Search Results: "apollock"

21 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 52, Trial Ballet class, rain and paint, Science Friday

I woke up at 2am, and then spent over an hour trying to get back to sleep. That was phenomenally annoying. Then at 5am, Zoe's white noise app on her Nexus 7 decided to go a bit wonky (as it does from time to time), which caused her to wake up. I couldn't convince her tablet to behave, so I just let her get in bed with me, but neither of us went back to sleep. I think at about 6am I told her she could turn on the TV so I could try and squeeze in a bit more rest. I managed to forget to put the oats in the Thermomix when I made porridge this morning. It took me a while to figure out why the consistency and colour didn't look quite right when I dished it up. Yep, it was one of those mornings. Zoe had her trial ballet class this morning, at 9:45am in Coorparoo. I managed to get Zoe organised a bit early, so we were the first ones there. It's in a church hall, and has a nice floor, with a mirrored wall and barres on each long wall. Eventually the other girls arrived, there were 5 regulars in total. A good sized class. I had mixed feelings when I discovered that parents weren't normally able to be present in the dance studio to watch the classes. I was today, because it was a trial, but once Zoe starts regular classes, I'll have to wait outside. I'm disappointed I won't be able to watch, but it'll be nice to have 45 minutes to myself. Zoe did really well in the class today. She picked everything up very quickly, and I don't think she'll be negatively impacted by having entered in Term 2. She seemed very comfortable and looked like she enjoyed herself. Not long after we arrived, the heavens opened in a massive downpour, which continued when we had to leave. It was a fair dash back to the car. I'd had plans of a picnic lunch in New Farm Park, but scrapped them on account of the weather. We got home, and had a late morning tea, and then Zoe wanted to play with her Marble Run. After that, we gave Smudge a good brushing and then Zoe wanted to do some craft and painting. I let Zoe set herself up, and it was fun to see what bits and pieces she chose to dig out of the arts and craft bins. She wanted to make another crown for Mummy's boss, but we don't have any crown making stuff at home (yet), so she ended up starting to decorate a wand and gluing a pom pom on a shoe box, before moving on to painting her cardboard box cubby house and rocket. She wanted to start doing some hand painting right around lunch time, but I managed to convince her to do that after lunch. We had some lunch, and then she did a little bit more painting and stickering before her nap. She passed out for her nap very quickly. After her nap, I asked her if she wanted to paint or do science, and without hesitation, she chose science! I delved into the "Weather" chapter of 365 Science Experiments and we did a couple with ice cubes and salt and then she saw one where you stick a balloon over the neck of a glass bottle and put it in hot water and the balloon "inflates", so we did that one as well. We also popped a balloon to simulate thunder. It was all nice and easy, without a lot of preparation required. After that, we did a bit of a clean up and then Zoe watched some of her DVDs from the library while she waited for Sarah to arrive to pick her up. It was a good day today. No meltdowns.

20 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 51, BJJ, library, lunch at Grill'd and a play in the park

Despite having a good, unbroken night's sleep, Zoe seemed a bit out of sorts this morning. She didn't have a particularly good breakfast. I'm not sure if that was because I made the porridge with cow's milk instead of almond milk (because I had some leftover cow's milk), or she was just having a bad day. Zoe has a trial dance class booked for tomorrow, which clashes with her normal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, so we skipped Playgroup and did a BJJ class this morning. It was a good class, because there were 3 other kids there, a regular boy and girl, and a girl who was taking a trial class, so it was nice to have a bit more happening, but the two other regular kids were younger and a little less focused, and I think that distracted Zoe a bit. I think the lack of a decent breakfast also kicked in, and she went on strike a couple of times. Overall, it was a pretty good class though. The one downside was when I accidentally closed her fingers in the door on the way out. I didn't realise she was holding onto the door frame when I let go of the door I was holding open for her. Luckily it wasn't a heavy door or it could have ended more badly. Zoe had chosen to go to BJJ class by car today. I wondered if it was because of the improved music selection with the new radio. Her library books were due back soon, and since I don't have her this weekend, I thought we could just go to the library after BJJ class. I gave her a muesli bar to keep her going after BJJ class, but I think the lack of a good breakfast was really starting to show after we left the library. I was feeling like lunch out, and hadn't been to Grill'd for a while, nor sampled their kids menu, so I asked Zoe if she wanted a burger for lunch, and she said she did. We got to Grill'd, and I eventually managed to extract an order out of Zoe. She went for the mini chicken burger. The kid's menu items were pretty good. They came in a little box, with the burger, some chips, a popper (a.k.a. "juice box") and a colouring sheet with a set of colouring pencils. Unfortunately Zoe had a massive meltdown because she couldn't get the angle of her straw to her liking, and wasn't doing very well expressing how she wanted it ("down and then up" didn't make a whole lot of sense without it having bendy bits in places it didn't have bendy bits). Eventually I got her to eat. I'd say that food was definitely the issue, because after lunch she perked up significantly, and we had a nice little play in Bulimba Memorial Park, where I'd parked the car, and then we went home. We read a few of the new library books, and then she passed out for a late nap without much complaint. After her nap, she was still a little bit out of sorts, but we managed a walk down to the Hawthorne Garage to grab some lamb cutlets for dinner, and then she watched some TV and ate quite a good amount of fruit while I organised dinner. After a handwashing-related meltdown and dinner, we went back to the Hawthorne Garage for a babyccino. She'd perked up somewhat by this stage, and it was a nice outing. Many dogs were patted while there and on the way home. Bath time and bedtime went pretty well. It's another warm night, so I hope she sleeps well.

19 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 50, Kindergarten, appointments central, cleaning, meetings and meltdowns

Today was a very busy day for me. First up, I had my chiropractic adjustment. Then I had my half-yearly dental checkup. Then I got stuck into cleaning the house. Fortunately I'd done a bit the afternoon before, otherwise I'd never have gotten it done before my massage. I'm starting to seriously consider getting a cleaner. I can make much better use of the limited time I get than cleaning the house. Zoe's Kindergarten has a Parent Advisory Group or something like that, which meets monthly. I wasn't able to attend the first one, but the second one was today, about an hour before pickup, so I grabbed a quick lunch after my massage and biked over to Kindergarten early. The meeting wasn't particularly interesting. The majority of it revolved around fund raising. At pickup time, Zoe was fast asleep again, and had another massive meltdown when I woke her up. It took forever to get her out. She wanted to give Megan a hug, but Megan had long gone. Then, rather fortuitously, Megan's Dad texted me to tell me they were in the playground on the neighbouring school grounds, so I managed to use that as an incentive to get Zoe moving. I didn't know until today, but at the foothill of the neighbouring primary school, there's some play equipment. A few of the Kindergarten kids seem to have a play over there after Kindergarten. Megan and Zoe played there for a bit before it was time to go. Once we got home, we unpacked and then walked down to the Hawthorne Garage to get some vegetables, and then, after buying some milk from the corner store and another grumpy meltdown, I figured a quiet afternoon was in order, so Zoe watched a DVD for a bit while I prepared dinner. I'd bumped into the mother of Zoe's friends Eva and Layla from her old day care while I was at the dentist in the morning, and arranged for her to drop by to pick up a copy of the photos I'd taken at their 4th birthday party. I'd hoped that she'd bring the girls with her, and had told Zoe they'd be dropping by, but unfortunately she came on the way to picking them up from day care, so Zoe was a bit disappointed. We did arrange to have them over for dinner next Friday, so I'm sure that will be very exciting. After that, we had dinner, and a fairly uneventful bedtime. It's hot again, so I hope that doesn't mess with her sleep.

