Monday, December 14

I'll Be Home For Christmas...

We am so lucky to be going back home to Adelaide to spend Christmas with our families this year... I can't wait to enjoy this special time of year with those that we love... Spending last year away just by ourselves in Brisbane has just mulitplied the anticipation for this year ten-fold! I'm looking forward to enjoying the company, to eating great food and just taking some time to be thankful for all our blessings this year.

Monday, November 30

Hi-Tech Girl

Considering how geeky and hi-tech her parents are, is it any wonder that Beth has already mastered the use of the mouse/trackball at the ripe old age of 3? Today we went to the library to return some books and at our library there is a great little kid's computer... it has a jumbo sized keyboard and mouse/trackball... Beth spent a good 15 minutes sitting there playing this jumbled up animal game. After that, she sat and did some puzzles... I know most people go to the library for the books, but apparently we go there for the computer and the puzzles...

Saturday, November 28

Butterfly Girl

Butterfly Girl

Today we had our breakup Christmas party for the playgroup we go to on Tuesdays... What an event it was, with a couple of hundred people attending! Elizabeth and I had such a great time, even though it was incredibly hot and humid! (Unfortunately, Phan had to go to a work thing so couldn't come along.) The theme for the Christmas party was "Teddy Bears Picnic", so everybody brought along a teddy bear or much loved soft toy... Elizabeth insisted on bringing along our Cancer Council teddy bear "Dr Dougal" and also her soft toy dragon (a recent present from her birthday... Thanks again Gina, Sebi & Gaby!)

Events kicked off with everyone congregating in the auditorium for a concert and everybody singing "Rock-a-bye Your Bear" (a famous Wiggles song for those of you who have been living under a rock) and progressed with a rendition of "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around". The main event was an illusionist (Christopher something... apparently he's on Toasted TV, so he is quite famous) who was fantastic... captivated the kids, amusing sense of humour and his illusions were amazing... I was scratching my head at how he achieved his tricks!... I thoroughly enjoyed watching him... After the illusionist, we sang some more songs... Beth was happy that we sang her favourite song at the moment which is called "Great Big God" (she loves dancing and singing to it!) and then Jingle Bells... and then we had a visitor from the North Pole... Santa himself... (except Beth was absolutely terrified of him... her reaction this year was exactly the same as last year... she huddled in my lap and closed her eyes really tight and held onto me tight as she waited for him to go away... Lucky our friend Claire went up and got Elizabeth's present from Santa on her behalf!

After the concert part, there were tonnes of different things to do... a jumping castle (which Beth avoided due to the large number of children in there... wise I think!), an inflatable slide, an animal farm, playdough tables, photobooth and Christmas craft where we made a little paper manger with a baby Jesus in it... and morning tea was provided with lots of yummy things to eat like teddybear cupcakes, and teddybear shaped nutella sandwiches (Beth was in heaven!). The highlight of Beth's day was getting her face painted for the first time... she asked for a pink butterfly and sat very still while she had it painted and didn't touch or smudge it at all afterwards... Beth actually fell asleep in the car on the 10 minute car ride home and I managed to put her into bed and she had her nap without smudging the butterfly at all! So when she woke up I took the photos above of her on my good camera... I have a few snaps on my point and shoot from the morning itself which I'll post up if they are any good...

All in all a fabulous was to round off what was a wonderful year for us at playtime... the church, the coordinator and the many volunteers did an amazing job of putting on such a great party for everybody... We felt very lucky to be part of it all!

Wednesday, November 18

The Cupcake Party In Pictures...

Finally got around to putting together an album from the party... They aren't the most artistic photos I have ever taken, but I was so busy doing party stuff and in between was actually enjoying myself at the party, that I really wasn't in the right frame of mind. On the whole though, I'm quite pleased with how these "happy snaps" turned out... it essentially captures the fun that we had at the party, which really is what photos should be about! Enjoy the slideshow!

Tuesday, November 17

Cheers (Vietnamese Style)

Sorry for the delayed post... it was Beth's birthday yesterday, but I never actually got around to doing a post because all the planning for the party on the weekend caught up with me and I ended up going to bed early. And then tonight we had a 1.5 hour blackout due to some storm activity... only just got power back... but we spent a funny hour and half lying in the semi dark playing funny word games and laughing with Beth...

Photos are coming (Phan has built me a new super duper fast computer optimized for Photoshop CS4.. :)), but just to tide you over, here's a little video snippet of us at dinner last night for Beth's birthday... we are saying "Vo", which is Vietnamese for "Cheers"... :)

Sunday, November 15

Elizabeth's Cupcake Decorating Party

Today we celebrated Elizabeth's 3rd Birthday (one day early, her birthday is tomorrow) by having a few little friends around and having a cupcake decorating party. Lots of cake, lots of sugar and lots of fun had by all... kids and parents alike...

I've been planning this party since September and I've had so many ideas running around my head the last 2 months... Some of which I began to slightly regret as the party approached (such as my insane idea to sew a dozen little aprons for the little attendees to wear while decorating the cake (which they also got to take home as a party favour)... it was quite time consuming... but in the end I'm glad I went to the effort, because everybody looked so cute wearing their little aprons and I think it really made the party look special)... We also made everybody a little paper chef's hat as they arrived, which really completed the outfit... the children all looked perfect dressed up as bakers!

2 dozen cupcakes, 2 dozen mini muffins and several dishes of lollies, sprinkles and other decorations and everybody really got into the spirit of things and created marvellous colourful creations! The parents even got in on it as well...

I have to make a special mention and thank Elizabeth's Bac Bao Anh who decided to come up and visit us and join us for the party... Her assistance was invaluable... Thanks so much Bao - couldn't have done it without you!

More photos are a-coming, but I just wanted to share this little photo of our birthday girl looking the part of the baker and showing off her cupcake!

Elizabeth's 3rd Bday - The Cupcake Decorating Party

Monday, October 26

A Conversation

A conversation between me and Beth while she was sitting on the toilet this evening -

Beth: Mummy, I hear thunder.
Me: Yes, I hear thunder too.
Beth: I hear rain.
Me: Yes, there's lots of rain.
Beth: I hear clouds.
Me: Clouds? You have very good hearing if you can hear clouds.
Beth: *lifts up her t-shirt* Look! I have hips!
Me: Yes (bewildered at the fast change of topic), you do have hips.
Beth: I need more hips.
Me: I don't think so... everybody only needs 2 hips.
Beth: Mummy has hips.
Me: Yes, I do have hips.
Beth: Everybody needs more boobs.
Me: *laughing*...

