Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just a Quickie for fun

So this will be a very quick one because it just took place 1 minute ago but I think it is so cute and funny I just have to tell you about it!

Vettoria came in holding a book and asking if I could read to her.
"Mummy, can we please read Honkihontas?" she asked.
"Read what?" I said.
"Can we please read Honkihontas", she repeated.
She then held up the book and I realise she was saying "Pocahontas!"
I laughed out loud to the point where she became sad that I was laughing 'at her'! I felt terrible, but explained how to pronounce the name. She has so much trouble saying it I have settled on "Ponkihontas" and said "that's right, good girl" in order to make her feel better. Now, whenever I say "what is her name again?" Tori says, "I don't like saying her name mummy..." :-(
Oops... maybe I laughed a little too loud..?
But seriously... 'Honkihontas' ? Who wouldn't??? ;-D

Monday, April 26, 2010

Two Princesses & A Goldfish

Sunday was such a beautiful sunny day we headed out to the lake after church. And boy was I glad we did!! You wont believe it, but the giant gold fish was close to the water's edge and we got some AMAZING views of it! This fish is absolutely extraordinary. I chatted with a uni student studying marine life at the lake one day and she said many of the students thought the fish was an urban myth because the sightings had been so rare. I told her I had seen the orange one a few times and the white one a couple. She was shocked! She said it was a phenomenon and it was amazing that sightings of the fish have been seen as far back as 30 years ago!

Incase I haven't raved about it to you, these two goldfish live in a small lake in Springwood, not far from our (and Alisha and Cassandra's) home. It is seriously a GOLDFISH, like the ones you see at a pet store, however this fish is absolutely HUGE. From the look of its shimmer under the water it looks like it must be at least 70cm, probably more with its tail. It is just amazing, actually quite freakish, I can't say enough about it! It's BRIGHT orange and on this particular day it actually came up to the surface of the water and we could see its scales come out of the water! It makes my stomach churn with butterflies just remembering it!

Don't believe me?? Think I'm exaggerating???? Well this day, I had my camera with me! So, I will let the photos do the talking and you can make your own assumption about "The Goldfish in the Lake!"

This pics just don't capture the sheer freakiness of the creature... Brrr!!! Freaks me out!

ANyway!!!! On to funner things!! We fed the ducks and birds and had a great time walking around the lake just enjoying nature and being together. We also took some family pics because the girls looked so cute in their little princess tiaras, Tori just loves wearing hers and often wants to wear it to the shops. So of course we had to force Eadie to wear one as well to make the pics look even cuter!! haha. So enjoy our family pics at the lake!

Should I be worried?

During Karla and Josh's last week in Brisbane our families headed to Southbank for some fun in the sun with the kids. For hours they had a wonderful time, playing and splashing in the water, running and - ...ok, so that's not true... Tori didn't play and splash at all. Her idea of fun was a little different than the others... Maybe I should just show you the pics:

So while her cousins ran around splashing like kids, Vettoria spent at least an hour walking from rock to rock carrying them and lining them up on the side of the pool. She then found some leaves to strategically place on each of those rocks... She was so proud of her 'beautiful rocks' I just had to snap a pic.

Then following the fun at the pool, we had ice cream and headed back to the car. On the way back, we walked past these big old boat thingos... here, I'll show you:

"Can I play on the toys mum?" Tori immediately asks. I explain to her that they aren't toys, they're just big statue things. She protests, "But they ARE toys mum! Can I play on them, please?" I try again to tell her that they aren't toys, but she insists they are the coolest 'toys' ever and pleads to let her 'play on them'. So I decide to stop walking and let her play, if only to prove to her how boring they are in the hope that she will believe me that they are NOT toys. But instead of proving me wrong, she proceded to go from object to object doing the most with them that she possibly could, in her attempt to prove they were as fun as they looked. It was quite hilarious to watch, so I snapped some pics of her playing on her new and exciting 'toys'. Check these out:

"Look mum, I can push it!" Wow.... "Yep, that's good, Tori....."

