Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Aussie Aussie Aussie

Today, Wednesday January 26, is Australia Day- a public holiday commemorating the landing of the First Fleet in Australia. 

The city of Sydney puts on quite an impressive series of events to mark the day.  Who wouldn't want to see a Ferryathon, or witness a flyover, or ride on a vintage Sydney bus?  Not me!  That's why last year I thought it would be a good idea to drag my two sticky kids, my sweet agreeable mother-in-law, and my own pregnant self into the city for Australia Day.  After fighting the crowds, waiting in lines, and cramming onto over-crowded public transport we eventually gave up and headed home- feeling exhausted, deflated and a bit defeated.

When I saw my friends' photos of a fun-filled day at the beach I realised I'd made a mistake.  And so I vowed that this year would be different.
I spent the last week waiting, hoping one of my lovely friends would organise some great Australia Day party.  But as Tuesday afternoon rolled around it became painfully obvious that if there was going to be a party I would have to get it started.

Twenty minutes and ten text messages later we were in business.  Six families threw together a last minute BBQ that turned out to be one of the best beach days "evah!'

It was an awesome way to end our Aussie summer. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jewel Bugs

While hunting for spiders in the garden today, the kids discovered these:

Anyone know what they are?

The little buddy proclaimed they were "blue back spiders".  I think these little beetles look like jewels.  Such amazing colours!  I've never seen anything like them before.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Horsing Around in Centennial Park

 Today the Little Princess and her sweet friend went horseback riding right in the heart of Sydney. 

Centennial Parklands features trails, ponds, formal gardens, grand avenues and a large equestrian centre. 

The girls each had a private lesson and then went out on a ride through the park together.  

What a beautiful day in this beautiful city with those two beautiful girls.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Countess Park

Summer Mission #5

Countess Park, Mosman

Large shaded playground area- Aussies take sun protection seriously!

Favourites features:  Log Roll and sand conveyor belt which made a great pretend Santa's Workshop. 

We met a few other Americans here for a play and had a wonderful time.  This park is definitely on our list of places to go back to.  Our time there was cut a bit short when the skies opened and it poured down rain on us. 

Loved this wood goanna and the cute wombat rocker in the background.  Didn't love the wet sandy mess in my car after our visit.  Oh well- gotta take the good with the bad!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Inefficiency Perfected

Americans are a model of efficiency. In America virtually everything is faster, better, and cheaper. Some days, like today, I really miss that.

Today, after a four month wait, the little buddy finally got in to see an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. Getting an appointment to see a specialist around here is kind of like winning the lottery, and I knew I would need extra time to find the office and get a "park" so I left extra early. I'm glad I did because when we eventually did find a "park" it was right next to a park! Score one more for my summer mission!

Mooramba Park Dee Why

Even though we had an appointment we had to wait nearly 2 hours to see the doctor. Two hours is a really long time when you are a four year old boy. Even if you are a four year old boy with a new ipod touch.

Afterwards, I felt so sorry for him with his miserable dilated eyes that I was easily conned into getting him McDonalds for dinner. McDonalds just happens to be located at the mall, right next to the grocery store. Now you might be thinking, "How convenient to have the grocery store right at the mall." But in reality it is anything but. Try pushing a 4WD style shopping cart filled with a week's worth of groceries through a mall out to a multi-level carpark and you will quickly realize how absolutely inconvenient it actually is!

So it was with some hesitation that I wandered into Woolies to grab a few essentials this afternoon. I reasoned that the Little Buddy would be happily contained in the trolley with his cheeseburger and I could zip in, grab my milk and bananas and get out unscathed.

Of course just as I'm about to unload my 5 items he announces to me that he has to pee. Urgently. He's "bursting".

Every American mother of small children knows exactly where to find the restroom in the grocery store. It's as familiar to her as the dairy aisle. But alas, Woolies offers no toilet facilities for customers. Instead, we are directed to the mall bathrooms.

So I abandon my trolley- half eaten Happy Meal and all- near the check stand and make a mad dash into the mall with the Little Buddy in my arms. Luckily, we made it, and quickly headed back to Woolies to reclaim our trolley. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to find the same customer standing at the check out. (That's right- it took less time for us to walk to the mall bathroom, pee, wash hands, and walk back than for the Woolies checker to move one customer through the line). Only now, I had lost my place in the queue and had to get behind a sweet little old lady with about 20 different types of produce in her trolley. Not surprisingly the checker didn't know what half of the items were. (Oh, these are regular peas, not snow peas? Let me cancel that transaction and try again). Eight minutes later, we finally made it through the torture that is shopping at Woolies!

And to top it all off, my $6.00, 3 litre bottle of milk leaked all over the "boot" of my car on the way home.

If my kids are eating dry cereal for breakfast next week, you'll know why.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I saw a woman at the beach yesterday with a teeny tiny newborn baby in her arms.  And I thought, "She has a new baby just like me."  And then I realized, my baby isn't brand new any more.  In fact, he is 5 months old today.  Just last week he started rolling over easily.  And I felt a pang of sadness when I realized that those swaddle days are over.

No more tiny baby wrapped up tight in my arms.  Oh how I miss it already.

But there is so much to look forward to.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Last night we watched this:

And today we enjoyed this:

May your new year be just as exciting, beautiful, warm and relaxing.  Cheers to 2011!
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