Being thankful

The past week and a bit has gone by so fast. As parents it is so easy for our children’s lives to pass as fast as one wild and crazy roller-coaster ride. But also, as individuals it is also very easy to be so caught up in ‘doing’ that we rarely allow ourselves a pause to reflect, take stock, be thankful and give ourselves a ‘pat on the back’. I caught myself stopping to think (whilst washing the dishes) and be thankful this week. To acknowledge the highlights in my mind, but also to be aware of how fleeting they are. I am so glad I started writing this blog when Charli was born. Countless times, Dan and I have spent an evening going back in time and reflecting on the precious memories. The girls sit on our knees and gaze at the photos and watch the video-clips. The memories reinforced each time they relive a moment. Happy times that build up their inner self-esteem and a sense of belonging.

I’m so happy for Charli and Sophie right now. Charli is loving school, has fabulous friends, is passionate about all that she does and is so eager to do well. At home, she is the first to offer a hand with meal-times and cleaning. Sophie is ‘in training’, but is fast following in Charli the Jedi’s footsteps. Charli has had a couple of play-dates recently – with boys. She is a tom-boy who loves Star Wars and Transformers. She despises ‘Barbie’. But, she does LOVE to dance – ballet, jazz/hip-hop and cheer-leading – which she now does back-to-back, for an hour and a half, on a Tuesday evening! She is auditioning tomorrow for ‘Performance Assembly’ on Friday – singing ‘Son of Man’ from Tarzan. She is also getting extremely excited about her ‘Star Wars’ party in just under a fortnight, to celebrate her 6th Birthday! She has selected her favourite ‘Padawan’ to join in Jedi Training… check out the invitation Dan created…

Now I just have to finalize the training schedule to ensure all that energy in the house, on party day, is focused on Jedi training and cake eating!

In the evening Charli writes, reads and loves playing ‘Top Trumps‘ (Star Wars, Ben 10 and Dinosaurs) with her Daddy. She genuinely beats him most of the time – having memorized all the values on the cards!

Sophie is also blossoming. She is so proud to be a Kindi girl and is quickly making friends there. She is learning to read and we have to visit the library once a week to get new reading books. This past week she has finally found her water confidence and is happily ducking her head under the water like a duck. She is ditching her arm-bands and throwing herself off the side of the pool with big leaps and dives. She also loves to paint and spends an hour a day with paint brushes in hand coming up with the most amazing creativity – ‘a whale’s heart’, ‘a cave’, ‘a Kina that can change into a person’….

And, yes, she still loves horses! We took her for a ride the day after our full on ‘Winter Saturday‘ and the staff there were so delighted to see her. She lovingly cradled an apple in her hands all the way there – a special treat for her favourite pony, Duchess. She still talks of Panda – who passed away last year and says she’s happy he’s in ‘horse heaven’, but she misses him. Anyway, Sophie strode into the office with a big, ‘Hello!’ and made straight for the riding hats to choose a good fit. She couldn’t wait to feed Duchess the apple and she made one horse very, very happy. Charli and I loved watching Dan lead Sophie round (with a couple of little trots!). Charli enjoys being around horses now and has lost her initial fears (though we did have to move to the other end of the paddock when the Farrier started shoeing the horses. Pong!). After the riding we retreated to the ever warm and welcoming comfort of the Saddleback Cafe for a wholesome lunch.

And we’ve just had a wonderful weekend of simple pleasures; swimming at the pools, playing board games as a family, dancing and singing together and even cleaning windows. The latter was a mammoth undertaking. The winter sun has made the disgraceful condition of our windows glaringly apparent and the other week I bought a long extension pole, window cleaner. Dan gamely did the outside, whilst the girls and I tackled the polishing on the inside. An hour or so later… we could see out again! The girls were extremely enthusiastic – so much so that I found myself limiting their ‘spray’ time and exchanging their bottles for water spray for fear of over-polluting and gassing ourselves out. I was following them around the house doing discreet touch up jobs and mopping up the excess. But I have to give them 10 out of 10 for effort. They are in danger of becoming seriously useful! Yah! Get ’em in training early!

On Sunday ‘avo we had the wonderful pleasure of Kathy, Mark, Louis and the boys for roast dinner. It turned out a treat (bravo Dan for the cooking!) and it was all remarkably civilized. We could have done with cheese, biscuits and port for after dessert… (well, no port for moi as I’m all herbal teas and water only!).

Dan and I are faring well and so happy. We are just hoping we get off lightly this winter, with increasing front page news of more ‘Swine Flu’ outbreaks. Thank goodness for Internet food shopping is all I can say. If we end up stuck at home in quarantine, at least we can order shopping to be left on the doorstep. And there’s plenty of good things to download and watch on the T.V. Not that I’m wishing illness on us or anything…

Keep well all!