So I had a birthday ending in 0. I'm not going to complain about turning 40 but it has caused me discomfort all year thinking about it. I feel better now that it's over. We went to Perth so Ian could take me to a fancy restaurant but by that stage of the day all I really wanted to do was put my pyjamas on and hang out in bed. Is that a part of getting older? Or just being a tired parent? Or should I just view it as Gretchen Rubin would say, as "knowing myself" and the fact that I would have enjoyed a kranski hotdog from the Freo markets and waffles from Gelare twice as much for a tiny fraction of the price? Maybe I'm just a tight arse?! Am I leaving behind fancy restaurants in my thirties? I think I am!
I hope you aren't having as much existential angst about your next birthday as I had! Here's to the best decade yet :)
Week 40 was a busy second week of school holidays mostly spent in Perth going to appointments. We also fit in park time so there was fun to be had too. We checked out the new Robot Park at Piara Waters, the kids enjoyed it but there was a holiday day care group there and it was very busy.
One of our appointments was to get Charlie's hearing re-tested and I'm happy we got good news. One ear is back in the normal hearing range and the other ear is improved from his first test. So all heading in the right direction there.
I saw a recommended Kineisiologist and that was pretty amazing. I did much less crying than I expected despite the self worth discoveries (or lack thereof which was really no surprise). Why do so many of us struggle with this even without abusive or traumatic childhoods? I am looking forward to healing my next layer of emotional baggage as I step in to my forties. My thirties were much better than my twenties and I'm full of hope that my forties will be the best yet :)
We're back in to the school term now and we've just had our first warm day. Summer I'm glad to see you.
First week of school holidays, yay! We have enjoyed the relaxed mornings of not getting off to school. And we had a most excellent visit from my Brother and his family. We went op-shopping and antiquing, we had archery in the back yard, and we binge watched Stranger Things on Netflix over two nights! So much fun. I haven't watched tv in so long, and at first I bought my own screen to the couch to watch Sue Bryce on but I got totally sucked in to Stranger Things and I'm glad I did. It was fun (and addictive) spending couch time with my brother and his family, holding hands with my nieces in the scary parts. Now we have something to look forward to when season 2 is released next year!
The kids caught the train back to Perth with Grandma and my brother's family so I've had a little holiday at home with a kid free weekend. I got a sleep in this morning which was delicious! And I've sorted through the photos of Mia's first year for her baby book (Still have to sort her second year and put it together, but progress!).
The last week of term 3! Mia came down with the vomit bug that has been going around town and Charlie made it to Friday night before also succumbing. Luckily Ian and I have managed to avoid it. I am still congratulating us on our immune systems though as the kids got over it pretty quickly and Charlie still went off on the boys camping weekend on Saturday for the long weekend.
Mia and I were meant to have a girls weekend in Perth but we thought we'd keep our germs at home and not spread the love! By Sunday though we were glad there was an open garden day in town and we walked around and checked out some lovely gardens. We are still on the Monday of the long weekend and expecting the boys home today, I am appreciating the blue sky and am going to get out and do some gardening myself.
Another weekend in Perth. Ian and I both enjoyed ourselves at his 20yr high school reunion and we celebrated the first birthday of my best friend's son. The first year of the firstborn is the hardest I think! I finished his quilt in time for his party too. The kids got to spend the night at Aunty Tori and Aunty Claudie's house where they always get spoiled.
I have been watching Sue Bryce on CreativeLive and I love her! Specifically I've been watching 28 Days of Portrait Photography. Sue is amazingly generous with her knowledge, and funny, and super entertaining, I could watch her all day. In fact that's one of the reasons I stayed back at the Villa on our girls weekend, so I could watch Sue by the pool!
Portraiture is definitely the genre of photography that I'm most enamoured with. It means so much to me to have photos of my kids and our families and I find it such a gift to give photos to people of their loved ones or photos of themselves that they love.
Sue has a natural light studio and uses big polystyrene boards (poly boards) and foam core sheets that are white one side, black the other, taped together (v-flats) as backgrounds and reflectors. In this video with Sue Bryce, Tiffany Angeles shows how you can pick up the poly boards from the local hardware store in the US. They are a little harder to find here in Australia and not as cheap unfortunately. If you are looking for these in Perth I have sourced both from Foam Sales in Booragoon. I will be picking mine up in a couple of weeks :). The poly boards are $70 (2400 x 1200 x 75mm) and the black/white foam core sheets are $85 (2430 x 1210 x 10mm). It will be fun driving 3 hours home with them on the trailer!
Sue has recently launched Sue Bryce Education and if I ever start charging people I will be signing up! I know it would be much more valuable than the $35/month she is charging (a little more in AUD). I might have to start my own portrait business just so I can justify signing up. Then I could write off the new Canon 5D mkIV that's just been released too!!
I suppose that is enough gushing about Sue for now, but there is literally nothing on TV that I would rather watch, and I really am loving her that much.
I hope you all have something to watch that you love as much as I love watching Sue!
A busy week preparing for a sixth birthday. I am pleased to say the birthday boy felt suitably spoiled and loved his requested present of a Mario costume even though the "large" size is very small on him.
eBay was my saviour in finding on theme gifts for our Mario Bros obsessed kidlet. And you know what I love about shopping?... Not much, it's such a pain. So eBay was fabulous. I didn't find exactly what I was after but I found enough and I didn't have to leave home.
We had our first sports carnival this week, I'm not sure how I feel about them, it was fine, though Charlie said "I didn't learn anything" and that he was bored. I love that face of determination in the photo above of the flag race. We ended the week with Father's day and a lovely walk around our favourite local rock. We checked on the tadpoles and they were still there with plenty of water and there were heaps of beautiful wild flowers.
Right now I am taking a quick break from getting the house tidy for a birthday party to eat yoghurt and blog. We had beautiful spring weather yesterday and the day before and I'm disappointed it didn't hang around for today. The noise level in the house with all those kids inside is going to be a little crazy, especially since we only have hard surfaces and the noise bounces around so much! One day when the kids are older we will graduate to having rugs.
Anyway, I have a cake to finish icing and salads to make for the extended party dinner.
A short week for me as I didn't arrive home until tuesday after arriving back to Perth from Bali. Then it was off again for our third weekend away in a row. This time off to Albany to pick up the Mr's surprise birthday present which he guessed (he always does!). A compound bow, which he is very happy with as you can see from his smiling face above. We also stopped off in Dumbleyung to look at the Bluebird Shelter which Ian played a part in designing and did the drafting for.
We were lucky with the weather and the kids got a couple of solid hours at the park just off the beach.
We missed some miserable weather at home and it is still very dreary and cold. I just pulled Mia out a warm "play" bath and when I dressed her she said she wanted to put her nightmare on. She has been wearing her first nightie the last couple of nights and hasn't quite got the name down yet.
There's not too much to say about last week except that it was ended with a weekend away with three of my best girlfriends from high school. A trip we had planned for over a year. We are all turning 40 in the coming months and this is our combined birthday gift to ourselves. I love these girls and I'm blessed to have them as friends. So much fun to be able to talk our faces off with out having to pause to wipe a nose, face or bum! No cooking, no clean up, no whining!! It was lovely.
The grey grey days of winter! I think I need some light therapy!! At least some projects are getting done. I sanded back that table in the top left picture over two years ago in preparation for painting with chalkboard paint.... then I got the first coat on months ago.... finally it is ready for use before my children are too old to use it. And a special hand quilted baby quilt is trimmed with the binding machined on just waiting for the hand finishing.
We ended the week with a fun trip to Perth for Charlie to play in a half time game at the Dockers vs Adelaide game on Sunday. He enjoyed his boy-time with Dad, and I think he enjoyed the football but I wouldn't really know because I took the opportunity to go on a photowalk in Fremantle :)
A week at home without anything on. Lovely. Except I suppose that I have been feeling off. Not sick, but probably fighting something. I'm proud of myself for coming home from school drop off and taking myself off to bed on Wednesday when I just felt tired and sad. I think that is one of my signs that I'm not quiet well, even if I don't have any other symptoms. I slept all day until school pick up time (I think I got up once for Mia, and we had a nice little sleep together too). I'm glad to be feeling myself again, if not still a little tired. It is worrisome to me when I feel sad for reasons I can't fathom. It felt good to take care of myself by allowing myself to go back to bed and not push myself. I did the same on Friday.
Buffy is working out so well. Mia has stopped calling out a hundred times after she is put to bed now that Buffy sleeps in with her. And she has not cried for me to come in to her in the middle of the night since we've had her either. Winning! We don't have a mobile dog wash out here so looks like I'll be buying dog shampoo and washing her myself in the kids bath. I think she smells fine, but hubby says otherwise, I think it was because she came in wet from the grass. I will get on to it as I don't want to give the "cat man" any demerits against dogs...
I have been doing a lot more vacuuming with all the extra hair and sand. Which is a good thing. I'm searching for the perfect vacuum cleaner now. I want bagless (or reusable bags) and cordless (or a backpack style like the office cleaners wear!). I might end up being one of those people that vacuums every day... no, probably not... but maybe, with the right vacuum cleaner... that is awesome and convenient... Any suggestions? Do you love your vacuum cleaner??
We got a dog! A large dog!! We weren't planning on getting a dog but my Aunt wanted to rehome her beautiful Buffy so she could live with a family and have kids to play with. It is all going well, even my husband who is a self confessed cat guy loves her. I love that she is a settled older dog and doesn't require any training.
Mia and I started the week off in Perth so the boys were at home bach-ing it for the first time. I know there were consecutive nights of scrambled eggs for dinner.
We had a lovely visit from Pa and we enjoyed Charlie's first Auskick game in preparation for playing in one of the little half-time games at the AFL next weekend. It was so fun watching him I was shocked at how much I enjoyed it. Mostly because I was laughing at the chaos and mayhem, it was funny. I didn't anticipate getting in to sports photography but an interest has been lit now!
And I got spoiled with an early birthday present. A new lens! I'm very happy with the Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art Series lens that arrived on my doorstep on Thursday last. Squee!!! It is doing wonders for tracking down that missing photo mojo :) Thanks Mum xx
Back to school, back to the regular schedule. And it seems the end of my New Year's Resolution of more weekends at home. We did pretty well for the first half of the year and now the calendar has a too much orange highlighter on it. All stuff we can't and don't want to say no too of course. I'm especially looking forward to three nights away in Bali next month with three girlfriends from high school. We are all turning 40 before the end of the year and all of our babies are old enough now to be left for a couple of nights. I wouldn't want to miss that for an extra weekend at home.
My broccoli is heading. It's my first time growing it so hopefully it will succeed. We had a full moon, which reminds me, I haven't fasted for a month or two. I need to mark the calendar or it doesn't happen. We had our bookclub catch up for Ready Player One. I enjoyed that selection, if you lived through the 80's I think you would too. And final photo was a breakfast date with our friend Ravi before we headed off to see Mister Maker live on stage.
The second week of the school holidays blew by in a flash. Ian and I enjoyed our last day before we got the wee ones back from Grandma, though I was unusually anxious about getting them back. I'm not sure if it was because I "left" them this time instead of Grandma taking them away like last time (the first time!). Then five minutes after they got home the fighting and carry-on started and I took my rose coloured glasses off and I cursed all the time wasted on worry when I could have been luxuriating in the peace and quiet!
I need some help for my mother heart, how do you keep the worry to a helpful level? I was booked in to get some professional help around this issue while we were in the city but unfortunately the therapist was unable to make the appointment. I guess all mothers have a deep rooted fear of losing their children. Part of that fear is that I just don't know who I would be without them anymore. Gosh, getting deep. Therapy! I'll let you know how I go.
We checked in on the tadpoles that we had found a few weeks before at a local rock to check on progress (still no legs). We caught up with friends in town. We caught up on some couch time and Wii playing. We enjoyed being together.
I know we still have many cold days ahead of us but I feel like we've turned that corner out of deep winter. But maybe that is just a couple of not freezing days talking!
We've been busy with the end of term, and this last week, school holidays. Right now the kids are staying a couple of nights at Grandma's and have spent the last two nights at my Sister's. I caught the train home from the city and have spent the last two solid days working on our family photobook. Seriously, how can selecting and arranging one years worth of photos take so long?! Next year will be different! I have a feeling I said that last year :/
Week 23 contains two weekends as it's the change-over week to my new Monday to Sunday week numbering system. One weekend we had friends visiting over the Western Australia Day long weekend and the other we had nothing on and so got to painting the last side of the house! Finally!! Charlie had his first school social at the local hall and I'm cross that one of the older kids said over the PA during musical bobs that jumping is not dancing :( ..... 5 year olds do not need rules about dancing!!
We also had the pest guy come and treat the house for the white ants we found weeks ago and Charlie had a hearing test that showed he has hearing loss from fluid buildup behind his eardrums. We're hoping that once the fluid is gone his hearing is restored. Passport photos were taken against the wall in the dining area, so hard to take a nice picture when you aren't allowed to smile :/ I'm wondering if my application will be rejected on the grounds that I had my head tilted to side, because my eyes are at totally different heights on my face! If facial symmetry is supposed to equal beauty there went my modelling career haha.
hmm.... this isn't even a total catch up as we are already in week 24! I'm going to change my week numbering system I think so it starts at the beginning of the week on Mondays and brings me in to line with the way the week of the year calendars calculate what week we're in and see if that helps me get back in to the swing of posting
Well, we are well and truly in to winter now and the wind this week has been bitterly cold. There is exciting developmental milestones being hit by both the wee ones. Mia is drawing people with heads and Charlie has just started reading at Pre Primary. Charlie also had his first school social tonight.
Ian and I have been watching the 30 Days of Genius series on CreativeLive and have been inspired to start having cold showers! One of the interviewees talked about the benefits of ice baths and I quite like my minute and half blast of freezing cold water at the end of my shower. I love CreativeLive and have bought quite a few of their photography classes but they have all sorts of courses on different subjects and the best part is you can watch for free while they do the initial broadcast, it's awesome.
I hope you're enjoying your month and keeping all your balls in the air unlike myself!
Must not have been a big week last week...i've gone back and checked the calendar and nothing... We had a delicious Mexican night on the Friday and then Mother's Day on Sunday, and that's as much as I've got to report this week. Unless I want to resort to talking about the weather, which has warmed up and is just lovely, no fire necessary!