Friday, September 27, 2013

USA day 2

Hamish woke around 2ish in the morning and chatted to himself for a couple of hours before falling asleep again. David decided to get up at 3:30 am as he couldn't sleep anymore. I on the other hand was quite happy to go back to sleep. The alarm went at 7:30 and it was a huge struggle getting out of bed. We showered and got dressed and managed to get down to breakfast just after 9:00am. The choices were scrambled egg (powdered egg I think), ham, breakfast potato (fried up potato cubes), toast, cereal, fruit and yoghurt. More than enough to feed our hungry family. Isabella loved the chocolate puffs and went back for about four bowls. It reminded me of Sammy's return visits to the buffet in Fiji. She just loved the bacon, pancakes and maple syrup. Obviously the kids are not eating enough sugar in the morning back home!! After breakfast we headed to the 'big' Walmart. The kids were really excited to spend their own American dollars and really took their time picking treats for themselves. Josh got a huge bag of marshmallows, Sammy chose 'milk duds', Isabella chose some an art set with sparkly paper and fruit smelling textas. I got boring gluten free cereal, nappies and mascara, David bought himself a couple of slacks and a shirt and the youngest member of the family found an iron man doll that talks and that he couldn't put down. The three eldest kidlets paid with their $50 American notes. I handed them out and then waited for them to finish marveling at their change before I could put the money back in their individual envelopes in my wallet. There were lots of oohs and aahs about the coins. Back in the car we all tried some 'milk duds' for the first time while we headed home for a snack. They're little caramel and chocolate balls of yumminess. Mmmmm! Sammy was very good about sharing. At home David made me a cup of tea. No kettles come standard in hotel rooms so he had to improvise with a pot of water on the stove. It was a little slice of home. We're both really missing our familiar coffees and haven't been able to get our taste buds around to American filter coffee. After a short break we headed out to lunch. We decided to try 'In N Out Burgers' which are supposed to be so good. What an effort to find one! Really they should have a store locator on their site instead of the PDF list of outlets. Not very helpful when you don't know one suburb from another. We eventually made it there all starving! The choices for burgers were number 1, 2 or 3 with or without onion. Barnes and Noble, a mega book store. David was in his element! The kids were let loose and all came out with a magazine or book.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Packing and leaving Sydney

Last night we stayed up late. Last minute packing, organising suitcases and cleaning kept us going. I had spent the day buying little gifts for the kids and wrapped and labelled them. A little like Christmas! Then I stuck them in the kids bags. I'm sure the airport screening of bags will mean I have some explaining to do. Each gift is labelled with a number and an LA time. I hope the little packages help keep us going over the 14 hour flight! Or at least act as a circuit breaker along the way.On the way there...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

USA here we come...

A change of template to give a hint of where we're going in less than two days!

Our once in a life time trip is almost upon us and we're really not ready to go! Air tickets, visas and accommodation are all booked and we even have our e-tickets in our hot little hands, but bags are not packed, money is not loaded onto our travel cards and work we need to do before we leave is not done. Plus on top of all that everyone has been really sick. Thirty hours approximately of dosing everyone up on medication for conjunctivitis and high fevers and hopefully we'll miraculously come good at the last minute. 'You'll be right on the night!' is my motto for now!

So where are we going? The U, S of A of course! Twenty-four years ago I was an exchange student to Rhode Island and became a part of the senior class of 1990. I got to live with a wonderful family in North Kingstown and be a painful teenager. I went to two proms, joined the track team and pulled a muscle, (short lived experience) joined the drama club and performed in a big production, met some great people, explored the countryside, go myself an American boyfriend and made a friendship that has lasted the distance.

I'm looking forward to catching up with my girlfriend, Jenn, who is still as funny and gorgeous and crazy as she was all those years ago. How are we going to fit the last twenty years of girly gossip into the day and a bit I'll see her. Maybe encourage her to come to Australia and stay with a crazy family of six!! Ah....a plan!! ; )

I'm also catching up with my host family. A lovely family of three who put up with a crazy Aussie girl for an entire year. How painful was I? I will surely soon find out!

