Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Sydney Swans

In this part of the world we're approaching Finals Season in a number of sports. As Anna hasn't been following too closely, when she saw the advert for the Sydney Swans final this weekend she, understandably, mentioned she didn't know that they'd made the final. However, the AFL, makes use of a system (very strange to those not familiar with it) which is a minor variation on the McIntyre Final Eight whereby a game called a final might not cause either team to be knocked out of the competition!

Aside from that confusion we had a relatively quiet day, Anna and Caitlin went to their mother-and-baby group, and we finally got around to going shopping. The next fun looks like it's going to be trying to decide which high-chair to get for Caitlin - any suggestions?


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Tuesday, August 30, 2005


News Story

Anna and Caitlin went to music class again this morning, and stopped in for a coffee with some other mothers afterwards. Although I didn't see it with my own eyes, Anna also said that Caitlin had (for the first time) appeared to grasp the concept of peek-a-boo when they were playing together in the afternoon.

When we took Anna to her course in the evening, there were lots of police around guarding the entrance to her design school - turns out they were, in fact, there for the Forbes Global CEO Conference; I guess my invite must have got lost in the post.


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Monday, August 29, 2005

Too Much Cricket

Matthew Hoggard is ecstatic, England v Australia, Trent Bridge, August 28, 2005

The weekend went much as expected - Anna was out on Friday, and we all went to the barbecue on Saturday. I was under strict instructions from Anna not to mention the cricket (at that stage Australia were 5-99 in their first innings) to any of the other blokes there but, as someone who has probably watched too much cricket in my time, I was only too well aware that England have a habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Although the weather wasn't great, we all had a good time, and it was interesting to see just how different all the babies (born within a month of each other) were.

Today, Anna has been very busy looking after Willow and Caitlin, especially as Willow has a bit of a cold at the moment, so was wanting more attention than normal. So, when I got home, Anna jumped in the shower to freshen up a bit before I drove her into the city for her evening course.


posted at 9:12 pm   0 comments

Friday, August 26, 2005

Ahead of the pack

Trail Map

Having set the trail for last nights' run on Wednesday evening, our job for last night was to point the pack in the right direction at the start and head over to Snails Bay with some port, to hand out as people came past. After the run was finished, we all headed up to the William Wallace Hotel to tuck into our roast dinners. However, contrary to my earlier conversation with the chef, the staff behind the bar seemed to have been expecting us sooner. After some confusion and a little negotiation, everything resolved itself and dinner was soon on its way.

For the weekend ahead:

Finally, the folks at Google have verified some more of the videos I uploaded, so there are now a couple more available for viewing if you click on the video link at the top.


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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Homo Erectus

Caitlin sitting up

Anna and Caitlin went out to their mother-and-baby group yesterday and, after they returned, Anna placed Caitlin on her playmat. Although Anna had to help her get into position, she was able to sit up without flopping over for the first time! On the way back home Anna had also stopped into our local baby shop, One Fish Two Fish, as they have a sale on at the moment and she managed to snaffle a couple more suits at a good price.

When I got home, we were quickly off out again to set the trail for the run tonight; Anna was carrying Caitlin in the Baby Bjorn and she soon dropped off to sleep. Anna could tell that she had dropped off because Caitlin seemed to weigh more - seems odd doesn't it, since she doesn't actually weigh any more when she goes to sleep.


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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Improved Service

Flickr Sets

Anna decided to try and offer Caitlin some mashed banana and yoghurt yesterday, and it was an instant hit as she took to it straight away. Anna left me about half-a-cup of the mixture for her evening meal, and she wolfed it down very happily.

Meanwhile, Anna has progressed from flower to figure drawing on this module of her course. The main lesson to learn being around getting the right proportions for the parts of the body.

On a separate thread, I've recently signed up for a flickr account and will be slowly migrating all of our photos there. The nice thing about the service is that, as well as providing lots of functionality, we can archive the original photos without any loss in quality, and these (original-quality photos) are also available for you to download. The flickr item in the header navigation bar will take you directly there...


