T-7 Days. You know what I’m talking about.

I’m not going to write my usual bitch ‘n moan style post about the school holidays as I’m not feeling it this year.  E and I have had some hard days, but we’ve moved on and had some totally kick-ass days too.  Those days make it all worth it.  Being 10 is hard but I think after a lot of talking and thinking on both sides, Ethan, Dave and I have landed at a good place to kick off Term 1.  One of the most amaze qualities I’m noticing in my big boy at the moment is his ability to completely separate whatever feelings/frustrations he has going on with his Dad and I, and still lavish heaps of love and attention upon his little brother.  Nixon is so lucky to be forever under the wing of such a natural big bro.

Dave is heading to Wellington to work for the next week so the boys and I have some fun activities lined up that we will mix up with low-budget days exploring and beaching.  Aside from the  l o n g  days of solo parenting when Dave’s away, I’m feeling a bit stressy about my running – I won’t be able head out first thing in the morning for 5 days!  I’m such a massive creature of habit that the thought of running at night once mum gets home and it finally cools down kinda fills me with dread.  To say I’m inflexible in my routine is a bit of an understatement!  This weather has made for such a stunning January it’s been easy to maintain my little goal of saying ‘yes’ and milking summer for all it’s worth.  The flip side of this {of course there is always a flip side right?} is that my blogging motivation is lacking, but I’m definitely not beating myself up over that.  It’s not the season for me to write, but I have been working on some exciting plans and partnerships for the months ahead, things are ticking along at The Best Nest and I’m so excited about 2015!  

That’s all, go forth and may your Sunday be maxxed out with awesomeness!

Mummy Blog NZ New Zealand

 

 

 

Christmas Post #2: The decorating. It is done.

Oh the weather outside is frightful,

But the fire is so delightful….

It has now been raining for about 3 days and I’m not quite sick of it yet as I’m pretty sure I can see my veges growing from where I sit.  Yus.

BACK TO CHRISTMAS!

Ethan had the day off school today so we shopped and made like festive shopping-type-elves and it was so much fun.  He picked out a little tree for his room and picked out all of the decorations himself.  I held my tongue as he threw the MOST garish, tinny, gold and red Santa’s in his basket.  I looked the other way as he complemented them with a whole box of ugly, cheap ‘n’ nasty ornaments and I applauded his fine taste and good eye when found a pair of jandals and his red star for the top.  He was so happy and proud of himself.  He really pulled the whole thing together when he remembered his flashing dolphin Christmas lights and added those to the mix.  His tree looks awesome!

Ethan decorates HIS tree

Ethan decorates HIS tree 2

Ethan decorates HIS tree 3

Ethan decorates HIS tree 4

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So we finished that project right as Dave arrived home which was too perfect as Ethan had asked me ten bazillion times when was Daddy coming home, so we moved on to stage 2  – The Big Fake Tree.  Ethan and I decorated while Dave hung Christmas lights.

Ethan decorates the Big Fake Tree

Ethan decorates the Big Fake Tree 2

We finished up this arvo with the building of the Gingerbread House (so shoot me I BOUGHT the pack, it’s not homemade yadda yadda.  It smells divine anyway) and then an awesome Christmas roast chicken, potatoes, broccoli and corn.  Such a great afternoon!

Gingerbread House 1

Gingerbread House 2

Louie was NOT missing out on the festivities!

Gingerbread House 3

Gingerbread House 5

The Second to Last Day

Jobs are for suckers and I feel like this job of mine has got in the way during these first holidays since I have been employed and also the LAST holidays with Ethan as a pre-schooler.  He has had a great time though, he has enjoyed sleepovers at his Nana’s, playdates, a birthday party, a theatre trip to see Jack & the Beanstalk and I have tried to treat him to a couple of special days this Wednesday and Thursday.

Yesterday we went to the Auckland Fish Market.  Why you ask?  Ethan is obsessed with fish, has been since he was 18 months old, it NEVER gets old for him.  Looking at dead fish on ice is just about the most amazing thing he could ever do, especially as you can even TOUCH THEM if you so desire, ‘go ahead’ I say, ‘no-ones going to care just don’t drop them because we can’t afford to pay for that ‘spensive snapper you’re fondling over there’.

After the excitement of the octopus post-mortem and the live eel tank we headed to the Auckland Museum for The Dangerous Museum for Boys and The Daring Museum for Girls activity hunt.  E is now the perfect age for this sort of activity, it was so much fun working our way through the activity book, finding the 6 most dangerous bugs in the museum, identifying the weapons and cracking the secret codes. 

Today, I thought about what he would desperately LOVE to do, checked the tides, made some dough balls and we went fishing.  Or more accurately, we went casting, or went and dropped our line, or we practised what we should do in case we were faced with the possibility of catching fish.  Ethan didn’t care that he had nothing to show for three hours of little boy bliss, casting again and again, re-baiting his hook lovingly with the balls of dough he helped me roll out and narrating the whole experience with the skill and verbose lexicon of a well practised fisho.

