28 April, 2007

A busy few days

It's still raining - yay! The weather report for this week is kind of amusing. Rain forecast all week but it seems to read 'showers easing' one day, then 'showers increasing', then 'showers easing' again! I wonder if the bureau is just hedging its bets...

On Friday, work had another of their annual 'events'. Hard to describe them really, but basically everyone gets to get off the phones etc, go into town and listen to some of the company's directors chat about how the company is going, award some people trips and other prizes, then take part in some games and consume food and (alcoholic) drinks. This year we were divided into 4 teams and we played games for money that would go to different charities and the team that won the most money would also win a paid day off (yep a quarter of the whole building). Unfortunately my team didn't win this year but it was quite fun. We got to watch the company directors dress up and do some (very bad) karaoke. Cringeworthy but funny.

I didn't get to stay for the whole thing since J and I had plans to meet friends for dinner. We went to a Mongolian BBQ place. Now that was an interesting experience. You go up, choose your meat and veg, then add your choices of sauce and hand it to the chefs. The chefs then cook it in front of you on this huge shield over a fire. The shield was big enough to cook three meals at a time. Was quite yummy too.

Today, I had a half day off work and took Chickie to the birthday party of L who used to go to his childcare centre (but starts school this Monday). Chickie is the last of the 'four musketeers' who were such close friends there last year.

L's mother had organised the party at one of those indoor play places. This one is much bigger than the one we usually go to and way more popular - the place was packed. Not surprising on a very rainy day, I suppose. It was so noisy though, I'm surprised I didn't get a headache from it. Chickie had fun, although he didn't really take part in the games early on. He kept hiding behind me and pushing me to go sit down and play pass the parcel etc. I really wish he'd get past this initial shyness thing. He eventually gets in there and joins in but he really does miss a lot by hanging back so much. I don't want to push him too much but it does frustrate me a bit. Anyway, he joined in eventually and said this was 'the best day ever' as we were leaving. I'm glad he had fun.

One thing that amused me about it all was that he wanted me to write on the card 'Happy birthday, happy present'. I talked him into 'Happy birthday, I hope you like your present' but it took a bit of negotiating!

As for tomorrow, shopping is the order of the day. Now that I have my bedroom closet, I want a shoe rack and other shelf organiser type stuff, so it's off to Ikea tomorrow. While we're there, I want to have a look for a reasonably priced (ie: cheap) lounge. Now that our floor has been done and the furniture is back in, the lounge is looking a bit on the shabby side (and it wasn't a great one to start with). I don't want to spend too much though, since Chickie is still a bit too messy and we have two cats that tend to shed and scratch things (not allowed when we're there though). So, I don't see the point in getting an expensive 'forever after' lounge. I'm looking for a decent looking stopgap measure that will outlast the messy kid/cat stage (the cats are 10 years old btw).

I've also been thinking about paint colours for the bedroom. Please - give me your suggestions, your favourites. At this stage I'm looking for colours etc that I haven't thought of, ideas for techniques and hints on what to do/what not to do.

26 April, 2007

It's raining, it's pouring,

and if there was an old man around, he would probably be snoring!

The weather bureau says it's going to rain today, and tomorrow and then next day and the day after that - I heard someone say that it's supposed to rain for two weeks. I really really hope it does. Keep your fingers crossed for us, we desperately need it.

Yesterday was a public holiday here and I spent a lot of it being quite ruthless.

Unfortunately termites have shown up in our shed. We've had them in a side fence a few years back and so had the whole house done by the pest control people. Not sure if the shed was done but I'm presuming not. Anyway, they got into some boxes of old stuff I'd had stored and forgotten about. So I dragged them out and went through them to see what I could salvage and what needed to be tossed. A lot of it was paper, so not a great deal was salvageable. So I ended up tossing out a lot of letters I'd had stored for about 20 years. Some of them had stamps worth 33 cents on them! I reread a couple that were readable (there weren't a whole lot that were) and the memories came flooding back.

I ended up saving only a handful of things. A couple of photos, a bit of jewellery, an old Apple Portable brochure (J tells me there's a website that looks for that sort of Apple memorabilia), my notes from my radio course and my notes from when I was learning Japanese (don't remember much but I have a hankering to take it up again) and a couple of things that belong to an ex that I'll send off to him, one of these days.

