Monday, January 18, 2010

Running, running

Looking back at my archives, I don't think I've really written much about my new early morning thing... Getting up and out for a morning walk/run most weekends and every day (almost) during the christmas break.

I can't remember when exactly I started doing it but I remember that when we went away to Hawks Nest in January last year I was able to get out a few mornings and run up to the beach.

Some people (especially my night-owl-definitely-NOT-a-morning-person husband) might call me mad but I really do enjoy the solitude, peace and freshness of the early morning. The birds are busy, especially the water birds in the river which I travel alongside.

If I'm early enough (a bit harder in summer!) I can catch the sun popping up over the trees, and in winter I can glimpse frost on the grass on the particularly cool days. Not that exciting compared to those living under bucketloads of snow right now but it's not that common here in Sydney!

But now the time has come where I feel that I want to step up a bit. Today I bought an iphone application (for my ipod touch - wish I had an iphone!) to get me started. Couch to 5k is an application that helps people get moving and training (in half an hour runs, three times a week) to be able to achieve running a full 5km, over a period of 9 weeks. Actually, I bought the "Couch to 10k" app first (which seems to have only been released two days ago!) but with one hour workouts in that plan I've decided to start with the 5k and work my way up.

I'm hoping to start tomorrow morning, nice and early before there is any stirring in the house. So nice and early to bed for me tonight! I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 15, 2010

New kid in town

A week and a half ago we lost our dear pet, Flopsy. We'd only had him for 5 or 6 months and had just gotten to know him and love him.

We weren't sure if we could face another rabbit, but the kids were keen and we had the food and the set up already. But we were still thinking. Then a friend got in contact - her brother had found a bunny lost in the bushland near his house (but still in suburban Sydney) and he was looking for a good home for him.

How could we resist? THIS is the way to gain pets. They come to us - we don't buy them from shops. Here was an animal in need of good home, not a baby (which are much easier to sell), but fully grown.

So we went and got him.

He's still quite timid, still getting to know us. He's very different to Flopsy, who was also a found rabbit but younger, I think. Definitely ate a lot more and got to know his way around (bossing us and the cats around) quite quickly. But slowly this new guy is getting there.

And his name is Barney... (sounds like "bunny" - get it??).
Some videos are on my flickr account. More pics to follow.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The world is my craft room...

Found this mug online today. It's awesome!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Routines begin once more

While it's still technically school holidays here, Dan and I have both been back at work for a week and a half, Elora recommenced child care last Friday and today the boys went back to "school". Vacation care on the school premises, to be precise.

And that's it for our summer holiday. Short and quick. Things are still fairly relaxed - there's no HUGE need to get to school by 9am and the traffic is still not too busy, even in peak hour. But I think it's great that we're getting back into our daily routine so that once school does go back we'll be settled!

The only difference this year is that we'll be getting TWO lunch boxes ready in the morning instead of just one like the last four years! Atticus is so excited and happy with his brand new lunch box identical to his big brother's except that it's green. (And now Dante wants a green one too. Blargh!)

Two more weeks until "big" school begins!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Zombie rabbits

There's been too much of this (Plants vs. Zombies) going on in our house lately.

The other morning Elora asked me if we can go and get Flopsy out of his hole.
"I'm sorry, Elora," I replied. "He's dead. We can't."
"But Atti said that he can come back from the dead."

Good on you Atti and your over-active imagination!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Those three munchkins: no. 3

Elora: 2 years, nearly 11 months
Little big girl

There is so much to say about this delightful little creature that I don't know where to start. In fact, I started writing this post nearly 3 months ago... I got as far as "2 years, 8½ months" and then stopped. Now she's nearly 3 years old, but I swear she could pass for older.

She is so completely different to the boys, and yet a lot like her eldest brother at the same age. Ridiculously inquisitive. Constantly asking questions. Sometimes you can see her looking around at her surroundings to find something to ask a question about. It's adorable and funny but sometimes very frustrating. And when she's not asking questions she's just talking. All the time talking. But mostly asking. Her favourite colours are "pink and white", by the way.

She loves to do what I do, and what my mother does, and what Atti does. She loves to pull a chair up to the kitchen bench to see what's going on, or to be involved in whatever's being cooked. Hasn't quite mastered the art of breaking eggs yet... more like smooshing them into bits, but hey, her nearly-9 year old brother isn't much better. She's very empathetic - picks up on what's going on around her. There's no sneaking things past this little girl.

