Among my group of friends, I have long been referred to as “Aunty Dales”. From what I can remember, it started back when I offered to buy everyone dinner when they were a bit short on cash. I’m not sure why it stuck so well but it is a pretty pervasive moniker, even now. A few years ago, however, I officially lived up to the name and became an aunt to my sister’s son. Since my first nephew was born, four more nieces and nephews have been added to the crew by various siblings. And they’re all so cute!
All my siblings live in another state and it pains me to live so far away from everyone. As everyone says, kids grow up so quickly but it seems even more so when you only see them a few times a year. I fully intend, however, to embrace my role as the interstate aunt who periodically shows up and spoils everyone with presents and attention. The gift buying got a little out of hand this year and took up about 70% of my luggage. With five kids under four, the unwrapping of those gifts quickly descended into chaos.
I got to spend a few more weeks with them after Christmas as well, so I got in some quality play time and plenty of hugs. And, me being me, I also took a lot of photos…
Mr J (3 years old)
The oldest cousin and also the most talkative. He has boundless energy and runs straight at my camera whenever I tried to get a shot! Consequently, most of his photos are out of focus. His love for motorbikes is strongly encouraged in our family and we could hardly get him off the quad once Grandpa had taken him for a ride. Also has exceptional bubble blowing skills for a three year old.
Mr Z (nearly 3 years old)
Starting to form coherent sentences that were mainly about ‘rah-rahs’ (anything that roars but mainly dinosaurs) and ‘car cars’ which are his favourite things. I woke many mornings to dinosaurs on my bed or cars driving on my pillow. He is the first toddler I’ve seen ride up and down ramps at the skate park and has a motorbike with training wheels. He’s probably already a better rider than me. Obsessed with the frogs that visit on the verandah at night.
Miss A (1 and a bit years old)
Adventurous and brave, she isn’t afraid of a bit of rough and tumble and she knows what she wants. She particularly liked the little cubby house she found hidden near the trees. I feel like she and Miss H grow up so much since I saw them. I don’t think they were even sitting up and now she’s running around. This little face will melt your heart.
Miss H (1 and a little bit less years old)
I think we took her on her first beach trip and I am proud to say, she loved it! We could hardly stop her from running straight into the waves. She also loved all the dogs at the farm, except for that one time one of them barked right in her face and she got a huge fright. Then there were tears. Her contribution to the family water fight was to drink all the water out of her water pistol.
Miss K (just over 6 months old)
She is a big baby. We stood her up next to Miss H and she was nearly as tall as her. She eats all day and sleeps most of the night. Always smiling and tries to give kisses by just planting her wide open mouth on your cheek. I spent a lot of time making her watch the cricket and telling her how much she loves it (they’ve got to start somewhere, right?).
Update: Mr D (newest addition)
I only got meet Mr D very briefly around New Year’s as his parents were flying out of town the day after I got home. He also seems to be growing rapidly. Hopefully we get to hang out again soon!
I took so many photos, I can hardly find enough places to post them without spamming all my social media accounts. They’re all just too cute! Attention Siblings: Please feel free to add more to the troupe. Love, Aunty Mandy xx