Sunday, 25 March 2007

more babies!

Baby Thomas Dylan on right.

Last year was an interesting year for babies too.
In August, I was invited my my lovely friend Therese, to be another birthing partner along with my dear friend Shelley, who was one of my lovely birthing partners at Teddy's birth, but missed Sienna's as I had convinced her to go away for the weekend, as "I wasn't having this baby for ages!", the same silly thought told me to convince Brandt to go out to the pub for his last big hoorah.
Back to Therese, I couldnt stay long as Sienna was still breastfed and Brandt had an important contstruction job to do, but the hours I spent with her were amazing, a few hours after I left, cute as a button Thomas Dylan was born.
My own sister Maria fell pregnant and was due November/December with her third child, she was very very clucky after watching Sienna being born with a water birth, so I wasn't surprised, but very excited for her, except she was due right when we were moving here to Norfolk Island.
Our conversations skirted around the fact that I may not be there, it was all too familiar as Brandt and I moved to Noosa 8 weeks before her second, Paris, was born, I was her birth partner for no.1 child, Abbey, but didnt see her birth as it was an emergency caesarian. Photo on the right is my sister in law Kate, friend Sammie, Maria,Me and sister Jenni, at my farewell party. Below right is my bother Mike feeling Mia's bump, I really like this photo.
Newborn Olivia on left.

I threw her a baby shower amid the packing boxes, and saw each other as much as we could, just in case.
But, as luck would have it, Maria went into labour during my final packing day, and I got the call at the end of the day towards the end of the labour and saw my beautiful baby neice Olivia Sydnee being born, fed and weighed and got my first cuddle an hour later.
We returned late the next day after a full on day cleaning. poor Mia was convinced we wouldnt make it as we were leaving early the next morning and she was sad to not say goodbye to Teddy and Sienna, but wild horses wouldnt keep us away.
Teddy was instantly in love with baby Olivia and we had big heartfelt farewell cuddles.

Another special baby to meet was my lovely friend Steph's baby girl Honora who was born 5 days before Olivia and I got to meet and cuddle the day before leaving Queensland also.

Honora's big brother, Ellery has been Teddy's friend since birth an I couldnt wait to meet her either. Here is Steph, Teddy, Ellery, Sienna, Me and Honora.


I was planning on writing this blogpage next week sometime, after Kim had her booked caesarian on Tuesday, well things don't always go to plan........

Charles(my first cousin, who is about 4 months younger than me) and Kim invited Brandt and I to their place for dinner as we have seen alot of each other lately and have a lovely friendship growing, but, we did hesitate as we thought it might be too much for Kim, but she tried to assure us she was making lots to use up all the ingredients in her fridge before she goes into hospital.
She was right, there was enough meat lasagne and vegetarian lasagne(for me) to feed an army, I now realise that Kim must cook when really nesting, I garden, ironically, neither of us scrubbed the kitchen cupboards as expected.
After Dinner, the boys, Brandt and Charles were keen to continue their regular Friday night drinks out, and even more so, as it may be their last one for a while.
Kim and I had a cup of tea, we both share an affinity for chai latte's, and after cleaning up and instructing her to put her feet up and head down, I left with two sleeping children at about 10pm.
At 11:30 Kim rang to ask if the boys had come back here yet as her waters had unexpectedly broken, so I drove to the brewery to find an unsuspecting and very surprised Charles to let him know.
I had an amazing sense of de ja vu, as it was 18 months ago that I drove to pick up Brandt from the pub as I was just starting to go into labour with Sienna.
Anyway, They made it to the hospital, where at a quarter to 2am, a beautiful baby boy, William Mason Christian-Bailey was born via caesarian section.
I got to meet beautiful Liam the next day, and couldnt believe the similarity to Charles, he really is a little mini me.
He is the first Grandson for Mary and Bernie and the first grandchild for Kim's parents John and Karen.

Kim and I made her beautiful belly cast in plaster only 36 hours before Liam was born, luckily we didnt wait until Monday like we were going to...........


Saturday, 17 March 2007

These are a few of my favourite things.

Cristina here again.

