Sunday, April 29, 2007

Picnic in the park

We spent this afternoon at Olympic Park, picnicking with part of our extended family. My brother looked up the connection - they were second and third cousins, once or twice removed... or something like that. They were descendants of my mother's great-aunt...

Anyway, two of my brothers and their families came along, as well as us and our parents. It was a beautiful day - not too cold but not hot, either. We were meant to go to the Blue Mountains yesterday to see a play but it was cancelled due to appalling weather. The picnic was at Olympic Park, next to where the Olympic Cauldron (from Sydney 2000) now is. There's a cool kids' playground/climbing equipment with a good variety for older and younger children. We pretty much spent the entire time chasing after the kids and meeting the relos, some of whom we knew but others we didn't.

At one point one of the Aunties organised an Egg and Spoon race for the kids... it went well, except Dante got quite a bit frazzled when he realised, right near the finish (way ahead of the other kids), that he'd dropped his egg (a small chocolate easter egg) at the start and had to run back for it. Oh the anguish! He screamed and howled like no other being, and made a big scene when the Aunties made a fuss over him. He claimed that he'd hurt himself but couldn't pinpoint exactly where... hmm. In the end, after a good talking to about sportsmanship and the like, he ended up getting three prizes! Ack. We really need to work on his temperament - he's a really sore loser (and quite a gloater when he wins). We're told that it's just a stage and he'll learn eventually. I hope so!

Anyway, while this was all going on, Atticus sneaked away and found the bowl of easter eggs. Sat himself down and got stuck into them. Who knew he could open them up?? He ate about three or four before we found him and distracted him enough to take them away... heheh.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Photos by Dante

Inspired by something I read on Kiddley a while back, these school holidays I got out our older digital camera (which has sadly been neglected since we got our shiny new one a year ago) and told Dante that he can use it whenever he wants, to take pictures of whatever he wants.

He has been quite excited by the idea and has been pretty busy with it. I created a flickr account for him and have put up a selection for all to see.

My favourites are the self portraits. He has always been such a shy and retiring boy...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pondering a career change

Recently I've been feeling a little... lost, perhaps? I'm not really looking forward to going back to work next year, especially since I will be going back full time. I am happy in my job, but it doesn't really feel like a career. I could stay doing what I'm doing for the next I-don't-know-how-many years but I don't know that I could see much changing. Then there's talk about all sorts of changes in the wings, so who knows if I'll have this job in five years anyway.

Dan and I had a chat about this tonight and he suggested I stop and think about what I really want to do with my "career"... I put that word in inverted commas because I really just don't feel like I have one at the moment. To me, a career is when one is going places and I just don't feel like I am. I'm just plodding along doing the same thing all the time.

I've thought about being a stay-at-home mother, but that's not really an option, both financially and psychologically (is that a word?). I would certainly go crazy, I think. And when I told Dan that I'd be a "kept woman" he responded with "So who's going to keep you?"... heheh.

I'd really like a job that will allow me to spend more time with the kids though, especially once the younger ones start school. Aftercare is great, but it irks me that they spend almost 3 hours there just playing. We had so much trouble fitting in time for homework and piano practice last term. Something's got to change. The days are jus t too long for Dante. I wish I could work part-time again.

So what to do? Maybe go back to Uni and study some more? I really hated studying - I'm just no good at assignments... and studying. Could I really do it all again? Dan looked up some courses. I always wanted to be a librarian when I was a kid! He said I could do a Masters in Information and Knowledge Management. He thinks my IT skills would go very well with this sort of thing.

Hmmm... certainly something to think about. What do you think?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Three kids = hard work

{sigh} It's hard work looking after three kids. I'm tired and grumpy and just want some time to myself!

Okay, well, that's not entirely true. I would really like a night out with our friends, without kids to run after and worry about... I know that's not going to happen for a long time - perhaps never. Does a parent ever stop worrying about their kids?

But yes, three kids are a handful. I can't imagine having more. Two was easier because Dan and I were able to look after one each. Now someone has to have two and that is usually Dan because I'm usually with the baby. And, I really shouldn't complain because my most wonderful parents who live right next door are the most glorious help that I couldn't live without!

I think I'm especially tired at the moment because it has been school holidays. I organised some activities for Dante over the but we have also had my nephew (13) and niece (7) here this past week. It's been pretty full-on with all the kids around. Dante has really enjoyed the company, and I have enjoyed spending time with my brother's kids, but it will be nice to get back to the quiet once school goes back!

I really don't know how my mother managed FIVE of us!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Great Diaspora

Something's in the air. A whole bunch of our friends are distributing themselves around the world these days. Some have moved for a few years, some are going for a holiday and some have gone for who knows how long!

Jaime and Shannon are in Vancouver.
Petto is in New York.
Evelyn and Tancred are in Edinburgh.
Marcelle is in Thailand (mainly).
Kate and Iain are in Cambridge.

