EZRA’S DINOSAUR BASH

We had a very simple little party for Ezra this morning, full of dinosaur goodness just as he requested. I was slightly worried that the three mates we’d invited would make the party feel a bit twee, but I couldn’t have been more wrong – once the boys and their families arrived we had more than a houseful and it was just perfect. Ezra was right at home in the chaos and noise!

It would have been easy to put this party off until next year for his big fifth (hold me, how is that only a YEAR AWAY?!) but I’m so glad we didn’t. The joy he had at sharing a morning just for him with his little friends, with plenty of cake and balloons and dressups, was such a reward for us. It really is a testament to how well he has coped with such a huge transition to life here in Wellington, and how great he is at choosing friends with awesome families to boot!

Happy birthday Ezra James Gray. We love you so much!

 

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SICK DAYS

Unfortunately over the last week or so it has felt like we have a revolving door of sickness, one person gets sick, passes it on, then someone else brings home a new bug for us all to enjoy. Typical winter stuff, but it has hit us all hard and we’ve been going a little stir crazy with all the enforced downtime.

I decided to photograph the reality (good and bad) of our sick days, as there have certainly been some really nice moments that have come from slowing down and finding ways to keep three kiddos entertained.

I’m confident two bigs will be back at school tomorrow, and the little will be returning to kindy on Friday, and I’ll be fumigating the house as soon they all leave – I’m not sure my sanity can take a repeat in the very near future, as nice as some of the moments have been!

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EZRA TURNS FOUR

Last week Ezra, our little spitfire, turned four. It seems incredible to me that he’s that big already, but I can’t really remember life without him either – life is certainly louder, more chaotic, messier, and I never get to go to the bathroom in peace, but man, the laughter, smiles, cuddles and warm little body tucked up in bed with us 3 times a week makes it so very worth it.

His big request this year was for a big Lego haul (and a pirate treasure chest from Poppa and Nana Shell, since he has coveted Arlo’s one for the last two and a half years), and everyone delivered in a major way. He has amassed a sizeable collection and is already pulling it to bits and making incredible new creations out of it all – his specialty.

After presents and cards he had a very exciting day with dad, who took him out for lunch and to his weekly gymnastics class. While Martin kept him busy, I surprised the bigs with an early pickup from school and a mystery ride out to the airport to collect an extra special present – Grandy and Uncle Alex, in town for one night only! The kids were so delighted to see them walking through their gate and sprinted for cuddles. Ezra, in typical Ezra fashion, when he arrived home to his surprise visitors, simply smiled and said “Grandy, it’s my birthday!” as if she’d just popped in from across the road.

We all went for a dinner out, where I can report everyone behaved beautifully (praise the Lord, it is never a given thing taking three children anywhere public that they will do as is expected of them). The next morning we picked Grandy and Alex up from their motel and explored Te Papa, showing them all our favourite exhibits ❤ A quiet afternoon at home followed, where we all just enjoyed one another’s company (and Alex was put to work helping with all Ezzy’s Lego) before heading to the airport to drop them off for their flight again.

It all went too quickly, but it was just so lovely to have family around on a special day – not just for Ezra, but for all of us. Thank you to everyone who made Ezra’s day as awesome as it was, your phone calls, cards ands presents were so appreciated, and we can’t wait to see you all in Auckland over the school holidays soon! ❤

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISTER STREET

Martin’s birthday fell on a super busy week for our house, so we decided to throw him a surprise dinner the night before his actual big day. The kids rushed around getting everything ready for when he arrived home, and their excitement was so lovely – a true testament of just how special he is to all of us, and how much they wanted him to enjoy his celebration!

Handmade cards, some cheeky old man pressies (grey trackies just like grandad’s, slippers that he can wear to the shops like he has started to insist on doing, just to name a few items), vege burgers for dinner and an iced banana loaf for dessert. Simple, honest stuff, just like our favourite guy 😉

On his actual birthday he worked from home, so Ezra made sure he got lots of extra cuddles while the bigs were at school, and then we had a movie fundraiser night for Arlo’s Keas Troupe. It was a super fun way to hang out as a family, and do something quite out of the ordinary for a Wednesday night ❤ Happy Birthday Mister Street, you’re pretty hilarious, work really hard for us, love us endlessly and we appreciate all of it. Love you!

