Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye to 2008

This year has been very busy and had lots of things happening,
Here are the highs n lows......

We started the year in a new town, having just moved to Hamilton a couple of weeks before hand.

In January we went to Auckland to watch a 'Police Concert'

Ben and Alex started at Daycare here as I returned to work.

In March Steve proposed to me and I accepted.

At Easter we were lucky enough to have our new caravan all ready and we spent some wonderful long weekends there since. I am so looking forward to spending time there in the sun over Christmas this year.

Alex turned 4 at the beginnning of June.

In June we went to Auckland to see the stage show 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert'

Throughout winter time I had many trips to Rotorua to sort my wedding dress out whilst it was being made, organise the wedding and get the invitations out.

Throughout July and August I spent time at Physio trying to get my back sorted, I so didn't want to be limping down the aisle!

At the beginning of September Ben had his 5th Birthday and started school.

Saturday 20th September, Steve and I got married on a beautiful day in Hamilton at the Hamilton Gardens in front of all our families and friends.

We then had a lovely honeymoon in Tahiti.

At the end of October, sadly my parents split after 44 years together, very amicable and friendly. Although they are trying to work through things and maybe look at giving it a try. I mean after 44 yrs together, maybe there is something there to look at and not just totally walk away from?

In November I changed jobs, whilst also continuely looking for a new job.

Just before Christmas Alex had his last day at his current Daycare, we did not like it, and we have found a lovely new one close to home and he will start there in January after the holidays.

Ben finished his first full term at school and he is loving it. He has grown so much in the last few months since starting school.

3 days before Christmas my dad got diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Low grade but still serious. The treatment plan has a 90% success rate. In simple terms this was all diagnosed from a simple blood test, something that all men should be having at their Doctor's, but more on this in another post.

So all in all a very happy and sad year.

All the best for 2009

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Time

So Christmas is now over, and what fun it has been.
We are currently at the caravan and having a ball.
The weather is pretty good and the boys are so relaxed. They have the freedom to come and go as they please and they think this is great fun. They have made loads of new friends and are sharing and joining in all the fun and games.
Christmas Day was lovely. We woke in the caravan and had a lovely time with the boys before heading to Rotorua. I think the boys got all that they wanted from Santa and maybe much more! We had a lovely family Christmas with Grandma and Granddad and cousins etc. It was a much more relaxed time than last year and I actually enjoyed it better.
We came back to the caravan on Steve's Birthday (Boxing Day) but it was still all relaxed, as is everything this year.
Well, almost everything! Not sure that mum was relaxed on Christmas Day night when she backed the camper van into a tree on a friends driveway! Unfortunately she managed to dent the van and smash the back windscreen, but never fear thanks to insurance it will all get fixed in time.
So the holiday continues and we are having a great time, this is so what we brought the caravan for and hopefully several people are going to take day trips to visit us, so we should have the odd visitor.
Hope your Christmas period has been as much fun?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to Steve,
Happy Birthday to You....

Today is my husband's birthday, yes I know, he is a Christmas baby, someone has to be!
I always try to make today extra special, ensure it definitely has a birthday feel to it.

Happy Birthday, love you

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all.
May you have a wonderful day with your families where ever you are in the world.

May you have enough food to keep you happy and may you get to do what ever you like to do on this wonderful day.

Best Wishes from me down here in New Zealand on the beach!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Kiwi Night Before Christmas

A Kiwi version of the wonderful original by Yvonne Morrison and Deborah Hinde.

Twas the night before Christmas, and all round the bach
Not a possum was stirring; not one could we catch.
We'd left on the table a meat pie and beer,
In hopes that Santa Claus soon would be here.

We children were snuggled up in our bunk beds,
While dreams of pavlova danced in our heads;
And mum in her nightie and dad in his shorts,
had just settled down to watch TV Sports.

When outside the bach such a hoo ha arose
I woke up at once from my wonderful doze.
I ran straight to the sliding door, looking about
Jumped out on the deck and let out a shout!

The fairy lights Dad had strung up round the door
Let me see everything down on the shore
And what did I see, when I took a peep?
But a minature tractor and eight tiny sheep!

With a little old driver, his dog on his knee,
I knew at once who this joker might be.
He patted the dog, and in a voice not unkind
Cried "Good on ya boy, now Git in Behind!"

"Now Flossy! now Fluffy! Now Shaun and Shane!
On Bossy! On Buffy! On Jason and Wayne!
Up that red tree, to the top of the bach!
But mind you don't trample the vegetable patch!"