I didn't know what to say to that. Perhaps we do all need more boobs... :)

Sunday, October 18

Happy Anniversary To My Wonderful Other Half...

We're on the otherside of half a decade of being married today... How the time has flown and what a life we've built together so far... I'm ever grateful everyday that we found each other ... He is and has always been the perfect other half for me and we are so blessed to have the little family that we do.

Well, Phan in his ever true detective ways, sussed out what my latest "want" in photography was and after thorough research and the help of a scheming sister (Emmi - you're in big trouble missy!), I have been oh-so-spoilt today and am now the proud owner of a Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM IS L series macro lens.... This is a very new lens that Canon released very recently and apparently has been quite hard to source... but in his usual style, Phan managed to source one for me... I am married to the most wonderful man! :)

Today has been a lovely day... church, a spot of shopping and we had lunch out... and tonight I shall be cooking fillet mignons for us to have for dinner... yum and we shall spend a nice romantic evening on the couch... possibly watching Playschool at the request of Miss Beth... but maybe we can persuade her to let us watching something else... :)

Of course, I can't do a post without including something taken with the new baby - so here's a little peek at what this new lens can do... I really wanted to go walking and find some flowers to take some photos of, but it was much too windy to do that, so we'll have to save that for later in the week...

The World Is A Colourful Place

That photo is also part of the reason why the blogging has been infrequent lately - apologies! I'm just beginning to regret one of my hare-brained schemes that involves me having to sew a dozen little aprons for Beth's upcoming birthday (full-details of this event to be revealed in due time!)... So my spare time has been somewhat consumed with this not-so-little task at hand!

Saturday, October 17

Little Miss Helpful


Beth has been very helpful this morning... Firstly declaring.. "Mummy, I want to put clothes in the washing something" (by "washing something", I'm pretty sure she meant "washing machine"... :p)... Then she helped me by hanging out the socks... 2 pegs per sock (lucky we have an abundance of pegs!)... And the peg colours had to match too... that was all her own idea... *sigh*... I really love seeing her growing up and helping her mummy...

Thursday, October 15

The Beauty Routine

This is the new routine our little miss has just started doing in the mornings while I'm having a shower and getting ready... and excuse the crazy bed hair.. that would be due to sleeping with her "piggy tails" in... :)

Sunday, October 11

Down By The Beach

Down By The Beach

Taken last weekend at Bribie Island...

Thursday, October 8

Little Miss Muffet - Beth's Version

Little Miss Muff
Sat on a Tuff
Eating her curtains and whey
Along came a dog
And sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet Away

Wednesday, October 7

Shopping At Coles

We had a busy little morning today... swimming first up, then back home to do some laundry, then we popped out to the library to borrow some books and stopped in at the park next door where Beth had fun while I sat and enjoyed reading a book I'd borrowed... After all that, we went across to our local Coles... In the last few months, they've introduced kid sized trolleys at Coles nation wide, but this was the first time I'd seen them... so I got one for Beth and she had great fun pushing it around the aisles... We actually didn't need to buy much, but we ended up wandering the aisles for about half an hour... Beth randomly picking up packets of things on the shelf and put them in her trolley... eg bars of soap... and a burrito dinner pack... (which I then had to return to the shelf!)... The shopping trolleys are such a cute idea... But I could see them being a pain if you were actually in a hurry and needed to quickly do your shopping... But I was in no hurry today and it was a nice, fun way to spend some time together ... :)

Tuesday, October 6

Old Friends & Polar Bears

Today Beth and I caught up with one of my old uni friends, Maria... I haven't seen her for few years and she was taking a family holiday to the Gold Coast with her husband Nick (who I used to work with) and their 2 boys, Dimitri & Georgio... We met up with them at Seaworld and had a lovely day all together...

Our kidlets got along so well... Dimitri and Georgio are such adorable, lovely natured boys... Beth often gets scared of boys, but wasn't scared of them at all. She also seemed fascinated by everything Dimitri had to say (who is 5) and often copied what he was saying ... eg "Look a Dory fish!" which was then echoed by Beth a second later (but about 5 times louder!)... And then there was this lovely moment when Beth wanted to sit on a brick wall that enclosed a flower bed but it was too tall for her so Dimitri delicately picked her up sat her on the wall... and then lifted her down when she'd had enough... I was truly amazed, because Beth often makes a fuss if someone she doesn't know very well touches or lays a had on her!

The highlight of my day would have to be the polar bears... We've been to Seaworld (both here on the Gold Coast and in San Diego) in total about 5 times now ... and everytime, they've always been sleeping... or hiding... I think the most exciting thing I'd ever seen (prior to today) was seeing one eat some carrot at San Diego Zoo.... Anyway... today, one of the polar bears was very active... it was amazing to see! So here's a snippet -

In the afternoon, Beth had a chance to paddle in the waterplay area... so here's our water girl having a splash...

Monday, October 5

{sending prayers}

{sending prayers}

I just found out late last night that my uncle (who I have mentioned recently was diagnosed with liver cancer and not given more than 3 months to live) passed away early on Saturday morning. His funeral was held this morning and I am so sad for all my aunties and uncles... Especially for my uncle's wife and their 2 children... I feel so helpless being so far away... the only thing i can do is send my prayers...

Sunday, October 4

"I'm Not Quite Sure About This Water"

Not Quite Sure About This Water...

We spent the day at Bribie Island today... and while Beth loves the concept of the beach, she doesn't like seaweed... it wigs her out... This photo pretty much summed up her whole feeling about the beach... She is standing at the water's edge and really wants to go in, but her nervousness is shown in her hands...

We really had a lovely day out despite the lack of beach time... We had fun driving around and checking out different parts of the island and we stopped and had afternoon tea a beachside cafe and then let Beth have a run around at a sand-based playground which she totally adored... she didn't want to leave!

The funniest part of the day was when an icecream truck drove and stopped by the playground... It was playing music that typical icecream truck music and when it stopped, so did the music. Beth was waiting for the music to start up again and she was saying to us "Turn the music on?" and we told her we had to wait for the truck to move again before the music turned on again... So she wanders off and finds a random stick and comes back and says "It's my remote." and then points it at the icecream truck and goes "CLICK!" (several times) in an attempt to turn the music back on... She had us having a good chuckle to ourselves...