I feel kind of strange throwing out some of the stuff. I've been married before and I had to toss a lot of cards and stuff from the wedding. I hadn't realised I even still had them, so it's not like I'll miss them, but it still feels odd to just toss them in the bin.

I keep way too much junk though. For some reason I still had a bunch of old pay slips from a job I had 20 years ago! Obviously I've just stuck them in a box and moved the box each time (I've moved quite a bit) and never opened it, done the needful, and tossed them out.

Next stop is to go through my clothes and toss out a heap. There's so much that is now too big and getting a new wardrobe, in the bedroom, is a great time to sort out clothes.

After that - painting the bedroom. Well, choosing colours at least. May need some suggestions soon!

24 April, 2007

Updates and checkups

I've updated my links a little - added a few that I've been meaning to add. I really need to go through them and delete some that seemed to have stopped blogging, I guess.

On a side note, I haven't added a couple of private blogs I read, since I wasn't sure if they wanted to stay private. If you link to me and you're not in my first list, let me know and I'll correct this. If you'd like to be added to my links, comment and I'll check out your blog! I'm always on the lookout for new reads :)

As for the checkups - well I went to the dentist, for the first time in seven years, yesterday. It wasn't too bad actually, since I didn't have much more than an examination, two x-rays and a cleaning. I do have to go back in a few weeks to get some stuff done. Apparently, I may brush my teeth a little too vigorously and I have a couple of teeth that are getting a bit worn. The dentist is going to do a little bit of a 'fill-in' to protect them. They won't even need to be numbed for that apparently. The other side will though. I have a tooth with an old filling that has a bit of a 'shadow', so he's going to redo. All in all, I'm a bit surprised. I don't really have great teeth so I was sure I'd need more work.

Like most people, I dislike getting dental work done. I remember having that gas stuff as a kid and didn't mind that so much. It was such a nice feeling - the floating up near the ceiling sensation. I have no idea if dentists even still offer that, I'm afraid to ask since I'm afraid I'd sound like a druggie. Even the cleaning had me wringing my hands a bit though. I don't know if it's the feeling of the tools or their sounds or that spit sucker thing, that freaks me out. I can tell you now, the thought of a needle in my mouth definitely freaks me. Kinda strange when I've given myself insulin shots in my stomach (insulin dependent gestational diabetes) and had some in my neck (cortisone? shots to minimise a scar from a car accident when I was a kid). So what is it about the mouth that makes it worse?

Perhaps it's the feeling of having somebody's fingers in my mouth? I know I felt twitchy, after the cleaning, when the dentist was flossing my teeth.

22 April, 2007

Dust everywhere!

My home is covered in a fine layer of dust. The floor is gritty and if you forget to put your slippers on, your feet get filthy. There's muddy footprints in the bathroom (Chickie can't seem to get the idea of 'no water outside the tub' sometimes) and the furniture is still all over the place.

I'd love to just get a feather duster, broom and mop and just get in there and get rid of it. I can't right now though. As I speak, J and his dad are putting up a cupboard in our bedroom (yay! I'll have some storage space soon!). You could say I have a skeleton of a closet and soon I'll have a closet for my skeletons - but that would be a bit corny...

So anyway, with all the drilling and sawing and trekking even more dust and dirt around the house, cleaning is pointless. I'll have to be a cleaning demon tomorrow - though I've got a dentist appointment in the morning so who knows if I'll be inclined to do much more than lay about and moan about 'the pain, the pain!' (read that in Doctor Smith style there).

I'm loving my new floor and I can't wait to have a proper bedroom cupboard but I'm not a very patient renovator. I just want my house back to normal!

19 April, 2007

And the doc says...

Another set of grommets (or ear tubes) for Chickie.

I took Chickie to see the E.N.T. again today. Chickie's had a long history of ear infections, (many) burst eardrums and has already had two sets of grommets. His poor eardrums have suffered quite a bit in his not-quite-five years.