So up to the roof those sheep quickly flew,
With the tractor of toys, Santa and his dog too.
As my sister awoke and I turned around
In through the window he came with a bound.

He wore a black singlet and little white shorts,
And stuck on his feet were gumboots of course;
A sackful of toys he had flung on his back
And he looked like a postie just opening his pack!

His eyes - bright as paua shell - oh how they twinkled!
Like an old tuatara, his skin was all wrinkled!
He had a wide face, and a round, fat tummy,
That looked like he'd eaten lots that was yummy.

He spoke not a word, but got down on one knee,
And placed a cricket set under the tree,
A present for Sis, one for Dad, one for Mum,
Then he turned and he winked and he held up his thumb;

He jumped on his tractor, to his dog gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, as fast as a missile.
I called out 'Thanks" as he flew past the gate
He called back:

"Kia Ora to All and Good on Ya Mate!"

Twas the Night Before Christmas (English Version)

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
Whilst visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And Mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter,
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a minature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

Now Dasher! now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!
On Comet! On Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back
And he looked like a pedlar just opening his pack.

His eyes - how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chibby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jefk
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight

Happy Christmas to All and to All A Good Night

Written by Dr Clement C Moore for his children one Christmas before he died in 1863!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How Special

The other day I collected Ben from his Holiday Programme.
He had made loads of Christmas decorations and goodies which of course all had to come home with him!
He did however make one thing that just went straight to those great big heart strings I have.
He picked up something off of a table and said "This is for you mum"

It was a present all wrapped up and decorated with little foil bits and a ribbon.
Attached to the ribbon was a card and this is what it said.....

"This is a very special gift
that you can never see.
The reason it's so special is
it's just for you from Me.

Whenever you are lonely
or are ever feeling blue,
you only have to hold this gift
and know I'm hugging you.

You never can unwrap it
please leave the ribbon tied.
Just hold the box close to your heart
it's filled with hugs inside."

I just about cried there and then in the YMCA Hall. It was one of the bestest gifts I have ever received and it came from my cute gorgeous son who is 5 yrs old, and I will treasure it forever.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fire Update - Man is Arrested

This is the latest report I can find out there on the www,

A man has been arrested following a number of suspicious fires in Hamilton early this morning, including one at a private hospital where patients had to be evacuated.
The blaze at Braemar Hospital in Frankton started in a wheelie bin at 2.42am on Friday, and quickly spread to the roof of the building.
Of the 32 patients in the hospital, 20 were moved out of the building to other hospitals.
Waikato Assistant fire commander Roy Breeze said the sprinkler system stopped the fire spreading further, but the blaze had burnt through gas and water mains feeding the building, and gas was leaking.
He said more than 30 firefighters attended the fire.
Mr Breeze estimated the damage would run to millions of dollars. A large x-ray machine and related equipment was drenched by the sprinkler system.
Just before 3am there was a second fire in a car in Queens Avenue, and a skip bin at Hamilton Girls High School was set alight about 15 minutes later. A fourth fire was lit in a pile of rubbish.
Police have charged a 22-year-old man in connection with three of the fires.

The fire was started in a part of the hospital just next to a Theatre that performs Cardiac Angiograms, etc. They have a lot of very expensive x-ray machines (MRI Scanner) etc so all their procedures can be done as minimal sugery rather than having to have a major open procedure. Unfortunately x-ray equipement and water do not mix.
This hospital is currently moving to new premises in April next year, so the big question will now be whether it is worth spending all this money to redo the Cath Lab, when it is all being moved in 4 months (the time it will probably take to sort out)?


I woke this morning to the radio alarm by the bed as normal. What wasn't so normal was waking to hear the news telling us there had been a spate of fires around Hamilton over night (arson) and that one of the Private Hospitals had had to be evacuated. In the next breath the reporter went on to say my hospital!

I of course zipped downstairs to the computer and googled it to find out the details.
Here is what I found thanks to tvnz:

"The Fire Service has dealt with a spate of suspicious fires in Hamilton overnight. Appliances from Ngarawahia, Te Awamutu, Cambridge and around Hamilton were brought in to help.

The first of three fires broke out at 2.42am at Braemar Hospital in Frankton.
This was followed by a car fire in Queens Avenue 20 minutes later.
At 3.15am firefighters were called to Hamilton Girls High School where a skip bin was set alight near the school gym.

