Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hell has frozen over...

Yep. Despite the 40 degree temperatures on Saturday, hell has INDEED frozen over. How can I tell?

Nic had his first driving lesson. And survived. And went on to tell me it was fun and his instructor was very pleased and he's looking forward to more lessons and practicing.

I'm not sure if I should be insanely pleased, go pound my head on the desk (I *told* him once he tried it he'd wonder why he was making such a big deal out of it...) or both!

New pics of Miss Hopie (or in La, "HopieAWOOOOpantpantpant!!!") Miss Veri Ari Christmas Fairy (aka "Itty! Pretty itty!" in La-ese as V's and R's don't exist)

First two pictures of the side...

And then... *drumrolls*.... Miss Verity

Pretty little girlie... now just so you know, these are handstacked with 'stays'. I still have to stay close to her after stacking her but she IS staying and giving eye contact. :-) She's such a silly fluffet, after you click her she jumps up and wants to wrestle aroudn and have fun! LOL

I ran out of memory card room but will get more photos after I taken them to the printers and burn everything to the disk. I get all stroppy and sentimental about deleteing photos from my SD cards... LOL

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Chrissy Pics

Wow... anyone else tuckered out from the Christmas experience? Me too! LOL

I also had too many foods with salt in them and spent the following two days feeling it. Blech! Stupid salty stuff has to taste so delicious! ;-p

Anyways, we had a pretty quiet Christmas all up. A few visits with our friends but a lot of people away on holidays this year so hopefully we'll catch up with the rest in the next little while. Despite it being quiet, it was a nice one... 'twas a beautiful sunny day for one which everyone enjoyed after being flooded the previous days! I even stayed more or less offline. *shock* La enjoyed all his prezzies, though we're planning to get the swing later because the fence needs to be installed first and the silly fencer was off for 5 weeks with a broken leg and then took holidays, so that'll start being put in Jan 8th.

At first we were a *bit* confused and completely ignored the prezzies in favor of the much more interesting ornaments. "Mum WOW, a TRAIN!!!"

Despite attempts to interest him in the presents it took a good 40 minutes to convince him to quit playing with the ornaments and balloons and see what those wrapped things were! LOL

The Christmas crackers were also quite popular... lol He popped I don't know how many of them!

Among the gifts were the ever popular playdough, note that we cleverly put the green one at the BOTTOM instead of the top or he'd have just halted all prezzie opening in favor of the green playdough. We're still praising ourselves on that one... ;-)

"Da geen!"

Once we managed to pry that out of his hands, other winners included this Charlie and Lola DVD. (Gee... you don't think he likes the series or anything do you?)

And by the end we'd really gotten the hang of this whole gift unwrapping business...

And were promptly finished for another half hour playing with the new wooden train. (So cute, it's got his name painted on each of the carriages!)

This is a bit later on playing with one of the features of the new DVD - a game of "snap". He smacks the screen whenever it's a snap match and Nic presses the button for him! Aw. Cute!

HAPPY HOWLIDAYS... the girls also enjoyed Chrissy and got some new balls (gods know how many tennis balls we go through) and heaps of treats and goodies to stock them through to next Christmas I think. So of course after getting them all clean, we took them out to the fields where they promptly rolled in sheep dookie. *sigh* Well, at least they were mostly clean for pictures!

I may try again later for better pics of them as they were a bit bothered by our new neighbors running their 4 wheelers all over the fields.

I did manage to snap this one which cracks me up! The girls look like they've had a little TOO much holiday cheer if you know what I mean! LOLOL Veri decided to go chase the ducks around the dam, so I got Hope and Si to pose for these below...

You can see Hope's fur is mostly grown back on her leg from where she snagged herself on the barbed wire, just a little pink spot of scarring.

And Sierra always manages to look rather doofy, even when she's trying to be serious. She's just a big pup at heart really and I think she always will be!

So those are our Chrissy photos... now that you've seen them, all you non-updatey people need to go update YOUR blogs! You know who you are... seeing as how some of you are a good 3-4 weeks out of date and I
know you've got pictures to share! ;-p

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Reflection and Further Lala Pictures

Somewhere when I was reading about gait (because the only time I'm not reading about dogs is when I'm reading about chooks...) I read that running is essentially nothing but a perpetually suspended fall - that is, we're in the motion of falling but the forward movement essentially keeps us upright. I think that really sums up this year for me... it went by so fast and with so many different things and quite frankly I'm amazed that I just kept running through it instead of splatting onto the ground in a spectacular fashion.

