Flying the flag Friday as RWC 2011 kicks off!

Wellington is adrift with flags (it always is…), but never before has it seen SO MANY flags. There is Rugby World Cup bunting hanging from every shop and cafe (in fact the RWC bunting has now sold out, so enthusiastically have Kiwis been hanging it!), giant flags fly along every street and shop windows are adorned with RWC and ‘WOW‘ (World of Wearable Arts) costumes. It makes for a super colourful sight.

Sophie by the lagoon on Wellington's waterfront

In our home we have been creating flags and thinking all things ‘F’ (with that being our ‘letter of the week’ for home-schooling). We have ‘fish’ stories, ‘fairy’ pictures and books, flower pictures and letter ‘F’ word-searches, worksheets and word-banks. It’s been a flipping, fantastic, fabulous week (with a slightly frazzled mother hen flapping around!).

RWC bunting at Alliance Francais & Sophie's flower drawing

Meanwhile, Charlotte has had a great week at school and had to go dressed in ‘England’ colours today for a ‘Fathers in School Day’. All the girls in her class were randomly given the name of one of the RWC participating countries to represent – coincidently she got England.

Charlotte in England colours

I tried my best to make a Victoria Sandwich Cake (have done so successfully in the past…), for the ‘shared lunch’ Charlotte was having at school, but with no baking paper the beautifully risen cake was so difficult to prize out of the cake tin without breaking apart πŸ™

I was momentarily devastated. I’d worked so hard and with such motherly love and care too! Dan walked in the door just as I was trying to turn the cake onto a ‘Marks and Spencer‘ plate (had to be an English plate – attention to detail and all that).

Thankfully, Dan quickly came to the rescue. The thought of heading out to the shops, buying baking paper (have now been given the tip of spraying cooking oil on normal paper and it does the same job – thanks Katy!), and making yet another cake, getting Alice to bed (she’d been up since 6.30am with only half an hours sleep), stories, bath-time, dinner, tidying up…. argh…. no! Dan phoned the bakery at New World Thorndon and they said they could have two cakes ready for collection at 8am the next morning – yee ha! And at $7 each they were well worth it!

The crumbled cake didn’t go to waste (and Sophie was secretly delighted) as it still tasted great (especially with a drop of Pinot Noir).

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Charlotte made a couple of wonderful flags to adorn the top of the cakes and set off to school this morning looking very happy indeed (little Alice waved them off with a flag Sophie had made for her – cute!).

Alice waves her big sister Charlotte off to school with her flag made by Sophie

And Dan has had a busy week, having been tasked with organising materials to make a glider with Charlotte as part of the ‘Fathers in School’ morning. He was up till 1am working out the finishing touches (he secretly loved it). All the hard work paid off and when it came to flying he won (his MEng in Aeronautics and Astronautics came in useful after all!). And Charlotte won in flying her glider too! Way to go!

The winning glider!

They ended up making two – one out of cardboard and one from a kit-set from the Modelcrafts & Hobbies store in Wellington. Fantastic!

Daddy airways!

And little Alice has been flourishing this week with her first time eating ‘Yum Cha’ (she loved it and actually stayed sitting on a chair for an impressive time for her – at least five minutes). She has been really into play-dough and there’s been daily rolling of dough in the kitchen (and picking up of dough off the floor and carpet). She’s also discovered the joy of water-colours and been dipping her brush from water, to paint to paper with delight. She’s also enjoyed napping on the run in the backpack!

Alice painting, drawing and napping on the go

Alice and Sophie play together a lot too, though I sometimes feel completely frazzled having them both at home every day (they make mess much faster than I can tidy up – but it’s not really ‘mess’ to them and actually wonderful creative play… but sometimes, just sometimes I’d like to see my house looking like a home and not a kindergarten). Seeing the bond between them is so worth it though. Sophie often thanks me for home schooling her and giving her the opportunity to develop a bond with her younger sister. It is very special and most of the time I do love it.

I have so much lovely video footage of the pair of them, which I must put together – but my time on the computer is extremely limited now I’m a home-schooling Mum to Sophie, with a very active toddler too! Alice is adorable and so chatty and chirpy. She still doesn’t sleep through the night without me though. She probably stirs four times a night. I give her a little feed, or a pat on the back, and she drifts back off to sleep. I parent her peacefully to sleep and then read a bit with Sophie. Then I tuck up in bed and after a little read usually fall asleep pretty fast!

We’ve had a few really nice moments this week, out and about – one of the delights of home-schooling. On Monday we scooted down to our local bay and then around a headland, before heading home. Alice conked out in the back-pack, taking in the fresh sea air. The sound of the waves pounding on the shore along the south coast was really something. The tides have been really high this week.

Sophie enjoying a scoot around the bays

We had a lovely morning in town on Thursday. Alice fell asleep in the buggy, so Sophie and I did a bit of schooling in a cafe on Cuba Street, before playing ‘dodge’ the spray by the ‘Bucket Fountain’.

Bucket Fountain on Cuba Street

We also had a very successful visit to Arty Bees, where we got the remaining books of the ‘Series of Unfortunate Events‘ by Lemony Snicket. Charlotte’s up to book 6 (there are 13) and LOVES them. I’m now reading them with Sophie and we’re trying to catch up to Charlotte!

And we couldn’t resist a quick roll and play on the astro-turf in Civic Square in passing too (another contribution to the RWC fun and games!), as well as a quick play by the lagoon down on the waterfront.

Alice at Yum Cha, napping, running on the astro-turf and playing by the lagoon on the Wellington waterfront

Tonight is the big kick off to RWC 2011 in New Zealand. If I was in my twenties, without young children to keep me at home and with the luxury of long lie ins, I’d be out on the town partying. Reality means this Cinderella shall not be playing ball, but will be counting ‘All Blacks’ flags to keep the children amused in the car ferrying them from A to B.

I shall enjoy the day-time atmosphere and a few of the early evening games on the big screens in town, but otherwise I’m happy taking it easy, chillin out and cuddling up with my girls and this lovely little bear.

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Hubbie is home from a few beers with his colleagues, patiently awaiting the older girls heading to sleep so he can watch the rugby opening ceremony (it was recorded as ‘Stuart Little’ proved more popular). I will of course be a good wife and give him a ‘pass out’ card for a night with the lads watching a few games (there, it’s in writing).

And if you haven’t yet heard or seen the Flash-mob haka that’s capturing world attention here’s one of the many…