Wow, October was a great month! I just had a look through my photos to jog my memories of five things that stood out last month, and there are so many wonderful family, pets, activity and nature photos in there. We were definitely thrown by the surprise lockdown that happened the day before Amelie’s fifth birthday party, and lasted until two days past the day she was meant to start big school, but looking back at my pictures, we made the most of it. And we were lucky that it didn’t last all that long, considering (I’m sure it felt quite long enough at the time!).
One of these days I will write a blog post that doesn’t mention Covid, lockdowns, levels or other things to do with the coronavirus, and I might even write a blog post without thinking about any of those things. I look forward to that day. For now, take a look at our highlights from October…
1. Family walks feat. adventure lollies
Amelie had been begging to go for a walk on the new boardwalk for weeks on end, and in October, we finally made it happen! We parked at the village end of the walk, and did the entire thing, all the way out and back…that’s a few kilometres of walking, which is completely doable for a five year old, but also an achievement. We had a lovely time and managed to head off most of the whining in the latter half of the walk through judicious use of adventure lollies (aka The Natural Confectionery Co. lollies). We break these out when we need to, any time we’re doing anything that could be classed as adventurous and that could encourage whining (skiing and hiking so far, with more activities to be discovered I’m sure!) and at no other times, so they’re a big treat and make ‘adventure’ something Amelie is very keen to do!
2. Celebrating Amelie’s birthday
At about 6pm on the Friday night before Amelie’s birthday party, which was planned for the Saturday, we found out that Northland would be going into a surprise snap lockdown thanks to two absconding Aucklanders who brought Covid over the border then refused to divulge their whereabouts. We were unimpressed, to say the least, but mostly just devastated for our little girl who had been so excited for her party. We didn’t tell her until Saturday morning, and we felt so bad having to tell her…but she was just amazing. Her eyes teared up, then she took a few deep breaths and said we could still have a fun day anyway, just the three of us. I truly believe that if everyone was able to handle disruption and disappointment with the same grace this newly-turned five year old exhibited, we would have a much nicer world.
And she was right – we did have a lovely day! Amelie put her party dress and new unicorn horn on, then we drove around the neighbourhood making contactless cupcake deliveries to her friends who live close by. We had organised a bouncy castle hire for the party, and they were still able to come up and set one up for the day just for Amelie to enjoy. We ate all Amelie’s favourite foods – croissants for breakfast and pizza for lunch and an absolutely enormous unicorn cake for afternoon tea (panicked text from me the previous night to the baker: Can I freeze the cake? The answer was yes, fortunately). We played outdoor games, enjoyed the sun, and did our absolute best to celebrate our wonderful, kind, clever, generous, delightful daughter in the way she deserved.
3. Pizza and champagne
See above…our local butcher makes the most amazing frozen pizzas (simple ingredients, great quality, homemade dough) and at the time Amelie’s birthday party was cancelled, we were the proud owners of eight of them. They now reside in our freezer, ready to come out whenever the time is right, like when we have something to celebrate (in this case, it was listing the uptown apartment for sale) – pizza and champagne being exactly the sort of high/low combo I believe in.
4. Big school!
Two days delayed from the original start date, but only two days, thank goodness. Amelie was so excited to start ‘big school’ and we had an amazing morning for it. We were welcomed on to the school grounds with a lovely little (L2 appropriate and modified) pōwhiri before Amelie sauntered off to see her teacher as if she’s been there for years. At the end of the day she told me it had been the best day of her life. We are so happy she feels so comfortable and sure of herself, and incredibly delighted to be part of our little school’s community – it’s such a special place for Amelie to start her formal learning.
5. A playlist fit for a birthday girl
I made this as a surprise for Amelie’s fifth birthday party, and we listened to it all day on the Saturday that we celebrated! Now we have to listen to it frequently. Amelie calls it her ‘special music’. She also has zero concept of what a playlist is, despite me trying my best to explain: she definitely thinks that this playlist was made for her by someone very high up in the world of music, and because some of the songs in it are from movies, she thinks they’re all from movies…but nevertheless, she loves it so I achieved my aim and ruined my Spotify all at once. Worth it.