The Reality of Type 1 Diabetes

Our lives have some interesting challenges which we face head-on when they appear, just like many other families.

One I don’t often post about; is my husband’s Type 1 Diabetes.

He keeps it under control most of the time because he has had it for so long, but some nights we get taken by surprise. This is the reality of type 1 Diabetes.

At 1:10am, I wake him as the bed is soaked from sweat. I immediately know he has crashed.

I run downstairs and get his test kit and his blood sugar is at 3.1. I get him up and make sure he is not too fuzzy so that he is able to walk down the stairs by himself.  As he walks down, I hold my breath hoping he won’t fall because we don’t have handrails.

We go to the kitchen and I get him some things to eat and drink, and then grab some towels and dry him off. He is covered head to toe in sweat and a small puddle is already forming around his feet.

Tyoe 1 diabetes

Now we wait. I watch the slow transformation as he goes from holding himself up by leaning in the counter with weak legs and a cloudy head, to standing up freely and looking like himself again. I begin to breathe easier and relax as soon as I know that the threat has passed.

After some soda, sweets and crackers, his blood sugar is at 7.8.

It is now 1:45am AND we head back to change the sheets and go back to sleep. I know he will sleep well because he is exhausted, but I will likely sleep very little. I know that I will keep waking up and checking him because I love him.

I love my Big, Sweaty, Sexy, Wookie.

#diabetichubby #type1diabetes #diabetesawareness

~~The Pizza Incident~~

Every once in a while we find an awesome writing prompt for Sophia to use for her schoolwork. This was one prompt that inspired a pretty awesome story that I will share below.

I posted this on my Facebook and everyone loved it so I figured I should also add it here. Everything below the prompt, is written by Sophia. I hope you enjoy her story as much as we all did.

The Pizza Incident Prompt

This story was written by Sophia Lawless 15 November 2018.

~~The Pizza Incident~~
~This work is purely fiction. The prompt I used is the image included below.~

Believe me, moving houses is fun, but one thing I’ll miss about my old town is the pizza store that was just around the block from my old apartment, and the dusty old library that’s been there for as long as I could remember. Trust me when I say that I’m borderline addicted to pizza, but there’s one thing that really gets on my nerves

whenever I go out for the delicious Italian meal: pizza with pineapple on it. In fact, I hate it so much that I set my apartment on fire by accident when my former room-mate decided to put freaking pineapple on the homemade pizza we were making!

This is why I had to move; I was banned from the building after that day. The incident was on the news too, so it’s not like any other place in that town would let me stay.

Back to the present though. I’d just finished packing everything into the apartment I’m staying at. Now, I was going for a walk to take my mind off things.

I was walking around the block. That’s when a sign on an old building caught my eye: ‘Rose’s Pizza & Book Place’. Peeking inside momentarily revealed it to be a library and pizza parlour, all in one! A piece of wood with something painted on it caught my eye. It said open.

I couldn’t believe it. My two favourite types of places, mashed up into one building.

Smiling, I walked in. Maybe this moving thing wouldn’t be too bad, after all.

As soon as I opened the door, the smell of tomato and fresh bread hit me like a bomb made out of pizza. I noticed that the lady behind the counter was fairly old, maybe 60 if I were to hazard a guess.

“Hello, and welcome to my pizza and book place. May I help you?”

The second thing I noticed about her was her thick Italian accent. Then what she said came back to me, and glancing at the menu board, I then responded with,

“Uhh, yeah. Can I get um..” I peered closer at the menu before finishing. “A small pepperoni pizza with extra cheese?”

She nodded and smiled kindly. “That’ll be ten dollars.”

I handed over the money before walking over to the library section and looking at the

titles of the books, while she walked up a staircase to what I assumed was the kitchen.

