03 May 2009

Make your own fun!

Having spent a bit of time this week going through my Little Treasures pile of magazines to pull out some creative play ideas and recipes, this has been the inspiration for some homegrown fun this weekend.

After the usual supermarket/plane spotting/Warehouse excursion, we came home and made chocolate crackles with Noah. He loved mixing the dark chocolate and ricies round the bowl, and decorating with M&Ms or Hundreds & Thousands. Mark and I then raced round tidying up the garden whilst Noah slept. The garden has been on the task list for the past few weekends but neither of us has had the impetus to actually get outdoors, so after a week of wet and cold weather, we thought we had better seize the opportunity on a half decent day as the weather is certainly starting to close in by the week.




After naptime, Noah helped me plant 4 pea, broccoli and leek seeds which we hope will germinate nicely in our little greenhouse ($2.99 from The Warehouse!). Then I suggested making a cave under the dining room table, and the size of the new table is just right for a pretty decent size cave. First we took 3 'friends' in to play stories and bedtime...Noah chose Hairy McLary, Happy Feet and the stripy lion. We lay down and Mummy told Noah a story about going on a plane to England. Then we brought in some other toys from the toybox, playing doctors with each other listening to heartbeats, and giving each other the cure-all 'Pamol' medicine. Then it was time for a 'cup a tea and fruit party' - all held inside the cave. The last thing we did was get out some torches and chase the light around the wall in the cave. Then it was time to pack up and head out, as we had arranged a curry out with Shannon & Guy at their local Indian in Karori. It was a great, authentic atmosphere, very laid back, complete with pink chairs you'd see in a school or church hall. The food was awesome, and the company great. Thanks you two! It was also fun to be able to have an evening meal out with Noah, the first we think since Disneyland this time last year. Shannon & Guy had just been on a flying visit to South Africa for a wedding and brought Noah back a very intriguing present, a little plastic box in the shape of Africa with some 'magical beans' inside - aka coloured capsules. The fun starts when you put them in the bath and they dissolve over a few minutes into little animal sponge characters - we only opened 3 in the bath last night, and were excited to see a whale, wild dog and fish pop out of their little capsules. We'll try and eke the other 20 or so out over the next few nights for more bathtime fun!

Today, I made a soup, we had fun building a very TALL tower, even taller than Noah with lots of farm animals hidden inside. We waited till Daddy got back from his bike ride to knock the tower over and watch all the animals come flying out, much to Daddy's surprise! Then I headed off to church while the boys grooved to some tunes (see video) complete with their rock guitars, made a very cool Thomas track and cooked bacon, bananas and pancakes for lunch.




A couple of weeks ago on our normal route home from the garden centre I said to Mark that we really should make the effort to go for a walk in Otari Wilton Bush (click on link to see map). We have lived in the same area of Wellington for seven years and never been before, which is a little slack to say the least, but often we don't get further than the main botanical gardens since its a walkable distance from the house. So this afternoon we headed off on a little adventure to the bush, and had an absolute ball along the way. We must take Nana and Poppa when they are down in August, as Poppa would most defnitely enjoy all the walking tracks. Today we just ventured around the Circular Track, first meandering along the Canopy Walkway which is at the top of the forest canopy (and there is a big 50 foot drop to the forest floor beneath, quite the impressive sight). We then bumped into our antenatal friends Judith, Hamish and Grace having a picnic which was a nice surprise. Judith is due with baby girl no. 2 tomorrow so they were savouring what might be the last of their single-child excursions! Otari bush is the largest remnant of original native forest in Wellington City and is incredibly dense and thick in places. We found a large meandering stream, a cave tree and a waterfall in our journey which criss crossed the stream several times. It reminded us both of Watersmeet at Lynton/Lynmouth in Devon where we have been several times with Grandma & Grandad, and also of the Te Henui Walkway in New Plymouth, although the bush at Otari is much denser than both of these.

Noah walked the whole track which at a slow pace took us about 45 mins to an hour, and we can definitely see many more Sunday afternoon excursions to this gorgeous spot on the cards. We can't believe we haven't been before but fully intend to make up for that from now on, with about six different tracks to walk on, there's plenty of variety and is such a stunning setting.

And thus ends a lovely homegrown weekend of fun!

Roll on next weekend,GeeGee is coming to visit for the weekend and we have our 20-week baby scan on Friday afternoon. Here's hoping bubs is keen to share whether it'll be blue or pink with us, I for one have been getting more excited the closer we get to the scan, knowing what a thrill it was to find out last time just adds to the excitement this time. We'll update you as soon as we know for sure!
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