Saturday, October 3

Turning Laundry Into A Game

If you're having trouble deciphering what she's saying... it something like "Aim... Throw.... YAAAAAAAY"... it's what she says when she's playing basketball with the little basketball ring... She always cheers for herself when she gets the ball in the ring... So she's just translated the basketball game into throwing clothes into the washing machine...

Friday, October 2

Hula Hooping

ps - the boots were all her idea...

Wednesday, September 30

Elizabeth is the face of the supporters of the Cancer Council of Queensland!

My regular blog readers will remember that I took some photos on Daffodil Day in memory of my mum not very long ago at the end of August... Well, Phan thought those photos were something quite special, so he actually sent an email (without my knowledge!) to the Cancer Council of Queensland asking them if they might find a use for some of my photos in their promotional material. As it turns out... The Cancer Council of Queensland was in the final stages of updating and revamping their website... and by good fortune and timing, they had a perfect spot to put on of the photos... the photo colours matched up to the website (by pure coincidence) and I think everyone involved was quite chuffed by it all! So after a couple of weeks of keeping this under wraps, I'm very pleased to link everyone up to the new look Cancer Council of Queenland website.

And if you want to check out where Elizabeth is - she is the face of the supporters of the Cancer Council... on this page -

I don't think I actually ever posted the full version of this photo on my blog - I posted it on Facebook, but I know some of you readers wouldn't have seen it, so here is the full photo -

Daffodil Day 2009

Monday, September 28

Do you think she likes her cupcake?

Heavenly Cupcake 1

Friday, September 25

Feeding Elephants (no this is not a euphemism for some child related thing - we actually fed elephants!)

Today we went to Australia Zoo ... we had a great time... Australia Zoo is pretty good - it has an excellent elephant and tiger exhibit and lots of opportunities to get up close and touch animals (snakes, crocodiles, koalas, kangaroos)...

The highlight of our day would have to be the feeding of the asian elephants... such a unique opportunity and we weren't allowed to take photos if we were in the feeding line (which allowed the line to move quickly)... so we bought the Australia Zoo photograph of Phan and Elizabeth feeding the elephant to remember our experience...

Elephant Feeding

And just a couple more photos because I think they are cute... Everyone being captivated by the shows at the crocoseum (the main stadium at Australia Zoo)

Captivated at the Crocoseum

And up close with a koala

Up Close With A Koala

Thursday, September 24

The Rainbow Ballerina

The Rainbow Ballerina

Wednesday, September 23

The Cookie Monster Cupcake

We have Phong and Mel visiting us this week and today we took a trip out to Chermside for a spot of shopping and some lunch... While we were there we came across an awesome cupcake shop with really pretty (and yummy!) cupcakes... so we bought a box of four... a chocolate sundae cupcake, a carrot cupcake, a lemon cupcake and for Beth a special cookie monster cupcake.

Here's the girl being excited with her cupcake (photos courtesy of Mel) -

I love my cupcake

She sat there with her cupcake for about 10 minutes... admiring it... holding it... and not really keen to eat it... We wanted to keep browsing and shopping, but Beth insisted on continuing to hold the cupcake in her hand while sitting in the stroller.

About 5 minutes later, she started to nod off (she'd only had 9 hours sleep last night), so I went to take her cupcake out of her hand before she dropped it, but she lost the plot at me and wanted to keep holding the cupcake.... so I let her hold it and she started to drop off again... and just as she had fell asleep, she let go of the cupcake and it fell in her lap so I went to get it, but again she woke up and refused to let me put it away for her! Repeat this series of events another 2 or 3 times and finally she fell into a deep enough sleep that I managed to retrieve the cookie monster cupcake! It was so hilarious seeing her fight the sleepiness so she could continue to hold the cupcake!

Sleep vs Cookie Monster Cupcake

She slept for about 45 minutes... and then when she woke up the first thing she asked for was the cookie monster cupcake! I was hoping she would forget about it once she went to sleep, but no.... she really loved that cupcake!!!

Monday, September 21

Make A Smile

Make A Smile

Doing a "business" photoshoot for my friend (details regarding this will be revealed in due time...) and Beth was partaking in some of the fun...

Sunday, September 20

Flashback - 2 months old

Flashback - 2 months old

I was just looking back on some old photos tonight and I came across this ... *sigh*... Miss Beth is a couple of months of turning 3 now and seeing this just made me realise how quickly I've forgotten how itty bitty she used to be...



Although Beth has been fully toilet trained during the day (and about 95% during the night) for a few months now, I still find it cute when I have to hang her knickers out on the line...

Saturday, September 19

Summer Days Are Coming...

Summer Days Are Coming...

I know we're only a few weeks into spring, but the weather here has just been absolutely gorgeous and so beautiful... I feel like summer is just around the corner. So here's our silly girl, enjoying some of this beautiful weather ...

Also, for the benefit of those who aren't on Facebook and don't see my status updates (Emmi!), Beth had 2 classic quotes today -

Quote of the Day Number 1 - Beth was eating bread and sausage for lunch and decided to open her mouth to show me the masticated food in there and followed it up with "I gross"... classy..

Quote of the Day Number 2 - Beth accidentally kicks me in the stomach, I yelp out in pain, then ask her "What do you say when you hurt somebody?" and she says... "Danger Danger Velociraptor!"... nutty child...

Friday, September 18

Future Scrapbookers

Future Scrapbookers

Just wanted to share this layout I did last night, because I think this series of photos is soooo cute... :) The other cute little munchkin in this photo is Sean, Donna's little boy... he's just adorable! Photos taken by Donna (as I was camera-less when Beth insisted on taking over my camera!), photo processing by me using Eye Candy Actions and credits for the layout - Peaceful Season, Cardboard Backgrounds & Flower Stamps, all from Donna.

