The birthday meal request

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Mama made Palak Paneer.

The birthday boy

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In his custom made t-shirt from Lila Purl.

Happy Birthday Inigo

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Mark and Inigo playing minecraft as Gandalf and Bilbo

Darling Squishy, 

Today, you are SEVEN!  I feel so lucky to have had you around for seven whole years.  You have always been beautiful, and funny, and sweet, but now you are also becoming compassionate, and creative and profound.  Every day with you is an adventure, you keep me on my toes mentally, and every day I have to work harder to keep up with your left of field ideas and lateral problem solving.

You are everything a parent could want of a child, and I am so blessed to be part of growing you into the wonderful adult you are going to become.  As I have watched you grow over the years, I have often thought about the saying that a child of seven is pretty much a small version of the adult they are going to become. And I’ve wondered about who you will be at seven, and if my efforts to support and guide you will have been “enough”.

And today, I can say with confidence that you are perfect.  If you grown into a man that is as thoughtful and caring and creative as the boy that you are now, I will be thrilled.  Thrilled to know you and love you, knowing that you have survived and thrived under my imperfect parenting.

And lucky for each and every day that I have you in my life.

Because there is nothing better than a kid that reads himself to sleep

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The feminist Princess Bride

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/jennaguillaume/gender-equality-as-you-wish

Walking

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Mark and Inigo walked to school this morning for the first time from the new house.  

Mark writes, “About 35 minute walk. It was good. Had a great chat. He told me that walking to school is a good idea, because the gas from cars and busses makes the world hotter. He also suggested we should build a big space ship. If the world gets wrecked (or the Sun blows up), we can all get on board and fly away to find another planet with oxygen. Or wait for another planet to form. He’s aware it will take a long while, and need lots of people to work on it – particularly scientists and builders. I pointed out that it might be useful to some level of agreement from politicians. We decided that it would be good if we avoided wrecking the planet in the first place, but this plan should still be put into place to prepare for the Sun blowing up.The proposed plan for this is that we tell Jason Price, who is the representative of all scientists. The scientists then warn the politicians of the danger, and suggest what needs to be done. (We remain hopeful that some day politicians may actually listen to scientists). The politicians can decide where to build this big spaceship, and tell the builders to built it.”

Choir

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Since we left Sydney, Inigo has had to leave the Sydney Children’s Choir, and Mark has left Coro Innominata.

Today i found this video of one of the songs from the concert that he missed when we moved to NZ, but here he is rehearsing.  It’s absolutely beautiful music, and well worth a listen.

Happy 4th birthday Archimedes & Aubrey

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Apparently, you can’t get Passion Pop in NZ

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Justine brought me the local equivalent. Two bottles so I can experience the horror for myself.
 
 Bless her!

Ni Hao!

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Just had my first Mandarin class – the school is running a class for parents for a few weeks.
 
 The teacher is lovely, and the two other parents that participated were lovely! I can see us all becoming friends. So exciting :)
 
 
 – from my iPhone

The movers are here!

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With a whole container worth of stuff.
 
 In a thunderstorm.
 
 
 – from my iPhone

Moving

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Squishy watching tv while the cleaners do the final clean of the old apartment.
 
 The container with all our stuff will be delivered tomorrow, and he nesting will begin in earnest.
 
 And hopefully, our stuff will all fit in our little green house!

Mama’s been on Pinterest again

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Bye bye!

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Bye bye house. I’ll miss you.


But Squishy is coping well.


We’ll be back!

Location:Departure Plaza,Mascot,Australia

And there goes the truck

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I guess it’s really happening!

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The packers have just left. Movers will be here tomorrow morning, and Squish and I are on a plane back to NZ on Wednesday.
 
 I’m absolutely shattered, it has been a huge week. Where’s my gin?

Location:Abbott Street,Merrylands,Australia

Freaky

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Having day surgery – the admissions clerk looks startlingly like Westley.

Apparently people mention it all the time, but this is the first time anyone with a son called Inigo has mentioned it…

– from my iPhone

Happy Sunday!

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Spinning, and the first ever Formula E.
 
 And Squishy is working on his first sewing project.

I’m OK. Are you?

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Living in NZ has been mostly great.  We miss our family and friends, and great Middle Eastern food, but all three of us have found things we absolutely adore about living in NZ.  Mark is doing challenging and interesting work, and living a short walk from work has been great for us spending time together as a family.  Mark gets to see Inigo both in the morning, and in the evening – in Sydney he was usually asleep by the time Mark got home from work.

Mark has also found a new choir to sing with, an octet that has paid gigs, and they are flying him down to Wellington for a gig next month.  Exciting stuff.

Inigo has two rocking schools.  Freemans Bay School is a lovely city school with loads of green space, a kitchen garden, the freedom to go barefoot and climb trees, and the ability to just be him, without the pressure to conform to anybody elses idea of “normal”.  The school is very child centered, and Squishy is loving the freedom and personal power he gets from taking responsibility and ownership of his learning process.  It’s not perfect, but he is a much, much happier wee beastie when Monday morning rolls around each week than he ever was about going to school in Sydney.

And then there is One Day School.  A place where kids get to explore a new topic each week, with the freedom to apply their own initiative and resources however they see fit.  Where the kids are guided and encouraged to explore the topic through their own eyes and methods. I can’t speak highly enough about what this experience has meant for Squish.  He was already a great thinker, but he is gaining so much confidence and passion for learning, that he is wanting to do homework so that he can have more time at school for his projects.

I have withdrawn from university again this semester because the exam period fell exactly in the middle of when Mark’s contract here ended, and the uncertainty about where we would be living was very damaging to my ability to focus on study.  So I have thrown myself face first into the Auckland (and greater New Zealand) fibre scene.

I have joined Creative Fibre, and attended lots of different groups.  I have learned bobbin lace, and loom weaving, and supported spindling, and how to use a hackle, a drum carder, and now I have even bought a double treadle spinning wheel.  And last month I taught my first class – “Unravelling Ravelry”.  Some of you may laugh at the thought of me teaching Ravelry (yes, you Emily!), but i have come a long way, and the process of putting together the class notes taught me a lot.  The class went brilliantly, and I am happy to say that the owner of the yarn shop has asked me back to teach two new classes. Learn to Knit, and Continental Kntiing both coming up.

Our tenure in NZ ends in about six weeks, and we have not yet reached an agreement with Mark’s employers that will enable us to stay here long term.

The stress, of course, is huge.  On the upside, Mark and I have weathered some pretty rough storms in the past, and we are very lucky that we are able to communicate effectively and present a united front.  We’ll get through this, and will be thrilled at the outcome.  If we have to come back to Sydney, we get to have Summer and Christmas with our loved ones, Squish will be able to go back to choir and piano lessons, I’ll get back on track with uni, and Mark’s job will carry on, and I’m sure he will find another choir.

And if we end up staying here, you can look forward to lots of pictures of our travels around this lovely country, and more fibery adventures, and the joy of packing up a three bedroom cluttered house to move into a tiny two bedroom apartment.  Joy!

So, on RUOK day, how are YOU doing?  If your glass is only half full, can I help you top it up a little?

My little mermaid

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Swimming again, in the cold. This time, in Auckland Harbour.
 

Location:Vincent Street,Auckland,New Zealand