Friday, February 25, 2011

Trying to put it into words

February 22, Christchurch city, earthquake

When the quake struck I was in the car with the kids on the way to music. We were sitting at the lights on Barbadoes St. The sound was incredible, both the noise of the earthquake itself and of the falling buildings. I like to think I'm a pretty calm kind of person, but what we saw and experienced really shook me to the core (pun not intended). People streaming out of the city centre, crying, helping each other along, some dusty and/or bleeding. All I could think of was 'what if' the whole time we were trying to get out of there... if Big Brother hadn't been being a sh*t we were going to The Crossing for lunch before music - we would have been in the car park building or on Lichfield St, where we would have been very lucky indeed to get out uninjured. Just a very few minutes later and we would have been on Tuam / Madras where, if we'd avoided being hit by the debris there is no way we would have got out in the car. As I watched the ground splitting open around us and then the water / silt come spewing out I was planning what to do if the car got stuck or began to sink - how to get the kids out, where to go, how to get there, what to do next. Likewise as the dust and smoke began to drift over us, I was trying to work out what to do if it got too thick to breathe. As we crept past buildings I was just hoping like hell they wouldn't collapse as we passed. Meanwhile I was trying to contact C, find out where he was and get to him. Fortunately the kids were awesome because I'm not sure what I could have done if they'd panicked. In many ways the slow creep up Barbadoes St to get out was good because by the time I got to the end I'd stopped shaking and was thinking a little more clearly. Our city is never going to be the same again, and neither will the people living through it. The images on TV bring me close to tears every time I see them, and I've no idea why anyone would want to go back into the city centre to 'sight see' without legitimate purpose. This is 100 or even 1000 times worse than the first one... it's life changing.

The offers of help have been amazing, friends from around the country and the world have offered a place to stay and whatever other help they can, and it was so touching that so many people wanted to track us down and check that we were ok. We are ok - our house is ok, we have power and water, and access to family with showers and toilets, but so many people are not. It's amazing to see the people mobilising to help out where they can, and quite inspiring to see how communities are pulling together get through.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lazy Summer Days

It's been too nice to do anything 'useful' - and the beginning of the school term has meant we've been so busy too, so it's nice to just hang out when we get the chance.

Little Sister is growing up very quickly now, learning new words and tricks every day and keeping us on our toes.  "Me too" is a common refrain and she does not like to miss out on anything.  She's at the point where we can usually work out most of what she's saying, but she's still largely unintelligible to other people.
She loves her motorbike and other ride on toys.  We must get some blocks on the tricycle pedals because I think that's the only thing stopping her taking off on that.  She also loves music at the moment so she and Big Brother are off to music group on Tuesdays, much to her joy.

Big Brother is also learning lots at the moment.  He's been enjoying lots of new books, including Roald Dahl and Paddington, and has finished Miquon Red now - on with the Blue book!  He is enjoying his keyboard sessions and is counting down the days until Small Poppies starts back.  He's been doing a great job of being a big brother lately too.  I found this the other day:

He'd helped her out of her trousers and nappy and was reading her a potty story while she sat there.. too cute!

Here's a self portrait from the lad himself:
I think that's about it from us... except for my new favourite picture of the two of them together:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yay, Summer!

We got out the paints today and went a little mad in the sunshine.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Humpty Dumpty

Little Sister has a new game.

It goes something like this "'umpty 'umpy ah on ah wall, umpty umpy ah ah ah fall!"

Too cute.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Week in Review

This week has been busy.  We haven't had a single day at home all day (or even most of the day).

Little Sister is growing up fast, trying out more and more words and phrases now.  She is also trying her luck on the winding up her brother and generally doing as she's asked front... lucky she's cute!  After not being particularly interested she's suddenly taken a shine to puzzles, but will only do each one once (this sounds familiar).  I need to get the rest of the puzzles down so they're easy to pull out in rapid succession for her next session - and work out who I loaned some of them to.

Big Brother has had a hard week, but the end of the week has been much better than the beginning... yay!  He's three pages from the end of Miquon Red and is quite excited about finishing it soon - he's also very excited that gymnastics is starting back tomorrow.  This term he's starting keyboard lessons and the three of us will check out a music session at the CSM next week to think about that too.  Small Poppies starts back in two weeks time so we'll be busy this term.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Work is fun!

Shaving Foam + Food Colouring + Kids = clean windows for mummy and occupied boy for an hour or two.