Saturday, December 27, 2008

Matilda's third Christmas

We had planned a rather busy day, but one in which Matilda would see all of her grandparents (all 6 of 'em) in the one day. We'd already seen Gramps and Gran Lylia on the night of the 23rd for Matilda to get her pressie (too big to bring to Christmas lunch @ Great Uncle Scott's).
Here she is at her very cool new table and chairs, just her own beight for drawing (on herself), painting (on herself), and other creative activities.
Then on Christmas Eve, we decided against the 3:30pm Hurry to Bethlehem family service at the Cathedral and instead went to St Marks's for the 7pm family service. A risky move after a late night, but we wanted to be within our community and our church friends at Christmas. Also, 7pm (ish) is M's bed time, so we weren't sure how she'd behave. She went very well, tried to sing the hymns/carols along with us, talked about Santa all through the gospel reading, but then redeemed herself by telling the children's and youth minister that tomorrow was "Baby Jesus Happy Birthday". ;)

For what I hope will be the last time for the next 15 years, I was the first awake in the house AGAIN on Christmas day. After two late nights, M still wasn't awake at 7:30, and we had a champagne brekky at Grandma and Grandad's house to get to (and lunch and dinner with other family members), so I snuggled into her and woke her up. M was far more concerned with giving Daddy kuggles (cuddles) and putting her shoes on, she didn't even notice the presents under the tree until after waking her Daddy. We opened some presents, got dressed and ready for the day, and went to Grandma and Grandads for brekky. Yum, of course! Fresh stone fruit and yoghurt followed by Eggs Benedict, and then some lovely pastries from Belle Epoque for morning tea. And some champagne for the adults, because after the flood, there seems little point in keeping "good" things such as 1996 Dom Perignon (thank you Duty Free shops), and much more point in sharing them with our loved ones or using them and appreciating them.
That HUGE bottle JR is holding is FULL of bubble liquid! With a chocolate smell ... Matilda decided that bubbles were WAY more interesting than eggs benedict (her loss).

We then went to Great Scott's for lunch. This is his house:
It's a former Methodist church, now deconsecrated. It's a pretty cool place for Christmas lunch! We caught up with Aunty Petie, Uncle Cam, and Aunty Jenny before they had to go to their Mum's for lunch.
Fairy wings from Aunty Jenny!
Super funky dress from Aunty Petie
Play Doh (to eat) from Unca Cam!
M rocking her cute chin cupping look
The mob
(M's Mummy didn't get the note from her sisters to wear a nice big loose summer dress)

After lunch, M explored Great Scott's crib. She found his exercise equipment:
After a lovely lunch, we went the next suburb over to MorMor's house. Mumma, Daddy, and M all tried to have sleeps. Well, Mumma tried, M was too excited to pretend to try, and Daddy did have a sleep. Grandad Eric and Uncle Al arrived, and we all had fun opening pressies and then had a yummo dinner.
All weary from a big day, we left MorMor's some time after 9pm (yes, M went all day with NO sleep, the little party animal). What a great, family-filled Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

This was meant to be a Christmas letter post, to atone for not sending out any Christmas cards. But it's now 11:30 pm on Christmas Eve, and we'd better get to bed before Santa arrives and finds us awake! ;) According to Norad, he's in PNG at the moment, so mustn't be much longer before arriving on the East Coast of Aus.


This awesome pic was taken by Madeleine. We're still choosing which ones to get printed, but this was a cracker! :) As always, JR looks like he's talking, but the important person looks cute.

We wish all of our friends and family, both near and far, a very blessed, holy, and merry Christmas season, and a joyous and prosperous New Year.

With love,
John, Kirsty, and Matilda

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa is a Kidnapper (apparently)

We've always thought Matilda would be a talker, and as her vocab continues to develop, we're seeing plenty of signs of her future potential (and suspect ear plugs will be our future).

Last weekend, M could not stop saying:

Santa coming, picking up Tilda.

She said it over and over, again and again. She told everyone at daycare on Monday how Santa was coming to pick her up, and by Tuesday it morphed into Santa and Mummy coming to pick up Tilda. It seems in M's mind right now, Santa picks up the children, not sure if it's the naughty ones or the good ones, rather than dropping off presents. And I'm not sure how I got involved in the children taking (JR has a theory about M confusing the "I saw Mummy kissing Santa Claus" song ... but I don't think M even knows it!).

