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We Have Arrived

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What a whirlwind few weeks we have had here! It’s now Monday morning, and I have just seen Mr T off on his first day at his new job. I’m so proud of him, he has worked hard for this and truly earned his right to be here! As BoyChild and I stood at the door and waved him off with the towering, snow capped mountains in the background, it just felt surreal.

This is our life now? We live here? For good, for real? When did that happen??

We flew down here last Thursday – we had a couple of friends come and see us off at the airport, I cried (like I knew I would) and Princess asked her little buddies, “are you coming with us?” – and seemed pretty surprised when they said that sadly, no, they weren’t coming with us.

The flight down was relatively painless, until BabyGirl was told to sit in her seat, leaving her tray table and window shade up. No, she said. Go away, she said to the (very lovely and patient) flight attendant. She was having too much fun going from seat to seat, to sit down! After a very loud tussle, I got her into her extension belt (attached to mine because she is was just a little bit too little to sit by herself). She screamed and screamed and I sunk into my seat in embarrassment – when that kid screams, she screams. She was calling for Daddy who was sitting on the other side of the aisle, so after some very quick eye-conversation and hand gestures, I quickly un-did her from my belt and threw her across the aisle to her dad, who, just as quickly, had her buckled into his seat. There, easy.

Ha!

“I WANT MUMMA!!!! MUMMMA!!!!!! MUUUUUUM!!!!!”

Sigh. Because by now we were well into our descent, we couldn’t do another shifty change around. Naturally, Princess started to cry for me too. What a picture it must have been – me, sitting completely alone in three seats, while Mr T wrestled two crying (nay, screaming) girls and a happy little guy (full ups to BoyChild who just loved the flight!). After lots of shhhhhh’s and whispers of “you’re ok … mummy loves you … hi over there!” we were nearly ready to land.

So, of course, we took off again. Yup. The pilots had a missed approach, and off we were again, up, up into the sky. The girls were thrilled, I’m sure you can imagine. And, I bet, so was every other passenger on that plane, no doubt cursing the parents of that loud, screaming child who just would. not. let. up.

Because we were no longer descending, Mr T and I did another quick eye-conversation, and just like that, BabyGirl was back on my lap again. It was like a freakin switch got turned off. Not only did she stop crying, she fell asleep. Out cold. Just like that. Sigh. And, interestingly, she slept through getting off the plane, being held at luggage collection, being put into the pram, being put into her car seat, being put into the pram so we could get lunch, being put into her car seat once more, and arriving at our temporary accommodation after a long drive around town. Guess it’s sleepy business, crying like that.

And just like that, we have arrived.

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On Day Two we had to find a doctor because Princess developed strep throat. On Day Four BoyChild got a vomiting bug – just what we need when staying in fancy temporary accommodation.

And now today. Day Five. Mr T has gone to work. The girls are still asleep. BoyChild is sitting next to me talking to his iPad. And I’m thinking about the reality that is our new lives. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating seeing those looming mountains outside our door and realising that this is our new home. It’s frightening making a new start, and it’s sad remembering all of our friends going about their everyday lives back home, without us there.

But that’s all ok. Because this morning I saw my husband off for his new job. And I couldn’t have been prouder. This would be significantly worse if I wasn’t sharing all of these experiences alongside my best friend, and these crazy three little minions who seem to tag along with us xx

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The Final Countdown

And here we are, with less than a week until the Big Move.

I’m sorry, but I think I’ve inadvertently fallen into a time travel situation? Because I swear the last 6 weeks has gone by in two days.

The reality of moving away from the life we know and love, and on to a new adventure, has really hit me in the last few days. And, I think it has hit Princess as well. She seems to fluctuate between super excited, devastatingly sad, and hyperactively silly, about a million times each day.

There have been tears already – today we opened our home up to any friends who wanted to spend time with us before we go, and from 11am until just now (nearly 10pm) we had a constant stream of people coming in and out. It was amazing, it was exhausting, and it was sad.

Two of the hardest people to say goodbye to today were my Mum and Step Dad. They live 4 hours away from here, but we see them at least once every two months. It was hard today, saying goodbye to them knowing that the next time we see them will probably be after xmas. I was doing ok with my tears until Princess started crying and crying. She set me off, and we just stood there crying as BabyGirl happily waved, “BYE GRANDMA! BYE GRANDAD! SEE YOU CHRISTMASSSSS”.

Mr T cleared out our shed today, and had the nerve to call me a hoarder. I mean, honestly. I am not a hoarder. I am a Collector of Important Things and Memories, thankyouverymuch.