18 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 49, Kindergarten, general exhaustion, a new car radio and a body corporate AGM

I was pretty exhausted after yesterday's sustained activities. By the time I'd blogged, done some photo management, gone to yoga class, made dinner and called my girlfriend, it was late, and I'd gotten to that tired point where I couldn't be bothered getting off the couch, so I ended up having a self-inflicted late night. This morning I tried to go for a run, but I died at the 2km mark, half way up Hawthorne Road, so I walked for the remainder of my 5km circuit. I'm going to say it was a combination of tiredness, insufficient hydration, the heat, and my head space. I got home from my "run", and had a shower and cleaned up the kitchen a bit and decided I'd rather get out of the house than work on my taxes, so I headed over to Moorooka to talk to the folks at Northfield about a new car radio. I've been wanting to get a better radio for the car for a while. The factory one has no line in, so I can't play anything off my phone through the car speakers. I've been wanting one that can do Bluetooth and play USB media. That way I can stick all of Zoe's CDs onto a USB stick and give her (and me) more variety than the current 3 track CD from dentist that she's favouring, and with Bluetooth I can listen to Pandora without needing a cable. I got to Northfield, and was pleased that they could do something within the budget I was looking at, and bought the DEH-X6650BT, which they were able to install for me on the spot. They said it'd take an hour and half, so I went for a walk down the road to Moorooka's main street to kill some time. I ended up having lunch at a little Ethiopian cafe where I swear the lady didn't understand English. Moorooka's quite nice and ethnic. After lunch I walked back, with the intention of reading the manual while I waited, and was pleasantly surprised to find they'd already finished the installation. When the guy was walking me through how to use it, I was really pleasantly surprised to discover that it also included Bluetooth hands free for my phone, with a little microphone glued to the top of my windscreen. That really made my day. I don't have to faff around with my little Bluetooth earpiece in the car any more. Then I discovered it had built-in Pandora support. So I'm really happy with this purchase, and really glad I didn't have to make a second trip to get it installed. I scouted around for a small USB thumb drive on the way home, and copied all Zoe's music off my laptop when I got home. By this stage, it was too late to bike to Kindergarten, and I wasn't really feeling like it anyway, because it was too hot, and I wanted to show Zoe the new radio anyway. It was a good call, because Zoe was fast asleep, and didn't take very kindly to being woken up. It took about 20 minutes to get her calm enough to get her back to the car. We got home, and we chilled out on the couch and watched a bunch of Youtube videos on the TV from when she was in the US, and then I showed her some Winter Olympics figure skating and speed skating, and then she watched a bit of DVD while I cleaned up the living room. Sarah picked up Zoe, and then I hosted our Body Corporate's annual general meeting.

17 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 48, Pupil free day, shoes, shoes and more shoes, ice skating, cut-throat shaving

Zoe's Kindergarten had a Pupil Free Day today. I think there's only that impacts the days Zoe attends Kindergarten for the whole year. I'd wanted to make the most of the fact that her friend Mackensie wasn't in Kindergarten on a Monday either, and have a play date with her at Southbank, but her little sister was having sleep issues, and her mother wanted her to nap at home today, so we had to scratch those plans. Given the forecast maximum temperature was going to be over 30 C today, I thought ice skating would be a great way to escape the heat, but the rink didn't have their open session until 1pm, so we had to do something in the morning to kill time. I decided we should go shoe shopping. Before we went to Westfield Carindale, we went to Officeworks to print out some more photos. Zoe really enjoys helping me with the self-serve printing kiosk, and is happy amusing herself at the kid's colouring table otherwise. I wanted some unusual size prints, so it involved one of the staff doing some additional faffing around with Photoshop for me. I'm rather amazed they'll spend the staff time doing that, when I only spend a couple of dollars on prints. After that, we headed out to Carindale. Zoe's in that limbo between size 3 and 4 at the moment. I bought her some new size 4 Autumn/Winter clothes the other weekend, and after that, went through her wardrobe and did a big cull of all her size 2 stuff and any size 3 stuff that didn't fit terribly well. That just left shoes and jumpers to sort out, so we concentrated on them today. First things first, we grabbed some morning tea at Muffin Break. They did a nice babyccino in a little china espresso cup, so Zoe enjoyed that, and we split a muffin between us. Zoe took a fancy to some ballerina pumps she saw at Cotton On Kids. We bought a few pairs of socks and a pair of size 10 pumps, and she wanted to wear them from that point on, so we wore them to the shoe shop. Almost as soon as we walked out of the store, she ran into heel problems on one foot, so after a few rounds of taking a couple of steps and needing to refit the heel of one shoe, I convinced her to go barefoot the remainder of the way. At Shoes and Sox she got properly measured for some light up closed-toe shoes. Zoe absolutely loved them, and wanted to wear them from that point on. Next we went to Target, and got a couple of jumpers. The kid's entertainment area was both a blessing and a curse. It was great for keeping her occupied when I needed to dash off and get some socks for myself for ice skating, but it was a negotiation challenge to get her away from it when it was time to leave. Toy Story 3 conveniently finished at just the right time. We dropped into Pumpkin Patch to get some boots. Despicable Me was playing there. Zoe is absolutely hooked on it at the moment. I managed to prime her to leave at the end of a scene though. She did score a couple of stickers while we were sitting there chilling out watching the movie though, so that was nice. I love Pumpkin Patch, but my God, it is expensive. I could have dropped $50 on a dress I really liked there, but I managed to resist. We decided to go back to Cotton On Kids to exchange the ballerina pumps. They didn't have any more of the style she'd chosen in her size, so we switched from gold glittery ones to red ones, which she wore out of the store. Cotton On Kids was also showing Despicable Me, so Zoe was very pleased. Shoes are horrendously expensive in Australia. The Sketchers and the boots set me back $60 each. The pumps were a bit more reasonably priced. I think they were about $20. I hope her feet don't grow too fast. After that shopping extravaganza it was lunchtime, and we split a spinach pide and had a quick fool around in the outdoor kid's play area and by then it was already after 1pm, so it was time to head to the ice skating rink. We got to the rink by about 1:45pm, and I changed Zoe into something a bit warmer. She was so excited, because we've talked about going ice skating on and off for a while, but it's just not something we've gotten around to doing yet, because neither of the two rinks are particularly convenient to home, and they have slightly odd hours. The rink had these slightly shorter than waist-height penguins that you could rent for little kids, so I rented one of them and Zoe pushed it around the rink, and got progressively better on her skates as time passed. We could also turn the penguin around and she could stand on the "feet" and I could push the penguin around by its head, which was fun for her, because we could get more speed up. By the end of the session, she was confident enough to have a few stints without the penguin, and stayed up pretty well. She was pretty buzzed afterwards. Going during the week was great, because there were maybe 20 people on the ice, tops, so it was nice and quiet. Zoe wasn't much of a hazard to anyone. She loved watching a couple of guys speed skate, and a lady do some figure skating. I'd booked myself a cut-throat razor shave at The Emporium Barber as a bit of a splurge, for 4:30pm, so we headed over there next. We got there a bit early, so I had a coffee, and Zoe had a juice while we waited. Then we discovered this dance apparel place a couple of doors down, that also had lots of fairy dresses and dress up dresses and whatnot. I asked on the off chance if they had ballet shoes, and of course they did, so we grabbed a pair of them while we were there, which was most serendipitous. Zoe has a trial dance class on Friday. She wants to do ballet or something of that ilk as her activity next term. Zoe was really good while I had my shave, and kept herself amused with my phone, and then we headed home, where Sarah was waiting to pick up Zoe. So it was really a rather non-stop, but nicely paced day. I'm looking forward to capping it off with a yoga class.

