Month: April 2012

Potty Update

For anyone following this blog regularly, I thought you should know (mostly so Minnie gets some credit) that my first born has had four days of no accidents and has already upgraded from potty to toilet. Now I want to know how do you stop having to dole out smarties every time they succeed?  Her teeth will fall out!    

What Makes a Community?

Today I took Minnie and Jackson to register with the library local to the house we’re buying.  I am trying to get a feel for the community we will be living in, making sure we’ll fit in.  I realised it’s actually the small things that help you to feel comfortable in a community. We were crossing the road to get to the library and as we waited at the lights and the green man appeared, the little old lady stood next to us, took Minnie’s hand and guided her across the road.  And Minnie held her hand all the way.  That to me, says we’ll like this community. So even though there are bumps from liquefaction caused by the earthquakes at the end of our road and some of the houses on nearby streets are a little scruffy I think, I can live here, because there are little old ladies who take your child by the hand and make sure they get to the other side safely. As I write this I also think, choosing …

Toys R Free

In New Zealand they have an amazing service to families with young children on a limited budget – toy libraries. My Irish friend Sheila who has lived here for years and now has a toddler and baby, advised me to join one, as we had only the toys we could fit in Minnie’s trunki from the UK.  So on Thursday night I left Gareth putting the angels to bed and I went in search of my local toy library.  They are often in an unused classroom in a primary school, which mine is.  You pay about $70 a year and can take out eight toys every two weeks. It was like finding Aladin’s cave, there were shelves and shelves of every puzzle, doll, lego or play station ever invented.  I took about 20 minutes to select a few things for each of my children, already planning what I would get the following fortnight.  Paid my money, signed up to do my volunteer session each month and packed the car full of joy. I set everything …


A friend reminded me today that my children are miracles.  Just over three years ago I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to have children. Now I am a mother and that is a miracle.  I am so grateful to the God of miracles. My children are a gift that I don’t deserve.  If I’d been given a choice, I would have picked these two.  They are awesome. This is my remembrance day.

Anzac Day

In New Zealand there is a Bank Holiday for Anzac Day (their version of Remembrance Day).  And it is a holiday that falls on the date rather than the day, which sucks if it is a Saturday or Sunday because they don’t “carry it over” to the following Monday.  Thankfully this year was a Wednesday so Gareth got a cheeky day off in the middle of his second week of work in Christchurch. We weren’t sure how the day goes for locals, i.e. did they have a sombre day of reflection?  We went to the beach with some friends. There were New Zealanders there so hopefully our day of fun wasn’t being hideously disrespectful.  Even though it’s their Autumn now the weather is warm and sunny so the children just ran around the whole time and I crouched under a sun tent feeding my 10 month old happy. Now that we have the children in bed and I am sitting on the couch drinking a cider, I can reflect and remember what generations before us …

Play park

Play park

There is literally a play park on every corner of Christchurch. This city (perhaps every city of New Zealand) was built to make a full-time mother’s job a lot easier. I plan to do a tour of every single Christchurch play park. This one was in Fendalton – pretty posh.

Potty Training Whilst Flying

Minnie has been ready to potty train for a long time but we had to postpone whilst we were living in other people’s houses.  First day into our rented property in Christchurch, I showed Minnie her big girl pants and we were off! Minnie has been taking herself off to somewhere private to have her number twos for about a year now.  And for the last month she has started telling me she’s having a wee.  Even Jackson has his evening poo in the potty, which his sister takes great interest in.  Basically I thought we’d get through this quickly.  One day in and I’m not so sure.  The problem we seem to be suffering from is not what I expected.  I was sure Minnie would hate the mess and wet of peeing through her pants…not so.  In fact she is delighted every time she wets herself because that means she can choose a new pair of pants and leggings to wear…on reflection I should have seen this coming.  My little budding stylist changes her …

When A City Falls

Last night Gareth and I watched the DVD, “When A City Falls” which basically tells the story of Christchurch’s earthquakes. It’s very simple and real.  You get a good insight into how people were effected, which really is the story you want to learn when you move to the city. We wander on Sumner beach like the picture below and you get no notion of what Christchurch citizens lived through. You realise why people are selling their houses and moving North.  If you experience a 7.1 in the September, dust yourself off, mend what’s broken, celebrate a Christmas, see a New Year in and then wham get thrashed (literally) by a 6.3 in the February you are going to really struggle to forget and just carry on life as normal.  If it were me I would be always suspicious, always thinking about the chance of another, working out the odds of whether I’d fair as well as the last time.  I’d want to leave to. I still haven’t even felt a tremor so I have …