The fun of Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins the musical is fantastic.  Andrew was lucky enough to be given two complimentary seats to the show for this week.  We had a great time.  What doesn’t make you happy about singing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, a Spoonful of Sugar and It’s a Jolly Holiday.  It was fun and a delightful story that makes you wish that Mary Poppins could visit every family.

The performers were all amazing with so much energy.  The sets were so clever with great use of projection and “flying” wires.  The props were of course very magical.  We had such a fabulous time singing/bouncing along in our seats.

One day Eva will be big enough to be taken along to musicals to appreciate the talent of people who entertain us just like I used to with my mum.  I can’t wait!  I really love a night at the theatre.  It is just so special. Thanks to Gran and Pop for babysitting for us.  We even enjoyed a delicious dinner and great conversation that didn’t solely revolve around Eva.

I would recommend a fun evening with Mary Poppins to anyone. She’s practically perfect!

Godmotherly Love

A short while back we had a visit from Eva’s Godmother Bridget.  Bridget lives in Broken Hill and was on her way to Brisbane so she figured she may as well stopover in Melbourne.  Why not I say?  It was certainly a fun few days.

On her first day here we took Bridget to Doncaster Shoppingtown for a little retail therapy.  Hey she doesn’t have a Westfield to explore in Broken Hill!  I found that Bridget is a very efficient shopper and we did gets lots done as well as coffee and cake at the soft play area.  Eva enjoyed cruising around the play area watching the big children play.  She did escape the fence once though.

During Eva’s sleep Bridget happily played on the internet looking for ideas for her upcoming wedding.  Andrew will be a photographer so he needs some ideas.  In the afternoon we took Bridget to our local playground to have some fun Eva time. Eva really loved having Bridget around to entertain her when Mama was busy doing boring things like cooking and washing.

The next day we were tourists in Melbourne.  We visited the National Gallery Victoria Kids Corner where Eva crawled over light boxes, watched digital fish chase her shadow and climbed into tunnels.  It was fun for her and great to watch her explore.  The theme was light play and it made me realise that science can actually be fun!

After a spot of lunch and watching some life size puppets pass by we headed to the NGV International Art Gallery.  Eva had a sleep in the sling and we toured some of the art which is a great way to pass time while Eva replenishes.  After she woke up (crying in the middle of a picture gallery) we checked out the school holiday drawing art section where Bridget and I did more of the crayon use than Eva but we had fun.  Of course coffee and cake was required after all this art viewing.  Eva helped herself to the brown paper bag that Bridget brought back from the coffee shop and was delighted to eat a blueberry muffin!

The water wall at the entrance to the NGV International was quite fascinating

Our last task was to take Bridget to the airport for her flight to Brisbane which was a bit sad.  We are so pleased that we got to spend this time with her and ever thankful that she is endlessly flexible and relaxed.  Such an easy visitor to have with a pre-toddler in the house.  Maybe some of these Godmotherly traits will rub off on Eva some day.

Sorrento and The Great Ocean Road

We are just back from a weekend in Sorrento and touring part of the Great Ocean Road.  We took our friends Srijana and Lokraj (our host family in Nepal in 2007) away for the weekend.  When we were arranging the weekend via emails and announced our plan to them this was their reply:  “wow it will be great time for us thanks a lot for that.IN my whole life we  haven’t been such a long holiday .We are so happy thanks”. I shed tears when I read this.  That was definitely a great inspiration to have a great weekend away.

We headed down to Sorrento Friday night to stay at Andrew’s parents holiday home.  On the way down there were lots of questions about holiday homes and does everyone have one?  Then as we reached the seaside towns they wanted to know which houses were all the time homes and which were for a holiday!  It’s hard to explain our blessed Australian life sometimes.  Why would some houses sit empty at times, it really doesn’t make sense.  This was the longest holiday for them as they have only ever traveled to visit family to celebrate festivals in Nepal.  No such luxury as a break from life in the form of a holiday.

Early Saturday morning we drove onto the Sorrento -Queenscliff ferry for a 30 minute ride across Port Philip Bay.  This was the first time that Lokraj and Srijana had been on the sea.  From Queenscliff we drove towards the Great Ocean Road.

Map from Go Birding Tours

Our first stop on the winding road was Bells Beach to show Srijana and Lokraj surfing!  They thought that it was very strange that people would sit in the cold water and wait for waves to come past.  Back in the carpark we looked at a friendly surfer’s wetsuit to reassure Srijana that they were wearing something to keep them warm.