"Look, I can sit on it!" ... Yippee..."Ooh, you be careful now! Don't play too hard...."

"See? Look what I can do!" ...uh huh.... "Wow! Look at you go! Fun!"

"Mum, they were really fun toys!" ... Sure... "Yeah! Super fun for everyone!"

Hmm... Tori's ideas of fun things to do are a little different than mine, that's for sure! But hey, as quirky as they are, they sure make for adorable photos!!! (look at that model pose! I don't even have to coach her!! haha)

Happy Baptism, Thomas!

So my sister Alisha's 8 year old son, Thomas, was baptised about a week ago and it was a great day to spend together as a family. We loved having mum and dad come up from New Castle to spend the weekend with us, and everyone participating in the baptism program and being at the chapel all together was a big highlight. I played the piano.... ugh, what a terrible job I did! I know, I know, I'm sure it was fine... but I felt it was terrible, even though my dad did comment that he was happy the 8 years of lessons finally paid off!!

Despite my embarrassment, I am glad I was able to contribute to the day, even if all I did was play plonk on the piano wincing at all my mistakes for 15 minutes (which felt like an hour I might add!!) But anyway, I was able to get some cute snaps of most of the Christinson kids in the hallway before the big event, and I wanted to put them on here so all the fam could check them out. Congratulations again, Thomas, we are really proud of you!

The Incredible Worlds in Playdoh..

So I've written a post before about Tori's love of playdoh and making up stories about the characters we create. But I just had to snap some pics of our latest adventures. Tori's story telling abilities are getting more and more in depth and her imagination often runs wild with ideas. I'll use the pictures to let you know how this story goes.. it's pretty classic:

So first the teddy bears relax by the pool on their deck chairs, all wearing their swim suits, of course.

But the sun is hot so we had to make an umbrella to give them shade.... (the red part is sand)

Time for a swim!! And what would a pool be without a big ball to play with?

Now they are tired.... They need to lie down on their beds and have a nap... of course they also need blankets and a good-night book to read....

Oh, and the bottle of course..... And don't forget the stars!! And the moon (on the background...)

Sleep well Teddies.... You had a very big day today!

How cute is that? Well, I say cute now, but the 45 minutes we actually spend making all these things can get a little tiresome... but the memories are sure worth every, "Oh! The sun came up! It's time for the teddies to go swimming again! Make the pool again mum! Don't forget their towels!"

Ahh... love em, those playdoh teddies...........good times, good times..

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Couldn't Resist!

How CUUTE! I looked on facebook and came across this pic on Karla's profile. How beautiful! I just love this photo of Tori with two of her cousins, Sofia and Elly. Sofia is 4 and Elly is about 5 months older than Tori so they all love hanging out and playing with eachother.
You can really see the Montes gene coming through with these three. All tanned, dark eyes and curly hair! I imagine Sofia is similar to what Tori will look like at the same age. And Juan had a dream once where Eadie had short curls when she was about 3, and when he saw Elly he was surprised that she has the same hair he saw in his dream! Hmmm, that will be interesting to see!
Meanwhile, we make good lookin kids!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

...Two going on Twelve....

So Vettoria is acting more and more 'mature' every day. It's incredible to watch. It's like she just knows that her birthday is coming up and being 3 is older than being 2, so she is doing 'older girl' things. She is using more and more vocabulary every day - and we all know that Tori's vocab is pretty good, so you can imagine what kinds of things she is coming out with now: "Wow mum, that's just incredible!", "What's happening guys?" or "How wonderful!", also "Oh, it's just so good to see you!" and "Baby Lauren is just SO adorable!" It's pretty cute. But then I ask her to do something. For example while she is watching T.V...
"Hey Tori, can you please put these books away?" I say.
"No mum, not right now" she replies. I look at her.
"Excuse me?" I say.
"I said no mum, not right now. I'm busy." I continue to stare at her.
"Vettoria, I just asked you to help me put these books away. Now please come over here and put them away."
"Mum", she says, raising her arms in the air, "I'm in the middle of watching my T.V. show. I'm busy right now and I don't have time to help!"
Of course I'm shocked, so that is when I start with the "I am your mother and when I say pick up the books, I mean pick up the books, now do it right now or the T.V. goes off for the rest of the day!" to which she then throws back her head, rolls her eyes and goes, "O.K! UGH!" and I watch as she skulks over to the books and begins to pick them up.

