Monday, December 28, 2009

Yesterday we headed out to Colac Bay for lunch with our friends PJ and Steph at PJ's Dad's crib. It's a great crib, the epitome of the typical NZ crib of the good old days (oh heck I've started doing that "In my day..." thing!). The weather was beautiful so we took their dogs for a walk along the beach and collected mussels (max 25 per person of course). Chris later steamed these and served them in a broth as an appetiser for tea. Naturally I did not partake and Tyler took a small taste and wrinkled his nose up. Tyler also got to ride a boogie board for the first time. PJ ran along the edge of the surf, towing him along behind. He canned off a couple of times but was unfazed. I forgot take the camera dang it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's Boxing Day and we are still feeling a little tired after yesterday's traipsing around. We started the day at about 7am with Tyler opening his Santa sack, then we opened the presents under the tree followed by breakfast - croissants, pancakes with maple syrup and strawberries. Then off to Te Anau for Christmas lunch at Bruce and Ali's with Chris' sister Leona, partner Dave and two of the kids, Annabel and Jason there as well. We stuffed ourselves with BBQ meats and seafood, new potatoes, salads and wonderful puddings.

Tyler was eager to have a ride on Mate, Bruce's horse so we all trooped outside and everything was going well until Annabel lost her balance slightly when getting on and accidentally gave Mate a nudge with her foot on his rump which made him jump forward and swing round, unseating Annabel. It quickly became clear that her wrist was probably broken so a trip to the medical center was organised, by which time we had to head for Invers in order to make it back in time for tea at my Mum's with the my side of the family.

Present opening was followed by another delicious meal of turkey, ham, crayfish salads and Mum's fabulous plum duff with custard and cream (and the odd glass of wine), and finished off with the opening of Mum's home-made crackers, all tailored to the specific person.

By that time, we were exhausted (Chris especially, having not yet caught up on his sleep from previous night shift) so we headed home to get some much-needed sleep.

Tyler with some of his new toys

What could be better? A half-naked chef in the kitchen,
 whipping up a pasta salad

At Bruce and Ali's for Christmas lunch -
Tyler, Annabel, Jason and Chris

Tyler on Pop's horse, Mate.

....and Christine.....

.....and Chris

Friday, December 18, 2009

We're on the countdown to Christmas and feeling tired and frazzled like most people. We had a quick trip north to catch up with Leona and Dave, Rosina and Dad & Jan before Christmas.  Pedro went with us and travelled very well.

My broken rib (touch) is healing well, although an unanticipated sneeze can send me through the roof!  Tyler as finished school for the year and I finish on the 23rd and don't go back to work until the 18th of January.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A few random photos of T-man

With Felix

Drawing is very tiring!

Bob the Builder

                                       With Pedro

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wednesday started non-eventfully and ended with me tucked up in bed feeling very sorry for myself. Just before lunch I was walking down the stairs at work and had just started down the second flight when all of a sudden I was pitching forward, thinking "&#$%, this is going to hurt" and sliding down the remaining steps a bit in the fashion of a Winnie the Pooh being bumped down the stairs by Christopher Robin. I came to a stop at the bottom, having very cleverly managed to land in the recovery position. Very helpful I was. A mental inventory of the painful bits noted a sore neck, head, arm and then increasingly demandingly, left index finger.

Having ascertained that I was conscious and at least vaguely lucid, I was carted off to A&E by Helen, who was most impressed and not a little alarmed by the state of my index finger which had swelled alarmingly and was looking rather skew-whiff. After a surprisingly short wait at A&E I was xrayed to the nth degree and told that luckily nothing was broken, so ice the finger, take this script for codeine and go home and rest. So now I am sporting a spectacular bruise on my arm (see below) about which Tyler said "Ooh I like that Mummy, it's like a rainbow!". My index finger has improved markedly so that I can now completely straighten and partially bend it. And the worst thing about the whole incident? I missed the first touch game of the season, dang it!

Ironically, Tyler was at fracture clinic the next morning having his foot re-checked to see how the bone was mending. Perhaps we should be asking for a family discount :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Arts & Crafts

Yesterday Tyler and I went shopping for art supplies for him. We got a kit with paints, crayons, felts etc, a ringbinder with 2 pads, some stickers, a cute wee stapler and a sellotape dispenser. So he is all set to paint and draw and be as artistic as he likes. He is also very much into making concept drawings in chalk on his blackboard, which he explains very carefully to me so that I can 'help' him make or draw them.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Tyler has shown quite an artistic streak lately. Must be from his father as he sure as heck doesn't get it from me! *lol*  He frequently goes pottering around the garden, grabbing leaves, flowers and twigs and then gets busy with paper, paint, sellotape and glue to make his creations. This is what he has made for his cousin Stephen's 16th birthday:

I remember him grabbing the leaf that makes the smile, saying "That will be the mouth" so now I can see what he saw when he looked at the leaf. Our table is littered with paintings and drawings and he's showing no signs of slowing down.

He's had a week of school holidays, spending time variously with Chris, Anton and Stephen (the latter two earning child-minding $ for their efforts). This week he is with Granna, then Chris, then Chris and me and finally just me.

