Hairdresser Fear.. this shit is real

Anyone else suffer from The Fear? All my life, having a haircut has made me nervous. The fear that your entire look is in someone else’s scissor-happy hands.. that makes me sweat.

So today, I faced the old fear, and entered Cuts4U, armed with my phone full of Google-searched pixie cuts.. My adversary was a lovely 67 year old hairdresser, who blew stiff coffee fumes over me as she recounted the day’s previous 20 customers and assured me that 50 years of hairdressing hadn’t dampened her enthusiasm.

It still happened.

I showed her an image of what I wanted to look like, and after 20 minutes I walked out with some kind of weird undercut, locks hairsprayed within an inch of their life (and a ‘do which my hubby kindly mentioned looks like a bit of a bowl ๐Ÿ™„)

So I did the usual: I gushed some big ‘Thank you!’s, I paid my dollars and I rushed off to the mall ladies loo to try and rescue my look.

I’m in there in front of the mirror, pulling my hair and patting it around with water to try and recreate the google-pixie-image that I had in my head, when who should walk past the mirror to the loo? Edward Scissorhands herself. It may be my imagination but as she recognized me, she did look slightly remorseful as she chuckled and locked herself in a cubicle ๐Ÿ˜†

There’s always next time. It will grow ๐Ÿคฃ

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In other news… we did it! We moved house! And OMG, never again ๐Ÿ™ˆ

It may be because I’m of a certain age, and my patience now wears thin faster, but dear lord, everything annoyed me. Everything took ages, and everything was hard work. I was happy to go to work again on Monday morning ๐Ÿคฃ

On the Sunday morning, I kinda thought I’d got away with being totally on top of the 6-person-washing pile as the washing baskets were empty! However Sunday night spewed forth a huge binliner full of mucky washing which I found in a random corner.. and yes it did include the school uniforms for Monday, damn it ๐Ÿ™ˆ

One day in filthy clothes didn’t kill ’em ๐Ÿ˜‰

By the Tuesday, 3 days after we moved in, I still wasnt in a very good routine of getting kids up, fed, dressed, and out the door by 8am for school. Tuesday, by the way, is also bin collection day, and because I’m not organized enough to have ordered any wheelie bins, mark put a huge bin bag of rubbish out on the curb, ready for collection.. bless him.

So its Tuesday, 8.05am and I’m still fighting with Sid to get his clothes on. I’m also trying to persuade Tom to hurry up with shoveling his cereal down his throat, while attempting to get my mascara on.

I finally get everyone in the car, and I reverse out the garage at 100 miles an hour because we’re so blinking late.

I hear a crunch and a squeeshing noise, and as I check the car mirror while driving off.. I see our entire bin bag squished all over the road, tea bags and orange peel mashed across the drive. Good grief ๐Ÿ™ˆ

I think the kids decision to keep completely quiet, was absolutely for the best, while I crawled on my hands and knees to scrape all the rubbish into another bin bag. School drop off has never been so peaceful, no one dared to speak ๐Ÿคฃ

But we’re in, and we love it. We also have a heap of cardboard boxes which never go to waste ๐Ÿ˜‚

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The boys are close enough to cycle to school.. I still check that they’ve arrived, but it’s a weird feeling, letting them goย  โค

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On that note… today is a milestone. Fred went to a birthday party, and he did it ON HIS OWN. Not a big deal for most, but for him, it’s huge! He went with friends and did an Escape Room.. and loved it ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’m so proud of him!

Next stop… school camp? Fingers crossed. I want him to know that he can do anything.. I want him to gain confidence and know that he has the ability to do whatever he wants.

