Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Guess what...

I have to be at the hospital at 7:30 tomorrow deliver baby number two!

I found out our good news eight months ago by phone.


Jeremy found out that night via a scrapbook layout.


Quincy learned of the baby two months later at a scan.



  • a hospital stay,

  • morning sickness that made the morning sickness experienced last time a bit of a joke,

  • a lot of sugar consumed,

  • an unfortunate craving for McDonald's cheeseburgers,

  • countless late night trips to the toilet,

  • an amazing amount of movement,

  • many midwife and doctor visits,

  • an incredible bond formed between a little boy and a baby in utero,

  • one too many baby outfits purchased,

  • a few sleepless nights,

  • a random third trimester pain that definitely won't be missed,

  • twelve kilos gained, and

  • a whole lot of lists made,
I find myself here already.

The first trimester crept along at a snail's pace, but the rest has passed in the blink of an eye.

pregnancy mosaic

Until I have this new bundle in my arms, I don't really know how our lives will change. What I do know though, is that I will...
  • miss the kicks and constant companionship that pregnancy affords,

  • no longer be able to justify eating everything in sight,

  • have a heart that in an instant has doubled in size,

  • feel so blessed but totally overwhelmed,

  • benefit from experience, at least a little bit,

  • wonder if I will ever get a good night's sleep again,

  • have two little ones who depend on me for virtually everything,

  • worry that I won't always be able to find the necessary patience,

  • dream about what this little one's personality will be like,

  • enjoy seeing Quincy in his new role as big brother,

  • be excited to watch a sibling relationship develop,

  • be thankful to finally be a mother of kids,

  • find the juggling act difficult at times,

  • try to treasure each moment, because I know how quickly the present becomes the past,

  • do my best to nurture our family of four plus two,

  • find it nearly impossible to remember what life was like before,

  • embrace this new adventure with open arms, and

  • not be getting much sleep tonight.

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

taking advantage of the fine weather

Yesterday was such a fun family day...the Botanic Gardens for most of the day, followed by a quick rest, dinner at the local pub, and chocolate from the dairy. From start to finish Quincy was nothing but pleasant. Just a real good day.

It was the tail end of the Spring Festival at the Botanic Gardens and they were holding the national tree climbing competition. Never knew there was such a thing. There were several different events based on speed, strength, and agility.

tree climbing sign

Those climbers were seriously skilled and pretty cool to watch.

tree climbing mosaic

They had tree climbing for kids too. Initially Quincy observed carefully, but then at the end of the day as we were leaving the park, he surprised us by giving it a go.

learning to cimb mosaic

Mt. Everest, here he comes.

Earlier in the week, Quincy and I went with some friends and saw the tulips. Glad we did, because they were a bit sad by yesterday. I don't think they appreciated the 160 mm of rain the other day.

me and my boy

Naturally, Quincy had to introduce Papa to the ducklings we discovered last time.

seven ducklings

We paid a visit to the conservatory too, where the tapoles and lily pads were a big hit. Actually, I'm not really sure if they were tadpoles, but we'll just say they were.

Botanic Gardens Mosaic

Jeremy was keen to head to the top and have a look at the weather station and the planetarium, so up we climbed. And climbed.


The boy couldn't get enough of "the big gun," which incidentally is pointed pretty much straight at our house.

Then a picnic lunch, a long play on the very cool and very crowded playground, and a quick stop to feed the overfed ducks.

As we headed down, our animal lover took us on safari through Africa, Australia, and South America where we came across crocodiles, leopard tortoises, black mamba snakes, monitor lizards, wombats, platypuses, echidnas, tiger snakes, and emerald tree snakes.

What an adventure.

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

flying fox

I try not to make too many comparisons between NZ and the US. Both countries have great things to offer. There are pros and cons to living here and there.

That said, the playgrounds in NZ are better. They just are. Hands down.

flying fox

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Pinch me. I must be dreaming.

The weather forecast for the next TEN days is SUNNY with only light winds. I'm sure it'll change, but it's been a long time since we've had day after day of a bright yellow sun forecasted. And I think it's safe to say that everyone in Wellington is smiling.

weather forecast

Yesterday we had 24 hours of constant rain. It was unrelenting. About 160mm fell.

We didn't step foot outside. And I'm pretty sure Quincy was within an inch of me all day long, asking questions. It was unrelenting.

The sunshine, 17C day today was a welcome relief, for sure. It was time for summer clothes and an ice cream in the village. And my sidekick agreed.

eating ice cream 1: first lick

eating ice cream 2: happy

eating ice cream 3: dirty

eating ice cream 4: all clean

Let me backtrack a bit...When I told the boy he could choose an ice cream at the dairy, he replied, "I'd prefer a chocolate car." You see, he absolutely loves these beautifully wrapped mini gourmet ($1.40) chocolate cars and tries to smooth talk one out of us whenever possible. I warned him that I'd be getting an ice cream, which would take a lot longer to eat than a gone-in-two-bites car. But he didn't waver. He chose a silver one. And I chose a triple chocolate Trumpet.

