Sunday, 29 June 2014

Clemmy P. Wigglebottom

Clementine is about a minute away from crawling.  She's perfecting the drunken baby flail and the roll around and has just recently added the try to scoot but end up three inches backward move.  She never sits still.

All the stages have been cute, but this one is exceptionally good.  There's a new thing every day.

I love her facial expression in the third picture right before she took a little roll, then she figured out how to push herself off the door.

Anders will be here at the end of the week.  He is coming to stay with us to help with taking care of Clementine and give me some free time to work.  We are all very excited for the coming changes, which everyone will know more about very soon.  

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

High St

After the cafe, we walked another block to High St* which is extensive and mostly Asian.  Most of the restaurants are Chinese and we *can't wait* to do more exploring.  The market is closed on Sunday (because most things are closed on Sunday here) so we walked up and down to get a feel for it.  There were heaps of other families doing the same, we even ran into a few acquaintances.  

The back of Alec's head.  Molly was on the leash, it's still interesting to see how people of various nationalities react to her.  By and large, Asians are mostly afraid of her and will go out of their way not to walk next to her.  This was also the case in Korea.

AND THEN... we found one of my most favorite things.  The CHINESE DOLLAR STORE.
Oh goodness, I have so many feels about dollar stores.  It could also be known as the Cheap Asian Crap Store, not everything is a dollar.  It's amazing and full of weird/interesting things you never knew you needed.  This one was extensive, or as Alec put it, "that thing has its own ecosystems."  I tried to get a pic but felt like a creep so it's not very good.  This was only one section among many.

Maybe one of my favorite aisles is the Plastic Containers of Various Sizes aisle.  Bins and tubs and tupperware and pitchers and soooo many things.

We had to take turns looking quickly because Molly isn't allowed in stores.  This was probably for the best as it allowed me to only have enough time to buy tape, which was the only thing I needed.

Back on the street, most of the windows look like this.  Mmmmmmmm crispy duck and pork belly and chickens.  Need to try all the things.

After the dollar store we got a little hangry, so we ordered some dumplings for takeaway and walked home.  This is a picture of Clementine and I waiting outside for our food.  She likes to chew on the dog leash which is totally gross, I've had this leash almost as long as Molly and I've never washed it.  Oh well, germs yay!

That's all, can't wait to see what we get up to this weekend.

*Neighborhoods in Australia are called suburbs (but it's not quite like a suburb in America).  Every suburb has a little commercial center, depending on the size it could just be a corner store or restaurant, but the bigger ones will have a big street with businesses and shops and restaurants.  It's nice because every suburb has a little something different to offer.

Monday, 23 June 2014


We've been in the new house for a few weeks and decided it was finally time to get out and explore.  We wanted to move to Preston (which is the next neighborhood north from Thornbury where we used to live) because there is a giant Asian market.  This adventure was meant to end up there, but there was enough on the way that we didn't even make it.  There is way more stuff within walking distance than we originally thought!

Getting our jackets on because it's winter.

I spent the better part of Clem's nap time trying to get the pink out of my hair.  Um, obviously it didn't really work... I sort of chickened out and didn't want to damage it.  I guess I lightened it and managed to get more silver, which was what I was after.  Hair dye, it's like a science project on your head!

I am getting a little better at having my picture taken.

An excellent view of the city from the top of our street.  

There is this mosque a block or two away, it's so beautiful.  I'm interested to see if we can go inside, it looked like they have a little visitor center.

Pretty leaves.  I'm proud of this shot and I think I'd like to have an outfit with all these colors.

We found this little collection of shops a few blocks away.  One thing that I really appreciate about Melbourne is the neighborhoods are way more likely to have these small commercial bits integrated into the neighborhood.  So now we have a local cafe, crappy Italian takeaway(not dissing crappy Italian at all, sometimes it's all you need!) and Indian takeaway.  Sweet!

We stopped at Pomona and had a coffee and pie (savoury pie, not the sweet kind.  Unfortunately I'm still waiting for Aussies to catch on to sweet pie).  The service was great as was this pour-over.  I find something about a coffee with a little assembly kit really enjoyable.

Tomorrow, High St. Preston!  This neighborhood is a gift that keeps on giving.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Nature Study 03 / Backyard

We had a "weekend done right."  It was mostly spent puttering around the house getting things a little more organized with a fair bit of relaxing.  I can't wait until we have enough tasks squared away that we can spend more time working on the back garden.  It's not quite a yard, but not quite a courtyard either.  