Autism, you can be a pain in the bum, but seeing my child conquer your mountains makes me burst with pride ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ‘Š

What asshole parent leaves the umbrella behind? That would be me.. ๐Ÿ˜†

Yep, here we are, in all our glory as the heavens poured down. You can see the joy in those little wet cherub faces ๐Ÿ˜‚

To be fair, we’ve had great weather lately, but when it rains, it REALLY pours. And I left my umbrella just inside the office at work ๐Ÿ™ˆ so school pick up was a bit wet. Yep mum, you’re an asshole. (Well that’s what they’d call me if I’d let them swear ๐Ÿ˜‚)

So today is the first day of spring! And we’ve left that rain behind, this glorious Saturday morning was the last footie match of the season for Joe and Tom, and they both (literally) had a ball.

Joe played at home (his best match yet!) and Tom played at Katikati, a 45 minute drive up the coast. We made a whole 43 minutes in the car before a little voice in the back sang out, “I’m going to be sick!”

Now normally, we’re kind of prepared for this scenario, but could I find a bag within reach? Nah.

I did, however, find a stashed toilet roll in my door pocket, so I passed it to Sid and told him to use it to be sick into.. he took me a bit literally and threw up over the entire still-rolled-up loo roll, rendering it useless, unless spreading further vomit around the vehicle was part of the plan.

If you’ve ever been in this joyous situation before, you’ll know how fast your other children can move, in their efforts to scramble away from the smelly, sickly, aforementioned child. They moved faster than gazelles from a bushfire.

Poor Sid. I washed him down with water as best I could, but we were already late so he just wore his stinking, chunky clothes with a smile.

Scores? Joe got a hat trick and the Kahawais won 4-1, and Tom flung himself around in goal and the Warriors lost 8-1. Either way, they’re all smiling and the sun shone, and the sick dried before we had to drive home ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜

It’s been a great footy season, we’ll miss the early Saturday morning starts! But now they’ve both signed up for touch rugby, so BRING IT ON ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Sid has decided to walk in his grandad’s shoes and take up golf.. needs a smidge of practice but he’s very enthusiastic ๐Ÿ˜Š

Fred has been doing a spot of fishing.. although if it takes longer than 30 seconds to catch one, it becomes So Boring. Yes, we have a Preenager in the house, and don’t we know it ๐Ÿ™„

In other news.. our tenancy in this beautiful house is coming to an end ๐Ÿ˜” so I’ve been hunting for a new one, as we’re not quite ready to come back yet.

Houses in Papamoa are a bit hard to come by! As soon as they come up for rent, they seem to be taken.

I had a look at a couple, and although I was on my best behaviour, when I filled out the ‘I’m interested’ paperwork with my details of a household of feral boy children, mysteriously, my applications were declined ๐Ÿคฃ

When I think about it, if you had a property to rent out, and you had the choice between a family of 6 (including my best behaved, little angelic children) and a working couple, which would you choose?

Yeah, I know. ๐Ÿ™„

So, it’s been a bit hard.

BUT GUESS WHAT? Last week, someone took pity on us, and we have found a little gem of a house, just 2km up the road ๐Ÿ˜Š – we move next week.

We took the kids round to show them the house while the old tenants were still in, and they thought it was hilarious to run up and down the hall, til a huge cockroach popped out and stopped them in their barefooted tracks ๐Ÿ˜‚

The tenant who was showing us round didn’t even bat an eyelid. She scooped it up in one hand and threw it straight in the Hoover ๐Ÿ˜

I have the bug bomb ready.

I guess living this close to the beach means that we have to occasionally welcome the little roachy visitors, but I’m not sure I’ll ever get rid of the internal shiver every time I see one.

The kids are a lot braver with them than they are with spiders though ๐Ÿ˜‚

So wish us luck for next week, this’ll be our 4th move in 9 months… We should be old hands at this now, eh ๐Ÿ™ˆ ๐Ÿ˜Š

Dude, where’s my brain?!!

Fantastic Student-Teacher-Parent conferences today.. words can’t express how proud I am of these boys ๐Ÿ˜

I know, I know, every parent thinks the fruit of their loins is the best thing since home-baked sliced loaf, but these boys have dropped into kiwi life like they were trained in it.

