Monday, July 29, 2013

Home (July 21-27)

Our time in Sydney came to an end and we traveled back to California.  The trip was better and worse than expected, but that is life with two toddlers!  Since we got home, we've been settling in, unpacking, checking out the construction on our house, and checking out the neighborhood.  No matter where you've gone or how long you've been away, it always is nice to go home.

July 21:  We woke up in Darling Harbour, which was the perfect place to spend one last morning in Sydney.  We had breakfast outside on the water and then walked over to this great playground I had been wanting to take the kids to.

They had a giant slide that you had to use a rope climb to get up to.  Liam and Brenna both loved sliding down it.

And there was a zip line that Liam totally conquered.  He did not want to leave it.

But, we had to get back to our hotel and then to the airport.  We stopped on the way back at a carousel for a quick spin before our very very long flights home.

July 22:  The day started out pretty well, since both kids slept about 9 hours on our flight from Aukland to LA.  Brenna was still asleep when they turned the lights on.

And Liam was pretty happy with some toys as he woke up.

We arrived home after 8 pm, but the Liam and Brenna were not tired.  And Liam wanted to play with all the toys he left behind, including his tricycle.

So, we got Brenna on his old bike.  She's so tall she doesn't even have to sit down and she doesn't yet know she's supposed to!

The only bad thing is Brenna was a bit afraid of Ravioli.  Luckily, Ravioli is an awesome dog and she figured it out and gave Brenna some space.  

July 23:  We all had the day together to unpack, unwide and rest.  Oh, and get used to the time difference.  

Liam was so happy to get back on his big boy bike.  He didn't have any bikes in Sydney.

Brenna was very happy to be outside, after dinner, in the daylight (the sun was setting at 5 pm in Sydney) and walking on her own down the street (no stroller).  She was squealing as she walked.

July 24: As a welcome home gift, and to distract Liam and Brenna when I went back to work, we got them some new toys.  One is a dollhouse like the one Liam really liked in Alice Springs.

And Brenna got her very own tool set, so she doesn't have to steal Liam's tools.

After work, it was warm and sunny, so we went "for a little adventure," as Liam likes to say.

The future's so bright ... 

July 25:  After breakfast, as we were all getting ready for our day, a truck came to pick up the dumpster full of dirt in front of our house.  So much of that was awesome for Liam.  They watched the action from the front windows.

And were pretty happy about our start to the day.

July 26:  There is a lot of dust every day from all the construction working taking place.  Luckily, Liam still really likes to vacuum.

While he was busy cleaning up, Brenna tried out two of his favorite toys:  his Rochenbock set and his tricycle.

Luckily, Liam wasn't mad that she was on his tricycle.  But, we wanted to get on, too.  The two of them playing together is still so novel.

July 27:  We had a full Saturday, but maybe so full that I didn't get many pictures!  We went to the farmers' market, went for some walks, and met up with friends for dinner.  And, of course, Liam had to do some hard work, with Brenna supervising, donut in hand.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Beach (July 14-20)

We spent nearly a week at the beach in Port Douglas, Queensland.  The weather was a bit cool and cloudy and the kids got Hand Foot & Mouth disease, but we still managed to have a lot of fun!  But, we ended up mostly staying at the pool and beach and relaxing instead of doing a lot of outings.  It was actually a nice break before traveling home.

July 14:  We drove up to Port Douglas in the late morning and went to the Sunday markets in town.  We picked up some pool and beach supplies too, because Liam was already asking to dig sand.  Then, we went to our hotel to try and check in early.  But, that didn't work.  So instead of napping, we spent the afternoon at the pool.

Brenna was pretty happy to be swimming instead of napping.

Liam really liked his little swim vest as it made him more confident in the watter.

After a very late and quick nap, Liam had a very nutritious snack on the couch in his undies while he watched a little Aussie kids TV.  The pose cracked me up.

I got some food while the kids were sleeping, so we managed to eat in our little hotel apartment suite.

July 15:  First thing the first full day, we went to the beach.  

I got a picture of one of Brenna's dramatic expressions.  She wanted me to pick her up instead of taking her picture.

Both kids were pretty happy in the water.  The water was really calm and neither one was afraid of the waves.

Liam even got his face wet! 

I am pretty sure the beach is the perfect place to be with two toddlers, even when the skies are cloudy and the wind is blowing.

July 16:  We were back at the beach in the morning for more splashing and digging.

Brian and Liam worked on a really big hole, while Brenna supervised.

And they both did plenty of running around too. 

After naps and a quick snack, 

we got in a bit of pool time too.

July 17:  Today we decided to get away from the resort and try the Skyrail through the rain forest.  We would have loved to try the train too but the timing just didn't work with naps.

The first leg was the perfect time for a snack.  Liam was not too enthusiastic about our outing until it included a cookie with M&Ms on top.


The rainforest was pretty spectacular.  We saw a few birds and some waterfalls.

At the top, we stopped for lunch and ice cream. 

And then we took on more views on the way back down.

July 18:  I am pretty sure we got an unwelcome souvenir on the Skyrail:  hand, foot and mouth disease for both kids.  We went into town for lunch and Liam got sick all over me 3 times while we were waiting for our food.  By the time we got back to the hotel, Brenna was sick too.

So, we spent the rest of the day napping and resting on the couch watching TV and keeping fevers down.

July 19:  Both kids were still sick, but we figured a little fresh air and scooping sand would be good for everyone.  So, we went to the beach in the morning.

To dig more holes.

Watch the waves. 

And splash in the water. 

Because a run on the beach is good for the soul. 

The kids were really good sports, despite feeling pretty lousy.

Since it was our last night in Port Douglas, we dragged them out to dinner at a restaurant on the inlet (called On the Inlet) where a 550 lb. grouper named George comes for a feeding at 5 pm every night.  

I think the kids had fun, but I am pretty sure they would have rather been resting on the couch back at the hotel. 

July 20:  We had a flight mid-afternoon and a late checkout, so ... we went to the beach!

Brenna was still feeling pretty down. 

But digging sand makes everyone happy.