Before we leave Rhode Island we're going to visit North Kingstown High. This is the high-school I spent a year at. I managed to make an appointment with the principal this week. He was just lovely. The new principal is married to one of the girls that I was in my senior year of high-school with. She is an English teacher now. There is also another English teacher at the school who was also in my year at high-school. What a small world! They both remember me! I think a crazy Aussie chick with no sense of fashion and hair with a mind of its own (Who knew you could use product in your hair to tame it?) was never going to be able to blend in quietly.

Enough for now. Back to packing and medicating...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Hunger Games

I've finished reading the last two books in the Hunger Games trilogy. Why I chose to read them during report writing I'lll never know, but wow, they were hard to put down!!

What am I going to read over the holidays?

Here is a review of them... The Hunger Games -- Book Review

Friday, January 18, 2013

June 2012

More certificates. We're so proud!
Dressed up for a Ball.
Hamish's first play-doh experience.
Sarah and Isabella playing.

Sammy and Josh giving Hamish tips.
The view from the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Josh trying to work out the ribbon art.
After school we got to play with freshly made play-doh which Hamish loved! I think the others loved it too, even Sarah! Isabella got more certificates. What a beautiful smile on her face! We were invited to a Ball where we got to dress up and boogie the night away. Don't we look smart! During the school holidays we went exploring Sydney. While poor David was working we visited the Museum of Contemporary Art and got to play with some of the installations and even have afternoon tea overlooking the Opera House. I think Sarah and the kids enjoyed the city visit.
The cousins having lunch at Questacon.
Hand prints at Questacon.
We visited Canberra in June with Sarah and caught up with Brenton, Annabella, Lucy and Henry and got to visit Questacon and just got to hang around together. This month my little Sammy became a fully fledged teenager by turning 13! She had a wonderful pampering birthday party with robes and face masks and most importantly of all, a chocolate fountain! She loved every minute!

May 2012

Hamish and Liam playing.
A picnic at Putney Park.
Hamish is now 1! Where has that year gone?  Sarah moved in and we got ourselves into a routine pretty quickly. Here we are picnicing at Putney Park while overlooking the water.
I started helping out with writing in Isabella's Kindy class every Thursday for 45 minutes. She loved my coming in and helping and I got to know all the kids in her class really well. Isabella received a reading certificate at a Friday assembly standing next to Tom of course.
Tom and Isabella with their reading certificates.
Isabella gets chosen as the Kindy SRC rep.
Hamish and Henry had a belated birthday at my sister's house and all the cousins got to catch up. It's wonderful that they all get to play with each other!
Hamish being kept busy with food at Friday Assembly time.
In May there was time for playdays with our mate Liam. They're almost old enough to play together instead of side by side. It won't be long! At school Isabella was chosen as the Kindergarten SRC representative for her class. She got presented with a badge and got to go along to SRC meetings. What a grown up thing to do in Kindergarten! David had a birthday which we celebrated with a fancy breakfast as a family. It was delicious. Hamish got to have his own baby cino which he loved. So much in fact that when it was taken from his lips he screamed. The first time we've really seen a temper on him. We finally got a new fridge. Nice and silver and shiny! At school the duck eggs came again in the incubator and I got to watch the eggs hatch at school and the little ducklings grow into very cute and fat ducklings. I took the kids and Sarah into my school to have a cuddle outside business hours. We got to play with them without being interrupted. It was lovely. Isabella got another certificate through swimming.
Our new fridge.

Daddy and his boy!

Look at those good looking boys!

Playing on the swings.

A Hamish and Henry birthday cake!
Sarah and duckling.

Josh and Isabella with a duckling.
Isabella and another swimming certificate.

April 2012

Josh and Hamish at Buffalo Park on the flying fox.

Isabella playing in the sand under the flying fox.

Sammy and Hamish at Buffalo Park.
In April we found our first au pair, Sarah, from Canada who happened to already be in Sydney. It was only for four months and she was a perfect introduction for us to the world of au pairs! This is the photo she sent us! Very nerve wracking meeting at Macquarie centre for the first time. Her first day coincided with my first day at work. A very stressful time all round! My mum was lovely and helped Sarah with the kids for the first two days of the term which was really more for my peace of mind than anything!

