Sunday, 31 January 2010

votey mcvote

Help me out here guys. Most of you know I have two blogs. This one, and one that is totally devoted to my Mayana Berry.

Problem is, my world isn’t really split into two like that. Mayana is my world. And I keep wanting to do the posts over here that probably should be over there, and doubling up on photos here and there.

I initially wanted to keep them separate because I wanted to make sure that I was still ME on my blog. All the facets of me, and not just mummy me. But I think I have achieved that balance, and I could keep it up, even if there was a slightly bigger dose of Mayana over here.

But I can’t decide by myself. And my hubby is having one of those manly, “I don’t know what do you think.. it’s your blog… I don’t know baby” moments.

So over there -------->> at the top of that sidebar, is a handy little poll, so you can help me decide what to do!

Let me know what YOU think!!


homestead memories

I’ve been a slack blogger. And I do apologise. Sometimes life gets a bit crazy. And I get a bit too obsessed with crocheting and other crafting. One day I’ll show you photos of all the goodies I’m learning to make. I think you’ll be impressed.

But anyway. I wanted to share with you some photos from Australia Day.

Traditionally, our family goes out to Tin Can Bay for Australia Day. This year, we decided on something different – a little closer to home and a little less driving. We tripped out to the Kenilworth Homestead. It’s a pretty nostalgic place for us. I spent a part of my childhood years out there.. I even started school out there!  My dad worked there.. and we lived there. He helped to run school camps out there.. and chances are if you were on a camp out there in the early 90’s, my dad cooked for you, took you on a hay-ride through piles of cow poo, taught you to bush-dance… heck, he may have even put on a costume and pretended to be a bushranger for you! And if you’ve been out there anytime since then, and had a swim in the river, chances are you’ve had a go on the awesome waterslide that he designed and built! We haven’t been there for yonks, and I couldn’t believe the barrage of memories that flooded back poking around out there.

S7306102 S7306087Isn’t it pretty???

The thing that surprised me most was my old school. I SWEAR it has SHRUNK! Big time. It’s not a school anymore, it’s a storage shed. When I went there, there were twenty or less students at any one time, we wore pioneer period-inspired uniforms, and ranged from preschool to year 12. We even had a 20-odd year old mature-aged student! We all sat in one big schoolroom, and worked independently from ACE homeschool books. It’s no wonder I once got detention for pulling apart an eraser, and writing my name under the desk while I was bored. I was only four years old for goodness sake! I did learn to read there though, and was capable of independently reading Enid Blighton chapter books before I was five. 

But anyway….. how’s this: Then & Now:


(I’m second from the front)


I told you it had shrunk!!!!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

new generation

Sunday saw us attending the 1st birthday party of the daughter of one of my best school friends.

Also there was another of our schoolmates and her 6 month old son.

It was kinda cool, the three of us, from the same year at school, with our three little ones born in the same year. And they had just as much fun meeting and playing together as we did catching up!

S7306081Nick  & Willow, Me and Mayana, Danielle & Callum

Date Night

They don’t happen very often anymore, sadly enough. When we were first married we had a date night on the 10th of every month. Because we got married on the 10th of September. Sweet huh?

But since a certain Miss Berry entered our lives. The date night has dwindled. It’s our own fault. We could work it so that we have a little romantic anti-pasto platter picnic on our loungeroom floor while watching a DVD. And it’s not that I don’t want to leave the Berry with a babysitter, it’s the lack of babysitters in my life! After all, all my friends are mummies themselves and have their own children to look after.

But I digress.

We’ve been in Noosa. Because we had a certain birthday party last weekend, and Pete had some work to do up here this week, and it was just easier (and funner!) to stay instead of driving home and back twice.

So on Saturday, my lovely husband and I left our daughter with my parents for the evening and had ourselves a date night. 10th or not.

We strolled along Duke St at Sunshine Beach, and came across a really cute little restaurant, “Mooshka”.


Luckily they had a spare table for two. We quite enjoyed ourselves. The restaurant had a great atmosphere, very funky and cute. All the furniture, crockery, cutlery and glassware were ‘preloved’, all random, mis-matched – and it totally worked. Instead of candles on the tables there were old-fashioned aluminium teapots, or old saucepans made into potplants. It was so cute!


The staff were fantastic – really friendly, and stopped to chat and made us feel really welcomed.

