week 788-791 / week 660-663

The reduced frequency of posts is a combination of factors. The sameness of life at this stage of parenting: much of the week is routines driven by school preparation, the kids (now amazingly doing most of the morning routine themselves and heading out the door to catch public transport to school) being at school and coming home again. A hectic season for Dad at work, and adding some travel into the mix means less quantity time and seeking more quality time.

Nonetheless, we managed some outings. Our annual trip to Sculpture by the Sea with the T family continued on. This sculpture, called Dave, is meant to be Da Vinci’s David, but having let himself go, and put on some weight. The kids insisted I pose with them, and then Huff came down to pose with me too.

Huff and Dave and Dad

Huff continues to pull faces and interact with the world in her own way: sometimes still struck with wonder, at other times weighed down with the burdens of being a high schooler with all its limitations and frustrations. 

Huff at sculpture by the sea

Puff is quiet and thoughtful, and loves the things he loves: particular video games and books, and is finding more confidence in sharing the things he finds funny. If only Dad had more time to spend on that sharing. Dad is still spending some time connecting at least.

Puff after sculpture by the sea

Friends of Huff and Puff from school have moved to western Australia, but were briefly back in Sydney and so there was a chance to gather them together. Though I don’t think they’ve appeared here before, the connection dates back to preschool – heartening to see them continue to be friends.


Puff is also quite competent at interviewing people on camera; a skill he had another chance to put to school in the preparation for Summer Camp later in the year.

Puff at training day

Here’s one of those lightning-in-a-bottle moments, where a trip to the shops to order some takeaway food has an added trip to the park for some nostalgia, and this time it was Huff, not Dad, who noticed the sunset.

Huff at the park at sunset

With Dad having been away for a week for a training course, on return we had a family day out, and capped it with a trip to the cinema for Dad, Huff and Puff to watch The Marvels: far from the world’s best movie, but a fun experience to share together. I continue to be surprised at how much the cinemas are prepared to show and distribute ads for streaming services.

Dad huff and puff watching The Marvels

See you again soon!

week 784-787 / week 656-659

End of an uneventful school holiday, where Dad and Huff spent a lot of time together cleaning up her room, making space to move furniture around, and then helpfully replacing a lot of the things again, so the work there isn’t complete. Hopefully the cousins are enjoying some of the toys we found in her room that she is now too old for.

One highlight was rediscovering Dad’s copy of the book “the Hungry Cat” – a classic book that perhaps hasn’t aged well.

Most of our holiday outings were food-based: the kids massively over-ordered at this cafe, where the shakes were bigger than anything we were expecting.

Huff and puff with freakshakes

The kids are still playing together amazingly well. Here’s Huff holding the video game controller that lets them both play games on Puff’s laptop.

Puff and huff playing video games together in the car

The playing continued into the part of the housewarming where all the food had been eaten and the grown-ups were talking.

Huff and puff playing together cheerily

For a combined celebration of Mum’s birthday and Puff’s end-of-exams, we went out for dumplings to a place with a robot cat waiter.

Mum and puff and a robot waiter

Puff really enjoyed the novelty of it all.

Puff enjoying post exam dinner

Here we are enjoying one of Mum’s signature amazing parking spots. Not photographed, when we were in the Blue Mountains, wanting to stop at a particular store in a very busy Leura, just as we arrived near the store, a car pulled out, leaving Mum to drive into the perfect parking spot. Again.

Mum huff and puff on the way to dinner

Dad decided to take Huff out for mochi ice cream to celebrate a mid-holiday milestone.

Huff with mochi ice cream

Oh, and we managed to go out to our favourite ramen place in Newtown in search of the kids school holidays special (possibly the last time either of the kids are small enough to participate in kids meals).

Huff and puff out at rising sun workshop

And now of course we are back to the normal throes of term four, the downhill run to the end of the year!

week 780-783 / week 652-655

Lots going on this last month; Dad and Puff went to the UNSW open day to look at different study options. We started on the smaller campus at paddington; this was the experience being in one of the lifts.

Puff in a nondescript elevator

There was a lot of equipment to look at (a room of 3D printers among other things) and we could talk to people who were doing VR research as well.

Puff looking at VR

He had a good day looking around at different options, even though it’s a couple of years away yet!

