Sunday, August 25, 2013

August birthdays

There are quite a few August birthdays in the Canberra branch of the family.  Josh and Jody celebrated Jody's birthday with a lovely lunch together at Water's Edge on Saturday while we entertained the girls with a more rustic lunch (and gelati) at their favourite Biginelli's and then some lovely play time at the Mannheim St playground.

Abi is really getting into the whole swinging thing now.

Ella clips her in and gives Abi gentle pushes against her feet - which she loves.

.....She's taught her how to do hi-5s too!

Luckily there were some monkey bars at this playground too or I don't think Ella would have wanted to stay as long as she did.

Angus and Ollie are also August birthday boys  so our present to them was a 30 minute Go-Karting excursion later the same Saturday afternoon.  We stoked them up on food fuel as much as we could before we left and Rob gave them a few turbo charged thrills (at low speeds Claire in case you're reading this!!) in my black VW Golf GTD on the way to the track, just to get the boys suitably revved up (as if they needed that!).

Rob and I had lots of flashbacks to Go-Karting excursions with Davey and Josh back in the day .  We loved seeing O & A enjoying the thrill of the ride SO MUCH!

Grand-Prix Karting at Fyshwick is mostly designed as boys' heaven. But I did think this lovely white 1939 Pontiac was a very classy design element.

We all had great fun at Go-Karting. I loved the way that excitement really got the boys talking. We chatted about everything, in the car trips there and back - from Ollie's fascination with politics and the current election campaign (he likes the sound of "Abbot proof the Senate" and wanted to know what it all meant) and of course everything to do with the boys' lap times and PBs.

Granny K, who is recovering slowly in Canberra Hospital, contributed to the boys birthday Go-Karting present, so this pair of sweeties visited her today, to thank her and take her a drawing of their adventures. She was stoked about that when I visited her late this afternoon.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Highs and lows

It started off as another week of good things, including early signs of Spring in the air. The sun is higher in the sky when I go for my morning walks and the sight of our resident kangaroo mob enjoying breakfast each morning, over the road from us, brings me great joy!

We enjoyed some "stolen time" during the week, seeing the wonderful "Turner from the Tate" exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia and then a movie afterwards at our favourite Palace Electric Cinema at Nishi (Behind the Candelabra - highly recommended!). Then it was our usual lunch with all the available girls on Thursday.  The only time I can get a pic of Abi at our house, sitting still, is when we play cubby houses with our vintage Campaign armchairs - upended!

Our week changed course however a bit after midnight on Saturday morning when we got the call that Mum (Granny K) had had a fall and was being taken to hospital.  Her femur had broken in the fall, unfortunately, but she has survived an operation (miraculously) on Sunday afternoon to have the bone pinned and plated together. This is HUGE for a 99 year old lady..and it is hard for us to see her suffering when she is already such a great age. She is very brave however and works hard to keep her spirits strong.

While the operation was in progress on Sunday afternoon we were lucky to be diverted with some precious playtime with the girls. Bubbles and bathtime presented me with the second chance in a week to take a pic of Abi sitting (relatively) still.

Ella was getting Abi to run though her rapidly expanding vocabulary for me: Mumma, Dadda, Grandpa, dog, purple, Pepa Pig etc etc while I clicked CUTE!

And then we arrived home late in the afternoon on Sunday and, over the road, our kangaroo family was there to greet us.

We saw Mum last night, after her miraculous stint on the operating table, and she was feeling "on a high". Unfortunately that didn't last much longer than a few hours and the reality of her situation has really hit her (and us) today.

Monday, August 12, 2013

On boys

Ella spent quite a lot of last Saturday with us - on a perfect August day; not a cloud in the sky and 19oC max.

We shared an early morning drive to her Gymnastics class (watch out Davey, more handstand demos coming up!) and a trip to Bunnings to buy some suitable lengths of (pink) rope for skipping tournaments.  To burn off any remaining energy we walked to the local oval/community space so I could show Ella the beautiful playground in the grounds of our neighbourhood public school.

Ella adores Monkey Bars and has the calloused and blistered hands of an absolute devotee . She declared this play equipment (with its well maintained flying fox and climbing ropes in addition to "perfectly spaced" monkey bars) was so good she wanted to change schools!!

We had quite a few opportunities over the course of these activities to discuss matters of importance...namely...BOYS.

At one stage Ella informed me she was considering having a "boyfriend". I asked what it meant to have a boyfriend; she said boyfriends have to be nice to you and you (the girl) gets to clean up their desk for them!!! In return the boys keep the girls' shoes tidy (I presume this is at times when shoes are removed for Gross Motor etc).

Ella was far less concerned about the girls cleaning up the desks role than I was. On reflection I think she just meant that kind hearted girls tidy the pencils, glues and rulers on behalf of their less well organised male peers. I hope that's all she meant or else all that Feminism of the past forty years has achieved very little.

She also told me that a lot of the boys in her class are "gross" (picking noses etc). Their worst quality is the way they eat their macaroni cheese with their hands!

At one stage an older boy (grade four) in his Aussie Rules footie gear came over to the play equipment and I watched Ella engage him in conversation. She invited him to race her on a circuit of the monkey bars at one stage - so natural, so confident, such a strong young woman in the making. He responded quite enthusiastically and they ended up having fun together for a while!

Luckily he was a really nice boy and didn't engage in any of the dreaded boy-girl put downs - despite the fact she was so much younger than him (and a girl!).

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Miss M

It's hard to believe that there is at least one school in Canberra that has already hosted it's annual School Formal. I'm more used to these being hosted at the end of the year, with enormous hype and anticipation (by the guests) and some trepidation on the part of parents and teachers (more due to what happens afterwards rather than at the event itself).

I can see lots of advantages to staging a year 10 Formal right at the beginning of term's much easier to keep it low key and more controlled.

It was a big night for Miss M, fresh from her US holiday and NYC stay, dressed for the part and looking absolutely gorgeous and so grown up. I appreciated her braving Saturday's cold August weather in her Formal finery so I could capture her gorgeousness in the remaining light.

We were having some fun at this stage taking shots with as many other family members (including Maggie the Fox Terrier) as we could drag away from watching the footie game.  Although Miss S's year 10 Formal is a year away she was looking very grown up and gorgeous too on the night (must be something in the water in NYC).  Can you pick any sisterly similarities in this picture?

I thought I would add this shot from 2007 - showing what happens in six short years!