Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It seems as though time has been flying by of late. I am finally around to blogging about our weekend away in Sydney which was about a month ago. It's harder and harder to spend time with Alex of late, as his work takes him away so much at the moment, but it made it even more exciting to be able to spend a weekend away with him, and visit Gina, Damien and Beth. The kids were just as excited to be able to spend the weekend at Moppy and Poppy's house, and I'm sure they hardly missed us at all.

Gina and cute little Beth picked us up from the airport and our first stop was to the Adriano Zumbo shop. We watched his show on SBS when it was on, and said we'd always like to go there and try some of his treats when we visited Sydney. We were hoping to try his famous V8 cake but had no such luck, but tried every single macaroon and a few different cakes.

That evening we stayed with Gina and Damien, and Chrish came around for a barbeque with us. He travelled far out of his neighbourhood, so it was nice that we were able to catch up. The rest of the time with Gina, Damien and Beth consisted of shopping at Miranda, visiting Cronulla Beach and eating lots and lots at a Brazillian Barbeque place. I think we must of got our iron intake for a month there. There were lots of different marinated meats to try. It was all very tasty and we were glad that Gina and Damien introduced us to it.

Beth is just the cutest baby, she was a but unsure of Uncle Alex looking a bit rugged with his beard, but then warmed to him by the end of the weekend. Probably after he shaved the beard for church did she become more comfortable! She is such a GOOD baby too. We got to meet her when she was less than a month old, and now she is such a happy little person.


A lovely lunch was had before we left Gina and Damien's.

The last time we were in Sydney was over 5 and a half years ago, so we did lots of reminicing while we were there, as it was where Alex served his mission, and where we were married and spent a bit of our honeymoon. We have lots of fond memories of spending a christmas up there when I was pregnant with Maddi. It was good to just see Gina and Damien's new place, and spend time getting to know Beth.

In the afternoon we caught the train into the city. Our hotel wasn't far away from Circular Quay, so it made was very convenient to catch the train in. We did lots of sightseeing through the city and then finished our walk through the Botanical Gardens. It was so lovely and peaceful there, so different to the city. There were several weddings going on.

We walked around the Opera House and then went to Aria Restaraunt for tea. The views were spectacular as it faced the bridge. The service was great and so was the food. I liked that they gave us several free tastings, so we didn't leave hungry at all. My dessert was the brandy snap mille feuille with caramelised bananas, hazelnuts and salted caramel sauce. I love caramel and bananas. 

The view from the hotel pool room.

Our breakfast at the Guylian shop.

The next day was a gorgeous day- Nice and warm. It was hard to head home, but nice to see the kids again. We kept saying the kids would love to do this and that while we were there, but it was nice that it was just us on the trip, and we were able to take time together over a meal or two or three!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Flush it to Sydney!"

This blog post is a bit late, 5 months late in fact. WARNING: Do not read this blogpost, if you are not interested in details of toilet training.

Just before Easter our boy was finally toilet trained. He was aged 3 and a quarter. It was a long time in the making from start to finish.... He likes to test our patience a little. Anyway he started to show signs of interest back in the summer of 2010, just after he turned 2. This photo was taken when he was aged two. He totally surprised me one day when he did a number two in the toilet, when Lincoln was a newborn. Maddi being the helpful sister wiped for him and was excited to announce to me the exciting news. I got my hopes up a little, and thought that it may just be easier than I had anticipated. I thought I was so lucky to have a newborn and a toddler that was toilet training himself. After all it is a real no no to toilet train a child with big changes in his life. We had moved house and then the following day he had a new sibling, so I never wanted to push him to do it at this stage in his life. But if he wanted to do it himself, I was fine with that. Progress just stopped after a while and he had no interest to do it again.

Then with the warmer weather of summer, just after he turned 3, we tried again.We are lucky enough to live close to the town centre and live close enough to hear the Memorial Clock Tower. From 8am until 9pm everyday, this clock chimes a song on the hour in a minor scale. I used to think that it was so depressing being in a minor scale, but am now so used to hearing it.  On the half hour it dings just the once. This had Maddi stumped a lot, as she would often think it was 1 O'clock!  I have found this clock chime so handy over the years. If I'm out in the garden or elsewhere I know exactly what time it is as I don't wear a watch and have not for years because of the accidental scratching on the kids. I thought that we could use this clock to our advantage. So I started to get little Alex tuned into to listening for the chime. So every time he heard the clock he was to go to the toilet. It was very unlikely that he would have an accident in half an hour. It became quite a novelty at first, and Maddi got so involved in listening for the clock, that everytime she would hear it she wanted to be the first to announce that it was "toilet time!." Nothing like a bit of help and reminder from his big sister!

