Riley and Jemma

Friday, June 20, 2008

Winter is here

The sunny weather of the Gold Coast has quickly been forgotten. The kids got to build a snowman with a downfall but it wasn't as much as last year. We are in winter groove. A lot has been happening here in the last couple of weeks. The story of the car is just too dramatic to tell but has caused us major headaches and will hurt our pocket. Mum may not be able to homeschool as she would like and could be back in the classroom before too long!

Riley's music lessons are going really well. We can't believe he is learning about notes and drawing them and playing them etc.... The yamaha system is really quite effective. Jemma will be starting gymnastics next week at the same time so she will enjoy that. Riley is looking forward to starting school in 6 weeks so we shall see how that goes.

Jemma starts morning kindy with Riley next term for 2 mornings a week. I think she will cope just fine. She has gotten very independent- especially about what clothes she will wear. I bring out 3 choices "I don't like that.. or that..or that.." So she goes to kindy in her singlet (I am not kidding...). Last week it was her togs but we negotiated (yes negotiating with a 2.75year old) that she had to wear tights and a polypro underneath. She usually accompanies this with her gumboots or summer sandals. Her favourite activity is to go through next Summers wardrobe and try it all on. She went to the supermarket the other day in her blue smocked dress (see photo end of last year) and she got so many compliments about how pretty she was that she twirled and preened until her head was too big to get through the door. Now when she puts on a skirt (that is all she will wear other than togs), if it doesn't 'twirl' she tells me that the skirt 'doesn't work'. She has worn her ballerina costume and gumboots to Rileys school class the last 2 weeks. But she doesn't like ANY of her tops at the moment. I have decided to sell some off. The way I figure it is that I don't care what she wears- I will concentrate on the bigger battles........but .......... it is doing my head in!! I presume she is not cold in her singlet.... Below is her chosen outfit- doesn't look as bad as in person. We have dots on the top, tartan skirt, striped tights, gumboots...I have to admit, she is hilarious... when you are not her mother at the frontline of course !!!!

The good news is that she is toilet training. Very few #1 accidents though #2 not so easy.. I am very grateful that she is choosing to train but.. I sort of wish that one of my children could be easily trained in something. I am hoping all my challenges are now and the teenage years will be cruisy for Mum and Dad... yeah right!!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Australia- more photos- story below

Australia Trip - the story

Wow! What a busy month we have had! Peter went off to the UK at the beginning of May for a conference ... and some sightseeing... But apparently it was very stressful without us... yeah right! The kids and I got a nice routine going and I think Dad was upset that we coped really well. Mum only had 2 children, not 3 to look after so life seemed easy :-)

Then the kids and I flew to Chch to meet up with Dad and stayed with Nana and Grandad a night. Then off to the Gold Coast. The trip didn't start that well- Mum thought she was dying while the plane landed but worked out she had a sinus infection. Then we had many dramas with our rental car (serves us right for picking the cheap company). THEN.. none of our credit cards or eftpos would work. PLUS the kids screamed the place down when we arrived. They had been asleep and were disorientated (maybe that is why our neighbours got revenge on us a few days later at 1:30am...). AND the kids woke at 5:16am on the first day... it finally got to about 6:15am by the time we left.

So, that is the lowlights..... We really enjoyed our time with the kids. The holiday was all about watching their faces so when they went for the 10th time on their rides, Peter and I tried to smile and wonder if we would ever get to do a ride! Movieworld was the best this time for the rides for all the family. LOVE that superman rollercoaster. Dreamworld had more variety and of course it had Wiggle World (the kids are really into the Wiggles at the moment) and we spent 3 days there because it was the cheapest to upgrade to. The kids enjoyed seaworld though Jemma wasn't as interested in the dolphin, sealion and waterski shows as much as Riley. Still a bit young.

We also visited Tropical Fruit World, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, up to Brisbane for an afternoon on Southbank (that is the picture of the kids at the fake beach) and on the ferry. We found a great park at Southport and Mum went outlet store shopping (though Australia is not that cheap). We did the aquaduck and Jemma 'drove' it but Riley didn't want to. We spent a day travelling into the hinterland and doing a walk or two (and getting the kids to have a wee sleep in the car to catch up).

Riley coped really well. He didn't like the sand so even though we were staying on the beach, we only went the once (but Mum doesn't like sand either). He struggled with the lack of sleep and sometimes the change in plans. He was pretty focused on what he wanted to do and we had to have fish and chips on Friday night. We had to laugh as he kept track of the days and when we went to have fish and chips (found gluten free ones) on Thursday, there was a meltdown so Friday it was!!! Our wee Aspie (said very fondly of course :-) )

Jemma was great. She is still pushing every boundary that she can and asserting her independence, but that is what being 2 is about. She was quite even tempered and she slept well. As soon as we got into the car at the end of the day, she would sleep back to the holiday home. She and Riley get along really well and it is lovely to watch them in play mode... easy to forget the 'fight' mode because it is more rare. She had a wonderful tantrum on landing the plane back in ChCh and then slept through Nana and Grandads visit to the airport.

So all in all, a successful time. Riley is already planning the itinerary for 'the next May when we visit Australia'..... he better start saving :-)