But, M knows Santa is coming ... we really ought to get out the not-too-badly-flooded Fisher Price Nativity set for her to play with, because that'll just innately teach her the real Christmas story, right? ;)

Except I think baby Jesus is still in the car. Oops.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And the waters came

Last Thursday morning, JR and I were rudely awoken by what we thought was some stoopid person's car alarm going off. By the third sounding of the alarm, I stomped out of bed, went to the curtains to *see* the stoopid car and stoopid person with my very own 4am eyes. I looked out into our street, and noticed flashing. And water in the middle of the street. Gee, the drain's not dealing well with the rain tonight, I thought. The drain right out the front of our house ...
Something else weird occurred to me, and made me turn on some lights and look downstairs. And what I saw was brown, not the lovely terracotta tile brown, but tidal river silt mud brown. I woke up John, and our day started, at 4am, in PJs, police siren going off in the street, with a couple of inches of water throughout our downstairs. We went downstairs to look at the damage (luckily? the power was still on, and our lights were fine). Boxes, bookshelves, scrapbooking gear, photos, newspaper, hidden presents, piano ... all already wet. I pulled some scrapbooking stuff up onto tables and onto chairs, and resigned myself to rest being wet and gone. John looked at what was in the big room, including his piano. We came back upstairs and looked out at the street. We noticed neighbours on their verandahs, looking out at one another. What to do?? We also noticed people moving their cars -what a good idea! JR's Mustang is pretty low; so we moved the cars up to the next street, much higher than our house. I packed an evacuation bag for M, in case we had to send her off to .. somewhere ... grandparents, I suppose.
I suddenly thought that if the water got much higher my four power sort boxes (each with about 2400 photos in them) and however many completed albums were not going to be safe, so I started taking them to my car, ready to be evacuated with M if necessary. Somewhere in all of that, I texted a few family members who use their mobiles. We rang the SES or Emergency Services - we'd had no instructions from the police, and didn't know if we needed to evacuate. They had no instructions for us. What should we do??

The water got to about 4 bricks up, around 5 or so inches. At some point Mum arrived to help out. Sometime after 5/5:30, we could tell the water was going down. I got help from a neighbour to sweep the water out, together with JR and Mum. Some phone calls to Ann & Derwent, Dad read his SMS, and soon we had lots of helping hands to sweep, mop, wring, lay out, move, throw.
Dad brought a trailer. Two loads of now rubbish were taken to the dump. Brett decided to skip the cricket, and Lexie brought over some of their handy equipment (Brett's better stocked than Bunnings).
M slept until after 7. When she woke up, I skipped out on the clean up to focus on her. She was so excited to wake up to a house with MorMor, Grandma and Grandad in it! :)
Thank goodness for daycare, I took her in to the centre, got coffee for the troops on the way home, and joined back in with the cleaning effort. We cleaned all day. Again and again in some cases, the floor just not drying before we once again trudged dirty shoes across i. I got vicious with what I threw out; luckily my Dad looked through some of what he pulled out of the trailer at the dump ... my birth certificate and BA degree were in one of the folders I refused to look through, as I didn't want to agonise over every piece of wet paper.

Thursday night was promising another big storm, so we had to try to get what we could dry, and UP, but then also pack it away or inside before the next deluge. Thanks to our family and friends, we got it done, but on Thursday night I wasn't able to greet the pinging sound of the rain on our iron roof with my usual glee. We survived Thursday night's storm without any further flooding.
Friday and the rest of the weekend were filled with cleaning up (oh, and a work Christmas party Friday night, which did little to help *ahem* energy levels on Saturday!), but at a slower pace, and again, with friends and family helping. Brisbane was meant to get a BIG storm on Saturday night, which luckily did not eventuate.
At this stage, JR's piano is the biggest item that is a write-off. Strings got wet, and the piano tuner/repair man said the repair job would be equivalent to the worth of the piano, with an unpredictable result. We're waiting for the insurance assessor to inspect our house still. Oh, and the weirdest thing - we left the bottom of a big bookshelf/display case from my CM studio in the front yard on Saturday. It went missing. From inside the fence line.

