Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Alcoholically Challenged

Now as anyone who knows me well will know I don't drink very much alcohol at all, or know all that much about it. In fact I even had to look up how to spell it properly in the dictionary for this post *shame* (though to my defense that was because I had the wrong spell checker on & it was telling me it was wrong, when really I had spelt it right).

Anyway, after 4 years of going around complaining that I couldn't get brandy in Denmark to make my Christmas cakes I found out today that Cognac is a type of brandy...& it is readily available in Denmark.

Now the question is, will I still prefer my Christmas cakes made with Brandy...or have a got so used to how they taste with Rum.

Monday, 13 December 2010

And it happened

Well as you know from my previous post it was pretty dangerous to be out and about today. I managed to do all my shopping & errands this morning without any drama, & almost made it through the day unscathed. Then I decided after J's sleep that we would take a walk down the road & stepped on an extremely slippery patch of ice on the way to get the pram from the garage. Next thing I knew I landed with a definite thud, squarely on my left hip, twisting my left ankle on the way down. Josh, coming to his mother's aid, followed suit.

Slipping & a sliding

Over the weekend all the snow & ice melted as temperatures have been above 0. Then last night the temperature dropped below 0 again & we got rain this morning. Due to the ground still being below freezing point this resulted is sheets of ice forming, which even the car with winter tyres on could not handle at times. Needles to say there has been a lot of sliding & spinning wheels.

Seasick without the sea

The past 3 weeks or so I've been experiencing increasing frequency of headaches and dizziness, climaxing last week. So today I went to the doctor & found out that it's most likely due to benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) . Hopefully with a treatment of nose-spray & seasick tablets I'll be right again after 2 weeks.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Holiday Baking

Sunday was the traditional family Christmas Bake Day, and as usual the kitchen was abuzz with fun, laugher & Christmas cheer. This year I made:
                        ·     Rocky Road
                        ·         Rum Balls
                        ·         Apricot Balls
                        ·         Nougart slice
                        ·         Mini Stollen, and
                        ·         A mashmallow version of White Christmas

Unfortunately the engineering team didn’t get organized this year & there was no amazing gingerbread construction assembled.

Let it snow

After my last blog, the temperatures really dropped & we haven’t been above 0. It has also been snowing nearly everyday. Everything is covered in a beautiful layer of white, and with the beautiful sunny days we’ve been having it’s just lovely.

Two Speed Kid

Joshua only has 2 speeds at the moment…flat out & stop. He’s either running around like a rabbit on caffine or crashed out totally exhausted. It’s fun watching him so full of life & energy, but sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with him, & I too crash exhausted onto the sofa.

Blog to go

(This post was actually written yesterday)

As I write this I’m sitting in the car on the way to Copenhagen. Tom has to go to a course at Rambøll’s head office & asked if I’d like to come along for the ride & partake in a little retail therapy. Of course I jumped at the chance, & who wouldn’t…
·                          * Kid free shopping
·                          *  Big city variety
·                          * Quality time alone with my husband (not while shopping)

So the plan is to get all my Christmas shopping done & hopefully have some time to spoil myself a little too.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Winter is definately here

Today the maximum temperature was 1 degree, and we had snow (melted as soon as it hit the ground though). Josh was quite intrigued by the snow.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Home Entertainment

The other day the neighbours caravan went up in smoke. There were 3 fire trucks (which Josh thought was cool). The rest of the afternoon Josh kept pointing out the front windows saying "boom". Thankfully no damage was sustained to anything else, thanks mainly to the quick thinking of the neighbour, who pushed the van out onto the road away from our garage. Disturbing fact was that I sat in the office oblivious to the whole drama until it was almost over. I thought the sirens were just Josh playing with his police car. Did manage to quickly grab the camera & get a couple of shots though.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Language Progression

For quite a while now (almost since he could "talk") Josh has been saying "da" for Dartanian (our dog). Then a week ago it progressed to "da da". This afternoon when Tom came home he said " da-ngen".

Thursday, 28 October 2010


Since aquiring one of Sophie Gray's cookbooks a couple of months ago, I have really been getting into making homemade products.

I have been making my own yoghurt, creme frachie, buttermilk, chocolate spread. As well as breads (though I had done this before).

I really enjoy it & it's much cheaper than buying them (& healthier too) Though it is a little bit of trial & error with the cultured items as they require the right temperature to culture at. In fact I'm thinking I might have to wait until summer again to make them as I haven't been having much luck lately.

Unfortunately Tom doesn't share my enthusiasm & can't really seem to see it's worth the bother.

