Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Andrew decided after a good brekkie to get dressed and walk his sister off to school. Then came the waiting game. The N-Rs had to wait until 10:30 for sign in today. So we went home, played video games, watched a little Wiggles, had a snack, waited some more. Then it was FINALLY time to go back to school.
We stood in line to the gym to get his class assignment and buddy to walk him to class. He met Ms. Donlan, the principal. Katie, his buddy, walked him to his classroom, KJ. It was very cute and grown up. When we got to the building, he went right up to the hook with his name and hung up his backpack and then we met Miss Jowett, his teacher. She seems quite nice. After the intros he didn't even bother with the good-byes, he just went in and sat down to start tracing and coloring. We had to go in and say good-bye and kiss him good-bye. Oh well. Guess we are the sentimental ones!
Met him at 2:45 when they walked the classes out to the quad. It was so cute watching all the kindys walk up. They were still full of energy and Andrew was no different. He said it was lots of fun. He met three new friends for sure -- Brian, Andrew L and Grace. We'll see who it is tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Jim of course was not quite on time for dinner, so we started a weeeee bit later than planned. Made it a few minutes into dinner before the crocodile tears start down Emmalee's face. Everytime he asked a question about school, Andrew would answer it before Emme could and she would just break down even more. Temper was flaring and I could see it getting out of control very fast. She had wanted to go out for dinner to celebrate her 1st day of school, to which I said no for 2 reasons -- 1 dad was going to be late and 2 we would do it on Wed after Andrew started and celebrate both (especially since she had actually started school before and he hadn't). Needless to say, she said this was the "Worst day ever". Our little drama queen!
I got her into the front room and got her talking in between sobs to find out what might be at the root of the problem. Figured it was more than just dinner plans. It was... being the new kid SUCKS. Evidently some boys in class told her she was 'weird' because of her accent. She doesn't have a buddy for lines because there is an odd number in her class and she is the new one. She said she asked all the girls in class to be her friend and play, but they said they already have their friends. UGH! It breaks my heart. SORRY MOM AND DAD ---- I went thru this exact same thing at exactly the same age. Moved from North Carolina to Illinois, transplanted from Zion schools to Winthrop Harbor schools right around Christmas time. Everyone had their friends, their little cliques, I still had a slight southern accent, I was the odd girl out. I vowed NEVER to do that to any of my children. And here I am having my daughter go thru the EXACT same thing I did. No wonder I have been feeling crappy for the last few days. My gut has been knowing what she was going to go thru... I really really really hope it goes better for her tomorrow. She is way more outgoing than I am. These little Aussies just need to give her a chance. I mean Bella befriended her and unfortunately, she is in the next classroom over. That's yet another thing Emme was crying over. "If only Bella was in my class -- then things would be better. Or if she was my buddy. It wouldn't be so bad" tears tears tears
So, off to the mall we went. First stop, McDonalds for their ZooPals Happy Meal. Here they have a pasta happy meal with zoo goo (tomato sauce) for dipping. A little healthier than fried food. After that we headed over to the theater for a viewing of Happy Feet. The line was enormous due to the fact that only ONE PERSON was working the ticket counter. Still made it in during previews luckily. Then of course when the movie actually started was when Andrew decided he wanted snacks. It's his day, so I said OK and we went out to the snack counter where ONE PERSON again was working an enormous line. UGH! Missed about 15 minutes of the movie, but he got his sour gummie worms and Maltesers. They are basically malted milk balls I think. Sitting next to him in the theater, smelling him eat them I was totally reminded of sitting by my grandpa Bob watching movies on summer break while he had malted milk balls or drank malted milk shakes. Was kinda a blast from the past...
Well, off to go pick up Emmalee!
We got "Nikki" doll dressed in the matching uniform. And everyone was set to go to school. We set off at 8:35am to join in at playtime in the quadrangle. Whenever we passed someone and they noticed "Nikki" they would just smile or comment about how cute she was and how she should be the ambassador or something! Sure made Emmalee proud.