14 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 45, BJJ, Science Friday and baking cookies

We had a pretty busy day today. Sarah dropped Zoe off at around 8:30am. I reminded Zoe that she'd forgotten to give Sarah her crown that she'd made at Playgroup the previous day, so she gave that to her. After Sarah left, I let Zoe watch a little bit of TV while I finished getting myself organised. We drove to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class today, because I wanted to go directly to the Planetarium afterwards. Zoe's BFF Megan came to BJJ class today for a trial class. Zoe was very excited. Megan picked everything up really quickly, and the girls had a good time. She didn't want to wear her uniform today though. I managed to get out of her later that she felt it made her sweaty. I told her it was probably all the running around that made her sweaty, not the uniform. We went out for a coffee with Megan, her Dad and her little sister afterwards. We found a little take away shop around the corner. Not quite the place that did babyccinos unfortunately, so Megan's Dad very cleverly got a chocolate milk and split it three ways with the girls and called it a "milkshake". I've realised that for Science Friday, I've pretty much been doing solely chemistry so far, so I wanted to throw in a bit of astronomy this week. The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium had just recently reopened after getting a spanky new projector because 1978 called and wanted theirs back. Unfortunately, they weren't showing Perfect Little Planet today, but the slightly more specific Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown. I wanted Zoe to see something in the auditorium, so I thought we'd give it a shot anyway. I think we got to the Planetarium at around 11am, and the next show was at 1:30pm, so we had a bit of a look around the foyer for a bit, which Zoe quite enjoyed. They had a life-size model of Neil Armstrong's spacesuit, and a scale model of a Saturn V rocket. Zoe quite enjoyed both of them. I'll have to dig up some Youtube footage of a Saturn V launch. We then headed over to the cafe in the adjacent Botantic Gardens, and had a reasonable lunch. After lunch we wandered around the Botanic Gardens to kill some time, so you could say that today's Science Friday also included a goodly amount of botany as well. We went into the Tropical Dome and looked at the fish in the lily pond, and toured the fern garden, before heading back. We timed it pretty well, and got back to the Planetarium with about 10 minutes to kill. I'd prepped Zoe for the presentation, and told her that she needed to keep quiet, and if we had to leave we wouldn't be able to go back in again, and she could whisper to me if she needed to. I have to say, she was so well behaved. She sat through the whole 45 minute presentation and the projected tour of the night sky. I guess the presentation was sufficiently visually interesting to hold her attention for the duration. There was certainly a lot of "wow" out of her. I was so proud of how she went that I had to go and buy her an ice cream as a reward. After that, we went for a drive around Mount Coot-tha. I pointed out the TV towers that we can see from our balcony, and then she fell asleep on the way home. She didn't wake up particularly happy from her late, short nap, when we got home, but once she got herself sorted out, we baked the cookies that we'd made yesterday. They came out very nicely indeed. Once they were all baked, we dropped off a dozen to Megan's place, and then came home to have dinner. Bedtime went pretty well. I hope she has a good night's sleep, as we have a big day tomorrow.

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 44, Playgroup, laksa and baking

Zoe had Playgroup this morning. We had a little bit of time to kill between when Sarah dropped her off and it was time to bike over to Playgroup, so we went for a little walk to the post box to mail a letter. It was a beautiful morning, so the walk was nice. We biked over to Playgroup. Today I learned from the mother of the boy who was causing issues last week, that he was extremely allergic to everything. They couldn't use egg cartons for their craft activities, for example, because he was allergic to eggs, and even the empty cartons would cause a problem, apparently. That's quite the allergic sensitivity. I'm glad Zoe outgrew her egg allergy. Zoe wanted to do the craft activity first up, so she made another crown, this time for Mummy. I helped roll scraps of crepe paper into balls, and she very carefully glued them onto the points of the crown. She seems to really enjoy mucking around with Clag glue pots. I'll have to get a bottle for home. It reminds of my early primary school days. After that, we just generally mucked around for the rest of Playgroup. She loved the dress up pink lacy skirt again, and wanted to fool around on stage for a bit. One of my ex-co-workers has an occasional yum cha or laksa lunch with a bunch of his ex-co-workers, and I was invited along to laksa at Super Bowl. I figured that since Zoe loves any opportunity to use her chopsticks, and generally loves a good noodle soup, that this could be something I could bring her along to. So straight after Playgroup, we biked over to the Bulimba ferry terminal, locked up the bike, took the ferry across to Teneriffe and jumped on a City Glider bus to Fortitude Valley. We ended up getting there about 30 minutes earlier than everyone else, so I just ordered Zoe some wonton noodle soup and let her have at it while we waited for everyone else to arrive. We all had a BBQ pork laksa, which I personally found a little bit too spicy for my liking, but it was doable. Lunch went well. Zoe was really well behaved, so I'll definitely bring her along again. The next one is supposed to be yum cha, so I think she'll enjoy the selection. Zoe was looking pretty tired by the end of lunch, and we reversed our way back, and biked home from Bulimba. Once we got home, she practically put herself to bed for a nap. Since she was napping pretty late, I didn't let her nap for too long, and she woke up happy. After her nap, I thought we'd do some baking. I wanted to try and make some oatmeal cookies like our friend Bri used to make, so I found a recipe and adapted it to the Thermomix, and we got stuck into it. The joys of having a small child help is that not always do the ingredients wind up where they're supposed to. We had to mill a cup of raw sugar down to white sugar, and I had the cup's worth of sugar in a bowl and asked Zoe to tip the sugar into the Thermomix bowl. Unfortunately, she didn't line up very well, so some of the sugar made it into the Thermomix, but about as much went all over the Thermomix, the counter, the floor, the Guidecraft kitchen helper, everywhere. I've become quite good at taking these sorts of things in my stride, and didn't bat an eyelid. I was actually more bothered by Zoe asking me if I still loved her. After I reassured her I still loved her, even if she accidentally spilled sugar everywhere, and we cleaned up the sugar together, we continued to the point where I realised the dough was supposed to chill in the fridge for at least an hour. This would have meant the cookies wouldn't be ready to hit the oven until right around when Sarah was due to pick up Zoe, so I figured we'd just leave the dough in the fridge and bake the cookies tomorrow. Zoe watched some TV while I cleaned up the kitchen, and then Sarah arrived to pick her up.

