Thursday, April 23, 2009

The non-adventure continues!

Well hello,

Sorry it’s been so long. There’s a lot that has been sapping our energy these days and the moments when I, in particular (it’s been my week to write for a while) have had a chance to sit down for a second without remembering something else that needed to get done, are very few and far between (I’m in denial about what’s waiting to get done until I finish this post!). Miss Edie has taken to sleeping less and less during the day and getting into more and more mischief. I’m sure it’s not terribly different from any other 7.5 month old but it certainly is a lot of work! And we love it!

There really hasn’t been too much to catch anyone up on either. It’s been raining quite a bit since Tim’s last post meaning that although the Southeast Queensland dams have topped 60% of their capacity bringing Brisbane out of drought for real, there hasn’t been a lot of thrill seeking adventure on our part. The last real attempt was over Easter weekend, which in Australia means a 4 day weekend. By the Monday of Easter weekend we hadn’t yet left the house for anything other than a grocery run due to the rain and were feeling quite cabin-feverish. Tim really wanted to check out the Boondall wetlands, a protected area which lies just outside of the city, he’d been trying to get us out there all weekend. So, when we saw a break in the weather on Monday we made the trip out only to race back to our car after 5 minutes of walking along the trails in the park. The mozzies were ravenous, and plentiful after so much wet weather. And they’re huge. I have a picture of one, but I think I’ll hold off on posting it as I feel like all we’ve shown lately is how nasty the nasties are here. I wouldn’t want to give anyone an excuse not to come and visit! Just think of it this way- we’re doing the learning for you. We definitely won’t be taking any visitors through a rainforest after a rain (remember those fun leeches) nor will we be taking anyone through the wetlands after a rain, as for the biting ants, they’re good for character building. In the end we checked out a park on the coast which was much easier on the blood supply.

I just got back from the doctor’s office where I had my vaccinations brought up to date. At the beginning of May, Tim, Edie and I will be taking a trip to Vietnam. Our friend Van Anh (who we met in Canada and who still lives there) will be visiting her family in Hanoi at the same time, so we thought it’d be a good time to go. Tim is super excited, I’m excited, but a little apprehensive…It’s the lioness mom thing I think. I have no specific reason to be anxious about it but I guess when it all comes down to it I’d probably prefer to never have to alter our daily schedule in which we spend most of our time at home or not too far from it. And Edie prefers to be naked most of the time. I just can’t see me feeling ok about her being naked all the time in Vietnam. It’s another one of those things (like this whole move to Australia) where I’m sure I’ll be glad that we did what we did, but it’ll be a task and a half getting through it. We’ll post lots of pictures and will have lots of stories for you once we get back.

Speaking of Edie, I’ve got lots to tell. So if you’re really not that interested in things like baby poo or teething, etc., you can just skip this part. I spend 99% of my time with the little critter so I feel somewhat a) lost for other topics and b) deserving of the right to divulge this kind of stuff.

So, Miss Edie’s got one tooth through on the bottom and another on the way just next to it. She’s had wingey days but it hasn’t been nearly as bad as others have made it out to be. She’s still been sleeping through the nights for the most part, although less during the day, but we think we’re doing ok in that respect. The tooth that’s through had doubled her cuteness factor and is pretty solid. She’s putting a dent in her nightly carrot-stick and in many other things already, including myself. It’s amazing how proud we are of accomplishments that Edie has nothing to do with, like teething. What can we say- she’s got us hooked.

Now, the issue of poo. Well, for those who don’t know, we’re trying to help Edie poo. She doesn’t seem to go at all if we’re not diligent with treatment, which includes a daily shot of lactulose (essentially sugar-water) and prune juice and other nastier measures if the first one doesn’t work. We’ve been treating her like this since mid-February and she absolutely hates it so it’s been kind of rough on all of us…It’s also not really showing any sign of improving things. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine suggested early potty-training as a means to get her sorted out without having to resort to the medical treatments that we’d been giving her. This friend had read a book about diaper-free babies and in it a woman had written about how getting off of nappies had improved the regularity with which her daughter pooed. So, I went and borrowed the book from our library and have been working on this diaper-free method for about 2 weeks now. What it essentially boils down to is that children are apparently born with the instinct not to soil themselves which is quickly muffled by us conveniently wrapping them up in diapers pretty much as soon as they’re born. Just think about how cool it would feel to have to use the bathroom in your underwear…Ya. The book suggests ways of reading the babies cues for when they need to go (so we can then pop her on to the potty) and also suggests ways of getting them to become more aware of the fact that they are ‘going’ in order to relearn their natural instincts in not soiling themselves. So, it might be that Edie just doesn’t feel comfortable going in her nappy (which I think is quite justifiable). Right away I can see that she loves being without a nappy. She now cries violently when I put a nappy on her actually. Reading cues is getting easier, but it requires a LOT of attention on our part and we still have to clean up lots of messes. But she seems to be pooing more regularly (and in a potty which means I don’t have to clean it off of nappies), is hungrier and generally more happy we think. So we’re going to keep up with this in the hopes that this will settle things. It’s really hard work, but we hope it will be worth it.