Emmalee didn't seem too hesitant. Andrew on the other hand took off running to play with some boys. No hesitancy at all. Hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow. She had met a couple of girls yesterday when we got uniforms so maybe or two will be in her class or be her buddy.
Made the plan to meet at the brick wall at 3:10 and will find all the details later!
Monday, January 29, 2007
- 2 dresses for Emme
- 2 jumpers (sweatshirts) one for each kid
- 2 bomber jackets for cold days - one for each kid
- 2 hats
- 3 pairs of shorts for Andrew
- 2 button up shirts for Andrew
- 2 white polo 'sport day' shirts for Andrew
- 1 head band, 1 scrunchie for Emme
- 2 backpacks -- on backorder
- 2 library bags -- on backorder
UGH! And this is just the summer uniforms. They have a winter uniform, too. Unbelievable. I know I will have to get more for Emme, just have to see what the other kids in the class wear -- whether its a skort and polo shirt or 2 more dresses. And then to see what the sport clothes are for her. I don't think we got that for her either. Will post the photos of them dressed up tomorrow and Wednesday. Had to wash the crispy clothes today!
Sunday, January 28, 2007
The weather was beautiful, but we just felt like not doing much. Hung around the house, did lunch and then around 1:30 rallied the troups for a late visit to the Taronga Zoo. Thought we could catch the Seal show and the Free Flight Bird show. They are quite spectacular and the skies were clear so what a way to end the 'holidays' before school started.
Evidently alot of other people thought so too, because the Seal show was packed. Had to put the kids on our shoulders so they could see. Made it to the bird show in plenty of time so we got seats. No problems there. It is amazing seeing those birds swoop in. It is open air and they just fly in and out over the Harbour and everything. And barely graze your heads sometimes. Amazing... Next time I'll take the camera!
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Punched in the address, which was actually a junction of streets, not an address and headed off. For some reason, the navigation didn't keep up with me so I missed a turn and ended up in the wrong lane or something. Not really sure -- all I know is all of a sudden we are heading over the Bridge! $3 later and a couple of turns, we have to come back over the Bridge. Luckily there is only a charge going one direction. UGH!
Managed to get there, then parking of course was at a premium. Found a spot, paid for two hours and headed up the hill to the market. Was quite windy, but a very sunny day. Maybe 23-24 degrees Celsius. As soon as we got to the stalls I had a quick talk with Emme about how:
- She can't buy everything she sees
- There may be the same thing for less at a different stall, she just has to look
- Be prepared to walk away and they may lower the price, and finally...
- She only has so much money in her wallet to spend and then she is OUT OF MONEY!!!!
Just before we were leaving she found a stall with fans for $3. She had about $6 left so I explained to her if she spent that much, how little she would have left and to REALLY thing about how much she wanted that fan. So she thought and thought and decided it really wasn't what she truly wanted and was prepared to walk away. At that point the man asked her how much she wanted to spend. Oh, let the bargaining begin... He offered $2, so I explained that she could buy that fan for $2 an have $4 left. She thought and still chose to walk away. You should have seen the look on that man's face!
After the markets we went up to Chatswood Mall to grab lunch. Still don't know alot of places around for food and that is where Emme chose, so off we went. Had a nice lunch together and introduced her to Chocolate and Strawberry Crepes for dessert. Yummy.
Friday, January 26, 2007
The best way to get there was undoubtedly the train, so off to St. Leonard's Station we went to catch the 11:15am train. Was the 1st train ride in Australia for us. Was very good and easy to get downtown -- quick too! Kids had a blast.Made our way down to Circular Quay, with a short pit stop into a souvenir shop for t-shirts and flags. Gotta get geared up for Australia Day. Now all the kids (and mom and dad) have matching t-shirts. Yes, how geeky, but awwww how cute???? Had to drag Julie out though. Boy does she like shopping!!! Oh, had to stop off for a sausage sizzle too -- kids were hungry. Go figure!The Harbour was buzzing with people. And boats. There were boats decorated like floats for the parade of boats. Kinda neat. We made it down for a fly-over by F-18's, which was mostly a BOOM since they were so fast. But cool to see them zoom over the Opera House. Watched the Navy Rescue Team Helicopters fly over and do maneuvers. Saw the ARMY Red Berets do a parachute drop into Circular Quay/Harbour. And then finished it off watching the Tall Ships race under the Harbour Bridge. Was alot of fun, but really tired the kids out. They were troupers, but making our way back to the train, you could see the gas tanks sputtering out.
