Blairs Boys

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I'm crossing over ...

... to WordPress, and leaving nasty Blogger behind!

Thanks to Janine and Karen for helping me make the move!

Thanks to a handy dandy new feature, I was able to import my entire blog into WordPress, so I haven't lost my archives! How awesome!

So you can now find me here:

Please update your blogroll and favorites - I don't want to lose any readers!!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

We're back!

And it has taken me almost 2 hours to check my 300+ emails and catch up on blogs!! Crazy!!

We had a fantastic time in Hahei. The weather was HOT and SUNNY and we spent most of our time at the beach. The kids had a great time, and didn't want to come home. They really enjoyed spending a whole week with their Nana, Grandad and Aunty.

Tyler really loved the water again this summer and did so well with his water wings, floating all by himself. Ethan is more cautious and he doesn't like big waves, but he still loved going to the beach ... most of the time. Besides going to the beach all the time, we did a few other things like catching the ferry over to Whitianga and getting fish & chips. That was fun, and I got a few photos so I'm sure a layout will eventuate!

I will post some pics later, but I actually didn't take as many as I wanted to. LOTS of scenery pics this year, since we found a nice new beach called Lonely Bay and it was so beautiful I had to take heaps of pictures!

It was a wonderful holiday, but it is nice to be home again. Ethan is uber excited about starting morning Kindy tomorrow! I'm not *quite* so excited about going back to work, but it always feels good to come back after a nice relaxing break.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I'm going AWOL ...

Or more correctly, I'm going to the beautiful Coromandel. Hahei, to be exact. [Canadian Dayna, I know you know where that is now - how cool does that feel?!]

And I'm not going alone. Rob and the boys are coming, of course. And my parents and sister. Then some family friends (the Allens) will be coming down to join us for the last 4 days.
We rent a house down there every year. It's such a great place: not expensive, sleeps 12 people, only 2 blocks back from the beach. And now they have a dishwasher, a new BBQ and SKY Digital! Which is pretty cool for us since nobody in our family has SKY and we are all big Rugbyheads ... and the Super 14 starts next weekend!

Anyway, I'll be away from my computer for 10 days (gulp!), and I hope I survive! Not sure how I will cope trying to catch up on everything when I get back ... hmm, perhaps I should have taken an extra day off work just to do that??
When I return I shall have many photos to share, stories to tell and (hopefully!) sunny weather to boast about. So until then, ciao.

P.S. Happy Birthday Christi for tomorrow - I hope you have the extra special day you deserve! Love ya!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Blast from the past

I've been tagged by Angella. By the way, I also stole her title for my post. I figured since I was taking the overall idea from her blog, I'd take her title as well ;-)

Anyway, here's what I have to do:

"Go through your archives and find the post that best fits the words listed"
I tried to go as far back into my archives as possible. I needed to give myself a challenge.

Something SERIOUS
I found a few, but I've picked just one: Tyler's Operation. He had grommets put in about a year ago. It was his second operation under general anaesthetic. It was pretty hard for mummy!

Something totally ROMANTIC
How about this one?
20 Things I Love About My Husband. I know he thought it was totally romantic.

I couldn't find much, but here is one of those questionnaire thingies ... you should be able to learn something about me from these answers!

Three Things
And here are some Things That Make Me Happy

Something FUNNY
I found it hard to choose between 3 of my favourites. So I didn't.

Sugar Sugar
New Mens Magazine
And I simply couldn't resist including Some Ethanisms

There. I hope you all learned a bit more about me and my life, since I have quite a few more readers now than when I first started blogging.
Now I'm tagging Julie, Tanya and Janine. Oh, and anybody else who wants to do it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Say what?

So Tyler has this new habit - one that Ethan used to have (and still does, to an extent) – of repeating things over and over until he thinks you’ve heard it. But the only way he believes that you’ve heard it is when you say it back to him word for word. And heaven forbid if you mess it up, because then he’ll start repeating it all over again. This goes on all day long.
I remember when Ethan first started to do this. He was about the age Tyler is now. At first I thought it was pretty cute. Then it got a bit annoying. Eventually he stopped doing it quite so much, but he still does it if he is talking to you and there is other noise in the background (like Tyler, or the TV, or somebody else talking). Doesn’t the child realise I can listen to more than 3 things at once? I’m a multi-tasker!