As I waited, I couldn’t help but notice a dark room beneath the staircase. I snuck glances at it every few seconds, but thought nothing of it. When my food arrived, I muttered a quick thanks before sitting at a nearby table and digging in. It was absolutely delicious; a cheesy, meaty, saucy dish, with just the right amount of herbs mixed in. I finished quickly, but the dark room underneath the stairs was on my mind every second of it. Even though the lady was at the counter now, she’d probably notice me looking at it every now and then, but still, I looked at it every few seconds.

Soon, she caught on. Noticing my glances, she looked to the dark space. With a wry smile, she then turned to me and said,

“Would you like to know what’s down there?”

I curiously nodded. Hey, as they say, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

“Hm. If you’re sure, then I’ll show you.” she said, walking over to it and looking at me patiently. I quickly got up and hastily walked over to her. Being closer to
the dark room, I noticed that it held a staircase. Most likely it was a basement of some sort. For some reason, I had a strange feeling of dread as I looked down it.

“Come.” the old lady said, making her way down the stairs. I hesitantly followed, keeping fairly close to her. When we got to the bottom, it was too dark to make out anything. I was about to ask her if there was power down there, when she turned on the light switch to reveal…

I couldn’t scream.
I was too horrified. Why would someone do this? It was terrible. Panting heavily, I ran.
I ran up the stairs.
I ran out the door, promising myself to never think about this place again.

You ma

y ask, what did I see that day?

It hurts to think about, but I’ll tell you.

What I saw down that dark room…

Was the biggest selection of pineapple I’ve ever seen in my life.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
top 10 anime plot twists
nah but seriously, I found a ‘dark’ prompt and what did I do?
I made a crackfic out of it

Take a Break with IHC 2018

We were awarded a getaway again this year from IHC. IHC does amazing things for special needs families here in New Zealand. They offer many services as well as a library that we can access for great resources on Special Needs. The Take a Break program is just amazing and so many businesses get on board to donate hotel rooms, entertainment coupons and even gift cards for spending cash.

Last year we went to Wellington; to the Wellington Zoo and TePapa. You can read about that getaway more in the links. This year, they offered a few locations, but we again chose Wellington. It is one of our favourite destinations. We were presented with one night’s accommodation at Distinction Hotel Wellington, and a $200 gift card.

It was a great location as everything was in walking distance from the hotel. Also, we were able to reserve a parking space at the hotel in advance, which if you know anything about Wellington, is a must!

The Distinction was lovely and we all felt very comfortable there. They even had a swimming pool which made our kids very happy. Me, not so much, as it was under the hotel and all I could think about was if there was an earthquake we would all be buried. Yikes.

The Distinction Hotel

Our kids love exploring new things, probably because we have always done it. We try to incorporate fun and learning in creative ways. We popped into Timezone, which is an Arcade, for a few quick games while we waited for the Wellington Night Market on Cuba Street to get going. We wandered around afterwards and looked in the shops. Sophia absolutely loved being out at night time and walking around seeing all the lights and interesting people and Buskers / Street Musicians. I have always loved walking around at night and I honestly miss that about California.

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We all really enjoyed the Night Markets and the food choices that were on offer. It is always great for everyone to be able to try what they want, so this is always an ideal dinner choice. We had an interesting combination; Sophia had Salmon Penne Alfredo, Max had Mac-n-cheese, Brent had a Moroccan Lamb Gyro, and I had a Chicken Chimichanga. It was all pretty good. We took home some treats for breakfast too.

When we got back is when the kids wanted to swim, and we figured being night time, it wouldn’t be very busy. We were right, there was no one else there, which is great because it was very loud, like an echo chamber. We didn’t stay very long as it was pretty cold, but they had great fun. They both love being in the water.

Swimming Pool at Distinction

After a good night’s sleep, we got up and got ready for the day. The boys had run to the store the night before and bought some chocolate mousse. We put it into the funnel cakes and added some berries and it made a beautiful and delicious breakfast.

