Saturday, December 30, 2017


We had gone to bed really early the night before. It was not yet half past eight and the child was already showered and brushed. Plus he had sellotaped a note to the bedroom door stating that no one could enter until it was his bedtime. So of course it was his bedtime! He had surprised me by making the bed and tidying the room, and he went into great detail explaining how he did it, and why. “Because I love you, and you like surprises, and I like to surprise you.”

I was tossing and turning through the night, and woke up at almost 3am. Wow, this time 8 years ago I held him in my arms for the first time, and now here we are, lying like logs side by side, sometimes like out stretched branches that interlock and catch on one another through the rythm of slumber and restlessness. We sometimes switch beds 2 or 3 times in a single night as he likes the security and closeness of my arms blanketing him. I’m torn between feeling smothered and feeling loved, but I know this time in our lives is very brief.

I sang happy birthday to him this morning when we woke up. His face lit up and he threw his arms around my neck and schmooshed his face up against mine. “I really love you, Mummy.””You know, 8 years ago you made me a mummy.”

Jef surprised him this morning with a giant helium balloon in the form of the letter K. “K for Kien!” We FaceTimed Jef and he said he needed to explain the presents that were wrapped up under the balloon. I suggested that maybe Kien might want to open his presents when daddy got home. He agreed wholeheartedly.

My darling, Kien. It’s been a big year of growth, and I love watching him blossoming in front of me. I love getting texts from him.

I love how he waves to me every single morning from his classroom window until we can’t see each other anymore.

I love finding notes that says “to mummy” and inside the folded up paper are these drawings.

He’s a sweet little boy who grinds his teeth and thrashes around in his sleep. He loves his beyblades, Donald Duck cartoons, Dr Seus stories, YouTube, berries, spotty bananas. He’s feisty and makes up the silliest of jokes. He is a Kien, the Kien, our Kien, my little kiwi koala...and he is now Eight!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A merry little christmas

It was a typical quiet little christmas. Kien left a beer out (non alcoholic) for Santa on christmas eve and went to bed chattering about what he might get delivered. Once again I reminded him Santa chooses what will be delivered from the list (the list that starts the day after xmas every year) and that he is lucky to get anything at all. He went to sleep talking about all the different types of beyblades in the world...

"Good morning, Mummy! Today is christmas. Do you think Santa came? Can I go downstairs to see?" "Hold up, little guy. Let us wake up first!"

After getting dressed we went downstairs to see what Santa had delivered.

We made him wait until both Jef and I had a coffee, and then he could open his presents.

A couple of beyblades(Twisted Tempo and Big Bang Pegasus to be exact!), solar energy powered spider robot, a fidget spinner and a string launcher were all on his list. The rest were educational stuff, like a crystal growing kit, a dinosaur clay excavation kit, solar energy build kit, a volcano that transforms into some woodland animal thing, and some excellent beakers. Thanks, eBay Santa!

We then headed over to my dads where he got to open more presents. Clothes and beyblades, yay, everyone's a winner.

After a light lunch we headed off to Rod and Gun's place. This lucky little boy got to open another set of presents! He got some awesome educational gifts such as a mechanical insectoid build kit, a moon torch, and mechanical insect. He also got slime and lots of yummy treats to eat. Thanks, Rod, Grandma Gun, Karen and aunty Sandra Santa.

Aunty Sandra also brought smoke bombs!

Jef has been on call over these holidays so we cannot venture far. We intended on going up to Mangawhai on boxing day but it rained. so we are just hanging around Auckland and will shoot up there this weekend (as Jef is also working the non stat days). I don't mind, I'm getting lots of stuff done around the house.

Monday, December 18, 2017

School field trip to Point Erin pools

It just happened to coincide with my day off so I volunteered go with Kien's class to the pools last Tuesday. Took the bus, had a briefing, and then 4 1/2 hours trying to kill time without killing any kids.

You know what the temperature is like in an unheated outdoor pool in Auckland when its cloudy? And what's worse, they have a giant spa pool for people to sit in to get warm, but it was out of bounds for the children! The kids were in the pool for maybe an hour and they came out blue - ok, not quite blue but definitely teeth chattering and shaking all over.

One hour down, 3 1/2 hours to go - in this caged off area.

The sun did come out later on in the day, and the kids did get back into their wet togs and went back in the water. They mucked around and played with frizbees, flying them over the fences and asking dog walkers and runners to throw them back over. I normally run this route when I'm working from the Hub, so I am all too familiar with this.

Somehow we were all able to entertain ourselves, and then we lined all the children back up again to get on the bus back to school.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I went to watch Kien at athletics day at his school a couple of weeks back. I wanted to cheer him on, knowing that my son isn't really into physical activities. But he certainly surprised me! I saw his competitive streak come out. He had such a good time.