At Braemar Hospital, a wheelie bin fire set against an external wall ignited the hospital's gas feed. Fire then spread to the hospital's ceiling vent. The building's fire sprinkler system activated and stopped the fire from spreading, averting tragedy. The hospital's fire alarm is linked to the Fire Service communications centre and automatically alerted firefighters to the emergency. More than 30 firefighters and eight fire appliances brought the fire under control. Firefighters dissipated a gas cloud using water. Hospital staff have evacuated the hospital of half of their 30 bed ridden patients to safe areas - 10 of which have been bussed to another hospital. "

OMG, should make for a rather interesting day at work today, even if I am doing an admin position. Sounds like everything was gained under control quickly due to the sprinkler system, but they tend to leave a little bit of a mess when they go off!

Will let you know how work is today, just what was needed the week before Christmas, at least people can't say their stay at Braemar wasn't interesting?!
P.S: Now that I am at work I can give you an update......One of the corridors is rather wet from the fire being put out, but it was at the back of the hospital not the front. Business is carrying on as normal as luckily due to the sprinkler system things were under control very quickly.
It has caused a mess of the outside of the building, but again it is at the back of the hospital and has taken over space of a car park, so not quite as big a mess as it could have been.
According to someone at work this morning they already have someone in custody for the little arson trip they went on last night in the area.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Job Updates

I have applied for 4 jobs in the last couple of weeks.
The first one at a private hospital. I got offered this job but then decided that it wasn't actually what I wanted, so declined the offer.

The 2nd was with the local Blood Donation Service, but I didn't get too interested in that one, so pulled out before they could interview me.

The 3rd was for a position in the Pre Admit Clinic at the local Hospital, I actually liked this one. I had a wonderful interview last week and was really quite positive. They called on Moday to get some more information from me and said things were looking good. Unfortuantely things couldn't have been looking that good, because today they called to say I had been unsuccessful.
They gave me feedback in that I interviewed very well and that the only thing that lost it for me was the fact the person who got offered the job had previous experience in the area, otherwise she assures me it was a very tight call.

The 4th position is as a vaccinator in the community and I have just received an email today offering me an interview in the New Year. So fingers crossed for that one, because I liked the sound of this one very much too.

Will keep you posted

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Finally my brother informed me of what my SIL wanted for Christmas.
Even luckier for me was to see an ad on the tv last night for everything she wanted at half price from the wonderful shop Briscoes.
So I scootted on over there today and had a ball.
  1. I got everything for Claire at 50% off
  2. I got 1 thing for Steve at 50% off
  3. Another 2 things for him at 30% off
  4. I picked up a little something for Ben at 30% off
  5. Oh and I also picked up a little Christmas Tree for the caravan for $16.99 because it was 60% off (we want to put our presents under the tree in the caravan)

I needed everything I picked up and it was even better to get the things I needed with extra off.

Don't you just love it when you get a great bargain and it is also everything you wanted in the first place!

New Look

I love it, well I have to say that, it is my blog after all!
Anyway, while visiting peoples houses over the last day or two I noticed that some people had some pretty awesome backgrounds on their blogs.
And being the ever inquisitive person that I am, I investigated how they got them and hey presto I have one too.
The website that supplies them has so many I think I am going to have fun changing the background depending on the time of year.

It was way easy to do as well, even my mother will be able to decorate her blog! Don't worry mum, if you can't do it then I will show you on Christmas day when we have 5 minutes free!

So go click on the little box on the left of my blog at the top and see what wonderful things you can find to do wuith your blog.

Have fun!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas House Tour

Welcome, come in, so nice to see you.....

Now before we start, I have to apologize for the mess, I know the walls need painting, the back yard needs landscaping and the carpet is not the greatest, but this house is a work in progress.
This is our first Christmas in this house, so am still finding my feet as to where to place the decorations.

I have put out a few items to get us in the mood, but it has also given me the chance to get an idea as to what we need to aim to buy in future years.....more fairy lights, garland for the stairs, other little ornaments etc

We have our tree up, I don't actually have a colour theme for it, although red and gold seem to be the favorite, but I do have a few special decorations on there. I finished decorating it late at night, so the boys hadn't seen it with lights on. I was lucky the morning after to be able to get downstairs before them and switch the lights on.........Ben thought it was so special to come down the stairs and find the tree all a glow, it was lovely to see his reaction.

When you come to the front door I have my lovely santa signs showing you the way. They just give a little flavour to the front of the house. We are going to our caravan for Christmas and I will be taking these with us to decorate outside the caravan.

