Friday, January 27, 2012

Oi oi oi!

What did *you* do to celebrate Australia Day? Okay, okay...I guess that's not a fair question unless you live in Australia and/or are Australian. You guys are picky!

It's been raining buckets here, which altered our usual Australia Day plans of swimming and BBQs. So, we took the train into the city to check out the Australian Museum. It has the largest-ever exhibit of living Australians. (No it doesn't.)

Luckily, once we got downtown, the rain had paused, so we walked around Hyde Park, checking out the festivities. The rain picked up just as we were heading into the museum. Which has lots of great exhibits. The kids loved the skeleton room! Which is just what it sounds like. And of course, the dinosaurs. Duh, who doesn't love dinosaurs?

I think 4-6 dinosaur skeletons must come standard in any museum starter-pack. That, and rocks. Oh, and stuffed lions. That exhibit was kinda all, "Hey here are some lions! Which aren't actually found in Australia, but hello? They're LIONS. And they're awesome, and we want them in our museum."

No, but really, it's an excellent museum. The kids had a great time. And now, I've typed museum so many times that the word is starting to look weird to me. You know what I mean? Like, I'm forgetting how to spell it? Let's keep moving.

Funniest moment of the day: I was waiting in line with Ava and Nate so they could get their hair spray painted in funny colors. As you do. There was a little boy, about 4 years old, who had just had his hair sprayed bright red. The lady held up a little mirror to show him the results. He burst INSTANTLY into tears and started yelling in protest. Then, he put his hands on his head, staining them red, too. He just looked so horror-struck. Like, "This is NOT what I thought we were doing!"

Bless him, I'm sure I shouldn't think that was funny. Maybe you had to be there--he was all, "Why, God, whhyyyyy?" But I made sure not to laugh where he could see me. And don't worry, a lollipop from his mama calmed him down.

After the museum, (meuseum? No.) we walked back to the park to eat lunch. Grace was not receptive to any of the menu choices on offer. She kept yelling, "Chicken! Fries! Mom--chicken!!" So, while Jason took Ava and Nate to do one last activity, Grace and I hoofed it 4-5 blocks to the nearest McDonalds. Or I should say, I carried my 30lb toddler 4-5 blocks. Which, in ridiculously high levels of humidity, made me as dewy and fresh as a summer's morning by the time we got there.

Luckily, we rode the train home in air-conditioned comfort. And achieved the trifecta of a successful family outing: no one pooped their pants/threw up, somebody learned something new, and there were ice cream cones. Check, check, and check.

Happy Australia Day! Or, if you don't live in the Lucky Country, happy Thursday!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Summer days, drifting away

This week coming is our last week of summer holidays--school starts on Monday the 30th. It's flown by! I've said it before, but there's something quite nice about combining the excitement of Christmas with the relaxation of summer break. You should really try it sometime, if you haven't.

That's sort of why I haven't posted as much lately. Sorry I've been a bit MIA. Now, I know one of my sister's Rules of Life for Ladies is Never Apologize, Never Explain, but she is made of stronger stuff than me. I apologize a lot. Not as much as I used to, but still. I have a graduate degree in apology. I will say sorry for things I'm not even remotely connected with. People find it annoying sometimes, but what's a girl to do? I gotta be me.

Above are a few snapshots of what we've been up to. I'm posting from my phone, so I can't separate them as I normally would. I am now not going to apologize for that. It's been a nice break from routine. Jason and I have had a couple of work/ministry-related fires to put out, (holidays can be stressful for some folks) but overall we've had fun together and relaxed as a family.

Our friends even watched the kids for a day and a night so Jase and I could stay in the city! Overnight! In a hotel! Without a pack-n-play in our room! We walked all over the city. We browsed. We people-watched. We had dinner at a place that didn't EVEN have a kid's menu. As if such places exist! I'm probably imagining the whole thing.

This is what's happening in our world right now. I really can't complain! Ah, but lest you think it's perfect, here are some of my issues: Ava has an ear infection, Grace keeps saying "boobies!" in public, I am now so badly in need of a pedicure that I'm embarrassed to wear open-toe shoes, and there is a funny smell in our playroom-slash-extra-sitting-area. I'm not sure what that's about. I told Jase I think it might be the sofa, and he was like, "You and your smelling imaginary things. You always think it's the sofa! It's NOT the sofa!" And I was like, sorry, gah. (See? Apology!) And he was like, you're weird. And I was like, hmmph.

As the sage Kurt Cobain once said, Oh well, whatever, never mind.

That's all I got! I've missed y'all! Everybody okay out there?

