Wednesday, October 15

The Humungous Update

Okay... Here is the update you've all been waiting for (well, just Bao I think!)... Somehow I managed to find time to finish off this blog entry between looking after a cranky child, baking some oat muffins with said cranky child, looking at our new fence being erected (the one that will stop Beth from falling in the "ravine" at the back of our property, which is the easement), making a massive 10 litre pot of pho (some for tonights dinner and tomorrow and some to freeze) and then general house chores... oh and I started part 2 of Beth's bday present... I have been busy today.

Note - the stuff about moving house was written on the 22nd of September (almost a month ago!)... and most of the Adelaide trip stuff was written today and the week before...

My goodness lots of things have happened over the course of the last 9 days or so... so here's the update of all updates to attempt to sum it all up in a nutshell.

Friday a week ago, our house settled! Yeah! And that was when all the crazy busy-ness all started... but a good kind of crazy busy-ness! The month of settlement had gone by so fast and we were just itching to get settled into our new home.

Saturday morning, we went to pick up a 1 tonne van which we were hiring for the Saturday and Sunday. We actually got a free upgrade to a 1.5 tonne van, which Phan partially regretted as he was driving it back to the townhouse as it was sooo big. However, he quickly got over it when we found out how much stuff we could fit in the back of it!

So phase one of our move entailed moving some of the basics (Beth's cot, bar fridge (which we were going to use in the house until the big fridge was moved on Monday), microwave, foam mattresses) and a whole heap of boxes! I also loaded up my car with stuff (you know with unusual shaped stuff or fragile stuff you don't want to put in boxes!) and then headed over to our new place.

Got there and Beth had fallen asleep in the car... (which I expected to happen, 'cos it was amazing she was still awake when we left the townhouse). So I setup the foam mattresses in one of the bedrooms and then transferred her there where she settled easily and just kept on sleeping... she was a tired little chicken. Having her nap at this time was a blessing, 'cos it gave Phan and I chance to quickly unload the car and van without having to worry about her. This phase took a bit longer than it should have, 'cos we had left the hand trolley behind at the townhouse, so Phan and I were having to carry everything into the house!

Once we finished unloading, I made us a quick lunch of chicken nuggets and chips (leftovers from the freezer!) and we had a little rest before Beth woke up. Fed Beth some lunch before we headed back to the townhouse for phase 2.

Phase 2 took forever... I had to clean out the fridge and freezer and wipe it down and turn it off to defrost so it would be ready to move on Monday. This seemed to take forever and I also was packing last bit of crockerys and kitchen stuff that we had been using. Phan was packing the van with all the odd shaped boxes we had left over and also doing crazy things like moving the tallboy down the stairs *by himself* (he's mad I tell you!) Beth was not that interested in the TV and kept wanted to potter outside to see what Phan was doing and running around like a looney in the front yard. It was hard work keeping an eye on her as well as doing all the other stuff! Anyway, a couple of hours later and we were ready to go back to the house. Unloading this time was a lot easier since Phan had packed the hand trolley this time, but Beth was awake. However, we managed to keep her occupied with the portable DVD player... thank goodness for Boo! is all I can say... it was a total godsend! After we finished unpacking, we headed to Trangs for dinner... Mmmm.... great to have a good meal after all that work!

That night we did a fair bit of unpacking... while Beth was awake, she amused herself by rediscovering all her toys (like her wooden activity cube and her red car) and once she went to bed Phan and I made some serious unpacking... I managed to organise a fair bit of the kitchen which was good. We slept on foam mattresses on the floor that night... but both Phan and I didn't sleep well as our minds were running overtime thinking of all the things we had to do on Sunday!

Sunday morning arrived... after a bite of breakfast, we headed over to the townhouse one last time to move the last of what we could do ourselves. This seemed to take awhile... it was hard to load the van because we had odd bits and pieces and weird shaped things to move, so it was a bit hodge podge... Phan also started to disassemble the computer and the home theatre system (which up to this point we had kept assembled so Beth could watch TV while we did stuff)... which was interesting, because Beth was a sticky beak and kept annoying Phan. So after a couple of hours, we had done what we could and headed back to the house. Beth timed her nap well again and fell asleep in the car, so after transferring her to the car, Phan and I made quick work of unloading the car and the van one last time.

