Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas Eve I came home from singing at the first service at St Mary's at around 9:20pm to find Tyler fast asleep in the hallway because apparently he was 'waiting to catch Santa'.

On the bench he had laid out a feast for Santa and the 'rainder' with a little note.

Off I went to St Mary's again for round 2 at 11:30pm, finishing just before 1am. By the time I got home and ensured everything was ready for Santa it was 1:45am. 

Tyler came "Merry Christmas!"-ing into our room at 5:15am but amazingly we were able to get him to settle down in our bed till 6am at which time he dragged me out to the lounge with him to open his Santa presents and the presents from us. Much excitement ensued as amongst other things a skateboard was revealed.

Tyler and I played Monopoly and then we headed over to Mum's at midday to open presents and indulge in a traditional Christmas feast with Mum's personalised home-made crackers between courses. 

It was a gloriously hot, sunny day.

                    Chris                                                          Stephen

Back home Tyler played happily with his loot while Chris watched a movie and I had a big nana-nap! 

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Christmas is Coming

We have one not-so-small-now boy happy as a Christmas elf high on frankincense and myrrh after putting up the Christmas tree this afternoon. We put up the Advent calendar last night so he has already had his first gift from that.

We have one of those Advent calendars with 24 small pockets into which I put a slip of paper with a picture of a location at which he will find a 'wee something.' This year we are having the usual toy/lolly type gifts and then we are adding in some 'Time Vouchers' which will have things like "Spend an hour at the beach with Mum &/or Dad' or 'Picnic at the park'.  Like a lot of kids, Tyler's love currency is time with us, so not only do we get away from buying cheap cr@p that will get tossed in a week or two, but we all benefit from the time together.

Surprisingly, we have been having difficulty getting out of him what he wants for Christmas presents. He consistently says that he will like whatever we get him (oh the fish-hooks in that one!) and that he wants to do things with his family. He actually wrote a note to Santa asking for 'something the whole family can do play together'. 

I recently created his PNP Santa video and it was a sight to behold when the video got to the bit where Santa has a look under the cover at what the elves are making for Tyler. Santa "Oh Tyler, I see you want something that everyone can do together". Tyler's eyes went like saucers, his mouth dropped open and he exclaimed "Oh my goodness!"  Belief is still strong in him :)

This year's new ornaments.

Random Tyler photo - with his new Beywheel rink

Saturday, October 27, 2012

'Soccer Mom'

Along with the start of the last school term of the year comes the start of summer sports. Tyler's got a fairly full programme starting with soccer on Monday, touch and then t-ball practice on Wednesday, Flippaball and a swimming lesson on Friday and t-ball game on Saturday. Chris coaches the touch team.

Today was Tyler's first t-ball game (t-ball is a junior version of softball where the ball is placed on small pole at home base and the kids hit it off there). He was very proud of his Wallacetown Tigers uniform because now he looks like Daddy when he plays softball. He's in an under 7 team at the moment because he's never played before and the club didn't have enough players for under 9. The next group up plays full softball so it would have been a bit too much of a leap. It's always as funny as a play watching littlies play sport. Playing tag in the out-field is much more fun than listening to the coach ! Trying to decide what to do with the ball once they have it - very taxing on a wee brain. And they get that they have to run....but which way??

Anyway, the wee dude did pretty well for his first go and although I forgot to take the camera (d'oh!) I did get some photos and video on my phone.

Photo: First hit of the Tball season. Go the Wallacetown Sharks!
First hit of the year
                                              Making sure he hits that home base!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Where IS that green sheep?

Most nights I read Tyler a bedtime story. He has his  own particular favourites of course, but our mutual favourite is 'Where is the Green Sheep?' which  he received as a birthday present one year from G-A Betty and G-U Dennis. 
The method of reading it has evolved over time from straight off the page as written to the current methode du jour which is where I substitute a wrong word in each sentence and Tyler corrects me. 

But it doesn't stop there. Before we start reading Tyler will say "Do the one where you get really angry!" So it will go something like this:

Me: Here is the purple sheep.
Tyler: No, here is the BLUE sheep.
Me: Hmmph. FINE. *exaggeratedly* Here is the BLUUUUUE sheep.
(Page turn)
Me: And here is the der sheep.
Tyler: No Mummy, here is the RED sheep.
Me: No. No. Look see, it says d-e-r. Der. 
Tyler: No! It's r-e-d. Red.
Me: But I'm reading it from over here, looking at it this way, so it's der.