Full of Surprises

Joshua has been full of surprises lately.

It started 2 weeks ago when I decided to cut out his afternoon nap bottle. I expected there to be a lot of protesting & refusing to sleep, but this hasn't been the case. He has a cup of milk with his lunch & then is quite happy to lie in his cot & go to sleep. The only problem we had was that for the first few days he would only sleep 1hr (compared to 2-3hrs). But this seems to have settled & he generally sleeps 1.5 -2hrs.

Then last weekend he surprised us by climbing up into his highchair all by himslef (video coming soon). In a way it shouldn't really have surprised me as he's been extremely interested in climbing the last few weeks & "practicing" quite a bit on any chair around (though they have been too high for him to be able to climb).

Lastly, with the cold weather coming it is starting to get to the stage where he really should wear mittens when outside. I had been putting it off though as I was sure he would just pull them straight back off again. Yesterday though we had to go into town & do a bit of walking outside, & it was bitterly cold & wet & windy, so I put the mittens on him. To my amazement he didn't pull them off!! At first he just sat there holding his hands up in the air. Then he seemed to get used to the idea & just moved his hands around normally.

In the Land of the Living

Yes we are still alive!! I read recently that a good blog should have 3-4 posts a week. Hmmm...not doing too well in that department lately. Not that there isn't anything to write about. Reasons include:
1) A very active 1yr old who demands attention nearly every waking moment.

2) Same 1yr old is magnetically attracted to computer & insists on pressing all the buttons, making it very hard to write.

3) A sense of feeling very unorganised at the moment & not able to find time for everything.

Anyway I will try and be a bit more regular in writing (though I'm not sure I'll be able to reach 3-4 times a week).

Friday, 24 September 2010

Melted Heart

Joshua gave me his first REAL kiss today. He puckerd up those lips & planted one right on my cheek while I was pulling his pants up after changing him.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Swedish Holiday

Last week we took a weeks holiday in Sweden. We stayed in a summer house owned by Tom's cousin. The weather wasn't real favourable...rained everyday, but we did manage to get out a couple of days. One day we visited Laganland Elk Park. Unfortunately it was a bit of a rip off. One of the reasons we had chosen this park was they advertised having an indoor play area, however when we got there we discovered that it cost 80kr ($16) extra & the elk park consisted of one enclosed paddock with 5 elk. It was mating season so we couldn't pat them or feed them like the brochure said. We ended up paying the extra for the play area & Tom...I'm sorry, Joshua, had a great time.

Another day the weather looked a bit more promising so we decide to go on a cycle tour to see some historic sites. Assured by Tom it wasn't as far as it looked on the map, we set off. Well 30km later &
soaking wet we arrived back home. It was enjoyable though riding through the forest, but I was absolutely dead by the time we got home.

Things that go bang

At the moment everything goes "bang" or "boom" according to Joshua. He goes around the house all day saying it. Unfortunately it's not just toys going "boom" or the words being said. He has also literally gone "boom" at few times in the last couple of days. First he fell out of the shopping trolley while I was in trying some clothes on. This resulted in a nice big blue mark on his forehead.

Then we both went "boom" yesterday when I crashed the bike while trying to pass between a parked bike & a lightpost. This time is was me that came off worse, with a sprained wrist & ankle, impressive bruised knee & jarring. Joshua came away completely unscathed.

To finish the list, Joshua fell off the sofa last night while body slamming mummy (newest game, though mostly cushions or beanbag), adding one more mark on his forehead.

Hopefully this is the end of the literal "booms" & "bangs" & we can return to it just being a game.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Doctor Doctor

For the past week & a bit I have been running back & forth to doctors. Started last Monday with Josh's 12mth check & shots, then Wednesday it was my turn, which ended in me having to go to see a Dr at the hospital. Then Thursday I had to go back to the hospital for blood tests & consult. Friday I had an appointment to take Josh to the Dr again because of constant poos & extremely bad nappy rash, but cancelled as it seemed to be getting better. Monday I had a follow up with the Dr at the hospital. For some strange reason I have also had the Miss Polly song running through my head all the time. Hopefully we are all on the mend & won't be seeing a Dr for a while.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Video Evidence

Finally got round to loading a video of Joshua walking. You can see it on our Flickr page

Friday, 13 August 2010

One small step...

...becomes many small steps, all alone.

