Monday, April 27, 2009

A day away from the every day

On Saturday, I said to my other half (sometimes known as "Mr Greedy"), "We've done nothing for a few months except scrimp and save, do chores and survive two vomiting viruses. Let's go somewhere nice tomorrow, like Seaworld". (For those of you overseas, this is a marine fun park place about an hour's drive away at the Gold Coast).So....the next day, we packed our picnic lunch, our sunscreen and hats, and all the other things you need to take kids out for the day and off we set. After paying the exhorbitantly high price of entry for three of us (G was free), we went in. All the rides and entertainment was then free, which was great as the girls wanted to go on their favourite things (eg the carousel) over and over again.

We couldn't find E's togs when we were packing the car, so put her in spare shorts and vintage crochet top (a recent welcome gift from my buddy, Le) so she could have a splash in the waterplay part. She just loved it - ran around the squirty thing in the centre getting squirted about a million times, laughing her head off the whole time. I love to see her running around as she is such an indoor girl. Every so often, I looked up at the sunshine falling down on us and called her over for a bit more sunscreen.

The starfish in the rockpool were a huge hit for both girls who just loved being able to get up and touch them (and a range of other squidgy and hairy things). I found the nearby shark/fish/coral reef tank thingy like a meditation - so surreal watching the sea creatures swim past the huge glass window. It reminded me of snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef at the Whitsundays in my youth - an experience that was the closest I ever got to a psychodelic trip, being not the druggie type of girl.

E. has outgrown Sesame Street but was completely entranced with meeting the Cookie monster.

By the end of the day, I must have been a bit tired and emotional, as the dolphin show (which I have seen several times) made me all weepy. I just felt overcome with how beautiful and graceful they were and that they can be bothered at all with we humans, let alone soar through the air to bring us joy. I know it is sort of just a silly trick but I found watching them really moving. The best part was before the show when we were walking to our seats and a beautiful dolphin swam up quite close to us and just floated in front of me, looking at me peacefully before moving away again. I took a second photo after the one above but he/she was already half submerged.

Today we are back to the day to day stuff - packing the school bag, finding the school hat, buying the bread and bananas. Man.... it was good to have a day that was just fun.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just day to day stuff

Nothing earth shattering to write - just the minutiae (spelling?) of day to day life. I thought I would share this little playdough girl that E. made the other day. I forget sometimes that you don't really ever grow out of playdough. I still quite like playing with it myself. This was extra nice playdough that we made with glitter in it, so I felt like a very superior class of mother for about a whole hour!

I couldn't find the little girl one day this week and finally located her (when a little voice said "I'm here, Mummy") lying inside the knot in the couch cover that I use to try and keep our couch free from vegemite, toothpaste and other child related stains. She somehow squeezed her naked self (and "Baby"- the one in the orange dress) into the folds created by the knot so that she was sort of cradled a few inches above the hard wooden floor. She's a strange child sometimes! Now it is one of her favourite spots to go and hang out. Probably reminds her of all the hours she spent in a sling as a baby while I walked around the block trying to get her to sleep.

Here is the big girl modelling her new Seed hoodie dress and VERY long socks that I bought her on ebay. She insisted on taking one ponytail out for the photo shoot as she likes to have her hair in all sorts of weird styles. I wanted to send a photo of her in the dress to the nice woman on Ebay who sold it to me, but of course, I can't be bothered now, so I'm posting it here instead. I think it was about 30 degrees celsius when it arrived in the mail as autumn has not properly arrived yet. I had to talk her out of wearing it to a party as she would have melted.
You can see a glimpse of our little 1950s house in this photo. It came with a lovely daggy old wall unit that the last owners said we could keep. Now, I couldn't live without it as it holds our CD collection, all my vases in the bottom cupboards, the telephone books (that we don't need now that the internet is here), my stationery box with staplers, scissors, stamps etc, a little square basket for each member of the family to throw itty bitty things in (like keys, gift vouchers, head lice combs - that sort of thing), the boxes of ribbons and wrapping paper, drawers full of batteries/screwdrivers/a torch etc - get the idea. I can stop now I think. Oh yes...the rolls of Christmas paper live right up the top where I can't reach them unless I get a chair. My whole life would grind to a halt if I didn't have this wall unit.

I think my blog is turning into a stream of consciousness therapy session. It's very therapeutic to just spew out my thoughts without having to organise them, arrange topic sentences, check facts, ensure flow, and keep to a word limit (which is what I need to do when writing history stuff at work). Therapeutic for me...perhaps a little bit too much information for you guys!
Big news here is that my brother is getting married soon in East Timor so I am gearing up to hop on a plane and visit a foreign country for the first time in many years. Yep..I'd really better get my passport organised or I won't be going anywhere. I have yet to meet the girl he is marrying so it's all very very exciting. (If you read this, Big Brother, don't be cross. I don't think I've given away too many family secrets). We don't want to take the children to East Timor so they will stay home with the Daddy and I will enjoy a little adventure with my "old" family. I think the girls will be fine without me as they are totally besotted with their father. I am trying to stretch the two nights into three as otherwise, I will blink and miss the whole thing.
Time for bed. I have to go the dentist tomorrow for a filling. Even though this will be unpleasant and involve a very long needle, I am looking forward to it in some weird way as a little bit of "me" time. That indicates just how much I need a "proper" holiday without having to breastfeed anyone at 1am or walk up and down the beach with them in a sling to get them to have a nap.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Indulging myself by posting more photos of children

Dear Bloggy friends,

I haven't had much time lately for blogging or downloading photos from the camera but have just managed to get organised and so am inflicting my favourite latest photos on you. Sorry!

