Highlights from the Sydney road trip

posted 25 Apr 2011, 04:34 by Kevin Jansz

It started on the road to Gundagai ... what's that strange mud pasted over the front of the car and the luggage cage on the roof? Bugs! Millions and millions of bugs ... something about the extraordinary wet summer meant they formed a coating at least a few centimetres thick (note to self - hose car before unpacking the things on the roof).

At the Motel in Gundagai, David has his first sleep in a proper bed ... and his first fall out of a proper bed. Despite the shock and the tears he just wanted someone to put him back in again - what a trooper. For the rest of the night he slept dead centre of the mattress.

It was nice catching up with the Sydney family all in one place at Lara's 1st birthday party. The fairy was the highlight of the party for Julia - who hardly left her side .. (she was quite popular with some of the older boys too).

Julia regains her appreciation for bananas ... that'd be right - now that they're $3-4 each. On the other hand, if you're at someone's place and Julia walks up holding some food and says "Mum/Dad ... try this" ... this is code for "I've just accepted this Oreo|Choc-mint-biscuit|Other from our host and it is not what I was expecting. Take it off me now to save us all the embarrassment".

Kathy and I manage to make use of staying at my Mum's place (free babysitting) and sneak out for a "date night" ... well, supper and a drink - still nice.

Also managed to catch-up with many of the Sydney friends and their kids all in one place at Lincoln's christening & 2nd birthday ... the kids are bit young to appreciate how cool it is to have so many playmates all under 2. No change in Julia's attitude to little kids though - when one of the bubs crawls up and touches her she flinches like she's just had an encounter with a cockroach.

Kathy perfects my Mum's recipe for pasties - mince and vegetable filled pastry triangles. Not that complex, but the (secret) sauces and herbs make the difference. She makes a batch of them for the drive back home and Julia eats six!

We stay at a Gundagai again on the way home to Melbourne - this time in a little cabin in a caravan park. The kids love the three-level bunk beds - David in the bottom bunk, Julia bags the top. We figure we'll have to go to bed at the same time as the kids given the bunks are next to the living room, but after giving him milk and putting him in his pyjamas David disappears while Kathy gets Julia ready and we find him in his bunk - he's grabbed his bear and put himself to bed! The little man's come a long way in two weeks ...

Hippo countdown ...

posted 31 Mar 2011, 16:45 by Kevin Jansz

There's one sticker to go on Julia's I've-got-ready-in-the-morning-without-going-mental chart. As agreed, if she fills the chart with stickers, she gets a pink (toy) hippopotamus - this being the latest most favourite animal (because of "Gloria" in the movie Madagascar). Previous favourite animals have been dogs, then cows, then cats and then dogs again (in that order).

This is the third time we've had to resort to a chart with stickers to avert a crisis ... and the girl we have now is unrecognisable to the crying, screaming, writhing-around-on-the-ground mess we had a week ago. Incidentally the first chart was for toilet training and the second (again toilet related) was when she refused to go "number 2's" for a week after our skiing holiday - the power of the sticker (& a reward at the end) brought things back to regularity.

Actually not such a great deal for us I guess - she gets a small toy for being "normal?" - but anyway, it's one to keep in the "parenting play book" ... hopefully we don't need to use it too often. 

Amazing things David can do: Walk!

posted 17 Oct 2010, 19:39 by Kevin Jansz

The amount of steps he could take with out falling was gradually improving: 7 steps, a dozen steps ... and then (at about 1 year, 1 month old) he's walking! For a while it seemed that when he really wanted to get somewhere fast he'd flop down and crawl but he then realised when walking he can carry things with his hands. His new favourite past time is moving things from one side of the lounge room to the other - books, toys, remote controls ... I suspect the later is a ploy to have the TV locked onto "ABC Kids".

Funny things kids say: Julia Edition

posted 21 May 2010, 02:03 by Kevin Jansz   [ updated 25 May 2010, 03:54 ]

It's nearing her 3rd Birthday and now she's become a "big kid" we're not getting as many funny sayings as we used to. Here is as good a place as any for a recap of my favourites:
  • "Not on my birthday, not any more!"
    It was usually in reference to going to the potty (seemed like such an ordeal at the time) ... usually said in a very serious, adamant tone. I love it because "not any more" would be enough, the birthday bit makes it cute ...