His hearing was affected before he had the first lot put in and this was happening at a time he was just learning to talk. I realised how much his hearing was affected, when he was trying to find me one day. I was sitting in a chair in his room calling to him. He was about two metres away, with his back to me, and obviously wasn't able to hear me properly. It was shortly after that that he had the first set put in and then his speaking just exploded! Not to mention that he started sleeping through the night regularly for the first time (he was never a great sleeper).

I had a feeling he'd need another set of grommets. Lately he's been asking us to repeat things almost constantly and has the tv so loud. I've taken to making a point of having him look at me and then talking to him, just to make sure he's heard me.

The right ear should be fine - the grommet was still in, six months ago, at the last appointment, but it's now out. The left one was out at the last appointment and this ear is definitely suffering from some hearing loss. Usually the test they do involves bouncing sound waves off his eardrum to see how much it moves. They did that this time and the left didn't respond much at all. As he's almost 5 they tried another test where he had to hit a block on a jar each time he heard a noise. It started off ok, but he lost interest after a bit and was just playing and drumming. Maybe next time he'll be old enough to do it seriously. At least they got some figures for the left ear with this test.

So anyway, another set of grommets to come (well, the doc did say definitely in the left and just possibly in the right, they'll know for sure on the day). I'm kind of glad, since I'd rather he didn't start school with possible hearing problems. I'm sure that wouldn't be the best start to his school experience.

meme for the day

From charm school reject:

Look at the list of books below: Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in. If you are reading this (and haven't participated yet), tag, you’re it!

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18 The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58.The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

18 April, 2007

Too much rushing...

I took Chickie to the doctor's today. He has another appointment with the Ear, Nose and Throat doc on Thursday and I needed a new referral (lucky I called to check that today!).

I picked Chickie up from childcare and instead of driving straight there, I brought him home to get him changed. I'd forgotten today was their pj day at childcare (they have themed days every now and then). I probably could have just taken him in his pj's since they really looked more like shorts and t-shirt (green and black pirate themed pj's), but honestly they were filthy!

So I rushed home, rushed him into the bathroom, pulled the shirt off him and then looked straight into those reproachful little puppy dog eyes of his. After inquiring what the problem was, I was told "Mum, you caught my lip on the shirt. You hurt my beautiful lip!" It was all I could do to keep a straight face...

Oh, and by the way - the rumours were true, I've won another award at work. This time it's a "Most Valuable Player" award (and this one came with a $50 gift voucher).

17 April, 2007


I spent the day with Doctor Who. Well, alright watching Doctor Who (it's as close as I'll ever get!). I caught up with the Runaway Bride ep and the first three of this season. Thanks for the heads up velcro - much appreciated.

I'm really enjoying this new series. I really liked Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor - love that cheeky grin he used to flash (oh and if you like his stuff, check out The Second Coming - very interesting) but David Tennant is doing a great job - and I can't deny it, I think he's cute! I quite like Freema Agyeman in the role of Martha too, though it's early days. I do believe I'm going to have to put all the DVD's down on my Christmas/birthday wish list.

As for local tv, I'm a bit annoyed I missed tonight's Biggest Loser elimination. I hear Kim got eliminated, is that right? I thought for sure it would be Pati. Leaving Kim in would make it easier for the other contestants, I would have thought. So for those of you watching, who do you think will win? And who would you actually like to win? I think Chris will win, but I don't like him much and Munnalita irritates me as well. I'd like either Marty or Pati to win personally.

Oh and the party on Saturday was fun. J's mum had organised a friend to come and do a belly dancing show (J's mum used to do belly dancing). It was great catching up with all the rellies and the food was pretty yummy too. Had some interesting choices like kangaroo shaslicks with chilli plum sauce. Got told I looked 'mega-skinny' in my new red top too. hehe I'll accept that exaggeration any day!

15 April, 2007

What animal were you in a past life?

You Were an Otter

You are a faithful friend who guides others toward success.
You are also light hearted, and love to play around.

13 April, 2007

Some days things just 'click'

J's mum had a 'big' birthday recently and they're throwing a huge birthday party this Saturday. I think she said, at one stage, that almost 100 people were invited - but quite few won't be able to actually make it.