Joe has a heart of gold, is pounding through spelling and maths, and we finally persuaded him to join the Touch Rugby team ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Tom is kind and thoughtful, he’s looking after the foreign exchange students as if they were his own ๐Ÿ˜ although his head-in-the-cloud nature does require some focus.. (๐Ÿ˜† I feel the teacher’s pain here)

And Sid? What can I say?

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He’s a nerd. Total nerd. Chip off the old block ๐Ÿคฃ (and no, I’m not talking about Mark ๐Ÿ˜‹)

He’s doing really well in reading, writing and maths, is ahead of his age group in some, and aiming perfectly on target for the end of Year 1 ๐Ÿ˜โญ

Fred’s conference is next week, so maybe I should reserve my celebrations til then?! ๐Ÿคฃย  Or maybe not, I need to celebrate these wins while I can ๐Ÿ˜

However… myself? I’m a little worried. I think I’m slightly losing my mind ๐Ÿ˜ถ

While listening to my little number 3 angel’s teacher raving about what new apps are available to help with spelling (focus-lacking number-3-child has great phonics but not always in the right places), the sun went down, and we came out to find four kids had been reduced to two.

I don’t think there is any worse feeling than those stomach-turning moments, as you look for them, and the school lights are being turned off ๐Ÿ˜จ

Those few minutes felt like bloody hours ๐Ÿ˜ฅ but the little s#@$s turned up.. exactly where we left them as it happens ๐Ÿ™ˆ – playing with the Lego ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿคฃ

So we made our way back to the car, super relieved to be honest, and planning an evening of wine celebration ๐Ÿ˜

However, car keys in hand, I realised my bag wasn’t on my shoulder, and the familiar stomach drop set in. Which classroom had I left it in?! Aiiiii, the lights are being turned off, teachers are leaving, and my wallet (and most importantly the Thai take-away restaurant menu) is tucked away in my handbag, somewhere in that school. Joe and I set off running, and enlisted the help of at least 4 teachers,ย  as well as the school principal, to start a huge bag hunt, to enable my take-away habit for the night ๐Ÿ™ˆ

You’ll be pleased to hear, that after a few door unlockings and light switchings, we found the bag. In the front seat of my car.

๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Oh, the shame. Someone needs to find my brain, and please return it to sender.

And bring me wine.

And take-away.

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For winter, it’s not a bad gig ๐Ÿ˜Š

For Winter, it’s not a bad gig ๐Ÿ˜Š

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The last 2 months have gone so fast, I think it’s because my poor brain has had to adjust to office work again, after 11-ish years off ๐Ÿ˜†

I’m loving it. Don’t get me wrong, it feels like I’m back at the start, I’m learning so much, I’m forgetting so much, I’m asking a myriad of (probably very stoopid) questions, but I’m working with a brilliant team of very patient people ๐Ÿคฃ

The boys have adapted well to a new routine of being very on time for school, and Mark has adapted well to being a stay-at-home Dad for the holidays. He’s loving it a bit too much I think ๐Ÿคจย (even my demands for dinner on the table when I get home have been met, and the washing done!) I think the boy is angling for an early retirement ๐Ÿ˜œ

The best thing is, I still have Fridays off, so I still get to help out school with Sausage Sizzling (it’s a Friday fundraiser thing) and I get to do the odd school trip, like helping the kids to plant bushes in the beach dunes. Again, it’s not a bad gig for Winter ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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On that note, Fred has been coping incredibly well at school ๐Ÿ˜Š this kid makes me smile every day… he makes me swear under my breath every day too, but I’m proud as punch that he’s actually enjoying himself in the classroom. His autism makes him really anxious, but he mostly keeps it under control… sometimes it pops out in the form of impatience. See this photo? I can seriously imagine exactly what is going through Fred’s head at this point ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

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Those little cherubs.

Joe and Tom have loved learning drumming this term, they both performed at the end of term assembly and were amazing ๐Ÿ˜

We also travelled to Cambridge for a footie tournament with the Papamoa Kawahai, and our Joe got Player of the Day, despite dropping later with tonsillitis, bless his cotton socks โค

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And despite our best efforts in the biscuit baking stakes, England are not bringing Football Home.

