Thursday 17 November 2011

Potty Humor

We have been so busy I did not post at Timothy's 1 month so this month as a bonus you get 2 albums instead of 1!


The full photo albums are available via the following links: Timothy Birth to 1 Month and Oct to Nov 2011

On 15 September our son Timothy Maxwell Estrella Blake was born by c-section. Ruby had wanted to try for a natural birth this time, but Timothy had been transverse since about 36 weeks so our OB had booked in a c-section. The birth itself was over rather quickly, we turned up at hospital just after 7, chatted to the OB and the anaesthetist at 8 and Timothy was born at 8.42am. At first glance he was a big boy, but it was only when he was being weighed and a crowd of nurses gathered round that I knew something was up. Timothy's birth weight was 5.2kg, length of 57cm and head circumference of 39cm (for comparison Jeremy was 3.7kg, 52cm and head 35.5cm). The mid-wife even had me ring up the operating theatre and tell everyone there how much he weighed.

Timothy was definitely not coming out naturally! A 39cm head is about as big as they get, and no wonder he could not move from being transverse. This time around Ruby's recovery was much quicker and she was up an walking around 36 hours after the surgery instead of the day we left hospital. Ruby's room was also in the new maternity wing at Westmead (instead of being well away like last time) which meant her calls were answered. As she was doing so well we were able to stay at the Rydges near Rosehill racecourse for the last 2 nights.

See also Jeremy at 1 month...

This time around I took 5 weeks leave in anticipation of Ruby needing a similar amount of help to Jeremy's birth. However, Ruby's recovery was a lot faster this time (I think I could have gone back to work after 3 weeks).

Whilst home we did try to get Jeremy potty trained. Some initial progress was made but he does not tell us he wants to use the toilet until after he has already filled up his nappy! However, last week I suggested to him that he have a shower instead of a bath - he could not wait to get in and play with the falling water. Hmmm no more baths for Jeremy?
I did make good use of the 5 weeks, the new garage project was started, but more on that in the new year when construction starts...
Timothy is doing well. His feeds were much quicker than Jeremy's and at first we were worried, but when he kept putting on weight we decided he was just more efficient than Jeremy. Clothes turned out to be a bit fun too. Partly due to the colder spring and due to his size he did not have much in the way of warmer clothes...that fit! We haven't measured him for a couple of weeks however, he was about 6 weeks in front of Jeremy (who had a massive growth spurt between 2 and 3 months).
Lots of other stuff has been going on, but I will let the photos tell the story. Now onto Christmas...

Tuesday 13 September 2011

The birthday party virus

We had planned a Sesame Street themed birthday for Jeremy's 2nd birthday, we had even borrowed some great backyard toys from the toy library. Unfortunately things did not go to plan!

The full photo album is available via the following link: June to mid September 2011

On Friday afternoon (both of us had the day off work) Ruby and I were busy getting ready for Jeremy's birthday party the following day. Ruby had already baked cupcakes and the birthday cake. My parents brought Jeremy home from daycare and told us that daycare thought he had hand, foot and mouth disease (no not the animal one!). We quickly found out it was very contagious to little kids and had to quickly ring all the other parents to cancel the party the following day.

Jeremy still had a great birthday. He did have to visit the doctor confirm he was sick, besides he likes the doctor as he knows she has a supply of jelly beans/babies. He had lots of spots on his legs, but apart from that he was ok (he had lost his appetite a few days earlier - but that was certainly back). He had great fun opening presents and we did have a small family party that night.

Looking back the last couple of months have been busy, well at least is seems that way! We finally cleaned up our guest room to serve as Noodle's nursery (until Noodle can move into Jeremy's room - hopefully). We also bought a new cupboard for the kids as Jeremy's old one was mine from uni days and was not suitable and really falling to bits.

We also had a dryer installed as I figure there will be a lot more washing with Noodle's arrival.