12 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 43, a lovely lazy day, until we got on the bike

Zoe slept through the night again last night. Two nights of uninterrupted sleep has been totally amazing! We had a slower start to the day because we didn't have to be anywhere. I've been meaning to do a massive cull of Zoe's wardrobe for a while, and this morning seemed like as good an opportunity as any, so after TV, I managed to get Zoe to cooperate with trying on clothes for about an hour. She really enjoyed pulling everything out of her wardrobe and putting it all back again neatly. After that, she asked me if I could make her a bus out of the last remaining moving box, so I managed to make something approximating a bus. The port-a-robe boxes are really rather handy for this sort of thing. The balcony is starting to look like a cardboard box shanty town, with a cubby house, a rocket and now a bus. I think we need to host a few more play dates so they all get a good work out. It was time for lunch after that. I'd had a bucket of caramel popcorn, which I used for the journey to Coochiemudlo the other week. Zoe had asked me how popcorn was made, so I had resolved to make popcorn with her sometime soon. Yesterday at the health food shop, I opportunistically noticed some popping corn, so I grabbed a small bag of it. It turned out that buying peanut oil was good for more than just making peanut butter, as it came in handy today for popping corn. I've never popped corn before, aside from occasionally getting a bag of the microwave stuff, so it was a fun experience to do it "from scratch". It turned out pretty well, with only a few burned ones and a few unpopped ones. It'd be fun to try and dry out a corn cob and totally do it from scratch. After that I tried to get Zoe to take a nap, but it didn't work out so well, so after her quiet time we cleaned up her bedroom and generally fooled around for a bit. Throughout the day, Zoe did lots of little bouts of self-directed play. She dredged up this little wooden xylophone that we'd made in the US from a Kiwi Crate and had a great time banging away on it until she stood on it and broke it. The doctor's kit got a good workout. It was just a really nice, relaxing day at home. Zoe's Kindergarten was having a play date meet-and-greet in the park, for all the parents to meet each other. It was a fair way from home, but there was a nice, albeit circuitous, bike path to get there, and I decided to try and bike there, without really properly estimating the distance or length of time it would take. The play date was due to start at 3:30pm, and I was planning on leaving at 3pm. We were about 5 minutes late getting out of the door. I think it ended up taking us about 50 minutes to get there. It was a beautiful ride though, once we got onto the Bulimba Creek bikeway, through the Minippi Parklands. It would have been the longest ride Zoe's had on the bike, and she wasn't fazed at all. The play date itself was nice. For some reason, I'm a bit shy about going and introducing myself to the mothers (I kept wanting to write "other mothers"), but I sucked it up and made a few introductions. I'm terrible about remembering names though. At least I've got a few faces I can say hi to at drop off and pick up now. Sarah met us at the park and hung out for a bit as well, and then Zoe and her left together and I biked back home. I was feeling pretty good, and thought I'd try and bang out a run when I got home, but I didn't end up having the fuel in the tank, and blew up after about 1.5km.

11 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 42, a good night's sleep, Kindergarten, make up swim class and dinner with Nana

Zoe slept through the night for the first time in recent memory, and was up at around 6am. It was lovely. I'm thinking the slightly lower temperature helped. I'm definitely going to explore air conditioning for the bedrooms before next Summer. I'd picked up some egg cups on the weekend, so we did soft boiled eggs in the Thermomix for breakfast. They turned out lovely this time, and Zoe seemed to enjoy eating hers. She dressed herself while they were cooking. Her Kindergarten t-shirts arrived yesterday, so now she looks like all the other kids. It's very cute. It rained on and off in the morning, and I was in two minds about whether to chance it on the bike or not. As it happened we ended up messing around a bit before leaving, so we drove, and it was a good call, because it started raining again as we pulled out of the driveway. Drop off was super smooth. Megan had been away yesterday, but was back today, so Zoe was very happy to see her. My financial advisor came out for a chat about investments mid-morning, and then I got stuck into my US taxes. I will not miss having to do these tax returns. The 2013 one is going to be particularly complicated by the fact we sold our home and were only in the country for like 80 days. I biked over to Kindergarten to pick up Zoe, as the weather had improved. Surprisingly, she was awake, but her teacher said she'd just woken up from a nap. We managed to clear out pretty quickly. I stopped at the health food shop on the way home to get some peanut oil for the dinner I was making. Due to a miscommunication, Zoe had missed her Saturday swim class. I explained to the swim school the error, and they were kind enough to allow Zoe to have a make up class anyway, so we went to that after Kindergarten. Zoe wanted to do some more practice riding her bike. She's got a little 10 inch bike with no training wheels and a gyrobike front wheel. We haven't had a lot of success learning to ride to date, due to a combination of her height and just time, so it was interesting that she decided today she wanted to do some more practice. She wanted to "ride" her bike from home to the park on the way to swim class, but I managed to convince her to walk the bike to the park. It turns out even walking the bike is a bit of a challenge for her, so I ended up carrying it most of the way. It's heavy. We got to the park, and had a bit of a run with the bike. I'm glad I decided to take her knee pads and elbow pads, because she did stack it fairly decently, but managed to survive mostly unscathed. To her credit, she even got back on the bike again. She's a tough kid. Once we made it to the playground, she lost all interest in the bike, and we had about 15 minutes to kill before we needed to continue to the pool. We walked/carried the bike from the park to the pool, and the make up class Zoe ended up in was Megan's regular class, so the girls had a great time together. After swim class, we walked back home. Zoe's Nana was coming over for dinner, and I wanted to make a satay chicken dish. I'd bought some peanuts from the Peanut Wagon on Sunday, when I was in Nanango for my uncle's 90th birthday party, and I wanted to try making peanut butter from scratch in the Thermomix, and use that to make the satay sauce. Long story short, dinner wasn't super great. I'd made a satay chicken in the Thermomix previously, but I couldn't find the recipe I used last time. I used this recipe tonight, but didn't really follow it properly because I was trying to cut corners due to the time. I tried cooking wild rice in the microwave and it was a total flop. The satay chicken itself turned out okay, but it was a shame about the rice. It was cool making my own peanut butter. Zoe had a great time playing with her Nana, and after we dropped her off at the train station went to bed without a peep.