Puff at open day lunch

Later we had a family breakfast at a cafe before church. It was good to spend some time together in the sunshine.

Puff at breakfast

We had an afternoon tea for father’s day so we could see Doc, and Dad had a chance to spend time with the youngest nieces.

Dad with a niece

Dad was in a week worth of meetings for General Assembly of Australia, but Mum, Puff and Huff came to visit for one evening, and Huff had the chance to try on Dad’s suit jacket: it’s not yet a good fit, but it’s striking.

Huff with Dad s jacket

Puff (and Huff) also met a lamb.

Puff with a lamb

Dad and Huff went out for a morning walk, complete with breakfast crepes.

Dad and huff on a markets adventure

And we went to Wollongong to visit the older nieces, and bring them back for a sleepover. They were having fun pulling faces for the camera.

Huff E T and Dad on a train

We also went out for a fun dinner.

Family dinner

It was a good night overall, and clear weather for walking.

Huff and puff and cousins on foot

And now we find ourselves in school holidays, where the major project involves Puff studying for an HSC exam, and Huff helping with some tidying around the house.

week 777-779 / week 649-651

Lots has happened in the last few weeks; time for an update. Dad was around for these three weeks, but busy with different work commitments. We had time for a quick family selfie, which was a good change of pace!

Family photo

We had a day in the city with Huff; it was good to spend some time together and create some memories.

Huff and Dad at the station

Puff had his first week of work experience. He’s super tall, but this was an exceptionally large door. He had a great week, and it was helpful for his confidence and a sense of what he might want to do once he’s finished school.

Puff at work experience

We visited cousin T’s hockey finals: she had a good game. Slightly out of frame was Pippin, who had a fun car trip with the rest of us.

Huff and cousin T

We also took cousin E out for her birthday.

Puff cousin E and huff

We bought some different treats for her, and she enjoyed having some time with her cousins.

Then the next week was Puff’s birthday. Fifteen. He was keen for a game of putt-putt with the cousins, and he won!

Cousins huff and puff after putt putt golf

Using the dais slightly differently, and everyone is (almost) the same height. It’s heartening to see them getting along and enjoying some time together. Putt-putt golf is the great equaliser, more or less.

Cousins huff and puff

The parents also enjoyed their game of putt-putt. We all had burgers for lunch together, and then we headed back to Sydney.

Puff was keen for boba from a particular place in Burwood. This is what it’s like when he takes a photo with Mum’s phone.

Puff taking a photo

This is how Huff and Puff look with Puff at age 15.

Huff and puff at puff s 15th

And this is all of us on the way back to the car, and to head back home to the dog.

Family on the way back from puff s birthday

We also had cake for another cousin’s first birthday, and cake for uncle A’s birthday at Doc’s house. So much cake at the moment, but there are many things to be grateful for, and cake is a good way of celebrating.

week 774-776 / week 646-648

Three weeks have passed by with minimum fanfare; life continues on with walking the dog, kids going to school; there are parties, and church attendance. New was having two lots of high school parent-teacher evenings in successive days – good to get a picture of how the kids (and the schools) are going, and my entrepreneurial mind sees missed opportunities for the P&C to be selling snacks to parents and teachers alike.

But mostly it’s keeping the kids’ spirits up: Puff is heading to another trial maths exam soon, Huff has a mix of homework and assignments, and we keep trying to build them up in confidence.

Puff and huff in the loungeroom

Dad took Huff and Puff to see the Barbie movie – it was curious that they were both interested in it, for different reasons, and both found it funny. Dad felt vindicated in having showed them excerpts of the classic movie 2001 a space odyssey, which enhanced their understanding of the opening scene.

Huff dad and puff at the movies again

And then Dad was away for four days travelling for work, so we stopped to have lunch together on the Saturday once he was back. Huff was pleased to discover these birds at the cafe.

Huff and some birds

And Mum and Puff were similarly glad to see Dad again.

Mum and puff out for lunch

week 772-773 / week 644-645

Another school holidays has been and gone. While there’s been some family time, Dad was also working especially during the second week of the holidays, so not too many photos.

Continuing the tradition of taking kids to see movies, Dad took Puff to see the new Indiana Jones movie; we both enjoyed it.

Dad and Puff about to watch Indy 5

Puff continues to tower over everyone but Huff is catching up with Aunty C.

