Oct 28, 2008

Long Overdue

Yeah Yeah Yeah, I know I'm overdue to post, but I'm REALLY overdue to put these pics up. This was a while ago after church when Gabey decided to go for a something a little more sexy than his usual attire. It was hilarious. Little Boy has quite the shoe fetish. Don't tell the Grandpas, especially Pop Pop. They may start to wonder. The thing is though, that Gabe is so BOY that you really can joke comfortably about these things.

This was Laine around the time of her birthday when she wore the aprons that Grams Riley made her. Are they not uber-ADORABLE?? You can't see the other one, I know I have pics of it somewhere but can't find them and she's at school today so no chance for a totally real photo op... Anyway, Laine and I both love the aprons and we use them all of the time and here are the pics for Grams finally!

And how sad are these pics??

You remember the pics of the back garden from before I assume. Here is what it looks {and SOUNDS!!} like today, which is even worse than the pics I posted yesterday on HG. I should have snapped them a half hour ago when they excavator was on the fence line and the massive tree grinder was obnoxiously grinding those beautiful trees that used to line that fence line!

Oct 21, 2008

Welcome Welcome Terrible Two's... Bring it on!

Happy Birthday Manchild!

PS -if you've seen Ben's neck, let us know where to find it, we've looked everywhere!

The other night we had this great impromptu pizza party with our neighbors and we ended up discussing that Gabe's birthday would be on Monday. The ladies were a little tipsy, and suggested pulling the neighborhood together for a street party for Gabe. It all sounded like the kind of idea that seemed great...when drunk. And for a second I wondered if anyone would remember the grandeos plans the next day. I didn't have anything else planned, I felt bad since I didn't do anything for Laine's birthday a few months back, it was just too much at that time to put something on...

To my relief / horror / joy, they did remember. And Monday, it was on. It was some work for sure, but was so worth it and was probably the greatest birthday party we have thrown to date. That is not saying much. I'm not nearly as festive as I should be, and with most birthdays happening overseas or while pregnant or just on the verge of moving or having just moved, it hasn't helped.

This was great though. Everyone brought some nibbles and there were presents galore. Gabe was surrounded by his favorite ladies who he just adores. The tall one is Amberleigh of whom he is in love with and even calls 'Mummy' sometimes. He follows her around where ever she goes, arms outstretched and whining until she'll pick him up. It's a crack-up.

I made a mountain cake with some hills and country roads. Gabe is so into cars, so I thought he'd like it. It was probably the ugliest thing I've ever seen, not being modest, but the girls all went apey for it and thought it was magnificent. And it did taste incredible... it was a raspberry almond cake with coconut, of my own creation. I made it with half flour and half almond meal and the recipe will be on HG tomorrow if you're interest has been piqued.

Happy Birthday to the best little boy a mom could ask for. You keep me laughing and smiling and I just don't know what to do with myself I love you so much. I just want to squeeze you all day long. In fact, to quote Paula, you're ridiculous. I just want to squeeze you, squish your head off and dangle you from my rear view mirror.

You are so fun and have such a joy about you. Your little chicklette teeth and deep husky voice with accompanying lisp keep everyone cracking up. And you run like a girl, which is hilarious /adorable now but we do hope you grow out of it, but not too soon.

You are a Wildman, and you grow more and more wild everyday. It's been very eye-opening as a Mum who grew up without any brothers! But we love your antics and none of us can get enough of you. You're one in a million my little bebe! Kisses!

Oct 16, 2008

He pooped on me, but it's cool

Yep, he did

PS I just discovered the phone has been off the hook for the last 859 minutes. Congrats to us, a new record.

So here we are, back from our trip. I can't say that I really should even be blogging with the mountain of laundry, emails, and phonecalls waiting for me. But I don't think I need to remind you people that I like to live life on the edge.

The first few days were a little rocky, what with the rain, sick kids, Ben's nerves about how the convention was going to go and all of this going down in a tiny hotel room. But once the convention was underway, things started to look up and they only got better from there.

It was so great to see some faces from home and there are so many distributors that I was looking forward to seeing as well. There were lovely dinners, beautiful awards nights, dancing, breakfast cruises. And it all took place 50 meters from Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coast.

Here's a little story to boost your self esteem:

Jason Norton {who somehow manages to get on this blog more frequently than most of our family...} had flown in from SLC via Tahiti on a 36 HOUR flight with Bianca Lisonbee, one of the co-founders of the company. We had dinner all together with them and Moira and Reg from the Sydney office and then everyone retired to their rooms. There was only one more day of prep before the big days started, so Ben suggest I do anything I needed to get done before I was deprived of the internet for the next few days since he would need his laptop 24/7.

So after putting the kids to bed, including Ben, I stayed up late blogging, facebooking, emailing, trying to get as much done as I could. I was just about done, and so beyond tired I could barely see straight, by then it was 1:30 in the morning. Then it occured to me that I hadn't checked my old yahoo email account, which really has mostly turned into a spamfest. However, there is the occasional golden nugget -like a forward from an estranged relative- that keeps me coming back for more.

So I open it up to see and urgent email from Jason's wife, Kim, relating that I must have him get in touch with her ASAP. Not knowing more than that, my groggy brain tried to process the information and what to do with it. Since he had just flown in, I figured he had jetlag and would possibly be up in a few short hours. I, on the other hand, was sure I was afforded sleep until 10 {didn't happen anyway, not even close} since I was on vacay, so by then it might be too late! Immediate action WAS necessary I decided.

