Monday, August 31, 2009

junior gamers

We have always loved games in our family. B and I were very much into video games as kids (before we knew each other) and together in our pre child days. In fact I imagine that we'd still be playing them these days if we had more time and less to do. But parenting has it's own joys. One of which is seeing your kids mature and embrace some of your passions as their own.

Although the video games are gathering dust these days (mostly because I don't think they don't do the boys much good), our extensive board game collection is not. We adults play games at least twice a week. In fact B is upstairs waiting for me to get off the computer to play Dominion (our newest acquisition). We have a wide range of European games which are so different from the ones I grew up with and loved (candyland, game of life...). Many of them are age 10+ so the boys aren't quite able to join in yet. Carcassone, Hey That's My Fish, and Mancala are a few we've all played together recently. #1 and a friend played Mancala for ages the other day. She taught him a version called "stealers", I'll have to get him to teach it to me :o) Half of the appeal is the lovely stones you get to play with.

When the boys are a bit older we can't wait to have a regular games night with them.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

it was nice knowing kashin

The zoo has been a big part of our lives for almost five years now. We've had some magical up close animal experiences (like when we saw and got to feed Kashin above) just wandering around. Our zoo passes are expensive but well worth the money each year. Kashin the elephant (whose 4oth birthday we attended last year), was very sick and had to be put down last week. It was very sad and the zoo was closed for a day to let the staff mourn her in private.

When we visited the zoo today there was an area where people had left cards and flowers. There was also a book and #1 wanted to write in it. Since starting school his writing is coming along so well, I can't help but be impressed (and so proud of him).

He wrote "it was nice knowing Kashin".

The zoo is open to the public for free tomorrow (to say goodbye) but limited to 6000 people. We won't be going! My favourite time to go is about an hour before closing. We almost have the zoo to ourselves then which is really nice.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monday is cupcake day all over the country to raise money for the SPCA. We got started a little early and this afternoon cupcakes were decorated and gobbled up.

If you see someone selling cupcakes, give them a donation and get something yummy while doing something good. Win-win situation really.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, Zoo day!

Took the boys to the Zoo early Sunday morning, so early the gates weren't open yet.
I enjoyed a coffee and the boys ran around like crazy things. Nice :)

#2 wanted to be a frog...

I took the new underwatercamera and had fun trying it out.
:) DaddyB

Sunday, August 23, 2009

star of the day

The 3 year old and I made sushi for lunch on Tuesday. It had originally been planned for Monday night's dinner but that plan went out the window as the day progressively fell apart.

Dinner that night was meatballs (thanks Simone), oven fries, raw baby carrots and edamame (soy beans), a kind of random assortment of food.

Anyway I asked him to get plates for us and off he trotted. He came back looking very happy with himself with two plates. A white one for him and the red plate (which we call the star plate) "for you mummy because you are a star." Such a sweetie.
The Red Plate is a really cool thing we picked up from Parents Inc. We give it to the boys from time to time to celebrate lovely achievements or kind behaviour or trying really hard. It says "Outstandamazing! We appreciate you. You're a Star." Actually daddyB and I get it for dinner sometimes too. Everyone needs a little appreciation. Yes there have been tears over the plate (no not B or I!) but usually they don't last.

I asked him why he gave it to me today (it's the first time he's done that so it was a suprise). He thought for a moment and then said "for driving the car mummy".

#1 is getting a certificate at "whole school assembly" this week so I think the star plate will be getting a second outing. He is over the moon about the certificate, it's gorgeous.

(written by meg before i headed off down south)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lazy Saturday morning

We had a lazy morning this morning, I had coffee and read the paper on the front porch while the boys played in the front yard, #1 enjoyed climbing trees and #2 had fun on the tyre swing.
It really feels like Spring is here :) DaddyB
DaddyB's updating the blog while Meg is at conference
#1 received a Certificate of Achievement at school assembly today.
He's really proud of himself and we are too :)

He seems so grown up! He was very serious and shook the Principals hand well.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

world famous in new zealand

Look who is reading about himself in Good magazine.

He's on page 70 just in case you want to buy a copy for yourself (it's a really great local magazine, you really should subscribe ;o)).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


We've just had a new bathroom heater/light/fan unit installed. As nice as it is for keeping us warm and venting the steam, there is one unforeseen bonus to all those lights...