You get the idea. It's actually quite challenging thinking up inventive ways to  change the words on the spot. Especially the pages with multiple sheep doing various activities.

The other night after a particular hilarious read-through, Tyler laughed so hard he had tears running down his face. As he wiped them up he said "Oh look, I've got tears of funnyness!"

Sunday, October 07, 2012


The boys are currently in Christchurch staying with Chris' Mum, so in the interim here are some photos from Chris' rugby trip to Hawaii.

The Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies


Battleship at Pearl Harbour

Submarine for tourists 

Battleship - an idea of how big it was

Chris was fascinated by these wooden, windowless buses

Monday, September 17, 2012

Artistic Endeavours

Our oven has been playing up and would not heat properly for baking so Chris finally got it seen to and to celebrate, Tyler and I made gingerbread men in the weekend. Tyler got right into the decorating side of things and reserved two of his best for Daddy.

Sunday, September 09, 2012


Tyler's school had a Book Character Day on Friday so he decided to be Harry Potter. Unfortunately the local costume place had already lent out it's HP costume, so we cobbled together a suitably wizardy costume which he thought was pretty cool. He couldn't wait to get to school and bounded around the house exclaiming "Expelliarmus!" and "Expecto patronem!" Fortunately for Pedro he appeared immune to spells :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fun in the Sun

It's a glorious spring day here in Invervegas and while Chris was sleeping off his night shift, Tyler, Pedro and I popped across to the school playground.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yes, it has taken this long to recover

Sunday 5:30pm found me reclining on the sofa, ears ringing, staring vacantly into space. Two hours of rampant, sugar-hyped 8-year-old's charging around the house followed by cleaning up after said 8-year-olds can do that to a girl. Was it worth it? Oh yes.

Thankfully the weather also came to the party (did you see what I did there?) which allowed much of the partiers' sugar-high manic energy to be dispersed by running round and round the lawn, shrieking (sorry neighbours) and firing Nerf gun bullets at each other. 

That's one of the good things about parties as the kids get older - they entertain themselves a good portion of the time. We ended up doing the food as a sort of on-going buffet, where they could run screaming around the lawn, then grab some more food fuel before running screaming around the lawn again. We all came together for a game of pass-the-parcel followed by sundae-making which turned out to be a hit with the kids.

As I Facebook-statused later, you know you've hosted a kid's birthday party when your own dinner consists of 2 potato-top pies followed by icecream with M&M's, multi-coloured sprinkles, mini marshmallows and jelly!

As promised, some photos (the theme was rainbow):

Lots of balloons

Blowing out the candles

The alternative to loot bags - lolly jars

Eating sundaes and watching 'Up'

Mmmm, sundae

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Party time's a-comin'

Here's Tyler in his birthday gear - hoodie from Grandad and Jan, track pants and sneakers from Pop and Ali.

Tomorrow's the kids party, so I'll try and post some photos tomorrow night.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What time does a Birthday start?

According to the now-8-year-old, the answer is: When he wakes up. Which yesterday, his birthday, was 3:45am. That was the time he bounced into our bed and said loudly: "Mummy! Daddy! Isn't there something you want to say to me?" "Happy Birthday, go to sleep" we both mumbled in unison. But noooo. This boy was AWAKE. 

Chris threatened to not give him his presents until the evening which quietened him down for about...oh....10 minutes. Then it was "I love you" "You're the best parents ever" "When can I get up?" Answer: When the alarm goes off (5:30am, Chris being on day shift). There followed what felt like hours of tossing and turning, limbs being thrown in all directions, complaints of "I can't get to sleep" and then the occasional burst of 10 minutes dozing. By the time the alarm went off we were all well and truly ready to get up. Tyler was gratifyingly ecstatic about his presents and trotted into school full of the joys of life. I drank litres of coffee and contemplated shutting my office door for a nap at about 3pm. 

We went out for tea with the Howard family, Granna and Richard to the Lone Star and that's when it all finally caught up on the wee dude, who took his new pillow pet (thank you Aunty Helen) and lay down on the floor by our table quietly playing his new Nintendo game. He was asleep pretty much the instant his head hit the pillow after we got home.

