Sunday, August 31

What a lovely day...

I have had a beautiful lovely day.

Today, Phan had to work in the morning, so Beth and I did some boring household chores, playing with playdough and packing... it's actually quite amazing how entertaining packing can be with 21 month old... She helps to pack the boxes (and also helps to unpack them!) and takes things out of the cupboard for me... She's really quite helpful and funny.

In the afternoon, we went out to a cafe for a late lunch to celebrate my birthday a couple of days early... Phan had wrapped up my camera bag (which I already knew about, because I had picked it out and paid for it a month ago... :) It has been sitting on the dining room table all this time and I've been oogling it!) in newspaper and got Beth to decorate it using textas... it was very cute! Anyway, I got to open my present at the cafe... with Beth's help, my brand new red leather jill-e camera bag made it's grand entrance -


Isn't it beauuuuuuutiful? :) Practical and stylish, it is the ultimate camera bag for the female photographer... it's fits my 40D with 24-70mm L series attached perfectly, plus it still has room for my speedlite, another lens and a few extras... Loooove it!

But that wasn't the end of it. Phan surprised me even more, 'cos as I opened the camera bag, there was a box inside... and inside the box was this -

link watch 2

It's a gorgeous Tag Heuer watch... simple, with a bit of sparkle, and Phan had guessed my wrist sized, so it fit perfectly... It matches the watch that Beth and I got Phan for his 30th earlier this year... :) That was a wonderful surprise... I didn't expect it at all... and really would have been happy with the camera bag alone... I'm just lucky to have a husband that spoils me... ;) I love him to bits!

Anyway after lunch, we had to go and buy some rice (yes a bit weird and random, but we buy our rice in 10kg bags from the asian grocery, and considering it's Beth's staple food and we have run out, we urgently needed to get more! We had rice and chicken wings for dinner on Friday night when I discovered we had run out and ran out to the local shop to get some more and spent $4 for 1 kg of rice! What a rip off!) After that errand, we went for a drive (all of this done in Phan's new car by the way) up to where our new place is and saw the "SOLD" sticker placed on the "For Sale" sign. Then we let Beth run crazy at a park which is near our new home to be... I got to try out my new camera bag and got a few lovely shots with some beautiful light -

Lovely light Lovely light 2 Running and Never Standing Still! Lovely light 3

We finished the day by going to Trangs for dinner...

It was just a lovely quiet way to spend my (early) birthday with my sweet, considerate and wonderful husband and my funny, gorgeous girl.

Mummy, the green texta attacked me, HONEST!

Always be suspicious when your child is quiet and preoccupied doing something... it's more than likely that they are getting up to no good!

Thank goodness it was a Crayola washable marker! They are a fantastic invention!

Saturday, August 30

Reality Check - I sooo don't feel ready for this...

This morning Beth and I went to an open day at a kindergarten. One of the mum's at my playgroup told me about it and invited me to come along and just see what it was all about. I'm really glad we went... We bumped into lots of mums and kids from our playgroup there and there were heaps of activites for this kids - painting, drawing, dressing up... playing the sandpit and the playground. It was great to see the setup of the kindy and to find out about what they do and the format. Beth was nervous about playiing by herself, but did have some fun in the sandpit and had a ball sitting in a tyre swing for ages and I got the chance to chat to some mums I hadn't met before... And while we were there, I put Beth's name down on the waiting list to go to 3.5-4.5 year old kindy/prep.

Now, I had been planning to start putting Beth's name down on some waiting lists once we'd moved and settled into our new place and come back from our visit home to Adelaide, but since I was already there and they were taking down names, I just did it. And this is going to sound weird, but I felt like my heart kind of sighed whilst I was doing it... like I couldn't believe that I'm having to think about Beth's education already... that I'm putting her name down to go to a kindy... it just seemed so surreal and I just don't feel ready for this... she's not even 2 yet! Where has my baby gone?

Tuesday, August 26

More from the sticker fiend...

This what she did to me today -

IMG_4735-2-pp-600px IMG_4734-pp-600px Stickers are the "in" thing IMG_4738-pp-600px We're crazy about stickers... My girl - the sticker fiend.

The last photo is out of focus, but I still love it... it really captures the moment and how much fun we were having and how silly we were. Notice that she not only stuck them on my face, but when she ran out room on my cheeks, she started sticking them on my neck/chest, even though I offered her my hand!

