Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Less Screens For The Win

On the eve of term 2 I can happily report that the school holidays have been a massive success. And by crikey I needed a win. Just reading back over my last two blog posts reminded me how awful I was feeling. The screen restriction has been a breeze and a gift. I actually feel like I've gotten my kids back. They have by no means turned in to angels that never bicker and do exactly what I ask the first time I ask them, but hey, I no longer feel like crying and rocking in the corner. Winning!

There has been more outside time (though Charlie still prefers the indoors) and I have printed off many Power Ranger and princess colouring pages. I'm not sure what else we've done, oh yes a bit more book time, and a lot more playing with toys. Anyway, it has all been positive and well worth it. Surprisingly the kids kinda just accepted their fate and didn't push back on the new rules. I guess they really can tell when you mean it vs when you don't have the resolve to back your boundaries up. Luckily this Mumma finally means business!

On another note, today is Anzac Day, so thank you to all our service men and women, those who have seen war and those that haven't. I hope that there is no more need for any more lives to be lost or damaged by such sadness. Thank you Dad xxx


I don't know if fireworks are a bit too exuberant for the sombre mood of Anzac Day but this was on the first night of the school holidays (if you don't count friday night) and I had only hours before picked up my new camera and then there were surprise fireworks in the city. The new camera is very exciting!!

Saturday, April 15, 2017


We've had our appointment with the behavioural optometrist for our six year old who insists he needs glasses. Sorry Charlie, optometrist says no. In fact what he needs is waaaaay less screen time. I'm sad to say that our boy would probably rather wear glasses than miss out on screen time.

I was very diligent when Charlie was a baby and did not let him watch tv (even though in hindsight I think I should have used it as a tool to give myself half an hour here and there instead of getting so stressed out I ended up losing my sh*t and screaming in his little face once). Things changed as he was heading to two years old and I was feeling seedy and tired with my second pregnancy and needed to rest.

Mia on the other hand did not have the total ban on screens as a wee one and she is not anywhere near as addicted to screens. That's not to say she hasn't spent a few days while Charlie is at school doing not much else. It makes me wonder though if Charlie's love for the screen has anything to do with not having any early on.

Things are about to change again as I see-saw my way through how much screen time is allowed, coinciding also with my new commitment to firm boundaries and not raising a pair of entitled adults who can't do anything for themselves. The optometrist (who used to be a teacher) scoffed at our restriction of 1 hour of screen time after school on school days, saying that wasn't a restriction. Our new rules for screens are half an hour on non-school days. The optometrist I could tell, was still not impressed with this allowance, but I have a feeling she wouldn't have been happy with anything less than zero screen time, which I don't think is either realistic or desirable. I don't know. Part of me doesn't think half an hour on weekends is realistic either. If we stick with that 100% he'll never be able to watch a movie again.

How much screen time do you allow your kids? And if you have any tips on getting them outside please share! Kids are coming home tomorrow and I've enjoyed my time whilst missing them and the life they bring to our house and not wishing them home early. Anywho, Happy Easter and I hope you're enjoying your long, long weekend.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Bad blogger, sad Mum


And by sad Mum I don't mean you Mum, I mean me. I am still having issues with my Lightroom catalog, but that's probably not why I haven't posted since February. Life. Maybe it's because my Mum always told me "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". I don't want to have a big whinge (though I could have a cry) but I don't want to pretend everything is sunshine and roses when the truth of it is that I feel like I've been losing my grip on the kids, the house, everything, and the tears are right there just behind the surface.

The good news is that the school holidays officially started at pick up this afternoon, and I will have from Tuesday till Sunday to catch my breath and gather myself while my children spend time with two sets of Grandparents and a pair of Aunts.

I will be fine, and things will get better. At least I'm helping the other Mum's around here feel like they are winning at parenting by comparison! I sincerely hope you are feeling like you're doing a better job than I am at the moment. And I will take solace from the late 80's and Yazz The Only Way is Up.....


I wonder where the balance is with blogging crappy feelings? I feel like this could be a very unsatisfying post to read where I kinda say I'm not travelling well but don't give any details. On the other hand, I don't want to bang on about feeling like I'm doing a shitty job. I love my children dearly but I was so appalled by one of them and their behaviour today that I think it's the first time that I didn't also like them. Thoughts that I've been too much of a walk over and wanted them to express their feelings but has that led to a complete disregard for the feelings of others? I read a quote this week "A lack of boundaries leads to a lack of respect". I think we have a problem and I need to grow a mother's backbone, for my sake and the kids.