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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Book or Toy?


I forgot to mention yesterday that, at her second attempt, Anna was successful in getting her Australian driver licence - I'm assuming that she'll now be very keen to drive me all around Sydney, stopping at as many pubs as I like...

Anna was looking after both Caitlin and Willow again yesterday, so most of her day was spoken for there. When I got home Caitlin was in bed and Anna was practicing the violin before heading out for her evening course. Shortly after Anna left, Caitlin woke up for some attention, so I read her a story from one of her new books. It's not easy to tell if she enjoys being read to or not at the moment, as I sit her between my legs and hold the book in front of her so that she can see the pictures while I read. The end-result of this positioning being that she normally tries to bat the book and, if possible, get a corner into her mouth - in case you're wondering, yes, it is tricky to read while she's doing that!

After some food, drink and a bath she then settled quite quickly into what turned out to be a long sleep. We've become accustomed to her waking somewhere between 4 and 5 in the morning, but today she didn't wake until around 6:15. As we're used to her normal timing, Anna woke up earlier than Caitlin and couldn't resist the temptation to go and check that she was OK - which, of course, she was.


posted at 9:53 pm   2 comments

Monday, August 22, 2005

Building Blocks

Miffy Stacking Blocks

With Fathers Day approaching, at least here in Australia, we spent Saturday doing a little shopping for everyone. I got an mp3 player to use while exercising and travelling on public transport, Anna got a new belt, and Caitlin got some stacking blocks and some new books for us to read to her.

On Sunday, after I'd been for a run, we all headed off to the local swimming pool to give Caitlin her first taste of swimming. She was a little hesitant at first, but she soon got into the feeling of splashing her hands around and soaking us all. The aquatic centre also offers a range of programs, including a couple designed for introducing babies to water which we might check out further. Then, just before Anna headed off for her orchestra rehearsal, Nana & Grandpa Staines called to get us up-to-date on their Dorset holiday (now complete), and pass on their latest news.


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Friday, August 19, 2005

Stomping Ground

Daffodil Day

Anna had a successful day looking after Willow and Caitlin yesterday, as they both slept when they were due to and generally allowed her a little spare time. Similar to their music class, Anna also played the piano to them, with typical but differing reactions:

In the evening, I headed over to my old stomping ground of Paddington to attend the evenings', rather short, run. The details are also starting to emerge regarding the upcoming trip to Bundanoon that we hope to take part in, assuming that we can organise some suitable accommodation.


posted at 10:25 pm  

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Something to Eat?

Messy Caitlin

After spending the start of the week as ships passing in the night, I thought it would be nice for us all to head out for a quiet meal last night. So, once Caitlin had been fed (not as messy as the photo above) and bathed, we headed out to the Riverview Hotel to check out their food options. Once we'd negotiated our way inside, we found out that the current food options are none at all, which wasn't a great start but, undeterred, we decided to continue our walk around Balmain to the Dry Dock Hotel as we know they do food.

The curious thing, however, is that the place is always incredibly quiet (aside from tivia night on Thursdays) so that you can't help but wonder how they stay in business. The food was quite good, not fantastic, but it was nice to enjoy a relaxing evening out, as Caitlin had soon drifted off to sleep in her pram and didn't wake up until we were heading home.


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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Trying hard

Caitlin on the rug

Caitlin has started to show more determination in trying to figure out how to move herself around. Over the weekend, she tried a variety of leg-kicking attempts, but all to no avail as yet. She has also started to make a more deliberate biting motion with her jaw than she has before, we're not sure if this may be related to some teething activity...