So anyway, just as Ethan starts to grow out of this habit, Tyler starts it up. At the moment it doesn’t annoy me because I’m still enjoying his speech development. You know when your kids first start to talk “properly”, using long sentences and understanding big words, you’re just so proud of them and you want to listen to them talking all the time? And then, gradually, it becomes a constant droning sound in the background that you try to shut out! LOL. Well, we’re still at that first stage with Tyler. The stage where we giggle and laugh at the things he says, where we ask him to repeat words because he sounds so adorable when he says them (like “San Diego”, “crack-a-lackin” and “enclosure” from the Madagascar book, just to name a few).

Oops, I think I’ve made it sound like I don’t want to listen to Ethan talking at all. That’s really not the case, I enjoy having little chats with him, and I love that we can have such great conversations now. I think all the mums out there know what I mean though … some days it just feels like all you’ve done is answer mindless questions! I guess I should try harder to appreciate both boys’ conversational skills. After all, I’m very proud of them.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A wedding ... and well-constructed sentences

You may be wondering how those two things are related. Well, keep reading and I'll explain.

Today I went to my friend Juliette's wedding. (Juliette used to work at Adis). Anyway, the Reverend who officiated Juliette & Shaun's wedding talked about what makes a well-constructed sentence. I guess his choice of topic may have been influenced by Juliette's profession -- she's a medical writer. He suggested that all good sentences consist of "a few words, well-placed". He had 5 fridge magnets (this choice may have been influenced by Shaun's profession - he works for Fisher & Paykel). Each magnet represented 5 well-constructed sentences that are needed to build a good marriage. Holding up colourful number magnets from 1-5, he explained that the sentences contained 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 word(s) as follows:

5: I'm sorry, please forgive me.
4: Can you help me?
3: I love you.
2. Thank you.
1. Chosen.

I was so taken with his message and the way he delivered it. And he's totally right. Those 5 sentences are the building blocks to a good marriage. If you can't say those things, you've definitely got something to work on. He said #3 is one you will never get tired of hearing. How true is that? And I know if we all used #5 and #2 a bit more, the world would be a happier place.

I was just reminded today of how wonderful marriage is. I feel totally blessed to have such a great marriage, and to be married to such a great guy. I hope all those who read this post will get something out of the message, even though I couldn't share it as eloquently as Reverend Norton did today.

And finally, a big CONGRATULATIONS to Mr & Mrs Allport! You guys looked awesome today and I hope you had a really wonderful day. It was so neat to be there and share in your special day. It was also a neat surprise to see Robyn and Andrew - you guys are so cute together! ;-)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Time for a change?

Well, I think I have the “back to work blues”. I know, I’ve only been back for 3 days, and I only have another 8 working days until our Hahei holiday, but I’m feeling a bit demotivated right now.

[I’m pretty sure nobody at my work reads my blog. Plenty of ex-coworkers who read it (Robyn, Ju, Tanya, Rachael, Lyndal, David …) but they will probably understand more than anybody how I’m feeling! So I can safely say what I want to say ...]

I love my job. I really do. I have NEVER woken up with that horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach at the thought of having to go to work. And trust me, I know what that feels like. I had it EVERY SINGLE TIME I had to go and work at the supermarket. I worked there for 5 years. It wasn’t fun.
Anyway, I don’t dislike coming to work. I enjoy what I do, and I work for a good company. But right now I’m feeling a little disillusioned about things. I recently had my performance review and apparently (according to a friend who just moved departments, and had his PR before he left) I got the highest rating in my team. I should be happy with that, but I’m not. I need a new challenge. I need a change. There are plenty of vacancies in the company at the moment, but there’s a problem with that scenario. I currently have a really flexible working arrangement. I’m allowed to work from home every Friday (my 1/2 day) and I’m also allowed to do shorter days when I drop off/pick up Ethan from Kindy, as long as I make the time up later. That works briliantly for me. If I moved to another department, I would be unlikely to have that flexibility. Not until I had been there for a decent amount of time, gotten up to speed with the new job, and proven myself capable. I’ve been in my current job for almost 8 years, which is why I have the freedom I have right now.