Enjoy the photo show on the right. Not quite the same as being there, but hopefully you can get an idea of what we saw today!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
As you can see, it was a Pirate Theme. Enjoy the two little pirates of Northbridge.
P.S. We have to say, for all of Andrew's hemming and hawing about not wanting to go to camp, once he got up on stage, he became quite a ham. In fact, once the stage cleared between the numbers between the orange and red group, he danced his way out, did a little jig, then danced right off the stage. Totally impromptu -- a one man show. The people next to us even commented about how cute he was, to which Jim had to own up and say he was ours!!!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
As we were pulling up to camp this morning. I parked the car and just as we were all getting out of the car, the kids, almost in unison, yell out, "Look mom, there are naked men building a roof up there!" Of course, I HAVE TO look. For all the obvious reasons and more. But, they weren't actually naked. They were pretty darn close. The construction workers in the US don't hold a candle to the way these men were dressed. Let me tell you -- if I had a camera with me, it would have been easier to explain, but basically all the had on were work boots, a tool belt and those tiny little gym type shorts. Not the cargo shorts that we are all used to seeing workers work in. No wonder the kids thought they were naked.
So tonight when they explained it to Jim, they amended the story from 'naked' to 'in their underwear'. Was still quite funny to see his eyeballs kinda pop out. Until I explained...
I played along, making lunches this morning. Then I pulled out the bribery card. Told him if he went, I would have a surprise waiting for him when he was done. Then I also made him a little note and waited until he was dropped off. Told him that if he was sad and missing me, all he had to do was look at the note and know he had extra hugs and kisses from me with him in his pocket. No tears when I left him, so I felt better and hopefully he did too.
Must have been a good thing because when I picked them up, they were all smiles. Although one of the first questions was, "So, what is my surprise?" And then when I asked what the best part of the day was, he answered, my Cars story CD you gave me. So much for camp activities being the best part of the day. But it WAS progress!
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Kids hopped right in the pool. Andrew sure is alot more comfortable. They still wear their life jackets eventually, but I am happy about that. They can stay in alot longer... they don't tire out as easily. Sometimes they get a little over confident, especially with friends.
Tried out a new drink tonight. Jim and I actually had it on the house hunting trip over here. It is a version of a mojito or caiparina. Here it is called a cahaca. Basically is a rum based drink with muddled limes and sugar. Very yummy. Found Bundaburg Rum, a famous Australia rum and cut up a bunch of limes and took them over with us. Steve, Jim and I throughly enjoyed them. Julie is just coming off her 14 day cleanse, so she just drank wine. We'll get her next time!
You should see the stars here. It definitely gets dark enough around here to see them. I can't get used to the upside down sky. Or right side up -- depending on how you look at it. But you can see the Southern Cross. And I am sure alot of other things too. Really pretty. I will have to find a book on constellations. And maybe we'll get a telescope too!
This time the kids went thru two bags of microwave pop corn and one popper of homemade butter pop corn and watched Over the Hedge. They all get along so well. Knock Wood. (Another one of the Famous Australian sayings). I sure hope this continues for a long long time! Emmalee passed out on my lap around 10 something and we found Andrew passed out on the bed in front of the movie before it was finished so we brought him out the couch to sleep till we left.
Jim & I could only make it till 11:30. These late nights are killing me!
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
Every morning I would open the shutters and look out to be dissapointed. First it was the wine we ordered. Red wine for Jim -- no good for me. Then it was some eBay stuff. Yeah, I bought it, but not the care package. Then nothing, nothing, nothing. Then today, at 6:30 I look out and there it is.... The wonderful package from mom and dad!!!! Opening it was like opening a present on Christmas morning, but even better.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
So, we hopped in the car at 8:45, set the navigation Road Angel to the dealership, with it avoiding toll roads -- again since I can't roll down my window to pay tolls -- and headed off in search of the dealer to fix the problem. We were told that the service department would take a look at it and fix it straight away. So, after nearly an hour of smooth driving. The kids even were great in the car! We arrived safe and sound. To be told the service department really couldn't help. The aftermarket company would have to warrant and deal with the problem they created. So, the dealership principal got on the phone and arranged for them to come to the house tomorrow. Unfortunately not today, but tomorrow. So, back into the car we went.
