Over at Cottage Tails blog something special has started. Every full moon we gather to tell our tales of the day. Over the year(s) we shall document on the full moon what we have planted, eaten, tended to in our garden. We shall record what we have done in our daily activities. It will be an interesting record to look back on in years to come.
My day started a little past 6.00am. It’s spring and the rain over night has watered the garden for me. Everything is growing so well. Each year we plant a little more and gain a little wisdom.
Usually I’m woken from my broken sleep by baby Alice. This morning I wake feeling fresh and happy, before anyone else. By my side Alice sleeps on the double futon we share. Across the room Sophie lies sleeping soundly. Charlotte is still fast asleep, as is Dan.
By 7.00am the house is awake with coos, smiles, sniffly hayfever noses and daylight pouring in through the windows. It’s easier to accept having to be out bed at this time of year. I pull open the blinds with pleasure and swing open a few windows to let the fresh air and call of the spring birds in.
Today starts off well with everyone dressed before they go downstairs (some mornings feel like a marathon effort running up and down the stairs to pick up forgotten socks, shoes, library books, homework books, toothbrushes left by beds not returned to the bathroom…).
In the next hour Dan and I work in tandem to ensure everyone has breakfast, packed lunches, water, vitamin tablets and hay-fever treatment, hair brushed, teeth cleaned, pets fed, kitchen cleaned and the morning load of washing on.
This morning we also respond to requests for a dice, so Charlotte & Sophie can play a board game, and request for card to make Christmas cards. Stationery, glitter and glue take over.
We keep one eye on Alice to make sure she hasn’t crawled off to climb up the stairs, but she mostly pulls up to standing at the piano; leaving greasy finger prints on the polished wood whilst banging out a few notes.
‘There’s the bird with one leg!’ Sophie calls out. He (or she) is a regular and waits till the cat’s finished breakfast before stealing the leftover biscuits (the cat sits on the bench near by not moving a whisker).
‘Alice is at the stairs!’ calls out Charlotte.
‘Stay close by please,’ I ask, whilst loading up the dishwasher.
Next I hear drumming upstairs and Sophie saying, ‘Stop! I don’t like it!’ Charlotte is playing on Sophie’s drum, loudly. Alice is with them and Sophie runs down crying that Charlotte threw a drum stick at her – oh dear! Sophie said the drum was too loud for Alice (good point). Ah well, peace comes within minutes and Dan takes Sophie to Kindi at 8.30am.
Charlotte was going to stay home, feeling tired due to a night of hayfever disturbing her sleep, but she ends up packing her lunch and walking up to school (with her sunglasses protecting her eyes from the pollen being wildly blown about). Alice waves her bye bye, yawns and nuzzles into me ready for her nap.
9.00am I lie next to Alice, feeding her to sleep.
I should go and tidy up all the glitter and mess in the kitchen, but I fall asleep.
We wake at 10.30 am.
I spend the next hour cleaning the kitchen, lounge, hanging out the washing and keeping Alice happy. She likes to be close by me and I keep grabbing things close at hand to entertain her, singing songs and playing peek-a-boo in and out the clothes being hung up to dry.
My eye scans the garden for changes, as it naturally does, taking in the calming affect of the green surrounds and the energy of the plants opening in the sun. By the next full moon the flax flowers will have opened, along with some of the Pohutukawa blooms.
Beautiful Arthorpodium cirratum (Renga lily) are just coming into flower. It is used for medicine as well as food, and has symbolic importance in traditional MÄori culture.
Looking at them makes me think of Wednesday morning last week, when the girls woke around 6am and made the most of the early start to play in the garden by their ‘Happy Den‘.
I took these photographs of them at the time. I love the way they care for Alice and delight in showing her their world.
Nature is so restorative to the spirit. Even a few moments, whilst hanging out the washing, is enough to leave me feeling energised.
I try to grab a moment in the bathroom to tidy my hair, clean my teeth and put on a little make-up. My little friend is close by my heels and I sigh with acceptance.
11.30am Time to head to Kindi pick-up, but have some important cards to post first. It’s the economy International deadline to the UK and though I still have a lot more mail to send, at least I’ve got the bulk of the cards written. Sophie enjoyed putting the stickers and stamps on the envelopes last week – loving my little helpers.
I leave the car by the post office and walk Alice up to the Kindi. She giggles as I experiment with carrying her carefully on my shoulders. I love the way she marvels at the birds and jumps as cars whizz past. Her whole body so alive to all the new sights, sounds and smells.
An elderly lady stops us to squeeze Alice’s plump cheeks and puts out her arms for a cuddle. I oblige and smile at the joy Alice has brought to this ladies day. Though Alice looks at me a little cautiously I smile back reassuringly and thankfully she doesn’t start to cry, but smiles back at the lady.
As we arrive at the Kindi Alice kicks her legs in excitement. She could happily spend an hour here playing with the water and digging in the sand-pit.
Sophie is happily playing with the play-dough and excited to tell me the news that a real fire-engine visited the Kindi and she got to squirt the hose 🙂
We walk back to the village and head to a cafe we’ve never been to before, called The Cheeky Pipi. We have a scrumptious lunch and Sophie is delighted with the bubble blower (she asks politely where the lady got it from… Bangkok – ah, okay, we shall just have to come back to The Cheeky Pipi for another go some other time!).
