Saturday, March 31, 2007
After a few wrong turns we made it there and unpacked like a bunch of squashed sardines (kinda fitting!).
Went into the secondary entrance and took a look at what was around. Lots and lots of FISH. More fish than I think the kids had ever seen. And possibly more people crammed into one place, too. Since it was lunch time, we decided to find a place for lunch and asked for suggestions on where to go to eat. We were directed to Christie's -- an award winning place from 2003 to 2006. So Mom and I and the kids went to find a table. No easy feat. Sent the boys off to get food with specific orders of what to get. Once I got them seated I got drinks. When I returned I found the boys had returned with only half of what we suggested to order. Not much in the way of fish sticks for the kids. Just lots of fishy bbq'd octopus and stuff. UGH. Not really what they would want to eat.
After a not so good lunch, we finished walking around. Seeing so much fish kinda turned most of the family off of fish for dinner. In fact, ended up sending dad out for steaks at the butcher later actually. But, we'll be back on Wednesday for a cooking class, just mom dad and myself.
Today was Emmalee's first official soccer game. It was at Bales Park, where her other preliminary soccer games had been held. Since Emmalee's coach was out of town at a funeral, her friend Bella's father, Will, took over the position of coach for their team to explain the rules so that they knew what was going to be happening. As you can tell, she was paying about 40% attention.
Before you knew it, they were out on the field, or pitch, playing a practice match. Then ou the real thing. She was playing pretty well. Not too aggressive, but not too passive. Better than last time. The trick was to make sure that her head stayed in the game. And not on her friends,t doing the birds, the sun, the grass or anything else. Which is hard to do when there is so much else going on. We can tell that soccer isn't going to be her lot in life, but at least she is giving it a try and not fussing about it!
Friday, March 30, 2007
So, he ended up having to pick it up and drive it home. Almost didn't have enough cash to pay for it either. Didn't realize they don't take credit cards. How strange is that?
And to top it all off, now we know why they call it somethings fishy... that would be the smell of his car...
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I was able to help get Emmalee ready for the dance, which was good. We pulled out the purple body glitter and Gramma french braided her hair. She was looking ready to dance. So we walked her down to the school. Ran into Jacqueline and they were really excited. Dropped her off and ran back home.
Of course Andrew woke up and wanted just me, so I wasn't able to make it back to pick her up. Sent Gramma and Daddy in place of me. Gramma took some great photos. Found out that they got to dance the YMCA with Mrs. Donlan... Wish Andrew could have been there. Maybe next year.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
After a tense set of hours in the Rhomberg household, the grandparents finally made it to Sydney. On time in fact. So on time that Jim was 20 minutes late picking them up. For some reason, they snuck thru customs in record time and there was only one other plane that had landed so it wasn't that busy. Nothing like a great welcome from their only son-in-law when they arrive. WHOOPS!
The kids were ever excited to see them. Emmalee worked on a welcome card while we were waiting for them to get here from the airport. It was really nice. And when they actually got here, the kids went NUTS. It was really really really really really really nice to have my mommy and daddy here. And it didn't feel that weird. It felt good. Almost normal. If only it would be this way. But then Phillip and Katie and Sam wouldn't see them. Hmmm, how could we make this work???
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I watched the computer say that their Chicago flight landed. So I hurried off to school to get the kids. Made them get their gear in line and hurry back. We got in the door when the phone rang. Was mom calling to say they ran the whole way to the gate but they made it to the Sydney plane. They were on board. In their seats. It was held for them (oh and 14 other passengers I guess...) I can't even start to think how upset I would be, not to mention the kids, if they would have been stuck in LA for another day. That would have sucked. Royally. And I would not have been a happy kid. Oh and they would not have been happy grandkids.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Jim actually made it home from work by 6 so we headed out to the market and it was actually going on. WOW... two times in a row we go and they haven't cancelled. Not bad. Got the usual dumplings, spring rolls, noodles and settled in on the blankets to our feeding frenzy. Jim and I barely got through a portion of the food before the kids were 'done' and off to play at the playground. Since Emmalee chose not to wear strap on sandals, she had chosen not to be able to climb the big tree for the evening. Guess she wanted to save her energy for dancing.
Played at the park for a while and then on the way back to let the kids dance, literally ran into James and Tiffany. I had left a message for them about this being the last market, but didn't hear from them, so I didn't expect to see them. Luckly Jim noticed them. They were sitting about 3 blanket spots over from us. So we sat down and chatted for a while, while the band took a break. Once the music started up again, Emme couldn't wait, so she grabbed Jim and they went off to dance.
Kids had fun. Hate to see it dissapear for a while. Especially since I wanted to be able to take mom and dad. And after telling Jim's folks about it, his parents (mom) definitely wants to go if it is going on. Almost sounded like she wanted to plan her trip during when it was running. We definitely have that in common... love to enjoy the food on vacation!