10 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 41, Running, Kindergarten, baking

I got up not as early as I'd have liked, and did the first 10km run I've done for a while, with my new shoes and the orthotics in them. It was a bit cooler, and despite not being particularly well hydrated, I lasted the distance, and managed to complete it in under an hour. I'm a long way off my best time at the moment, but I'm hoping as it cools down my running fitness will improve. I ended up doing a bunch of startup-related stuff today, instead of Debian stuff. It felt good to make some vaguely forward progress, even if it was just business operations planning stuff. I picked up Zoe from Kindergarten by bike. We'd both confirmed with her several times since Friday as to which mode of transport she wanted to use to come home, and she'd indicated the bike. Zoe was asleep as usual, but woke up pretty easily. The Kindergarten has indicated that they want everyone out of the centre by 2:30pm, which makes it a bit of a challenge to rouse a deeply sleeping child and exit the centre in 10 minutes. I managed to sunscreen her while she was still horizontal, so that sped things up, and it helped greatly that she didn't have a post-nap meltdown. One of her class mates and her mother were hanging around waiting for her big brother to finish school, and the bike trailer tends to be a good conversation starter, so we chatted for a little bit before leaving. It was nice to properly meet another parent, and I'm glad to see Zoe's started learning some of her class mates names. I had a kale, carrot and apple juice for lunch today, and as I hate wasting the pulp out of the juicer, I'd previously found a nice muffin recipe that I could use the kale and carrot pulp in. I'd previously baked a batch of mini muffins for Zoe's lunches, and was pleased that she liked them. We were getting a bit low, so I thought we'd bake another batch this afternoon, so that's what we did after we got home. Once they were in the oven, Zoe went off to watch TV and I made a start on dinner. Bedtime went nice and smoothly tonight.

8 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 38, BJJ, Science Friday and a play date

Zoe wound up in my bed at some ungodly hour, but then we both slept in until 7am, which was nice. Mum and Dad were coming around at 8:30am to come watch Zoe's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, so we got up, made some porridge in the Thermomix and got ready. Zoe decided she didn't feel like going to BJJ class by bike, so we all piled into our car and drove over. Zoe had a good class, and Mum took her uniform home afterwards to take up the legs a bit, which will be good. They stayed for lunch, and we reviewed photos from our Coochie and Melbourne trips, and I made some fresh guacamole in Thermomix to go with the chicken quesadillas I made for lunch. After lunch they went home, and Zoe declined to take a nap, so we read some stories in the hammock, and then we did our Science Friday experiment, one that was suggested to me by a friend on Facebook. It was nice and easy, just put some milk in a tray, drop in a few drops of food colouring and then touch them with a cotton bud soaked in detergent. The detergent breaks up the fat in the milk and the colour drops go flying all over the place. Zoe really enjoyed swirling all the colours around with the cotton buds and we repeated the experiment a few times. She then wanted to see what would happen if we put some glue in, so wanting to encourage her scientific curiosity, we tried it, and nothing interesting happened. Zoe had a play date at her friend Mackensie's house, which was just down the road in Balmoral. We biked over to her place and the girls had a lovely afternoon playing. Sarah came and picked up Zoe from there. I dropped in on some former neighbours who happened to move two doors down from Mackensie, and had just had a second child, and then headed home to prepare for a dinner and board game night with my girlfriend and some of my neighbours.

6 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 37, Playgroup, bubble tea, and Android phones

Today was Playgroup. We had a pretty early start to the day, and Zoe wanted porridge for breakfast, so we made that together in the Thermomix, and she got dressed while it cooked. After a bit of TV, we biked over. I got to witness semi-firsthand my first mother-to-mother altercation. I said hi to a mother I'd met a previous week, and asked her how she was, and got "Pissed off" as the response. Apparently a reasonably large boy (I'd put him at about the 4 mark) had been in the face of her daughter, and distressed her daughter a bit, so she'd apparently politely told the boy to back off, and then been revved by the mother of the boy for talking to her son. The boy continued hanging around her daughter, and she left Playgroup not long after telling me all about it. I worked out later on that the mother of the boy was one of the women who helped run the Playgroup. Fun times. He was a bit out of control. He full on screamed at me at the end of Playgroup for no reason. His mother did make him apologise to me for that, without me requesting it. There were some dress ups (mostly skirts) today, so Zoe had a fabulous time cavorting around on the stage in a big pink lacy skirt, doing "ballet". She dragged me up on stage with her, and we danced around for a bit. It was quite fun. She was very helpful at pack up time, and was bringing a lot of equipment back to the storage room at the back of the hall. I was helping load stuff into the large crate in the storage room. After parachute time, I lost sight of her briefly, and after a quick search, deduced that she must have gotten herself locked in the storage room. Sure enough, that's where she was. She was only missing for as long as it took me to notice and search in all the other possible places, so she wasn't particularly distressed. Poor thing. After Playgroup, we biked back home, and I had another photo I wanted to print out, so we drove over to Officeworks and had a sausage sizzle after we got the photo printed out, and then drove back home. Zoe had a pretty good bedtime last night, so I decided to try skipping her nap today. I wanted to get the 5-8 player extension pack for Settlers of Catan, which Mind Games in the Myer Centre had, so we hopped on a bus to the city. When we've been on longer public transport rides, Zoe's asked me if she can play games on my phone. This of course keeps her amused, but leaves me with nothing to amuse myself (I need to remember to bring a book). I have this cupboard full of old Android phones, so I decided to blow the dust off my old Nexus S and make it a dedicated games phone for her when we're on public transport. This worked pretty well today. She also decided to bring her handbag, which was convenient. I think she was pretty excited at the idea of her "own phone", even if it lacked a SIM card. After we'd bought the extension pack, I thought we could do something slightly more fun than just traipse into the city and traipse back out again. I've been meaning to introduce her to bubble tea for a while, so took this opportunity to track some down in the Myer Centre. We settled on some honeydew milk tea. She liked the honeydew, but after a couple of mouth fulls, was over the tapioca balls. She was a good sport and gave them a good college try though. It was fun watching her play around with the phone on the way home, and just fumbling her way around the user interface. She found the alarm setting UI, and was having a great old time creating alarms. (I'm glad I cleared them all out when we got home, there was at least one set for 4am). She had fun exploring all the ring tones. Towards the end of the journey home she figured out the camera, and was having a fabulous time taking snaps out the bus window. She still needs to work on keeping her hands and fingers away from the lens. She watched some TV while I made dinner and then I joined her on the couch for a cuddle while I flicked through my copy of 50 Dangerous Things (you should let your children do) and 365 Science Experiments. My cousin Renata came around for dinner with us tonight. Zoe didn't have a particularly great dinner, but she did go to bed nice and easily. I'm not sure how she'll sleep tonight. I've gone back to having a light-weight doona on her, as it's possible last night's wake up was temperature-related.