I took all these photos with my (much neglected) tripod and my wireless remote (you can see my holding the remote in the corner of the last photo, doh!). First time I've really had a chance to try them out... I also discovered Beth doesn't mind looking at the camera when it's mounted on the tripod... She thinks it's quite funny seeing the camera fire off without me behind it, so I might have to start using it more often now!

Hmmm... should I be saying "thank you"?

Literally, a couple of minutes ago, Beth just came up to me and gave me something... I wasn't sure what it was, but I let her give it to me... and then I discovered it was a nice blob of goo-ey boogey she had picked out her nose! Charming... I'm not sure whether I should be grossed out whether to laugh! A little both I guess.. She's gone back to picking her nose again now... I might be in for some more "presents"... lucky me.

Monday, August 25

Stickers make everything pretty...


Beth is a sticker addict! She loves them... they are my guaranteed way of entertaining her when I need her to sit still for 10 minutes (like when we are at a restaurant waiting for our food, or going to the doctors). We find them scattered around the house in the most unusual places... At the moment, I can see 3 stuck on the door leading to the garage and I often find them in the washing machine. This is what Beth did to me last Friday, when I went and did a quick grocery shop and then needed to withdraw money from an ATM... I was using the ATM and while she was sitting in the shopping trolley she decided to decorate my arm... pretty huh?

Brrrrm... Brrrrrm....

Phan is happy... I am happy... We are all happy. Phan has finally bought himself a car! I have been listening to him moan about not owning a car for the majority of this year... and then listening to him randomly ask "Could you see me driving a XXX?" Where "XXX" ranges from anything to a scooter, through a RX8, mini cooper, Mazda 6 MPS to a BMW! He needs the car since he'll be driving to work once we move into our new place. We only went and checked out the car yesterday, but it was a perfect fit for us and a great price, so we went for it. We just went and picked it up tonight and Phan hooned home in it (I was following him in my car, so I know!) So Phan's new baby is a white Subaru Liberty GT MY05. It's a nice family car, combined with the *power* that Phan "needs", but with a touch of luxury (leather seats, sunroof). I'm just happy I don't have to keep listening to Phan go on and on about cars anymore!

Sunday, August 24

Just a touch of lip balm to make me look pretty...

Just a touch of lip balm to make me look pretty...

This is a photo from about a month ago... I just love the expression on her face!Beth discovered how to take the lid off the top of my strawberry chapstick and spent a long time pretending to put it on... I'm not sure how she knows you're supposed to put it on your lips, because I haven't used it in ages and I never wear lipstick (if I wear anything, I only wear lip pencil with some lancome juicy tube over the top), but she some how knew what to do with it. It was all very cute... until she mangled the chapstick 5 minutes later in the car by gouging at it with her fingers... I should have known better than to let her have it, but we were just ducking out to the shops and she had been so good with it when we were playing at home. However, once we arrived at the shops, I went to get her out of the car and was greeted by a big, red chapstick-y mess all over her hands and her face! That'll teach me... I realy have to think of the consequences of these things a bit more!

Saturday, August 23

Don't encourage things you don't want to continue...

Tolerant Daddy...

The other night, Beth was drawing with her textas and Phan decided to let her draw on his face! I told him off and told him not to encourage her to do that because she might end up wanting to always draw on his face... and no sooner had I said that, then she started trying to reach over and draw some more on him... I had to roll my eyes and give him my best "I told you so!" face!

Friday, August 22

She's even beautiful when she's sick...

She's even beautiful when she's sick...

Beth fell asleep in my arms in the lounge at 6pm tonight, so I put her down on her sofa bed to have a little nap in the lounge for half an hour... poor little thing, this illness has really taken it out of her. Don't look to closely at the photo, because there is dried boogey around her nose... I can never seem to wipe her nose enough! Beth is on the mend... definitely not 100%, but certainly much better than she was... She's been a tv junkie, but she has actually played a little bit with her toys today... She gets tired very quickly and get frustrated very easily too... so I'm just taking it step by step at the moment. We've decided not to go to the Gold Coast to give Beth a proper chance to rest and recuperate... I really need her to be well over the next few weeks so I can do some packing, without a velcro-y child hanging off my arm. Cooling off finished on the house on Wednesday and all our finances were finalized today, so it's all stations go now. We settle in exactly 3 weeks... I know these next few weeks are going to go quick!

Wednesday, August 20

And I thought yesterday was a slow day!

Yesterday was a low key non eventful day... Beth just wanted to watch TV all day and she didn't have much energy to do much else. Towards bedtime, she started getting really upset... you could just tell she didn't feel right.