We both had the pork belly. Marinated with five-spice and served on a bed of sweet potato puree with steamed and wilted bock-choy. Yum! The pork crackling (yes, fatty I know, but who doesn’t love good pork crackling!???) was a bit too salty for my taste, but overall, it was a very enjoyable meal.

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Afterwards we cruised down to Hasting Street and stopped at our very favourite ice-cream store, Gelatissimo. We used to go there ALL the time when we were going out and engaged. Blood orange sorbet, green apple sorbet and chocolate chip gelato. Yum. As per tradition we took our treat down to the boardwalk, and ate it snuggled up on a park-bench watching the moon and listening to the waves crash on the shore. Bliss.

We’ve gotta find a way to make this happen more often!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

use your voice

I recently came across this article on Melinda Tankard-Reist's blog.

It absolutely, unequivocally sickens me.

Melinda Tankard-Reist is a commentator and advocate with a special interest in issues affecting women and girls. She is a founder of Women's Forum Australia, and is known for naming and shaming brands, advertising and organisations whom objectify women and sexualise girls in the name of selling a product.

This most recent article depicts a new range of shirts from Roger David. I'm totally shocked that a place that is supposedly quite classy has put out rubbish such as this! What makes them think this is okay???

Not only is it totally demoralising and demeaning toward women, but truly it's an insult to the young men that they are trying to market towards. Why are they pushing this image of women? And why is it okay?

If you feel as strongly about this as I do, I would highly encourage you to visit the Roger David website, and send an email letting him know what you think.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Ice-cream Slice (aka Mayana’s Birthday Cake)

We got our tastebuds onto this recipe while we were in Perth. We got to eat it on Christmas Eve and Christmas night. Mmmmm.

So, with many thanks to my gorgeous Tan Tan & lovely Emily, here is the easy peasy recipe:


* 600ml whipping/thickened cream

* 1 can sweetened condensed milk

* packet of malt biscuits


Whip the cream until peaks form. Fold in the condensed milk until combined.

Arrange malt biscuits in a square/rectangle baking tin. Pour cream mixture over biscuits. Arrange malt biscuits over mixture. Make sure the top biscuits are facing the same way as the bottom biscuits.

Pop the tray into the freezer until mixture sets.

Slice the ice-cream cake between the biscuits, so the top and bottom biscuits create a sandwich, making the slice easy to hold and eat. If you like, you can drizzle some ice-magic over the top just before serving.


Interesting additions might include adding a smashed up Crunchie bar (or whichever chocolate takes your fancy) to the ice-cream mixture.

For Mayana’s birthday cake, I arranged a few slices into a ‘1’, and iced with extra ice-cream mixture which I added a few drops of food colouring to.


Tuesday, 19 January 2010


Yesterday, our delicious Mayana-Berry celebrated her first birthday. Can you even believe it? I’m not sure I can. One year of mama-hood.. one year of my beautiful baby in my life. I can remember the day she was born as if it were yesterday, yet I can barely remember what our life was like before she was in it.

Those days of midnight wake-ups and feeds, our tiny teeny newborn daughter, so squishy and frail and soft and beautiful—they seem so far off. And I realise now how quickly that phase really passed, even if it felt like it would never end while we were living it.

When I think about how much she has grown and developed from that tiny little button into the beaming, curious, clever little munchkin… well it’s just amazing really, isn’t it?

I can honestly say that I have enjoyed and savoured every single day with our Mayana, and I love watching the amount of joy she brings to the lives of the people who love her.

I have to say, I’m enjoying this period of the beginnings of toddlerhood. It’s just so much fun. She’s such a curious little being. She always has to know what’s going on, and she always has to be a part of the fun. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned already, but she’s a full-time walker now, I’m pretty sure she’s forgotten how to crawl. These days she mostly runs. She loves to climb up steps, and can’t understand why we make her go backwards to get back down them. She is discovering her autonomy, and I can see that over the next few months she’s heading towards becoming very independent. She dances when she hears music and it’s the cutest most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. She loves freely and wholly, and if you ask her for a ‘squishy’ she’ll hug you tight around the neck. If you’re lucky she’ll even shower you with kisses. “Jack” is still her favourite word, and all dogs are still “Jack”. She loves, ‘this little piggy went to market’, ‘creep mousy creep’, ‘round and round the garden’, and any other rhyme that ends in a tickle. She knows the actions to ‘Clap hands Papa comes’, ‘Open shut them’, ‘Klap eens in je handjes’ (a dutch song) and ‘Eyes and ears and mouth and nose’.