In the time it took me to unwrap my ice cream, his car had vanished. And this is what happened next...

triple chocolate trumpet

Once his treat was finished he looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said, "Actually, I'd prefer an ice cream, Mama."

How could I not share?

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

saving money for a blue shark

For a few months, Quincy has been desperate for a blue shark. He even suggested writing Santa a letter with four months to go until Christmas. For a good month or so, he has been saving money for one. He keeps it in his treasure box, which is an aorable box his cousin, Stef, made him for his first birthday.

his treasure box

We haven't ventured into the world of allowance yet. He still loves helping with pretty much everything we are doing, so we don't want to plant the seed that he should only want to help if he gets something in return. So he has mostly just gathered found coins from around the house. He is also turning lights and heaters off "because he needs to use that money to buy a blue shark."

The other night, I told him to count his money to see if he had enough yet. How much did he have? "Twelve."

counting his money

Whoa, exactly how much a blue shark costs at Toy World's 20% off sale. So while in town yesterday, we stopped in. Wouldn't you know it, no blue sharks in stock. He zeroed in on another sea creature he's had his eye on... "Actually, I was thinking about maybe this (forty dollar) whale shark." Umm, no.

how 'bout a $40 whale shark?

He scanned the shelves, and thought briefly about a dolphin.

or maybe a dolphin

But then he spotted the hippo and was sold.

i know...a hippo!

With his focus on the hippo, he was clueless that his $2.70 didn't quite cover it and that I slipped the cashier my Eftpos card to cover the difference.

paying the cashier

He most definitely hasn't forgotten about the blue shark. I have no doubt that it'll be at the top of his Christmas wish list. Hopefully Santa has a better-stocked Schleich department at the North Pole.


Monday, September 27, 2010

tulips + ducklings => the arrival of spring

yellow tulips

We met some friends today at the Botanic Gardens for a "Senses Walk". Most of it was aimed at school-aged children, but our three-year-olds still enjoyed sniffing and touching their way around the gardens, getting a tiny taste of what it might be like to be blind.

In the rose garden we came across these little cuties, a sure and welcome sign of spring.

ten little ducklings

Quincy wanted so much to take one home.

in awe of ducklings

Growing up our neighbours had Daisy Duck, who made my old paddling pool home before moving on to their in-ground pool. So, yes, it's possible. But sorry, Buddy, I think two middle-aged dogs and Harold, your pet spider,* are all the animals we can handle at the moment.

*For about two weeks Q developed a fear of insects, mainly bees, ants, and spiders. Then one day he decided he wasn't scared anymore. He lovingly named a spider he found outside Harold. Now Harold is a bit of a magic spider, as he is able to regularly change appearance. In fact, every spider found in and around our house, dead or alive, is somehow Harold. Amazing really.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

a sweet view

This was my view (and constant source of entertainment) as I got ready to go to a local school play...

while i got ready

Note: Other than my usual adjustment of levels, brightness, and contrast, this is (almost) straight out of camera. Jeremy didn't believe me and thought I'd Photoshopped the effect of the foggy mirror.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

We're getting the job done.

Quincy said that a lot this weekend. The garage is clean. Well, mostly. And so is the craft room. Again, mostly. All the random tools scattered around the house are now tucked away in the closet. There is no longer a kite, a cane, and a xylophone on top of the fridge. And to top it off, the Christmas lights are down.

Even though this was a "sorting, putting stuff in its rightful place, and trying to find places for things without a home" kind of weekend, we still managed to squeeze in some fun. Baking pancakes together. Making farm animals and then cooking up a huge feast with playdough. Bubbles in the rain. Enjoying some arty time in the craft room (once the floor became visible, that is). And some digital scrapping time too.


You sure can get a lot done if you stay in your pajamas all weekend.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

the boy takes his animal play seriously

After lunch yesterday, Quincy wanted to set up a wild animal park in the backyard. He didn't want it to be a zoo this time because he wanted all the animals in their natural habitats. He quickly turned his attention to the baby animals who all apparently had swine flu. He created an animal nursery and needed to transport them to and from the nursery in his Hummer turned safari vehicle. At the moment, his play is not complete if it doesn't involve water play of some sort, so, of course, all the animals needed baths.

animal nursery mosaic

As the weather continues to improve, I have a feeling this won't be the last time we have to lug half his playroom down several flights of stairs to the backyard. And back up again.


Now you may think the boy is giving me some serious teenage attitude here, but in reality he wanted to seperate the fierce baby animals from the others and we were in the middle of a discussion about whether rhinos are fierce, despite being plant eaters.


Oh my, he needs a haircut. Again.


During dinner we were telling him the names of various animal scientists. He was definitely intrigued and then stumped us with, "What's the scientist who looks after thorny devils called?"


