Sheep World!

Thanks to grabone.co.nz I grabbed us some 50% off passes to Sheep World in Warkworth and we planned a trip with our close friends for when it was the school holidays. Well field trip day was yesterday.

I was up organised and we were on the road following behind Brig at 9.35am (was supposed to be 9.30am but a certain five year old needed to have a quick bathroom stop at Grandma’s while I printed off the vouchers! Hey better than needing to go once we got on the motorway!)

Eli fell asleep ten minutes in – perfect! He slept the whole way there so was nice and fresh for our day. Hunter had about a half hour nap too. He falls asleep so easily in the car, it’s great. Peyton was wide awake and excited. We chatted the whole way up. I told him lots of things about how I used to come up north all the time when I was a kid with my family. How it was Nana’s happy place. I freaking got tears in my eyes driving through Hungry Creek. I haven’t been this far north in 8 years and the last time I came up here was not long after Mum had died so was very raw and emotional time.

We got to drive through the road toll tunnel. I told Peyton to take a photo to show Daddy. He took selfies instead.

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We finally arrived at Sheep World. The kids all had morning tea and then we went on in to watch the dog show. The kids though Sam the dog was great. Hunter compared the sheep being shaved to when Dean shaves his hair for him. They feed the lambs, held bunny rabbits. Eli was scared of everything – poor baby! Feed the big sheep, cows, pigs, alpacas and goats. Ran around like crazy on the obstacle course. Time went by quickly and next thing we knew it was 1pm so though we had better feed the troops!

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Lots of time spent back and forth between the playground, playhouses and the picnic table. Eli of course was Mr Independent on the playground and was giving Brigitte heart palpitations as he climbed up to the high slide.

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They all bought a popsicle from the cafe and played some more. Pretty soon it was time to pack up and trek back to the city. My three little men were shattered. Eli was asleep in the car not far down the road. Hunter managed to see the road toll tunnel then he was out to it and not far behind was Peyton.

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We turned up at Crossfit and Peyton tried to get into it but was just shattered. Hunter had gotten his second wind however and stayed with Dean (who is interning to be a kids coach) and did an awesome job keeping up with the big kids.

I was so proud of my boys and their excellent behaviour from them all day. Even Boo Boo’s tantrums were a rare occasion. Will definitely be going back – might even take Dean with us next time.

This too shall pass

Think I need to get this tattooed on me – it should be everyone’s mantra especially in parenting!

So we have listed the cot and changetable on Trademe and yah the cot has already met our $2 reserve and so now whether it stays at that or goes for more it is officially goneburgers and so that means the big boy bed transition will be happening for Eli!!! This is nothing new for us as we’ve been through it with Peyton and Hunter already. They were a breeze. Cot went down (small rooms plus we like the out of sight out of mind philosophy) bed went in and they just accepted it. Peyton got in and out of his bed several times the first night and there are several photos of him asleep on the floor. Sleeping behind the door was another favourite spot for him too – that was always fun to try open the door without it hitting the toddler too much!

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(Peyton and Hunter when they first went in to a bed)

Eli however is going to be a whole different story. We just know it already – he is our “naughty” one. Or as I have recently come to call him in the past few months after following the wonderful heartbreaking blog http://rockstarronan.com/, spicy! I told my friend this at the park on Friday and she loved that description and wholeheartedly agreed it was Eli to a tee!

Eli was a placid wonderful go-with-the-flow baby for the first six months of his life. Our dream baby! Then he started teething and a full night’s sleep has been a rare occasion in this house for the past 14mths. Nothing could comfort him except a small bottle of milk and a bit of pamol. And so began the bad habit of a bottle to get him to go back to sleep. He hasn’t had teething pain for a while now but he still religiously wakes for his “bobble”. With the big boy bed thing happening we thought we’d better get him out of the midnight bottle habit.

They say it takes 3 days to form a habit and a week to break it. Well we just finished night 4 and it was a nightmare like the previous nights. I offered him a bottle of water the first couple of nights. Needless to say he was not impressed. The first night was not too bad he went back to sleep with no milk. Night two he has realised what I am trying to do! “BOBBBBBLE! MAAAMAAAA!” cue lots of of screaming and tears. If we go in and comfort him, tell him he is ok, readjust his blankets he giggles and does his cute act. Leave the room and the drama begins again. Last night was no better. Dean was great and when Eli called for me he went instead. We survived the night and so did Eli with no bottle. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass.

It had better as these bags under my eyes could soon hold pocket change đŸ˜‰

Bring on tonight

(just editing and success on night 5 – he slept right through whoop whoop I feel fantastic after not having broken sleep either! long may it last!)

That’s a w(RAPTOR) ;)

Well today we finished off our dinosaur study. We’ve been doing it for a good 2 months and we covered the bases and mainly focused on carnivores, herbivores and features of dinosaurs. We could honestly spend all year on it really there is just so much to learn. Our best resource has been episodes of Dinosaur Train and the Dinosaur Train website (http://www.pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain).  We made another brainstorm of what we now know about dinosaurs and well that brainstorm could have taken up pages too!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1O_pZClyrc

(dinosaur train a-z song)

It has been awesome to see Peyton so interested in a topic and keen on learning (my original plan for the start of the year was Maori myths and legends and well he just wasn’t interested at all!!!) – he has impressed Dean with his knowledge and being able to name a dinosaur for every letter of the alphabet.

We are going to take a week break from topic study and focus on the basics next week (handwriting, reading and maths) while hanging out with our nonhomeschooling friends.  Our next topic is American Wildlife – yet another study that we could do all year! I’ve triend to limit it too about 15-20 animals!!! We have sort of kicked that off today with watching “The Princess and the Frog” after lunch.

