Kayak Picnic

Kayaks

We had a picnic by the river with friends… and one family arrived by kayak!

They kindly let us borrow them, and we spent a *glorious* 5 hours picnicking and paddling in the river. Everyone had a go!

I had a solo paddle. The kayak I own is an old one I got from the local outdoor shop downtown, I am thinking of going ahead an getting a new one after I read a detailed review of one great kayak on https://geosettr.com.

My husband took our 3 year old out too far from shore, and I was a bit grumpy at him for doing that.

The bigger boys had pirate fights and races.

My husband and I went out as a pair. And I’d love to tell you we were as graceful and as synchronised as a couple of mating swans… but we were actually rather clumsy and crashed into each other a lot. It was calming, sweet, romantic, and… harmonising.  So by the time we came back in, I wasn’t grumpy at him any more.

Kayaking on the river

And this is my biggest boy – being very clever – using his kayak as a stand-up paddle board.

We all had sooooo much fun.

I just love being outdoors!

My Roadmap to Ice Cream

Recently I’ve been using a smart phone app called SportsTracker to log all my walking and cycling exercise.

It’s been really handy to actually plot and track my cycling routes on a google map, and keep a record of the distances and my speed etc.

But sometimes I forget to pause it – when I’m not exercising – and it still records all my movements.

And when I am reviewing my activities, I can see exactly where I’ve been!

For example, this is me going for an evening walk to my local shops. (I erased out all the street names.)

My Roadmap to Ice Cream

This is after a long, crappy, frustrating day with the kids. They have finally been put to bed, and one of them has been put to bed several times. I realise I have run out of milk, and so to clear my head, I decide to walk to the shops, rather than drive.

By the time I get to the shops, I am feeling a little better. But only a little.

You can see me cross the street on the right, go into the store, and walk to the back of the store to pick up some milk.

I walk all the way back down the store to the checkout. It’s Friday night, I’m feeling crappy, so I decide to back track to the confectionery aisle to buy some chocolate. Then I go back to the checkout.

THEN I feel guilty, because I am trying to be healthy, so I put the chocolate back, and head BACK to the check out. Now I feel all righteous, but while I’m waiting for my turn at the checkout, I think – OH OK WHY NOT!

So at the last minute I go to the ice cream freezer and snatch some double-choc ice cream, and walk out the store with a spring in my step.

And look, the whole thing took me 31:22 minutes.

I hope I never accidentally record an *indecisive dress shopping* expedition in the city haha!!

Holiday adventures, starring my feet.

It is the end of the school holidays here in Perth and I’ve been taking my kids out… A LOT.

We’ve been out every day, meeting friends, enjoying the autumn sunshine, having soooo many relaxing and fantastic outings. We’ve visited parks, water parks, fun parks, playgrounds, beaches, riversides, cafes, museums, libraries, shops, movies and more.

It really is a sweet life. I look around myself so often and think that me, my family, my friends, our society… we live like royalty. It’s truly amazing. And I feel so grateful.

Ice Blocking
The other day some friends invited us to go “ice blocking“.

You can buy a large block of ice (with handle already frozen in) for $12… find a grassy slope, throw a towel over the ice, and kids can spend hours sliding down the hill, having a hootingly good time.

It was so much fun!

 School Holidays April 2012 - Kings Park Naturescape
Another day, we spent half the day at the Naturescape in Kings Park. Created as a natural playground for children, the park has a flowing creek, little lakes, climbing trees, board walks, tunnels and huts.

Children can make dams out of rocks, make potions with water/sand/leaves, climb ropes and lots of other stuff.

It’s a beautiful concept and my kids loved it. They rated it 10/10 for fun and entertainment.

(The week before they went to Adventure World – water slides and rollercoasters… and it only got 9/10!)

School Holidays April 2012 - Cultural Centre Wetlands
Last week, we stumbled across a “Children’s Science Activity” at the Wetlands in the Perth Cultural Centre.

Kids were allowed to take water samples of the wetlands, test its acidity, visibility and look for creatures living in the “swamp”.

School Holidays April 2012 - Heathcoate
One of the many parks we went to… This was Heathcoate Reserve Playground which has an amazingly large (multi storey) wooden playground and a million dollar view over the river!

But you’ll have to settle for a picture of my feet on the path.

Liam Turns Three

Liam turns 3
My little baby turned THREE a few weeks ago.

Liam at 2
This is what he looked like at TWO years old.

Liam at 1
This is when he was a ONE year old.

Liam at 7months
This is him at 7 months.

Liam at 4months
And this was him at 4 months.