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We decided to head to Weta Studios and see if they had any space on the tours. They didn’t, so we decided to have a look around. It was so awesome seeing all the props from so many of our favourite shows and movies. Seeing the workmanship up close is such a great way to appreciate the talent that the creators there have. We totally geeked out, and yes, we did embarrass our kids, but they expect that from us by now. We were there for a very long time as there is so much to look at and learn about. We will be sure to book ahead for the next trip down, so we can see the behind the scenes magic. Even if you can’t get in for a tour, it is well worth the trip.

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After we left Weta, we decided to head back to Timezone and play for a while as we hadn’t stayed very long the night before. Everyone always enjoys a good arcade in this family. We were all in awe of how Sophia’s talent at the Crossy Road game. She got heaps of tickets, which she later used to buy candy bars for everyone. We were all beginning to get rather ‘hangry’ by this pint so after wandering around grumbling at each other we decided we better eat.

Zambrero Mexican with a Mission.jpgWe were really stoked to find Zambrero as we all love most Mexican food. I say most because a lot of what is called ‘Mexican’ food in New Zealand is far from what I grew up eating or what I tasted when in Mexico. It still tasted pretty good though, even though I am a bit biased. The best part is that by eating here, we were helping to feed others, and that can never be a bad thing. we always try to teach the kids that we can make a difference in the world, with how we spend our money. They felt good about eating here as well.

After lunch, we headed back home and on the way we stopped off at a few sites and stopped for ice creams and milkshakes.

This was another great Take a Break getaway. We are so thankful to IHC, The Distinction Wellington, and all the sponsors who help make this programme a possibility for families like ours.

We look forward to applying again next year.

Second thoughts about school

Sophia has really been struggling this year with school. It really is amazing what a difference a teacher can make.

Last year her teacher was the first to actually take her Autism seriously, as he has relatives who are Autistic as well. Most teachers so far, just expect her to fit in and don’t check in with her to see how she is doing. She thrived last year.

She is bored at school. She has learned a lot of what they are just starting to learn in her class so she gets bored and then disconnects. She also has to take Woodworking every Wednesday which she hates and is extremely afraid she will cut off her finger.

Combine her fear with her sensitive hearing, and the fact that her anxiety about the class kicks in as soon as she wakes up, and her nervous system gets overwhelmed before she even goes there. She even spends some Tuesday nights awake, unable to sleep due to stressing about the next day.

She has been home a lot this year, for a few reasons. There have been some really terrible viruses going around this year and we seem to get every one!

She has been struggling with her menses as she has a heavy flow and there is no allowances made with regard to PE while she is dealing with that, and any woman who has worn pads can tell you, running or playing sports while bleeding heavy makes a real mess and you get worse cramping.

They worship sports and physical activity here and I just don’t get it. It seems like there is a running or biking competition every couple weeks and of course it is mandatory that you participate.

This angers me, because it strips our children’s right to consent about what happens with their bodies. This is a huge issue and not only for girl’s but also, the boys. They see and perpetuate that you can force people to do what they don’t want to do just by pressuring them and telling them they have to. Also, it takes away the child’s ability to be sensitive to what their bodies are telling them. It interferes with their Autonomy and individuality, which is sadly, what schools were originally designed to do. This all needs to change.

Another issue for her, is that she keeps getting sick, some off it is anxiety, which has always manifested as stomach issues for her.  Also, she is environmentally sensitive, so she feels seismic, barometric and electromagnetic variances, so any changes in those areas and she is affected physically and emotionally. She gets that from me, I have the same thing. This has been steadily increasing the past couple years.

Her psychic and empathic abilities are also harder to ignore at this age, so she feels other people and knows things about them. It can be confusing when someone’s words don’t match the energy they are sending out. This is such a tricky age with Extra-Sensory development (now called Sensory Processing Disorder.)

She has had some of her tics coming back which indicates stress. Her appetite has been all over the place and so have her moods. The rage that comes form her is quite overwhelming at times, and I know she needs help channeling that again.

I work with her of course, but catching it in the moment is crucial to helping her recognise the subtle changes before they get to that point.

