We’re here Australia! It’s been a hectic week as we moved the 3 little ones from Singapore to the sunny Mornington Peninsula last Thursday. Milo just arrived this morning as well but he’ll be in the Quarantine Motel for a month till he stops acting crazy (hopefully!) but we have been promised that we’ll get him on Christmas Eve, just in time for him to unwrap a juicy bone.
The new house is not going to be ready for another couple of months so we’re renting a beach house opposite Mills Beach in Mornington town, about an hours drive from Melbourne CBD. It’s a lovely seaside town full of quaint little shops, a long pier, many beaches and a view across the bay to the distant skyscrapers of Melbourne.
We have a couple of new nannies, Kathryn does Monday – Weds and Jess does Thurs – Sat morning. Sunday is the day of unrest. We also have a cheerful and efficient housekeeper named Cassie who won my mom over when she arrived at our doorstep with an arsenal of cleaning products and mops and started scouring the floorboards like a tasmanian devil. I think we’ll call her Tassie.
So far the kids have taken to Nanny Kathryn (they haven’t met Jess yet) quickly as she is very keen on getting them outdoors- most mornings she takes Dylan for a stroll to Main Street to charm the townsfolk, in the afternoon she spreads out a picnic blanket under a tree in the garden or a suntent and gets the kids out there for snacktime, and she made chocolate fudge with Sean this afternoon as well.
My mom travelled down with us as well to spend a week here and help us settle in, so it’s been a pretty smooth transition, we’re pretty lucky! Especially since my mother’s a household Nazi, her talents have been put to good use organising the various cupboards and cleaning away the hordes of spiders and cobwebs which would otherwise have been consumed by Dylan. Now everything is in shipshape and the floorboards are spic and span thanks to mom and Tassie.
The kids are extremely happy, especially Finn who is over the moon that he can go to beach everyday and see the all the yachts. Today he asked a jetski owner if he could sit on his yellow jetski and the owner said yes, so he spent 5 minutes going vroomvroom on top of the thing. Then he saw a red kayak along the beach and asked the kayak owner if he could sit on it as well, (so shameless!) and the man who owned it was kind enough to strap Finn in the seat and tow him up and down the beach.
Finn has also been allowed to “drive” the tourist trains at the depot while they were being cleaned, various ditchdiggers, steamrollers and bulldozers, an antique red tractor, a ride-on mower and a boat trailer… I’m a little worried as none of his requests “can Finn Finn ride on it pwease uncle?” have ever been turned down by strangers yet and I caught him looking at a helicopter overhead with an appraising eye today!
Dylan has been familiarising herself with all the new things to put in her mouth and has consumed a vast quantity of carpet fuzz, fireplace muck, a tiny ball of aluminum foil (most of it was fished out from her mouth in time) and fistfuls of beach sand. Oh well. I guess it was about time the Leahy family had a gastronomical adventurer! She has very rosy cheeks and nose now from all the walks and looks the very picture of a plump cherub. She is an angel baby except for when she’s having her bottom washed as the water is very cold over here!
Sean is still in absorption phase and nearly fainted today when we took him to see the new house and saw the 3 acres of lawn between the house and the dam that he had to mow. Then he saw the hammock on the verandah and embraced it so intimately he had to be surgically removed from it at the end of the visit. He also caught a crab on the beach today but we decided it was too small for chili crab. Sean also found a “Halo Encyclopedia” in the Dymocks bookshop the other day so his appetite for violent computer game data has been temporarily sated.
We’ve just finished used the “basket of goods” CPI method of analysis to calculate Sean’s new pocket money and Sean determined that his weekly allowance should be 4.5 bottles of Gatorade or 2.5 comic books, so that works out to about $12.50. We rounded it up to $13/week and threw in the extra duties of mowing the lawn, collecting firewood, minding the babies on weekends, helping in the kitchen, making bottles in the morning, catching flies and bluebottles and carrying groceries in from the car. I think he regrets asking for a wage increase now…
Mark and I are completely exhausted from the shopping of the past week. I think we’ve been to Target and Coles about 3.5x a day since we’ve gotten here. And bought about 273 baby things that we didn’t think were important to bring along but found absolutely indispensable since! I have also become well acquainted with our lady postwoman as she has already delivered quite a few goodies necessities from Amazon.com, shopbop.com and babysgotstyle.com.
The weather has been extremely fickle – one afternoon we were out sunning ourselves and complaining about the 37 degree heat and within a few minutes a storm came in and the temperature dropped to 20 degrees! It actually made the papers the next day… I’ve now learnt that layering is the key to survival in Melbourne. That and cashmere. And online shopping. And nannies.
Right not Mark is watching “The Castle”, a hilarious Australian “comedy classic” on telly, and I’m about to go to bed. You may not believe this but I actually get up at 7-8 am most mornings these days. It’s impossible to wake up later in the country, especially in summer, especially with Dylan caterwauling to be rescued from her sleepsack. But we sleep earlier and better as well, the fresh air is amazing. So I’m off to bed now, do feel free to drop us an email! We miss you all!!!