For some time now Joshua has been taking one or two steps by himself if he's already walking & accidently looses grip on your finger. Then on the weekend he started taking 3 or 4 steps between Tom & I if we moved our hands just as he was about to grab them. Then today at playgroup he was walking around holding my finger & suddenly he let go & took off by himself for about 20-30 steps!! (and of course I didn't have a video!!)

I had only noticed yesterday that often instead of crawling on all 4's he was scooting around on his knees, and the thought had gone through my head "not long til he's up & walking".

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

See what I can do

Joshua has finally learnt to drink from his sippy cup by himself. We have been trying to teach him to do this for months & then suddenly on the weekend he picked up the cup himself & drank.

He is also getting more confident at walking & can now walk only holding on to one finger quite well. However he's yet to have the confidence to go completely alone.

He's also become quite a climber. Loves going up & down the stairs in our new house. Climbs up
& down off the sofa by himself. Can often be found standing on the garden chairs, up in his
stroller, in the basket under the stroller/pram, or sitting in drawers.

Strawberry Boy

Joshua takes after his mother & LOVES strawberries. If there's a strawberry in sight he will want to eat it...if there are lots he will gorge himself on them until made to stop. He has even figured out where they come from & will crawl to the strawberry patch & pick them himself. He also knows only to pick the red ones!!!!

Catch Up

Finally we have phone & interenet connection again. It only took them 4 weeks to switch one little button. So now I'm doing a bit of a catch up on blogs.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Three at Once

This week Joshua has cut three teeth all at the same time!!! Needless to say it has been a rather unsettled time, with lots of crying, sleeplessness & general crankiness.

Sunday, 20 June 2010


Not only has strawberry season begun but so has the fly season & once again my house is inundated with them. I certainly hope there are less of them at our new house.


Joshua is almost walking. Over the weekend he tried a couple of times letting go & taking a step, but just can't quite hold his balance yet.

He also almost has 2 more teeth, the top front ones. They haven't come through yet, but you can see them just under the gum.


Picked the first strawberries of the season on Friday, & not just 1 or 2, but a whole handful!! So Last night Tom & I enjoyed fruit salad (strawberries, banana & kiwi) & ice-cream...Delicious!

Friday, 11 June 2010


This is something I have been thinking about recently after reading my sister's blog on Stay at Home Mums (SAHMs).

In Denmark, one's identity is wholely linked to ones career. The cultural norm is that mums return to work 6-12mth after giving birth, & it's not very common for mums to work from home. So there is HUGE pressure to return to work & many assumptions/inferences applied to the very few that do decide to stay home. Comments I have had are that I'll become lazy & my kids will be spoilt. To which my reply is: 1) looking after a child 24/7 is by no means a walk in the park, & 2) if being there for my kids whenever they need me & providing for them is spoiling my kids then so be it. I certainly don't view it as the easy way out.

As a Christian we should ultimately find our identity in Christ, & therefore it shouldn't matter what others think. But thinking from a worldly point of view, why can't our identity be that we're a SAHM? It's as worthy a career as a nurse or an engineer.

Rough Week

Joshua has had a rough week this week, & therefore so have I. It started Sunday afternoon when he woke up from his nap very cranky & just not himself. Monday morning he woke up burning with a fever, not wanting to eat & lethargic. I took him off to the dr who said it was most likely a gastro bug. So the rest of the day Josh either slept or just lay listlessly on my chest (not at all like my little boy!!!). By Tuesday evening his temperature was back to normal & he was a little more willing to play.

Then Wednesday night he fell off the kitchen bench, flat on his back (yes I know what you're all thinking.) I'd only put him on the bench for a second to screw the lid on his bottle, & was standing right beside him. Anyway, it appeared no serious damage had been done so I just kept a close eye on him the rest of the night. Although there was no obvious injury, he a bit stiff & sore the next day cause he was whingy the whole day.

Thankfully today he is back to his normal full of energy, chirpy self.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Going into business

After a long process that started almost 6mths ago & increased in intensity the last month, I have decided to start making & selling baby toys. I'm starting out small with just TagCubes & Blankies, but hopefully over time will be able to expand to other items. At the moment I'm just focusing on building up a stock & sending out a few feelers to judge interest, as I'm also in the process of packing & moving house. But after we're settled into our new house I hope to launch my business "MadeByAlly" on Facebook.

Loaded Baby Toys

I decided to put my first couple of TagCubes for sale on the equiv, of Ebay. Problem was I didn't get Tom to proof read my disciption first & was selling Toys made out of different green & blue drugs!!! Oh dear. No wonder they weren't selling real well. Though just as well they hadn't attracted the wrong clientel...or worse the law inforcement agencies.