And she’s one. Wow!

We had a lovely, cruisy and relaxed day yesterday. We started off a tradition that we plan to always do – opening presents from us in our bed. She’s really getting the hang of the whole ripping-off-the-wrapping-paper thing now.

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Her  main present from us was an awesome bike, which she is very impressed with.

S7305984We spent most of the day at my parent’s place, with a little spot of shopping thrown in – because what girl doesn’t like to shop on her birthday!?

We finished off the day with a walk down by the Noosa River… well we walked, Mayana ‘rode’ her bike.

S7305992Happy birthday my gorgeous princess. I love you so much!

party on dudes

Well it’s official. As of 10:19am yesterday morning, I’ve been a Mama for one year. But more on that later. Right now I’m rewinding to Saturday. The day of the party of the year. Mayana’s very first birthday party ever.

We decided to have it in Noosa. It was easier than both of our families finding somewhere to stay in Toowoomba town – because there’s no way they’d all fit in our house! Plus it meant that Pete’s grandmas could come, and it was special to have them there. In a couple of weekends we might host a picnic in the park in honour of Mayana’s birthday with our Toowoomba friends.


We toddled down to a lovely big park and set up decorations and put out our abundance of food… yummy scrummy food… fruit platter, Dutch apple tart (made by me from my Oma’s traditional secret recipe), vanilla slice, cheese, crackers, chippies and so many other yummies. Everyone arrived, and we talked and laughed, Mayana was passed around – and kept running away to the playground and enticing various uncles, aunties and grandparents to push her in the swing.

IMG_2054 My mum made a really yummy ice-cream slice for Mayana’s birthday cake (from a recipe we learned from my cousin and aunty while in Perth. I’ll post the recipe later because it’s super dooper easy and incredibly delicious). I turned some of the slice in to a ‘1’ cake, and iced it all pretty.

DSCF5635Mayana enjoyed it VERY much…

IMG_2058 She was also incredibly blessed with a mountain of gifts. My mum’s goddaughter Kelsie very obligingly helped Mayana open them.

S7300998Mayana fell instantly in love with this gorgeous rag-doll given to her by a family friend. We’ve named her Lola and Mayana thinks she’s pretty awesome!

S7301012  We had a very lovely afternoon, and I like to think that we did a pretty good job at throwing Mayana’s first birthday party. We had a very contented, very sleepy, and very full little girl at the end of it all.

Thank you to everyone who came and helped make her day so memorable and special –

Thursday, 14 January 2010

shameless plug

I really think you should click on this link and watch the clip of my sister Alexie performing 'I Surrender All' with her Cert III music class at her highschool graduation. True goosebump material.

And yes, that blonde one with the angel voice --- that's my sister :-) (proud much?)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

my shop...

Hi all :)

I'd really love it if you'd pop on over to my MadeIt shop. Just when you thought the boxing day sales were over, I've reduced prices on a whole lot of stock AND if you are a follower of my blog, I will give you 10% off any purchases between now and February 28, 2010.

Also, keep checking back, because I have a whole lot of new stock coming... more headbands and gorgeous crocheted baby hats and shoes, as well as Mama-sized winter hats and scarves!!

So... time to shop! Add a message to seller before going to the checkout, and I will send you an amended 10% off invoice.


Saturday, 9 January 2010

one of those daggy new year posts

… because every blog needs one!

I know we’re already a week in… but it’s been a busy week for me! This time last week I was still trying to get over my red-eye flight home from Perth, and since then I’ve been trying to un-pack, re-baby-proof my house (because man alive, a walking baby is so much harder work than a crawling baby), looking after a baby with gastro, and looking after a husband with gastro while I also had gastro. Yeah. Fun week.

On the upside, my mum and sister came up yesterday to help out with the gastro-house, and the three of us Friendlies are nearly feeling 100% better.

So back to my new year post.