He had an initial try of the high jump, but he couldn't get the hang of which leg to throw over first. So he didn't want to do it and basically quit. I had a conversation with him about not giving up and to keep trying, but nope, he wasn't having a bar of it. So I bribed him - give it your best shot, don't worry about what anyone thinks or says, and I'll give you a point. So he did, and the more he jumped the better he was. Here's a video of his last jump.

Here's a link to the video on youtube in the event you can't see it through whichever method you have received this post.

So guess what? He got 3rd place for that jump. Oh don't worry, I've given him lots of talks about how important trying is and that it can pay off. I was also surprised to find another certificate in his bag for coming 2nd for shotput. I must have missed that one.

Then last Saturday he got player of the day at his cricket game for the best bating and straight bowling.

I'm really proud of him, not because of these achievements per se but I see his confidence growing, and he is blossoming and really coming into his own. I love watching him grow.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Kien's keyboard recital

All the hard work and hours of practice he has put in - I'm so proud of him. This is his first year learning to play the keyboard. Although its been hard at times when he just does not want to practice and I think its a total waste of money to pay for these lessons - I know that he will be thankful for the perseverance. It's important to me to teach him commitment, and today was a very proud mummy moment for me watching him up on the stage and pushing through his nervousness. He told me he was scared; that he has stage fright. I told him its okay to be scared, that he can do it. He did it.

Here's a link to the video on youtube in the event you can't see it through whichever method you have received this post :)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sprysen beyblade tip

Thought I'd better get back into getting Kien writing his stories again. We get a bit lazy on a Sunday, and I'm finding him stuff to do to earn points. He's already emptied the dishwasher, practiced some catching for cricket, and practiced his concert piece on the keyboard (in a couple of weeks he's playing a little piece for the music school performance concert). A 3 sentence story earns him 3 points, so its a worthwhile exercise for him, even though the time it takes him to actually do it is an exercise in patience for me!

"Give me a smile, Kien. A proper smile. SMILE!" Urgh....

Saturday, November 18, 2017

School field trip to MOTAT

I try to make at least one school field trip a year, and a couple of Fridays ago I went with them to MOTAT. This was one of those times when I told my boss that I really had to be a good parent and attend this one - being the last field trip for the year and since I have been so busy with work I've not spent a lot of energy or time with Kien. So even though I'd had a short week with being at the conference, doing this was important. Fortunately my manager and my project managers understand, so I found myself assigned to 6 kids on a bus heading to Western Springs.

We had lots of activities to get through, so after our briefing away we went.

My kids were the only ones that wanted to explore the library, and they had a great time sliding the moving walls back and forth. The poor librarian; at first he thought it was really cute, and then 10 minutes later he wished me good luck as I shooed them to the tram station.

These two have never ending conversations about I don't know what.

Then after lunch it was pretty much a lazy afternoon wandering around getting into mischief.

It was an exhausting day, but very enjoyable. After the bus dropped us off at the school gates at 2:30pm the teacher said I could take Kien home. I was like, no way! He's going to after school care. I need a break! So she shipped him off to after school care and I went home and poured myself a large glass of wine, and watched some trash TV on demand, and ate some cheese.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

​ Conference in Wellington

I’ve been away for a couple of days for a work conference held at Te Papa. I had to wake up at the ungodly hour of 3:45am last Monday to catch the first flight out. Meanwhile Jef has had to deal with his work stuff as well as all the parenting duties, including taking Kien to the dr with a sore eye on Monday afternoon. So that's twice in 2 weeks for 2 different reasons. Good thing I did duty of emergency pickup the week before. It's never easy when the school calls to say Kien is in the sickbay, and then Jef and I have to negotiate on who has got the least amount of commitments at work for the day. Last week I had only just arrived at work having driven to the airport through all the traffic (my current project is based out there), only to have the call up from the school office to say Kien is unwell. After I spoke with Jef I ran inside to let me colleagues know I was going home. Very thankful people understand these things - family first...always.

I’ve employed a tutor to help kien out with homework and music practice etc for a couple of afternoons. She came in handy these last couple of days when I haven't been around. That definitely took the pressure off Jef a bit with having to rush home to pick Kien up and then having to do all the schooling stuff, as well as the music practice stuff. Nah, lets just get someone in to help us do all that other stuff that is so tiring and naggy.

Anyway, just a few pics from Wellington. We were very lucky to have brilliant weather yesterday. My colleagues and I went out for dinner to the yacht club, and although cold outside, the views were fantastic. Good thing they supplied blankets for us. We drank our champagne and decided to move inside for the main course. Afterwards nobody wanted to walk the kilometre back to our hotel, so we lazily taxied there, much to my disgust in myself that I too wanted to catch a ride. The conference wore us all out. Thinking is such hard work.


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