Monday 27th July

I slept through till after 6am!

Was up and showered in time to go out with Sunniva & Lily.

Mat was working from home today so probably pleased to get some peace!

We called in to Richmond Road Cafe for coffee.

I made the mistake of having a chicken wrap 😞

It did not sit well, I felt really yuck for ages after.

Lily enjoyed her croissant and butter, or better still, her butter and croissant 😉

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There was a wee baby behind us which took most of her attention and lots of her croissant crumbs 😉

It was another drizzly day.

This glorious remnant of Autumn colour was gracing the road by the car.

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We drove to St Luke’s Mall.

Lily wanted to climb on the train so I popped in the $2 to start it not realising she had been frightened of the rides before.

She stayed on but wasn’t too sure about it 😏

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The play area was much more exciting for her.

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It was really warm inside so I took my coat back to the car while Sunni got a car for Lily.

She really liked this ride 😄

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We had a wander around.

I found my Nike Air Max shoes I’d been wanting to get.

After an hour there we’d had enough so it was time to leave.

Lily was enjoying her car too much to want to get out so we thought we might have to leave her there, but finally she agreed to come with us

She was given a packet of stickers & pencil with rubber when she gave the car back.

She was pretty happy about that.

 

When she got home she and Mat decorated the chair with all the stickers 😄

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Nap time for Lily, and Nonna nap time too.

I was so weary I was glad to put my feet up and have a rest on the sofa.

On waking the bag of mandarins from yesterday’s market didn’t stand much chance of survival!

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Sunni and I took Lily for a walk to the shop later in the arvo when the rain had stopped.
Then Christian arrived so he & I walked down to Nomad and spent a couple of hours chatting over coffees and curly fries.

He has been accepted by VSA to go to Kavieng in Papua New Guinea for a year.

It is a small town, the capital of New Ireland province and island which lies just 2 degrees south of the equator .

He is feeling the same way Azzan was as he approached his first day at school- nervously excited 😁

It’s a wonderful opportunity for him to use his skills and expertise to assist the locals to assist themselves.

You can follow his blog – fishingforpiksa.com – as he embarks on this journey

I got back just before 8 pm and all was quiet so I took my pizza over to my bedroom and holed up for the night.

Lily is waking around 5am so early nights for the parents are essential in the hopes of keeping their sanity 😉

Sunday 26th July

Sunni went off to her yoga class so Mat and I took Lily for a walk around the corner to Fiesta Cafe for morning coffee.

Lily has a butter obsession so her order has to include ‘butta’ 😉

They do really good coffees and baking there.

It’s a must go to cafe when in this area.

Auckland has turned on its best yucky weather for me.

Looks like a week of wet days.

Phil called up for a chat, he was going to come meet me for coffee but I’m not at home so we rescheduled for later in the week.

When Sunniva returned we all headed off to the Hobsonville Markets.

It’s under cover so a great place to go on a damp day.

Mate & UJ were there so we caught up with them before they left.

We wandered around tasting delicious samples of all sorts of sauces and foods.

I got an vegetarian empanadas which was actually not that great 😕

 
 
From there Mat went to buy a camera lens. 

He’d been researching what he needed wanted for a while and now the final decision was made

The consensus then was to go find somewhere to go and hang out for the afternoon.

We eventually found ourselves at The Matterhorn bar.
We had chips and cocktails and played with their new camera lens.  
    

It was almost time for dinner when we returned but we were all still full from chips and olives so dinner was simple and easy.

Because of Lily’s early inbuilt alarm clock we were all ready for bed early.

I was in bed with lights out around 8:40pm when Tim M phoned up for a chat.

Seems that everyone waits till I’m away to call and see if I’m home 😝 

I managed to get to sleep around 10pm.

Not as early as I’d hoped but still way better than home!

Saturday 25th July

Mahalia zoomed off to rowing after giving me a big hug goodbye.

I striped my bed and got the washing started before heading to the shower.

Woke Azzan up around 8am.

Finished packing my bag and having breakfast.

Seb arrived and we all hopped into his truck, leaving Caspian to wait for Mahalia’s return around 10am.