5 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 36, Kindergarten, cleaning and pee pee accidents in hardware stores

Today was my "clean the house" day. I made a start, then went for my chiropractic assessment and adjustment. I now only need to see him fortnightly, which is nice. I knocked out most of the cleaning, and then went for a massage and had some lunch. The next thing I knew it was about time to pick up Zoe. I biked to Kindergarten, and she was asleep again. She woke up reasonably easily, but was grumpy not long after that. She was very uncooperative, and didn't want to go home on the bike, and wouldn't let me put sunscreen on her. After a bit of work, I managed to extract from her that she didn't like my "sweaty hands" from riding the bike there, so I washed my hands and then she let me sunscreen her up. I'll try doing pick ups in the car next week I think. We got home, and I needed to get some more kitty litter, so we went out to Pet Barn. Zoe had a great time checking out all the fish, and also playing with aquarium decor. It got me thinking that maybe an aquarium might be a good birthday present for her, if not this year, maybe next year. It turns out that fish aren't particularly expensive, so they'd make for easy presents for people. After that, we popped across to Bunnings, because I needed a couple of things. While we were there, Zoe announced she wanted to go to the toilet, so we started trekking off to where I thought the toilets were. Turned out I was wrong, and they were at the opposite end of the building, so we had to trek all the way back again. Zoe got all the way into the ladies bathroom and failed to make it onto the toilet in time, so that concluded our visit to Bunnings. We got home and she got changed, and I started making dinner. While dinner was cooking, Zoe watched a bit of TV, and then I decided to try making some lunch box pies, essentially a piece of buttered bread jammed into a muffin tray with some creamed corn and bacon in the bottom and beaten egg on top, thrown in the oven. Zoe helped sample the bacon and cracked the eggs for me, while I buttered bread and cut the crusts off and jammed slices into muffin trays. Bedtime was remarkably uneventful for a change.

4 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 35, Kindergarten, taxes, makeup BJJ

I foolishly had a late night last night, for no particularly good reason, so I slept in quite late this morning. I didn't start getting going until about 8am. How decadent. I'd forgotten to send Zoe to Kindergarten with her water bottle yesterday, and forgotten to give it to Sarah when she picked her up yesterday, so I dropped it and a fresh set of spare clothes out to Kindergarten after I had breakfast and a shower. I managed to sneak in and out without Zoe seeing me. I did some more work on my taxes before popping out for lunch to discuss my main start up idea. I also renamed my old shelf company today. I biked over to Kindergarten for pick up, and sure enough, Zoe was fast asleep. It took quite a bit of work to rouse her. I was pretty sure she was just faking it though. She moved pretty fast when I said I had a surprise at home for her. We biked home, and I gave her the surprise (some Pop Rocks I'd been saving for a special occasion) and headed out by car to a makeup Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class to make up for the one she missed on Friday. It turned out that trying to do an afternoon class after Kindergarten and being woken up from a nap wasn't the best idea. Zoe tired out pretty quickly, during the warm up exercises, and was moderately uncooperative for the remainder of the class (she kept going on strike). I've never driven to or from BJJ classes until today, and I wasn't actually sure how best to drive home, since we've always taken the Norman Park Greenway. Zoe was asking for a "different way" anyway, so that worked out well. We winged it through Coorparoo and the back of Norman Park and tacked onto the end of how we'd normally cycle home. Zoe had enough time to watch a little bit of TV before Sarah arrived to pick her up.

3 March 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 34, Kindergarten, recovery, carpentry

I was pretty knackered today. I should have done some Debian stuff, but I just didn't have it in me, and I had a backlog of household stuff to get done. Zoe woke up at 4am, and I didn't have the energy to try and get her to go back to sleep in her bed, so I just let her sleep in my bed. We both slept in until 7am, which was nice. As a result, we didn't have as much time to have a slow start, and Zoe was a bit grumpy and uncooperative as a result. I think there was at least one meltdown before breakfast. It conveniently rained around the time we were ready to leave, so we drove to Kindergarten. Drop off was super smooth. She pretty much waved me off as soon as we got there. I picked up a couple of packages from the post office on the way home, and then started hanging out the washing before I had to go back to see the podiatrist to get my orthotics fitted in my new running shoes. I finished hanging out the washing and putting away stuff from the Coochie trip and Melbourne trip and had some lunch. After lunch I started work on making a little step for Zoe so she can turn the light off in her bedroom. I had enough material left over from the clothes lines I made for her to make a really dodgy little "stool". It rained again around pick up time, so I drove to Kindergarten again, and picked up Zoe. She'd just woken up from a nap before I got there and was in a good mood. Megan's Dad was picking up Megan on foot, and they were going to have a coffee at the local coffee shop, so we joined them. After that, we went to the post office to check my post office box. I had a cheque that needed to be banked, so we went to the bank and the supermarket, and by then it was pretty much time for Sarah to pick up Zoe from me. I did a bit more carpentry before I lost the light, and went to yoga.

