Winter school hols are rolling on

New Zealand has been put under a snowy spell (at least the high ground and much of the South Island – check out this stunning aerial picture). Even parts of greater Wellington were covered in white (visit Domestic Executive and Latte Junkie for their snow experiences). If I didn’t have school holiday dance classes to run Charlotte to, and a toddler who dislikes being in the car for longer than 15 minutes, I would have got on the highway out into the country. ¬†Central Wellington just got a gusty southerly and lashings of horizontal rain. Though a few peeps on Twitter said they saw some flakes falling in a few of the city suburbs.¬†Sophie told me she even got a ride on the ‘Polar Express‘ one night (great movie)!

So no real so for us to touch and play with (apart from Sophie in her night-time adventures!). We made do with wistfully admiring the snow-coated Kaikoura ranges beyond the Cook Strait and gazing at the dusting of ice-sugar like snow on the Orongorongos.

Snow dusted Orongorongos

We are having a great holidays. Later evenings, longer mornings, lounging in our p-jays or heading out to take Dan to work and grabbing a fix at a city cafe. Charlotte and Sophie are happy doing their thing. We head out in the morning, return for a siesta (Mama and Alice), and then busy ourselves in the afternoon. Many hands make light work (and, also, more mess), but thankfully Charlotte and Sophie are getting old enough to help out (when coaxed, bribed and given the occasional ‘sort your selves out!’ Sergeant Major holler!).

Dan has returned home to DVD nights and impromptu jam sessions. ‘School of Rock‘ was playing the other night and we ended up having our own little music session, with Charlotte on guitar, Sophie on keyboard, Alice on the drums and Dan and I on vocals/percussion/wherever we were told to go! ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’ and ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ has never sounded so rocking (Charlotte and Sophie are very obliging to their little sisters whims… they’d make great ‘Play School’ presenters)!

Apart from the stormy weather over the weekend (in which Dan played and won a game of soccer – no we didn’t go along to cheer), we’ve had some nice sunshine spells. The girls (and I) have really enjoyed no pressure fun on the beach and at the park. We’ve run on the beach, built sandcastles (and not had to worry about hats and sunscreen), kicked a ball about in the mud and cooked up some delicious chocolate brownie.

Beach fun even in winter

The girls have read books, painted, been to the library, the zoo and Charlotte braved the dentist to have two stubborn milk teeth extracted, after her adult teeth came up in a different place – failing to do their job and costing us a fortune!

School holiday happenings

They’ve decorated the doll house (thanks Leonie, of ‘Kiwi at Heart‘ blog, for posting a link to this amazing doll house makeover at the crafty and very talented Megan’s ‘Mousehouse’ blog), sorted out the Lego, played with the train set (yep, my girls aren’t your average gals) and covered the drive-way in chalk drawings.

Doll house play

We had a ‘play-date’ this morning that turned out to be the strangest yet… I had it in my head that I was going to be meeting a girl who attended the new school Charlotte is starting at in Term 3. I’d been left a message and phoned back to arrange a play-date and invite the Mum and her daughter around for morning tea. I mentioned on the phone about how lovely it would be for Charlotte to meet someone in the class she was going to and everything (but I didn’t mention which school). As it turned out… the mother thought Charlotte was starting at our local school. Wires completely crossed.

When the Mum brought her daughter round she apologised that she wouldn’t be able to stay for a cuppa after all, as had some work she had to rush off to, and she’d be leaving her daughter with me till 1pm. We talked a little more and discovered that her daughter had been given one of Charlotte’s ‘farewell’ cards (which I’d made up for Charlotte to hand out to her friends on the last day at her old school…). The cards had a photo of Charlotte with a lolly stuck to the back and a note to say, ‘Keep in touch’, with our contact details and so forth.

Anyway, the Mum was still happy to leave her daughter with me for a play and it all turned out really well. She was a lovely girl and after a play at home we headed down to the local playground, where a lot of other local children were playing, and had a great time! Bizarre! At least my house got a bit of a clean in anticipation of a new morning tea guest and the girls all had fun! Alice, who had been awake a bit in the night with the sniffles, happily dozed off in her buggy in the kitchen, whilst the girls played!

This afternoon, we had Charlotte’s daily dance class (every day this week in prep for her upcoming American Jazz exam). Sophie and Alice decided to ‘help’ with Charlotte’s warm-up in the studio adjacent to her class (hee, hee!). And then, whilst Charlotte danced, Sophie, Alice and I continued to hop, skip, stretch and jump around the spare studio (phew! exhausting stuff!).

Dance studio play

It was no surprise that Alice conked to sleep for another nap in the car after dancing. We decided to keep on driving, enjoy the sunshine, and take the car for a little off-road adventure down to ‘Red Rocks’ and the seal colony. The waves were absolutely breathtaking. An offshore breeze was catching the tops of the white rollers and blowing the sea spray back, catching the sunlight and casting rainbows in the air.

Rolling white surf

We didn’t venture out of the car, as it was so cold, and didn’t make it all the way to the seal colony (I wasn’t brave enough to take the car through some of the storm damaged rough bits of tree stumps, rocks, boulders and drift-wood), but the girls did spot a couple of seals. It took me ages to see them, with the girls laughing at me whilst I really thought they were having me on! Turned out the seals were very well camouflaged (nothing to do with my old eyes of course!).

NZ Fur seals on south coast

We really are having a very relaxed, non-scheduled, go with the flow kind of a holiday. There are always tons of events on for children over the school holidays in Wellington, but it’s so relaxing to stick to the simple stuff this time round (and saves a few bob too – which we’ve had to do with a few unforeseen expenses).

Yesterday morning we dropped Dan in and drove up to the wind turbine at the top of Brooklyn, hoping there might be just a bit of snow, and then went for an impromptu run at a local playground. I love how Charlotte and Sophie look after Alice and totally dote on her (even though she is mischief extraordinaire in training!).

Scenic drives and playgrounds

They are all getting on so well these holidays (I seriously hope I haven’t jinxed things now!). We have three more days left before the weekend and Term 3 starts. It’s going to be an exciting time for Charlotte, starting a new school. She really is so looking forward to it! As for Sophie, we shall continue on our merry way with unschooling – she’s certainly doing great on the academic front, I just have to make sure she has plenty of play-dates too (gah – I’m going to be a very busy lass organising my girls dairies… and Alice hasn’t even stepped up on to the social circuit yet!).

Looking forward to more merry fun!

At Capital E pretending it's not winter