I am discovering every day with a toddler is an adventure. Not the ‘Exploring Disneyland Florida’ type of adventure either. The swing on a 25kg backpack, jump on a crowded bus next to locals, goats and chickens, end up sitting on the floor – for 16 hours. Get lost, have stuff stolen. Climb a huge mountain, in the rain. Dance with hypothermia. Eat with locals, walk under shooting stars. Chill at the beach. Get home and remember through rose tinted glasses type of adventure.

Yeah, I had that adventure. 

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Raising kids is different, same roller coaster, same ups and down. Less choice to end it once its begun. More amazing, more depth and far more emotion. Days are different, even within our routines that shape our life. Some days just roll by, while others have clarity and grace. They are day that aren’t marked by exciting events, simply just moments. For us they are days of grace, moments to pause before we pay our dues to toddlerdom. Tantrums, bargaining, cajoling and pleading.

Moose is at such a great place, she’s challenging, funny, cheeky and at times downright obstinate. Possibly a little insecure occasionally, just a normal toddler trying to make sense of the big world she’s living in.  We are trying really hard to make sure we savour every day, every little moment. Not sweat the small stuff.

Sometimes I find myself getting caught up in the things I cannot change right now, questions for the future, schools, friends, will she be popular, will she be bullied. And the more immediate, why has she suddenly got shy, can I stop her saying ‘no’ so much. How do I encourage her to find her own inner play and creativity and not need me by her side at every second. How do you guide a toddler through life?

Then we find moments, like the moments you climb through the clouds, see a shooting star, are offered mint tea by a local. But they are even better, more intimate, based around our real life, relationships, little moments we can recreate, without flying for hours and sitting on bus floors.

These are our days

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This weekend it rained, and rained, and rained, and just for fun, it rained some more, right into Monday too.

Saturday we went into the city to get our new glasses, run errands and pop to the market. By the afternoon the rain has started so after a abortive attempt to get a coffee (all the cafes in our township close early) we went to the local wine bar (toddler in tow) and ordered coffee and a fluffy. Hilarious but surprisingly decent drinks!

Madam doesn’t do at all well with staying in for extended periods of time. I envy people who can just hang out at home with their kids, we can’t, at least, not in winter. May be its to do with our little home, which although perfectly formed really is ‘little’ (85 sqM) or perhaps with all the living out and about because of earthquake repairs etc Moo is just used to being out and about, Im not sure.
I have a plan (haha I have lots, but hopefully this one will come to fruition) to turn our front sleepout into a craft and play room, a space outside our own space. Somewhere to head out to and play, create and invent. It has solely been used as a ‘spare room’ and store room but its a lovely little space with great light that I think could really provide a whole new environment for us to retreat to, and in summer will be a lovely place to get out of the really fierce sun. We are changing out the double bed for a single to create more space, have put a desk in and I’m working on a few other bits in there too. It will be great to have somewhere I can leave the sewing machine out, and Moo will have room for her teepee, a kitchen and permanent craft space.

Sunday was torrential (sorry, more weather talk) so we headed into the city again – but to a different side and took Moose to the Airforce museum. It might seem a odd choice for a 2.5yr old girl, but was actually rather inspired as a choice. Lots of room, big interesting looking planes and the launch of Googles ‘Loon for All’ project. Hubby was the mastermind behind it and he was spot on.

I had never heard of the Loon for All, but its an amazing concept, atmospheric balloons which provide internet over specific areas.

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Everyone there was lovely, it was busy but not crazy and Moo had a wonderful time running about charming everyone. After the earthquakes we have had here its a project that I really do think is exciting and inspirational. The fear and panic after the smaller but more damaging Feb 22nd quake in Christchurch were made worse by infrastructure issues and projects like this could have really helped. Not to mention the uses around the world, in war zones, crisis and developing countries.

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I also made Moo a duvet cover to go with her new ‘big girl bed’ that arrived this week. I got some beautiful Ikea fabric and cut out the floral mid section on one of our old covers and replaced it with the new fabric. To cover up my awful seaming (I didn’t leave enough allowance for the selvage so the writing showed) I stitched ribbon down the seams. It’s pretty rough but Im rather proud of how it looks!
Ikea is one shop I really do miss. NZ seriously need to get that sorted!

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We are settling into winter well, slowly creating new rhythms and routines. It appears that the Oxford Farmers market is setting in to be a favourite (good weather) sunday outing.

Today it was sunny and cool so we headed off, bought veggies, wandered through the stalls and playground. It was lovely to have the morning together, moo was on great form and we were able to simply relax and enjoy family time. We live in such a great place its wonderful to be able to really enjoy it and savour the small things that make living here so special.

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A quick stop off at the river on the way home completed a great morning. Moo drew ‘horses’ in the sand and threw stones into the water – or at least she threw stones and they flew in a variety of directions, not always towards the water!

 

A few little images from our weekend.

Hubby at the start of his half marathon, he come in on his target time sub 1.35 (1.34.44) but rolled his ankle at 19km so looked pretty grim coming over the finish line! Said it was good though, rather windy and warmer than anticipated.

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Nim and I had a great breakfast while waiting for him to come in, she was brilliant and behaved so well, despite it being long and a bit of a tedious morning for a toddler. Unfortunately the weekend was a bit dull for her as due to collecting the race registrations on the Saturday so both day we had to drive to town.

