Sunday, January 25, 2015


 photo DSC_1969_zpso5vvszvw.jpg
 photo DSC_1984_zpszjdgrmgi.jpg
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


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

 photo DSC_1889_zpsc5b0d794.jpg

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


 photo DSC_3432_zps87ba5314.jpg
 photo DSC_3342_zpsa8584494.jpg
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


 photo DSC_3212_zps5d87bc11.jpg

 photo DSC_3297_zps136a4806.jpg

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!

 photo DSC_0360_zps55290f0b.jpg
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.
 photo DSC_2910_zps16f543ba.jpg
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.
 photo IMG_1212_zps40ce23e9.jpg
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.
 photo IMG_1213_zps9f997456.jpg
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.
 photo IMG_1214_zps6825c52c.jpg
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!
 photo DSC_2914_zpsc85f2ab0.jpg
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).
 photo DSC_2887_zpsd97927ef.jpg
 photo DSC_2901_zps5c128490.jpg
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.
 photo IMG_1234_zps75e24f2b.jpg
 photo DSC_2946_zpsb9751b90.jpg
 photo DSC_2951_zps509aa273.jpg
 photo DSC_2981_zpsdc31e317.jpg
The guests headed home not long after, and we took two tired but happy girls to bed.

Farewell 2014, welcome 2015

Although we are all on holiday together, I haven't found the time to blog.
The weather has been warm, so we have spent time outside doing things together. Park visits, dog beach walks, a trip to a nearby national park, Mt Field, and yesterday a swim at the beach.

I feel languid, happy to sit in the sun watching the girls (and intervening when squabbles inevitably occur) with a gin and tonic in hand.

This is not to say that we've had an easy time over the silly season, hosting my family Christmas lunch at the hut (11 people to feed), and heading up north to visit Rob's family too. While mostly the girls are well behaved, recently I suspect with tiredness and excitement and a break in their usual routine, tantrums, tears, and squabbles have seemed to dominate our days. We have been trying to ensure quiet nap times in the early afternoon. When awake, playing outside usually helps too.

2014 whizzed by in a flurry of firsts for the girls and us. A return to work for me, Rob caring for the girls 50% at home until July, then the girls heading to family day care twice a week. All the things that I worried endlessly about this year ended up not being such a big deal. Returning to work has been tiring and busy, but I feel I stepped back in and maybe even up a level. Accomplishing tasks on time was even more satisfying!

Weaning the girls in early June, was something I deliberated over for weeks, hoping they would make the decision for me. Within days they were fine, not even pulling at my top for a feed. Again sending the girls to care was keeping me awake at night, especially when within a month of needing a place none were imminent. We by luck got a place with a family day carer, and we are so happy we did. Within a few weeks the girls had settled into the new situation, and are now eager to get there and have fun. Which lifted a great weight off my mind. Finally whilst we have had our share of sniffles and viruses, nothing too serious, or even requiring anything more than panadol. For that we are truly grateful, as I still worry that the girls might not be as strong as regular children.

Whilst we have been in good health, 2014 was a sad year for our family with Rob's father passing away early this year. Whilst we obviously miss him, in looking back at all he accomplished over his life, he has also provided much inspiration. His passion, energy, persistence and vision are all attributes I would like to emulate.

We are looking forward to the new challenges 2015 will bring us, but also hope for quiet moments of time for our little family. We want very little to make us happy, time to garden, to pick flowers, to keep a clean and tidy home, take photos, good food, great bread, and a glass of home brewed cider or beer to enjoy in the evening. The girls still provide us with daily laughs and smiles, as their vocabulary grows and their relationship develops.

 photo DSC_1484_zps9c336bdc.jpg

Rob took this photo on the eve of the new year, and whilst initially I didn't like the photo of myself, I have come around to liking it very much, as there have been fewer photos this past year with me in them. Partly this is because I have been taking most of the photos, but also since weaning the girls I have put on a bit of weight, and I can't ignore it in photos of myself! Whilst this is a common new year's resolution, I do hope to rectify this with some more sensible eating and exercise this year.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


 photo DSC_1716_zpsef33640e.jpg
 photo DSC_1759_zpsd2a7bd99.jpg
Maggie: It was one of those magical warm summer evenings in Tasmania, they are not very common. Warm enough for dinner on the terrace and then some play time afterwards, in just nappies and a singlet. Baby dolls came outside to be pushed in prams, trike races were had, and the girls helped feed the dogs. Their curls are still making me smile every time I see them. We have had a few meltdowns this past week, both girls are needing long naps, and Maggie has been sleeping in with me until 8am. Her vocabulary is starting to increase, mow, more and hat are her favourite words this week.

Elisabeth: There is a cheeky gleam in her eyes at the moment. She is starting to use words to describe emotions, sad, scared, cheeky, happy. She has stepped up to with her language, creating three word sentences, "see dear Mag" (she calls Maggie, Mag), "Papa shoes, sad", "hungry baby, banana?". This photo was taken right before she started eating dog biscuits!

Both photos were taken using a Nikon D750 with a 50mm 1.4 lens, 1/640, f 1.4, ISO 100.

Joining in for another year of portraits with Jodi at Practising Simplicity. I think this year, time permitting I will try to write a bit about each girl's week, as blogging still seems difficult to accomplish more than once a week at the moment.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...