Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Two Truths and a Lie

Did you ever play this game? You stand up in front of a group of people and tell them three things about yourself--two things are true, and one that isn't. The group has to decide what's true and what is a lie. Let's play, from things that happened (or didn't!) in the past week:

1. With the kids home from school, things have slowed down a lot. I've been able to reorganize my pantry, wash all our windows, and answer a ton of emails. You guys, I've overcome my fear of going in the pantry now--it's so nice and clean! If you've been reading this for awhile, you know that's miraculous--after The Incident of the Rat in the Nighttime, I was severely traumatized. I think I've overcome, y'all!

2. Last Friday night, I went out to eat with some other moms from the school. We had our hair did, and our goin' out clothes on. As we sat in a large booth, chatting and laughing, a very inebriated, much younger dude came and sat with us. We ignored him. It seemed like the smartest thing to do. He sat there, hunched over, looked at each of us and then yelled, "Merrrrrrrrrrr!" Like it was meant to be a purr or something, but just didn't quite get there. We ignored him some more. Then he went away. Is there some secret language of drunk people that I am not wise to?

3. Last Wednesday, I took the kids to a community pool. While they were swimming, one of the other kids there decided to make a significant "deposit" in the pool. Then we left. Then Ava came down with strep throat. Is there a connection?

4. And one more bonus: This year our church had two Easter services. One was in our regular location, and one was in a local pub. We reckoned that Jesus turned water into wine, dontcha know, so He'd for sure hang out at a pub. I sang a Cyndi Lauper song, just for kicks. Jason bought a beer for a guy that came to visit. (Incidentally, when we lived in Dallas, I used to say that we should call our College Bible Study "Free Beer"--I thought more people might come. No one else seemed to think that was a good idea.)

Okay, guesses now, please! Which one isn't true? And let's see your two truths and a lie in the comments!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Let's Discuss

For your consideration:

1. Swim Diapers/Nappies (cause I am bilingual): Do you think they really do much? I mean, I suppose they can withhold certain solids from entering the pool. But do they really provide a barrier between pool water and baby bodily fluid? I submit, not. Now, don't get your swim diaper in a knot, I still use them. But let's just say we've had a few incidents where I wondered if it was as effective as it was meant to be.

Wanna invite us to come swim?

2. Bcc: I personally feel that not enough people are aware of the Blind Carbon Copy function in email. What do you think? This week alone, I've gotten three emails from different folks who sent their messages to at least 200 addressees. I had to scroll, and scroll and SCROLL down to get to the body of the message. On an iPhone, it takes like, multiple seconds to do that. Annoying! Plus, what if all those folks didn't want to make their email address visible to me? I might spam them. I might! I could!

Can we start an awareness campaign? A grass-roots type of movement? Maybe T-shirts with "I B(cc). U B(cc)." Hmmm, maybe not. Let's work on that. Ya know, I wasn't aware of Bcc until 4 or 5 years ago. May I share this great knowledge with you, too? The next time you're sending a mass email, put your own email address in the "To" line, then click on "Add Bcc" in gmail, or if you have a yahoo account, "Show Bcc". Then paste alllll those 532 addresses in there, never again to see the light of day. And there will be much rejoicing.

Some of you are sneering and saying, "Duh--like I didn't already know that!" Okay, Fancypants. Sorry to take up your time.

3. My shin muscles: (What are those called?) And also those little muscles that go from your ankles to your feet. (What are those called?) I've been exercising regularly and walking/running for a year now and lately they've started to feel really fatigued and "burny" really quickly. I don't think it's a shin splint, cause it doesn't really hurt, it's just really uncomfortable. And because I am a cream puff and a little whiny baby, it makes me quit running sooner than I should.

Readers, what am I doing wrong? Is there a stretch I can do? Strengthening? Is it my form, or lack thereof? My shoes? I just got new ones and it hasn't helped. I mean, those muscles should be more toned now than they were a year ago, so why am I only now experiencing issues? I am clueless about this stuff. I know this is probably a very common issue that everyone probably has, and here I am all acting like it's a strange phenomenon. I feel like Data in Star Trek: "What is this salty substance leaking from my visual orbs?" Anyhoo, maybe I should move to the stationary bike for a little while.

And there you have it: the next three topics I'll be introducing at my next dinner party. As you can imagine, I am very popular.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A view from the zoo

Our good friends Sarah and Matt have moved to Sydney and are staying with us until they find a place to live. Last Thursday afternoon, we all went to the zoo.

Sydney's Taronga Zoo is on prime real estate--across the harbour from the city and the Opera House, it has some incredible views.

We all had a great time wandering around, threatening to send Nate to live in the monkey house, and chasing Grace through the seal exhibit.

Highlights for the kids included: watching the elephants poop,

(One word about that: volume.) And also climbing on the statue of the baby giraffe. Mind you, the real giraffes were right there, but they didn't really get much attention.