28 February 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 31, Coochiemudlo Island to Melbourne in one day

Wow, today was pretty crazy in terms of the travel we managed to pack into one day. This morning, Zoe woke up at about 5:30am and jumped into bed with me for a snuggle and another half hour nap. After that we got up. Zoe had been eyeing off the egg cups in the house, and so I'd wanted to do soft-boiled eggs for breakfast. So we doused ourselves in mosquito repellent and raided the chicken coop. I don't think I've ever cooked soft-boiled eggs in my entire adult life, and today wasn't an exception. They came out hard-boiled. Zoe still ate them anyway, she just couldn't do the toast soldier thing. I need to buy some egg cups for home and we can try again. I hear the Thermomix can do boiled eggs. After breakfast and a shower, I got stuck into packing up and cleaning the house, and Zoe watched TV. At 8am she turned off the TV and declared she wanted to play in the yard. It was nice to see that she wanted to do something more than just veg out in front of the TV, without prompting. I had us all packed up by about 8:30am and we were only 5 minutes from where the barge docked, so we drove over to the other end of the island to take a look at the place at high tide. It was quite different from the two days before in the afternoon at low tide. The stick that we'd walked out to was barely above the waterline. Then we drove back to wait in the queue for the barge. The barge journey back was uneventful and we made it back home by 10am, which was about the time I was expecting, and rendezvoused with my girlfriend, and did a fast unpack and repack. We then headed to the airport, arriving comfortably with enough time to check our luggage and get some lunch to take onto the plane. Zoe was great for the flight down. She watched Brave on the in-flight WiFi entertainment on my phone, and got to fit the whole movie in before we landed, but this meant she skipped a nap. By the time we got to Melbourne Airport, she was in the post-tired manic state, but we weren't in any particular rush, so we had a very roundabout trip to baggage claim, and then after we'd acquired some Myki cards, caught a taxi to our accommodation in South Melbourne. After we'd unpacked and settled in, and I'd gotten some supplies from the local convenience store, we caught a tram into Bourke Street to go to Chinatown for dinner, after checking out the view from the observation deck on the 28th floor. We found a great dumpling place, and Zoe really enjoyed the pork dumpling and noodle soup that I ordered for her. She kept alternating between eating the noodles with her training chopsticks and the broth with one of the big spoons. She was getting really over-tired and over-stimulated by this point, so it was quite a bit of cat-herding to get to Chinatown, and more so getting back to a tram to come back. We got home, Zoe had a quick shower and went to bed without a peep. Her room is nice and dark, so I'm hoping that she'll have a bit of a sleep in tomorrow. (Wishful thinking). I'm really quite pleased with how smoothly today's travel went. Everything went off without a hitch.

27 February 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 30, A full day on Coochie

Last night went pretty well. Once I got Zoe to sleep, she slept well, with only a brief wake up around 2am. Any mosquito bites she sustained didn't seem to give her any grief. She woke this morning at 6am. It makes me think the blackout curtains at home aren't really contributing to her sleeping in. We had a lazy start to the day. Zoe watched some TV after breakfast, and after I had a shower, fed some bread crusts to the chickens and then we played with the box of dress up costumes for a little while. After that, we jumped on the bike and went down to check out the trademark of Quirky Cottages, a bunch of converted rail cars and "zoo". There were chickens, geese, guinea pigs, a sheep and a donkey. The rail cars weren't anything much to phone home about (much like the Cow House). In fact the whole affair looked a bit dilapidated. Then we continued on the bike down to the local playground, where Zoe had a swing for a bit. We walked over to the jetty and watched the passenger ferry arrive, and then bought a loaf of bread at the store and biked back to the house. It was too early to have lunch, so we just pottered around in the yard. We inspected the chicken coop, and Zoe played on the swings and swung from the rope swing. We tried and failed to catch a chicken, because Zoe wanted me to pick one up. We had lunch, and then Zoe had some fabulous self-directed imaginative play indoors with the various props the house had to offer, while I put my feet up. Then she declared she wanted to take a nap anyway. After her nap, I wanted to go back to the beach. I'd gotten myself all organised so that we could try and jump on the bike as soon as possible once Zoe woke up, but there was the requisite amount of stuffing around. I'd put Zoe's water shoes on, so she could ride in the trailer in her swim gear ready to go, but she had a mosquito bite on her foot that was giving her grief, so I cut my losses, and took the water shoes off and put her sandals back on, and promptly left the water shoes behind. We got all the way to the beach before I realised, and so we had to go back and get them. Once we finally made it back to the beach, I chose a different location than yesterday, just so we would not have any memories of the mud crab incident to deal with. It turned out to be a good choice, because we had a fabulous time exploring. The tide was even lower than yesterday, and the water was a bit silty, so we didn't do much paddling around in it, instead we explored the rock pools. We found some tiny (1 centimetre and smaller) hermit crabs. These didn't seem to freak Zoe out, and she was even prepared to hold them. We saw some really small mud crabs. Once we were still for a little while heaps of soldier crabs started coming out, right near us. That was pretty cool. On the walk back to the bike, I found a crab claw on the beach, so Zoe got to take that as souvenir. I showed her how the claw opened and closed. I think we'll have to eat a crab in the near future, just so she can get a good look at one up close. I most liked how as the excursion progressed, Zoe became more and more confident with the rocks and the tide pools. Initially she was apprehensive of everything, but starting with the soldier crabs, she'd become more and more comfortable with everything. I'd poke at stuff, she'd poke at stuff. It finished with her being comfortable wandering off to explore on her own. We got home, Zoe had a shower and then I made dinner while she watched TV. We read some stories and so far bedtime appears to have gone pretty smoothly, which is good. I'm feeling quite exhausted. Tomorrow morning we have to pack everything up and be on the 9am barge out of here so we can race home, and repack to fly down to Melbourne for the weekend.

26 February 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 29, Coochiemudlo Island and The Cow House

I thought it might be a good idea for Zoe to do something out of the ordinary while Sarah was away, to help pass the time, so I booked The Cow House, one of the Quirky Cottages on Coochiemudlo Island for a couple of nights. I'm thinking it'll be a fun goal to work our way around all of the islands in Moreton Bay eventually, and Coochie is an easy 20 minute barge journey from Victoria Point, so it seemed like as good a starting point as any. So I packed the car up this morning, and after my 8am chiropractic adjustment, we set out. I'd initially thought the barge left at 9:40am, but I was relieved discover it was 10:40am. That extra hour up my sleeve made things much less hectic. It was a 40 minute drive from home to Victoria Point, and we arrived with enough time for Zoe to have a quick play in a nearby playground before we had to drive onto the barge. The house is nothing to phone home about. In fact the mobile coverage is so patchy, phoning home would be rather difficult. It's an old two bedroom fibro shack, with a painted concrete floor. It's been nicely painted in cow print and themed extremely bovinely. Zoe loved it. There were stuffed cows everywhere. She even found some cow slippers. There's chickens running around loose outside. My biggest beef with the place is the fly screens aren't intact, and there are plenty of mosquitoes about. I'm going to have keep Zoe lathered in mosquito repellent or we're going to have a bad time. There is a good supply of kids' dress up costumes, and Zoe's been prancing around the house in a pink princess dress any time she gets the opportunity. I brought the bike and bike trailer with me (which ended up making packing the car more of a challenge). After Zoe's nap, we went for an explore around the island by bike. There was no road around the outside of the island, so we followed the main road along the width of the island, and reached the other side in about 5 minutes. The tide was out, so we decided to return back to the house to get our swim gear and come back and have a bit of a splash around in the water. We biked back in our swim gear. I'd bought Zoe a pair of water shoes so we didn't have to worry about what we were walking on, and I wore my snorkeling boots. The tide was out, but it looked like it was coming back in. We walked out to a big pole that was in the water marking some rocks and then started walking back again. Zoe was a bit standoffish about rocks in the water, and generally a bit apprehensive of anything strange along the way. I spotted a mud crab in really shallow water by the shore, and brought Zoe over to see it. It had half buried itself in the sand, so I nudged it with my boot and it came out with its claws out, and Zoe completely freaked out when it started walking in her direction and she gave the most bloodcurdling scream I've ever heard her make (way worse than when she had her last vaccinations) and she climbed up my leg like a rat up a rope. That was the end of that. She wasn't very interested in walking along the beach lest we run into any more crabs, so we biked back to our side of the island, had an ice cream and returned to the house so Zoe could have a shower and I could start dinner. Zoe's sleeping in a king sized bed tonight, so we'll see how that works out. Bedtime has been a little bit interesting because of the change of surroundings, and there's been a lot of pining for Mummy. Hard to say if it's because of the nap today or the different sleeping arrangements.

