A bit of this and that…..

I have been a little slack when it comes to blogging of late.  I have lots of little bits to catch you up on.  Oh also I have not picked up my Nikon since discovering Instagram.  I will have to dust the cobwebs off the Nikon this week….. promise.

Picnik collage

1.  We are seriously excited about having family move closer.  Andrew’s brother and his family are now only an hour away.  Ben can’t contain his excitement about being closer to Tom and Maggie.  We had a bit of a party afternoon tea when we went to visit.  Don’t they look pretty spiffy in their school uniforms!!

2.  Andrew and I went to see Mary Poppins at the theatre…….. It was Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!!!!!  I loved it – REALLY loved it.  Andrew thought it was ok.  I loved it so much that I came home and booked tickets to go again.  Mum and I are going  and we have the best seats …… two rows from the front.  I can’t wait  eeeeee!!!!!!

3.  We have had heaps of rain.  It seems to be raining most days in the afternoons.  It is really difficult not to have a nanna nap!!  It would be (and is) so easy to curl up on the couch!  I am trying to break the habit!

4.  We have been teaching Ben to play Uno.  He loves it.   He is particularly found of draw four and draw two cards.  He loves to use them and laughs when you have to pick up.  He is pretty switched on and can  beat me.  He loves that as well. I have to get my game face on now!

5.  Oh my……. can you believe Ben has a Barbie and Ken.  Barbie is a police woman and Ken is a fireman.  I think they look more like strippers.   I’m not a huge fan!

6.  Check out our Bonnie.  I went to pick her up from her haircut and nearly died.  They shaved her.  It must have been a new person clipping her.   I hardly recognized her.  She is still pretty adorable and looks so tiny.

Picnik collage

7.  Ben has the greatest marble run ever.  If you don’t have one…..you need one.  It’s called Quadrilla.  Ben got it for Christmas from his Gamma and Grandad.  If you are thinking of buying one the marble catching trays are a must.  We don’t have them and are forever picking up   marbles from the front door to the back door.  I really need to order the trays.

8.  This is Ben’s creation – a spider.  Ben has never been into making craft.   It seemed the more I tried to encourage it the more Ben pushed it away.  But recently a miracle has happened.  His got his creative mojo happening……. it’s fabulous!  This week at Kindy he made another spider and so did his whole class.  It is super to see him take ownership over his play at school.

9.  It might look like just some bits of Lego on a board to you.  But it is a very serious Lego game.  Do you like the dice made from Lego men legs.  Ben sits with us playing his games (totally made up, with rules that change continually) forever.  His imagination is so interesting and fresh.  He always surprises me (and he always wins!).

Picnik collage

10.  This is Ben’s new favourite.  He calls it a ‘fluffle pillow’  instead of a ‘whoopee cushion’ which I find hilarious.   He was given it as a prize at Charlotte’s 9th birthday party.  I have never heard him laugh so hard.  I suppose this is the beginning of the toilet humor that I don’t think boys ever get over.

11.  This is my new favourite breakfast….. for a treat – Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake.  I’m pretty sure I have mentioned it before.  You really need to make it.  So yum!!!

12.  I am so so so excited to finally have a Tom Tom GPS.  Those who know me know I have absolutely no sense of direction.  Andrew has an inbuilt GPS.  He very rarely gets lost.  But unfortunately he can’t be my full time chauffeur.

13.  We have been visiting our cousins on the coast.  We caught up with Hugo, Evie and Aunty Claire…… always a pleasure (well  when the boys aren’t killing each other – we will have some stories for them when they are older xo).

14.  Ipswich Art Gallery had a pretty spectacular Children’s Gallery this school holiday – Built for Speed.   You could design, build and race your Lego hot rod, dragster or supercar down ramps and slick tracks.  It was busy and loud but so fun!


15.  Finally Andrew is home – tired, smelly but refreshed from a week skiing in Japan with his mates Tapio and Ben.  Check out Tapio’s video of the posse carving up the mountain!  We are happy to have him home with no broken bones (hehehe).    Missed you heaps honey!! I am sure he will update you on his fab adventures soon.

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Construction Site – Ipswich Children’s Gallery

12122009_012.jpgThe Ipswich Art Gallery’s current children’s exhibition comes straight from Ben’s dreams.  It is all about construction, hard hats and remote controls!  You can design and build your dream cubby,   dress up in construction worker safety clothes and drive the radio-controlled construction machinery. I don’t know who enjoys it more…. Ben or Daddy!   The Ipswich Art Gallery are continually offering exhibitions and programs  that are designed to reflect children’s interests and provide opportunities for children to make their own art works, discover new ideas, interact with their families and play.  I am continually overwhelmed by the Gallery’s generosity.  It really is an exceptional experience for young children.

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I wish I lived in Wonderland!