Now we are just waiting for Noodle to arrive...Tomorrow!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday 30 June 2011

USA Trip 2011 - Overview

In late May 2011 Ruby, Jeremy and I travelled to the USA to both see Ruby's parents and for Ruby to attend a conference in Denver in early June. We decided instead of flying from Seattle to Denver we would spend a week driving there and also visit Yellowstone national park, Devil's Tower and Mt Rushmore. For the full list of photos from the trip see the following photo album:

The full photo album is available via the following link: USA Trip 2011

The road trip days and Denver are detailed in the following blog posts:
Day 1: Where's the Roadkill?
Day 2: Roadworks and Rainbows
Day 3: Lens Envy
Day 4: Lots of Old Geysers
Day 5: Blowing in the Wind
Day 6: Smaller than Expected
Mammoths and Denver Days
USA Trip: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The first 5 days of the road trip were blogged on the road when we had access to wifi (most days which was great). While the last couple of days did have wifi we did not have much time to post (let alone write a post).
I was originally planning to finish up organising the photos and the last bit of writing while we were in Denver. However, my time was mainly taken up taking care of Jeremy (see Mammoths and Denver Days) and the past couple of weeks in Sydney have simply flown by.

Note also the first 5 days have been edited to include a number of new bits (map links, more pictures, corrected distances).

Flights with Jeremy
Jeremy is definitely at an age where flying is difficult and he certainly let us know he was unhappy! Last time we travelled to the USA he slept most of the way and he is a bit young to be distracted by the entertainment system (though I suspect he is not far off being interested).

The flight to Los Angeles (on a Qantas A380 which was great!) was the hardest as Jeremy did not want to go to sleep sitting up. We were in a bulkhead row and could not move the armrests. Also the flight left just after lunch and he did not want to go to sleep mid afternoon. He slept better on the flight from Dallas to Brisbane (a new route for Qantas in 2011) as we left in the evening and he could lay out flat. Also both flights were long (at 12.5 and 15 hours) which did not help!

Blogging on the road
Blogging on the road was a good idea (yeah look how long it took me to blog once we got home!). However, I think it took too long to get a post done and these are some of the reasons:
  • I had not setup the plugin for iPhoto which uploads photos with all the metadata to Picasa (see this blog post from 2008 on why I use the plugin). This meant I had to use the crappy web interface and hand enter the data.
  • I should have worked out how the blog posts would look before leaving and set up a template. That way I could spend more time just writing and not fiddling about with how the post looks (which is one of the reasons why the first 5 days have been edited).
  • Sort out geotagging once and for all. Unfortunately the gps logger I bought on the last trip did not work properly on this one. I thought I was prepared as I did test it before leaving home and it worked ok, but it has not since. Last trip it really made geo-tagging the photos easy!
  • Some nights Jeremy went to sleep a bit late and it was hard to pull out the laptop and start writing / organising photos.

Mammoths and Denver Days

Hot Springs, South Dakota to Boulder and then to Denver, Colorado

Distance: 559 kms
Tantrums: lost count - but Jeremy is really sick of us driving!

This is part of a series of posts from our 2011 road trip. See the overview post for links to the other posts.

There was only 1 place to visit today and the rest was a lot of driving so we wanted to start early (and for a change did!). In Hot Springs there is a (still active) dig site for Mammoth bones (see Back in the 1970s the bones were discovered when the site was being excavated for a housing development. Ruby and I were fascinated with the site. Jeremy liked running around but he really did not want to listen to the tour guide…

The rest of the day was spent driving to Boulder. The driving was relatively easy as most of it was on I-25, but for Jeremy it was getting boring. He had truly had enough of the long drives and really needed entertaining and we had to make 2 unscheduled stops so he could get out of the car. Luckily at the end of the drive we were staying at a friends place and Jeremy immediately took a liking to their backyard!

