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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Friday, 26 May 2017

Legoland Adventures! Also teeth!

Hey, we actually did something this week!

So yeah, Ossie has an issue with a couple of his teeth (molar hypomin), where the enamel is soft and chalky and breaks down easily. This means his tooth is super sensitive, and unfortunately won't hold a filling, so eventually it'll need to come out. The Bendigo dentist we went to referred us to a specialist in Essendon. That specialist then referred us to an orthodontist in Bendigo (to get x-rays), and then we had to return to the specialist in Essendon, which we did last Friday.

The good(?) news is that his wisdom teeth are forming, so hopefully he should eventually be able to get the main problem tooth removed. In the meantime the dentist put a quick seal on the tooth to hopefully stop the pain, although obviously the seal wont stay in long term as the tooth continues to degrade. She's told us to give her a call in 6 months or so or if the seal needs work.

Because we were in Melbourne anyway we decided to make a weekend of it, and stayed at a little hotel in North Melbourne. By "little" I mean "one room with three beds, a fridge and a cupboard, and then a bathroom" little. Friday night we walked to the Queen Vic markets and from there caught the free tram into the city for an early dinner. It was nice to have a bit of time to walk around, even if we did spend most of it looking for a place where the kids would actually eat something ;)

Saturday morning we headed out to Chadstone Shopping Centre with the hope of getting into Legoland. It's possible to book ahead of time, but we had a voucher to get the kids in free, and couldn't book. Given every day seemed booked out until at least the afternoon we thought it very likely we wouldn't get in at all. Turning up at 10am, though, the guy said it was all booked out but we could go in anyway :D

You've probably seen Chez's FB photos. Suffice to say it was actually really fun! Pricey ($32 per person, even kids if you don't have the voucher) but we spent 4 hours there pretty easily. They had a couple of rides, some activities and a little cinema playing 15 minute 3d movies (4d, since they also had fans, sprinklers and a smoke machine they went off throughout).

They also had a room full of lego versions of iconic Melbourne buildings, some life-sized Lego Friends people.. yeah, lots to see and do. Getting there early meant there were no lines for any of it really, although around midday it started to get really busy. I would definitely recommend it, although like I said unless you have that voucher (from Coles maybe?) it is an expensive outing.

That evening everyone was pretty buggered so we headed to a local burger joint for dinner, about 5 minutes from our hotel.

Sunday we had a bit of a wander around Highpoint (and probably spent the least amount of money at Daiso to date) and then headed home and had dinner with Cheryl's siblings. They're continuing the Sunday dinner tradition even without Edith and Landon, and taking turns to host it.

It was really nice to have a holiday, and it will be our last for a long time (even though I worked long days to make up for missing Friday, there's been a few too many public holidays and missed work days this year, plus dentists aren't cheap) so we made the most of it.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Sydneysiders: Keeping Ourselves Busy

(Two in a row! Go team Sydney!!)

It's been a couple of weeks since our last post. Jules is back at school, giving Dee the space to ramp up her job search -- with a twist, as she's looking to move into agile project management (i.e. scrum master, product owner, etc.). Not something she's (yet!) done, but seems like a good move (she'll be good at it) and will be something she can enjoy -- just as long as we can convince someone to take a chance! (She may invest in a scrum master course and certification, since recruiters at least will be looking for that.) Wish her luck!

We start week 4 of I Quit Sugar today, with a smaller than usual cook-up: I made some faux rice (cauliflower and broccoli) while Dee has made some delicious pesto (below). Thai prawn curry tonight, but this afternoon we're saying goodbye to our friends the (other) Masons -- they've sold their Annandale house and are off for a good long (12 months?) caravaning holiday. I probably don't need to tell you I'm jealous...
As mentioned on Hangouts, we're considering moving (e.g. to Concord) for considerably cheaper rent, a backyard (!!) and a slightly longer commute. It's truly bizarre how much rent varies from suburb to suburb, but considering Sydney has the second most unaffordable housing in the world it's nice to know we can save some money -- while still keeping Jules in the school he loves.

I'm keeping myself busy, too:

I'm training for the half-marathon in September (and have actually bought the entry!!). Gym and/or running most days and I'm finally seeing some muscle definition and fat minimisation (if not weight loss -- scales may not lie, but I'm 100kg (+5kg) and skinnier than I've been in ages. Must be all muscle?). As a reminder, a half-marathon is about 21km, and I'm currently running about 4km without a break ... so I've still got a way to go. (Hopefully more fat loss will help, too.)
Work isn't too busy, but I'll be finishing up on the project in a couple of weeks AND I'm a "founder" of another business -- a marketing friend had an idea (hush hush) and I'm coding up an Android app and backend for a demo which he can use to try to get seed capital. He's in London at the moment, but may come back to Sydney so we can work on it together. (I'm also going to launch my distinguished: clothing and accessories store tonight -- it's all about the hustle!)

But clearly I STILL don't have enough to do because I've also started writing a book on "full stack" engineering -- a little philosophy, a little technology and pointers to everything from Javascript to NoSQL to machine learning and AI ... oh, and to that end I've started a Machine Learning course this month (from Stanford, on Coursera). All in all, I can probably benefit from a slightly longer commute, just to get through my six-hours a week of course work!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Pääsiäinen 2017 Sydneyssä

A quick update from those of us north (but not too far north) of the Murray.