The French Connection

Perhap it is true all that stuff about prenatal experiences affecting babies. The other day I discovered Josh happily chewing away on...a snail. Needless to say I was horrified...once I identified what the muck was that I had extracted from his mouth. Fortunately there have been no ill affects to date.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

White Noise

Forget calming sounds of the ocean or lullabies....the best thing to fall asleep to (according to Josh) is...the mower.

He fell asleep while riding with Tom on the mower a couple of Saturdays ago. Then later in the week I was pushing him outside in his pram trying to get him to go to sleep without a great deal of success. Next thing the neighbour starts his mower & I think "great now I have bucklies chance of getting him to sleep, but promptly he fell asleep within minutes!!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

On it's way

Joshua's first tooth is on it's way through. I first noticed on Sunday when he was "licking" (biting) my finger & it was sharp. Then Tuesday we had an appointment with the Child dentist (an automatic thing here) & she confirmed there was one there. It is one of the ones on the bottom. It hasn't actually cut through the gum yet, but you can see the white tip. And as for all the fuss leading up to doesn't seem to be worrying him in the least. No more unsettled than normal (if fact I would say he's a little LESS unsettled), no disturbed sleep, maybe a little more drooling...but hard to tell. So all in all I thing it's going rather smoothly.

Friday, 14 May 2010

House Owners

We signed the contract on what will be our new home. It is still subject to lawyer approval (we see him Monday), but all going well we will take possession of it the 1st July.
If you are interested this is the real estate site for it.

For those not fluent in Danish
billeder = pictures plantegning = floor layout
Soveværelser = bedroom Køkken= Kitchen Bryggers = Laundry Bad = Bathroom
Værelse = room

Golden Fields

It's my favourite time of year again...when the raps starts to flower. There are just fields of gold everywhere.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Record wanted

I'm looking for a record. It goes something like this...No, no, no,no....No, no, no, no....No, no, no,no, no!

I don't mind if it's the English or Danish version. It could even be a mixture of both.

It would save my voice a lot. I could just put it on in the morning & let it run all day.

Maybe there's a robot that comes with the recording, then it could also save me running round the house all day keeping Joshua away from all the things he's not supposed to touch. Might be a bit of an expensive solution though.

Monday, 3 May 2010


I decided to do a bit of a price comparison between shopping online at the one supermarket that offers it, as compared to buying what I could at the cheap supermarket & only the specialty items at the other. This is how they compared

Online shop: 123,75kr - groceries
49kr - Delivery
6kr - bags

In person: 106,9kr - groceries
11 - petrol

So with just the items on my list I made a saving of 60,85kr or $12. However if you add the extra items I bought while in the shop then I only made a saving of 22,90kr or $4,58.

Into the 21st Century

Ever since coming back from Oz I've been wishing supermarkets would provide 'parent parking' & also sometimes wish I had the option of shopping online. Well in the last 2 weeks both my wishes were met. One of the big supermakets made 4 parent parking places available right near the door. This makes shopping much more pleasant as it used to take at least 10min to find a park & then it was usually the furtherest from the door & trolley bays.
Another supermarket began to offer online shopping, unfortunately it is one of the more expensive shops, & the delivery cost is quite high, so I don't think I will be using it much.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

A new sight

I went to the optomitrist today & I have to wear glasses all the time now, not just for reading (not that I did that much anyway!!) .

Saturday, 24 April 2010

What we've been up to?

House hunting.

While in Australia we talked about the possibility of buying our own house. This was for a number of reasons:
1) We don't know when we'll HAVE to move out from here
2) There's not enough room for a 2nd child
3) It's a buyer's market at the moment
4) Time to do it up while living where we are at the moment

Last Tuesday we looked at a house the I really liked & would have bought there & then. But after a bit of down to earth talking with Tom & his dad I eventually decided the practically it wasn't really that suitable. I still love the house though!!

Then on Saturday we went to look at another one. This one suits our needs a lot better & is quite a nice house. It doesn't need really anything done to it. The most stuff we would do with it would be in the garden. But it dosen't have the same charm though as the other.

We're talking to the bank today to see if they'll lend us the money, otherwise it's back to looking.

Monday, 12 April 2010


Joshua had his 5mth vaccinations this afternoon (he was due for them while in OZ, hence the lateness). I'm sure he knew what was coming as he was cranky & out of sorts all day. He cried for a good 10min after the needles & mummy almost cried as well :-(
He has continued to be cranky all afternoon & evening & took a while to settle to sleep, so we'll see what sort of night we have.