Anna, meanwhile, unsuccessfully visited the RTA to try and sort out her driving licence; but she didn't have anything that met their criteria for verifying her address. Apparently, she is no longer required to sit the Driver Knowledge Test that I took when I got mine last year (all theory, so no actual driving). After denying her paperwork the official also advised that, since we've had permanent residency for more than 3 months, she's not allowed to drive (here) until she gets her Aussie licence.


posted at 9:44 pm   0 comments

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Full Speed Ahead

Anna has been fully occupied for the last couple of days, as she was looking after Willow, as well as Caitlin, yesterday - as well as trying to finish off her design assignment. Then today, they headed off to their music group with some of the other mothers, as well as trying to get in some violin practice. I have a sneaking suspicion that I get off easily being the one who gets to go to work, but obviously I can't tell Anna that...

Anna has still been feeling the last remnants of the after effects from her run at the weekend, but she definitely seemed to enjoy getting out in the sun for the fun; and I enjoyed the pub crawl on the Friday beforehand. Apparently, we've all been invited to a mothers group barbie next week, which will be the first time I will have met most of the mothers (and fathers), so that should be good fun.


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Monday, August 15, 2005


Runners start the 35th annual Sun-Herald City to Surf

As Caitlin celebrated becoming six months old, the first task for the weekend was to take back her capsule-style seat, and replace it with one that allows her to look forward when riding in the car. She seems to really like the new seat, as it allows her to keep an eye on more things, and Anna spotted her straining to look around the passenger seat to watch the action in front of us. Second, as Caitlin is now eating more solid food, was to invest in a blender to allow for easy preparation of vegies etc.

Sunday was focussed on the annual Sydney city-to-surf run - although Anna's feeling rather stiff this morning, having not had the opportunity to do much training, she did very well to run the complete 14km course.


posted at 9:45 pm   1 comments

Friday, August 12, 2005

Carry on Doctor

Anna took Caitlin to the doctors' for her six-month check-up, and series of injections. Although she cried a bit following the injections, everything else went well and she has been given the thumbs-up.

The coming weekend will be dominated by City-to-Surf preparations and activities, as Sydney tends to get lots of visitors coming to enjoy the spectacle. Anna is going to be participating in the run itself, and I'll be involved in some of preparations (to be more precise, the annual pub crawl that we do) and heading over to Bondi with Caitlin to meet up with Anna when she arrives.


posted at 10:04 pm   0 comments

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sad Shoes

In an effort to try and get Caitlin to keep her socks on, a currently pretty futile aim, Anna bought her some new shoes to wear, which she was very interested in having not had the opportunity to explore laces before.

As I mentioned earlier, Caitlin has a habit of sticking out her bottom lip before she starts crying, and Anna has now developed something of a fascination with trying to capture this in a photo. The example below is probably the closest effort so far...

Sad Shoes


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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Playing Catch-up

The only problem with taking photos, is that I inevitably get behind with loading them up on to the web for general consumption - although that's a pretty small price to pay. So, here we go with a round-up of (some of) the photos so far this month...

Caitlin in the new suit that we received from my Mum:

New Suit

The wedding we attended last weekend:

Pippa and Randy

On our way to Palm Beach, we took a few photos overlooking Bilgola:

Trip to Palm Beach


posted at 10:32 pm   0 comments

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Design continues

Anna and Caitlin went to their music appreciation lesson again this morning, which they both enjoyed apart from when one of the other babies started gurgling at Caitlin. Apparently, she did her classic bottom-lip-stuck-out followed by some crying - the nice thing about this age, however, is that it's fairly easy to distract them with something, and they forget they were crying five seconds ago!

Once I got back home, Anna was off out to her design course where they have been continuing the work on their assignments. Anna has got her concept pretty much set now, and has a number of the drawings pretty clear in her mind. Hopefully, Caitlin will allow her enough time to get everything done for next week.


posted at 10:43 pm   0 comments

Monday, August 08, 2005

Mostly to plan

End of Edgbaston Test

Most things went pretty much to plan over the weekend, on Friday night we took Caitlin around to her sitters, Kerry and AJ, before heading out to the restaurant to join our friends for dinner and belly-dancing.

