Sunday, June 30, 2013

Jumping hay bales

Yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind, to say the least. I got an early morning wakeup when the (officially) 3 1/2 year old decided 6:30am on a Saturday was a good idea. Normally this happens when he goes to sleep late the night before, and he's been pushing his bed time (like he's been pushing every boundary he can find at the moment). He's got a cold-flu-something, just like I've got a cold-flu-something that has been lingering for almost 3 weeks now. I guess if his head feels the way mine does I'm truly not surprised by his crankiness and high pitched whining. Urgh, it hasn't been pleasant in my household as of late.

So anyway, yesterday was an early start, and I was going in slow-mo all morning (especially with Jef off at work AGAIN and I had to do this parenting thing solo!) and then I got a call from my dad asking us to come to the shop to deliver food to my aunt (who was actually craving some particular cuisine and drink). I hadn't intended on going there so early but decided to rearrange my schedule and do the family thing. Kien and I got to my dad's restaurant, and after a stern talk between granddad and grandson, and some timeout in the car, everyone was happy and had a lovely lunch together. Then we trucked a boxful of food and assortments to my aunts place (back in the city) while battling a traffic jam in the process. After hanging out with her for an hour, it was then about 14:30, and I decided to get back on track with my original agenda (and something I had promised Kien we were going to do all day, eventually).

My friend had invited us out to her farm out Clevedon way, and when we got there I'm so glad we did!

With a glass of wine in my hand I was able to kick back, relax, and watch as her kids and my kid got to know each other. They led Kien off to meet the goat (I'll meet Billy next time for some photos), and then we decided to go for a walk. We crossed the orchard and ended up at the barn. He was able to get up close and personal with a digger.

As the late afternoon sun streamed through into the barn the boys ran around and jumped hay bales. It was a magical sight.

Then it was dirt pile climbing time.

They conquered that mountain like nobody's business. It was a massive mountain.


We watched the beautiful sunset from inside, because the temperature had dropped and it was so cold and the log fire was roaring inside and why would you go outside if you didn't have to?

The kids didn't care about the sunset. They were building things while waiting for dinner.

Next time we will definitely stay the night. Kien really loves being a country kid!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Annual lantern walk

Laternelaufen, walking with lanterns, was organised once again by my German friend, Linda, to celebrate the legend of Saint Martin. Also, pre-christianity, pagans in Europe celebrated a festival of light and fertility in the early winter.

Last Saturday evening we started out at their place over mulled wine and cheese while the kids had dinner (all the kids had dinner, except my kid, of course).

Then we headed out to the park to meet up with the rest of the crowd.

Jason lit a wish lantern, and it floated high up into the sky. Those things are awesome.

Everyone watched it fly away until it blended into the night sky and looked like a distant star.

The children played around in the playground for a bit.

Then we headed off for a walk around the park with our home made lantern built fresh that day. I ran out on Saturday morning to get the cellophane, and while Kien and I were visiting my aunt, Jef was at home hot gluing bamboo skewers together.

At the end we were treated to some German cookies - those Kien did eat.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

His best friend

These two are BFFs, or declaring they are not best friends anymore if they are unhappy with one another for some reason or another - like when one of them wanted to play cars while the other wanted to play ball it was a case of who was more whiny about what he wanted, and the other boy ran away shouting, "I'm not your best friend!". Two minutes later they were holding hands and skipping around rainbows again.

We had Declan over for another playdate on Sunday. Isn't it funny how new age the term "playdate" sounds, when once upon a time we just had friends over. So anyway, yes, his best friend came over and in between the dry spell and the rain we managed to get outside for a bit of fresh air.

They raced each other up and down the path, deciding beforehand which one of them was going to win.

The main purpose for coming out here was to draw on the ground. They took great delight in emptying out the box and having the chalk roll everywhere.

Then it was a case of, "lets stand them all up".

Because once they've stood all the chalk up on end they'd both run through and kick every one of them over, and then they'd start the game again.

It's only been recently that Kien has asked for friends to come over to see him. It was nice to have a friend over for Kien to play with.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Laying of ashes

Cremation is not part of my family custom, and I've only ever been to one burial of ashes (Jef's grandmother's). A couple of Saturdays ago I experienced my second time laying ashes, this time it was for Jef's great uncle Mostyn. We drove up to Te Kopuru to a quaint little cemetery.

It was a beautiful ceremony, informal and intimate.

There was a lovely memory garden in the corner of the cemetery, and while a few of the family went there I chased wild pink clover. They were beautiful, and grew all over the ground.

We went back to the farm for afternoon tea afterwards. As always everyone had a good time, especially the kids.


We stayed the night at Kien's granddad's and Margaret's, and in the morning Kien ran around their garden in pyjamas.

We hadn't anticipated a late start to the day, but it ended up being that way, and before we knew it time had marched on and we needed to head back to Auckland. Our journey home was along the coast, stopping at any beach we could when the rain wasn't falling.

Needless to say the beaches were pretty empty - just the way I like it.


Wow, the cold snap has finally hit us, and all of a sudden it turned cold. I miss the summer already.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Take it easy

The week just gone hasn't been an easy one. My aunt's condition deteriorated, and we were bracing ourselves for the inevitable. But then, as before, she came right again, and although she is very tired at least she is up and out of bed. So for the entire week I've had plenty of late nights, rushing home from work every day to feed and bath Kien so we can get to my aunts and spend a few hours there. Jef has been working late, including this past weekend as well, and I'm pretty exhausted now.

Yesterday was stormy; rain and wind battering our windows. The weather outside was how I was feeling inside.

I just needed some time to rest, but alas, having a 3 1/2 year old cooped up inside certainly would not give me what I wanted. What does one do?

Recently Kien has shown a keen interest in baking, specifically some type of berry muffins ('cause he just loves them berries - current favourite being raspberries, although strawberries are a very close second, and blueberries now a distant third). So yesterday we made raspberry muffins, and believe it or not Kien did most of the work. I measured the ingredients, did the final folding of the batter before putting them into tins and the oven. The rest Kien did, including cracking the egg open. Afterwards he insisted on doing all the washing up too.

He said he wanted to eat a muffin, but not yet.

I wasn't in the mood to insist he eats something instead of drinking his milk during the day, so I let it go.

Jef came home later in the afternoon, and Kien decided to sing us some nursery rhymes. So here is "Incy Wincy Spider" and "Three Blind Mice" performed by my three and a half year old.

Disclaimer: this is one of those videos where perhaps only parents of the child think it's adorable that their kid is strumming an out of tune guitar and singing some songs they've sung to him all his life.


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