The next day we had a short trip into Denver. Here Ruby was going to spend 4 1/2 days at a conference on mass spectrometry. Most days Ruby would leave at 8am and we would generally meet her again at 5.30 or 6. For me this time was a small taste of being a stay at home dad (ok in a hotel…where I did not have to cook or clean…well I said it was only a small taste!!).

Generally Jeremy and I would follow Ruby down to breakfast, but we would take a lot longer to eat than Ruby (Jeremy liked to go back for a 2nd or 3rd tub of yogurt). Then we would wander back to our room counting all the floors in the lift (Jeremy was fascinated by the lift and the floor numbers). Jeremy invented a new game to play in hotel, "Exit Signs", which involved pointing at the nearest exit sign and then running to the next one. As the hotel was square we ended up going around 4 or 5 times before getting to our room.

After a short break we would head off for the indoor pool and swim for 30-40 mins (Jeremy had lots of fun in the pool even though I thought it was a bit cold). Following our swim I would give Jeremy a bath and got him dressed for the day. By the time I had a shower it was about lunchtime so we would head off to have lunch. In the afternoon Jeremy usually spent several hours sleeping after which we would walk over to the convention centre and meeting up with Ruby.

Sunday 26 June 2011

USA 2011 Trip: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Here are a couple of random thoughts from our recent trip to the USA. Nothing political, more just stuff we noticed or thought was cool / not cool. This is part of a series of posts from our 2011 road trip. See the overview post for links to the other posts.

The Good
  • Free wifi in most hotels - why is it in Australia the hotels charge a fortune for wifi, even for the same chain of hotels??
  • Free wifi at Wyoming rest stops - top marks for Wyoming!!
  • Mile markers on the freeway - much better than a letter or two for the next important town (and the guessing game for it)
  • Exit numbers based on the mile markers - you know how far it is to the exit - great!
  • 120 km/h on the interstate freeways yay! (ok 70 mph for those who have not joined the 21st century)
  • Free bus in downtown Denver
  • Moose Drool beer :D
  • Cross Walk countdowns - much better than just the flashing red symbol!
  • Auto paper towel dispensers in the toilets - just wave your hand past and you get more towel (as opposed to using Jedi mind powers!)
The Bad
  • Not including tax in the quote prices for items - How hard can it be? We do it in Australia and a couple of the places we went to did this (Mammoth site in Hot Springs for example)
  • No wifi 32GB iPad 2s in Montana - Boo!
  • Colder on the first part of the trip than Sydney - and it is supposed to be summer here!
  • Lack of any decent coffee in Yellowstone National Park - considering how good the coffee is in the US the bile provided in Yellowstone was just awful
  • Non dairy creamer - yuk, particularly the flavoured ones which were too sickly sweet
  • Scratchy towels at Ramada Inn, Bozeman
  • Americans complaining about petrol (ok gas) prices. The prices we saw were under $4 / gallon which translates under $1 in Australia. We are currently paying $1.30 or more here (which is about $5 / gallon).
The Ugly
  • Fox News - I feel the braincells dying just watching it (why do most hotels show this on their lobby screens??)
Update: added a link to the overview post

    Monday 13 June 2011

    Day 6: Smaller than expected

    Devils Tower to Hot Springs
    Distance: 305 kms
    Star Wars T-Shirts worn:

    This is part of a series of posts from our 2011 road trip. See the overview post for links to the other posts.

    As we were a bit late getting into Lytle Creek last night we left a bit late. Also the breakfast provided by the B&B was fantastic so we took our time eating that! The Lytle Creek B&B is definitely the place to stay if you are visiting Devils Tower! The room is great and the king size bed was very comfy.

    Originally we had intended to visit Devils Tower late on Day 5 (hey plans change!), but we had decide to have a bit of a morning off on Day 5 so the visit was moved to today. However, it was already late in the morning by the time we headed off and Jeremy had fallen asleep before we drove out the gate!

