Month one

Girl is four weeks old today. This marks the end of the newborn stage. As lovely as they are, I am glad to reach this mark. She’s starting to sleep longer at night and is closer to showing us some smiles and personality.

I am intrigued at how different she is to Boy. You really can’t compare babies as what they say is so true, they are all different. Girl spits up from time to time, something Boy never did. Once she lost her entire meal in my lap. I have to work harder to burp her so those air bubbles don’t send milk up or give her tummy pains.

I also didn’t realize how much I had forgotten from looking after Boy. It’s like I blocked out huge portions of memory since I was so sleep deprived last time. It’s been better this time since we are closer to family and they are happy to help but it’s still very hard.

Boy loves his sister. I’m happy he’s accepted her right away.

She really is quite a good baby. Sleeps well once asleep. She doesn’t cry a horrible amount. But, she does get bored quickly if you’re not walking or moving around with her.

We are doing well, taking one day at a time.


Baby Girl

We are proud to announce the arrival of our baby Girl! I went into labour at 3:30 am, Friday, 3 Nov. Girl was born at 8:10 am. 8 lb. 12 oz. She’s very healthy and beautiful. Looks very much like Boy did when he was born. I thankfully only tore a tiny bit this time and didn’t even need stitches. I’m back at home now and we are all doing well. Boy loves to hug his baby. What an exciting time of life.

We headed south mid August to visit some friends and family for about two weeks. Boy got to meet his second cousin and spend a couple days with him which was really neat. These boys are 5 months apart in age and I’m hoping they can grow up as friends. What is also cool is that his mum is having a baby girl a month or two after me, So when we go visit, our kids will have a same gendered playmate. Darren grew up knowing his cousins from their yearly trips down south and I hope we can keep that alive in this next generation.

We were kept quite busy while around Christchurch and then headed north to the Golden Bay for a week. Darren did some fishing with his uncle and cousin. He caught a shark we threw back and a couple flounder. Boy and I had some fun outside near the sea. I finished a sweater for Boy while there. I think it turned out well, but it won’t fit him very long. It’s also made from wool thats kind of hard to take care of…. Not sure I’ll do that again.

We also checked out a local Salmon fishery and caught four Salmon that we got filleted and some smoked. We’ve been enjoying it from our freezer occasionally now. Boy was a bit unsure of the flopping fish at first. He did quite like the goats wandering around though.

When we returned home we had a week free which Darren used to inatall seatbelts into our bus. Then we took our maiden voyage in it up to Rotorua for Darren’s Nana’s 90th birthday. It’s nowhere near finished but it was great to get to use it for the long weekend. Boy and I went mini golfing while the others went louging. The louge is like a gocart you ride down a hill made into a track. They didn’t let pregnant people do it, so we found our own fun. There were tame rabbits running around the golf course which was pretty cool. Since Boy was under two at the time, the lady let us go for free.

On the way home we got a flat tyre. Boy enjoyed helping daddy fix it.

Then, Boy turned two! We bought him a balance bike. He’s tried it a few times, but I think he’ll need some time to grow more confident to get zooming around on it. We asked him if he wanted to go sit on his bike and he literally went and sat on it. Haha…

We are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby girl. She is due Nov 1 which is in 24 day. I wouldn’t mind if she showed up early as I’m quite fed up feeling pregnant at this point. But, better that she comes when she’s ready.

A New Decade

Today starts the beginning of my thirties. I’ve been reflecting a bit about that notion. People tend to make a big deal about decade birthdays for some reason. When I think back to being twenty, I recall that I did have some expectations for what the next ten years would hold; things that I had hoped would happen in my life, and things I hoped I would do.

Quite a lot of things have happened how I would have hoped, some things happened that I wish didn’t, and a whole lot happened, that I didn’t expect at all. All three of these have changed me and I marvel at how a person can remain the same at their core and yet be so different at the same time. It’s a thing called growth, and a thing called metamorphosis. It gives me a huge appreciation for people considered ‘old’, and for the wisdom and secrets hidden in their stories.

The twenties have been great! They were full of opportunity, experience, beauty, challenge and discovery. I expect the thirties and beyond to offer similar things but in a more constant, flowing way. And I somehow expect them to pass by more quickly, for the days are long, but the years are short as they say… And now being settled into a marriage, motherhood, and a place to call home, days tend to roll on by in their sameness.

It’s this that gives me a motivation to try and make each day count for what it’s worth, make each moment special and appreciated. I want to focus on holding on to being creative, and find time to fit this in each day, and to focus on connecting to God each day, even if only in a small way, despite being busy or fatigued by the trials that life brings. I would also like to do less that has no purpose but to fill time.