I was looking at my blog archives, and I came across my daggy new year post from 2009… let’s reflect:

This year, I will:
* Become a mummy! And work very hard to be the best parent I can be. Done. Definitely became a mummy, and I think I’m a pretty darn good one!
* Make sure that I don't neglect my husband in this, and know that our baby will draw us even closer together. Done. Peter and I have been an awesome team as parents, and our marriage is still as awesome as ever – if not better!
* Attempt studying even with bub.Done! Full time study-load in semester one, and one course in semester two. And all with distinctions and high distinctions.
* Read the Bible in a year. Unfortunately not done. I petered out around Easter time. Ashamedly. One day I will do this.
* Get involved at church. I need to be on a music team again! Sort of half done. I went to a couple of nights with the music team, but haven’t gone on roster. I have however enjoyed my first year at our new church and we are involved in a small group which we very much enjoy.

I’ll give myself a 3.5/5. Not a bad effort I guess.

So… 2010… goals/resolutions/whatever you want to call them. The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to put new plans into place. This is what 2010 will mean to me:

  • I will finish uni!!!!! Studying a full time course-load with 10 weeks worth of prac.
  • I will procure myself a job for 2011. Hopefully in a private school, not too far from my family.
  • I will become a Mama of a toddler. My baby turns one in 9 days!
  • I will make good and right decisions for Mayana. I will play with her, read to her, teach her, pray for her and love her.
  • I will keep in contact with my awesome WA family and continue to cultivate those relationships and bonds that developed during our holiday.
  • I will do my devotion/Bible study (Christmas gift from Pete) every day, and NOT fizzle out by March.
  • I will have more prayer times with my husband.
  • I will continue to make things and be creative.

And I think that’s about it for now. Achievable.. attainable… and I’m planning on sticking to it.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


Okay, so as promised, here is the story of my Oma and why she ended up spending most of our Perth holiday in hospital.

So the background of the story is that Oma has had this terrible cough for months and months now, and it has been progressively getting worse. My uncle, who is a doctor, had been chasing this up and getting her booked in for various check-ups and investigations to get to the bottom of it.

Two weeks before we left for Perth, we were told that Oma had been in for scans looking at her lungs etc. for this cough (which by the way turned out to be totally unrelated to what happened next), and they’d found something they hadn’t expected to see at all. A large growth, nestled around a major artery that runs from the heart to the leg. There was a possibility it may be cancerous. It was a bit of a blow to us all, especially considering that in the same week we also received news that one of my dad’s sisters had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and would be having a partial mastectomy while we were in W.A.

About a week before we were scheduled to leave, another phone call. My (doctor) uncle called to suggest that Papa leave early. Doctor’s had decided that the vein on which the tumour was growing made surgery to remove it too risky, and as such the had planned a biopsy, so that they could look further into treatment. By this point they had fairly well established that it was a malignant tumour. The biopsy was set to take place on Tuesday – just as we arrived in town. And there was a possibility that she wouldn’t make it through the surgery. There was also evidence of clotting, and as such Oma was a ‘walking time bomb’ as a clot at any time could travel into the heart. She was ordered to rest, with feet up at all times.

Papa left for Perth early, and my Oom Sace continued to meet with doctors and try to understand more about what was going on with Oma. Eventually, he managed a meeting with several doctors, one of whom specialises in the area of veins. After looking at scans etc. he decided that he was in fact confident that he could remove the growth entirely, and rather than doing an invasive biopsy to look at things and then decide, he would rather go in and do the one operation.  The surgery was booked for Saturday, four days after our arrival in Perth.

When we got to Perth, and got to see Oma, she was just the same Oma she had always been. She told us that it was so weird for her, as she still felt really well, the same way she had felt before any of this had happened, yet her body was so sick!

Oma was admitted to hospital on Friday night to prepare for surgery, which was scheduled at 8am the following morning. We were told that night there were three possibilities for the surgery: 1) a two hour surgery. Bad. This would mean they opened her up, and things were worse than they thought and they’d have to close her back up and go back to square one; 2) a five hour surgery. Best case. The tumour would be removed successfully, and further treatment would be looked at once the tumour was biopsied; 3) an eight or more hour surgery. Bad. Would mean that one of the kidneys had also been affected and would be removed along with the tumour.

We prayed.

The surgery, praise God, was successful. Possibility two, with a few complications, ended up being our outcome. The tumour was removed successfully, however they found that the vein in question was basically filled with clotting, and the decision was made to remove some 40cm of vein, replacing it with an artificial graft.

That evening, my family joined Oom Sace’s family as the guest artists at a local carols by candlelight. Just before our last set, my uncle received a phone call from another aunty, who said she’d tried to ring the hospital for an update, only to be told that they would prefer to talk to the brother who was a doctor.

