week 723-724 and 595-596

A double week this post because Dad unexpectedly caught COVID this past week. Hopefully Dad will be back to entering the world again soon, but in the meantime, Mum has been doing a spectacular job keeping the house running and looking after everyone.

Before isolation, we managed to visit some people; here’s Huff with her cousins enjoying some milkshakes.

huff and cousins

We even managed some time next to a fire pit.

puff, huff, mum and fire

Huff was particularly enjoying light drawing with a few sparklers.

huff and fire

There was also a school open day for parents:

huff and mum

Mum and Huff were in a three-legged race.And we all competed in a couple of maths-themed kahoots (a type of online quiz).

huff and Dad

While the bird continues to grow in personality (even appearing in a photo in the newspaper), we are making more and more time for our new puppy, and he’s learning how to live at our place well. He’s mostly an indoor dog.

huff and Pippin

But occasionally he dreams of the backyard. Puff is also a fan of the puppy, though he is pretty busy studying at the moment.

puff and Pippin

Hopefully we will be back to single weeks again next time.

week 722 / week 594

A reminder this week of the value of balancing work time and family time; lots of later night work at the moment, so trying to make time for the school run where it’s possible. It only took a few minutes but it was amazing for Dad to be able to download the whole day from Huff’s perspective, and be able to give her some focused attention.

dad and huff at a burger shop

Sunday afternoon was hectic, but both kids were keen to go on an adventure with Dad in search of ice cream. As it turned out, the shop we were looking for was closed, but we managed to find this amazing sky, and a few dessert-ish treats nearby.

huff and puff at sunset

Here is Dad with the kids at the water’s edge only 20 minutes or so later. It’s great to see them engaging with the world a little, and get a break from the screens.

huff, puff, and Dad waterside at Rhodes

Oh, and on Tuesday night, Puff had a chance to head back to “swag” and further refine some of his skills.

puff working with paracord

Saturday we had an amazing chance to spend time with one of Dad’s old uni friends and his family. Their daughter started the day pretty concerned about dogs, but after a few hours with our puppy, she was feeling much more confident. 

week 721 / week 593

Dad was busy working this past week, with a work gathering called the “General Assembly of the PCNSW”, which is a multi-day conference, so there wasn’t a lot happening in family life. Our puppy continues to settle in, the bird continues to be a bird, and the kids tried to make the most of the holiday while balancing the requirements of homework and not being able to catch up with friends because they had COVID.

In fact, our main family outing over the weekend was to go out together and get PCR tests after a number of friends reported they had unhappily picked up the popular virus. Here’s Huff, waiting for her PCR test.

huff on the way to a covid test

Dad and Puff were similarly enthusiastic at this opportunity for family bonding.

puff and dad waiting for a covid test

With a negative result, Dad and Huff headed out to Fairfield after church, in search of exotic food. The place we were looking for was closed, but we found enough fun just walking around the suburb looking at unfamiliar sights, and then headed home again.

huff and Dad in fairfield

Hopefully another covid-free week awaits!

week 720 / week 592

Not too much photographic evidence of the week that was. It’s the school holidays, we returned with our puppy, and Dad was back into working mostly from home, with the odd off-site meeting thrown in, and some evening activities. The kids spent most of their time at home, chasing up homework (Puff) or feeling a bit poorly (Huff).

We’re adjusting to life with a puppy; the sleep is more broken, but the puppy is relentlessly cheerful and wants to be part of family life (or nap).

Saturday we booked a table at a local cafe to make sure we would be able to navigate the morning rush. Huff liked it better than this picture when her pikelets arrived with a tiny jar of Nutella and a tiny shot glass of maple syrup.

huff at a cafe

Puff was just happy to have the chance to teach Dad some more cubing lessons.

puff at a cafe

So much so that after church the next day we went back out for more cubing lessons to a different place.

puff and Dad at a cafe

Having the puppy has helped us communicate better as a family, but has led to more chores and more work around the house.

So overall a win.

week 719 / week 591

It’s been an eventful end of term and start of holidays. Finally Huff was feeling well enough that we could get the kids back to swimming lessons.

huff in the water at swimming

They like the last week of term, because everyone gets to choose what their group does for a lap.

puff in the water at swimming

On Saturday a friend came over for brunch, but then Dad was out for much of the day (trying a flight simulator with uni friends), and came back with takeaway for dinner.

huff and puff having dinner at home

Monday morning we dropped the bird off with Doc and uncle A, and drove to Tamworth!

huff and puff with uncle A and pineapple

In Tamworth, the next day, we picked up the newest member of the family: Pippin. Huff was very excited.

huff meets pippin

Then we drove home. Huff was still very excited.

huff at home with pippin

Puff was moderately excited.

puff with pippin

We’re looking forward to reuniting everyone soon.

week 718 / week 590

Puff is back from music camp! He missed out on some sleep, but generally had a good time.

mum saying goodbye to puff

Puff had his music concert on Friday and Saturday night, so Mum went along on the first night, and Dad and Huff on the second night.

