Thursday, September 27, 2012

A day for spontaneity

One morning last week, when Spencer was in Sydney, I got a call from my friend, Merlene.  She was calling to see if I needed anything.  I didn't, but mentioned that a fun outing might do my boys some good (it was a day when we didn't have anything in particular planned and I was getting ready to take them to the park).  She asked if we'd like to drive up into the hills and bake some potatoes in a fire.  Of course!

Eliot and Peter were in heaven.  Eliot helped Merlene find wood for the fire, he helped me blow on the flames to get the fire going, and Peter supervised and did some exploring of his own.

There was a walking stick for anyone who wanted one.

Eliot did a great job gathering wood for the fire.  It's really just gathering sticks, and he's been getting a lot of practice in over the last several months.

Stoking the fire.

Eliot was pretty impressed that we were cooking outside.  He hasn't stopped talking about it. 

Eliot thought Merlene's hat was the greatest ever.

Polishing off the yogurt.

When their hands look like this, you know it's been a good day.

On our way home from the picnic, both Eliot and Peter fell asleep in the back.  Instead of waking them up to take them up into the apartment, I dropped Merlene off (she had some things she needed to get done in the afternoon) and drove to the beach.  I found a shady spot to park and cracked the windows to let in some breeze.  When the boys eventually woke up, we got out and played for a bit at the beach before heading home for supper, shower, and bed.  They didn't have any trouble getting to sleep.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The flowers at Kings Park

Last weekend we took advantage of the opportunity to visit Kings Park as a family and admire the beautiful flowers that are blooming.

The everlastings bloom all along the road sides.

A lovely hibiscus.

Kangaroo paw

A sweet little flower that wasn't labelled but that I couldn't pass up.

We arrived in time to observe a portion of a memorial service for war veterans.  Eliot was fascinated with the bagpipes.

Still watching the bagpipes.

A beautiful view of the city.

Relaxing beneath the shade of the palm trees.

Peter enjoyed stretching his legs.

Eliot could have stayed there for hours, dropping rocks down a drain.

Peter loves to get out and push the stroller.

Taking a closer look at all the little everlastings.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stepping Out

Just a few shots of the boys enjoying their late-afternoon walk.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

One year and counting...

It's hard to believe that one year ago, today, our little family landed in Perth, Australia.  This first year seems to have lasted a long time.  I think most of that is due to the fact that the first several months were devoted to settling in.  We've had some fun adventures since arriving here, and most of them have made it onto the blog.  Today I thought I'd look back at a time when putting up a blog post wasn't really an option, and the thought of being settled in seemed like a far distant dream.

We moved into our apartment in October of last year, after having spent a few weeks in the Rented and Borrowed Houses, respectively.  Moving into our apartment was a bit of a shock for all of us.  Our furnishings were still wending their way to Australia on a ship.  Some families at church kindly lent us some kitchen equipment, and some air mattresses and sleeping bags.  But other than that it was really just us, our luggage, and the table and chairs that we'd purchased.    It's fun now to look back at some of the pictures I took during that time.  There were times during those few weeks when it felt like our things would never arrive.  And now here I sit in my little home, surrounded by my little creature comforts.  Spencer lounges on the couch with a book, the boys are sleeping snugly in comfortable beds, my tea kettle is whistling on the stove.  It's home.
In parenting, as in show business, the Show Must Go On.  So we baked cookies.

I'd packed my picnic quilt to fold up and make a bed for Peter in one of our large suitcases (which he used while we stayed in the Rented House).  I'm so glad I did, because in the apartment it doubled as a rug for the boys to play on.

One of the families lent us some toys for the boys to play with.  The play food was a favourite.

Eliot giving lunch to his little buddies.

Peter slept in a borrowed Pack n Play in a room with Spencer and me.  

Eliot and Peter enjoyed waking up with the sun, at 4:30 am.

Eliot slept in a Pack n Play in his own room, but enjoyed coming into our room for a snuggle in the morning.