Of course from last year I have my reindeer and santa door hangers that the boys love to take down for me daily!

The boys each have an advent calendar that was given to them by Grandma, unfortunately I didn't get round to filling them this year, but luckily for me they do not understand or realise what should be in there, so they are just interested in knowing which one belongs to whom!

The kitchen doesn't even miss out, as I have special Christmas magnets to place on the fridge. I would love to get a Christmas Dinner Set to use through out December, I think this would be a lovely holiday starting tradition to get in to. One day I will have to watch the January Sales to see what I can find, unfortunately I have not found anything that I like, and seeing as I would like a setting for 8, then I have to make sure I like it!

I got these lovely decoupaged decorations from someone I use to work with in Auckland. This is the first year I have put them out and I think I have found the right spot for them on the bookcase, shows them off really well.

I love my flying santa over the door, although I had a few problems finding a home for this as all the door frames faced the wrong way against the wall to fit him on, but he looks great in the living room above the tv area.

For this year at least, until we maybe knock it out, we have a fireplace, so I had the pleasure of hanging the stockings in the fireplace. As it is summer here then there is no fire risk, but it was just so cool hanging the stockings up.

Now I decided to go and do something special for the boys and us this year, and so I put fairy lights in our bedrooms, sadly the pictures didn't come out too well, but it gives you the general idea. The boys love going to sleep at night with just the lights on and our room is so cosy and romantic with our fairy lights. We switch them off at night, but I think they may stay up for a little longer than Christmas.
Well that is us for this year, give you a little touch of what we have around us. So nice of you to stop by. I have some cold juice in the fridge if you need a glass as it is getting quite warm here now and if you are still here at dinnertime then you may be lucky enough to get a sausage off the BBQ or even some steak and salad.

Oh, yea, just one more little thing.......back in January I set myself a little challenge, I wanted to post 366 post for the year, it didn't have to be one a day, as I knew I wouldn't manage that, but I would aim for 366.

Well, this post is my 366th of the year.

On Thursday I realised that my next post was the winning one and so I decided to wait until you could all join me in my little celebration, so pull up a seat, get a cold juice and lets see if we can't get this party rolling.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Here at the hospital I work at, they supply pretty good food, mainly because they are a small private hospital and they have personal chefs who work onsite, so no contracting out to other sources.

The staff can purchase the food at a very reasonable rate.
Lunch will cost you $3.50 and I think dinner is about the same or a little more.

Now you get a choice each day from about 4 things.
For example todays menu is as follows:
  1. Pumpkin, Kumara and Bacon Quiche
  2. Ham & Potato Salad
  3. Roast Beef Meal
  4. Surprise Item (Chef wasn't sure what it would be when I asked?!)

Now the protion size is fabulous and well worth the $3.50 you pay. I have brought lunch once or twice when I have forgotten to bring something for lunch, last week I had a chicken filo parcel, and there was more chicken than I would ever have imagined for the price I paid. Today I am having the roast beef dinner and I could never buy a lunch of that size at a restaurant anywhere in New Zealand

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hand Me Downs

My sister in law and I got together several years ago and decided we would have 2 boys each and we would mix them in with the ages and then hand me downs would work well.....yea right!

My sister in law and I are very lucky in that we do have 2 boys each and their ages mix together quite nicely. She has Ellis who is 8, I have Ben who is 5, then she has Harvey who is 41/2 and I have Alex who is 31/2.
It also means that when Ellis is turning 21, the same year we will have an 18 yr old, a 17 yr old and a 16 yr old! Imagine those 4 together in the same house for the weekend!
Not that we planned any of it, but hey, that is life.

I have a friend who has a 10 yr old boy and she is wonderful in passing on old clothes to me, I have happily kept them in the cupboard until Ben fits them, but then decided that in fact Claire could get more use out of them with Ellis, so they now go there and because Harvey is slightly bigger than Ben, even though he is younger, as long as they are still in good condition when they have finished with them, then my two still get to see them as well.

So hand me downs are doing the long run with all of us.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Cost Saving

All over the world people are talking money, how are you saving? What are you cutting back on? etc etc.

But Mary over at Owlhaven has written a pretty good post about it all which really puts it into perspective, go check out what she has to say....

Monday, December 08, 2008

School Update

Ben is loving school, that simple.
Me, well not so sure, more I wish they would share information with us??

Last week I collected Ben from After School Care and he annouced to me 'tomorrow I need to bring my swim suit!'
I was like 'oh really, says who, where is the note??'

