Archive for July, 2009

Slow mornings

Billie's paintingsSomething that I have learnt in the past year or so is that a slow morning can be a glorious thing.  At Beetle’s kindy drop-off time, Billie immediately gravitated towards the painting easel, rolling up her sleeves and taking tiny baby steps while peeking back over her shoulder to see if the kindy teachers or I were watching.  “It’s okay, Billie” and she was off to work.

Beetle joined her at the easels and they painted together in relative tranquility for a good 20 minutes. Billie did three paintings, and Beetle worked so hard on her one that mat-time came along, so she had to finish it afterwards.

Beetle's corner-rainbow art

Billie and I rolled up to the shops, where I was planning on doing my yucky glucose screening test but instead took a phonecall from Mum and had an almond croissant with her instead (a much better deal!).  Caught up with Billie’s much-needed haircut, picked up our prescriptions, bought a ten-cent post-haircut lollipop, had a go on the strange little car ride outside the Four Square, and then wandered back to kindy.

It’s nice to not be in a hurry.  That season is coming soon, but for now we’re taking it slow when we can.


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Empty nest

The old houseToday, my Mum and Dad are moving into a new, smaller home, some 15 minutes up the track.  They’ve moved out of the family home that they have been in for 25 years; where they lived when my sister was born, and where us kids all grew up and left home from.  Since they were left with an empty nest, a large and hilly section, and a house that was “designed by somebody who hates the sun” (according to Bear) it was time for Mum and Dad to move on.

The process happened very fast.  In the last days of May, they fell in love with a little place which was for sale by tender.  They missed out on that one, but pushed through to put their house on the market anyway.  After a decade of worrying about how long the place would take to sell, and having to sell it in the middle of winter, they had a cash buyer the first day after it came on the market, and they have turned around and bought their new place to move into today.

On the day they moved out, I took the girls, a rug, a stack of paper napkins and a batch of cinnamon-swirly scones around, and we all sat on the rug with Mum and Dad and my sister in the empty lounge, for one last time.

It is a big change.  The old house is a 10 minute walk from our house, and a 3 minute detour from our walk to Beetle’s school, and was a very convenient place to pop in between morning-goings-out and end-of-kindy-pickup.  And besides, we have a lot of memories there.

But (once I have driven that motorway-run “up the track” a couple of times) we will soon be settled in to the new place.  Bear’s parents have lived in 4 different places since we got married, and once you go to the new place a couple of times you don’t really think about the old one any more.

Today, Billie and I drove past the old house.  I thought Billie might not understand, but she just said “Nanny’s old house. Nempty now.”

She gets it.  In the next few months, I’m going to miss having Mum so close by.  But I’ve lived 10 and 20 minutes away from her with a baby before; I can do it again.


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A heart for a housewarming

Housewarming heart

Beetle is so generous with her artwork.

This afternoon she worked and worked on a crayon heart, which I thought was beautiful and wanted a frame. She then wanted to make a frame out of coloured paper, which we didn’t have (and also, I was trying to make dinner), and then wanted to fold up some white paper.  But she was satisfied when I used a ruler to trace a simple frame around the outside and got out some tempera paints. She decorated the frame and then inside the frame as well, and it was beautiful.

Just then my brother phoned; he and his wife moved house today, and they were inviting us around for coffee-and-dessert after dinner. Immediately Beetle said that she made the heart for them.  It dried in time and I de-framed a previous artwork so I could put it in a wooden frame for them. We lost a bit in the cropping, but we were very happy with it.

She will gladly give away a project she has spent an hour on, to the first visitor who walks in. It is lovely.

One picture that hasn’t yet been given away is hanging on the fridge. She was gazing at it while eating her Weetbix the other morning.  “I’m such an artist!” she said “I’m so glad I don’t scribble.”

Today was bright and sunny, so we went for a test-walk up to Beetle’s new school (she starts in just over a month) to see how long it took.  Pretty much 15 minutes front-door to classroom-door. In anticipation, she got dressed in her uniform, and very proudly walked up the road. We had a good play on the playground equipment and walked back again.

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Waking up

It’s been awhile, but Deb left me an encouraging comment so I thought I’d come back.  This year has been tremendously…. interesting…. and between all the family ups and downs I have mostly been doing my best to just.hold.it.together while simultaneously being sleepily, 27 weeks, pregnant (with a boychild this time! we will have the full set!) and having comprehensively destructive renovations happening in the house since February.

For example, this morning we only had the three identically bewhiskered gib-stoppers in the house and it was like, woo, a holiday, how’s the serenity?  And the dining room and kitchen is coated entirely in some kind of powdery plaster dust, which I suppose I ought to tackle somewhat soon, unless it’s going to be Roast Shop for dinner again.

We’ve been coping with the chaos of the invasion by shutting ourselves in the lounge (one of the two unaffected rooms in the house), and during Billie’s naptime I’ve been switching on the Kidzone for Beetle while I curl up on the sofa and have a Pregnant Lady Nap.  It’s amazing how well I can nap to a soundtrack of drop-saws,  Radio Hauraki, and Hooray For Huckle. A lot of the time it feels a lot like I haven’t done anything else, all year.

Still, in the meanwhile Billie can nearly sing her whole ABCs – apart from when I try and video her, when she switches on the “SEE IT! SEE IT!” she learnt from her big sister. And she’ll sit entranced and perfectly still through a stack of stories, demanding “LAST ONE!” when we think we’ve finished. And Beetle is still entranced by “vo’canoes,” wants to call the boychild either Bonny, Steve Irwin or Ash Dolomite Scoria Lava [Lastname], and is starting school next month, which we are still trying to get our heads (and our routines) around.  These girls (and these parents) are not morning people.

But, although we’re trending more towards “Keep Calm and Carry On” than “Get Excited and Make Things” in our current season, we have still been doing something in my brief, cranky, wakeful periods.  I think I will look through my photos and see if I can post a few.

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