We had a shocker of a night... I think I had to get up 4 times... the first time for 90 minutes... then a couple of times it took 10 minutes to resettle her... and then by 5:15am, she didn't wasn't to sleep by herself anymore, so after 45 minutes of trying to settle her, we half fell asleep on the floor and then by 6:30am, she was up!

Today has been a shocker of a day... I haven't been able to do a thing *literally* because Beth is soooo clingy (she wants me to hold her all the time) and she just has had no energy to do anything. This morning she ended up having a super short 20 minute nap at 9:40am, then woke up for 1/2 an hour and then from 10:30am - 1:30pm, she slept on my chest, curled up in my arms. Let me tell you, 11.5kg of sleeping child completely relaxed on your chest gets pretty heavy after an hour! I was kind of half sitting/lying on the beanbag in the lounge, but I manage to grab a bit of a nap too on and off for 2 hours, and then by 1pm, I was bored and getting a crick in my back, so i manage to extricate myself from her and put her down on her little sofa bed. She just kept sleeping while I got all our stuff ready to go to the doctor at 1:50pm.

She woke up of her own accord at about 1:25pm... so gave her a quick bite of lunch then off to the GP. The GP couldn't pinpoint anything exactly being wrong, but just all her general symptoms kind of indicated that this wasn't your regular cold, so we got some antibiotics for her. She's still completely flat and lethargic and gets cranky and upset easily. I've never seen her this unsettled (other than the roseola episode, but even then, I don't think that was as bad as this.) I'm not sure what we're going to do about this Gold Coast trip... I think Phan might just have to go by himself, while we tough it out at home... we'll see...

Monday, August 18

More Vomit...

Well, I have definitely been on the receiving end of all the "fun" stuff tonight... Firstly, Beth threw up half her dinner all over herself and me... not sure why... she wasn't coughing... she just came and lay on my lap and next thing you know... "Bleeeagh".... I managed to get us from the lounge room rug to the kitchen without too much vomit spilling everywhere... but as soon as we got to the kitchen, she decided to run around and causing chunky vomit to go everywhere! Fun fun fun... Finally got her to stand still, took off all her clothes and hauled her upstairs for a bath. Then after the bath, I had to clean and mop the kitchen floor and clean up a couple of spills on the carpet... so there is a lovely bleach/vomit smell permeating through the house now... Beth then half fell asleep in the car when we went to pick up Phan from work (it was only 6:30pm!) Then we came home and she skulled 200ml of juice/water... then she spent 15 minutes holding Phan's hand trying to do a poo... then she spent another 15 minutes lying down with her head in my lap trying to do a poo (with success finally!) and then she started drifting off to sleep before I'd even had a chance to change her nappy! I had to wake her to change her nappy. This cold/flu has definitely hit her pretty hard... Hopefully she feels better tomorrow (and fingers crossed Phan and I don't get it!)

Another Cold...

Beth has managed to pick up another cold during the weekend... she started with this hacky cough on Saturday night, and then last night had such a bad coughing fit she vomitted... This morning she seemed in a reasonable mood, so we went to KindyRoo (Glad we did, she really enjoyed it today... I didn't make her do any strenuous climbing though) but she's getting a runny nose now and is a bit warmer than normal (and when I tried to give her panadol, she spat half of it out and then spewed up the rest!) She's definitely not her energetic self either... I had to go to Chermside to run a couple of errands this afternoon and she normally walks for miles without any trouble, but after about 5 minutes she got really tired and just sat down in the middle of the walkway at the shopping centre! I had to carry her until I found a trolley so she could sit in it. We're heading to the Gold Coast on Wednesday night for Phan's conference (where he's receiving his award) and I was hoping we would get a chance to play in the indoor pool and play on the sand at the beach... the weather is supposed to be nice too... fingers crossed Beth gets better really soon!

Thursday, August 14

Where to begin...?

My goodness, we have had a lot of developments happen in the last week I hardly know where to begin to start an update.

