Everyday on Wednesday, Think about my baby

The Oh Waily household had a bit of a role reversal today.  Mr Oh took the day off work and spent it with the kids, thus creating enough quiet time for me to do some real world work.
Otherwise known as getting on with creating our new work website.

So while I tipped and tapped; cursed and curated my way through a few solitary hours, the rest of the Oh Waily family headed up the coast to a PYO market garden.  By way of Facebook, I had the heads up that the strawberry patch was going to be open for picking today and tomorrow, so suggested a fun day out with a bit of a purpose.

Miss Oh loves strawberries so it was a complete no-brainer as far as she was concerned.  Master Oh, not so much.  He went, he picked, he had a good time.  Whether we can convince him to eat one of the juicy, smelly (in a super-yummy way), huge strawberries… well, let’s just say… we’ll see.



Yesterday’s blog title was from “Tuesday Afternoon” by The Moody Blues.
Today’s is from yet another song.



The Oh Waily kids and I made the trip up to see the Oh Waily grandparents yesterday.  This involves us driving the Desert Road and due to the colder weather we played “guess the temperature”.  After managing to drive through last year and the car’s external temperature gauge registering a -1ºC, this has become something of a regular game.  Not to mention the fact that Miss Oh Waily was desperate to play in snow.

Well, we didn’t get to play in snow but there was plenty of leftover crunchy ice on the roadside.  Could I drive by it?  Could I heck.  I was regaled with, “Mum, can you pull over?  Pleeeaassee ?!?!”, not once but multiple times.  Apparently me trying to find a safe space to do the actual pulling over was just too much waiting time.

Eventually I found a good spot and out we got.  It gave me a nice view of Mount Ngauruhoe looking anything but the unfriendly Mount Doom.


Then Miss Oh fossicked around on the ice/snow patches and found really interesting icicles that she picked up.  If you know how these are formed, I’d love to hear about it.  They seem to be full of bubbles when I look close up at the original photograph and also seem to form in straight lines.  Quite interesting really.


For the record, the lowest external temperature that the car registered was 2ºC.  And the most fun thing we saw, but couldn’t photograph, were large icicles dropping from the roadside overhangs on the really windy bits.  They looked like a frozen waterfall dropping over the side of the road.  Quite spectacular on a small scale.

Family Field Trip: Singapore

Back in October the Oh Waily family had a very short stay in one of my favourite places, Singapore.
The kids got to see, feel and enjoy some of the sights.

On Orchard Road it was hard to miss the sculpture exhibition.

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Art display


Rhino meets child-2


We also took a trip around the Zoo to see some animals that are not so common in our part of the world.  The kids got to watch the sea lion display, see polar bears, orang-utans and more.  The highlight for all would be the elephant ride.  Yes, on the back of a real elephant.  Very popular it was.

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Bearly there


On safari


We also took a trip to the Botanic Gardens, specifically the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.  The kids had great fun in the treehouse play area, learning about photosynthesis and most importantly in the heat of mid-morning Singapore, getting in to their togs and playing in the water play area with a bunch of local pre-schoolers.

Butterfly entrance way

And as usual, the swimming pool attached to where we stayed was also a popular spot.  Unsurprising in the equatorial heat really.

Spidey in the water

They must have had a nice time because they keep saying ‘the next time we go to Singapore we can…’ every now and then.  And frankly I can’t wait for it.  There was plenty to do that we simply didn’t have time to and as they get older they will be that much more able to withstand the temperature so that we don’t have to have a daily siesta.


Mount Kaukau walk

Today, on the invitation of a friend, my two small people and I took a long uphill walk to the top of Mount Kaukau.
And what a walk it was.  It’s roughly 2-3 kilometres in length but will take you to 445m above sea level in an hour or so.  I have no idea how long it took to get to the summit, I just know that I am:
a) unfit;
b) unfit;
c) very unfit.

I also note that I will be unable to get out of bed tomorrow or walk more than a few paces.  The amount of steps and steep inclines will guarantee that sitting will be uncomfortable for days to come, and my thighs will be protesting their misuse on the downhill slopes.  I was tail-end Charlie for the entire walk uphill… even after the small children in our group.  Frankly, I was stuffed.

In a first, however, Master Oh Waily led the way.  So keen was he, apparently, that he regularly disappeared out of view of his lagging and feeble mother.  I suspect he was out of view of most of us for quite a bit of the time it took to get to the top.  This is the same boy that would complain bitterly about walking around our neighbourhood (on the flat) and any attempt by me to get him to go for bush walks nearly always ended with me carrying him at some point.  In light of other developmental changes (which I will probably blog about soonish) in him, perhaps this is another small milestone ticking over.  He also led the way downhill, not quite so far ahead this time and often with me.  At least on the downhill I was able to keep up with everyone.

