Saturday, January 28, 2012


Okay, galaxy hitchhikers, what is the answer to life, the universe and everything?


Starting off with our traditional Geburtstagbrezel and presents, then out to test-drive Mini Coopers (because why not?), a stop in at a jewelry store to admire fancy stones (again, just looking so why not?), yummy lunch out, and...a date out on the Leeuwin tall ship while the girls have a play at a friend's house. What a fantastic way to spend the day!

Happy Birthday, Markus! We love you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's hard being 3

Our house was due for inspection today. In Australia, the rental company inspects the property every 12 weeks, assuring the owner there is no damage (and often checking up on the tenants' housekeeping skills as a side effect). I've been cleaning all morning, and the girls were happily engaged in one of their favorite past-times, dancing. After a while, they asked and I readily agreed to put on the DVD of Ellie's ballet recital so they could dance along. It bought me such good uninterrupted cleaning time that I broke my own rule and put on a second dance DVD afterwards. That didn't work out so well.

On my pass through the living room, I could see they were both sitting and watching rather than dancing. Watching is almost always bad news. Inevitably, they get tired and grumpy and begin to squabble. It wasn't long before Ellie came to tattle on Stephanie for hitting. When I tried to have a talk with her, she bit me...HARD (yes, she broke the skin, through my shorts!). I couldn't believe it. I tossed her into her room for time out, and she spit in my face when it was time to come out. Repeatedly. This is not the Stephanie we know at all.

And then I remembered: she's 3. I've been cleaning and busy all morning, putting her needs (and whims) on the back burner. No, I can't keep doing your costume changes, sweetie. Okay, one last hairstyle change but that's it! Stephanie, I'm cleaning! It was a bit too much. Understandably.

Priority reminder!

The house inspection is important, sure, but these are my children. It was time to decide the house was "clean enough". Let the inspection chips fall where they may. I pulled her into my lap for a long, soft cuddle and felt her little body completely relax. Then, I read her a story and then another. And she wrapped her little arms around my neck, gave me a huge squeeze and apologized from the bottom of her sweet little heart for biting me and spitting. Balance is restored. Everyone is happy and relaxed again.

And you know what? The inspection went just fine.

Monday, January 09, 2012

His little shopping companion

In our current home, the grocery store is just across the road. When we need something simple and quick (out of milk?), one of us will zip over and pick up said item. Stephanie usually wants to come along. When she goes with Markus, she perches on his shoulders (usually in her pjs and without shoes).

Monday, January 02, 2012

Surf girls

Markus has been home with us for the time spanning Christmas to New Year's, and we've all been enjoyed a brilliant family vacation at home. Every afternoon when the sun relents just a bit, we head to the beach for fun in the surf. By mid-afternoon, the Fremantle Doctor blows in and churns the sea into some fun waves at the shoreline. This week, it seems the girls have lost all fear (as long as they are clinging to Papa) and love jumping the waves, no matter how big and how strong, laughing hysterically all the while.

Afterwards, they munch sandwiches in the sand and Papa enjoys a swim like the happy fish he is.

Sometimes, they get a wee bit worn out by the adventure...

Stephanie curled up on the bathroom floor before showering off the sand. Sweetie was in bed asleep by 6:30pm.

Good times!

Today was a public holiday here in Australia, a bonus day off since New Year's was on a Sunday. Markus goes back to work tomorrow (sigh). We've been so happy enjoying such good family time together over the past week and a half. At some point today, the girls realized he had to go back to work, which drew out a disappointed "Awwww!" Despair quickly returned to joy when they remembered they didn't have to go back to school.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!
We've made some resolutions/plans that excite us, and we're looking forward to a fantastic 2012! Wishing you and yours a wonderful, healthy year to come!