I like lots of things, there are so many to mention, like my favourite scents being vanilla or coconut(which are my favourite tastes too) but every time I have come to Norfolk island I get to see and collect one of my favourite, favourite things, BEACH GLASS.
Down on the slaughter bay reef at Kingston, which is also my favourite place to pop down for a quick snorkel and to play with the tropical fish, you will find washed up on the rough sand,(which really isn't sand, but bits of shell and coral roughly ground up on the hard reef by the big surf on the other side) tumbled bits of glass.

What happens on this unique island to all the glass bottles? Well, as far as I know, for years it has been tipped over the cliff into swirling surf and rocks, and by the time it has been rumbled and tumbled halfway around the island, to land on the beaches at high tide among the smooth rocks, pebbles, shells and pieces of broken coral.

In the house where we grew up, my Mum always had a jar of multicoloured beach glass in water on her laundry window sill, which she probably collected in the same way I do, by taking some mental time-off to sort and sift through the sands, thinking of nothing else but catching a glimpse of these smooth shiny treasures half buried in the sands.
I also had a jar on the window sill in my kitchen of our house on the Sunshine coast.

The main colour you will find is the browns, from the amber beer bottles.
Next is the various shades of greens like lime, emerald and olive green from wine bottles, then less common, but perhaps because it is harder too see against the sand is the clear glass, from some wine and soft drink bottles, also broken drinking glasses and cooking sauce bottles.
Every now and again, I find a beautiful rare treasure like blue or purple, sometimes an odd bit of terracotta or rumbled piece of broken dinner plate.

I have a few ideas for craft projects that I would like to use the beach glass for, which I am more inspired by at the moment than my paintings, but that may all change again by next week.
In the meantime, I am just going to enjoy sitting in the warm sand, collecting it wile the kids play.
My Mum will be here next month, we may just spend a day at the beach collecting beach glass together.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Pets to borrow

Teddy and Sienna have only had my pet ducks before, when we lived in Queensland, but we were down to only 2 out of about 12 when we moved here. (8 month old Teddy with our ducks)

Our beloved red rottweiler 'Ozone' died when Teddy was 3 days old, he was very special to us and too hard to replace, especially when we might have got another one, Teddy was crawling around the floor space, and the extra workload of training a puppy too just wasn't an option.
So, nearly 4 years on, we are due for a pet or two.
But, then we moved in here with family and had so many pets to share, we didn't worry about looking for one, plus a cat came with the house too, so when I order some chickens to go in the hen house, we will have an instant zoo.

I would like to introduce you to our 'borrowed pets'.

This is Digby, he is Aunty Mary(my mum's sister) and Uncle Bernie's long haired chiuaua.

He is such a cutie!

Here is Basil One of Mary's cats, he is an affectionate cat when he is in the mood, but I wont go into details as he has his own chapter on devonhouse recollections.

Here are Charles and Kim's pets,

Roany the dog and 'the girls', Cloud and Misty,they all get on very well. Cloud likes to get into cars that are parked on the driveway with their windows down, and I am sure she has given people a big shock when they discover her as they drive off.

(Sienna kissing Roany, Roany kissing Teddy)

Roany's sister belongs to one of my other cousin's, Peter, her name is Mitti, named after Fletcher Christians Tahitian wife Maimitti.

Roany and Mitti both spend the day at granny and grandad's at Devonhouse when their parents go to work, and quite enjoy being the 'grandogs', especially around breakfast, lunch and dinner preparations, hoping for tidbits.

Mitti quite enjoyed having Sienna as an ally in her high chair and I'm sure that Sienna was equally delighted to feed her dinner to an appreciative dog.

When someone enters the driveway at Devonhouse, you can hear them drive over the cattle stop,
The dogs all hear it and Digby usually starts the parade, yapping, then the big dogs jump up and run out to see the car, barking, I guess to decide if it is friend or foe. Roany and Mitti get there first, followed by Digby's little legs, he rarely makes it out to see the car before the other dogs turn back.

Unfortuately, last month, Mitti got clipped by a van travelling down the driveway to Charles and Kim's 'Devonside' which is behind Devonhouse, We don't know if the van hit her or she hit the van by running into it.

The result has been a plaster cast on her broken leg for the past month, it hasn't slowed her down any though, she still races out to the cars like a greyhound!
This is Jane our adopted cat,she is more like the size of a kitten which is cute, even though she is certainly an adult cat, who has had many temporary homes before this one.

Although Brandt and I are not great cat lovers, we are more dog people, I can still appreciate a purring cat that wants a cuddle for a little while, Lucky Jane got to sleep at the end of Teddy's bed last night.