Oom Sace wasn’t able to make contact with the doctor until after the carols, and he returned to us with sombre news. Oma had nearly died numerous times throughout the evening. The new vein had started off working well, but with the pressure of renewed blood flow, a number of new clots had been released, resulting in pulmonary embolism. Her kidneys also had not resumed function since the operation, and her blood pressure wasn’t stabilising. At this point she was deemed to be in a critical condition. After an impromptu prayer meeting in the car park, we headed back to Oom Sace’s to wait for more news.

Eventually the brothers and sisters decided to go to Oma’s bedside to pray and be with her. It was a very emotional time for them, and things were scarily touch and go for Oma that night.

The next day, my family went to visit Oma in ICU. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever seen. She was full of tubes, surrounded by machines.. still heavily sedated… she just wasn’t Oma. We talked to her, held her hand. She was awake, but only just. She was ventilated and couldn’t speak, but she smiled and mouthed that she loved us and held our hands and kissed us. She doesn’t remember anything of that visit, but I will never forget it.

The days ticked passed and we eagerly looked forward to new updates. Oom Sace had told us that we could expect for her to be in ICU for weeks.. in hospital for likely a month and then to some kind of respite care for another month. The tumour was indeed cancerous, and they believed that pieces had possibly broken off and travelled to the lungs. The new vein became filled with clots, as well as veins associated with the kidneys, and she had to go on dialysis.
Then the miracles began. She started breathing on her own… her blood pressure stabilised, and stayed that way even as they weaned her from medication. Then her kidneys slowly began to function again.

On Christmas Eve, after our trip to Margaret River, we travelled to Oma’s bedside in ICU to sing her a Christmas carol. She told me later that she will never forget the image of me walking in with Mayana, who was asleep, and then looking behind me and seeing our whole family. I laid Mayana onto her legs where she continued to sleep as we visited. Oma kept telling us how happy she was to be alive, to be given a special chance. “To God be the glory!”, she kept proclaiming. Indeed! She wept as we sang to her, and we struggled to keep it together. She was still attached to machines – though less than before, but she was Oma again.

Her recovery since then has been nothing short of miraculous. Her kidneys and blood pressure are back to normal, she’s eating, walking, talking, and LOVING life. The grafted vein is still clotted, but other veins have taken over the blood flow. As time goes on those veins will get stronger and bigger and the swelling in her legs should go down.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we held our Camp Buma church service at the hospital the day after Oma was released from ICU. There wasn’t a dry eye as Oma was wheeled in, and it really hit us what she had been through and how blessed we are to still have her in our lives.

We were all amazed at her attitude – that she wasn’t pining to be with us at our camp which she had so looked forward to, but rather rejoicing in the fact that we were all together and having so much fun.

The day before we left, we visited with her and she was well and truly back to her old self… joking and teasing, loving, hugging, playing with Mayana. God is so amazing, and it is inspirational and incredible to listen to Oma proclaim her faith that God will continue to heal and strengthen her.

It looks like Oma will be allowed to go home by this weekend! Home! There is still quite a road ahead to recovery, and I’m not sure on the status of any cancer treatment that will be related to the tumour, but there is no doubt in my mind that my strong Oma will pull through whatever comes her way. She is a walking miracle, and a tangible reminder that anything is possible with God.


Happy 2010 – the year of the spoon (My new years eve) + goodbye WA

Our last night in Perth… we really truly went out with a bang!

We celebrated New Years Eve with a giant slumber party. There were about 21 of us from various families sleeping over at the Buma house. Good times!

The evening was spent with lots of talking, laughing, eating, music-making and just a bit more eating.

Here are the photos to prove it…

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Peter with: Cameron, Miranda, Holly & Emily

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[left] Cameron, Alexie, Holly, Me & Miranda. And yes, Cameron is lining Alexie up for a ‘wet willie’ (where you put your tongue in someone’s ear). He’s so gross! And yes, he did it to me too. | [right] Jordan, Emily & I making music.

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Enjoying our food!!!


Oliebollen – only one of the best Dutch foods every invented.


A 10 person spoon to bring in 2010! And why 2010 will always be known as the year of the spoon to us… lol. From left: Me, Alexie, Cameron, Miranda, Jordan, Emily, Holly, Alicia, Anne-Elise & Lance.