This illness, anxiety and stress… is all from school. I am seriously considering taking her out and homeschooling her again.

I know she will have great opportunities for learning, and make friends within the homeschooling community. They have an amazing Network here locally and do some really great activities.

Her class is taking a trip to Wellington next week and she can’t go. Brent asked to be one of the parents, but he wasn’t chosen, so she won’t go. I know this is the best decision for her, but it still sucks that she missed out on the opportunity.

We sat down with her and explained the trip and what they would be doing. Just the thought of it made her anxious so we decided as a family we would keep her home due to health reasons.

I can’t have her so far away in that environment without one of us there if she needs help. If she had a full blown meltdown, they wouldn’t know how to handle her. Also, her classmates may not treat her the same once they witnessed a full meltdown and we can’t allow that to happen.

We will take her on a trip down there as a family and see some if the places she missed. She has been to some of it already, when we took our family holiday last year. Thanks to IHC and their Take A Trip Getaway package they so generously awarded us. You can read more about Day 1 here and day 2 here.

Brent and I will talk with her again and go over what her options are. If she is going to keep missing school, I would prefer that she is homeschooled. Right now, she is in a state of confusion and the anxiety and stress are affecting her physically and that is not good.

At least if she homeschooled, I know she is still meeting (and exceeding) her education requirements and can join in their activities and make some friends within the group. She gets along with everyone at school, but yet has no one she is really connecting with.

We will see what happens, but for now, she is in bed, and will stay home again with a slight fever. She has a head cold and a sore throat. She has also been very angry, sleepy and withdrawn for the past few days and her tics have increased. I know she wouldn’t be ok in her classroom in this shape.

We are having a lot of seismic unrest, and that always affects her, and myself. I think we will have a good quake soon to release some of the pressure. Hopefully it will be out to sea and not affect anyone directly, but I also know that God always has a plan.

Now to make a plan with my girl and see how she feels about trying to homeschool again, or even do Te Kura (homeschooling with a Teacher that visits once per week).

Finnic for Ace

Art by 8yellowcats for +Ace (The Parademic)

On a lighter note, you can check out some of her latest works of art here, and some of her older work. This is how she copes, doing art. She is really pushing her boundaries and trying new things and I love watching her artwork blossom. She is so talented and I would love to get her into some art classes. Maybe we can take them together. 😀

This post was read and approved by Sophia. 😉 Thanks for stopping by and have a great day. Feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

 

Sick days, Art and Reading

Sophia is home sick today, she was home yesterday as well.

She seems to have caught a bug. She has gone through 2 boxes of tissue in the past two days and developed a slight fever last night so we decided to keep her home again.

Yesterday after breakfast, she finished up her OC Good Shadow, a Kivat (an original character which is a mix of a cat and a bat.) and posted it on her 8yellowcats Google+ page.

Good Shadow Kivat

Good Shadow Kivat

After lunch she  came along and did the mosaic tree class with me, but got frustrated and tired after about 30 minutes, so we left it for later.

Her perfectionist was in overdrive yesterday and she spent a lot of time cutting, then re-cutting the paper to fit just perfectly.

It will look great when finished. I will finish mine when she does hers, as I too, was getting tired and had not thought to bring my glasses.

I tucked her into a corner with her own table and supplies, away from the other kids near a trash can for her used tissues just in case she was contagious. None of us have it so that is good.

I took her to the park on the way home to get some fresh air. After 15 minutes she was wiped out which worked well as it started pouring down rain not long after we left.

park 6 sept 2017

She has not been eating as much, and is very cuddly and just wants to read and watch movies and do digital art which is fine.

In the past two days, while doing her art, she has read two Warriors cats books and is reading the third one.

The first was ‘The Sight’ –  Warriors: The Power of Three Series, Book 1, which has 417 pages.

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Next, she read ‘Dark River’ –  Warriors: The Power of Three Series, Book 2, which has 368 pages.

