Sophie was keen to get on with creating. As I emptied an entire cupboard onto the floor Sophie looked at me with shock and concern, ‘Mummy, you are making so much mess!’. Aye, my child, when reorganizing it’s necessary to get knee deep in ‘stuff’ and clutter before coming up for air and seeing results. If it wasn’t for my pregnant state I would have been very tempted to jack it all in early afternoon and pour myself a G&T for sustenance!

Crafty supplies (I have the glitter, pom poms, felt and other goodies on a breakfast tray so I can easily move them into the kitchen for craft whilst cooking – I am all about multi-tasking!):

After school pick-up I took the girls for a quick ice-cream and a catch up on Charli’s day at school before heading home. The girls were keen to bake, so we whipped up some Anzac biscuits. Charli volunteered to wash up the post-cooking bowls and utensils, which I was naturally thrilled about. Both the girls did some painting too – to add to our children’s art gallery in the hallway.

Thursday morning Sophie was happy to have her friends Hayden and Hawk around to play, before Kindi in the afternoon. After school and Kindi we headed down Lyall Bay for a play on the beach. There were quite a few brave young’uns taking a dip in their smalls. This is one of my favourite times of year (when it’s sunny) as sun-burn is not a concern and the mosquitoes and sand-flies are yet to multiply in large numbers… though having said that I did get my first sand-fly bite since last summer on Monday (time to start carrying repellent in my bag at all times!). Lyall Bay is so much quieter since the recent fire at Maranui surf club and cafe. It is such a tragedy that so many of the surf clubs treasures were lost in the fire, some dating back to the early 1900’s. On the positive side, no one was hurt and the community support to get it up and running again has been tremendous – with Cafe L’affare raising $20,000 by opening on a Sunday and donating all proceeds to Maranui.

Friday morning was spectacular and a perfect end to the week. Temperatures reached 18 degrees and Sophie and I had a marvelous morning at Wellington Zoo. We were treated to a wonderful show in the ‘Wild Theatre’, where we saw a red-tailed black cockatoo fly over our heads, a serval playfully pouncing around (on a lead) and a happy otter showing off his fishing and swimming skills. And in the Velluto Cafe Sophie was very excited to see the Zoo’s newest residents, pygmy marmosets, Machu and Pichu. The meerkats, who were in that enclosure, have now joined their friends in the main zoo enclosure and are loving their new companions. Sophie also showed me the new tortoises and llamas, which she’d already seen on a trip with Dan to the zoo. With both the girls being ‘Zoo Crew‘ members we make good use of the Zoo and it’s great to be able to pop in for a brief hour after school for a walk, as the hilly site of the zoo makes for a scenic spot overlooking Wellington city in the distance (and good exercise too!).

I fell in love with the new prayer flags in the red-panda enclosure and ordered some for the garden:

In the ‘avo Sophie was supposed to go to Kindi but she said she was tired and her temperature was up, so we decided to take it easy (though she ended up staying up till 8.30pm and bouncing around like a jumping bean – I think I need a new digital thermometer!).

After school pick up we drove around the bays to Scorching Bay and had the beach all to ourselves. We chased the last of the sun, before it dipped down behind the hill, and had the perfect end to the week.

And as for the spring cleaning vibes… they have encroached into the weekend. Whilst Dan cycled off to soccer in Island Bay the girls and I rolled up our sleeves and got busy. We washed and cleaned the car, inside and out, and it looks like it’s been professionally valeted. I made the mistake of mentioning how much it would have cost to have had it done professionally and the girls ears pricked up… there will be a trip to the $2 shop for them to spend their earnings – they certainly deserve it!

After finishing up on the car (they even dried and polished the exterior!) I headed into the garden to mow the lawns, whilst the girls happily played with some giant boxes I found in the shed. Managed to finish the job before a light fall of rain set in. Dan returned home and took the girls out for a swim, so I could have this special ‘me’ time. But now, I hear the return of the car and I must away to the kitchen to cook up some salmon for dinner….