There is glimmer of hope for me though. I’ve asked, and been given a very encouraging response (not 100% yes, but very encouraging all the same), about working from home fulltime. As in every day. As in no travelling to work … saving me 1 hour of driving time each day, and about $40 each week in petrol. Of course the standard childcare arrangements that we have now would have to continue. I would need the boys to be at daycare 2 days/week, for Rob to be home on Mondays, and for Mum to have them on Wednesdays. I couldn’t work 40h/week AND look after both boys all the time. I’m good, but I’m not that good ;-)

This wouldn’t happen until May, when Ethan starts school. But I’m hoping it will all go ahead, because it would make life SO much easier for me. I’d be able to be a “school mum” every day, not just once a week. I’d be able to drop him off and pick him up every day. I’d be able to go to the gym at the much more godly hour of 9am instead of the ungodly one of 6am. I’d be able to watch Dr Phil … okay, maybe not! But I’d be able to shuffle things around and get my work done inbetween everything else. If Ethan had a school trip, I’d be able to go.

A few years ago, I would never have considered doing this. I would have missed my friends too much, because I had lots of them. But right now I don’t have that many friends here at work. I have colleagues who I like a lot and get along well with, but nobody that I would call a “good friend”. Nobody I would miss so much that I would feel sad about not being here. My sister works here, and since I have lunch with her everyday I will miss her a LOT. But I do see her a fair bit outside of work so that’s not really an issue.

So until May, I have to stick it out here. It’s not bad, really. I’m sorry if I made it sound bad. It’s just time for a change. And working from home is (hopefully) going to be that change!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My latest layouts

Until this weekend, I hadn't done any 12x12 layouts since November! What with Janine's Christmas challenge (for which I did a mini album), Christmas cards and then getting my CJ ready to post out in a few weeks, I just hadn't found the time to do any other scrapping.

These layouts were all started at crop on Friday night, and I finished them the next day at home. I haven't had too many photos developed recently, I have decided to make more effort to scrap the HUGE box of photos I already have, some dating back to May 2002 when Ethan was born. I'm glad I don't scrap chronologically, because it would annoy me to never be "all caught up". But I really do need to scrap these older photos sooner rather than later. I'm enjoying it as well, because there are some great ones in there.

1) Anyway, the first one is our family photo taken on Christmas Day 2005. Don't we all look SO much younger? ;-) I kept this one pretty simple since the photo was large and I didn't have any journalling to add.
2) The second is of Tyler at the zoo, completely in awe of the new tiger. The huge glass cage is amazing, as you feel so close! And can you believe the tiger photo was taken through the glass?
3) The final one is of Ethan's first live rugby game, which he just loved! I was really happy with how this one turned out. I wasn't sure about using the photo of the game "in action", but I think it works well with the other pics and the papers I chose. And it gives more of an impression about what it was actually like to be there.

That is probably the most scrapping I will be doing for a long time! I'm back to work tomorrow, but only for 2 weeks because then we are off to Hahei. I won't be doing any scrapping down there either, since we'll hopefully be spending all our time in the water ;-)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Healthy weight?

I just read Christi's blog where she had written about a BMI calculator for children.

I actually never knew there was a BMI chart for kids. But I know from my job that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) is an extremely reputable organisation, so I felt happy enough to use the BMI chart on my kids too ;-)
No surprise to me, they were both in the "healthy range".

3 ft 8 1/2 inches
41 3/4 pounds
BMI = 14.8

3 feet 2 1/2 inches
35 1/4 pounds
BMI = 16.7

I wasn't surprised that Ethan's was quite a bit lower. He is very lean, just like his Daddy. Tyler is by no means heavy but he is more solidly built. He's also very tall!

We follow the same sort of philosphy as Christi's family does when it comes to food in our house. All things, including treats, in moderation. Our boys love healthy food just as much. Tyler eats SO much fruit, he prefers it to almost everything else. Ethan loves brocolli, celery, tomatoes and these are often chosen as a snack or for his lunch. Neither of my boys drink juice or soft drink (only on special occasions), they just drink water (and LOTS of it).

