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Monday, September 02, 2013

Ballet baby



Ratfink had her Grade 2 ballet exam a few wells ago. She'd been working pretty damn hard in the few months before and I'm still horrified at the ease in which I slipped into "Ballet mum" mode. Soz Hannah.
As Hannah rightly pointed out last night, "You're not my ballet mum, you're my mum mum." Yes. That I am. And I'm a pretty proud mum mum who thinks that no matter what grade that this Hannahrina ballerina gets, that she's pretty awesome for working so hard in the leadup. And fighting the genetic predisposition to not try very hard at all. At anything. Ever.
There was a bit of competitiveness exposed in the process which we'll work on harnessing for good.
Because there'll be plenty more exams where that came from, if this ballet mum gets her way.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Proper grown up holiday

No kid! Over seas! Tropical island! LIKE PROPER ADULTS.
View down the beach at the Rarotongan Resort

Some friends of Dion's were getting married so it was quite a decent group who headed over to Rarotonga. As a result it was kinda hilarious and quite a bit drunken.
The full crew down at the groom's family's accommodation at Manaia Villas for a BBQ.

























I discovered that I can't drink as much as Dion's Rarotongan cousins (urghhhh still feel sick thinking about it), I don't much like being under water for long periods (I discovered this about 1/4 of the way through intro scuba training), and Dion isn't much one for lying on beaches for long periods of time. By the time we got back, I needed a holiday from my holiday.
THERE'S MY FISH.


We did some neat stuff though - like Dion's scuba trip, scootering the hell outta the island, watching D's cousin dance in the show at Te Vara Nui village, and charter fishing (photographic evidence of my elusive mahi mahi above. I got it in and the dude tried to get it on board but it squirmed off, leaving half of its face behind. Soz vegetarians.).

It would've been a pretty rad place to take the kidlet but it was also nice to have total freedom to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted to. PROPER GROWN UP HOLIDAYS RULE. (And now we won't be able to do anything fun for a LONG time while I pay off my credit card. Argh.)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Momentous occasion v2

The Devil Child is now quite the little barista. I'm sure the novelty will wear off eventually but in the mean time, I'm enjoying lattes arriving in the morning, courtesy of the kid.

But yes, I wanted to mark this little milestone. After being able to describe the coffee making process in great detail for months, yesterday the Devil Child made her first unassisted latte. It was a fine moment indeed.

This, people, is where having kids starts to pay off.

Actually, I lie. It started paying off with the first cup of tea delivered to my bed side. The kidlet has brought me cups of tea in bed for the last few weekends and they're a far cry from the lukewarm milkiness of the early days. I look forward to it being a coffee delivery this weekend. Ohhhh yeah.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Marijuana and henna are practically the same thing

First things first: Hi Dad! I got a tattoo! I know you'll be devastated that I can no longer marry into the royal family but I think I'll be alright.

This tattoo has been 14 years coming. I'd like to say it has a meaning that is all deep and thoughtful, but really, my bestie Alley and I ran away one night, during one family holiday to Waihi beach when we were 14, to hang out with two upstanding citizens that lived across the road from the dairy by the surf club. Their names were Bone and Jason.

Bone had a celtic tree of life tattooed in the middle of his back. At the time, I didn't know it was a celtic tree of life, I was all "Woahhhh cool tattoo, man." and I've kinda wanted one like it ever since.

Fast forward about 13 years, when Tash sent me the link to this tattoo (I think it was that one?) and I was all "Ooooo pretty!" and then "HOLY SHIT!" when further investigation revealed that Victor, the tattoo artist, was based in Ponsonby, at Two Hands tattoo. FORTUITOUS!

I was a little bit scared so read his blog for about a year until one day I decided that I'd never get around to it if I didn't do it THAT SECOND. I was probably meant to be doing something Very Important and work related so of course the priority became emailing about a tattoo.

I didn't really know how to talk to tattoo people because I'm new to all this so I sent a very Nikki-like email and then angsted (totes a word) for a week about whether he'd actually reply. And he did! And I got a real life tattoo!

Victor was great to work with. He dealt with my vagueness really well and didn't laugh at me too much when I was all "IT HUUUURTS". I love the reference to Bone's sweet tree of life tattoo but that it's true to Victor's style. I even love the hint of tribal it has going on with the tree roots. I was all "NO TRIBAL" but I take it back. The tribal thing is growing on me.

I love it.

