Feb 16, 2015

5 reasons why puppies and toddlers are like two peas in a pod

A friend came over the other day with her new puppy. It was adorable, but she had bags under her eyes. I was remarking to hubby how she must feel like a new mom all over again, with the frequent night waking routines, and toilet training, and handling the exuberance of a young pup. With Number 4, he came when Number 3 was a year plus, so it was almost like having twins.

Here are 5 reasons why pups and babies are much alike.

1) They will play with anything or anyone, even those not in their same species. Number 3 has fed the dog imaginary tea, and tried to get him to get on her bike. She isn't his favourite person, but he will go to her when there is no one else paying attention to him.

2) You want to make sure they respect your authority (go where you want them to go, stop when danger is around the corner) It should be automatic and inbuilt before they get so big, you can't carry them/pull them on a leash and have to talk 'up' to them.

3) Patience and perseverance is key. This applies when toilet training, or generally anything else. Some days are better than others and they will go through patches when they seem to be going backwards. Then suddenly, one day, they get it! Keep at it, love them, teach them, administer to them and you will see the fruits.

4) They can't keep still, except when they flop/nap out of sheer exhaustion.

5) They are a bundle of trouble, but they bring much joy. It's a kind of joy that has no logical reason but one that emerges from deep within. Why? I think it's the joy of observing new life. I think it's the sheer fun of discovering something new every day. It's definitely the simplicity of their lifestyle - what makes them happy is so basic! Number One once looked at Number 3 running around happily and laughing for, well, no reason at all, and he said, in a bittersweet manner : "She is so happy, I wish I could be like her."

Dec 7, 2014

Liking spiders a little bit, just a little

I don't like spiders in general, but I am getting used to them. I deal with the ones I find in my house without much fuss.

And I actually find some of the ones outside quite pretty. Was arrested by the sight of the morning sun streaming through the web of this St Andrew's Cross spider.

Here is a close-up :

yellow banded spider cross zig zag

And as I was photographing it, I saw another small spider nearby, busy building its web. It was hanging upside down, apparently in mid-air, and scurrying back and forth.

yellow banded spider cross zig zag

spider building web
Can you see the fine little strands? I photoshopped the photo below to increase the contrast.
spider building web

Nov 5, 2014

The glow worms at Newnes

I had read about glow worms and my curiosity was piqued. Since we were camping not 5 minutes drive from where a glow worm track could be found, hubby, me, the boys, and the not-yet one year old bub (who was in a sling) did the walking track, lead by an experienced scout leader who had done the trail before. It is long though, so be prepared to spend half the day doing this. We did 14 km all in all that day.

It is hard going uphill at first but becomes mostly flat. You can see some rail sleepers along the way and admire the beauty of the bush.

This is where we stopped for a snack.


You walk on for an hour plus before you get to the tunnel.

We walked in with one lead torchlight on low... and fumble about a bit 

And when we were in the center of the tunnel, the leader said, "All lights off."

As we stood in the pitch darkness, the walls and ceiling started twinkling and 'stars' slowly appeared in front of our eyes. It's a little bit of magic...if you have ever seen fireflies light up a tree, you may know what I mean.

I didn't lug a tripod with me on a 14km hike, so could only do so much with the photo, but here it is, boosted.

The boys did well for something that wasn't related to pressing buttons on a remote. Number One whinged a bit, and asked why he had to come when some others had stayed back at camp. I said because it is a family activity and since he was a part of the family, he had to be there.

I think I like outdoor activities because we are 'forced' to be present. Many times, we are there but not present. We are present in our worries, in our chores yet undone, in our Facebook updates and our networked games and our work. When we are at camp, soaking in a creek; when we are trudging up a 45 degree hill, encouraging and helping each other; when we take in nothing but the perfect beauty God created... then, we are truly present.