27 August 2013


Trying to put fallen sheoak seedpods back on the tree 

Can you hear my breathlessness?

I'm catching up.

Last week was work and mainland travel and regular busy-ness with a side of house-hunting and a large serve of unexpected left-fieldness thrown in.

Another week where I didn't get my camera out. Not once.

Luckily I had some shots from last Sunday.

From a much simpler day when we took a morning walk. 

We smelled wildflowers. He asked me to chase him around the helipad. Then we sat on an escarpment in the shade of a casuarina. I watched whales and he played with sticks. And tried to put fallen seedpods back on the tree.

I am happy to be home again, back to our island pace.

Joining in with Jodi.

You can see the whole series of portraits here.

18 August 2013


Taking pictures with Daddy's (super indestructible) underwater camera

I have so many unpublished shots of this guy playing with cameras.

Every time we get our cameras out, he hops in our laps for a few clicks of the shutter release.

It won't be long before he's got the gist of using his own camera, already purchased for him by Daddy.

Joining in with Jodi.

You can see the whole series of portraits here.

11 August 2013


Sunset in his hair and eyes,
Licking sand from his hands

You look worldly beyond your two years.

Your laugh has changed in the past couple of weeks. You sound more like an older boy.

The weekend you turned two, you asked me to take off your amber necklace, and you haven't worn it since. I'm keeping it for the last set of molars to come.

And this is how it goes, time.

Joining in with Jodi.

You can see the whole series of portraits here.

09 August 2013

a life less ordinary // keeping it real

I have just arrived home, nerves afire, wide-eyed and bone-shaking after the scariest drive of my life.

Up the Eastern Beach, in the seaspray dark, on a rapidly incoming tide, the black ocean licking our wheels, invisible drop-offs at our side, the creeks surging around us and the soft, wet sand dissolving beneath us, threatening to swallow us if we don't keep moving. 

Me at the wheel, my first real dark, dark night drive, because I missed a boat (but got lucky - there was an extra return today!) and need to get home.

And in the dark, it's an inexact science of tide heights, times, beach and weather conditions and a fair thwhack of guesswork.

I was lucky to have K on the radio at home talking me through it.

When we finally arrived home, there were chunks of sand in the wheels.

Nobody really gets the impossibility of living in this beautiful, crazy outpost.

What it takes.

A 12-hour return trip for a blood test (me today) // emergency physio (K yesterday). With little down time, because it's also a chance to replace the number plates that were stolen. And find screws to fit. After you call the RACQ to get the car-that-won't-start going, and convince them you're legit despite the lack of number plates and our failure to update our details when we replaced the plates six months ago - oops. Throw in a police chase because you're driving (without number plates) to catch a boat. Add some serious pain. Yep, K is having a really awful birthday week.

Can you tell we've had two really crap days involving two separate, trying, perilous pilgrimages to the mainland? 

We're lucky, so lucky to live where we do.

But sometimes, it just bloody does our heads in.

We watch sunsets soak their watercolour glow into complete horizons.
There is sand through our house and often in the bed.

Our small boy chases pelicans and dabbles on the shoreline.
Our cars are being eaten alive by rust.

We don't come within a credit card zap zone of a shop for a month.
But then spend several whole days doing nothing but.

We don't have to deal with traffic or pollution - except after a storm when we get half of south-east-Asia's rubbish on our eastern shore.
But don't have playgroups or playgrounds, doctors or libraries, supermarkets or swimming lessons.

I am so lucky to be able to mix paid work and child-raising comparatively seamlessly, mostly without commute and with the flexibility to be there when I am needed.
Did I mention there is often sand in my bed?

I yearn for a simpler life, yet this life less ordinary is complicated.

And I am so, so happy to be home.

07 August 2013

Happy two!

To my two-year-old who loves steam trains and singing and Jemima. 

We visited the zoo for your birthday. You loved the baboons with the red bums the best. 