So now we get ourselves organised for the kid's party on Sunday. I'll definitely be needing a nana-nap after that.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Only 2 more sleeps

Tyler's birthday is almost upon us. This time it's a middle of the week one, so we are going out for tea on the actual day, with the party on Sunday.  The invitations have all gone out and so we prepare ourselves for an onslaught of children. The main event is Make Your Own Sundae. In keeping with the rainbow theme, there will be rainbow coloured icecream, and a multitude of coloured toppings and decorations. I think I better invest in a plastic tablecloth. Tyler has also requested Pass the Parcel and Charades for games, and once the kids have played and gorged, they can relax in front of the movie Up which, if you haven't seen it, is an animated movie which revolves around the adventures of a young enthusiastic scout and a grumpy old man who fly off in the man's house which is lifted by a multitude of multi-coloured balloons. Instead of loot bags, I have got little screw-top glass jars filled with jelly-beans and licorice all-sorts.

The swimming lessons are going...well....swimmingly. Since he started he has been moved up two lanes and the teacher said he is doing really well. He's like his father and is totally motivated by being first across the pool.

Not a lot else to report. Except: I got the MVP award for my netball team this year!! Totally amazed as I am far from the best player in the team. Far, far faaaaar from it.  But as our coach said, it's not about necessarily being the best player, but being consistent, doing all that is asked of you and improving over time. I'll take that :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Going along swimmingingly

The first week of school is over and we are well and truly back into the school routine. Tyler's teacher promised him a reward if he learnt to tie his shoelaces over the holidays. Yes, we are bad parents who have always put him in shoes with velcro closures! But we knew it was time he learnt so we bought him school shoes with laces. He accomplished the task and was very proud of himself and has had his reward from the teacher.

Last Sunday we all went to Tapanui to watch Chris' team the 'Stuffed Hawks' play in a Golden Oldies rugby tournament. It's always a hoot to watch - during the later stages as everyone tires, the ball becomes like a hot potato the players seek to offload as quickly as possible so they don't have to run!

We are on the countdown to Tyler's 8th birthday and have decided on a rainbow theme. Nice and easy for the Mummy :)  Now we just have to wrestle with the vexed question of who to invite. Oh the ins and outs of a nearly-8-year-old's social circle.

He started swimming lessons yesterday with the Murihiku Swimming Club and seemed to really enjoy it. Chris and I don't care what physical recreational activity he wants to do as long as he is doing something. 

A little gem from earlier this morning, after finally defeating a monster on his Wii game after many tries: "Mummy I did it!! I finally did it!! Gosh my heart is really pumpable right now."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Whoosh, there go the holidays.

Here we are at the last weekday of the school holidays and it seems as if it was only yesterday that they started. Tyler has had a mixture of OSCAR  (broken bones not included this time), Mummy-time and Daddy-time. He has had a friend to stay overnight and been on a day-trip with another friend, so I don't think he's had a chance to complain of boredom.

We spent today tootling around doing some messages for me, visiting toy departments so he could ogle Pokemon, Bakugan and other must-have toys for nearly 8 year olds, and then a wander through Queens Park and a twirl on the playground.

Chris is gearing up for his trip to Hawaii in September for the Golden Oldies rugby tournament and is off to Tapanui this Sunday for a tournament. I'm still playing netball and really enjoying it this year. Our recent club night was a 'B' theme and I went as a builder. Everyone got dressed up in theme and there were some quite inventive costumes. Here's me and my team which includes a Bollywood actress, Barbie and a Bikie chick. 

Tomorrow is an early and sad start - long-time choir member of A Capella Singers and also it's President, Peter Lenihan died this week and ACS are singing at the service. Peter's wife Di is also our Musical Conductor so given the circumstances I am conducting instead. It will be an honour to sing him to rest. 

And I guess Sunday will be getting ready for the new school term. Tyler came up to me this evening and said "Mummy, what would you say if I said I wanted to give $100 to the hospital? Because that's what I want to do."  Bless.

Thursday, July 05, 2012


Wednesday we all went to the Kidzone Festival which is held at the James Hargest College senior campus. It was Chris' first time there but Tyler and I have been for the last couple of years. The layout is similar each year so it's reasonably easy to find your way around. 