After all this stress, worry, and cleaning (anyone will tell you it's not my favourite activity - I'd rather iron than clean!), we are still grateful:

  • for our house still being habitable, and not needing to move out
  • for losing mainly "things", and nothing too super precious (yes, we'll miss some of those things for some time, but things are not our life)
  • for not having carpet anywhere, and lots of towels and terry nappies for mopping, cleaning, and wiping feet on
  • for not losing our roof or having the massive Moreton Bay Fig from next door falling on our house
  • for having wonderful friends and family who we can text/call in the wee hours of the morning and will take the day off work or not go to the cricket when they have a BOX organised, and borrow equipment from friends to help us out, and not want anything more than a hug in thanks (and yes, if my house ever floods again, I will call you, and call more of you, not just text like three people at 4:30am)
  • for the stinky mud silty creek water not being in our house for that long (yeah, it still smells, but not as bad as if we still had stinky water in the house)
  • for the conditions not being a repeat of the 1974 flood, because everything would have been under stinky water!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Flood pics

I can't be bothered fighting with blogger to get these pics in chronological order. Just wanted to get some up so you can see the damage we've had (and we are very blessed and thankful that unlike so many other Brisbane residents, we have a roof, we can still live in our house, our only power outage was due to JR turning off the mains). Will post more later.

Water mark on bricks in garage.
CM studio at front of house, after most water had flowed/been pushed out.

View of our clothesline and neighbour's yard


View of our back yard from the deck.


View of our front yard - fairly early on, about 4:30am


Driveway

Garage before we took the cars up to higher ground.

Other downstairs room, as we are surveying the water levels. Tip: paper/cardboard and water do not mix. ;)

Floor of CM studio room after we woke up.

First view of the water, internal stairs. Ahead is the garage, to the left is the room with the bookshelves and boxes, and to the right is my CM studio.










Thursday, November 13, 2008

BIIIG Girl's Bed

At the beginning of the month, I finally rang my uncle (M's great-uncle Scott) and asked about picking up the bed he put aside for M when she was about two months old, when my cousin S was graduating to a bigger bed. Uncle Scott brought the bed over one Sunday afternoon, and he and JR quickly pulled the cot apart and assembled the bed. I had thought we should be good parents and try to transition M gently into the big bed, but one look at the cot, the bed, the chest of drawers, the change table and her 2mx2m room, and I realised it wasn't all going to fit in there.

So, another case where we threw the new situation at M and hoped she'd cope. And as we waved Scott and S goodbye at about 4:30 in the afternoon, another realisation hit me - we don't own any single bed sheets. Until the cot entered our house, we only ever had sheets for our bed. Oops! So I checked if Big W would be open, and got there quick smart. I picked up a set of sheets and mattress protector, and even managed to wash and dry them before M went to bed (a bit late). The sheets only just fit, but M was very excited to get into her big girl's bed. Thanks to the Kubies, we have a rail to protect her from rolling out - very essential with such a tall bed and mattress, and our polished wood floors. M is loving her new bed, and I had fun finding some sheets and a quilt cover on the weekend (but the actual quilt will probably wait until next Winter).

M needs a stool to get up into bed - seriously, the top of the mattress is perhaps one-two inches shorter than the top of Matilda's head! And so far, in the morning she hasn't figured out that she can get out of bed without our help. I wonder how long that will last?


Climbing up on the stool

I'm up!

The bed, complete with mossie net thingamajig

M's first night in the bed went quite well, except for the blood-curdling screaming at 2am. Since then, I don't think she's had a night where she hasn't woken at all, but hopefully we'll get back to our "routine" of her only waking up (and only waking Mumma up) every third night ... or so ...


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Teething much?

The other night, we were the Worst Parents in The World, and didn't have a meal ready for Matilda by 6pm. Because when all adults get home at around 5:45, having M's dinner ready by 6 means it's bolognaise or risotto or something else made in bulk and parts of it frozen (note to self: perhaps that's why M doesn't respond well to fresh veges or meats??). JR fairly quickly put together some fried rice with chicken for our girl. Out came the frozen peas, which were left on the bench a little too long for our tall girl. This is what happened:
Between the fervent gnawing on frozen peas and the stinky nappies recently, perhaps a certain someone is getting her 2 year old molars?

