Surviving winter school holiday blues

We’re nearing the end of the first week of the school holidays and it started out like a battle for survival.

Monday was a shock to the system, with dismal weather forecast for the week, one ill baby and two children thrown out of kilter with all their routines dashed. Normally I would have got the school holidays off on a positive front with a trip out somewhere exciting; but I’d had two night’s of dismal sleep and could barely fold the laundry, let alone brave a trip out.

I’d pre-booked Charlotte on a holiday swim course, so I knew we’d all be out the door in the afternoon – with the help of Frances (who comes for a few hours each avo/early evening to keep me sane!). I only had the morning to get through – but no one was feeling very upbeat and I didn’t have the energy to steer everyone in the right direction. It always takes the girls a day or two of adjustment after a term of kindi and school. After a couple of days they rediscover themselves and start using their time creatively – both together and individually – but we always have a few ‘teething’ issues to start with. With my sleep deprived lack of tolerance and minimal patience I wasn’t best equipped to manage the bumpy start to the week; but thankfully that is now all behind us 🙂

Still, I did manage to bake scones, with a little help…


And see some smiles devour them with lashings of jam…


The indoor play of sliding down the stairs and jumping from seven steps down, using a spare mattress…


was a little much for my delicate nerves after a while and the girls took the hint and escaped outdoors… to give Mummy a breather!


Tuesday morning we visited a friend, which was great but poor Alice was uncharacteristically grumpy. We retreated home at midday so I could calm her with a bath, which thankfully worked a treat. And she looked a lot happier after a bath, feed and nap…


By Wednesday morning, I felt brave enough to venture out to one of my usual wet weather holiday haunts – Te Papa. I knew it would be mobbed, but arriving early and leaving around midday worked out okay. We had a good couple of hours doing the ‘Paperskin Tapa Trail‘ and seeing some amazing tapa cloth art in ‘Paperskin: the art of tapa cloth‘. We played around on a couple of ukeleles in PlaNet Pasifika (discovered a neat book on simple ukelele tunes for children and we tried our hand at strumming a few songs using C and G7 chords). The girls enjoyed ‘Golden Days‘ (again!) and we had a good feed at the cafe. We escaped before 1pm, when the crowds really were getting ridiculous, and headed off to the swimming pool for the afternoon. I really gave myself (and the girls) a pat on the back for a good morning out with no hiccups.

Today has been a great day also, despite the atrocious holiday weather (typical – but then it is mid-winter!).

We had probably the best two hours of the holiday so far with a bit of retail therapy (shocking I know!) at the airport retail park in Lyall Bay. We had an early lunch at Mint Cafe (Sophie has been asking to go there all week – on account of the gelato ice-cream – no matter that it’s mid-winter – she’s a ‘forever’ summer, will have ice-cream in all weathers kind of a girl!). Then we milled around The Warehouse, with Alice taking a nap in the trolley, getting a few essentials and browsing the books and toys. The girls were awesome again for me. Charlotte spent up the rest of her Birthday money on some hamster toys that are all the rage at present (Zhu Zhu Pets), whilst Sophie was thrilled to bits with a couple of Toy Story activity books (there was some heavy duty merchandise of all kinds Toy Story 3 – Scrabble, Lego, Memory… almost every traditional game you can think of was available ‘rebranded’ with a Toy Story 3 theme).

This afternoon was spent again at the swimming pool. It’s been fabulous having Frances help out – as juggling three children would have been a little difficult – especially since Alice is still not old enough to go in the water – certainly not the big pool – and I don’t feel comfortable with Sophie being in the pool without an adult. Sophie spent this afternoon out of the water and in the library near by with Frances.

Kilbirnie is great for facilities all within reach of each other – the recreation centre (check out the link of holiday timetable), library (also great holiday activities), a play-ground, sports pitch, swimming pool (with great school holiday activities), cafes and shops (including the wonderful ‘Children’s Bookshop‘ with story time for pre-schoolers on Friday mornings). And with no parking costs it’s all the better!

We got home close to five and I spent half an hour making ‘Woody’ out of little cardboard pieces, whilst breastfeeding Alice (I had failed to notice that one of the Toy Story 3 activity books, I’d bought Sophie earlier, needed full on adult assistance – erm yes, parents LOVE those 🙂 !! I’m just glad I’d swung past ‘Subway’ on the way home from our afternoon of swimming and didn’t need to cook dinner too!

Well, it’s time for some shut eye to improve my chances of a positive day tomorrow and I’m really hoping the positive end to this week continues forth into the second week of the school holidays (with a little more sunshine too – that would be really, really swell… ‘Weather Gods DO YOU HEAR ME?!) x

Links for other Wellington based school holiday events…
For some FREE school holiday events visit Juggling Motherhood – she’s put together a fabulous table of events.