And the Hannah rat has declared that she wants a Chinese Dragon tattooed on her thigh. Crap. Although, to be fair, she's wanted a Chinese Dragon Tattoo ever since she had one painted in Henna on her arm at Craft2.0 back in 2009.

I think I've managed to convince her to wait until she's my age by bribing her; I promised to pay for her tattoo if she waited til she was 28 to get her first one.

Henna: it's the gateway drug of tattoos, I tell ya.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

New news


I have a new job. I will start in my new job at the end of April. It may or may not be related to the above images. It may or may not involve writing for several laaaaaaarge websites (under the same organisation). This may or may not be extremely exciting. Which may or may not be (in a major way) related to the fact that this new job is based a mere two train stops away from my house. This may or may not change my life.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Visit from a little person

Last week, the cutest little niece in the world came to visit us in Auckland. I've moved on from calling her Podge to calling her P-Rat. Not sure she'll be stoked about either of those names when she's older but she now matches Han, who was christened the Red Rat by Kerryn and Spam.

Jute and P-Rat stayed with us for three days and it was so freaking cool hanging out with them. Not least because I got to take a day off work to play with them in the city. I always feel like we just hang at our house every time they come up so we made the effort to go and check out the city. We had grand plans of visiting the Auckland Domain but that was replaced by a walk to Wynyard Quarter from the Britomart Precinct.

I wanted to show Jute the cool development that went on prior to the Rugby World Cup as well as show P-Rat the playground. Unfortunately she wasn't overly keen on the playground by the time we got there (and who the freak decided that steel was the best thing to construct playground stuff out of? That shit gets HOT in the sun) but the city link happened to stop nearby so we jumped on it and headed back to Britomart to find a cafe to eat at. Yeyaaaaaah public transport actually pulling through for us!

Jute coped frigging well in stupidly hot weather despite also growing another niece or nephew for me. And it was cool feeling kicks and prods while the babe is in utero. I'm reeeeeally hoping to be able to visit again before the babe is born and then most definitely afterward. So freaking exciting.

I really need to figure out some sort of sponsorship deal with a local airline so I can get my niece-time as often as I need to. Damn you, geographical separation. Damn you.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On being a bit of a Westie

Some of my laydee friends at our 'Westie' house warming: Gembee, Ngaio, moi, Hanny-rat, Spamuel, and Anna.
I was conversing on Twitter with Chief Bogan of Hamilton, Monsieur Dave Snell, and he asked if I had any Westie stories. I was kinda all, "Nahhhhh, I'm a bit too much of a hipster still for that business", and then I realised that since moving to West Auckland a year and a half ago, I have collected a few Westie stories. This place fricking loves the bogan trash stereotype. Like, actually excels at it.

In fact, the first time I ventured out here when we were house hunting, we drove down Lincoln Road toward Henderson and I swear I saw the first teenagers I'd seen since the 1990s, wearing in complete sincerity, metal band t-shirts purchased from those horrible shops in malls that sell t-shirts only in black, alongside really tragic piercing jewelery, and bedazzled bongs. You can see one such t-shirt upon myself in the photo above. Admittedly I went for the not-so-bogan choice of Led Zep but it was definitely from the same shops that Genuine Bogans(tm) venture to.

I'd like to say that Genuine Bogans(tm) have actual, legit band t-shirts but we all know that would mean leaving West Auckland, and that just ain't gonna happen.

There was also that time that I was out at Riverhead visiting my friend Anna, also in the photo above, and after I lectured her drunk friends about driving home drunk, received an even sterner lecture about being out on the roads sober on a Saturday night with kids in the car. Apparently I was the one putting people at risk by choosing to drive at that time and I should know better. Ahhh Westies.

And some of the Westie women are a bit frightening. We almost got killed by Shazza and Cheryl in the queue to get into the System of a Down concert at the Trusts Stadium in Henderson. One of our friends spied us in the line and joined us without following correct queue-entry-protocol, ie. being subtle. Shazza and Cheryl rightly took exception and were close to giving us a beating but his offer of hugs and puppy eyes must've hit a soft spot and they took pity and laughed at us instead.