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There are 352 Pages in ‘The Apprentice’s Quest’ –  Warriors: A Vision of Shadows Series, Book 1, which she is currently reading.

VOS-1 The Apprentice's Quest

I can’t believe how fast this kid can read! Last week she read four of these Warrior books all averaging 300-500 pages.

The Warrior Cats books have been amazing for her. They have taught her so much about community, friendships, hierarchies within the clans, betrayal and lying, spirituality and even herbology (Which I have actually checked, and it is fairly accurate.)

The best part is that she loves to reread them. Eventually we will own all of them. We have several now, but one day we plan to get all the boxed sets for her. I will likely read them too as she has asked me to.

Later in the afternoon, she finished her second entry of Queequeg for KoalaAJ’s art contest. It turned out cute.

Queequeg 2

Queequeg 2

This morning after her shower, she wanted to finish an art request she had promised to her friend Kola AJ and posted it on her Google+.

Custom Turkish Angora for Koala AJ

Turkish Angora for Kola AJ

Our little artist is now happily reading in her room with her water, colloidal silver, tissue box and trash can nearby.

I will do some more baking, then some reading while finishing the laundry and maybe if she is up to it we can do some artwork, a craft or finish our trees this afternoon.

Hopefully she is well enough tomorrow to head back to school as she has really been enjoying it.

 

 

Grandpa John’s Birthday

We all went to Brent’s step-sister’s house for a celebration of his step-father’s Birthday. We stopped and picked up Devin on the way.

This is the first birthday without John since he passed, so we wanted to all be together with Brent’s sister and her family and his mother Frances, to celebrate in his honour.

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It was such a lovely time, and the kids enjoyed spending time with their cousins.

We ordered pizzas then Brent and Ben went to pick them up while the kids played.

Johns 76th Birthday play

Tamaryn had a beautiful table display ready to light and we sang for Papa John and then had cake. Nana blew out the candles on the cake, and the kids blew out the heart. It was very touching and a lovely tribute.

Johns 76th Birthday

Nana told the kids, that she was not able to get a present for Grandpa this year, so she would give all the kids presents instead and gave them each a bag of their favourite lollies.

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Nana Frances with Devin, Max Sophia, Sophie, Stevie, and Sadie.

We took turns holding sweet baby Surie. She is so precious, just like all her sisters.

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After they ate their chocolate, there was lots of giggles and squeals. Then, it went very quiet so I went to check on them and this is how I found them…

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Sophia, Stevie, Sophie and Sadie all reading together.

All of our girls are so amazing. Each with a unique and dynamic personality.

It was such a great evening, we turned what separately could have been a lonely and painful occasion into something beautiful celebrated all together.

I can’t wait to have family time again very soon!

Trialing School Day 1

Sophia is off to school today for a 20 day trial with the expectation to have her enrolled if all goes well.

This was her idea, she has been talking about it for a month, but last week she said she was ready for me to make an appointment so we did.

This past week we have been meeting with the new (to us) Principal and the Teacher of her school to set it all up.

She got the news on Friday that she would be going back, so she had time to process over the weekend. She was very excited that she was going to start today.

She has been practicing getting up with her alarm for the past couple weeks, and getting herself ready so that she would be all good to go this morning.

She showered last night so she would have less to this morning. She got up on her own to her alarm, got dressed, ate breakfast and did her hygiene routine before getting her bag ready and helping me pack her lunch.

Her Teacher is the same one who taught our son Max in year 6. He also worked with Sophia when she was there before so she is also familiar with him. He has also known Brent since they were in school together.

He is a lovely man who has extensive first hand ASD knowledge as a co-carer for his adult autistic brother-in-law.

This Teacher and the new Principal are why we decided to trial her this year when Sophia asked if she could go back to school. She knows she is ready and we are pretty confident that she is right.

We had excellent meetings and discussed her diagnosis and all of her possible triggers and preferences. I went prepared with a printout and he was happy to have it. Here is the link Diagnosis and Triggers for Teacher. We also discussed her strengths and methods for success.

