Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The fish are dead.

Both fish passed away yesterday between the hours of midday and 8pm. I don't exactly know what, but I think something happened during the tank cleaning process. What more could I have done for my fish? I do not know. But it's off, off to the pet-shop we go!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Eadie the Fish Wisperer???????

Those who know me well know I don't have the best reputation for keeping fish for very long. I LOVE having fish as pets. They are so pretty, I love feeding them and making their tanks looks all pretty. But I don't know what I do wrong that makes them all kark it between the 3-10 month mark. I check the water's alkaline levels, I make sure there are rocks for the 'good bacteria' to grow on, I add conditioner and even this other stuff that is supposed to help them. And yes, I feed them every day! I've been through a couple of different filters, tank sizes, fish varieties, you name it.  But they all seem to decide they have had enough of me and one day I find them belly-up on the top of the water.

For Vettoria's third birthday (last July) we bought Vettoria seven fish to put in a new tank. It was so exciting! She liked them a lot but I think I loved them even more...  But as the months have passed, sure enough they have been flushed away, one after the other (except for one that didn't go down and a visitor discovered it when they went to the bathroom... It didn't remain a secret from Tori for very long...).
By the four month mark we had two left... the remaining last two. Tori had all but forgotten about them, but I continue to 'look after' them and do the best I can to give them a good home.


Eadie has shown she also has an interest in looking after the fish. Every single day, in her sloppy but carefully structured toddler-talk, she asks me if she can stand on the chair and feed them. I agreed one day and gave her some fish pellets to drop in. Sure enough, within five seconds her hands were in the water and she was trying to touch them. I explained that we don't do that, etc, etc. The next day was better, but still resulted in water getting all over her hands and me cringing every time she managed to actually touch one of them.

But crazily enough, the fish are still alive, and I might even go so far as to add that I think they actually LIKE Eadie feeding them! I watch day after day as she climbs on the chair and gets into position to feed them. I put a small pile of pellets on the counter and she lifts them one by one and puts them into the water. She never does it the way I showed her, by dropping them from a height and letting them fall in - no, no. Instead, she places one pellet in the water and - I kid you not - PUSHES the pellet into the fish's MOUTH! Certainly not, you say? I kid you not! The fish swim up to her finger and practically WAIT for her to give it to them. It is a crazy thing to see. Of course she thinks it is the coolest thing ever and tries to pat them as they come to the surface. It freaks me out to watch, but I'm sick of fighting with her about it, and to be perfectly honest, I think the fish like it!

Could I, the "fish killer" have created a "fish whisperer"??? I'll keep you posted on their life span in the meantime..

The Proof is in the Picture!

So, you think I'm exaggerating when I say Eadie is a rampaging bully??? Well, I accidentally snapped a picture that proves I have reason for concern and frustration! I caught this act while we were photographing cute snaps for daddy's Christmas present. I was only able to take a couple of pics all up and this one was the last, as you can imagine. Tori with tears streaming down her face and Eadie frowning from getting into trouble wasn't really the look I was going for, so I decided to call it quits once I caught this one live:

I know, it would have been hilarious if Tori hadn't actually been hurt... Look at that wallop! Poor thing. She as just sitting there innocently posing and along came the hand.. I would cry if I wasn't laughing so hard at the memory.. hey, gimme a break, I'm at a loss here!  

But here are the three pics I was able to snap before it all hit the fan. The bottom one, needless to say, is the one we chose to give daddy for his present. Believe it or not, it was the best out of a bad bunch! And anyway, he loved it!

Good thing you're so dang cute Eadith Indiana!!!!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An Interesting Conversation

Tonight I had an awkward conversation with Vettoria... one that I wasn't sure whether to laugh hysterically about, or sit in a corner and cry over...

I had just slaved over a meal of chili-con-carne with rice and cornbread for dinner and I handed the bowls to the girls to eat. Vettoria took one look at it and said the word, "Yuck!" with a disgusted look on her face. She has been using 'yuck' and 'gross' a lot lately and I was about at the end of my rope with telling her how unacceptable her language was. So when she merely looked at the meal and said the offensive word, I had had enough.
"Excuse me!"  I said. "I am sick and tired of you saying that word every time I put a meal infront of you. It is very mean and rude! Now what do you say to mummy?"
"Sorry mummy", she said.
"What are you sorry for?" I pressed, wanting her to understand what she had done wrong.
"Um... that your food looks yucky..." she said after some thought.
I was kind of taken back at her WRONG response, so I tried again to help her understand why she was in trouble.
"No Tori, the food does not look yucky at all. Now I want you to apologise because you said it was yucky before you had even tasted it, and that is not very nice. I want you to say sorry for saying that. Now what do you say?"
Tori again took a short moment to think what to say.
"Mummy", she started. "I'm sorry that your food tastes yucky..."