The bathroom has now become a place where I can take photos! Not that I really needed anymore places to take them, but it is rather lovely. It was always a bit too dark in there, even with a 1.8 lens on. Oh how I love light.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

tea parties are fun!

Our wee tea party (a week and a half ago now) was lovely. The Rice Crackle Cake turned out kind of crazy looking so I put some extra sprinkles and lollies on the top for complete over kill. Click the link to see the pretty Donna Hay version. It really was just like a giant rice bubble slice (didn't taste as good as a regular cake). I used all white marshmallows (the pick n mix at the supermarket now has mainly pink ;o)) but it didn't turn out very white. I think to get a white cake I needed puffed rice instead of rice bubbles.

We also had fruit on cute animal toothpicks, ham and cucumber sandwiches, meringues and purplos (the dairy free version of those red cheerio cocktail sausages). The meringues looked really pretty and were so easy to make. I tried making a pavlova once and it was a disaster so was pretty pleased that these worked so well.
It was nice to have a party to celebrate all the birthdays that we miss by living in different cities from the boys' one and only cousin. The super cool candles were from Borders book store a year or two ago. Not a place I'd think of to find candles. Auntie Sam even made sweet parcels for the boys of socks and swimming goggles and stickers. It was lovely to have them stay.

Thanks Simone for the loan of the wicked cake plate. I'm now on the lookout for one of my very own.

(this bit added later) I just remembered that I was going to mention the cute place cards that our school boy (5th week now and loving it (although pretty moody some afternoons)), made for the party. He likes to be in charge of things so told me where everyone was going to sit.

I said we'd need to make some place cards and he was keen to write them himself. It was very sweet to watch. I'm fascinated by how kids learn to read and write. It's amazing.

We used leftover Christmas serviettes and I put a silicon mini muffin case with tomato sauce on each plate :o)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Apparently hiding from the camera under mummy's skirt is the most hilarious thing out! Sorry Grandpa (and other blog readers ;o)) for lack of recent updates. Been busy with visitors and school and getting organised for going away next week. DaddyB is going to be in sole charge for a whole seven days! The longest stretch I've been away from both boys is one night so it'll be a bit weird. I am looking forward to it though. A whole week of photography... bliss.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

tea party

We've had lovely visitors from down South for the past few days (my sweet wee niece (just one) and her parents). When they arrived we had a wee tea party/lunch to celebrate the recent birthdays (ours and theirs). I took some photos of the food but forgot to take any of the eating. Nevermind... the uneaten food is much more appealing anyway! More photos to come...

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I love eggs.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Okay to be honest I am exaggerating a tiny bit, it's hardly an invasion...yet. We have four new additions to the family this afternoon. It really must be spring because the praying mantis egg case (that we've been keeping since autumn) has begun to hatch. It's so exciting. #2 (calling himself "PowerMan" today) was putting this escapee back in the bug hotel (goldfish bowl). You can see that I need to cut his fingernails! We keep the bug hotel covered with a piece of mesh to keep the wee guys contained. We'll set them free in the next day or two because we don't have any tiny flies to feed them. When we had an adult praying mantis in there in summer daddyB caught flies for her. A little icky but kinda fascinating. If it wasn't for PowerMan's continued interest in bugs I wouldn't know half as much or be half as brave as I am.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

what do you mean hot chips and rice wheels aren't a balanced meal?

So it's not so easy eating out or being spontaneous if you have a child with allergies. The boys and I took a little trip to the zoo today. The intention was for it to be a quick trip followed by lunch at home. So I didn't pack food. There were a couple of packets of rice wheels in the backpack (with the Epipen and my camera) but that was it. Anyway it was a gorgeous sunny day today, spring is in the air (almost). We decided to pop into Motat and see the aeroplanes before taking the tram to the zoo. So we ended up there quite late and lunch ended up being hot (warm) chips and rice wheels. Yummo (not really).

We did have a really nice time though. This week things keep occurring to me that we can't do together now that the 5yr old is at school... story time at the library, morning zoo visits when it's not super crowded, lunch at the park with friends, mucking about at home... it's all such a big change. He's loving it though and it does seem like a fantastic school.