He said most of the triggers and allowances are similar to those of his Brother-in-law so it was easy for him. What surprised and delighted me, is that he even knows the intuitive nature of the sensory issues with regard to feeling others emotions.

He also knows how sensitive the girls are at menses and said staying home is not an issue and of he knows when it is, he knows to be more sensitive with the girls.

We are really looking forward to seeing how well she transitions back into school. She has grown so much in the past couple of years, especially with regard to her self-confidence and knowing who she is.

I took this photo this morning of her first ‘school’ day of year 6.

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“I am nervcited Mom”

We went in early, and it was nice seeing the teacher and some of her old friends waiting for her when she arrived.

He assigned her a desk next to her BFF when she was there last, so she was even more excited. When I left, another of her old friends was showing her around and she was settling in.

She knows her ‘safe space’ and that she is allowed to go there when she gets overwhelmed. She also knows the school well and the staff and that she can ring me.

I am sure she will have a fabulous day and I am very happy for her. We are confident she will breeze past her 20 day trial and want to continue.

I will write more after school, now I am going to bake a cake for the family as they are all awesome and deserve to be spoiled.

 

 

 

Menarche or First Moon

Today my sweet little 10 year old started her period!

I am still in shock, but knew it was coming. She is so young still. I asked her if I should write in the blog about her Menarche, or post it to Facebook, and she said, “Of course mum, do both, it is exciting! I am glad I got it.”

We have had a great outlook on periods in our house. I never complain about getting it and I am happy each time. When I get cramps, I can feel them coming and usually can take my medication before they get too bad. Some days I miss that window and I have to lay down as I get really ill, but I never complain just state what is happening.

She has seen how the process goes through me, we are all very open about it as it is a natural body process. This was all modelling as I wanted her to be excited about getting it as it really is a miracle how our bodies work. I pray she does not get the pain, cold sweats, nausea and sickness like I use to as a teen. My early period days were horrible. Endometriosis is common in my family.

We have had some great conversations about menstruation and the body so it is no wonder that she was looking forward to getting her first moon. I am due tomorrow, so we are in sync as well, which does help.

Brent is amazingly supportive, and always buys my menstrual products and never makes a fuss. He even brings a big block of dark chocolate whenever I ask him to buy them. He also spoils me rotten and sometimes he brings me Baileys ice cream too. I am sure he will spoil Soph as well.

Sophia’s moods lately have been all over the show, but the past two days, she has been super sweet and cuddly and having food cravings like pancakes, so I made them for breakfast. She was stoked when she woke up because of the smell of them cooking.

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I had spoken to her Aunties and cousin in the states, about getting her gifts and a card for her first moon celebration and they mailed them this week, so that is perfect timing. I have told her Nana here in NZ as well, so she will be at the party.

I had a very old Capricorn necklace that was her great grandmother’s that I have been keeping for her for this day, so I gave that to her today, rather than waiting for the party. I know she won’t wear it, she does not like anything around her neck but she tried it on and has put it in her special box for keepsakes. I wanted her to have something today from her Ancestors.

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Brent will take her to lunch this weekend and get her something special, a bracelet or something from him. This is a tradition in my family. My Papa took me to buy a dress when I started, and my step-dad and mother took me for pizza and dancing to the jukebox to celebrate. Both are lovely memories that I cherish.

We will wrap all the gifts when they arrive as well as ours and get or bake a cake, and she wants pizza, so that is very cool. It will just be a small gathering for family.

I will also have a ceremony for her in our Red & Magenta Tent to celebrate her Menarche and welcome her to the Women’s circle.

I will also be letting her join me in the Womb Blessing ceremonies and give her this card. She has been wanting to do them with me for over a year.

First Womb Blessing 2

We have been preparing for a while for this day as I started mine at age 11, and her aunties and cousins were all about a similar age or younger, so we knew it could come at a young age for her as well.

