Saturday, July 24, 2010

So Pregnant

You know you look like you are about to give birth at any moment when:

-The cashier at 7-11 offers to carry 2 liters of milk out to your car for you.

-The checker at the grocery store comes out from behind the register to unload your shopping trolley (aka cart) for you.

-You find a perfect spot in the carpark and quickly discover that no matter how hard you try there is absolutely no way to squeeze yourself out of the car. So you abandon the spot and go in search of another one.

-The maitre d' asks if you'll be okay sitting in the low upholstered chair at the table they have reserved for you.

-Three year olds at the Little Buddy's preschool spontaneously proclaim, "You're going to have a baby!" (They are so observant at that age).

-You start banging into things - doorknobs, counter tops, car doors, etc. because you don't realize how much room your midsection requires.

Sadly, all of these things have happened to me this week. Even I am shocked by how big I am and I do a double take when I pass the mirror.

Twelve days to go!

Friday, July 16, 2010

My New Treasure

That's the fam frolicking on the beach out in front of our place. I'm so glad I will always have this painting to remember our wonderful stay here in Australia. It was done by Gordon Rossiter who currently has an exhibit going on at Bather's Pavillion. He has so many gorgeous paintings of Balmoral. Check it out expat friends, and you can get your own little piece of Australia to keep forever.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Debra Down Under

Last week one of my best pals from California came and spent 9 days with us in Sydney before heading off on a 2 week Australian adventure. Even though the weather was pretty miserable most of the time she was here, (it is the middle of winter after all) we managed to pack the time full of fun. At 35+ weeks pregnant I think I'm still a pretty good tour guide. Here's what we did:

-South Head Cliff Walk and lunch at Doyle's Fish & Chips
-Sydney Tower
-Hyde Park
-The Domain (and the bats at dusk)
-Featherdale Wildlife Park
-The Blue Mountains, Scenic World, the 3 Sisters
-Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout, exploring The Rocks
-Taronga Zoo
-Queen Victoria Building
-Museum of Sydney
-Darling Harbour, Chinese Gardens, Paddy's Market
-Yum Cha in Chinatown
-Visit an RSL Club
-Bradley's Head, Chowder Bay, Cremorne Point Bushwalk
-Manly to Shelly Beach walk and dinner on the wharf
-Northern Beaches (Palm Beach and Newport)

She returns to Sydney for 3 nights later this month and will do the Opera House, Botanic Garden, Kings Cross, Bondi and a Harbour Cruise as part of her tour.

What other Sydney "must-sees" should I take her to? Suggestions welcome!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

I spent my childhood in small town Wisconsin where they really know how to celebrate Independence Day. Everyone- the whole town- would head down to Riverside Park for a boat parade, food, fun, and of course, fireworks. We'd dress up in red, white and blue and wave little flags around. One year my friend Laurie and I dressed alike in matching blue pedal pushers, red shirts and sailor hats. (Mom- you must have a photo of that somewhere!) After the fireworks, we'd go home to our own little show, with Chinese Lanterns, Firecrackers, Sparklers and those little black snakes that grew mysteriously when lit. We'd hear neighbor kids setting off bottle rockets late into the night. It was just how you would picture the 4th of July in small town middle America, and it was perfect.

When my own kids were old enough we had a few traditions of our own in California- pool parties, BBQs, fireworks and an annual bike parade through town.

This year, for the first time in my life, I am not in the USA for the 4th. And even though there were no parades and no big fireworks shows we did celebrate in our own little way. I cooked up some ribs in the crock pot and then we went down to the beach to light sparklers (which they sell in the grocery store here). The Little Princess wore red, white and blue. And we all celebrated America- our home sweet home.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bird War

I am declaring an all out war on Mynah birds. They don't belong here. They are chasing all the beautiful native Australian birds away and they are covering my balcony with poo at an alarming pace. So far I've limited my attacks to spraying them with water bottles and sending my three year old out to scare them off with his ferocious roar. But I'm getting ready to take things to another level. Consider this a warning- you awful Mynah birds.

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