The girls and I sit out in the courtyard, enjoying the sun and food. It’s great that Alice, at 9 months, can now eat most of what we eat. I have no need to bring anything special for her. She eats one of Sophie’s sausages, some chips, grapes and avocado. I have my first coffee of the day, but still feel the need for more.
Before heading back in the car I pick up a take-away coffee from the Blue Belle Cafe and feel thoroughly fueled up for the rest of the day. Alice brings us lots of positive attention as she waves and smiles at everyone. Sophie notices and says, ‘We’ll have to have another baby when Alice grows up as babies are so popular!’. My reply, ‘Mmm, puppies are popular too dear’.
Sophie munches on a large berry-sorbet ice-cream from the local dairy (and I couldn’t resist a Cadbury-Creame Easter Egg and a ‘Souvenir’ copy of the latest ‘Woman’s Day’ with all the news on Prince William and Kate’s engagement).
We pile in the car and as I turn to reverse out I notice the ice-cream has gone… Sophie decided to give Alice the left-overs, which Alice delightedly accepts (third child gets the sweet stuff so much earlier than I ever allowed Charlotte and Sophie!).
I have to drop an over-due book off at the library and Toy Story 3 back to the DVD store (also over-due). Alice quietly falls asleep on the way so, after doing the necessary returns, we park up at Lyall Bay to watch the kite-surfers.
I keep checking on Alice as Sophie has a quick run at the play-ground. I chuckle at her sleepy face covered in ice-cream. I’d love to stay longer at the beach but the wind is cool and I’d like Alice to get home for a decent nap. As Sophie and I get back in the car she wakes and cries, but it’s only a few minutes drive to home.
I took these photographs of Sophie playing. Hard to choose a favourite…
As soon as we get home, about 2.00pm, I head upstairs and managed to feed her back to sleep, whilst Sophie has a little quiet time watching children’s TV. I check my e-mails on my iPhone and read the news. I can’t stop thinking about the poor miners trapped underground on the West Coast at Pike River coal mine, especially whilst I sit in the comfort of my home with the fresh air and sunshine pouring in. I pray for them and their families for good news soon.
At 3.00pm we head up to school to see Charlotte. It’s a beautiful day, so she asks to walk down to the playground, with her friend and Sophie. Normally I would have walked up to meet her, but time wasn’t on my side with Alice’s nap. I had to gently wake her in time for the pick-up. So I agree to meet them at the playground. Alice waves goodbye to Charlotte and Sophie, looking very confused. She grumbles when I strap her into her car-seat and reassure her that we’ll only be a minute or two.
We reach the playground ahead of the big girls and Alice kicks her legs with excitement when she sees the swings. Then she spots her sisters walking down the hill and giggles, waves and tries to say ‘Hello’.
Half an hour later the big girls get a little fractious and it’s time to head home for a big drink of water and some afternoon tea.
We spend the afternoon playing in the garden. Charlotte does her home-work. Sophie helps me put dishwashing bubbles on some of the plants that have attracted Aphids. I hang out another load of washing and Alice enjoys the company of her sisters.
The peas, strawberries and salads are all growing so well (we just have to keep the pests away and keep everything well watered!).
Even after last night’s rain the younger plants need a water and I get out the sprinkler, which is of course hugely popular with the girls! And we fill up the paddling pool with a few buckets of warm water from the tap for an outdoor bath, before a fish and chip take-away dinner (we would have cooked, but the cupboards were a little bare whilst we waited for the big weekly shop to be delivered).
I love Alice’s eyes in this photo. It’s a shame about my shadow! I didn’t have much chance to take artful shots as she was close to flinging herself out of the paddling pool head-first onto the patio slabs more than a few times.
The girls tip buckets of water in the sand-pit and enjoy squelching around in it. Half of me thinks, ‘What fun!’ and the other half thinks, ‘I’m going to get Dan to empty that sand-pit, I really don’t want the extra hassle of cleaning up all the muck and Alice is now so mobile. Besides, the beach is a ten-minute walk away, we really don’t need a sand-pit!’.
6.30pm. The day is coming to a sleepy end. Dan texts me to say he’s heading home. Charlotte and Sophie lie on the sofa watching some TV. I have to get Alice up to bed and offer a story to the girls whilst I feed Alice, but they’re happy waiting for their Daddy.
Alice conks to sleep within minutes and I sit with her next to me on the double futon. I reflect back on the day and type away on my lap-top. I hear Dan come home and the girls voices rise in excitement. He’s so good with them. He reads Sophie a story first and then she creeps into her bedroom, which she now happily shares with Alice. She is lying in her bed now, it’s nearly 8.00pm. She’s whispering gobble-di-gook to herself as she drifts off to sleep. Dan pops his head in to say ‘Hello’, before going to read with Charlotte. I tell him it’s a full moon and I’d love to see it, or at least a photo of it, as I’m ‘tied’ to my baby at the moment. He’s so loving and promises to take a photo after Charlotte’s gone to sleep (unfortunately it was too cloudy). Years ago… before the children, we’d go full moon drumming… ah, sweet memories. Our time will come again. For now, we watch over the seeds we’ve planted and tend to our young x
Happy Full Moon!