In the afternoon, we made a trip to Bunnings to purchase a lawnmower (we thought we would take advantage of having the big van to transport the lawnmower home in). That night we headed to Trangs again for dinner (mmmm, and I had a yummy combination ho fun noodle dish... pretty good... not as good as penangs hawker's corner in Adelaide, but a close second!) More unpacking that night... and then Phan and I had a restful sleep that night (we were pretty knackered!)

Next morning, we had to return the rental van... Phan left at 7am... and I left with Beth at 7:15am (which is when she woke up)... I had made her a ham and laughing cow cheese sandwich and a big container of strawberies and kiwifruit for breakfast and she scoffed it in the car! It was just as well I brought a good amount of food for her, because Phan and I experienced the perils of peak hour traffic in Brisbane for the first time! There were parts that flowed fine and then there were bottlenecks that took forever to get through! But we got there in the end and it was all good. We headed back to the townhouse one last time to do a few little things and I left Phan there to wait for the removalists while I took Beth to KindyRoo. It was a little sad leaving that townhouse... it had been good to us for the last 9 months and we had some great memories there...

Beth had a ball at KindyRoo... it was good to go, because it was the last day of term and it was just good to see the term out like that. Plus I think she was getting sick of us neglecting her whilst we were moving and unpacking things... so it was good that I got do something for her. Back home and Beth got some lunch and then decided to resist going to sleep, which started to do my head in a bit... but finally at 12:30pm she went down for her nap... and not long after that the removalists arrived and started unloading the last of our stuff. (We only hired the removalists to move the big stuff like lounges, big TV, washing machine and dryer and our major issue was moving our bed which needed to go over the balcony etc etc...) A couple of hours later and it was all done... The afternoon was spent at a hardware store picking up something (I can't remember what!) and then a quick grocery shop to get something for dinner...

More unpacking... our next door neighbour popped by to say hello (she was just lovely!) and by the end of that evening we were pretty much 75% unpacked which was a collossal effort on our behalf... we were quite pleased by how much we achieved all by ourselves! It was sooo good to sleep in our own bed that night in our own home. We love our new place... so good to have the extra space and also to have the bit of front and backyard, which Beth just adores running around in! It's just nice to have a place that is properly "ours".

Tuesday, I was moving in slow motion... I did 2 load of laundry in the morning and was trying to pack for our trip back home to Adelaide all day, but couldn't really pack that much until the laundry had dried... so I pottered around doing bits and pieces... didn't really feel that productive, but I think i was entitled to a slow day after the last few days! I don't remember much else from that day, except at one point I was pushing Beth around on the front lawn in a cardboard box while Phan was in some manic cardboard box cutting mood (he was a bit nuts!) and I do remember a flurry of packing at about 8pm.

I awoke on Wednesday morning at 4:30am and then couldn't get back to sleep... and then Beth woke up at 5:30am and I settled her back to sleep and Phan and I both started getting ready. Our taxi was arriving at 6:30am... so I got all our gear together (which also included having a whole array of fruit cut up in litle containers for Beth to eat!). I had to wake Beth when the taxi arrived... i literally just changed her nappy, put shoes on her and we were out the door... she was tired and grumpy and had a short 15 minute nap in the taxi. We experienced the congestion of traffic heading to the airport which was seriously unbelievable and the bedlam at the airport (which we couldn't understand because it was a Wednesday morning!), but we made it with 15 minutes to spare. Our flight was a bit late taking off... but other than that no problems. Beth was really great... she was occupied by a Boo! DVD for half the journey and for the last half, she fell asleep in my lap whilst Phan was offering her some food! But it was just lovely having her asleep for the last hour... she even slept through the landing (I don't know how she managed to do that!).