It's been a busy, er, four months? (When was the last time I updated here??) As you may have read, Dee's contract has ended so she's now looking for work — and considering how to move her career back into the startup scene (anybody need a scrum master?). Not bad timing as these things go, since Jules has had his first week of school holidays now; the local after-school-care does run a holiday programme, but we're saving our pennies until we need it again. I think Dee has enjoyed spending this time with him, as much as he makes it difficult to concentrate on one thing for any length of time, but I'm sure she'll be happy to get back to work too.

We had a trip to Taronga Western Plains zoo, too, which was fun (and a good way to relax after the inevitable stress of finishing up a contract). We stayed in Orange on the way there and back (do they speak mandarine in Orange, I wonder?), dropping Lucy off at her favourite kennel along the way. A long drive, but worth it to see how excited J was when we finally arrived.

And this weekend has been Easter! We've cooked, planted, ridden ponies and partied with some bikers — and we still have another whole day to recover!

Monday, 6 March 2017

French-Roberts Madhouse

So I decided since mum has been super busy working I'll just post about what I know has been happening for all of us.

Where do I begin, heaps has happened since Christmas, Jared has moved out into his own place (not that you would know from everything left at mums...like a bed for me but Jarrad's dad said he'll pick it up for us this week) He seems to like it, had the family over for his birthday 2 weeks ago and last weekend he had a joint party with a friend for their birthdays. Jared is still working heaps, but they gave him a week off which he enjoyed (I think).

Trin and Daria started grades 6 & 3 this year, and Trin is even on the Junior School Council for the first semester, they change it every semester to give everyone a chance to be a part of it. They're doing well so far and I don't have to walk Daria in anymore so drop off is faster, which works well if mum starts at 9.

Mum has been busy working 4 or 5 days a week, the centre has had a few different directors but they now have a permanent one, hopefully meaning mum's hours will be a bit more consistent and 3 days a week. This week mum is on close 3 days, working 4 days, which just means I feed everyone and mum eats when she gets home. I've been going with mum in the mornings so I can have the car to do the school run and then pick mum up when she finishes.

Jarrad and I have now met the owners of the house we're renting, they seemed nice and just as annoyed at the builder for not having fixed the roof...the agent is following that all up. We were told our mystery tree is apples but it is actually nashi fruit, so I'm slowly picking it but up to the stage of I need to borrow a ladder. We're one step closer to getting Jarrad some help with his knees, he has an appointment today to get a referral to do physio as well as still waiting to hear from the hospital but I don't expect that to be soon. We've also applied to do mediation with his mum, with the hope that things will be better for Jarrad not being in the middle of this and things can be civil, but its now up to her to get back to the mediator so we will see what happens.

Last weekend we went to Ballarat for White Night and stayed with Tamara, Ray and the boys. Adam and his partner and their kids came with us for the walk into see what was happening and our giant group got split up because it was so busy. It was really cool though, some of the buildings had images projected onto them and some of them told stories through movies. They had a giant White Night Messenger whose face changed (it was a bit creepy)

Sunday, 26 February 2017

And 7 months rolls around

This week was the half-term holidays, so none of our regular classes and meet-ups were on. I say this like we have heaps of things to keep us busy but we're not out every day - baby sign language on Tuesday, swimming on Wednesday, Messy Play every second Friday, and Water Babies swimming (with Bruce) on Saturdays. I think I need to find more to do as Millicent grows more and more inquisitive. 

Learning about animals
We changed signing classes a few weeks ago - in the old class you just had to pick it up as you went along, the new one is much more structured - learn new signs for two weeks and then revisit them in the third. They also include some baby sensory (bubbles, story time, scarves etc) and play time/mum chat time (they provide a cuppa and bikkies!). Definitely a better fit for me (and Millicent - she watches everything so intently!). She hasn't done any signs yet, and her "milk" sign from when we were in Aus of just an open mouth has disappeared - now if she's hungry she bites something then cries.. Tho it can be hard to tell if that's teething or hunger! 

Hold on, hold on - life saving skills
She enjoys swimming more these days, lots of smiles on Saturday. Not so many on Wednesday but the pool is colder and the timing isn't great - it's around nap time. (Not that she has proper naps or anything, but she does usually have some kind of sleep between 11 am and noon).

Not-so-messy packaging
We've only been to two Messy Play sessions (we missed this week, more on that in a bit) but it's kinda fun. Tubs of baby-safe things on the floor for the little ones to play in. First week there was water in one, crunchy cereals in another, and a third had plastic balls and some instant pudding. We take a change of clothes and a towel (and plenty of wipes)! It's great because she gets to try stuff and I don't have to clean it up (other than off her and myself). So far she's been a bit reserved but three are a lot of other (and bigger) kids so there's lots to watch.

Anyway, it was good that nothing was on this week because Millie has her first cold. Not a stuffy-nose kind of cold like earlier in the month.. This is a cough-so-much-you-vomit kind of cold. It's awful - my little girl coughing when there's nothing I can do to help. And the first (and second) vomit was something I didn't need to experience yet! Luckily she wasn't bothered by it - it was just a laundry problem. She seems to be past the worst of the cold now, just in time for Bruce to get one - let's hope it isn't a different strain! 

More firsts for Millicent, she got her first tooth this month - bottom front right - and yesterday I felt a second one coming through (top right). I can't show you because every time I try to look she either sticks her tongue out or closes her mouth. Cheeky girl!

She's also started rolling. Only one way so far, and she still gets grumpy if you put her on her front too much but I did manage to get a video. Such a cutie. No sign of other moving or crawling yet.

That's enough of a update for now. As always, I'll try to write more regularly but I'm not promising. Anyone else got an update?