Seb dropped me off at the airport and then took Azzan to help Sasha strain their wine he’d helped make a couple of weekends ago.

Phoebe brought him & Shanni home at lunchtime.

I had plenty of time before my flight was due to board at 9:30am so I ordered a mocha, but soon after it was announced that due to fog flight to Auckland were delayed.

Then finally they cancelled my flight so I queued to be rebooked.

New flight finally left Nelson at 12pm after a further delay.

It went via Wellington where I had over an hour to fill in before my next flight which finally got me into Auckland around 3pm, just 4 hours later than planned.

It was all good though, I was so exhausted before I left home I was almost grateful to be able to just sit anonymously and rest at the airports.

I was met by Mat & Lily.

She hadn’t seen me for about 6 months so wasn’t to sure about me for a while.

But we soon warmed up once we got home.

It was really good to be back again with them and Sunni after so long.

I’ve been feeling like I’ve missed so much of Lily’s development, they change so much in such a short time at this age.

She’s 21 months old already and such a wee character.

I delivered a loaf of sourdough bread to them from Phoebe.

Mat cut into it straight away and we all enjoyed sandwiches from it.

But Lily wanted to enjoy the whole loaf!

  
    
  
She loves to play with Mat’s cell phone 🙂   

   
We had an early dinner with Lily and we’re all off to bed.

It was great.

I don’t remember when I was last able to turn off my light by 8pm.

Friday 24th July

Waking before the alarm is normal eh?
And thats okay if its 10 minutes or even half an hour earlier.
But 2 hours!!
C’mon!
So at 4am I tried to go back to sleep for another two hours.
But at 5am I gave up, lay snuggled warmly under my blankets and checked social media on my phone for half an hour or so before giving up entirely and tip toeing down the hall to the shower.
I had plenty of time so made up the wraps and bap for Azzan & Mahalia’s lunches.
Managed to set off the fire alarm whilst frying up the onions and eggs – so much for keeping the household quiet.
Azzan got up far too early.
So he also had time to get himself ready in a calm and leisurely manner.
He is a bit thoughtful and quiet at the mo as he was told yesterday that one of the boys who had been really good to him when he started this week has just lost his grandaddad.
Brings back very intense memories.
I managed to get the fire going more easily this morning.
If I can avoid using the kitchen heatpump I prefer to not have it on.
I find that the woodfire, when it is going well heats the whole house easily, whereas it needs two heat pumps to do the same job.
Azzan was ready to leave before 7:30am so we headed off up to the school.
We passed a couple of Prep boys heading the same direction and I offered to stop and pick them up.
Azzan was mortified.
He has such an embarrassing mother 😉
Afterwards Mahalia told me that you might’ve done things like that when I was younger but now they’d think I was a kidnapper :-/
Sad indictment of our society I am thinking.
Anyways, I joined the trail of parents dropping their boys off and left him up at the buses and came back home.
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Shanni was up and having breakfast and my fire had gone out – damn!
I relit it – successfully this time, and the kitchen began warming up.
The air temps outside were around 4’C but the wind factor was from the south and very chilling.
The girls headed off to NMIT together just before 9am and I settled down to have my breakfast in peace.
Had a lovely chat with Jac on the phone and then Nathan arrived in for a quick break before heading off to start an early shift at work.
Ursula invited me over for tea and scones so I left Caspian chewing on a large bone in the yard and I went next door at 11:30am.
We had a lovely visit – and delicious scones 🙂
I came back home and got ready to go and do some jobs in town.
I had a list to work through.
First stop was to drop off Mira’s printer to a young Chinese student who had lost everything in a house fire this week.
Then a few other stops and finally back home to crash out for half an hour.
Mahalia & Shoshannah had carried Shanni’s Adirondack chair back home.
She had made it at Trades last term.
Looks great.
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Shanni had gone off to an appointment and Mahalia walked Caspian after she had rested and refuelled.
He is so funny about having his harness or jackets put on.
He rolls over on his back and just lies there waiting for you to do it up.
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I headed off up to College to pick up Azzan.
He had enjoyed his day out and was obviously tired.
But was definitely not tired 😉

