Friday, 29 January 2010

Two down, one to go

Lara started school yesterday and I am happy to report that we survived Lara's first week unscathed. She was taken to school by Marie, Malcolm, Nanna, Jonah and myself and had a milkshake before school started. I don't seem to recall such an experience when I started big school...Once we found her classroom and met her teacher, it was a simple of matter of kissing and hugging all family members goodbye. A bit of an anti-climax really.

We've managed to arrange lesson times for swimming, tennis, chinese and piano. In the excitement of rebuilding our letterbox and saving the chicken from burning on the BBQ, we forgot to attend the registration day for ballet. Oops. However, we finished the week with all hats, lunch boxes and drink bottles still in possession. A big achievement.

As Malcolm and I cherished the moments of being with Jonah yesterday, we also mourned the loss of innocence of our older two. But the grieving process had to be short as we had important matters to attend to. Believe or not! trivia at the Bayview demanded our full attention. Alas, we finished second after losing the tie-breaker. Hence the quiet night at home studying the map of Europe whilst Malcolm goes out for a night of boardgames...

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Au pair affairs

Last week, we farewelled Alessandra, our third au pair. Although she had a rough start (the Sachi whirlwind effect is a pretty tough act to follow!) both Malcolm and I feel that she has turned out to be the stand out. I was surprisingly sad to see her go. During her time here, she really has embraced all constructive criticism and tried hard to change. The difference from when she first arrived and to when she left is quite astounding. This is a great quality for one so young.

We also welcomed Marie, our new au pair from France. She appears to be a warm and hardworking girl. However, again, didn't quite start off so well. She managed to knock down our brick letterbox with The Beast. This was an inconvenience but didn't turn out to be such a big deal as the car had to be fixed from when Malcolm dinged it against the garage anyway. Luckily for us, the dings are on the same side. What was even more challenging for us was to let her know that she had a strong and offensive body odour.

This topic is one that is often discussed and the general consensus is that yes, you should tell someone with bad BO so they can do something about it. But I bet that's only because they've never had to do it! I was forced to do it when I could start smelling BO on Jonah. It was one of the hardest and most uncomfortable thing I've ever had to do in my life. She was understandably upset but maturely informed me that she was glad I was able to be honest with her. I felt so terrible after the event. She said she'll try "some things". I wasn't brave enough to push the envelope by suggesting she use deodorant. She has a fear that deodorants cause cancer. I couldn't exactly tell her that its a load of rubbissh as the chances of one developing cancer isn't that low these we shall see what happens.

It has been 2 days now since we had THAT conversation. I'm glad that the awkwardness has passed and that she doesn't seem to hate me, well, not that I'm aware of anyway. She is thankfully quite efficient and obviously competent. She managed to get Jonah to sleep without problems on her first night with him alone. And like with Alex, I'm sure we'll get to grow fond of her and that we will be sad to see her go in six to nine months time. If only, things can don't have to start so badly all the time!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Another busy week

Things never seem to stop in this household! The week started off with a bang with a Disney dinner and meeting. It will the last meeting where the Yeohs can attend in person. After a delicious Malaysian feast, we sat down with the Yeohs and Marrs to nut out some details of our upcoming adventure. It was a productive meeting with dates and rough plans finalised and the rest of the Marr family possibly joining us earlier for the trip! It was certainly pleasant to see everyone so enthused and excited about the trip.

My next Disney step was a "pre-cruise" meet on Thursday with a fellow DISer who will be cruising with us in the Mediterranean come April. An American expat, she has been here for about 2.5 years with her husband and 6 year old son. We met up at Borders for a coffee. It was a surprisingly pleasant meeting with no awkward moments. The children took a while to warm up but by the time we got to looking at the travel section, they had managed to sit themselves down together at the kids section reading books!

With the return of the Kohs, we just had to update them with the most recent Disney developments. So what better way to do this than over dinner and a boardgame? It was lovely looking at their holiday photos in Hong Kong and to hear about their experience at Hong Kong Disneyland. Sadly, however, the Yeohs left for Canberra on the same day.

Today, we finally managed to get ourselves organised to submit the applications for Jonah's and Lara's passports. Then it was off to yum cha to celebrate Alessandra's 20th Birthday followed by a special chocolate birthday treat at Max Brenners. Mmmm....

We're now home after a swim and dinner at Nana's and Grandpa's. Tomorrow we pick up Marie, our next au pair. And a new chapter begins...

Friday, 8 January 2010

Flourishing Fruitloops

The fruitloops made a great start to the year by winning the very first trivia quiz after the two week Christmas break! It was a close result with our team only winning by one point at the end. We were let down by our non-existent knowledge of the elements. The ponderous puzzle stumped our team for 6 rounds...Sigh. Malcolm and I left resolved to memorise the periodic table. He has already worked through flags of countries beginning with the letters S and T. I am endeavouring to learn more "geography" generally. How does one do that?!?!?!? I just want to be the expert at "something". Seeing as there are already ten thousand other doctors on the team, being a medical specialist is no good. Besides, we always get the medical questions wrong.

Oh, and I finally made my return to IKEA after a long absence. Boy, do I miss those meatballs. It looked like little Jonah will carry on the family infatuation with the Swedish meatballs. The little monster devoured 7 meatballs! Of course, one cannot visit IKEA without buying the wonderful IKEA products...

Monday, 4 January 2010

Welcome 2010!

As people debate over the trivial matter of whether to call the year twenty ten or two thousand and ten, I decide with emphasis that this will be the year to be ultra-organised!

The year didn't start off so well. Malcolm worked nearly all of New Year's Eve. Jonah wouldn't co-operate and refused to sleep at Oma Lulu's house. This called for a retreat back home. Lara woke at in the early hours of the morning vomiting, luckily Mal was at Oma Lulu's house at the time. Last but not least, Malcolm's dad decided to have a DVT.

All that didn't deter us. We left Lara in the capable hands of Oma, sent Malcolm's dad to Concord Hospital and set about the serious business of tidying and organising the Albany household. Our study was like a cave of wonders. So much we filled up our general rubbish bin 5 days before the next collection day, we ooh'ed and ah'ed over various nostalgic items that we had uncovered. We even managed to clear our stairage and put away all our Christmas decorations. I couldn't believe how much we did, ok, how much Malcolm did (I mostly sat and gave directions). We went to bed completely satisfied. Now only our bedroom, the linen cupboard, the laundry, the pantry and the children's bedrooms to go.

Our hardwork was rewarded with the discovery that our Christmas tree which we had dumped unceremoniously on our lawn last night had been neatly chopped up and put in the green bin by the gardener! We were releasing big whoops of joy only to notice that we had forgotten the Christmas wreath. Not to locate the Christmas box to pack it away...where did u put in again?