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Dough Ball Recipe

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Look at those things!  I would totally want to eat them up if I were a fish!  Best dough ball recipe yet and the nice thing was their texture, they stayed on the hook beautifully and weren’t sticky.

2 c. boiling water
1 c. white flour
1 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. sugar

Then flavoring is optional: vanilla for carp, rum for catfish, Velveeta cheese for trout, yeah I skipped the flavouring because at best we were hoping for a sprat!

Sourced from www.cooks.com

After I was totally cold and out of Coke Zero we headed home for a quick lunch before we went to the movies and saw UP.

Seriously, this is THE BEST animated film I have ever seen.  It was hilarious and every character was so real and endearing.  Amazing, amazing, amazing.  Ethan loved it, I have never seen him so totally on par with a movie, he laughed throughout the whole thing, asked questions and talked about what was going on, it was well worth the $22.   5/5

Tales from The Bush

From me:

Where are you travelling wilbury?  I am starting to worry.  Please send an american spirit smoke signal this way so I know you are still with us.  Miss you, it has been sunny and warm since you left but supposed to start raining again tonight.  Let me know if you need some ideas about where to go next.  Love you, drive safe.

From Bush:

Hey there NIGATHA!!  I’m alive and doing great.  Stayed in a cool mom&pop camp site and they were so sweet.  so far, i’ve only seen about 7 other campers.   I was the only one of two peeps camping with mom&pop last night…so cool.  They gave me a shovel and told me to go dig a hole in the beach, so i did and then I sat in that pool for at least 2 hours.  It was awesome weather and I was cruising around in my new bikini.  the beach was totally desolate and for a long time, i was the only one around.  paradise!  I went to a shitty little beach fish village and decided not to camp in the motor lodge there…seeing as how my camper was nicer than any house there.  So, now I’m in Waitoma having a beer while using interweb cafe. Im setting camp just up the road, at a place called Juno’s-right across the street from black water rafting.  I signed up for the 3pm run and so that’s where I’ll be tomorrow.  I prob wont’ get back to you until Sat. afternoon.  After rafting, I’m heading to Rotorua, don’t know if I spelled that right.  But there, I’m going to play in mineral mud and see Maori villagers and shit.  super sick time!  I love the camper and it does a great job.  You wouldn’t believe the miles and miles of desolate, crappy, rocky, roads I’ve been treking through.  Today, I’ met a farmer (cause I got lost in a town with about 3 roads).  he was working on his fence and gave me directions.  He looked like Paul Newman so I told him so.  He thanked me and told me directions out of town, but somehow I ended up at his farm again.  “Hi Mr. Newman…don’t know how I managed to get back here again”.  Ha ha ha!1  my random left hand turning at work again.  I have to type fast, cuaz this cost $$.  So many huge birds of prey eating roadkill.  I came across this one who just stared like I was trying to get its dead meat.  I was driving about 30 ks, he took off RIGHT next to my passenger window going same speed as me.  I thought he was going to come in the truck!  He was looking straight at me!!  Kinda scarey.  Today, found Land Bridge, right before dark.  So, naturally, i Pull off the road and checked it out.  It was SO rad and spooky, but I had my good vibe and didn’t feel scared about it.  I just keep running into families doing same jaunts as me.  It’s not even season for theives!  Well, will try to get back to you tomorrow with more exciting news. 
 
How are you feeling?  I hope you are better now with antibiotics.  Tell Ethan I love him and that my “walkabout” is just great.  I’m gonna owe a lot in those road mileage fees.
LOVE YOU…
From me:
So, you should cruise by Taupo and stay with Uncle Andy.  He is a single Dad who’s roomate is a male stripper.  Could be good times!  He is crazy – a photographer at a sky dive company. 
Thanks for checking in, you know I was worrying.  Have a ball, come back when you are ready, s’all good xxxx
From Bush:
well, i never spent the night with a male stripper.
Hey Nigs….sucks that ya’ll are sick.  I’m gonna stay here 2 nights then.  Tomorrow, gonna check the therm stuff here at rotorua, then getting massage if I can afford it, at Hell’s gate.  I will hopefully whitewater raft too.  I loved the caves!  super wicked, mate!  The glow worms are so cool!  Looks like consellations on the cave ceiling.   I froze my butt off!  Thank goodness I already have gloves, booties, cap, etc.  I was warmer than most.  I wished it had been a bit more….LESS guides…like my crazy rafting  trip in the jungles of Costa w no guide or clue of what was ahead.  At least there’s nothing that can kill you here…snakes, serial killers, big cats.   Except, I’m thinking about telling people I’m Canadian.  Aside from the chick at Dave’s work, I  haven’t met another yank. kinda cool, actually.
 
