Saturday, February 23, 2013

Birthday rain

As well as raining presents there was so much rain falling down from the sky this morning in Canberra that we had to relocate Abi's 1st birthday party, at the last minute, from the local playground to our place.

Abi couldn't care less about the change, especially when she opened her first present and saw her pink floral "Rock Your Baby -Mad Men" dress, complete with pink tulle petticoat!

 ...and then her first pink puffer jacket present. Jody's decided to get over her gender stereotyping pink aversion for the girls.  Abi already shows a definite preference for pinks and reds so we are allowed now, in our present choices, to "let pink rule" for however long Abi prefers it.

All the kids were restricted to playing inside the house - for over four hours of very rainy weather. Ollie played games of Scrabble with Great-Granny K and Josh - beating them both soundly of course. Angus and Ella were great mates today, working up a sweat on the dance floor and then spending ages doing beautiful drawings with Rob on his vintage Parker study table. There was some unintended collateral damage to the vintage table - all fixed now...but it was worth it to get their drawings for the "pool room" collection.

This was Ella's drawing of Abi's birthday cupcake tower, with a bowl of Ottolenghi mushrooms beside it (sublime pairing).

 ..and this was the actual cupcake tower.

Luckily Abi didn't know what she was missing and only got to try the cake component, and not the icing.

Angus was looking pretty sweaty in this pic. He'd just spent the past hour or so moonwalking and jiving with Ella.

He ended off the party quietly playing chess with his Pa. Pa says Angus is a natural and has mastered the basic moves very quickly.

The birthday girl had a sleep mid way through her party, but woke earlier than usual a little tired and emotional - as you'd expect.

But all in all she seemed very satisfied with her party...and we all counted ourselves lucky to be there.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I remember thinking when Ella was at the same stage as AB that Josh & Jody must put such a lot of effort into CUTENESS 101 training. AB is showing just the same tendencies as her big sister..which makes it very hard for me to select the best shots for this nanablog!!

AB is almost one and on this day was trying out her new swimming pool - gift from Great Granny K. She thought it was great even without any water (or sand) in it.

Imagine how much more she'll like it when she realises what it's supposed to be filled with!

Cate's Secret

Great excitement on Thursday night as our Cate (Blanchett) made a surprise apprearance at the Canberra premiere of the Sydney Theatre Company's Secret River.

As subscribers we always enjoy these after show parties but this one was extra special for Cate's contribution - no trace of Hollywood, she was in workmanlike mode..but expressive, articulate and passionate about the significance of this play.

I'll never make it as a paparazzi - I only had my iPhone on hand.

There is no point in urging everyone to see this play - based on the Kate Grenville (she was there too on Thursday night) book of the same name. It's a sold out season already in Canberra.

The play is about a time in recent Australian history (the first twenty years or so of English settlement/invasion) when events determined tragic consequences that all Australians either struggle to understand or have to endure/grapple with today.  Heavy stuff! But riveting, confronting, challenging (and inspiring) theatre. Thank you Cate and your Andrew for ensuring this story got told this way.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

ZACS visit

We were lucky to get a visit from the Sydney ZACS on Saturday, so they could catch up with Granny GiGi while she's staying with us. We had four kids here, five and under, for around 6 hours so things were hectic, but never dull. The girls remembered fun times with the glitter, sequins and glue last visit so, naturally, they were expecting the same this visit.

Beautiful blue eyed Alexander had his eye on the car and struck no competition from the girls (what is it about boys and their cars?). He's just started walking in the last few weeks and took his most steps ever (was it 6 or was it 7?) trying to find his way back to his now favourite car.

Ella and Zoe took a little while to warm up with each other but towards the end of the visit were just about hysterical, tickling each other and chasing each other around the house and bouncing on the cushions.

Abi was most impressed by the food: the watermelon, grapes, spaghetti and biscotti all got a good work out this afternoon.

After Ella left Rob was able to enjoy some quiet, quality time with Zoe while she listened to all his amazing Canberra wildlife stories.

School-week one

These very happy snaps were taken on Friday morning, at the tail end of Ella's first week at school. It's been all good...a great start to the primary years. Ella feels very happy with everything: great teacher, friends, uniform, lunches AND one and a half hours (almost) of playtime on the equipment every day.

Jody finds it very quiet at home with Abi during the day now. Abi has compensated for this by becoming much louder in all her "instructions".

Saturday, February 2, 2013

AB (Percy)

This is Abi at 11 months. The first three pics were taken the day of the infamous salad dressing debacle..when Abi was on her best behaviour, unlike some of her relatives. 

She's already showing signs of being a real character - very opinionated and determined and capable of seeing the funny side of most things. She has a very hearty laugh and a very hearty appetite - especially for blueberries at the moment.

She's also been acquiring a lot of new teeth.

 Abi took a few steps on her own this week. I'm tipping she'll be "walking" by her first birthday.

Summer days driftin' away 1

Ella has LOVED her two weeks of swimming lessons this summer. And a lot of that enjoyment was due to Ethan, her good looking AND "funny" swimming teacher (and an excellent teacher too by the way).

With only two children in the class Ella had lots of opportunities to learn new skills, one on one, and grow amazingly more confident in the water.

 By the end of last week Ethan had her diving off the blocks at the deep end.....

and swimming to the floating fish around 5 metres away and then retrieving the knotted noodle and bringing them both back to the diving blocks; all very handy skills for children anywhere near water.

On the strength of what we'd seen her do in classes we took Ella for some fun time in the pool one afternoon last week. She spent just under 2 hours doing her best impression of a happy little fish; diving, splashing retrieving her dive sticks and having fun with other kids, swimming around in the DEEP END and not wanting to leave!

Summer days driftin' away 2

Joshy and Ella went skating today as a last hurrah to the summer holidays, before school starts TOMORROW!

There'd been a long break between skating sessions so Ella started very cautiously.

But with lots of encouragement and good advice from her Dad she moved away from the edge eventually.

 and started skating....

As soon as we walked through the doors of the rink we were instantly taken back to Joshy's ice hockey years..the same smell, the same cold, the same ice, the same seats, the same Zamboni - even John R looks exactly the same!