So I've been making an effort to lose weight in the last 18 months and it is slowly working (though it seems to have stalled lately). One problem with losing weight is that your old clothes don't tend to fit very well and you literally have nothing to wear.

Of course, one of the good things about losing weight is that your old clothes don't tend to fit very well and you literally have nothing to wear - so you have to buy new ones!

Well, ok I could make do with the shirts/tops I already have but all my 'good' pants are getting to the annoying 'hitching them up every few minutes or they will fall off like you see in funniest home videos' stage. It's not a good look.

I figured this was a good excuse to go have a look for something new. I went shopping yesterday and was completely disheartened. I couldn't find anything I liked at all. Nothing really excited me and the one or two things I thought might do in a stretch, were out of my size. It was looking like I'd have to wear jeans (not really what I wanted to wear - I live in my jeans already).

Today however, I went to the bank and then thought I'd drop into the shops nearby. Found a classic pair of black pants - dressy rather than business wear. Then I found this cute little shrug shouldered top in a deep red. I tried it on, and even better - had to go get the next size down!

So I'm all set for tomorrow night now. It feels good to find just the right outfit :)

10 April, 2007

After the holiday

So what have we been up to since our trip away? Taking it easy perhaps? Nah, that's no fun!

I think I've mentioned before that I hate our light green lounge/hallway carpet. Funny really, since green is actually my favourite colour. Just not this green...

Anyway, I kind of made a snap decision to have it ripped up now and replaced with floating floors. We've been wanting to do it for a while, but I just got completely sick of it.

J's put in a heck of a lot of work in ripping up the carpet, ripping up the carpet underneath (icky swirly brown stuff) and then scraping off the black underlay that the original carpet layers so 'kindly' glued to the existing floorboards. The existing boards aren't good enough to polish up (plus there's been a wall knocked down in the past sometime and they replaced the boards where the previous wall was with a couple of really wide boards. Floating floors are just easier. Well, so long as you're good at doing puzzles!

J decided to lay the floorboards on the diagonal to make the room look larger and to disguise the fact that the lounge/hallway don't exactly match the two bedrooms we had done years ago. It really looks quite nice and it'll look great once he does the finishing touches (beading around the skirting boards, the metal strip between the doorways etc).

On the weekend, he and his dad were going to put up a wardrobe in our room. When we first moved in, there was a homemade job that was really poorly done and looked awful (we pulled it down). Of course this left us with even less storage space (this house has an absolute dearth of storage). Handily for us, J's parents renovated their place a year ago and had a spare built-in type wardrobe. Of course it was over a year ago now, so they couldn't find all the bits they needed. They've found them now however, so I should have a nice newish wardrobe in a week or two.

The other thing we've scored from J's parent's renos was their old stove. It's in excellent condition and to be honest, provided it was working in any way, shape or form, it would be better than our current stove. Our stove only has two working gas burners and using the oven is pure guesswork since most of the numbers have disappeared off the dial. The plumber has agreed to squeeze us in this week so we can get it installed. Very nice of him!

Then on a personal note this week, I won a customer focus award at work and someone mentioned today that there may be another award in the offing. All I can say is it's very nice of people to nominate me - I'm just doing my job!

08 April, 2007

What I did on my vacation... part 3!

Friday (aka my dad's birthday) was our day at Seaworld. I would have to say this one was my favourite.

We started off the day checking out the dugongs, then headed off to the seal/sea lion show. This show was good but not my favourite because it was a bit warmer that day and we started out in the sun (I was paranoid about Chickie getting sunburnt the whole holiday). At least it was still earlier in the day so the sun wasn't at its hottest yet.

After that we thought we'd catch the water ski show and figured if we headed over to the stands, we could scope out some good seats in the shade and have an early lunch. Worked out the timing perfectly because we got great seats. The show was fun and some of the stunts were pretty good.

From our seats we could see a 'volcano' that occasionally flamed/erupted and Chickie was desperate to find out what was going on there. After the water ski show we took a ride on the monorail and the spiel they had over the speakers mentioned there was a 'secret' under the volcano in the Bermuda Triangle ride. Of course this made Chickie even more desperate to find out!