Thursday, September 17

Lunch With Friends

Our day started today with playgroup with a Teddy Bear's Picnic theme... lots of fun activities (icing teddy bear biscuits for morning tea and making paper teddy bear medallions to wear) and there was lots of yummy food as it was break up day for the term... After playgroup, we dropped into Chermside... I had a few errands to run and thought I'd treat Beth to some sushi for lunch while we were there 'cos it'd been more than 2 weeks since we last had sushi... Anyway, we bumped into our friends Julie and Veronica there, so we joined them for lunch... It was really nice to sit and have a chat with Julie, while girls were being really quite funny and silly together. Julie had her camera on her and took some great photos of the girls (which I must get off her) and I decided to take this video snippet of Elizabeth and Veronica being such funny girly girls...

Wednesday, September 16

That's My Cookie

That's My Cookie...

Just catching up on some photos... taken at the park while my sister and Mike were visiting...

Tuesday, September 15

When Real Life Meets The Online World...

Online Buddies... Meeting In Real Life

Donna and I have been friends online now for about 2 years... we met through our mutual interest in digital scrapbooking... and over the last year or so we've gotten to know each other even more as I've been fortunate enough to be CTing for her and I follow her blogs - & (I'll take this chance to plug her designs too... check out her latest kit Peaceful Season @ Nuts4Digi... it's gorgeous!)

Anyway... after saying since the start of this year that we must catch up (and it's coincidence that we are residing in the same city!), we finally did meet in real life today (it's only taken us 9 months!)... We had such a lovely time! Beth, who is normally really shy around people she's never met, loved playing with Donna's little boy Sean (who is such a little cutie!)... They had fun launching themselves off the couch and playing tea parties/cooking... whilst Donna and I chatted like we normally do.. but with our voices instead of over the internet... :) I think the most fun was had by Beth when she played on this awesome homemade playground that they have in their backyard... She has mentioned the "green slide" and playing "rockets" a number of times this afternoon, so it must have been a highlight!

For me... I was rather nervous about meeting someone from the "online" world... It's the first time I've ever done so and I had all those weird, silly thoughts going through my head like... "what if she's nothing like I imagined? what if she thinks I'm really weird? what if we don't get along"... totally irrational... and completely unfounded, because we just got along wonderfully (as did our kids!)... Donna's pretty much exactly how I imagined her to be... easy-going, loves her kids and family, a little bit quirky (I had no idea she had a love for Dr Who!) and she is so cute and fun-sized! I don't know why it took so long for us to meet in the first place!

On a separate, but related note... Phan, Beth and I went to IKEA on the weekend in search of a little table and some chairs for Beth to use (her current one is just a bit too small)... It was a productive trek out there, because we did find the perfect table for her and I picked up some other bits and pieces (like ocean themed finger puppets, and some plastic cups and plates)... As we were leaving, we got into the lift with our trolley full of stuff and another mum with her son got in as well... and out of the blue, the mum asked me "Do you blog?"... I was a bit shocked and dumbfounded that someone (other than family) would actually know that I blog, so I said yes... and it turned out she was a member from Essential Baby and that she had come across my blog... we briefly exchanged a few words and she introduced us to her son Zac... and it wasn't until we were heading back to the car that I had a thought that the little boy might be the Zac from Zacarama.. who happens to be a blog that I follow as well... Leesa (that's Zac's mum) also has another blog too - My Balancing Act where she blogged some lovely words about our chance meeting... her blog is definitely worth checking out (especially for the awesome train cake that she's made on there!)

So there we have it... my two worlds which have been separate for so long have collided for a moment in time... The online internet world may seem a large place where you can get lost amongst the many people... but at the same time... it is a very small place... who knows who you can meet or what friends you can make...

Monday, September 14

Blow Up A Balloon

Friday, September 11

Illustrating Our Day...

7am - Wake up... then lounge around and have cuddles in bed...
7:20am - Get out of bed.
7:30am - Have breakfast (2 pancakes with butter & sugar)
7:40am - Draw this -

A Drawing

(I've annotated it in red, so you can make out what the heck she's drawn... She's very specific about what she's drawn too... I asked her later in the day what she'd drawn on this piece of paper and it was still all the same! So she's very definite about what she's drawn!)

8:00am - Start making a lot of noise whilst singing and dancing in the kitchen -

You'll probably need a translation of what she's singing... it's a song from Playschool (surprise, surprise) which goes something like this -

Here I am singing in the kitchen
All alone, singing in the kitchen
Everybody singing in the kitchen
Banging on the pots and pans.

Yes, I'm fully aware she's quite crazy... and that was a hell of a way to start the day... nice and *loud*!

As if that wasn't enough excitement this morning, we went to the park and caught up with some friends... and then Beth fell asleep in the car before noon... her first afternoon nap in 4 days... I didn't mind though, because it was an early nap... so she went to bed a decent hour still.

In the afternoon, Beth became fascinated with a photo that was taken when we went whale watching last weekend while Emmi and Mike were visiting us... And this is what she was doing -

I think it's hilarious how she thinks we're "all friends".

I haven't mentioned much about the whale watching experience... it was an "interesting", once in a life time experience... I've discovered I'm hopeless on the water, even though I took 2 types of motion sickness tablets... Despite it being a very clear, blue day and not all that wavy, I got seasick really bad... and Beth did too... she was very distressed when we hit the open water and the boat started rocking... She said "Whoa.. it's a bit wobbly".. then when she started feeling sick she started saying "up and down... up and down" in this voice that really meant "i feel bad, i really want to get off"... she actually managed to sleep for 2.5 hours on the boat which was half the trip... and Phan spent the rest of the time holding her and trying to distract her whilst I was (a) throwing up stomach acid (yes, it was gross) or (b) curled up sleeping on a bench. Thank goodness for a lovely American lady who gave me a piece of crystalised ginger, which stopped me from throwing up too much and gave me something to think about... In hindsight, it was amazing being so close to the whales and seeing them in their natural habitat... but it's not something I'm ever going to want to do again... I think the highlight of my day (and Beth's day) was getting off the boat!
Thank goodness Em and Mike had a wonderful time ... so the whole exercise was not a waste... I'm so glad they enjoyed it and they managed to take some great photos and some video footage. (Yes, I was so sick I couldn't even think about picking up my camera!) So here's some video footage that my sister took, which I appreciate much more now that I'm back on solid land... :)

Wednesday, September 9

The Age of Egocentricity

All the parenting books say that toddlers are egocentric... and oh, how true that is! Beth is so busy learning about the world from her point of view... everything revolves around her... and nothing illustrates this more perfectly than the way she sings some of the songs she's learnt from Playschool.

