Thursday, 26 July 2012

How to revive a dead crow

For the second night in a row, the Little Big Fella is asleep within about 5-10 minutes of his head hitting the pillow.  He is absolutely worn out!

Yesterday we met some friends a bit after 9am and went to McDonald's for a cuppa, a cake and a play.  I haven't actually done that with anyone since we got here and I really enjoyed it!

We then went to Music Makers.  Friends of ours went to something similar in our last town but we never got around to it, probably because it was on a day care day.  But I thought we'd try it out here.

We turned up and the kids were all sitting down on the floor in front of the teacher, who had a keyboard and a microphone set up.  The Little Big Fella was shy and nervous because of the new surroundings and people so I got to sit on the floor with him on my lap... yay me!

The class was a real eye opener!  Here are these 3 year olds attempting to do things in time with the teacher and each other, learning musical terms for very fast (presto) and slowly (adagio), how many keys a piano has (88), how to hold, strum and identify parts of a ukulele, dancing, speaking and singing into a microphone.  I mean, what a great start for these kids, not only in terms of music but also in public speaking, movement, following instructions... a great start to a whole bunch of things that they'll come across in life!

By the end of the session the Little Big Fella was definitely enjoying himself, but was still a little shy, especially of the microphone.  So now the question is whether we go back, or just go to Playgroup (which is on the same day/time), or do a little bit of both.  I'll probably let the Little Big Fella decide :-D

Our little friend came back to our place for a bit of a play before her parents came and we all had lunch.  Apparently a cous cous, chickpea and roasted vegetable salad, while tasty, is not a complete dish to serve to guests (or even perhaps just my husband).  Who knew???  ;-)

I really enjoyed having a couple over and all of us getting along really well.  Between one thing and another, the Big Fella and I have mostly had separate friends for almost our whole married life.  To have husbands, wives and children all happy to hang out together was such a nice change!  Although working out a time that suits everyone (because of different shifts) might be a bit tricky, I'm looking forward to more of this!

After the Big Fella went to work mid-afternoon, the Little Big Fella and I went to the park for a bit more play and social time.  After school it's pretty rare to go to the park and not find at least a couple of mums with their camp chairs having a chat, watching the kids ride around the skate park, kick a footy or playing on the equipment.  It's a key social part of our little town and I think it's fantastic!

Today we were up early, trying to be quiet while the Big Fella slept after his early hours finish.  We were also looking after a little boy today so I had a challenge on my hands to keep two 3 year olds mostly outside, mostly away from the bedroom window, and mostly quiet!!!

But!  I had a plan!  I'd prepared a bunch of little things to do that were easy, outdoors or off-site, and I was pretty sure both boys would be at least partially interested in.

We started with bubbles (always a winner!), using a bubble solution that I'd made up.  But, for a bit of a change I'd grabbed a handful of drinking straws and showed the boys how to blow bubbles in the bubble mix, rather than blowing the bubbles into the air.  They loved it!  Who'd have thought???

I did a couple of things while the boys were happy, then decided it was time to get away from the house and give the Big Fella a good chance to sleep, or at least rest.

We grabbed a couple of buckets from the sandpit, brushed the sand off and went for a nature walk up the road.  Being boys, they mostly collected rocks and sticks :-D  However, in my role as childhood educator (for the day) I made sure to point out seedpods (and explain how they work - basically), flowers (including "what colour is this one?"), and feathers (textures, colours, spots etc).  We even had the joy of coming across a dead crow, who they wanted to revive by giving it water, but happily left it with a blanket of dry leaves.

When we got back we made a little pile of our recovered items, collected a few things then went for another walk - to the post office then for a picnic at the park.  Some of our friends were there and we got to meet the children of the guy who used to drive home with the Big Fella when they were training to be train drivers.

After a while we had to go to the shop for some milk - the Big Fella would need a coffee or three when he woke up and there was only enough milk for one, or maybe two coffees!  Of course, the kids got to have a lolly too :-)

We went home via the park again (I'd left a few things there to collect on the way home that were too heavy or awkward to have to carry extra distances), played with some other new friends, then made it back just in time for our little friend's Nan to arrive and take him home.

I made the Little Big Fella's sandwiches for lunch, then a chicken and strawberry salad for the Big Fella and I.  I came across the recipe through Angela from Grocery Shrink, who initially interested me in Fit Yummy Mummy. The Big Fella liked it well enough, but I love it!  I probably won't plan to make it when he's around though.

We had a little trip to the next town for a few bits and pieces and, I have to say, I was rather frustrated.  I know it's just a small town, and I know our supermarket is pretty dodgy, but I'm not travelling a minimum of an hour away when there are birthday parties and such to buy presents!  I had to find something for a boy turning 5, and also for a baby shower.  After a bit of stress I did find suitable items, but it was a horrible process.  I'd even thought of getting practical items for the baby shower - newborn nappies, muslin wraps, Bonds Wondersuits, even maternity pads - and couldn't even get those in the supermarket!!!  Rahhh!!!

One thing that was very cool in a small town-ish kind of way was that we went to the bank to give the Big Fella internet banking access to my accounts, mostly because our savings account is in my name.  We walk into the bank and by the time we get to the "wait here" sign, the lady who did our car loan has come out, greeted us and asked if we were trying to link our internet banking.

The other lady behind the counter was at a party I went to last week and I'd asked her what we needed to do, so she'd obviously remembered and passed that info on.  We sat down at the desk to do it and the loan lady remembered our names and a bunch of things that meant all I had to do was produce my card and it was all done and dusted!  Isn't that cool?  Even in our last town, where the bank tellers recognised me, there was no way that kind of thing would happen.

In our 10 minutes of communicating the nitty gritty of daily life this afternoon,  we realised that I'd double-booked myself!  (Seriously, I have a much mor full social life here!)  I was going to help out with the canteen at the footy on the weekend but we have people coming for dinner (and this is after the 5 year old party in the afternoon).  I think I might need to start using my calendar a bit more!

It's raining tonight so I'm hoping the Little Big Fella will happily play quietly inside tomorrow morning, while Daddy has another sleep-in after a late shift.  You never know, it could happen...

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