Our darling daughter is ONE! What a milestone! We celebrated in style with cake and cheer and then an adventure to New Zealand, where Eleanor began walking in earnest and although her vocabulary has expanded, one word - WOW was on repeat.
We really had the best family adventure – New Zealand is an incredibly beautiful part of the world, the air being so clean and mountain-fresh makes all the colours pop. The green especially is the most vibrant green I have ever seen.
We started out in Arrowtown where there are an abundance of clean flowing rivers (well, I suppose an abundance of rivers would be ALL of New Zealand!) Indira became so accustomed to the fresh rivers that as soon as we approached one, she would begin taking off her clothes to go in for a dip! And when I say fresh, I also mean cold – but cold in an intoxicatingly wonderful way.
After running the Queenstown marathon we packed into a motorhome (the thing to do in New Zealand) and adventured into the more remote regions of Milford Sounds and then the West Coast. Every night camping in protected forests near hikes, flowing rivers, and occasionally the Tasman Sea. The girls flourished on this adventure: we cooked and slept together in the motorhome, took cold water swims in the morning, and hiked at least once daily. Eleanor enjoyed using the thoroughfare of the motorhome as her launchpad to walking, holding onto both sides, and eventually letting go and walking on her own. On our return to Sydney she was walking confidentially and as I write this a couple weeks later, she has abandoned crawling all together. Eleanor, is she a toddler already? Demanding to use cutlery, able to communicate her needs, engaging in play with her adoring sister. As mentioned, she can now say words like: dada, muma, ta, duck, up, uh-oh, etc., but in New Zealand upon seeing the mountains, the rivers, the old forests, she would say: ‘wow wow WOW wow,’ so excitedly, over and over and over. Our budding adventurer! What a happy way to celebrate being one.
Now that we have had a few international birthday celebrations, there are expectations. Indira announced that it was Gorilla’s birthday soon and he would like it in San Fransisco! Gorilla will be joining Indira going into the ‘big kids’ class next school year (beginning in February). In Montessori, children are grouped by 3 years, so she will be with 17 other children aged 3 – 6years. I am very excited for Indira’s future of learning – her classroom and school are beautiful and head teacher (she’ll have 3 teachers) exceptionally passionate about Montessori. The teachers observe each child and develop 2 week learning plans to support their interests – it’s all very invovled behind the scenes. Last week, Susan visited and we all attended Indira’s (and Gorilla’s) end of school concert, it was all very adorable. Indira has become a fully-fledged 3-year-old, she engages in numerous imaginative plays – roleplaying ‘school’, ‘playdate’, ‘tea party’, and ‘book store’. She also asks ‘Why?’ constantly. Indira asks: “Why are strawberries red? Why do they have seeds? Why are they a fruit?” And I said, Indira you are now in the ‘Why?’ phase and Indira said: “Why am I?” And then: “Why do we have mouths?”… and so on. Indira also takes delight in her sister’s accomplishments, saying: “Would you look at that, Ele’s walking, oh wow, look she’s climbing – such a clever girl.” Eleanor certainly is very clever and seems to prefer climbing and sorting, busy-type activities to reading like her sister – but that said, she does give an exceptional cuddle.
Ele is also into her yoga and in these last two images – taken just today – Indi is giving Gorilla his morning breastfeed and then playing ‘book store,’ where they take turns choosing books to read. It is summer holidays now and we are all planning to take it easy: maybe go on some bike rides, splash about in the ocean pools, enjoy relaxed dinners, play some more ‘book store,’ and so on. 🙂
Looking forward to connecting with you and a very happy holidays to all! xx