Monday, December 29, 2008

Life's a beach - Christmas #1

Beth had her very first Christmas, with a truly impressive present haul, most of which makes loud noise and is trying to teach her the alphabet. She seemed to like it a lot, while the real big hit was of course the cellophane wrap.

I still win the Christmas 2008 smackdown because I got this. Sooooooooooooo pretty, and rather fast even despite my wobbly jelly calves. I am planning to commute to work 2/3 of the time this year when I go up to three days in a probably vain effort to get some regular exercise and regain my former cut legs, oo er. So far I have only managed the Fernleigh track and Memorial Drive though (steep!). I must point out that this present is also evidence that I won the best husband award as well as Christmas 2008, as he not only managed to get this spunky 2008 model instead of the truly hidjus bamboo print 2009 model but also got a handsome discount to boot. And all of this in exchange for a couple of CDs. I love you, Grant! sorry your Christmas present sucked!

We have been hanging out in Newcastle and Beth has had lots of time with her grandparents, and with the cousins and aunties and uncles. She's really enjoyed having so much kid time, so New Year's Resolution #34534 (after buy Grant better presents) is to get her into a playgroup in our new neck of the woods.

Now that Summer has sort of finally hit, we are doing a lot more water stuff. Grant has been taking Beth to the Olympic Park pool, and she had a swim in the Manning River at Wingham, and a paddle at Horshoe Beach on Saturday (in the rain, no less) and yesterday had her first proper beach swim at Bar Beach. We put her down on the sand at the water's edge in her rashy with a naked butt, and she played with the wet sand for a while, then got hit with a wave, looked surprised, and promptly started crawling towards the water for more. There may have been some gleeful squeals, too. She was "swimming" (with our assistance of course) between both of us and really getting the kicking going. In short, she had a lovely time, and so did we. And afterwards we waited by the kiosk for fish and chips for several hours but they were good when they finally showed up. While we waited, Beth had another play in the sand with Susan, and apparently good times were had there too.

If you are after a family restaurant of the sort that provides free balloons and replaces same without being asked when your baby chews them until they pop (question - if she didn't then react to the noise, is this a sign she is a psychopath?), may I recommend the formerly oo er but now meals-come-with-crayons Blue Water Pizza on Queens Wharf in Newcastle? You're welcome!

Holidays with family have been lovely but we are not getting quite as much "nuclear family" time as we are used to, which feels a bit odd. We are heading back to Sydney tomorrow, so I guess then we will go back to the usual routine of cooked breakfasts and daytime naps!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Today Beth and I managed to get organised enough to go and get Beth's very first PHOTO WITH SANTA! She seemed utterly unfazed by the experience. I however was kind of freaked out by the thought that we would be going through this for years. I am not entirely sure on the lying to offspring about source of gifts thing, not least because really, I am not entirely sure on the whole gifts thing itself. Why can't we just give gifts when we would like to, and more importantly, when we come across something that would be perfect for a person, rather than what I am currently experiencing, aka Christmas 2008: Revenge of Christmas, what with quite a lot of shopping at gunpoint at the last minute.

If I didn't know what to buy you, you are getting a tin of biscuits. You're welcome.

Anyway, the Christmas pix turned out rather well, especially if you ignore the fact that Beth has a tiny bit of apple on her bottom lip in them. I feel that it adds authenticity. Really I am just impressed that with transport to and from the shops and a trip to IKEA as well as Santa and the bookshop, Beth sat on her butt contentedly snacking for 2+ hours without getting narky at all. Well, she did insist I buy her another rattle when I stupidly showed her the one I was getting for Wendy's baby (AWESOME RATTLE, might I add, so I don't really blame her).

On which topic: to date I have been rather smug about the modest amount of toys Beth has. I have only just realised that this is because she has neither had her first Christmas nor her first birthday, and she is about to have one immediately after the other. I suspect this is going to mean HELLO, PLASTIC CRAP! But since she has a marked fondness for plastic crap I will probably get over it in time and let go of my irrational prejudices against petrochemicals and other endocrine disruptors.

Other than the obtaining of biscuits to put in tins and of course the interminable wrapping process, I think I might now be just about finished with Christmas. Since I hadn't even started until Wednesday, the relief is immense.

I have had a reasonable week before Christmas. We haven't had the usual pre-Christmas rush at work at all, which is terrifying, but we're still partying away as if the GFC did not loom rack and ruin over our shoulders. I had a very swank client lunch on Wednesday, which Jan very kindly came down to mind Beth so I could attend. They apparently had a very nice time, but while Beth enjoys a tuna and cream cheese sandwich as much as the next gal, I think my lunch was probably better.