Our list of 'borrowed pets' doesn't end here, it seems to be a real friendly island with matching sociable pets. This is 'Dozer', who spends time at the sports and workers club with his owners, we see him when we take the kids for a drink and play on the playground there, he is a real well trained dog who tolerates our children's attentions well.

I forgot about Peter and John's pigs too.(I could only find an old photo of little Teddy with Peter's baby pig from 2004, but John's latest two who are soon to become bacon strips are named flippy and floppy, because one's ears stand up, the other's flop down.

Teddy was enjoying visiting them, but was suspected to be overfeeding them.

We also have many goldfish and brown fish(I don't know what their real names are) in the pond by the office, which we feed a couple of times a week.

And of course, there are always the many cows that roam around the roads, which Sienna and Teddy still take great delight by calling out ' mooooooo' out of our car windows as we drive past, slowly of course, as cows have right of way on the roads here.

(The Kids sitting on Culla's clydesdales and feeding the ducks here at watermill valley)

So, for now, we don't think we need to buy a family pet!

Our Cherubs

Here are our beautiful kids, who are really enjoying playing together. Sienna has finished her baby and toddler stage which makes it much less frustrating for both of them to play well together.

Teddy loves a bit of rough and tumble play as most boys do, but Sienna can join in, hold her own and even give some back. I hope their joy for life and confidence will remain with them always.

Ted and Sia love picking the cherry guavas and eating them fresh from the bushes. YUM!

It is nice to have some fresh fruit, everything is very seasonal here, which is a nice reminder of the simple old days, where you just appreciate what is in season and serve it many different ways.

The Kids love having new guests here all the time, I had to ban Teddy from actually going into their rooms though, but he does pick flowers from the garden and leave them on the doorsteps, or gives them to the ladies. They are both happy to wave and say hello to any guests they see around our grounds or coming and going in their cars, I even heard Teddy asking guests on their way out if they were going to dinner, followed by asking them if they need anything!Mr Hospitality!

They are both copying me on the phone also, Sienna parrots a perfect version of "Hello, Fletcher Christian apartments" and Ted picked up the phone today(pretending) and said "hello, this is Fletcher Christian here, I just want to tell you something, please don't crash any of our cars, Thank you." Never a dull moment around here with two funny kids........

I was a bit embarrassed a few days ago when 2 kids fresh from a bath came streaking up the lawn towards me in the office without a stitch on, leaving the guests to hoot with laughter at me chasing 2 nudie bottoms around the gardens(learning to be just like daddy, running free).

as I said, never a dull moment.

On that note, THE END.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Having the time of our lives!

Here is Brandt, doing one of the things that he loves best, surfing.
I was doing one of the things that I love best too, taking photos.

I love digital, I used to spend so much money getting films developed for a handful of really great photos, now it is just a click and a zoom and crop to pick the best.
I have new camera now, it is a Canon SLR digital, and for the amount of photos I take, it is worth it, I want capture everything, and remember every moment, with photos, you can share each captured moment.
I had more photos to send of the kids playing, but after 2 days of trying to upload them, I am giving up, for today.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Welcome, here we are.

We all have to start somewhere, and here it is.
I want to add lots of photos for you all to see why we are here in the beautiful Norfolk Island.
We are Cristina and Brandt and together with our two children, Teddy 3 and a half and Sienna Rose 18 months, we made the move here from our house near Noosa in Queensland.
Together we are the live in managers of a accomodation complex called Fletcher Christian apartments. It is a beautiful place, we are very lucky to live on 6 acres of lush, sub tropical gardens and fruit trees, right in the centre of town.
We are a very social couple, so are the children, we love having guests stay here, and when they move on at the end of their holidays, we get another set of new friends move in.

After bouncing around a few names for this blog, everything Brandt suggested had the word Brandt in it, so when finally he suggested Heaven on Earth, I jumped at it, not only because it was the only suggestion without his name in it, also because that is how we feel about this place.
We feel extremely lucky for the opportunity to be here.
We miss our family and friends, but we will certainly have no regrets when it is our time to leave.
We hope through this medium, we can keep a record for all our dear family and friends to keep track of what we are up to.

For those that know us, they know that we live life without wasting a moment.
We hope to post some more photos soon, watch this space!

In the meantime, have a look at these links.