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ESCAPING THE SUNDAY GRUMPS + BOTANIC GARDENS

There is something about Sunday’s in our house – somehow, no matter how grand our Saturday is, no matter how well we all sleep or start the day with the best of intentions, Sunday almost always inevitably ends up with feral children and grumpy stressed parents. This particular Sunday it was threatening rain too, which is the trifecta! Instead of staying inside the house and battling it out to the death, we opted to brave the weather and visit the Botanic Gardens for our first time since our move.

Martin and I were a little skeptical that we’d make it up to the playground with everyone’s moods being as dark as they were, but being in the gorgeous surrounds and the fresh air definitely lightened all our spirits and even the littlest Street managed to walk his bike up the sizeable hill to the excellent kids playground.

After lots of runs on the flying fox, some sliding, swinging and a few spins on the rocktopus later, I think we all felt remarkably normal again. We only made it through a tiny part of the park too, so this has been marked for another Feral Sunday in the future to shake the grumps loose – it was an excellent remedy!

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DOWN THE ROAD

In so many ways we lucked out with our little rental – not only is it comfortable and serves our needs as a family of five, but its super central to the local shops, playgrounds and schools (not our kiddo’s school, which is closer to our new build, but an intermediate and college are both within easy walking distance).

We were gifted with a gorgeous warm and sunny winters day a couple of Saturday’s ago, so we pulled the bikes, balls and Dita’s borrowed pair of Heely’s out of the garage and rolled down the hill! We headed to explore the college’s open concrete spaces, perfect for riding and skating and a spot of soccer, and then back to the intermediate’s large confidence course for some swinging and climbing!

It was so nice to be out making the most of the sunshine after a cold couple of weeks, and as you can see in the photos, the kids took no time to shed their layers and bared as much skin as possible to the winter rays!

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SUNRISE AND SUNSET

Since we arrived in Wellington we’ve consistently been amazed with the incredible sunrises and sunsets we’re gifted down here. I’m not sure why they seem so much more vivid than the Auckland ones we remember, but there have been many evenings that we’ve snuck outside to stand in awe and admire the sky.

The other day I wanted to make sure I preserved how much the sunrise and sunset colours our day, so made an extra effort to have my camera handy at the right times of day. I love what resulted.

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RECENT DECENTS

Sometimes I just take photos and they don’t necessarily fit into a single blog post, so here are a few recent images from our daily lives, maybe not adventures as such, but important for me to capture and log them here ❤

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DITA MEETS THE BLACK FERNS

Dita was given the awesome opportunity to watch the Black Ferns train here in Wellington, along with the other girls in her rugby team – despite her deciding that actually playing the game is not for her right now, we are still very much part of the kids club and it has been so wonderful how we were still included in an exciting outing like this. Something that hasn’t changed is D’s enthusiasm for the game, and she was thrilled to see how hard the ladies at the top train – this inspired her immensely, and now Dita is really looking forward to seeing them play against Canada on Friday night!

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PETONE BEACH AND A BITE TO EAT

Ezra and I decided to get out of the house to enjoy the gorgeous winter day we’d been blessed with. We made for Petone foreshore, with an awesome playground and excellent driftwood collection on the beach, its somewhere we’ve stopped in quickly before, but never had a proper chance to explore.

While we were stick hunting a lovely lady and her three dogs came wandering down the beach, and her lovely old chocolate lab, Koda, desperately wanted to befriend Ezra. She said that for most of his life he’d been climbed all over and sat on by the children of Eastbourne, so welcomed Ezra on for a ride! E’s face said it all, he was in dog-lovers heaven ❤

After a play and explore, we popped into a Petone cafe for a coffee and juice, where Ezra regaled me (and the rest of the cafe) with his amazing selection of facial expressions. He was in fine form and had me seriously cracking up.

We’ll definitely be heading back to Petone with Martin and the big kids in tow next time – I know we’ve only just scratched the surface of things to be done and adventures to be had in Lower Hutt!

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