Monday, January 16, 2012

This is how you know you've been watching too much Doctor Who instead of blogging

Me: So, if I was Madame de Pompadour? And my life was in danger at Versailles? You'd find a way to come through the time portal to rescue me, right?

Jason: Sure, babe.

Me: Even if it meant that you'd be stuck in 18th century France forever?

Jason: (sighing) Of course.

Me: But what about those evil android clock thingies that want my brain to power their ship? Would you defeat them because I was so lovely and charming and beguiling, yet also tragic? And then stay with me forever, leaving your time-traveling spaceship behind?

Jason: Babe, if it meant being with you--wait. What about the kids? Would we have to leave them on the ship? Who'd take care of them?

Me: Jase! I'm Madame de Pompadour and you're Doctor Who. We don't have kids together? It's, like, alternate reality? Jeez.

Jason: I'm just not sure how we'd work all that out, is all.

Me: Shut up. Just start the next episode.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Milestone of our Sydney lives

This year, we decided to be brave and actually go somewhere for New Year's Eve. Like, with the kids and stuff. Let me make this clear for you: On New Year's Eve, we decided to take our 3 children and actually leave our house. And our neighborhood. At night. Late. I know--is my tale of valor inspiring you already?

Sydney's NYE fireworks display is spectacular. Each year, more than a million people pack into the city and shorelines of the harbour to see them. We'd never done it, because in previous years we've either been in the States, or I've been pregnant or we've had itty bitty kids. Or we've been wimps. Or all of the above.

A few weeks ago, some friends of ours told us about a spot they go to that doesn't get too overwhelmingly crowded. I'd heard stories before of friends going to the fireworks and it being so packed that they stood for hours and then didn't get home till 3am. Needless to say, we weren't signing up for that.

The nice thing, though, is that Sydney does fireworks at 9pm and midnight. So we decided to go for the earlier ones and then head home. Our spot was near a lovely suburb called Hunter's Hill. It's quite schmancy. I'm told Cate Blanchett lives there, so of course we fit right in.

So we parked our car and took a shuttle bus to a waterside park. All traffic in and out of the area was restricted to residents only. I'd anticipated huge crowds of people and tons of stress (such an optimist--it's one of the things Jason loves most about me), but we took the bus, arrived at the park, found a spot by the water and set up our picnic spot--easy as you please. I kept waiting for some asteroid to hurtle from the heavens to destroy us all, because this was just too easy.
See? Here we are, unscathed. It was a great vantage point too--you can't see it cause my gargantuan melon head is in the way, but the Harbour Bridge is behind us. The optimal view, I'm told, is on the other side of the bridge, near the Opera House. But that's why about a million people go there, and why we opted to stay in the 'burbs. I'm sure Cate would agree.

There was about 12 people in our group, and we just hung out waiting for the 9pm show. The kids ran around, the adults ate and played cards. It was fun to walk around and see what different groups were doing to entertain themselves during the wait. Cricket games, lots of card playing, guitar players, fishing. Here's our friend Matt with Grace--he is one of her favorites:
Finally, the sun started to set! It got a bit chilly with the wind coming off the water.The fireworks were great! Unfortunately I don't have any decent pictures to show you because Grace, who was sitting in my lap at the time, kept grabbing the phone to take her own photos. So they're all a bit blurry. But here's a professional photo of the midnight fireworks, which are quite a bit more showy than what we saw.

Now, that wasn't our view and like I said, those are the midnight fireworks. But still, it was a beautiful display and the kids loved it. And? It was at 9pm, not midnight. Yay!

After that we packed up and headed back to the buses. This was the longest wait of the night, as a lot of folks were going as well. But it was such a festive atmosphere that the wait to get on the bus wasn't bad at all.

There was this one guy, though. There is always this one guy. He led his little group up behind us, and was trying to get ahead of us to get on the bus. And I was all, "Jason! That guy's gonna try to cut in front of us. You need to s that d." (We've been watching 30 Rock lately, and Liz Lemon says that instead of "Shut that down.") So we were like, "Excuse me, we've been waiting here for over half an hour. You need to get in line." And he's all, "Please move toward the buses in an orderly fashion." In this really silly imperious tone of voice. And I was all, "What are you, the bus line captain? Be quiet." See, I can talk like that when I'm with Jason. And the guy was all, fine. And I was all, whatever.

And then we got on the bus. And here is the big finish, the happy ending: We were home by 11pm. I know. I know. And if you think I paused for a moment and reflected on how much my life has changed: that I'd actually be happy to be home by 11 on New Year's Eve, missing the grand finale fireworks show? You'd be wrong. I was asleep just before midnight.

S that D.