Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Melancholy

I think this Petersen family will bring in the New Year asleep. That is if LQ hasn't woken up at her usual jetlag time of 11.30pm. If that happens, then we will probably watch Mi-Mow (Mickey Mouse) to properly ring in 2009.

2009 - already so many plans, hopes and dreams. In 2009 we will find out exactly where we will be living for the next five years.
In 2009 we will cross the Pacific Ocean at least twice
In 2009 I will say goodbye to the country that has been mine since birth
In 2009 LQ will enter the terrible twos
In 2009 we will live in at least three different homes
In 2009 my brother and his wife will add to the Cluff family

2009 is a huge boulder rolling toward me Indiana Jones style. Unlike Indiana Jones, I am going to get hit by 2009 and I am sure that what comes out from under that boulder when it has rolled away will NOT be pretty.

But let's not forget 2008.

2008. What happened in 2008 should have been spread over a couple of years. But we managed to cram it all into one itsy bitsy year.
We (take a big breath)

visited Queensland,
were called as Primary President and Stake YM's President,
visited Hobart,
celebrated LQ's first birthday,
moved house,
welcomed guests from near and far,
celebrated my birthday in Victoria,
said goodbye to our guests,
said hello to some more guests,
Dal flew to the US for his brother's wedding,
said goodbye,
flew to Hobart,
celebrated Dal's birthday,
welcomed a boarder,
visited the middle of Australia with a friend,
travelled to Hobart twice more,
celebrated Father's Day in Hobart,
organised a Stake YM's camp,
spent a long weekend at the Gold Coast with friends and family,
flew to Brisbane for Brodie's graduation,
sent my brother off to Halifax for a mission,
flew to Hawaii and then on to Arizona for a five week break (but in that time managed to go to Disneyland)
and are now back home recovering from the year (and jetlag).

Oh, going through the photos, I forgot to mention our trip to Coffs Harbour and Dal's trip to Port Douglas.

GOODBYE 2008
AND
HELLO 2009

Saturday, 20 December 2008

24

Unlike the popular (popular?) tv show, I will NOT be giving you a blow by blow account of my last 24 hours. I couldn't remember most of it, but I will tell you why the last 24 hours have been so important.

Dal and I just spent them WITHOUT LQ!!

It's the longest time I have been away from LQ. Oh sure, there was that time that Dal organised a romantic night away at the Observatory Hotel, but we left after 9pm that night and the next morning I woke up at six and continued to worry about LQ until we got home at 8am. I'll admit it was a sad existence.

BUT this weekend was pure bliss. 24 FULL hours without LQ. She stayed with Granny Jules while Dal and I watched tv, ate in peace, slept in until 9.30 and continued to watch tv. All with Doo and Mimi.

I love my LQ, but I also LOVED my 24 hours of independence. AND as an added bonus the cuddles that LQ gave me when she saw me again were phenomenal.

(I will admit I still had to call a couple of times to check up on them!).

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Did I mention...

that LQ insisted on sitting on the toilet last week? She also wanted to wipe by herself.


LQ has also said her first legible word. If you know anything about Mickey Mouse Clubhouse you will know that Mickey Mouse summons "Tootles" by calling out in a sing song voice "Oh Tootles!" This was LQ's first word. Tootles. Does this mean she watches too much tv?

Out to Lunch...

Well, it seems that while on holidays, nothing of import happens to this girl. OR I am so busy relaxing I completely neglect ALL duties including blogging.

Not to worry, you haven't missed out on much. Dal and I have caught up on a few movies (through DVD), spent a few days AT the cinema and LQ has spent plenty of quality time with Granny Jules. I am also in the process of finalising all my Primary stuff for next year, making a princess dress for LQ and wrapping presents.

Granny Jules and I had the privilege of going to a cooking "class" today. I quoted the word class, because all we did was sit and watch another lady show us how she makes her cookies with her wonderful Bosch. Now, I am one of those people that enjoys a bit of a sales pitch. I usually don't know what I need for myself, so I like other people telling me what I need. But THIS cooking "class" went beyond ridiculous. The woman (we shall call her ... Grumpy) demonstrated a good number of cookies, which we were able to sample, but her spiel was RIDDLED with a sales pitch.

It was mostly Bosch, which according to Grumpy is as essential as a washing machine and dryer. But we also had thrown at us (not in the literal sense) spatulas, cookie cutters, chocolate chips, vanilla essence, Icing pipers, baking sheets, cookie coolers, waffle cone makers, macadamia nuts, icecream scoops, crystalised sugar and the list goes on. And to think, Granny Jules paid for the 1.5 hour sales pitch!