We have hired a giant skip bin, and we seem to be having a skip bin battle. He puts things in, I take them out. He tried to throw away my old airline uniform that I have lovingly kept for ten years. He said it was junk! Um, hello? I said it was worth a lot of money, not to mention the memories. He said he looked forward to retiring on it. I politely informed him that I did not appreciate his sarcasm.

And so here we are. Tomorrow we are holding Princess’s 6th Birthday party. It’s two weeks early, but this way she gets to enjoy it with her friends. We have argued all day about whether or not she is actually turning six tomorrow. You’d think I, of all people, would know what day she was born, given that I was there, doing most of the work.

Monday, the packers come to pack our stuff. I plan to hover.

Tuesday, the movers come to take our stuff.

Wednesday we clean.

Thursday, we fly out. On our big adventure. The Big Move.

It doesn’t feel real, but it’s leaning that way. And, truth be told, I’m actually leaning towards excitement myself.

Am I ready? No. But I will be. They never said this adult business was easy, right?

Right?

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The Fantastic T Family Is On The Move

I’ve been quiet on here these past few weeks, because changes are a-foot in the Fantastic T household.

Mr T, dear husband, has received a promotion at work that will see us up-and-off, moving from windy, cold Wellington to just-absolutely-cold Queenstown! For those of you unfamiliar with New Zealand’s geography, Wellington is at the bottom of the North Island, Queenstown is near the bottom of the South Island. 943.9km away.

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Moving a family that far is a long, drawn out process. So it’s great that husband’s work gave us six weeks notice. Six weeks to uproot and change our entire lives. Not stressful at all, no siree.

Seriously though, this is an amazing opportunity for us all – the kids are at the age where they are so adaptable to change. BoyChild is 6 months from starting school and BabyGirl has yet to start any form of preschool, so the disruption for them is minimal. And husband gets the job he has been working hard towards for nearly ten years.

Princess is nervous and a little bit anxious about the move, but we spend a lot of time talking about all the many fun things we are going to be able to do when we get there. The snow! The skiing! The adventures! She already has a little book for addresses and she is excitedly getting everyone’s details so she can write letters to all her friends.

How about me, then? Well, I won’t lie – I’m scared. I’m excited, and nervous and anxious. I’m happy and I’m so sad I get a pit in my stomach whenever I think about the reality of up and leaving the community that I have spent the last five years building around myself.

People are telling me that I will meet new people, make new friends – and gosh, that is exactly what I am telling Princess! But here’s the thing – I don’t actually feel like I’m ready to say goodbye to the friends I have.

I have written about my friends before, I absolutely freakin love them. When husband and I moved here and had kids, I didn’t know anyone. I met one amazing lady when Princess started kindergarten (her son started the same day) and it was with her that we then met another, and another, and another like minded person, until we had formed a tight knit group. We are all mothers, we all work part time, and we spend a lot of time together. Our kids are best friends. Our husbands are great friends. And I am going to have to say goodbye to them in two weeks. I’m not ready.

I know I will see them again, and with the wonders of social media I will talk to them most days online. But it will be four months before I see them again. Kids grow a lot, will BabyGirl even remember that she has an inseparable friendship with her little friend?

Friends are hard to make when you are an adult. I learned a long time ago to treasure those that come along, because amazing friends are rare. I know that my friends here know that I treasure them. I spend my days trying to be strong for the kids, for the husband, excited for this wonderful new chapter in our lives. But I am scared of saying “see you sometime soon” to these ladies who share my life with me.

I will miss the night time trips to the supermarket together, “just to get out of the house”, I will miss the random drop ins because they were passing and saw my car in the drive, I will miss the pot luck dinners, the coffee trips. I will miss the laughs-until-our-tummies-hurt-and-we-pee-a-little-and-laugh-some-more.

I’m sure in six months, a year, I will look back and laugh at how concerned I was about the move. I will visit here and things will be just like they always were. But still. I’m scared. And sad.

We leave in 17 days. I am cramming as much into these days as I can. Day or night, I’m opening myself up to see as many people as I can. And relishing days like today, where I got to spend the day with three friends and their kids. And got to cuddle my amazing friend’s 4 week old baby, sad that she will grow so much in between visits.

That’s the thing with being an adult – sometimes you have to make decisions that are best for those around you, and take steps that scare you. It’s all what makes us who we are.

Doesn’t mean I have to do it with dry eyes.

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#lovewins

My children are lucky to be growing up in this generation. Not only do they have endless amounts of opportunities and technological advances at their fingertips, they have been witness to a major shift in the mindsets of many, many people all over the world.

I’ve never questioned why some men love men, and some women love women. I guess I was lucky to have been raised by very open-minded parents. However, I still grew up in a society where it was not okay to be openly gay. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the shift in people, watching the acceptance of all people LGBT grow.