From here it was a windy drive along the coastline for some breathtaking views.  Nothing like travelling with “tourists” to make you look at the beauty of the Australian Coastline with fresh eyes.

We visited the Twelve Apostles, 8 limestone stacks created as the sea gradually eroded the soft limestone cliffs between Port Campbell and Princetown. I have seen many photos of these but they were still very impressive in person.  It was quite windy and cold but we had a good time exploring on the boardwalks.  Andrew had a fantastic time taking photos of course and you’ll see in Flickr there are quite a few with people in them!

Eva in the sling was quite the entertainment with some Asian tourists even taking a photo of her!  Eva certainly was the warmest and most comfortable of us all.

We headed back on the inland highway to avoid the windy road and Eva had a great sleep which was perfect.  Poor thing it really isn’t much fun being in the car all day even when there are people either side of you for entertainment.  I think that she ate her weight in snacks throughout the day although I did vacuum a fair amount of food out of her car seat upon our return.  We loved the iPod as it gave us a great variety of Children’s songs to choose from.  Srijana was able to sing along with some of them which was great fun.

Saturday evening was spent with Pizza and Tim Tams in front of the TV to show them some AFL.  Unfortunately we did have to watch Port lose to the Western Bulldogs.  They couldn’t believe that the game was being played in Darwin where it was 26°C at night!  Srijana was asking me for new recipes to try which I thought was hilarious seeing as she is a wonderful cook compared to me.

Sunday was relaxing with a walk along the Ocean Beach at Sorrento to begin with.  I had a great time with the camera, Andrew wore Eva and they looked adorable and Lokraj wrote names in the sand and got his shoes wet with a surprise wave!  Srijana and Lokraj felt the sea water for the first time.  They would like to come back in Summer to swim at the beach!  We had to explain tides to them, oh the joy of remembering science.

After this we did the Millionaires Walk on the cliff top over looking Sorrento passing some very divine homes with gorgeous sea views.  The weather turned very chilly and it started to rain so we headed back to the house to tidy up and drive back to Melbourne.

Srijana and Lokraj were just so delighted with weekend.  So pleased to spend time with us and see some new sights.  We planned some more weekend getaways around Victoria on our long drives.  Their reading and comprehension of English is very impressive after 2.5 years living in Melbourne.  They did enjoy the opportunity to ask lots of questions with lots of interesting discussions about the Australian lifestyle.  They are in the process of applying for a further temporary residency visa but with the rules continuing to change and the upcoming election they are not sure quite what their future holds.  They are happy with what they have achieved in the past 2.5 years so wont mind if they go home sooner than planned.  At least they will have the chance to see their daughter Shreetika (6 years) if they go home.

Thus it was a very enjoyable weekend to see them enjoy themselves to much but I still wasn’t able to relax very well.  The preparing and packing for just a weekend away when there is a small person to consider is quite significant.  So much to organise.  Also I was forever thinking about when Eva would sleep and eat which of course she didn’t want to do much of anyway!   I find parenting in another house somewhat challenging.  At our home Eva is free to roam and explore although this is becoming more challenging as she is quicker and more adventurous all the time.  In another house I am constantly wondering what cupboards and drawers she has opened and emptied and especially hoping that the stair gate withstands her constant pushing!

Regardless of these concerns on my behalf we had a great weekend and really enjoyed sharing a little piece of Australia with our Nepali family.

Andrew is 34!

On Wednesday we celebrated Andrew’s birthday.  Eva even woke up super early calling Dada to make sure that she saw him before he left.  It was good for them to be able to have a birthday cuddle at the start of the day. Andrew went out for breakfast with his work colleagues as a great start to a birthday.  Alison made him some Red Velvet Cupcakes to take into work for morning tea so he was a very popular birthday boy with everyone drooling over these new creations.

In the evening we celebrated with Andrew’s family at his parents’ home.  The cousins all enjoyed spending time together playing with lots of giggling.  Eva always enjoys a visit to see Rosie (the dog). We had a delicious dinner which was topped off with an iPad Birthday Cake.

It was a delicious white chocolate mud cake with white chocolate ganache and cookies and creme filling with an edible iPad image.

We had a fun evening completed with two families squeezing into a 7 seater car for the 20 min journey home.  With the three car seats it required Alison and Andrew to be in the small seats in the boot.  I wished that I had taken a photo!

