Two more nights…

Lately the autumn colours have begun to creep in and transform some of the foliage.  The pops of orange and red are striking amidst the vibrant green landscape surrounding us.  With the change of colours comes a drop in temperature.  It was cold enough to leave the ground thick with a blanket of icy frost this morning.  Needless to say, our log fireplace has been roaring over night and well into the morning.

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In the flurry of recent cooler days, we met our new neighbour, whom has made herself right at home in a paddock up the road.  She is a total punk rocker with four nose piercings and yet is so sweetly polite of her sheep paddock mates.

Wesley is now marching, and has learned so many little adorable things. ¬†From making tiny monkey, lion and chicken sounds – he’s also learned he can transport items in a little trolley and take them with him. ¬†Honestly, I am in total rapture watching him play and discover the world around him, even though I am severely sleep deprived…my fascination is endless. ¬†I often find myself smiling and feeling this huge sense of gratitude for him joining our lives. ¬†Today, he was babbling away in the back seat and I was just headed home with him from the library and I was beaming hearing him. ¬†This depth of love, is profound.

His first birthday party is this weekend. ¬†We’ll have family over for a little party and some much deserved cake!

Mike returns in two days which is so exciting, he has been away 26 days. ¬†It’s been a long stretch but thankfully we’ve made it through despite some adverse conditions! ¬†I have a newfound respect for single mothers. ¬†There have been a few rough moments, but overall it’s not been too bad. ¬†22 of the nights Wesley was not sleeping well – he’s had teeth, sickness and tummy aches, and crazy early mornings. ¬†How do children wake so perky at 5am? ¬†Last night there were some signs of improvement, which are so welcome!

It’s going to be so cute to see my boys reunite, and also have a little sleep break lets be honest! ¬†I do need to recover for the next stretch, that’s obvious by this stage. ¬†My intake of coffee is at an all time high. ¬†One thing that has helped me with the long distance, is not focusing too long on it. ¬†This is one of the longest stretches we’ve been apart and it wasn’t too bad. ¬†This is also largely on account of the amount of attention given to wee Wesley. ¬†That being said, when it does pop into my mind the longing to be held by Mike…it’s pretty powerful. ¬†I miss him so much, I would love a reassuring and comforting cuddle!

Oh, these flowers are from Mothers Day. ¬†Wesley was in rough shape that day with a high fever, and I was given a few hours to rest and recover by Mike’s mum Ann. ¬†She brought the flowers to me from herself and Wesley’s great grandmother. ¬†I wish they could have stayed like this forever, they are like works of art in this image. ¬†So beautiful…flowers just feel like colour magic in any space you find them!

This is a little list of some new music I’ve been listening to the past couple of weeks…if you’re so inclined to give them a try – just follow the link to listen.

Living Days – Thrill Anybody

Woodkid – Run Boy Run

Twin Wave – Matador

The Moth & The Flame – Young & Unafraid

Christine and the Queens – iT

Eat More Cake – Heat of the Night

Georgi Kay – Ipswich¬†– This track features on a New Zealand television program called Top of the Lake – which if you’re looking for something grim, and beautifully shot…check it out. ¬†Have you seen it? ¬†So compelling…and twisted .

Banks. РTrainwreck

x

Holly

Metamorphosis of a Butterfly

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Today we got to witness the final stages of metamorphosis for one of the monarch butterflies hanging in our kitchen. ¬†Although the emergence was quite sudden, the darkening actually took about 24 hours to complete. ¬†We’d been rushing over and checking on it often to make sure we were able to watch the final show. ¬†It did not disappoint!

Such spectacular colours. 

Have you had the pleasure of watching this in person?

Plunket Coffee Group Creates Social Wellbeing

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We are swiftly approaching Wesley’s first birthday. ¬†Looking at this past year, I know I wouldn’t have felt so secure and sure of myself as a new mother without the weekly get togethers with our coffee group mums. ¬†There are 7 of us who regularly meet and enjoy watching our kids frolic, whilst we chat and catch up on what’s been happening in our little worlds.

This was all made possible by Plunket.  If you are a new mum looking to create a bit of social activities you should get in touch they are so helpful!

