Tuesday, 31 December 2013

And a happy New Year

We're watching the tennis at the moment. There's all sorts of tournaments going on in the lead up to the Australian Open. It's just Age and myself tonight, with Nora asleep in her bed in her new room. Yes, new room. We spent the day rearranging three of the four bedrooms, because we wanted to move Nora from the front of the house to the back. It's much cooler there, and quieter as well. Her new room is also bigger, so it should be easier to keep the temperature more even. It meant that we had to shuffle a lot of furniture around: Nora's bedroom is now my study, the study that I shared with Age is now Age's den plus spare bedroom, and the spare bedroom is Nora's new room.

Lunch at a nice restaurant on Age's birthday
It was a bit of work to keep Nora happy - she missed her nap!

We have been a bit house-bound the last two days, because Nora developed a bout of diarrhoea. It seemed better to keep her at home than to be out and about in the heat. She seems to be feeling fine, but everything that goes in comes out a bit too quickly. A bit unfortunate that we bought nappies a size too big. Those stupid boxes all look the same.

I can feed myself if daddy is not in the mood
We're not sure where her loose poo comes from, but fact is that she's been at the child care centre for two days last week. It wasn't great, she's been very upset throughout both days, and more clingy and slightly unsettled at times at home.
Age and I spent one of those days shopping, of which we both thought would have been nicer when Nora would have been with us. And the other day I spent a lot of the time catching up on sleep, while Age ran some errands. I also went to the golf club to hit a bucketload of balls, the first time in over a year. That was fun. But it wasn't fun to pick Nora up, hearing her cry from the carpark. We're probably headed for a tough couple of weeks.
From Santa Elbrich: a ride-on lamb
We are reading the news about whether or not prohibit fireworks in The Netherlands with interest. Fireworks are not allowed here, neither in New Zealand and it's fantastic. No idiots on the streets who think they're funny days prior to New Year as well as weeks afterwards, and the local councils provide impressive displays, often twice in the evening, once for families with kids about nine in the evening, and then at midnight again. And that's it. Wonderful.

From Santa Lois & Richard: Australian made

Well, we're ready for a coffee with homemade apple pie (good substitute for oliebollen), so it's time to wish you all the best for 2014!!

- Evelyn

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Merry Christmas

I didn't like the leftover Christmas decorations I found in the garage, so I bought everything new, baubles, other hanging things and a guirlande. All in green, green-blue and gold. And I quite like our little tree!

Nora likes it too
Nora and I celebrated Christmas with our two baby-friends and their mums. We all had presents for each other, swapped toys, brought something to eat and had a great time. It was the first day this summer with over 40 degrees heat, but we managed fine indoors with the aircon on and outdoors with the babies in the little pool.

I have done some more swimming with Nora, and she really likes being in the water. It's great! She's been in a couple of different pools now, and likes them all. The next step is back into the sea, as her first experience there wasn't that great. She didn't like her feet dipped in the water there at all :-)

I also found a different child care centre. After my first introductory visit at our original centre I left with an uneasy feeling, difficult to put the finger on, but it didn't feel right. So I tried to get Nora in somewhere else at short notice, which was terrible, because everywhere the waitlists are atrocious. 'Not in 2014, try early 2015'. Duh. But I found a centre, and we're going through the introductory visits as we speak. It feels a lot better.

We also celebrated Sinterklaas in our pyjamas and had a lot of fun.
Ooh, all mine!
Look! New, sunhat.

Not sure about this rabbit. Think I'll quickly turn the page.
Age has been busy at work, and been away a bit in November and December. Even twice to New Zealand, the second time for the delivery of a two-hour workshop... He's home now for two weeks, we haven't made a lot of plans for the holidays. Getting some things around the house done, going to the beach, having lunch here and there, celebrating reaching the big four-oohhhh on boxing day..., having a bbq with baby-friends, mums and husbands (the men all have their birthdays in the last week of December, weird, isn't it?), enjoying summer,...

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The silly season is here

The Christmas trees will come out of the garage this year. Both very plastic trees come from New Zealand, one has been donated by Lois and Richard if I'm correct, and we also have some decorations somewhere. My own glass decorations were shattered in one of our moves, and I have no idea of what's left of it. We haven't had a tree up for a couple of years, because it's a strange and ugly thing in summer with all that daylight. But maybe Nora will find it interesting?

Nora is suddenly big friends with Age. If she sees him, or hears him she'll smile widely, and shrieks with delight. That is lovely, although not when she's on the breast, as she tears the whole thing almost off every time she looks up to see if Age is still where he was a second ago.

Lying down is for babies, sitting for big girls.
Last week I went swimming with Nora for the first time, with her two baby friends and their mums. That was wonderful. It wasn't really swimming, more sitting in a very shallow pool with lots of floating toys. The first five minutes were scary, and she only wanted to sit on my lap in the water. But after that she even dared standing in the path of a water spout, catching the water with her hands, shrieking and jumping up and down. The pool facilities were fantastic, well-tailored for families, and so handy that the pram could be brought inside the pool area.

Nora eating a toy. In the foreground her two baby friends.
What else? We're still busy in and outside the house. Age has been working on a tv cabinet, and it's looking good, although not completely finished yet. We also ordered curtains for a large part of the house.
I noticed a few big ants very close to the front door, so Age sprayed the very last little bit of insecticide barrier spray near the front door, and that flushed out one redback spider and loads of other little creatures. I think we're going to give the whole house a treatment soon seeing that.
Talking about treatments, one evening a couple of days ago we saw dozens of flying ants and lots of wings the next day. But they weren't ants, they were termites. This spooked Age enough to organise a complete termite treatment. So next week we'll get the bugboys who'll spend the day removing bricks around the house - every 30cm - placing bait and pesticide, and then replacing the bricks again. Don't want your wooden frame eaten by termites!

We're also slowly doing some things in the garden. Besides weeding and mowing the lawns we found out that we actually have two irrigation stations and not just one. We couldn't figure out why one part of the garden seemed to appear drier and drier, but after some research in the darkness Age found another station which was actually switched off. Good news for the dry half of the garden :-)

We also have koalas around the house, and they're roaring again at night. It's such a strange sound. When we heard it for the first time two years ago Age thought we had a big lizard or goanna under the bedroom window, whereas I thought it must be a horny kangaroo on the hill. Anyway, it was just a koala in a nearby tree.

Koala in the back yard
And we're going full steam ahead in getting ready for my return to work, food-wise for Nora. Since today she's on two breastfeeds a day, morning and evening, and normal food, milk and water in between. We should be able to continue this for as long as we want to, without any expressing hassle at work. Drinking from a cup still has its challenges, as Nora doesn't quite understand what to do with the different spouts and straws. It takes forever before she has drunk a reasonable amount. I now have every cup on the planet, and there is one that seems to work a bit better than the others. She understands the two ears, and bringing the spout to her mouth, and also drinking, but only for a couple of sips, because bashing and banging the cup on the table with both hands is much more fun than drinking. O well...

Minnie enjoys herself enormously. She now has three friends, one of them very persistent. So much so, that I had to do a double take the other day, because it wasn't Minnie sitting on our carpet in the lounge, but her new friend!