I may call Andy up tomorrow and see what’s happening.  may stay there tomorrow.  will plan to take off with ya’ll towards end of week.  let me know your details as you get them.  I will plan around you.  thinking bout extending trip and going off to surf queensland, aus.  I think there’s some good tickets out there, just gotta check and see how much.  I’m having myself a fucking honeymoon…someone asked if I was lonely or bored, no way dude.  I’m so stoked, having Bush adventures and drinking about a bottle of wine each night with heaps of brie…it’s on sale everywhere.  I’m staying at the 10ten holiday park in rotorua.  pulled into town exactly on schedule…if I even really had one of those.  I just keep telling myself, “aren’t you enjoying yourself, princess?”…”are you ready to go yet, princess, or do you want to stay a little while longer, princess?” …do you want to wash those dishes princess, or do you just want them to sit until your next meal?…YES, let the damn things sit cause I’m on my fucking honeymoon, PRINCESS!”  I love travelling alone, I get to do exactly what I want to do, whenever I want to do it…really neat.
 
LOVE YOU!

The long way home

Our drive back home from Whatawhiwhi took us 13hrs, but we had a great day.  Ethan was so tired he fell asleep in the car – which he never does!

First stop, the awesome Coopers Beach.  We had only been driving 35 minutes but we already missed the beach!

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Next we stopped in Kaeo for lunch and then headed to inner Northland for a quick visit with Aunty Florie and Uncle Stuart in Okaihau. Pics below are from Opononi – check out the huge sand dunes in the distance;

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This is one of my most favourite pics ever!

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The giant kauri forest was amazing, it was so worth the stop.  The size of these trees just blows your mind, you try and spot them before you get to them but the forest is so dense they just appear right in front of you.

Map picture

Camp Life

The Top Ten Holiday Park and camp ground where we stayed was awesome, so much better than the camp in Paihia.  One of the great services they offered was daily recycling.  This became one of the best parts of the day for Ethan and our neighbours Bradley and Aaron.  The recycling man Tony was quite happy for the little boys to ride along with him in the back of his truck and ‘help’ with the daily rubbish and recycling collection.  This is pretty much the most boyish activity I can even imagine.  Digging around for others discarded treasures, climbing off and on the truck, getting filthy and hanging out with a guy that seemed to love their company.  They would be gone for almost an hour each morning and were paid for their time and assistance with fresh watermelon.  Ethan thought he was in heaven!

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Hottest day ever, since I have been alive at least

So I finished summer school today on the hottest day ever, wait for it……34.2 degrees Celsius…….wait for the conversion…..93.56F and 77% humidity.  That’s Florida weather!  Lucky for me (I guess) my exam room was air conditioned and I wrote up a storm.  Four essays in three hours and I went in feeling underprepared but came out thinking I nailed it.  This will be my last summer school ever!!!  I hope!!!

Anywho, here’s is a nice piece of writing, an email from the lovely Tara detailing what she misses about New Zealand;

Here’s a list of the top 10 things that I am missing about NZ:
1) The Jacks (of course!!!!, that was an obvious one)……oh yeah, and that photography paparazzi that comes with the jacks
2) the warm weather- i know it’s winter here, but come on…..does it have to rain EVERY day?
3) the beaches- i know i live right by the beach but seriously, nothing compared to NZ beaches
4) Louie- hope that he is over his depression and that his tail is high in the air
5) Mrs Balls sweet chilli sauce…….ahhh how i miss the burn on my lips
6) SNAPPER- what can i say, i love it fried, baked, grilled, taco style
7) the food selection- went grocery shopping last night and even the grocery store is more boring in America……seems like there were so many more yummy choices in NZ. going to trader Joes today in hopes of finding good curry
8) my tan :)  good thing that everyone is so pale here (being winter and all) cuz my tan is fading……or in my case flaking off
9) waking up with Ethan staring into my face, waiting patiently for me to wake up so that we can play sharks
10) having the time to read…….last time i read was on the plane ride home :(  by they way, kate winslet won an award last night for her leading role in the reader…..now i might have to see it, although nothing will be as good as rush hour 3!!!  (private xtreme camping joke).

Isn’t that the coolest list ever, we love you too Tara xxxx

90 Mile Beach

The one slightly dodgy day on our holiday was the perfect day to head west to The Big Beach.  Ethan was all about the tua tua’s and was positive he would love them – he didn’t.  Luckily we ‘tagged and released’ most of them and Dave ate the rest for tea.  Tara really got amongst the shellfish gathering and perfected her toes in the sand stance rather quickly!

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Could there be anything more quintessentially Kiwi?  A Hangi….in a pie.  Magic.