Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Park tour

A couple of weeks ago I signed us up for a free park tour for today. Between work and feeling ill Mike and I went to bed figuring we'd scrap it and only go if it worked out easily. Thankfully it did. 

When we first arrived at the meeting place the weather was cool and a bit cloudy. It looked as though it could go either way. As we boarded the charter bus, the kids were given little bags containing a pencil, pen, a couple crayons, a nature/park play book, and a couple snacks. They enjoyed looking at their goodies as we headed to the first park. 

Our first stop was a park at Christies beach. It was open, shaded, had beautiful views and near a yummy little cafe. 

After a couple hours there we then headed to McLaren Vale. It gorgeous wine country among rolling green hills. The drive was quite scenic. 

McLaren Vale reminded me of Lynden back in the early eighties. It's small and quaint yet spread out. It was sprinkling a little bit when we exited the bus. The wind was severe the entire time we were there. The kids didn't mind though. A lovely little bakery was within walking distance. Following the healthy food I had packed, the kids enjoyed a doughnut. 

I had to appreciate the paddock that was near the park as I could picture Robbie enjoying use of its barrels and jumps. 

I also had to appreciate the signage at the tennis courts.
I'm picturing a very talented person who can play in heels while smoking and walking her miniature dog. 

Our next stop was Norlunga Park. The ride was relaxing. Sam leaned her head against the window and James nearly fell asleep as did I. We would've dozed off too had we driven five minutes further. 
We weren't there as long as originally planned as the weather turned quite sour. All the children were completely exhausted, not just our two. 

It was a really great day. We all needed a little rest when we got home. 

Friday, September 26, 2014


Sam had a birthday party to go to today. It was held at a movie theater (the cinemas as it's known here) in a nearby suburb. On the train ride over we FaceTimed with Grandpa and Mandi again. However, this time the video screen reflected our different global positions. Apparently we aren't the ones who are upside down. 

We had a short chat. It was nice and the trip passed quickly. Daddy decided to stay home and enjoy some much deserved quiet time. I hope he gets some rest. I know he was planning on catching up the laundry and dishes. 

As we waited for the party to start I was surprised to see at a neighboring party the birthday boy ripped into his gifts just as soon as all the guests arrived. When Sam's party started it was the same thing. I wonder if that's how it's done here or if that's just how it's done when the party is at the movie theater. 

While Sam was at the party I took James to the play place. It was nice as there were only about eight children there. He played really well and spent nearly the whole time jumping on the big blowup thing. 

As it got busier, I heard screaming and looked to see James and another boy about his age getting into it. It went from shoving to punching...oh boy...or should I say "ugh boys!"  It seemed like I couldn't move fast enough. It looked like James was just trying to play, when this other boy would attack him. He reluctantly came after the third time I called him. 

James was upset. He had been bit, shoved, and punched. The mother of the little girl he had been playing with earlier rushed over and said "He was just defending himself. He didn't initiate it...he's played so well and so gently with my daughter...I only hope my baby boy is like James when he's his age."  

James was overheated and a bit frazzled. Icecream was in order. He needed to sit and get a little love. As for the other boy, his mom took him and left without any apology. Oh well. 

James is a good boy. He is quick to anger and we've been working with him on that. So it was good to hear all that praise about from another mother about his positive actions and reactions.  His ability to play gently and with care, yet stand up for himself when the situation required it.  

Music, monkies and mozzies

Sam's sleep remains hit or miss. She always listened to music when going to bed; however, we left all our electronics in the US as the power outlets are different. She loves using her new ipod (my old phone) to be able to listen to her music. 

She'll tuck it into a pocket and sing along to the Frozen soundtrack. At bedtime she's been listening to Charlotte Churcch, Chopin, or Mozart. I've requested the Classical Kids CDs from the library to put on her iPod as well. We owned many of them prior to our move. I just ran out of time to download them. Both Mandi and Sam really like the stories and the music is well done. 

It's odd. When putting my songs onto the iPod a bunch of them didn't download. The associated message was "not available is the iTunes Store."  The same happened with several apps. As it turned out, I've had to toggle between setting my Apple ID region between the US and Australia because of this. It's a little irritating.  At least I haven't "lost" anything...except movies and in app purchases. The movies aren't lost, they're there, I just can't download them without sucking up load$ of data which isn't cheep here. Oh well. 

Yesterday we had some errands to run. James quickly got bored. I asked him to make a monkey face. This boy looks so much like my dad and the monkey face is his signature play face. James had no clue what I was talking about, so we facetimed grandpa Bob. Here's the results: 
You learn fast young grasshopper. 
Yup, that's pretty much it. 
Very pleased with himself. 

As we've been walking from here to there and from there to here ive noticed little yellow blooms comming up all over. On this day I was able to get close enough to get a picture.  They look like perfectly round happy little pompoms. 

When I was younger, dad built and installed flower boxes around the house. In them were red flowers like these.  

The only thing is, these ones are huge!  There's a plant I can see from over the fence and somehow these suckers worked their way to the top of this tree. It's crazy. I thought they were anuals...maybe it's the wearer here?  I really have no clue. 

After running errands we caught the bus back home. Both Mike and I must've been a little tired because we missed our stop and ended up right at the beach. Thankfully it was a beautiful day.
And look at those two good looking men in my life gearing up to climb that hill. 

Have I mentioned how much I love living so near the beach?  

As it was the last day of the term Sam had early release to kick off a two week break from school. The poor little thing was an hour off the whole afternoon/evening until bedtime. The kids  spent nearly the whole time playing outside. 

When I stepped out to take the photo a mozzie (mosquito) got me. Both kids freak out around bugs so I kept quiet I added this bite to my collection as I'm currently scratching bites on both wrists, forearm, and foot. This morning when Sam woke she commented on how much her ankle itches.
We counted six bites on her lower leg and ankle. This picture was taken in the early afternoon. By bedtime the bites were large welts.  I'm sure we'll be encountering more bugs as the weather warms up. I hope not al of them react this way.