Reset the navigation to home and off we went. This time we got the same route we took when I brought the car home. So I drove over the Anzac Bridge AND the Syndey Bridge. Yeah for me. No tolls when you head to the north I guess.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Then we planned to meet another ex-pat Abbott wife, Tiffany, who moved here in late April. They live in McMahon's Point, which is about a 10 minute drive from our house. She and her husband, James, are still newlyweds, so no kiddos yet, but she watches a neighbor's 10 month-old, Charlie. He's a cutie, we came to figure out. We made plans to meet at her place at 11:30 and to walk to lunch in her neighborhood and then hang out for a bit before Charlie's nap. Thought that would be a good time to head home and give the kids a break.
Lunch was good. Emme and I decided to split an order of gnocchi and Andrew went for the grilled cheese. In reality, Emme and Andrew ate the gnocchi and I got a bite of each the gnocchi and the sandwich. So much for lunch for me. Oh well... At least the kids like grown-up food!
Went back and the kids played while us big girls talked. Was nice to chat with another person who has gone thru the same things I am going through. Makes everything feel not so foreign.
Made plans for a bbq at their house on Sunday when James' brother and girlfriend come into town. Kids are very excited. They sure love bbqs.
Came home and went over to the MN Youngs. Kids went swimming and then played for a couple of hours. Julie watched them for a while and I ran out to Woolies so I could get a few things done without the whirling dervishes at my side. WHEW. Much easier. Thanks, Julie. It is great the kids get along so well... They are always asking to play over there or have them over here.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Made it to the Cremorne Medical Practice all on my own with no problems. Got the kids upstairs and all set. (Still strange to have to park in a car park at a mini-mall to go to the doctor.) Waited less than 10 minutes and went in. Andrew hopped right up on the table and let the doctor have a look-see. Diagnosis was a rash-like spot and told us to use a cream 2x a day for two weeks. What fun. Then as the kids were ready to pack up and go, I said, "Wait, we have one more thing left to do here" and their eyes got a little too big. I think they were on to me.
The doctor actually does the innoculations here. Andrew went first -- thought he would be brave. Decided half way through the shot that he actually wasn't that much and it kinda hurt. OK, it really hurt. So, Emme decided she was going to have NOTHING to do with the shot. Basically had to hold her in my lap for the shot. But according to her, she only cried a couple of tears during her shot. So, you should listen to her story I guess!
Anyway, I would say we are all caught up on shots I hope now and the kids hopefully are going to stay healthy for a while!!!
Remember, I'll keep writing, but it's better if you all keep dropping in and writing back :)
Sunday, January 14, 2007
It was a gorgeous evening. The kids played and played. Eventually they threw in a movie for the girls and CARS for the boys. Us grown ups sat out and drank wine and just enjoyed the company watching the possums chasing each other on the fence in the back yard. We even saw an owl on roof next door. Around 10:30 the last of the kids passed out, so we just decided to hang out and keep talking. By 11 it started to mist and didn't know if it was actually going to rain... We ran out the shade and went through another bottle or two of wine. I think it was almost 1am by the time we actually cleared out of there.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Five minutes after we ordered, both our phones buzzed with voice mails saying Julie called. Steve got stuck in traffic and they were late. Go figure. We explained where we were and they decided to join us. Grabbed another table, five more chairs and made more room. Kids were very excited!
Food was quite good for a pub/sporting sort of place. Was a really fun night. We all sat around and chatted and talked until the kids got quite loud. Were a little afraid the kids were going to get us adults asked to leave so we decided to head out a little before nine and made plans for the beach if it was nice on Saturday or the pool at their house if not.