Monday, September 29, 2014


 Yesterday morning we dropped Granny at the airport, and she spent the rest of the day/night on a plane, flying to the USA. Today, he and his daycare class visited the USA, too! But it only took them a few seconds to get there - perhaps Granny should have used a painted cardboard plane like theirs?


I somehow ended up organising an hour of activities for his daycare class today. They've been traveling to different countries on their big cardboard plane, lining up to have their passports stamped and then experiencing activities/food/costumes from the host nations. So fun! The USA activities I organised for this morning were...
- Campfire: I collected sticks on my morning walk today, and the kids carefully built them into a pretty fire, complete with battery-powered candles. We did some singing around the fire and then each made (and ate) tasty smores.
- Native Americans: Looking at a gorgeously illustrated book and making our own feather headdresses. 
- Animal Jellies: I made 'knox blox' last night (which are like sheets of jelly that have set very firm), thanks to B doing a late night run to the IGA for extra ingredients, and the kids used cookie cutters to make a big platter of hedgehog, bear and squirrel shaped jellies for lunch/dessert.
- Flags: Using star and stripe stickers to make little USA flags.
- Baseball: A very cute game of rolling the ball, hitting the ball, then running and jumping on all 4 bases. There was lots of cheering and crazy running. By the end, only one kid had managed to run to the correct base unchaperoned! Hilarious!
- Story: Of course, we finished with a story book, sitting around the campfire, and I left a pile of USA-ish books for kids to look through later.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


The jets made a number of noisy appearances, directly over our house and yard, a few times through the afternoon and evening. He was... concerned! The few moments when he could actually see them were very exciting (if someone was holding him), but all of the ear-splittling before and after was a bit too much. One time I found him behind the curtain in the baby's room with his hands over his ears. 

Before we headed up the street for the fireworks, some friends came over for a bit of playing, and to sort through my costume stash to outfit themselves for an upcoming "retro/fantasy/picnic" themed party. The kidlets got involved and he put together this beautiful "Dorothy" costume (yes, he's still Dorothy), which he decided to leave on when we headed out for the evening. 

We'd been focused on reassuring him about the noisy jets but had forgotten to remind him that the fireworks would be noisy (but gently soothing in comparison!), too. Whoops. He did have a blast playing with all of the kids in the hall before and after, though!

Update: When I woke him to get ready to head to the airport just now, the first words he uttered were, "Where's my bow?"

The local community organisation had use of the big church hall/balcony on the hill for the evening, with an EXCELLENT view of fireworks... For those on the balcony! I could see fairly well from my chair, across half of the hall, through the glass doors and past the heads of those standing on the balcony. But no complaints here as I got the loveliest, head-resting, extended cuddle from my little Dorothy for the duration. I'll take that any time!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

lone pine with granny

Since it was Granny and Grandpa who gave us the season pass for Lone Pine, we thought we'd squeeze in a visit while she's with us! He especially loved showing her the water wheel/turbine. And though it looks like she may be about to tip him in, I'm quite sure she was actually holding him steady!

There's a large area outside the entrance to Lone Pine which - apparently - used to be the wombat enclosure, with nice high fences, trees, long concrete tunnels, mounds, a wooden hut, balancing logs, plenty of space and river views. These days it adjoins the cafe area and therefore has chairs and tables under the trees, and all of the bits that were once fun for wombats are now fun for kiddies! We've been meaning to stop there at the end of a visit, and finally did yesterday. It was absolutely lovely - for those of us who were content on the chairs in the shade, and those that wanted to run, climb and crawl (Granny got to be part of both of these parties)! I think this will form part of our regular Lone Pine routine!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


 He has adored his giraffe for a loooong time now. The giraffe was (cleverly) named 'Giraffey' ('Jaaahfee') for most of that time. A couple of months ago, 'Giraffey' became 'Terva', which we assumed was permanent. But, now, due to an obsession with The Wizard of Oz and an afternoon of extended role-playing with Auntie on the weekend, in which he assumed (and hasn't yet dropped) the name 'Dorothy' for himself, 'Terva' became 'Toto' the dog. So now the giraffe is a dog. We are hastily (and not exactly tenderly) corrected if we accidentally use the wrong pseudonym, for either him or the giraffe.

