Aside from the very frustrating school issue, we've had a pretty fun and very busy week around here. More than ever, Ellie is showing signs of being an uber-intelligent child in that she gets bored quite easily (thus the drive for good schooling, but I'll rant about that another time). This means I have to be on the ball with a plan from early on in the day, or we are booked on a one-way ticket to Tantrum City (and once you board, there is no escape). I've been a bit stuck in that I still have a long checklist of new-place items to check off, but somehow this week we managed it (mostly) and had good times.
Monday morning, the real estate agent who handles this house went on holiday. Before she did, she seems to have put notices in with the various repair people about the issues we noted in the hideous PCR. ALL of them called me Monday morning. My phone was ringing incessantly for over an hour. By that, I mean while I was answering a call, someone else was leaving voicemail, and while I was checking that voicemail, someone else was calling. It was gruesome. We also had delivery of our new appliances, which happened earlier than scheduled and required us to zip home as quickly as possible when we made our one escape of the day to the bakery. Sigh. This manic day was handled with grace by all, but it took its toll, as was to be evident on Tuesday. To sum Tuesday up, let's just say we boarded Tantrum Express, which offered non-stop service all the day long. I cried more than Ellie did on Tuesday, which seemed to egg her on. It was ugly, people. UGLY. But every day is new with kids and every day is different. Ellie seemed to have gotten the nasties out of her system overnight, and on Wednesday she was open to activities again. On Wednesday morning, we finally took baby Stephanie in for her (overdue) 6 month immunizations. There is a free immunization clinic here for children under 5, which is delightful! Because they only service small children, the waiting room is colorful, full of toys and books, and staffed with friendly people. The two nurses who give the injections are naturally quite experienced with children. Mobiles with bells are hung from the ceiling in the exam rooms, so the nurse gives the mobile a whack to create a visual and auditory distraction for a wee one while the injection is being given (or afterward). Thanks to a different immunization schedule in Holland, baby Stephanie only needed one shot to get her up to date...and she didn't even cry, thanks to that fascinating mobile and the nurse's gentle touch! Ellie had brought along Lolo and Bunny for their immunizations too, and the nurse didn't blink. She just made sure they got their bandages too.
Afterwards, we went to the Perth Zoo, where someone captured this picture of me chasing Ellie before I tied her to my back with the Kozy Carrier.
The Perth Zoo is quite nice. I particularly liked the Outback Walk section, where kangaroos and wallabies roam free. Most of them were snoozing in the shade (UV factor 8 out of 10 that day!), but one came close enough to inspect our stroller before moving on. Ellie had great fun on the playground before we headed home.
Thursday morning was time to return to the toy library for our weekly exchange. What is a toy library, you ask? A brilliant idea, I answer! The community maintains a "toy library" with a wide assortment of children's toys from dress-up costumes to Little Tikes cars to tricycles to blocks to sing-a-long CDs... For a relatively minor annual membership fee, families can borrow a toy per child per week. This gives kids the opportunity to play with lots of different toys, toys that are always new to them and fun, at hardly any expense to the parents. This week was our third visit, and Ellie had it down. She walked in, handed over last week's toy, looked at the shelves for about 0.6 seconds, pointed and exclaimed, "That one, please!" and out the door we went. This gave us plenty of time to get to her ballet class. We have joined "Teeny Ballet"! It is just about the cutest thing ever! The girls can wear whatever they like and the teacher brings lots of extra tutus for them to try on if they like. For as long as Ellie has been Ellie, she observes new activities carefully and rarely attempts them until she feels she's got it mastered in her head. This means she spends most of ballet class watching the teacher like a hawk but merely following the rest of the class from one side of the room to another rather than running free like the other kiddos tend to do. This week was only her second class. We're pretty sure that once she gets more familiar with what is expected, she will let loose and dance up a storm. She did participate in some skipping along with a partner, which I caught on video:
And this brings us to Friday, which is MY BIRTHDAY! Markus took the day off to help me celebrate, and we're going to have a great, relaxing day doing whatever seems most appealing at the time. Woo-hoo! Happy Birthday to me! See you back here for the weekly video post soon!