Friday, August 16, 2013

The daily updates

MONDAY Lily stayed home from school sick.  She was a bit under the weather, but I think also just needed some downtown at home.  We were able to get some filled out, read some books, and the three of us girls got a big nap in.  Wonderfully relaxing day.  Here is one of her postcards to her 'besty' Elliott :)  (hopefully it arrives before Elliott reads this)...

TUESDAY Gia and I set off to tackle more grocery shopping after school drop off.  The grocery store does not have a public toilet (or restroom as we might say), and Gia invariably has to go as soon as we get there, despite numerous stops beforehand.  This forces us to tinkle on a nearby tree - which I think explains the exciting need to have to go each time we grocery shop.

The treat for Gia at the grocery shop are these little containers of mangos that have a 'spork' attached to the lid.  She really, really enjoys them.  She tucks it right into the inside pocket of her stroller and munches happily.  I was able to snap a picture of her finishing one off after the spork proved unable to catch the tiny mango bits left on the sides.

Grocery stores in Australia do not refrigerate eggs.  However we still pop them right into the fridge when we get home.  Tough habit to break.  It is an odd sight to see the eggs stacked next to the cereal, and a bit hard to get past at first, but it does not stop us from consuming 2 dozen eggs each week!  At nearly $7/dozen for free range eggs, this rivals my 'flat white' coffee consumption.  Okay, it doesn't touch it, but still?!


Each grocery trip we amaze the cashier at all we can pack into our stroller.  I have a large cloth bag as a sort-of purse, and always keep my backpack in the bottom to overflow that we can clip to the handlebars.  Feeling quite efficient with my yellow Bob stroller, come rain or shine :)

We ate like kings, or queens rather, after our trip to the grocery.  We indulged in our original Aussie sandwich (carryover from the days at Napoleon) of chicken, avocado and tomato - served with delicious carrot juice served in wine glasses - at Gia's insistence.

Then we read our usual three books before settling in for a nap.  Here is Gia with her "Baby Anna".  Baby Anna replaced the baby doll still flying around the world in the ND backpack that somehow did not make it off our last flight let with us on our way here.  We picked up the baby at a resell shop for $4, including a carrier seat.  Quite the bargain.

We headed to the school a bit early today so that I could meet with Lily's teacher to check in on her progress.  My girl is holding her own!  Doing great with her writing and reading.  Now on to the more difficult challenge of moving a bit faster with starting her work... I told her it may be in her genes, but we will try and reward system and see.

After a play at the play sets, the kids and I walked in to Fremantle to get Caden a haircut.  We found a place that cuts kid's hair for $14 (which was then $17.50 when it was all said and done), but it was a great cut!  I am thinking maybe I should head there too instead of $65+ cut scheduled for tomorrow.

We then went to the coffee shop Dome for the kids to do their homework, and do a couple of more  Caden wrote this one to his buddy Henry :)  We are practicing lower case letters - starting with 'a'.  Can you tell?

We worked for about an hour before meeting Corey dinner at a Mexican restaurant with half-price nachos on Tuesdays.  Pretty average.  We then had ice cream in the courtyard before the kids and I took the bus home.  The right bus.  We actually beat the biker by about 2 minutes.

WEDNESDAY Gia and I met up with our friend Dani McKenna for a walk and a coffee at Cottesloe beach.  I had intended to take the train, but figured by the time I got to Freo, got on the train, etc. it would be just as fast to run it, as it is just under 5 miles out.  Gia and I made it at 10am on the dot, and had the added bonus of a gorgeous, sunny run where we could watch surfers the whole way :)  Gia snacked on mangos and strawberries much of the way, happy as could be.

We ran right to the playset at Cott and waited for Dan there.  Notice the view.

We walked a bit with Dan and had coffees at The Naked Fig in Swanbourne.  We hatched a plan over coffee for their eldest, Thomas, who Corey and I adored from when we first met him 15 years ago, to come and do his college studies in the U.S. and live with us.  We are working out how soon the McKenna's can make if over for a college visit :)  Dan then gave us a ride home.

Caden went to Oli's for a "play" as they say (which rhymes) after school, and Lily had Lily over.  All was quiet by 6, except for the strange siting of person dressed in a full suit of knight armor, on a horse, kitty-corner from our house, posing with a sword.  We are assuming there was a commercial of some sort being filmed.  For someone who is adept at capturing photos of all of the mundane aspects of our lives here, I somehow neglected to snap a photo of the knight!!!  And no, I wasn't drinking.  Or at least not enough to hallucinate.