So I decided to go and see if his teacher was still in her room, bearing in mind that it was 5pm!
She was there and I verified with her what Ben had told me...
Her answer......'you need to believe you son!'

Now to me swimming is a big deal. I had questions...
  1. When were they going swimming?
  2. What did they need to bring?
  3. Who was taking the lessons, seeing as there are 19 in the class?
  4. How often are they going?

She was very laid back about the whole thing, but to me as a first time school mum, I expected more. I expected a note explaining that the class was going to start swimming, when it was going to happen, what they needed to wear and bring with them, what they couldn't wear (girls are not allowed to wear bikinis), how often this would take place and whether there was anything we needed to let the school know about our child.

Unfortunately I do not have the luxury of visiting the school everyday that Ben goes because I work, but luckily I was there today, with swimming stuff just in case, due to the fact I didn't know if he had swimming today?

There on the white board at the front of the class was a schedule for swimming, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Nice to finally know, but would have been so much nicer and easier if they had actually communicated with the parents so we all know what is going on, we are new to this after all.


Went Christmas shopping with Alex today.
Still slightly easy to do because he hasn't quite picked up on what I am buying and if he does then I just tell him that item is for Harvey or Ellis (his cousins).
He accepts this and carries on.
Poor kid must be convinced that all mummy does is buy presents for Harvey and Ellis!

Anyway, we were in one shop and it was getting hotter and hotter in there, when we came out the door there was a lovely cool breeze.
So I annouced to Alex 'that this was a lovely cool breeze' and he promptly replied 'why did I want strawberries?'

I was a little confused as to what he was talking about until I realised that 'cool breeze' and 'strawberries' sound so a like.

Clever boy

Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas Get Together

Steve had his works Christmas do last night.
It was actually quite pleasant, no drunken party, very calm.
We all met at a bar for a pre night drink and nibbles, which was lovely standing outside in the evening sun.
Then we wandered round to a local theatre that was holding a comedy fest for a few nights.
We were entertained by 3 wonderful comedians, ok a little crude and rude through the evening, but hey we were all adults at this event, so no worries.

It was a very pleasant enjoyable evening, which finished at a nice time too.

The funny thing is that Hamilton is so small the plumber we use was at the party, because he is married to someone Steve works with, although we didn't actually know this at the time, but we do know. Geez how the world turns!


Today is International Volunteers Day

There are literally hundreds of thousands of kind hearted folk who volunteer for all sorts of different things all over the world and today is the day to recognise what they do.
So if you volunteer for anything, well done and thank you.

You are very kind to think of others and give of your time.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Commenting v Stalking

I follow several blogs, and some of them I could never tell you how I found them, I just start checking out one I follow regularly, then click on something else to read and then end up flowing on to something else and then come across something I like and decide to follow it!

So I had a smile on my face when I found the following on one of the blogs I check out The Pipers, I totally agree with what she has written and do hope she doesn't mind that I am putting some of it out there for others to view, because I feel it is really appropriate. If you would like to read the full version then please go here, oh and remember to check out what else The Pipers have to say..

Your Not A Stalker.....

I’ve noticed a tentativeness among women in the blogosphere that I want to come against right now–you are (probably) not a stalker.

I know there are more people who read this blog than people who comment, and that is totally fine. But I’ve noticed that when a stranger or visitor does get up the gumption to comment, it’s usually laced with all kinds of insecure apology-like statements, like, “I don’t know you at all…”, “I just happened upon your blog…” or something to that effect.

I have noticed that men don’t feel the same compulsion to apologize profusely for reading another man’s blog, as though they accidentally stumbled upon his secret diary.

Let me assure you of a few things, and hopefully that will make the commenting flow more smoothly and eliminate the need for explanation:

  1. This is a public blog. I fully expect and hope for people who I don’t know to read here and comment. If I wanted comments only from people I know, I would publish a private blog.

  2. I really, really like meeting new people. It energizes me.

  3. You have probably found this blog through a couple different avenues, all of which are perfectly legitimate, and thus not stalker-like: 1) clicking through from one of my friends’ blogs where I’ve commented or where I’m listed on their blogroll; 2) random googling; 3) clicking from a relatives blog.

  4. I blog to connect with people that I wouldn’t normally get to connect with on a regular basis.

  5. Often times, I find myself on someone’s blog after a series of random click-throughs, and I can’t even remember how I got there. Does that make me a stalker? I don’t think so. At least I hope not.