The fun didn't just stop at the sales pitch. There is a reason I named my friend Grumpy. She had employed "helpers" to assist with the ingredients and the getting of utensils. To say Grumpy treated them like dogs is an understatement. The public poor treatment of her employees was so obvious it made both Granny Jules and I VERY uncomfortable. We both agreed that even if the classes were free of charge we wouldn't go back. Of course Grumpy didn't have any feedback forms for us to fill out, so we couldn't tell her exactly what we thought of her and her cooking class!

Well, now that I have told you a whole heap of nothing, enjoy the photos of the Petersen family 2008. (We are getting some others done this Saturday).

Friday, 12 December 2008

What's wrong with being a "Mommy" blogger anyway?

I missed my daily nap today because LQ refused to have her second nap, so I am in a bit of a cranky mood. So, in this cranky mood I read a few different blogs and now I just need to vent.

It seems that in this little sub-culture of blogs, there is a dirty word, that if used to describe your blog, then you are (I am assuming) on one of the lowest rungs of the blogging world. It is - (gasp) - "Mommy Blog".*

The few posts that got me going mentioned that they would "lose" or annoy their readers if they posted something remotely resembling an update on their family life. These ladies are great bloggers and I am sure their extended family appreciate the updates every now and then. But because they have readers other than their own family, they feel like they must give what they think their readers want.

This is where I get confused and extremely ANNOYED.

1st: Isn't a blog generally for the blogger to just say whatever he or she wants to say? It was my understanding that is why blogs came about in the first place. So why should you care what others think? Maybe it is the whole female competition thing again. No one can ever be satisfied with being just themselves.

2nd: Going back to the whole "mommy" blogger thing. These women are mothers. They have families and as such, tend to write about their lives anyway. Their experiences are entrenched with mommyness. So I would say that in essence, they are "mommy" bloggers anyway. It doesn't matter which way you look at it.

I understand that some people start blogs so that their writing can get out there and possibly popular in a non-conventional kind of way. Even so, your writing is your writing and I am sorry to say it, but not EVERYONE is going to like it. Therefore, just write what you want to write.

But PLEASE, don't make me one of the lowest common denominators of blogging just because I like to update my family instead of entertaining a few people who could be completely insane anyway.

*I use the 'o' in mommy instead of 'u' because it doesn't seem to have been used in Australia yet.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

A Big Day for all of us


Free passes to the Phoenix Zoo meant Granny Jules, Dal, Hel and LQ had a big half day today.
Apparently, Petersen tradition states that as soon as you enter the Phoenix Zoo you must buy a bag of Kettle Corn. So after the Kettle Corn and the reptile exhibit, we made our way over to the Stingray feeding session. I will let you figure out for yourself whether we enjoyed it or not.


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As we walked around to each exhibit, LQ would promptly make a "weow" sound and point to any birds that were near us. The birds were a lot more exciting according to LQ.


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LQ liked the meerkats the most. So much so that she wanted to join them in their exhibit.


We petted some goats

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And took some more photos

Another way to spend my non-existent funds

Guess where my mother-in-law took us today.

A Ribbon and Lace store. That's right, a store that ONLY sells ribbon and lace. It was like a ribbon wonderland. And after walking through the store, I wondered how I had lived my life without having a Ribbon and Lace store close to me.

Hanging all around the store were different suggestions of what I could do with all the pretty ribbons that were available. Why didn't I think to do such wonderful bows for my gifts? Or string different coloured ribbon around a canvas for a nicely coloured photo display?

I believe I am about to start spending money on another useless hobby.

The Promised Video

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Wednesday, 10 December 2008

"Gog's" and "Weow"

Dal and I went shopping the other day.  We have finished our Christmas shopping early this year.  Anyway, the reason I told you that is because I wanted to tell you that I know what I am getting for Christmas.... and I just can't wait.  

I just went through the last lot of photos that I took on our point and shoot - don't get me wrong, it has served us well.  But half of the photos were blurred with the wrong lighting.  If we use the flash, everything is washed out.  If I turn the flash off, LQ moves too quickly for the amount of lighting.  Yessirree, I am REALLY going to enjoy that digital SLR (shhh, it's a secret).

With that out of the way, here are some photos and movies of LQ helping decorate the Christmas tree.  Granny Jules showed her how to do it and then we couldn't stop her.  She even took Dal to the tree at a separate time and showed him what she could do.  He was amazed at her digital dexterity.

