Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A small moody Mt,Vic walk, Christmas.



Christmas TreeImage by wiccked via Flickr




Here are our steps! I often talk about them so here they are. Paloma is in the fore front while Drew is the dark speck below her. The stairs weave up and around a few corners till they top at our house, another fifty or so not in this image! I know they are good for us...the kids have very well developed leg muscles!

It was raining the last Sunday. Harry and I went to the early morning market where I tested out my trolley. Deane was laughing cos he thinks only old lady's have them. But I don't think many old Lady's, or for that matter people, have to carry 20-30 dollars worth of apples, 20 kg carrots, whole pumpkin, kilo's of onions etc home, every week-then up stairs. A lot of stairs. Anyhoo, the test went well. The trolley could not hold everything, the apples filled most of it. I could actually drink coffee while pulling my load! Dragging the trolley up the stairs, while not the proverbial breeze, was definitely easier.

Even though it was raining, we decided to take the kids for a walk over Mt Vic. Drew and Rose were not happy about it at all. The black cloud they had over them nearly overcame the Wellington rain clouds. They communicated their unhappiness through no eye contact, vast bottom lips, and slow-walking diligence. I had faith in nature, the smell of the flowers, the earth, the fresh air, that they would relax and actually enjoy it. They did. It took about 35 minutes for nature to do 'its thing'. Soon they were all running around, yelling out points of interest. As we were walking past a lord of the rings filming point, they all asked to diverge into the woods. I said they could, we would wait for them, just watch out for the orcs.

It is now Christmas eve. It is raining. The kids are watching Peter Pan. They are eating junk. They love it. I am about to bake a New York cheese cake for Christmas day. Merry Christmas lovely avid readers!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How my garden grows, school holidays...


The garden is looking lush and organic. The scent of the tomato plants reminds me of sunshine and health. I just want to lie under the shade of one and b r e a t h e . Mmmmm........

I have found out how zucchini grow too...did you know zucchini grow up the flower stalk and sort of eat the flower? Amazing.

The tomatoes have begun, with their tiny green roundness...I have a feeling we are going to get an even better crop this year. The peas are pea-ing and the carrots are carroting and all is well in the vegetable garden. I am not sure when to harvest the garlic, and the potatoes haven't begun flowering yet so they aren't ready. We will soon be able to start juicing kale again, and I have sowed more kale seed next to the baby's.

I was weeding around it the other day and started to pull out some little weedy things, but they looked a bit suspect so of course (as you do in the garden), I ate one and discovered it was rocket. YUM! I remembered I had sown them a wee while ago...


Well! It was the final day of School yesterday. The kids left for school, happy they were only to be there for half a day. The babysitter arrived at 8.30am and Deane and I went for a run for an hour or so... http://catherinedrew.wordpress.com/

We returned from the run and I walked to the school for the final assembly, which went on with emotion and tears for one and a half hours. The school caters for year seven and eight, so it was the farewell to the year eights with a powhiri, speeches, songs, trophy's and certificates. I knew a lot of the kids as Drew used to be in their group. I even cried.

For me, personally, the 'holidays', (while I do enjoy the more relaxed pace..)mean that my routine is b r o k e n. Like smashed man! I have to pull Paloma out of the gym creche for the six weeks, and I have to try to get to the gym whenever I am able. Usually this means not at all. I also do not get a break from my little loves at all...and this makes me a tad crabby.

I do however, enjoy not having to get them all out of bed, and nag them into readying themselves for school.

All of a sudden, I am going from having four kids in one school to - one in high school, one in intermediate and two at primary and one in kindergarten! They are all on the cusp of change, and I have to grow with them...gotta love this parenting stuff. Its helped me, and continues to make me grow emotionally and spiritually. I am always questioning my motives, beliefs and stuff that is hardwired into my brain but might not necessarily be the correct thing to do....




Sunday, December 14, 2008

The staff party, the boat engine and the beach.




An end of year 'staff party' for house wives was held at our house on Friday. I organised one last year too. Over half of the 'staff' consist of short people under the age of twelve. Consequently, the bill for fish and chips is quite high but alcohol quite low. The short people tend towards fighting, but the taller people end up louder and sometimes dance on the bench. I am the CEO, and my friends label themselves however they feel at the time. Nobody wants to be receptionist or cleaner. We are all 'bigwigs' man!

I bought a box of french champagne, and a few punnets of strawberries. I forgot to buy cognac to soak the strawberries in, but I found some ruby port, dusty, hiding in a cupboard. I soaked them in that and dropped them into the champagne....was yummy but not so good in speights beer. (We now buy speights beer since doing the Coast to Coast-speights was the sponser and poured it freely down our throats...).


Deane was away for the weekend, he toddled up to Auckland to pick up a one tonne engine (for the steel hull blah blah), and in Tauranga, he picked up a half ton gear box (to go with the one tonne engine for the blah blah). While the cats away...etc..

The staff party ended with the last drunk person sliding down the stairs at about 11...(not hurt, really, but down 135 stairs on ones' bum is not good for designer pants...)