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
For example... Americans say "Compuder" and Australians say "Computer".
The letters H is now pronounced "Heche" and Z is now "Zed". Kinda makes it difficult to sing the alphabet song...
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
So, off to teach scripture. Then 35 minutes with Mr. Franki and Reading Recovery for Emmalee. I had been asked to attend so that I can see what goes on and understand better how the sessions work. I can see how he builds her confidence -- that is for sure. She loves him. He has been teaching for over 20 years, but only doing RR starting this year.
Then since RR ran late, we hustled up to the computer lab. Five rows of students on macs. Not my kind of computer. I am a PC girl. Told Miss Rees that, though. All they were doing was a title page on Word, so I was pretty sure I could still help. She more or less needed a child wrangler or second set of hands to help out. Boy was that an understatement. Of the year. Or decade. Not sure which. Have to say it has been easier teaching other people how to use the computer. Not naming names, though.... At least my adult subject don't 'accidentally' delete the whole page just for giggles. Or because it is their friends' page on the next computer and they thought it would be funny. Although the undo command is an amazing thing with children. They sure don't understand how I can make things reappear. Quickly! Hope to keep that secret as long as possible.
Didn't get to leave until almost noon, but I think Emmalee loved every minute of it. Don't know if I am a glutton for punishment or what, but I told her I would be happy to help out any time...
Monday, March 19, 2007
Then they both figured out how old they would be... Milo - 31 and Andrew 29. WOW!!! Milo's mom explained that Andrew would probably have to come back to visit for that, but it probably would be possible.
This is actually the 1st time that it made me sad to think about the friendships that the kids are making here and think about how that is going to affect them when we move back home. As hard as it was to take him from his friends in Grayslake, he is making some great friends here. And those friends are going to be just as hard to leave behind when we move back home. All this time I have been feeling selfish feelings for missing my friends so much, missing my home so much and wanting to be back. But they are going to feel those same things I am feeling when we go back to the States... and the thought of that just tears my heart out.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
The day started out cloudy. Almost looked like rain. Had our fingers crossed and rain gear packed anyway. Grabbed a bus from Cammeray where the Jim Young family lives and headed down to Kirribilli to the drop off spot right under the bridge. Threw down the picnic blanket and had a quick lunch of PBnJ and cheezels and Doritos. Lunch of champion walkers. Rang the Steve Young's who were taking the train in and arranged to meet up. We all walked around the corner, got our fluorescent yellow hats and started on our walk. It was very smooth and and organized. Not much chaos at all. We were very impressed.
Found the S. Young's and Pullmans pretty quickly. It was just waves of people walking along. You could stop and take photos along the way where ever you wanted. No one was rushing you along anywhere. There were speakers with music and historical stories playing along the way so you could hear about what was going on during the different decades it was being built and then after it was built as time went by. Very interesting.
Every once in a while I would just turn around and stop and look at the mass of people just walking. It wasn't that loud... I was expecting more noise. It was just yellow dots moving along. At the South end of the bridge they had hung dozens of wind chimes -- my favorite sounds -- and had them piped through the speakers there so you could just hear their music as you finished your walk. It was magical. Really felt like we were a piece of history.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
It was a little wet for an outdoor BBQ, so we stayed inside and chatted. Everyone has a great sense of humor. Quite cheeky, but alot of fun. Tons of laughs. Very much our senses of humor.
Hardly saw the kids. They really seemed to keep themselves entertained. I am starting to like this age for them. We can actually almost have adult time with other adults and not feel like we have to follow or watch them constantly. We do talk about them alot, but we don't have to hover over them.
Dinner was steaks, chicken, burgers and sausages. A fine Aussie barbeque. And was bbq'd by an Aussie man. Sophie stayed in the kitchen working on the salad. John did all the meat buying at the butcher. Then dinner was topped off by Texas Hold'em Poker where John cleaned house. Beat the chips out of all of us.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Both kids had a playdate planned with the d'Souza family -- Kyle and Rachael. Sue planned to pick them up and take them home. I was then to come over later for tea and then pick them up later. How weird is that? I went over after four and Emmalee didn't even notice I was there. Andrew seemed happy to see me. Had a nice chat with Sue out on her patio. Watched the cockatoos fly past in packs... one set had at least a dozen flying together!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
So, when she woke up this morning, I noticed her fever was gone, but she still said her throat hurt and she really didn't want to go to school. Today was her big assembly at the end of the day where she would get to speak into a real microphone and also be part of the class to do the three little fishes song. I selfishly didn't want her to miss that, so I suggested that we take Andrew to school and I would then take her out for some tea and see if that might help her feel better enough to go back in time for lunch and then the assembly.
