We have had a glorious weekend, catching up with family members & relaxing, as well as getting in some serious work.

FRIDAY: Rosie, Woodoo & Grandad Wilfred arrived from Grafton. They brought presents for the girls, and we shared a meal with Ben, Chen Ye and Ella.

Grandad Wilfred Westley & Chen Ye Fisher, February 07
Rosie's father Wilfred came up to see his three great-granddaughters. He caught up with Ben & Chen Ye on Friday night at our place as well as at Southbank on Sunday.

Celebrating Ella's & Aïcha's birthdays, February 07
After the Fishers arrived with Grandad on Friday, Ben & Chen Ye came down with Ella. Of course, the Fishers brought presents, and soon the girls were playing with their new toys (& David too!). Still unfamiliar with the idea of presents, I did hear Aïcha protest to Grandad "No — too sticky!" when encouraged to unwrap a gift.

SATURDAY: David had to work at a childcare centre on the Gold Coast, so Rosie drove down in the truck with him. At lunchtime, I drove down with the two girls, bringing fish & chips for lunch.

Aïcha & Brioni played in the toddler room of the childcare centre while Rosie & I took turns watching the girls and helping David. The centre was air-conditioned (heaven on such a hot day), and Aïcha moved from the puzzles to the books to the play-kitchen equipment to the sandpit to the playground to checking out our work and then back again. What a good place for a little girl to hang out!

We got one large room completely fit with new blue vinyl, as well as helping David pack all his tools back into the truck. Rosie & I agreed that it the work helped to remind us of muscles we didn’t know we had. We enjoyed the time spent together as a family, and Woodoo & Grandad spent the day with the [other] Fishers.

SUNDAY: We all met up at Southbank where we camped out on a large wooden platform. We spent time in the pools, barbecued our sausages and Cheryl’s delicious teriyaki chicken and then shared the pièce de résistence, Cheryl’s special birthday cake. Our family even obligingly posed with Chinese tourists, and David managed a special swim in the river (attracting quite some attention from the bank).

In anticipation of Ella’s birthday, Cheryl spoke to her colleagues about their special birthday memories. No one could remember a gift, but they each could recount the special birthday cakes their mum had made. So Cheryl is starting her own family tradition of baking and decorating a fantastic cake each year (with help from the legendary “Woman’s Weekly Kids’ Party Cakes”:http://www.capersbookstore.com.au/scripts/shop_item.asp?by=aut&item=2104 book.) With Ella currently obsessed by clocks, Cheryl’s cake was a yellow clock with molded chocolate numbers showing the time ten past two (so the hands were pointing at 1 and 2 for Ella’s and Aïcha’s birthdays)! So creative & thoughtful!

Rosie, Ella & Aïcha at Southbank, Brisbane, February 07
The main highlight of Sunday's visit to Southbank was Namma, who played extensively with both Ella and Aïcha. She took them in the pool, walking around the grounds, chasing after birds, and even fed them. Thanks, Rosie!

David, Ben & Cheryl, Southbank, Brisbane, February 07
The boys manned the bbq, masterfully turning the sausages and braising the chicken. Yum.

Hugh & Brioni, Southbank, Brisbane, February 07
Woodoo played nicely with Brioni, who never says no to any extra attention. Here, he's "clapping" her feet together.

Rosie with Ella, Brioni & Aïcha, February 07
Here's another terrific photo of Namma with her three granddaughters.

Celebrating the girls' birthdays, February 07
Here we are with the terrific cake Cheryl made. (David's the yobbo in the background with the bunny-ear fingers.)

Namma with Aïcha & Ella, February 07
It was quite a juggle, but Namma played with both girls in the pool at the same time!

Cheryl, Brioni & David, February 07
And this is a happy baby. Brioni was allowed to crawl around in the dirt and only objected when she was picked up.