Wednesday, February 29, 2012

We walked for some food

I bought a child carrier once upon a time, and I had anticipated I would use it alot. But alas, it hasn't been used quite as often since date of purchase as I imagined it would. But then again we have been busy.

We did use it last night though.

We walked up to Ponsonby Road International food hall for dinner.

I had some Laos food, Jef had a Thai dish, Kien ran around in between bites of each.

After dinner we went for a walk along Ponsonby Road (since it wasn't raining!). Kien found a little rock that he kicked and chased. We got to the fire station and he decided at that point to throw the rock at the door, making a really loud noise that caught the attention of the fireman inside. Jef immediately pointed at Kien, and the fireman opened the door and asked him if he wanted a sticker.

He gave Kien 4, and we were on our merry way.

We came across some kids on their skateboards in the carpark of the Mini Cooper Hubcap Cafe. It's nice seeing kids having innocent fun.

Walking down Anglesea Street is always great, especially when the sun sinking in the sky creates this affect against the spectacular city view.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weekend variety

It was a weekend of variables; not doing much of anything for a bit and then doing lots, rain for a bit, sunshine for a bit, windy and cold, sunny and hot, working indoors, playing outdoors, summer BBQ at dusk, rained out by nightfall. So many Aucklanders are asking the same question - what has happened to summer? The promise of a hotter and drier than normal summer as predicted by the forecasters last year is laughable now. They couldn't have been more wrong! Anyway, it doesn't matter because we are trying to make the most it regardless.

Saturday we were just busy running errands and visiting family in the afternoon. I checked the tides for Sunday and it was high tide at 11am, so we decided to hit the beach early.

It was Sentinel beach this time, and the water was pretty warm for that time of day. The boys paddled off, and I went for a swim.

Kien really enjoys being in the kayak - just like his dad.

It's such a nice way to spend a morning.

I love Monarch butterflies, and this one fluttered around the whole time we were at the beach.

Kien refused to nap when we got home. Instead he spent almost 2 hours in the bedroom singing and jumping - and we could hear him chanting "no more monkeys jumping on the bed!" as he was jumping on the bed! I had to do some shopping in the afternoon, and of course as soon we started driving he fell asleep. Typical!

We had a BBQ that evening, and as with a lot of things at our place Jef made it. Check out how cool this thing is:

Jef fired the charcoal with the gas burner, and he slowly cooked individual courses of beef sirloin, free range pork sausages, and corn fed chicken thighs. Everything was delicious! In between the courses we snacked on hot bhuja mix (it is really hot!) and this little guy loves it.

The sky was swallowed up by dark clouds before we were finally rained out.

The Auckland Sky Tower is not the only one we have around here. Kien stacks jars from my bottom drawer, or he'll piece all his mega blocks together, or he will roll up a place-mat, and says he made a Sky Tower.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reminiscing in motion

I've finally finished editing the movie of our trip away. Finding the time to do these things is hard, especially when there are work pressures combined with sleep deprivation and a child that thinks 9pm is a reasonable hour to hit the hay (only to take another 30-60 minutes to actually fall asleep and in the process making his Mummy come in and out of the room to reassure him she is just outside the door). So the only time I actually have for "me" time is between 10pm and whenever I decide is a reasonable hour to get to bed and still be able to function the following that day.

When I first started making movies a year ago I had not anticipated that my son would love them so much, and so soon. I had hoped he would be interested in them when he was older, but it turns out he is a narcissist by nature and loves seeing himself in motion. He has already seen this latest movie perhaps a dozen times this morning - over and over. He usually asks for "watch Kien" and then "more Kien" but today it was "more Ethan". It's funny how he sub-names the movies. He calls the Xmas one "Jingle Bells" or "Thomas", and he calls the zoo one "Away", or the beach one with all his little friends "Catch". The rest of them fall under the generalised bucket of "Kien" movies. I like that "watch Kien" rates the same as "watch heli hey-tee-tas" or "watch diggers", and he gets just as excited with turning on the TV or iPad or iPhone to watch any one of them.

So without further ado herewith the movie - L.A. 2012.

Hey, if you are receiving this post as an e-mail you will not see the movie I've just embedded above. So you need to come to the actual blog post online, or if all else fails, here is the link to it on youtube.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The thin invisible line

It used to stretch out before me - an infinite number of days that seemed never-ending. When I was 11 I wanted to be 12, when I was 12 I couldn't wait to be 16, and when I turned 16 I thought life would be perfect at 21. It was like I was expecting that once that line has been crossed my life would miraculously be different, or better, or something. What did I know at 11, 12, 16, or 21 anyway? The anticipation of life experiences seemed to be foreshadowed by the notion that life experiences just happen once you reach a certain age. Boy was I disappointed when I finally caught up with reality!

At the beginning of 2009 I crossed a major line. Actually, two blue lines in a small window on a stick brought me to tears, and I was standing at the crossroads of my life wondering which path to take. Once you cross that line there is no turning back. I crossed it, and I've never been the same since, and that's a good thing.

Ideology is important to me, and I'm finding myself standing at a few intersections right now. These metaphorical junctions happen to be lines in my head that I've calculated and drawn, and to be frank are minor and pretty meaningless. They mean something to me.