Danish Playgroup

So as I said in my blog post last week, I decided to try out the only playgroup in Esbjerg. Reasons for this were:
a) Joshua enjoyed it so much in Australia (playing with the other kids & toys)
b) I enjoyed the interaction with other mums
c) It gets both of us out of the house

The church that runs it is a Lutheran church, so there are a few discrepecies in beliefs, but thankfully it's not overly "religious" in content. That was also not the biggest problem I had with it, it was Danish culture. You see it is not the culture to talk to people until you get to know them. So I turned up & walked into the room, put my bag down & placed Joshua on the floor to play. Then we just sat there playing together & watching all the other children. No one came up & said hello, introduced themselves or welcomed us. Even the mum I had said hello to in the corridor while hanging our coats didn't come over & talk to me. I tried to make conversation with a couple of the mums, but it was all one-sided.

There is no tea/coffee or cake (though I later read in their brochure that there should be) & no organised program. It's just free play for 1.5hrs. The priest's wife (who is the leader) did come in 1/2hr before finishing time & do a couple of songs. She also did come over & say hello & welcome. But I went home rather disappointed.

They run another group on Fridays that is a little different. They meet together & have "brunch" then do songs & games before the older kids do a craft. Here the mums were a little more friendly & open. Again, Danish culture, they are more open & talkative with a cup of coffee in their hand!. I enjoyed this one a little bit more & will probably make this my regular group. The problem with it though is that it starts earlier, which means Joshua skips his morning sleep. Rather than being able to have it before we go, as with the Wednesday group.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Boys Like to Climb

Joshua certainly does. At only 7.5mths he's already trying to climb up on things. He's managed to be able to pull himself up on the legs of his highchair & this morning I caught him holding on to the loungechair arm with one foot up on the base. Makes me wonder what he'll be up to once he can really climb things!!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Back the normal routine

Today is Tom's first day back at work after nearly 3mths of holidays. So it's time to get back into the normal day to day routine. This means getting up at 6am, being at home by myself with Josh & trying to figure out some sort of routine for the day. My plans for today so far are to do the grocery shopping & buy some clothes for Josh. Plus fit in 30min exercise. Tomorrow I think we'll check out the only playgroup in Esbjerg.

Sunday, 4 April 2010


Before I started work I used to go to the gym 2-3 times a week. Then it became a bit less often when I began work cause it was harder to find a time that suited, and after I became pregnant with Joshua I just didn't have the energy. So after Joshua was born I made a commitment that I would join the gym again & go regularly. However I hadn't yet for the following reasons:
1) Have to wait 6 weeks after giving birth
2) Was going to Australia for 3mth
3) Was doing an after birth exercise class already
4) Gyms in Denmark don't provide child minding during the day

While in Oz we had the chance to try out the Wii fit plus & I decided that this would be an excellent solution to the child minding problem, as well as the suitable time issue that I sure would arise from time to time. So on Saturday we bought it & I started my program today. My goal is to do 30min/day.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Now the fun begins

Joshua's newly aquired mobility combined with his highly inquisitive nature has resulted in shelves, draws, baskets & everything else within reach being emptied & strewn across the floor. His favourites are the magazine rack & the wire baskets in the kitchen. Unfortunately he is a little too confident with his ability to stand up & walk so there have been many spills & bumps on the head.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Spring clean

What do you do when first arriving back after a 3mth holiday abroard? You decide to spring clean the house of course!! And I don't mean a flit around the place with a feather duster, I mean pull everything out of the cupboards & wash them out, sort through all the stuff & get rid of anything you haven't used in the last 2 years & rearrange the rest back into the cupboards. Well after going hard at it for 3 days (with a bit of retail therapy inbetween to buy a cot, grocery supplies etc) we have managed to finish the kitchen. Unfortunately we are running out of steam so it remains to be seen how much more of the house will get done & how thoroughly.