I'm really happy with where they are at, and to be honest I'd never really considered that they would be overweight or needing to watch what they eat. We eat healthily in our house so it's never been an issue. I would only become concerned if they weren't active, but they are, all the time. So I know they're fine. The BMI calculator was just a good way to confirm what I already knew ;-)

**EDITED to add:
I knew both my boys were tall, but I had no idea just how tall!
Tyler, at the age of 2 years 3 months, is the height of an average 3-year-old. Ethan, at the age of 4 years 7 months, is the height of an average 6-year-old! I guess with Rob being 6 foot 2 and a mother of "average height" (5 foot 7) they were bound to get some "tall" genes ;-)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

My first weigh-in

I had my first weigh-in at Curves yesterday. So that means I've been going for a month now. I think I've done 20 workouts in that time, which is pretty good considering they've been closed a fair bit!

Anyway, I'm pleased to say I lost 1.2kg during that first month ... and of that, 1.18kg was body fat! Yeah! So I'm down a whole percent in body fat, and I've lost a total of 14.5cm. That includes 6.5cm from my bust (although I think some of that was due to the different bra I was wearing, I didn't think to wear the same one!), 2.5cm from each arm and 6cm from my hips. So I'm pretty happy with my results. However, I reckon if I'd had my weigh-in before Christmas, I would have lost more than that. It kind of goes without saying that I gained a little bit of weight over the festive season. As much as I tried to eat well, it just didn't happen that way all the time. And you can't deprive yourself at Christmas!

So things are going really well and I'm feeling great. I have finally found something that I LOVE to do, and something that works for me. I no longer feel the tremendous guilt about my eating habits. I used to feel really awful every time I had something "bad" because I knew I wasn't doing enough exercise to burn off the calories. Basically, I couldn't eat that stuff but I still did! Now I don't even want junk food 99% of the time, but when I do have something I'm okay with it because I'm so much more active now.

Ethanisms ... and more!

Ethan has come up with a few good ones lately.

A few weeks ago he asked if we could take him to "the park which has a sitting wolf".
He meant a "flying fox".
The other night he asked if he could go "spongy jumping".
He meant "bungy jumping".
Last night when I put him to bed he said "I just wish there was some way to make you understand, to talk to me ... I know what you're going to say, but I just want to be with you."
We were at Mum & Dad's at the time, and some other friends were there too. I went back out into the living room and told the others what he had said. It was pretty funny, the guys were saying "maybe he'll be a poet when he's older?" and "perhaps I should be writing this down" lol. He does have a way with words, my little guy.
We got Ethan a new bike today. We won it on Trade Me ... can you believe we only paid $32 for this?!?! It looks almost brand new, like it has only been ridden a few times. Needless to say, Ethan was really excited when we went to pick it up from Greenhithe today. He's really happy to have a new bike ... now we just have to get him a new bell to replace the Batman one he had on his other bike. Oh, and this bike will be locked in the shed so this one won't be stolen.

I thought it was about time to upload some photos of what we've been up to over the holidays.
This is Rob's brother Paul with his little boy Brock at the beach in Whangarei.

Here is a sand monster ... oops, I mean Ethan! Note how much sand is in his HAIR. He got a boogie board from Santa and this is what he looks like after he's been on it ;-)

Here are the boys all ready to go fishing the other morning. Tyler caught his first fish off Manly beach!! Rob said he was a bit freaked out - he was holding the line and all of a sudden he started yelling and pulling on it!

And finally, here is Tyler on his trike. He is getting better at it and hopefully he'll soon be able to pedal properly by himself. He is SUCH a poser these days, he loves getting his photo taken!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Holiday mode

We're in holiday mode. And it's great!

