Shhh….

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-8-36-54-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-24-at-8-05-00-pmIt’s so quiet. ¬†Wesley is sleeping. ¬†The birds are chirping and there is barely, but a small breath of wind. ¬†The rain has stopped and we’re settling in for the evening. ¬†I look out the windows and see a sea of deep green.

I’m sipping a deliberately weak hot tea and am looking forward to tomorrow. ¬†There’s nothing special planned…but even still I’m keen to see what tomorrow brings for me and Wesley.

Today he leaned how to crawl faster. ¬†He tried to outrun me (cranked up his crawling pace with a giggle!) to the tv cables. ¬†He’s only been moving 2 days…

Here’s to new adventures, big and small!

Long Nights & Busy Days

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-1-37-12-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-22-at-1-37-53-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-23-at-11-11-03-amSoon our Wesley will be 8 months old.  Ah!  He has been a little squishy, cuddly gift of adventure, and has us feeling that overwhelming joy that parents all must feel when witnessing his first attempts at learning and exploring.

In other words…He is on the move!

He has 8 teeth, loves to “read” books and screeches longingly at Tess (whom has not yet made it clear that she cares about him, in any way). ¬†We’re working on that relationship, mostly by encouraging Tess to come close but she’s clever and whenever the loud baby is present, Tess is not.

He’s learned some sign language as we started showing him a few signs at 3 months old. ¬†He can show us he wants “more” “milk” “food” and “diaper change”. ¬†You’d be surprised how much that has helped us communicate with him. ¬†It’s all rudimentary at the moment, and will be a useful skill until he learns to say words we will continue to pair the signs with the vocal version too. ¬†Apparently it helps them develop language faster. ¬†Either way – it’s pretty cool to see how in tune he is with the world around him. ¬†I met a mother whom was a psychologist when Wesley was very young and she encouraged us to give it a try. ¬†To learn, I simply youtube searched for baby sign language (ASL particularly) and wrote down a few key signs we might need to use a lot!

Yesterday was a pretty major day for Wesley (even though he’s been quite sick). ¬†For a few months now he’s been scuttling around sideways and backward and rocking a bit on his hands and knees. ¬†After many months preparation, he took his first steps crawling! ¬†Now that he’s learned, it’s like he never didn’t know how. ¬†His face when he got it, was priceless. ¬†That elation in cracking a complex problem…is universal!

We call him our nature baby, as he is very content to hangout in the grass and tress.

We did a 2 hour hike last week with his Aunt Lynda and friends.  Wesley took in the ferns and tall trees that shaded us (from this not-so-hot summer!) from the pack on my back Рhe talked throughout the trip, and particularly loved watching the little dog that was with us whipping through the trail.  Eventually he slept as I marched onward.  It was such a nice experience.

With all this wonderful progress comes a lack of sleep for us all. ¬†For a couple of months now, with all the teeth coming in and the exciting skills he’s been picking up (along with few nasty colds) we’ve been up for some super long nights. ¬†We’re bracing for a few more rough nights as he’s recently developed a fairly awful infection that has us comforting him through the nights. ¬†It’s not hard to get out of bed when you know your little one’s needing cuddles and kisses. ¬†We have placed a twin bed in the room and have been staying with him through the nights as we help him this rough patch. ¬†With some glimpses of full night sleeps a while back, we have the promise of knowing it will come back in time when everything settles down.

He’s so amazing. ¬†We tell him each day.

This morning after I woke, Mike came into the room for a quick kiss and placed a coffee on the bedside table for me. ¬†I was left to rest and recover after spending a sleepless night comforting Wesley. ¬†A bath was later drawn and a candle lit. ¬†My favourite snacks were also produced, which made me smile and feel so special and loved. ¬†He has been such a huge source of support and help during these past few weeks. ¬†We’ve been leaning on each other these 8 months and while we sometimes struggle, it’s been a really special time in our lives.

Monarch Madness

screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-7-30-25-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-18-at-7-31-09-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-18-at-7-25-38-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-18-at-7-25-49-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-18-at-7-26-18-pm

Right, where to start. ¬†Ah – the not so recent “caterpillar massacre”.

About two months ago, we were previously engaged in the ongoing developments of some monarch caterpillars whom were feasting their way through some swan plants we had placed in the garden. ¬†It was exciting. ¬†Each day we saw the growing process…and hoped that we would eventually see a caterpillar morph into a chrysalis. ¬†It was all going smoothly, until they one-by-one began to disappear.

Naturally we chalked it up to natural death (maybe they fell off the plant or got fried in the hot sun) but it turns out they were being pegged off each day by our neighbourhood birds.

Now, numbers are up again. ¬†Our poor swan plants are suffering dearly. ¬†They provide nourishment to their own detriment. ¬†Butterfly can be seen at most times of the day flitting about in that “spazmatic” (new word!) way they coast and simultaneously jerk through the air.

They have ravaged the undersides of the plants with their eggs.  They have all hatched.

Mike and Wesley have become literal figures of god Рpicking and choosing whom of the over crowded babies will live and whom will be transported to another more bountiful plant and lastly whom will be squished.  Wesley is good at the squishing.

I choose not to participate in the management of the ecosystem and photograph the beauty instead.

Rest in peace little ones…we feel bad and yet know that even more of you’ll die without the food source we’ve placed here and also you seem to not have a regulatory device to stop you from overcrowding and overeating into oblivion. ¬†Fingers crossed our intervention has helped.

Oh, also today we also had some old friends (Natalie, Ross and Seth) pop over from Napier. They are currently living in Melbourne and it was so good to meet their little one and spend some time catching up.  It was their first time meeting Wesley, and ours meeting Seth too!

Blueberry Picking in Ashurst

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-2-00-42-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-16-at-1-59-54-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-16-at-2-00-17-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-16-at-2-00-30-pmWe’ve just finished a really great visit with our friends Ashley and Emma. ¬†They stayed with us for 5 nights and in that time we managed to cram in a tonne of activities. ¬†Ashley was a neighbour of ours when we lived in Eneabba. ¬†His farm was about 5 km from our home and we often spent time together. ¬†He and Emma were just beginning to date when we met, and now have become married and are on their honeymoon. ¬†Seeing them here in New Zealand feels quite surreal.

Some of the local activities we got into:

  • Glow worms in the Pohongina Ranges (my first time too – they were really beautiful).
  • Blueberry Picking in Ashurst
  • Mike and Ashley went for a wild boar hunt, and were successful – they also got a deer and were very stoked with the result. ¬†Those animals were brought back to our friends farm for processing.
  • Hanging out at the Esplanade in the city and along the river
  • The Fielding Market and Livestock sales
  • Mount Bruce – to see eels, kiwi, kaka and other beautiful native birds
  • A small cheese farm where we met a lady who won some impressive awards for her rare raw cheese (apparently a cheddar – but not called that because it’s not from the place called Cheddar). ¬†Who knew cheese was so exclusive!

We thoroughly enjoyed spending these past 6 days with our friends and wish them the best time during this next leg of their journey through New Zealand.

We were very sad to see them go this morning, but know soon enough we’ll be in each others company again.

Emperor Gum Moth

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-8-48-30-amscreen-shot-2017-01-09-at-8-47-59-amYesterday afternoon Mike spotted this emperor gum moth clinging to our swan plants. ¬†He called me from in the house and I literally gasped when I lay eyes on it. ¬†After much searching on this website¬†by Landcare Research we found it’s actually an Australian moth.