THURSDAY the kids started tennis lessons.  The tennis clinic is set up by the local tennis club right at the kid's school an hour before the school bell, a.k.a. siren.  The assembly area provides shelter from the inclement weather, so that is where the lesson was held this week.  Apparently they hadn't thought of this last week when lessons were supposed to start, so lessons were cancelled last minute - or at least last minute by standards of those of us walking there!

Kids had a blast with tennis.  Today it was just Lily, Caden, and Caden's besty Oli.

After drop off, Gia and I headed in to Fremantle to recover our shipment of coffee that the Postman did now leave at the house yesterday.  We are still enamored with the Yahava coffee I raved about previously, so had another bag shipped to us.  We are hoping they will ship to South Bend eventually too!

Gia and I ended up making quite a few stops in town - meeting Corey at a cafe for lunch called The Bookstore Cafe.  Can you guess why? :)
Gia selected the table.

Insisted her daddy try her 'baby cino'.

knows how to enjoy life, by eating the frosting off of her carrot cake muffin first.  

And correcting me that my little pinkie should be raised 'like this' as I sip my coffee.

We then headed off to shop for some Ugg/Emu boots for Lily as a congrats for her reading progress, lace shoes for Caden, groceries, and a few pieces for our costumes for the Quiz night tomorrow night.  We were gone all day, and rained on intermittently throughout the day.  The granddaddy of the rainstorms came right at pickup though of course.  I was laden with many packages hanging from my "pram" as I trudged uphill from Freo to the school, wind whipping fiercely with rain pelting down.   Gia was fast asleep so I wrapped her raincoat around her legs and powered through.  As we crossed the school yard the wind picked up Gia's coat and Caden had to go bolting after it.  I then finagled Lily, Caden, and Caden's buddy Cooper - plus Gia and a slew of packages home.  The kids insisted on carrying the umbrellas.  Not to keep them dry, mind you.  But to giggle as they would get blown inside-out and back again, over, and over, and over...

Lily loved her boots.  She is starting look like a young lady instead of our little Lily Bug.

I ended up keeping my appointment to get my hair cut at the more expensive venue.  Something about being in Australia makes me have short hair!  No pics to post yet, but suffice it to say I do not have enough hair for a ponytail!

FRIDAY began with a trip up to 9 Seeds Cafe.  It is right by our bus stop, we thought it would be a fun change up.  Kids had croissants and raspberry white chocolate muffins.  I had the best oatmeal of life!  It was an oatmeal/quinoa blend with pumpkin seeds and a poached pear.  I am still thinking about it.

Bus stop is literally right in front, so we hopped right on and were super early to school.  This may be our new Friday tradition.

Tonight we are headed to 'Quiz Night' for the kids school.  Prizes are full on with kayaks, cruises, and gift certificates to Barque.  We are hoping that our table mates are not too disapointed when they realize that we are just worthless business professors, not much good for trivia.  We are all dressing as M&Ms.

A few other random notes:
"Watch out for dog poop!" has become Gia's constant utterance when we are out in the stroller.  This stems from dog poop that was spotted along one of the sidewalks by our house the very first week we arrived.  Funny the things the kids don't forget - as opposed to the many other things they do!  I have to admit though, she is keeping me on my toes - and keeping my toes clean :)

The mail (Post) is delivered by moped.  There was an article in the paper inquiring as go why the "Posties" no longer ring their bell when they deliver the mail.  The response was that the ringing of the bell harkened back to colonial times.  The moped drives right up to each mail slot, with a stack of papers balanced.

There is an election coming up on September 7 for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd against incumbent Tony Abbott.  This enables us to witness a lot of political rhetoric.  An interesting happening was a recent back pedaling by the current prime minister to halve subsidies to private home owners that have installed solar panels (that were expected to be in effect for 10 years) to deal with budget issues.  Very refreshing to see his quote saying, "Our bad - we made a mistake."

Here is a bit of our neighborhood...
Our street

I like the way the roof just opens to let the sun and breeze in.
A couple of houses across the street from us. Note the sun roofs.  These would not go far in Indiana!

The entrance and drive are both gated.  Gia hops out of the stroller, while still in motion mind you, to ensure she has the coveted role of being the gatekeeper.

This is what our walk to school looks like, although the kids riding perched on Corey's bike seat vary.

One in the seat, one at the feet, and we've taken to adding the third on the handle bars :)

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