    Devils Tower was really amazing. The great part of the drive to the visitors centre is it is on the opposite site of Devils Tower so you get to see most of the tower on the drive in. They have even included a couple of places where you can pull over and take photos (which we took advantage of!). Luckily Jeremy woke up after we had been at the visitor centre for a few minutes so he was able to be in the photos!

    After Devils Tower we drove to Sundance (no not that Sundance) for lunch where we rejoined I-90. At Rapid City we left I-90 for the last time (I-90 continues east towards Boston) and headed south for Mt Rushmore. We arrived in good time to see Mt Rushmore in the afternoon sun. It was still quite windy so I had to be careful when setting up the tripod to take a few family pics. Jeremy's stroller even walked itself due to the wind! Ruby commented as we were leaving that the sculptures were smaller than she expected (the faces are about 18m high).

    By the time we had finished at Mt Rushmore it was getting late in the day. Originally we were going to visit the (currently unfinished) Crazy Horse monument. However, we decided to keep going for Hot Springs and have dinner. This was lucky as the hotel owner advised us when we got to Hot Springs that most places closed at 9pm. We chose a local pub for dinner. I had a bison burger (ok - but just tastes like beef) and an excellent dark ale called Moose Drool - great name!

    Note: I had originally intended to blog all of these days on the road. However, nearing the end of our trip I ran out of time so I am doing these now we are back in Australia.

    Update: added a link to the overview post

    Saturday 4 June 2011

    Day 5: Blowing in the Wind

    Billings to Devils Tower, Wyoming
    Distance: 481 kms
    Tantrums: 1 (for about 30 kms)

    This is part of a series of posts from our 2011 road trip. See the overview post for links to the other posts.

    Today we slept in a bit and (as we had a late checkout of midday) we made use of the pool in the hotel. The pool was indoors and well catered to for kids. Jeremy had a great time splashing about and going on the slide. We then spent a short time in the shops to give Jeremy a bit more time to run around and also for me to (fruitlessly) look for an iPad 2 (no sales tax in Montana and with the current exchange rate it makes it over $100 cheaper than in Australia!).

    After lunch we headed off to the Devil's Tower in Wyoming. We really noticed the change in countryside from Billings, with the snow capped mountains to the flatter land in Wyoming. Today, also, there was lots of wind for most of the trip. I could see the grass rippling (not too many trees near the interstate) in the wind and we both could feel gusts on the car as we drove along.

    Jeremy was obviously getting a bit tired with travelling so we stopped in Gillette for dinner at a great Italian place called Adriano's Italian Restaurant. It had yummy pizza, spaghetti (which Jeremy did not want to eat - so we had it too!) and Tiramasu.

    After about an hour drive we arrived at our stay for the night, Lytle Creek B&B. So far we are impressed!

    Update: added a link to the overview post.

    Thursday 2 June 2011

    Day 4: Lots of old geysers

    Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park to Billings
    Distance: 362 kms
    Roadkill: 5
    167 (or thereabouts)

    This is part of a series of posts from our 2011 road trip. See the overview post for links to the other posts.

    Today was another sunny and clear morning and after breakfast set off to look at all the geysers around Old Faithful. We were lucky to be walking past when the castle geyser was erupting, this was very impressive. We walked around the geysers for about 1.5 hours and really enjoyed it, but by the end were getting a bit tired of seeing steam coming out of the ground.
    We took Jeremy in the stroller around the geyser walk. He was great almost all of the walk and only near the end was he getting a bit tired. At that point he was getting a bit annoyed when we stopped to take photos. Unfortunately Jeremy has reached the stage where he does not like having his photo taken so a number of the photos he is looking away!
    The next stop was the Midway Geyser Basin which includes the Grand Prismatic Spring (which all the promo photos are from the air). By this stage Jeremy was already asleep so we had to take turns to go and walk around the boardwalk. The colours in these geysers this were fantastic however there was a lot of steam to get through!
    By this stage it was mid afternoon and we needed to get to our hotel for the night (3 hours away), so we headed to Mammoth Springs for a late lunch and then the drove to Billings for our stay at Best Western Kelly Inn.

