Thursday, April 2, 2015

Brisbane Roar Game

One of the items on Nathan's Brisbane Bucket List is to see the Brisbane Roar play, and maybe even get a jersey. So Andrew and I hatched a plan. We bought tickets and jerseys for the boys. The game we were going to just happened to be on the last day of school - it was going to be a great surprise. Then we saw the forecast - rain. And lots of it.

I figured if we had raincoats for our walk to the stadium, we'd be fine. Andrew then informed me that Suncorp is an open air stadium which meant even when we were inside we could get rained on, so we really needed those coats. And then, of course, in our excitement we forgot the raincoats at home so we had to buy ponchos that didn't even keep us that dry.

But it didn't matter at all once we stepped foot inside the stadium. Can you tell how excited Nathan was just to see the field?

And our seats! Andrew got us seats right in the middle, second row. The boys thought it was fantastic. I thought we could have been a little further back to see the game a little better, but what do I know? We were so lucky the rain stopped as soon as the game started because being so close to the field meant we weren't sheltered at all. It would have been pretty miserable to watching the game while being pelted in the face with rain.

The boys were given these signs to hold up during the game. Nathan was too busy watching and yelling out to the players but Caleb was all business. He asked me what each side said, then dutifully held the correct sign up throughout the game.

When the game was on, he had "Go Roar" facing out. As soon as they scored, it was "GOAL"! What a cutie.

The more goals they scored, the more Nathan got into the game. He got louder and louder and by the end he was jumping out of his seat. The noise bothered Caleb a little.

But eventually, he got into it, too.

Literally two minutes before the game ended, it started to rain again. At that point, it didn't matter. The game was over. After being on a bit of a losing streak, our team came out on top and won 6-1* against the Central Coast Mariners.

What a wonderful way to celebrate the end of Term 1.

*I thought it was funny that the one goal for the other team was actually an own-goal, so technically, the Brisbane Roar scored all the goals tonight.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Grow | 10 Things I Learned in March

As part of my aim to take the word GROW and see how it fits into my life this year, I'm ending each month with some reflections on things I've learned and different ways I've grown (or not).

Photo by Chicoz Photography. Thank you, Michele!

Here are 10 things I've learned in March...
  1. Big life decisions aren't easy to make, even if you've been thinking about this decision and have been weighing out the pros and cons for the past 18 months. At the end of the day, you just have to do it, like ripping off a bandaid, and just deal with the pain afterwards.
  2. It's eye-opening, the things you learn about people when they're put in stressful situations.
  3. When a friend asks you to come over to help her test out lighting for silhouette photos, she might actually be planning to surprise you with maternity photos. It's not something I'd choose to do for myself, but I'm glad I have something to remind me of this time in my life.
  4. I have made a wonderfully diverse group of friends over the past four years here. Having a bunch of them gathered together at my surprise baby shower reminded me just how blessed I am, and pulled me out of a dark and ugly place.
  5. Even being 36 weeks pregnant can't stop me from sitting in the car for 10 hours just to see baby turtles hatch and make their way into the ocean.
  6. Learning to cook authentic Thai dishes from friends is a million times better than learning to cook using recipes.
  7. Andrew goes to great lengths to make our birthdays special. After spending weeks trying to locate a Ripstik (the only thing Nathan’s been asking for since before Christmas) in Brisbane, he drove 45 minutes out to Redcliffe to pick up what was basically the very last available one. Then, he pulled an all-nighter after his late shift to create a scavenger hunt for Nathan when he woke up the next morning. 
  8. Parenting is filled with little moments that make your heart want to burst into happy tears.
  9. Andrew's really good at selling our stuff (aka purging). I'm good at packing (aka hoarding). I think we balance each other out. 
  10. Sometimes I neglect this blog because I'm busy living my life and I'm okay with that. I'm also okay with going back to fill in the blanks, writing posts that should have gone up days/weeks ago. I do that so that when I look back and try to figure out what happened when in my life, things are in the right order. To me, memory-keeping is more important than social media. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Prenatal Yoga

I have about 3 weeks to go before Baby comes and as hard as it is to move around with my growing belly, aching back and swollen legs, I've been trying my hardest to make it to any yoga session I can get myself to. Sometimes I'm just too exhausted, and other times it's a timing issue. 

Lately though, I've cut it down to just one class - my prenatal class. It's low-impact and I don't feel so awkward because I'm not the only one struggling with my balance and shifting my belly trying to work into the poses. I feel like if I can make it to this class, at least I'm doing something good for my body and relaxing once a week.

