Thursday, August 08, 2013

Week 3

We have settled into a very simple, or as Corey would say, a very bohemian way of life.  Most everyone is up by 6:30.  The whole family leaves for our uphill walk to Lily and Caden's school by 8:30.  The parents are encouraged to spend time with the kids in the classroom doing puzzles and reading, and generally chit-chatting with other parents, until a little after the bell rings - although bell is really an understatement.  The "bell" is actually a startling siren that still makes me first think I should run for cover from bombs that are about to drop from the sky.  Oftentimes the parents are still socializing at Pre-Primary (Kindergarten) a good 20 minutes after school starts, and run for cover as the kids come barreling out of the school for their morning exercise.  It is really a magical morning routine that I will miss tremendously when we return.
Caden in front of his classroom on the plays set
Enjoying one of the many play sets

Corey heads in to ND, and Gia and get our day started of visiting local play areas, coffees, picking up groceries, which we are tending to do almost daily right now, and running around Fremantle and the Swan River.

This adorable dog is one of the property owners along our route.  And yes, he is that big of a dog with both back legs on the ground.  He causes all sorts of discussion about what life would be like if the dogs were in the people's role :)  Until you get your face a bit to close and wind up with a big wet kiss.

This week we have managed a couple of play dates.  Poor Lily has had the tables turned on her, with Caden having more little buddies as neighbors and therefore more easily coordinated play dates.  Lily did go on a play date to her friend Hope's house this week.  Hope's father works as a writer with Scoop and her mother is a police officer, and the bonus is they love Americans.  We look forward to getting to know them better.

They treated the girls to the visit to The Fairy Shop - which I was dismayed to find out existed in Fremantle.  They then went to Hope's house play on the trampoline.  Lily was in 7th heaven!

Caden had a play date the same day with Cooper who lives a few doors up.  The boys played a bit outside, and played with play-doh long enough to get it all over the house, stuck in the treads of their shoes, and ground into the jute rug in the living room.  Next thing I knew, the sneaky boys had gotten out the Kindles.  Despite my attempts to redirect - which I must admit were feeble, as I am a bit out of my element with little boy play dates - no one wanted their nails painted?!? the boys were clearly in their element playing games.  So there they say, side-by-side playing games and commenting on one another's efforts.

Wednesday I volunteered to work with Lily's class for cooking day.  It is a wonderful program where the kids go to a kitchen right by the campus garden and cook the recipe identified by the kitchen headmistress.  The kids learn how to make an organic meal, including how to unsheathe and use a sharp knife, chop vegetables, use fresh vegetables from their school garden in the recipe, and prepare and serve the food they have made.  It was really quite fun, and the dish of roasted potatoes mixed with fresh greens and with a feta and lemon dressing. topped with pumpkin seeds was delicious!  They kids then washed the dishes, cleaned the table, and headed back to class.

The final product :)
Another big milestone this week was that Caden went on his first field trip!  He went on a tour of a forested land by aborigines.  They had a camp fire and saw kangaroos in the wild.  Caden was equally fascinated with the countless signs and warning about the poisonous snakes '_'  The kids took a bus out and were gone all day.  He came home with aboriginal markings painted on his face, and very satisfied and tired look on his sweet little face.
Caden's Aborigine-Warrior face

Caden is really loving this school unit where they are learning about Australia.  He has been doing aboriginal drawings, showing us how they would have historically drawn certain pictures to communicate, and has been a constant stream of facts.  We are all learning quite a bit.

Lily is also flourishing!  Her reading has really taken off!  She has been averaging 2 chapter books a week right now.  We are so thrilled for her that is all clicking.

Corey and I also had our first play date without kids! We went out to this great restaurant ( just up on George Street.  So fun walking to dinner!  We met our friends Emma and her husband Martin, and Michelle and Brian who also live on our street next door to Emma and Martin (and are parents of the other Lily in Lily's classroom).  Corey and I were early enough that we had time for a drink at the Wine Bar, so it was really a proper date :)

The food was amazing!  We opted for the chef's tasting, which included the crispy fish we had all been ogling.  The fish is a 2 foot long snapper, completely crisped, eyes and all, standing upright, or rather on its belly as if about to swim away at any minute, positioned perfectly by its fins.  It looks a bit like a bronzed fish statue.  It was exquisite!  Our 'play date' lasted until 10:30 and I have not laughed so much in quite a while.  Both Martin and Brian are Brits and Corey and I both felt like we kept stepping into the original British version of The Office.  We had a long debate about what our theme should be for the Quiz Night next week.  There is no over-arching theme, so anything is fair game, which gives us far too many options!  Some of the runners are the Periodic Table, defamed athletes, the monarchy, Australian politicians, Giligan's Island, East Fremantle Primary students that have never graduated... you get the idea.  I am sure the suspense over the next week as to what will decide will cause any who read this a sleepless night or two in anticipation!

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