We spent a few days up in Whangarei after Christmas, spending time with Rob's family. Since we got home, we've just been enjoying the lazy days of summer. Going to the beach, taking the dinghy out, playing at the park ... oh and painting the house! I've been catching up on Season 2 of LOST (I was a bit of a late convert) ... I've watched 24 episodes in just 5 days! So now I'm ready to watch Season 3 on telly with my hubby, instead of having to leave the room every Wednesday night ;-)

My parents looked after the boys yesterday. They took them to the zoo, and the boys stayed over. Rob and I got quite a bit of painting done, and we also managed to find time for a picnic lunch. Rob had been up to the supermarket and bought wine, strawberries, fresh bread and cheese. Then he threw me a helmet and we got on the Vespa and rode out to Tindalls Bay for a picnic on the beach. Really nice! It was my first ride on the Vespa and it was cool. I've been on a motorbike before but the Vespa doesn't go quite as fast!
In the evening went to the Mexican restaurant for dinner, then walked along Orewa beach. And this morning we slept until 8.30! Bliss! Poor Mum & Dad: they were woken up at 5.30am!

As for my exercise routine, I'm back into the swing of things now. The gym is open again and I'm back to going 5 days/week. It was pretty hard over Christmas and New Year with them being shut so much. I found it much harder to keep up with my healthy eating when I wasn't able to work out. Now I'm back on track and hoping for a good result tomorrow when I have my first weigh in!

I hope you are all enjoying the start of 2007. The weather has been great the past few days, so I'm hoping for more days like that before I go back to work on the 15th. And then some more nice weather at the end of January because we have our proper Summer Holiday at Hahei. I'm looking forward to that!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

12 Days of Christmas

Here are my completed layouts for Janine's 12 Days of Christmas challenge!
Thanks so much Janine for setting these! I've now got a lovely little Christmas album to share with my boys as they get older. I used an old baby's board book for my mini album. I just tore off the shiny paper and then covered with patterned paper.

Here are the pics:

Day 1: On the first day of Christmas/My true love gave to me/A pukeko in a ponga tree
The first challenge is around the Christmas tree ... Do you have a real tree or a fake tree? Do you have a theme for your ornaments or tree? What day does the Christmas tree go up? When do you take the tree down? Do you have a family tradition to celebrate the tree being decorated? Do you decorate the tree yourself or do your children help?

Day 2:
On the second day of Christmas/My true love gave to me two kumara/And a pukeko in a ponga tree
This challenge is around food ... Do you leave any special foods out for Santa?

Day 3:
On the third day of Christmas/My true love gave to me/Three flax kits/Two kumara/And a pukeko in a ponga tree!
Day Three of the challenge is around gifts ... What do your children want for Christmas this year; include your children’s wish list, or maybe their letter to Santa.

Day 4: On the fourth day of Christmas/My true love gave to me/Four huhu grubs/Three flax kits/Two kumara/And a pukeko in a ponga tree!
Many of us have extremely hectic schedules around this time of year. So it seems right that today’s challenge is around making a calendar page showing all of the holiday events and activities your family is involved in during the month of December.

Day 5: On the fifth day of Christmas/My true love gave to me/Five- big-fat –pigs/Four huhu grubs/Three flax kits/Two kumara/And a pukeko in a ponga tree
Today’s challenge is what Christmas means to you? Tell me what Christmas means to you and or your family.

Day 6:
On the sixth day of Christmas/My true love gave to me/Six pois a twirling/Five- big-fat –pigs/Four huhu grubs/Three flax kits/Two kumara/And a pukeko in a ponga tree
Today’s challenge is about music…What are your favourite Christmas songs/carols?

Day 7: On the seventh day of Christmas/My true love gave to me/Seven eels a swimming/Six pois a twirling /Five- big-fat –pigs/Four huhu grubs/Three flax kits/Two kumara/And a pukeko in a ponga tree
Today’s challenge is about summer ... Whilst we celebrate Christmas in summer weather other countries celebrate Christmas in winter. What do you prefer a hot or wintry Christmas?

Day 8: On the eighth day of Christmas/My true love gave to me/Eight plants of puha/Seven eels a swimming/Six pois a twirling /Five- big-fat –pigs/Four huhu grubs/Three flax kits/Two kumara/And a pukeko in a ponga tree
Today’s challenge is about Family ... Is there a roster of whose place Christmas is held at or where lunch is and dinner is? Do you all pitch in food wise or is it a potluck Christmas dinner? Do you have or have you had an orphans Christmas where you invite other friends to join you?