My “other” job is a Wedding Celebrant. I show my kids photos from all of the weddings I conduct, and they love looking at the different outfits, the different flower arrangements, the varying locations and venues. Every wedding is beautiful, unique and special. Not once have the kids questioned or mentioned the gender of the couples I am marrying, except one lesbian wedding, where Princess exclaimed how amazing it was that they both wore beautiful dresses.

Recently Princess had a friend over, and I overheard a conversation between them. I shamelessly eavesdropped while Princess explained to her friend, that “sometimes men marry men, and sometimes men marry ladies, and sometimes ladies marry ladies, and sometimes ladies marry men .. and sometimes ladies and men don’t get married at all”.

I blushed with pride.

Proud that my three kids are being raised in a society where having a man marry another man, is as normal, as a man marrying a woman, and so forth.

Proud that my three kids have had, in their lifetime, such a massive change in laws the world over, that recognises and acknowledges that a marriage is between two people who love each other, regardless of gender.

Today the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of Marriage Equality in all 50 States in America. This is exciting and groundbreaking, despite New Zealand having legalised same sex marriage two years ago. Because it’s another country. Another load of people who can marry because of love.

Australia, I hope you are watching closely!

Because, with changes like these, we are teaching our children more about equality, more about acceptance, and more about people.

At the end of the day, #lovewins

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When There Is Not Enough Mum To Go Around

My kids are sick. All three of them, with varying levels of cough/cold/runny nose/fever/general grouchiness.

I would love to sit here and say that I am the kind of mum who nurtures her kids when they are sick, drops everything to bow to their every whim. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I care about my kids. I feel sad when they are sick. There is nothing worse than the vulnerability that comes when kids are unwell. They just seem so small when they aren’t feeling well. My heart breaks for them, and I do everything I can to make them feel better.

Initially.

But then the next phase kicks in. The second, third day of a cold. When they are grouchy for lack of sleep, still feeling generally yukky, and just plain miserable. This phase, I do not like. This phase, I am not a very good mother at.

Today was a perfect example of this. Princess has had a cough for the past week. It’s generally ok, except it keeps her up at night. BoyChild is the worst hit by this nasty cold – fever, and no voice. I won’t lie, I giggled a little when he was talking to me this morning. So squeaky! And BabyGirl is coughing and her nose is runny like a tap. When she sneezes, take cover.

I also don’t feel 100%, my voice sounds like a boy going through puberty, and Mr T has ManFlu to boot. Awesome day in the T household.

One sick kid is oversensitive and grumpy. Three sick kids are oversensitive, grumpy and, well, just plain mean to each other. There was so much fighting and crying and bickering today, I hid from my kids. Literally. I lay on the floor on the other side of my bed and waited until they left the room before climbing back into the bed. I just … I didn’t feel like parenting at the exact moment. Don’t worry – Mr T was home, so they weren’t entirely unsupervised. Because I wouldn’t do that. No, siree, bob. I’m lying, btw.

The biggest issue today was the Mummy Hugs (or, Mummy Duddles, as BabyGirl calls them). Princess was a bit sensitive and wanted a cuddle. BoyChild was sad because something happened (not entirely sure what) and wanted a cuddle. BabyGirl saw the others wanting cuddles, and wanted a Duddle.

Exclusively.

I have two arms, two legs. One torso. I can’t physically cuddle three kids. Especially not without them touching each other. And so begins the squabbles. The scratching, the crying, the screaming. And I end up in the crossfire. There IS NOT ENOUGH MUMMY TO GO AROUND. They didn’t want Daddy, they didn’t want the iPad, the computer, the TV. They wanted MUMMY.

And so I did what any reasonable mother would do in this situation. I peeled them off me like a wetsuit, placed them delicately on the floor, ignored their howls of protest, and hid once more. They found me, of course. They always do. Sigh. I need a bigger house. And more limbs.

Thankfully tomorrow is Monday. Normal people dread Mondays. I look forward to them, because Mondays mean school. Preschool. Freedom.

I love my kids, I really do. But some days, even this mum has to hide occasionally. My only regret was not having chocolate stored down the side of the bed. Must work on that.

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12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Five! BoyChild, Take Two

We last did this back in January, so I thought it might be fun to do it again.

Princess doesn’t find it as much “fun” as she used to, it was almost as though the weight of the questions overwhelms her. Poor kid. And BoyChild absolutely loved it – initially I thought he was just spouting random words and sentences but upon reading over it again, I realise he was answering the questions pretty well! Despite the fact he was also playing with Lego at the time and battling his dear little sister who was determined to steal it from him.