    Top Tip for Google Directions: Watch out for the exits Google Maps suggests. They are always the exit before the destination (for the end of the journey). In some cases (as for us with the Best Western Kelly Inn) the best / closest exit was the one after the hotel and not the one immediately before.

    Update: added the Top Tip, hotel info and Google Maps directions.
    Update 2: added more photos and a link to the overview post.

    Day 3: Lens Envy

    Bozeman to Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park
    Distance: 295 kms
    Wrong turns: 2

    This is part of a series of posts from our 2011 road trip. See the overview post for links to the other posts.

    We woke to a sunny and crisp day where no snow had fallen on Yellowstone (as predicted). It was still cold though! Jeremy had also slept through the night which was great.

    The drive to Yellowstone (west gate) was relatively quick. Unfortunately on the way I discovered my 17-85mm lens was playing up. Sometimes when I took a photo the camera would give an error message and the photo would be lost. Luckily I brought along my 50mm lens (which takes great photos) but is inconvenient in some circumstances when I cannot move to zoom (as I found out today).

    We drove from the west gate through to Canyon Village, with a quick stop for bison photos (along with everyone else), to have lunch. After lunch we drove along the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and took photos along a series of lookouts. There were some fantastic locations, but it was really testing Jeremy's patience along this part, stop/start and getting in and out of the car. Also I could not help but notice all the other people with their working zoom lenses...

    We continued through Yellowstone down past the very stinky Sulphur Caldron and Mud Volcano. As we drove on it was getting colder and the snow drifts were getting higher. We didn't bother stopping at Yellowstone Lake as most of it was frozen over. The last part of the drive across the Craig Pass was a bit hairy as the snow had melted across the road and it was a little slippery.

    We arrived at the Old Faithful Inn and checked into our room which was in the oldest part of the lodge (built in the early 1900s). The room looked great as all the walls / roof were made of logs (Jeremy was fascinated with the walls and kept on touching them). Before dinner we were able to catch Old Faithful erupting, though Jeremy really did not want to sit still waiting for it to erupt.

    Update: corrected distance; added Google Maps directions, a new photo and a link to the overview post.

    Tuesday 31 May 2011

    Day 2: Roadworks and Rainbows

    Couer d'Alene to Bozeman
    Distance: 597 kms
    Roadkill: 2
    Poosplosions: 2

    This is part of a series of posts from our 2011 road trip. See the overview post for links to the other posts.

    The day did not start so well (again), Jeremy woke at 3am (a pattern perhaps?) after falling out of his bed, but fortunately got to sleep relatively quickly once he snuggled up with us (he did kick me a few times though!). Then to top things off he did a massive poo and made a mess on his bed just before breakfast.

    However, the breakfast at Abbotswood House B&B (Eggs Benedict and home-made muesli yum!) was wonderful so we soon forgot about the night. We can highly recommend staying at this B&B!

    We set off from Coeur d'Alene for Billings on what was our longest distance day. As the whole trip was on I-90 we planned to cruise along at 100-120 km/h. What we didn't plan on was lots of roadworks which slowed us down a bit and rain on the other side of Missoula. We stopped in Missoula for lunch and for Jeremy to have a quick run around the shops.

    The rain had a side benefit though as we got to see a double rainbow about an hour out from Billings (our stay for night 2). I have never seen both ends of a rainbow before let alone 2! We are also goign into colder weather and the reports are that tonight Yellowstone will receive more snow. Hopefully this will not cause us any problems tomorrow.

    Update: corrected distance; added Google Maps directions, note on the B&B, a new photo and a link to the overview post.

    Day 1: Where's the roadkill?

    Seattle to Couer d'Alene
    Distance: 562 kms
    Roadkill: 0

    This is part of a series of posts from our 2011 road trip. See the overview post for links to the other posts.