...UH.... What just happened here? I'm sorry, am I living with a toddler or a teenager??? Where has this attitude come from? Not me, I'm sure! Hmm.. it must be Juan......

Another example is this picture.. I caught her doing this the other day and was shocked that it had started so early. I mean sure, we do it on staircases as we get older for something fun to, but she is two and doing it already! Check this out!:

She is sliding down the staircase already! Thank heavens it is just down the last three steps, but still, toddler or teenager here????? So, that's another thing I've had to recently reprimand her about.
Another thing is her bed times. She would stay up until 10pm every night if she could. She will use any excuse to not have to go to sleep. I remember doing the same thing to my parents.... YEAH, WHEN I WAS TEN!! She uses a couple of different techniques to try and get her way. First, the "I would like a drink of water please"... or the "I have to go to the toilie!" or even the "...I'm ready to finish my dinner now!" ...but her latest tonight was "I can't go yet, I just have to finish my hotdog". I think she knows I want her to finish her hotdog because she rarely finishes her dinner, so tonight she was totally using it to her advantage. Let's just say that her usual bed time is 7pm... but tonight we were eating in front of the movie "Finding Nemo" and through using the "I'm just finishing my hotdog" technique she managed to squeeze another HOUR out of me - until the end of the movie! Every time she said it I let her 'win' another round in the hope that she WOULD actually FINISH her hotdog. But once the movie had ended I wasn't surprised that she let me throw the last quarter of it in the bin before walking upstairs to bed. Humph. I know she thinks she won that round, but little does she know I let her 'win' so that she ate three quarters of her dinner tonight! ha ha ha. Oh yeah, this mama is one step ahead of you, YOUNG lady! One.. step... ahead.... that's right. I'm in charge.


So we now have four walkers parading through our house, officially as of this past week! Eadie is up and getting around like a little pro, she rarely crawls now, only when she is worn out from burning all that rubber, or if she can't step over something. She is so cute, she's still at that "arms held out but running as fast as she can" stage. If she has to turn in another direction she stops dead in her track, turns her entire body to face the new direction, regains any lost balance, then continues walking like the little dynamo she is. Sometimes you can just see the joy in her eyes that she is doing it! She still reaches out to where she wants to go to and thumps her hands on it like a little victory 'bang' to show us all that 'she made it' ! It is sooo cute. Ahh.... my little baby is turning into a toddler.... Some say "wow, that went so quick!" but to me, it really hasn't. She got so big so fast it actually feels like I've been waiting for her to walk for the past 9 months!! But hey, she is only 11 months old and that is a wonderful feat for someone who was 20lb at 6 months.. Well done sweetheart! We are all very impressed that you can carry your beautiful chub so well from place to place.

The Story of a Galah named Jorge

We rented a Diego DVD recently that had an episode about a hawk named Jorge (that's George in Spanish and it is pronounced "Hore-Hay". So I'll call him this while I type so everyone wont be calling him "Jorge" pronounced George.....). So his name is "Horhay The Hawk" and Vettoria just fell in love with him on this DVD. But even the episodes weren't enough for her! She even 'found' (looked in her toy box) her very own "Horhay The Hawk". She was so excited to see that she too had her very own 'Horhay' . But it gets funnier for a couple of reasons:
First, 'Horhay' is a Galah. Yes, a Galah. Not a Hawk. But hey, Tori's imagination never ceases to amaze us, so to her toddler mind, George the Galah really is Horhay The Hawk. And hey, who are we to burst her bubble?
Second, Tori has become so obsessed with 'Horhay' that she actually sits on the couch patting him like he is a cat or a puppy. I think he has even become like a live pet to her. It's cute, but kind of weird at the same time...

