Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 7. 15 Oct 2009 . Thursday

Still updating the travelblog one month later. Sigh. Been spending time after the girls sleep preparing for my "little architecture" class which I teach twice a week to a bunch of high energy 5-6 year olds.

We drive back towards Denmark to Fonti Farm. Picturesque "farm" setting, actually a large petting zoo for kids. Ellie and Cait absolutely love the animals. Ellie's favourite animals are the kangaroos. "I want to take one home". Caitlin loves her "Babbits" (rabbits). I love the Alpacas- so furry and adorable and as soft as a soft toy. The animals are all slobbery eaters and we get animal spit all over our hands.

Next, lunch at Bucketts Hill Wines/Denmark Farmhouse Cheese overlooking hilly vineyards. We have crackers, bread and cheese for lunch. Ellie and Caitlin's favourites. We never make this sort of lunch at home and they gobble it down. The award-winning cheese is amazingly fragrant, woody, rich and creamy. Ellie and Cait make new friends after lunch and play "What is the time Mr Wolf".
Here is Caitlin with pampering herself with sunscreen.

Then a long detour to Green's Pool. We didn't know that it was only 5mins from the Fonti Farm turn off, and drive 20mins down to the tourist bureau in Denmark Town to get directions only to have to drive back down again. So much for (not) planning. Green's Pool is as beautiful as the tourist guide makes it out to be. Although the water is crystal clear and icy cold (to me at least) there are people (children included) swimming in the lagoon.  This is where we should have spent the longer part of the holiday. In the vicinity of Albany-Denmark-Walpole.

And this is us. Chilling out in one our last night in our new little "home". KM got the camera linked up to the TV. The girls are thrilled to see themselves live on TV.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Breakthroughs. Several. The first-The Ellie and Caitlin Relationship.  Ellie has mellowed a lot- she's a lot more sensible about having her little sister share her parents and they play together quite independently until of course one someone decides to play it her own way. And now, quite often, it is Caitlin who puts up a fight and wants to do it her way. The breakthrough is that Ellie has lately become more conciliatory and is "giving way" to her little sister. A big step for some one so fiesty and strong-headed.

Just the other day after the bath we had Caitlin insisted on using a purple towel Ellie was using and was kicking up a big fuss. I asked Ellie to share her towel with Meimei and she did. She dried herself and then passed it to her little sister. Big step.

The second, our daily piano practice. Its been half a year since Ellie and I started going to her MYC (Music for Young Children Music Class). Have I blogged about this before? It is accompanied and very rigorous. Ok the class it pretty fun for the child but the stress is on the parent to cultivate (not impose) daily practice and homework routine. Now which three year old will willingly sit at the piano a hammer out the 2 or 3 pieces he/she is supposed to play. And on top of that revise the dynamics, piano and rhythm patterns learnt in the class. And then hope the child will participate and get the right answers during each weekly class. Maybe its me the perfectionist.  It took four months for Ellie to sit at the piano and at least play something without having her hands go all limp on the keys or making some excuse or other not to play. (those first four months were dark piano playing days-don't know how I got through those. well, sticker rewards did help and definately God's grace) And now six months into the class,

Me: Ellie, piano time!
Ellie: Ok mummy. (and she climbs up the seat to play)

(I pray that this will be something that will happen day after day from this point on)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 6. 14 Oct 2009 . Wednesday

We head to the Tourist Bureau first thing in the morning. I ask the lady at the counter what we should see if we have only 2 days in Albany. She marks the scenic routes and spots we should head to in a green highlighter and we head off. Before that, a trip to a shoe shop for a pair of walking shoes to replace my addidas whose soles are peeling off. We drive to Mount Clarence (for a view across Albany), Princess Royal Fort (an old fort-we missed the views if there were any because it was just too much trouble getting the girls in and out of the car again) then head down to Emu Point, where we stopped for a yummy fish and chip lunch at the (another)beach. Although we find ourselves visiting beaches everyday, we never tire of them- the spectacular views, crashing waves, chilly winds, white powder fine sand.

After lunch and more shell picking we head for the Albany Wind Farm. Didn't think I would be interested in looking at man-made wind turbines,  but these giant pinwheel-looking structures are awe-inspiring up close, and the views across the bay pretty amazing. The girls are fast asleep by the time we get there so KM and I take turns with the camera to get pictures from the look out points.

We drive back to our little apartment for dinner. Two days in this apartment and it already feels like home.