Tag Archives: Family

My Saturday

The girls started stirring around 8.30..  light was filtering through the cheap Ikea venetian blinds into our bedroom, the whirrr of the ducted airconditioning in the background..   our 7 year old murmered something about watching the DVD we watched last night again..  I said “yeahh” and rolled back over to sleep.

Jump forward a couple of hours and the 9 year old is at jazz and tap.  I get a few hours to spend just with our 7 year old.

We drive to the local shops, park the car and skip to the shops, S giggling away.   S says “I love this daddy, I love going shopping with just you and me”.  My heart melts…   I wonder why we don’t do this more often.   I say, “Let’s go into DigiLife and take a photo on the computer” at which S lights up and says “YES!”.   We find an iMac that is not being used, start up PhotoBooth and try to decide which effect to use.  We both decide on “glow”, take our photo, then sneak out of the shop laughing 🙂

Skip across to get a Vegemite scroll to stop the tummy growls, then we pass by the Liquorice Gourmet Foods shop.  S can’t resist going in so we get some gummy bears to suck on.

Liquorice Gourmet Foods
Liquorice Gourmet Foods

We then quickly dip into the funky shop Little Posh to find some presents for a party later that day.  S helps choose some Charlie and Lola merchandise and a hair clip, but I did spot some really cool hip clothes that could be future presents for friends 🙂

Shopping at Little Posh
Shopping at Little Posh

We do a quick grocery run.  I notice that S is eating her vegemite scroll by tearing off a piece, scrunching it up in her hand into a ball, then popping it into her mouth.  Gross!   Soon it’s time to pick up T, head home for a quick lunch then to the party!

T and S get on the swings and relive some past challenge to try and touch the top of the shadecloth/sail with their feet by swinging as high as possible.   Eventually I figure out that the swing would literally have to be horizontal from the pivot point… hmm…  is this dangerous?  After a few big pushes, they get there..   I worry that they’re not a good influence on the other kids who are on average 4 years younger than them.

There was a really really good face painter there.  Even T, our resident artist notices and says “Dad, she’s really good!”.  The girls spend ages trying to decide which design to get from a photo album of examples.  The face painter lady warns me, “Don’t let the kids flip to the back pages…  There’s some work and designs there that aren’t suitable for them.. but that I may like.”  Hmm…

A cat!
A cat!
pider Butterfly...  A spifly?
Spider Butterfly... A spifly?

Towards the end of the party, the lady starts making balloon things.  I ask T, “Do you want one?” to which she replies “I want to make my own dog.”  I suddenly realised that my Dad must have taught her that.  She takes a flower from the lady, sneaks away and undoes it, and starts to make a dog.  But the balloon pops..  there wasn’t enough empty space at the end.   She says, “doesn’t matter.”

They also had a butterly pinata.  After it was broken, it was thrown aside, dejected.

Dead Butterfly
Dead Butterfly

We get home, and S bugs me about making some fresh juice.  We cut up the fruit together, and jam it into our old and under-used juicer.  It already looks and smells amazingly healthy..  we drink it and agree – it’s yummy!!!  (and healthy too!)

Making fruit juice
Making fruit juice

Eventually my sister’s family comes over, we whip together some pasta and chill out for the rest of the night, barracking for Cadel Evans in the Tour de France from the comfort of our sofa while sipping tea.

Pasta, meatballs, wine and great company
Pasta, meatballs, wine and great company

Nearing midnight, it’s time to call it a day.   I wonder what Wifey is doing right now.  Only 2 more sleeps until she’s back home..  I can’t wait…

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How long can it take to do hair?

OK.  Both my wifey and I work full time and we’ve come to an arrangement where I do the “morning shift” and she’ll do the “afternoon shift”.  Basically what this means is that my morning duties are to get the girls out of bed, ensure they get dressed and beautify, have breakfast, check their school bags and lunches and send them to school.

Easy right?

The thing I’m struggling with is how long it takes for the “get dressed and beautify” part of all of this.  My girls are only 7 and 9 but they can take aaggggeeesss to do this part.  I mean, it’s really just put your clothes on, brush hair, brush teeth, wipe face, etc right?  For a boy, changing is simple, just wack your clothes on – doesn’t matter if it’s pulled up right.  Hair?  No problems.  For me I just run some product through it and 10 seconds later I’m done.