If I could keep anything from my twenties that will fade with time, it would be my energy and health, and probably my teeth; if I could only keep one thing that I gained in my person, it would probably be the growth in confidence in who God made me and the talents He’s given.

I am blown away at how blessed I have been. I am beyond thankful.

Today, Darren is busy working, so yesterday we had breakfast together, and went out looking for wildflowers for my kitchen bench. This post’s photos show what we did and found.

We’ve been living in a bus for roughly 6 month now. This past weekend we stayed at a friend’s house while they are on holiday. They needed someone to keep the cat company. They have a lovely, beautiful house which is very spacious with 4 bedrooms for just the two of them except when their two grown kids come home. But we found that we both had a strange sensation while there since we are used to much smaller quarters. 

We found it felt a bit like staying in a hotel. It was a lot of work cleaning up after our stay and the walking back and forth really wore me out. In the bus, all I really have to do is turn around a few times and I’ve put everything away. We also found it to be a cold house. With so much space to heat up, it took a lot longer. It made me think of the costs of upkeeping a place like that all the time. 

I really appreciate our choice to live in a small house, i.e. bus, at least for now. It’s allowed us to plan and spend more time together. I talked with the owners about my feelings and they agreed, since they had a bus for a year or so when their children were young. They have a big house now, because they want the luxury of having an open door policy so that anyone can come visit at a moments notice. 

We were happy to return home. 

Fish and Chips

Fish and chips are a thing that began in Great Britian I think, which is why it’s a thing here in New Zealand. There are fish and chip shops all over the place. It’s a very popular, easy meal and Kiwis everywhere love it. 

What is it? Its battered fish with a ‘scoop’ of chips, or rather french fries as they are commonly known in America. A scoop is usually a nice serving of say the size of both hands cupped together. This is served wrapped in paper ready to take away and eat elsewhere. 

It’s very common for Kiwis to have fish and chips at a park on a nice day, and its also very common to see sandwiches made from this between white bread and tomato sauce or ‘ketchup’.

Today we had fish and chips at a park for tea, or ‘dinner’, our last meal of the day. Darren was asking me if there was anything iconic in America that compared to this. All I could think of was eating pizza. Maybe I’ve forgotten though, haha, is there something like this? 

Boy enjoyed the experience as did we. He loves slides and climbing as well. It was a nice close to the day together. 🙂

Bus progress

I’ve been sewing curtains for the bus. One of the first things we need finished before we can start using the bus even for camping in, is the curtains. This will provide a bit of insulation, but mostly privacy. We are planning to take the bus to Rotorua for Darren’s Nana’s 90th birthday party which is at the end of August, so I’m very busy trying to finish the sewing.

    I got some quotes for how much it would cost to pay someone to make them for us and the total was going to come to over $1000. Even buying curtain fabric and making them from that would be near the same price. So, I found a great deal on thermal curtain backing fabric online and bought some flat sheets and am sewing them up into our curtains. It should cost just over $300, which is more in our budget. I didn’t have many colours to choose from, but liked the royal blue best. I’d love any suggestion for an upholstery colour to pair them with when we make our couch. So far I’ve finished four curtains with eight more to go! Three are up in the picture below.

    Darren has also put in the couch frame. We just need to put proper cushions on it now.

    In other news, on Tuesday I left a pot of beans on the stove and forgot about it for probably 2 hours. I came back to the bus we are living in and found dark smoke thickly filling the inside. I cleared it out as quickly as I could, but despite washing nearly every article of cloth, and wiping the walls with vinegar and sprinkling baking soda all over, the horid smell of smoke remains, and it has been making me feel quite sick. The day it happened Boy started coughing, with me starting the next few days. We have cold like symptoms and I’m note sure if we just picked up a bug at the same time, or if its been caused by breathing the smoke fumes. 

    Anyway, after three nights of hoping the smell would get better and realizing its going to take weeks to really leave, I’ve moved us into the new bus. I’m really very disappointed, because the new bus isn’t home yet, and the other one was. I feel a bit like we’ve actually had a house fire, suddenly kicked out of our home. But, I’m very thankful nothing was actually severely ruined and that we have somewhere to go.

    I’ve had many people express their surprise and confusion at how burned beans could hang around so long and so strong. I did some research and found that smoke from a fire is much harder to remove than cigarette smoke, and that it is very damaging in how it clings to materials. It’s not just burned beans that I had in that pot, but a mini fire. Those beans had reduced to charcoal and ash when I found them. If you could be here and smell it, you would agree it stinks…regardless of the why.

    So, here we are camping in our bus!

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