There is a song that goes like this -

The more we are together,
Together, together
The more we are together,
The happier we'll be.

For your friends are my friends
And my friends are your friends
The more we are together,
The happier we'll be.

Except Beth sings the second verse like this -

For your friends are my friends
And my friends are *MY* friends
The more we are together,
The happier we'll be.

No sharing any of Beth's friends here!

There is also this other cute song that Beth has learnt from Playschool that goes like this -

It's so nice to have a cuddle with a person that you love
Feels so good to have a snuggle with a person that you love
When I'm happy or in trouble I run fast right on the double
Just to sit and have a cuddle with a person that I love

Except her version goes like this -

It's so nice to have a cuddle with a person that loves me
Feels so good to have a snuggle with a person that loves me
When I'm happy or in trouble I run fast right on the double
Just to sit and have a cuddle with a person that loves me

LOL... she is so funny... And here's a couple of videos to that capture her singing snippets of that second song... she's a bit silly in the second video!

Tuesday, September 8

Another Sleeping Pose

Another Sleeping Pose

Our little lady, passed out on the couch at 7:10pm tonight... which is extraordinarily early for her... However, considering the fact that she had a very late afternoon nap yesterday and subsequently was eating a banana on the couch at 10:30pm last night and didn't go to bed until 11pm... the early bedtime is warranted.

Happy Mummy here... enjoying the peace and quiet tonight which we missed out on last night...

Monday, September 7

The Crows Supporter

The Crows Supporter

Friday, September 4

Playing Shops With Uncle Mike

My sister and her hubby Mike are up visiting us this week... We're having a tonne of fun together... Great company... eating good food... celebrating my birthday (Wednesday just passed) and then celebrating my sister's bday tomorrow...

Beth's enjoying having "friends" around (her words! Lucky she likes family like friends!) and I'm enjoying having a break from the constant entertaining she normally requires... Here's a little snippet of how much fun she's having with her Uncle Mike...

Sunday, August 30

Not breaking any land speeds...

But she might get a prize for being cute...

Saturday, August 29

Cuteness Personified


Flowers for Ba Ngoai

Flowers For Ba Ngoai

Friday, August 28

There Is Always Hope...

Today is Daffodil Day and I encourage you all to donate generously to the work that the Cancer Council of Australia does... 1 in 2 people will have cancer in their life... And if you don't have it, you most probably will know someone who does... In my case, my family experienced the pain and heartbreak first hand and walked the journey with my mother who battled hard for 18 months against renal cancer and lost the fight in 2004 at the age of 48.

This photo taken to remind us that no matter what the situation, there is always hope...


Thursday, August 27

Beetles In The Basin

As soon as Beth got out of bed this morning, she started singing this song... repeatedly... as we were walking down the hallway... as she was sitting on the toilet... as I was getting her breakfast ready...

Just in case you're not familiar with this little ditty - here are words -

Beetles in the basin in the bathroom
Brown and black and blue
Beetles in the basin in the bathroom
I'm in the bathroom too
How embarrassing!
I'm in the bathroom too.

Wednesday, August 26

Playdough Fun

Playdough Jewellery

Playdough Chaos...

Captured these shots the other day when Beth and I were playing with playdough the other day... The first shot would be our girl proudly showing off her playdough jewellery in the form of bracelets... The second shot, is the crazy chaos of brightly coloured dough that occurs when we are making our creations... on that day we were making cupcakes and sushi out of the playdough.

And just a little random tale - Beth has started doing this very cute thing where if I'm telling her off in a stern voice and I have my serious, non-nonsense expression on my face, she will say "Mummy? Mummy? Make a smile!!! " and then look me straight in the face and do this huge cheesy grin at me to try and get me out of my serious mood and get me to laugh... It's worked a few times... but other times, I have to really try hard to keep a straight face if I really want her to get the message about something... Really hard, when she's doing her darndest to get me to crack a smile... Phan's hopeless, he just ends up smirking when he sees her doing that to me...

Tuesday, August 25

Scones anyone?

Yesterday we had a napless day... so we decided to make some scones... I decided to try making lemonade scones... To be honest, the idea of lemonade scones always seemed a bit weird to me... the concept of cooking with soft drink is something I've tried to avoid... it just seems... well... odd. Anyway, I thought I would give this recipe ago... after all it consisted of 3 ingredients, a bit of stirring and cutting out the scones... seemed easier enough to do... and really, I didn't have great expectations... but my goodness! These are probably the best scones I've ever made! Good size, nice rise, just a little crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Perfect served with whipped cream and some jam... apricot jam for Beth (due to the strawberry allergy)... delicious...

Here's a condensed version of the recipe - full version can be found here

Lemonade Scones
Makes 12-14 scones

2 cups + 2 Tbsp of self-raising flour (I used 2 1/4 cup of plain flour with 4 tsp of baking powder)
2/3 cup cold lemonade (I used sprite)
2/3 cup 35% fat thickened cream

Preheat oven to 225 degrees Celsius.
Sift flour in a bowl
Mix lemonade and cream in a measuring jub.
Add liquid to flour and gently fold ingredients to make a dough(don't over mix).
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out scones (I used a 5cm diameter cutter)
Place scones close together on the tray so they are just touching (this is important to create scones that are high rather than spread out and flat).
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until pale golden and cooked through.
Serve hot with jam and whipped cream.

Lemonade Scones... Mmmmm...

And here's one of our girl enjoying them -

I Heart Scones

Sunday, August 23

The "Yeah Yeah" Song

We are so proud... well, Phan is at least... She's on the way to becoming a longtime, true fan... :) Sorry, the video footage is so long, but I wanted to get to the end where she asks for it again... "more yeah yeah song".... ? Yes, darling.. you can have more of the "yeah yeah" song...

Friday, August 21

Playdough Drums

FB users divert to - to see the video.

Those of you who have seen and played Rockband or Guitar Hero World Tour console game (available on Xbox, PS and Wii) will be familiar with the drum pad set that comes with the game and the colours of the pad. I made playdough in 4 different colours the other day and Beth of her own spotted the similarity of the colours and asked me to "make drums" and to "get some sticks"... (paddle pop sticks were the closest thing I had on hand) so I made some little drums and next thing you know, she's got her own little playdough drum pad set and she's drumming and singing away... She's her very own rockstar...