Freshwater Beach

On Saturday, we headed over to Freshwater Beach (above) to attend the wedding of some friends, Pippa and Randy. The weather worked out really well, and we had a great afternoon and evening eating, drinking and well-wishing from the Surf Life Saving Club (which is the big building just back from the beach in the photo).

Palm Beach

Sunday, as the weather was continuing its remarkably un-winter-like sequence of late, we headed to Palm Beach (above) for a laze around on the beach, and dipped our toes in the sea - in case you didn't know, this is where the beach scenes for Home and Away are shot, and is around an hour drive from us.

The only thing that didn't go quite as expected was the final day in the cricket, but thankfully England got the result that they probably earnt in the first three days.


posted at 9:44 pm   0 comments

Friday, August 05, 2005

Tea for Two


Anna was fully occupied looking after both Caitlin and Willow yesterday, although she did manage to juggle them pretty well as she only had one ten-minute period where they were both demanding attention simultaneously. Also, Willow was asleep when her mother called, so Anna could quite honestly say that she was both fine & sleeping happily.

It was just I who headed out for the run yesterday around Rockdale (see picture above), which is slightly further from the CBD than we normally run; but with frequent train services it wasn't too tricky to get to. As it is fairly close to the airport, we also had a good view of the airplanes as they screamed overhead.

Tonight, Anna and I are going out to dinner with some friends to celebrate a couple of birthdays; and tomorrow we're headed off to some friends' wedding in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney - hopefully we'll have enough time to catch a bit of cricket in between!


posted at 9:56 pm   1 comments

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Rodin's Thinker

Anna and Caitlin headed off to their mother-and-baby group again yesterday, and afterwards they brought Willow back home with them to have her final visit before Anna starts looking after her during the day, today. I'm sure Anna is going to be very busy with two six-month-olds after her attention!

Once I got back home after work, we spent much of the evening brain-storming ideas for Anna's current design assignment. Although I'm not sure that we've reached a final concept, we did manage to come up with some off-the-wall ideas.

Finally, as we've been pretty lax about exercising recently, we've decided to institute the following regime:

I wonder how long we'll be able to stick to this!


posted at 10:03 pm   0 comments

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Flower Arranging

Day of the Triffids

Anna and Caitlin made their first trip to music class yesterday, where they spent half-an-hour learning such classics as The Wheels on the Bus - here are some more if you're feeling nostalgic. We've always sung a few songs to her, but I'm sure that expanding her range is a good thing.

Anna headed off for her design course in the evening, where she received her first assignment - use parts of the flower drawings to invent two characters, where they live and how they move around. Anna quickly came up with an idea, which she discussed with one of her fellow students, only to have that student say "yeah, that's a good idea" and start doing the same thing! So, Anna is now keen to come up with a separate idea, to avoid any appearance of collusion.

Finally, here are a couple of links to some interesting images that I saw today:


posted at 10:22 pm   1 comments

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Routine Explained

The real reason why I have been more than happy to watch Caitlin recently, my head cold, is now almost a thing of the past. Anna and Caitlin's maladies are also close to having run their course, so we'll hopefully soon be a fighting-fit family again.

Caitlin was lucky enough to receive some new clothes in the post from Nana Hughes (or is that Grandma?), and she asked me to pass on her thanks for the new t-shirt and trousers - we'll post a picture in the new outfit soon.

At her design course last night, Anna continued with the current theme of refining the various sketches that she has been working on. Once complete, the next step (she believes) will be trying to recreate them using Adobe Illustrator - hopefully I can twist her arm to help me come up with a more polished design for this site sometime!


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Monday, August 01, 2005

New Routine

Saturday Stroll

Although it has been sunny in Sydney for the past couple of weeks, this weekend the temperature also rose a little which meant that it was perfect weather for strolling around Darling Harbour and getting a glimpse of the Organic Expo and Boat Show. Click on the picture above for some pictures from our tour.

Anna managed to establish something of a routine for the weekend:

Anna is off to her graphic design course this evening - any guesses what I'll be doing?


posted at 9:03 pm   1 comments