Saturday we went to the festival of steam at Thirlmere, including riding on a steam engine. The old carriages are in amazing condition. The one we had was in first class.

puff in the steam carriage

We managed a quick family photo.

family photo: Mum, Dad, Huff and Puff in a train compartment

The kids really enjoyed the experience of being on a train, and learning about steam engines.

huff and puff in front of a steam engine

It’s not clear who enjoyed it the most.

huff in front of a steam engine

Huff suggested that she ride on a tiny train with Dad. Knowing there might not be too many more opportunities, Dad scrunched up into it and had a great time.

huff and dad on a tiny train

Saturday night Huff and Dad watched Puff’s concert. It was a late night for her, as she continues to feel poorly after a long day.

huff and Dad at Puff's concert

It seems like Huff is finally starting to feel better; she managed to get through the whole of pyjama day at school this week.

huff on the way to school pyjama day

Hopefully more resting next week as we head into the school holidays!

week 717 / week 589

It’s music camp week!

Last week, Puff was at swag, helping pack away the flag at the end of the night. It seems like just yesterday that he was learning the ropes.

puff helping fold up a flag

We had lunch with Doc on Sunday, and had more of a quiet day on the Saturday.

Puff hasn’t been looking forward to camp, but he put on a brave face and headed off on the camp.He’ll be back tomorrow afternoon after a two-night camp.

family photo before music camp

Huff has been making the most of his absence; the bus was not long out of its parking spot before Huff joked “favourite child!” to make the most of being an only child for a couple of nights.

huff happy at home

We have finally finished painting the lounge room. Huff set it up as a cinema; tickets, seat numbers, even menus for the snacks. It made for some fun family times watching the new season 3 Bluey episodes together.

week 716 / week 588

A bit of a treat to have a long weekend in the middle of school term. We didn’t take the opportunity to stay away from home, but managed a long overdue day trip to see the cousins, some chores at home, and some family time, so that was enjoyable.

Dad managed a quick trip with Puff post-youth-group to grab bubble tea, which he was waiting patiently for.

puff waiting for bubble tea

While waiting for our breakfast to arrive at a cafe, Huff and Puff played boxes together on some paper retrieved from Mum’s handbag, with some pens from a pencil case whose progeny is now long forgotten.

huff and puff playing boxes

After breakfast, Huff, feeling better after more days of school was feeling game enough to try walking with Dad to IKEA, which ended up being the better part of an hour. This was taken early on, in front of a cafe called “Sirius Black” which was closed.

huff on a walk with Dad

The end result of the long weekend’s exertions, sadly, was that Huff has been unwell again: we’re trying to figure out exactly how to help her get better. More details next week!

week 715 / week 587

Another week of Huff not being very well, and not making it to school. Another return visit to the doctor to see if we can figure out what’s wrong; seems to be a bad cold that’s just refusing to leave, but it’s starting to be a significant amount of time off!

With Doc’s birthday celebrations, Huff was reluctant to miss out, but wore a mask most of the time. Puff continues on in good health, even helping Dad return various items to the work storage unit before coming to the party. Meanwhile he’s learning more and more at school, raising some increasingly complex topics as part of ongoing family discussions.

huff and puff celebrate doc's birthday

A rare treat to see uncle M was compounded with new clothes for Puff (a shirt that I’d expect to see in a photo here sometime soon), and a new pair of pants.

huff wearing new pants

It’s good to see the occasional flickering of Huff’s regular personality shine through the fatigue and sadness that goes with being sick for so long. We’re hoping to see her well enough to be back at school in the next week.

week 714 / week 586

It’s been a week where plans have been somewhat derailed by illness. Huff continues to be sick with some kind of non-covid related virus, and has had some time off school to recover.

We were hoping to spend some time with the cousins over the weekend but they were also prevented by illness, so we had a quiet weekend mostly at home except for Dad and Puff going to church.

On a rainy week, and with Dad needing to run errands, Puff met Dad at a different train station to usual for a lift home on a very rainy afternoon.

puff meeting Dad at the train station

And Huff, in a too-rare appearance at school, proudly carried home a giant jar of peanut butter a friend sourced from Costco for us.

huff with peanut butter

You’ve never seen a happier transporter of peanut butter.