Andrew and I reflected on his birthday 9 years ago when I caught the Eurostar from a very wet Bastille Day parade in Paris to London to meet up with him for take away dinner.  What fun memories.

The past fortnight has been hectic and hopefully I will be able to catch up soon.  We are off to Sorrento for the weekend with Srijana and Lokraj (our Nepali host family).  It’s going to be fun.

We have a Toddler!

What an amazing moment for us!  Tonight Eva decided she could take a liking to this upright transport thing. First she took just 3 steps. She then proceeded to walk across the room between us about 10 times while showing off her skills to our family via Skype.  All of this with a big beaming smile being very proud of herself.  She went to bed very tired!

This afternoon I took Eva to see the chiropractor to get adjusted as I always do when she is unwell.  Dr Kerry found that Eva’s pelvis was out of alignment.  With a bit of gentle pressure this was corrected.  I’m not crediting her steps to this one appointment but I do believe that it has helped her to feel better.  Eva is just much happier in herself this evening.  Given how unwell she has been and the fact that she has hardly used her trolleys this week we were surprised by these steps tonight.

“Why do babies feel so much better after a chiropractic check-up?

The chiropractor identifies and treats any subluxations and misalignments in baby’s spine, this generally allows baby to move more freely, also it removes any interference to transmission of messages through the spinal cord and nerves to the baby’s body, organs, tissues etc. The interference free communication through the nervous system enables the baby to naturally grow and develop optimally.”  http://www.babyuniverse.com.au/news/baby-articles/why-infants-need-and-benefit-from-chiropractic-care

We are so proud of Eva.  Of course this is an especially wonderful moment for each and every parent but for us reflecting on the early days when she was unwell these moments hold amazing sentiment.  A month ago I enrolled her in the next class up at Gymbaroo thinking that she may be walking by the time term starts (12th July) and she’s well on her way.

It seems that we now have a toddler although who knows what tomorrow will bring.  Will she want to do more walking or just straight back to crawling?  Actually 2 weeks ago she took a couple of steps in the toddler pool where she was helped with waist height water.  Lately she has been freestanding more and more and can squat to pick things up then stand up again.

I am also in the process of changing her wardrobe to include some 9-12 month (UK) and size 1 (Australia) clothes so things are really changing around here.

Stay tuned for more videos of our very talented daughter!

Queen for the Day

It was my Birthday on Tuesday and I was made to feel like a Queen for the Day.  I do love having a birthday once a year and using it as an excuse to just relax and avoid all the things that I don’t like doing!  I did no food preparation and did not have to deal with clean or dirty dishes.  Didn’t my husband spoil me?

Eva clearly didn’t get the memo about my birthday and needed me and a feed at 1.30am but it was special time with her in the dark to think about how we found out that I was pregnant this day 2 years ago.

I was up early to have breakfast with Andrew but sad to realise that I didn’t think ahead to get myself a yummy breakfast option (eg chocolate croissant) so had to stick with toast and a delicious coffee (made by Andrew as every morning).  I opened lots of cards that arrived in real mail and read my electronic greetings as well.

After breakfast I just relaxed and ignored any chores without guilt.  I was in my pajamas until 10am!  Eva slept in until 9 as she was feeling unwell and miserable.  I received many loving phone calls and a wrong number call which was disappointing on my birthday.

Alison, Amelia and Nathaniel arrived to straighten my hair and collect Eva and I for lunch. I received two very special handmade cards.  Amelia’s (5) writing has improved so much and it just amazed me that I could clearly understand all of her words.

Lunch was with Andrew’s parents at Warren Glen Nursery Cafe.

It was delicious and child friendly although given that it was pouring with rain the playground and train were wet.  Eva was just listless and miserable at lunch although her cousins did get the occasional smile out of her.  She sat in the highchair the whole time without a request to get out, that was really a sign that she felt awful.

After lunch we headed to Gran and Pop’s house for Eva to sleep and the rest of us to enjoy a gorgeous & delicious Hello Kitty cake made by Alison.

In the evening Alison came to babysit and Andrew took me out to a delicious Italian restaurant, Centonove.  It was delicious and very luxurious for us (now on one income)!  The food was wonderful and the service was fantastic.  The only drawback was that I sat still for 2 hours (absolutely unheard of for me) and I was so stiff resulting from the Pump class that I did the day before.

Thus I had a lovely 32nd birthday and enjoyed all of my celebrations.  If only Eva had been feeling a little happier.