Thursday, June 20, 2013

Well hello there

Hellooo.....

{echo}  h  e  l  l  o  o  o  . . . .

Is anybody still out there?

Yeah ok, bad blogger, bad blogger.  Bet you thought I'd fallen off the face of the earth, didn't you?  Its the same old story, you get busy trying to be everything to everyone, and something's gotta give.

Not promising that I'm back for good, but I just thought I'd pop in and say "hi" anyway.  I'm a stay at home mum, I'm used to talking to myself :)

Lotsa stuff been happening.  Too much to go into great detail.  Here's a few bullet points:

  • Did a photography workshop in early March.  Fell even more in love with my camera.  Its rarely been out of my hands since.
  • Found out about "Tough Mudder" challenge, decided we were doing it!  Got stuck into some training.  Then woke up one day out of the blue and couldn't walk due to pain in the ball of my left big toe.  It was 3 weeks before I could even stand straight without pain.  Podiatrist named it "Sesamoiditis" and sent me for Xrays.  A metatarsol pad and chiropractic eventually saw it come good, however I lost valuable training time. Lost motivation. Tough Mudder plans now on hold.
  • I had a few paranoid health scares, which all turned out fine
  • Skye stopped having a daytime nap (NOOOOO!!!!!)
And something really really sad happened.  A friend went in to hospital to have bub number 2 via a scheduled caesar, only to be told that there was no heartbeat.  Her much-longed for little baby was an unexplained full-term stillborn.  My worst nightmare came true for my friend.  Words cannot explain the heartache.

I dont know if you've ever been to a funeral for a baby or child, but I dont think there could be anything more tragic and heartbreaking.  Instead of celebrating the wonderful life that person lived, you instead talk wistfullly about what might have been.  This little boy never drew breath, but he was so dearly loved.  His photos were beautiful and tragic at the same time.  The size of that tiny little coffin...

Not long after this tragic event, my uncle passed away after a long battle with cancer.  Another sad day, but also an amazing celebration of his absolutely amazing, incredible life.  I learned so much about him at his funeral, and I wish I'd known some of it before he died.

Funerals are never nice, but the older I get, the more I start to worry about my own mortality.  I mentioned health scares above, and perhaps I'll go into more detail at a later date, but all I know is, my worrying is getting worse.  There is nothing more sacred and important than my little family unit.  I'm terrified of something taking that away from me.

No photos today, this post has been sitting in draft for weeks, and if I wait to upload photos, it will sit here for another month.

I promise to put lots of photos in my next post, hopefully soon!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Absent

A month, thats how long its been since I gave my blog some lovin...

I'm sure I've had plenty to say, but just not a lot of time or inclination to sit down and say it.

So whats been happening?

Well, I had another birthday... and suddenly I'm staring down the barrel of 40.  Two more years til that lovely milestone.  I remember being fearful of turning 30, and what a pivotal year that ended up being in the life of Hil.  At 30, I finally got my shit together.  I wonder what 40 will bring?

What else?  I started hitting the weights and cardio again at the start of January.  And I cleaned up my act with my nutrition, which had sadly spiralled out of control during Koby's first year.  So while I'm not enjoying getting up at 5am to train again, I am enjoying the benefits of sorting myself out.  Pants are looser.  I'm starting to ditch baggy tops in favour of some of my more form-fitting ones.  Feeling happier.  2.5kgs lost in January, along with several millimetres all over. 

And then 2 weeks ago I suddenly started getting compliments from people that I looked great, had I lost weight?  I was feeling quite buoyant and pleased with myself.  And then for no reason at all I just decided that I couldn't be bothered getting out of bed at 5am, so I started sleeping in.  I started to justify having that mid-week glass of wine, because, y'know, the kids had been horrendous all day and I DESERVED it.  And I started slipping on the ole nutrition side of things too.

Why do we do that to ourselves?  I'm quite annoyed at myself.  But anyway, I'm refocused and recommitted to my goals.  I'm realistic, we all have off days - we just shouldn't let them go on for 2 weeks.  I do love how I feel when the post-baby muffin top starts to shrink, so I will remind myself of this in future.  This week has been back in control.

Other news, I've also become the contact person and co-ordinator for our local Playgroup this year, so thats been taking up a little of my time as well, planning the activities for each week.

