Sunday, January 25, 2015

4/52


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Maggie: is in love with her new tennis racquet. With tennis fever, we have been watching a bit of the open online, the girls with little encouragement seemed to have grasped the idea of tennis. So it was a no brainer to buy a couple of mini rackets and balls yesterday. Maggie in particular likes to sit and play with the strings.
Elisabeth: Her cheeky smile. Her newest phrase, "I like it".

Joining in with Jodi at Practising Simplicity for the 52 portrait project. Welcome to all my new visitors after last week.

Monday, January 19, 2015

36

Rob baked my birthday cake, Nigella's Blonde Mocha Cake.

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I think a birthday is a good time to take stock, I've been meaning to do this blog post for some time.

Making: the most of leftover roast chicken with a salad for dinner tonight.
Cooking: I need to cook a pavlova using my new pavlova plate (seen above with my birthday cake on it), as you can cook it straight onto the serving plate.
Drinking: Lanson Champagne (a birthday treat for myself).
Reading: I have been on a roll, after nearly a year-long break from reading fiction. I finished my two Christmas books from Rob, both Alexander McCall Smith. I finally finished Mr Wigg, which has sat next to my bed as I found it so poignant, and could see the end coming. Next up is the Book Thief.
Wanting: Some Ridgeline Pottery dinner plates.
Looking: at the Australian Open tennis online, after missing my annual tennis fix for the last three summers.
Playing: Taylor Swift's "Shake it off" on a loop just to see the girls dance.
Wasting: home grown lettuce on the girls, we hopefully put it on their plate every time we eat it, but they are not fans.
Sewing: um, nothing.
Wishing: for summer to return after a week of rain and wind.
Enjoying: Call the Midwife and Sherlock on iView. Late to the party, but that's ok. Except that I cry in every episode of the former, every birth, no matter what the outcome, big fat tears rolling down my face.
Waiting: for the girls to sleep through the night, any tips?
Liking: the abundance of flowers in our picking garden at the moment.
Wondering: how I will cope tomorrow with my first day at work after a month's holiday.
Loving: my little family.
Hoping: to blog a little more this year.
Marvelling: at the expanding vocabulary of Maggie and Elisabeth, and the way they are actually starting to talk to each other.
Needing: a hair cut.
Smelling: the oriental lilies from the garden, the tree like Barbaresco.
Wearing: my pyjamas of course!
Following: Lisa Kingston, a local flower farmer on Instagram, and working up the courage to ask if I can come and learn how to make up bunches of flowers.
Noticing: how big the ornamental pear trees that line our driveway have grown.
Knowing: I should go to bed.
Thinking: not sure how much conscious thinking goes on for me at the moment.
Bookmarking: children's toys for buying next year for the girls birthday and Christmas!
Opening: lovely thoughtful gifts and cards from my family and friends. Rob's special gift was a set of black pearls. They are beautiful.
Giggling: at the Evian baby ads.
Feeling: grateful.

I might try to do this again once a month.....

Sunday, January 18, 2015

3/52


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Maggie: A pensive moment in the middle of the usual dancing hilarity. These two love to dance, whilst Elisabeth has the edge on the moves at the moment, Maggie is working on her repertoire. We will eventually take them along to a dance class, but for the moment, their dancing to music on the radio or iPod makes them happy. Photo taken on a Nikon D700 with a 50mm 1.4 lens, 1/400, f 1.4, ISO 200.
Elisabeth: Taylor Swift's "shake it off" is a regular request, and here she is "shaking it off". The girls headed to care this week, and while they were happy to go, apparently they missed us at nap time. Elisabeth in particular asked for her MaPa (her hybrid between Mama and Papa when she wants us both),  and even escaped from her portacot giving her carer a bit of a scare! Photo taken on a Nikon D700 with a 50mm 1.4 lens, 1/200, f 1.4, ISO 200.

Joining in with Jodi at her blog Practising Simplicity for the 52 portrait project.

Today is my birthday so after a slow breakfast of home made waffles and opening gifts, we have spent the day at home together. I did pop out for birthday essentials, a bargain bottle of champagne and a chook to roast.

Monday, January 12, 2015

2/52


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Maggie: Hat is still her favourite word, she points them out on people, in books, on their favourite tv show Shaun the Sheep. She doesn't actually pronounce the "h" so she sounds a little french. Very cute. Which is a good thing, as these two are testing us at the moment. Don't let their apparent sweetness fool you, both girls are full of spunk. An attitude and determination that leaves us floored when it ends in tears or a squabble. Whilst I hope it will settle down, I admit that there are moments like yesterday where I desperately need a break. Then they look at you like Maggie here, and you are lost in those beautiful eyes. Photo taken on a Nikon D700 with a 50mm 1.4 lens, 1/800, f 1.4, ISO 200.