We then headed over towards the rides and discovered that the volcano was a water type ride and that was it for Chickie. He'd gotten wet, on the log ride, the day before and didn't want any part of a ride like that today. Mum and dad went on the ride while we headed off for a ride on the 'tennis wheel' - as Chickie kept calling it - aka the Seaworld Eye (a big ferris wheel with enclosed carriages), so at least we found out the secret. Click here for a look at all the rides.

We did a bit of looking around and then headed over to the dolphin pools for the show. This one was my favourite. It's amazing how strong the dolphins are. They jump so high and can carry people, who are standing up, across the water. When they tossed those trainers in the air it was surprising at how high they went.

After the show Chickie and I checked out Shark Bay and this was also very cool. There's a section where you're encouraged to touch the sea stars, sea cucumbers etc. Sea stars are actually quite hard - not exactly what I was expecting. The underwater viewing part of Shark Bay is amazing. The size of some of the fish! We were pretty impressed by it.

We then headed over to the kid's rides and Chickie had a ball on them and playing with the water fountain jets. By that time it was getting late and we headed over to the volcano ride to meet up with J who'd gone on all the water type rides. We then caught the Skyway back to the exit and headed back to the apartment.

We didn't get to do all the rides - the Corkscrew roller coaster and Pirate ship are two I've been on years ago and we knew Chickie would be too young for them. Also both Dreamworld and Seaworld have water attractions (Dreamworld now has White Water World and Seaworld has a pretty cool looking pool and water slide), as well as Wet & Wild being in the area as well. Still, Chickie's too young to really enjoy these things. We're thinking that perhaps we can go again in a few years time (perhaps staying at the Nara Resort) and do all the water worlds.

On Saturday morning, mum and dad left to drive home and we had to do a bit of shopping. Yes, had is the correct word here. At Seaworld one strap on my bag broke and I lost the little screw out of my sunglasses so they only had one arm. My eyes are pretty sensitive to light so if I'm outside, I'm wearing sunnies. A new pair was necessary. I suppose I could have managed my bag with just one strap but it wasn't comfortable.

In the afternoon my sister's husband and 3 of their 4 kids came to visit. We had a swim in the pool and then we all went to see "Meet the Robinsons". A cute movie which all the kids loved.

Our last day (Sunday), we checked out of the apartment and went up to my sister's place for the day. Chickie had so much fun playing with his 'cousins' (that's all he calls them by the way, I don't think he can remember all their names so they are just collectively his 'cousins'). Then later that afternoon we headed back to the Gold Coast and flew home. I thought for sure Chickie would sleep in the plane since it was a late flight home, but no such luck. He wanted to do some colouring in. Oh and his idea of colouring in? He tells me which colours to use and where he wants me to colour. He's not that interested in colouring in himself, he prefers the activities like spot the difference or dot to dots).

Some overall impressions:

The weather was perfect! The day we arrived was a bit overcast but the rest of the time idyllic. I shouldn't have worried about it. Steve mentioned that the rain held off until after we went home, which was very considerate.

Flying with ear infections is not fun. Both J and I had colds just before leaving. Mine was a little chesty but J's gave him ear infections and landing was quite painful for him. Getting sick, for him, was not well-timed. At least it cleared up by the trip home.

A self contained apartment was a very convenient thing for 5 people and having the pool and heated spa was fantastic. Chickie would have spent hours in there if he had the choice.

Edited to include: Daylight savings finishing still screwed up Chickie's inner clock. He got up at 5.30 every morning. I was once able to give him a snack and get him to go back to sleep until 7, every other day he wanted to go swimming. 5.30am is way too early to wake up when you're on holidays. At least now he's getting up at 6.30 again (though, this is still too early, in my opinion).

The food at most of these theme parks didn't seem too great to me. Chips, nuggests, hot dogs etc or pre-prepared salads/sandwiches/wraps. Whilst these would normally be ok, I'm fussy and detest raw onions and mushrooms (they overpower the taste of everything else in the salad so you might as well forget the rest of the stuff and just have mushrooms and onions!). Of course all places had onions etc in their salads so I ended up with chips etc. Not good for the waistline or my health, I'm sure. You're not supposed to take your own food in either. At least Seaworld had a stand selling fruit.

