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Trip Start Jun 25, 2011
Trip End Dec 31, 2016

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Flag of Australia  , Australian Capital Territory,
Friday, January 6, 2012

Life is nothing if not exciting at the moment with some big changes occurring in the MogFrog household. Firstly, Tom has secured a new job which he starts in just over a week. Unlike his current contract work, this is a full time permanent position. With baby MogFrog's arrival becoming all too imminent, the security of a permanent position couldn’t have come at a better time for us. After months of uncertainty, it seems our decision to stay in Canberra has finally paid off and I am very proud of Tom for securing this role.

My due date is on the 8th February so only a month to go! We have attended all our ante-natal classes taught by a wonderfully frank midwife called Wendy who loved divulging all the nitty gritty details about labour. She even brought in a placenta for us to have a look at! This weekend we will be making our final baby related purchases including moses basket, baby carrier/sling, car seat and lots of nappies! We still can’t quite get our heads around the fact that soon there will be three of us! No doubt it’s going to hit us like a tonne of bricks!

We have also moved house, well sort of. We have actually moved into the downstairs apartment of our current house. This is a separate apartment with our own front door and includes open plan kitchen/living area, two good sized bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry room and our own patio area. We feel incredibly lucky that the apartment became available when it did as it has meant not having to uproot to a whole new place. The price is also very reasonable compared to other places in Canberra and we retain the wonderful Rod as our landlord. The previous occupiers were two young students who I seriously doubt have ever picked up a mop or hoover in their lives so we have had our work cut out for us to get the place up to scratch. We have laid new carpets, repainted the walls, and spent a week scrubbing. Everything is now gleaming and with some new purchases of furniture and other housey things it looks and feels like home. We have a shipment of our belongings coming out from the UK in February (scheduled to arrive at around the same time as the baby is due!) which will complete the picture.

In amongst all these exciting goings on we have managed to find a bit of time to engage in one of our favourite pursuits – camping! At around the start of December we spent the weekend camped at Cave Beach in Booderee National Park, a beautiful place of white sand beaches, woodlands, heaths and swamps. The camp site was home to many kangaroos including several over-sized joeys still trying to get into their mother’s pouches despite being too big. On one of our walks, we had our first encounter with the very cute and slightly comic looking echidna, an egg laying mammal closely related to the platypus but covered in spines and sporting a long snout.

We spent Christmas at home, enjoying the freedom of having a place all to ourselves which felt like quite a novelty after months living in a busy shared house. On the 28th December we took off on another camping trip, this time to a magical place called Kangaroo Valley. More of a bowl than a valley, it is a land of lush green pasture surrounded by dramatic sandstone escarpments on all sides, down which tumble numerous waterfalls. We spent four days exploring this stunning area, walking to many of the waterfalls through forests of eucalypts, banksia and tree ferns. Summer has finally arrived in Australia and the weather was perfect, bright and sunny without being too sweltering. Bendeela campsite where we stayed was lovely with a deep wide river flowing about 100 metres from our tent where we took several refreshing swims. The campsite was also home to a large number of friendly wombats, which come out of their burrows at dusk to feed on the grass. They were obviously used to people so we could get really close to them and take some good photos.

The only negative to the whole trip was the two large and noisy families who decided to set up camp a few metres from our tent, completely ruining the tranquillity of the place with their shouting and crappy pop music. Fortunately the next day a couple of nearby campers vacated their spot and we quickly moved our tent to where they had been, which was sufficiently far away from the loud-mouthed, Australian chav equivalents!

On New Year’s Eve we packed up the tent and drove slowly down the coast stopping at several lovely beaches along the way before enjoying an early dinner of fish and chips at Batemans Bay. Then we headed back inland for the remaining two hour drive to Canberra. By the time we got home we were exhausted and didn’t stand a chance of making it to midnight.

The last two years have been a real adventure for us - a year’s travel followed by a move to the other side of the world. 2012 is undoubtedly going to be a continuation of that adventure albeit in a rather different way as two become three! Like all new parents to be, we really can’t imagine what life with a baby is going to be like. We are both excited and apprehensive in equal measure (maybe a little more on the apprehensive side for Tom!). What we do know is that whatever challenges baby MogFrog will bring, he/she is a much wanted baby that will undoubtedly bring much joy into our lives and that we will love with all our hearts.
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