I am (a little too) excited about my good friend getting her new dog. She (person, not dog) bought herself a tall fence for Christmas a while back, and has been an avid follower of the dog adoption sites ever since, waiting for the perfect pet. She finally found her! She (dog, not person) was surrendered to Pet Rescue by a farmer because she wasn't aggressive enough. What a wonderful trait! She moved into my friend's place on Saturday, and I met her on Monday morning, over breakfast, at (appropriately) the Brown Dog Cafe. She IS perfect. She sat under the table being sweet and perfect and we had a delicious breakfast. Here you can see my round belly, remnants of tasty breakfast and gorgeous dog.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

an old friend visits

My old pal has a very clever mother, who knits finger puppets - she has over 120 of her own, incredibly cute, designs! She is also very generous, and sent a packet of them to Brissy, with my pal, for our little guy (to share with his little sister). Anyone wanting to buy some can contact Denise on 08 8326 4660!

A RAdelaide friend from back-in-the-day was in town for a couple of weeks, working at a show for the Brisbane Festival. We were lucky to catch up a couple of times, and she arranged some free tickets for their final show, yippee! Sista-in-law and I went along, not really knowing what to expect but very excited. The show was called 'Soap' and onstage were 6 bathtubs which formed the central theme of the entire 80 minutes. Acrobats, dancing, singing, juggling, comedy... Unique and spectacular and, at times, breathtaking!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

climate march - success and disappointment

 It's possible that the bus trip into the march/rally was slightly more fun than the event itself... But he did enjoy being a part of the crowd, spotting different colours, signs, props and costumes and riding on Daddy's shoulders for the march. And, importantly, it opened up conversation about why we were there (...we all want to make sure that the world is still a nice place when you are big... ...there are things that people do that hurt our world...). He just got a little weary by the end!

My 'march' was more of a waddle, but I walked the block nonetheless! Conveniently, the rally coincided with the regular city suitcase rummage so we popped past on the way home. To quote Avaaz: 

"Months ago, our community decided on a crazy goal - the largest mobilisation on climate change in history. Yesterday, we blew past our wildest expectations, with a climate march *6 times* the size of anything before it! Over 675,000 of us marched around the world. It was a beautiful expression of our love for all that climate change threatens, and our hope that we can save this world and build a society powered by 100% safe, clean energy."

It's inspiring that so many people around the world are on board. It's just a shame (an insult, a crime) that our country's decision-makers are not. Our Prime Minister decided to show up the day AFTER the major UN Climate Talks over the weekend. To quote Chris Uhlmann (ABC):

"More than 120 world leaders will gather in New York to tackle what the UN secretary general says is one of the defining issues of our time. The US president is expected to attend but Tony Abbott isn't - even though he'll be in New York for another UN meeting just a day later."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

slight progress

He made the slightest progress with scooter-riding on the weekend! He asked to bring his scooter along on our family walk. We should have known that this in no way indicated an intention to ride it (in a conventional fashion). He played with the wheels and brake, sat on the handle stick, rode it like a horsey, pulled it and pushed it, took off the handle stick so that he could ride the base as a skateboard, then gave up the skateboard to drag around the handle stick. And he did (briefly) stand on the scooter with both feet while he let his dad drive it.

One of my ongoing goals is to make the front of our house a little prettier (no mean feat). We built our "Free Herbs" garden soon after moving in and knocked out some of the unnecessary concrete and blocks. We have slow-moving plans for a mosaic project. The latest idea was to add some beauty to (or distraction from) the ugliest stairs in the world, so I've been collecting coloured pots and some happy-to-be-mostly-shaded-and-neglected plants from garage sales and fetes, and now have enough for one per stair. I think it's very pretty and welcoming, so we've made a little progress!

Monday, September 15, 2014



 We checked out the beautiful 'Exxopolis' tent/tunnel/art installation on Friday afternoon with friends, as part of the Brisbane Festival. It took him a little while to warm up - it was a pretty strange experience to step into - but soon let go of my hand and took the lead through the tunnels. He loved the colours and shapes, loved feeling the surfaces (with his bare feet and hands), loved exploring it all with his friends. He was happy to stay there for quite a while, only asking to leave when he needed refreshments.


 I thought it was just stunning! The artists managed to create a serene, relaxed, eerie atmosphere which still felt energetic, positive, uplifting. So pretty. That's my belly bump in the first 'me' photo - little girl loved it. Actually, a few of my friends commented that it felt like they were in the womb, or wandering around inside blood vessels, etc. I definitely recommend it - apparently it's traveling around the world! Also, it makes for great photos.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


His rocket ship has lasted much longer than predicted! 
It's just so darn cute hearing him count down 
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-0- BLAST OFF!

I'm definitely in the countdown phase of this pregnancy.  All going to plan I have one Monday left at school, then 2 weeks of the school holidays, then the next week is baby week! BLAST OFF!