Monday, February 27, 2017

January.... and February

Goodness me! Well we are well in to the new year and I have gotten out of the habit of posting without the weekly project. I am doing a 365 this year though and have not missed a day so far!

We spent a week and a half in Perth in January having a sort of holiday. We did some fun family stuff and I did three photo shoots. I'm very happy with how my photography is going and am excited to be adding to my portfolio.

February has been a pretty big deal with both my babies going to school! Mia had her first day of kindy. She waltzed in the first day and announced her arrival. She literally got to the mat and say's "I'm here!" right, party can get started then. Since then she tells me she hates school. I shouldn't be surprised, our little rooster does not like being told what to do or when to do it. Oh I knew they were going to have fun with her....

Luckily for me, I'm feeling fine about the kids being in school. Another session with my kiniesiologist has pretty well sorted me of that issue. I'm still not a huge fan of schools and think they are outdated but Charlie is loving year one and happy there. We will have to see how we go with Mia.

What I'm not feeling fine with is the idea of not staying here where we are. Over worked hubby wants to call it all quits and build a mini home and drop out.... We are giving it until the end of the year before we make any decisions but the whole up in the air-ness of it all just makes me anxious.

But I could be ready for an adventure! I just don't know!! I vacillate between the safety and security of what I know and the possibilities that life could be different and even more amazing. The issue is that I'm perfectly happy with the way things are, things could be better, but then I worry that things could be worse :| It could be wonderful living in a bus or a mini house on wheels and having more of Ian. Then again, it could suck living in such close quarters and swapping our current problems for the same problems in a another location with less space.... Gah, I do not like uncertainty. Perhaps there is my solution. We like the saying "what's in the way is the way" maybe I need to embrace the uncertainty....

I am posting this with January's photos only as having an issue with my Lightroom catalogue. I will contacting adobe again to get it sorted as soon as I have time. It will give me an excuse to post again once I have access to my photos again.

I hope the new year has been full of fun and love for you so far!


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Project 52, Week 52!

Made it! Good bye 2016, hello 2017!!

We had a visit from Nanny and to finish the year off my friend and neighbour came over and let me photograph her. Turns out you can only watch so much Sue Bryce before you can't help but believe in your self. I love watching her so much I bought the subscription to her education site and my word of the year is PHOTOGRAPHER! I haven't done of word of the year since 2013, the year Mia was born, which was "survive". I needn't have had such low expectations for coping with 2 babies, it was much easier than expected thank goodness.

I hope your expectations for 2017 are high!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Project 52, Week 51

We've rounded the last corner and we're almost there!! It's the last week of the year. Last week was good fun, we had Vac Swim so were at the pool every day and we had Christmas, best day of the year according to the kids :)

We also had a summer storm which knocks out the power very reliably for few hours every time we get summer rain. That was fun on Christmas Eve, luckily I wasn't hosting anything and not trying to cook!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with people you love.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Project 52, Week 50

Week 50 was the last week of school. The Kindy/Pre-Primary Christmas Concert, and the start of Vac Swim and the school holidays. I've enjoyed it immensely. I think I will mandate that we always stay home for that first week after school finishes for the year and just chill out and go to swimming lessons. I actually feel like I'm on holidays, probably for the first time since having kids. 

And we had a lovely visit from Grandma. Here we are at the kindy concert a year apart. My babies getting taller and taller.

Merry Christmas and much love xxx


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Project 52, Weeks 48 + 49

How are these weeks going by so fast?! All the end of year events piling on top of each other I guess. In the last two weeks We've had our 8 year wedding anniversary, a family reunion, a Christmas lunch and our last trip to the city for the year. I spent our anniversary in bed with some sort of virus so no romantic lunch for us.

I'm feeling  pretty Christmassy though because I got the tree up on Dec 1st and the kids have diligently decorated it. Most people that see it start twitching and want to redistribute the baubles. If I had more energy after that virus perhaps I would too but the rest of the house is such a mess a kiddy decorated tree is the least of my worries! At least the hubs finally has jocks and socks in his drawer now and I only need to find clean school short for three more days :). Don't feel too badly for hubs, he always had clean smalls available he just had to go to the spare room to find them. We had a power out yesterday for 6 hours from summer rain so I had nothing else to do but sit down and pair all the socks!

I hope you're all ready for Christmas and your tree is uniformly decorated!!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Project 52, Weeks 46 + 47

Another two for one... Want to hear my excuse?? Writing my blog post was on my list of things to do for Thursday, and then my phone was stolen. Writing that out now makes that excuse look as lame as the dog ate my homework. I was happy to wait for a new phone to be posted out to me, but we're oh so modern here that we don't have a landline and Hubs said I couldn't be home with the kids without a phone. So an unscheduled trip to Perth put a bit of a hole in my week.