She has also taken to calling out "weow" (meow) whenever she sees any animal.  Enjoy.


LQ's cluster of decorations
Using Granny's step ladder to reach the high places

Ok, so I am still working on the two movies that I want to upload.  For some reason they wont upload at the moment.  It is midnight and I am going to bed.  I'll try again in the morning.




Saturday, 6 December 2008

Black Feet and a Dirty Park

I have been fighting the urge to just crumple on the floor and take a long deserved nap. LQ has been testing my patience with her lack of sleeping skills. The past two evenings we have fought to get her to sleep and fought to get her to stay asleep. Not to worry, things are looking up and I am sure the good Lord knows that I can't handle any less sleep, so He is going to cast a magic spell on LQ tonight and MAKE her sleep all night.

Because of the lack of sleep, I haven't really felt like writing anything on my dear old blog. It's just too much effort. But I still have a few photos that we took on the way home from Disneyland that I MUST share with you. And here they are:

I wasn't lying in my previous post. The carpets in our hotel room did make our feet black. Dallas tried to document the proof on LQ's feet, but the flash kind of washed it out a bit.

On our way home we stopped to get a few supplies and noticed a park across the way. This park was in the dinkiest town ever, nevertheless, LQ loved it.

Trying to climb the bars.

Noticing the slide across the way.
climbing the stairs to the slide.
I wasn't sure about letting LQ go down the "big person's" slide, but she was in it before I could protest. We went down together.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Disneyland - Day Two

Yesterday was our second and last day at Disneyland.  Once again, we didn't get there until lunch time - time just gets away when waking up, breakfast, nap time, showers, etc get in the way.
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As we walked in, LQ started to squirm.  The squirm turned into a full blown tantrum in no time at all, and Dal and I were convinced the day would be a complete write off.  We were saved by LQ's wonderful Uncle Doo and Aunt Mimi... those two just walked by, whisked LQ up and had her go through a princess coronation, play with dumbo, drift along on the story book ride and say choo choo on the casey jr ride.  They took some photos that I will hopefully get to post soon.


While LQ was having the time of her life with her Aunt and Uncle, Dal and I decided that the best use of our free time would be to have a nap.  We rode on Space Mountain instead.  We met up with Doo, Mimi and LQ at Buzz Lightyear.

We were meant to meet up with the Jones family (Dal's friend from BYU) in Disneyland, but they have a little boy the same age as LQ and they had nap time and all sorts of other problems getting there, so by the time we got to meet them, it wasn't really worth their while to buy tickets to Disneyland.  So the Petersen's and the Jones' met in between Disneyland and California Adventure.  It was probably the most fun LQ had the entire day - running around with little E.  Even more fun than Mickey Mouse Playhouse!  But to be fair, LQ was way past her nap time during Mickey Mouse Playhouse.




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The best purchase of the day was a $5 play flip phone that makes a little twinkle sound when you open it.  As LQ walked back to the car, she would stop, flip, press the buttons and talk to her important "colleagues".

Monday, 1 December 2008

Disneyland - Day One (Lots of photos)

After the terrible day yesterday, I was really reticent about even beginning today.  BUT, it came anyway, so I steeled myself for what might be.
It seems that I had no reason to steel myself.  We went to the doctor for a prescription for three really expensive pills,


came back to the hotel for a quick nap and then on to DISNEYLAND just in time for lunch.


A quick stopover to visit Santa with cousin Audrey.  Audrey cried the moment she was placed on Santa's lap.  LQ was too busy checking out cousin Audrey she didn't think to cry herself.


Then on to the Pooh ride.  Turns out the Winnie the Pooh ride is a bit scary.  LQ cried.

Mummy and Daddy then went on Splash Mountain.  Twice.  It seems that Splash Mountain is a WET ride, that should be taken right before leaving the park.  Mummy and Daddy weren't so smart.

Mummy and Daddy ate a churro each.


Then they found LQ with Granny Jules, Cousin Audrey and Grandpa.  It was time for the "It's a Small World" ride.  Cousin Audrey was VERY animated the whole time.  


LQ was VERY sedate. 

 
Those two couldn't be any further apart in personality.


Mummy and Daddy took off again to take advantage of the dry pants they had bought each other.... and also go on the Indiana Jones ride.

Then it was Dinner, fireworks (hidden by the fog) and home.

All tucked away in bed ready for another big day.