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Fraser wanted to go and see a movie today. I declined. Have to keep something up my sleeve for the remaining 45 days. No mind, we went to the gym, instead. Well, I went to the gym while Fraser played a map game in the creche.

We ran a few errands, one of which was to buy staples for my staple gun. I am half-way through my big DIY window covering project for the toilet and I hope to finish it this weekend.

Fraser chalked up more iPad and Wii time, then I booted him outside, which lasted 5 minutes before he came back inside and decided to read instead. I don’t think that lasted long, either.

The day finished with the Christmas carols in Bradman oval. Fraser joined his school group for the last hurrah on stage and we waved around fake candles, sang carols and watched the fireworks finale. Meanwhile, Lincoln hooked up with his little girl-friend from pre-school and they sat side-by-side like an old married couple all evening. Cute.

1/47

Here we are at day 1 of school holidays. Fraser’s finished year 2, and really he only had a half day yesterday, so he’s kind of been on holidays already. But this was our first full day and I’ve decided to chronicle each day, as we go through this immensely long school break.

Being a Wednesday, Lincoln is at preschool for the rest of the week, so I did a little bit of work, while Fraser loaded up on iPad and Wii time. Then we went out for a couple of hours, did a bit of shopping, made our regular holiday pilgrimage to the library for books to read, and got lunch from the fish & chip shop.

There were several requests to get together with school friends, already, and refusals to go outside in the few rays of sunshine we’ve had in the Highlands this season.

There was TV watching, picking up Matt from the train, and a game of Words with Friends with each other.

Then I picked up Lincoln, shovelled an early dinner down their throats and we all went back to school at 5:40pm for the end of year Thanksgiving assembly. I was reluctant to go after last year’s assembly dragging on but they hold us to ransom by not handing out school reports until right after the closing remarks. And Fraser was due on stage with the rest of the shepherds, of course, so we really did have to go.

Three hours!

Three hours, with Lincoln and all the other preschool kids in the audience getting tired. Three hours, with all the parents having not yet had any dinner. No snacks were served and there was more church than what you get in a church service. But more on that another day.

 

Interview with a 7.5 year old

Favourite food? Spaghetti Bolognaise

Coolest person on earth? Daddy

When you grow up what do you want to be? Working in a games store

Favourite colour? red

Favourite song? Hallelujah (from Shrek/Jeff Buckley)

What do you like to do outside? Play with Tristen (mate from school)

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Legoland in Denmark (Lucky for him, that’s on the itinerary.)

When you were little you… pooped my pants.

Your best friend is? Ryan

Favourite snack? Chocolate milk

Favourite movie? Star Wars

Favourite thing to do with Lincoln? Play families.

Favourite thing to do with Daddy? Lay down on the couch together and watch TV.

Favourite thing to do with Mummy? Cuddle

A book you love? Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Favourite sport? Soccer

Favourite thing to wear? A jumper

If you had one wish what would it be? To have a real light sabre.

An interview with Lincoln aged 4 and a bit years

Inspired by a post by Madeline, I interviewed Lincoln on Sunday night. The photo was taken that day, at the Thirlmere Train Works.

 

Favourite food? Apples

Coolest person on earth? I dunno.

When you grow up what do you want to be? Train driver

Favourite colour? Blue.

Favourite song? Baa Baa Black Sheep.

What do you like to do outside? Ride bikes.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Space

When you were little you… crawled.

Your best friend is? Gabriel (boy from preschool).

Favourite snack? Cookies

Favourite movie? Bert & Ernie (He must be talking about the cartoon on TV).

Favourite thing to do with Fraser? Play trains.

Favourite thing to do with Daddy? Play Uno

Favourite thing to do with Mummy? Make dinner (he’s never joined me to do that).

A book you love? Batman (we don’t have this book?!)

Favourite sport? I don’t play sport.

Favourite thing to wear? underpants.

If you had one wish what would it be? A space suit (I guess he wants one).

School Holiday Fun (For the Parents)

Sea Cliff Bridge

Photo by Nik Cubrilovic

Tomorrow is hump day. It’s half way through the week and half way through the school holidays. We’ve seen the Zoomobile come to the Bowral library, will probably fit in some ice skating, and the boys have had nice time staying over with Nanny and Poppy. Mum tells me they are such good boys, never whinging or asking for anything while they’re out and about with her. Clearly, they save all that for me, so it has been nice to enjoy the quiet and hit the town with Matt over the weekend.

We dressed up for a Mad Men theme party on Saturday night and then on Sunday, we went across to Wollongong for a movie and seafood dinner at Panorama House. (Thanks Living Social discount!) I think my favourite part of the weekend was driving north across the Sea Cliff Bridge. Such a stunning view, and it felt like we were back in our road-trippin’ youth. Aah memories. Most of our road-trip memories are tied in Triple J Hottest 100s of years gone by and having the Hottest 100 Australian albums of all time playing on the radio while we drove up the coast on the weekend was a nice touch of de ja vu.

Since the weekend, Matt’s also been out of town, so it’s just been little old me. Tidying up, doing extra workouts at the gym, not cooking, gardening, speaking to tradesmen, a bit of working, bludging, browsing hardware stores. An ideal couple of days, really. Although, all the ridge capping on our roof is loose and needs to be reset. I could’ve done without that news.

Anyway, more painting quotes to come, outside drainage to discuss, and tomorrow we return to regular holiday programming when the kids come back from Nanny’s.