But check out a pic we took on Sunday where she refused to put him down for the photo, so the Galah actually also got a place in our family pic. Oh, sorry, I mean... the 'Hawk' was in our family pics.. and look how Tori is standing there 'stroking' him... Brrrrr!!! ..freaky..
Anyway, we took some pics of her with 'Horhay' so that you can all see how much he loves her new pet "Hawk".

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Montes Family Pics

Conference weekend brought with it not only wonderful spiritual upliftment, but we also took the chance to snap some quick family pics before we left for the chapel. We rarely take the time to actually put the camera timer on and stand for 10 seconds and take it, so these family pics of ours are getting further and further apart! But here they are for April 2010:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

An Ode to Enjo

Enjo Enjo, oh how I love Thee!
Enjo, so happy am I
Enjo Enjo, making my house clean,
Enjo, so glad I did buy!

Enjo Enjo, with kids in the shower
Enjo, I cleaned the whole room!
Enjo Enjo, I see Thy great power,
Enjo, not one scent did loom!

Enjo Enjo, a clean house is better,
Enjo, I owe it to Thee!
Enjo Enjo, if in doubt make wetter!
Enjo, I now love to clean!

I know it seems dramatic, but ever since I moved out and began cleaning my own home I have followed the same awful routine when cleaning my bathroom. I will now share it with the world...
1) Make sure all children are asleep and all bedroom doors are closed.
2) Put on 'cleaning T.Shirt and shorts'.
3) Enter bathroom, close door, open all windows, turn on exhaust fan. Remove all washing baskets, towels and bathmat from the room so they do not get marked.
4) Hold breath, spray entire shower with Exit Mold and walk out of bathroom. Put on gloves.
5) Two minutes later return to bathroom and while holding breath, proceed to scrub entire shower using 'Non-Scratch Super Scrub' metallic wipes.
6) Every 15-20 seconds run to window and breathe air deeply, hold breath again and continue scrubbing.
7) Once scum is removed, turn on shower and water down sides of shower. For areas that cannot be reached, fill small bucket with water and wash down all sides. Exit shower.
8) Using paper towel, wipe down all insides of shower until dry.
9) Using Windex, spray entire outside of shower and mirrors and using paper towels wipe until dry.
10) Return all towels, washing baskets and bathmats, then exit room, leaving all windows open and exhaust fans running for approximately two hours or until fumes subside.

Now for some, perhaps you are reading this and saying "Are you kidding me? That is ridiculous, you're obviously not cleaning your house properly or often enough". Well, to that all I can say is, you're probably right! I do struggle to clean my bathroom, particularly during the entire 9 months I am pregnant, and then finding a time when the girls are both asleep is tough. But even when I am not pregnant and the girls are both asleep, I still struggle to breath properly in the fumes that come from the only products that seem to work at all. And changing my clothes, using my oldest towels, removing any vulnerable items from the room... My goodness, I don't know how I did it for so long!

It might sound dramatic, but I actually do feel that tonight one part of my life has changed! While Vettoria had a shower, using my new Enjo products I wiped down the outside of the shower and cleaned the mirrors. Once she stepped out, I proceeded to wipe out the inside of the shower and dry it off, all just using the bathroom hand-held thingo and the cloth that comes with it (sorry, I can't remember their names!) . I then walked out not having turned on the fan, no windows open, and all the while Vettoria came and went as she pleased. She even helped me wipe it down at one point! In the past I have been fearful that she would actually grab hold of one of the cleaning bottles, let alone have her help me use them - no way!
My goodness, it is an absolute marvel and a breakthrough and I am so glad I was introduced to it. My first thought was "Hmm.. I dunno, it's seems expensive for cleaning products..." but I cannot put a dollar on the immense relief and satisfaction I feel that I am doing the best I can for not only my environment and my bathroom, but my family and for myself! I make a vow to keep my bathroom cleaner from now on because for once, I have NO EXCUSE!!
Kara, thank you for being brave enough to become an Enjo Consultant and I look forward to buying many more products from you in the future!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I need to join the B.A.A... ASAP!!