A quick summary of some previous events to give what I'm about to say some context - Our intentions had always been to come to Brisbane for 1 or 2 years. We had it all planned - Phan would complete his final year of training this year and we hoped that Phan would be doing a fellowship in the second year and then we would go overseas for 6 months so Phan could get a bit more experience and then we would come home to Adelaide and live happily ever after. :) However, as often it happens in life, things haven't quite gone to plan and about a month ago we found out the funding for that fellowship fell through, meaning there was no job for Phan. At this time, his bosses were talking about this and involved Phan in discussions on what possible options were available to provide funding to keep Phan here for another year. They were really keen for him to stay on next year and threw a few ideas onto the table. One of these ideas was for Phan to do a PhD. Now, in all honesty, a PhD was one of the last things that Phan thought he would ever do... but with all the support and encouragement his bosses have give him it looked like it would be really worthwhile thing to do, plus the PhD would be researching something he actually he has an avid interest in.

Fast forward to one month later and we found out late last week that Phan has won *2 scholarships* to do a PhD here. This is a huge achievement, it's hard to explain just how big a deal it is. It is generally considered hard to get funding for a PhD project... it often takes many submissions and many rejections until some success is achieved, so the fact that Phan is the recipient of 2 scholarships from just 2 submissions just speaks volumes about the concept the PhD is based is and what an amazing this opportunity is. Not only that, but one of the scholarships is a national wide one, so he will be attending a conference in a couple of weeks to receive the award in person... apparently there will be media and stuff there, so it's a pretty big event! Soooo, the consequence of all of this is that now we will be staying in Brisbane for the next 3 years.

Okay, so because we are now going to be staying here for the short-term future, we figured we would buy a house... partly to avoid wasting money on rent, partly so we wouldn't have to worry about rental renewal and getting kicked out of our current residence and partly because we felt that buying a house would give Elizabeth a bit more room to play and run around. We've actually been house-hunting and actively researching the real estate market for more than a month (pretty much ever since Phan applied for the scholarships) and last Monday I went and had a look at a place that turned out to be perfect for us. Over the weekend I took Phan to see it and we both really liked it to we submitted an offer... after a bit of waiting, we found out yesterday (while we were at Movieworld! But more about that later) that the offer has been accepted! Settlement is in a month, so it's rapidly becoming all stations go-go-go around here. Settlement happens 5 days before we come back to Adelaide, so it really will be a busy time for us, moving, unpacking, coming home to Adelaide and travelling back to Brisbane.

Currently we're in cooling off so organising all the regular inspections and getting all the paperwork going and I think over the weekend I'm going to have start working out the logistics of packing all of stuff up for the second time in 9 months and moving it to our new home.

It's been a crazy week in the way that everything has just started happening all at once... add to that my SIL Bao and her partner Ty dropped in for a 5 day visit on the way back from a holiday in Hong Kong and you get that it was a busy time in our household!

We totally loved, loved, loved having Bao and Ty come and visit... just loved having them around and Beth adored having new victims, sorry I mean people... (:)) around to read her books and play with her... It was just nice to be able to show them around our regular haunts (like our favourite Vietnamese restaurant and Chermside shopping centre) Bao and I squeezed in a wonderful girly afternoon shopping at DFO (yes, we bought up big, but we scored some fantastic bargains... that place is sooo dangerous!), and yesterday we went to Movieworld for the afternoon... the boys went on the craziest looking rides, and Bao and I got to see Shrek 4D which was pretty cool... The looney tunes characters (like Bugs Bunny etc) also were pretty short! It looked pretty funny... Bugs Bunny also did a japanese style bow to Bao as she walked past - it was hilarious! Oh and we discovered Beth doesn't like fairy floss... she refuses to touch it and put it anywhere hear her mouth, even if we try and feed it to her... it's hilarious! She screws up her face and shakes her head and says "Noooo". So Bao and I ended up eating the fairy floss!

Beth has been a rather clingy and cuddly today ... I think she's worried that I'm going to go away like Bao and Ty! We went to playgroup this morning (Beth had fun in the sandpit and jumping on a mini trampoline) and Beth actually stayed awake all the way home instead of crashing in the car like she normally does. So I gave her some lunch and then at 12:30pm put her down for a nap... about 15 minutes later I hear her crying upstairs so go in and try and resettle her and she refuses to go to sleep in the cot, totally screaming and literally throwing dummies across the room at one point and trying to climb out of the cot (that was pretty scary actually!)

So I bring her downstairs and she is completely happy to potter around by herself... reading books, raiding the box of post-it notes. Everytime I asked her "Is it time to sleep?" she would breakdown and have a cry like she didn't want to go to bed... it was so unlike her. Eventually, I had a cuddle with her on the beanbag and she started drifting off, so I went upstairs and she semi-woke up and stared at me and I lay down and cuddled her for a couple of minutes and she fell asleep and I put her in the cot at 1:45pm! That's really late for her! I was exhausted too, so I had a little nap too and then she woke up at 3pm... a little distressed, but she was fine once she saw me. I thought bedtime might be a drama, but she seems to have settled in...

