Archive for the ‘The Fabulous Auntie B’ Category

When I grow up

November 2, 2012

As they came home in the car tonight, Babess was telling The Dad about her future life.  She wants to be a Mum when she grows up, and she will live in a house in Melbourne.  “A empty house,” she hastened to add, lest we think she’s going to move in on startled random residents already in place.

“How many children will you have, Babess?”

“Five boys, and four girls.  And there will be a grandma.”

I hope there’d be a Dad, too, but with nine kids I’m sure a grandma would be a good person to have on hand.   She’d certainly have plenty to do.  But hang on a minute… “Who will be the grandma?”

“Auntie B!”


© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Did they miss us?

September 2, 2012

The Dad and I very much enjoyed our weekend away, but were excited to go and collect the children again at the end of it.  Somewhat predictably (because it happened last time too), the children were not quite so excited to see us.

“We’re here to rescue you from Auntie B’s clutches!” I laughed as we arrived.  Pearl glanced up from  what she was doing and murmured, “Nooooo…”.

Babess smiled brightly at me and said, “But I don’t want to go home, I want to stay here for this many!” as she held up 6 fingers.  Fainjin just looked up and said, “Hi Mum,” but stayed firmly on the couch next to his adored older cousin.

They did all come home without much fuss though.  They had even made a card for The Dad for Fathers’ Day!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

English Toast

August 31, 2012

The children are having a sleepover with The Fabulous Auntie B and their cousins this weekend.  Pearl was chatting with her older cousin and mentioned that she prefers to stay with Nana, because Nana makes her french toast for breakfast.

Older cousin said, “Well, if you ask Auntie B very nicely, we might get french toast for breakfast here!” (It might perhaps be noted that older cousin is plenty grown-up enough to be capable of making french toast himself… just in case he reads this!).

Fainjin looked a bit anxious, and asked – by way of checking – “But if I ask Auntie B nicely, she will make me english toast, won’t she?”

Older cousin was amused, and asked him what english toast was. “It’s toast, in our language…”

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Sleepover success

January 23, 2012

Babess & Fainjin enjoyed their sleepover very much indeed.  They loved all the attention from their cousins and adored Auntie B, and spent their time playing with new-to-them toys to their hearts’ content.

I understand they were well-behaved and slept well, settling easily at nights (having big cousins reading several stories in bed helped, I’m sure).

But when it was time to come home, they were less than enthusiastic.

“I don’t want to go home,” said Babess, doing her sad face.

“But Mummy and Daddy will miss you!” replied Auntie B.

“They won’t miss me if I stay here five nights,” Babess asserted.

“How many nights have you had already?”


“So how many more would you want?”

“Five more.”  Babess is already adept at manipulating numbers to her own ends.

“Oh, they would miss you.”

“No, they won’t miss me.  But I will miss the trampoline…”

So nice to know where we come in the ranks of her affection!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Just a quick stay

January 20, 2012

Fainjin and Babess have gone for a sleep-over with The Fabulous Auntie B.  They will be away three nights, and it’s their first sleep-over.  Or maybe Fainjin’s second… I think he might have had a sleep-over there the night Babess was born.

They have been very excited and looking forward to it, and I’m told they have been very good this evening and have enjoyed having their older cousins teach them dances and read stories to them.

This afternoon, when The Fabulous Auntie B came to pick them up, one of the cousins scooped up Babess and said excitedly, “Do you know where you’re going?!”

Babess widened her eyes and said “Yes!  I’m gon’ stay at your house for threeeeeeee” – she held up three fingers – “… minutes!”

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


October 30, 2011

It is school fair season, so yesterday we went along to support a cousin’s school fundraising effort.  Pearl and Fainjin had great fun on the 7m-high bouncy slide; Babess wanted a go too but it looked a bit hazardous for someone of her size (lots of kids running and bouncing), so The Fabulous Auntie B took her over to look at the police car and the ponies instead.

Then they all got to select a temporary “tattoo”, since their cousin was working on the stall and would apply them.  For $1 each, Fainjin got a large pirate treasure and flag on his arm (which had him pointing to everything and saying “Arrrr!” the rest of the day), Pearl got a lovely jumping dolphin on her hand, and Babess got a little set of hearts on hers.

Now of course they are refusing to wash.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Dry day

October 3, 2011

Since Babess decided a few weeks ago that she was a “big girl”, we’ve let her take the lead on whether she wears knickers or pull-ups each day.  She is gradually having fewer accidents, but if she chooses knickers I pack up a couple of changes of clothes and send them to daycare so she has plenty of back-up.

That was the case this morning, and I expected to have a bit of laundry to do for her tonight.  But she came home in the same outfit she had left in!  She had obviously removed and replaced her knickers at some point, because she had them on sideways – one leg through the waist, and a leg-hole at the top around her middle – which must surely have been uncomfortable although it didn’t seem to bother her – but they were dry.

We exchanged high-fives and made a big deal of putting a sticker on a piece of paper for her, securing the “sticker chart” to the fridge with a nice magnet.  Because this qualifies as Big News, I suggested we call Nana and tell her.  “And Auntie B!” Babess insisted.

We called Nana, who dutifully made a fuss, and asked Auntie B to call us back in a few minutes.

But in the whirlwind world of a three-year-old, the news was old and forgotten by the time the phone rang, so when prompted to “tell Auntie B your news” she had to think for a bit before coming up with “I played rugby with my friend at daycare!”

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

“I’m a Big Girl!”