****************

I've been really enjoying my camera and making an effort to take photos at least weekly.  I'm still Instagramming and share most of my photos (mostly iphone but some DSLR) over there - I'm @hilh on Instagram.

A couple of photos from the last few weeks, still a big learning curve but I'm enjoying the process:

Trying to capture water droplets falling...


Nasty little Cobblers Pegs, from our garden.

I was lucky enough to be given a new lens for my birthday, a Canon 50mm F1.8, so I've been madly practising away.  This is a prime lens, meaning no zoom, so I've had to use my feet as the zoom!  The new lens is taking some getting used to, but I'm enjoying the challenge.

Some photos from the new lens:

 Fork reflections


Happy Feet


Looking up


Sunrise through the leaves 

Our little Dutchy

So much to learn, but its so cool to be getting the creative juices flowing again :)  I'm doing minimal editing (if any!), mostly because I cant be bothered, but also because I prefer that kind of look.

Anyway, I drafted this post on the weekend and its taken me until now to get back to finish it, with that said, I'll hit "Pubish" now!  Have a great week!

Monday, January 21, 2013

The crossroads

My little boy is a baby no longer. He runs now. He climbs. He communicates. His hair is growing longer, into soft baby curls at the back, and I find myself constantly running my fingers through that fine blonde hair… dreading the day that I will take him to have his first hair cut, when I might actually have to stop and acknowledge that he’s becoming a big boy.




It happens gradually. We celebrate each little milestone, each little achievement with glee and pride, cheers and celebrations: but there is an undercurrent of sadness always hanging around, like a grey mist that seeps in slowly, softly, often without realizing. “This wont last” it whispers, it taunts.
He’s not a baby anymore. And though I still like to think of him that way, I know that I have just a short amount of time before he’s running off with his friends, playing rough and tumble games that I wont be a part of, and pushing me away, needing me less and less.

So I snuggle with him as often as I can. I cradle him like a newborn. He loves to push his warm body against me and just lean into me. He has a rocking chair in his room and I rock him and sing to him, snuggled into the crook of my arm, as part of his pre-bed routine.

He still wants to be picked up, so I happily oblige, and he is still so dependant on me for almost everything.  I am torn between wanting him to grow into an independent big kid, and wanting him to stay just like this… at this crossroads between baby and boy where we can enjoy the best of both worlds for just a fleeting moment in time…

I am so going to miss this stage.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy New Year!

Theres no other way to describe the last couple of weeks, other than to say that its been a blur.

Birthdays, a kids birthday party that turned into an adult stay-up-too-late-and-drink-too-much party, cakes, Christmas, presents, more alcohol consumed, excess food consumed...

And with all this stuff whizzing past, I kept thinking that the world just needs to slow down a little bit.  I needed to stop and take a breather, to stop and just inhale all those sweet experiences just a little bit longer.  I wanted to take a step back and take a mental home video of all those lovely moments in time, so that I could replay them in my head in the years to come, and enjoy them all over again when I actually had time to.  Instead, I feel like I rushed around and missed most of it.

I took photos of course, but they only give you a tiny glimpse of what was happening at the time.  And when you are taking photos of your kids opening their Christmas gifts, you also cant HELP them open their Christmas gifts.  So I found myself putting the camera down in order to be more present, more in the moment with them - rather than standing back, being separated from it.

But also, when I think back over the last few weeks, I've caught myself thinking "I wish I'd taken a photo of this or that"... because you lose track of what everyone is doing sometimes.  On Christmas day, I turned around and someone had dressed Skye in a princess dressup outfit... When did that happen?  I completely missed that, busy doing something else.

You cant be everywhere at once, I know that.

Our last couple of weeks in photos:


Hubbys birthday on the 21st.  Along with his standard order of Beef Wellington, he requested Snickers Cupcakes... oh...my...god...


And whats Christmas Eve without a few candles, and a little bit of Christmas light bokeh... 

And more bokeh...


See?  I've learned a new photography word, and I'm throwing it around like there's no tomorrow.

(Bokeh: In photography, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image)

And then Christmas morning came.  And in the excitement and the flurry of activity, I'd forgotten that I'd left my camera on manual focus from my bokeh photos the night before (see how I dropped it in again?) - and lo - all my "gift opening" photos are blurry  - bugger!