Tyler's favourites this year were the trampolines (in a harness) and the spinning globe. He was a bit uncertain about going on the latter, but Chris convinced him and the wee dude was soon talking it up in the queue. He came off afterwards loudly proclaiming how awesome it was. We did notice that he had is eyes firmly shut a fair bit of the time :) 

Here as promised are some photos from the day:

Gigantic bubble-making


The Spinning Globe

At the entrance

Taiko Drummers

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Some photos sooner than promised - we popped over to see Tyler's cousins Stephen (currently on semester break from Uni) and Rebecca. He adores them both.

Weather Bomb

First day of the school holidays and we woke up to a cracker frost, but with sun and no wind. It's still -3C as at 11:30am as I type so we are inside with the fire going. We survived the weather bomb - the predicted gale force winds apparently skirted us although we did get the tail end about 2 days after they were predicted. We had snow, hail, sleet, thunder and lightning, making driving hazardous at times.

The photo to the left is evidence of Mr 7 sneaking outside on one of the wintery days BAREFOOT to cavort in the snow!

The camera is charging in anticipation of holiday photo-taking. The three of us are going to the Kidzone Festival on Wednesday so no doubt there will be plenty of photo opportunities. 

Apart from that, there is not much to report as we have spent the last couple of weeks keeping the fire stoked and doing inside activities. I am starting to bend my mind to Tyler's 8th birthday party as his birthday is only about 6 weeks away. He has asked to have  'The Magic Guy', who also came to his 6th birthday party and was a hit with the kids. But who knows, that could change tomorrow!

Back in a few days with photos.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Conversations with Tyler

This morning:

Tyler: If a whole lot of woolly mammoths dropped out of the sky in a circle around you, you wouldn't be able to escape
(there ensued some discussion on the probability of woolly mammoths falling out of the sky)
Me: So where did you find out about woolly mammoths?
Tyler: At school we have this non-fiction book and it's about woolly mammoths and diarrhoea wolves.
Me: !!!!! Are you sure that's what they're called?
Tyler: Yeah, it's D I R E. 
Me: ????
Note to blog readers: If you can figure out what sort of wolves he's referring to, please enlighten me. I'd like to get rid of the mental image that's haunting me.

**Update, thanks to Mr Google I now know there was a prehistoric wolf called the Dire Wolf. So now you know too. You're welcome.

This afternoon at the supermarket:

Tyler: Can I have some chocolate milk. It's on special.
Me, taking opportunity for maths practice: How much will we save? 
Tyler, cheating by looking on the sales ticket: 70c. Oh but it's $4.33 if we litter.
Me, puzzled then lightbulb dawning: Ah, so its $4.33 litre.


Tyler: Can I please have a bowl of chips?
Me: Yes, but just a small one.
Tyler: Can you get it then?
Me: No, you're perfectly capable of getting it yourself.
Tyler: But I'm not very good at amounting.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Tyler-ism

Tyler, to me after I missed seeing something on tv:

"I could fast-forwards it backwards for you?"

The wee dude has his school cross-country tomorrow, send fast vibes :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers' Day

Here's the card Tyler presented me with this morning:



What more can I say?

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Belatedly here's my photo to add to the gazillions already taken of the 'supermoon' This was taken early morning - I thought the pink sky was pretty. 

Tyler was at OSCAR today after school and came home with these little edible crafts. I didn't photograph them from a very good angle, but they are supposed to resemble a cup and saucer. I'd go back and retake the photo but we ate them :)

Tyler came home from school yesterday with a certificate handed out in assembly for 'Showing great resilience and perseverance despite a broken arm'. I think he was quite chuffed that when one of the teachers said she thought he wouldn't be able to do their cross-country training run he went off and did it with no trouble. His cast is now covered with school friends names and even one of the teacher's wrote on it.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Random conversation

Tyler: I'm hungry

Me: OK, have a snack

Tyler: I could have you as a snack *giggles and chomping noises*

Me: No! I wouldn't taste very nice.

Tyler: Yes you would, everyone tastes like chicken.

Monday, April 30, 2012


As promised, a random assortment of photos for your viewing pleasure....

The temporary cast from last week

The climax of my big aria in Dido and Aeneas

The boys 'laxing out and channel-surfing

Nan & Tyler
Cousin Rebecca - cool bikie chick

Cousin Stephen