Copying the names of classmates off of her class list.
Completed egg parcels.
Sarah and her sister.

In April the weather was perfect to go to Buffalo Park and play on the equipment. Josh took Hamish on the flying fox for the first time and he loved it!
Daddy watching on as Hamish tries the equipment at the beach.

Playing at the beach.

Escaping in the sand towards the pretty legs.
Isabella and I made some lovely chocolate egg parcels to give to her classmates. We used some paint cards from Bunnings which I cut into egg shapes and then Isabella very carefully and conscientiously wrote her class mates names on each label.
Easter decorations.

Easter decorations.

David's study in the process of being cleaned out.

Looking into the study.

Looking from the window to the door of the study.
The weather was okay to go to the beach. Not warm enough to swim, but certainly a lovely day to play in the sand and check out the play equipment at the beach.
The Easter Bunny did come!

Isabella with new Easter pyjamas and her eggs.

Hamish knows where the chocolate eggs go!

Josh with his chocolate egg haul!

He's almost taller than his mother!

Sammy with her eggs and Easter pyjamas.

A delicious Easter breakfast!
In between Easter, school holidays and getting ready for me to go back to work David was cleaning out his office now that NPS had an office in Chatswood so that we could make room for the arrival of Sarah. What a mess! Luckily it tidied up really nicely and made a nice bedroom. Unfortunately for Sarah we didn't have it totally finished when she arrived. But before she left we had put in a TV, a heater, a wardrobe and a set of draws to finish it off.
Sarah's room is almost ready!
Isabella next to Sarah's bed.

March 2012

Isabella completed 'Jellyfish' level.
Fringe about to be cut.
And after. Beautiful Sammy!

Haircut for Josh too.
Hamish has started to cruise around and the playpen had to come out.
Wobbly steps with the help of Daddy.
March brought changes with it. Sammy decided to get a fringe which really suits her and looks beautiful! Josh likes his hair super short and wants to banish those curls. Hamish has begun to cruise around and we've had to lock him away in the playpen. Luckily he doesn't mind being in there and Isabella will sometimes sneak in there with him which means that I can get dinner ready without him in the kitchen.
Sammy and Josh eating while Bella and Hamish play .
Iron cleaner in my eye.
Harry Potter Exhibition at the Power House Museum.
Signe on the right back home in Denmark.
We've taken the kids out for treats and Hamish has had a few wobbly steps with the help of Daddy. All the kids have been having swimming lessons and Isabella has gone up a swimming level. She was so proud of herself and so were we! March saw me getting organised for going back to work and a period of nesting. It also saw me having to go to hospital when I got iron cleaner in my eye. My eye got a blister on it and I needed to have my eye flushed with saline at the hospital for an hour. Grateful that my eye was okay. A very sore and scary experience. Note to self: Don't wipe your hands on a cloth with iron cleaner on it and then wipe your eye!! We went and saw the 'Harry Potter' exhibition. Very cool!
Isabella and Tom at school.
Sore knees, elbows and head. Awww!
We decided to use an au pair and found a wonderful young girl called Signe and although she didn't quite match our dates we decided to go with her anyway. The beginning of a long distance Australian/Danish friendship.
Hamish in the playpen at Bella's school.
Tom and Isabella at the school disco.

Isabella and her friend at the disco.

Ballet class.
Isabella had many new experiences at school in March. She got to dress up and parade around the school with her best friend, Tom and go to her first school disco. She also got to find out about how the playground works and got knocked over by some big kids who were running and doing the wrong thing. Poor Isabella got knocked for six and managed to graze her knees, elbows and head. I got a telephone call to come and pick her up and we went home and had ice and cuddles. My poor baby. She started ballet this term and is unsure about whether she likes it or not yet. We were good parents and went along to the Kindergarten clean up at Isabella's school, on a weekend with the whole family. We took the playpen and let Hamish hang in there while we raked up leaves, cleaned drains and picked up sticks. It ended with a lovely BBQ and a chance to chat to other parents.