Sunday, March 23, 2008

Potato Famine and Easter Bunny

As soon as the toddler woke up, she asked with some concern, "How did the easter bunny get into the house?" I didn't know how to answer. Then she told me how he woke her up in the night.

3 yr old, coloring: "He's a little boy and he is soooooo dead."
Me: "He's what?"
her: "He ate a potato and it made him so dead."
me: "um...what?"
her: "When you eat a potato it makes you dead."

Happy easter, you've been warned!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Now that we're back in the swing of things, i have started exercise again. Instead of being stuck in the porch on my bicycle trainer, i've been able to take the ole bike out on the road. It's been warming up and it's nice to get back on the trails. My brother teased me with a sort-of invite to do RAGBRAI in 2009. I believe he told me that if i committed, my father would do it again. You know, for his baby daughter?

...and then, Brisbane

On our way back to the states, the 'relo's' drove us 3 hours to brisbane for a 2 day holiday. I have been to brisbane once before and it is my favorite city in australia. I am working on my husband to one day live there. On the way up, we stopped by an aussie zoo with real live aussie animals. Of course, the kids love it.

In one area, you are allowed to pet and feed the kangaroos with the following instructions.

I was facinated by the joey's in the kangaroos' pockets. The baby kangaroos are pretty small when they crawl into the pocket. Here is a synopses of what happens:

...and here is a joey in a real live kangaroo!!

Here's the joey moving around inside:

Brisbane has a lovely public swimming area with a great view of the city and the river.

Brisbane is just north enough that it's tropical. We passed many banana and sugar cane fields on the way. We saw lizards like the one below everywhere we went in the city.

...and then we flew home! It was my fifth visit to australia and it's always bitter sweet leaving. Perhaps one day i can convince my husband to live there.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Calming Baby and Back to Work

Baby definately has calmed down right in time for our trip. She has made some other noises than crying, which is fun. She has been smiling--the first time documented above. And she actually slept for long periods of time on our trip! She did a 7 hour stretch in bathurst, which was almost unbelieveable. Generally, i was able to put her down to sleep around 7pm in australia, and she would sleep until around midnight. It was great!! I'm hoping after she's over jet lag(why does she have jet lag when she gets to take as many naps as she wants???), she'll do it some more.

She has survived her first few days in day care. Due to bad planning, we returned from oz on friday evening and i started back at work on monday. It's been going well. Her first day, i told the teacher she tends to be high needs and likes to be held and hasn't really fallen asleep without being nursed or held. I also left enough breastmilk to feed the whole center. During my one of 3 check in calls/emails during the day, the teacher told me she would describe the baby as "easy going." Surely they were describing the wrong baby.

Being back at work has been a good thing. I really enjoy what i do and it hasn't been as traumatic as i had expected.


On the train ride up to my sister-in-law's house, we were reviewing the color of people's hair. It went something like this:
Me: "What color is my hair?"
3 y.o: "Black!"
Me: "What color is daddy's hair?"
3 y.o.: "Brown!"
My husband: "What color is grandad's hair?"
3 y.o examines grandad: ".......yellow?"


The "relo's" live 5 minutes from the beach and have a pool. Yes. We went swimming. The beach was beautiful, and most times, we were the only ones in the water. I loved it. I wondered out loud with my husband why there wasn't a huge resort surrounding this beach and he said, "It's australia. It's like this the whole way 'round." *sigh*

The cousins got along swimmingly (hehe). Of course, their 3 yr old and my 3 yr old were two peas in a pod. She kept referring to the type of english i was speaking, which i can only imagine it meant my accent. At one point, my husband and i went to the beach alone and i told the 3 yr old we were going out and about. When we returned, she asked us how the boat was. She heard, "Out in a boat."

They also have a trampoline. I'm not sure who jumped more on it--my daughter or me. I think i kicked the kids off it several times--shameless.

The kangaroos would make their way through the yard every morning and afternoon. They were all over the neighborhood, it was pretty amazing. They would rest under the trampoline or hop on by eating grass.


We took my father-in-law with us to sydney foer 2 days. It was hot! Here the girls are at the botanical gardens. You can't quite see the hundreds of bats hanging in the trees behind us. We walked the harbor a bit, and visited the australian museum...which was quite good. It was a quick visit, then we were off on a day-long train ride to n. NSW to my sister-in-law's house.


After the southern highlands, my father-in-law came and picked us up and took us to bathurst, where he lives. It's a pleasant small aussie town that is most famous for hosting a car race. We took a drive on it and you tubed it here, but a funny clip of the race a few years ago is here.

One day, we went to a neighboring small town to have a pub lunch where the toddler found her fear of flies. Not a good fear to have in australia. We taught her the "australian wave," and tried to make light, but she would scream and run for cover any time a pest flew by--which was a lot.

The bathurst museum my father-in-law volunteers at had a display about medical history. As a future IBCLC (i got approved to take the exam in july!!), i found the display about breastfeeding particularly interesting. There was this letter made by a formula company that is supposed to be from your visiting home nurse to the new mother and baby.

Reminds me of how nestle "donated" formula to african countries telling them it's best for babies until all the lactating mothers had their babies weaned....then stopped donating the formula so all these moms and babies were up sh*t creek.

Here's an early version of a nipple shield for all the nurses in the house.

Southern Highlands

We started our trip at friends house in the southern highlands. After the 3.5 hr flight from MN to LA, and after the 14 hr flt from LA to Sydney, we did an hour long subway chase to an outer suburb of sydney and waited at a train station for 2 hours for the outer suburb train to our friends house that lasted another hour. It was amazing we even remembered how to shower and get into bed by the time we got there. The children did amazingly well on this 24 hour journey. The biggest fit we had from the 3 yr old was when we landed in sydney and were waiting to get off the plane. She looked at me and said, "Are we in australia?" Me: "Yes." Her: "We can go swimminging in australia?" Me: "Yes, probably not today, but yes we'll go swimming." Her: "But you said we could go swimming in australia." Me: "Yes, but not today." It was as if i told her santa clause doesn't exist. She screamed her head off. She screamed, then screamed louder and yelled, "I PEED MY PANTS!!!!" And indeed. She peed her pants.

Here's the 3 yr old with our friends demolishing a gingerbread cake filled with smarties made by her grandad for her bday. We didn't know grandad knew how to make gingerbread houses. It's amazing what grandchildren will make you do.

Here are the children of our friends who adored the baby. They loved holding the baby, looking at the baby and touching the baby. And, by god, if they touched the baby, the toddler touched the baby.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


We made it. Two and a half weeks in australia with two small children. Both children made it back unscathed. Three days in the southern highlands, two days in bathurst, two days in sydney, a day-long train ride up to just south of gold coast, 5 days in rural gold coast, two days in brisbane. The 3 yr old only peed her pants twice and developed a phobia for flies. The newborn realized how much better it is to sleep right next to her food source.
It is much more difficult to aclimate from summer to winter than it is from winter to summer. Last night after i unpacked (my husband's bag didn't come back with us last night....nor did one of the strollers and the car seat base), we sat in our cold basement and my husband remarked how well the a/c was working. Tell you how jet lagged we are?
More pictures and stories later. Must. Sleep.