Monday, April 29, 2013

Rides (April 21-27)

This week started out with a ferry (and bus and train ride) and ended with amusement park rides.  In between, we celebrated Brian's birthday and Grandma's arrival from Austin.

April 21:  The weather was nice on Sunday, so we decided to take our first ferry ride.  First, a train and a bus (Liam's first!) took us to Circular Quay.  We actually found one of the few bargains in Sydney:  Sunday Fun Day on public transit on Sundays is only $2.50 per ticket (kids are free) for unlimited rides on buses, trains, and ferries!  

We were a little early for the next ferry, so Liam got some ice cream which he really wanted to share with the sea gulls.

We boarded the ferry from Circular Quay headed to Watson's Bay.  We had a great view of the bridge and Opera House as we departed.  And we went by our little bay and the other eastern suburbs on the way.  Liam and Brenna both enjoyed the ride, though Liam found it too windy to sit outside.

Liam immediately spotted the playground in the park (all parks here seem to have a playground), so we went there first.  

Then we had lunch with a view of the bay and harbor.  There were a lot of sailboats and other boats passing by.  Brenna refused to take her morning nap, she was too excited by all the new sights.

She did manage to crash out while we waited for the ferry home.  This gave us a moment for a photo op on the pier.  By the time we got on the ferry, both kids were beat. 

It was a gorgeous day to be out on the water enjoying the view.

April 22:  Brian's birthday!  We went out for Japanese food at a place near our apartment.  And I picked up cupcakes on the way home from work.  Liam kept saying he wanted to eat cake, from the minute I came home.  We made him wait until after dinner though.  So, he ate his cupcake in his cave (couch fort).

Poor Brenna didn't get any cupcakes.  But she did provide some birthday entertainment by drumming on a box.

April 23:  Most days, Brenna and I have yogurt together for breakfast while the boys sleep.  She really likes using her own spoon, which leads to this look. 

While I was at work, the kids and Brian headed out in the neighborhood.  A gym was handing out hats and of course Liam wanted one.  They apologized for only having pink, not realizing that Liam's favorite colors are pink and purple!

Liam also asked for cake again all day long.  Brian gave him one and after Liam had eaten all but this part, Liam declared "Don't like it.  Need another one."  Tricky kid.

After work, Liam was showing Brenna how to crawl.  She's more interested in walking, though.

April 24:  At the playground today, Liam was busy collecting rocks, which he started calling Dinosour Rocks and then Dinosaur Bones.

After dinner, we managed to fit in some time to play.

Before bedtime stories

April 25:  Grandma arrived today.  We decided to help her with her jet lag by taking her out in the neighborhood and out to lunch.  

April 26:  While I was at work, Grandma, Brian and the kids went out to take pictures of "Flat Ella" for Ella's school project.  They ended up in Circular Quay, where Grandma helped Liam with his ice cream (he never lets us feed him!).

And Brenna helped herself to her bottle.

After work, we went out to dinner.  And checked out the fountain near our house on the way home.

April 27:  We drove to Kirribilli in the morning with Grandma, to check out the Saturday market (held only once a month) and explore the neighborhood.  There are amazing views of the harbor from here.  And the market was pretty fun, too. 

Just down the block is Luna Park, an amusement park dating to the 1930's.  I guess some kids are afraid of the face at the entrance, but Liam ran towards it. 

We took a ride on the ferris wheel, which goes out over the harbor.  It was a little nerve wracking as they loaded the cars, since they loaded us first, but we all really enjoyed the ride.

The kids also both really enjoyed the carousel. 

Another busy weekend morning out meant another missed morning nap for Brenna.  But she immediately conked out when we got in the car to take Grandma to the airport (for her week-long trip north to Port Douglas).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Discovery (April 14-21)

This week started with another trip to the beach.  The weeknights were spent mostly at home, detecting flashes, playing and sharing.  And it ended with an amazing trip to the Sydney aquarium.

April 14:  We headed over the bridge to Manly.  We were invited to my local manager's home mid-morning, but got an early start thanks to the early sunrise.  So, we checked out Manly beach.  And Liam got a new sand bucket and two scoops, which totally made his week.

April 14:  Brenna was pretty happy to sit in the sand and play with it.  She wasn't too happy to wear her hat, though.  The weather was gorgeous and the sun was strong, so we kept putting her hat back on.

April 15:  The gorgeous weather came to an end Monday night with some thunderstorms.  We don't get those at home, so Liam was fascinated by the lightening.  He grabbed his handy "flash detector" and spent a lot of the night on the balcony looking for lightening.

April 15:  He also pulled out the caterpillar tunnel we brought with us.  Brenna loved watching him crawl in and out of it.  She would have loved to join in, but she's skipped crawling and is working on walking instead.

April 16:  All of a sudden, Liam has gotten really good at working a tablet.  He can pick his own apps, play with them, and start/stop videos.  

April 16:  And all of a sudden, Brenna is clapping!  She figured out how to do it on Tuesday.  And then later the same week, she was pointing and waving and giving high fives.  A big week of firsts!

April 17:  Another post-dinner snack for Liam.  He rarely eats much at dinner these days, but he's always quite hungry the hour or so before his bedtime.

April 17:  Brenna still loves to share.  She had such a big grin sharing her apple slice.

April 18:  Brian made Liam a fort (which he named a "cave") in the couch tonight.  I think we'll be building a lot more caves while we're here.  

Brenna thought it was a great place to play hide and seek with Liam.  She was thrilled to "find" him when he'd pop out of his cave.

April 19:  Pre-bedtime parallel play. 

And then it quickly turns to this.  

April 20: It was pouring rain Saturday morning, so we decided to head to the aquarium.  

Liam was fascinated by the sting rays in this tank.   

And the guy feeding the dugongs (relatives of the manatee).  And the box with sand and brushes you could use to find creatures hidden in it.

Brenna loved her brother brush the sand.  And watching the fish swim around

Most of the tanks were right at the eye level of a kid in a stroller or a walking toddler.  

This one had glass all around, including the ceiling and floot.  Liam really wasn't sure about the floor, so I had to hold his hand as we walked through.

The last tank was a huge wall of glass, a big hit with the kids.  Brenna was reaching for fish and practicing her walking.

At the other side of the room, there was a camera and screen where you could see yourself and the tank behind.  And there was music to dance to.  Liam kept bopping up and down and commanding me to dance along with him.