She recorded her first
podcast podcat when I stepped away from my laptop. She is tired of Chilli and the kids getting all the attention.
There is just something about Sydney. The thrill of the harbour with the imposing glamour of the Opera House at its edge and the strong beauty in the bridge that spans the busy waters. In this town, everything is moving. At night it sparkles like every bit of Sydney is adorned with diamonds.
The Bloggerati converged on Sydney this past weekend to celebrate the opening of Nuffnang’s office there. Blogging is expanding as an industry and Sydney is just the place to be. Qantas brought the Bloggerati together from all parts of Australia. Flying up from Melbourne is a quick and easy trip. I was thrilled to escape the bitter cold of Melbourne winter for a weekend of much milder temperatures. As an American ex-pat, I still find it strange to say that we go north for the warmer weather!
The first night was a beautiful launch party in the ECQ Bar at the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney. Destination NSW wanted to show off the world renowned views of the Sydney Harbour through the bar’s floor to ceiling windows. They are more like full glass walls. They also toasted Nuffnang’s Bloggerati and friends with some excellent wines from New South Wales’ wineries. It was an absolutely elegant evening to kick off what would be an excellent weekend.
I stayed just in the heart of the CBD at the Rydges Sydney Central hotel. They have the coolest in floor aquarium right in the lobby. I am pretty sure they thought I was crazy when I practically lay flat down on it to FaceTime the fish to the kids back home. They would have loved to stay there. The great part about staying in the middle of the city centre is that it only takes stepping out the front door to start an adventure.
We had a couple of hours free to explore before lunch on Saturday, so my friend Cintia from My Poppet, and I did just that. With the Darling Harbour as our end goal we went out and right. Our walk led us past a Starbucks so I grabbed a grande cup of home and then we wandered the markets of Chinatown. Crossing over the light rail tracks, we headed down the pedestrian paths past a beautiful Japanese friendship garden with the distinctive Sydney skyline in the background.
A few more minutes and we were at the bustling waters edge. Only time left for some photos and then we headed off towards the Burger Project for lunch. So easy to get around Sydney with my map on my phone. The few times we needed to drive anywhere on the weekend, we hopped into Uber cars for the short rides. Lunch was delicious. They make a mean mushroom burger for my vegetarian friends. It was so good, but what was better? The salted caramel thick shake. I am seriously considering flying back up to Sydney again JUST for another one of those. Holy cow, it was good. I don’t love Australian milkshakes because they are too thin and milky. This was like a classic creamy American milkshake. Delicious.
Now home, I am really regretting not getting some new flip-flops (from a vending machine) and that subtle red hat.
Our food extravaganza did not end there though as we were treated to an absolutely amazing meal at Spice Temple that evening. What a mysterious place with an almost secret door and tables down a few floors underground. Neil Perry the chef himself showed up to speak with us. What a welcome. They easily catered to my “no meat” requirements and made some pretty extraordinary cocktails.
We wrapped up the weekend with our Bloggerati conference back at the Pullman Quay Grand. It was an absolutely invaluable experience to listen to and collaborate with the other bloggers in my agency face to face. The power of so many creatives of all different genres in one room is a thrill and I left inspired by new ideas, but also by the assurance that sharing my stories and photographs is just what I am mean to be doing. I just learned a bit about how I can do it better. Lots of exciting news about that coming up soon!
I was back on a flight and home in Melbourne with time to tuck all my kids into bed.
The list of things she has lost in her wake of happy-go-lucky is growing. I am trying very hard to not put a number on it, but the cost is high. I remind her gently and sometimes not so gently. I go through the list of what is required everyday hoping that my words will stick. I have made her a list of what she needs to remember at the end of the day so that she can read and check off all the things as she packs her school bag. Yet she still comes home missing various items at least twice a week.
She is so close to running out of things to lose that she lost herself at the mall the other evening. I got the dreaded call over the loudspeaker to come get my (weeping) child from the information desk. I had to listen to all the “Did that poor little girl’s mother show up?” and variations as I walked away with her little hand clutched in my grip. I say she lost herself because I was exactly where she ran away from me still uttering the “Don’t go far. Stay with me.” that she ignored.
I don’t want to be a helicopter parent, but this little one needs a personal assistant for life.
So what do you do to help your little ones with remembering all they need to remember?
I see her hiding behind the waist length hair she will neither brush nor cut. I see her.
I thought I had more time with the little girl before the teen arrived to sour things a bit, but I didn’t anticipate the tween. A fascinating age of opposing emotions and quick temper has seen to it that the dolls and stuffed animals are no longer played with yet still sit proudly on display.
The enigma upstairs, she is somewhere between the child and the teenage girl. This part of the path is not level and we are both stumbling along it the best we can. Sometimes she still lets me hold her hand.
The sky in the neighbourhood looked brittle and while snow started falling in the mountains outside Melbourne, it just sent little cold shards of rain here.
But I acquiesced and brought out the toy of the devil…kinetic sand. Seriously, there isn’t a toy in the world today that causes more clean-up than kinetic sand. I get that it is wonderful for their imaginations, motor skills and basic enjoyment, but it is far to expensive to vacuum up afterwards. I must really be at the end of my school holiday rope to have said yes, but I did.
I admit, it is a good way to keep toys they have outgrown still in rotation. Magnetic alphabet becomes cookie cutters!