All I could do was bite my tongue and try not to burst out laughing. There was no way I wanted to hear ANOTHER insulting 'apology', so I gave up there and then trying to get one. Instead, I tried not to smile and said "thank you", and hoped she got SOMETHING out of the experience. 

I'm still giggling about it,  if not a little depressed that my domestic efforts are not being appreciated, but I am pleased to say she at most of it despite everything. :-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Making the most of rainy days

With all the rain over the holidays our girls were (and still are) stuck inside while mum and dad were forced to think of interesting and exciting things to keep them occupied - not easy with two kids under four!! The worst is when Tori comes up to me and says, "Mum, can I do something fun?" I say "What would you like to do?" to which she replied, "YOU think of something..." and she stands there and taps her jawline with her index finger as if to help MY brain click faster to come up with something. Too much pressure!!!

But while Juan was on holidays he came up with a great idea. How about splashing outside in the puddles?  Our driveway had water all over it which were safe and perfect for the girls to play in. So, we dressed them up in their raincoats and headed out. Keep in mind we were not prepared for this type of weather, so our raincoats are probably not as 'professional' as some more hightech ones in areas where rain is more common, so we just worked with what we had.  Keep it in mind as you look at our adorable girls playing with their dad in the rain :-)   :

Of course it wasn't more than 2 minutes before Eadie managed to fall over in one of the deepest puddles and saturate herself completely. She thought it was hilarious, as did the rest of us!!

Daddy meanwhile, just had to remind the girls who was the Boss!!

But Tori got him back!!

And then got poor little Eadie.....AGAIN

 And - SURPRISE - Tori was the winner! :-)

Juan then used his engineering skills to create some cute little boats for the girls to race down the small rivers. They loved it!

All in all it was a great time while I stood comfortably under ther veranda snapping pics & keeping dry.
Bring on the wet-weather games!

Montes News Report

At the moment our state of Queensland is a natural disaster zone with multiple floods rising everywhere from Northern to Western QLD. We are located in the South East so the dangerous floods have not as yet hit our area, but it has been raining for weeks on end almost every day. The constant rush of water running outside out house and the sound of cars sloshing along the road have become familiar noises we hear daily.

Just today we had news reports from Toowoomba, a town less than 2 hours drive away, a small city where my parents lived during their first years of marriage. It was washed away by an 'inland tsunami' rushing through the city centre, causing multiple deaths along the way. As it is located in a highland mountainous area it was totally unexpected. It is just horrific.
Even Juan's sister and her family are in the flood-affected area of Emerald, located in north QLD. Their house is thankfully on stilts so the insides have not been affected, but everything on their street and under their house has been washed away. They were on holiday here for a couple of weeks while all this took place. Lucky for them a friend drove their second car, parked below their house up to his hillside property where it was kept safe. So Joe, Carmen, Elly and Noah are in our prayers and thoughts.

For us it is just a waiting game to see if the water is going to head south. Juan's work precinct has been put on alert as it sits on the Brisbane river way. The only positive about that situation is that his office is located in a high-rise building so he should be safe. My concern is more that he will be stuck there!
Meanwhile I am grateful our storage is up to date so that is one thing to calm my troubles nerves. The pipes at the front of our driveway have overflowed and bubbling away which makes me nervous, but of all the places in this State, our suburb is on the lower end of worrisome.

But I think I'll get some more bottled water anyway.... Will keep you posted.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Like Sister, Like Sister...

Eadie is proving quite the little copy-cat of Vettoria. And poor Vettoria is forced to be the example for her younger, very impressionable sister. Sometimes this is not a good thing - like when Tori decided "fluffies" and "poo-poos" are funny and we now face the struggle of getting BOTH of them to stop making jokes about them.. or when Tori began 'smacking' Eadie for being naughty.. now it's Vettoria who has to put up with Eadith coming up to her and saying "naughty girl!" and smacking her! Another is in the car when Eadie began singing to the CDs, and Tori told her to "stop singing!" Well, sure enough Eadie now tells Tori the same thing in exactly the same places. It drives Tori insane! (not to mention the listening parents in the front seat!) So Tori is learning the hard way that what she does to Eadie, Eadie will inevitably do in return to her before too long. 

But one bute example is during breakfast while they eat their cereal. I didn't teach her this by any means, but one day Tori decided to drink the left over milk out of the bottom of her bowl, like a cup. Eadie had noticed this over time and sure enough every morning the two of them proceed to sip the remaining milk out of their bowls as if on cue. I snapped somepics the other day and thought I'd share them:

Pregnancy Update - 30 weeks - COUNTDOWN!!!