Friday, September 12, 2014

treats to eat!

 He was allowed to lick the spoons after we made blueberry muffins. He thought it was a huge treat! When I tried to get a picture of him shoving two big mixing spoons into his face/mouth, he dropped the spoons to pull a funny face.

We babysat for a friend recently, just for a couple of hours. It was good fun and we certainly didn't need or expect anything in return. BUT I was given this amazing gift! She wanted to get us a box of chocolates, but, knowing that I'm severely limited in the amount of carbs I'm allowed to consume, she bought a selection of low-carb chocolate bars!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

getting comfortable

When all of the other kids are running around, playing at the markets, he prefers to find a comfy place to relax with a drink, watching the live band. For ages.

Getting comfortable - for me - is getting more and more difficult. Requiring more and more pillows. In more and more complex arrangements!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

watching movies

He's been deprived of TV for his life so far, but on the weekend he was allowed to watch a whole movie! Lucky boy. Our friend had been given a data projector for her birthday, so we went to their place for Saturday dinner and a movie on the big screen (sheet hanging on the deck). He was completely enthralled for the whole time! I'm pleased that his first ever movie was 'The Wizard of Oz'!.
He: (on arriving home late that night) "I want Dorothy to come to my place and read me stories!"
Me: (on wake up the next morning) "Morning! Time to do your 'wake-up wee' ".
He: "But we're off to see the Wizard!"
He continues to talk about different parts of the movie (always Dorothy) at random times during the day: "Dorothy just wanted to go home." "Dorothy was sad when she lost her little dog." "Dorothy wanted to lie down and sleep in the flowers."

I'm finding it hard to fall asleep if/when I wake up during the night. If it's been over an hour I get up and try sleeping on the couch, with a movie to keep me company. Far less depressing than lying awake in bed. Last night I got up at 3am and watched the beautiful movie, 'Once'. Twice!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

making people

In what was possibly my very proudest moment EVER, I watched as he DREW PEOPLE for the first time! He often asks us to draw people for him but has never actually drawn them himself. They even have some identifiable features - head, body, limbs, eyes. I am SOOOO excited about this! He made 2 birthday cards for friends and drew people and footpaths on each.


We had our 34-week scan a week ago (all good), and little girl was NOT going to show us her face (see the paparazzi hands-over-face shot), but was happy to show us her big feet (all bunched up - not much room in here).

Monday, September 8, 2014

fathers' day

He went shopping with his Daddy for a new laptop backpack on Saturday, and insisted on carrying it on his own back for the entire 15 minute walk back to the car. It came down past his knees, knocking against his calves on each little step, pretty funny! I wasn't sure he'd give it up but (thankfully) was happy to hand it over for Fathers' Day yesterday morning. He also gave Dad the customary packet of peanut m&m's, but then declared that... "no, they're not Daddy's emmy-ems, they're my emmy-ems" and promptly disappeared out of the room with them. We found him sitting at the kitchen table, trying to put them into his 'emmy-em' dispenser (which has only ever held nuts - so far). He was eventually persuaded that the 'emmy-ems' were not his, and not for breakfast (except for the two that he successfully negotiated - Dad's a softie).

Evening skype chats to Adelaide and Toowoomba to say Happy Fathers' Day!


We had the loveliest visit from his cousin, aunt and uncle! Gosh it was nice to spend the morning with our visitors and friends.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

environmental advocate

We found out that he was one of the winners in B's work's environmental photography competition - which was open to children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews of Honeywell employees. (An unnamed insider tells me that all entrants were winners - each receiving Australian Geographic gift cards - Yippee!) The kids were asked to photograph something in the environment that they consider 'worth saving'. His photograph (above) shows the olive groves at Boonah - I'm pleased that he thinks olives are important enough to save! He also had to answer a couple of questions:
Why is it important to look after the environment?
- The silly flowers. I like eating tomatoes from the garden. I like trees in the forrest.
What can I do to help the environment?
- We put some water on the garden so it stays happy. We live on Planet Earth. I saw Planet Earth in a book. 

Due to my ties with the unnamed insider, I'm going to be compiling a 2015 calendar with all of the photo entries. I wonder if they'll give me an Australian Geographic voucher, too?

B was interviewed for a Melbourne community radio program recently, following his heavy involvement with the Brisbane launch of BZE's (Beyond Zero Emissions) High Speed Rail plan. You can stream the radio interview hereOur coming-soon baby has been generously involved in all of this, too - selflessly offering her own bedroom to store towers of boxes full of BZE gear since the launch.