I don't know if it exists, but if it doesn't I think I'll have to launch a "Bloggers Addict Anonymous" (BAA) for people like me who blog too much! I just had an experience that confirmed this for me in an hilarious way. Get this:

I am sitting here on the couch with the laptop on my lap and Vettoria walked up to me. She wanted more of something I had, and asked "Can I have some more, mummy?". I was distracted by some things I was doing on the blog so I barely looked up, but knew she had said something. "Huh?" I said. "Can I have some more, mummy?" she said again. "Sure" I said and used my finger to move the cursor on the screen as far over to the left as I could, trying to 'reach' Tori. I sat there trying desperately to move the cursor further than the corner of the screen for about three seconds until I realised Tori is REAL! Just look up and give her what she wants! I'm not kidding! Somehow I thought I was handing her what she wanted and was wondering why it wasn't getting to her!
HAHA, SOOO Funny! I've been laughing about it all morning. Was this as funny for you as it was for me? Maybe it was a 'had to be there' moment... but I'm still laughing about it, and had to put it in! Hope it put a smile on your dial too!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Table Setting, Tori Style...

Last week while making dinner Vettoria was begging to help me in the kitchen. Apart from eat it, there was not a lot she could actually help with, so I asked her if she would like to set the table instead - would she ever! She was so excited to be a part of something so 'grown up', I actually had to hold back giggles as I told her what to do!
So as I continued chopping and prepping the dinner I gave her instructions on what to get and where to put it. It went a little something like this:
"Can you get the water and put it on the table?"
"Now we'll need some salt and pepper as well".

And then I looked up and could hold back my laughter no longer! It seems Tori followed my instructions a little TOO much to the letter....

Needless to say, I held back telling her to "put the tomato sauce on the table" even though it would have made for a great photo! But, Tori did actually get the knives and forks in the right position and has set the table every night since! Thank you Tori, you did a great job!

Better Homes & Gardens, Eat Your Heart Out!

On Saturday I finally got around to doing something I've been talking about for months. I planted a vegie garden! Thankfully my friend Kara gave me three Styrofoam boxes to plant them in, otherwise I knew I never would have dug up the backyard and actually done anything! So a BIG thank you to Kara for giving me the boxes!

So while Juan 'whippered' the backyard I took myself to Bunnings to check out my vegie options.... TOO MANY! Way too many! I wanted to get everything from spinach and squash to corn and cucumber but knew I would have to hold back until I could prove to Juan that I was capable of growing a few first (OK, OK, and prove it to myself as well!!). So I settled on a varety of herbs, some corn, peas, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and baby carrots.
I walked out spending about triple the amount I had intended and came home with lots of potting mix (which passers-by were very impressed I could lift so high into the trolley, I might add!), garden soil, a new pair of gloves, and even a little wall hanger thing for some added height. This would be fun! So I asked Tori if she would like to help me and we got to work!
So you know what I've discovered I love? Potting mix! I don't know if there is a difference between potting mix and soil, but potting mix seems light, moist and almost 'fluffy', whereas soil just seems like DIRT. I even preferred to keep my gloves off so I could feel the dirt in my fingers and the leaves and roots. Tori was happy about this because she hated the feeling of dirt on her hands and was relieved when I let her keep on the 'really cool' gloves. I think the gloves were actually her favorite part of the whole experience! I was very surprised about this because I know if it were a lizard or a crocodile she was asked to touch she would love it... interesting..
So, we potted and planted and had a great time, then moved everything out to the backyard where they now all sit in a 'Full Sun' position under the kitchen window. I am determined to make Juan's prediction that they will all be dead within two months not come to pass, so I'll have to read up a lot about vegie gardens and how to make them flourish. But for now, I will just water, fertilise, pick, and send them good vibes to out flow Juan's negative ones .....
...Grow, my pretties! Grow! Grow!! Grow!!!

