Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mimics (June 16-22)

Brenna is not the only one mimicking her sibling.  Liam does it too.  Of course, she does it out of sheer admiration and devotion.  His is more typically driven by competition.  This week, there was a lot of of mimicking and other fun as both kids' personalities shined through.

June 16:  It was a sunny day, but very windy at Watson's Bay.  We gathered there to have family pictures taken.  

Liam loved the photographer.  And really loved his assistant/fiance.  He spent most of the time running around and showing off.  But I think we got some great shots.  

After several hours of taking photos, Liam was rewarded with ice cream with a side of chocolate sauce and a side of sprinkles.  He basically ignored the ice cream and went to work mixing the sprinkles and sauce.

Brenna got a couple tastes of ice cream, too.

June 17:  When I came home from work, both kids came running at me.  And neither was screaming.  Then they played a fun game of chase through the apartment, with Liam shouting, "Sissy, chase me!"  

Lucky for me, Brian worked on dinner and I got to get in on the game of chase, too.

June 18:  Picked up some ginger snaps on the way home, along with some dinner groceries.  Turns out, both kids LOVE them.  

We had to get a second carton later in the week.

Brenna is obsessed with cups.  She was dying to get her hands on Liam's cup.  And then after she got her own cup, she wanted to put it in the dishwasher.

June 19:  When we get a bath ready for Brenna these days, Liam now insists he wants to get in too.  He'd rather play with her than take a bath by himself.  

Liam discovered that you can fill the bucket up if you squeeze water out of a sponge.

And Brenna discovered that Foofa makes a good teething toy.

June 21:  I got these coconut guava popsicles shortly after we got to Sydney.  I thought Liam would like them because they are pink.  Nope, he refused to eat them.  We almost threw them out.  But turns out Brenna loves them now that she's teething.

Which, of course, means Liam now loves them too.  He'd eat 3 a night if we let him.

Brenna was super proud that she could walk around AND eat a popsicle at the same time.  She likes to do circles around our kitchen/dining/living area in our Sydney apartment (with or without a popsicle).

June 21:  We decided to try to go out to dinner on a Friday night.  A car ride away.  Unfortunately, the restaurant we hoped to eat at was fully booked (oops) so we ended up at a Chinese place.  Brenna loved drinking water out of her soup bowl.

And, of course, so did Liam.

Once they were done eating, Brenna wanted to cruise around the restaurant.  Luckily, it was pretty empty.  Liam followed just inches behind exclaiming, "I'm following the leader!"  And luckily, the folks at the restaurant thought they were cute (not obnoxious).  

June 22:  It was pouring rain, so we headed to a museum Saturday morning.  The Powerhouse Museum is devoted to science and engineering.  They had some great interactive displays for small children.

Brenna got a turn pressing the buttons, too.

One of the exhibits was devoted to The Wiggles.  Man, Australians are proud of the Wiggles.

Brenna and Liam are not too interested in the Wiggles, but the exhibit was fun and perfect for toddlers.

Today was the first day that both kids were able to fully explore on their own.  Liam, of course, has been doing this for a while.   

But, Brenna is now mobile enough to do it as well.  She raced all over the exhibit, checking out things on her own, dancing to the music, and making friends.

And playing with her brother, of course.

Monday, June 17, 2013

OLD (June 9-15)

This week started off with a bonus long weekend, to commemorate the Queen's birthday.  That meant we got an extra day to discovery new things in Sydney.  We discovered a bit about Sydney's past through heritage trains and dinosaurs.  And we ended the week with an old favorite, a trip to a beautiful beach.

June 9:  At the central train station in Sydney, there was a display of heritage trains all weekend.  This old steam train was part of the display.

The train has been lovingly restored by a family, we were told by the grandfather.  He was quite chatty and happy to meet some Californians, as they had done some train shows along the west coast a few years back.  He was even a Giants fan!

Liam got a good look at the engine and coal car.

And he even got a chance to climb on board and check out the controls and fire.  

He didn't want to blow the whistle though, as he deemed it "too loud!".