The phrase we heard most from Chickie? This is the best day/place ever!

06 April, 2007

What I did on my vacation... part 2!

So Thursday we went to Dreamworld. This was kinda the whole reason for the trip. You see, Chickie and his 3 best friends from last year at the childcare centre used to talk endlessly about Wiggles World (which is at Dreamworld). Chickie had told me about the little 'plots' they'd make about escaping from the centre and heading up there. It was very cute.

Anyway, I figured since he starts school later this year, now might be the best time to take advantage of not having to fight school holiday crowds and pay premium rates for accommodation etc. Plus he's still young enough to actually like the Wiggles.

The timing was perfect - we left the day before the rates increased at the apartment complex. There were hardly any crowds at the theme parks and we only had to wait once or twice and not for very long. Most rides we were able to get straight on. We were also able to get great parking spots up close at both of the parks (Australia Zoo was a bit further but not by much).

So Dreamworld... well, we went in and headed for the Nick Central part of it. Chickie loved the place where you got to shoot foam balls at stuff (I shouldn't be surprised here). Mum and Dad then headed for the Imax Theatre while we headed for the Spongebob show. We never made it to the Imax ourselves but I've seen it before so I wasn't too worried. Chickie was desperate to see the Nick Slime Time show but we ended up missing that unfortunately.

We had a bite to eat early, which was a good thing (no lines) and then checked out the Nick area. We went on the boat ride then checked out Wiggles World. Chickie fell in love with Captain Feathersword's ship so when I spotted a guy dressed as Captain Feathersword, I thought Chickie would be excited to see him. Nope... He came running over when I told him, took one look at the guy and said (in a very loud voice!) "He's a FAKE!". No fooling Chickie there.

Dorothy the Dinosaur and Wags the Dog were easier but he wasn't having any part of going near them for a photo. Waving from a distance was his limit (though I kind of expected that). Mum was a bit disappointed by it. She wanted lots of photos of him with all the characters, but we still haven't been able to convince him to get a santa photo yet.

We went on the Big Red Car ride and that was enough to convince Chickie that rides weren't so bad. He even wanted to go on the log ride later. This surprised me since you could see it come down the big hill and splash everyone, but he was really excited and kept saying it was wicked!

He didn't like it so much afterwards though - we all got drenched! Take a towel with you if you're planning on going on those rides. Still he was ok with rides after that and we spent a bit of time later at the kid's rides.

Heading home, we stopped at the souvenir shops and he chose a Spongebob toy where you press a button on Spongebob's back and his eyes and tongue pop out.

Then next day was Friday and my dad's birthday. That day was spent at Seaworld and I'll tell you all about that another time.

05 April, 2007

What I did on my vacation... part 1!

We had a great time at the Gold Coast. Caught up with family, did a couple of theme parks and did a teensy bit of shopping.

So to start with, we flew to the Gold Coast on the Monday. Chickie's been in a plane before but he was much younger, so I wasn't sure how he'd go. He's an active kid usually and I thought he'd be really bored for the flight. I didn't want that to happen so I (over) prepared. We borrowed J's mother's portable dvd player, I had a couple of new colouring in books, a new book (Cat in the Hat) and a small toy (a Cars car). He ended up watching a dvd for most of the flight so it actually went pretty quickly.

From there my mum and dad met us at the airport. They'd been on holidays for a week already (staying with my sister and her family south of Brisbane). They then drove us up to my uncle's place where we stayed the night. They live on the Sunshine Coast just near Australia Zoo and we were planning on going to Australia Zoo on the Tuesday, then drive back to the Gold Coast to check into the apartment.

I haven't seen my aunt and uncle for quite some time. I lived with them for a couple of months while I was doing a radio course back in the early 90's, so it was good to catch up. It was quite funny seeing Chickie running around the yard (they have a huuuuge back yard) and trying to get the dogs to play with him. They have two pretty elderly dogs and Chickie was trying to get them to run along with him. They followed him around - only at a very sedate walking pace.