Guy and Anna are travelling around Europe.
Eugene's learning Mandarin in Shanghai.
False Dan (my Dan's the "real" Dan...) is going to Iceland soon.
Marina's managing the Flying Tsars as they tour Australia.
Jo and Vee are heading to France.
Bez and Shoshe are moving Ithaca so Shoshe can do a PhD at Cornell Uni.

Yen Li just came back from Washington.
Joe and Elle went to Europe late last year.

And that's just the ones I can think about at the moment! It's great that everyone's got the travel bug. I just wish we could join them...

At one point Dan and I had plans to move to either America or the UK. I really wanted to live and work in London. We had even set a tentative date to be gone by. Then Dante came along and changed our plans. We still thought about doing it and taking him with us, but time just ran away from us... then Atticus came and now Elora. I don't know if I could move away from my family now! Maybe one day when the kids are older? We'll see how it goes.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Elora at 8 weeks

My little girl is eight weeks old today! She's due for a check-up and some shots but they will have to wait until after the school holidays, I think.

What's she doing now?

Smiling - she gives us the most gorgeous little smiles. They're not due to wind... her whole face lights up and her eyes close. She looks like an anime character.

Making cute noises - "Ah goo" and the like. Often accompanied by the gorgeous smile.

Sleeping at night - The best thing of all! She is now sleeping from about 10 or 11 o'clock at night until about 7 or 8 o'clock in the morning with perhaps one or two quick feeds in between. It's wonderful... but I'm still tired, for some reason.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Harry Potter

Dante has just discovered Harry Potter. We haven't shown him the films before because they've been a bit scary for him, but the other day he went to a friend's house and the older brother is mad about Harry.

I asked him about the movie.

"The bad guy is called 'Mouth Boy'," he said.

I laughed and laughed.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


My sister-in-law had her baby this morning! Yay! Congrats Chris and Pris!

How incredible is this - her labour was ONE hour long. They got to the hospital and fifteen minutes later she was born with just two pushes. What a champion.

I'm going to go and see them this afternoon after I pick up Dante from school (he has soccer training at 5pm). Can't wait!

They don't have a name for her yet so we've nicknamed her "Minigail". (Her older sister is Abigail.)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Car trouble (self-wrought)

What a day. This morning Elora was awake from 3am until I finally settled her at 6am. Ack. So tiring.

I spent the day resting and recovering and not much else, as usual. But then I had to pick up the boys for gymnastics so Dan wouldn't have to leave work early. On the way in to school I noticed that the car's fuel light was on - it was in need of a refill - but I didn't have time to stop. Poor Elora was in a bit of a mood and didn't like the car ride... she screamed the whole way there. I picked up the two school boys (Dante and his friend Ewan) and then we got Atti from child care. Every time we got into the car Elora would start screaming. She cried the whole way home, despite Atti's attempts to calm her (patting her tummy, poking her face...).

I managed to drop Atti off with my folks and then went to the gymnasium. On the way the car started doing funny jerky things and I realised that the fuel level must have been much lower than I thought.

The boys had a great time expending their energy jumping on trampolines, climbing ropes and walking the beams, like they do every Monday afternoon. Even Elora calmed down and had a sleep in my arms. I guess she wore herself out with all the crying.

The class finished and I started worrying about the car again. I hoped we had enough petrol to get us home! We hopped in and I turned the key. Phew! The engine started! I drove about 400m and then it konked out! Ack! I was in the middle of the road! Luckily it was a quiet-ish street and not a major road. It was well into peak hour by now. I tried the engine again and it started. I got another 100m before it went again, and I managed to veer towards the kerb but not enough to park properly - the rear end was sticking out. I had used every last drop of fuel in the tank. What a disaster! I had to get the boys home so that Ewan's parents could come and get him.

I didn't know what to do so I rang my dad. Thankfully the gym is only a minute away from home. He said he'd come straight away. But I forgot that their car was in for a service, and I didn't know exactly what street I was on. When I realised, I tried to call him but he'd forgotten his mobile phone. Blargh! I managed to call Ewan's folks and told them to come and get him from where we were. I didn't know how long we'd be stuck there.

Eventually my dad turned up at the gym. We, of course, weren't there. He used their phone to call Dan (that was the number they had), who called me to say that Papa was there. Ewan's folks turned up just in time and collected my father and brought him back. The poor man was exhausted. He'd walked the distance carrying a 5L drum of petrol! I felt SOOOOO bad.

That night I sent Dan out to fill up BOTH cars and I hope that we've learned our lesson. From now on I will fill up when I need to, regardless of the day of the week... You see, Tuesday is the cheapest day and Thurs/Fri is the most expensive. Sometimes the difference is as much as 15c/L between Tue and Thu! What a rort. This was part of the problem - I wouldn't fill up on the weekend as I was waiting for Tuesday!!