But trust me, this scooter, this much longed for, often-asked-for, long-dreamed-about scooter, was a big hit.  Santa, in his wisdom, decided that it didn't need to be assembled before the big day though, so daddy had to spend a large part of the morning putting toys together.  Lucky he's handy like that.


Mum got to cuddle with my little Christmas elf.



My beautiful Christmas princess, with Dutchy the dog.  Its like Dorothy and Toto.


And then Christmas was over, so we filled our days languishing at home.  Playing outside, enjoying having daddy home, and sticking frangipani's behind our ears.

Then another birthday was upon us - Skye turned into a big 3 year old. Three. Three. I still cant get over it. How did that happen? And it was like, overnight, magically, she turned into this mature child who said "please" and "thank you", who played carefully, kept her clothes clean, and decided to share with her brother.

Ask her how old she is, and she proudly holds up 3 fingers.

Slow down, time, slow down.


Her first play-doh set.  And a little handbag containing 3-year-old-treasure: hair clips, and 5 flavoured lip balms.  She has inherited her mama's lip balm addiction, already.


Blowing out 3 candles!

And then it was the last day of the year... so we bundled our little loves in the car and headed to a nearby lake.  Husband then decided we should do a complete lap of said lake - all 4km of it!  Took us an hour, but it was nice to get outside, get some sun on a scorchingly hot day, and walk off some of the Christmas indulgences.






And the reward at the end was a nice big playground, complete with flying fox.  My brave little 3 year old threw herself at it, and had a ball.  We pretty much had to drag her off it by the end.  Guess which new addition the cubby house will have at home this year?

So, happy new year all.  Here's to making 2013 the best it can be.  Here's to savouring more of those precious moments, for saying YES to the kids more often.  Heres to less "cranky-mama", and more "happy-mama".  Here's to stressing less, and loving more. 

The new year is upon us, I dont know about you, but I'm planning on making each day count.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

One:

Last Sunday, the 2nd of December, my baby boy turned one.


My extremely amateurish, first-time attempt at working with fondant.


Something about a one year anniversary, more than any other, makes you reminisce about the 364 days that have passed since that time. Makes you exclaim loudly about how fast the years seem to be flashing by. Makes you ever more conscious about the dreaded passing of time.

One year ago, on that day, I waited not-so-patiently for our new little life to enter the world.

And he entered it with a bang. Well, a 3 hour bang, anyway. Which, I might add, is highly preferable to the drawn out 14 hour agony of my daughters arrival.

When I was kid, birthdays were obviously all about me. It was a special day for ME, because it was MY day. On this day, I was born, so give me presents and my favourite dinner please. I never thought about the fact that being born actually involved my mother and father in some way. Perhaps selfishly I never stopped to consider that a birthday is actually a celebration for THEM too, a very special moment in time that you share with those very important beings in your life. The day that you met your mother (and probably your father) for the very first time. A day of new life, of joy, of tears of happiness and hope. Not just a day for presents and cake.

Having children of my own has made me understand just how special that day is. Its your BIRTH day. An important, and possibly emotional day for mums and dads too.

(Right, waffle over.)
**********

A few moments from last weekend:

Saturday, being the 1st of December, meant we could put up the Christmas tree (because, ya know, you mustnt put it up before then or the world will end hehe ;) ).
 We passed the Santa hat around and all got in the Christmas spirit.  Nevermind that Koby removes ANY headwear in 5 seconds flat.  I managed to snap a photo with it still on though, bonus points to me!


And, um, put a camera in front of this kid, and its pose-city...  

Seriously...

Take a photot of ME mummy! ...


Saturday night, kids in bed, hubby and I decided to have a couple of drinkies. And a few drinkies became a few too many drinkies.  And so I made the birthday cake in my inebriated state, and it ended up a bit of a disaster.  Think: not remembering if you put all the correct ingredients in or not.

It wasn't a birthday cake, it was a pancake.

But it still tasted fine, so I let it be.  Plus, 45 mins of fondant-fiddling meant that I didn't really have time for a re-do.

I will also say this: A one year old has absolutely zero concept of a birthday, presents, toys, parties etc.  We presented him with his gifts and Skye decided to show him how it was done, because he pretty much had no clue.

 The new flip-out lounge was a hit.  Amongst all his new toys, this ranks high among the favourties.