Usually, Andrew can watch the boys while I go so it's a bit of an escape for me. But last week, Andrew had to work. A couple weeks before, I brought the boys along to the daddy class, even though Andrew had to work then, too, and they were so quiet and well behaved so I brought them along again. Even though they were relatively well-behaved the second time around, all I could hear the whole time was their whispering and shuffling. My instructor kept reassuring me that it was okay and they were fine but I couldn't get over it and I couldn't block their noise out of my head.

Now that we're getting down to the last days, I'm so glad I could just go to my class by myself again today because sometimes I just need to get away from it all and find some quietness inside my head.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sweet Baby Hatchlings

I was telling my friends about our Brisbane bucket list when they asked me what I wanted to do before we left Brisbane. Up until that point, it hadn't occurred to me that our list was filled with things the boys wanted to do. I have been so focused on making this move easier for the boys and helping them get some kind of closure that I forgot about me.

My "Australia Bucket List" could be at least a hundred items long but I had to be realistic and narrow it down to things we could actually do over the next 100 days (a.k.a. while I'm very pregnant or caring for a newborn and recovering, and while the boys are still in school during the week). 

One of the things I wanted to do was to visit the Mon Repos Turtle Centre again. A couple years ago, we drove up and we got to see a mother loggerhead turtle lay her eggs. This time, I wanted to see turtle hatchlings come out of the nest. 

So after church on Sunday, we packed the boys into the car and made the 5 hour drive up to Bargara. It wasn't the most comfortable thing to be doing while 36-weeks pregnant but it had to be done. When we got there, we found out that we had signed up for the very last tour of this season. How incredibly lucky we didn't wait any later!

We didn't have to wait very long before they called us out to the beach. And because it was a Sunday night, our group was very small, probably not much more than 30 people, so we managed to get an excellent viewing spot. The boys sat right in front of the nest and watched as the baby turtles dug their way out of the sand.

Once all the little turtles had emerged from the nest, they lined us all up along a path between the nest and the ocean. The rangers came around with a couple hatchlings. We held out our hands and felt those tiny little claws scratching our palms as they frantically paddled their little flippers.

After everyone had their turn, the rangers asked for volunteers who had their own torches to make a tunnel of light. Luckily we brought one so Nathan got to be part of that. Unfortunately, it was a hand-crank one that we had left sitting around for the past year so he ended up having to crank it while he stood there in the tunnel. He did so well trying to keep the light where the turtles needed it. Nathan later told me he felt sorry for us (Andrew, Caleb and me) because we didn't get to be part of the tunnel but I'm glad he got the chance to do it.

Once the last of the little turtles made it into the ocean, we went back to the nest for the nest dig, which is when they dig up the nest to count how many successful hatchlings there were. As our ranger dug, he found a bunch more turtles who had yet to make their way out so he had to actually fill the nest back in to let the turtles do their thing (dig themselves out).

Most of our group wasn't interested in sticking around for the nest dig anyway so the ranger brought us all back to the centre. Nathan was interested in watching the nest dig so we decided to stick around. We waited awhile for them to find another nest for us to see but eventually, they called us back. By this time, our group had dwindled down to 8 people.

As we made our way back across the beach, I heard Caleb tell Andrew, "Daddy, I'm going to sleep soon. Can you carry me?" but he ended up walking all the way to the nest anyway. We found one more little turtle who was still making his way out of the nest and then it was time to dig into the hole.

Caleb worked industriously alongside the ranger, digging up his own hole. At first I thought he was just playing around, then I realized he was doing exactly what the ranger was doing. It was adorable to see him mimicking the ranger's actions - the scooping, the piling of sand. "I'm doing what he's doing," Caleb explained.

As the ranger was finishing up his count, the skies burst open and it started to pour. We made our way back to the centre as quickly as we could and the boys stayed pretty dry with their raincoats on but Andrew and I were drenched. It's a good thing we packed a set of clothes and towels for everyone - we changed, tucked the boys into their seats and drove another 5 hours home. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip but it was worth it.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

100 Day Countdown

Today marks 100 days until we board a plane with a one-way ticket to Toronto.

It's hard to think about our time here coming to an end. I know we always have the option to come back and visit, and I haven't gone past the idea of re-evaluating our situation in 2-3 years time but the reality is that even if we visit or move back, it won't be exactly the same as it is right now.

So in the meantime, we'll be making the most of the time we have left here. The boys and I have come up with a Bucket List and we'll work through as much of it as we can. I have to admit I'm probably the one holding us all back, being 36 weeks pregnant now and moving slower than ever. And once Baby comes... well, we'll just keep pressing on.

This is our list so far but chances are, we'll keep adding to this list as the days count down.


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