Back to the ‘ole routines

I sat at Oriental Parade enjoying the warm Autumn sunshine with Alice snuggled up in the sling fast asleep thinking, ‘It’s way too quiet, I want my big girls here with me!’. They went back to school and kindy this morning and I really did miss them. They were both happy to be back, but five day’s is just too much. They get so tired by the end of the week and I can’t help but feel for them being cooped up in the same classroom every day, whilst I’m off exploring the hills of Wellington with Alice (well, it’s not all that exciting really – lots of domestic duties and changing of dirty nappies in reality).

Missing my big girls

Still, we had a wonderful family day yesterday. We visited Zealandia and enjoyed a fabulous walk. The new visitor centre really is amazing. There is a very sad movie though – which is a bit scary for young ones – which tells the story of how humans wrecked New Zealand when they arrived. There’s also lots of fun stuff – with plenty of buttons to press to keep children happily entertained whilst the adults read all the fascinating facts.

After the visitor centre and lunch, the girls were keen to explore in the sanctuary. We had a great walk, including a little boat ride and a visit to the gold mining cave (home to the Giant Weta). The girls were really keen, but didn’t last more than a few seconds after they saw one weta! Unlike the tree weta the cave weta can jump – up to 3 metres – when they feel threatened; and armed with that gem of information I stayed outside using Alice as my excuse, whilst Dan went in (to prove his manliness of course!). I’m not a total wimp though – I did go in last time, but the helmet was seriously sweaty and left my hair really pongy afterwards – so that was my real reason for not wanting to go in; I didn’t want a stinky helmet head!

Sweaty head aside, we had a great time!

I’m sat here writing this post with little Alice beside me, wishing I had cushioned keys as my typing keeps making her stir. It’s hard to get access to the computer these days (especially with two hands). Charlotte and Sophie are frequently tossing a coin to get on the the computer or snapping up my iPhone to play games on. The one bonus of them being back at school and kindy is I have the morning to myself. Alice sleeps for most of it, leaving me time to do a few chores around the house – as well as indulge in the occasional latte with friends. This morning I did just that at the lovely Parade Cafe at Oriental Parade. A perfect way to start the week and forget about missing my big girls. Alice was a sleepy gem – except for filling her nappy to the extreme just before my coffee date and needing a complete strip down to her Birthday suit and fresh clothes.

Sophie started back at swim class today and I think she’s finally met her match on the chatter box front. A lovely boy is in her class and from the moment they set eyes on each other there was an instant connection. Two chatterboxes united! She is delighted with her new classmate and had a great play with him and his Dad afterwards.

Charlotte had a happy first day back at school and was armed with homework, which she was determined to finish today so she wouldn’t have to think about it for the rest of the week (and earn some stars on her sticker chart at home). Charlotte and Sophie are earning stars/stamps on a chart for helping out/being good/doing homework and each stamp counts for 20 cents. At the end of the week they can choose to save or spend their earnings. Well, Charlotte decided to do all nine of the homework tasks (she can choose how many she does and which activities each week), which she has never done before. Call it bribery if you like, but it works!

Dan got home at 7pm this evening, by which time Charlotte was so tired (we were all awake at 6am thanks to the Alice dawn coo!). She was just about winding down to head off to bed, but the excitement of seeing her Daddy gave her a second wind and unfortunately she ended up so over tired. She hurt her finger on the lid of something, which then resulted in big tears 🙁 She finally fell asleep at 9pm and I just hope she manages to sleep through the dawn coos of Alice tomorrow morning. It’s my Birthday too, so I really am hoping for happy faces in the morning – that will be the most perfect present.

Ah well, it’s back to the routines and packing those lunch boxes. The girls enjoyed helping to do that this morning (with the power of the sticker chart making them super helpful!). The drop off was easy as this morning – well we were super organised, having all been awake since 6am. Dan walked up to school with Charlotte and then cycled on into work, whilst I took Sophie to kindi for an 8.20am start! We’ve never been there so early – usually turn up around 9 (ish!).

Hoping this warm Autumn weather continues, it really has been perfect and the nights perfect for star gazing. The girls were so sweet last night with their Daddy. They were looking for constellations, in between singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (I really must take them to the recently reopened Carter Observatory in the Botanical Gardens). Meanwhile, I was sat at the piano, with Alice balanced on my knees, playing ‘The Circle of Life’ from the Lion King.

Well, it’s getting late and I must sleep – another year older in the morn! The girls have been so excited about my Birthday – but to me it’s pretty much a non-event and Birthday’s are all about the children now. They wanted to make cakes and everything – but I didn’t fancy all the work that was involved. We’ve decided to go out for a family meal – but we’ll have to wait and see how awake and happy everyone is!