Emily's last day of kindergarten was Friday the 15th of April. Her birthday was the next day, the first day of the holidays, so she has a bit of a wait before she starts school.
At Em's kindy they have a wee celebration for the children who are going off to school. (For those of you unfamiliar with the NZ system, Kindergarten here is for preschoolers from about ages 3-5. Ours still has the traditional sessions, with the littlest attending 3 sessions a week from 1.15 to 3.15 pm. The bigger kids attend up to 5 mornings a week, from 8.30am to 12.30pm.)
The birthday kid gets to choose their favourite book to share. Em chose Wonky Donkey, and they all sang along to the CD. They also choose their favourite learning story to share, and Em's was called Emily Creates. They make and decorate a playdough 'cake' and blow out the candles, and the child leaving gives the kindy a present if they choose. Em gave the kindy a Slinky Malinki book and some decorations for the kids to use with the hot glue gun.
Then they sing Happy Birthday, and the birthday girl got to bring her profile books home to keep.
Saturday morning was the main event. Marked by present opening and some bad behaviour from the child concerned.
The brothers were very generous and even helpful. This did not improve her mood.
The friends arrived, and there was a lot of pink involved.
We were having a tea party, so we decorated cupcakes. I ended up making the icing with 6 little helpers, which wasn't in the plan, but ended safely.
Even the boys were keen to have a go, just not using the pink icing.
The food went down a treat, although some little girls had eyes larger than their stomachs, and some food evidently looked good, but was not fit for human consumption!
Emily caused a bit of a ruction by wanting to always sit next to one particular child who was wearing (in Em's opinion) the most beautiful dress. She's deep, my daughter.
Then it was time for the cake. A lovely concoction created by the Daddy, who is obviously in touch with his feminine side ;)
Then it was time for the nail polish and other girly activities. Notice the close proximity to THE DRESS.
Later on the boys had some fun with man stuff.
The next day we went to The Wiggles concert. Ben did not come, as he had informed me he was too old for that. He was not however too old to covet one of the helium balloons which came home with us.
Luke loved it, and Emily, who is usually quite shy and attaches herself to my leg at such events, ended up dancing.
We even got to meet Murray, the red Wiggle.
So all in all a big weekend. Next stop is school- not sure this mummy is ready for that. I have a week off from being a kindy mum, and then Luke starts afternoons. They're all growing up too fast- which is not what I say when they're up in the night!
There's been a lot happening in our lives of course. We are nearly at the end of the first term of the school year. I have had all 3 kids in swimming lessons all term, and have to get in the pool with Luke. Love that- especially when I am the only mum in there because he is just so much shorter. Can't they get a shallower pool?!
Emily has had 3 school visits, and turns 5 in a couple of weeks. She has to wait to start school though, because her birthday is the first day of the holidays. She has had some issues with the uniform too. I can't wait- one less problem in the morning. How can you be 4 and have trouble deciding what to put on every day? Also, how come she is surprised to see that the uniform top is jade green? Ben has been wearing the uniform every week day for 5 terms now, so surely she must have noticed at some point? Apparently not, because the very idea of trying on a top of THAT COLOUR caused a meltdown in the shop the other day.
Ben has had Rippa Rugby games for the past five weeks, and now Saturday soccer starts for the winter today. Luke is now not keen on sitting in the buggy for an entire game, (not that he was too keen on that last winter either), so I will have to chase him off the field repeatedly. He loves soccer, and I know he just wants to join in. Ben is also going through a Harry Potter phase, so often has a lightning bolt scar drawn across his forehead.
Luke is coming on in leaps and bounds. His latest sentence was a very clear "I love you". Although it was preceded by the name "Ella", who is the naughty dog. I'm pretty sure he didn't learn that sentence from her, so she is on half rations for stealing my thunder ;)
We have missed a couple of therapy sessions due to the Christchurch earthquake. I was teaching that day, and mum had Em and Luke in Christchurch with her, so once we realised the severity of the situation it was a nervous wait for an hour or so until we heard from them as the phone systems were down. They had been shopping and were in a pet shop looking at the fish, and mum said she was worried the tanks were going to fall down on them. Luckily they were on the east side of the city, where the damage was not too bad, and were able to bundle the kids into the car and out of town, straight home. Phew.
Some of Luke's therapists have lost their homes. Mum's place had very minor damage, but lots of the neighbour's homes are uninhabitable. We had Mum and Chris staying with us the first few nights as there were no services on, and then had my step-sister Kate and her partner Kerry visit, as well as Luke's friend Aidan's family overnight. All have suffered considerable damage to their homes, but luckily were unhurt. So things are beginning to return to normal, but the damage to their houses (in Kate and Kerry's case, a new house is needed) is going to take a long time to sort out, and there is a lot of uncertainty for them.
Luke is due to start kindy next month. He is entitled to some teacher aide support at Playcentre/kindy from when he turned 3, but this hasn't worked out and has been pretty stressful to sort out. The person organising it hasn't been very organised, so when I started asking last year was told it was too soon. But surprise surprise, when the term began back, two weeks after Luke's 3rd birthday, I still hadn't been contacted. Annoying. Then while I was waiting to hear back about when the meeting with the teacher aide and Playcentre etc was, I was working at a fundraiser for the Playcentre when a woman there announced to us all that she was going to be working at our centre with a little boy called Luke, starting from the Monday. I do not like surprises, and so poor Neil had to deal with that when I got home at 11.45 pm. Hopefully things are sorted now, and so when he starts kindy things will be in place.
I also became an aunty on my side of the family for the first time, with Samuel being born (my brother's son). Unfortunately they live in the UK so it will be a while before I get to meet him.
I have also been closely following the journey of a friend I met through UpsideofDowns (not in person yet, but hopefully one day). Bridget often leaves lovely comments on my blog, and tells funny stories about her son Pete. Pete is 7, apparently very naughty- hard to believe as he has the face of an angel- and had DS. Pete has been battling leukaemia for several years, and was in remission at the end of last year. Unfortunately it has returned and he is in the fight of his life. He is one tough cookie, and so is his mum, so please spare them a thought. We have been so lucky with Luke's health so far.