Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sing Us A Song

We were able to spend Saturday evening at a Billy Joel concert. It was brilliant! We knew and sang along with almost every song. He was amazing in person and so much fun to watch. He only strayed from his own repertoire for one song (AC/DC) where a Roadie sang lead and Billy played electric guitar. And we had never heard his "Christmas in Fallujah," which only upon coming home did we learn that he wrote it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

End of Year Concerts

We attended both Brooklyn and Colin's concerts today. They get out of school on December 10 for the summer. Brooklyn performed as a clown fish in an underwater adventure. I might post video of her dance once it is edited (just a bit long and a tad bumpy). Colin narrated, danced, and sang. He danced front and center, so I have great video of that...but again a tad long and a bit bumpy! Here's a picture of one of their costumes.
Jared and Bella were great at the concerts. Jared sat on my lap the entire time and only tried to take the camera away a few times...hence the bumpy part. Jared is actually sick and if you look carefully at the picture you will notice a black eye...he fell off the toilet and hit his cheek on the edge of the bathtub yesterday.

Monday, November 24, 2008

All Grown Up

Jared threw away his pacifiers today. We all went to the garbage can initially full of excitement only to have Jared say no and run away. Bella convinced him to actually throw them in, only to have one pulled out immediately and taken into the other room. He also tried to put it in a drawer in the kitchen. Finally, Bella convinced him again to throw the pacifier away and we quickly tied up the bag and took it out to our rubbish chute. As he helped put the bag down the chute, he said "Bye, bye paci!" (We are unsure what Bella had to say in order to get him to actually throw his pacifiers away, but her power of persuasion must be amazing!)

Jared is also potty-trained. What? Are you sure? He's not even two! I know it's crazy. He has done a brilliant job. Because we are Nortons and we tend me be a little competitive, here is how the kids placed in regards to potty training: Bella comes in first by potty training herself at 23 months, Jared is second at 23 1/2 months, Brooklyn is third at 25 months and Colin is last at 30 months. Those of you who know Colin know that nothing bothers him more than coming in last in anything!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Brooklyn's Haircut

We did haircuts on Saturday. Brooklyn decided to go very different...okay, to be honest I started cutting and went a little shorter than planned...but she was happy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A People Mover?

This is the vehicle we get to drive while we are in Melbourne. We commonly refer to it as our minivan, but if you say you drive a minivan in Australia they think you drive something similar to a bus. This is a people mover, which is how you should refer to all vehicles that are driven by mothers.

Only in Australia

Ziziki's Restaurant in Dallas is one of our favorite places to eat. I find that I crave their food fortnightly. Moving here we have found that Tzatziki sauce is available everywhere. It is one of the best things about the food in Melbourne. I just didn't realize how prevalent it was until I found this! Yum. A baked not fried bit of goodness! Are you jealous?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rialto Tower

John works in the 2nd tallest building in Melbourne on the 52nd floor. He has incredible views from his office, but the views of his office are pretty awesome too!
View toward Phillip Bay from Yarra River

View from Brighton Beach

View toward the city from Yarra River

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jared's Love

He will be so sad when I take them away next week. Actually, John and I will be so sad, we love pacifiers as well, but for entirely different reasons! At least we let him keep his blanket.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Hole?

When we were being shown around by our relocation consultant, she was shocked that our children did not wear sun caps in the sun. She proceeded to tell us that the sun was particularly strong here because there is a hole in the ozone directly over Australia. What? Where? How? Huh? So, being the person that I am, I googled it. There is a hole in the ozone layer...about the size of North America or Australia...over Antarctica. It affects Australia because of its proximity to Antarctica and because the layer of the ozone is much thinner over us than in other places around the world. What does this mean? It means that when you come to visit...bring sunscreen and perhaps a sun cap!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Australian Staples

Why oh why did we not discover this tasty treat in the United States? Pure oversight, never again to be repeated. It is pure deliciousness.

Our first trip to the grocery store was not complete until we bought Vegemite. Same color as the Nutella, but the similarities end there. Could you seriously eat something that says "Concentrated Yeast Extract" on the label? Not to worry, we will have plenty to share when you come and visit, or it might even be around when we come home to Texas.


Here is John braving the freezing cold water and having a go at surfing. The waves were perfect for a novice surfer.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Phillip Island

The kids had school off on Monday and Tuesday of this week for the Melbourne Cup. A week long horse racing extravaganza. John even had work off on Tuesday for the biggest race of the week. We decided to go out exploring and made it to Phillip Island which is renowned for a daily penguin parade that takes place at dusk. Unfortunately you were not supposed to bring cameras inside of the park, and even though we didn't stay for the parade we did see 10 penguins. We also saw lots of sea gulls and their babies. We walked out to Pyramid Rock and here is our first family picture taken in Australia.
Pyramid Rock
Phillip Island
Baby Sea Gulls (Jared loved watching, chasing and pestering the birds)
Nobles Rock (where we should have seen Fur seals, but did not)
And finally, John told the kids that this was a Kimono Dragon (a Goanna in this neck of the woods), it scared them to death!

Where We Live

Direct quote from Lonely Planet's Guide to Australia about the neighborhood we live in. "Hotels, dance halls, sea baths, theatres, galleries and fun parks have all found their place here over the decades, and this seedy and glam, alternative and mainstream pocket remains a place of extremes. Sniff hard and you'll catch the scent of cakes, pasta, beer, roadies, sex, yoga, hair product...and the sea." Okay technically we don't live in that neighborhood, but we can see it right outside of our window.

The Box

As we packed up our home and got ready to leave we thought of the millions of things that we needed/wanted in Australia. We wanted to bring our computer and all of its bits, my scrapbooking stuff, the children's comforters, winter coats, John's waterski, and some of the children's toys. What we ended up shipping was in this box: coats, toys, blankets and other winter gear. The cost of shipping equaled the value of the items within the box. We were shocked to say the least. We shipped the box on the 9th of October and finally received it on the 3rd of November.

Football Season

Fall = Football in our house. John finally has Saturdays completely soccer games or football games to attend, no church calling (yet), and no yard work to do. Alas, the television stations here do not show college football, our Sunday is your Saturday, and when games are played we are fast asleep. So, this is how John views college football...the most wonderful season of the year!

Only in Australia

Well maybe Antarctica too!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Moving Day

We moved in on Monday and it was a long and busy day. Lots of trips up and down stairs at the serviced apartment and lots of trips up and down the elevator at the apartment, in addition to keeping the kids out of the movers way, it was exhausting for some of us! With the help of Tim Tams (yummy cookies) I was able to keep the kids from starving, but the sugar rush wasn't enough to keep Jared awake.
Jared came and sat on my lap and nodded off. And of course, once I took the camera out to take his picture all of the kids wanted theirs taken as well.

Our Views

Port Phillip Bay
Palais Theatre
Cricket Field and Melbourne Demons Practice Field
Part of Downtown

South of Yarra River
Albert Park
Dandenong Ranges
Port Melbourne
Beautiful Evening on Port Phillip Bay
Sunset on the Bay

Monday, November 3, 2008

High Rise Living

We moved in on Monday to our place. It is close to the city and overlooks the bay. It is on the 14th floor and we love it. Here are pictures of the apartment:
Living Room
Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom View
Brooklyn and Bella's Room
Colin and Jared's Room