He is going through a self-assertive phase, his most frequent saying seems to be "You're not the boss!" with arms folded defiantly. He has also decided he doesn't like brushing his teeth and that in fact he "hates teeth".

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just a few random photos:

Tyler playing the 'kitchen drums'

Ben 10 drawing

Tyler, Chris, Pedro, Felix

I was supposed to be singing in the annual competitions this weekend. Developed a head cold around Wednesday, sang three songs (not terribly well but got a first and 2 seconds) on Friday night and then woke up Saturday with no voice! Was gutted that all that preparation was for nothing. :(  Still sulking about it.

Tyler said to me this morning "I don't want it to be the holidays, I want to go to school!" Long may it last.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The more things change.....

So, tomorrow was supposed to be the first day of my new job. Only...I'm staying at PRLaw! A long and strange saga, and the end result is that I will have a much-expanded job (IT and HR) with a good increase in salary, plus a number of perks. Back in management again. How ironic. I won't bore anyone with the saga, just believe me when I say I NEVER want to go through a day like last Thursday! My leaving dinner turned into a 'Welcome Back' dinner :)

Tyler is still enamoured of school. His drawing and language have taken a leap in complexity. We had his first school Mass today, he seemed to cope with the rituals ok. I asked what happened when he went up the front and he said "The man patted me on the head twice". :)

Two Friday's ago at work we held a 'PRLaw's Got Talent' show. Suzanne Prentice was one of the judges. We had team entries and individuals. Some of the team numbers were absolute classics and included one of our Associates, a 6'5" broad-shouldered mans' man dressed in drag as part of a Rocky Horrow Show item. I did a funny operatic piece and won the individual section.

Apart from that not too much else to report except the spring has truly arrived - yay!!!!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Every day we learn something new

Conversation with Tyler after school last Friday (remembering it is a Catholic school):

Me: So what did you do at school today?
T:    Amy.
Me: Oh, is Amy a friend?
T:    No, you know Mum - in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amy.

He refused to believe me when I said the word was Amen so I guess I'll have to leave the correction to his teacher.

He made Chris a cool card and bookmark for Fathers' Day. His school had a PTA Fathers' Day fundraiser where each child had to take a small thing e.g. handwritten poem, small trinket, baking, drawing to school and then each child paid $1 to choose a gift for their Dad from the all the things brought in. T came home with a pair of mini-pliers for Chris. Very apt!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tyler has now had two weeks at school and his teacher says he is settling in really well. On Thursday he was the class 'Leader' (the equivalent of earlier generations 'Monitor' as Mum reminded me) and he got to wear the rainbow sash and be generally helpful. He was so excited about it that by 7:30am that morning he was asking me when we could leave for school. Tomorrow will be his first time being picked up by the OSCAR bus, and luckily two older friends take the same bus so will look after him.

In other news, I am leaving Preston Russell Law, where I've worked for a total of 18 years and am taking up a new position as Professional Services Administrator at McIntyre Dick, a local accounting firm. Scary and exciting.

Monday, August 17, 2009

So, first day at school! He was absolutely fine, even though his teacher was sick today and his class temporarily merged with another. It was a case of "Yeah, bye Mum". He was a happy wee chappy when I picked him up (I took the day off so I could be there for his very first school pickup) and was very excited that they got to meet 'Old McDonald' who was actually Ronald McDonald doing the road safety message thing. He got himself two books from the library to read and has a Certificate for 'A Great First Day at School'. So now we see how long the enthusiasm lasts :)

And here are his new PJ's from Aunty Leona.....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Here are some photos from today's party at Chipmunks. The theme was Transformers and the cake had a Transformers edible icing. Tyler thought it was great. He also had the party of one of the little girls invited to his party to go to straight after his, so he had a full-on afternoon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Last day at pre-school!

This was the end of an era. Tyler has been attending Surrey Park Early Learning Centre, averaging 3 days a week, since he was 5 months old. The centre has been brilliant - the teachers are great, and Tyler has blossomed. He left as the tallest kid at the centre by quite a margin according to the height chart by the door! We took lolly-cake to share with the kids at afternoon tea, chocolates for the teachers and flowers for the Centre's director, Averil. I joked that I should have given her some Panadol too, for the headache of having to work our strange roster with the Education Ministry's requirements :)

Tyler receiving his birthday hat
Leaving Certificate
Tyler and some of his teachers
Chris reading T a story at pre-school
The birthday cake

Saturday, August 08, 2009

So the moment has nearly arrived - my baby is a baby no longer, only 7 more sleeps till he turns 5!! He had his first school visit on Thursday afternoon. He is going to Sacred Heart School (and yes I know we are not Catholic but it is a lovely wee school and Anton went there for a year when he was 10 and did very well). Tyler was a bit overwhelmed at the start as his class (Room 2) started the afternoon with a physical education session, joining with the other junior class.

Back in the classroom the teacher told a story which he enjoyed and then he got to practice writing his numbers. By the end of the classtime he was starting to interact with some of the other children. He has two morning visits next week, which include having lunch and Chris will take him to these.