Adding: Blogger's spellchecker didn't recognise bolognaise and suggested bologna instead. Didn't think bolognaise was so Aussie? (Calling it "bol" or "bog" perhaps is!!)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Colouring Pens were Yummy

Thanks for the cool colouring-in pens, Lou, Ash, and J. I really like them. Mumma and Dadda have been telling me how I need to be green, but it seems they meant I should be recycling my works of art, not wanting every light bulb turned on at night, and ensuring I don't drive in my SUV every time I want a hit of milk. I thought they meant it literally. But seriously, the pens are yummy. I just can't understand why Mumma and Dadda took them away from me and made me wash my face?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tantrum twos?

OK, so we're not the first parents in the world with a two year old. We're not even the first parents to have a two year old, who is independent, feisty, refuses to admit to having pookie nappies, only wants to feed herself unless she's too tired, and will NOT let you take bandaids off (and for some reason on M they are really sticky. I wish regular bandaids stuck to me like that, I wouldn't need my lifetime's supply of Elastoplast).
I think we had four or five tantrums before we left the house this morning, and that was early because I had a 7:30 meeting. Something terrible happened with Daddy in the kitchen while I was getting ready. Then something else cataclysmic happened over breakfast. After brekky, M played with some pencils Mumma had left on the kitchen bench the night before (doh!). There was a fair amount of coercion involved in getting her into the bathroom to brush her teeth. The pencils came too. Miss M was determined to touch the pencils after brushing her teeth ... but *before* she wiped her hands and mouth. Cue tantrum #3 (not sure how ignoring her in this scenario get her mouth wiped and tantrum stopped??). Number 4 was about getting into the car. And then another one upon getting out of the car.
Sometimes, during the tantrum, I can quiet her down by telling her to sit in the corner and calm down. This seems to be a Fate Worse Than Death, so M generally calms down. She then wants a kuggle (latest pronounciation of cuddle). We're probably not particularly strict about *not* giving a cuddle, and should be (but she's asking for a cuddle, and normally she won't stop long enough to let you kiss her cheek, let alone a real head tucked into the shoulder cuddle).
The escalation from "I'm not getting what I want" to screaming like a limb has been severed is what's shocking us the most.
I keep on telling myself that in the midst of the tantrums and yelling, we are experiencing some Terrific Twos, not just Terrible Tantrum Twos. ;)

Monday, October 27, 2008

You doing, Mummy?

Matilda's favourite question at the moment is:
You doing, Mummy?
(Mummy can be replaced with Daddy, MorMor, GG ... and so on)
This means "What are you doing, Mummy?" and can be uttered at any time of day or night. Driving in to work and day care on Thursday, I was asked at least twice "You doing, Mummy?". "Driving, Matilda" was the response on both occasions.
"You doing, Mummy?" has the potential for being even more annoying when uttered at 2am. Imagine me, bleary-eyed, stumbling into M's room. M has been calling out for the urgent attention of a parent, seeking water or a cuddle ... I walk into the room, making my way towards the cot. M is somewhat awake and sitting up* - "You doing, Mummy?". Generally the response at this time is something along the lines of "Not yelling at you, Matilda".
The curiosity of toddlers ... and we're not even at Why? ... yet ...

*If M is just calling out in her sleep (much like she did from 2-3:30 am this morning), she'll still be lying down when I get there and won't stir when I enter the room. Unfortunately, it takes going in to check on her to figure this out. Perhaps a night vision webcam is called for??

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Eyes have it

We saw M's opthamologist last week for her six-month checkup. She's now almost 1 year post-op.
The Doctor was really happy with her eyes! Yay! She was somewhat more focussed during the tests (following squeaky toys, looking at grey pieces of carboard with white outlines on them) this time around, though still did not want to be patched. We managed to get the patch on, and she continued with her tests. There's still a chance of some long or short sightedness, but nothing clear is showing up right now.
The times we see M's eyes turning are all normal enough (when tired, when focussing on the pencil she needs to press against her nose). We need to keep a bit of close eye on them (ha ha, wht a great pun!) until she's about 3 - 31/2, but otherwise the Doctor is really happy with her. We see him again in 6 months (we'll be seeing him less-and-less-frequently for the next 6 years).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthday Girl

Some more pics from the birthday weekend ...Daddy and Grandad providing swingpower!

Wearing the super-cool outfit Auntie Kate brought back from Vanuatu (grass skirt and lovely dress, shame the "bra" to go with the skirt was too small ...or not?)Emma's turn for a swing (in English and German, as Emma speaks both to M!)
The trampoline birthday cake Mummy made.
Yummy! I've got my piece of cake ...
Godsister K pushing M on the swing ... AGAIN ...
Yumm .. marshmallows in easy reach, all through the party!

