Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Keeping Cool

We've had some serious heat waves here recently and with February just now arriving it doesn't look like things will be cooling off any time soon.  We're living a traditional Perth life style--which is say that our place doesn't have air conditioning.  This is actually more common here than you might think.  We go to the beach and the pool a lot, but here are some of the other things we've been doing to keep cool.

Spray bottles.  The boys like to spray the plants, and each other.  On the really hot nights I go into their room, after they're asleep, and mist them with water or wipe a damp rag on their arms and legs.  With the fan blowing on them it really cools them off.

Balloon animals.  It doesn't really cool you off, per se, but it does help keep your mind off the heat.

We tried a pony tail for Peter's hair, which he appreciated.

Eliot was not to be outdone, though I suspect it did little to cool him off.

One of the best ways to cool off before going to bed is a nice cold shower.  Not cool, cold.  The trick, I find, is to get yourself so cold that stepping out into the hot air feels really nice.

The boys aren't totally on board with my cold shower logic.  They prefer their shower water nice and warm.  But they seem to enjoy it anyway.  :)

In the late afternoon there's a pretty regular breeze that kicks up off of the Indian Ocean.  The locals call it the Fremantle Doctor because it's a nice, cooling breeze.  That's the best time to take a walk in the reserve, and leave all of the windows open.  And, after all is said and done, I prefer breezes to air conditioning anyway.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Visit From Grandma and Grandpa Bennett!

Wow.  It feels like it's been forever since my last blog post.  Perhaps it's because of all that has happened in between.  After that eventful afternoon with Eliot and Peter at the car wash (see previous post), Peter and I both fell ill and the three of us spent an entire weekend holed up in our apartment drinking ginger water and watching Beauty and the Beast over and over and over.

We were back on our feet just in time for Spencer to come home from a work trip, and for his mother and step-father to arrive later that evening.  They were here in Perth for a week, after having spent about a week in Melbourne and Sydney respectively.  We had a great time showing them around and Eliot and Peter warmed to them immediately.  We didn't know what to expect because it had been so long since the boys had seen them in person.  But as soon as Eliot set eyes on them he didn't want them to leave his side.  Peter showed off some of his newly acquired language skills and Eliot demonstrated some of his swimming skills in their hotel pool.

While visiting their hotel, Yellow Bear went missing and we spent an anxious night without him, praying that we'd find him.  We called the hotel's housekeeping and Grandma and Grandpa even went back down to the pool (where we thought Yellow Bear had been left) to search under deck chairs and sift through the towel bin.  Nothing.  Eventually a fuzzy memory came to me; Eliot opening an end table drawer in their room and beginning to stuff in Yellow Bear.  I asked Eliot if he had put Yellow Bear into a drawer in Grandma and Grandpa's room.  He looked at me with wide eyes and said that he had.  I asked which one, and straight away he said, "The lamp table.  He can't get out by himself."  Indeed.  That evening Grandma and Grandpa checked the 'lamp table' and Yellow Bear was returned home.  Whew!
Grandma and Grandpa were immediately put to work reading stories and giving snuggles.

Grandma helped Peter act out the story "The Snowy Day."

Tracking kangaroos up at Pinnaroo.

Eliot and Grandma getting a closer look.

Cooling off at a fountain near Grandma and Grandpa's hotel.  The boys are wearing new outfits.  Grandma ran inside the mall to get them after the boys got soaked in the fountain.  I didn't take any pictures of them playing in the fountain because I was with them (at Eliot's request), trying my best to avoid getting wet myself!  Next time we'll have to remember their swimsuits! ;)

We made it down to the beach a few times and made a trip to the Fremantle Market to pet the Koala Bear.

When it came time to say goodbye Eliot started to cry.  Fortunately, their flight wasn't until late in the evening, so Peter got to give them each one of his famous Big Hugs and say Bye! on his way to bed, and Grandma had time to tuck Eliot in one last time.  Both boys were fast asleep and dreaming before they left.  The next morning Eliot asked where Grandma and Grandpa were and when I explained that they were in a big plane, flying home to Canada he said, "No, I want them to jump down.  I want them here."  I think he spoke for all of us.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's that smell?

Tonight I find myself heading out to the car to scrub the interior and sprinkle some odour-absorbing baking soda.  It all started yesterday when I went to the store to pick up some milk and other staples.  Unbeknownst to me, the cap on the milk jug was just loose enough to allow milk to leak out all over the passenger-side floor of the car on the ride home.  I tried to mop it up as best I could, but by the next morning it smelled pretty bad.

Today, during the boys' afternoon nap, I went down to the car, cleared out the clutter, and applied baking soda to the affected area.  When the boys awoke a couple hours later I packed them in and we drove off to a gas station to use their car vacuum.

On the way, Eliot complained that he wasn't feeling well.  He hasn't been feeling well for the past week; a cold that's just sort of holding on.  As I pulled up to the station I assured him that it wouldn't take long.  He continued to complain.  I pulled around to the car cleaning area and let him out of his car seat to help relieve his angst.  He continued to complain.  I was convinced that the best way to help him would be to get the vacuuming done as quickly as possible, and then hurry home where he could get some rest.  I tried to convince him of the same, while furiously wielding the huge vacuum hose.  It only took a couple of minutes, because I only paid for the minimum 4 minutes, and I didn't even use it all up.

I turned off the vacuum, gave the floors and seats a few generous squirts of New Car scent, and turned to Eliot, "See?  All done!"  Eliot looked at me--and threw up all over the driver's seat.  Life: 1.  Nora: 0.  Luckily the diaper bag was in the seat and caught most of it, and I recovered from the shock quickly enough to have my hands cupped and ready to catch round two that followed just as quickly.  I whisked Eliot out of the car, stripped off his soiled clothes, and put them in a plastic bag that I somehow had on hand.  I cleaned up the car as well as I could, with the diaper wipes I had, and then we drove straight home, with the windows down.

There is a sort of poetic justice in the fact that I was so intent on getting rid of one stink, that I missed the warning signs that led to another, and arguably worse, stink.  And then of course there's poor little Eliot.  At least he's at an age where he can make it to the toilet, so that's a relief.  I hope it's just a 24 hour bug.  I've got Peter and myself on close, cross-contamination watch.  Anyway, the milk smell is gone.