 Boys toys.  Helicopter, Police car, Wiggles Guitar.  All kinds of awesomeness right there.


Awww, my little man, sticking his fingers all over the fondant that I slaved over so it looked perfect.  Precious.


 Big sis, helping little bro eat his caramel mud cake.


Cake.  Me likey.  More, please.


And so another week rolls past, and we are on the downhill slide to Christmas.  How are you going, are you ready?  I've still got 4 more birthdays, plus a kids birthday party to organise and host before we get to Christmas day, so I can categorically say:

 I'M NOT READY!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Boy Girl

I watch my two from afar. I not only marvel at, but I also celebrate the differences between them, a boy and a girl. I don’t know if the difference is primarily due to their gender or simply because they are two completely different human beings, but I do so love watching their personalities grow each day.



It must be one of the biggest joys in a parents life: watching your child develop into an individual, a completely separate and unique human being.

What a marvel, this little walking, breathing, talking, complex little individual – a completely random mix of mum and dad, with a bit of cousin and a bit of grandparent and a bit of auntie/uncle thrown into the mix. What amazing creations, our children.

Do you often look at your child/niece/nephew/brother/sister etc and suddenly see a “flash”, a glimpse of a cousin, or an auntie, or a grandma in their sweet expression, or the turn of a head? I find that quite delicious, that sudden little flicker of someone else. That link between families is such a beautiful thing, and makes them all the more special to our dearly beloved.

I'm so in love with watching my two.
Skye has always been a random mix between tomboy, and girly-girl. I’m curious to see which side of her personality wins out. Until recently she has always been fearless, throwing herself down slides, onto fast moving objects (gocarts etc). Thrilling in the simple joys of leaping off things and going ever higher and faster. This fearlessness has been toned down in the last few months as she begins to become aware of her own mortality, but I’m hoping its just a stage. On the other hand - the girly-girl side, she is endlessly fascinated with wearing pretty dresses, painting her fingernails any-colour-as-long-as-it’s-a-shade-of-pink, and adorning herself with large amounts of jewellery.


This is the pose she strikes whenever she's jumping around a lot and I say "FREEZE!"  Jazz hands?


Last week I dressed her in shorts and a T-shirt and she scowled and shook her head.  She looked down at herself, then up at me and declared "I'm not a BOY, mummy.  I want to wear a pretty dress!"

My girl has also been endlessly fascinated with nature. All creatures, whether they are stuffed toys, or a humble ant on the concrete, deserve the same amount of affection. Leaving the house requires hugging all the favourite toys goodbye and calling out her adieus to the dogs and cat – but not only that – if she spies a trail of ants on the way to the car, she has to stop and give the ants a cuddle too. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve turned around and found her hugging the concrete.

Perhaps she’s destined to become a tree-hugging hippie?
One of her favourite pastimes at the moment is snuggling next to daddy on the laptop, and googling pictures of Octopus.  Real or toy, doesn't matter.  You Tube Octopus are a hit.  She's going through an Octopus phase.  I find them quite ugly and horrible to look at, but she's fascinated.

The other day we spotted a grasshopper on the outside of the loungeroom window, while we were inside. We spent a large amount of time talking about the grasshopper, and then TO the grasshopper, and then when mummy produced the camera, having our photo taken with it. Then she tried several times to give the grasshopper a hug – from the other side of the glass!

Look mummy, a grasshopper on the other side of the window!


 Can I give him a cuddle?


This is how you hug something that's on the other side of the glass, apparently.

I love this about my girl. She has inherited her parents love of all creatures, great and small. The only thing she fears is spiders, due in no small part, to her mothers hysterical reaction whenever one is found in the house.
**

Koby on the other hand, although he’s not quite 1, is already showing us he’s a typical boy. He inhales any food put in front of him, and instead of playing with Skye’s "girly" toys, prefers instead to bash things, and throw balls. 
One day I spotted him playing with a small box. He was stuffing small plastic toys in the box, and the last thing didn’t quite fit. Instead of taking it out, or giving up, he proceeded to pick something else up and bash the crap out of the offending item, until it DID fit. Yes I cracked up laughing. I told daddy about it later, and his response?

That’s my boy”.

Indeed.