We watched the England v Croatia match at 6am, and when we scored 5 minutes in, I was so glad I’d baked these cookies the night before:

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Then when the blooming Croats scored and it went to extra time, I had to get in the car to drive to work, and oh my GOD, could I find a radio station with the footie on? Nope. Driving like a woman possessed with my finger on the scan button, I finally found it as I pulled in to work. And as I hoisted the cookies out of the car…. Croatia scored.. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Those cookies nearly got stamped on before they reached the office ๐Ÿ˜†

Ah well, weย did great, but a little part of me still wanted to get up at 3am on Monday to watch the match. Not now. I will sleep soundly and wake to the news that France have been beaten ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜†

There’s always 2022 ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„

The feeling, when you get your first wage packet in 11 years ๐Ÿ˜Ž …yeah THAT ๐Ÿ˜

The feeling, when you get your first wage packet in 11 years…. yeah that! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿพ

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So… a few things have been going on in the southern hemisphere! Since Sid started school, I’ve been rattling around the house a bit (there’s only so much cleaning you can do in a week, right?!) (Ok. You may replace ‘cleaning’ with ‘shopping’. Or ‘exploring. Or ‘hot pooling’. ๐Ÿ˜†) .. so I decided that I need to get back into work.

After 11 years of being self employed and earning only from my hobby, I threw myself into a frenzy of job applications and an interview.

At 46 years old, with 4 growing children, no recent work experience and zero interview confidence, that work market is a pretty daunting place ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿ˜จ

My first interview absolutely bombed. I think maybe my tactic of going in there and asking for flexitime was what shot me in the foot? Or maybe it was my bad habit of nervous waffling about dogs and naughty children… or possibly the answer to the question about what wage I wanted?ย  (“Anything you want to pay me” is NOT the right response, if anyone is curious ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™ˆ)

Needless to say, I didn’t get the role.

I flicked off a few half hearted applications while wallowing in my self-pitying-age-related-children-blaming depression.. and then BOOM: I saw my ideal job.

Part time. Education related. IT.

That job NEEDED me. I needed that job. It was a match made in heaven! I applied, and a week after applyingย  I got invited to interview. ๐Ÿ’ƒ

I ran through all the nightmare interview scenarios in my head.. what’s the worst that can happen? I could trip over on my way in the door .. been there, done that. I could have a mid-sentence hot flush.. actually that’s pretty much guaranteed at this moment in time ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ™ˆ I could have a coughing fit..again, been there, done that ๐Ÿ™Š

I was interviewed by 3 people.. situation-based questions.. lots of them.. and yes, once again, I waffled, and waffled, and flushed, and waffled some more ๐Ÿ™ˆ

I’d also been asked to take in my passport, license, and my qualifications, and as the interview wrapped up (after just 20 minutes) I offered them to the interviewers like my final straw-grasp attempt at redemption… only to be told, “it’s ok, if we need them, we’ll ask for them…” before being ushered out the door.

Burn. I rang Mark and told him that I’d fluffed it, and to get the wine in.

But fast forward 2 days…

I got a phone call, asking for my references. I hastily tracked some down (it’s been 11 years you know! People disappear!) And thank God, they still had a good recollection of my work ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…

…and they offered me the role ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช

I’ve just done my first 2 days, and I’m bloody loving it โค๐Ÿ˜Š

Me, in a nutshell:

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๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š have I mentioned? I LOVE it.

