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[Wednesday, 2014-02-19 18:50]
And now she's off!

I wrote in my last entry that Aliana can stumble a few shaky steps. Well, now she can walk and it's about time too!

Briony and I went out to a Fringe show last Saturday and my parents came to look after the girls. When we got home they said "you didn't tell us that Aliana could walk!" to which of we replied that she can't walk. Then they showed us a video of Aliana getting up, walking, picking up a plastic chair and walking whilst carrying the chair!

Now she has the hang of it, she is walking all over the place.

Not much more to report this week, more next time!

[Friday, 2014-02-07 17:58]
And she's up!

Breaking news this week is that Aliana can walk! Well maybe that's getting a bit excited. It's probably more accurate to say that Aliana can occasionally get the courage to take 2 wobbly steps by herself. Generally though she prefers to collapse to the ground and crawl the short distance then stand up again.

Both girls are covered in mosquito bites as its recently been quite hot and doors get left open. I think the recent heat wave is a 2nd biggest on record, it was 4 or 5 days in a row over 40C, and one day was 43.9C. It's a lazy 34C today, quite nice actually.

Majandra's behaviour is still leaving a bit to be desire. It's hard to know how to handle the attitude. I don't want her to hate me, but at the same time I don't want to let her get away with it as she'll end up growing up a little brat.

Last week I yelled at her - not even that bad but probably the loudest I've yelled. It made her do a wee on the floor and almost vomit from crying. Suffice to say I felt awful but she was being really silly and just not cooperating with Briony or myself.

But we do still have fun times, like going to the playground, Camilla's pool party for Australia Day, and going to Glenelg for dinner and ice-cream.

I've got something to confess. It's an "I told you so" moment.

I do a little bit of computer work on the side, and I'm always talking about doing backups and helping people do theirs. I run a mail server at home, and it served me well for three and a half years. Until the hard disk failed, that is. I'd been meaning to do a backup for a long time, but that day never happened so when the drive died there was no recovery possible.

It was by chance that I had mine and Briony's mail set up on my computer at work, and the software had cached some of the messages. So I managed to get some back. There were lots of tears though, as Briony had lots of items in her email that were important. Also I lost all mail for Briony's sister and her partner. Talk about embarrassing, and me failing to practice what I preach.

So I've installed a new drive, and this time I intend to back up every now and then to avoid future embarrassment!

Remember, do as I say, not as I do.

I guess one good consequence of the server failure is that it's got me thinking about the life expectancy of hard drives. My current NAS (Network storage device) is almost full, plus it and it's disks are almost 4 years old. So I'm on a mission to replace it before any problems occur. If I lost my photos I'd die.

So I'm doing some research for a new network storage device, hopefully one that will last the best part of a decade although I fully expect to have to replace the disks half way through. I'm looking at the QNAP TS470 which is a 4-bay device new for 2014. It's expensive but very powerful and well featured. Years ago I'd never have considered spending $2000 on storage however with all my photos etc on there, can I really afford to do it on the cheap?

My research has uncovered that NAS devices have come a long way, and now come standard with functions such as media server, sync to mobile, web based file access and more. I'm actually quite excited about the new device, and I have some grand plans for setting it up.

[Thursday, 2014-01-21 17:47]
A nice Christmas, terrible camping trip and a miserable start to the New Year

It's nice to be sitting here feeling good. Certainly better than the last week anyway!

We had a nice lead-up to Christmas. We went to see the brewery lights, Kerrie came over for a few days, we had some fun and then of course presents on Christmas morning.

Christmas Day afternoon was spent at my brother Oowan's place, where he and his partner Fiona hosted the Christmas Dinner. It was a fairly relaxed afternoon, we enjoyed some cider, some food, some company and some conversation. Oowan and Fiona were in their last days in the house as they are moving to Melbourne.

The girls had a good time, particularly Majandra who loves Oowan and Fiona to bits. Aliana had a good time too, however she's of course not quite old enough to run around like a crazy thing. They played wit the cat, went in the litle pool and ate lots of food. We called it a day at what ended up being around 7pm, got home and put the girls to bed. We were heading camping the next morning.

The camping trip ended up being quite a saga. We got to Cobdogla without any difficulty and set up camp. But then around 7pm when night was approaching Briony pointed out an ants near under the trailer. They were angry ants of the giant variety which of course provoked Briony's ant phobia, plus of course we didn't really like the possibility of them coming into the tent at night. We ended up going to reception and booking a cabin for the night. $90 down.

After collecting our bags, food and sleeping gear from the tent it was nice to get to bed. We were awoken in the small hours of the morning by Majandra vomiting. She did this several times, and didn't want breakfast in the morning.

We packed up our stuff and went back to the camper trailer. While Briony looked after the girls and then took them for a shower, I packed everything up, moved the trailer about 30m and set everything up again. It was really hot, and when Majandra got back she just lay down on a mattress in her nappy pants and went to sleep. She really wasn't well but we figured she was sleeping it off and would be OK in the morning.

That night several groups of people from the permanent sites had a party with lots of drinking and laughing. This went on until past 1am, then some of the teenage boys came back to their tent which was next to ours. They stuffed around and made noise until 3am. Naturally we had a pretty terrible sleep that night and we had cranky wife in the morning.

Majandra was no better after waking, and it was an even hotter day. We were just hanging around the hot tent, doing a while bunch of stuff all. Aliana was fidgety, Majandra was crook and we were hot. We decided it probably want going to get and better so we packed up the camper trailer and decided to head for home. On the way we called into the camping shop in Barmera and I bought a folding camp kitchen on special.

As luck would have it, Majandra was perfectly fine by the time we got home.

A couple of days later it was New Years, and we spent the day at Tusmore Park with Oowan & Fiona plus my parents. I wasn't feeling that well, probably had a touch of whatever Majandra had, so I had to take it easy on the food and drink. It was nice to spend a few hours with the family, as this was pretty much the last day before Oowan and Fiona took off for Melbourne.


Majandra is going fine but she's going through an attitude phase. Normally she is well behaved, it's really only bed time and getting dressed time that are hard. She messes around at bed time, won't do her teeth and just generally moves at snail's pace. This means late to sleep so she's tired in the morning and complains when it's time to get up.

Onto good things, Majandra is getting really good at riding her bike, she made it all the way from home to Blackwood the other day (1.5Km). She's learning how to use a computer and getting really good with the mouse. I might have to take the computer away soon as she will sit on it for hours if we let her!


Aliana is doing well and eating lots. The other day we referred to her as garbage guts which is only sometimes true. Some days she'll eat hardly anything but then when she gets hungry she really can scoff herself.

Aliana will be walking any day now. She is flying around the house with her walker or trolley and she's now learned how to steer. The weekend just gone she took a half step unassisted and we're confident she'll walk just fine once she gets the courage to give it a try.

Also I don't think I've written about Aliana's screaming. She has a really good set of lungs and she knows how to squeal at a deafening high pitch. She's started doing this when she wants something. She'll point at whatever she wants and just scream until age gets it. We think we'd better stop giving her what she wants else the screaming may never stop!

Here's a few random photos to finish off for this entry.

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