Saturday, 9 December 2017

Finn-fest in August

The call of Australia and the grandbaby were too strong to resist.  Dani and Al were back at work and I stepped in as part-time babysitter and housekeeper.  Finn was six months old and very interactive.  Rolling, smiling, reaching for toys and books, beginning to try various foods, loving rides in the stroller and backpack, Finn was a happy and content baby and a joy to spend time with.

Dani, Al and Finn were in Sydney so that Dani could do the City to Surf Run that she has participated in for six years now.   As she was completing her run, I took a taxi from Sydney Airport to the Air B&B where I caught up with Al and Finn.  We headed out into an amazingly warm spring day on a walk beside the sea to meet Dani.  The stunning views speak for themselves.  Too bad that all the folks in the amazing cemetery can’t appreciate the view. 

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Seeing the wee tyke for the first time since February.

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I am proud of my girl, tired from working overtime in foal season, with a painful internal bruise on her leg from being kicked, nursing Finn day and night yet able to complete the run.  Way to go Dani!

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We headed back to the B&B to pack up and drive home to Scone.  There I enjoyed a wonderful time with Dani and Al, Salty and Pretzel and the primary reason for my visit, FINN!

Mornings are cold , even freezing in Australia’s late winter and Al lit a fire in the woodstove every day to take off the chill.  By noon, temperatures rise into the high 20’s C. much like winter in the southwest US.

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Nanna and Pops pay a visit from Tamworth.

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yummy oatmeal

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Always interesting to visit Dani’s patients.

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first chocolate custard

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During my visit I taught Finn how to clap.

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S&P need coats on in the cold mornings.

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We all enjoyed daily fresh oranges from the backyard tree

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Scone Mountain

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Wallaby and Joey

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Cute Echidnas curl up when approached.  They are in the anteater family, rare egg-laying mammals.

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A mob of Roos

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Huge male checks out the dogs, get too close and he’d kick a dog to death

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Sorry, couldn’t resist :)

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Finn loved his neighbourhood tours in his stroller.

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Lavender outside the library where Al takes Finn goes for Baby play

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Finn always woke up from naptime with a huge smile.

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With Dani back at work fulltime, Al takes two days off per week to care for Finn and takes him to Daycare the other three days.  It is great to know that Finn has his Dad to play with, feed him and take him out and about in familiar home surroundings.  Finn is lucky to have such a wonderful Daddy!  Dani is a natural at mothering and does a great job balancing long hours of work; freezing her milk for bottle feedings; cooking, blending and freezing cubes of delectable fruit and veggies for Finn; as well as cooking and baking delicious, healthy meals for the family.  Finn is in excellent hands with such a fabulous parenting team.

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I was happy to be able to help with meals while I visited as well as assist with the mountains of laundry that come with raising a young infant.  Lucky that the Australian sun and winds dry the clothes so quickly outdoors.  I also enjoyed my time with the dogs, throwing the ball for them to retrieve and cuddling Pretzel who is particularly affectionate.

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It had been many years since I was able to spend my birthday with Dani so the outing she planned for me was ultra special.P1160183

The Golden Door Spa was over two hours away so we had a grand conversation on our scenic drive there and back.  The spa’s mountain location was incredible.  After a soak in the hot tub we entered the infinity pool.  We had the place to ourselves except for  Kookaburra that sat on a tree branch just outside the pool and watched us for about twenty minutes.  I have always loved swimming but that experience of sharing my first infinity pool with my daughter and a view of nature, on my birthday; was momentous.

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That was followed by a full body scrub and massage; exquisite. We lounged afterwards in our robes, sipping herbal teas and soaking in the tranquil, luscious treatments we had just had.

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Dani had prepared us a lovely picnic lunch which we enjoyed in the car overlooking the gum trees and the valley.  A couple of roos paid a visit to bring me birthday greetings.

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As if my day was not great enough, we had Champagne and homemade pizza for dinner.  Thanks Dani and Al.

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The following day, I said my goodbyes and boarded the train to Sydney where I stayed overnight before my morning flight home.  Thanks Finn for inspiring me to visit your family and beautiful Australia again, lots of love from Grammy.

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Without Texting and FaceTime, Chris and I would go crazy not seeing Finn in his first year of growth and development.  We are lucky too that Dani is a superb photographer, documenting their new family for now and the future.  She and Al send us many videos to watch the little sweetie in action. Here are a few of my favourite photos that Danielle had sent us since my August visit. Finn just turned ten months old a few days ago, December 6.

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Finn Halloween

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