Elisabeth: I'm not sure if they remember, but last autumn Rob was caring for them 50% at home, and every day he would pick them an apple each from the orchard, peel them, and let them munch on them in their pram as they took a perimeter walk with the dogs. This morning we wandered around the trees, checking out the potential harvest of apples, peaches, cherries and apricots, if the black birds and possum don't get them first. It might be time to invest in a floppy fence around the top of the orchard/garden fence, as a sneaky possum is wreaking havoc, snapping branches, half eating fruit and generally being a nuisance. Elisabeth happily selected a fresh apple to munch on, she enthusiastically spat out the skin and looked to enjoy the crispy flesh. Photo taken on a Nikon D700 with a 50mm 1.4 lens, 1/8000, f 1.4, ISO 200.

Joining in with Jodi's 52 portrait project at her blog Practising Simplicity.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

How old are you? Two!


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Nearly a month late, but a little post to remember Maggie and Elisabeth's 2nd birthday celebrations.

I got excited mid year, and was planning an elaborate Teddy Bear picnic party for the girls. But then realised the girls weren't really particularly fond of a teddy yet. Then I read a post somewhere about trying to keep children's parties simple which struck a chord with me. Thinking about it I thought better of my elaborate plans (especially when it is so close to Christmas), and decided to pare it back. I kept the invite list short (family and a few close friends), and reduced the decorating to some fresh flowers from our garden, a few garlands of honeycomb decorations (that I already had) and helium balloons. The menu like-wise was simplified to bbq chicken wings, home made burgers and chips, and an ice cream cake.
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Their actual birthday fell on Friday this year, so I organised to have the day off work to spend the day with them. The day before I sent along strawberry cupcakes with them to celebrate with their play mates and carer at family day carer.

On Friday we woke up early enough to ensure we could let them open their gifts from us, which we had hidden under their cot! We sent them off to find them, and they were highly excited to see their new dolls. Rob had to head off to work, so we had a morning of playing together, then after lunch we headed into the city to pick up Rob and take some brownies to the nurses at the NICU.
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Usually when we visit we just greet the nurses in the foyer, but one of the nurses (who was at their birth actually) whisked Maggie off to meet some tiny babies. Maggie was intrigued and as we peeked into a humidicrib at a small prem baby, I started crying, much to the surprise of myself and some of the nurses. He seemed so small and fragile, and combined with the all too familiar beeps and alarms, I was taken back two years, to the feeling of fear, as we dared to hope we could bring home two healthy babies. The nurses then told me that the baby was twice the size of my girls when they were born! After chatting to all the nurses on duty, and having a family photo (the girls refused to smile- I wonder if they remember some of their experience in the NICU?) we headed off to our car.
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As we left the hospital via the air bridge to the car park, I quickly took a similar photo to the one I took the day we left with the girls. In the original Rob was looking down at a baby carrier with both girls tucked in it together! The new version the girls insisted on walking across themselves, but Rob had the same expression, so proud and in love with his youngest daughters.
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The next day was warm, with a perfect blue sky. After heading into the city to collect the best brioche buns from Pigeonwhole bakers, and the meat, we headed home to get ready. Cleaning, and setting up the party area down on the verandah of the laundry hut. We had a quick break to feed the girls lunch and then put them down for a nap. Rob prepped the burgers and potatoes, and I quickly decorated with the garlands of mini honeycomb paper balls. We inflated the helium balloons together, including two jumbo balloons, the girls woke up and immediately started playing with the balloons!
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The run down to party time, was relatively smooth, with enough time for me to bathe the girls and dress them up in their new outfits, and even for us to have a shower (one of us is usually in the shower when our first guests appear).
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They were a bit overwhelmed by all of the visitors, but excited to see their cousins and a friend's baby. We sat around in the warm late afternoon sun, the adults drinking cider whilst the girls opened their gifts and Rob cooked the chicken wings. These were quickly devoured, and then followed by home made pork and apple burgers on the softest brioche buns from Pigeonwhole Bakers. After a little break for bike riding we lit the candles on their Neapolitan ice cream cakes. The cakes had three layers of homemade ice cream, baci (nutella) chocolate ice cream, vanilla with glace fruits and pistachios and raspberry.
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The guests headed home not long after, and we took two tired but happy girls to bed.
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