Saturday, 29 December 2012

Day 364: Heat Relief

I went riding with Pete, Andy & Matt today and it was pretty warm. As usual we rode some great trails around Tallaganda and had a fantastic time on our bikes. I took off a little ahead of the guys to grab some photos of them coming through the crossing, they didn't disappoint and took the opportunity to cool off in the spray of an enthusiastic crossing. My photo today is of Pete who failed in his attempt to wheelie over the water and in doing so managed to create a decent splash when his front wheel came down in the middle of the creek.

We come this was quite often and ride out here in winter too, the crossings are generally at a more sedate pace in the cooler weather though.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Day 363: Help to Play, Play to Help

Henry wanted to help me out in the garage today but then he spotted my old 3 wheeled scooter and wanted a go. It turns out that it's quite a good scooter for him because it doesn't really require much balance while he's learning about pushing himself along. It also turns out that this distraction was the best way that Henry could help me while I was tinkering in the garage.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Day 362: Making Do

I was doing a little bike maintenance today and part of it involved washing out the air filter on the Dirty Husky. This is the kind of important bike part that just can't be left drying in the sun on the pavers, not when you have a weird old dog that likes to eat things that are not normally considered food. To avoid having my filter destroyed by my dopey dog Rex and also the effort involved in walking all the way to the clothes line to hang I improvised with an old broom and a house brick.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Day 361: Relaxing in the City

We headed in to town for a little post Christmas shopping, it wasn't terribly exciting but Henry enjoyed our snack break at the Coffee Club. I'm pretty sure he was eating Belinda's Friand here.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Day 360: Christmas Day

Christmas morning got off to a very civilised start, the kids were curled up together playing with their iPods for an hour or so before we had our traditional champagne and pancakes with fruit for breakfast. We did the presents after brekky and then started preparing for lunch. We feasted on roast Turkey and Potato Bake and by around mid afternoon we started to sample Belinda's Gingerbread House, it was as delicious as it looked. By the time dinner rolled around we were all so full we just snacked on lunch leftovers. This is how Christmas should be done.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Day 359: Christmas Eve Construction

Belinda put her Gingerbread House moulds to good use today and then with some help from Jenna constructed this awesome little Christmas treat. The end result looked like something you'd pay a lot of money for at some fancy little Christmas boutique store. I'm very lucky to have such a talented wife & daughter team.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Day 358: Hangin' at the Hyperdome

We spent the afternoon at Tuggeranong doing some more last minute shopping. While Henry and I were waiting outside the $2 shop I took a couple of photos of him running around the lolly machine in the afternoon sun. He would run around for a couple of laps and then come over to see the pictures, then run back for a few laps before coming back to see more pictures. He's become fascinated with looking at photos of himself as soon as they're taken. It's a funny little habit that can make trying to take a portrait type photo of him challenging.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Day 357: Hidden Treasures

I found these while I was looking for a little after dinner snack. Henry must have thought it would be a nice comfy spot for his Lego firemen to have a little lie down, luckily He hasn't discovered what's inside these brightly coloured wrappers. I'm pretty sure he thinks they're christmas decorations so we'll try to keep the secret of the wrapper contents from Henry for as long as possible. With a little luck he won't notice that the container is slowly emptying.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Day 356: Submerged Selfies

We went to the pool this afternoon and I took the waterproof camera for a bit of a play. The result was a bunch of selfies and some very sore eyes from the chlorine. I liked this one for the bubbles running up my cheek and the little one caught in the corner of my eye, that and that it wasn't blurry like many of the others. The underwater camera has been lots of fun so far.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Day 355: Green

I've been playing with Belinda's pot plants again. This time I focussed on the Basil because I liked how bright the green was. Apart from the bug eaten leaf in the top left corner of today's photo it's also looking really healthy, but that won't last long because we tend to use it faster than we can grow it.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Day 354: J O Y

I was feeling a little festive while doing some sneaky Christmas shopping so when I stumbled across these tasty little chocolates in cages of Joy I couldn't resist. I'm sure Belinda will be happy to help me liberate these poor, little morsels form their captivity... it will just be a question of whether they will last until the 25th. I guess time will tell.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Day 353: Poppy Pressies

Christmas came early this evening when we visited Dad & Lee. They're not going to be in town for Christmas so we celebrated early with them and the kids. Henry loved ripping the wrapping paper into tiny little pieces and Jenna had almost as much fun helping.

We don't get to see Dad & Lee that often but it's always a good catch up when we do... we should do this more often.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Day 352: A Class Act

Belinda's school were performing at the Queanbeyan Theatre tonight and her class did a Dutch themed act that involved this cute little street scene followed by the Birdie Dance done to Dutch Street Organ music. The kids did a great job which is testament to all of Belinda's hard work, even more impressive were the props: Belinda spent a lot of time making the little dutch hats and clogs that all the kids wore. I also contributed to this production by supplying the kite that can be seen centre stage as any good start should.