Now I shall tale dansk igen

We have finally arrived back in Denmark & after talking English almost constantly for 5mths (2mth while my parents were here & 3mth in Oz) it's time to switch the brain back to Danish. I am finding speaking it not too hard (apart from a bit of rusty pronuciation), but I'm struggling a bit with with understanding it in a conversation & when reading it. Hopefully it won't take too long to get back into it.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Fast Mover

Joshua has already progressed from comando crawling to proper crawling on all fours. He only started comando crawling 2 weeks ago!! He has also worked out how to use this new skill to get from lying to standing in his cot, so it is definately time to progress from the bassinet to a proper cot!!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Latest Achievements

I just realised that I refered to this post in Trip North-Part 1, but never actually wrote it.
Joshua's latest achievements are:

a) Pulling self up from sitting to standing

b) Balancing on all 4's

c) Comando crawling (video to come)


There are now photos of our trip so far on our Flickr page.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Trip North - Part 1

Our trip north started off slowly with our first stop being Alexandra Headlands on the Sunshine Coast. Here we enjoyed wonderful fellowship with my home church in Brisbane on their Family Camp. We also had some refreshing & challenging studies from Bill Forward on the topic of Spiritual Gifts. Sunday straight after lunch we set off for Bundaberg & spent a couple of days there catching up with people. Joshua attended Playgroup & again thoroughly enjoyed it.

Next stop was Gladstone to visit Kylie, Dale & Family. We again had a great time there & the mozzies had a feast (natural mozzie repellents do NOT work!!!). Joshua picked up a few tips from their 10mth old on crawling (still in the practice stages – see latest achievements), Sunday morning after attending church it was time to set off West, our destination, Emerald. Joshua travelled quite well with only a lunch & afternoon tea stop required. Our time in Emerald can be best summed up by the following phrase, “the joys of camping”. Setting up the tent itself went smoothly but then the fun began. First the pump we had didn’t have the right attachment for the air mattress, so we ended up blowing most of it manually, though Tom did end up creating a makeshift device with one of the original attachments & a rubber band. But all our hard effort was wasted when we came to go to bed that night, there was a leak & half the air had come out of the mattress already. It was too late to get the pump out again & we couldn’t be bothered blowing it up manually again, so we just made do. By 1am there was almost no air left & we were sleeping on the hard ground. This combined with the myriad of bugs that had snuck into & the heat made for a restless & uncomfortable night. However that wasn’t the only thing to go wrong. When I came to cook dinner, pasta & tuna, I discovered that the camp kitchen had no stove, only a BBQ plate. So we ended up having tuna & cheese toasted sandwhiches. Our breakfast, pancakes, was also a disaster as the BBQ ran out of gas halfway through. On the positive side, it didn’t rain, the tent stayed up & Joshua slept well. As they say, “tomorrow’s a brand new day”, & once we were packed up & on our way we had a good day travelling, arriving in Longreach where we enjoying the hospitality of Stephen & Lorraine Cavill. On the way we stopped at Jericho for lunch. This is a quaint little country town, pop. 180, that interestingly not only has the same name as a Biblical city, but also is built on the Jordan River, located south of the Sea of Galilee. After a quick stop at the mural decorated public toilets, it was back on the open road. A brief stop in Barcaldine to snap a shot of the Tree of Knowledge & then on we continued. 30km out of Longreach we came to the town of Ilfracome, Joshua was starting to have a meltdown so we decided to stop for a break & wander down Machinery Mile. As interesting as it was it did nothing for bringing the thermostat down, so we decided to dig out our swimmers and have a dip in the artesian spa. Refreshed we continued on to Longreach.

NZ Trip

I’m so far behind in blogging about our trip that I’ve decided to combine our whole time in NZ into one blog & just mention the highlights. I haven't had time to upload photos yet.

So the first place we went to visit was Waitomo Glowworm Caves. These are limestone caves that used to be under the sea, but due to volcanic activity got pushed up. They have many stalactite & stalagmite formations. As the name suggests there are also many glow worms living in the caves & our tour ended with a boat tour through the cave where the ceiling was just covered with them. The second cave we toured had an awesome lighted spiral entrance, though after that was much similar to the first cave.

The second weekend we were there we stayed in a holiday house at Tauranga on the east coast. In general this was just a relaxing time away with Mel & Peter & the kids. On the Friday Tom, Peter & the kids, minus Naomi; went hiking to Kaiate Falls. While Mel, Naomi & I stayed back at the house & watched a girly movie. This was not because we were being lazy; I had a migraine & actually ended up just going & lying in bed. While I think Mel’s reason was to allow Naomi to sleep. Anyway the fellas & kids had a great time on their walk, especially the swimming hole.

Sunday I was feeling much better so Tom, Josh & I decided to climb Mt Maunganui (which the locals thought was a pretty impressive accomplishment!!). It was a fairly tough climb, especially the last bit, but we made it & the views made it worth it. When we made it back down 2hr later we jumped in the ocean for a well deserved swim & cool down.

Another day we headed off to the Hamilton Zoo with Joanna. It was pretty much a normal zoo, but we did see some interesting things, like the keepers calling the rhinos so they could check them out.