So FINALLY I feel like I can actually start a countdown. I am not one to start it from 20 weeks as it just gets more depressing since the number is so far away! But 30 weeks is different. Only 10 more weeks to go! Yay!! I am so excited to have this belly removed from my body, but even more, to have my little baby in my arms. We have a name all picked out - and unless I have told you secretly, I apologise that i am not ready to publish it on the Internet at the moment.. So you will have to wait!

As for how it is all going, I guess I can't complain too much..... but I will nonetheless! I am SOOOO over being pregnant I can't say it enough! Sleeping is awful, and don't get me started about getting OUT of bed in the middle of the night to give Eadie water - again! I am sweating like a pig 24/7 and even Juan can't get over how I 'glisten', even in the evenings with the air conditioner on. I have put more weight on this pregnancy than with any others. Most of my clothes - even maternity ones - are... well, snug. BUT one good thing has come from this weight... see the cute maternity dress I am wearing in these pics? My sister Sarah sent it over from the States and I couldn't fit it in my first two pregnancies as it was always too big. But now it fits!! So looking at it from that positive perspective, it's a good thing! Nevertheless, I am totally excited tofeel normal again and have the means and energy to get on a treadmill and just jog away! I feel pretty sluggish and slow, so I'm really looking forward to being able to get myself out of it and start feeling healthy and energetic.

As for preparations for the Big Day, we haven't really thought much about it. What's there to think about now? We have two girls already, so clothes are FULLY taken care of. We have a cot and a cradle already, plenty of blankets... I guess I should get some newborn nappies to be prepared... I am going to wait til she is born before I decide whether to get a double pram straight away or experiment with a sling of some sort. I love the idea of getting one, but in all seriousness I think i will be so grateful to have the bulge OFF of me that the idea of still walking around with it literally attached to me might not be too appealing... We'll have to see. This time around we are pretty flippant with things. With the first one it's like "we have to have everything prepared well in advance, just in case the baby comes early! And it all has to be on hand for when we need it straight away!" But by the second it's like, "anything we don't have now we can get when during the over-due period...". But come the third, our attitude is more like, "if we decide we need it after all, we'll get it when mum is in the hospital...".

As excited as I am to have this little bundle of joy in my arms, there are things I am not looking forward to:
1) LABOR. I'm not very good at it. After Eadie (natural) right now all I can think is the word EPIDURAL over and over in my mind. But I have a copy of the book "Hypnobirthing" and I stare at it in my hands and desperately want to read it in the hope it will give me confidence to do this naturally again... while in the same thought I am terrified the book will convince me to actually GO NATURAL and I just don't trust myself to follow through with it and then it will be too late to get the epidural and I'll have to go through it all over again!! ARGH! And then I begin to panic and I put the book down not daring to open it up.. So yeah, not looking forward to THAT...
2) My hair falling out... it has grown a lot since my last baby and both Juan and I are not looking forward to the strands that will inevitably be strewn all over the shower, bed and carpet.... Sorry babe!
3) Feeding - Anyone who knows my history with this will understand why I have concerns. Nevertheless I plan to try again and see how we go this time. Although as a confident bottle-feeding mother of two, I am pretty sure I will have a bottle on hand just in case.
4) Toddler jealousy - I was worried about this with Tori, but she surprised me by being the perfect big sister to our new little addition. This time we have Eadie as the toddler of the house.... part of me is not worried at all. She is proving to us that she loves little babies and apart from the time she scratched poor 8 month old Olivia on the side of her nose, and that time she hit her over the head, that she is very gentle and loving toward them. So I am sure it will be fine.... But with Eadie you never quite know.....

Apart from all that, I have Sciatic pains in my upper legs; an hereditary condition given to me by my mum... thanks. It seems to be getting worse as the weeks pass. Cassandra and I haven't been to Aqua class in a few weeks due to the weather and holidays, so I'm not sure if the lack of exercise has anything to do with it or if the condition is just inevitable... not fun to say the least anyway.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the nesting thing has kind of begun... it never happened with any other baby, but this time I am constantly wanting to clean everything. Of course it could be the fact that my house is very messy anyway, so maybe I'm just getting sick of it (!!!), but I am pleased to say that even though I have little energy and moving can be difficult, I still feel the need to clean. Hopefully this desire will turn into action when the nesting time really hits!! ;-)

Anyway, I had Tori take these pics for me the other day so neither came out great, but you get to see the 30 week bump that is baby number three. Enjoy!