I woke Ben up to ask if he had seen Jason talking to Kim or if he had mentioned anything about getting in touch with her. He said he didn't think so. I then asked him what room Jason was in, hoping he was right next door and this could be easy. Nope, he was 8 floors down. Oh well, this was an emergency situation, one of which Jason may need to catch the next flight out of town. I emailed Kim, assuring her that she did the right thing to contact me, and that I would ensure Jason got the message. I wrote a note, put on the hotel bathrobe, and trudged 8 floors down to Jason's room, barefoot and barefaced. I was just going to leave the note, WHY didn't I leave the note!? but then I heard the TV on, so I figured so much the better, he was up, and I could relay this most important message now! I knocked, and waited for a good 30 seconds, realizing he probably had NOT been awake, that he had fallen asleep with the TV on and that I've now just woken a man up with jetlag on the eve of a very important convention. I should have turned and ran, instead, I waited to greet his groggy face {seriously groggy face, the next morning he had to double check that he had put clothes on, which he had} and then hear that he had already been in touch with Kim. So I didn't save the day afterall... Well, my heart was in the right place! My intentions were good!

The latter part of the trip was the best. Theme parks, Water Parks, Wildlife Santuaries, dining out sans kids with fun friends. Life couldn't be any more grand.

Breakfast cruise. My fly is down at this very moment, but I haven't yet discovered it...

No the 70's are not back and double no, I am not wearing blue mascara -despite what it looks like

Riding the train at the Currumbin Wildlife Santuary

It's a little blurry, but I love this pic of Jason and Gabe. Though you'd think it was monkey's in the background, not Koalas...

So Sad!

This bird was sitting on this ledge and sweet little Laine went up to touch it and the nasty thing lunged at her with it's x-tra long Gumby neck and needle sharp beak. She was SO scared, and I screamed as I saw it happen out of the corner of my eye. She shouted 'I don't like it!' and I ran up to her and cradled her little trembling body as she whimpered. I swear she'll never be the same. Nasty bird!

This little Kanga had a precious little joey in the pouch. So cute! We can't get enough of the roos. They are fascinating to watch as they bouce all over the place!

Laine wasn't so sure...

Lookout point on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. Captain Cook did something here that was significant... wasn't really getting it...

Humpback whales who were migrating back to the Antarctic were breaching in the distance which was awesome

Good times...

Oct 5, 2008

'family pics' and some whingeing

There are just some things I won't miss about living here {and to be fair, there are some that I will miss so, *SO* much}. But one of my all time biggest peeves about being here, besides the fact that the 80's are back in a rage {not kidding, even mullets}, is that EVERY shop but select grocery stores and petrol stations close at 5PM! EVERY DAY! Except for Thursday, when you have the privelege of going out to shop until 9 PM! It is the most unreal phenomenon. It is 4:59, the mall is packed with people, and shopkeepers, rather brashly, are all but shooing you out with a broom. People, customers, cash in hand -they don't care!

Thursday nights ALL shops are supposed to stay open until 9pm. So you get one day out of 7 to shop in the evening -if you call 'till 9 'the evening'. So this week Ben and I thought since it was heating up, and we've got about a bajillion families we want to have over for shrimp on the barby, we better get a sitter and go pick out our very first 'real' patio set so we don't embarrass ourselves with our current one that I will be embarrased to have my garbage man see when I throw it away.

So Ben left work, I picked up Nikee, and we headed off for our very intimate and romantic date night. It took about 1/2 hour to get to what was supposed to be the bees knees of an outlet shopping center, and as we pull up at 7:20 the place looks like a friggin ghost town. Most of the shops are closed with the remaining few looking as if they're looking for their broom to swat people away.

After 9 1/2 minutes of frantic searching for the Freedom outlet, we find it and our rather friendly salesman greets us at the door with a 'you've got about 30 seconds people'. Nice. So we quickly survey the scene, they have one style of outdoor table and it comes in large and larger, so after about 15 seconds of banter back and forth on how large our parties are going to be multiplied by the price difference in the two sizes divided by the level of optimism over whether either of them will fit in our car with 6-8 chairs we decide to go with the large size so I shout -Okay, we'll take that one and six chairs! Followed by us whipping out our card and marching to the checkout. At this point we are frustrated, and I see more than a few things I would have liked to take a closer look at -if only it weren' freaking 7:31 we might have had time... Or perhaps it would help if these people were PAID ON COMMISION so they gave a damn about paying customers with fistfulls of cash!

It was at this point that he let us know that we still would have to come back later to pick it up, since no one would help us to our car with it. I huffed 'fine, we'll carry it ourselves!' I let them know that the WHOLE entire point of our evening was to come here and get this table, and we even got a sitter to do so. He said he wouldn't allow us to do it, it wouldn't fit through the front door and the service door was locked. Great. Nice. Wonderful. In the words of Meg Swan of Best in Show, 'Thank YOU for your help!...You stupid... Freedom Furniture Store Manager!"

Yeah, so, we still have no table. I'll let you know when that little situation is remedied and I may even get around to taking a pic of our current table and 2 chairs, if I can even call them that. You would really feel bad for me then.

Okay, and here are of our recent 'family' pics. Ben was 'sick' that morning and I had already gotten {is that a word?} myself at the kids ready at 7:30 in the morning -so we went with it!

They were taken by the very fabulous Sals Crosbie of Eden Lane Photography for locals. I highly recommend her! She was so great to work with, we had a blast, she was beyond focused on getting me what I wanted and she is just a doll. Stay tuned for more pics when we get the real ones taken when she gets back from her trip in a month!
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