The previous tenant had some undeniable skills and there are some great ferns and succulents hanging around.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


This morning Clementine and I went to brunch with Malia and Jess, as we do about once a week (things have been a bit tight lately so this was really an extra special treat, we haven't been in a while).  We somehow came home with a cheeky lamington.  This is traditionally a cafe treat that consists of jam sandwiched between white sponge cake, covered in chocolate frosting and rolled in toasted coconut.  Hungry yet??

I didn't even know that this lamington would be *even more* delicious because it was all chocolate cake, no jam.  Holy crap.  Cafes usually put their take-away treats in a little paper bag and I think Clem is learning that when she sees/hears one of those bags come out, something tasty is about to happen.  I had a bite and she was immediately like "Givvveeeeee it to meeeeeeeeeee!"  We shared, and because it was really that good, I even saved a bit for Alec.

So clean, maybe I should have put her in a bib.  Naaaaah.

"This is something I've never tasted, I'm not sure."

"Oh man, yeah I'm sure.  That's good.  What?"

She liked it so much she even picked up the little crumbly bits.

And a few more at the end for fun.  Damn, my kid is cute!  She needed a good wipe down and fresh clothes afterward, but we both enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Also, do you see our new window?  New house, new window yaaaay!  This house has giant floor to ceiling windows in every room and the natural light is something else.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Pueblo Grande

Turns out there are STILL more pictures from our America trip that I've forgotten about.  I am thinking of Phoenix this morning especially because it's cold and rainy outside (Australia is going into winter) and all my Phoenix friends are posting pictures of sitting by the pool in the sunshine.

*shakes fist at the sky*

So one afternoon we endeavored to visit Pueblo Grande; even though it's less than 10 minutes away from my Mom's house, I've never been.  Oops.  I'm glad Alec and I got to see it together.

Pueblo Grande is a huge pre-Columbian archaeological site made by the Hohokam people.  It's also a little strange/awesome to visit nowadays because it's located right next to the airport and the 202 freeway.

Ohhhhhhh myyyy look how small Clementine was!!  These pictures are from January.  Goodness gracious.

I would like very much for all these plants to be in my backyard someday.  I'm also noticing the low, low winter sun even though I think we were there around noon.

I asked Alec to take this picture because she was so gentle and peaceful, the shadows make her eyelashes look extra delicate.

Inspiration for our future adobe house.

Sky Harbor in the background.

Has anyone else ever thought maybe Saguaros are the weirwoods of the Southwest??

Friday, 13 June 2014

Nature Study 02 / Somers Beach

After discussing these first two pictures with Alec, I thought I should mention the colors needed very little alteration.  Oftentimes nature needs no help being colorful and amazing.

This farm is across the dirt road from Bella and Graeme's property.  Its about a 15 minute walk to the beach from their place, but you hardly feel it because the scenery is so beautiful.  

Thursday, 12 June 2014


We're back!

Moving.... ugh, what is there to say.  Can you imagine anything more inconvenient and frustratingly time consuming?  We've been sleeping at the new house for two weeks, but there's this nice period of liminality in between where there's still a bunch of random crap at the old house and we still don't know where anything is because we shoved most of it into the garage.  I think liminality is an apt word to describe the feeling, where one wants so desperately to think about normal life and important things, but one still cannot find the memory card or any of Clementine's clothing.

But it's over now, halleluja!  Mostly.  It's easy to remember that moving is impermanent and after you do it, you don't have to do it for a long, long time hopefully.

So, in the midst of all this annoyingness of moving, what better activity to do over a three-day weekend* than go to Somers for a visit with Alec's Grandparents, Isabel and Graeme?  We always love our times down there, sitting and talking about things and hearing their stories and taking walks on the beach together.

On Sunday morning we woke up and decided to capitalize on the early morning by taking a walk on the beach.  It was cold and beautiful and almost no one else was out.

Clementine is always happy to be out and seeing things.

We always wonder how these rocks were formed (with a little Molly, who absolutely loves a good roam on the beach).

Perhaps these are little ancient volcanoes.

Iron deposits?

We rounded an edge of the beach where the sun had started to peek out and it was so bright!  By this time more people started to show up to walk their dogs, so we walked back and Molly frolicked with some new friends.

* I made a star and then forgot to explain!  We have this lovely long period of the year where it feels like there is at least one three-day weekend per month.  It's the best.  This weekend was the Queen's Birthday.  I don't know much about the Queen, but if it means a long weekend, I will happily oblige.