Saturday, April 28, 2012

Autumn leaves

Even though I am mourning the departure of summer I love the beauty with the change in season. Every year the massive trees around our property provide a wonderful opportunity to run and roll through leaves.

Late this afternoon as we were heading inside after a trip to my folks I told Kien he could play in the wet leaves. He relished the opportunity.

We think we've discovered the reason for all the craziness lately - molars. Jef looked in Kien's mouth this morning and saw the tips cutting through his gums. You don't know how thrilled I am that we've *maybe* found the culprit. Here I was doubting the way I parent him and thinking these were behavioural issues due to us being way too soft on him. Perhaps there is an element of that too, but hey, he is going through his twos after all, and they don't call it *terrific* twos for nothing!

Friday, April 27, 2012


I personally think it's important to teach the future generation the spirit of ANZAC day and help them to appreciate what freedom means. Even though at this age they haven't a clue regarding the symbolic poppy they are given after putting a few coins into the bucket, I think in the future they will understand why April 25th is a public holiday.

We went to the War Memorial Museum on Wednesday morning. It was a beautiful sunny day and we drove around and around looking for a park. We didn't spend a huge amount of time there; just enough to listen to a bit of the commentary and pay for a few poppies.

Back in my early twenties the 25th April meant waking up early, marching in a parade through Howick Village, and assembling at the RSA for lunch whilst admiring the medals on chests of folks who have actually done their tour of duty (or even multiple tours). Back then I wanted so badly to do my own tour of duty, but in the midst of university and holding down a job the army wasn't going to send some Signaller territorial force chick overseas for peace keeping duties, which essentially was all that was required from regular forces back then.

Anyway, a decade and some later I still feel the same level of appreciation for what this country has offered me and my family as refugees escaping from the atrocities of government corruption and the aftermath of a dirty political war. I served my time, both as territorial force and regular force, and I am glad and proud of that.

Back to Wednesday, we had a wander through the museum before making our way to Jervois Rd, where we stopped and had a bite and a pint while Kien slept. We then wallowed in the glorious warmth and sunshine at Sentinel Beach.

It was a truly wonderful day, and despite my tiredness I still managed to appreciate these moments.

I certainly appreciate these moments, a lot!


Addendum to my previous post titled round and round the garden I realised I didn't put any reference links to the video for those folks receiving this blog via e-mail. So you can either come to the post online and see the video or here is the youtube link.

Round and round the garden

One of his favourite nursery rhyme, and one we've done since he was a baby is "Round and round the garden" where I'd draw on his palm with my finger and tickle him at the appropriate moment. Now it's his turn to do it to somebody else.


Linking up with Things I'm Loving this week.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

If I could...

=> remember what it's like to be part of a community where caregivers and kids can hang out, socialise, and feel like we are not alone sometimes when parenting just feels like a chore and a daily grind...

=> remember how much fun it was to bake with kids at playgroup this morning...

=> remember how adorable children look when they are interacting and making friends...

=> remember that Kien does have his off days and needs the security of his mama's arms...

=> remember his love for sandpits, then perhaps he wouldn't have been on my hip for most of the morning...

=> forget the numerous times we've had to clean up puke and change sheets in the middle of the night - including last night, and twice the night before, and the night before that, and the night before that...

=> push through my tiredness and not count the number of nights on one hand where in the last 28 months I've not been woken up several times...

=> not be in despair when my child is having night terrors and screams for half an hour - at 1am...

=> see the forest through the trees and remember this is all just a fleeting moment in time...

=> appreciate that going for a 3 hour walk in the beautiful sunshine so my son would sleep is a rewarding experience worth remembering...

If I could cherish what I have, write it all down, take it all in, and remember how privileged I am for the opportunity.


Linking up for Lyrical Sunday this week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bush walking in Birkenhead

In the middle of suburbia over in Birkenhead there is a tranquil bush track that leads you down to Kendall Bay. Here we were on Saturday morning, at Kauri Point Centennial Park.

We meandered leisurely down the track, occasionally catching glimpses of the Waitemata Harbour through the trees, and popped out at the bottom to a beach at low tide.

Kien (being Kien) had a blast; running around stomping in the puddles, collecting rocks and seaweed.

I love his inquisitive nature.

That's in conjunction with being Jef's shadow.

3 tugboats went past, and we were wondering what they had to go out and tug.

Ah, yes, the naval base and the reserve are neighbours.

We stopped and had a snack at the other end of the beach while Kien explored the bush.

Then we made our way up the trail heading back toward the entrance.

We happened upon a million baby spiders in the woods. What an amazing weave.

Then we found (assuming) their mother.

Jef had a serious case of the creepy-crawlies after seeing this massive spider.

If you are ever looking for an interesting activity for 2 hours that's close to the city and is seriously picturesque and fun, this is a walk to consider. I'd like to go back at high tide for a swim.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Water play, Venus and sunsets

I am mindful that I can fall into the trap of not appreciating all the wonderful things around me, and hence I take lots of photos and write my blog, which helps me recognise and acknowledge beauty.

❤ watching cousins playing.

❤ that they love water play.

❤ their looks of innocence.

❤ Autumn evenings on the beach.

❤ watching the boys play.

❤ gorgeous sunsets.

❤ seeing Venus in the sky.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our outing at historic Fort Takapuna

Talk about picturesque, interesting and fun! I've been to North Head and absolutely love the WWI tunnels there, but I never knew about Fort Takapuna until last Sunday when I asked Jef to take us on a family outing. I'm so glad Jef found this place. It was fabulous.

We parked at the beach and walked up through the reserve.

The military structures dates back to circa 1889 at a time when Russia was a major threat to the British Empire, and rumors of a Russian fleet in the North Pacific meant an imminent invasion. Fort Takapuna was one of a several coastal defence sites around Auckland harbour.

Kien crawled through the gun pit a number of times. He would pop out and run around and go back down into the pit, and Jef would lift him up so he could crawl through again.

I love the brick building in the ditch with the castellated roof.

The concrete slide on the south eastern side of the ditch was built as part of the tramway used to move the ammunition around. This is the steep slide that Kien walked up and insisted on walking back down again, and being Mr Independent he did not want to hold his dad's hand. He fell, face planted, and Jef said it sounded pretty nasty from where he was. Kien had grazes on his face, and he cried for 30 seconds, then insisted on going up and come back down again - all by himself! So he did.

The three concrete structures on the cliff top were used to control the anchorage where ships entering the harbour were examined.

Kien picked some grass and practiced his fencing skills.

Interesting piece of history - in 1918 the camp accommodated German prisoners of war and in 1919 was used as a hospital for flu victims.

We made our way back to the beach and had our coffee and snacks that I had packed.


So I did a post about Kien loving to run the other day. Well, he also loves to jump too. Actually, both my boys do.

See? I have my hands full with both of them!


Information sources:
DOC Heritage sites - Historic Fort Takapuna
Devonport - North Head
Wikipedia - WWI


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