Then after a while of accidents, number ones were mastered without the aid of the clock. He took great delight in flushing his wees to Sydney. Well he used to say "flush it to Sydney!". Then it was time to master the number twos, because it's not nice at all having to clean underpants everyday with number twos inside. Sorry to be a bit gross with the details! We had a box of presents that he was to choose a present every time he did a number two. That box didn't even get a look in for a couple of months. So after some time, Alex and I did a roster of toilet supervision. Every night after tea, one of us would sit with him at the toilet for about half an hour. We most often would read books to him and went through lots of new books that we had borrowed from the library. Then one day...... a number two finally happened while he was on the loo. He was so excited, and we were too. It was like we had won Tatslotto! He then quickly obtained his gifts of funny glasses, glow in the dark stars, a magic painting book, cars, lollies and other things. After that day we only had a few setbacks, but he finally mastered toilet training with a bit of encouragement from us all and some presents..

All his number twos are being flushed to Sydney now. No idea why he decided they were going to Sydney and not Melbourne, but we are happy that they go to Sydney everyday. Sometimes twice a day! Sorry about sending our mess to you Auntie Gina, Damien, Beth and Uncle Chrish! He still wears nappies to bed but doesn't very often wet them at night. The only trouble we really have now is his independance of wiping. We have to listen out for when he is on the loo otherwise not all of it makes it to Sydney- Some stays on the seat and in his underpants. Sorry about all the details. He was toliet trained just in time to go to visit Moppy and Poppy while we went to Melbourne for the weekend back in May. We are so proud of our boy. He is now trying to teach Linc that art of toilet training. It is so nice to have one sibling pass their knowledge and encouragement of toilet training to their younger sibling. I think Linc will one day thank Maddi for her modesty in this photo!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An 80th Birthday

Back in early August we had a special occasion that brought us down to Hobart for the weekend. It was Alex's Nana's 80th birthday. Alex's Nana is a very special lady, always one to think of others and is such a humble lady. It's hard to believe that she is 80 years old as she is still so busy and young at heart. The kids love their Great Nana, and they are lucky to have her involved in their lives. She is always so busy knitting items for the great grandkids and is known for her very practical smock bibs that have been an asset to the kids wardrobes over the years! The above photo was taken during Christmas 2009.

We celebrated on her actual birthday by going to Blueskies Restaurant, with extended family and friends, from the state and some from interstate. Gina and Damien came down for the weekend and surpised Nana with their visit. It was nice that the occasion brought lots of the family together, as it becomes rarer for family get togethers. Maddi and Alex spent time and became acquainted with their second cousins Joshua and Megan. It turns out that Maddi and Megan are the same age, so that had lots to talk about.  I must upload some photos of the occassion from Alex's phone.

We also got to meet Beth our niece and cousin for the first time. Beth is such a beautiful baby. She was four weeks old when we met her over the weekend. She looks a lot like Damien and reminds me a lot of Maddi as a baby. Maybe all baby girls do! She was sleeping well already and Gina is so relaxed and calm as a mother that she seems like she is an old hand. Perhaps all the babies that she has photopgraphed that have pooed and spewed on her over the years, has helped her with the experience!

Linc doesn't seem so babyish anymore. Although the whole weekend he was such high maintenance. He wasn't feeling great the whole weekend and was very clingy and insecure. I was exhausted the whole weekend as I had a sinus infection and Linc wasn't sleeping so well, and the only way he would sleep was to lay right on top of my body. Lucky he is light, otherwise I would of had back problems for the next week. It almost felt like we had a newborn! Little Alex did his nightly awakenings and vommitted after tea on Sunday night, so it was so busy dealing with all the sickness and lack of sleep. We didn't really know that he was sick as he just bounces still and doesn't ever tell us that he is feeling unwell.  Unfortunately, because I wasn't well and didn't want to spread anything to Beth, I didn't give her any cuddles and holds.

Alex and the kids were lucky enough to interact with Beth closely. Alex is such a cluckster when it comes to babies. It was nice to see him with his very first blood niece.

 On Monday morning we got some photos of all the cousins together. These photos crack me up as Will is so busy and wouldn't sit still for the photo. He kept trying to escape. After a while we figured it was easier to put him on the chair so he would stick around a little longer.Will is such a character, he was always cracking us up with his antics.