IMG_0691.JPGThe Children’s Gallery at the Ipswich Art Gallery is Australia’s first dedicated art gallery for children. It is a place where children can imagine, create and discover. The current exhibition is – I wished I lived in Wonderland. Emerging artist Rose Skinner created this highly detailed installations using found objects, plastic, coloured sugar,lollies, toys and furniture. From 26 June until 24 July Rose  worked, in public view, to create I wish I lived in Wonderland. Wonderland is a unique installation created especially for the Children’s Gallery for an audience of children and families. The installation  encourages children to explore, discover and imagine. Children are able to contribute to Wonderland by making small items for inclusion in the installation.  They are also  encouraged to respond to Wonderland by making their own artworks to take home.

Ben, Andrew and I visited the Children’s gallery again this morning for Morning Stories – an interactive story and art making session.  Ben once again loved exploring the installation.   He responds to the exhibition differently each time we visit.  Initially he was just overwhelmed by all it entailed but now he is more focused looking intently at what there is to discover.    Ben was especially focused this morning at the art making table.  He snipped away with the scissors with great concentration.  We were still at the table when everyone else had moved on.  Those who know Ben know that this is very unusual!!

For anyone who is traveling this way or lives locally I would suggest that you pop in for a visit.  They have focused sessions – Creative Cupcakes, Morning Stories, Toddler Wonderland, Baby Wonderland that you need to book for but otherwise there is always art making available.  Expect the unexpected when you visit I wish I lived in Wonderland .  It is even home to live rats living in renovated television sets.



Mmmmm Cupcakes!

IMG_0650.JPGBen and I headed off to the Art Gallery to the Wonderland exhibition this morning. This mornings activity was cup cake decorating. As the photos show the tables were filled with lollies, icing and cupcakes. When we arrived we were asked to sit on a mat and wait for the other parents and children to arrive. I immediately thought ‘oh no…. Ben sit still while the lollies and cakes are in full view’. But I looked around and saw ALL of the other children doing it so gave it a go. Well….. it lasted maybe one minute. He was just amazed by everything. Finally when we got started he wasn’t that interested in actually decorating but he was keen on eating. But again as I looked around the room Ben was the only child nibbling on the lollies. The other children are decorating the cakes!! When everyone was finished we were then invited to go and sit on the mat to eat the cakes. Well by this stage Ben had been sitting, nibbling and kind of decorating his cake for about twenty minutes. There was no way he was going to sit and eat his cake. He wanted to move. So we headed into the exhibition to look at all the amazing hidden treasures. I did feel like the other parents were looking at us with the disapproving look. But is it normal for a two year old to sit at a table full of lollies and not eat them? I am quickly learning there is no normal two year old!! Ben is now enjoying his cupcakes at home after a good run outside! We did have a great morning.


Disco Pups

Disco Puppy: Stayin\' Alive brings kids even more funky moves to learn and explore as they interact with art in their very own disco dance party. Movements on the interactive dance floor affect the moves of three animated puppy characters - Pup Daddy, Miss Kitty and DJ Foxy.

The Ipswich Art Gallery has hosted yet another exhibition for children, Disco Puppy.  It’s aim was for children to learn and explore as they interact with art in their very own disco dance party. Dance movements on a special dance floor affect the moves of three animated Disco Puppy at the Ipswich Art Gallery.puppy characters – Pup Daddy, Miss Kitty and DJ Foxy.  The Gallery ran special sessions for under 2’s to enable them to have some fun without the larger crowds.  In these sessions there were other items to explore such as instruments, balloons, a parachute, large pieces of cloth, ribbon sticks and so on.  We took Ben a couple of times.  He did have a little boogie but his all time favorite was the drums!

Disco Puppy at the Ipswich Art Gallery. Ben had a great time darting about under the parachute with the other kids.Disco Puppy at the Ipswich Art Gallery.IMG_5345.JPG

Bright and Shiny

Ipswich Art Gallery has hosted the most amazing interactive exhibition for babies and tots – Bright and Shiny.  Bright and Shiny was a hands-on art-themed play space.   It was developed with  consultation with Early Childhood professionals.  It allowed tots to explore their creative potential and the sensory world around them, as they followed their interests and set their own pace.

Ben loved it!!!!!!!! (and so did his mum)  We attended three sessions.  His mates Oliver, Joseph and Jayden also came to play.  Each time we attended Ben used the space differently.  He also revisited his favorites – the sliver piece of cloth, the books, the fireman light and the tunnel.  It was interesting to watch Ben grow in confidence in the space and manipulate items differently each week.  Each session had a focused activity as well as free exploration.  The first week we attended the story ‘I love to Sing’ by Anna Walker   (one of Ben’s favorites) was featured.  It was projected onto the wall.  Ben immediately crawled over to the wall touching the pictures.  The sessions ran for forty-five minutes but felt like five minutes.  The experience was designed for children but also for parents to enjoy their children which certainly was the case. We look forward to the next tots exhibition.  Scroll on the images for an explanation.