  • The stress of selling, looking, several houses falling through, being in transit and officially without an address for a month, pulling this house out of thin air and less than 24 hours later signing the papers, setting it up, attempting to fix things.
  • With the dogs there was trying to learn about showing, endless worrying about Hope's front and if she will or won't turn out as a show-dog and the future plans for either outcome, delight at how clever she is as I know she'll be awesome at sports, wanting to get her into classes (new years resolution: I WILL, I WILL, I WILL get her in!!!), Verity's arrival and she is just the brightest little joy I don't know what I'd do without her and an offer to "borrow" some other dogs to show as well in the future which is very nice.
  • The chooks which are just brilliant fun. It's shocking how much I'm taken with the whole thing... I've had chooks before but they were just generic chooks and without knowing anyone also into them. I've met so many wonderful new friends through them and have so much fun working out all the genetics "stuff" involved! *huggles everyone* The damn fox taking Blossom, Petal and Basil.
  • Sheep come/born/taken away/offer for more on the horizon.
  • And of course... Laurent, who would merit a small novel to illustrate the challenges, joys and overall growth!
It feels like an endless ride of plans made, changed, fallen through and achieved - though rarely in the format I intended to. Sometimes I wonder if making plans at this point isn't a bit like trying to map out a path from the inside of a hurricane... it might make me feel better but cannot be expected to be straightforward! I'm not entirely sure if not being straightforward is delightfully fun or dreadfully annoying though. Sometimes I also think maybe I ought to try to make life proceed a liiiiiidddddllleee bit closer to plan but then again half the fun is in the spontaneity of finding out what comes up unplanned. ;-p

In the midst of all this we'd planned to start
TTC #2 in January or March. (Now looking more like March.) I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of being a mum to two and the concept of having a toddler AND a baby. I also fervently wish you could have babies without the awful necessity of being pregnant for 9 months.

On days like today when Laurent is demonstrating the "terrible" two's I wonder how the heck I am going to deal with his moments of
toddlerness while pregnant and later with a newborn. Or heavens forbid... two tornado toddlers if the second is like him. (Dear heavens... that's a terrifying thought!!!) Nic and I looked at each-other in the middle of an hour long tantrum today and sighed, "How do you feel about another puppy instead of a second child?" ;-p

On to the pictures from today! After last weekends not-so-great trip to the city Nic wanted to go for a second try today. I was not keen but I felt bad because I know he's a city-boy who hasn't done the city thing lately and he's gone to every dog show, trial, herding day and chook event I've asked him to without complaint. (<-- guiltguiltguilt) So after the long train ride - most of which was spent with a red-faced tantruming La (we made the mistake of saying, "No La, you can't push the buttons they've got for the handicapped to contact the driver") we had our coffee and I repeated last weeks sin and indulged in a chai latte and a red-bean bun. After Justin had to leave back to work, we took La for a walk and saw the big sparkly green tree...

Now you'd think being a BIG, very GREEN tree this would be up his alley. Nup. The only thing he was intested in was the pigeons.
Mou. In the world according to La, the sole interesting thing in the City is the pigeons!

After chasing pigeons and watching them he also managed to ham it up for the Japanese tourists who were cooing over him and taking his photos which allowed me to get my own pics. (He is such a flirt!) The city had a very nice Santa with a not-too-long line and no gimmicky "if you won't buy a $50 photo package your kid can't see Santa" (and by implication, you don't love your child enough to give them this essential childhood right of passage you lousy cheapskate...) so I decided to push my luck. I had my doubts but y' know it was just
such a tempting photo op and and Santa had lollies to tempt him (read: shamelessly bribe compliance with) so maybe he'd be okay today? Maybe? Possibly? (Okay, delusionally...)

Or not.~_~'

This was the closest we got to a nice photo. Poor Santa, he was such a nice guy but the lolly was promptly shoved back at him with a wailed, "Nooooo!" before Laurent resumed his tantrum and demands to be released, "wanna CHEEP CHEEPS!!!". He was NOT scared of Santa but BRASSED we'd stopped him from pigeon chasing to see
ol' Santa. (Dear Santa, can I have a normal kid for Christmas??? One who is more interested in chocolate than chasing winged rats?)