One day we went hiking in Hakarimata Scenic Reserve, up this mountain that had 1500 steps!! I was pretty dead by the time we got to the top. On the way back down though, we saw a huge tree that was pretty impressive. After that effort we treated ourselves to a soak at the hot springs.

Our last week we decide to do a bit of touring, so headed over to Rotorua, where we visited Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland to see some steam & bubbling mud. Then we stopped by Rainbow Springs Trout Park. Tom was most impressed to see all these trout swimming around, though a little frustrated that he couldn’t try to catch any!! We had been hoping to go on the Kiwi tour, but it was completely booked out by the time we got there, so we had to come back the next day. The tour was really fascinating as we got to see a kiwi hatching & another being fed & then we saw some others in their natural environment. Then we decided to connect with our adventurous sides & experience the thrill of the luge. Not the traditional luge like in the winter Olympics, but flat cart things on wheels that you steer down a track. Even Joshua got in on the excitement & by the 3rd ride down was squealing with glee. Not even the rain dampened our spirits, in fact it just made it that bit more exciting.

The next day we headed up to Auckland, stopping on the way at Katikati to visit the museum there where we met a couple of eccentric locals. It was interesting though to learn how the Irish settlers came over & settled in NZ. It ended up taking us the whole day to get to Auckland & we got there just in time for peak hour traffic & then had trouble finding our motel. So by the time we got settled we just wanted to get some dinner & flake out. The following day we had planned to visit Rangitoto Island (an extinct volcano) in the morning, but we got times mixed up & missed the boat, so had to wait for the afternoon one. In the meantime we decided to walk up to North Head & have a look around, but it was closed off for the morning because they were removing a large dead tree. So it was back to the wharf to have some lunch & then catch the boat. Because we had missed the morning boat we only had 2.5hrs on the island before the last boat left, & the walk to the summit of the volcano was 1hr each way. So when we got there we powered up the track & managed to make it to the base of the volcano in 30min. Here, there were some lava caves that Mel had said were worth seeing, so we decided to do them first & then continue up to the summit if we had time. The caves were quite interesting, especially crawling along through them. I was feeling quite pooped by this time, so Tom continued to the summit on his own while Josh & I sat & waited for him at the bottom. However I’d over done it already and ended up with a huge migraine. This was not helped by the fact that Joshua was not happy about being in the car & screamed the whole 2hrs from Auckland to Hamilton.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Week 3 - Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

Yes I'm a bit behind in documenting our trip...been having too much fun. So, the 3rd week of our trip was a fairly quiet week, as far as I can remember, with only 2 major events. The first was Australia Day. This was celebrated by an extended family (my mum's) picnic at Wivenhoe Dam. It had all the elements of a traditional Aussie Day
  • Stinking hot
  • Damper
  • BBQ lunch
  • Swim (well a paddle in the dam)
  • Sitting around in the shade with a cuppa, having a yarn.
The only thing missing was the backyard/park cricket match.

Thursday saw the end of the main Brisbane leg of our trip & the start of the New Zealand leg. We arrived in Hamilton just after midnight Friday morning & headed straight to bed. Next morning we finally got to meet the newest member of the Bray clan, Naomi, for the first time.
What a darling little thing she is. Joshua looks like just a big boof next to her. Ben & Joanna were also glad to finally see us in person instead of just on the webcam. Joanna was a little wary of Tom at first but didn't take very long to warm up to him.

The last thing we did this week was go to Raglan, a world-class surfing beach on the west coast of the North Island. It was a beautifully sunny day, & the water was beautifully clear and surprisingly warm . Joshua enjoyed the waves a bit more than he had when we were down the Gold Coast. It is a black sand beach which was interesting & also extremely hot on the feet!! After some fish and chips for lunch at the harbour, it was time to head back home. On the way home Tom, Ben, Joshua & I stopped off at Bridal Vale Falls, a 55m fall with a beautiful pool at the bottom of it. Unfortunately however you are unable to swim in it as water quality doe not meet health standards.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Joshua's development

Here is a status on the development of our son, which is very interesting for the parents, grandparents, mummies and child development research people, but for everyone else its just the normal way of life.

The last two weeks, since coming to NZ, the following noticable developments have taken place:
Joshua has been able to sit by himself for several decades of minutes, the amazing development is actually not the fact that he can sit upright for that length of time, but that he doesn't have to be entertained for almost the same lenght of time.

When he gets tired of sitting he will try to stand, which often results in a forward tumple, head first into the carpet and then to his back or tummy.

