A few highs (and lows) from the past week

The first week of a new term is never without a hitch.  We only had a two week school holiday to enjoy together, after a long, 11-week, first term. We were just getting into our stride, and really enjoying ourselves, when the end of the holidays hit us with a bang. It felt premature that we should be torn apart so soon. Nevertheless, term 2 began on Monday, with Sophie moving from new entrants to ‘Year 1’ after one term at school. A new class, a new teacher, but thankfully a few familiar faces to ease the transition.

And the weather, though a mixed bag, was at least warm – which always makes everything a little easier (school drop off in a southerly, where the car door feels like it will blow straight off – or worse trap an arm or leg – is not a pleasant experience!). Our thoughts this week have been with folk in and around Auckland, where a freak tornado caused tragedy, the loss of life of a good family man, and destruction.

We just got a mix of sun and rain, with few signs of hope…

Rainbow of hope

The heavens were certainly looking after one family this week – when a car, with three children in it, took flight and landed some 50 metres away, up-turned, with all the children safe!

For us in Welly, the week was marred with illness. Dan and I have been feeling under the weather, whilst poor Charlotte spent Sunday afternoon asleep on the couch with a fever. We were surprised that she felt up to school on Monday. She was exhausted again on Tuesday, so we picked up her school work for her to do from home (it was also the first day of school swimming – she loves swimming – just not with the school – we did wonder if her exhaustion was coincidental, but we decided to let her off – especially since a nightmare had woken her early at 5am that day). On the up side she entered a colouring competition at a local cafe and won her Mummy a Mother’s Day brunch!

Colouring Competition - Charlotte wins! Blue Belle Cafe, Island Bay.

Sophie fared well at the start of the week, but she was getting tired quickly. Wednesday night she ate a good dinner – but a bit too much perhaps (and a mix of fresh orange, dairy & spag bog didn’t sit well… a midnight explosion over our bed – she was sharing – was a rude wake-up call!). Dan and Sophie headed down to the lounge for the remainder of the night and by 2am Sophie was back to sleep and the washing machine was working its magic. Thankfully, the sickness was a one off, but of course she was too tired for school on Thursday.

Alice was the only one unaffected – rather she benefited from having the company of her sisters at home (she has a fabulous giggle these days and adores running amok with Charlotte and Sophie). However, it seems her eye teeth are finally breaking through (she has her first set of molars already and her central and lateral incisors, but the eye teeth have been biding their time in her pink gums). When Alice is teething she generally comfort sucks a lot – so I feel rather like a human pacifier. She’s also been waking early – 5.30am is perfectly normal. So I’ve been trying to play ‘quiet’ games not to wake up the rest of the house-hold most mornings this week.

One great pleasure this week has been taking Dan into work. He normally cycles on fair weather days, or happily takes the bus, but my love of coffee and his dodgy ankle (which is darn frustrating for him – especially as soccer season has just begun) mean a lift in is much appreciated. Alice is more than happy to come along for the ride (with her favourite nursery rhymes to sing along to) and she especially enjoys sitting outside Deluxe, on Kent Terrace, watching the buses, cars and motorbikes ‘brrrm, brrrm’ past (she’s a bit of a ‘petrol head’ at the moment!).

Alice enjoying watching the world go by at Deluxe with her Daddy

Highs for Charlotte have been drama and dancing back on her extra-curricular agenda, which she adores. She was disappointed her guitar teacher was away on Thursday, but happy to have another week to practice her chords.

Sophie has done really well for her first week back at school and enjoyed her piano lesson this week. She gets so tired on school though and has taken to sleeping in with me and Alice. The other night she was so beautifulI held her hand as her breathing slowed and calmed into the deep sighs of peaceful sleep. She’s so young yet, and I don’t mind helping her to calm her busy mind. There is so much happening in her little world at the moment. Six hours of school, in a class of twenty, with so much going on is exhausting for me to even contemplate. A sensory overload of noise, movement, colour and learning, combined with a blend of social harmony and dis-chord, as twenty children develop an understanding of what is ‘appropriate’ behaviour when getting along in a confined space!

Alice is thriving and nearly 15 months old. She refuses to wear socks or shoes and is a real ‘Kiwi’ babe – bare-feet are the way to go – whatever the weather! She is communicating so much with us now – nodding for yes, clearly saying, ‘No’ and has many other words – ‘animals’, ‘please’ (sounds likes ‘peas’), all the usual animal noises and then her favourite song of all time is… ‘Row, row, row…’ (that’s all the words she can sing so far x). She also likes ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ – with her favourite lyric being ‘Beep, beep, beep!’. Her favourite game is ‘chase’ and she giggles so much when we chase her – she also likes to run backwards, climb on everything and throw all sorts of objects in the bath – that really shouldn’t belong there – often done with a cheeky giggle. Another pastime is walking around with a box or bag and filling it with anything in her path. She also likes to leave little presents for Frances, who is still happily living in our downstairs spare room (she’s amazing to put up with us!).

Alice is a true Kiwi-barefooted loving toddler!

So, it’s been a week of us all feeling a little below par, but thankfully the heavens have opened a few rays of light and sunshine into our little corner of the world. And little Alice even enjoyed giving her twinkle toes a dip in the sea at Lyall Bay Beach on Friday morning (when it was a warm 20 degrees!). I couldn’t get my boots off fast enough to catch up with her – as she literally ran towards the sea!

Alice our little water babe

And as well as some warm, sunshine gaps in the rain, we’ve enjoyed some gorgeous night skies and the occasional autumnal evening where barefoot running on the beach is still doable… this was Sophie this evening at Island Bay…

Sophie one autumn evening

Looking forward to Mother’s Day this Sunday, 8 May. Charlotte and Sophie have shooed me out of their bedrooms on more than one occasion this week. And this afternoon I was sent out with Sophie and Frances to have a nice afternoon, whilst Charlotte, Alice and Dan ‘rehearsed’ a dish that I’m promised to love (I saw Charlotte handing out printed copies of her recipe at school on Friday – she wanted to share the love – how gorgeous!).

Happy Mother’s Day! I need to go write a poem now for this week’s ‘Lyrical Sunday’ – the theme (in case you missed it) is ‘Mothers‘. There’s some great reads over at Kiwi Mummy Blogs this week too – check them out here.