Wednesday, July 31, 2013

One fine Tuesday

If all my Tuesdays could be this fun I wouldn't ever complain about how hard parenthood is!

I've kind of noticed a pattern in my blogging regularity; when the child is "Sunny" I tend to blog more, and if the rain is falling hard then I just don't have any energy left for recounting anything. When your child is testing you to your absolute limits the reason why we parents don't sit our child(ren) on the street with a sign saying "Free to a good home" is because they can turn into cute, adorable, crazily cuddly and gorgeous little creatures who give you radiant smiles with a twinkle in their eye. We're such suckers!

So, yesterday, yes, it was a fabulous Mum and Son day (I did originally type "Mama and Baba day" but then decided it was just too cutesy and cringe inducing). School holidays are over, so we were back at Ponsonby Playgroup where I ran a baking session.

It was baking, but not as you know it - all ingredients into a cup, and then the batter was microwaved. See how much the kids enjoyed it?

They all sat there eating the batter because they couldn't wait for the finished product, and then they couldn't wait to gobble up their chocolate chip cupcake during the cooling process. I like running successful activities, and seriously, if anyone told me 4 years ago I'd be doing the above said, I'd just think they were crazy, or that parenthood will have driven me crazy to even consider doing anything like that.

After Playgroup we headed to my dad's for some lunch. Kien happily played with the cars he brought along.

Cars and noodles and frozen raspberries and silliness and laugher.

We then went and visited my aunt. She was very tired, and we weren't even sure we were going to be able to see her. But she got out of bed and sat with us for a while. She was able to eat a little bit, and then went back to bed. Kien was happy just to hang out in her room, so we stayed for a while longer.

I had promised Kien we would go to the park later in the afternoon, and so I stopped at Francis Reserve on our way home.

We watched the beautiful golden sunset from the slide, and then we headed home to do some puzzles. A lovely ending to a great day.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A day on the west coast

Auckland is an amazing place to live, especially when you are beach lovers like us.

This morning we woke up and decided we needed to do something outside in nature. So the decision was to head out to the west coast. The weather was looking a little unpredictable, but it didn't matter, because when we got out to Rimmer Road and walked over the dunes toward the beach the sky was blue and the wind was high, perfect for flying.

I told Kien the last time we were out here he lay under the bush for a rest. Next minute I see Kien crawling under the shrubbery saying, "the last time I was lying under here, ay?".

Kien found a bottle on the sand dunes (kind of like the first time we took him here), and for about 45 minutes he entertained himself by throwing it down the hill and then chasing after it. Boy, he had fun, and it was delightful to see both my boys so happy out here.

Yes, a great day for flying, indeed!

By the time we finished up at the beach we were a little peckish, so Jef decided to head in the opposite direction away from Kumeu (which was my suggestion) to Helensville instead. We stopped at the Grand Hotel.

This is a small town pub where they did not even have EFTPOS! But you know what they did have? Excellent fish and chips - an extremely tasty high quality dish at dirt cheap prices. Oh, and they also had lollie pops which the lady at the bar kindly gave to Kien.

Kien made friends with that little girl and her cats.

After we finished our most excellent meal and beers we headed across the road to the railway station.

This train engine is from 1880.

How much fun can one kid have in a day? Well that smile of his pretty much sums it all up.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Grandmother's ceremony

We did a death ceremony today for my grandmother. We held it at my aunt's place, and this morning we raced out to my dad's to pick up food for the ceremony. When we got to my aunt's we promptly set the table up and commenced with the ritual.

The food was colourful and beautiful. My aunt has been teaching her son how to cook some traditional Vietnamese dishes. He makes a kicking spicy Vietnamese beef stew (bò kho). Seriously yummy.

My aunt also made one of my grandparents' favourite dish, poached and then fried chicken marinated in garlic and salt. Again, seriously yummy.

We had a wonderful feast laid out.

Kien sat with my aunt and chatted to her while he made worms with his play dough.

After lunch he went outside and climbed a tree.

We had a good day. It was so nice to sit around the table, feast for a few hours while shooting the breeze about everything and nothing. We even managed to get home early enough in the afternoon for Jef and Kien to go to the park and fly the tricopter while I processed photos. I'm glad I was able to capture these pics you see here on this post.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A volcano, a cat, and a Sunday

Maybe Aucklanders need to brace themselves for an eruption judging by what's been going on in this country lately. I say all that with tongue in cheek, but seriously, can you imagine? The Auckland volcanic field is currently dormant, but as far as Wikipedia can explain there is likely to be an eruption again in a very short geographic timeframe (hundreds to thousands of years, apparently - so if Rangitoto erupted 550 years ago, then...???). Anyway, all that interesting information to lead into telling you of a minor excursion we did on Sunday to the "little" volcano that was the source of the lava flow forming Meola Reef - Mount Saint John.

I have not been up here since my track and field days of Epsom Girls Grammar School, so it was refreshing to come here again. We stopped at one of the 3 entrances - the one on Mt St John Ave near Belvedere St. When we got out of the vehicle we were greeted by a tortoiseshell (or some may call it calico) cat. It was a friendly little thing, and after we petted it for a while we went on our way. It followed us up the path.

We continued on our way to get to the summit.

Kien enjoys being out and about, especially when he can run around freely.

Spot the Tui. We saw three in total up here.

We descended to the bottom of the crater.

When we came back up to the bath guess who we bumped into?

She followed us all the way back back to the car.

Kien thought the cat might like a flower.

Then the cat went home, and Kien was interested in the purple daisy flowers outside the cat's property.

Osteospermum, Wikipedia told me these are called "Passion Mix" cultivar.

Wow, I can't believe it's already Friday night now! Where does the time go?


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