We came home and spend t the evening unpacking and unwilling.
Shanni went home with David so she can hang out with Sasha for the night.
Phoebe & Sapphie called in on their way to David & Sasha’s too.
I am so glad the party is out there tonight as I am exhausted.
Sapphie was so cute, she knows this is NonNon’s house and she is very happy to come here and makes herself quite at home.
Shares her food with Caspian – although I don’t think he is that keen on too much apple 🙂

Marah sends me lovely snapshots of her day with the girls.
Here ar the ones of this evening.
Eden loves to help help.
She was up cooking dinner tonight.
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Aaliyah was happy up on the bench watching and cuddling her Mum’s jersey.
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Such a smoggy wee darling – I love getting her wee messages on WhatsApp.
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I am so hoping the pager is quiet tonight.
I need a good sleep cuz tomorrow I am off to visit my other wee poppet Lily.
I haven’t seen her in so so long.
Isn’t she just the classiest wee honey?
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On that note I am off to pack my bag and go to bed.
Signing off and out – could be a while till I’m back .
I am thinking I really need to go awol for a few days to recharge my batteries 😉

Thursday 23rd July

Another 6am start.
I had the porridge on and the wraps made for Mahalia & Azzan before Azzan surfaced.
He had slept in a bit – getting tired from all the newness and excitement!
Shanni went off to meet her builder boss and work on site today.
Mahalia slept through her alarm so was in a rush as she tore out the door just before 9am.
Whew!
Once they were gone I enjoyed my shower.
Then spent an hour talking on the phone to a distressed lady who was having problems with her application to home educate her son.
I calmed her, reassured her and then referred her on to another person who could help her with the specifics.
I turned around and discovered a certain wee pup had decimated a cardboard box and chewed some kindling to pieces and the kitchen floor was covered.
So the floor was swept and the mess cleaned up, all the while the wee critter was playing and dancing amongst the mess.
Its almost like having a toddler on board!!
By the time I actually got outside to hang the washing the sun was shining and it was a gorgeous winters day.
Not at all tempting to disappear back indoors.

I discovered there was a special birthday celebration happening at work.
So I got some food ready.
Made a potato salad to take with me plus began making dinner.
I was chasing my tail, after the early start a few things cropped up which filled my morning so I ended up being quite busy in the latter morning.
Discovered we had run out of carrots and also needed some dressing for the salad so flew into Fresh Choice to get them on my way.
Arrived just in time for the celebratory lunch.
It was nice to catch up with work mates in a relaxed atmosphere and to wish Christine a happy 60th.
Just before I left I changed my footwear and managed to rip off the buckle of my boot.
So after lunch I dropped it into the repair man.
Then off home for an hour.
Mahalia arrived back before I left so we checked in with each other briefly.
She walked Caspian for me while I was away.
I picked up my boot and then went to meet Azzan at Cafe Affair.
We had arranged to meet there so he could leave his bike in a safe place while I drove him out to his first drum lesson.
I was on pager all day today.
I had mentioned to Jenni this morning when she handed over to me that I hoped it remained quiet as I had no other way to get Azzan to his lesson at 4:15pm.
She offered to cover for me.
As we drove out to Stoke my pager started beeping!!!
Jolly typical.
It doesn’t go off for weeks and then it goes right when I can’t deal with it.
So Azzan called Jenni and she took it for me.
I was so annoyed, I was hanging out to work :-/
When we arrived one of Azzan’s classmates was just finishing his lesson.
Nice to see the smiles of recognition as their paths crossed.  🙂
Azzan had a great half hour and was so happy with it all.
Warren was great and got him underway and made it all fun.
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The time flew by and all too soon we were heading back to town.
We stopped off at the supermarket to pick up a couple of things, then I dropped him off at his bike and we both came home.
Mahalia was just finishing off dinner, I added a roast chicken.
It was all very delicious.
Azzan went off to bed early as he is off early on a school trip tomorrow.
I needed to stop and chill so Shanni & I watched a movie ‘The Decoy Bride’.
It was really good chick flick set in the Scottish Outer Hebrides.
A crazy story set in absolutely gorgeous scenery.
Caspian has discovered how to get through the safety gates if they don’t get shut properly!
He arrived in and wanted to socialise with us while we were watching the movie.
He was jumping all over Shanni and ‘biting’ her feet and giving us the ‘I’m terribly hungry’ look while we were eating.
He doesn’t get given food from our plates but he certainly tries to soft-soap us with his big mournful eyes!
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Afterwards I quickly got everything semi ready for Azzan’s lunch so it would take less time in the morning.
As I am on pager until Saturday morning I need to be prepared just in case I am called during the night and have to leave Nathan to take Azzan.
Now it is off to bed as the alarm will be set for 6am.
My normal waking time but typically, when you have to wake up then, that’s the time you sleep in!

