Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Extra Time

Alex currently goes to Daycare 3 days a week, funnily enough, the days I work!

They called me yesterday and asked if I would like him to go 5 days a week for the same current price I am paying for 3 days?
I was sure there was a catch and said I would have to get back to them on this.

I currently can't actually justify sending him full time all week. I currently work 3 days a week and I want him to spend some time with me, because I never had my boys so they could grow up in Daycare. He goes when I work and that is it, yes I would like him to maybe have some extra hours there, give me 2 minutes to myself to get things done occassionally, but it would only be a half day or something. I also know that he loves the place and is learning so much whilst there that I actually don't have a problem with him spending more time there.

However, until now it would cost us to send him an extra half day and we definiftely can not justify that!

So on further discussion with them, Alex will now be going on a Friday as well from just after 9am till about 3pm.
It will be free for that day, no extra cost to us.
I will drop him off after taking Ben to school and I will pick him up either as I go to get Ben from school or as I come home afterwards.

So during school hours on a Friday I will now have no children to worry about and I will probably get a lot more errands and jobs completed as I will not have to keep worrying about toilet stops, drinks and food!

This is also a permanent thing until he leaves next year to go to school. I am sure it might change if they suddenly get a lot of children wishing to attend the daycare and pay for the sessions, but until then I am not going to knock this back. I am just going to accept graciously and smile sweetly.

Roll on Friday, what shall I do??

Monday, October 19, 2009

Small Problem

We are very lucky in the fact that we really don't have any major problems with the boys. Nothing that a little bit of gentle parenting can't fix.

Ben however has decided that he will sit and suck his clothes.
He will sit and suck the sleeve on his pyjamas, the neck of his pyjamas even the neck of his school shirt!
We constantly have to tell him to stop sucking his shirt. He will sit and watch tv and suck his shirt. He will sit at school and do the same thing.

The picture below shows his shirt from when he came home from school one day. It was wet in a huge area around the neck and chest. I have actually drawn a line where the wet goes out to to show you just how much of the shirt was wet from him sucking it! (you can actually just see the colour change on the red strip down the right hand side)

So now we are working through this to try and get him to stop sucking his clothes.
It smells and it is actually making his skin sore where he is constantly wearing wet clothes against his skin!

Any solutions anyone?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Clever Mummy

My 2 have found 'super hero's'
Can more or less be anyone, Batman, Superman or even Spiderman.
Along with this is the fact that Alex's daycare has superhero capes and Alex loves playing with them whilst at daycare.

One day several weeks ago he asked if he could have a cape at home?!
Yea sure I replied and then realised that I would actually have to make one.

Now yes I can sew, I have been taught, I also quilt and cross stitch so making 2 little superhero capes should be no problem.
I borrowed one from daycare to get a general gist of the pattern and size and then off I went.

Alex ended up with a blue cape with a yellow 'A' on the back and Ben got a red cape with a blue 'B' on the back.

They are the best thing I have ever made for them, they love them.
Alex would wear his to bed, daycare, swimming and shopping if I let him!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kids Are Quick

Kids Are Quick

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America.
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America?
CLASS: Maria...

TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.

TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'
TEACHER: No, that's wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
(I Love this kid)

TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.

TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.


TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.

TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with 'I.'
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'
MILLIE: All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'

TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.

TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.

TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No, sir. It's the same dog.

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


For the last week, all of New Zealand has been holding its breath whilst the Police in Auckland try to find a missing 2 yr old.
Aisling Symes wandered from her house whilst her mother had her back turned for 2 seconds.

For the last week everyone has been debating over where she is and what could have happened to an innocent 2yr old?
Was she abducted, fallen in the waterway at the end of the property, even hiden somewhere?

Sadly on Monday evening everyone's worst fears were confirmed when the body of a very young child was found in a storm water drain on the property next door!

Mother's all over New Zealand are today keeper closer eyes on their kids and I know my kids are getting extra hugs and kisses along with being watched that little bit extra.

Our heart felt prayers go out to the family in this very hard time for them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Jim died.

His will provided $40,000 for an elaborate funeral.
As the last guests departed the affair, his wife Sharon turned to her oldest and dearest friend. 'Well, I'm sure Jim would be pleased,' she said.

'I'm sure you're right,' replied Brenda, who lowered her voice and leaned in close.
'How much did this really cost?''
'All of it,' said Sharon.
'Forty thousand!'

''No!" Brenda exclaimed..
'I mean, it was very nice, but $40,000?'

Sharon answered,
'The funeral was $6,500. I donated $500 to church. The whiskey, wine and snacks were another $500. The rest went for the Memorial Stone.'

Brenda computed quickly.
'$32,500 for a Memorial Stone? How big is it?'

Monday, October 12, 2009


A very big thank you to Grandma (my mum) because without her, Steve and I would not have been able to have just had the weekend away for a belated anniversary present.