Meanwhile, the kids are in term 2 at school, and are hard out doing cross country. They’ve taken the new early starts and late pickups very well and I couldn’t be prouder ๐Ÿ˜Š When I picked Sid up on day 1, his teacher asked me how my first day went, because Sid had told her I’d started a new job, and according to Sid, my new job is “fixing cars” ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

I feel a tad over dressed for that Sid ๐Ÿ˜†

The boys have started footy season, they’re playing for Papamoa FC juniors โค

Look at these little cuties:

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And here’s what Saturday morning football looks like to me ๐Ÿ˜‚

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Doughnuts and coffee? Oh, go on then ๐Ÿ˜

So today, we’re celebrating. My first wage packet. No matter how useless I felt after the rejections, and the bad interviews, I’m glad I kept on applying. The right job was out there, just waiting for me to grab it by the horns ๐Ÿ˜Š

People, never give up. Good things come to those who keep trying ๐Ÿ˜Š

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So proud of the little buggers ๐Ÿ˜Š

So proud of the little buggers, I am ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

Today, school held a celebration assembly, and my little fish Tom got this!

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Not only has he been put up a year at school (he’s one of the youngest in year 4) but he’s also the only one of mine who has never really had a proper swimming lesson. One day he just jumped in, and kinda swam, and he’s never looked back. It’s a style of his own (it involves a lot of splashing and deep breaths) but the spawny little hero managed to get 1st place in the year 4 boys freestyle โค๐Ÿ’ช

Proud doesn’t come close! He’s a right chip off the old block. ๐Ÿ˜Š While watching him I was overcome with an urge to jump in and show the teachers where he got the skills from ๐Ÿ˜‚ but I refrained.

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We’ve also had our top three boy’s Learning Conferencesย  (parents evenings) and Fred has been doing awesomely at spelling, Joe has a reading age well above age 10, and Tom’s classmates voted his top area of strength to be his good looking-ness ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†

Again, he must take after me ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

These boys are rocking NZ. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Sid’s meeting is next week, but the smart little shit is already counting up to 60 and reading well, so I know he’s doing ok โค (Not only that, his knowledge of how to useย  our technology is way better than his Ma ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜†)

Joe and Tom had their footie trials, and Joe has been selected for the 10th gradeย  Papamoa Premier training squad.. first tournament is at the end of April, can’t wait! Still waiting to hear about Tom, fingers crossed ๐Ÿ˜Š

Easter passed by in a blur of wine and chocolate (I think I remembered which one of those to give the kids) and we had a great time with friends who came down from Auckland.. then Monday was spent lapping up the last of the amazing Autumn weather on the beach.

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(That’s Sid mid-sneeze ๐Ÿ˜…)

I also discovered a bonus to having a son who dislikes new shoes (well, who doesn’t like anything new really) – the offending items become MINE. Hello new trainers ๐Ÿ˜Ž

(There’s a little silver lining to the ASD ๐Ÿ˜‰)

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I can only hope that they don’t overtake me too soon on the shoe sizesย  ๐Ÿ™‚

The weather has been amazing still.. for being Autumn we’ve been very spoilt. However I’m starting to panic as by Thursday the temperature is due to drop to a chilly 17 degrees. May have to crack out the long jeans ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next week Tom is off for his first overnight camp with school, staying at a Marae, having a Hangi and a swim. He’s going to love it! And I am really going to miss him. ๐Ÿ˜ขย  I do wish them the best of luck with his snoring though. For a small boy, he makes a lot of noise ๐Ÿคฃ (that skill is definitely from his Dad ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜š)

And 120 kids sleeping in 2 rooms? I’m quite relieved I couldn’t volunteer for that one ๐Ÿ˜‚

So. Clocks went back, kids got up early, and I have to remember that the UK is now only 11 hours behind us. And the sunsets are still stunning โคโคโค

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Just waved the old girl off at the airport ๐Ÿ˜ญ

That hurt ๐Ÿ˜ข I’ve just waved the old girl off at the airport, and it suddenly feels like England is a million miles away again (and everyone in it) ๐Ÿ˜ข

Having Pamlarrrr here has been awesome! The kids have loved it, we’ve had more meals out than I can shake a stick at, and all my bits are as wrinkly as they could possibly be, due to hot pool dunkage ๐Ÿ˜†

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Spending time with Ma has been ace. So today’s blog is dedicated to her.. and I will be filling it with Mother Action Shots, you have been warned! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Mount Maunganui lunches are IMMENSE, we caned The Coffee Club twice and can highly recommend the Mushroom, Blue Cheese, Walnut and Caramelized Onion Open Toasties… *drools* ๐Ÿ˜ whilst people watching, and taking in the beautiful view:

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The weather’s been fab. We’ve been very lucky! We’ve been for plenty of walks, if you’d been around Papamoa Beach, you would have spotted the Great British Tourist ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜Š (She’s just missing her knotted head hanky!)