Height check huff puff and aunty C

One of the cousins now has her build-a-bear. Which is an exciting milestone.

We visited Doc during the holidays too. The kids had homework and other laptop things to do. Pippin was very excited to be at Doc’s house.

Huff and puff playing laptops at doc s

We also needed to have Pineapple’s claws trimmed, which meant another trip to the pet store. Pineapple was in his harness so could look around the shop with impunity.

Huff with pineapple

Huff had less success with this rainbow lorikeet who wasn’t as used to her as Pineapple. Eventually she was rescued.

Huff with random lorikeet

We also had a couple of different people over for dinner at different times; something that we have been a bit slow to re-embrace post-covid, but it seemed to go well. Hopefully more of that sort of thing soon.

week 770-771 / week 642-643

It’s been a big fortnight; the end of term and the start of school holidays. 

We caught up with a friend, and the kids brought drawing and sudoku puzzles as a distraction.

Puff with sudoku

Dad and Puff took the dog for a walk from the cafe to IKEA. He’s a lot bigger than he was the first time he visited an IKEA!

Dad Puff and Pippin

Dad and Puff went to watch the new Spiderman movie together.

Dad and Puff at the cinema

Meanwhile, while Dad was working, Huff had a chance to spend time with her cousin (cropped).

Huff being a cousin

Elsewhere in the home, the bird is getting less and less scared of the dog.

Pineapple and Pippin

Oh, and Dad and Huff went to see the new pixar movie.

Dad popcorn and Huff

We had an early start on Sunday morning to take Puff to his music camp.

Puff at music camp

And then just after the music camp there was a music performance at his school.

Puff at music performance

And now we’re on school holidays. See you next time! 

week 768-769 / week 640-641

It’s been a couple of quiet weeks. Huff has been a bit unwell over the fortnight; there have been moments of her feeling better, and even trying out these earrings.

Huff with earrings

Huff went to a friend’s grandpa’s funeral as a support person, which seemed to go well.

We haven’t had a photo of the kids together for a while, so we took this one to celebrate the return to having dinner together in the dining room.

Huff and puff

Oh, and we had the cousins come to church with us on Sunday, and then go for bubble tea afterward.

Puff and huff and bubble tea

Just a quiet season of recovery towards the end of term. 

Huff has nearly finished reading The Ichabog to dad. And Puff has been doing more regular maths homework and the occasional violin practice.

week 767 / week 639

Another week – celebrating Doc’s 80th party, and heading into another winter.

The oodies are back!

Huff with oodie

Huff had to wear red for athletics carnival, so found this wig at a party shop.

Huff with wig

The wig was then paired with a matching skirt, and off she goes!

Huff with athletics costume

And then, at the end of the week, we had a birthday party for Doc. Huff had a great time with her baby cousins.

Huff at doc s party

Puff has been spending more time working on maths homework, aiming for a solid 2 hours each day as he heads toward an exam. He’s had an impressive run thus far, continuing to work hard on it, and starting to feel some of the resulting confidence. He’s still logging some impressive results on some video games as well.

Puff with laptop

Oh, and Huff and Dad watched another Movie on the weekend with a friend.

On to next week!

week 764-766 / week 636-638

And we are back; I’d convinced myself that I had written another post since the last one. 

A few things to catch up with. Somehow Dad and Huff were twinning. Dad is a bit sad about how much taller she is getting.

Huff and dad twinning as huff grows ever

And of course this was Mother’s Day – we had brunch together at a favourite haunt.

Mothers day brunch

Huff is loving this Hogwarts jumper; here she is helping take the dog for a walk.

Huff with pippin

Puff is also enjoying feeding the dog the occasional sample of peanut butter, the latter’s favourite snack.

Puff feeding pippin

Huff is still slowly getting healthier again post-COVID but has had some days where she hasn’t felt too well.

Huff and Dad

We also managed a trip down to Wollongong and caught up with the cousins; Puff was happy to be getting bubble tea with his cousin.

Puff smiling

And then later in the three weeks we had another trip to a more floral looking bubble tea place. See if you can spot the concealed child.

Huff and puff at a bubble tea shop

And then this weekend our friend Tom was running a painting workshop, so we all went as a family to learn how to paint on canvas. Much fun.

Family getting ready to paint

See you next week!