I had a conversation with a friend the other day where I tried verbalizing the opportunity cost that float around in my head. I don't want to reach the end of the line, look back and curse myself for not doing the stuff I conceptualised. I want to live with no regrets, knowing full well that life is short, and that we only live once. I want adventure. I want extraordinary. I want stories of been-there-done-that. I want experiences that speak volumes in my heart and linger long in my head. My friend asked me "are you dying?". The answer is no, and yes. We all face a finite number of days/months/years, and I realise how precious that time is. I recognise this only because I see how quickly my child is growing up before my very eyes, and I only have x time with him before he too will be 11 wanting to be 12, 12 anticipating 16, 16 wishing he was 21, and so on. I just hope I give him enough for him to enjoy the now and not wish for the next.

This thin invisible line is always at my forefront. I see it as a line of promises kept, wonders fulfilled, adventures realised. Once I cross it I will proclaim "I've lived!"


I'm linking this post with some talented writers who have moved me with their lyrical offerings.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sunday on the water

We woke up early Sunday morning with big plans for our sunny summer day. I quickly whipped up some chicken fried rice, made some coffee, packed spare changes of clothing and we were out the door by 8:30am heading to Northcote Point.

Kien loved playing with the whistle on his life jacket. He kept pulling it out of the pocket and then would put it away again. He tried blowing it but he didn't have enough umph to make any significant noise. It was not really an effective whistle anyway, and I think we may change it out.

Kien looking all serious and reserved at the back of the yacht - Mr Cool.

It was hot out there! We needed to confirm the centre board was down, so it was a good excuse to go for a swim. As I hadn't planned on jumping into the drink I had no togs with me - but that doesn't matter because there was no one out here (except we did see some kayakers fishing, and perhaps there were people inside the other yachts). The water was lovely.

We got home in time for his middle of the day sleep.

In the afternoon we headed out to the beach with our kayak.

It was fun paddling around. I left Kien on the beach with his dad while I cruised around the harbour.

I love seeing the bay from this perspective. It looks so small and secluded.

While I was out there it looks like the boys had fun. They made a pool...

...and I found these photos on the camera. What is he doing? It looks like he's doing a rap with all the hand movements for emphasis, yo.

Jef and Kien did lots of splashing around in the water. I'm loving the waterproof casing so I can capture these shots.

It has been such an amazingly fun weekend packed full of activities. I love these sorts of weekends. It makes me feel so alive and very far removed from the monotony of everyday life.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

High tide at Herne Bay Beach

We arrived back from visiting my folks at around 6pm last night, and it was a gorgeous evening for a beach visit. I love going to the beach in the evening; the sun is low in the sky taking the bite out of it's rays, the water is still warm, most beach dwellers are heading home, and Kien has a chance to burn whatever stored energy he has left in his little body before bedtime. We decided on Herne Bay beach.

Immediately upon arrival Kien was into the sand with his bucket and spade.

Kien loves to build sand castles - actually I'll re-phrase that - he loves having sand castles built for him.

All for the sole purpose of destruction - kicking them over and stomping on them.

That game is never old for him!

The water was relatively warm last night. Hey, this is Auckland, so warm means not really warm, and hence why we don't have our togs on. Kien is getting a lot bolder now, and goes in a little deeper each time we go to the beach.

Last night he was in the water for ages trying to collect the sand with his spade. He couldn't quite understand why he couldn't fill his bucket quickly enough.

Gosh, I love summer!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday morning

Kien was clingy and whining the moment he got up this morning. It was such hard work, and Jef bore the brunt of it while I tried to have a sleep in. So when I got up Jef suggested checking out what was happening at North Wharf Wynyard Quarter.

It was practically perfect weather for an outing - not too hot, hardly any wind, and no rain, yay!

Now I'm guessing that when they put the water (pond?) structure right next to the playground they must have anticipated kids were going to think it's a pool, yeah?

So many kids were experiencing such joy frolicking in the water.

We ambled to the other side to Te Weo Wynyard Crossing bridge where Kien jumped the concrete steps going down to the water and waded a bit more.

Kien and I talked to each other through the pipes. He was fascinated by it, burying his face inside and squealing with delight.

As we were heading back to the car Bannerman were doing sound checks for the noon Silo Session. It sounded really good and we decided to hang around for a bit.

Kien was captivated by the sounds and the business of the people on stage. He stood in front of the stage watching for the longest time.

It turned out to be a great morning, and we rushed Kien home so he could have his midday nap at 12:30. He slept for 3 hours!

Happy Saturday.

I love kids' dinners

Last night we had a kids' dinner at Denise's place. What's great about kids' dinners?

♥ Adult nibbles, adult juice, adult conversation - but with the pressure off for having to keep your kid(s) in line.

♥ Someone else handing out treats to the littles.

♥ Ice-blocks procession.

♥ Ice-blocks!

♥ I'm so happy that my Plunket coffee group is still going strong. D, thanks for organising and hosting this one. We had a fabulous time!


I'm linking this post with other parents who are blogging about the things we are loving right now.


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