Friday 14th will be his last day at Surrey Park Early Learning Centre and that will be quite a sad day. He has been attending there since he was 5 months old and I can't speak highly enough of the care he received there and the happy environment. Saturday 15th we are having a family birthday tea (so if you are reading this G-A Betty, G-U Dennis and Julie, you are invited!) On the Sunday he has his kid's party at Chipmunks. It has a Transformers theme and I have sourced an edible icing with his two favourite characters on it which a local bakery is going to put onto a chocolate cake for me.

In other family news, Chris' rugby season has finished and just as well. He managed to dislocate two fingers at various times and the old body just doesn't get to the tryline as fast so he has been playing flanker and lock more than in the backs this year. My netball is going well - my team has just reached the semi-finals so we have at least one more game.

I am starting to prepare music for Competitions and also I am part of a smaller group from within the choir I sing with - A Capella - which has been named A Capella Concertino (my suggestion, I thought the meaning was quite apt) which is going to do more challenging works. At work we are having an inter-team competition which instead of being the usual sports or quizzes is a 'Preston Russell Law's Got Talent' show. The judge is Suzanne Prentice. Our work team (Admin) is going to sing a song based on G&S's song 'I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee'. Each verse is written about a partner of the firm so hopefully we'll get a few laughs. My own individual item is 'A Word on my Ear' about a diva who is actually tone deaf but has managed to fool everyone because her accompanists cover for her! Should be a lot of fun.

Right that's about it for now, I shall really try to keep this much more up to date. In the meantime, here is a link to an album on my Facebook profile which contains a bunch of pictures of the blokes in my life :)

Friday, July 31, 2009


OK here are a few photos to keep you going till I can write a decent post...
Tyler at Kidzone on a chicken called Demetrius!
The boys baking up a storm
The hat Tyler made Chris for his birthday
And the birthday card.

Monday, June 01, 2009

OK clearly all my internet energies are focused on Facebook these days given that I haven't posted here since March, but for those still interested, here are a couple of photos. The first two are of Pedro, a little Maltese X that we got from the SPCA today. The third one is Tyler showing off one of his Lego creations. Happy Birthday for tomorrow Rosina! :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Crikey has it been that long? Oops. Been Facebook-ing too much obviously. Anyways, you all probably know that we found a mole on Chris' head/neck that turned out to be melanoma. He had it removed as well a sentinel node biopsy and yesterday the results came back and the nodes were clear! Celebrations all round. He still has 3-monthly checkups for the next 2 years and then less often over another 3 years, but the chances are pretty slim that the cancer will return. So it's been a fairly scary time for us all. Here are the gorrrrrrgggeous compression stockings Chris had to wear after his op and the bandaged wound (which is shaped like a sqaure question mark). Tyler continues to grow in every sense of the word. Only 5 months till he goes to school - eek! He still loves Ben 10, Spiderman and Transformers but equally enjoys Postman Pat and Sean the Sheep. His favourite bed-time stories are Goodnight Moon, Where is the Green Sheep? and Runaway Bunny. His best friends at pre-school are Ethan, Luke and Ella.

Touch season has finished and I was stoked to be a part of the Preston Rustlers which won the B section of the Business House competition. Here I am looking like I know what I'm doing :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Playing together

Working on Chris' philosophy that the family that plays together, stays together he bought a bike trailer for Tyler so we can all go cycling together. Tyler loves it and pedals the whole way. He even got up and asked to go for a bike-ride yesterday morning.

I have torn by calf muscle again so it's off to the physio for me tomorrow *sigh*

Sunday, January 18, 2009


We had a big thunderstorm hit yesterday about tea-time. It was Tyler's first decent look at lightning and he was quite excited trying to spot each flash. The neighbours's sheep went a bit dotty with the thunder and didn't know which way to run. Then the rain hit and it was torrential. Haven't seen anything like it! Followed by a tremendous downpour of hail. This was the view out of the kitchen window about 2 minutes after the hail started. The rain has flooded part of the lawn and the hail covered the rest. The whole storm lasted ages.
Chris has started back at work today after a couple of weeks off. I start back on Thursday, so I got up early this morning just to get my body clock back into work mode.

Here's Tyler mucking around with my headscarf. He looks like a little washer-woman :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tyler and I and the Howards visited Betty & Dennis at Mum's today, as they fly back to Auckland tomorrow. Betty is looking 200% better than when we last saw her :) Here's a famil shot.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

A gratuitous photo of our wee Dude :)

Sending healing vibes to Aunty Betty who has landed in hospital here in Invervegas with viral pneumonia. Helen and I visited her today and I am pleased to report that despite her discomfort she has not lost her sense of humour.
Big 'Hi' to Julie and the Dines family :)
We are off to Christchurch via Queenstown tomorrow, first visiting Chris' uncle and Aunty and then staying with Rosina. Then down to Oamaru to visit Leona followed by a stop at Dunedin for Rachel's housewarming/birthday party. EBB invasion!
Tyler went to a friend's 5th birthday party today, and is so tuckered out he has gone to sleep on the couch.