Monday, October 31, 2011

Rainy Weekends

          So a few weeks ago Mick and I once again found ourselves facing an entire weekend with a house full of all five crazy girls... and what was the forcast outside? Rain!  What on earth were we going to do?  Then in a shear stroke of brilliance my wonderful husband remembered the garage full of boxes we had from our recent move and thus our rainy Saturday was filled with Mick and I building a super awesome fort for the kids.  And to be honest I think Mick and I had even more fun than the kids! 

Just getting started

Isn't he soooo cute!?

I love this man.

The girls relaxed while we built our creation...

Super excited!

Esther super happy inside the fort.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Not a Lover Of The Plover....

*Corinne, because I love you dearly as a sister, and I still would love for you to come visit me here, do not read this :)
              So, a few weeks back I learned a difficult lesson.... One I think that was only a matter of time, something I had only heard of but never truly gave much notice (or credibility....)... See as a relatively naive American girl, having grown up in middle-safe USA, far away from the more vicious forms of wildlife that the world can offer... I did not believe, no surely, the things I heard...  And this is where I introduce you to exhibit A.  The very first clue toward what I was bound to learn: 


            Now mind you, the first time I saw this I thought it was pretty funny... Then I thought it was some bizarre, cool trend to look "bad ass" or something... Like when people wear those dog spike collars on their necks... But then I noticed lots of people with these things sticking out of their helmets... People who traditionally aren't too concerned with putting off a "bad ass" vibe... Like grandparents... and cute little children... and overweight, middle-aged men... Hmmm... So I turned to my expert in Aussie lore, tradition, culture, and overall behavior, my dear husband Mick... Now apparently it all has to do with the birds... that's right, the crazy, psychotic, Norman-Bates-Motel- Alfred Hitchcock Birds.  Apparently, there are two main types of birds here in Australia, the magpie and the plover, that are known to be particularly malicious and aggressive if they so much as get annoyed by some innocent passerby... For example, in this case, someone out for an innocent bike ride.  Hence the spikes in every body's helmet.

             After Mick told me this, I honestly must say it was still a bit hard for me to imagine a scared, innocent little bird actually having the nerve to attack a big human... So I moved on... Days passed, I went outside many times, to parks, beaches and saw tons of birds... none of them ever attacked me or even came close.  And so it was that I became lulled into a calm, false sense of security that I carried with me up until a few weeks ago. 
The Plover... In his field.
             And this is where the real story begins:  Now all of you who read my blog are aware that we have recently moved.  Behind our house is an open plot of land that we have discovered is being lorded over by a very possessive plover.  Apparently he is the king of that tiny plot of land.  And more than once our girls have run in screaming, the older ones claiming that the bird was trying to "kill" them, and the youngest one crying her eyes out.  And I admit that when this has happened it has simply annoyed me... that they were being ridiculous and a bit annoying and they should stop scaring poor, little Lana!!  So the other day when Lucy and Esther, who had been in the back yard kicking the soccer ball, came in to tell me that they "lost" their ball and could not get it back, I couldn't help rolling my eyes and laughing when I saw that it was simply in the center of "Plover Field"...  And so feeling a bit annoyed and amused all at once that they were too scared to go get the stupid ball, I very confidently and naively marched on out to get their ball for them and to show them once and for all that there was NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF!  ... Hmm...
A picture of the plover haunting me outside our living room window.
                This is what happened instead... As I got closer to the ball I could see that plover starting to get pretty agitated... He was screeching at me and began to swoop around in the air... I was invading his territory and he did NOT like it.  It was just as I was reaching the ball that I began to question my decision.  I looked over at Lucy and Esther who were standing under the porch with a look of horror on their faces.  I took a deep breath and tried to remain calm... I was trying to prove a point after all... um... yeah... But now I could see the shadow over my head of that angry plover and hear his loud screeches getting ever closer and closer.  I had heard of these birds taking out people's eyes and at this point I did not dare question it now to look around at what was happening behind me.  Lucy and Esther however, who were safe under the porch and were able to see the entire horrific scene could no longer remain silent and began shouting things out to me like "run mom! run!".  And yeah, at this point I seriously began to question my judgement, and so I picked up that ball threw it has hard as I could over to the girls and ran for my life.  
                  I am proud to say that I survived my brush with the Plover and have lived to tell the tale.  I have learned my lesson.  Never again will I question the things I learn from my loving husband about this crazy country of his... And now... well, those spikes on the helmet are looking like a brilliant idea...