Pies Pies and Packing Panic!

Hello new friends! My last post about he who shall not be named was read by a few more people than I expected. I’m glad it was useful to folk and I hope it started some conversations. If you’re joining us for the first time because of that post then welcome!!

Soooo its been a while since last I wrote because the fambam and I have been off having adventures in the land of long car rides and no wifi. Also the land of 1.2 tonnes of lasagne and 5,500ish pies. Why so many exciting food items you ask? My father and I foolishly agreed to cater a large camp over Easter (our second year doing it) and we took everyone we are related to (not quite but almost) to lift things for us over the weekend. Hubby – who shall henceforth be referred to as Murray – got to do his annual stint on the forklift (the only reason he has his license is to do the forklifting at camp. He does not need it in his normal life) and I got to talk into my radio and tell lots of people what to do. I love to give instructions to large groups of people, or medium, or small, or even just 1 person. Murray does not let me tell him what to do ever so this was a pleasant outlet for me.

Isobel helps Murray put the sour cream back in the fridge. It came out on a pallet which Murray fork-lifted. He did not give me a turn on the forklift or let me ride around on the forks. I was bitterly disappointed and he was not even a little sorry.
Brownie defrosting. Soooo much brownie. Some of this is at my house. Too much is in my belly.
Isobel and Grandpa supervise the unloading of ovens and alto-shams.

After our week of camp we headed through to Wanaka to celebrate my Grandmother’s 90th birthday with family (Happy Birthday GG!!).  In between these events to avoid driving home and then leaving again the next day we stayed in Little River (near Akaroa) with my brother in law’s parents.

Isobel and Eli collect eggs for breakfast. While Isobel declares loudly “It’s great to take a holiday at a Little River!”
No tire too flat, no cousins too small!
oohhhh a lake which 0 babies fell in to. This is of course the best kind of lake!

BIL and cousin Eli were also there but not my sister or Murray who had both returned to Dunedin for work. All, in all of my 13 nights away at 3 three different destinations I had both girls for all 13 and Murray for 6. I assume you now see why this post was a long time coming? But because I am actually super woman my family survived, 3,000 campers got feed, and we even looked human for weekend birthday celebrations. Yus.

Widget quickly moved onto my spot when I left but at least she had the decency to look guilty about it.

Honestly though the hardest part of the whole trip (apart from the time I tried to shower Isobel solo and ended up with 7 mosquito bites on parts of me that were only exposed while in the shower) was very nearly the packing!!! I used to have a rule that I would never pack more for a trip than I could carry myself. I miss those simple days. Honestly, how do you even pack for so many potential child activities? What will the weather be like? How dirty will the children get? What should they wear in the car? What party outfits do we need? Will they want their normal blankets or will the cabin blankets do? How many books do I need to bring? What shoes will the child suddenly require during the week (answer – her OTHER running shoes)?

Without presuming to answer any of the above for you I will now present you with my “guaranteed to get 30% more things in the suitcase than you need” patent pending packing method:

Step 1: Swear loudly because you have realised that you are leaving in one more sleep, haven’t packed and most of your clothes are in the dirty washing pile.

Step 2(a): While the washing is on begin writing a list of everything you want to pack.

Step 2(b): Abandon the list because you don’t actually need a list to remind you to pack “clothes – kids” and “clothes – you”

Step 3: Put everything your children have worn for the past 2 months into the suitcases. It’s best to be prepared for temperatures ranging from below zero to mid 30s. It might also rain. Or snow. Or there could be a tornado. Prepare for both a tropical holiday and an arctic adventure.

Step 4: Realise this will never all fit and remove 50% of everything you have put in the suitcases.

Step 5: Use the newly freed up space to add books and toys. Remember your child might spontaneously learn to read while on holiday so you should pack accordingly.

Step 6: While weeping at the futility of packing as if you know what your children will need over the next 2 weeks,  realise that if you lived on an a house bus you’d never have to pack again. Immediately google house buses for sale in your area.

Step 7: Inform your partner that a house bus is your inevitable destiny and look shocked when they remind you that you have too many mammals to fit in a house bus. Attempt to persuade them that dogs and cats can live happily on house buses. Fail and continue weeping as you mourn the loss of your house bus dream and return to packing.

Step 8(a): Plan your children’s wholesome holiday entertainment.

Step 8(b):  Laugh and make sure you have Paw Patrol on USB.

Isobel watches Paw Patrol in the lodge before we fill it with ovens and turn it into the camp kitchen. Not pictured: members of the site team who would come and watch while they ate their breakfast.

Step 9: Finish packing. Thank whatever you thank that baby clothes are so small so so many can fit in the suitcase. Set your alarm for way too early and head to bed.

Step 10: Spend the morning arranging healthy toddler snacks in the food bag so that you can reach and disperse them while driving. Try to hide the bag of driver lollies (it won’t work but try anyway).

Step 11: Proudly announce that you are done packing. Accept sincere thanks from husband as they acknowledge the work you did to achieve this. Present your very moderate pile of packing to your husband and suggest that he carry it down to the car. Ignore the look of alarm in their face as they struggle to imagine how it will all fit into anything other than the Tardis. Smugly feed the baby while they carry heavy things down the path.

Your packing should look something like this. Note: if your toddler packs a toy bag you should under no circumstances pack it deep within the boot so they panic that it has been left behind and weep until it is unpacked and passed to them.

I hope you enjoy your next packing experience! Also if you ever need someone to cook you more baked potatoes than you have eaten in your entire life then let me know!



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