King of the mound

King of the mound

Hi everyone!

Time for another note....

We've been very busy at Casa del Elliot.  We've almost completed the 
renovations that commenced a year ago.  Back in time, Daddy 
landscaped the front yard, had a huge tree removed then stalled.

More recently he's fixed the rear verandah (removing the rotten 
timber that threatened to give way when anyone stood on it), carved 
holes in the garage, had the roof replaced, built a retaining wall, 
put a garage door on the garage, cut the lawn (I thought it 
was meant to be a screen), started landscaping the backyard.... The 
big news is that he's got the wood to construct me a sandpit!

Mummy asked Daddy to get some sand to put in a "clam shell" which she 
bought for me (it's basically a 1.5m x 1.5m plastic pool with a lid). 
But Daddy said that it wasn't big enough - so he's going to build 
a huge sandpit under the reconstructed verandah.  It'll be 6 square 
metres of pit fun (although at the moment it's about 8 square metres 
of mud fun).

Another piece of interesting news is that Daddy also bought a chain 
saw.  He's using it basically as a very powerful hedge trimmer.  
Well, it's been almost 2 years since he broke his arm clipping grape 

That gets me to the construction of some steps as part of the 
landscaping.  The construction required the breaking up of a concrete 
ramp.  The problem is that we don't have a sledge hammer, so Daddy 
decided to use the back of a block splitter (basically a heavy wedge 
shaped axe).  The problem was that it isn't designed to be used as a 
sledge hammer and sends tremors up your arms each time you hit 
the concrete.

Daddy experimented and found that if he used just one arm that he 
wouldn't get the tremors.  Unfortunately, it also meant that he 
didn't have a good upswing grip.  All Daddy could say was that he'd 
warned Mummy to stand back and all she could say was that she thought 
that under normal circumstances that standing a few metres back was 

The upside of renovations is that normally I get to retire inside to 
watch television.  However, once the TV is on, you're free to create 
your own fun anywhere in the house.

I normally start by mixing myself something nice to eat (basically, 
you take a large bowl, some biscuits, milk, cordial and anything else 
that you can find and make them into a delicious cake).

But it's not all food!  The other day I really enjoyed nailing the 
loungeroom cupboard shut (with the hammer and nails that Daddy had 
left out for me), marking my height on the loungeroom wall with a 
permanent marker and then stripping down and painting my body with 
oil paint so that I could look just like the dinosaurs on television. 
Mummy and Daddy were so surprised!

Felix is now poised to start walking.  When he isn't concentrating, 
he can walk.  He's also poised to start fighting me for toys.  The 
situation is quite dire since he always plays with the toy that I 
want and I always play with the toy that he wants.  So far, brute 
physical strength has held sway, but soon I may have to start using 
some of Daddy's tools to ensure that Felix behaves himself.

I started back at "School" today after the Felix birth hiatus.  Daddy 
took me there expecting that there might be some "clinginess", but he 
managed to let me go once the childcare convenor told him that I'd 
be OK.  I was a little concerned for my bag though - you just hang it 
on a hook - there's no security!!  No receipts, no-one in charge, no 

I've found that I've also had to be cautious of problems at home.  At 
6pm a couple of weeks ago, Daddy said that we should go and play in 
the bedroom.  The curtains were drawn, the light was on and Daddy 
said that he'd read me a story.  I complied - he does enjoy reading 

But then he started telling me to close my eyes.  Again I complied, 
but I'd start to feel drowsy, so I'd open them again.  In a 
soothing voice Daddy would tell me to shut them again.  This happened 
a few times....  But then I realised that Daddy had forgotten that it 
was still light outside.  I jumped up and ran to the curtains, 
flinging them aside to show Daddy that it was still daytime (it's 
daylight saving now).  Daddy was amazed - he'd thought that it was my 

Three hours later (when it was dark) we repeated the process.  I 
haven't let Daddy make that mistake since.  You do need to keep an 
eye on parents.


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