After we
slunk away from Santa with mumbled thanks and apologies, La went back to happy chappy after chasing the pigeons about trying to call them over to give kisses. I snapped this one and cracked up... he looks like a little pro flagging down a cab! LOL

To wear him out we took him down to the
RBG for a romp and got this (much more typical, classic La) shot! Running around, pretending to be Hope and panting! (Check the tongue hanging out...)

normalcy... a nice picture of him walking through the lavenders.

As all at playgroup know he is obsessed with
vacuuming and pretends to vacuum everything constantly. Well here's the other half of that obsession - pretending to sweep. He spent a good 10 minutes sweeping the dirt with a palm frond. LOL

Finally some slightly more
portraitish shots... La with his Dada.

And one
Nic snapped of me with La without me knowing (omg I need a haircut!!!) watching the swans in the pond. Swans aren't quite as neat as ducks or chooks but they're at least as cool as pigeons and one of the few things that keeps him STILL for two seconds!

Now... *FLOMP*

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Bunny Lala post

As part of our holiday time, we went to Myer in the city to get our special Christmas ornament. (We get one for displaying on the mantle every year.) La was VERY excited to get to ride in on the trains!

He had a good time looking at some of the displays but avoided Santa - whom he likes well enough in pictures but isn't regarded with a hairy eyeball from a distance in person. We tried to show him the story windows and those were likewise dismissed as unimpressive. (Now the pigeon population otoh...) We also stopped at Pepperoni's (yes, I'm trying to behave myself but seriously, it's been like 10 months since I went there!) and one of the little Asian bakeries for some red bean buns... nummy!

By the time we had to return, he was pretty tired and not at all keen on leaving. We went from this slightly pensive shot (watching the horse and carriage go by) to THIS upon being told we had to go...

Ah, the joys of a over-stimulated, over-tired 2 year old!

Solstice Pics

Now these are from the Solstice, I just really, really, reeeaaallllyyy wanted some pictures of him where he WASN'T a blur.

Sir Wiggly Biggly The Tornado Toddler is seriously darn near IMPOSSIBLE to capture a good photo of. I haven't been able to get decent pictures of him in MONTHS. (Note, that's plural!) My only comfort is I'm not alone - the professional we used for his b-day even whinged about how he doesn't stop moving for a nano-second! ;-p

So what is my solution? How did I get these you ask???

I chucked him on top of my car roof and let him tapdance.
Yes. REALLY. Hey, it worked didn't it!

Last but not least is a shot of my backyard. Or what you can see of it underneath the fog anyhow!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

RIP Collar #25,012

Hope got another one.

I told her Santa is leaving coal for her for sure, the rotten little termite puppy! ;-p

Let them out to play and Hope chewed up Verity's collar off her while playing. It's not like they've got acerage to run around on or a dam to swim in or ducks to chase or any of several dozen tennis balls and toys. Nup. Gotta chew her sisters collar to shreds. This one lasted maybe a month. One of a matching set I got the girls and it was so purdy too!


Saturday, December 15, 2007

A more appropriate outlet for La's "Pro Hart" tendancies... mostly neckid bubba, paint, papers, grass that washes out in the rain. By the time he was done, he had more green paint on him than the papers I'm sure. Clean-up: an hour of playtime in the kiddie pool followed by air drying while helping mum feed the chooks. ;-)

For anyone wanting to check out my new batch of chicks, pics are on Fowl Play. Four wyandotte littlies arrived Wedneday night. :-)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I promised the other day to get some pics of Veri's tricks she learned this past week so here they are along with pics of a sit, down since she was posing so nicely and the camera was out anyway and a zen "you must look away from the food to be given the food" self control exercise.

Basic sit

A "sit pretty"

A sit pretty with a dramatic flair when she's clapped for.... show off! LOL

A basic down with eye contact

"Mum is SO mean." She has to ignore the food and not look at it to earn it. ;-) A big ask as this is a cup full of her fav treats aside from hotdogs which would have been just a little too tempting at this point.

And a few pics of her doing "stick 'em up". Although sometimes it's more of "I'm a ham... hi ho Silver!" pose as she looks too pleased with herself to be pretending to be held up in an old Western film. LOL

Better one... paws up nice and straight!