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And we didn’t manage to climb The Mount, but it was way hot, so we just lingered around the bottom really, and admired the runners as they sweated their way to the top.

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Fred even managed to reach his Grandma some tricks on the laptop! I’m not sure she really appreciated the weirdness of The Binding of Isaac, but she gave it a good shot.

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Right about now, she’ll be winging her way over the ocean from Sydney to Dubai (that’s if she made the connecting flight: there was about 50 minutes between touch-down in Arrivals, to take-off in Departures (Sydney). I hope she bloody ran! ๐Ÿ˜†)

I miss her already.

Mum, if I haven’t told you enough, THANK YOU.

Thank you for putting up with me through my troublesome years. At the time, I think I thought you were put on this earth to annoy me, and to stop me having fun. Can I please just apologise massively, and say: I GET IT.

Since having our four (gorgeous but annoying) little humans, I can almost hear Karma chuckling.

Was I really that bad? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™ˆ

Love ya Ma โค (and Thank You Dad for letting us have her ๐Ÿ˜˜)

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(And a special mention to Mark for putting up with the Mother-in-law ๐Ÿ˜‰)

 

Long journey, but she made it ๐Ÿ˜Š from snow to surf in 26 hours โค

Say Hello to the Old Bird ๐Ÿ˜Š

My Supermum, the woman who dragged me through my teenage years kicking and screaming, has travelled half the world to come see us ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜

Through blizzards, cancelled trains, London Underground mayhem and dodgy dashboard lights, she made it โค and today, we tootled to the beach for a swim and I even got her on the surfboard ๐Ÿ˜

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Meet My Mum, the Legend โค

After a week of severe snow in the UK, it was a bit touch and go as to whether she’d even make the flight.. train lines from Carnforth and even from Lancaster were cancelled on the Friday ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜จ but Dad drove her to Preston and made sure she got on that train (I think he’s looking forward to a few weeks of peace ๐Ÿ˜‰)

After that drop, it was all up to Mum to make her way to Euston and then Heathrow. Dad rang me to confirm that he’d washed his hands of her til late March ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‰ so she was on her way. 11am Friday, she was en route!

Our Weekend Of The Pickup (for us) started with a little trip up to Stanmore Bay on Saturday morning to see some lovely friends..ย  we set off with the idea of popping in to the brand new Krispy Kreme Store and Drive Thru in Manukau, but after spending an hour trying to find the entrance, and watching the 50+ people queue, we gave up ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜ญ

BURN. No doughnuts for me! I did manage to find a squishy keyring though so all is not lost ๐Ÿ˜†

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We had a fab Saturday catching up with friends and having a lush BBQ, and Sunday I was super excited about picking the old trout up from Auckland airport, plane due in at 1.05pm.

Kate checked the flight info and the plane was a smidge early: the airplane was scheduled to touch down at 12.44, so we made sure we were parked up by about 1pm, the kids were excited, but not as much as I was! ๐Ÿ˜Š

2pm came and went.. the flight information board confirmed that mum’s plane had landed at 12.51 and was processing.

Kids got hungry but I didn’t want to leave our front row Arrivals Lounge seats, so we let them starve for a bit ๐Ÿ˜‰

2.30pm came and went, by now the kids were proclaiming that we were nearly murdering them with the lack of food, so with an eye still firmly on the arriving passengers, we queued for the old favourite: McDonalds.