Now as much as I enjoy watching elephants poop (volume!), my favorite thing at the zoo is the bird show. I'm not even all that into birds, but it's really impressive, and it's set right on the shore, overlooking the harbour. Right on cue, birds fly in from all over, swooping over the audience. It's fun, and really--there are some amazing birds in this country.
When we go to the zoo, the bird show is always on the must-do list. So, when you come to Sydney (of course you want to--duh!) call me and we'll go to the zoo. Okay?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Easter Headgear

Last Friday was our last day of school for Term 1--now we have a nearly 3 week break. Friday morning was the annual Easter Hat Parade. Um...in case the title is ambiguous, the younger classes make Easter hats (assisted by older "buddies") and then parade around in them.

Here's Ava's "hat". She wanted to make a chicken mask this year. Because as you know, nothing says "He is Risen!" like poultry! When we went away to the Hunter Valley, the kids missed a couple days of school. Apparently, Ava's class was told while we were gone to bring their hat-making supplies in the following Monday. So that Monday morning, Ava's teacher texted me to let me know they'd be working on the hats later that day. (Which was really nice of her.) I raced to the mall and bought a mask and some feathers. And lo, a chicken mask was born. Or at least, something with eye-holes and feathers glued to it. She loved it. And for good measure, we stuck a chicken to a headband with a pipe cleaner.
Just for that little extra something. Oh yeah, I think it paid off. I think a wind-up chicken could be the new go-to accessory of the season. When in doubt: chicken headband. Remember that.

Nate and his buddy came up with this. I'm not really sure what to call it--an Easter helmet maybe? When he had it on, it covered his face, and there was a horizontal slit for his eyes.

I don't have any closeup photos of Nate's hat, cause let's be honest...it wasn't much to look at. A tube of posterboard with some stickers and chocolate eggs taped on it. But he was thrilled with it, and enjoyed marching around in front of the school. What I love about those pictures is how he's chatting to those older boys. That's his "buddy" sitting with him, and Nate just talked and laughed with those boys like they were the same age. I just love his confidence. Of course I'm biased, but he's such a charmer.

Now we're a few days into school holidays and no one is going crazy yet! So that's a good sign.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Good morning! Here's what's about to happen.

May I interest you in a delicious scone?

Or perhaps I'll just take this knife here, and swirl the jam and cream together. Then, I'd like to smear it everywhere--not only on the scone, but all over me, too.

(If that chick behind me thinks I'm sharing this scone, she'll be waiting a long time. Sharing is for wimps.)

Finally, I'd like to close our time together by refusing to eat the scone, and screaming when you take the knife away. Is that acceptable?

I'm so glad we've had this little talk.

Friday, April 1, 2011

This doesn't get old.

Last night we went on a cruise of Sydney harbour with Jason's parents.

This was our ride. A tall ship built in 1922. The guy who captains it is a shipwright and restored it and runs tours with it. They serve a buffet dinner on board while you cruise around. Even though the weather was less than ideal, we had a lovely time.

I wanted to include a photo of the four of us, cause we asked one of our fellow passengers to take one with my phone. But the gentleman was a little bewildered by the whole process, plus the boat was a-rockin', and the picture turned out blurry. I didn't have the heart to ask him to take another.

I was a little nervous about the whole trip. Pregnancy, you see, has permanently altered my inner ear. Or something. And now, even as a non-preggo person, I get seasick pretty easily. Sometimes I can't even go on the swings at the park. When I was pregnant with Ava, Jason and I took a "last hurrah" vacay to St. Martin. We went snorkeling one day, and not only did I throw up over the side of the boat on the way out to the site, I felt queasy while floating on the water snorkelling. Who gets seasick from that? Me. I do. Last night, the weather was a little windy and rainy and when the boat docked for us to come aboard, she was rolling up and down. Eek.

Then I got more nervouser when we all had to crowd onto the front of the boat for the welcome talk. Up and down, up and down. Jason kept looking at me, to "check" on me. Spying him out of the corner of my eye, I said, "Stop it. Don't look at me and don't ask me if I'm okay. That makes it worse!" (I am so easy to live with.)

But I was fine! Once we got moving, it was very smooth. And I could let Jason look at me again. I could eat! I could enjoy the ride without looking for out-of-the-way places to be sick. Yay!

As we sailed along, Jason's mom (Jan) asked me if I ever get tired of the city. Nope. It's pretty spectacular. As cities go, I don't know of many that are prettier.

Here's a shot as we passed under the Harbour Bridge.

After this, we took Mike and Jan to the top of the Shangri-La Hotel. There's a bar on the 36th floor, with stunning, panoramic views of the city. Jason and I like to go there occasionally--we actually went last weekend with our neighbors-- and pretend that we always live this way; sitting in comfy chairs, looking out at the glittering city below. If you squint a little, and ignore the other patrons, you can pretend it's your penthouse apartment. (A few of you may wonder if pastors can even go to bars. Like, if you do, do you have to relinquish your membership card or something? It's okay, we cleared it with the Boss.)

(I just have to limit my tabletop dancing.)

(I'm kidding. I don't really have to limit it.)

(I'm kidding again! See how I did that? )

Ya know, sometimes when you've seen photos of a landmark all your life, you don't really expect it to be all that impressive in person. Sydney delivers, though. And for us, it never gets old. Now, if I could just transport everyone I love here, along with all my favorite discount shopping, life would be perfect.