Wednesday, 30 July 2008

It's oh so quiet.....

Shhhhh. Please. I'm savouring the quiet. The lack of bustle. Being the only person in the house (well, almost).

Our Germans guests (all 5 of them) departed Friday morning, giving us just enough time to wash (some of) the sheets and towels, vacuum up all the dried play-doh (that stuff gets everywhere) and re-stock the fridge before the arrival of dear old friends from our Darwin days.

B & C now live on Kangaroo Island, along way from Canberra, and we see them terribly rarely. But they were in the area (visiting relatives about 200kms away), so they "dropped in" for a few days. It was a fabulous visit, reminding me how much fun we had in the "good old days" and how I wish we could see them more often.

But in the true style of old friends, it was as if we'd seen each other just last week. We had a lovely couple of days, eating out, meandering around the National Gallery, endless cups of tea.

They left us this morning, and now I'm revelling in the emptiness of the house, and have taken my time feeding and cuddling the Princess, thinking about all the other things I need to do.



Thursday, 24 July 2008

Lions and tigers and bears - oh my!

Last Sunday my BIL was due to arrive into Sydney from Germany, to join Beloved's sister and their three teenage daughters who have been staying with us since the day Princess Grace was born.

So we all decided to take the train to Sydney from Canberra, ostensibly to meet him, but with the added bonus of a trip to Taronga Park Zoo.

It was a weekend of firsts for PJ: train, ferry, zoo. He was pretty excited about the whole adventure, and we unashamedly used the threat of not going to keep him in line all week. (This may be why I am yet to be offered an authorship deal on a parenting guide)

It was his first train trip. He nearly burst with excitement every time the train's horn blew. He wanted me to take him to the driver so he could drive the train.

We arrived in Sydney late on Sunday afternoon. Apparently there was another event on that weekend too - there were "youth" everywhere. Pilgrims, they called themselves. Central Station was packed, the park outside Central was full to bursting, roads were closed and there were more people with guitars than a Fender convention.

We walked to Surry Hills against the tide. This is looking down Albion St towards Central, if you are familiar with Sydney.

The upside was that at least it wasn't a crowd of football fans or post-Christmas -sale bargain hunters, so it felt pretty benign and non-threatening.

The next morning we were up bright and early and caught the ferry to the zoo from Darling Harbour. Another first for PJ. He wanted me to take him to the captain so he could drive the boat. (I wonder if he has his mother's control-freak tendencies??)

At the zoo, there were a few must-sees on the list. Elephants, monkeys, seals, kangaroos (well, for the tourists), lions, meerkats and tigers. But these guys were the absolute favourite.
And of course we had to wave to Mama's favourite animals.

We caught the train back to Canberra that evening, exhausted but full to the brim with exciting new experiences.

And Princess Grace, now well-travelled for 4 weeks old (especially if you include the trip to my parents, 450 kms away, when she was a week old), slept through it all.

I know you're all just here for the baby eye-candy now, so here you go:

That's your lot for this post, you'll have to wait for some more! Hopefully now that my computer is back working again after a week on stress-leave, and I'm not competing with three teenagers for use of it, or travelling around the countryside, I'll be able to answer my emails and post a bit more often.


Saturday, 12 July 2008

FO: Princess Grace

We've all had those WIPs that seem to linger on and on, and take forever to finish even when you finally knuckle down and get on with it.

Let me tell you, the last few weeks of working on this particular project were hard yakka. I was totally over the whole thing. If I could have, I would of put it in the time-out corner. But I guess I was kind of attached to it and felt compelled to see it through.

But then, 2 weeks ago today, I finally cast off and admired my work. I decided it was well worth it, and that I'd probably even contemplate making another one. Perhaps.

Introducing Princess Grace, born 440am (AEST) on June 28th:

Pattern: Human Baby, designed by Evolution. Although I've personalised my version, Evolution has been working on this pattern for tens of thousands of years. The design is so elegant, allowing for a myriad subtle mods to get a perfect fit. There are lots of clumsy workings behind the facade, but all in all, the outcome is rather nice. This is my second attempt, and Ive been rather chuffed with how the first is wearing. I get compliments on him all the time.

Sticks and string: I used the recommended DNA double helix, and split the strands initially before recombining strands from two different dyelots as called for in the pattern. Beloved was a big help with this.

Mods: many, but very small and probably barely noticeable. It has been noted she has lovely eyebrows; I like to think I put a lot of effort into those in week 32 or so.

Time: September-ish until June 28th 2008. (Damn it, missed the Federal Government's increase in the FO-bonus by two days!! )

Now, there are one or two rumours swirling about regarding the arrival of the Princess that I'd like to take a moment to address.

1. Yes, I did knit in labour. Much to the amusement of the midwives and obstetrician. I was laying there, strapped to a machine and with a doodad in the back of my hand and antibiotics going in - may as well put the time to good use, working on another WIP!

2. Yes, I did buy yarn online when I was (technically) in labour. I blame Tinkingbell - if she hadn't called me to tell me Wollmeise had stock in her shop, I wouldn't have even contemplated any impulse yarn purchases. Quilting Mick was my partner in crime, but she redeemed herself by looking after Pirate Jim when Beloved and I went to the hospital.

I say "technically" because even though my membranes had ruptured a few hours earlier (on the kitchen floor - thanks for jinxing that Kuka!!), nothing was happening.

That's Farn on the left, and Red Hot Chilli on the right. No photography can do the colours justice - they are quite breath-takingly beautiful and jewel-like.

Does any one have a problem with either of those things? Hmmm, thought not.

And finally, it is my great please to announce the winner of the Arrival of the Bump Competition is Jan, who was only an hour and forty minutes early in her guess! Email me, Jan, so I know where to send your prize. Well done!

Oh, one last thought (the hormones make me a touch philosophical) - perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself in calling Princess Grace an FO? It's probably much more accurate to consider her still a WIP....

Edited to fix incorrect link to Jan's blog!