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

spring has sprung

and our weeds need watering.

spring has sprung mosaic

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It's been just over a year since we first went to gymnastics. I planned to go frequently, but we've only been a handful of times. Not only is it a bit pricey for an open gym ($7), but we're busier now with Playcentre. Still, he has a blast, and afterwards I am always glad we went.

gymnastics mosaic

Unlike last year, Quincy can jump high on the tramp, he can do rolly pollies (somersaults) down the big ramp, and he has to really bend his knees so his feet don't touch the mat on the rings. His balance is better and so is his concentration during circle time at the end.

gymnastics 2

Today it hit me that he is one of the big kids now. He's changed so much appearance and behavior. He's just had a growth spurt and my once placid boy seems to be overflowing with testosterone one minute and sweet and cuddly the next. He's louder, faster, and more cunning. He loved moving from one thing to the full speed...but still following the rules...most of the time.

Sometimes I miss the baby he was, but most of the time I embrace the excitement of this new stage. Even if it does occasionally involve "crashing", "banging", "fighting", and as of today "spitting venom".


Sunday, September 05, 2010

happy (NZ) father's day


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Friday, September 03, 2010

how i spent my morning...

while Quincy was at Playcentre...

I could've used those precious few hours* to clean the house. I could've prepared dinner. I could've done some major organizing in closets, the garage, and in my craft room. I could've listed some furniture on Trade Me. I could've caught up on (gasp) 5 months of Project 365.

Nope. That stuff can continue to wait. Besides there were leftover black beans in the fridge.

So instead of tackling things on my growing to-do list, I took a long overdue, relaxing, off-lead walk with the dogs. Just me and the hounds. Like old times. The dogs happily set the pace, instead of a certain curious someone who likes to make lots of pit stops. Don't get me wrong, these two noses on legs make their fair share of stops, but today everything was on their terms for a change.

who's coming?

It's pretty rare these days for the dogs, i.e. the dogs minus their 3-year-old human brother, to be my sole photographic subjects.

dog games in the bog

After the last post, Kai was keen for me to show off her fancy fetch moves. That girl's got some serious skills.

fancy fetch

Did I mention the walk was windy?

windy walk

Here is the ferry that travels between the North and South Islands. [Quincy is desperate to take our car on it and travel around the South Island picking apples(???).] I love the snow-capped mountains on the South Island in the background.

snow-capped mountains

By 5 o'clock, with the laundry thankfully dry and folded inside, the gorgeous blue sky was replaced by a very rare thunder and lightning storm accompanied by hail. Ahhh, spring in Wellington.

Footnotes & Asides

*Actually, "precious" is an understatement as they only come around once a week.

An aside...In the car on the way to dropping the boy off this morning, he said, "You're dropping me off. And then at the end you'll come back and pick me up. That's what Playcentre is all about." I couldn't help but reply, "Amen, brother!"

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Friday, August 20, 2010

fetch. good boy.

This is how my boys occupied themselves while I got ready for Playcentre this morning.

fetch mosaic

"Fetch, Berkley. Off you go. Good boy, Berkley. Drop it. Drop it. Good boy!"


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

back on the horse

Sadly very little scrapbooking has been done around here this year. But I am happy to say I got the urge last night.

After looking at this layout from a year ago,


I thought it would be a good idea to document his favorite books right now.


Do you notice a common theme? Animals, perhaps?

Clearly I didn't reinvent the wheel, but I did get back on the horse.

I haven't stopped taking photos or recording stories, so I hope I don't fall off the horse anytime soon.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

What does the future hold?

Future vet?

examining animal xrays


Future musician?

drummer boy

Quite possibly.

Future chef?

cutting fruit


Future shopkeeper?

selling an apple


Future rollerblader?

falling 2

Probably not.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

snippets of a sunday.

Papa: Quincy, tomorrow morning I'll make pancakes or waffles. You choose.
Quincy: Ummmmmm, pancakes. Pancakes sound good. We don't have waffle spray. Waffle spray. (thinking a moment and recalling that Jeremy ran out to get some last time he made waffles) Actually, waffles sound good.

sunday am: making waffles

Quincy: They're good. They're really really good. I love waffles. I love Papa. And Papa loves me.

sunday am: making waffles hug

Quincy: I just need to drive for a liiiiittle bit.

driving for a little bit

Wearing a hat and sunglasses just like Papa and waiting in the car while Jeremy gets chips to enjoy during our walk. Slightly counter productive, don't ya think?

waiting in the car

Quincy pedaled for our entire dog walk. It was so fun. A new door has definitely been opened.

walking the dogs 1

Quincy: The dogs are fast and I'm prrrretty fast too.

"I'm prrrretty fast."

Pausing for tricycle ice cream. There were plenty of ingredients on the beach for the five dollar (gasp!) ice creams. Jeremy's flavor: anchovy. (You did this as a kid, right? Jeremy thought I was a bit odd.)

making ice cream 2

Another stop. This time at the playground, where Jeremy gave Q lessons to improve his pumping.

pumping demo

Me: Quincy, you are not the boss of the playground.
Quincy: The biggest chimp of the troop is the boss of the playground.

top of the world

He always has the last word.

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