notes from here and there


How to break in a new dress

 Thanks Grammy for the new dress.
Thought you might like to see how the new dress got broken in. Sophia and I went on an outing the Queensland Art Gallery. We mostly stayed in the Children's area, drawing film clips and watching cartoons from the 30's. Somehow this was related to the American Impressionist exhibit from the Met. We did read some nice books in the reading nook about children growing up in New York during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I was hoping to share some new information about New York since we're heading there in December. We had a lovely afternoon first taking the ferry to the city and meeting Carl for lunch at the museum. But after much intellectual stimulation, it was time for a tea break and a proper romp on the hill. The gardens and lawns around the museums are lovely and I think they are well suited for little girls to run up down and, of course, roll. So the dress was well loved and well worn.
 View of the Gallery of Modern Art. 
 Lawn overlooking the river. 
 Another view of GoMA.
 Me and the munchkin.
Parting shot.


Little Ballerina

Sophia after ballet class. She loves the standard issue purple and she gets to wear ballet shoes!


Picture this

I love opening my notebook and finding surprise pages of Sophia's drawings. Here she drew me, Carl and herself and me again, (I think). I can see her work is becoming more and more detailed with high heels (she keeps hoping I will wear them), ear rings, hats and bracelets. She has also developed a real interest in reading and learning her letters and numbers. Because she is now one of the oldest in her class, I notice she likes to show off to her friends how well she writes and draws. She used to be frustrated about her writing and I'm happy to see her excited about learning and feeling confident about school. 


Recently I upgraded Blogger and now the formatting is all wrong and I'm frustrated with uploading pictures and editing text. Why did I bother? Now I have to figure it all out again. Bloody hell.


Princess Lea comes for Father's Day

Princess Lea

Sophia styled her hair the other day and I had to take a picture. It was so cute. When we got to Sea World she wanted me to take the buns out but I couldn't without scissors, she had so many rubber bands in she wore her hair like this all day. I love her spunk. I really do. I just wonder how Clayfield will like it. Is hair a part of the uniform I wonder? We'll find out. Information night and conferences are coming up soon.

I really hate to admit going to Sea World to celebrate Australia's Father's Day. You know my feelings about theme parks. Ugh. The lure for me was the polar bears, which unfortunately, I did not photograph. I was too enthralled watching one swim back and forth, doing flips, and blowing bubbles under water while his mate looked completely bored by all the antics. We could watch from above or below the water. I have never seen a live polar bear before, so one point for Sea World. (Or maybe two, because of this huge sea turtle (below). Plus, the penguins were pretty cool. Oh, and the dolphins. I love dolphins no matter what. So maybe that's four points.)

Tortoise at Sea World

Father's Day at Seworld's Sesame Street attraction.


Springbok Supporter

On Saturday we took the bus to Suncorp Stadium to watch the Australian Wallabies wallop the "number 1" rugby team, the South African Springboks in the Tri Nations Tournament. Sophia was so excited to go to her first rugby match with her dad, she made a sign (unprompted) to wave in the stands. So in case you are wondering, she wrote hieroglyphics. On the left is her dad, the fan. That's a Springbok in the middle. "#1" on the right. And of course, the artist's signature. As South Africa trailed behind, the sign was stuffed into the backpack and new allegiances were made. We are truly becoming a Tri Nations household: Carl/Springbok; Sophia/Wallabies (as long as they are winning); Me/All Blacks (in lieu of America and the haka).


Things Aren't Always Bigger in Texas

This lizard is bigger than my shoe and they run around like gekkos. 
I've been told they can bite but I haven't verified that information yet.


Everyday is like Sunday

At the cafe at the State Library.
The library has little nooks and crannies like this one. Places to hang out, study, read, whatever. You can sit inside or out. I love it. It's the definition of Public Architecture. 
 The riverwalk on the south side of the river connects all the museums, library and performing arts center. 
It is on both the north and south side of the river and goes for over 20 kilometers (maybe more? 
I'm trying to find out exactly how far it really goes.)

 For us, Monday is like Sunday minus the people. Last Monday, Sophia and I had an awesome day at the Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland State Library. After an hour of computer time in the children's corner of the Library, Sophia and I ventured back to GoMA for more paper dolls. (I did make a promise that we'd go back!) I swear we made paper dolls for over two hours, maybe three. I have no idea. Sophia made at least seven dolls. Eventually I lost count. After the paper dolls we perused some of the galleries. Sophia enjoyed a giant size sculpture of a woman sitting up in bed with a pensive look on her face. Try explaining to a five year old why someone would make an object like this...even as an artist, I don't really have an answer to explain the curiosity of it. Face it, it's certainly more interesting than the usual paintings you find in a gallery. 

Sophia chasing pigeons at GoMA.
Our day started with a quick drive to New Farm park so we could take the Citycat to Southbank. I love taking the ferries. It's just so relaxing to get on a boat and float on a river, passing houses and buildings, and going under bridges. It was cold and rainy Monday morning so we didn't sit outside on the bow (my favorite place). But that's okay. It's nice inside the boat too. Warm, comfy seats. Sophia was so happy to see rain and I was really glad we drove to New Farm park, because we got back around 4 and we were wiped. A walk home or to the bus stop would have been the end of us. Sometimes it's so nice to hop in the car and just go home. But of course we didn't just go home, we had to segue to the local family fish shop and grab an early dinner of steamed rice and grilled fish. Perfect ending to an otherwise perfect day. And asleep by 7:30...all the better. 

Just for fun: Here's a family crossing the river from New Farm Park on Sunday. I thought this was hilarious. I think we need to get a dingy so we can easily visit our friends across the river without paying for a ferry. That's thinking, mate!


Have we turned a corner?

Light at the end of the tunnel. 
After the birthday party on Saturday, Sophia came home and immediately went to work on party invitations. She wants to have a party and she wants her American friends and Australian friends to come. I told her we could perhaps have two parties, one for each group. She's not completely satisfied with that answer but it's hard to explain how far we really are from Texas. Airplanes erase distances but not costs. Australia has always been a complicated place because of it's distance to everything. The time change makes it difficult too. Who wants to have a big chat at 6 in the morning? Maybe it's difficult for me because I've never been a morning person. I don't like my thoughts interrupted when I wake up. I think this personality trait has made morning parenting a challenge for me (and perhaps most people). Once they wake up, there is no peace. So when you drop your child off at school, the peace and quiet can be such a mixed blessing. I really love it and I really miss the inquistion too.  

Today when I dropped Sophia at school all the little girls ran up to her, excited to see her. I think she's amazed by this attention and is starting to enjoy it. Sophia has made some friends and starting to feel a little bit at home here. Now if only she had a window in her room.  

Yes, it's true we live in box. It's interesting to go from a house to an apartment, even if that apartment is a loft. Sophia has lost the freedom of living in a house but has found new freedoms like going up and down the elevator by herself and swiping her own bus pass like a big kid. She is looking forward to the day she can ride the bus to school by herself. I remember living in Melbourne in High School and taking the train into the city to go to school. It really was an amazing freedom to travel that far by myself (without a mom but with friends) each day. Sophia is counting the days already.
Sophia telling me my shoes are ugly.