This photo of G and Kipper blowing bubbles cracks me up. He tried to catch every bubble she blew until I was worried that he would be sick from eating too much. ( I say this because once, while babysitting a friend's toddler, he sucked some bubble mixture up a bubble pipe and I felt compelled (as a registered nurse) to ring the Poisons Info line for advice. While I was on the phone, the toddler vomited it all up and survived to tell the tale, but I was psychologically scarred for life. The gorgeous boy's mum then died suddenly when he was about 7, but that's a whole other story and too sad to get into).

Photo of G wearing her beloved "heart heart" shirt and E's swimming cap, which for some reason she loves. (This photo belongs to a bit further down the page but didn't want to move down there).

Above is E. in the rain on Easter Sunday morning - quite early as you can see from the lack of sunshine. I would have thought that as it was raining, the Easter Bunny would have hidden the eggs for the customary hunt inside the house...but no....
Below is the little girl, also with an easter bucket, but, sadly, sans umbrella. I'm sure that one day both my children will die of pneumonia from being allowed (by their marshmallow father) to play in the rain without umbrellas. G. is wearing gumboots though so that's ok then, isn't it?
Next we have the girls wearing their easter bonnets. I know, they don't really look like bonnets at all, but E needed a hat for the school Easter parade and I thought a cone shaped hat would be the easiest type to make. I thought it would be cheaper than buying a hat to decorate but then I spent around $17 at the Hypermarket buying tissue paper, cardboard, lace, ribbons, etc. When finished the hats also had a swathe of white tulle hanging from the pointy bits making them look more princessy than Eastery but that was ok. I had to miss the Easter Parade this year which broke my heart a little bit. Last year, I was still on maternity leave and watched my little Prep girl marching with her class in the parade (in bunny ears, I think). Little G. ran up to her big sister and joined the parade and I was so touched by the whole thing that I got all teary. I was also really touched that the school made a big deal of donating lots of easter eggs etc to the Salvation Army to take to shelters/hospitals and a Salvation Army lady was at the school parade to accept them all. I love that E is at a school with lots of community spirit.

Here are the girls with umbrellas again. It's been SO wet here lately. (It's been raining on Le's blog too, I notice). We went to my sister's for a cuppa a week or two ago to celebrate my Dad's birthday. It was gorgeous sitting on her front deck, with the children playing (in and out of the rain), just chatting and relaxing, as families do. I finally managed to get G into this pretty dress that a friend sent her for Christmas from Malaysia. She usually wants only to wear her "heart heart shirt" and "orange pants" which are disgustingly old, faded and stained and make her look like a complete ragamuffin. I've just added a photos of said shirt but it has appeared at the top of the post and doesn't want to be relocated down here.

That's it for now except to say thank you, to Tammie, for the tip about centre-ing the photos to make them a bit more well behaved. It's working....most of the time.

PS We did have some discussions about the true meaning of Easter at our house. I wouldn't call myself a Christian but I sort of feel that the Judaeo-Christian (?spelling) mythology and literature is part of our background so we do talk about the bible sometimes and that Jesus was a good guy. Anyway...E must have had an RE lesson about Easter at school because she informed me that Jesus died at Easter but then came back to life "in a big fridge". Maybe they thought tomb was too scary a word!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A date with the Daddy

It's a rainy old day in Brisbane today but I had a date with my husband to go to the movies. Such a treat and something we only manage to do once every couple of months. We have a lovely 17 year old babysitter whom our children love and it's a great feeling to drive off seeing their happy excited little faces at having Olivia come over and "play" with them.

We wanted to see Kate Winslet in The Reader but it has nearly finished its run so we had to trek into the city to see it. It was great but fairly sombre so we left feeling a wee bit serious. Then it was time for a browse in the lovely city shops in Queens Plaza and I tried on a little winter black dress and some boots but did not buy them. Of course, we came home with something for the girls rather than us - some beautiful new PJs from Peter Alexander. G normally wears E's handmedowns so this time she got a new pair of her own.

We were on our way to Paddington for a snack and a browse in the bookshops when the babysitter rang to say G was sick! C'est la vie! Home we went. She's ok but we couldn't quite enjoy ourselves knowing she had an upset little tummy.

Time to run a warm bath for a little one. See you all soon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The good, the bad and the ugly

I have decided to do further updates on the state of our neglected garden in the hope that it may inspire me to do some more improvements. Hopefully, I will have some prettier photos to show you in a few months.
First the good - my hydrangea bushes are practically the only pretty flowers I have left in my garden and I can't take any credit for them as they came with the house. As soon as they bloom I pick them for the house or to give to people as they are so pretty.
Also shown is the latest patch of dirt reclaimed from masses of weeds which has been transplanted with patches of lawn. Let's hope they join up soon!
The bad......that would be Kipper. The world's most needy, annoying, jumpy 7 month old dog! Good thing he is a handsome boy or we would sell him on the street corner. Here he is posing with the eggplants and pumpkin vines which have taken over our vege patch. There's some lovely basil under there somewhere.

Now for the ugly. I could have taken any number of ugly photos of our garden but here is the one that takes the cake. Layers of old newspaper held down with old bricks to keep the weeds at bay. It was either that or keep pulling them out every couple of weeks when they turned into a jungle. It's a good look, hey?

I don't know how the rest of you get your photos so tidy. I have played and played with the photos and the text in edit mode and can't get them to behave.