In other news, Beth has spent this week working on proper crawling and on cruising. She's now very solid at standing now. She still holds on to things for support, but doesn't need to lean on them, and can do it with only one hand. She's very pleased with herself and we're very impressed! Her proper crawling is quite slow and wobbly compared to her speedy commando crawl, but she is becoming more proficient and I am making sure to put her on as many uncomfortable surfaces as possible to demonstrate the wisdom of getting one's belly and elbows off the ground.

We're back in Newcastle for ground zero of the festive season and then back in Sydney for some well-earned relaxation time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Proof of Life

When Loz went back to work, I started taking photos of Beth with my phone to keep her in the loop throughout the day. Flicking through the photos, there are some quite cute ones in there. Not the best quality, but ok...

Here are some of my favourites...

UPDATE: for some reason, the right side of the photos have been cropped by Blogger, but you get the idea.

Beth at the top of the jungle jim in the park across the road, chuffed with herself for making it up the "climbing wall":

Trying to break out, or trying to break in?:

Peekaboo! (still one of her favourite games):

Beth falling asleep on the way back from the pool:
Crawling UP ON HER HANDS!:
Just looking so goddamn cute:
Admiring her awesome food platter:

Her first taste of Hungry Jacks ("not food"):
"Well, no, I am not actually asleep!":
"I'm coming to get you...":
Climbing Daddy jungle jim:
Beth tries to share her food...:

At the Donnelly family Christmas party, Beth received this plane from Richard and Carol. I wasn't sure if she would like the noises it makes (she's scared of the barking noises her Lamaze dog makes). Turns out I needn't have worried, she loves it!:

The full gallery can be found here.

You'll note that the severe majority of photos are of food or her eating. This is because it's the only time she is still and secure. The second most common theme is Beth coming to get the camera...

Oh, and there is this little beauty:

Loz had mentioned she had a nice lunch at the cafe, so I had to show her the laksa I got for my lunch...

Anyway, I'm still working through the "proper" photos, sorting and uploading, so hopefully I'll post about those soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

11 months

That's a smile, I swear

Beth is eleven months old. The astute will realise that that is 12 months - 1. In other words, HOLY CRAP. So many people told me in Beth's early weeks (aka nurse-a-thon 2008) that it went by so quickly. I thought they were just trying to say This Too Shall Pass but as it turns out they were just telling the truth. It seems like just yesterday that she smiled for the first time, that she was born (so happy and such a sad time for all of us, stuck in that hospital), that I was pregnant, that we were in England, that we were swanning about bits of Europe with her just a tiny passenger, not even a bump.

And at the same time, it feels like she has been with us forever. We are so proud of her. I should get her birth certificate framed or something because I am WAY more smug about that than the four testamurs now gracing the dining room.

Let's see, recent developments:
  • Beth babbles "dada" specifically, to Grant. He may have lorded it over me about this for a while, but...
  • Last weekend, she started babbling "mummum" and almost immediately started doing it specifically, to me. Now I will admit she doesn't do it as often as "dada" and really only does it when she wants something, but since she only previously made the "mum" noise while screaming, I'll take it.
  • She can now pull up very quickly on just about any object, and has started to lean less. She's also started to cruise along things like her cot, but not very quickly.
  • She has two new teeth (top outer middle).
  • We have travelled every weekend for the past 3, and she still hates portacots, probably exacerbated by the teeth.
  • She is always very excited to see her grandparents, and has now started leaning towards them from me for cuddles.
  • She is getting way more interested in toys. She gave her Lamaze chime garden a real workout this afternoon, and monkey puppet continues to be a favourite, and she has been looking at her books in her bedroom periodically all day.
  • Contemporaneously with the above, she is getting much better at entertaining herself, albeit not so much today as the teeth are making her a bit of a sooky pants.
  • She's hovering around the 10kg mark, which since she was 9kg at 6 months isn't particularly impressive, but she is a freakishly tall 77cm or so.
  • She has an array of smiles, from winsome to the above, which shows off all six chompers and is usually accompanied by a growl. Don't mess with Beth, peoples; she may bite (OK, she DOES bite, I have a mark still healing).
Off to Newcastle-Wingham-Newcastle this weekend. The Wingham Country Club is being temporarily renamed Wingham House of Donnellys for the occasion. Should be fun!

How have you been?