I'm starting to become a bit immune to the glory of the Westie-ness around me. Pyjamas at the supermarket is pretty standard and I barely even notice it anymore. Despite the bad rap that all this trashiness gets around the place, I love it out here and am quietly stoked at being identified as a Westie by an extreme bogan. I guess it means I can properly call this place home.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ballerina

The weekend just past was Hannah's ballet concert. Weeks of preparation culminated in the production of Alice in Wonderland held at a fancy theatre at a fancy Auckland school. I'm trying to be vaguely subtle and hope like crap this doesn't turn up in anyone's googling as photography was STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. It turns out that the woman I have designated as my child's spiritual guide and support in times of I-hate-my-mum, Fairy Godmother Gemma, is as rebellious as she always was and stealthily snapped some pics (top pic courtesy of her). SO BAD. But also, awesome. Because I am forever a slack mother and got barely any photographic evidence of the child as ballerina. (FYI: She's the navy blue flower on the left with the red hair, obvs.)

But yeah, holy fricking exhaustion, man! I'm still recovering. It doesn't help that the ballet teacher has identified my lack of ability to say "no thanks!" so I'm roped in whereever one can possibly be roped in eg. sewing costumes.

Luckily I have slave labour these days.


She was a trooooper. And ironed every damn petal that I painstakingly painted with non-fray stuff and sewed into skirts for the flowers. Mind you, this was after her whinging about having to attend the ballet concert fundraising BBQ at Mitre 10 Mega where I had to cut up close to 20kgs of onions. And she had the cheek to complain that she was sick of bouncing on the bouncy castle. Oh, you're sick of the bouncy castle? MY GOODNESS, HOW HARD IS YOUR LIFE?! Yeah... I launched into a 15 minute lecture about me giving up my Sunday afternoon to pitch in to fundraise for activities that already cost me a small fortune and cause me a shit tonne of stress. She zoned out about 30 seconds in but I felt better once I'd finished.


During the performance she was the cutest little flower and the coolest card and I had fun as a dresser for the older kiddos. Family attendance at Saturday night's concert was the best bit - good times rock and roll with my mama, and my granny, and my sister, and my Gaz, and my little tiny niecelet, Podgey, all in attendance.

And holy moley, ballet does good intermission food. I had the BEST red velvet cupcake that I'd ever tasted for $2. $2! I encouraged them to mark the price up to $5 next year.

I do have to say that I'm glad ballet is over. This lack-of-sleep-in on a Saturday business wasn't overly cool. I'm so looking forward to this blissfully unscheduled weekend. Woooooo.

Now, someone remind me to plan a lengthy overseas trip in the lead up to the ballet concert next year. It's the only way I'll escape.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Birthdays passed






First it was the Boy's 31st birthday which was marked with an uncharacteristically sedate weekend at Pukehina. We're feeling kinda old.

Except for the Devil Child who has many years before she'll be feeling old.





And then that same Devil Child turned 8, a mere week later. Her birthday involved a really early morning present session before getting ready for school/work (6am!).


The evening involved utilising her birthday present (boxing gloves) to waste Joseph. Since then her and the Boy have had regular training sessions on the lawn. My little ballerina is also extreme fighting ballerina.




She was pretty damn spoiled by a lot of people, that child. And this weekend I'm even letting her loose with her Aunty Lauren to spend her birthday money. This could be a terrible mistake. But she's 8. It's time she had a bit more freedom to learn from the lessons that life gives you. Such as, that spending $60 on erasers from Smiggle might not be the wisest investment that one could make. I'll report back after their shopping trip.

And in other birthday related information, it's my birthday on Monday. The Boy picked up my present today and couldn't contain his excitement beyond 3 hours of waiting to surprise me so he's already handed it over.

It's a fancy schmancy cake mixer.

I've wanted one for aaaaaages. The pity is that our damn oven has crapped itself so I need to either get an element replaced, or buy myself a birthday present of a new oven, before I can make any cakes! ARGH! And just quietly... I think the possibility of me baking cakes was the reason the Boy was so excited by my present. He's transparent, that man. Totally transparent. On the plus side, he just gave me the justification to buy myself new underwear and pretend that is his Christmas present. Two can play this game. ;)

Monday, October 08, 2012

Adventures with Granddad

Hannah is in Christchurch with my Dad for a week and a half. She's been there since Wednesday and has already been ice skating, toured the Antarctic Centre, given great-Gran a technology lesson, spent several hours making herself a prune in the spa pool, Little River Motukarara rail trail, played with my cousin's little one, Amelia, and churned out a gallery's worth of art works.

And today her and a friend, Lucy, are off to the snow with Granddad. He does good adventures.