A dose of culture

On Friday morning we awoke with no need to rush for the bell and all felt quite strange as a result. We’d become so used to ‘the system’ that we all felt a little lost and miffed as to what to do. We decided to get up and out as per usual and take Daddy-O into the office, with a little stop off at The Warehouse enroute (he needed to get a ‘Secret Santa’ pressie for the office). After we’d dropped him off we headed back home to await our friend Stephanie’s arrival. It was a nice chance to catch up before Christmas and swap pressies, though Charli was a little out of sorts. I spent the morning digging out activity books as she was so keen to be writing and puzzling.

I decided we needed a fun distraction and something totally new in the afternoon, so we headed to the New Dowse in Lower Hutt, which is free entry. Charli wasn’t too enthusiastic at my description, but once there she LOVED it! We ended up spending four hour’s exploring the exhibitions (particularly loved ‘Tickle My Senses‘), doing arts and crafts in the ‘Visitor Lounge‘, searching through the ‘New Zealand Film Archives‘ (with the Hairy Maclary stories of Lynley Dodd being a favourite of the girls) and meeting up with a friend who lives locally to the New Dowse, which was an added bonus.

Charli making a brooch Proud of her new brooch

Sophie loved making patterns with these blocks Checking out the NZ Film Archives Charli's Infanta

I knew the school hols would be quite an adjustment for us all and was expecting a few days of settling in and getting used to being in each other’s pockets all day. Charli is now beginning to remember how much fun she can have out of school and all the rich experiences and adventures we can go on. Both the girls have grown-up so much in a year, with Sophie so settled at Kindi and Charli at school, so there is definitely a new dynamic to their relationship – and with bubs on the way there is another factor influencing their minds!

The weekend came at just the right time and we have had a fabulous time. On Saturday ‘avo we headed off to the theatre to watch ‘An Adagio Christmas‘. It’s been a long time since we’ve all gone to the theatre together and the girls dressed up with excitement. Their favourite part was right at the end when fake snow-flakes came floating out over the audience and they reached out their hands with glee to catch the tissue paper, not at all disappointed that it wasn’t the real, cold stuff. It was a magical display of acrobatics, comedy, musical talent and drama.

After the show we grabbed a bite to eat at ‘The Tasting Rooms‘ next door before nipping into Dan’s office. I was keen to print off some more Ludovico Einaudi sheet music, whilst the girls enjoyed a play with the ‘Secret Santa’ toys left scattered around the office from the work Christmas party the day before (being a techie environment many of the pressies were very cool fun – a remote control car and tarantula being the favourites – eek!). I came home happy with ‘Divenire’ and ‘I giorni’, which I’ve been playing at every opportunity.

Charli’s been singing Christmas carols aplenty and playing a few bars of ‘Jingle Bells’ on the piano. We’ll be well prepared for a Christmas Day sing-along, when our old neighbours (who sadly moved mid-way through the year) come round for dinner in the afternoon.

Sunday morning was leisurely, with jobs to do around the house and a slow start lounging in our p-jays. I came into the lounge after a relaxing shower to be greeted by this strange sight…

The girls decide to balance as many balls on their Daddy as possible! Poor Daddy-O!

The girls thought it was hilarious to subject their poor Daddy to some ball balancing… the balls were everywhere. He’s a good sport, that’s all I’m saying!

Sunday afternoon was hot, hot, hot. The southerly held off till the night-time and we enjoyed a fabulous pre-Christmas dinner at a friend’s house up the road. We were invited there last year too and were blown away by the incredible gourmet delights. This year they cooked a turkey on the barbeque, which was totally scrumptious and very Kiwi indeed! Great company, wonderful food and the children had a magic time (whilst the men-folk tucked into some home-brew). After the girls went to sleep Dan and I put on the Christmas music and wrapped up a load of pressies, with me keeping a watchful eye on Dan’s labeling after all that home-brew consumption!

And now, here we are, only four sleeps till Christmas Day. We’ve had a good day visiting a friend this morning and playing in the garden this afternoon, with another friend dropping by to exchange Christmas candy (yum, yum, yum). We’re getting into this school holiday day by day and will soon be wishing it to never end.

Evening in the shade enjoying their dinner