Monday, 26 March 2012

View from the front pack

Amotai is a big fan of the front pack. There is a lot to look at while strapped to my front, and plenty of strangers to give big, gummy grins to. Sometimes there are people who put the "strange" in "stranger", and find it appropriate to touch him and get into his (and my) personal space while cooing at him (looking at you, strange lady in the Karori post shop). But, by and large, he seems to really enjoy it. The places he gets to see the most often from the front pack are the supermarket, library, and local Four Square.
Here are some of the more interesting things he's seen from the front pack recently:
Takahe at Zealandia
Milford Sound

Sunday, 25 March 2012

The summer that was

Today felt like the end of summer. It was a lovely, sunny and warm day - though, this being Wellington, it was also windy enough to knock over the washing.

Talk to most people in the northern three quarters of the country and they'll grumble about what a rubbish summer it was. Lauren however, thinks it's been a very good one. Being at home, she's been able to make the most of the good days during the week while the rest of us are teathered to our desks. It's made me realise that, for workers, a summer is defined by how the weather is during the holidays and weekends - principally the Christmas-New Year break.

It's a shame that we load so much onto those days off. Remember those endless, lazy, sunburnt weeks between the end of school (or university) and the new term? One searing day fading into another. Those were summers.

This hasn't been one of those, but it has been a memorable summer - after all, it's the first one with Amotai. We've peppered the last few months with short holidays, so the poor lad has clocked up a lot of kilometres. First there was the trip to Dunedin for Lauren's sister's graduation.

With the new doctor. No pressure, Amotai.
Then there was the holidays in Opotiki and Napier.

Picnic in the bush
Walking around a pa site near Napier

... a whanau hui at a marae next to a Taranaki beach ...

... a wonderfully relaxing weekend on a farm in the King Country ...

Amotai attacked by the dreaded super head lice of Benneydale
... the only beach swim of the summer at Whanganui ...

... the fabulous Art Deco weekend in Napier

... our just-finished week in Te Anau and Queenstown ...

Autumn in Arrowtown
... and today, watching the cricket in Wellington.

On the Basin Reserve's sacred turf. No pressure, Amotai
And you know what? Enough moaning. It's been a bloody excellent summer.

Friday, 2 March 2012

The travel bug young

We decided to start Amotai young with the travel, taking him on a plane trip to Dunedin when he was two months old. Hopefully, as the photo demonstrates, this is a good indication of how all future plane trips will go.
When thinking about travel, Tane and I have wondered whether or not Amotai will want to travel. Having parents that love it seems to be no indication of whether or not their kids will - I know plenty of people who never really got the travel bug because they had seen a lot as kids so developed a bit of a 'been there, done that' attitude toward travel. On the other hand, I have one friend actively trying to beat her mum's record of 53 countries. Some people who didn't travel growing up also have an extra thirst for it; Tane didn't go overseas until he was 23. I was 15 for my first, and only, family trip abroad, and that trip was definitely the turning point for me in terms of wanting to see more of the World. Three weeks in Hawaii blew my earnest teenage mind, and I signed up to AFS pretty much as soon as I got back to NZ.
Today, Amotai and I were playing with an inflatable plastic globe. He likes to hit said globe, as well as kick it with his feet. I asked him to point to where he would most like to travel to, and spun the globe in front of him. He reached out and clearly pointed to Sudan. I tried a second time, purposely trying to manipulate him into pointing at a more accessible country. It was to no avail, he pointed to Sudan again. Perhaps having a child that doesn't want to travel isn't such a bad thing after all ...
Do you think your desire to travel (or not) comes from your parents? I am interested ..


Yes, I am afraid that I am going to be one of those people who once blogged about foreign adventures and exciting places that, once having a child, blogs about little apart from them. Don't say you haven't been warned! I must also warn you that as my baby has broken cuteness records today, this post will be cheesier than a pizza with extra cheese. I hope that the proclamations of love for my son don't move you to vomit in your own mouth. I should probably put an rating on this entry - rated c, for corny.

If you are still reading, I wanted to write a list about the things I love about being a mum. Amotai is almost 5 months old now, and it's been an amazing time. I'd be lying if I said I loved every minute (especially the day of dyeing-all-the-washing-blue-after-being-pooed-on-doom), but I am having a pretty neat time. These are the things I am particularly enjoying:

1. When he smiles. So cheesy, but true.

2. The neat Mum-and-baby activities that are out there. I laugh at me of last year that worried about being bored while home with baby. If anything it's the opposite - there is so much to do. Active Mums, various other programmes that generally involve singing to the babies ... it's all quite fun.

3. Building on 2, re-learning all those old songs. Although, I confess to having to google the words to Rubber Ducky after some failed attempts to sing it during bath time.

4. Seeing the world through his eyes. It's hard to guess what will interest him - for example, today he ignored a small river, a native bird that flew across our path, and a colourful toy. In contrast, he spent ages stroking the couch.

An Amotai eye view of some sheep

It's a great ride, anyway, and I look forward to what the future brings.