    Today we set out from Seattle on our road trip to Denver. We had planned to start at 9am, but Jeremy woke up at 3am (he was thirsty) and did not get back to sleep until after 4am so our start was delayed until 11.40. Ruby drove the first part along I-90 and for the most part the trip was made up of very green forest, mountains and over Snoqualmie Pass we were near the snow line. In the western USA they are having a very cold spring and we have not noticed much of a change from the cold weather in Sydney (if anything it is colder here!).

    We stopped for lunch and a driver change at the Ryegrass rest area which overlooks the Wild Horse wind farm (at 229 MW larger than any currently operating in Australia). There we snacked on leftover pizza and cheesecake from our dinner at Cheesecake Factory the previous night in Seattle (Jeremy had yogurt and bananas - for a change he was not interested in pizza).

    From there I drove to Grand Coulee Dam. The countryside here was different to the first leg and it is was cleared land and canyons. We arrived at Grand Coulee before 4pm, but had missed the power station tour which was just starting on the other side of the dam (and I think might have tested Jeremy's patience at 50 mins). We had a look around the visitor centre and started off for Couer d'Alene. On the way from Ruby commented that we had not seen any roadkill (unlike in Australia!).

    We arrived at Abbotswood House B&B late in the evening. One of the features of this house is all the rooms look onto an indoor pool which, of course, Jeremy was fascinated with. I took him for a swim before bed (the B&B owner did have floaties for him) which he readily enjoyed! Even when out of the pool he kept trying to reach in and have a splash...

    Update: corrected distance; added Google Maps directions and a link to the overview post.

    Tuesday 24 May 2011

    He understands cake!

    Wow! 3 months has zipped by. OK so for the big announcement (in case you don't follow me on Twitter) is that Ruby is pregnant with our 2nd child who is due in mid/late September. Like Jeremy we have a nickname / codename: Noodle (we decided not to continue the nut theme!).

    The full photo album is available via the following link: Feb - April 2011

    Since we knew Jeremy would have a sibling by September we decided it was time for Jeremy to move up to a single bed. The move to his new bed was done in 2 stages, first with the mattress on the floor and then with the mattress on the base 2 weeks later. We needn't have worried as he took to the new bed with few problems and has not fallen out. The bed does have a safety rail and Jeremy makes sure that we put it up every night (he can get quite upset if we forget!). He can climb out, but has only got up a couple of times. He really likes playing with some of his toys or reading his books. Next task potty training!!

    In the past couple of months Jeremy has really started to understand what we are saying. I have even had to create a new playlist on my iPod which only includes songs with clean lyrics! He is also getting better at saying new words, we do try to say what things are but he is picking up many other words too. During easter he had received a cake and we had decided to let him have a slice after his dinner. After dinner he was very upset so I said to him "would you like some cake". Immediately he stopped crying, walked over to his table and sat down at his table and waited calmly for us to get the cake. Ruby and I looked at each other and said "He understands cake!".

    Jeremy really enjoyed Easter and very quickly worked out how to unwrap Easter eggs and eat the whole one (there is a great one of him in the photo album eating a rather large egg). He is very protective of the egg and will not share the chocolate with anyone. We get pushed away when asking for a piece or he just gives us the wrapping.

    Around the house a few more of the jobs are being completed (bloody list is not diminishing though). Over the Easter break the large lemon-scented gum tree (which have a tendency to drop branches) was trimmed to remove branches overhanging the house, a large branch over the driveway as well as a number of suckers. A dead tree to the side of our house was also removed which will need to be replaced with another plant. I started work on a new garden at the front of the house where was is an odd gap between the garden around the gum tree and the neighbours fence. The garden is basically done (border, mulch and drippers) done I just need to add some plants to it...