  • "I can't" instead of "I don't"
    In some cases it probably makes more sense, in others it's just more definite - as in "I can't think so"; "I can't like beans"; "I can't sing it, I can't know the words ..."

  • "Glory, Glory Tottenham Monster"
    Instead of "Hotspur" ... I'm just proud she can sign most of it

  • "Hunkin Dunties sat on the wall ..."
    Instead of "Humpty Dumpty" ... more fun to say

  • "There's a bit more poo-poos in there"
    When sitting on the toilet and she wants to stall for time ... there's very rarely actually any more in there

  • "That's right Daddy, good boy"
    Daddy works better with positive reinforcement

  • "Argh! There's a cow in my bed!"
    Said in a mad panic in the early hours of the morning ... it shouldn't have been such a surprise - it was her soft toy cow.

  • "I have a cow"
    In response to the Priest's question "have you ever had a fig?" ... if you don't understand the question, make something up

  • "Pleeease, I can, I can"
    Takes a tough parent to say no to that - it's a plea and an assertion in one

Goodbye Chooks ... there will be tears

posted 15 Apr 2010, 03:37 by Kevin Jansz   [ updated 15 Apr 2010, 22:16 ]

They've given us quite a few (little) eggs and the lawn & garden beds have been given a thorough "fertilising" ... but after a month it's time for Ruby and Charlotte - our book-a-chook chickens - to go back to their farm. On hearing the news Julia burst into tears: "they can't go back to the farm, they have to stay in their home!" ... it's not going to be easy. We're going to miss them scratching around in the back yard, peeking through the lounge room window at us and the commotion they both make when one of them has laid an egg ...

David's first word

posted 21 Mar 2010, 17:25 by Kevin Jansz

Is "Dad" ... it's more of his first sound that sounds like a word and it's more like "dad-dad-dad", but I'll take it seeing Julia's first word was "Mum". Like his big sister, he seems to prefer talking when he's got a mouth full of food - very cute, though a bit messy.

Funny things kids say: Winnie-the-Poo(h)

posted 30 Nov 2009, 17:12 by Kevin Jansz   [ updated 30 Nov 2009, 19:48 ]

While "helping" me decorate our Christmas tree Julia picks up a little Winnie-the-Pooh ornament (a little plush version of the yellow bear with a santa hat on top - don't ask me why, it's one of Kathy's :-) and says "what's his name?". I answer "that's Winnie-the-Pooh". Julia then flips him over and checks his pants and then asks "what's wrong?". I assure her that there's no "poo" and it's just his name. For a moment she's then in two minds whether or not he should be allowed to go on the tree and then finally approves ...

David's one Month old!

posted 29 Oct 2009, 02:38 by Kevin Jansz

Where has the time gone? Let's see: Night feeds, nappy changes, rocking the little fellow while he screams his little lungs out ... but it's all worth when he looks straight at you and gives you a glowing little smile.

Also adorable is how much Julia has accepted him as part of the family. Any book with four characters is automatically "mummy, julia, daddy and david" - eg "that's the mummy puppy, etc". She's very affectionate and he seems to like the attention too: Julia sings "Incy Wincy Spider" for David

Amazing things Julia can do: Counting to 10

posted 18 Apr 2009, 04:31 by Kevin Jansz

I didn't believe Kathy when she told me (Julia's previous best was counting to 2 - ie counting fingers: 1, 2, 1, 2, 1 :) and it was a about a week or more before Julia was willing to count to 10 for me. Even after that it was hard to coax her to do it again so I almost though I'd imagined it. But now she counts everything ... the hard thing now is getting her to stop! Well at least that makes it easy to capture on video:
YouTube: Julia Counting 1 to 10

A little Brother or Sister

posted 10 Mar 2009, 20:45 by Kevin Jansz

In just six months time (mid-September) we'll have a new addition to our family. Little Julia has no idea what we're on about when we point at Kathy's belly and say "baby" ... it might be a good thing.

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