Watching the production was interesting too, I had both Jenna and Henry with me and while Jenna can sit still for hours on end, Henry struggles. Event he iPod wore thin toward the end of the show. Apart from climbing on the seats and all over my lap like a little monkey, Henry coped pretty well with his first theatre experience. I think it would have been a bit more of a trial if  Jenna hadn't been there to help entertain him.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Day 351: Playing In The Mud

Pete, Andy and I went for a ride out near Andy's place today. It had been a while and it was good to get out on the Dirty Husky again. We rode some trails that we hadn't done in ages and some of them had seen some water recently which always adds to the fun.

My photo today is Pete attempting to navigate one of the slushy gullies. The entrance is pretty steep and required ducking under the partially fallen tree before hitting the deep ruts full of watery mud. The exit is as steep as the entrance and without a bit of momentum to get you through the slush you can find yourself bogged with wet feet and a climb ahead of you that looks more daunting than it really is.

Pete did end up having to lift his back wheel out of the rut he got bogged in, but once he'd done that he made the climb out look relatively easy.

I could have offered to help lift the bike out, but Pete's got plenty of experience doing that himself and besides, I was busy taking photos.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Day 350: Polenty of Polenta

Belinda handed me a cook book and asked me to choose a recipe for dinner tonight, the Polenta crusted Chicken with Corn Salsa looked yummy and sounded easy so off to woolies I went. The end result was as delicious as it looked, I was even impressed with the salad. I like the kind of cooking where I go get the ingredients and Belinda turns them into something that I'd be happy to pay for at a restaurant.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Day 349: Better Buildings

At the rate that Henry's block building skills have been improving I'm starting to think he could have a future in construction. You can see he's already worked out that townhouses make a more profitable use of the available real estate. I've also been impressed by how he's got all the roof trusses lined up ready to be installed one after the other, he's an efficient little fellow.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Day 348: Water Work

Swimming lessons again and Belinda's turn again. Sometimes Henry is more 'into it' than others and when he's having one of his not so into it days it can be tiring work.

Today Henry seemed to enjoy himself, he watched Mum swim through a hoop and then the instructor guided him through the same hoop into Mum's arms. He also got to walk on a big slab of foam that floats under the weight of a toddler running from one end to the other. This part looks like it would be fun, but Henry's still a little unsure of walking on something that moves underfoot.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Day 347: Enchanting Inconsistencies

Henry likes to watch In The Night Garden after his bath, it's a bit of a strange show but it really captivates our little man. You can see how intently he's watching it while gripping his bath towel just like Iggle Piggle holds his little red blanket... If you don't know what I'm talking about you obviously don't have a two year old Night Garden addict.

There's one thing that bugs me with this show and that is the inconsistent scale of the Pinky Ponk and the Ninky Nonk. One minute they're small enough to go under a bridge that only just fits Makka Pakka walking under it and the next the minute the Pinky Ponk and Ninky Nonk are big enough to cary all of the characters at once. It's fair to say I don't find the show as enchanting as Henry does.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Day 346: No Photo Day...

I missed out on taking a photo today and nothing interesting happened either... pretty boring hey. On the plus side, I now have an crappy, low res image to use for the next time I forget to take a photo. With 20 days to go this may still come in handy.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Day 345: Emails

Today I received 34 emails which is about average on a day when I haven't added to the count by making online purchases or asked questions about an item on eBay. I'm not entirely sure about how it came to this but I guess over the years I've subscribed to quite a few notifications from online sellers of stuff. Somewhere among all of these subscriptions my email address has been passed on to other sites that spam me with offers of cheap Viagra, Russian Brides or "Free" money to gamble at online Casinos.

Sometimes I get a chuckle out of these emails, today for example I had three emails asking me to join up with Christian Mingle Dating. That on its own is funny but funnier still, and perhaps a little disturbing, is the fact that they advertise in the email that they do "NOT CONDUCT BACKGROUND CHECKS ON THE MEMBERS OR SUBSCRIBERS OF THIS WEBSITE". It's written just like that, in capitals. Like that's some kind of selling point worth yelling out to prospective subscribers. Only in America... I hope.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Day 344: Paper Cranes

We tried to be a little organised today by going in to the Canberra Centre to start some Christmas shopping. I'm not sure how much Belinda got done (we went in separate directions for a while) but I came out all but empty handed. Luckily, I've got some stuff already on the way. Have I mentioned how much I like shopping online?