The walk, leg- and bum-killing as it was for the unfit, has a brilliant payoff at the end.  Stunning views of the city, harbour, north and across to the South Island too.  Very well worth all of the discomfort (for those of us who were discomforted).

Here are a couple of snaps taken with my phone at the top.

At the top

Master Oh with central Wellington in the background


At the top too

Miss Oh with central Wellington in the background

They did a fantastic job of the whole walk. I’m very proud of them, despite Miss Oh’s merciless teasing at being the slowest of the slowpokes.

In the process of the walk we saw lots of neat locals – tuis by the dozen, some wood pigeons and on one of my many rest-stops I was joined by a small bird that may have been a wax-eye or perhaps it was a bellbird – hard to tell as it was doing it’s best to stay hidden behind some large leaves in the nearby tree.  And the piece de resistance, on the way back down the hill, we came across a kaka ripping away at the bark of a tree.  According to what I’ve read since coming home, it’s possible he was using that very pointy beak to get at the tree’s sap.  See what you think.
Thanks to Mel for sending through the video. 🙂

Travels – Rotorua & surrounds

We have been quiet at the Patch since Master Oh’s birthday because we have been away.
We went to stay with my parents for about a week.  While there we took some field trips and did some walks.

I’ve finally taken some of the photographs off the camera and have started editing them, so there will be a stream of image laden posts in the next little while, as I make my way through them all.

Today I bring you a few images from our day trip to Rotorua and surrounds.  There will probably be more.

We start first with a photograph of Miss Oh wading in Tikitapu.  A stunning Spring day to have been doing this.


And just what Master Oh thinks of having his photograph taken…

Pokey Tongue2

And now a look at another spot we stopped off at, a view of Lake Tarawera.

Tarawera Jetty
There was even learning to do – about erupting volcanoes and how lakes get their colour.

It was a really tough job, but someone had to do it.

Interactive Art

Looking for something fun to take the kids to in Wellington?
Well, we discovered a really neat exhibition at the City Gallery this morning.

Friday is our library day and today we headed in to Central, where we picked up an assortment of items that will keep us going for months.  Right next to Central is the old library building, which houses the City Gallery.  A really big, and bright poster for an exhibition caught my eye as we headed back to the car.  I asked the Oh Waily kids if they’d like to go in and see what it was about and I received my usual mixed response.  One child said ‘yes’ while the other said ‘no’.  Do all kids do this?  Is there an automatic button that means one is for something, while the other is against it?  I do sometimes wonder.  Anyway, I digress.

I persuaded the naysayer to go in and take a look.  If it was “boring” we could always come right back out.  This seemed to mollify him enough to actually get in the building.

Once we handed over our bags for storage, we headed in to the exhibition by Seung Yul Oh and immediately the naysayer was hooked.  Most, but not all, of the exhibit is a tactile one.  Yes, hands on, interactive.  Perfect for kids, and big kids too.  On one side you get a giant balloon maze and weebly-wobbly birds and on the other random noodle sculptures with a hidden treasure beyond – a giant bean-bag-like object upon which three people may climb together.  So, shoes and socks off.  Jackets full of random items, off.  Climbing child #1 scrambles up with no bother at all, rather surprising the young woman who keeps orderliness to the activity.  Smaller, not quite so climbing child #2 scrambles up too once I get a bit of a dent in the bag for him to get traction.  And then even I manage to scramble up.  So the three of us sit and then lie cuddling in the middle of this giant beanbag looking at video art on the walls.

Do they love it?  Oh yes.  They LOVE it.  We are apparently going to go back, dragging Mr Oh Waily with us.  But I think we will wait until the school holidays are over and we can go quietly of a morning when there are less likely to be queues to try it out.

The exhibition is supposed to be on for a couple of months, so we should have plenty of opportunity to go again.  I highly recommend that you do too.  It’s not big and won’t take you long, so it’s more like a nice stop amongst other stops in the city.  I hope you enjoy it as much as the Oh Waily kids did.

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A Weebly Bird

A Weebly Bird and the Oh Waily kids


The Giant Yellow Maze

The Giant Yellow Maze & Master Oh


The Giant Yellow Maze and Miss Oh

The Giant Yellow Maze and Miss Oh




Last Friday the Oh Waily children and I had a lovely time at The Dowse Art Museum.
We were part of a home educators group who had gone along to do some mono-printing, with a theme of Matariki.