The early months, I’ll be honest, I was so nervous to go to these gatherings that I sometimes had to remind myself that Wesley needed social time too. ¬†Being exhausted and worrying about fitting in, made the first little while scary but ultimately I became very comfortable and looked forward to meeting the women each week. ¬†In fact I would attribute a huge change in my social skills to joining this group. ¬†Previous to having Wesley, I would sometimes bail on plans for the worry of not fitting in, or being nervous about talking to new people…feeling I had nothing important to say. ¬†This has totally changed since I’ve been getting together with the Plunket Coffee Group.

It was so good to laugh, enjoy the horror stories, ask questions and just see where our little kids were at and how they interacted with each other. ¬†Had it not been for this group, I wouldn’t have had much of a social life and it’s been the greatest thing we have done for our little family.

Wesley has become very social and loves to spend time with his friends and it’s truly wonderful watching him interact with other little people his age. ¬†These groups are structured so that your little one will be playing with other babies their age, between 0-12 months or 12-24 months.

Social wellbeing and support as a new mum is so important.  I am living in a new country far removed from my immediate family, and close friends back in Canada.  I found there was a void that needed filling as we settled into New Zealand just prior to Wesley being born.  That sense of connectedness was created quite quickly and helped me to maintain a good sense of self worth.  Simply being around other mums who were experiencing the same challenges and triumphs helped boost my mood and encouraged me through the harder days.  Our weekly meetings have been invaluable.

Yesterday I invited the ladies and their little ones to a photoshoot to capture some moments as a thank you of sorts. ¬†While I wrote a little bit about how grateful I am to them on Instagram – I wanted to elaborate here. ¬†I truly do love the sense of normalcy and ease that came about from us connecting to one another. ¬†These photos are a thank you to them…a gift in return for so many months of positive interactions and moral support. ¬†We all believe in each other and that’s one of the best gifts I think a new mum can receive. ¬†In the coming weeks we will all be celebrating some of our first Mother’s Days and I hope you all know how dear you are to us.

Maree & Blake

Giselle & Lucas

Teina & Cleo

Amber-Lee & Te Ahorangi

Georgia & Theo

Tyla & Dixie

Thank you all for being such amazing women and friends to Wesley, myself and Mike.

If you live in Palmerston North and are looking to connect with other new mums and are a bit unsure where to start, you should definitely give Plunket a call or check out their page on Facebook.

There is also a great free program hosted by the Palmerston North Public Library called “Baby Bop” which is at 10.00am each Thursday morning. ¬†Kids sing songs, dance and interact with their parents guidance and there is plenty for the kids to run and be silly.¬† You’ll be seeing us there!

Jumping Spider Courtship Dance

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His yearning is very real…screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-5-20-09-pm

This afternoon I witnessed this little jumping spider desperately try to capture the attention of his female love interest. ¬†He may have been putting on the moves too quick… In the end she literally jumped off the leaf and left him there alone, with a broken heart.

Prior to this encounter, I thought the amazing videos I’d seen floating around the internet of peacock spiders dancing and then mating, would have been hard to film and required plenty of time in the bush observing the spiders with infinite patience. ¬†I’m super patient, and have scouted for a few years but never saw anything that looked like courtship until today.

Mr. Giggles

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Mr Giggles.

This little giggly one is now near 6 months old. ¬†He finds plenty of amusement in the silliest of things. ¬†He’s curious and is constantly trying to work things out… like his jolly jumper. ¬†I’ve caught him a few times looking up at the main spring and trying to wrap his mind around how he gets the bounce in it and nothing else.

He has a really enthusiastic deep hearty laugh, that I don’t think we will ever tire of hearing it… Some nights before bed I play videos and Mike and I relive the little victories we’ve had getting to this point. ¬†He’s gotten so big. ¬†He’s now over 20 pounds!

Garden Update:

We’ve been harvesting (and eating) loads of kale, spinach, rocket, watercress and multi-coloured frilly lettuce. ¬†The little caterpillars are growing on our swan plants and just about everything we’ve planted has taken root and is growing really well (apart from our eggplant – can’t figure out what’s up with them!).

The sheep have grown just as quickly as Wesley…they are so plump now!