At least we saw this cool paper crane display, which I've highjacked for my daily photo. I didn't have my camera with me so I had to use the iPhone and I have to say that the image quality on my new one is so much better than that of the old 3Gs I had previously.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Day 343: The Pots Post


Our new Pots and Pans arrived today and as you can see they're bright red. They're also incredibly well packaged so they take up as little space as possible, after they come out of this box they will never take up as little room again. This is a shame because the drawer we keep our pots in often has issues with both closing and opening, it's the opening issues that are most frustrating. If only there was a way to keep them in this compact manner that didn't make getting them out and putting them away a lengthy game of Tetris.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Day 342: Ho Ho Oh?

These little decorations keep popping up around the house... now don't get me wrong, I like Christmas time as much as the next person but Belinda takes 'like' to a whole new level when it comes to decorations. Actually the same goes for Christmas carols.

This little guy is now hanging on the end of the little dividing wall between our Lounge and dining rooms, it's pretty much the first thing you'll see when you walk in the front door. I do like this one though, even if he is wearing too much eye makeup.

Looking closely at this Santa for today's photo got me thinking about the people who design these decorations. It can't be easy coming up with ways to mount the hanging hook. It just doesn't seem right to screw an eyelet into Santa's head like this one has, but what are the alternatives? Stab one into his back and have him facing the ground? Have one moulded into his hat so he's dangling from a pompom? No, it can't be easy finding a way to hang santa without it being a little morbid.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Day 341: The 'Other' Tree

After Belinda, Jenna and Henry put up and decorated their trees the other day we had a few left over ornaments that didn't really fit with the colour schemes on the other trees. Instead of just putting them away for next year Belinda decided to hang them on her twig decorations. The twigs have made an appearance in my blog before, but last time the were much less festive and much more arty farty.

These decorations were all hand crafted by Belinda... except for the red one with the gold glittery pattern on it, that one's a ring in.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Day 340: Fancy Loo

I had dinner at the Ottoman tonight with the work social club, apparently it's recently been refurbished but I couldn't really tell because I hadn't eaten there in roughly 4 years. The food was as good as I remembered though, we had the banquet and the quantity was as impressive as the quality.

As often happens when having a wine or two with dinner, I needed to visit the facilities. Now I don't often go into a restaurants bathroom to take a photo, but when I washed my hands I wasn't quite prepared for their intricately decorated sink. It was so mesmerising I had to take a photo, luckily I had my phone with me and didn't have to run out to the car to grab my Nikon. That could have been a little weird, especially if anyone else happened to be using the facilities.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Day 339: Impulse Buying

Not very exciting is it... 3 pairs of socks and a couple of ties in fancy boxes. I did get excited by the price though, this little selection set me back the princely sum of $18. I do love a bargain, and these were in a shopping centre not an online purchase.

My Impulse buys have been getting weaker, it has been very hard to top the impulse buy I made last year. It was a Yamaha YZF R1 bike that I forgot to tell Belinda about, she found the rego papers 3 days after I'd brought it home. I think I need to try a bit harder with my next impulse buy.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Day 338: Monday Night Oztag

I finally remembered to take a photo on Monday night during one of our games of Oztag. I had just subbed off and had a minute to grab the phone and shoot this action shot in low light with the low resolution camera on my phone. It's not a very sharp image and the light was fading quickly but it was all I had time for before I had to run back on to replace one of the guys who needed a break.

We had fun tonight, we always do. We were also beaten which has become a fairly regular occurrence, tonight the score was 11 to 6 against us. This was one of the bigger thrashings we've been subjected to so far, hopefully we'll continue to get better and start winding the margins back a little at a time.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Day 337: It's That Time Of Year

The Christmas Trees went up today, I helped a lot by staying out of the way. In total we had 3 trees decorated at the end of the day. Jenna looked after the 6ft one in the Lounge while Belinda supervised Henry's decoration of the small table tree and then very carefully made the 8ft tree in the family room look amazing. Unfortunately the trees will need to remain present-less until Christmas Eve because Henry seems to think all presents are his, or as he calls it "Mines". This year should be an improvement over last years when he was more interested in the paper and the boxes than the gifts inside.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Day 336: Fancy Dress Party

One of Belinda's friends had an 80's themed birthday party tonight so to make sure we looked the part I did some shopping this morning. I found the jacket I wore at St Vinnies for $10 and then went in to Target and bought Belinda's fluro top, my white shoes and the 80's style sunnies. The rest of our costumes came from our wardrobe.

The party was fun and there were some interesting takes on 80's fashion. I might be a little biased but I do think we were among the best dressed at the party. The photo tonight was taken by Jenna with my phone, she thought it was pretty funny that Belinda and I were hamming it up for the camera.