Wednesday, June 30, 2010

World Cup 2010 England Arrive Home

Picture journal of England's return from the 2010 World Cup

6.30am the plane touches down England's heroes disembarkMet by throngs of joyous fans

Monday, June 28, 2010

Kiwi Bird

Audrey's Gymbaroo theme tomorrow is the Kiwi bird. The kids take a representation of the animal of the week for inclusion in the 'treasure bag'. It's a long story, but obviously some things like 'bear', 'rabbit' and 'duck' are easy, other things like 'llama' and 'kiwi' less so.

Lately Audrey and I have been making our animal to take. An excuse for some 'craft' time.

Anyway, here's what a real kiwi looks like
and ours

think ours might get picked out in an ID parade...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

On a cold and frosty morning!

Temperatures in Canberra drop down really low overnight during winter.

After our Sunday morning trip to the markets (the crepe seller was back-hurrah!) we ventured out into the garden to play while Amy made soup for lunch. Audrey was delighted to find a sheet of ice in the wheelbarrow. Eli splashed around excitedly in the icy water (perhaps not such a good remedy for his cold) and had to be brought inside with wet jeans and shoes.

nice ice

Eli leans on the guinea pig cage

Rory's Second Birthday

Our friends Kim and Mark threw a birthday party for their son's (Rory) 2nd birthday and we were lucky enough to be invited along.

There was lots of nice food and a spectacular tiger birthday cake.

Both of our kids are suffering with colds at the moment, runny noses but also a really nasty cough which seems to affect them worst at night time. For the last couple of nights the house has sounded like a Crimean field-hospital. Fingers crossed they both seem to be on the mend now.

Great cake!

Kim, Rory and Mark
Happy Birthday to you!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

World Cup and Library outing

We're both tired having watched late night/early morning World Cup games.

Australia and England look to be heading back to their respective homes after only 3 group games. Australia having been included in an incredibly difficult group and England included in an incredibly easy one. (Someone on tele last night suggested that Portugal, Spain and Greece should have been grouped together by FIFA in a 'Group of Debt').

Anyway, Australia underperformed in their first game and got better, whereas England have managed to under perform in 2 out of 2 so far and barring an unlikely win against the mighty Slovenia on Wednesday will be returning to England with the press with their knives at the ready and everyone booing as they disembark the plane. Thank goodness the England cricket team is playing well at the moment.

Our local library in Woden is open all day on Sunday, so we mooched down there this afternoon and spent a very civilised afternoon surrounded by books. Here's some pictures of the kids.

Eli pondering his next book. Incidentally it wasn't cold in the library, we just didn't take their hats off!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Out of the mouth of Audrey No.8

Another good comment from Audrey as she was going off for her daytime 'rest', "Am I supposed to write with my thumbs?" (this delivered after I had told her she couldn't take pens, crayons or any other writing tool with her to bed).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Lake Jindabyne

On Friday we headed off to the Snowy Mountains for a mini-break. Audrey was very excited as we'd promised her snow and possible sightings of kangaroos. When we arrived in Jindabyne, with not a sign of snow anywhere, the first thing she said was "Where's the snow?". So it was with trepidation that we set off the next day for Perisher, hoping against hope, that the snow that had fallen a couple of days before was still on the ground.

We caught the ski-tube train from Bullock's Flat to Perisher which was pretty exciting for the kids. And to our relief there was snow at Perisher! Hurrah! Audrey said, "So where are the kangaroos?". There's no pleasing some people. After she got over the lack of kangaroos she enjoyed a few toboggan rides and a couple of hot chocolates as well. She was pretty brave and went on a solo toboggan ride, ending up crashing spectacularly into a group of innocent bystanders! No-one was hurt ;) Eli had a go on the toboggan too but we decided that we wouldn't let him ride unaccompanied (although I'm sure he would have loved to have given it a go - that boy has no fear!).

On Sunday, we headed off to Crackenback Cottage to attempt to get through the largest maze in the southern hemisphere. As you can see from the photos below, neither Audrey or Eli was impressed! We had been in there for only 10 minutes or so when we realised that we had to get out quickly as the children's moods were deteriorating rapidly. I (Amy) swallowed my pride and got down on my hands and knees and crawled under the walls of the maze to get out. Trevor had the pushchair so didn't have this luxury. While I contemplated leaving the three of them in the maze while I enjoyed a peaceful cafe latte I decided against it and got up on the viewing platform to try and direct Trevor out of the maze. In the end I had to direct them back to the entry. There was much relief from all the Hickmans that the ordeal was over! The children were much happier playing on the slide and swing and munching on hot chips than tackling the maze! Maybe we'll go back there in about 10 years time and try again....