The lovely ladies who took the kids through were brilliant.  I was so impressed with the way they interacted with the group, and especially my lad, who is not all that keen on art despite being surrounded by stuff to make it.  Master Oh Waily’s prints used so little ink I was able to bring them home, but Miss Oh’s needed to stay and dry out.  I’ll post photos when they arrive.

In the meantime it seems to have sparked another round of artistry in Miss Oh.  I’m going to share this morning’s piece.

Shadow photo

Here’s a brief run down for those who may be a bit unsure of what is going on.
It is a sunset picture with the sun going down behind the mountains.  The black bits are the shadows of the mountains.  And the mirrored goat on the left is also meant to be a shadow.
In the foreground is the swimming pool in Fiji with all the people in it and the volleyball net at one end.  All the triangular items are the torches that are lit at sunset and the green circle with people jumping up and down around it is the frog races, with the green bits – well, frogs of course.  Underneath is the leaderboard for the frogs. (They’re tagged by nationality.)
Yip, a lot of thought goes in to the artistry these days.  A lot.

The crazies

Yes, we most definitely have them in this household.
Crazy kids.  Physically adventurous kids – each in their own way.

Here’s how we do physical education while on holiday.  Although I do tend to think that Mr Oh Waily gets the hardest workout from this.

As you can see Master Oh Waily isn’t fond of water in his eyes or up his nose, but he does a remarkable job of hanging on to his pool noodle just the same.  As for his sister, I think she just wants to be SuperGirl.  (She already is, of course, just without the power of flight.)


There is a definite love of the water in the Oh Waily family.

p.s. We’re glad to have all of our subscribers back with us. Thank you to the lovely WordPress staff for their assistance in that final piece of the blog migration.

We’ve been away

Not only have we been absent because of moving blog homes but we’ve also been on a family holiday.  I’m hoping our blog move is all under control now, so here’s a brief gallery of holiday photographs showing the team doing their usual thing while away.  Since this blog is meant to be about our home educating journey, perhaps it might be nice to indicate what sort of things our trip included.

First off we are definitely hitting the geography button with a trip to a different country and the logistics involved in getting there – passports, boarding passes and most importantly, the in-flight entertainment.

Once there, we can indulge in strange rituals like… face painting.

Puppy face

Then maybe we might indulge in a bit of art and creativity.  In this case we will use the new environment to sharpen up our photography skills, as you can see from Miss Oh Waily’s creative positioning of her companion Lumpy.

Little photographer

Then a bit later we have to have a photograph-off.

Little photographer IINot to ignore the fundamentals of mathematics, Miss Oh then indulged in learning all about the different angles while playing a really rough game of pool or two.

ConcentrationOr maybe to work out all the angles, speed and ricochet effect of mini-golf might also go some way to teaching some basic mathematics and physics.  Never mind the score keeping.
Oh, and be a darned fun way to do it too.

GolfingThen finally we come to a bit of culture. In this case the acquisition of henna tattoos.  Or mehndi.  Master Oh has a *dragon* design, while Miss Oh chose a lovely floral design.

Pretty flower design

Dragon designThen there was the usual nature studies – the frogs at night, the flowers, the birds, the fish and our nightly visitors – the gecko.  Much time was spent watching these guys on the windows in the evening, including the odd fight between them.  Sorry about the dark & grainy picture as it was quite late at night and it was taken by hand rather than with a tripod.


I think that’s a pretty good range of learning experiences for the Oh Waily kids.

What a great way to cover lots of topics in a fun and entertaining way.


Field Trip: Queen Elizabeth Park

A couple of weekends ago we went on a family field trip out to Queen Elizabeth Park just to the north of the city on the Kapiti Coast. We went especially to let the kids have a horse ride.

The Stables on the Park have quite a few horse riding options and both of the Oh Waily kids really enjoyed their time on horseback, as well as patting the small ponies in the barn beforehand and getting to brush down the small ponies afterwards.

Here is Master Oh Waily looking very swish with his riding hat and the smallest pony before heading out on his ride.


And here is Miss Oh Waily at the end of her trek, on her much larger pony. She looked very comfortable up there and enjoyed herself immensely when she was given the ability to “steer” her horse for a short while.

Gentle ride

I think we will take them back in a wee while and let them have more time on horseback as they enjoyed it so much.

While at the park we also took the tram ride to the beach and back. The tram museum was open so we had a quick look in there also. As you can see, the tram was beautifully made in wood.

Tram ride