And not so much a trick but a favorite treat - Air Veri catches her beloved tenny-ball as a reward. (Hope is locked up and can't snurch it! PMSL)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Well THAT lasted long...

We got news this morning the Ford job fell through after telling him he had it. Before an hour was out he had a new one with Optus though. Honestly this industry is insane! X-)

Other random bits... Sif will be amused to know that La has twice today nabbed the margarine and was fingerpainting on the floor. They must be reading our blogs! ;-)

I was discussing how the dogs all have different learning styles and commented that Sierra is slow in picking up new concepts - you had to go over and over something before it sank in but once it did it stuck. DH pipes up, "Oh, a bit like me?" I said, "Nah. I've yet to see anything stick for you!"

La figured out how to scroll through photos on the computer and was flipping through identifying whomever was in the pictures or asking me for those he didn't know. "Dat's Hope and Si and Vee and da puppy. Dats mum and Si and Vee. Dats Koo-wahnee. Dats Kateskelpie. (All one word!) Dats puppies." Then he gets to a picture with himself in it. "Dats puppy and Hope's Kid." Should I be worried he only knows himself as "Hope's Kid"??? O_O

I managed to nab some pictures of the yellow-tailed black cockatoos that have been hanging around our property while running the dogs this afternoon. We've got Gang-Gang that come through occasionally too but no pics yet.

Managed to snap a few Kings as well a few days back...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Some good news

Nic was picked up today by a Ford subsidiary and should start on Monday.

Also got a lovely gift certificate for $250 from my favorite jewelers as an token of appreciation for our purchases over the last few years.

Highlight of the day: Laurent wandering up to me head to toe covered in fuschia coloured powder, cheerfully offering me a pastel art stick. He grinned at me and chirped, "Mum, I FUNNY!!!"
"Laurent, did you do something that's going to make mummy strangle you?"
Well... at least he's honest...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sunday was the ASCV's Christmas breakup which was just a gorgeous day out! It is always lovely to just see dozens of Australian Shepherds running about. I love the idea of a big pack of dogs swirling joyously around me! It also always strikes me that we have all these dogs at these gatherings and yet they all get along - playing, resting or mixing with the crowd while everyone is chatting and enjoying the day. I wonder how many breeds could you say that about?

I also got my Christmas gift a bit early! I was SO tickled with Verity!

She was fabulous all day long and that was from 11:30ish-7:30, so a long, busy day! Getting pats from a number of people, lounging around and generally not giving away that even 2-3 months ago she'd have been uncomfortable with all the going's on. The noise and ruckus of the water relays and games even was fine! I think it also helped that the atmosphere was pretty relaxed and the dogs were all happy and enjoying themselves, as well as being with Si and Hope and not the sole object of focus. Oh, almost forgot to add to give her some focus-points, I did a few bits of clicking during quieter moments and she's picked up a "sit pretty" and "rearing horse" stand. Clever missy! Will get pics tomorrow. Nice to see she used sit as "please" several times too, even though it was a more busy environment than we've practiced that in.

Santa was there to give the littlies prezzies but Laurent who was woke from the nap we *just* put him down for not knowing Santa was about to arrive, wasn't so sure about the whole thing - even handing Santa back the bag of lollies initially!

Instead the highlight of the day for him was the pups! Ohhhhh.... they are just
way too cute! They got lots of kisses and pats from everyone! LOL

We are however feeling rather mindful of the fact La probably would benefit from a human sibling! LOL (Even if remembering his pregnancy makes me wonder if thinking he's a dog is such a bad thing after all...) That said, one thing we found while discussing dogs there was that I am NOT limited to four dogs by the council as we'd thought! So this opens me up to getting another dog on down the road or importing a male in awhile! A few other bits of good news including maybe some sheep hopefully!

Kate's dam was a big attraction for the dogs, though I think mine were wondering where the ducks were? (They always chase ducks on my dam, we can't get rid of the silly things!) Here are a few I clicked of the dogs running around...


I love this cheeky little pup... lol! Obviously quite chuffed with leading the pack in the chase at this point!

A quiet moment resting.

Hmm... looks like Sierra and her chum found something interesting smelling... PMSL!

Note the little black-tri puppy working on getting an element of surprise! ;-)

Of course, every meeting needs it's superiors to supervise and this made a comfy throne! lol