We're all pretty tired after our weekend of fresh mountain air. Next time we go we hope that we can get the kids to try out skiing or snow-boarding. I might opt for apres-ski and leave Trev and the kids to the snow!

Audrey and Eli enjoying the playground at CoomaAll aboard the ski-tube!fun on the slopes!Audrey enjoying some apres skiEli also enjoying some apres szzzzzzzzznot terribly impressed by the mazethe largest maze in the Southern Hemisphere (this is just a section)

free at last!

Eli takes some steps

Eli has been standing for a while and has been looking likely to take a few steps. This weekend he took his first few tentative steps. At the moment he still prefers crawling as a mode of transport, but I'm sure it'll only be a short time before he's tottering around.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In honour of the Queen's Birthday

June 14th is the Queen's Birthday. I'm unsure whether it's the official or actual one, but we get the day off in Australia which is fine by me.

Despite being a long way removed from being a Royalist, it still makes me smirk when I see the Australian $5 note with the Queen's mugshot on it. In honour of your birthday ma'am here's a picture of some patriotic tea-towels on our ancient cooker.

If any journalists are reading this, then I can arrange an exclusive interview with these tea-towels for a cut-price half a mill.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Audrey climbs out of the pool

It's not exactly a major developmental stage in the same way as walking or talking, but I was so impressed with our little girl at swimming this evening.

Although she's getting increasingly confident in the water - jumping in, swimming underwater etc the one thing she's never mastered is climbing out of the pool on her own (COOTPOHO).

COOTPOHO has always presented an issue as she knows her Dad is invariably behind her, so she always gets half way up the side of the pool before waiting expectantly for Dad to push her up the final bit.

Tonight though she spent a lot of our lesson on her own with the swimming instructor, who unlike Dad didn't give her a push, but instead showed her how to lift her leg onto the side and actually use her strength to pull herself out. I've never really been quite sure why COOTPOHO has presented Audrey with such a problem as she always manages to climb on top of every piece of furniture and on top of us, her brother etc with complete ease.

After mastering COOTPOHO Audrey couldn't get enough of it. We spent 30 minutes after class while she climbed out of the water on her own and jumped in. She must have done it 20 or 30 times. I suspect she'll sleep well tonight....

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wil's 3rd Birthday

Audrey abandoned the grumpiness of Saturday and the four of us went along to a friend son's (William) 3rd birthday.

They held the party at a nearby playgroup centre, which was a great idea as there was tons of toys and places for the kids to run around in. Wil's parents own a toy shop which made shopping for a present somewhat tricky!

Everyone had a really nice time, and both Eli and Audrey got fuelled up on sugar from the party food.

devouring the cake!

Wombat Stew

The four of us went along to watch Wombat Stew at Canberra Theatre today. It's (another?) stage adaptation of a book, this time with an Australian theme.

The theatre was packed to the rafters and the play was excellent, great acting and singing and a nicely worked out script which stretched a 5 minute book into a 50 minute play.

Occasionally Audrey wakes up in a strange mood where nothing is right and wants and does the opposite of what you offer or ask. Today was one such day, but nevertheless even she enjoyed the play.

Eli meanwhile, despite probably being one of the youngest in the theatre stood on his mum's lap and giggled and clapped throughout.

Afterwards we went to an additional event which they'd arranged at Canberra Museum to complement the show - a series of craft workshops where kids could make their own bugs, paint and play with finger puppets etc. Even this didn't really humour Audrey all that much. I'm surprised sometimes that they don't train UN negotiators by leaving them in a room full of 2 year olds.

Audrey and Eli before the start of Wombat Stew

Eli enjoying the craft session

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Amy returns from Paris

Here's another couple of shots of Amy coming home again! The kids were so pleased to see her and had beaming smiles on the way home from the (rainy) airport.

Amy's trip to France

Amy took a quick work trip to Paris last week. I'm proud to say I survived with the kids for a week, without too many mishaps. It was certainly v.tiring. Here's a couple of shots Amy took while she was away.