4 Days, 3 Families, 2 Dinners, & WAY Too Many Easter Eggs!

Easter long weekend - how glorious it is! And how full on it is! This year's Easter has been a whirlwind of different events and emotions (and it's only Easter Sunday - its not even officially over yet!) This is Vettoria's second Easter but probably the first one she fully understands who the Easter bunny is and what he does. And understand, she does! He is the one who delivers the Eggs Eggs Eggs galore! Heaven bless the Easter bunny because he gives us lots of chocolate eggs! :-(

.... Ugh! SO over eggs...

Unfortunately Tori and Eadie have both been sick over this past week, but were still feeling up to going out to the Easter celebrations we had planned. It began on Friday afternoon when the we met with the extended Montes family sisters and brothers-in-law. Karla, Josh and the kids are over from Canada, and Carmen, Joe and the kids are down from Emerald, it was so great to spend some time with them. We met at a new found water park and what a great park it was! It's huge, green, located on the Brisbane river, and there are toddler pools and rivers running through fun little playgrounds with all sorts of things for kids to do. But if you don't want to sit and play, you can always walk around the paths and see the beautiful sights around the place. However, despite its beauty we just couldn't get those girls to smile in any pic! But check these out anyway!!

Next came Saturday. Juan spent the morning 'whipper-snippering' the backyard (thank goodness - it was a jungle out there!) and made me relieved I am not a guy when he said he saw three cane-toads living in there, things were trying to bite ankles, the more he snippered the more excited the birds in the trees became because of all the crickets.... YUCK!! Not my idea of a good time! So, instead I spent the morning shopping for vegetables - but that's a whole other post altogether! So I'll move on to the afternoon:

We made our way to my sister Alisha's place for the annual Easter Egg Hunt and dinner. This was the first year my parents weren't there, which was quite sad for all, especially the kids. We spoke to them on Skype and ever since, Vettoria must have had a memory relapse because she has been asking when we are going to go around to Grandma's house, more than once! :-( So we are really looking forward to their visit in a couple of weeks! Tori and the kids loved searching for eggs in the backyard and they each walked away with a lot more eggs than their little stomachs could handle! So, of course Juan and I have been helping Tori out with her's... Hey, I'm only looking out for my little one... think of the poor children!

Anyway, the dinner was delicious, the kids were cute, the house was huge, and the family was fun.. what more could we ask for?? Here's a couple of pics of Tori during the hunt!!

Unfortunately, Saturday ended with both girls feeling worse than they had all week, and Vettoria ended up at the hospital! Not fun. Although they both woke up looking and feeling better, we didn't go to church on Sunday (the one day the rest of the world DOES go!) but instead stayed indoors all day in the hope that whatever bug they had would leave their poor little bodies once and for all. It seemed to work and they were eager to go the Montes Family Easter Egg Hunt and BBQ that afternoon. So off we went to the park and the girls ran around again collecting MORE Easter eggs! But this time Tori loved it even more because she knew exactly what she was doing and even where she should be looking! So, off she went like a rocket and despite not feeling 100% she had a wonderful time. It was so great to see her playing with Elly and Sophia, her cousins from Emerald and Canada, who she only gets to see every year or so. It's crazy to see them all together, they have such a "Montes look", it's very cute. After that we ate Juan's burnt sausages (which tasted better than it sounds!) and had a great time catching up and laughing a lot. Here are some pics of the great afternoon:

And that concludes the Easter Egg Hunt Special Edition of our Easter weekend 2010 thus far! We hope yours was just as fun and family filled. Oh, and mum & dad, just know that we miss you and are thinking about you heaps! (especially Tori who I think has forgotten you live so far away! :-)