Monday, 31 December 2012

Nga mihi o te Tau Hou

Happy New Year! I hope that the last day of the year has been as nice for you as it has been for us. We took a wander along the track to Pencarrow Lighthouse in the hope of wearing the kids out but they both ended up in the pram and the pack so we were the ones worn out!

Many thanks for reading my little old blog this year and I'll see you on the other side! Xo

Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas adventures

I have to admit that when Mum first said we were going bush for Christmas I was more than a little dubious - to be honest I thought that someone had gone a little loopy.  Why on earth go bush when its summer - the perfect time for beach-going?  But as we drove up the loose metal road towards The Barn we were greeted by horses, donkeys, cows, sheep, and the friendly folk of Raurimu - and of course the motorbikes that had already been unloaded from the trailer and were awaiting our immediate attention (or so Gus and Felix thought)!  The paddocks surrounding the barn were ideal for the boys to be free to be boys - to race around on foot, bicycle or motorbike and get dirty, sweaty, yell, scream and have the time of their lives.  

Gus checking out the bush near where we were riding 

Gus took his responsibility very seriously! (There are training wheels on the motorbike, a kill switch (so it can be stopped immediately )and a governor (a screw that adjusts the maximum speed the bike can travel. Safe as houses!)

My beautiful sister and I managed to squeeze in a spot of riding. There were amazing views of Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe.

Felix bathing in the bush bath - as you do!

A beautiful spot to stop on the walk up to the Raurimu Spiral lookout.

Motorcycle riding on Christmas Day - what more could two mad motorcyclists ask for?

Taking a dip with his Poppy (favourite person right now for Felix) at Tokaanu Hot Pools.

The boys having one last ride before the bikes go back to Nanny and Poppy's house.  

We are all completely exhausted now that we're home and are starting to wind down but all of those hours driving were truly worth it.  I can safely say that this has been one of the best Christmas' of all time.  Hope yours was too.  Xo

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Homemade will have to do

Gus' new genie shorts

I felt a deep desire and urgency to finish off these shorts for Gus this morning.  Our sitter had taken the boys to playcentre and I had 45 minutes before I had to leave for my appointment, but so keen was I to see the shorts on Gus that instead of relaxing with a cup of tea, I sewed like a mad-thing to get them done - and of course as soon as we were home I cajoled him into trying them on for me. 

I had seen something similar by Udder which I absolutely adored but the cost of postage and the New Zealand exchange rate just didn't permit such gorgeous extravagance   However, with my basic knowledge of sewing I was sure I could fiddle about and come up with something and voila!  Using the much loved Refined Trouser pattern by Nina Bonita Designs I simply cut down the leg length and used the remaining fabric to make the cuff.  So quick and easy! 

Gus was thrilled with his new shorts although from a practical perspective, which (most wonderfully) it always seems to come down to practicalities with my boys, they're not the best for cycling in.  So frustrated did he become with the band restricting his leg from moving freely that he jumped off the bike and rode in his undies.  Of course!

So lessons learnt for my next pair: Make them B A G G I E R and make the cuff wider.  The next lot of shorts fabric is being pre-washed as I type!  XO

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Our week

The end is nigh.... I am so looking forward to Friday when all of our weekly commitments are done for the year and we are free to do as we please during our days.  I am sure that towards the end of the holidays I'll be just as eager for Playcentre and Kindergarten to recommence, but for now I am relishing the thought of long, warm summer days to climb trees, explore the nooks and cranny's of the nearby beaches, BBQ's, bike riding and playing in our new garden. Bring on the holidays!

 Pizza, ice cream and a broken tooth for Grant to celebrate my birthday on Thursday

Left: Felix perched in a tree at Days Bay on Thursday.  Right: An action shot from Playcentre yesterday.

"But Mummy, how does the popcorn toy work?" 

Not a word was heard from the boys for the entire afternoon once they discovered the sandpit was complete.

Meri kirihimete to you and your family. Xo

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Gus helping to decorate our rakau iti (little tree). He was especially pleased to pay homage to his Australian roots - thanks Kirkie!

As Christmas draws closer, our lives seem to be unnervingly picking up pace rather than winding down.  There are so many wonderful things happening in our community but all I really want to do is stay at home with Gus and Felix, bake biscuits and finish making our presents.  I've almost finished my handmade Christmas presents - just one more PJ set to go for my nephew and its all done.  What a relief!  Here is some of mine and the boys' handiwork.  

The Christmas dresses for the lovely lassies in our lives

A shorty PJ set - complete with a bag to store them in.  (I am absolutely in love with cuffed hems.)

Our wonderful sitter made these fabulous Christmas mobiles with the boys last week

The boys have got a special project happening for their cousins which they seem really excited about and Gus has been asking for almost a month now if we can make gingerbread men, ladies and tamariki (children) to give to Santa Claus and our friends - and a whare (house) for them to live in.  I'm not sure we'll be able to make the house this year but we will definitely be making the gingerbread people and we really need to finish off their project.  Will be a busy afternoon I think!

The boys working on their drawings that I will make into finger puppets (love Gus' tongue in his cheek)

What projects are others working on?  Would love to see what crafty things people are up to.  Our last Pockets of Craft night is tonight so hopefully I'll get a chance to work on a few things. XO

Monday, 10 December 2012

In the name of family

Neither Boy (the cow) or my boys were sure of each other and spent a while eyeing each other up

I have been off the grid for about a week, as I'd decided it was important that Gus and Felix see their grandparents before Christmas, so I made the usually seven hour car trip to Grant's parents' house with the boys.  Well, nothing is ever usual in our household - so TEN hours later we finally got there (thank goodness Grant met us there on Friday night so was able to drive home with us).  It was hard work and it took all my patience, singing skills and imagination to make it there safely - plus a well utilised portable DVD player (which I swore I would never buy as we managed just fine when we were kids!) and stop after stop after stop after stop. Thought I was never going to make it! But it was worth every single minute of the journey for the time we spent with our family.

Felix nagged Grandad from the moment we arrived for a ride on the quad  and Grandad willingly obliged

Walking back from trying to catch a cow to ride at Uncle Mark and Aunty Eileen's

Our trip was truly remarkable as the boys were able to experience the fun of both the farm and the beach, and get to see the snow capped mountains twice.  It is rather incredible how small New Zealand really is.

Raglan beach at low tide - so much space to run

The giant puddles of warm water at low tide at Raglan beach - perfect for children to play in

Plimmerton beach 20 minutes from home where we made an emergency stop to keep the children awake

We were very fortunate in that at each time we needed to stop for a play and a run the sun was shining on us while the rain poured elsewhere. We explored so many of the parks between Wellington and Raglan with our favourite definitely being Taihape. As you can see from the photos, Felix continues to suffer from big-brother adoration and is always one step behind Gus - wherever he goes and with whatever he is doing.  It is very sweet but sometimes a little dangerous too!

Dragon hunting in the redwoods near Taihape Memorial Park 

"Hop on the back Mummy, we'll drive you to Grandma's and Grandad's" at Taihape Memorial Park

I know I'll sound like I'm skiting (showing off for all of my non-NZ readers), but I was especially proud of my boys during this trip, as typically when we go away we all end up sleep deprived, undesirable behaviour starts (from everyone!) and we all get cranky and I wonder why on earth we ever go anywhere! But not so this time as by some small miracle, (Grandma says good parenting but I think the stars were just on my side), I had two young boys who were happy to sleep when they were tired, eat when they were hungry and were wonderfully happy when they were awake! XO