An so, here it is (once again, previous answers in brackets)

12 Questions About Life – by Princess, 5 years, 10 months

1. What is the meaning of life? That’s too hard

(Astronauts)

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher

(Doctor or Teacher)

3. What makes you most happy? When I laugh

(Mummy)

4. When do you feel most loved? When Mummy cuddles me

(With Daddy)

5. What are you afraid of? When my teacher dressed up like a ghost at Halloween and scared me. I screamed.

(The dark)

6. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? Another American Girl Doll.

(Another American Girl Doll. If you wish on a star it really does come true)

7. What is the funniest word? Tickle bum. No – shake your booooooteeeeee.

(Lila)

8. What is the easiest thing to do? Make loom band bracelets

(Put the DVD into the DVD player)

9. What is the hardest thing to do? Clip the ‘S’ clip onto the loom band bracelet at the end

(Paint my nails)

10. What makes you mad? BabyGirl hitting me

(Stomping)

11. What is the meaning of love? Going to school. Because I love my teacher.

(Stars. It truly is)

12. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? Buy a Lego Friends Shopping Mall

(Buy an Elsa doll).

12 Questions About Life – BoyChild, 4 years, 4 months

1. What is the meaning of life? What’s that mean?

(Elevators)

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? A cat

(Cool kid)

3. What makes you most happy? Counting

(People)

4. When do you feel most loved? With Dad. No, Mum.

(Stars)

5. What are you afraid of? Shaun the Sheep Movie

(No.)

6. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? Fish

(No thanks)

7. What is the funniest word? BING!

(Funny)

8. What is the easiest thing to do? Lego

(Open doors)

9. What is the hardest thing to do? Play Bingo

(Going backwards)

10. What makes you mad? Squares. BABYGIRL TOOK MY LEGO ARGH!

(Doing poos)

11. What is the meaning of love? SHE TOOK MY LEGO!

(Cool)

12. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? Get a Paw Patrol Garage

(Buy lemonade)

http://havekidstheysaid.com/category/12-questions-about-life/

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Today, I Got To Be Me

Here I am, at 10pm, sitting with a warm feeling in my heart. I have an overwhelming urge to acknowledge all of the wonderful people in my life. I want to thank each and every friend who has made an impact on my life. I want to hug and kiss my husband and kids. I feel like crying, I’m so overwhelmed.

No, I’m not drunk. Even Mr T asked me if I’d snuck a sneaky cider.

No. I’m just really, really happy.

Today, I got to be me.

I got a rare chance to be Mrs T. Not Princess’s Mum. Not BoyChild’s Mum. Not BabyGirl’s Mum. I got to be me.

And it was amazing.

This morning I got up after a rotten sleep (thanks to Princess thinking 4am was a good time to get up and listen to YouTube videos on full volume. Plot twist. It’s not.) and got dressed, and showered. Then my good friend came over and we went out together. Just her and I. No kids. We went to the mall and met up with two other friends and had a kid free coffee. One friend actually brought her son along, but that was 100% ok, because he wasn’t my kid. I even happily carried him around. Because I’m not his mum.

After our coffee we had a look in some shops. And then, still only mid morning, we went home.

After doing some housework at home and playing with the younger kids, I got dressed up to go to work. Due to the nature of my job, work doesn’t come along much in the Autumn/Winter seasons, so today was a rare change. I put on my nice dress, did my hair and makeup, kissed my kids and husband goodbye, and went out.

I had an hour to kill once I’d finished work, so I went shopping. By myself. I took my time. I walked slowly. Granted, I was buying a gift for a birthday party we are going to on Sunday, but still.

At 5pm, I was in the city, waiting for a good friend to finish work. We went to a bar together, to have a drink and catch up, as it has been months since we last met up. We drank (her – bourbon, me – lemonade), we talked, we laughed and we just enjoyed each others company.

Becoming aware of the time, I reluctantly excused myself, hugged my friend goodbye and made my way home. During the 45 minute drive home, I thought a lot about my life. And I sung loudly to songs from the 90s.

When I got home, I came inside to a warm house, fire crackling. The kids had been bathed and were ready for bed. They were playing and reading stories with their dad. I walked in and they yelled, “yay! Mum’s home!”.

Now, all three kids are long asleep and I can’t shake this funny feeling in my tummy.

The feeling that, despite my complaining and whining and “you think my kids are cute? would you like them?” – I am very, very lucky to be in the life that I am. I have an amazing husband and my kids are pretty darn neat too. I have wonderful friends who are worth more than their weight in gold.

Isn’t it funny? It took one day of being me for me to realise how much I love being Mum as well. And it’s not a bad gig, all things considered.

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