Thursday, June 23, 2011

Getting ready

It has only really just occurred to me this afternoon that I will be boarding a plane tomorrow. I am completely unprepared for this. Truthfully, there isn't much preparation to be done. I am traveling alone and headed towards summer, so I'll be traveling very light. The thing is, I'm not used to Markus being home all day in my disarray. I'm afraid he will organize it while the girls are at school, and then I will never find anything ever again (though there's always the chance I'll see it when we move). So, I've spent the day cleaning. It takes a lot of work to clean this house, lemme tell ya! Now, I'm supposed to be organizing my desk. The computer is on my desk...and you can see what I'm doing. Ahem.

Apologies for not updating about the girls as promised. Stephanie has a little cold (mostly just nose, no fever or anything awful). She has been an incredible little trooper, and the days are pretty normal. The nights, however, don't bring much sleep. Her nose is stuffed and wakes her continually. She wants me to sleep with her for comfort, but she's a light sleeper who cannot sleep if someone is with her. We were awake-though-trying-to-sleep from just past midnight until 4:30 the other night. At around 4, Ellie finally heard us and woke up too; I nearly cried and possibly wasn't very pleasant at that point. I'm so run down that now I have a headcold too, though I'm fighting it. I just wanted to sleep all day (not going to happen as a mama!) but figured I could unwind when Markus came home...except he came home more ill than I am! Poor man. What timing! Oh well. At least my version of it doesn't seem too bad, and Stephanie's hasn't turned into anything nasty yet.

Wish Markus luck and good health as he becomes Mr. Mom for the next 10 days! I leave tomorrow night! US of A, here I come!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Good to be thorough

I was hanging up some washing yesterday afternoon, and my little companion noticed the bird feeder was full of dirty rainwater. She dumped it out in the garden and hung it up to dry, complete with requisite clothespin.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Little Aussie

Looking at a library book cover, Ellie announced,
"It's Heath-ah the Violet Fairy. Her name has a silent '-er' at the end."

Well, yes, with the Aussie pronunciation, it does.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ellie's writing

I've been meaning to update about the girls' development. Both of them are growing and changing so much these days that it's time to record it! Last night and this morning, Ellie worked on something in my notebook that got me kick-started on this new series of posts: she wrote a little story!

Much to my surprise, Ellie hasn't been inclined to read and write much up to this point. While we don't doubt her ability one bit, we haven't put much pressure on for a few reasons. Ellie is so perfectionist that she hates to demonstrate a skill until it is mastered (not particularly good when it comes to reading but...). If pushed, she may abandon the skill entirely to avoid this. We don't want her to feel a strong aversion to reading or writing. Although most of her peers are reading now (Montessori gets 'em early), we recognize that this is still quite a young age for reading and it isn't necessary that we push it yet. Her school also insists on cursive, and we suspect she might find that too hard though she wouldn't dare going against a rule and writing in print instead. All that being said, I was thrilled when she took possession of a notebook on my desk and produced this:

Ellie went to
a shop and
got cookies and
the cookies had
Smarties and the cookies
had sprinkles and
everyone got one
cookie. One day Ellie
was driving and
Ellie was getting cookies
and Stephanie got
one cookie. Papa went
on holiday and when
he comes back he got
us a birthday
cake it was baby's
birthday cake.
Stephanie and Ellie
and Mama and Papa
was going
to Bali at Bali
we had lots of fun
and saw monkeys
and got cookies and
the cookies had Smarties
and had sprinkles
and the sprinkles
and Smarties were

Did you notice a cookie theme here? Guess what we're baking today.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Winter has come (inside)

Cold weather has come to Perth. Well, cold weather by Perth standards, anyway. The days cap at around 20C and the nights have gotten as low as 7C, though they are closer to 12C on average. What this really means is the house has become cold.

It started a few weeks ago. One Friday, we experienced a big rainstorm, the first in months of drought and it felt like a blessing. We awoke the next morning to cold. We were so cold in the house that we all dressed up in our thermals and we were still cold. Markus dug one of the space heaters out of the garage and set it up next to the kitchen table, but with expansive marble floors radiating cold in all directions, we didn't feel the heater at all unless we sat on it (which was attempted). He finally decided to take the girls out, given that it is often warmer outside in Perth winters because of the sun. He chased them around for a while before giving up, returning to the kitchen where I was tidying up from breakfast and was amazed to find it WARM. "What happened in here?" he demanded to know.

I had turned on the central heat.
In our two winters in an old Perth house, we had forgotten about this radical new technology of central heat. What a concept!
And oh, what instant warmth!

Still, we are left with the huge house dilemma of not wanting to pay to heat the entire place. The system here allows us to select six different areas to heat/cool or not. We are all fine with cold bedrooms (such great sleep!). Thus far, we only heat the kitchen/dining/playroom. The living room remains tricky, as it is open to the huge two-story entryway. Unless we heat the entire house, any heat in the living room goes immediately out and up into the void, leaving us to shiver our way through our nightly wind-down on the couch.

Last night, Markus came up with this particularly elegant solution:

And yes, he was indeed nice and toasty.

Thursday, June 02, 2011