We picked up friends at the airport on Saturday morning and did town jobs like eye tests (I needed new glasses) and sushi lunch (Moose’s favourite) before coming home and having a relaxed afternoon. She loved having new people to chat with and entertain and lots of our friends had family running on sunday so we saw quite a few of her little buddies at the race.

In other events

Cats taking over table tents, evening biking, painting and baking. Lots of indoor play and activities as the weather turned cold and wet towards the end of the weekend

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In other news – Ive signed up for a 10km trail run  in September … I must be mad!

For a few reasons Moose has been challenging us in the last week or so. I have really tried to make this week about quality time and focusing on her and better communication from both of us. Its been good, and we’ve had a lot of lovely moments together, slowing down, just enjoying.

Slowly I feel like we are moving away from being at logger heads and towards enjoying each others company.

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It was a great way to reconnect and enjoy some time and the beautiful last dregs of autumn as winter pushes in on us, bringing the snow scented winds that bite at fingers and noses. The mountains looked sugar topped. While we hunker down away from rain and wind they are liberally coated with powdery snow. The water running down is icy cold, even the dog avoids paddling!

Feathers litter the ground form duck season, the only colour is the hardy gorse and the sky. Its beautiful and hard and tires Moose in minutes when she’s out in it. The river plain was inhospitable so we departed for the playground and then a fluffy at the bakery.

The last week has really slipped by with little time for blogging or instagram. We have all been well, just busy.

Our week

  • Swimming day lunch
  • Sunday Lunch at the Oaks of Darfield
  • A playgroup visit to the Antarctic Centre
  • Weekend play at the park
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    I don’t write about hubby much on these pages, he has his own place to put his words and thoughts (when he finishes building it) but sometimes he deserves a mention. Mostly he gets mentioned for his great pressie buying skills, or the fact Moose is a total daddy’s girl, or because he has bought/build/made/said/done something great.

    But this is dedicated to him and achieving.

    Seriously the man’s a machine when he sets his mind to a goal. Recently he has been running more, a date has been set for a full marathon (Auckland in Nov). In the past 18 months he’s lost 25kg plus change, gone from not being able to run 3km without nearly passing out to a slim fit happy individual. He runs for the love of it (previously he was not a runner at all) He is motivated and he achieves this dreams. It’s all based on bloody minded determination and a epic, almost mythical stubbornness. 

    But the thing is I want to achieve too, ok, not run marathons – thats his thing. But I’d like to get fitter, cook better, eat cleaner. I want Moose to grow up trying to achieve, knowing how to, having the determination to follow through even when it’s tough.

    So in that vein I am starting today, I will be more determined, I will push harder and I won’t take the easy route just because its easy. 

    He doesn’t and life looks funner because of it.

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    And talking of achieving – Moose rode her pony all the way to preschool this morning. 2km, 30 mins and not a wobble. No saddle, with her bike helmet on. Loved every second. Thats my girl!

    Wonderful craft cafe, bliss

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    Evening swing time with the family
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    Mothers day
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    Because, seriously, why do you need a dress?
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    The autumn weather has been lovely, the seasonal change is welcomed. Morning light floods into the open plan kitchen/dining/living area making mornings bright and light and cheerful. It warms the house and our moods. 

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    Yup – that’s frost on the grass! (and hot tape for the pony, marking the beginning of using the big lawn as a winter paddock)

    Unfortunately the change in season has bought a new challange. Little moose has become suddenly, but totally, afraid of the dark. It’s very real and has brought out the timid side that we don’t see that often. She has been wanting the light on at night for a little while, on and off, but happily accepting ‘no’. But the last week she’s been able to really tell us, she’s not happy. The darkness worries her. To the point of not going into the kitchen if the lights are off, or down the (very short) hallway to her lit up bedroom.

    It breaks my heart to see her hurriedly close the curtains as dusk falls, to peer out and say ‘no see the moon, moon not coming’. She hovers in the light, staying away from the dark edges. Even trips out in the twilight make her jumpy and concerned.

    So today (after sleeping with her last night for comfort) we went into town after swimming and bought her a lamp, a very low watt bulb and some fabric to cover it and I made her a night light lamp. We are looking into other ways to help her too, but its worked well this evening. Its not my flashes crafting but she liked it.

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    There are a few books we want to get to read to her – but its hard as many feature monster as well – something we don’t want to add to the mix! Its looking like ‘Cant you sleep, little bear’ and ‘The owl who didn’t like the dark’ will be winging there way to our house soon, as well as a higher power bill as we make sure that we keep lights on and the dark pushed outside.

    We had a lovely, dry warm weekend, not a lot of house chores done but some fantastic family time and Moose really enjoyed having daddy to herself to boss about. Seriously that child can issue orders!

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    She adores her bike and being outside, the evening light was brilliant on saturday so after her nap we headed out for a bike while her daddy went for a run

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    We had a great trip out to Oxford for the farmers market on Sunday, bought fresh produce for the week, chatted to sellers we know and ate homemade sausage in bread while listening to a local girl play the accordion. Moose clapped and wiggled and love it.
    It’s is a great little township, lots of heart and soul and great community. Its a fantastic hangout on a market day. The park is really well equipped and on a 22 degree autumn day was magical. We often discuss moving over the river and living there, but somehow the pull of our friends keeps us here.
    Before emigrating and starting our own family we didn’t really understand the pull of being ‘close’ to friends and family, but now, older, possibly wiser, we really cherish those around us.

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