We went up to Auckland to see the stage show Mamma Mia.
Now we have seen it before, about 5 years ago, and it was fabulous. So of course as soon as I saw it advertised I decided 'Yep, we are going' and we did.
I managed to rally a few friends and we ended up with 7 of us going to see it.

Because our 1st wedding anniversary was 3 weeks ago then we treated it as our celebration and booked 2 nights in a hotel. So while everyone else drove up on the Saturday for the show, we had gone up on the Friday after work.
We went for a quiet meal on the Friday evening, followed by a leisurely lie in on Saturday morning. We met a friend for coffee on Saturday and did a small amount of shopping. Well Steve suddenly decided he needed some new shoes (he desperately needed them actually) so I wasn't saying no to a little retail therapy!

We spent Saturday afternoon in a bar with the other couple who was up with us and for the rest of the day we had a blast. Laughing and joking with some dear friends and not having to worry about any of our children who were all at home with their respective Grandma's.

The show was good, although sadly not as good as the last time. I think the movie had something to do with that. There were a lot of kids at this showing and I think the show actually went on a little too long for their liking, plus of course the stage show was a little different to the movie. But it was a great night out, so I am not really complaining about it.

After more trips to a bar, a very late night and a long casual breakfast with friends we finally headed home.
To find that Grandma had done all the washing in the house and had it all hanging up and blowing in the sunshine. It was a beautiful sight.

So a very huge thank you to Grandma, I know the boys had a great time, especially when they inform you they had ice cream twice in one day!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Holiday Programmes

With it being the school holidays then Ben is floating around free at present.
Last week I took a week off work and spent the time with them but sadly I couldn't do both weeks this time, so he has had to be entertained.

He goes to After School Care thanks to the local YMCA who run the programme at his school, and thanks to them because they also run a School Holiday Programme which he loves.
So this week, although I was working 3 days, he went along for 2 of them. On the other day he joined our good friends children and stayed at their house for the day with their nanny Susan. Very grateful to them all for having Ben that day.

Anyway, the reason he didn't go to the programme on that day was because they were having a day away from the building. Now I have no problem with field trips out, he loves them, but I do have a problem with the field trip being to a swimming pool.
Ben is 6, all the other children are between 5 - 7. Ben can sorta swim, should be able to after all the lessons he has had! He can't however swim enough to get himself out of any real danger plus I am not sure if he would realise he is in any danger until it was too late.
I also got put off by the lady telling me that although their ratio is 1:4 when they go swimming, not everyone gets in the water, although she said that it always seems that she ends up getting wet anyway because she has had to get in!

To me that is a major warning, like, hey do you realise that you are looking after kids who are not fab at swimming and may need a little more supervision whilst in the water. If the teachers with them are not prepared to get in the water then why bother to take the kids to the pools?

Another field trip they happily take is to the local shopping mall to grab a burger and a movie.
Sadly I do not send Ben on these days either!
Ben has never been to the movies! Not by choice either.
We tried to take him once and before we had purchased the tickets he said he didn't want to go in! So I snuck into an already running movie so he could have a look and he flatly refused to go the movies and see Kung Fu Panda (which consequently is one of his favortie movies)
Sadly there has not really been anything else that has come out that he would go.
He does tell us about the movies he gets to watch at Holiday programmes on the DVD, but most of the time he complains and says they were not ones he liked etc.
He also does not like burgers!
So sending him on a day where they spend the time at the mall and movies is a waste of money!

I have just discovered however that our movie theatre is going to be showing 'Mary Poppins' in December for one day only.
I loved this movie and have never seen is on the big screen! But then how many of us really have seeing as it came out in 1969!
So seeing as Ben loved watching some of 'Hello Dolly' the other week with all the singing and dancing in it, then I think we might be having a family afternoon out to the movies at the beginning of December.

They are also showing for one day only 'Grease'. I love this movie too and I was only 6 1/2 yrs old when it hit the cinema the first time round. When it reached its 25th Anniversary all the theatres around NZ did show it for a time and I did get to see it on the big screen. Oh man, John Travolta dancing on the big screen, what a sight! So next month come rain or shine I will be there with my $10 to watch that.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Snow

We couldn't have asked for a better day than the one we got when we went to the snow.

It had been raining when we left home in the morning and as we got closer it started to clear.
By the time we actually got up the mountain, it was as clear as could be and made our experience up there even more enjoyable.
Nothing like playing in the snow in the blazing hot sunshine and keeping warm.

Looking at all the little black dots on the above picture, then I think a lot of people realised that they were onto a good thing going up the mountain on this particular afternoon. It was gorgeous up there.