Flight Info on the board disappeared and the people coming through the doors were from all sorts of other places, and all from post 3pm arrivals ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Panic was setting in. My mind was full of scenarios: had the old boot locked herself in the loo? Had she fallen asleep on the underground and was still on the Piccadilly line? Was she being detained by a drug-sniffing beagle in aย  back room? Was she wandering the corridors of Auckland airport?

I went to ask at the airport help desk, which was unhelpfully manned by 2 nattering older ladies who answered all of my questions with, “I’m sorry, we can’t help you due to the Privacy Act” ๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜’ and then continued their Very Important Gossip ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

By 3.30, I was bloody frantic. I was in tears and had no clue what to do. Answer me this: what DO you do if the person you are waiting for just doesn’t turn up?ย  Twilight Zone music was already playing on repeat in my head.

The kids were quiet.

Mark was quiet.

I was trying my hardest not to cry, when just before 4pm, a flash of purple velour appeared behind a few emerging passengers โค

I knew it was her before I could even see her face ๐Ÿ˜Š and that was it, my floodgates were open. I don’t think I realised just how much I miss the old goat.

The plane had been delayed at Sydney, the pilot had a random light appear on his dashboard and had to get it seen to before taking off. It was a 3 hour delay, resulting in the landing only being at about 3pm.

Anyhoo… she’s here ๐Ÿ˜Š

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I’m smiling ear to ear, and the only thing that would make this moment any better, would be if my Dad had made it too… Next time, Dad, promise?

For now, we’ll look after her ๐Ÿ˜Š

The kids are in Gramma heaven, I’ve got my Mum back for a bit, and I’m forcing her to relax with me in gorgeous Papamoa Beach โค

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Love you, Ma ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’–ย xx

This, I love โค

This, I love โค

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Look at those little bare feet ๐Ÿ˜

The kids have taken to school in New Zealand like ducks to a pond.. I’m so proud of them, I could burst.

I drop them there in the morning, and the school is buzzing with chatter and happy faces: before the bell rings at 8.40, the kids are allowed to play, run, climb, play football in the field, and when the bell goes, everyone scuttles to their classroom, with or without shoes. It’s ace.

I pick them up at 2.30, and more often than not, their sweaty little trotters are out and their shoes are in their bag (or forgotten at school) and they’re all happy โค

It reminds me of when I was their age too, growing up in South Africa, we never wore shoes unless we absolutely had to. I bet our feet were permanently filthy ๐Ÿ˜†

Whatever they teach over here, it’s working, the boys are consistently in a good mood when they come out of school!ย  (Different matter when they come home and get on each other’s nerves though eh? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚)

So this week, I’ve had to learn about weeding. With renting the house, comes the responsibility of gardening ๐Ÿ˜ฎ and I haven’t got a bloody clue what I’m doing. (Good thing Mum’s coming out in a week cos she can give me some tips!) Mark made a great start by pulling everything up (weeds or not) on Sunday, so on Monday I thought I’d do the rest of the garden. Armed with wheelbarrow, snips, trowel and a mini hand rake, I attacked the garden and all its beasts.

I have to say, flip flops were not my brightest idea ๐Ÿ™ˆ

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Anyway. That’s done. Trouble is I’ll have to do it again in 2 weeks. I know now to change my footwear ๐Ÿ˜†

This weekend, Fred has been invited to a friend’s birthday party. It’s a boy in his class, and although Fred’s a bit nervous, he’s very excited about going. It’s that annoying autism paradox: he wants to go, but the thought of going makes him anxious ๐Ÿ™ˆ

He’ll probably worry for a few hours beforehand; what food there will be? Will he like it? Will he have to eat it? Will there be cake? Will he have to talk? Will people expect him to play games?

We’ll get there, and he’ll work through it all in his head for a while, maybe seem a little awkward, and maybe will talk about his favourite pc games in a lot of detail! But he’llย  (hopefully) enjoy being at the party and will relax a little once he’s sussed it out.

Once we get back home, he’ll probably need time alone in his room to de-socialise, his head and body will be tired out from the effort of trying to figure out what people want, and he’ll take his own time to get back into his headspace.