Everything old is new again

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Lincoln turned four on Tuesday and so the birthday festival began on Saturday with a family dinner with cake and presents. I’d been wondering what to get him when I saw an ad for the remake of the old 70s Fisher-Price treehouse. I ummed and ahhed, found a cheaper one on eBay, and when Mum offered to contribute, I went ahead and got it. I used to have one of those treehouses and Lincoln plays with the actual little people whenever he stays at Mum’s house. The treehouse itself, is long gone. So I knew he’d enjoy it.

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Well, he has been playing with it since. Best. present. ever.

(I still need to stick the flooring on.)

Getting Around

We’ve had a couple of good outings lately.

On the last day of our school holidays we decided to go out to the Illawarra Fly treetops walk. We prepped Fraser to expect heights and see-through walkways. He’s a bit of a scaredy-cat, (he only likes movies in 2D, not 3D), so I was expecting him to wig out. But both boys really enjoyed it. Unlike the teenage girl who clung on for dear life to a sturdy pole in the middle of the walkway and refused to get up so she could return to ground level.

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It’s about a 45 minute walk, with a tower and cantilevered platforms, and has some stunning views over the Wollongong harbour and coastline. We went on a day with questionable weather, so it was a little hazy, but still enjoyable. Keep an eye out for discounts. It turns out that Mittagong RSL membership gets you 2 adult entries for the price of 1.

Last weekend we celebrated May Day by going to the nearby Mayfair at Bong Bong racecourse. The boys had fun on the rides, Lincoln held a guinea pig, we watched a kitchen fire demonstration, (just like that one I had here a few weeks ago), and ate hotdogs. Country fairs are worth it just for the hotdogs.

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Country fairs are worth it just for the hotdogs.

It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday. What are you doing?

Birthday Festival #37

Photo of 37th birthdayHaving a birthday in April is pretty good. It’s nicely spaced after Christmas and before Mothers’ Day. Sometimes my birthday falls on Easter so I wind up with a gazetted public holiday to go along with the chocolate and birthday gifts. My birthday was yesterday and I still have the Easter long weekend to look forward to. (Not that I work out of home. And the fact that we’re in school holidays means a long weekend is not really all that different for me.) So we began celebrations on  Saturday with lunch with Matt’s family and some friends; lunch on Sunday with my parents at The Deckhouse at the edge of Clarke’s Point in Woolwich; and finally, yesterday with a little party at Mum and Dad’s with party pies, finger food, Moet and chocolate cake.

All the birthday wishes over Facebook and Twitter were much appreciated and I received some lovely presents. Matt gave me Victoria Mason’s i heart tape measure necklace. That’s three Vic Mason designs I own now. Should i stop? I still like the tiny earrings. Mum gave me a voucher for a massage, and some new socks. You can never have enough socks. Especially now that Winter is close. But the best present of all, perhaps, is the deal being done on the sale of the farm and the ball is rolling on the purchase of our next house. The one I liked a month ago. I can’t believe it’s still there but boy, am I glad we got it.

It’s going to need some love and some work—starting with a paint job. And I have a feeling I’ll end up painting it myself to save the few thousand dollars it might cost to have it done professionally. We’ll see. Anyway, I hope to have you along for the ride and I’m trying to optimise this blog a little so that I can keep the home renovation posts easy to access. I am cautiously optimistic until we actually sign on the dotted line.

Sold the Farm

Photo of missing tooth

We’ve sold the farm. Almost. The contracts exchange on Tuesday. We took a big hit on the sale price but the market is down now and there wasn’t much we could do about it. On the upside, the market is ripe for buying now, so we’ve found ourselves in the unexpected scenario of putting in an offer a house nearby to where we’re renting currently. I say ‘unexpected’ because we were going to sit on our funds for a while to save some money and work out next steps. But the day the offer came in for the farm, an email with a house for sale arrived in my inbox. The price was right, the position was right, the house small and the land big. We’ll be able to renovate to suit us and there are lovely mature trees—apple trees and willow trees—vege patches, sand box and cubby house, very similar to the ones we left behind. Anyway, cross your fingers, we put in a final offer and are waiting to hear back from the agent.

The photo is unrelated, but Fraser lost tooth #5, the first of his top teeth, last week. :)

Birthday Weekend

birthday lunch

Fraser is in the arguably unfortunate situation of having his birthday right at the start of the school year. It means I can’t send birthday invitations out in the school bag because it’s not enough notice, and we haven’t been at the school long enough to have each family’s phone number or address. So instead, I suggested we take a couple of friends of his choice and go and do an activity—also his choice.

As expected, he asked to do mini golf and when he finally settled on the two friends he wanted to take, I tracked down the phone numbers and asked their parents. Of course, mini golf isn’t local, so we planned a day out in Wollongong and would take the boys out to lunch as well.

Well, Fraser had a fine old time. It was an insanely hot day so we didn’t go to the beach or play in the park after our mini golf game. We decided to have lunch in a civilised manner at an air-conditioned restaurant. Afterwards, we came home and they watched the Lego movie, ‘The Adventures of Clutch Powers’. I think his friends had a great day out, too.

At 7 years old he’s one of the youngest in his year 2 class, and probably the shortest boy. He’s almost into size 7 clothes and is in size 12/13 shoes. He’s still learning drums and piano, has been doing little athletics this season, and has expressed an interest in doing soccer and cricket after having had a year off team sport. He got an A for calculations with money in his final school report for last year and a D for art; and is about to lose his third tooth—you can see it sticking out in the top photo.

The birthday festival weekend continued when we celebrated Gram’s 87th birthday the next day.

7 and 87

There’s only 8 decades and one day’s difference. ;)

Happy Birthday Fraser and Gram.