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New year kisses – from Cameron & Alexie, Josh & Cameron, Cameron & Pete. Clearly Cameron wanted to make sure I was feeling the love.

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Bedtime at the house of Buma. Clockwise from top left: Alexie & Emily, Grace, Anne-Elise & Bethanie, Cameron, Jordan, Lance & Lachlan, Holly & Miranda.

It was the most awesome night.. and talk about a full house! We didn’t get to bed till well after 2am, and luckily even Miss Mayana let us sleep in to the very dignified hour of 8.30am. Others slept even longer.

Personally, I didn’t want to waste a minute more of my last Perth day sleeping than was absolutely necessary.

Once everyone was awake we enjoyed a beautiful breakfast, which eventually evolved into morning tea. Later in the day we had to pack. We all started to feel a bit sombre around then. I don’t think we were quite ready to say goodbye.

In the afternoon we went for a final visit in the hospital with Oma. We took her some oliebollen and other leftover new years goodies, and had a good long visit.


Four generations

Oma was doing so well, her recovery is truly miraculous and we are all so proud of her and so glad to have her still with us.

Before we left the hospital we sang a song with Oma, and had a prayer time. It was pretty hard to leave her still in hospital, but we look forward to Christmas 2010 when the plan is for Oma to join us.

After the hospital visit, the troupe of us that had celebrated New Year’s together headed out for a last supper at a yummy Asian restaurant.

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[Clockwise from top left] Mayana & her Papa, Joshua (Legs) & Anne-Elisse, Oom Sace and others eating, me with my parents.

After dinner we reluctantly headed toward the airport. After checking in our mountains of luggage, we spent our last few hours together at the airport, along with a few other cousins who joined us to say goodbye.

There were lots of tears when it came to boarding time. I couldn’t believe how quickly our time was over. We had rekindled awesome relationships with uncles, aunties and cousins, and the thought of leaving them was overwhelmingly sad. We all kept reminding ourselves and each other that this time we have the assurance of seeing each other again in only 2011, and imploring them to come to Qld in the meantime.


The look on Alexie & Emily’s faces says it all really.

But, it had to be, and goodbyes were said, hugs and kisses were had, and the plane was boarded.

We left at about 11.15pm, and arrived home just after 5.30am. The trip was long and uneventful. Mayana slept the whole way which was awesome, though I wish I could say the same for myself. Being short really sucks on a plane, and I had the puffiest feet from them not being able to reach the ground, but I managed a few naps.

We spent a few days in Noosa, catching up on sleep and with Pete’s uncle and aunty from Townsville. And on Monday we headed home for Pete to start work on Tuesday.

On Tuesday night my poor darling baby girl came down with a delightful gastro bug, and at the moment is still trying to get over it. And that brings us to the present!

I had the most fantastic holiday – I’m pretty sure we all did. We were all so excited and looking forward to our trip with such anticipation, and it’s so satisfying that our trip met all our expectations and more.

Thank you for bearing with me and my overload of photos as I reminisced.

I hope your new year was as happy as mine :)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Zoo and Rottnest

Okay so I’m dwindling down to the last few days in Perth… This is the 29th and 30th. The 31st (New Years Eve) deserves it’s own post.

So here goes… The Zoo.

Louise and I had been talking about taking our girls to the Zoo after Camp Buma. Combined with the fact that my mum had been eating Mini Wheats all year to get the 2 for 1 entry to the zoo coupons off the back, I was not giving in on this idea, and so it was that Louise, Jacob, Sunny, Alexie, Bethanie, Lachlan, Jordan, Cameron, Miranda, Mama, Papa, Peter, Mayana and I set off to the Zoo on the 29th of December.

It was so much fun, especially watching the two little girls watch the animals, hearing Mayana refer to anything fury with 4 legs as either Jack or Cat, and generally just spending more time together. I have stacks of photos of this on my phone, because our stupid camera batteries had gone flat – but I don’t have time to recover them from there at the moment, so you’ll have to make do with ones I stole from my sister’s camera:


The Papas (Jake & Pete) and their girls watching elephants..

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Definitely a favourite moment for me… watching the gorgeous lady elephant take a bath…

DSCF5461 Some strange zoo attraction… oh no, wait, that’s just my brother and cousin… !


Sunny and Mayana riding a Galapagos Turtle.