This is by no means meant to be some heavy-handed bullying tactic to get you lurkers out there to comment. I just want you to know that you’re free to if you’d like to.

Of course the possibility still remains that you are, in fact, a stalker, but that is something you will need to deal with on your own time, probably with the aid of a professional counselor. Nevertheless, I’m banking on the probability that you are just another normal man or woman like me, who likes to read blogs, and found mine.

Welcome to Life Today.

Remember to go over to The Pipers to check out the full version.

Town Icons

New Zealand occassionally does 'First Day Covers' (postage stamps) with a theme. Now I am not a stamp collector, but this set was put out in 1998, just after I arrived in NZ and I thought they were really good. It also gave me something to aspire too. Because the Town Icons are all over New Zealand, I decided that I would make it my mission to visit all these places and get my picture taken by them all.

In 1999 my parents came for a holiday here and we travelled around a little bit, and during that time, without realising it I managed to get my picture taken with 3 of the icons.

The Carrot, the L&P Bottle and the Sheep Shearer.

Unfortunately this holiday was back in the day before digital camera's so I only have hard copies of the pictures, oh and no scanner, so one day I will get them on the computer.

What made me remember about this mission is the fact that we pass the L&P Bottle everytime we go to the caravan. The Kiwi Fruit is also about an hours drive from the caravan, very close to where we have relatives, so we get over that way occassionally. I have mentioned to the boys several times on our way to the caravan that we will stop one time and take their picture. Well when we left this last weekend I remembered and so we stopped. Alex sadly was a sleep in the car (another post for later!) and so we managed to get a picture of Ben with the Bottle.
So maybe my mission has changed slightly and now I have to aim to get pictures of all my family with the icons instead of just me?

Here is a little bit about the Icons:

The true essence of New Zealand is captured in the initiative and friendliness of the country's many small towns. Many communities are fiercely proud of their identity, and have gone to quite extraordinary lengths to keep their spirit alive and to put themselves on the map with powerful visual statements that signal to passers-by just who they are.

Lake Tekapo's Border Collie: The area around Lake Tekapo was, in part, made viable as a farming area by the wonderful sheep-herding abilities of border collies. This bronze sheepdog, on the lookout near the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, is often referred to as Friday - a border collie famous in local mythology.

Riverton's Paua Shell: This giant shellfish on the roadside at Riverton was originally intended to draw attention to a local family's souvenir shop, which specialises in paua products. Since then, the four metre high shell has taken on a new status, and is now seen by many to represent the entire town.

Hawera's Cow: Hawera's 'Big Cow' can be found two kilometres south of the township, on the corner of Whareroa Road and State Highway 3. The 'Big Cow' also draws attention to the Dairyland Visitors Centre and Cafe, and Kiwi Dairies' manufacturing site.

Te Puke's Kiwifruit: This gigantic slice of kiwifruit was one of the country's earliest big roadside icons and can be found in Te Puke - the self-appointed 'Kiwifruit Capital of the World'.

Gore's Brown Trout: Gore's giant brown trout leaps from giant rocks at the northernmost entrance to the town's main shopping area. It is 6.5 metres tall and weighs one tonne.

Kaikoura's Crayfish: Kaikoura has long been associated with crayfish. In fact the word translates as 'eat crayfish'. Determined to remind everyone that the cray was the town's traditional icon, Annette Paterson, the proprietor of the Suntrap Restaurant and Takeaways, built this massive seven metre-long crustacean over the entrance.

Te Kuiti's Shearer: Having produced more than its fair share of Golden Shears Open and New Zealand Shearing Championships winners over the years, Te Kuiti claims to be 'The Shearing Capital of New Zealand'. This 6 metre tall roadside shearer celebrates that status.

Napier's Pania: Napier's Pania of the Reef was inspired by a Maori legend. Pania was a member of the Sea People but met a human named Karitoki and left the waters to live on land with her lover. Her people lured her back to their world, and would not let her return to the land and the man she loved.

Ohakune's Carrot: The Ohakune region produces two-thirds of all the carrots grown in the North Island. Local carrot growers were determined to celebrate this achievement. They did so by rescuing and relocating a 9 metre tall carrot built as a prop for a television commercial.

Paeroa's L&P Bottle: Paeroa spring water was first sold in the late 1880s by the Paeroa Natural Mineral Water Company. Later owners added lemon essence to make Lemon and Paeroa. Today those entering the town are greeted by a seven metre tall L & P bottle.

