Friday, 27 February 2015

Are they twins?

When Anja was a few months old, I could see that there was a strong resemblance between her and her sister. She was also obviously quite a bit bigger than Lena had been at the same age, so it was pretty obvious that as she got older, they were going to look quite alike. At some point someone was going to say "are they twins?"

Now at nearly five and two and three quarters, there really isn't much between them in height, but I still wasn't really expecting the twins question yet. To me, Anja still has a very 'baby' face, but perhaps that's because I know them so well. Either way, it's started. Twice in the last few weeks someone has asked me if they're twins. They've been really shocked when I've said that there are two years between them.

Are they twins

Of course it doesn't really matter, Lena may look a little younger than five, but she's a precocious young lady in pretty much every other way. As for Anja looking a little older than her nearly 3 years, that doesn't really matter either, and as they get older it will be nice being able to wear each others clothes. I get all the advantages of people thinking that's it's really cute that I've got 'twins' without having to deal with the incredible hard work that having two babies, at the same time, would have been. (Total respect to all of my friends who have had twins themselves; four kids? A walk in the park, two at once? I can't even imagine how hard that would be, especially in the early sleepless nights phase).

I wonder if they will look even more alike as they get older, or less? If they both continue to grow at their current rates, then Anja will over take Lena by this time next year. That might be interesting.....

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Waiting for school

Back in the dim and distant past of my childhood, I started school about a month from my fifth birthday. I was a little older than Lena is now; two months shy of her fifth birthday. In the UK where I grew up, children start school at the beginning of the year before they turn five, in my case, being born in October, that was just before my birthday. Over here in New Zealand, they start on their fifth birthday, which is what Lena will do.

I can see advantages to both ways, if we'd been in the UK, Lena would already be at school and would have started last September. It probably wouldn't bother her to be honest, I'm sure that she'd be quite happy about that, but I can't help but feel that four and a half is just a bit too young. The problem with waiting until you are five to start, as they do over here, is that Lena will be starting school on her own. That in itself isn't so much of a problem, but it does mean that at the moment she is waiting to join her friends at school.

Lena has been keen to start school for quite a while now, she wants to be the same as her big brothers and go to the school that they go to. The last few months though, this desire to start school has grown and grown. It's not just that she want's to go herself, but as it gets closer, more and more of her friends are moving on from playcentre and daycare to start school themselves. We've had tears on quite a few occasions, when friends that she's spent the last two years with, move on to a different school than she will go to, and she won't be seeing them again. She's now the oldest child at playcentre and the oldest at daycare.

Of course for me, the next two months are going to fly by and before I know what's happening, my little girl will be a big school girl. But for Lena, that can't happen soon enough. It only seems five minutes since Mahe was starting, actually, in all honesty, it's only ten minutes since Kai started school, but in two months time I'm going to have three of my four children going to school. I'm not sure quite how that happened.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Moaning about the weather

There are some out there who I'm sure would claim that we Brits enjoy moaning about the weather, actually, if I'm honest there are plenty that would just say we enjoy moaning full stop. (Whinging poms anyone?) But right now, I'm sure that I'm allowed a little moan. We also enjoy talking about the weather, apparently, I think that has more to do with a nervous need to fill silence with small talk than anything. Although perhaps we are just known among ourselves as enjoying talking about the weather. I remember once, when taking a group of German tourists around the brewery that I was tour guide of I cracked a very funny (I thought) joke that referenced the British love of weather and even after it had been translated I was met with confused looks and stony silence. Mind you, sometimes my joke cracking results in that when I'm speaking the same language as my audience.

These last few weeks have been a combination of the most fantastic weather, if anything it's been far far too hot on many days. Including on the day we decided to do our bush walk the other week. Then, on other days, like today and a couple of nights ago, it's been miserable. Today has been nothing but heavy rain, which I can't really complain about, as we need it really. Although I'm not sure that the areas that really need it have had much. A few days ago though, it was freezing, so cold that we had to put the fire on.

In the space of the last week I've moaned that I've been too hot and I've moaned that I'm too cold. There really is no pleasing some people. Of course really we've had it easy. Over in America and even back home to a certain extent, there has been heavy snow and it really has been freezing. In other parts of New Zealand, farmers have been struggling with a lack of rain and there have been a few bad fires as a result of the dry, dry conditions. It could be much worse and has been much worse for a lot of people. Is it too much to ask though, that we might have a bit of 'nice' weather. Not too hot, certainly not too cold. A nice sunny day, with a little breeze maybe, that just stops you from over heating. I suppose I can dream. In the mean time, I'll just have to make the most of the warm weather when it's here, and indulge in the odd ice cream when it all gets too much.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

What I did during the holidays

The children started back at school this week after the summer holidays, for only three days, but they are back now. I thought, being as it was something that our teachers always got us to write the moment we were back in school, a "what I did during the holidays" post might be in order. It doesn't look as though the boys school keeps up this fine (cough) tradition, as they both looked at my blankly when I ask if they'd had to write about what they got up to during the holidays.
Of course the start of the school holidays was Christmas and while it seems strange that the children are already back at school, at the same time, Christmas seems a long while ago. I suppose that we are already into the second month of the New Year.

We didn't actually go away anywhere this year, but at the beginning of last week, we had a bit of an at home holiday, a 'staycation' if you will. Not that we actually stayed at home, Instead we went to some of the places around here that we don't usually get chance to visit. A trip to the albatross centre (although not actually in it, because it costs a fortune) where we saw lots of sea lions, and some albatrosses swooping over head. A day out in Oamaru checking out the second hand stores, having a picnic and visiting the swimming baths there. A visit to the Dunedin salt water pools (which fortunately this time didn't have any sea lions) a bush walk with stunning scenery, but on a rather hot day so that we didn't get to the end, and a trip to inflatable world.

All heaps of fun and now in the tradition of the best school stories, I'll finish off with lots of pictures so that I don't have to write any more.

Picnic time in Oamaru
Picnic time in Oamaru
Sea lions in DunedinWhat I did during the hoildays

Sea lions at the albatross centre

Sea lions showing off

Albatrosses (honestly)
Albatrosses (honestly)
View on our walk
View on our walk
Inflatable worldBouncy

Inflatable world

Climbing the wall