The potty training can be thrown off by a number of things however, teething being one of them and injury being another (of many). Sadly, Edie had her first spill this week. Everyone says that all babies will fall at some point, but I think the people that say that are mostly the ones who have never had their child fall off of anything but don’t want the other mothers to feel bad. I think this because I used to do it myself. But alas, on Tuesday after having put Edie to sleep on our bed and gone to fetch my own breakfast, I heard an awful crash and screeching wail. I should have known she was getting too mobile for sleep on our bed but since it’s the place that she prefers to go to sleep, it was easy to rationalize (she just won’t do the crib for daytime sleeps). Anyhow, I found her on all fours on the floor with an obvious bump on her nose. The poor thing. She cried for about 10 minutes and then proceeded to play with her barnyard so I knew she was fine, but oh. My heart was broken. We’ve been catering to her every whim since, even more so than usual. But she’s some kind of trooper. We now have a blanket set up on the floor for sleeping on. She seems to be good with it, but when she wakes up now, it’s not a matter of falling off of things that is the problem, it’s her getting into everything surrounding her. So baby proofing time is here. So ya, the whole bump has thrown a bit of a wrench into the potty training but I think she’s back on track now.

We discovered the family section of our local video store, thank goodness! Edie and I watched the Jungle Book all last week and are currently enjoying The Adventures of Milo and Otis. Ahhh, good old family movies, I’d been missing them so much. I’ve got my eye on Mary Poppins for our next feature film.

And I’ll leave you having learned lots of trivial information about our daily lives down under, wishing that we could be nearer and sharing this in real-life.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Supple, eh?

Many of you know that I've had a bit of wrist problem over the years, some annoying pain, probably the result of too much mouse clicking - who knows, maybe it was the Napster heydays that did it. Well I finally made an appointment with an Orthopaedic surgeon to have it checked out, and it turns out I have "supple" wrists. Yes, supple. Apparently quite common in ladies, but rare in blokes (as he put it). So I left feeling quite emasculated but happy that there is no obvious major damage to the tendons and ligaments in there. And I decided to check out the actual meaning of supple. It's actually not so bad. Besides, I play footy, drive 4WDs and work around crocodiles, I'm confident in my manhood.....I think.

Laura is at soccer practice at the moment and Edie is asleep. She's been grumpy today because of her impending new teeth (Edie that is, not Laura). She (Edie again) has started giving us fake smiles that are slowly morphing into grimaces, likely the result of a little pain around the gums. A little bit of whisky rubbed in should do the trick. She's also ever so close to crawling, and enjoys being upside down.

It's been plenty wet here recently, with enough rain to boost the dams to over 50% capacity. That means that there is enough supply to last the city over 3 years without rain. And of course, as a result the water restrictions have been eased, up to a target of 200 litres per person per day (from a low of 140 when we first arrived, recently it has been 170). So no doubt consumption will slowly creep back up again. At least people have proven that when necessary, they can reduce their use considerably. And we're still not allowed to clean driveways with a hose - a little bit of common sense in there.

All the rain means the lawns are nice and green again. Over the weekend we decided we would avoid getting trapped indoors and took a day trip down to Mount Tamborine. It is less than an hour away from us so it's a bit touristy, but has plenty of pristine rainforest walks. We got about 20 minutes into one of these walks before realizing that rainforests are not meant to be walked in on wet days. Why you might ask? Because of the leeches. Leeches that live on the ground and thrive under wet conditions. Once we noticed them crawling on our shoes and socks we decided to turn tail and get out of there. But not before we saw plenty of nice paddymelons (wallabies) bouncing around under the leaves. Laura even saw one with a joey! So I guess we aren't the real adventurers we pretend to be, if a few little bloodsuckers are going to keep us away. We shall be back (on a drier day), and the canopy walk is next on our to-do list. We just need visitors so we can take them there.

Mount Tamborine rainforest - Taken just before discovering the bloodsuckers

All for now, take care and Happy Easter everybody!