There was also a train from the 1960's, with a very comfy lounge car.

A super comfy sleeping car, where Liam made himself right at home (we remade the bed when we left!) 

And a dining car, where we got to enjoy some snacks, like Liam's first hot chocolate (he's a sucker for anything with marshmallows).

June 10:  We stayed close to home and checked out the Australian Museum, the first museum in Australia.  It is an old-fashion science museum, with lots of stuffed animal carcasses and pinned butterflies and birds.  Oh, and dinosaurs!

Before we went to the museum, Liam first thought the dinosaurs might be scary.  When I told them they were not, he decided "they should run with us" in a game of chase.  I think he was disappointed that it was just dinosaur bones.  But there was a great kid's play room that both Brenna and Liam really enjoyed. 

After the museum, we walked around Hyde Park, which is across the street.  There was a guy making giant bubbles, including this one that Liam popped!

And a giant chess board.

After naptime, we took out the paint for the first time with both kids.  Brenna preferred to use a brush, just like Liam did at that age.  Neither kid is too interested in finger painting.  Though Liam does love to load up his palm with paint now and make hand prints.

We capped off a fun, long weekend with ice cream in our neighborhood.  Both kids are huge fans.  Liam's new favorite is the blood orange sorbet.  Of course.

And some shared screen time.  Poor Liam didn't get to see a screen until he was 19 months old, but Brenna already knows how to work some apps on a tablet.

June 11:  I bought Brenna this adorable necklace for a photo shoot we're doing over the weekend.  Of course, Liam had to try it on.

Later, Brenna joined Liam in "fixing it."  He has a hammer.  She has her "dummy" as they call it here (pacifier).

And, of course, what better way to make use of your couch fort than practicing your somersaults!  Brenna was getting some tips.

June 12:  More fun in the fort.  Brenna loves playing in there as much as Liam does.

But this is a common occurrence in the evening - climbing all over Momma when she comes home from work.  Both kids are usually clinging to me. 

Liam was doing his best "roaaaaarrrrrr" and his face so matched his shirt!

June 13:  I tried to put some laundry away before work.  Liam likes to help with laundry, which usually means taking my neatly separated piles and throwing them around the room.  Today, instead, he decided to hide in the cupboard. 

When the kids and Brian were out for their midday outing, Liam found some lizards on a ledge.

He also learned about broken glass in dirt.  He told me about it when I got home and then practiced picking the glass out of the dirt with his play wrench.

And then more "fixing it" ensued, this time Liam had a real screwdriver and Brenna had the play hammer.

June 14:  If you look really closely, you can see her little tooth on the bottom.  And the transformation that is happening from baby to toddler.  She's getting taller and thinner and her face looks more like a kid.

Liam was hoarding his trains on the couch.

But he let Brenna have the musical car.  She loves it even more now that she knows how to make the music start. 

June 15:  We were supposed to spend our Saturday morning on a whale watching boat.  But the seas were rough, so we were given the chance to reschedule, and took it.  Instead, we headed about an hour north to Palm Beach and this beautiful little beach, called Whale Beach.

The kids were happy to get some time in the sand.  Another family showed up about 50 feet away and Liam immediately said, "I want to make a friend."  So, he headed over with Brian.  And we all made some friends on the beach.  The other little boy had some awesome trucks, which was a bonus.

After about an hour, we headed to the nearby cafe.  It was amazing, with great views and good food and the best atmosphere.  We had planned to take a ferry ride from there, but Liam really wanted more beach time.  So, we got in the car and started to drive to the next beach.  Within a few minutes, both kids were snoring.  Way ahead of normal nap time.  So, we just headed home instead.

We spent the evening at Allianz Stadium in Paddington watching the Sydney Roosters, our local national rugby team, take on the New Zealand Warriors.  We only made it through half the game - and half time (Liam loved the cheerleaders, of course).  And then it was bedtime and time to head home.  

Another full week in Sydney.  When I told Liam over the weekend that we'd be going home in a couple weeks, he didn't say a word, but just hung his head sadly.  Poor guy.  He'd stay if we had that option.