So glad to be on solid ground again as I was feeling a bit nauseous from the travelling (I hate planes)... got a cab back to Phan's parent's place and was met by Phan's mum who had the day off... Phan got to have his all time favourite meal for lunch (pho) and Beth and I had a bite to eat, but then I started feeling really unwell and then ended up throwing up 3 times that afternoon... I think I had some weird funny tummy bug, which was started by having cereal and milk on the flight... I had a nap that afternoon and spent most of the afternoon curled up on the couch... I felt awful. We had a lovely family dinner (although I didn't eat, I just couldn't handle the thought of food)... and I got my birthday present from Bao and Ty (a gorgeous red purse, plus donation to my photography fund... :)) and from Ba Me (the matching manger/stable set from Willow Tree for my nativity scene that I got for Christmas... awesome! I can't wait to put up the nativity scene this Christmas in our new house!) My dad dropped by that night too, to say hello and give Phan's parents a whole heap of bread.

Thursday... very slow... still didn't feel like eating... but managed a few small mouthfuls... I slept *alot*... I think the moving had all caught up with me. By evening I was feeling a little better. Phan amused Beth for most of the day... she loves watching him play Wii... :)

Friday... still not feeling 100%, but was a bit better... this was my morning to have some "me" time... I went and had my haircut by my favourite hairdresser and then had my eyebrows waxed... so nice to have a bit of me time... it was the first chance I'd had in about 6 months! I met Ann at noon and went to the Central Markets to have a bite of lunch and to shop for food for the get together on Saturday. How I miss the Central Markets... I wish there was something like it here in Brisbane.

Saturday... still feeling a bit "blegh"... but better than Friday... Ann came over in the morning to hang out and rearrange the house for the party... I made a couple of salads.... And in the afternoon Phan and Phong were in charge of decorations... and the lesson we learnt was, that you should never leave boys in charge of decorating... the whole process was hilarious... Beth loved it... she kept making off with streamers and playing with balloons... I should also add, Phan for some bizarre reason decided to opt for the odd shaped balloons instead of just regular round ones. They were hard to blow up and Phong can't tie them shut! We had streamers hanging off aircondition vents and the skylight... it was all rather odd, but it made me laugh a lot... Phong discovered that rubbing balloons on his head resulted in static which made the balloons stick to the ceiling... so we had Phong, Phan and Dad standing in the middle of the family room rubbing balloons on their heads and sticking balloons to the ceiling and Beth watching them all and laughing her head off... it was so cute... she kept giving balloons to Dad to rubon his head... and every now and then a balloon would fall off the ceiling and she would retrieve it and give it to somebody and make them rub it on their head.

Everyone started arriving from about 5:30pm... just family, plus close friends who are basically family... Dinner was a casual bbq affair... the food was simple and non-fussy... It was wonderful to be "home".

The highlight of the evening was when Bao put on a DVD that Ty had made (with the help of my conniving sisters!) which was a snapshot of photos from the 30 years of life put to music (John Mayer - my fave!). I honestly had no idea what they had been up to... Bao had warned previously that I was going to cry at the bbq and I was expecting her to give a great big soppy speech of something... but the DVD... that was something else and honestly, rates up there as one of the bestest surprises ever (Phan proposing is probably the only thing that out does this surprise... :p). I cried and I laughed so much when I watched the DVD... The beginning started like a Star wars intro with a short bio of what I like and dislike (taken from some obscure email questionnaire I'd been sent ages ago... you know the ones you get forwarded that say "What's your favourite food?", "Name 3 places you'd like to be"... you get the gist!) And then it went into a sequence of photos of me as a baby that I hadn't seen in years. It was amazing to see the similarities between me as a toddler and Elizabeth right now... honestly, we look so alike in this one particular photo, it's amazing! I must get a copy of that photo and post it up so you can see... (Ty, Bao, Em...? Can one of you guys send me that photo - you know which one I'm talking about... :)) There were photos of me being totally dorky and some references to Steve Erkel that cracked meup... There were photos of my family as kids growing up... It was just a wonderful trip down memory lane and put together sooo wonderfully... I wanted to watch it again immediately right after, but I thought that would be too self-indulgent... so I waited and watched it first thing the next morning. :) So again (just in case I haven't thanked you guys enough!) - Ty - thank you for all the time and effort you spent putting the DVD together, I really appreciate how much time it would have taken... Bao - thanks for being the "brains" behind the operation... and Em - thanks for finding all those old photos and scanning them. I think that DVD is the best present ever... I've watched it a couple of times since we came home to Brisbane and it brings back such great memories.