Now I have skied before, when I was 11 and 16 yrs old, so just a couple of years ago!
I wasn't in any hurry to get back skiing, although I did enjoy it, I was looking forward to spending sometime with the boys and their first experience of snow, but once I got up there and was surrounded by all the skiers and the snow, I just wanted to jump on the chair lift and ski away, but sadly that was not to happen, so have vowed that I will return one fine day to get back to 1 with the snow and some wooden planks to come down on!

The boys had a blast up at the snow. We rented some tobogans and spent a wonderful hour going up and down the little area set aside just for that purpose.

Alex getting ready to rumble down on his own!
As much as he liked going down.....

He just wasn't so happy to have to pull his toy back up again (that is him in the red and black discussing with me, in the grey and sunglasses, how we are going to get back up to the top!). We had many a moment when Alex decided he couldn't make it back up because he was cold and wet, although once back up at the top he was always eager to go back down again!

Ben on the other hand was happy to go up and down, although he found the coming back up a little slippy, but he had soon mastered how to take the bumps and dips in the slide down.

Even managed to get down whilst dodging the flying snowballs!

Sadly we were unable to take Barney to the snow, so he didn't get a shot up there, but we all did, thanks to our friends who we were with, although by this time Alex had cold wet trousers and was not a happy bunny. It was lovely and warm up there but cold wet trousers and undies really doesn't make for happy playing conditions although when asked if he had had enough he always said 'Yes' but when told we were going down one last time he was always eager to have another go!
Ben of course loved joining the bigger boys that were there and learn the art of snowball fighting.

We were only up there for just over an hour, but it was enough for them to have a blast.
I am sure we will be returning again some day, although as mentioned before, it is over 4 hours drive away and definitely something that needs to be planned.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Here Comes the Snow

After leaving the Sheep Shearer Statue we continued our road trip south to the snow.
The rain was clearing and we started to enter into a gorgeous sunny day.

Of course once you get to a certain point on the trip then the mountain comes into view.
I think the boys got more excited about actually seeing the mountain come into view than they did when they actually got to stand on the snow!

They constantly kept telling us which window the mountain was in the whole last hour of the journey to get there.
So we shot some pictures to show how clear it was coming into view.

Of course Barney was there to share in the excitment as we got closer to the snow.....

One thing about New Zealand snow, we don't get much of it in the north Island! Too warm, well it gets cold but not for long enough to get snow on low lying ground, so unfortunately for all concerned the snow usually only gets to a certain level up the mountain and if you want to play in it, then you have to go up to it!
That is why in the above pictures you can see the snow on the top of the mountain and then a lot of brown under it before the tree tops.
In the South Island it is a slightly different matter, they do get snow lower down and so for a truely winter wonderland in New Zealand then you have to travel to the South Island.
For us that would mean a 7 hour drive to the ferry, 3 hours on the ferry and then another 6 hour drive on land, so not a simple close trip at all.

Barney the Dinosaur

Back in 2001, Steve and I took a 6 week holiday to England. We had a little toy monkey with us called 'Boz' and he got his picture taken everywhere we went.
As we were driving to the snow, I realised that we had forgotten Boz and so decided to substitute him with Alex's Barney instead.

So we now have pictures of Barney from our road trip.

Barney at the Sheep Shearing Statue

Barney with fellow traveller Alex

Barney with fellow traveller Ben

More Barney travels to come.....

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Town Icons

Back in December 2008 I posted about the Town Icons around New Zealand.
They were a group of iconic statues around New Zealand that were made into stamps.
I made it my mission to get my picture taken at all of the ones mentioned.

Well on our way to the snow last weekend, we went through Te Kuiti. Sheep Shearing capital of New Zealand.

And here are the pictures to prove we saw the statue.....

You mean one day I may grow to be this big?

Why does mummy keep taking our picture at oversized statues?

Me and the boys at the statue

Not a very clear picture but at least it shows we were all there.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Have just got out the camera to download the pictures we took last week from our trip to the snow and a week at the caravan.
All 111 of them have now been downloaded and I now have the happy task of sifting through them and getting the posts written.

Here is a taster of things to come.....

Friday, October 02, 2009


The day started ok, until my girlfriend's came over and told me that we would fit in their car?! A little bemused I asked why I needed to fit into their cars?

Turns out there had been a Tsunami in Samoa and it was threatening the East Coast of New Zealand.
No problem except that our caravan is on the East Coast of New Zealand and that is where we are currently located. With no car as Steve is over in Hamilton working whilst I am here with the boys for school holidays.

So on went the limited radio reception that we had and quick phone calls to our husbands who would maybe be able to give us more up to date info from home.
The general consenses was that yes they were advising us to move to higher ground for a few hours as there was threat of 1-2m high waves arriving on the beaches.

So 4 adults and 8 children piled into 2 cars and spent and hour or so up a hill watching the sea roll on by with no sign of any weird activity what so ever!

So a little excitment to make the holiday go by nicely but no real threat to us at anytime.