Friday, June 28, 2013

E at 39 months

Indulge me, internet, whilst I ramble about our lovely little bundle who is three years and nearly three months old.

She is a chatterbox. She talks in full sentences with only an occasional mispronunciation, grammatical error or misused word. One of her funniest repeated malapropisms is, when interrupted at play, shrieking "stop it! You're destroying me!" Speaking of shrieking, she is almost incapable of speaking quietly. Everything takes place at full roar.

She is gradually learning letters and numbers. She can count reliably up to about 10 and can recognise "E" ("E for me! that's my letter!") and "M" for Mummy and "D" for Daddy. I learnt recently that the word for the ability to accurately recognise or judge the number of objects in a group is "subitise" - anyhow, she can do that for up to four items.

She started 3 year old kindy at Moerlina School two mornings a week this term and loved it from the start. We were so relieved as she never really enjoyed daycare. As we are all onto our third cold for the winter (and it's not even the end of June!) we are also really relieved that D's parents are happy to look after E on a Monday morning instead of her going to daycare. Now that she is at kindy we don't worry so much about her needing time with other children and are just happy to cut down the number of germy noses and fingers she is exposed to each week.

Her imagination appears to be in constant overdrive and she entertains the kindy teachers by announcing who she is each morning. The most frequent characters have been elephants from Barbar (Isabelle, Flora, Celeste) but Angelina Ballerina also makes regular appearances. Interestingly, given how imaginative she is, she has become more demanding about play. I feel as though six months ago she was much more capable, or possibly just willing, to play on her own for short periods. Now she wants constant company and interaction.

She goes easily to bed in the evenings and reliably sleeps from about 6:00/6:30pm for a good 12 hours. The trade-off is that day sleeps are completely a thing of the past.

Her favourite foods are still, unquestionably, pasta and fruit. However, she is becoming more willing to eat red meat - lamb chops and meatballs were recent hits.

She has times when she really enjoys other children's company and times when they simply frustrate her and she cannot understand why she has to share or take turns. During these time she is a real little charmer and pushes and shrieks and snatches. She claims she does not like little boys and is developing favourites among the girls at kindy. She talks in the most heartbreaking manner about "my best friend so-and-so" but I don't think she properly appreciates the concept of "best friend."

She is frustrating and endearing all at once. She has completely selective hearing when it comes to instructions or requests she doesn't want to hear. She has learnt how to bargain "just one more minute Mummy" - accompanied by waggling finger. She does scarily dangerous things without any appreciation of how dangerous they are (running down the driveway at full speed towards the street and attempting to jump out of the pram at the traffic lights are two examples from today). When she is silly with tiredness she runs naked from the bath,  jumps onto her bed and hides under her blankets, still dripping wet, giggling delightedly. Thirty seconds later she has a meltdown because she doesn't want to brush her teeth. Then she demands "all the kisses" and tells a story (Daddy's particular bedtime routine) and sits on my lap and cuddles me and pats my face whilst I sing hush-a-bye-baby. Then D and I escape out the door and I am both overwhelmed by love for her and overwhelmed by relief that she is safely in bed for the night.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Central Coast Holiday

A few weeks ago we had a holiday on the NSW Central Coast. We went primarily for one of my oldest friend's weddings but stayed a few extra days to make a little holiday out of it. Mum and Dad were there too as they were also good friends with the bride's family way-back-when.

The Central Coast is the region that surrounds Gosford and the Hawkesbury River, about one to two hours north of Sydney. It is dramatic, beautiful and varied country: a mixture of mountains, heavy forest and beach but also some pretty decent sized towns. We stayed in a rented holiday house in Copacabana. It came complete with trampoline, swing set, bunk bed and boxes of toys to use so E was happy, and so we were we as we packed minimal entertainment for E her in anticipation. We'd recommend it to anyone with kids who needs someone to stay in the area.

The wedding was held at a luxury holiday house/function centre on a bush block just outside Copacabana.

The bride and groom, most of their immediate families and some of the many bridesmaids were all able to stay onsite, and the guests were able to enjoy not having to drive between the ceremony and reception. I have known the bride since we were about seven years old and was very pleased to be able to go to her wedding and meet her lovely little boy.

The next morning we trundled down to Avoca Beach for breakfast at surf club cafe. 

Breakfast with a view
We, especially E, were big fans of Avoca Beach. It was grey and cool for most of our holiday (either that or absolutely pouring with rain) but E did not care. She had a wonderful time on the beach - was just joyous to be let loose on the sand, rockpools and in the water.

Run run running
Although the waves were rough enough for surfers the entry to the water was flat and shallow for a long way, and the rockpools were perfect for toddler investigations.

The third day was dismally wet but we ventured out to meet my sister and her fiance (who have recently moved to Sydney) at Berowra Waters for lunch. This involved braving the Pacific Highway in blinding rain and then inching our way down a crazily steep mountain road to get to a ferry crossing.

On the other side of the river was a marina and a seafood buffet lunch! 

We were reluctantly impressed by the low price of food/drinks in NSW (it's apparently all because of pokies). Probably the best example was this lunch - an adult seafood buffet was $50 and a child's serve was $6 and E certainly got her money's worth, eating close to her own body weight in calamari.

Our fourth day we started close to home with breakfast at the Copacabana surf club. It really is a beautiful part of the world:

This day it was actually sunny so we followed breakfast with some more beach time (and this time had the brains to take E's bathers).

Further taking advantage of the good weather we then headed for the Australian Reptile Park which is near Gosford. One of the star attractions is Hugo the Galapagos tortoise who is 160ish years old. The park actually has much more than just reptiles - it has a big Tasmanian devil breeding program, koalas, kangaroos and dingoes.

To turn the day into a complete animal marathon we finished up with the reptiles then hooned off to The Entrance to see the daily pelican feeding.

E fell asleep in the car and was quite surprised to wake up
and find herself surrounded by these big beasts.
Our very last day we drove back to Sydney and squeezed in a quick Taronga Zoo visit with Aunty S before the airport and home.

The best view of elephants in the world
We enjoyed our holiday. Travelling with a small person is getting easier and easier. With Aunty S living in Sydney we anticipate some more NSW trips in the near future. 

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