    We originally thought there was not going to be much painting in the new place apart from the colour changes we made to the bedrooms as it had been freshly painted. Over time we have discovered the paint job was not too great and the paint used is not good for wiping off stains (not great for a young family!). So over Easter I also repainted our hallway (and a slight change of colour to what Taubmans calls "Coffee Time") and I have plans to repaint our dining room. The outside of the house was not recently painted (the facia boards and wooden windows) so I have started repairs on those and am hoping to have that all done by summer. However, if it keeps on raining each weekend it will be a case of which summer!

    And lastly I also did a redesign of the blog. The tools and options are much improved since I last tried this. The old one was mostly hand coded and the new one was all done in the blogger GUI. Still some things to fix, but it is a matter of getting time!

    Wednesday 9 February 2011

    Jeremy: Part Leprecharn

    Jeremy really enjoyed his 2nd christmas! Have a look at the photos below:

    The full photo album is available via the following link: Dec 2010-Jan2011

    and our 2010 comic is available from this link: 2010 Comic.

    December was a fun month, but it was still busy! Fortunately most of my travel was over (though work did send me to NZ for a couple of days) but lots of other stuff was happening each weekend. First up Ruby's mother's group had a combined xmas party and then Ruby's brother Elvin visited from the Seattle. Luckily Elvin was here as he was able to baby sit Jeremy while Ruby and I went to the U2 360 concert. January was quiet, but hot...record breaking hot...

    For Ruby's birthday we had breakfast at Pancakes on the Rocks (where Jeremy ate half my pancake and all my fried bananas!). Then we took Jeremy on the ferry into the city where we had a look at the christmas decorations (David Jones ones were not as good as last 2009) and Ruby was able to have a taste of macaroons at the Lindt cafe.

    We had a quiet christmas in our new home with my parents and brother. By this time Jeremy had worked out how to unwrap presents without too much help. For the most part he had more fun opening the presents than initially playing with them and we did manage to stretch the opening the presents over 4 days. However, a couple of the presents were a hit - bath toys from grandma and a hammer and block set. Interestingly he also was keen on my brother's geological hammer!

    Ruby was also able to make great use of Skype and her mom and dad watched Jeremy open their present for him. In fact he and they had great fun watching each other on Skype for nearly an hour...

    Jeremy has become very mischievous of late. When he knows he is going somewhere he should not he always looks back to see if we are watching him. Usually followed by a cheeky grin. He also really likes playing with my keys and not only does he try to get them out of my pocket, but he has moved on and has now grabs my wallet!

    He has "discovered" his belly button and we have a fun game where I try to touch it with my finger (usually with lots of giggles on his part). However, this game has been extended. Jeremy now tries to pull up my t-shirt at the shops and poke me in the belly button (which of course he thinks is hilarious). At a friend's house warming one of the kids had their shirt off and was talking to one of the adults, Jeremy just walks up and calmly pokes the kid in the belly button. The adults laughed more than Jeremy!

    Around the house we have been getting a few jobs done. We organised for electricians to come in and install ceiling fans (just in time too for the hot weather in late Jan / early Feb), our dining room light from Robert St and a couple of power points (now the dishwasher does not have to run via an extension cord. I have also installed automatic timers and droppers in the front and back gardens which means I can now start a veggie garden.

    This past weekend we decided to take Jeremy to the beach on the south coast at Jervis Bay. Turns out this was a very good idea as Saturday night was the hottest overnight temp on record in Sydney. While it was still 40C late on Saturday at Jervis Bay, a cool change came through which made sleeping much easier. Jeremy had a great time at Vincentia beach on Saturday afternoon (along with dozens of other people trying to cool off) once he got over the water being a bit cold. He didn't want to get out, even though he was shivering. A cooler change and rain arrived on Sunday around lunchtime which meant we didn't get to go back to the beach.

    Jeremy is only part leprechaun? Well for starters he has that mischievous grin. However, there is part energiser bunny in there too with all the running around he now does (daycare agrees on this one!). And he hasn't told us where his pot of gold is, but neither do leprechauns...