The day following was a very relaxed day. I did not argue when the kids quietly said they would much rather not go to athletics. I was tired, and the car still has no brake lights...still waiting for a switch from france for our german car...

I read most of the morning, and the kids happily played computer games, read, and generally enjoyed an athletics holiday.

Later on, while I was chopping up potatoes for a dinner of home made chips, Nica phoned. We talked for about an hour, then she asked: "what are you making for dinner?"

"Chips" I replied

She said she was grilling fresh fish for dinner, I exclaimed, "Fish?", so of course we ended up at her place for a dinner of fish and chips. While I was talking to Nica, Julia happened to walk in the door with a bottle of wine so she came for dinner too. Another party. Three adults, nine kids. The odds are it wouldnt be a quiet night.

Julia walked home with the kids and I at about 10pm. She slept on the couch after talking to me while snuggled up in my bed till about one a.m.

Just like old times huh!

Deane woke me at three a.m when he arrived home, and dropped unconcious into bed beside me. He had been driving for about ten hours, pulling one and a half tonne.

I woke at about 7.30, too shattered to go to the Sunday morning market.

I asked Deane what he was going to do with the engine, he replied,"...put it in the boat shed", I asked,"how are you going to do that?"

"...with a crane"

"Where are you going to get a crane from?"

"umm...I bought one.."

I could barely get out of bed to make the coffee, I was laughing so much. He told me not to laugh about a crane that I own half of. (Hahahaha, I now own a crane!..she says in a sing-song..slightly hysterical voice..)

Deane consequently spent all day moving the boat guts into the shed, while Julia and I walked the kids to Hataitai beach. It was a wonderful day, the kids went swimming, Julia sunbathed in her weeny bikini and I lounged beside her in my jeans, t-shirt and sunblock...



Friday, December 12, 2008

Raisin juice anyone?

Grimacing head No.Image via Wikipedia
Raisin juice. Yep..I read about it and did it. I soaked two cups of raisins in water over night in the fridge. I forgot about them until the following afternoon. Reuben was visiting, so I told him I would make him a raisin juice. (I swear I saw him gulp.) I drained the raisins an put them through the oscar juicer. They made a disgusting mushy sound like someone eating cheese, or worse, a banana. We ended up with a small poo coloured cup each. I saw Reuben looking at it suspiciously, but he downed it anyway. I discovered raisin juice is not a juice one can drink fast. If it was fermented it would make a great liquor. I also think it may have been better diluted...maybe one part to ten parts water. I even forgot why exactly raisin juice is good. I think its choca full of iron. We chugged down the juice anyway, grimacing and laughing. I made us both a huge carrot, and spinach juice after as a reward.

For more on my week, go to http://catherinedrew.wordpress.com/


Monday, December 8, 2008

Birthday, barracuda and the long walk....







Harry enjoyed his eleventh birthday on Saturday. Deane took him and six of his friends, plus an extra dad, and Reuben out on the Ngaparata. The chugged for an hour and tied up at the wharf in the city-from there they went to the intercontinental for Harry's favourite buffet breakfast. Apparently the boys loved it and a great feast was had! One of the boys, (another Harry), did the weirdest combination, (according to the intercontinental staff). He was walking back to the table with some toast he had just toasted and spied the yogurt. He loves yogurt, so being ten, he piled it on his toast.



After they had their fill, I'm guessing over their fill, they walked back to the Ngaparata and after sailing for a while, stopped and fished for about two hours. We were blessed with an absolutely perfect day here in Wellington. The fish were biting, and something was biting the fish...Deane thought there may have been sharks. One of the cod they caught was bitten in half as they hauled it out. (two and the half came home..the other Harry took them home for his mum.) They caught a few Barracuda, which are disgusting 'cruel rat fish'. Deane always cuts them loose.




Back at home, the girls and I made Christmas cards, decorations and Drew made gingerbread cookies to give as presents to her friends.

The following day, we decided to take the kids for a wee walk around the Karori Sanctuary perimeter fence. It is about a 12k walk. It was yet another beautiful Wellington day, with just enough breeze to refresh. We started the walk about 11am. The kids were pretty grumbly about it. My children would happily entropy if I let them. Anyhoo, we began at the three year olds pace of course. We were all slathered in sunscreen with a dollops of sunhats. By the time we were half way around, most of the kids were enjoying it, although finding it challenging. We carried two camelpaks of water, nuts, raisins, bananas and nectarines. These were all gone by the time we hit the creek!


The three younger girls and Harry all ended up shirtless, Paloma did the last 4k on my and Deane's shoulders. Harry still wants to run it with me and I think he could actually. It is a tough walk with ample steep gritty hills to slip on/off. The majority of the walk is in exposed to full sun, sort of like a desert track, two parts are wonderful forest, one zig zags down to a small creek. We arrived back at the car at 3.30. We drove to the Brooklyn dairy and the kids dined happily on ice cream, sports drinks and chips. They said they 'sort of' enjoyed it.

Ditto.