So maybe you now need to start planning your vacation to New Zealand and see if you can't get around the whole of this lovely country and get your own pictures with the New Zealand Town Icons.
Oh by the way, there are many more large statues around New Zealand that were not officially mentioned by New Zealand Post so loads to see and do here in New Zealand.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Photo Update

Have several pictures that I want to share with you, so have put them all in this post with a little bit by each as to what it is about.

Think this picture is so cool of all my guys. When you are relaxing and chilling out at the caravan, what better way to do it than to sit on Dad!

When you are allowed access to the paints at Daycare, I am sure they should stay on the paper, but unfortunately in Alex's case that never happens! His face, his hair and his clothes are always better canvas's to use! Unfortunately sometimes it takes a day or two for the green to come off his skin, so he wanders around the next day with a green hue to his skin!

They went upstairs and brought down all their 'Little People Toys', and then proceeded to sit there together and play so well for about 20 minutes. It was so cute to see and to listen to what they were saying. With Ben now being at school most of the play was about school and some of what he was saying was exactly what they do at school. It was definitely one of those cute moments. I had to get a picture because they played together so nicely.

Tool Kit

It has taken a while, but here is the picture of my nice PINK Tool Kit I won at the Women's Evening at our local hardware store the other day.

Nice Pink Bag to keep it all in

Box listing all the lovely equipement I have gained

The Pink Kit itself!
And yes I have even used some of it since I got it. How cool is that. Steve and I were in the garden doing some measuring and planning and I suddenly asked him if he had a tape measure on him, which he said no too, but then I realised it didn't matter, as I had my own to use. So I reaced inside and grabbed it and happily measured the garden with my own tool.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Jobs, jobs and more jobs

I have posted several times now about how I am looking for a new job.
Well back in November I spent a day at home on my own and really looked into it.

I contacted another Private Hospital here in Hamilton and expressed my interest in obtaining work. This lead to a meeting with the Manager, which in turn lead to an interview, which nicely in turn lead to an offer of employment this week.

I also checked out jobs on offer at the local Public Hospital and found 1 that might be different. Not in Theatres like I usually do, but in the Pre Admit Clinic, sort of one step before theatre. So all my theatre knowledge would come in handy when giving information to patients prior to surgery.
Anyway, I had a call today to say that I have been shortlisted and can I make an interview next week? Of course I can.

Steve also met a lady a few weeks ago who is running a vaccination programme next year and is looking for nurses. I have spoken to her and quite like the sound of the job. Ok this one has a few small draw backs like it is only through to November next year, but it is a position in the community working with schools and so therefore I would get school holidays off. Yea.
So I have applied for that position too, but the closing date was only Dec 1, so not expecting to hear if I have been short listed until next week possibly.

So there you go, when it rains it pours.
I will keep you posted, but hopefully when this little project finishes at the end of January next year, I will have a new job to move onto.
Oh and just to give you a heads up, I am turning down the job at the Private Hospital, because I really fancy one of the other 2 jobs.


Alex has this adversion to daycare at present!

We are not sure if it is just him being 3 or whether there is actually something going on.
He has been the same with lots of things he is doing.
He goes to swimming, has a fabulous time in the water, full of smiles, laughter and total fun. I know because I am sat there watching him, but then when he gets out, in the changing room he will tell me he doesn't like swimming and can we go home now?
But then the next week he is all eager and raring to go...!

Jumping Beans is the same, to an extent, one day he decided during Jumping Beans that he had had enough and wanted to go home. So I told him to put his shoes on and we would go. So he did, ran to his shoes, put them on, waved good bye and was out the door. As we pulled away he told me he didn't like Jumping Beans.
The next week he wanted to know when we were going to Jumping Beans and when we got there he had fun for 10 minutes and then sadly hurt himself. So we went home, but as we left he told me he didn't like Jumping Beans and didn't want to go again!

Now we constantly have it with Daycare. They have asked me to work all week this week so Alex is at daycare everyday, but because somethings changed at work and they didn't need me for what they thought, I was able to negotiate that I still take the boys to swimming lessons. With Alex that meant going during work and with Ben it just means I finish earlier on Mon & Wed.
So I collected Alex yesterday and right from the moment I had him he told me he didn't want to go to Daycare, he wanted to go home. When swimming had finished, which he enjoyed BTW, he again went on about not going back to Daycare and that we could just go home!
I tried, without putting ideas in his head, to ascertain if there was a reason for not wanting to go?
This is the conversation I had with him:

Alex: I don't want to go to daycare
Mum: Why not?
Alex: I don't like daycare
Mum: Why?
Alex: I just don't like it
Mum: Is there something you don't like about Daycare?
Alex: I just don't like it! I like swimming, Jumping Beans(!), home, Countdown (we were just driving past at the time) juice.
Mum: But you like the sandpit, painting, lunch, morning tea, reading the books etc
Alex: Yes, but I don't want to go to Daycare.

Although when we got to Daycare after swimming, he had no trouble going in the building and I had no trouble leaving him.

Then this morning it all started again. I don't like Daycare, I don't want to go to Daycare, although this time he didn't want to get out of the car with Daddy to walk through the hospital. We actually had some tears, all the while it is tugging at my heart strings to listen to him, but we managed to get him to go with Daddy and I haven't heard that there have been any problems, although as I write this I may find when I call Steve in a moment, that Alex is still sat with him in his office helping him with his work!

We think this may have something to do with school?
As in Ben is going to school, it looks like lots of fun and therefore I want to do that instead?

We are trying not to tell him that everything is ok and not to worry because you are leaving that Daycare in 3 weeks and won't have to go back again, because I don't want this to be a thing about going to Daycare, he still has to go to Daycare because I am still working, but in January he is starting at a new one close to home.

So my heart will just have to be tugged everyday for the next 3 weeks as we listen to Alex complain every morning, although he does still go through the door happily, so the tugging doesn't last for too long!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Girly Bits

As normal, we utilised the pool at the campsite the whole weekend.
Alex however decided on our first trip there that, after he had swallowed water within 20 minutes of being in, this was enough and now was the time to get out!

I was happy to get out with him, so took him into the changing room with me to get dressed.
This is the conversation I had with him whilst there.....

Alex: Why do you have boobies?

Mum: Because I am a girl.

Alex: Oh, ok.

Pause for thought

Alex: Why do you have big ones?

Mum: (having a quick check because I don't remember them being that big) Because I am a very lucky person.

Alex: Oh, ok.

All is right again in the head of a 3 yr old!


We had our first taste of blood with little boys this weekend.
First Ben came over, crying in his panic state to show me he had cut his finger. With the noise you would have expected to find his finger hanging off! But no, just a little surface cut, but of course we had to have a bandaid.

Then Alex got hit in the face with a swing ball racket, didn't actually see this one happen, just saw him running to me with blood coming from his nose. All dealt with quite calmly, and that one got fixed with a cold cloth and an ice block from the store!

Then just as we were leaving, Ben, Alex and their friend Michael were playing jungle in the bush and Ben caught his toe on something. Again you would have thought the world had ended the way Ben went on! But no, just a small scrap by his toe, lots of blood and one little boy who panics at anything and everything!

So a fun time, Alex even managed to get blood drips on the deck, so now the caravan has been stained with the first childhood memories of fun in the sun.


We just got to spend the best weekend ever at the caravan so far this year.
The weather was on our side and I could so have stayed there forever and not left.

We went over late on Friday evening and then have done nothing all weekend. We did some swimming, general lazing around and it was the best.
It gave me a taster of what the time over Christmas may be like when we are there.

Nothing was a hassle, or a both.
The boys made friends with some of the other children who are going to be there at Christmas time, one of the little boys comes with his parents to their caravan, so we know he will be back, not just visiting Grandparents. He is 6 yrs old and lives in hamilton.
Think him and Ben are going to have a fab time at Chrsitmas.

The boys are so use to the place now that we are able to let them go and play away from the caravan and know that they know where we are if they need us. Ok they don't go out of the park but are free to take themselves off to the trampoline by themselves if they so wish. The trampoline is 150m away from the caravan and I can look straight down the park and see them bouncing, but it is freedom to them and you have to give them a small amount for them to learn any.
It was so cute though, because they came and asked if they could go down there and then promptly walked down hand in hand to the trampoline. Wish I had run and got the camera and snuck up behind them to capture the moment, definitely one of those 'ah so cute times'

They are unable to get into the pool without us due to the gate, so no worries about them disappearing that way. They know to look out for slow moving cars around the campsite, although people realise that this is a campsite and therefore are very good at going slow due to children! Actually the traffic around the site is minimal, so probably one of the reasons I am happy to let them wander already. There is a playground across the road, but they have not shown any interest in going there yet without us, and hopefully they won't for a while because that is a definite NO.

So roll on Christmas when we get to spend lots of summer days at the caravan, chilling, cruising and relaxing. I have better go to the library and stock up on books.