But for my girls, especially T, the most time is spent brushing and doing hair.  Arrghhh..  the hair!! Making sure it’s absolutely neat and fashionable and not so functional.  There’s heaps of decisions to make like looking for a pretty hair clip or hair band that is within the school rules but individual and pretty at the same time.  Then there’s the hair style – they’ll experiment with a few ways of tieing it all up – one pony tail, or two.  Today, do they want the pony tails to be to the side, back, high or low.  Maybe it should be a head band today.  Or maybe plaited in which case they call on Daddy.   Even if it’s plaited, should we tie the ends individually, or together.  Or french (which I can’t do well, if at all!)

And that’s all after it’s been brushed nicely to start with.  No wonder we’re late for school nearly every morning!

It used to be easier when they were little kids and I did their hair for them.  Or maybe..

Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with many ways to speed up the morning routine and have these tips that have worked to some degree:

* Get up earlier!  Yes this seems the most common sense way of not running out of time in the morning. Unfortunately being night owls, even I find it hard to wake up early, let alone the kids.  With both of us working full time, the evening is our main family time.

* Do the hair first!  A strategy from my project manager experience, do the hardest and longest tasks first.  Unfortunately, this sometimes makes T think she has more time to do her hair.

* Do hair at a certain time each morning.  I have a mini agenda each morning – like we have to leave the house at x:xx exactly.  So working backwards, hair should be done by x:xx – Y minutes in the morning.

* Ensure that there is enough equipment!  By this I mean, hair brushes, hair clips, ties, etc.  There is also a balance in teaching kids to look after the hair brushes themselves and putting it away in the right place after using it, but for a while we had only 1 large hair brush between the two girls and this caused major holdups.

* Get hands on – yep, learn how your daughters do their hair.  Learn to plait, braid, tie pony tails.  I’m no expert, but definitely better than before!  Plus, it gets me involved with the girls..   and be able to monitor their head for lice!

Phoning Dad

Another eventful evening, going to help Dad to put together an Ikea shelfing unit.   I feel like a certified Ikea setter upperer after putting so many together!  We put the shelves up in record time without instructions!!  Amazing!

Anyway, got back home and wifey told me that our youngest was crying when she went to bed.   When she asked Skylar what the problem was, she said that her new new mp3 player was “stuck” or not working.  Skylar had taken the cordless phone and tried to call me to help her fix it, but she couldn’t get through to me.   When asked what number she was trying to ring – it was my work number!

Oh, makes my heart cry..

When the kids were much younger and just started talking, they did leave some extremely wonderful messages on my voice messaging system at work.   I had one that I used to play back once in a while of Tallulah trying to “talk” to me, asking “Are you there Dad?” and “When are you coming home Dad?”.   Nothing like that to make you want to come home straight away!

Dad duty at dancing

Last One Standing

Last one standing

At the kids’ dancing school, parents are invited to watch their kids, in class, at the end of each term.   It’s a wonderful opportunity to see how they’re going, whether they’re enjoying that dance style, struggling, excelling..

Wifey and I tag teamed on Friday to watch the kids’ back to back acrobat classes.  It’s great to see kids pushing themselves physically, but in acro, it’s also paining to see weird contortions – how can one’s backs and bodies bend that way and not hurt?  I also like going because I’m usually one of the only Dads – makes me popular with the Mums 😉  hahahaha

Anyway, I knew my daughter loved acro, and even though she’s pint-sized and doesn’t “seem” strong but she has pretty good balance.   She was the last one standing in a little balance exercise and I quickly snapped this shot.   I have previously taken zoom lenses to the classes, but it usually has pretty poor lighting in there, so this time I took the trustworthy 85mm f1.8.  Not being able to physically move around to compose a shot makes it hard, but I like how this one turned out.

Guitar Hero with the kids

Rockin out on Guitar Hero

Rockin out on Guitar Hero

My dear wife had another evening rehearsal so I got to spend another evening with the kids.   It was sooo cold tonight that we abandoned our plan to go to Galleria.

But it didn’t stop us from having some gaming fun!  It’s great how the kids are at an age where I can game with them.   We sang SingStar songs at the top of voices and jumped around and rocked out on Guitar Hero 2!  We are nerds!!!