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Mayana wanting so badly to walk everywhere | Mayana falling asleep, exhausted from all her sight-seeing.

For more awesome pics of the day, check out my cousin Louise’s blog (and while you’re there, make sure you follow her… her blog is awesome and is about to get a whole lot more exciting!!!)

PART TWO: Rottnest Island

My mum is allergic to alcohol. As such, when the Margaret River leg of our trip was being planned, she mandated that if she has to be led around watching us taste wine at numerous wineries for 3 days, the she wanted to do a trip to Rottnest Island. And fair enough I say.

So it came to pass that on the second last day of our trip, my family, and another family of Buma’s, as well as another cousin headed out to Fremantle to catch the ferry to ‘Rotto’.

DSCF5541This part of our trip is disappointingly under-captured by me, as I suffered from a delightful bout of sea sickness, and ended up hanging over the back of the boat trying desperately to hold onto the contents of my stomach. Fortunately I won.

Upon arrival, we collected our bikes (cars are not allowed on Rottnest Island, and bikes are the main form of transport – much to the woe of my poor bottom), found somewhere that sold coffee and food, ate, and then the adventure began.

DSCF5546Cousin Miranda & Bethanie.

As it happened, after a short sojourn on our bikes, my mum and I discovered that the seats on our bicycles were not built for long distance – or maybe it was just the seats of our bottoms?? As such, we headed for a hire place, and got ourselves some snorkels for the day, and with a small entourage headed to a gorgeous beach for some chillax time. S7305716 S7305718 Mama all ready to hit the beach!


Mayana having a splash with my cousin Miranda

Man I’ve just realised how seriously lacking in photos I am of this day. My dad took some incredibly cute ones of Mayana in her bike seat on the back of Peter’s bike… I guess you’ll just have to keep an eye out for them, when I get access I’ll post them!

Later, we all met up again for lunch, then headed to another beach for more swimming. Before we knew it, it was 4pm and time to get back to the other side of the island to catch our ferries back to the mainland.

Papa had booked us on this crazy thing called the Eco something. The name has escaped me but the memory of the ride never will. It basically looked like an oversized blow-up dinghy. Mayana wasn’t allowed on (something their website had neglected to tell us when we booked), and thankfully my sister took her for me on another, safer, more stable boat. We should have been worried when they presented us with long, hooded, red rubber dresses to wear. We looked like a bunch of cheerios! We should have been even more worried when the skipper proceeded to don a pair of waterproof overalls AND a huge waterproof jacket. Hmmm. The skipper’s aim was to get us all as wet as possible, and get the boat airborne as many times as possible. I will be forever grateful that Peter chose to sit on the left hand side of the boat. My parents, my sister and her boyfriend were on the right hand side, and drenched doesn’t even being to describe how wet they got!

Even with their cheerio outfits done up so that only their eyes were peering out, water somehow made it inside their clothes, soaking bras, undies, socks, shoes… Poor dears were soaked through! I didn’t get wet, but still sea-sick. Blergh.

Once we were all safely back on the mainland, the decision was made to head to Hillary’s for dinner. Hillary’s is a boat harbour, kind of like an oversized Mooloolaba wharf – with little boutique shops and restaurants set on a boardwalk. It’s really lovely. We had a scrumptious (and massive) surf and turf meal, followed by delicious ice-creams at an ice-creamery further around the deck (mine was pavolva flavour, in case you were wondering). Again I have so many photos of this fun Hillary’s adventure, but they’re on someone else’s camera. Stay tuned.

It was around this time that we began to realise how much sun we had all gotten. Despite all of us repeatedly applying and reapplying suncream, we all somehow ended up looking like lobsters. Very uncomfortable, sunburned lobsters. Youch! The only one that didn’t get burnt was my aunty, and that’s because she was wearing long pants and a long sleeved top.

I had a killer sunglasses tan (oh so attractive), a strip across my back where my shirt had ridden up while I was riding my bike (worst place ever because your pants rub on it and it hurts sooo bad!), the backs of my legs, my arms, my hands, my knees…. I was pretty well red all over. We all were. This is why I’m not a beach person.

Anyway, despite the sun-burn, the bike-seat-bruised-buttocks and the severe soaking some of us got, we all felt very satisfied with our day, and were glad it was another thing we get to experience on our Big Trip.

Stay tuned for our New Years Eve story!!


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