While we were up that way, mum and dad drove us past the house we lived in when I was little. I have vague memories of it - painting on the shed down the back, a dog we had called Mitzi (I thought her name was Mincey and only discovered it was actually Mitzi when I was a teenager), and I vividly remember a black vinyl couch with bright purple cushions.

Then Tuesday we went to Australia Zoo. We saw the crocodile show plus a few others (my personal favourites were the otters). Chickie had great fun playing on this big wooden crocodile there. At one stage he climbed in the crocodile's mouth and waved his feet around pretending he was being eaten. J did get a photo but it was a bit dark and you can't really see much. Chickie got a kick out of seeing this crocodile because he's seen it in the Wiggly Safari dvd.

I'd decided beforehand that I'd buy Chickie a small souvenir from each theme park and so from Australia Zoo he chose a rubber snake. What is it with boys and snakes? He's got two toy snakes now. Not to mention, we've got a very good photo of him moving his finger up the glass window of a snake display and the snake following his finger. brrr... I'd post the photo but I'd rather not show photos with Chickie's face for now.

After a pretty full day at the zoo, we drove back to the Gold Coast and checked into our apartment. I'd organised a 3 bedroom apartment at a town called Labrador. We stayed at Sandcastles on the Broadwater.

J and I had the main bedroom upstairs, mum and dad the second downstairs and Chickie had a room to himself downstairs. I felt a bit guilty taking the main bedroom, though I'm pretty sure mum would have been complaining about the stairs after a day or two.

The main bedroom had it's own ensuite and balcony with private spa and a lovely view. If you haven't seen the pics yet, check them out here (I've set up Picasa Web albums as well as Flickr and prefer Picasa since you can organise them quite easily - thanks for the tip dogbait!). I've added photos of the apartment for holly & scolly mainly, since they're looking at a holiday at the Gold Coast too (and most of the accommodation websites have very few good photos of the rooms).

The apartment was quite self contained with laundry facilities in a cupboard. We didn't use them though, what was more handy to us was a full kitchen. There was no way I wanted to be in a hotel for a week and having to eat out every night. Our dishwasher didn't work though. It sounded like it did but it turned out that the motor/water pump was broken and though it generated plenty of steam, no water actually touched the dishes etc. I haven't washed dishes in the sink for a looong time.

The apartment complex also had a lovely big pool and heated spa, as well as a games room (you had to pay to play so I doubt it gets used much), a large bbq area and a mini-gym. The gym was pretty cool actually (yes, I did exercise while I was away - not very regularly mind you, but some). Some machines I'd never used before. If I had the money and space I'd get a few different machines.

On the Wednesday, we took it easy. My sister came down to visit and we had a look around a few shops. We didn't buy anything but some groceries (dinner, munchies etc). I found a bead shop that I could have gone mad in but thought better of it. I have so many different beads already and don't seem to find the time to do as much as I'd like. Then there were the different beading magazines. Cool, but magazines like these are so expensive these days.

The next few days we did Dreamworld and Seaworld, but I'll post about those tomorrow. I need to get to bed!

04 April, 2007


Ok I'm giving Flickr a try-out. If you're interested click here.

Haven't worked out how to get the pics in the order I wanted (they're backwards and some out of my preferred order) but it's late and I ought to be in bed.

Oh and don't worry, I'm not putting up all the 300+ pics, hehe - these few took me long enough to organise!

03 April, 2007

Some pics of our holiday.

I've been looking at the photos we took on our holiday and there's almost 400 of them! Oh and I say 'we' but I really mean J. I took about 3 myself!

Anyway, I think I need to set up a Flickr account or something. Is Flickr ok or do you have any other recommendations?

Here's a few pics to whet the appetite!

The view from our bedroom in the apartment - pretty nice huh?

Chickie croc wrestling at Dreamworld.

The view from the 'tennis' wheel (as Chickie called it) - Seaworld call it the Seaworld Eye.

Polar bear chillin' at Seaworld.

The dolphin show was my favourite. I can't believe how high the dolphins were able to jump.

More detail to come!

02 April, 2007

back again

Hi all, back home again. Thanks muchly for the well wishes. We had a great time on our holiday. I'll post a bit of a round up tomorrow but I'm now off to bed - I'm exhausted!