(As I am posting, I am listening to M squealing on the back deck .. in the fhwing!)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Swinging good time.

Who says a swing needs to be installed to be fun.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tomorrow I am Two

Today is Matilda's last day of Being One. She started the day by not waking up until the very late hour of 6:45am. After dressing and deciding on the second pair of shoes for the day, Matilda accompanied her parents in the car to daycare.
Car is a popular word. But Bus is much more exciting.
M doesn't really understand that tomorrow is her birthday. I'm sure next year will be VERY different. We discussed that today is her last day of being one, and tomorrow she will be two. M very seriously repeated the words one and two to us. ;)

We've talked about a cake, and tried to solicit feedback from M on her preferences. Cake is pretty much the preference, and she has started to do the traditional kid thing of eating the icing first, but at least she'll then eat some cake, too. Some fun presents have been planned for months, and luckily we have been able to store them in absolute plain sight for weeks now.
M is now talking up a storm. Sometimes her words are hard to understand, but her pronounciation is getting better all the time. Youghurt almost sounds like youghurt now (after a while of sounding like "shok"). M's favourite saying right now is "Tilda hold it" or "My hold it". She loves "holding" things - the Vita Brits packet out of the pantry in the morning, Mumma's mobile phone, the cordless phone, the jammies before getting into them/after getting out of them ...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Angel in Disguise ...

This hat was given to all conference attendess, in lieu (I guess?) of the more usual conference T-Shirt. Every girl needs a hot pink cowboy hat. Particularly to wear with your Rome Zoo T-Shirt.

In the middle of August, Daddy and Matilda had another special bonding weekend while Mummy went to Creative Memories' consultant conference, Showcase, at the Gold Coast. The weekend had a pink (with a bit of bright orange) theme. On the first night, Mummy and her team dressed up as "Angels in Disguise" - wings, horns, hot pink tutus, and badges, with breast cancer pink T-Shirts and dark pants. When Mummy got home, it was Matilda's turn to try out Mummy's costume ... here she is with the wings and the horns!

Happy Father's Day!

One-handed babycino drinking at Cafe Mama - Matilda and Mummy took Daddy out for breakfast

Matilda's first breakfast with Daddy on Father's Day
Wearing Aunty Jen or Aunty Petie's shoes
Dad, Lylia, all the kids, and the first grandchild (exciting news: grandbaby number two expected by March 2009 - Dan and Susan are expecting!)
Happy Father's Day Grampsy, hope you like these pickled onions we found for you


Friday, August 22, 2008

But before there were stories, there was a mouth organ ...

Before Grandad read Matilda stories on Wednesday night (post below), she found a mouth organ and Grandma's Mickey ears ...

Aunty Lexie would be so proud of how quickly Matilda recognises Mickey! And says either Mickey or "O Toodles". ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Story time with Grandad

Grandad's turn to read me stories tonight. We read Monty Mouse looks for adventure and then Blinky Bill.

Toilet news

I knew I'd grab you with that title. ;)
Matilda now happily pats her pants/nappy and pronounces "poo poo" multiple times a day. So we take off her nappy, and pop her on the potty/loo. She sits there for three seconds, then pulls off some toilet paper and happily throws it in the bowl. Now, in a post like this, believe me, I'm not leaving out any gory details ... that's ALL she does. Then she wants to get off, we take her off, and put her nappy back on/a new one on, and proceed with the day until the next "poo poo" announcement. Oh, the glamour of being a parent to a toddler! At least she's interested in the toilet and understands something about the process, even if her brain hasn't yet linked urinating and defecating with the toilet ...
We generally get M to sit on the potty before her bath, and have had limited success with the odd wee or two. The most successful was when we'd just got her undressed, and she started weeing on the floor. With both parents suddenly yelling STOP, Matilda did. We popped her on the potty and she overcame any surprise, and proceded to wee. Yay!

Friday, July 18, 2008

More photos

Saying Bye Bye in Brisbane airport before Mumma's trip to the US
My very own crackberry ;) I can text as good as the next 21 month old!
At brekky this morning, with the Minnie Mouse sunnies we bought in Venice (as you do).
Could this picture represent a happier, more content only child, only grandchild any more??