Okay, this has been on mega big blog post... So I'll leave it here with a few of the best snaps from our trip to Movie World... I took almost 300 photos, so I'll have to go and pp them... but that might not actually happen 'til after the move...

The famous Movie World sign.

The super crazy superman ride the boys went on...

The boys were so proud of themselves for going on that ride

IMG_4468-pp IMG_4603-pp

Beth, not so impressed...
And I loved this antique scooter thing we found on the street.

Finally, we get a family photo... :)

The child would not sit still and insisted on making funny faces!

My favourite photo from the day... love love love this photo!

Thursday, August 7

I am getting old...

On a separate note, tonight I had an appointment with the optometrist... I recently noticed this tiny black fleck in the vision of my right eye so I just wanted to get it checked out. The optometrist was fantastic... the best optometrist I've ever been to, very thorough and with a lovely manner... I had to get my eyes dilated to get them checked out... but the results of the examination were that there was nothing wrong at all, and what I'm seeing is just a sign of getting old...

I guess this is the first time I've really had to face the fact that my body is beginning to show signs of wear and tear... that I am getting old at (almost) 30... Really, I feel very blessed to be in such overall good health generally, and this little fleck in my eye is hardly noticeable and doesn't affect my vision at all... but I guess I feel like it's the wake up call to make sure I look after myself the best I can...

Water Baby...

Beth's latest "thing" involves rolling around in the bath! She loves sticking her head under the tap while the bath is running and then she loves lying on her front in the shallow water and pretending to swim (often splashing like a maniac!) and just last night she discovered she could lie on her back in the water and she seems to really enjoy the sensation! It's so funny watching her... she looks like she's having such a good time!

Discovering "No"...

Beth's discovered the word "No" yesterday... she said it a lot! And she says it more like "naaao"... it was quite cute and funny, but I'm a bit over it today already! Here's a sample of our conversation -

Me - "Do you want some water?"
Beth - "Naaaaao"
Me - "Would you like some breakfast?"
Beth - "Naaaao"
Me - "What would you like?"
*Beth potters off and walks around a bit before stopping in front of the TV and pointing to it*
Beth - "TV!"

On a side note - we're getting a few more teeth at the moment... her canines have really pushed through and we're finally seeing the last of the front teeth (top and bottom) beginning to come through.

Sunday, August 3

The sounds of a menagerie...

I've been teaching Beth animal noises... I ask her "What noise does a [insert animal here] make?" and she will make the appropriate sound. Last night we went to our favourite Vietnamese restaurant (we are regulars there now - the staff know us and the waitresses always oogle over Beth) and while I was paying, I got her to make animal noises for the waitresses... they thought she was sooo cute! :)

Today, I taught Beth a couple of new animal noises... so now the animal repetoire extends to -

- lion
- snake
- doggie
- elephant (this is so totally cute when she makes an elephant noise!)
- cat
- cow (sort of... it sounds like a cross between a cow and a cat!)
- pig

We're still both sick... don't feel like we're getting any better, but we're not getting any worse... We're just trying to shake these damn colds... hopefully we won't catch any new bugs at KindyRoo tomorrow!

Friday, August 1

Constant Snot...

I am *sooo* over snotty, runny noses at the moment... Beth's nose keeps running and I feel like I'm always wiping it... and if I'm not watching her like a hawk and don't wipe it the moment it starts running, she ends up wiping it with her hand and getting it all over her cheek, in her hair, all over her hands... ugh!

This morning Beth and I went to the doctors... thought I should try and find one close by and we found a great female, family doctor who is really close by... she was terrific, made me feel so comfortable and at ease... I had Beth looked at for her 18 month check up (it's a couple of months late... but it didn't really matter)... she's all fine... had a slight temperature because of her cold and little bit of a pink ear, but other than that nothing to worry about. I had a pap smear done... I was 6 months overdue for one (got a nice reminder letter from my GP back in Adelaide!), so I got myself booked in... and now, pending normal results, I don't have to worry about it for another 2 years. So here's my public service announcement for the day to all my female readers, if you're due one, go and get it done! It's such a simple, easy thing to have done and that moment of discomfort is worth it for peace of mind.

This afternoon, Beth and I will head out to the shops and do our grocery shopping and that will be it...