We had a small party with your Nana and James and Uncle Ryan and Aunty Kristina. You blew out the candle on your chocolate spelt cake, pawed at the strawberries and cream on top before the cake was sliced, and promptly returned to the popcorn bowl.

You are sweet and funny and smart and incredibly adorable. Your imagination has sprouted wings.

You love music and have a growing repertoire of songs you sing. Your favourite song is Kumbaya - though we change the words to 'my boy' - and you can recognise 'Sawah Bwasko' at the drop of a hat.

Lately you love dinosaurs, especially Trachadon, "because it sounds like 'tractor'".

You get excited about tamari rice (you inherited your love of white rice from me) and olives and watermelon. And you just love to smell *everything* in the kitchen. 

But you still eat chalk. And playdough. And crayons. And paint. Luckily we have stuck with completely botanical paints!

You are starting to crave a bit more space and will sometimes tell me to "go back to the kitchen, Mama".

You have a newfound confidence to explore your world, marching forth without a care. You examine everything like a little scientist. 

Though you are frightened by big waves, the sound of the wind, blenders (memo to PlaySchool: please quit the blender desensitization program), and rambunctious kids in the city.

You've started using your trike and Wheely bee, but you're now a bit too big for them!

You accidentally started the tractor at Daddy's work recently, while he was off washing our car. *See me turn white here*.

Your new thing is memory games and you're completely enthralled.

You can count to twelve, in English and in French. I don't think there's ever been a word you haven't been able to repeat.

You can recognise the peregrine falcons and the curlews by their calls, know your sheoak from your banksia, and are a dab hand at naming the herbs in the garden.

Your favourite books at the moment are Waddle Giggle Gargle, Amazing Airplanes, The Terrible Plop, Dogger, Where the Wild Things Are and Each Peach Pear Plum.

You still call yourself 'Ewewy', and it is unbearably cute. Every. Time.

As are the reverent looks you give the Jemima doll you got for your birthday.

And, checking for new bandicoot holes, "Bandicoots have been digging! With shovels!"

Or, leading me to the change table, "Is Mama coming? Lego Man said!"

And declaring your testes to be your udder. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

And when you'd like some milk, you ask "Did you like some milk?"

We hope you love two just as much as we love you!


04 August 2013


Concentration: looking at his reflection in my sunglasses

We've had a quiet, blissful week.

Blue winter skies, sunshine, first wattle blooms.

Beachy mornings, lagoon splashing, rock-hopping. Our first outing in *what feels like* a long while, as we've avoided car travel to keep the daytime nap at bay.

With our nights now free for badly-needed us time, I feel like I am doing a much better job during the day. 

We've made fizzy paint, planted marigolds, played matching and memory games, made moon phase cards, drawn hand tracings, taken walks, had picnics in the garden, rearranged our stepping stones, and so much more.

I am enjoying him more than ever. And it is quite possible that he just continues to get cuter.

I am loving this new groove. My heart is full.

Joining in with Jodi.

You can see the whole series of portraits here.

03 August 2013


Not terribly long after my small whine, we had a watershed.

The boy dropped his day sleeps, just shy of turning two. Not decisively, but we encouraged it, and it has stuck. 

And we are now relishing a new, blissful routine. Our days - and nights - are vastly improved. For all of us. Our days are smooth, save the late afternoon melts. His mood is up. Our nights are *gasp* easy. He reliably goes to bed - and to sleep! - around 6pm, when he is so exhausted he asks for bed. And sleeps around TWELVE HOURS!* Last night it was THIRTEEN and a HALF!! People of the world!! 

I never in a billion years thought we would get here, not even close.

I am hesitant to type this, but our collective jubilation overfloweth. We have our nights back - huzzah!

I also feel apologetic as I type this, as I know some very lovely people in the bloggerhood are also struggling through horrible sleep woes, while I brag about my winnings.

I also realise that this could all change with the wind. 

In the meantime, we just hope and hope and hope that this new thing sticks, and relish the now.

I think we've earned it.


*Not unabridged. There are still around three night-time stirrings / wake-ups, but this is small-fry in our world.