Wednesday 22nd July

6am starts seem to be the normal now with all three going off to their respective institutions.
I got up and turned on the heatpump and a voice called me to come turn on his light so he could wake up slowly.
He had his lunch all packed so he had plenty of time to have breakfast, shower and then get some firewood in for me.
Mahalia was last out the door, she waited for me to shower just in case the courier driver arrived while I was in there.
My Vitamix needs fixing and I had finally managed to make contact with the USA office and they arranged for it to be picked up this morning and taken to Christchurch.
I made the last green smoothie for a while and hope it will be returned to us pronto as we are all getting back into having them each morning.
If I know the kids have all had a green smoothie and a plate of porridge I know they are well prepared to face their busy days.
By 9am they were all gone and it was just me and the pup.
I put him outside for a while.
It was strangely quiet, weird in fact.
I struggled to get the fire lit, the wood was just too damp and dense so it took ages.
But finally it was away and I managed to keep it going all day.
Marah sent me this lovely photo of Eden.
I found this hoodie when out op shopping with Shanni the other day and had sent it with Anson yesterday for Eden.
She apparently wants to wear it all the time.
Marah managed to get it off her last night by telling her it was too hot and needed to be washed.
But this morning, after Marah had dressed her she suddenly started patting her top saying Nan Nan and when off to her room to get her new hoodie which had to be put on.
Isn’t she just the cutest wee darling 🙂
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The guy arrived to install a shower dome into the small bathroom.
Am hoping it will help prevent the condensation problem in the electrical fittings.
Caspian thought he was there to play with him and followed him everywhere.
After he had finished and gone I was beginning to think the courier was never going to come.
But finally the bell rang just before 11am.
While I was waiting I made up a beef casserole and left it to cook all day int he slow cooker.
Later I put a pot of potatoes on the wood fire and they cooked well on there for dinner.
Must use it more often.
I then took Caspian for a walk around the block.
It was a beautiful sunny day but I was feeling really tired and bleak and achey so good to go out for a while.
Passed the time with a few other folk out walking which was nice.
Then on the way back I stopped in at the Sprig & Fern and got a takeout mocha and savoury scone and took them home for my lunch.
I let Caspian lose in the yard and I retreated to the sunroom.
I lay back and enjoyed my lunch whilst reading my book.
Then shut my eyes for an hour and rested.
I seriously needed it.
When I came to I started unpacking boxes in my art room.
Managed to empty 3 boxes.
In so doing I also christened the place with a full pottle of embossing power.
The lid was not secure and it tipped all over the place.
Mahalia had just arrived home so heard my cries of frustration and came to my rescue.
We managed to scoop up most of it, but I had glitter from cheek to toe.
Which amused Belinda when she arrived soon after 🙂
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Belinda came to drop off some stuff for me to take up to Sunni.
Mahalia walked to rowing, but was feeling apprehensive about being able to perform as she was not feeling great.
Azzan arrived back from school
He was very tired this afternoon.
He managed to rouse himself to take Caspian for another walk and get in a load of firewood.
Shanni came home and then Ruby came to take her driving.
We all had dinner together, it was delicious.
Nathan got in from work just as we were finishing.
Anson called to see if I could go pick up some stuff he had bought online.
It was in a seedy part of town and I had to go to the money machine first so Nathan came with me for backup protection.
Got the items okay and then back home to finish scanning paperwork.
The kids were all tired so were all in bed early.
I am joining them now as I am exhausted.
Being a school mum is so tiring 😉