Thursday, August 20

The "Daredevil"...

(FB users divert to -

On the whole, Beth is a pretty reserved child... She doesn't like fast things or spinning or swinging things or moving things... She kind of likes to be in control of things at all times... So it's quite a surprise she's developed a love for riding down this slope at playgroup... It's taken about 3 weeks for her to get the hang of it and then work up the courage to go down the hill... It started with her only going about 1/4 of the way up the slope... then 1/2 way up the slope... then she would let go of the handlebars when it went too fast and she got scared (absolutely the worst thing you could do, as she almost fell of a number of times until I convinced her it was better to hold on tight so she wouldn't fall off!) And then she would pester me into helping her push the ride-on car/bike thing all the way up the hill until I talked her into doing it by herself... So now she loves riding down the hill countless times...

On a separate note... I've decided to blanket ban all strawberry related foods for Beth... I've mentioned the eating-a-whole-punnet-in-15-minutes episode that related in 1.5 months of itchiness and sleepless nights... A few weeks ago she drank 2 mixed berry flavoured pop-top drinks (only after did I realise that equated to 1/2 a litre of drink!) during a 30 minute grocery shop... and then was itchy for a week or two after that.. On Sunday, she had the equivalent of about 1 tsp of strawberry jam (one of those tiny little kraft packets) with a scone for morning tea... I hesitated at the time, but she was sooo excited about having scones with jam and cream I let her have it... Bad idea... we've had 3 nights of itchiness and interrupted sleep... I was a grumpy bear this morning due to the fragmented night we'd had... hoping it only lasts a week or so, but this pain is so not worth it... So no more strawberry jam or strawberry flavoured anything from now on! The only upside of the interrupted nights... she's napped 2 days in a row (which is unheard of these days!) and today, she actually napped for 2.5 hours... I snuck in a nice long nap too (I really needed it after last night!) So tonight, we went late night shopping at Chermside for a couple of hours, since I figured Beth would be full of energy after her mega-huge nap... Haven't been late night shopping in ages, so it was a nice change and fun, although the only thing we bought was contact lens solution for Phan and Beth developed a fascination with some plastic animals in Kmart, so we came home with a snake and a crocodile... No soft, fluffy animals for my girl... noooo... she prefers reptiles...

Wednesday, August 19



Playing peekaboo under the covers of mummy and daddy's bed!!!

Tuesday, August 18

Baking Biscuits...

The Best Part Of Baking...

We made condensed milk biscuits today... it made a *colossal* amount of dough, so I froze half of it, and then we had fun making biscuits with the remaining amount...
Here's the recipe we used -

Condensed Milk Biscuits

500g butter/margarine
1 cup sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
5 cups SR Flour

Method:Cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
Beat in the condensed milk until well combined.
Fold in the flour a cup at a time.
You may have to turn the dough out on to the bench and knead in the last of the flour.
Ball or slice and bake in a 180C oven for 10 - 15 minutes.

I forgot to add baking powder to make the flour self-raising... so the biscuits didn't rise or spread very much, but they're still pretty tasty... It's a very versatile mix that you can add different flavours to - we made 3 varieties - plain, a choc-chip batch and ovaltine with choc-chip... mmmm....

Amongst the mess we made, I managed to pause and wash my hands so I could get a bit of video footage of Beth in action -

(Facebook users, divert to to see the video)

When we first started making the biscuits, Beth kept grabbing dough by the handful and going "Ewwww... it's sticky!", which is what I wanted to video... but by the time I started videoing, she'd gotten over the sticky factory and I think she only says it a couple of times on the video. Also I don't know if you can see, but bits of dough actually go flinging across the room... lots of fun cleaning that up!

Monday, August 17

Surely that can't be comfortable...

Surely that can't be comfortable...

It's been a looong day... Beth didn't go to bed 'til about 10pm last night and was awake from about 6am, although we didn't get out of bed until 7am....
And one of the hazards of dropping the daytime nap (we're down to about 2 naps a week now), is that sometimes the 2.5 year old thinks she's not sleepy... (despite persistent encouragement from a nagging mum to have a nap) and then suddenly at 4:30pm... *poof*... you find a little person on the couch like this. She was actually holding a drink in her lap too, but I moved it... I don't like Beth sleeping that late in the afternoon (I don't like her sleeping past 2pm actually!), but despite my best efforts, there was no waking her.. so I let her have a short 30 minute nap on the couch... and then woke her up... and she was a grumpy bear... She's currently sitting on the couch a bit spaced out and waking up still... I'm going to go harrass her into having dinner now...

Sunday, August 16

You Can't Catch Me, I'm the Gingerbread Man...

You Can't Catch Me, I'm The Gingerbread Man

Beth was pretty excited about getting a gingerbread man for morning tea today... Although, she much preferred to play with him than actually eat him... and when one of his arms eventually broke off and she ate it, she spat it out within a couple of seconds... Apparently she's not a fan of gingerbread ... like her dad... but that's okay... it means I get to eat him... :)

Thursday, August 13

Popstar in the Making?

Do you think she's going to live out the dream her mum wanted to live and become a popstar one day? :)

(For those of you seeing this note through a Facebook feed, click on "View original post" to link through to my blog, or go directly to to see the youtube video... for some weird reason, Facebook doesn't embed the youtube links in my blog post...)

Wednesday, August 12

Hello There Little Kangaroo...

Hello There Little Kangaroo...

Just quickly wanted to share this... we went to Alma Park Zoo today (it was a public holiday for Ekka) and I got this cute little shot of Beth with a little friend...
The lighting was shocking (so uneven and dappled), but I couldn't exactly ask the kangaroo to move to a spot where the light was better, so had to make do... I love this shot, despite all the technical flaws...

Monday, August 10

Our Little Lady...

Our Little Lady

Just some of the out-takes from the shoot we did a few weeks back (the same shoot that the photo in my blog header comes from actually)... hilariously funny, these really make me laugh... She's such a lady isn't she?

Sunday, August 9

Masterpieces - Part 1

Masterpieces - Part 1

As I've previously mentioned, we are accumlating artwork at an alarming rate at the moment... there are just so many random pieces of paper lying around the house that I feel like we're in the business of mass art production.