Hmm so what was I up to two weeks ago?! I had my hands x-rayed and I got my blood test results back from the doctor. My friends bullied me in to having blood tests and seeing the doctor because they worry I have some awful terminal disease making me tired and giving me bruises. Everything came back clear. I knew it would, and felt like the doctor would be a waste of time but it's nice to have friends that care. At least the doctor was able to confirm that the arthritis in my fingers is only garden variety osteoarthritis and not rheumatoid like I feared. I'm still not happy about having arthritis in my hands at 40, and even though it is visible to the naked eye seeing it on the x-ray made it somehow more real. So doing my best to cut out sugar and wheat to reduce inflammation. If you have any hot tips on reversing arthritis let me know!

We had Mia's kindy orientation. She loved it and told me the next day she isn't going to miss me :)
Then I had a planned trip to Perth for book club (we read All The Light We Can Not See). Then last week we had a trip to the local hospital to remove another "gem" from Mia's ear (the second in as many weeks)... And of course the stolen phone. In looking for silver linings I was able to buy a Christmas tree while on that unplanned trip to the city. You need a good and bushy tree for Christmas photos.

I'm going to perfect the magic book photo this year. Look at that mean and spindly tree from last year, you can see right through it!

Looks like I need to get that son of mine in my frame more often too judging my the saturation of Mia in this post.

May your electronics stay safe, or at least insured!


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Project 52, Week 45

Redeeming myself and posting early-ish this week. It's always a good week when it is finished by a visit from Grandma and the cousins. Mia is excited to finally be starting swimming lessons. We are half way through term already. I've got seedlings that I bought a week ago that I promised to not let die in their punnets but are still on the kitchen bench... and I'm a wee bit tired (exhausted and over it by 7pm) from being woken at 4.30am by hubby. We've had words and I was excited to sleep in till 5am yesterday and 5.30 this morning. It is finally hot and today it's 41'C and veeery windy.
With the heat and the wind there will be a movement ban on so there will be no harvesting today. On the weekend we were lucky enough to be able to take the cousins out to a friend's farm and go for a ride in the headers. Charlie went last year but it was my first time and Mia's and the girls. It was very interesting! We had such good rain this year but unfortunately there was also a lot of bad frosts so yields are down :( 

Much love

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Project 52, Weeks 43 + 44

Oops look at that, I got behind a week.  And I've no excuse really as the last two weekends Ian has taken the kids to Perth and I've been home alone. Catching up on house work and watching Sue Bryce (You know you've hit middle age when you get excited about staying home, cleaning house and going to bed early!) I never understood how my parents didn't care about going out and having fun and now I do. I also never understood how they weren't super pumped to wake up at 6am on Saturday mornings and watch cartoons. How times have changed haha.

I hope you're having a great week!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Project 52, Week 42

Oh my goodness, only ten weeks till the end of the year! Summer is finally showing it's face, though it is still playing peek-a-boo. Not a lot to report just trying to catch up with life after multiple trips to Perth recently. I am aiming now for only two more trips to the city for the rest of the year. 

Since Ian is working so much I took the kids for an overnight trip to see their Aunties who were at their bush block 2 hours away putting in fire breaks. We checked out the trees they planted 3 and a half years ago to see how much they'd grown since we'd been last (over three years ago! when Mia was a baby).
Look how much they've all grown, kids and trees!
They grow up so quick!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Project 52, Week 41

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 :)


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Project 52, Week 40

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. 


Monday, October 3, 2016

Project 52, Week 39

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!).

I hope you're have a fun week.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Project 52, Week 38

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.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Project 52, Week 37

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.

Watched "I Am Not Your Guru" and "Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things" loved them both. I Am Not Your Guru is on Netflix if you have it. We've not had it long and the kids are both loving Power Rangers....


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

In Love with Sue Bryce

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!

Anyway, I just wanted to tell the world how much I love Sue Bryce, I think she's awesome and I couldn't keep it to myself! I even love watching her when she isn't talking about photography, I bought her CreativeLive with Tiffany Angeles "Make More Money and Discover Your Worth" as well, and her keynote for the 28 Days class where she addresses fear is brilliant. I would encourage anyone to watch it, if you're in to photography or not (watch it here for free on youtube).

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!


Monday, September 12, 2016

Project 52, Week 36

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.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Project 52, Week 35

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.