Tuesday 21st July

I woke around 6am so thought I would get things kick started in the kitchen for the kids.
They are normally responsible for getting they own lunches and breakfasts.
It was chilly again so the heat pumps were turned on and I got the porridge cooking.
Then I made up two wraps for Azzan & Mahalia.
Azzan took far too much lunch yesterday so want to cut it way back today.
Shoshannah had an 8am bus to catch so was gone soon after 7:30am.
Azzan came out all sparky ready for another day.
He is still working out his morning time frame, as to how long it takes him to get ready before needing to leave so is getting up far too early.
Better than having to prise him out of bed though.
I managed to convince him to put on a jacket and scarf and then he was away laughing around 8:15 🙂
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Mahalia doesn’t have to leave until around 8:45am and she was still in post camp not too well very tired mode so she was slow to start and grateful for her lunch and breakfast today.
So by 9am I was sitting here all quiet with just the pup.
I pottered about getting some things done.
Had a shower and heard someone in the kitchen, thought it was Nathan but found afterwards that Seb had been and gone.
Spent a long time on the computer communicating with various folk getting things sorted for Azzan.
He is joining basketball and tennis and I am trying to get my head around all the new things involved with school life.
Mid morning decided to take the puppy for a walk.
Pat arrived to finish off some work just as I was leaving.
Nathan was leaving to go do some town jobs too.
I asked him to drop Azzan’s PE clothes and shoes off to him as I had discovered his sports were today and not tomorrow as we had thought.
Caspian and I walked to the Sprig and got my mandatory take out mocha.
It’s my payment for walking the dog 😉
Then we walked up to the park and back stopping to sniff out all the other passers by as we went.
Sasha met me at the gate.
She had come to sit in the sun and share lunch time with me.
But Anson was also here.
So we loaded all the things on his trailer that he was picking up and then waved him off before coming inside to make my lunch.
Finally we were able to go sit in the sunroom and soak up the VitD as talk.
It was so lovely and relaxing.
Phillipa arrived to join us in the sun, she went off and got real coffees from the Sprig.
Far too convenient isn’t it 😉
Sasha finally gathered up the energy to bike off home.
I spent the next hour or so with Pat & Phillipa planing the landscaping of the front area.
Now the deck is almost finished we can move on to Stage 2 🙂
They left and I found Seb waiting for me in the kitchen.
We were both really tired but managed to muster up enough energy to have a short business meeting.
Then he headed off to do his last things and go home.
I had begun making dinner this morning, had great intentions of having it all prepared but that went out the window so I had to scurry and make it late arvo.
I was so trying to get into a better routine, but that went out the window early.
I discovered the black beans were not cooked properly so turned the pressure cooker back on and started cutting up veggies.
Azzan arrived home.
He was a happy chappy.
I was puzzled though because he said he had done PE earlier so the clothes arrived too late.
But on his class schedule it was down for the last period.
Then I discovered he had taken an option for the last class to join in with some debating and really enjoyed it.
He was oblivious to the fact that it was their sports time – what he thought was his PE class was actually just their break time when they were all playing basketball.
Poor kid – he is trying to get it all sorted but it is a real big whirlwind of newness that his brain is trying to deal with.
He is getting in there and participating in everything so that is great.
I received a phone call from his headmaster giving me a run down on how Azzan was doing from thier perspective.
He commented that Azzan had joined in the debating and liked it and suggested that he might be interested in joining the Future Problem Solving group.
I was so happy.
That is exactly what Azzan wanted to do when he asked to go to Prep and now it seems it is happening with him just being himself.
Mahalia had gone straight to Kip McGrath but came home after her 1st lesson as she was exhausted and feeling.
Shanni was crashed out in the lounge and Azzan in his room.
I was in a tizz trying to get the food ready.
Thankfully Azzan came to my rescue.
Finally I managed to get dinner finished.
Then Shanni & I went to pick up Katherine so we could have dinner earlier.
Dinner was really good.
Maybe it was because I was so hungry by then!!

Katherine stayed till her Dad picked her up after 9pm.
The rest of us headed off to bed before then.
Long exhausting day…………….