It's most unlikely that we are going to be able to store all these wonderful pieces of art, but it seems such a shame to throw them out without any record of them, so I've decided to start a series called "Masterpieces" and here is the first part of this series.... stay tuned for more (and there will be *many many* more!)...

Thursday, August 6

What to do when your child doesn't want an afternoon nap...

What to do when your child doesn't want an afternoon nap...

You spend it in the garden of course, collecting a whole bucket (or two) of leopard tree seed pods... amazing how simple things can amuse a child for an afternoon... (well, actually, more like half an hour, but hey, that's better than nothing)

Tuesday, August 4

A Reflection... [5 Things I Want To Do In This Lifetime]

- Finish writing and recording a CD of my music and songs

- Travel and see more of Europe again

- Find the time to do some charity work, to make a small difference in somebody's life

- Be around to be grandmother, for at least a short while... (Disclaimer, I don't want Beth to be in her teens and popping out kids though... I want to see Beth grow up to be a responsible, well-rounded adult and to have enjoyed her youth before going into parenthood!)

- Visit my family in Vietnam again

The reason for this post - I recently found out that my uncle, Cau Chin, has terminal late stage liver cancer... He is the youngest on my mum's side, only about 40 years of age and has 2 children aged 7 and 11. He's only expected to live 3-6 months and it makes me sad to think I'll not ever get to chance to see him again... I met him and all my other uncles and aunties on our trip to Vietnam 4 years ago and I'm so grateful that I got that opportunity... I have many fond memories of all of them and especially of Cau Chin as I was often on the back of his motorbike as we travelled around Vung Tau...

... life isn't fair sometimes and it is too short...
Take a moment out in your day to be grateful for the blessings in your life ...

I'll finish this with a family group photo from our trip to Vietnam back in 2005... good times... -

Old Holiday Snap - Vung Tau, Vietnam 2005

Monday, August 3

Shiny New Car...

Shiny New Car...

Well, we've actually had it a couple of weeks now, but Beth still loves it... she gets in it at least once a day and drives around the house in it, often with a soft toy friend (or two!) in there with her... I have a watering can on had to "fill it up with petrol" as she demands me to... :)

Sunday, August 2

Making Humpty Play "The Kitchen Numbers Game"

Beth got this toy phone from her grandparents and there is a game on it which flashes up a 3 digit number and you have to press the correct numbers and a pancake gets added to a stack... Once you have 5 in a stack, a little "tada" song gets played... and you repeat it. Beth's pretty good at playing the game now (took her a little while to recognise digital numbers) and this morning she made Humpty play it with her...

Friday, July 31



Beth's become quite attached to her 2 new friends today... I tucked Humpty in with her when I transfered her from the car to her bed and when I heard her wake up from her nap, and peeked in to her room to see her holding him and playing with him in bed.

Jemima and Humpty have been everywhere with us this afternoon... They had lunch with Beth (and each got their own chair at the dining table!) And then they came with us to the shops... and we almost lost Humpty... I was majorly panicked for 2 minutes as I quickly scoured the checkouts at Woolworths looking for him and then retraced our steps to the $2 shop to find him sitting on a shelf she had placed him (all the while Beth's asking "Where's Humpty? Humptyyyyyyy! Humptyyyyyy!" and then crying and getting upset...) She gave him the biggest hug and held onto him tight after we found him again... and I breathed a big sigh of relief... that was a crisis diverted!

Then once we got home, they had afternoon tea with her... and then she played this jumping in the hoops game with them... And this evening they sat next to her as she watched playschool, sang songs together, played picnics, hairdressers (she's obsessed with Humpty's hair!) and restaurants... They have even followed us into the toilet and bathroom when we were brushing our teeth! Anyway, this photo is of her playing cubby houses with them and snuggled up all together... Not surprisingly, they're keeping her company in bed tonight...

She's never really been attached to any toy before, so to see her just fall completely in love with them is so funny and cute... She does have more of a preference towards Humpty, but she does like Jemima a lot and Jemima is Humpty's friend. She likes to make me hold Jemima and have conversations with Humpty... And she is always making Humpty kiss Jemima too... I'm bracing myself for this to become the inseparable trio...

Too Much Fun At The Playschool Concert

Today was the big day we'd been waiting for... the day of the Playschool Concert! I actually didn't tell Beth about it until this morning (because Beth has this issue with being unable to wait!), and I don't think she really understood until we got to the hall and sat down and she saw the set and then she started saying "Playschool Concert!"... and then when all her favourite characters (like Big Ted, Little Ted and Jemima) came out she really got into it... she was a little bit reserved (which is normal for her in large crowds and unfamiliar siutation), but after about 5-10 minutes she was into it and copying the playschool presenters and singing and doing actions... We had a ball! I knew she would love it... We got Angela (an old playschool presenter who isn't on any of the current episodes) and Alex (who is a familiar favourite presenter of hers)... and they were great... lots of fun songs and audience participation. After the concert I asked her what her favourite part was and she said "Humpty!" So I ended up buying her a small Humpty and a Jemima fairy doll from the merchandise stand... Anyone who knows me, knows that I rarely buy stuff from the merchandise stand at any concert... but I made an exception this time, because Playschool is the only TV show that Beth loves and is crazy about (any other TV show she can take it or leave it... but Playschool is always top of the list!)... and really, she adores her new friends.

Obviously, we had way too much fun at the Playschool Concert, because we came home at 11:30am and this is how she was, all snuggled up between her two new friends...

Too Much Fun At The Playschool Concert

She's still asleep right now (1:10pm!) which goes to show how much a Playschool Concert can take out of you! (Although, I suspect the lack of nap yesterday, 8:30pm bedtime and 6:30am wake time might have something to do with it also...)

Thursday, July 30

Afternoon Tea At The Park

Afternoon Tea At The Park

So I'm struggling here with finding time to head out to different locations and setup some lovely photoshoots with Beth (our days are just too busy filled with this activity or that)... However, we have of late been visiting the park near our house quite a lot... so I've taken to just dragging the camera along and photographing just our "every day" type activities... nothing exciting, but they do tell a story of what we do together... plus at least bringing my camera along gives me some kind of entertainment, because let's face it... once your child goes down the slide for the 10,000th time, it's really not that exciting anymore... :p So I figure I may as well spend some time practising the art of photography and get some personal enjoyment out of our afternoon outings...