Dropped him off and came home to get the car. Went out to Chatswood Chase because I had something to return to KMart. Got that done and then went to Donut King and got a big heart donut with raspberry filling for her and some lemon soother tea. Asked the (non-english speaking) counter girl for ice to go with the tea to cool it down for Emme and they gave me a little mug of ice cream. Not quite what I asked for but it made her happy enough.
A little girl time every once in a while seems to help Emmalee out. Then we went back to KMart to hit the garden center and pick out plants for the patio. They still had the 20% off signs for them, so I let her help me choose what we wanted and I think she really enjoyed it. Seemed to forget all about the sore throat.
By 11am, she was better enough to go home, change and get back to school for the rest of the day. Of course, we are running on Australian time so it took us an hour to get ready, but we made it by 12:30. Lunch didn't start until 1, so she was fine. Lunch, recess, art and then assembly. Not too stressful, just in case she was still a little sick. But seemed like nothing a little bit of retail therapy couldn't cure.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
It is quintessentially Australian to detest dobbing.
Time to stop protecting boozy mates, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 November 2004
In a nutshell, in Australian English:
dob - To tell on someone.
dobber - someone who dobs you in
dob-artist (children's word) - dobber
Australians do not like authority. Australian do not like dobbers.
After school today Andrew informed me that Archie and Andrew are not his friends because they were dobbing on him. Hmmm. Picking up the lingo quite quickly.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Dropped them off and sped back home to change. Grabbed a frozen pizza for the kids, started the oven and turned around to pick them up. When I got there and they walked out, not one, but BOTH said, "Momma why do you look beautiful?" Kinda makes a girl feel not so good about the rest of the days I guess. Then again, I don't normally pick them up in heels and a black lace dress!
Tommy the sitter was a hit. Very tall, probably 6'5. He is the brother of the two sisters we have already have babysit for us. Quite a nice looking family. WOW.
Hopped a bus downtown and met Jim. Got to the art museum and headed in. Was quite the event. Black suits for the men all around. Yes, Jim was wearing a suit, knowing what Sydney business attire is. Cocktails on trays. Hors d'oeuvres included beetroot tarts with creme fraiche, mini mushroom quiches, ham and cheese quiches, salmon bites, wild mushroom risotto, summer rolls, Asian dumplings and more. Very yummy and very posh. Met some people who were clients of Abbott's lawyers and got grilled a little/lot about our feelings on Sydney. One of these days we are going to stop being polite by saying we love it here and I am going to say, "No, truly I am counting the days till I go back to the States" and see what happens.
The subject of the winning piece spoke to the crowd. She sure didn't look like what was sketched. And after seeing all the finalist pieces, Jim and I can see why art critic/judge is not what our careers are. We definitely saw other pieces we thought were much more worthy of winning. Art is definitely in the eye of the beholder.
Monday, March 12, 2007
more details to come later.
2007 Archibald Prize winner
Sunday, March 11, 2007
When we returned 2 hours later, he was still playing with his friends. Sweating, but smiling. Having a great time. A nice relief... In fact, it took us over 30 minutes just to leave once we started to good-byes because he was still having fun there.
Just before 9am I realized that soccer might be starting shortly. Looked up the time on the email, saw I had 45 minutes to shower, pack the snacks, bags, soccer gear and pick them up (unknown to them) at church AND make it over to Bales Park for Andrew's first match. WOW. Nothing like kicking your morning into high gear quickly. Then, after finishing the shower I find a voice mail from the property manager saying that the power went out at our home in Grayslake and the tenants had to spend over 2 hours bailing water out the non-functioning sump pump in the basement. So now she wants us to authorize a battery backup or have dad go and put one in. JEEZ. Had to take care of that... called dad... and rushed out the door.
Found the kids at church, snuck Jim out and made it to the park just in time. Found the right field (or pitch as they call it here????). Andrew was so excited to be playing. And he looked so cool in his shades, too. He scored two goals for the day. I think he would have scored more, but there is one more experienced player, Angelo, on his team that tends to over-manage the ball and the other three players don't get alot of time with the ball. Oh well, it should teach them to be more aggressive. Anyway, Andrew asked Angelo if he wants their team to win a hundred trophies, so I guess Andrew likes to be on the winning end of things.
Emmalee played at 10:50 with three matches. Her group was a little less aggressive. She did go after the ball, but I fear if they played Andrew's team, there wouldn't necessarily be a fair match-up. She did get to play against Bella's team in the 1st match, so she really enjoyed that. And I guess that is the most important part. You know, hugging your team AND the opposition, right? As long as you are all friends...
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Friday, March 9, 2007
It was a beautiful night and Jim got home from work in a decent hour, so we decided to give the Noodle Market a try. We have had such bizarre luck with it being cancelled that we didn't hold high hopes but we packed our BYO anyway.
Saw the stalls and smelled the yummy food as we drove up and smiles filled the car. YEA!!! We even found a parking spot relatively close up. There weren't even too many people there so we put down the blanket and then headed off to the food for some prawn dumplings for mommy. In all the times we have been there, I still hadn't really gotten to eat any. Every time I ordered them, by the time I sat down to eat them, someone else had eaten ALL of them. This time I wasn't going to let it happen...
Those first 8 dumplings flew off the plates. Four chicken, three prawn and one mushroom. Had to go back for seconds. Man the kids love the chicken dumplings. And then noodles for Jim. Not to mention the honey chicken and rice the kids scarfed down, too! Must have been hungry hungry.
Not long after the food was devoured, Fraser, from Andrew's class, and his family sat down right next to us. Nice to see people we know. Makes the city seem not so big. Andrew ran off and played with Fraser for a while. The kids played in the park in the back, climbed the big tree and ran around alot. There was a band playing in the band shell that was pretty good too. Lots of dancing for the kids. Went down and let them get dance around for the last half hour of the night. Emmalee was in heaven.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Kids enjoyed the ride with the top down. First rides in a convertible. But now they won't want to ride in anything else. When you get Moet & Chandon, why drink Asti? I think we have set the bar pretty high...
Monday, March 5, 2007
But don't let this scare off anyone from visiting. Just remember the "big ones aren't the ones you need to worry about, it's the little ones that will kill you". So they say. And just check your sheets before crawling into bed.
I laid in our bed (read comfy) waiting for Andrew to come in upset about the storm. It kept watching the lightning and listening to the rain and thunder. I am not sure I have heard such loud storms before. The house was literally shaking at times. It was like they were right over us. Thoughts of tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes and other natural wonders rolled through my head for the next hour or so. Don't have a weather radio and had turned off the computer so I didn't really want to turn it on to go check...Andrew never appeared. Slept right through it. I must have fallen back asleep, too because I never noticed when Jim came back either! Ooops...
Sunday, March 4, 2007
Saturday, March 3, 2007
With the heat today, it was a perfect day for a party at the Baths. And it was nice that the whole family was included. At 3pm we all headed down and the kids just jumped right in. Practically the entire class was able to make it, so we were able to socialize with alot of parents, including some fathers I wouldn't normally get to talk to.
At 4pm a guy came out to do a Little Nippers class. Andrew wasn't really interested. Was more interested in the food, building sand castles and just playing in the water. Oh well, as long as he was having fun. It was really nice to see all the kids playing so well together. After 5 weeks of school they have really started to gel.
Andrew spent alot of his time playing with Kyle and Grace. Those seem to be his two good buddies at school. Grace is his 'girl-friend', in the sense that she is a girl and she laughs at the faces he makes. Which makes her a buddy. And they are really cute running around together. She is a May birthday too, so they are very close in age.
At 6.30 we pretty much had to drag Andrew and Emmalee out almost kicking and screaming. We were some of the last to leave, and they really weren't ready to go. But Jim and I were. And we could tell the sand fights were about to begin. Time to call it a night with another party on the horizon for Sunday.
Emmalee had a tea party all set up for Dominica. I made fairie bread, chamomile tea, sliced up mango and apples and she set the table complete with her table cloth and polish pottery tea set. It was quite a pretty setting. She had milk in her creamer jug and sugar in her sugar bowl. Everything was perfect before they arrived. The girls had four pots of tea and two plates of fairie bread.
We fed the boys lunch after they played basketball in Andrew's room for a while and then played cars. Then they went outside to the roasting heat. It got really hot really fast. Jim offered to turn on the hose and soak them all, so they put on swim suits and headed out door. Lots of wet fun ensued!
Friday, March 2, 2007
4.30 the phone rings and Julie Young is asking if we are interested in hanging out at their house for dinner and a swim. I could hardly hang up the phone before the kids have their suits on and are ready to go. Left Jim a message on his mobile and headed over. He was at a meeting downtown. Being the good wife, I forgot to leave him a note on the table. Oh well. He'll check his mobile.
5.30 and no Jim yet. 6pm and no Jim. Steve, Julie and I are sampling cereal and drinking wine and beer while the kids are swimming. Jim would be in heaven. Two of his favorite things... cereal and beer. Where is he??? Left another message. No Jim. Finally at 6.35 we hear him yelling over the hedge that he is home. Steve tells him to grab his suit and come on over. His meeting ran really long.
After dinner, Steve pulled out the Tiger Woods video game and that was the end of it for the boys. We didn't see them for conversation for the rest of the night. Just hear yells and roars. Now I know where to find him or Andrew if they just disappear.