She rang daddy and told him and he congratulated her and teased her a bit. Then she told Max when he got home and he ran in his room, then came back out and congratulated her. He had brought her home a slice of apple crumble from cooking class he had made so that was a nice synchronicity. She loved their reactions and giggled at their antics.

Brent will bring home a box of chocolates for her. We already had her products and I have showed her what to do. He is also bring a booklet by Miranda Gray called Let’s Go Menstrual which is a great resource for her. You can get it here by signing up for her newsletter.

Let's Go Menstrual

I have also added Period Tracker App to her phone and will show her how to use it after it is finished charging up. This is a valuable tool in tracking your cycles, symptoms and moods. The logo is a pink flower if you decide to get it. I use it and it is very accurate for me.

So here we are in the next phase of her development already.

She sure is growing up quickly but she will always be my baby.

 

 

 

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Day two of our Adventure weekend

We were up early and all pretty excited about the day. We left the hotel at 9 and went in to town to get a better look around before we left.

It feels a lot like parts of New Plymouth and has some great little shops and cafes.

I wanted a coffee so we stopped in at The Coffee Gallery. They had decaf so I got a decaf mocha and Max got a Turkish delight hot chocolate. Brent and Sophia did not want anything. They were soooo delicious! Very cute little shop with a lot of artwork and jewellery for sale. Definitely a must for a great coffee and atmosphere.

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We still had time to spare, so we popped in at the OpShop up the block and found an Avengers cartoon dvd set in a metal case to add to our geekdom collection.

Then we headed up the road to Hobbiton! Road signs have never been so exciting.

The drive there was so beautiful, and the expected thunder storm had passed over night to leave us a beautiful day for our adventure.

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And there in the green countryside we found Hobbiton!

We arrived 15 minutes early for our 10am private tour so we had a quick rest room stop and a look around the gift shop while we waited. What an amazing  gift shop. We were going to but a felt Gandalf Hat for Lamby, but I will just make her one myself.

The tour was just us and our tour guide, Waiata, in a private bus. It was absolutely perfect as it was pretty busy there.

Our Guide was great and shared a bunch of movie trivia and facts about filming as we went along. The drive in was beautiful. This is still a working farm which is pretty awesome.

And here we are at the entrance. They had a huge umbrella station at the entrance too for when it rains. that was pretty cool. They handed out a small pamphlet to each of us for the tour.

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Up the path we started off with a couple homes at Gandolf’s Cutting and then went through the garden. It was just magical! All the small details, like the rabbit hutch, bird feeders and even the little books in the windows.

At the gate for the garden, he told us how they created the lichen with sawdust and paint. Also they employ full time gardeners to keep the crop seasonal and fresh.  The tour guides also help with maintaining the site which is really awesome.

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Next we headed toward the frog pond and the orchard and saw more hobbit homes.

There was so much detail and character for each home. I just loved seeing the workmanship that went into, and continues to happen on this site. Look at the chairs and the smoked fish and even the fences are all handmade. My favourite things were the mailboxes and hanging bird houses.

We made it to the Frog Pond and Orchards towards Gully’s Gardens.

At Gully Gardens there were more homes in a small group which were fenced off. I would have loved to e able to just sit down there and relax in the energy of this place. A bit up the path, there was one home with small jars out front that were so cute, and the firewood area was pretty cool too.

Next we walked up a steep hill and looked at the upper area where more homes were added on for the Hobbit movie.

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We then carried on toward Bag End, stopping at more hobbit homes along the way.

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And there, at the top of the hill, we found Bag End. It was the highlight of the tour.

We headed down towards the Green Dragon, but along the way we stopped off at more homes. We loved looking at all the detail of each unique little home and yard.

Next we went to the Carpenter’s home and Brent got to try out the tools. Very clever craftsmanship in this small area. The small ladder and the sawhorses were so cute. That is also the canopy from the backside of the party area.