August 15, 2011

Yesterday the Fabulous Auntie B brought us a big bag of clothes – a few things for Fainjin but mostly for Babess.  These are things her children grew out of years ago and she had forgotten were in her basement.  There were sparkly jeans, warm jackets, pretty dresses, and lovely hand-knits.  And about 8 pairs of towelling knickers.

So Babess decided this morning that she is Big now, and needs to wear knickers instead of nappies.  She has been moving towards this for a little while, taking herself off to the loo unprompted but still wetting her nappies often, and we haven’t been pushing the issue – particularly as it’s the depths of winter.

I asked if she was really sure.  She insisted.  And was wet through within half an hour.  She was cheerful about it, though, and even though we offered her a nappy at that stage, she went and got fresh knickers and re-dressed herself.

So off she went to daycare with two complete changes of clothes as backup.

She came home with two wet sets and a nappy on, but I think she’s made a decision.  For the next few days I might have to be extra vigilant about getting the laundry washed and dried though, so she doesn’t run out of clothes.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

This could get noisy…

July 25, 2011

My teenage nephew came for dinner last night.  The children were absolutely thrilled, he is lovely with them and they really look up to him (most people do, he is exceptionally tall).

He and Fainjin are the two boys in a gaggle of local girl-cousins, so they have quite a special bond despite the age difference.  And so, when – while waiting for dinner to be served – my tap-dancer nephew offered to show Fainjin a few steps, my boy was delighted to have a go.

I was instantly transported back in time about 12 years, when my nephew first saw “Riverdance” and had us all in stitches as he cavorted about the living room doing a passable 4-year-old’s version of the dances and falling down regularly.   I think we joked then that he would grow up to be a dancer… we had no idea how right we were.

He only had the TV to show him the steps.  Fainjin got personal instruction from an accomplished performer.  They started off with some very basic tap steps (in their socks), then my nephew showed off some rapid fancy steps.  Fainjin faithfully had a go at copying him, adoration written on his face.

It was still written on his face when he landed on his backside… twice.

Later, I was exclaiming over the cuteness to the Fabulous Auntie B.  She drily advised me to start saving for tap shoes.


© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Relay For Life 2011

March 28, 2011

On Saturday night The Dad, Pearl and I joined our local Relay For Life in a sponsored run/walk over 17 hours to raise money for the Cancer Society of New Zealand.  Our team of mostly young people and children raised over $3000, so we are very proud of our efforts – and very grateful to everyone who sponsored us and supported us.  Thank you!

We arrived mid-afternoon, just in time to drop our bags in the beautifully-decorated marquee (well done Auntie B!) and head to the opening ceremony.  Then there was a Survivors’ Lap, and all participants followed for a starting lap.  After that, we took turns to carry a baton around and around and around until 9 o’clock on Sunday morning.

The Dad and Pearl had a couple of turns fairly early on, so that they could go home and sleep.  Unfortunately, they were the ones on the track during a torrential downpour!  Pearl didn’t really mind.

The rain turned the ground to mud – the track was asphalt, but the tents were pitched on the park – and continued long enough to make cooking slightly problematic.

Steamed sausage, anyone?

At 8:30pm there was a candle ceremony.  Anyone could purchase a paper bag from the Cancer Society and decorate it in memory of someone who had died of cancer.  Hundreds of these bags, with battery-operated candles inside, glowed in the covered carpark (moved there because of the rain) and a brief memorial service was held.  It was very moving and emotional.  Our bags were dedicated to friends and family, and it was sobering to realise how many there were to remember.

Candle bags

After the Relay, these bags are incinerated and the ashes scattered in a memorial garden.

Shortly after the ceremony, Pearl and The Dad went home.  Our wonderful babysitter had taken Fainjin and Babess to a park, brought them home, fed them, read them stories, put them to bed, done her own study, and was doing all our dishes (!) by the time they got home.  Pearl managed to strip off her wet clothes before falling asleep, but I hear it was a close-run thing.

Meanwhile, I was at the park, supporting our walkers and runners and doing a few spells myself.  There was a lot of music, noise and off-track action through the night.  One team hosted a disco from 11pm until 2pm.

As I carried the baton between 1am and 2am, the sky started to clear and we could see lots of stars.  I found myself thinking of Susan (WhyMommy) and her amazing job at NASA.  I would love for her to see our wonderful southern skies.  I thought a lot about other friends living with cancer, too – there’s a lot of time for thinking on the Relay, and you’re surrounded by plenty of thoughtful people.

I managed to get about an hour of sleep in a deck-chair in our marquee.  We were exceptionally lucky that we were somehow out of range of the sprinkler system which came on at 2:30am!  Some tents had indoor fountains and flooded.  Ours, with half-a-dozen children asleep on the ground, stayed comparatively dry.

Free massages were available to participants, and I was near the start of the queue when the morning session started at 5:30am.  After trying to sleep on a foam pad (and fearing I might never move again!), then napping in a deck-chair, those ten minutes were absolute bliss.

Breakfast was provided at 7am, and The Dad achieved the near-impossible by having all three children down at the park by 7:30.  Fainjin and Babess were very excited to see what we had all been up to, and enthusiastically joined the Relay.  Fainjin carried the baton for two full laps, and Babess for about 30m (it’s heavy for a little kid!).

The whole team walked the final lap together, then gathered for the closing ceremony.  We didn’t run the most laps, have the best-decorated tent, or win the prize for best-dressed team, but we were more than satisfied with our efforts.

There is talk about organising a team for next year.  I hope that one year, we will find that we don’t need a Cancer Society.  Until then, please support your local Relay for Life.

Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back!

Remembered with love

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

%d bloggers like this: