Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Nearly a week into the chaos that is having two children. I'm sure the real impact is yet to hit us especially as we've been lucky enough to have Amy's parents Ivor and Wendy with us for the last 5 days.

Nevertheless the house is already full of a mixture of toys scattered far and wide and half dried clothes (the chilly Canberra weather meaning we've now taken to drying Eli and Audrey's clothes indoors).

Eli is doing well. He passed his hearing test (already passing tests and not even a week old!) and we went to the hospital this morning to have some blood tests taken from the back of his ankle (ouch!). Brave Eli kept sleeping throughout the jab and as usual it was his parents who were more affected than he was.

Here's some pics we've taken over the last few days

"If I put my finger in my brother's eye it makes a funny clicking noise"Amy and her folks together with Audrey in her new seat!

Eli on the rug

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Welcome to the World Elijah George Hickman

Well, unlike his big sister (who came a bit late) Elijah (Eli) chose not to keep us waiting and arrived into the World 11 days earlier than anticipated.

Amy's waters broke yesterday (Tuesday) and we paid a visit to the hospital in the afternoon to see whether all was well. They told us that the pregnancy was imminent and to go home and wait.

Rather than waiting till the next morning -as with all good babies, Eli chose to arrive at night. Amy and I spent from around midnight counting contractions and spaces, then travelled to the nearby Canberra Hospital around 2am to meet our wonderful midwife Julie. Baby Eli arrived sometime afterwards (after MUCH pushing) around 6.30am.

For the record he weighed in at 3.27kg (7lb 2 oz in old money) and measured 50cm - a tadge smaller than Audrey. He's a lovely baby (can any excited new father say otherwise?) and he's got all his fingers, toes etc.

We're also really grateful to Andy for 'volunteering' to look after Audrey in the middle of the night when we left to go to the hospital. It was great too that he could drop Audrey back to us for her first view of her baby brother.

Initially she wasn't really sure what to make of him and walked round the bed saying 'baby, baby, baby'. After a little while though she was happy to kiss him (it would have made such a lovely picture!) and even though she probably doesn't appreciate the impact he'll have on her life she seemed pretty happy that he was around.

Audrey and I returned home leaving Amy in the birth centre. Now Audrey has retired for her afternoon nap I'm going to lie on the bed for what will I suspect may be my last bit of rest for a while!
mum and bub

proud dad

The shame of it all!

not terribly impressed!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

We are Premier League!!

Wolves are back in the top flight where they belong!
Fabulous scenes back in Wolverhampton. It must have been a great night in town. Well done to everyone at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Comon me babbies -see you in Perth!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Alex and David's Wedding

Yesterday we were guests at our friends Alex and David's wedding. It was a really nice occasion held in the National Rose Garden next to Old Parliament House.

It was a lovely sunny afternoon and it was a good opportunity for Amy to catch up with a few of her work chums before bub no.2 arrives. Here are some pics we took.

Once more into the Breech!

We found out last week that bub no.2 was sitting in the breech position. For those of you 'not in the know' it basically means he wasn't head down in Amy's tum.

It's always amazed me that baby's spend such a large part of their time in the womb lying head down and then once you're in the outside world you spend all of your time the other way up.... I guess that's nature for you.

Anyway we spent a few hours in our local hospital in the company of our midwife (Julie) and a Professor who managed to turn the baby around.

This was done by grabbing bub by the head (outside of Amy's belly) and literally swinging him round. It was all done remarkably quickly and (so far) he looks like he's stayed the right way up. I've probably made it all sound a bit simplistic - there were monitors and the like checking that he was ok and it's certainly not something I'd recommend trying for yourself at home!

Just a few short days to go now - and we're trying to get as much rest as we can!

Quote of the week

I still occasionally watch events in Poland with half an eye, and saw this in my latest copy of New Poland Express. Although still a fairly major party The Law and Justice party (fortunately) lost the last General Election in Poland.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Trip to Mildura

We took a few (pre baby) days trip to see Amy's parents (Ivor and Wendy) in their new home in Mildura.

They've recently moved there from the Barossa Valley (near Adelaide) and even though they're now closer to Canberra it's still a 9 hour drive (yes that's nine hours) to get there.

It's not actually that bad a drive as once you leave Canberra you are basically on a straight road heading to Mildura and you only see about one car every 10 minutes. En route you go across the Hay plain (one of the most featureless landscapes you might ever encounter). Even playing eye-spy here would be pretty tough - I'm not sure if you could even have 'T' for tree - given that any trees are probably about 50k away from the road.

You also pass through weird little outback towns - Fairlight for instance which proclaimed itself on the town welcome sign as 'Irrigation Wonderland!' another town which was apparently 'Home of the Verandah' and another where you could regularly spot green tree frogs (not that we did).

Despite the boredom of the journey and her dad's repetitive singing of 'One man went to mow', 'We are top of the league' and 'Suuuper Mick McCarthy' Audrey coped really well with the trip - managing to chat for almost all of the time that she was awake.

It was good to see Amy's parents' new place and even Audrey's encounters with their two dogs (Milly and Lottie) weren't as traumatic as they had been last time she met them (the additional inches in height she had gained no doubt helping her out!)

Their place is right next to a big park, so we spent lots of times on swings, slides etc as well as taking a paddleboat trip on the Murray.

Mildura is a nice town - they don't seem to care very much for the water restrictions across the rest of the country (mostly one thinks as they've dammed the Murray by their town). As a result sprinklers and hosepipes abound and everyone has bright green lawns - a far cry from our withered brown one in Canberra.

We made it home after a night in Narranderer which has as its slogan 'why not meanderer in Nerranderer' - clever eh?!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Government House in Yarralumla

On Sunday we went to look at Government House in Yarralumla. It's only 5 minutes drive from where we live but we've never actually stopped to have a look before.

It's the home of The Governor General (a lady called Quentin Bryce). She's the Queen's representative in Australia, so she's basically in charge of things over here (even though a chap called Kevin Rudd seems to think he's the boss)

There's some nice walks nearby and so me and Audrey walked (whilst a very pregnant Amy waddled best she could). Things are becoming more Autumnal and the trees are changing colour, but we're still enjoying temperatures in the day in the low 20's so not too bad at all. Here's some pics..

Australia HQ

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It's all in the Genes

Here is a (short) video of Audrey showing her music skills.

Clearly she's already showing the talent of her father from 30 odd years earlier