Day 9: On the ninth day of Christmas/My true love gave to me/Nine sacks of pipis/Eight plants of puha/Seven eels a swimming/Six pois a twirling /Five- big-fat –pigs/Four huhu grubs/Three flax kits/Two kumara/And a pukeko in a ponga tree
Todays challenge is aorund keeping in touch ... Christmas cards.

Day 10: On the tenth day of Christmas/My true love gave to me/Ten juicy fish heads/Nine sacks of pipis/Eight plants of puha/Seven eels a swimming/Six pois a twirling /Five- big-fat –pigs/Four huhu grubs/Three flax kits/Two kumara/And a pukeko in a ponga tree
Entertainment is the theme for today. So the Christmas meal has been eaten and the dishes done, your relaxing and the kids just want to have fun. What happens on Christmas day for entertainment?

Day 11:
On the eleventh day of Christmas/My true love gave to me/Eleven haka lessons/Ten juicy fish heads/Nine sacks of pipis/Eight plants of puha/Seven eels a swimming/Six pois a twirling /Five- big-fat –pigs/Four huhu grubs/Three flax kits/Two kumara/And a pukeko in a ponga tree
Today’s challenge is about Christmas Eve ... Do you do anything as a family on Christmas Eve? Any family traditions you do on Christmas Eve?

Day 12:
On the twelfth day of Christmas/My true love gave to me/Twelve puipuis swinging/Eleven haka lessons/Ten juicy fish heads/Nine sacks of pipis/Eight plants of puha/Seven eels a swimming/Six pois a twirling /Five- big-fat –pigs/Four huhu grubs/Three flax kits/Two kumara/And a pukeko in a ponga tree
Todays challenge is going to be a little bit different. You have two topics you can choose from. The second choice is yours, you decide that your page can be about. However there is a catch, there has to be twelve items in your page. Mine has 12 embellishments.

Finally, the cover of my album.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Glimpses of our Christmas ...

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ....

... oh, I just love that song!! Always reminds me of the movie Home Alone, which is my favourite Christmas movie ever! My sister and I try to watch it every year on Christmas Eve.

7 sleeps to go ...
A few days ago, Ethan asked me: "how many days until Christmas?" … and I answered "11". Yesterday, he proudly announced to us at the breakfast table that there were only 8 days until Christmas! When he said it, Rob looked at me, thinking I must have already told him. But I hadn't. He had obviously worked it out by himself - I had said 11 days, then he figured out it was 10 the next day, then 9, and then 8! We were SO impressed!

The boys are enjoying opening their advent calendar each day. I got one of those felt ones with the pockets and I filled them with my own things. Some days they get little Santa chocolates, other days they get Christmas stickers, balloons or a little ornament to hang on the tree. Usually we have the generic chocolate advent calendars with Nemo or Bob the Builder on them. When the shops started stocking those calendars in late October, Ethan asked me to buy one. How do you explain to a 4-year-old that if he got a calendar now, he would have to wait almost 6 weeks before he could start opening it?! So I duly waited until the end of November, and when I tried to buy one, they were all sold out. Except for the Barbie ones, but I would NOT have been popular if I had come home with one of those! As I left the store, I noticed the felt ones. I decided it would be more fun (not to mention healthier) if I could fill the pockets myself, making sure that not every pocket contained a teeth-rotting substance. I thought the boys might be unhappy with the non-edible offerings, but they've been great. Having said that, they do like the "chocolate days" best ;-)

I have been working steadily on
Janine's 12 Days of Christmas challenge.
I've completed all of them except for #9. I haven't done that one because I foolishly forgot to take photos of the Christmas cards I made and the family newsletter that I wrote before I posted them all out on Thursday! So I need to go round to Mum's and take a photo of her one.
For the challenge, I made a small 7x5 album from an old board book that belonged to the kids. I just ripped off all the shiny paper and covered the pages with Basic Grey papers (Blitzen, Dasher and Fruitcake). I decided to wait until my entire album was done before taking photos and putting them on my blog. So hopefully by the end of this week I will have them all up here for you to see.
Thanks Janine, for such a great challenge! I'm really glad that we now have this little album as a family Christmas heirloom.