When it came to making the best of our situation, the Boys are the ones who take home First Prize.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Where is Yellow Bear

Sadly, a day or so after I put up that last post, Yellow Bear went missing at a department store.  The whole family had gone to the mall to look for some new jeans for Daddy, and to get groceries (picture a mall like they have in North America, except it also includes grocery stores, pharmacies, post offices, etc.)  It wasn't until we were just about to leave, with a grocery cart full of food, that we realized that a member of our party was missing.

We started retracing our steps, stopping first in the clothing store where Spencer had tried on some jeans with the help of his little boys.  In spite of my stress I couldn't help but smile as the store clerk walked up and down the dressing room hall asking if any of the guys had a yellow teddy bear in their booth with them.  No luck.

I eventually realized that Eliot had dropped Yellow Bear in the last department store we visited.  There had been a table displaying all manner of fragile cups and serving platters.  Eliot was enthralled and tinkered with some of the merchandise, with both hands free.  My focus was on keeping anything from getting broken, and when Spencer and Peter caught up with us we left to go get our groceries. When I realized what must have happened I hurried back to that spot, but no Yellow Bear.  We left our information with the department store as well as the mall, but there hasn't been any sign of him yet.

Eliot is handling it pretty well, except that he asks about Yellow Bear frequently, especially at bedtime.  Part of me thought that perhaps it was time to let him move on from Yellow Bear and attach himself to something else.  The problem is that we've always had two Yellow Bears here.  One of them was the lesser-loved Fuzzy Yellow Bear.  Peter adopted Fuzzy Yellow Bear many months ago.  He is definitely Peter's bear.  These past few days Eliot has been "borrowing" Fuzzy Yellow Bear.  If Peter sets him down, Eliot will say "I'm going to borrow Fuzzy Lellow Bear."  Then he'll take Fuzzy Yellow Bear and hug and cuddle him.  He'll stand up and walk around the room with him, bouncing him in his arms and saying "shush, shush, shush."  When Peter starts to fuss about wanting Fuzzy Yellow Bear back, Eliot will bring him to Peter and pass him over gently the way adults would hand over an infant.  It seems pretty clear that Eliot's not ready to move on from having a yellow bear, and I'm not going to make him do it.

My mother is going to pay us a visit at the end of October and I've asked her to bring a yellow bear with her.  Yellow Bear who was lost is actually Yellow Bear II.  Yellow Bear I was left in Milwaukee.  He needs to have his chin patched up, but otherwise he's in pretty good shape.  Eliot is looking forward to having Yellow Bear I back.  He likes to look at a picture that was taken of him and the bears back in Milwaukee.  It brings some measure of comfort.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Just a few words about our Little Guys

  • Eliot loves Yellow Bear as much as ever.  Yellow Bear's shoulder is wearing thin and I've had to glue his nose back on a few times but he's hanging in there.
  • He has recently decided that red is his favourite colour (for now).
  • He loves food.  We had this conversation at the table the other evening.  Eliot:  This food is really good.  Me:  Good, Eliot.  I'm glad.       Eliot:  Yes, it's tasty.

  • I think Peter has uttered his first official word.  He likes to point at objects and say 'iss' (as in, 'this') until I tell him the name of the object and then he grins widely.  I think he also says 'woof woof' when he sees dogs...and horses.
  • He loves to be read to and will chase me down with a book.  We'll sit down on the floor and read it.  He also enjoys a few books read in the rocking chair before bed.
  • His confidence in walking has greatly increased and now he likes to help push the shopping cart on short trips.  Eliot also likes to help push, and I have to keep us all going in the right direction, so we're generally piled up 3 deep at the back of the cart. 
It seems like we were all sick for the entire month of August.  Eliot was the first to fall ill and appreciated the rocking chair as sick bed.  He lounged with his animals and sipped water through a straw while watching episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine.

Peter has recently discovered the pots and pans.  He can't get enough.

Eliot is always very determined to help.  He's also very determined to do it in his own style.

I'll never get over the hair.

Enjoying some snacks with some of our play group friends.

Eliot enjoys the company of other children more and more.  He played quite a bit with these two boys at play group today.  They chased one another, threw balls, and climbed.  Once I overheard Eliot calling out to one of them, "Look at you guy!  You're way up there!  Good job!"