Brace yourself for a massive news dump...
Let's divide this into categories, and we'll start with the youngest member of the family.
A - now three years old, dammit, and don't you forget it. Anytime she hears the number three she exclaims, "That's how many I'm are!"
I remember that with J the jump from two to three felt big, and I've noticed it again this time. She's using the toilet full time (still in nappies at night), pedals her big girl bike, tells me, "Leave now!" when I drop her off to kindy, and generally believes herself to be in charge of the household. When I tell her, "You are not the boss here," she puts her pudgy hands on her hips and retorts, "Yes, I, are!"
I'm enjoying her more than ever. If you can't tell from the above exchange she's bossy and funny and independent. She adores her big sister and one of her favourite things to do is to list off everyone she loves, ticking them off on her fingers: "I love myself, and Daddy, and Mummy, and J, and Poppa, and Nan, and Grandpa, and..." The list is long and I think how lucky she is to have so many people to count.
|Giving the Japanese garden exhibit at Pukekura Park a going over|
Next up let's discuss J, my sweet and enquiring girl whose brain has gone berserk these last few months. Boy is that girl ready for school. All day long she peppers me with questions and facts. "Do rubbish truck drivers enjoy collecting rubbish? How high is the sky? Did you know, pelicans are water birds. What happens when we die? How do plants make flowers? What is air made of? Does Father Christmas go to South Africa? Did you know, the wind is caused when air heats or cools." And on, and on, and on ALL DAY.
Earlier this year she was very excited for school, but I didn't think she was actually intellectually ready. Now, however, OH YES SHE IS READY. That brain is so thirsty for knowledge it's exhausting.
The school has a fantastic transition program where the new entrants attend a program for an hour each week to get to know the school, their teachers, and their classmates, in the term before they start school. We started attending the transition program a few weeks ago, although she won't be starting until late February next year (after her fifth birthday). She adores her school visits and asks me every day when it's time to go back. They've been handing out readers and she earnestly sits on the couch at home, pointing at the words with her finger as she was shown as she "reads". Of course, what's actually happening that she's got the book memorised, but as an avid reader myself it's lovely to see this happy introduction to the world of reading.
She also loves to sit down with a sheet of paper and a pencil and draw any letters she knows the shape of, and then asks me what they are. So when I say she's ready for school, the kid is ready. Just three months to wait...
She's a prolific and (to my highly biased eye) quite talented artist. She's able to add small numbers together, loves witches - her favourite character in Sleeping Beauty is Maleficent, would happily spend all day outside pottering around watering plants, picking flowers or walking through the paddocks. She - in fact both girls - love to bake and I can't start even the smallest task in the kitchen without both of them dragging up a stool each to help. It's worthwhile remembering that I dreamt of this stuff when they were babies and I was exhausted and a bit miserable.
Let's talk garden. Since the weather has finally warmed up of course everything has sprung into life, including the weeds.
We've planted out a few veggies but after being super organised very early in the piece and raising some seeds, I kind of took my eye off the ball and now it's almost summer with not much actually in the ground.
At the moment we've got onions and leeks left over from winter, beetroot, beans, peas, rainbow chard, broccoli, a couple of tiny tomato plants, and that's it. Oh and the raspberry, which is covered in tiny green fruit and I'm beside myself at the thought of the bounty in a month or two.
|Yes that is a lamb standing on its mother. This ewe is the most patient attentive mother you've ever seen.|
|This is Emily, my orphan lamb from last year. In case you can't tell from that look, we love each other very much.|
|We've had numerous calves, including several fostered onto existing mothers which if I'm honest was a massive pain in the ass.|
|...But they are very cute so sign me up again for next year.|
|Gosh this is a very long ago photo of the vegetable garden. It's nowhere near this neat at the moment.|
Another very exciting thing that happened (sort of) recently is my sister, who we'll call Auntie A, came to visit. This was back in September and it feels so long ago now I can't believe it was only a couple of months.
She was only here for four days and the girls managed to both come down with conjunctivitis right in time for her visit, but we had a FAB.U.LOUS time, even with the kids in tow. I'm not ashamed to admit we started drinking mid-morning although in hindsight maybe it wasn't the best idea because now I can hardly remember anything from our time together.
I do remember fun though!
|And she was suitably appreciative of B's cooking|
|We managed one leisurely breakfast at the Federal Store|
|And of course I took her to Back Beach during a flying tour around New Plymouth where I permitted her to take photos out the window of a moving vehicle.|
More exciting developments in my life recently include leaving the house! In heels sometimes! And make up! As the girls get older it seems so much easier to leave them and actually have a bit of a social life.
It's no secret that I love being at home, and I really love my alone time. But it's been nice to mix it up with some time out and about amongst grown ups too.
In the past month or two I've been to the races twice, and out to dinner three times, I think? I even put a dress on for the races! Novel. As I said, it's been nice to re-enter the adult world, to have a reason to put on make up and curate an outfit. Now I just need to work on my conversational skills so I have something to talk about besides my kids.
|Is it worse to talk about your kids or your pets I wonder?|
Last item on the agenda, and well done for making it this far if you're still with me, is knitting! Yay! Everyone's favourite topic!
I'm still click clacking away, and really enjoying myself. I've even started selling some small items to a local baby shop. I'm not going to make my fortune but it's a nice way to have my hobby pay for itself.
At the moment they have two of my rompers available, you can find them here and here, NZ residents only, sorry! I'm working on some more colours as we speak.
Since July I've made a sweater for myself, a dress for J, a couple of dolls' baskets for the girls, a dolls' sweater (and released the pattern!), a rainbow sweater for Auntie A, and another sweater for myself. Whew!
Currently on my needles is another, ahem, sweater for myself, and as mentioned above more baby rompers for the shop.
|One of the sweaters I made for myself. Terrible photo and I am actually happy with it, don't let the facial expression fool you!|
Ok! I think we're all caught up.
Next post will probably be following Christmas which, to be a total cliche, I can't believe is less than a month away.
Ok A is hassling me nonstop for some lunch so I'd really better go. Hope you are well and looking forward to the end of the year and all that that entails.
I'll leave you with this sentiment on that note: