Monday, September 24, 2012

This week:

This week, we are:

Learning to ride

The trike. Over the last few months she has been valiantly learning to ride, learning to pedal and steer and watch where she is going. Not an easy combination when you break it down really. With her “concentration tongue” peeping out of the corner of her mouth, the frustration has been monumental. She has given up in disgust several times, pouty lip protruding (my mum used to call it the “bulldozer lip” when I was a little one) - the trike pushed aside, left to gather dust in favour of easier, more familiar activities.

Our driveway is long and smooth concrete, but sloped, and not easy for a two and a half year old to negotiate. She has recently tried again on the level concrete path beside the house with greater success. She goes well until she rides past the lounge room windows, with their tinted glass. Then she catches a glimpse of herself in the reflection, and its game over. So intent on grinning at herself in the reflection, she steers straight into the window!

Dreaming about scooters
  A while back, we visited some friends who have some little girls, slightly older than Skye.

The “in” thing at this house was to tear around the front yard and driveway on your scooter – complete with helmet, knee and elbow pads.

Little miss muffett thought this was the coolest thing ever, and at the first opportunity, grabbed a spare scooter and started having a go.

And now, at every opportunity, she's sure to say:

Maybe Santa will bring me a scooter if I’m a good girl!”

Little does she know, Santa has already delivered it, and its under our bed. :)  Cant wait to see her face on Christmas Day.

Creating random toddler works of art

The other day I was sitting at the computer doing some boring MYOB stuff, and little miss muffett asked if she could sit on my lap. So she clambered on board, and while I kept working, she did some drawings, right under my nose.

For a few minutes I wasn’t paying any attention, but after a while I began to be aware of what she was doing, and took note of my little one expressing herself with pen and paper. 4 post-it notes, 2 hot pink, and 2 flouro orange… and she scribbled, and scribbled, and all the while she was counting out loud to herself:

“seven, eight, nine, ten… eleventeen… twelveteen… … …thirteen… (umm)…twenteen…”

I love how she counts to 10 with confidence, but from there up it gets much more thoughtful and creative.

Trying out her left hand here... normally she uses her right.

Looking apprehensive...

Both sets of grandmothers go a little bit ga-ga over how cute they think their little grandson is... I must admit I'm guilty of thinking he's a bit of a spunk, myself.  I often think he's quite a serious young man, but this photo does seem to show him looking a little apprehensive I think!

In other news, I'm still sick.  Tonsills and glands still swollen - now onto vitamin C and Omega 3's. Completely.Over.It... and fed up.  Would like to be able to swallow without pain.  There, one very small paragraph of moaning, and I'm done.  Proud of me?

With 3 weeks to go until Fiji, I'm also in the process of dropping Koby's feeds, with the plan to have him fully weaned off nursing before we leave.  So far so good, he's completely lost interest anyway and would much rather wriggle, squirm, get off my lap and crawl around the floor, and stuff himself with large quantities of solid foods.  Seriously, this kid can eat.   I have a feeling that he will be eating us out of house and home LONG before he's a teenager.

Also, upper body muscles feeling lovely and sore - I love feeling sore in my biceps, triceps and shoulders... HATE it in lower body though!  Possibly why I have been avoiding leg training lately - eeek!

Time to wrap this up, sounds like a big storm is about to hit.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Its beautiful to watch, this budding relationship between my two babes. Skye is at a ripe age to want to look after her big brother. She wants to help mama out and be a big girl. And that means doing things for Koby. Whenever I change his nappy, she has to be there to “help”. She wants to hold his sippy cup up for him to drink, or give him a dummy if he's crying. She wants to feed him, pat his arm before he goes down for a nap, and help him up when he falls over.

If I dare to put my little Klingon down and walk away, he screams like the world is going to end, and wails like his heart is breaking. But if I put him down and say Skye “can you come and make Koby laugh?” – well, I tend to get a good 10 minutes in the kitchen so I can get dinner started. And my added reward is hearing the two of them giggling at each other – Skye pulling faces, making funny noises or playing peekaboo with him, just to make him chuckle. Sometimes all he needs is to see HER laughing, and he’s off, chortling away with her.

Mind you, he is easy to please - Koby thinks sneezes are hilarious, and blowing raspberries or making vomiting sounds is the funniest thing on the planet.

The other day in the backseat of the car, something set them off. They sat there, peering around at each other in their baby seats, giggling their heads off for the entire car journey. I think my heart just exploded with emotion right then and there. Hubby and I exchanged glances that clearly said “This is so… cool”… I wish I’d had a video camera there to capture it.

I did manage to photograph something on my iphone the other day though, which I shared on instagram (@hilh). We were driving home, when I heard a quiet little giggle, and a “mummy!”. I stole a quick glance and saw this:

Awww… tear… (sniffle). Had to pull over at the bottom of my street (we were almost home) to get a photo.

Someone is about to get their nose 'honked'...


I love the expression on his face here - this might sound strange, but I can ALMOST see the 'grown-up Koby' that he will become, in this photo.
At the moment they have a Love-Love relationship. They both adore each other, and I cant even express how ‘warm and fuzzy’ that makes me feel.

I know that will change, but for now, its so beautiful that they love each other and can already share special little moments, a secret language, that only they understand.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday night ramblings

I wish I could say that I was enjoying getting fit again. But I have to admit, I’m not. I used to be one of those people who turned up at the gym every weekday morning at 5.30am. I loved it, loved the friends I made, looked forward to it every day, and enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction, strength and control that it gave me – and the general energy boost didn’t go astray either.

I cancelled my gym membership 3 years ago, once we moved to our current house, because once I went on maternity leave and wasn’t driving to an office every day, it was too far away, and too much to be bothered with.

We have a full set up at home – free weights, dip station, curl station, recline/flat bench, Barbells, fixed AND adjustable dumbbells, squat rack, kettlebells – we even have a fantastic treadmill that my lovely husband bought me one Christmas…

The problem is, there just never seems to be enough time to get everything else done. Actually – no. That’s a lie. I could quite easily get up at 4.30 or 5am to train. I could do it once they go to bed for the night. There is time, I’ve just been choosing to spend it doing other things. Like clean the house. Or continue sleeping.

And I’ve been sick again all week… laryngitis, sore throat, swollen glands, stiff neck, headache… groan, grumble, complain. From the shoulders up, I feel like hell. Husband has ended up with the ACTUAL flu this weekend. Not ‘man flu’ – actual flu. With fever/chills, body aches, vomiting and everything. Its been fun.  It just never seems to end, we are constantly sick here!  I'm talking about the adults here, not the kids.  How is that even possible?

Skye makes me smile when one of us is sick, she snuggles up and pats you on the arm, then gets under the blanket and gives you cuddles to make you feel better. I love that, I love how she is so kind, thoughtful and caring already, and she’s only 2 and a half. She has even started randomly asking us “Are you ok?”  She has a lovely little soul, my girl.

This weekend we’ve shipped the kids off to their grandparents to keep them away from the germs. Well actually, they’re practicing having the kids for when we go to Fiji next month, but its also good to get them away from the flu, even if its just for 24 hours.

They’ve only been away since lunchtime, and I miss them already.

Not sure how I’m going to cope for 6 days. I’m sure after a couple of cocktails I will be having too much of a good time to notice… but I don’t think I can stay liquored up for the entire 6 days somehow!

Some recent photos:

A pretty little flower from our garden  
Checking himself out in the mirror    
Almost... almost... almost crawling....    
My girl - In the middle of telling me a big story

Heres to a healthier, fitter week ahead!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

If you could turn back time

I love how sometimes, reading a small, seemingly insignificant sentence online, can trigger a big emotional response from me. Last week I read something, and almost glossed over that sentence – but it stayed with me, has taken seed and grown in my mind, blossoming into a sunny, hot pink gerbera (my favourite flower).

The gist of it was simply this:

Imagine that it is 20 or 30 years from now and your kids are all grown up – they don’t need you any more, they are living their own lives, living their own dreams, and just don’t need mama like they used to. How much would you give to be able to jump into a time-travel machine, and go back in time, to right NOW – and get to experience just 10 minutes more of your small child - sitting on your lap, butterfly kisses, games of “This little piggy”… just 10 minutes more of soft baby cheeks, warm little bodies that just want to be picked up and held, and tucked into bed with a story at night… just 10 minutes more of the magic of believing in Santa and tooth fairies, wanting to hold your hand as you cross the road, needing you to kiss their knee scrapes until they feel better… just 10 minutes more with your little.

When your kids are grown, and don’t need you any more – how much will you miss it? Everyone tells you it goes so fast, and yes I’m experiencing that first hand. My baby is 9 months old already, my big girl will be 3 in December… still little, yes, but still growing up way too fast.

Even if you don’t have kids, there is no telling what the future holds for you. So, be it spending quality time with your family or significant other, making time to heap some lovin’ on your pets (lord knows they don’t live nearly long enough!) or simply basking in the gift of good health – live in the NOW, appreciate the NOW.

This is a beautiful, magical period in my life, and I know that in time I will miss everything that is going on now. We’ll grow into a different stage of our lives, and it will never be exactly the same again. In some ways it will be better, true – but mostly it will just be different.

Since I read about this, I’ve been thinking about it constantly. I’ve been trying to live in the moment for the last 6 months or more (hence the blog name change), but without a constant reminder, its easy to slip back into the old way of thinking, the old way of being.

So I’ve been putting the iphone down more, and getting my craft on with Skye. I’ve been turning off the TV and heading out into the garden, playing on the swings, or just taking Koby around to look and touch and feel the different textures of bark on the trees, or to look at the flowers. Instead of pushing away my senior cat who always wants to sit on my lap, I've been relishing the chance to pat and snuggle with him.  I’ve been getting less frustrated, less angry with a temperamental toddler, less annoyed at a grizzly baby… and just taking a moment to stop and REMEMBER, that no matter how tired or frazzled or even how bored I might sometimes get, I will be a little sad when this time has passed.

Saturday morning - getting our craft on...

All pom-pom monsters must have smiley-faces

Learning how to feed ourselves...

Gotta watch out for that Cheerio's theif!

I keep imagining that its 20 years from now, and I’m back here with another chance to experience my little babies again… and its really helping me to live in the now, and make each day count.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Seeing things differently

A few months ago, as our 3rd wedding anniversary was approaching, we started discussing what we would give each other as a gift. We’ve been together for 13 years, its getting harder and harder to be original. And this time around, neither of us could think of anything that we particularly wanted.

My husband, who knew that I’d been wanting to get a DSLR camera for ages, suggested that we buy that for ourselves, and call it our “present” to each other. I was “OMG” excited - I’d been wanting to upgrade our camera for so long, had been looking at them online for ages, but never really thinking that I'd get one.

Naturally he left the research up to me, so I spent the following weeks agonizing over the choices… for an absolute beginner, I needed a basic entry level DSLR. Plus we had a budget, and weren’t about to go completely crazy on something that I knew nothing about.

I narrowed it down, I read a million reviews, and finally decided on the Canon EOS 600D.

I’ve had this camera for a few months now, and I can honestly say I LOVE it. I’m so in love with this camera, and I’m so obsessed with capturing images of our lives and loves, of every beautiful moment, that I’m using it almost every day. I have even started venturing out of “Auto” mode, playing around with different settings, using manual focus, and trying to learn as I go.

What I love most about this new camera, is what its doing to ME. I’m starting to look at things differently. I’m starting to notice the way light falls on my daughters hair, I’m starting to notice the way catchlights shine in my sons eyes. I look for expressions, for tender moments. I’ve started scouting areas for natural light around my house, and I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to capture a moment in time.

I yearn for knowledge, for the skills to capture and immortalize what I’m seeing. I am frustrated that often what I see does not transfer to the image I’ve taken, because I lack the skills, the confidence and the know-how. I know this will come with practice and time, but its frustrating all the same.

The other day when I went out to bring in some washing, Skye ran ahead of me, plonked herself down on the upturned laundry basket and watched the dogs playing. The sun was at that special afternoon point on the horizon where the light was filtering through sideways… I could see bugs flitting through the rays, her wispy hair was catching the light just-so. I stopped dead in my tracks – instantly seeing the artistic potential - and mourned the fact that I didn’t have my camera with me. She looked so angelic, damn it! So I did the next best thing, and grabbed my iphone out of my pocket and snapped a few quick shots. Yes there was washing on the line behind her, and yes she was sitting on a pink laundry basket, but it was the spirit of the moment I was trying to capture. Another photo that didn’t live up to my expectations.

I had to crop the hell out of this to try to give a rough idea what I was going for!

Then the other night I had just gone out with the dogs for their pre-bed stretch and “wee walk”, when I looked up and noticed the moon. Full moon. Trees swaying lazily in front of that glowing white orb. Slight mist in the sky. I didn’t hesitate, I ran straight back inside and grabbed the camera. I couldn’t see what I was framing, I had no idea of composition because the sky was pitch black and I was shooting at a bright moon (which was all I had to focus on) but I was loving the way I felt, the excitement, the inspiration. I loved that feeling of recognising beauty, seizing the opportunity, and capturing it forever on memory card.


Not great, but that’s not the point. The point is, I’m loving the way this is making me take a new look at things. I’m seeing beautiful things everywhere. Rock walls are interesting when the afternoon light falls on them. Wooden stairs are beautiful when you stop to look closely at the grain. I never noticed what types of flowers we have in our block until now. I’m loving the way I feel my creative juices flowing again.

Also, I love reading blogs with photos to complement the text, and I’ll be trying to include more photos in my blog posts from now on. You have been warned!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

One step forward, two steps back

Just when I was starting to feel really good, and getting into a bit of a groove with my training, it all came to a grinding halt last week.

Last Monday, I kicked butt... morning interval jog on the treadmill, with an audience of two little ones, one cheering me on, the other grizzling in his walker.  Kidlets went down for their afternoon nap, and I kicked butt again with a leg session.  Except I haven't trained legs for... oh I wanna say months... but lets face it, its probably been over a year since I did anything resembling squats, lunges or deadlifts.

So, realising this, I went really light with the weights I used.  Finished the session feeling wobbly, but really pleased with myself.

Then of course, I could barely walk from Tuesday onwards.

And I also picked up a stomach bug or something on Tuesday... started out with really bad indigestion, and progressed to awful stomach cramps, and running for the toilet for two days (and let me tell you, THAT is not fun when you have severe leg muscle soreness to boot).  I started to feel human again on Friday, but just extremely dehydrated and lethargic.  So I've rested.  I've slept.  I've needed it.

In my head, this all sounds like excuses.

I've come out the other side of this feeling really bloated.  Not sure if its the after effects of popping Imodium's like lollies, or the dehydration or what.  Not helped by all the dry toast I've been eating.  But anyway, I feel yuk. 

This week will be better, I can assure you.

Onward and upward



I got sick of the permanent pony-tail.  In my general rush to get out the door most mornings, I had slipped into MUNDANE-mode, choosing to slick my hair back into its comfortable, easy, no fuss, no-effort-required hairdo.  Every day, the same.

Well, you cant really wear long hair OUT, when you have a baby around - they just want to grab it and yank on it all the time.  Not to mention that it constantly gets in the way, hangs in your face and is generally annoying.

I had long been feeling slack, boring and uninspired.

So I got my hair chopped off.


Note: I never wore it out, I just did it like this for the photo


Front view, still giving the illusion of length

Back view: ALL GONE!!  EEEK!

Ok I'm still getting used to it, I was slightly freaked out when it was first done, but I like it now, and hubby apparently likes it too - phew!  Now the only problem is that I need to find time to actually blow dry it every morning!

Cant stop buying

Do you have little “addictions” to things, things that you cant stop buying?

I have come to the realization that I have a little addiction to buying nail polish.

I already have a pretty impressive collection of colours. I’ve just counted over 45 bottles of regular nailpolish in my little black box.

But since having Koby, I need to wear quick-dry polish, since I don’t get the luxury of painting my nails and then having a good couple of hours to let them dry properly.  And yes, I must have painted nails, its a "non-negotiable" with me.

So I started a new little collection of quick-dry nail polish colours. I found a bunch on special at Target, and went a little crazy buying them. I now have an additional 24 bottles of quick-dry polish to add to my collection.

I may have gone a little overboard (you think?), but you can never have too many colours, can you?

They were on special, how could I resist?  So pretty!

In the past, I’ve had problems with a propensity to purchase sunglasses… because of my eyes. Due to extreme short-sightedness, I had eye operations a few years ago - and ever since then, I’ve bought sunglasses with gay abandon. When you spend the first 30-odd years of your life not being able to wear sunnies because of your thick, dorky prescription glasses, well, its liberating I tell ya. I literally cannot walk into a ladies fashion store without trying on all the sunglasses beside the counter. I have dozens. In my defense, I always buy the cheapies, until hubby finally relented this year and I got my first pair of Prada sunglasses for my birthday (but even then they were not ridiculously expensive ones)

I also have a slight addiction to lip balm. Must have one in every room of the house, one beside the bed, one in my handbag, one in the kitchen, one at the computer etc etc.

Do you have any little retail addictions like these?