She LOVES her brothers. Adores them. She and Atti get on superbly. Of course they have their tiffs but most of the time that is when they are both tired and/or hungry. She engages in role play with her brothers and her toy animals. Puts on silly voices. Uses the raised inflection at the end of sentences that kids use when they're playing "Let's Pretend"... "Let's pretend I'm the mum? And you're the dad? Okay? And we're going to the shops? And this is the money? Yeah?" It amazes me to hear her do this - I keep having to remind myself that she is not even 3 yet. I didn't hear Dante talk like this until he was at school, or just before!

Of course, she loves her soft toys. The spare bed in her room is covered with toys. I guess it doesn't help that her mother also has a predilection for them. Especially the nifty unusual ones from Ikea. Her all time favourite toys are her Beaver and, more recently, her Rabbit (seen above in the first photo dressed up in an "Ilan" dress from Thursday Island). (I know, I know, we're not very inventive with names around here).

And she loves our real animals too. She's incredibly gentle with them all and adored Flopsy (and he loved her). But fairly tough, too. I guess you'd have to be if you played with Atticus so much! Today they were wrestling and giggling away. Music to my ears.

She's toilet trained - for the last few months now (started in Sept/Oct). Day time at least. She is interested in drawing and writing and looking at letters. She can count pretty well (quite keen on "two-tee two" (22) on the Advent calendar last year) and we are showing her the basics of addition (using fingers)... She gets the concepts so quickly! And physically she grows. She eats a tonne (more than Atti sometimes). Her hair is so long it's half way down her back. Beautiful glossy straight brown hair. She is very patient when it comes to combing it and doing it up! Tonight we took the side off her cot so that she is officially a BIG GIRL. Wow. I can't believe that I will be putting her name down for pre-school on the first day of term in a few weeks. Pre-school 2011, that is. You've got to get in early in the inner-west.

I have to say that I feel that I am the luckiest person around to be the mother of this charming, sociable, cute little girl. She's everything I could have asked for - a little bit girly, a little bit tom-boyish. Friendly, helpful, mostly obedient... although she's starting to get a little more cheeky of late. Never could I have hoped for such an amazing creature when I looked at that ultrasound and found out she was a girl. The tears I shed then were well worth it. I am completely smitten by Elora. I would hug and hold her all day every day if I could. She is simply delightful!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A life short lived

At the beginning of August we welcomed a new family member, a gorgeous pet rabbit whom we called Flopsy.

He was such a delightful creature! Happy, sociable (especially with the cats - when he wasn't grazing my mother's plants he was chasing the poor harassed kitties!), cheeky and loved by everyone, especially my father.

Sadly, we lost him on Monday. On Sunday morning he managed to get out of the yard. Despite the "rabbit-proof fence" my father built.

We searched all afternoon for him and Dan searched for an hour and a half on Sunday night around the neighbourhood. I wish now that I'd searched more thoroughly but I was taken out virtually all day by a nasty bout of food poisoning which I do not wish to remember.

He made his way home on Monday - for all we know he could have been hiding out nearby or travelled the entire suburb. I don't know enough about bunnies to know if they do that. But my folks found him in their driveway, looking very tired and worn out. They brought him inside into his cage - he gave no resistance. And he just lay there, not wanting to eat, just flopped out and resting, but with his heart beating very hard and fast.

About four hours later my mother went to check on him and he had passed away. Unfortunately I was at work but Dante called us, very distraught and upset, and we rushed home. Thankfully the other two kids weren't quite as affected as the big boy, but Elora was full of questions.

We dug a hole in the backyard and buried him that afternoon. All the kids had a turn digging and shovelling and we gave him his favourite elephant toy and some hay and pellets, as is the Chinese custom (usually paper money though, I believe).

The cats seemed to know that something was up. They hung around when usually they'd flee from the children (home due to school holidays). Blackie even said her goodbye.

The plan now is to build a big raised garden bed in that corner of the yard (well, I've been wanting to do that for at least a year!) which we'll call "Flopsy's Garden". We'll plant his favourite foods (that we can grow): carrots, parsley, buk choy. And maybe we'll put up a little plaque or engraved stone there.

We're still considering whether or not to get another rabbit. Dante is very keen. He wants to call it "Cottontail". But we're still thinking about that. My parents are already missing him, since he used to keep them company when they were out in the garden and my father used to love feeding him weeds or veges every morning. I know that another rabbit won't replace him - he was such a character! - but boy I loved having that bunny around.