25 February 2014

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 28, Kindergarten, Taxes and a smattering of appointments

Today was yet another busy day. Zoe seems to have taken to waking up at around 5:30am instead of her normal 6:00am (or a bit later when I'm really lucky). Not sure what that's all about. I did get her to go back to bed until about 6:55am, and then she was happy to just come and snuggle in bed with me for a bit instead of play games on her Nexus 7. After that we had a leisurely start to day, making porridge with strawberries in the Thermomix, and then biked to Kindergarten. Somehow it still managed to be 8:45am by the time we got there. I was expecting it would be closer to 8:30am. Drop off looked like it was going to be clingy, but then she just waved me off, so that was nice. I had an appointment at the podiatrist at 11:40am, and that was back near Kindergarten, but further away from home, so I had this grand plan of cycling over there, and then twiddling my thumbs for a bit before Kindergarten pickup. That left me with only a couple of hours at home to work on my taxes before I had to leave again. I managed to make those couple of hours productive though, so that was good. I biked to the podiatrist, had my appointment, and then it was 1pm and I still needed lunch, so I decided to grab some at a cafe near the Kindergarten. I chilled out there for a while catching up on social media on my phone, and then headed over to the Kindergarten, but was still quite early, so I just hung out on one of the couches they have out by the front door, out of sight of the kids. The Kindergarten has an A-frame whiteboard out the front that they use to broadcast messages to parents at drop off and pick up time. One of the teachers came out to write something on it while I was sitting out there, and another parent reacted rather negatively to it as it was being written, so I had to go see it for myself. Apparently a child had a suspected gastro bug (he'd thrown up a couple of times). It was interesting observing the reactions of a few mothers as they trickled in for pick up. It's been a while since a gastro bug has gone through the household, so I guess the news didn't evoke a particularly powerful reaction in me. I'm going with the "suspected" and that hopefully Zoe didn't come into contact with patient zero. I guess time will tell. I certainly hope she doesn't come down with anything between now and Sunday, with all the travel we're doing. I had an accident report to sign today. Apparently a large wooden block hit Zoe in the head while they were packing up a tower they'd made. She had a bit of a lump on her head, but otherwise seemed fine. Zoe had a nap today, of unknown length, but woke up naturally as I entered the room. She took a fair while to get going though, and was grumpy and uncooperative getting on the bike. I ended up having to do it the "hard way" and we had a fabulous ride back with her doing a tired cry all the way. All the way until we passed a playground, when she snapped out of it and declared she wanted to have a play. I'd booked myself in for a haircut at 3pm, and a make up swim class at 4:45pm (to cover our absence this Saturday due to our Melbourne trip) so playing in the playground seemed like the perfect way to fill the gap. It was even on the way to swim class. So after I had my haircut, we popped home, grabbed her swim gear, and biked back to the playground for a bit. Then we went to swim class. This was her third one at her new level, and her progress continues to go very well. It's really exciting watching her. Zoe took her time leaving the pool, so we didn't get home until after 5:30pm and I hadn't started dinner yet. I whipped it up while Zoe watched some TV, and I managed to recoup all of the lost time after dinner and still get Zoe to bed at a reasonable hour. Bedtime itself went nice and smoothly. I used the canned goodnight video I asked Sarah to make for the first time tonight, and it was well received and I think defused any potential issues. I'm hoping she'll sleep well tonight, as her mosquito bites don't seem to be actively giving her trouble any more.

Andrew Pollock: [life] Sprained ankle, part 3

My right ankle has never been quite right ever since I sprained it in 2008. The ankle is always a bit enlarged, sometimes more so after running. With all the running I've been doing back in Brisbane, I had this niggling concern in the back of my head that I might be doing myself some long term damage, so last year I packed myself off to see a physiotherapist that was within walking distance of home. He declared that I had blown out two of the ligaments in my foot from the sprain, and that my calf was compensating for it a bit. The swelling was just scar tissue. He gave me a bunch of exercises to do, and I had some electrotherapy on my calf for a few weeks and I went on my way. I think I'm supposed to do the exercises every time before I run, but that hasn't happened. It's hard enough to make the time to run, without having to prepend a bunch of exercises as well. One of my neighbours works for my FootDr, so I asked her if they did video run gait analysis, because I was interested in seeing if there was anything I could do to improve my running gait. They did, and so I finally got around to making an appointment for today. The appointment wasn't as interesting as the one I had in the US, in that there was no fluoroscopy, just manual examination, but there was the video run gait analysis on the treadmill, which was not something I've had before. I was pleased that my running shoes (New Balance 940's) were deemed correct for my situation. The guy at Sports Basement obviously did a good job of fitting them to me. I was advised to refresh the shoes, though, so I lashed out on a pair of 940 v2's today. My health insurance also paid pretty generously for orthotics, so I'm going to get a pair for them to add to the ankle stability. The results of the run gait analysis were that, surprise surprise, I am rolling inwards a bit more on my right ankle than my left. Interestingly, my left calf was bigger than my right one, so I was advised to stick with the physiotherapy exercises (yay). So with the orthotics, new shoes, and forcing myself to do my physiotherapy exercises, I'm pretty satisfied that my continued running isn't likely to do too much damage to my body. The podiatrist concurred that because I'm currently pain free, everything should be good. I just had to live with the fact that my right ankle is going to always be a bit swollen.