Gah, it makes my heart weep to scroll through these photos. Because that’s how fast the years seemed to have flown by – ZOOM.

Anyway, turning THREE was a very exciting moment for Liam. We have been talking about the BIG THREE, for months. We talked up all the cool things that would happen to him.

On the day of his actual birthday, I made him whatever he wanted to eat for dinner.

Meatballs and Jam
It turned out to be meatballs and jam.

Which ain’t so bad. Nutritionally, it could have been worse, like toffee popcorn and fish fingers? Or mud pies and bubblegum?

Pink Dinosaurs
Speaking about nutritional disasters. I bought him a mini dinosaur cake to have that evening (we were going to hold a huge birthday celebration, with a big-ass ice cream cake, on another date).

It wasn’t actually a cake… they were two dino-donuts in his favourite colours (pink and blue). At $2.80 each it was the best birthday cake ever. Ha!

You cannot believe how sparkly-eyed-and-twinkly-toed-excited he was about these dinosaurs!

He was sooooooo happy. He blew out the candles, shouted “THE BLUE ONE IS MINE!!”, grabbed the blue one, and chomped off his head in 2 seconds flat.

I was very quick to laugh at myself – Ahhh, I believe my first and second children had cakes made by me, from scratch, with all organic ingredients, and with no artificial food colourings.

They were lovingly cut and shaped into a creative 3D form (a duck, a plane, a train, spiderman) and painstakingly decorated the night before. And my poor third child? He gets pre-made meatballs and some counter-bought donuts for his birthday… *Chuckle*

Starting School

Liam has been itching to turn 3 so that he could go to school, just like his older brothers.

But now that he is finally 3, he FRICKING HATES SCHOOL.

Trying to *get* to his pre-kindergarten session is a huge drama. He wails and screams at home. He rolls on the floor and flops his body over bits of furniture. He throws his head and arms about as I change him into his kindy clothes. Shoes and socks are impossible. The sight of his Kindy drink bottle makes him howl like you won’t believe.

He cries and shouts, “I DON’T WANT TO GO TO KINDEEEE. AAAARRRGHHH! I WANT TO STAY HOME WITH MUMMMMYYY! I DON’T WANT TO GO! PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME THERE! STAY WITH ME DON’T GOOOOO!! AAAAAAHHH!!!” And it just goes on and on and on.

He fully does the whole spider monkey trick when I’m trying to take him out of the car – wrapping his arms, fingers, legs and toes around anything that he can grab. And I have to pry off his fingers off various objects, one at a time.

Then he has his hands and legs extended out and flapping around like a crazy starfish while I walk, which makes it impossible to move gracefully into the school building.

All the other mums in the car park look at me empathetically. They all have nice and encouraging things to say, that make me feel a little better.

The teachers are WONDERFULLY nice too. My kid is screaming and shouting at the top of his lungs FOR THEM TO GO TO HELL and yet they scoop him kindly into their arms, while I say bye and make a run for it.

Sigh. It is *such* a horrible feeling. I am completely filled with self-doubt. Maybe I got it all wrong, maybe he really is too young? Maybe he is better off at home? Maybe all those parenting experts are right about kids staying home longer? Maybe we’ll wait one more term until he’s a bit older? Or more mature? You’d think that –me– after having 2 other kids, I would know how to handle all this. Nup. I just feel like shit.

Having said that…

When I go pick him up AFTER pre-kindy, he’s like all best buddies with the teachers, telling jokes with them, smiling, giggling, and he is happy as can be. He skips into my arms with the biggest, proudest and happiest smile on his face ever. He has stories to tell me, craft to show me and paintings to explain to me.

So he IS actually having a good and valuable time there. And this pre-kindergarten is one of the best in the area, with excellent teachers and wonderful facilities. So I guess deep down, I DO feel good about it, and I DO feel that I’ve made the best decision for my son. I just wish he didn’t have to string me along his emotional episodes!

Overall… Liam is still super active, super mischievous, super talkative and super loud. And yet he is a sweet little kid and always soooo adorable and funny. Liam has a big personality and I love him dearly!

The fine art of seed spitting

Pomegranite

We picked some fresh pomegranates from my mother’s garden.

They were gorgeously sweet and juicy.

My children and I sat in our backyard ripping them open with our fingers, with juices flowing down our arms, chomping on them hungrily.

I taught them how to spray the seeds from their mouths – machine gun style – just like I used to, when I was 10.

Have you ever tried to play music on tin cans by spitting seeds?

It’s a bit gross. But hella fun.