Father and son already share a love of pushing and shoving each other on the lounge (all while laughing hysterically) - oh, and fart humour. Seriously, dude, he’s not even 1 yet.  He thinks farts are the funniest thing ever.   Oh and he quite likes grinning and fluttering his long eyelashes to any female within striking distance, too.  Charmer, much?  Doesn't take them long to learn, does it?

Hard to resist those big brown eyes

They were in testosterone heaven the other day when hubby's mate brought over his new bike.  Don't worry, daddy was holding onto Koby tightly from the other side (10 points if you can spot daddy behind the bike)


He has his daddy’s short temper and just a smidge of an attitude already. But he has my hazel eyes, and seems to love musical instruments like his uncle John. Much to my delight, he’s also as affectionate as his daddy. Sometimes when he’s sitting on my lap, I hear him make a “mmmmmm” sound. When I look down at him, he’s got his lips pursed together in a kiss, face upturned, waiting for me to plant a big fat smoochy kiss on him. Then he wraps his arms around me, and places his head gently into the crook of my neck… Awww…

Whats the best thing about watching your kids grow up?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tis the season

Well I'm floating in and out from my "funk" of my last post.  The excitement of this time of year is infectious, with an almost-3-year-old around, she's constantly pointing out things like Christmas Trees at the shops, fairy lights, Santa hats, tinsel, and toys in catalogues.  Nothing escapes her notice, everything is downright thrilling.  I'm so eager to put the Christmas Tree up this year, that I'm almost counting down the days.

Ask her where Santa lives, and she excitedly declares "The NORTH POLE!!"

We have plans to go visit Santa at the shopping mall sometime very soon, and we also might send him a letter.  She has known what she wants for quite some time - a scooter.  A pink one.  The other day she said it had to be a 'Barbie' one.

"Oh?" I said "Not a Dora one?".

"No, mummy.  A Barbie one."

Oh dear.  Unfortunately Santa already bought a Dora one, some months ago in fact, and its hiding under our bed in readiness for the big day.

The other night, daddy asked her if she thought Santa would come down our chimney.  She looked at him like he had rocks in his head.  "Nooooo, daddy!  hehehe" -- obviously she hasn't heard that part of the story yet!

So how does he get in?

(deep concentration) - "through the door?"

How can you be down in the dumps, with so much excited anticipation around?

Amidst all this Christmas cheer, Koby's 1st birthday is fast approaching.  There is a mixture of emotions about this.  How did my little man get to be almost ONE?  It astounds me how fast the years are flashing past.  They will be in high school before I know it, and all this will seem like a blur.

Best I remind myself to stop and smell the roses again eh?

Soaking up some random lovliness from the last few weeks:

First steps:

He took his first steps last week, and we were excited and proud and so happy.  

Skye took her first steps at exactly 10 months, and every day afterwards I had all the time in the world to spend with her, to encourage her and help her practice, so she was very steady on her feet within about a week of starting.  I think Koby will be much slower, primarily because I cant devote the same amount of attention to his endeavours.  Skye gets supremely jealous whenever we encourage him to walk, so his 'practice' sessions are either very short, or done on the sly when Skye napping.   He also seems to have a much shorter attention span!



Wearing a pearl choker as a princess crown... as you do.

Because as we all know, one of the best things about going to visit your Nanna is raiding her jewellery collection and putting on every single thing you can find. Nanna has an abundance of costume jewellery. Skye doesn’t care if its “real” or not, she just wants to put it in, and that’s all that matters.

Our current favourite is "my crown". She never fails to ask for it. Its actually a ‘pearl’ choker. After putting it on every week, she admires herself in the mirror for a good few minutes. Priceless. Who needs diamonds?





Wearing mummy's shoes is another favourite:






Running Races

I’m not sure where it came from, but Skye loves practicing her running. She hunkers down in position on the carpet at night, and says “Mummy can I do runnings?”

So then I have to say “READY… SET… GO!” and clap my hands together to simulate the gun going off.
She then races through the lounge room, through the kitchen, and down the hallway, until she’s back to the start. We can do this over and over, and you can guarantee that I’ll get tired of it before she does.

We did this the other week outside, and she ran around me and Koby, dodging the washing line and the odd tree… wearing herself out in the process.



Love the expression on her face - and the assortment of bracelets!
Happy Thursday!