Things I’m Loving

This week I’ve LOVED being able to open our home to a dear friend of my sister’s – Pam, when she needed a rest from the traumatic Christchurch earthquake and continuing aftershocks. I’ve loved feeling the love of my sister through her and seeing my own children light up in her presence knowing she’s connected to their Auntie Claire in England.

Pam and Sophie watching the sun go down from Princess Bay, Wellington

I’ve LOVED Pam’s bravery in staying strong in Christchurch to clean up the boys boarding school where she teaches after the destruction of the quake. I’ve admired and loved her strength in facing the situation with guts and heart. She’s had to help the young adults in her care through the enormity of last week’s events and reassure plenty of worried parents too. Of course she has been deeply affected and will continue to be for some time, but she has a fighting spirit and it is so admirable that she is prepared to give, when she could so easily jump on a plane back to the UK.

I’ve LOVED that Wellington put on a good show for her and showed her one its breathtaking sunsets from Princess Bay.

Sunset from Princess Bay

I’ve admired Pam for being so open and accepting of our children’s high and unstoppable energy and excitement. On Wednesday evening, after arriving in Wellington mid-afternoon, she was taken for a cross-country run with Sophie on our local school field! Then she was introduced to ‘the flying fox’!

Pam & Sophie on the flying fox at school

Afterwards she had a scenic, whistle stop tour of Wellington’s viewpoints, including the ‘must see’ view from Mount Victoria…

View from Mount Victoria of Wellington City

Which she gamely ran up the steps to see, following in Sophie’s lightening fast tracks (it was nothing – she’s running a cross-country marathon next weekend – Pam, that is, but I reckon Sophie will be game on in a couple more years!).

To the top of Mount Victoria viewpoint

I’ve LOVED that Charlotte generously gave up her bedroom for Pam to sleep in. And I’ve LOVED that Frances, who still helps out a few days a week, is now living with us and happily let Charlotte share her bedroom.

I LOVE that Frances genuinely adores our children and enjoys spending time with them. And, when she’s not busy nannying, babysitting or dancing (she’s a very busy lady – sometimes gone before we’ve had breakfast and back after we’re in bed!), she chooses to spend her free time ‘hanging’ out with us.

Frances and Alice

Plus she encourages me to drop the dust cloth and head out the door more often! This week we took Alice to a ‘Babes in Arms‘ session at the Penthouse Cinema in Brooklyn to see ‘The Kings’ Speech‘, which I absolutely adored (brought back memories of my Grandmother who always talked with great admiration of King George VI). We also took a scenic drive on Wednesday morning, when the weather was absolutely wild, to see what had happened to the East by West ferry. Alice thought it was entertaining! The poor ferry was struck by a rogue wave in the atrocious conditions and was taking on water quickly. All the passengers had to be rescued. We didn’t stay for long. It was so cold. We quickly retreated to ‘The Chocolate Frog’ cafe (in Palmers Garden Centre,┬áMiramar) and Alice enjoyed her first ‘fluffy’ in the company of baby Hannah (who Frances was nannying).

Alice at Worser Bay

I’ve LOVED the girls before school creativity and willingness to get organised and ready for the day with little prompting. After getting ready they have been drawing, doing puzzles, writing letters or riding around the house on their scooters. I’m LOVING Charlotte showing her maturity, leadership skills and thoughtfulness in encouraging Sophie to get ready before playing in the morning too.

Before school creativity

I LOVE Charlotte for her thoughtful touches of kindness – such as picking fresh flowers from the garden and putting them beautifully in vases for Pam and Frances.

I LOVE Sophie for her unstoppable energy and enthusiasm for life (even though it is exasperating at times!).

Free spirit Sophie watching the sunset

I LOVE Alice for her awareness and observation of life around her. She takes hair brushes to the girls in the morning, knowing they brush their hair each day. She finds their shoes and takes them to them (and tries to put them on her own feet!). She runs and sits on the potty (with her clothes on) and smiles proudly – beginning to take the earliest step to one day going nappy free. She babbles away and laughs so much. She is so happy and such a joy. I am LOVING the one-on-one time I have with her and beginning to adjust to the dynamic of having just her at home alone for six hour’s every day.

I LOVE having the wonderful Te Papa Museum so close. I LOVE that it’s free too! I LOVE that it’s open late on Thursday evenings so that we could take Pam there.

At Te Papa with Pam, Frances, Dan & girls

Charlotte has always loved the museum passionately and had a fabulous evening there. She spent half an hour, one-on-one, with a wonderful lady there learning how to make her own ‘Poi’. The staff there are so friendly and willing to share their knowledge and skills.

Charlotte dressed up at a Discovery Centre in Te Papa

I LOVE helping out a friend who is a talented florist at Woodstock Florist – as she gives the best thank you gift of all… this stunning bouquet of flowers arrived earlier in the week, when I very much needed a pick me up (big hugs and thank you Vidette!).

Thank you flowers from a friend

I LOVE how nature can amaze and enthrall in our own back-yard. This morning was wild and windy, but Alice, Frances and I delighted in picking over the large sunflower heads in awe. They all got very battered in Wednesday’s wild weather, but were past their best anyway. Thankfully, there are plenty of new flowers faring well on the plants and the ‘old’ heads will provide us with more seeds than we shall know what to do with next year!

Alice & the sunflowers

I LOVE my husband for explaining basic physics in such a fun way, in the midst of the pre-school/work rush…

I LOVE that Sophie built the little boat in the video by herself (with a tiny bit of help). She also made a flying fan, which she excitedly shared as her news at school this week (hence the basic physics lesson from Dan!). I pat myself on the back for helping to make the boat, whilst Alice sneaked out the back door bare bottomed (I’d just taken off a dirty nappy) and did more poo, whilst eating a few cat biscuits! I then had to rescue the flying fan from behind the piano with a stick… an all too familiar scenario ­čÖé

I LOVE the friendly, open community we live in. I LOVE the bounty of nature and activities on our doorstep. But I wish we weren’t so far away from our dear family and I wish the fear of a big earthquake wasn’t in the back of my mind. Part of Charlotte’s homework this week was to complete a ‘Civil Defence Checklist‘ and be prepared. So we have been stocking up and working on ensuring we have what we need, just in case (though seismologists reassure us that ‘No big Wellington quake coming‘ after the two small jolts we felt this week).

So this week I do have so much to be very thankful for and I LOVE that I’ll have this to look back on and remind me when, from time to time, things get a bit crazy!


Visit Paisley Jade to see what other people are loving this week.