The daily grind
I dread turning off my electric blanket and getting out of bed. Even at 7:30 am it's still dark outside. Ever since I cold turkeyed Ryder from his sippy cup he has been ravenous and wakes up "hunging fo ceweal" every morning. We slip down to a chilly kitchen, turn on the fireplace and heat pump then the two of us settle down for breakfast. It sounds cozy except that it's not. Ryder sits in front of his spread of cold cereal ("Wheat Poppas", which subconsciously makes me sing "I love it when you call me big Poppa, so throw your hands in the ai-ya if you a true playa" every time), toast with jam, an apple which he insists I take the first bite out of, yogurt, occasionally oatmeal, a glass of milk, a glass of water and a glass of juice. And then he still points to the pantry begging for an ice cream cone. And then at least one of his breakfast items ends up on the floor in a fit of anger. I'm exhausted before the day even starts. But it's nice to have a ritual, a routine. It makes me feel settled, grounded and at home. Eventually the others stumble out of sleep and join us. Without cable, our days are constantly yo-yo-ing between dressing Ryder in a leotard and making up dances, to all out combat with everyone in tears, everyone in their rooms and everyone's potential birthday presents stripped away (we do own 2 DVD's and the day we got them it was like addicts going through withdrawals. they watched them back to back to back to back bringing the tally to 8 1/2 hrs of straight tv. A personal record, I do believe. Since we now have the entire script of Rio and Madagascar 2 memorized, we are considering doing ourselves a favor and at least getting Netflix). The mornings are lazy, kids laying around in pj's with bed head watching one of the two movies or playing Dragonville on their itouches. Then come the golden hours between 1-3:00, the warmest part of the day. We try to attempt an outing a day and with so many places to go, we could never get bored. Museums, parks, beach, parks and more parks. We come back and get settled into dinner and the evening routine which usually involves clothes being draped around the living room, emptying the food scraps into the composte bin and washing out the filter on my little vaccuum that could. And then letting the kids fend for themselves while I escape to my room for some peace and quiet (we used to play games at night, but then I got selfish and preferred spending my evenings in solitary confinement). So that's it. Some days feel foreign and exotic and some days are down right mundane. But this is our life. Our new life.
I decided I couldn't wait for the cherry blossoms to make their debut in Hagley park before having our picnic, and even though I couldn't find a red and white checkered blanket per Maddox's request, this picnic in the park was still pretty dreamy. Cue angels singing. I loved this day because we had no agenda. I let the kids lead the way and I just tagged along. We hopped from tree to tree, explored down by the "rainforest", found some fish, named them, concocted a plan to catch them and then begged about 17 times to let them keep them as pets. Which understandly led to the "why can't we have a dog?" scripted conversation that we have on a weekly basis. Which then carried on for the next 35 minutes. We went to the Canterbury Museum which was surprisingly really cool. Not sure why that was surprising, but it was. The only thing I didn't like was that in the back of my mind I kept making earthquake evacuation plans. I really don't get nervous about them at home, but when you're on top of a 4 story building, or on the bottom of the 4 story building right in the center of the earthquake zone my mind starts going there. We spent a good solid 3 hours in the museum and topped it off at the cafe with "fluffies", a fluffed up milk with marshmallows concoction that Kylie was convinced she couldn't go another day without. I tried to tell them it would taste just like milk fluffed up. They were surprised when yes inded, it did taste just like milk fluffed up. After dumping a full packet of sugar in them, they decided they kinda sorta liked them afterall.
Deep in the heart of their dog conversation. Debating whether they should get a Yorkie or Golden Retriever. As if either is really an option.
Ryder got into a serious spitting war with another little girl his age. It went down in the books as one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed.
We have quite lovingly named this the Ursula tree. We all have our favorites, this is mine. .
I left the water bottles back with the picnic stuff and they were all convinced they were going to die of dehydration. As soon as the blanket was in sight they made a mad dash, leaving the little ones behind in a crying heap (this is Maddox riiiiight before he crumbles to the ground). They didn't listen to me when I said to save some and Jayden ended up with a big old mouthful of Ryder's backwash. Karma's a beast.
Spring is right around the corner. Can. Not. Wait.