A slip in time

We do have a good excuse for the long absence… Mama is not just a mama anymore. She’s an official got a job, self-employed, money-earning mama. And how the house has changed. Dada has also joined the ranks of the wage earners, and suddenly we have transformed from a no-income family to a two-income family with deadlines and alarm clocks and reasons to get dressed in the morning!

Mama is working three days a week from home ESW LAW Ltd. Oh yeah! And Dada is working as a real-life, bona fide, product designer, five days a week. Astounding! Olive is in the safe hands of Alicia while mama works and after a tough start with quite a few tears she is now in a fully-fledged love affair with Alicia’s, two-year old girl Aia.

We are trooping on with Playcentre two days a week, which Olive and mama both love. The kids are great, the centre is choice and Olive is learning and climbing and developing into a talking, running, dancing lovebaby.

The tumultuous times took their toll on the littlest Stenhouse, with about a month of crazytime in the nights – 2 or 3 hours of grizzling and wizzling and driving mama and dada up against the wall, over the roof and jumping for our lives. This has calmed down (to save us all) with the emergence of two glistening molars through her 14 month old gums. And Jesus were they are hard time coming!

Olive is the light of our lives. She is so amazing, her personality is shining now. With talking and listening and doing so much. This last week her new trick is to do all the actions to “if you’re happy and you know it” we do clapping our hands, stomping our feet and patting our heads.

Olive has so many words, many of the most well-used show her personality!

Dog, mama (mummy), daddy (dada), duck, uh-oh, turtle, nyna, granddad, nana, poppa, yaya (Xavier), no, up more, more more (milk), beebee, Aia, Koka, Ta (Taaaaaaa!), date, peas, bottle, hot (+blowing), baby, ball, boat, bath and probably more. She is so talented!

Her animals sounds are a hoot

She can also now do lizard, farfalla, tractor, fire engine, car, giraffe and pussycat. Proud? Never!

Our new cousin / nephew

And we have a cousin! Xavier Anthony Fitness born on the winter solstice, 21 June 2010 at 8lb 2oz (not to be outdone by Olive, he chose to equal her) but so long – 56cm – he’s off the chart.

We love him so much. We wouldn’t mind squishing him up and eating him.

Our BIG trip

It seems so long ago now, but I am making a concerted effort to remember, through the sleep-deprived haze of my brain, what we did on Olive’s big trip…

First stop was Dubai, a beautifully behaved and charming Olive tottered about the airport and found a glass wall to play with. Her mama and nini were completely soaked in rejected pumpkin from the time we left Auckland. The second leg dragged but before we knew it we were in London having a big hug with Great-Aunty Ruth. Off we then went to Huw and Suzie’s where Daisy and Maya had crafted a gorgeous and welcoming Olive-themed feast.

Tired but excited we started our adventure with a big kip and some nighttime wandering in the hallway. It was so amazing to see all of our cousins and (great) aunties and uncles, who had all come over to meet the sweet Olive. Nini was so happy to see all her siblings and show off her Olive. We hung about with Ruth and the Burgess-Ahwais for a few days and then off to John and Jayne’s where we ate delicious Vietnamese and got the Oxford update and Olive charmed Menna. Then we hopped on the plane again and off to France we flew.

Dodo had feathered a nest fit for a Queen Olive, with custom made rompers and all the trimmings. David loved having the four generations of Burgess women all together. Nini basked in her element.

We ate the most delicious food, visited the beach and Nime and made lots of little party crowns for Olive’s birthday. We went to the markets in Sommieres and imagined a continental life. The village is something else, it is like a step into another world. So ancient, beautiful and solid. We loved the whole shebang. Olive had a great time trying to get up the stairs and pushing Dodo’s vegetable basket around. Dodo got up in the middle of the night with a jet-lagged Olive and danced and sung and who knows what else. What a treat for them both.

Then we returned to London for the briefest stop and mama and Olive took a 48 hour whirlwind viaggio to visit la nostra famiglia Italiana. Olive charmed them all, our birbante nipote they called and by the time we came to leave Maurizio was claiming Olive should stay!  As soon as we arrived Olive was eating spaghetti and impressing everyone. We went to Tolentino town and mama reminisced in a weird kind of déjà vu feeling 15 years old again, but with my baby. We saw my old school friends and ate gelato. Tolentino is like a time warp, except that Camilla is a young woman and Francesca is nearly a doctor. Olive seemed to know that the language was different and mama was told that I am no longer understood, it was frustrating to not be able to communicate, but such is life.

Back to London a swim at London fields, watching Eamonn’s band perform (Olive in the Ergo), down to London eye and up the Tate before a Greek lunch somewhere fancy and mama is definitely coming back, this time for good (well a few years good) just got to get daddy on board.  Lebanese with Ruth and some shop-shop-shop-shop-shopping to break the bank. Olive kept on trying to get up those stairs at Huw and Suzie’s but Erik Roberts put paid to that – she was terrified!

Before we knew it, it was time to leave and we had to say a goodbye laced with promises to return soon. Ruth is on the hunt for houses for mama and dada to buy and plans for Olive’s activities next time. We can’t wait to go back, it was the greatest trip and it was so special to reconnect with our family, and of course introduce (and show off) the star of the show, Olive.

Olive was less tolerant on the trip home, but we made it, if only in one piece. Our ears on the other hand…