Wednesday, July 29

Probably of very little interest to anybody but me...

but I thought I would document this for myself and mention now that Beth is pretty much completely toilet-trained... including at night!

Honestly, I think toilet-training was on my "most-dreaded" thing to do on my list of motherhood tasks... I put it off (yes, I had the excuse of the San Diego trip)... but in the end, that worked to our advantage, because she was well and truly ready by the time we started. We started when she was 2.5 and it pretty much took 1.5 weeks of just afternoon training on the potty for Beth to get the hang of it... then 2 weeks later, she started going on the "big toilet" and we haven't looked back since... It's now been 2 months... last week, we had a little setback, where Beth started leaking a little into her knickers before she made it to the toilet (nothing major, we just went through a lot of slightly wet knickers, but not enough to go through to her pants). I started showing her that her knickers were wet and she quickly figured out she didn't get her obligatory reward of a bit of chocolate frog or a lolly snake when they were wet ... So she got back on track pretty quick and now after doing a wee she firstly announces "I did a wee on the potty" (she still calls the toilet the potty)... then quickly she feels her knickers and looks at them and points and says "See... it's all dry!" ... very proudly! Then this is followed with "And I get a chocolate frog!" and I always say "You can have a little bit of frog" (I'm cutting back, she gets a quarter of a frog these days... I'm tight... :)) And then she tries to sweet talk me by saying "How about a big chocolate frog?" all whilst giving me this cheeky big grin that tries to melt your heart... but I still only give her a bit of chocolate frog, but it's super cute and hilarious seeing her try to wrangle for some more... :) Lately, she's been asking for snakes again... and today she was being sneaky and trying to get both... but I'm a tough cookie and don't fall for it... :)

On the night time training, I did nothing to encourage this, She's just figured it out by herself... before she brushes her teeth, she asks to go the toilet... then she'll wake up twice a night and ask to go again (once around midnight, again around 4-5am)... She normally just calls out "I need to wee!" and I normally hop out of bed, she does a wee (with her eyes closed and still announces "I did a wee on the potty" but she never asks for a chocolate frog or snake... instead she says "And I go back to sleep...". Really funny seeing her sit on the toilet so sleepy...

Apparently the other night, Phan and I must have been in a deep sleep and Phan woke to hear her calling out and asking "Can I wee on the potty please?"... obviously, she must have yelled out "I need to wee!" a few times and didn't get response, so she thought she'd be polite and see if that got a response... LOL... poor girl... I must have been tired, I normally always hear her... at least Daddy saved her...

Haven't been game enough yet to forgo the night nappy yet though, despite her progress... might give it another month, and if all still seems good, we'll try it and I'll get some waterproof covers for the bed just in case...

Okay... if you read that far, I'm impressed... I know it's boring reading about someone's toileting habits, but for me, I am so proud of my little girl...

And, I know she's totally going to hate me when she's older for taking this photo, but I took it anyway...

She's A Big Girl Now...

Tuesday, July 28

A Rundown Of Our Day...

We spent a rare day completely at home today... and this is what happened (in chronological sequence)

Today we....

- woke up at 7:20am

- drew pictures on the magna-doodle

- played the Mr Potato Head game (new purchase... it's a race to put together Mr Potato head... really quite fun!)

- had pancakes for breakfast

- coloured in about 30 pictures (I have just discovered a fabulous site with lots of free colouring in pages - ... just print out what you like and what you need (in our case, a lot!) and away you go... we've been colouring in with crayons and watercolours and textas... so lots of variety with the one activity.

- listened and danced the chicken dance about 20 times... Beth loved skipping around the table, I was dancing whilst marinaded some chicken drumsticks for dinner... LOL... how appropriate... :)

- baked a vegetable slice using this recipe... really yummy and quite healthy with lots of vegetables in it. (Note - lots of flour went everywhere during this period!)

- make home-made yoghurt iceblocks (blueberry yoghurt)..

- made lemon flavoured jelly

- made toilet roll people and knocked them over like ten pins with a tennis ball

- painted (with watercolours and with squishy paint) and made a big mess

- had fried rice and a pear for lunch.. then crackers and brie (she has "refined" taste)

- didn't have a nap

- blew some bubbles, spilt some bubble mix, then cried

- watched some TV ('cos Mummy needed a break!)

- played with lego

- played with dolls

- played dress-ups

- washed the kitchen floor with a bottle brush and then (dangerously!) decided to skid around in the slightly damp patch of tile whilst proclaiming "Whoa! It's a bit wobbly!"

- had chicken drumsticks with "trees" (broccoli) and rice for dinner. Followed by a banana.

- swept the floor with Daddy... and wielded it like a weapon

- had a bath (and kept putting bubbles all over your eyes and face and spitting water out of the bathtub!)

- argued because she insisted she didn't want to go to bed... but then fell asleep on the couch 5 mins later...*grrr*... lucky she's so cute, but *man*... why are toddlers so damn stubborn sometimes?

So here is the latest sleeping pose - I call it the "But-I-Don't-Want-To-Go-To-Sleep" pose...

The Sleeping Poses of Beth 4

And now, this Mummy needs to go and get some rest... early morning swimming lesson tomorrow... Beth better not sleep in!

Sunday, July 26

The Many Poses Of Sleeping Beth...

With the demise of the afternoon nap rapidly approaching, the days where Beth doesn't have a day nap often (but not always) results in her being quite tired in the evening and occasionally falling asleep on us when we're not watching.

This is how we found Beth on the couch tonight... she had been snuggled up on the couch having a bottle of milk whilst watching Playschool... and obviously she got a little too comfortable... I call this The "I-had-preconceived-notions-about-falling-asleep-on-the-couch" Pose...

The Sleeping Poses of Beth 3

In this photo she was out for the count at about 6:30pm one day... She hadn't even had her bottle of milk that night! I call it The "I-just-might-close-my-eyes-for-a moment" Pose...

The Sleeping Poses of Beth 2

And this photo is from a couple of weeks ago... I changed her into a night nappy and put a jumper on her and she didn't stir in the slightest... completely out of it. This is the "Sleeping Sprawling Starfish" Pose...

The Sleeping Poses of Beth 1

(ps - experimenting with some vintage black and white processing here because these photos have way too many clashing colours going in them... not sure if I love it, but something I'm playing with)