He copes with a lot of things that I don’t even know about or understand, he’s brilliant. And at school this week apparently he spelled anti-disestablishmentarianism correctlyย  (I’m not sure I even got that right ๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿ™ˆ)

Anyway, Happy Friday everyone, schools out ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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I need everyone to cross their fingers. And toes.. And legs and eyes… ah go on. Cross it all ๐Ÿ˜Š

It Is Done.

I need you all to cross fingers, eyes, toes, legs, in fact any body part you can muster: four big residency applications have been sent off. (I just hope that I signed and dated and ticked everything that I needed to ๐Ÿ™ˆ I swear that having 4 kids has lost me quite a few brain cells. These days, filling out even a shopping list is difficult ๐Ÿ˜†)

33 pages per child. My mind is suitably numb. But to be able to gift to our children the chance to live in this place, it’s so worth it โค

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The boys had to have their medicals this week, to make sure they’re healthy for their residency application. Have you ever tried to get a nearly-8-year-old and a 5-year-old to pee in a pot? Jeeeez, you’d think I’d asked them to go pick up a dog poo ๐Ÿ˜

Loads of bribery and bottles of cold water later, we got the required dribble. And yes- once you start, apparently you can’t stop, good job I’m not precious about being weed on. Needs must ๐Ÿ™ˆ

The next examination was a cough-while-I-hold-some-body-bits for them all, and the 2nd customer was little Sid, who, instead of doing the required cough, manufactured the largest belch you have ever heard. Right in the doctor’s face. ๐Ÿ™Š

We’re definitely a memorable bunch of buggers.

So… the nippers have been at school for 2 weeks! Even Sidย  (who turned 5 on Waitangi Day- which is the national day of New Zealand, commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and who now thinks the world has a day off because it’s his birthday ๐Ÿ˜†) has started. Too bloody cute ๐Ÿ˜

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We’ve had a plethora of baking birthday cakes, (Sid =5 and Tom =8! I feel I’ve made a rod for my own back when I let them start choosing what cakes they’d like to have, I swear they confer and try to think up the toughest baking item they can think of! Check out these bad boys…๐Ÿ˜ )

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Then there’s been a flurry of school day trips to Water Adventure Parks, not forgetting birthday Flip Out trips and Surf days. Not sure about the kids, but I’m knackered ๐Ÿ˜‚

We’ve also birthed some Monarch Butterflies ๐Ÿ˜

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And I’ve got a big amount braver, like WTF is this beast? We’ll I battled it and won. Go me. (Picture has the laptop cable brick in for a bit of perspective: the bloody thing was MASSIVE)

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By the way, school here in New Zealand is awesome, the boys are loving it! โค

I have a year 6 (Ruru Whฤnau), a year 5 (Kereru Whฤnau), a year 4 (Pukeko Whฤnau) and a year 1 (Korora Whฤnau)ย  and the school is full of happy faces and bare feet. Or flip flops. (Or jandals if you learn the local lingo ๐Ÿ˜€) Joe is learning to play football with no shoes on, Tom has been put up a year, Fred has learned to wear a sunhat (!!) and Sid is… well SID. Crazy as ever ๐Ÿ˜‚

Homework is optional, they have the choice of voluntary surf lessons on a Friday lunchtime, and I’ve signed them up for bucket drumming on a Tuesday. What’s not to love? ๐Ÿ˜„

Oh, and no one writes in cursive. Apparently that’s a very foreign language ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ my top 3 are going to have to learn to write non-joined up again ๐Ÿ™ˆ – good luck with that ๐Ÿ˜†

Oooo and I nearly forgot! Best news ever! My mum is coming to visit in a couple of weeks! We’re all very excited! The boys are already planning where and when they will be jumping in on grandma for cuddles ๐Ÿ˜Š (every morning about 6am ๐Ÿ˜‚ Pamela, you have been warned ๐Ÿ˜†)

Happy Friday everyone ๐Ÿ˜Š xx