Before we left we had lunch with Gina, Beth, Becc and Will at Nando's. I love that Nando's conforms with our dietary requirements. We also discovered a great patesserie in North Hobart called Sweet Envy. It felt like a touch of Melbourne had come to Hobart. I had my tastebuds out for some macaroons, but they had sold out, so instead I got a piece of cake. We left Hobart in the late afternoon. It was lovely to meet Beth and be there for Nana's special occasion. I love that Alex has the flexibility in his work to have long weekends. Weekends with the family are the best weekends. Don't grow up too fast Beth. I want to have a cuddle, while you're little.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

18 Months young

Time flies when you're having fun! The 12th of July marked Lincoln's 18 month of age mark. Linc was so brave when he got his immunisation for chicken pox- He didn't let out a sound. Little Alex has trained him tough! He's still not walking, (although he took 2 steps a couple of weeks back) or crawling, but bottom shuffling around. He is so quick that it's no wonder that he has no tummy- He must burn everything off. He is so powerful and efficient at it that he gets airborne and you hear a galloping sound on our wooden floorboards. He loves the outdoors although I do not let him outside unless the grass is dry, which is very rare at the moment. He leaves big tracks on the grass with his bottom shuffling.

He loves to climb into the cupboards and the dishwasher when he has the chance, he enjoys pulling  books off the bookshelf, playing with electronic devices, putting things in the toilet, having baths, dancing and enjoys playing in the saucepans cupboard.  His older brother likes to join in with all the banging and crashing of the saucepans. His favourite place in the whole house is the pantry. He goes in there for some "eat! eats!" and is on the hunt for some yummy food. He gets very excited when he finds some marshmallows and his special dairy free and gluten free chocolate covered biscuits.

A few weeks back he officially entered nursery. To us he still feels like a baby, and I really do not know where the last 18 months have gone. So far the transition into nursery has been smooth sailing. We have a great nursery leader who is on the ball and knows all the 15 nursery kids so well. Anna does a great job, she must be exhausted when she goes home to look after her two little ones! 

Little Alex will still be in nursey until next year with Lachie. Eamon will still be in for another year. It's great to go to church with some cousins. Uncle Jared is an assistant in nursery so there are lots of familiar faces in there for Linc to be comfortable with.

Linc plays on his own usually, but this particular day he started interacting with Seanan who is a day older than him.

 " I will know this child for all of eternity as an adult, but it is only for a short time that I will know each of them as a child. What a privilege it is to know them as a child " Quote from Hilary Weeks from the TOFW. Thanks Carli for sharing these quotes on your blog. This quote really touched me. We are very blessed to see this little boy as a child. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

They wish it were summer

The kids have been pretending that it's summer time of late. I brought the tunnel out of the playroom to encourage Linc to crawl through it. No chance of that happening though- All I see is a little head that bobs up and down as he bottom shuffles through it! Maddi came up with the idea of opening a waterslide down the stairs that is open "every, each season."


They have also been having lots of camping trips in the lounge room. Before I know it, little Alex has clothing off his shelves and packs it into every single bag they own. Blankets are brought out and summer pjs are on for their campout. The sure are fast at bringing it all out, but are very slow to put it all back for some reason!

Maddi 'camping' in her summer Pjs.

Maddi was very excited today when we went for a walk, as she noticed the trees were in blossom. Come soon spring, we love you and are looking forward to planting more vegies in the garden and getting outside more.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"He needs a sport!"

About 12 months ago we were at the child health clinic for Lincoln. Little Alex was restless (as normal) and the child health nurse was distracted for a moment while observing Alex and declared " He needs a sport!" So last term Little Alex went to swimming lessons for the first time ever. He had a wonderful time and looked forward to his Tuesday swims independant of his big sister, while she was at school. He is a powerhouse in the water and would leave all the other kids behind as he has such a strong kick. He still hasn't got the technique quite right (as he kicks deep down into the water rather than close to the surface), but with some time and practice next term we'll work on that. His swimming teacher thought it was a good idea to put him up a class next term to help him along with the technique. It was so good for him physically, but also socially as he got to mix with kids his own age.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Her first school photos

Maddi has had a great first term at school. She received her first report before the holidays and we had to laugh, as it described her so well. Yesterday she was excited to bring home her first school photos. We hope she always has a love of school like she does now.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weekend in Melbourne