We spent of the rest of the evening being a bit geeky (in true Clara style... :p) and playing Rock Band and Singstar on the PS3 and Xbox... it was great fun...

I got some wonderful presents too... a gorgeous hand treatment from Evelyn & Crabtree from my sister (smells divine and works a treat, I've been using it a lot!), a beautiful box which is just perfect for storing keepsakes in and some Jurlique handcream (I do have dry hands, hazard of being a mum... :p) from Jo and Bec, the sweetest summer pjs and a scented candle from the god-relations (the pjs will be perfect in this Brisbane heat!), a Coles Myer voucher from Mel (which I'm yet to spend, but am looking forward to spending!), a big jar of jellybellys from Ben (I ate them in a week!... I was sad when I finished them!) and a huge 1kg bag of macadamia nuts (which I have been munching through in recent days) and moisturiser cream from Dad...

So all in all, my 30th was wonderful and very memorable.

The rest of our week in Adelaide was a bit of blur... we didn't do all that much... but it was good to just slow down and relax. On one of the days we went to the Big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha and looked at all the wooden toys and then they had an area where you could feed animals so we fed the birds and a *huge* kangaroo... Beth loved feeding the animals... Phan, however, not so much... he really isn't "into" animals, so he took some video footage instead... On another day we had Chi, Mitch and Thomas around for dinner and caught up with them...

Some other random things that happened while we were in Adelaide -

Beth was sleeping atrociously while we were away... waking up every hour... being in a different place was just wigging her out... it got to a point when I just had her sleep in bed with us so that Phan and I could get some sleep! As a result of the disruptive nights, she slept in until 8am on most days... but there was one day when she woke up and Phan's dad came to say hello and she closed her eyes and pretended she was asleep... the minute he left, she was awake and moving around! She's so cheeky!

We discovered a park which had heaps of slippery dips... Beth loved the slippery dips, but some of them were really steep so Phan and I had to go down with her... but these steep slippery dips also for some reason had these bumpy ridges in them that hurt your butt when you went down them! Really strange design!

Beth loved playing on the Rock Band drum kit... she's quite the drummer... not only that, but Phan and I got quite addicted to playing it... it is a lot of fun! She also enjoyed insisting that Phong or Phan play Wii Mario Cart a lot!

Watering the garden was one of her favourite pasttimes ... and knows how to turn on all the rainwater tank taps (and not turn them off!). She also loved feeding the fish in the fish pond and the fish in the fish tank. She would have fed the fish in the tank all day if we'd let her... There was a day when she chucked the fish food on the floor when Phi told her it wasn't time to feed the fish and the fish food went everywhere!

One day, I had to take Phan to the bus station so he could catch the bus into town and meet up with some ex-work colleages at the RAH. Beth threw a mega hissy fit in the 15 minutes that I was gone that scared the heebie jeebies out of Phan's mum and Phi... She refused to play with anything and insisted on sitting by the front door until I came back! As a result of this incident, I think Beth has been having a lot of separation anxiety issues... still trying to help her get over it... but she has been ultra clingy ever since that day! There was also a day when Phan took Phong to work and Beth got ultra anxious and sat by the garage door until he came back... that was the first time she's ever been anxious about him leaving.

We were sad to leave knowing we won't be back for about 6 months... but looking forward to settling into our new home back in Brisbane at the same time.

So that's it from me for the humungous update... if you read all of my waffling ramblings, you deserve a medal!


Anonymous said...

Medal Please, I read all of it, no worries sis, love you lots and I'm so happy you liked the dvd, cos Ty worked extremely hard on it and he was so proud of it.


Ty Phoon said...

SO happy you liked your DVD Clara :)

It became a month long obsession for me; trying to match the photos with the music and hoping for just the right amount of laughs and cries ;)

It was our pleasure, loved doing it - You deserve it!