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We spent most of the morning at the park with our friends, lots of climbing and scootering, jumping in puddles and big piles of leaves. There was even a rescue of Hunter who has been told countless times to NOT climb the viewing towers as he can’t remember how to get back down!! “Mummy you are like a firefighter rescuing me!” Gotta love him! Then the rain set in and all you could see was children and Mum’s dashing for their cars with scooters, bikes and prams in tow! The icecream man did not have much business today in the cool wind. Autumn has well and truly set in.

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Lest we forget

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After a day spent mostly at home I dropped Dean and the boys off to Dean’s parents to visit their Gramps who is out of the hospital after his bowel repair surgery. He’d doing ok but will need a few more days rest. I went to visit my friend’s one week old daughter Indiana and do some photos for them to update my portfolio. She is very cute but my uterus did no fluttering or yearning for anymore – I must be cured of my cluckiness! She was still a good little time waster though!

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Grandma had fed the boys a good hearty dinner of sheperd’s pie and for the first year ever Alec (Gramps) was unable to get to a dawn parade service. So on the way home we stopped up at Stockade Hill where the services had been held earlier in the morning. We climbed the hill in the cool night air and placed Gramp’s poppy in the centre of the large white cross that was already covered in poppies and surrounded by wreaths made by the local scouting groups.

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It felt very peaceful to be up there with my boys who are able to be free because of sacrifices many young men (and women) made nearly 100 years ago. Young Eli is named after our very own family war hero – Dean’s Poppa Brownie (funnily enough no-one in Dean’s family has the surname Brown so we are not entirely sure where the name Brownie ever came from) formally known as Arthur. Eli Arthur Dean H.

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Next year we will make the effort to go to the service with Gramps. I have not been since my own scouting days and Dean has not been in many years either.

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We shall remember them.”

But why Mum?

Interesting discussion in the car on the way home from Crossfit with Peyton (nearly six) and Hunter (just turned four) about Anzac day and why we have it. Me trying to explain the concept of war and hatred to two little boys who just couldn’t fathom that one man would hate people so much he would want to kill them for being different.

It sort of went like this:

Me “Tomorrow is Anzac day so Daddy has a day off work.”

P “What’s Anzac Day?”

M ” Well a very long time ago there were a couple of big wars that lasted a few years and New Zealand sent soldiers over to fight in the wars and we remember those soldiers who died”

P “Why was there a war?”

(to be honest I don’t know much about world war 1 but I do know about world war 2)

M “There was a bad man called Hitler and he only liked people that had white skin and believed in what he believed in, he killed people that didn’t have white skin.”

P “but why Mum?”

M “because he was a bad man and only wanted people to be the same as him”

P “but why?”

M “because he didn’t like people who were different, he didn’t like people like J who is part chinese or his family, or like Coach Carli who has brown skin.”

P “Oh. *thinks for a bit* what colour is my skin?”

M “Look at your arms and tell me.”

P “I don’t know but it’s not white. The chalk on your hands is white.

 

And somewhere mixed in that conversation Hunter compared soldiers to superheroes.

 

My sons cannot understand that other people don’t like people because of their religion, their beliefs, the colour of their skin. It is completely foreign to them. They don’t see colour they just see people. I guess I can thank having being raised in Auckland they see different cultures all around them all the time. They have gone to the Otara Markets and seen an array of diversity there, their kindy’s, sports teams, music groups, our family friends are full of people of different races and religions. It’s just what they live.

Everyone could learn from my sons – kindness and love is what matters most in the world. I am proud to call them my sons.

Just another day!

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Well it’s officially the school holidays but of course to us that means nothing except no kindy for Hunter and easier to catch up with non-homeschooling friends.

The only formal work Peyton did yesterday was handwriting and he wrote a story about a dinosaur (surprise surprise lol). We watched The Lorax and read it for Earth day and then Peyton drew a picture of Truffula trees. Small discussion on trees and why we need them.

We were supposed to meet someone at Whitcoulls that is interested in homeschooling but we were running a bit late and then the torrential down pour when we arrived at the shoping centre did not help that anymore. We missed them but still enjoyed our hot chocolates and fluffies (I much prefer the name babycino!). We explored Whitcoulls for a bit then I made the executive decision to shoot on over to the temporary Pumpkin Patch outlet store to get a winter jacket for Peyton.

The discussion in the car as we travelled from one shopping centre to the next was a guessing game. The boys and I took turns describing dinosaurs (and then it moved on to animals) and it was really cool to hear all the information they had learnt about dinosaurs from the past few months be put into action. Want to know about dinosaurs just come on over! Learning on the go always!

Mission Jacket was completed complete with escaping toddler, me running and abandoning the jacket on the floor in my hast to catch Eli before he escaped the shop! Lesson learnt for me – ALWAYS take the pushchair!!!!!

We still had time up our sleeves before Crossfit so we moved on to the furniture shop a bit further down the road and paid a 50% deposit on Eli’s new big boy bed. Now it really is time to sell the baby furniture! So that has been photographed this morning and will be going on Trademe later on today when I find the camera cord!

Mad dash home to grab Peyton’s sneakers for crossfit and then to the gym to drop him off. It’s great now Dean is interning as the kids coach as it means I don’t have to stay as Dean brings Peyton home we do a quick handover of parenting duties then I got to Crossfit. Monday afternoons are a little mad. The madness has been made easier by cooking the week’s meals for those hectic afternoons on Sundays and freezing them. Still good nutrition and saves us at least an hour a day!