On Thursday afternoon we were very excited to pick up Alex from his two week work trip. Little Alex missed his Dad terribly, and dozens of times a day would question when he was coming home, and why he had gone away. The kids were very excited that their Dad had come home but also that it meant that they were going to Moppy and Poppy's for the weekend, parent free while we visited Melbourne. Well Maddi was very excited to have some independance away from us. It was the first time that we have been away from Linc, but we weren't too worried about how he would go as he has developed good sleeping habits of late, and he isn't as clingy anymore. We checked into Alex's work, dropped a few things off, packed our bags and left for Hobart. When we got to Hobart we ate tea, settled the kids in, and caught our late flight out of Hobart. We arrived at the Melbourne airport at 11.30pm and stayed at the nearby Holiday Inn for the night.
The next morning we got up early to attended the temple. We had such a lovely experience there filled with the spirit. Afterwards we stopped into the Hawks Nest and had a look at the Hawks Museum, shopped at Chadstone, and stopped into the Lindt shop for some cake. It was late afternoon by the time we checked into our Hotel in the city The Intercontinental Rialto. We had a lovely dinner at Melba Restaurant at the Langham Hotel, and overindulged. Well I did, and struggled to walk back to the hotel afterwards from being so full. It was so nice to sit down and have a meal without the cares that we would have if we were at home with the kids- Like drink spillage, tired children, cleaning up messes and trying to get them to eat all the dinner.

On Saturday morning we had a little sleep in and went for a swim in the hotel pool and hopefully worked off some calories from our feed the night before. We had an explore around the city stopping in at Koko Black for a hot and iced chocolate and a tastings plate. In our opinion they make the best iced and hot chocolates. In the afternoon we headed to the Dandenongs to be there for Holly and Daniel's big day. This was the reason why we headed up for the weekend. We stopped at a beautiful garden that we attempted to visit with the kids in March, but after arriving close to closing time and the kids falling asleep in the car, we missed the opportunity. Being Autumn it was all the more beautiful than it was a couple of months back. Perry has been telling us about this spot for years and we finally made it. It was definitely worth the visit.

We then we travelled to the next little township of Monbulk for Daniel and Holly's wedding at a venue called Nathania Springs. It was cold and there were light showers, so the service was held indoors in a gorgeous room. It was so good to finally meet their families who were just as lovely. Daniel had his brothers as his groomsmen, and Holly's older sister and Daniel's sister were Holly's bridesmaids. Holly's eight year old niece, Veronica made a beautiful flower girl. It was great to see how their families are so close and got along so well together. The wedding service was so heartfelt with some beautiful vowels that they had written to each other. Holly was glowing and was such a relaxed bride, that made us all laugh during the ceremony. They are just so perfect for each other and were definitely ready for their special day. We were honored that we could be there for it and that they wanted the kids to be there too.

On Sunday morning we attended church in Perry's ward and had a quick lunch at Rockpool- Neil Perry's famous two hat restaurant, which was very enjoyable. The food was very tasty and I was pleasantly surprised that we left full. We had great quick service too as we had our plane to catch in the afternoon.

We had a wonderful weekend away. It was really like a second honeymoon, as we have never stayed in hotel without the kids since our honeymoon. Did I mention that we ate and ate all weekend?! We definitely lived it up a bit more than our honeymoon, as we were both poor students back then. Alex missed the kids heaps while we were away as he had been away from home for over two weeks, but I enjoyed the short break, missing them at different times. It was nice not to have nightly visitations from little people, and get some unbroken sleep, and be able to give each other undivided attention without the interruptions. The kids were happy as well and had such an enjoyable time at Moppy and Poppy's house, filled with visits to the park and picnics. We got home close to midnight after travelling back from Hobart on Sunday night.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The kids first live Hawks game

Back in April the kids went to their first Hawks game at Aurora Stadium. Last year Alex and I had memberships and Linc would come to games with us. This year we thought it would be good for the whole family to have a membership.

We were previously in the Gunns Stand, but have moved to the other side of the ground to a more family friendly area. It was such a beautiful warm day that we had the sun shining on us all afternoon and we were actually quite hot. Maddi was a little bored to begin with and wanted to draw, but then as the Hawks started to get on a good role she got more into it. Little Alex was so into using his Hawks clapper after the Hawks would kick a goal. He loves his clapper at home and gets too carried away with it- He deliberately uses it to wake people up in the morning. It was good that it was finally put to some good use.

We left happy with the result and traveled home as the sun setting. It was such a beautiful sunset that night.