We followed the path along to Samwise Gamgee’s home. It was a larger scale in a block of homes.  The yellow door that you see in the pictures is Sam’s place.

We carried on over the ‘Merry Meander’, over a small bridge and through some bush.

This brought us to ‘The Water’ and another large tent and an ale wagon. The opposite side is a small pond where we saw two black swans and their young ones decide to go for a swim.

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We then came up on the bridge and fishing area near the Watermill.

We reached the Green Dragon Inn and went in for a specialty drink while we waited for lunch. I tried the stout and Brent had the ale. Max had a ginger beer and Sophia had water in a cup like ours. They were really good. The decor was so cool inside too.

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It was lunch time after this so we headed into the Festive Lunch tent and had some delicious food.

It was a lovely atmosphere, with rich colours everywhere, buntings and flowers. The food was a buffet style and was very nice, especially the dessert table.

There was even a very plump cat who decided to sit next to Sophia and got a couple scratches (and bits of her meal.)

WP_20170811_333After a quick stop in the loo, we headed to the 2nd gift shop and had a look on our way back to the van. There was a cute tiny door outside the loo and the shop looked like a Hobbit’s shop with some great stuff in there!

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Max got to sit in the front on the way out as he had offered to get the gate for our Guide Waiata.

We went back to the start and after making Waiata pose for a picture, we headed in to the large gift shop. We the sat for a bit while Sophia wrote out the postcard for Nana. They could be mailed from there, so it was even cooler to send. I wore my new elf ears and the kids were not impressed. My husband however, thought I was adorable.

What an epic adventure this was. I would dare say the best one yet in my life and I am looking forward to going back for the evening dinner tour one day. Thank you Waiata and all the staff and workers of Hobbiton, you are all amazing; keep up the great work.

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We left Hobbiton just after 1 and headed back to Tirau on our way to Rotorua. It was such a beautiful drive. We also snapped a pic of the good shepherd and the dog from the front.

We then stopped off at the Mamuka Blue Blueberry Farm to get some treats as Sophia and I love blueberries and we all love supporting local businesses. We got blueberry juice, Blueberry Mankuka honey candies and some blueberry truffles. All delicious!

We checked into the hotel just after 3pm and were pleasantly surprised by this gorgeous place. Upstairs had 3 beds and downstairs had the main area with the large bed, bathroom, lounge and kitchen with a dining table that extended and just off the bedroom was the patio with the outdoor spa pool.

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Sophia wanted to play on the playground so Max walked her over and stayed with her. We could see her from our window, so it was just perfect. After they came in, Sophia wanted a (not so hot) spa pool before dinner so we filled it up and she told Max he could get in too, so that was nice. They stayed in for a while then when Max got out to shower, she put on her goggles to see how the bubbles looked underwater and had a nice play making a splashy mess.

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We all decided on Carl’s Jr for dinner as it is another place we rarely eat at. It was a nice place. A woman dropped her whole milkshake as we were finishing up ordering and it went everywhere. Thankfully only a small bit on the woman’s own shoes, and no one else, it was mostly the floor and the doors. Sophia felt so bad for her, she even asked where the napkins were so that she could help her clean up her mess. We told her that was very kind of her, but the worker was getting a mop and bucket to help her.

Dinner was very good. When we got back to the room, Brent and Max watched The Fastest Indian; a story about Burt Monro – research him, what a mind – I would bet that he was on the Spectrum.

I partly watched the movie while reading a book, and Sophia did more reading before bed enjoying the large bed with Lamby tucked in next to her. We placed the decorative pillows near the rail to drown out the sound from the television below.

Day two complete and what an awesome day it was. Tomorrow will be just as epic, I am sure of it.

The kids were so amazing through the whole day. Sophia showed no stress or anxiety except in the crowded shops and in the food tent when large crowds came in. She quickly grabbed my hand both times and cuddled in close, but was able to regulate with a nice long squeeze from me or daddy. She always does well when we go as a family, we all do.