Joshua is eager to try to crawl, however, the skills of getting legs and arms to work together still needs a bit of development, which results in him either going backwards or in circles, and the fustration often ends in a cry for help.

Joshua has started eating solids, which consists of rice cereal mixed with banana, carrot, apple or pear. The consistency can hardly be classified as a solid, but still its less runnier than milk and it changes the colour of his poos.
The dinner feed normally goes really well and he will gobble down a small bowl of the stuff, while the breakfast feed is limited to a few teaspoons.

His night time sleeping is very irregular going from sleeping all night through (7.30 pm to 6 am) to walking a couple of time for a feed (normally 1-2 am and 5-6 am) generally he will go back to sleep quite well after a feed.
Joshua has discovered the ability to make noises other than crying. These are coughing and making lip smacking noises. Furthermore, the use of his demanding cry has been used for things otherthan food.
Okay that's the development news from a dad's perspective.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Week 2 - Sun, Surf & Sand

This week, from Tuesday to Friday, was spent down at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Mum & Dad got a good deal on some rooms at the Holiday Inn. It was such a relaxing week which consisted of buffet breakfasts each morning followed by a swim in the surf, back to the air conditioned rooms for a bit of R&R, then a snooze after lunch, an afternoon stroll & then dinner. Wednesday evening there are markets along the esplanade, so Tom & I took a stroll after dinner, while Mum & Dad watched Joshua.

The Monday before we headed down the coast was a scorcher of a day with the mercury hitting 38 degrees!! In the morning we headed to Southbank to go for a swim at the beach there. Joshua really enjoyed splashing in the water. However we didn’t want to be out in the sun during the middle of the day so headed home for lunch. That afternoon the temperature just continued to climb. Tom & I were struggling to survive & poor Joshua just wasn’t coping at all & had a meltdown. I stripped him down to just his nappy & sat in front of the fan sponging him with a wet cloth, but still he just cried. It was a struggle to get him to take enough fluids as he just didn’t want to suck at all. In hindsight we probably should have gone to a shopping centre or somewhere & just sat in air con. Thankfully as the sun went down & the temperature eased off a little (it was still 30 degrees at 7pm!) he settled down.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Week 1 - Shop til you drop

This week could be summed up by the term ”Shop til you drop”. Monday we went shopping to buy the necessities that we hadn’t brought with us. Also it was something to do to keep us awake. Tuesday we went to Garden City to again help us stay awake & also to get some relief from the heat. Wednesday I had a migraine, so we spent the day at home resting. Thursday we headed to Indropilly Shopping Centre, a big shopping centre with 3 levels of shops. It was lovely spending the day out of the heat & in air con. Friday we spent the morning visiting with my aunty, cousins & second cousins. Then we went to Koorong (Christian Book store). Saturday afternoon was my friend Julie’s wedding. It was a lovely wedding, the dresses were beautiful, the weather was great, & I (Alison) also got to catch up with a few people I hadn’t seen for a while.

As for jetlag Joshua adjusted without much problem at all. He basically just slept it off, sleeping most of the time for the first 2 days. There was only one day where he woke 4am bright & cheery & ready to start the day. Tom & I took 3 days to really feel like we were over it, however we've been going to bed at 8/8:30pm most nights unable to stay awake any longer. We think it may be because of the heat. Temperatures have been 30 or above everyday.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Off to Oz

Finally the day arrived for us to leave on our trip to Australia. I (Alison) didn't sleep too well the night before, but never do before big trips. Everyone else slept fairly well. We departed home at 8:30am for the 3hr drive down to Hamburg from where we would catch our flight. Joshua slept most of the way, so it was a smooth trip.
At Hamburg our flight was delayed by 1hr due to a backlog of traffic in the Polish Air space as a result of bad weather conditions. This meant that my plan of spacing Joshua's feed so that he would be feeding on take off was totally thrown out. I ended up giving him a bit extra from the bottle on takeoff. The first leg from Hamburg to Dubai, he was a little unsettled & only slept for 10-15min at a time. However from Dubai to Singapore, he slept the whole way & then again from Singapore to Brisbane he slept most of the way again, only being unsettled the last couple of hours.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The Great Malt

While I was pregnant my hair grew much thinker & longer, but this past week it has begun to fall out by the handful. It is now almost back to the state it was before pregnancy. This is most disappointing, but something I did expect might happen.

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Ozland

On 2 seperate occasions over the last week I have had people refer to New Zealand as part of Australia!!