Self Portrait – 16 weeks

My remote arrived just in time for me to have a play and know what I was doing by the time I needed to do this weeks self-portrait.  Need to work on getting the remote completely out of the shot.  I’m also still not sure about my new editing style, honestly, what do you think?

The weather is beautiful at the moment, I have an extra spring in my step when I get out of bed this week.  If there is cleaning to be done (which of course is all the time) I am happy to do it.  The sunshine and my lack of tiredness this week has definitely put a more positive spin on things.  I’m still not comfortable with my body yet, I feel I’m still at the square belly, is she pregnant or not stage.

I’ve been drinking chocolate milkshakes this week like they have been going out of fashion.  But I’ve also been getting out of the house and going for short walks to the park, so your sister can play in this beautiful sunshine.  My skin seems to be clearing up, but eczema has flared up again.  I wake every night around 11:30 and 4am, just like I did with your sister (and this turned out to be her feed times).  We have started talking names, I keep changing my mind and your Dad thinks some of my names are hilarious!  This week, I’m enjoying school holidays, relaxing and playing with your sister.  We have also started work on the new playroom, which will mean once that’s done, I can make a start on your room.

And here’s Phoebe, having her own little bit of fun taking photos of herself with the remote!

Advertisements

Keep on keeping on!

Yesterday, I got my sooky-la-la on.  I’m not terribly proud of myself because I’m not usually that person, I’m normally the glass is half full type, but I was having a moment, I guess I could blame it on the hormones (or just that I was being a sooky-la-la!!). 

Yesterday I realised that in one month, my little ol’ Blog turns one!  One year of blogging here, wow!  Now, I started this blog for many reasons, firstly I just love to write, always have, always will.  Photography is a passion of mine, even if my sister and I decided to close our business.  I wanted other Mum’s to feel like they weren’t alone, some days can be pretty darn crappy.  I also really loved the community aspect of blogging that I had seen and heard of.  So I guess, overall, you could say it’s my creative outlet, my thing that I like to escape to.

But yesterday, I was all “What’s the point?”, I was kinda over for just “blogging for me”.  I know I have friends that read regularly, because they are also the friends on A Mums Reality’s facebook page.  I also know that maybe there are a couple of others that pop over here too.  Some days no one visits here, some days no one comments.  Some days, it’s all just a little disheartening.  That some day, was yesterday!

Image

Image

I read heaps of things about Blogging before I started, I still do.  They say lots of things those ‘experts’,

First one it takes a bit of time to get readers – kinda still waiting, but I’ll keep plugging along.

Blog for you – I promise, I do, I do!

Join twitter and interact – I actually really like twitter (a little more than Facbook), I do,  but sometimes feel out of the already made circles of friends.

Get on Instagram – this is not a chore for me, I love it, I just do it and wold even if this blog didn’t exist.

Visit other blogs and comment regularly – My favoure passtime!  I have close to 55 blogs in my google reader that I visit and comment on.

Find your niche – and maybe this is where I fall down a bit, I write about lots of different things.

Go to blogging events – I don’t know about many of them, the ones I do are pretty big, expenisve and this little blogger is scared!!.

And publisise on social media –  I do when first post, but I don’t keep going on and on, it’s just not me.

So after my big sook yesterday, some really nice things happened out there in cyberspace.  First, Jess from My Heart, Your Home responded to a comment of mine on instagram and made me feel alot better.  Not only that, she then posted a photo of what she was doing, reading my Blog, and I got a new visitor!  Jess is beautiful and we have something big in common, she is having her second baby too, we are due three days apart.  Then Cherie from Raising Master Max also left a lovely comment on instagram and then popped over and left a comment here too.  She’s pretty awesome out there in the blogging world and is going places.  Finally, over on twitter, The Four of Us told me a bit about her blog, also made me feel better, and then we struck up a conversation and discovered she lives in the next town and had moved from my town!!  And then to top it all of, I had sent Alphabet Monkey an email just to let her know I was writing about the quilt I bought from her (it’s the right thing to do) and she emailed me back a most lovely email. 

Image

Image

So today, I am feeling much better thanks to those people and many others.  It might not change much here, but it has changed the way I was feeling.  Today I also cleaned out my Google Reader, took out some blogs that no longer ‘speak to me’ and added more that do.  I took out some of the well known blogs, because that is was the only reason I really started to read them.  Today I guess I have to realise that sometimes my blog might not appeal to others, and some days, people just might not know what to say and don’t comment, but that’s ok, I have those days too.

So tell me, be honest, what do you like about coming here and what would you like to see more of?

Bel x

I heart colours!

When I was pregnant with Phoebe and putting together her nursery, I was very conservative.  We didn’t paint and I keep everything very neutral, and by neutral, I mean bones, soft browns and whites.  There was little or in fact no colour in that room now that I look back.

We only ever planned to stay in this house of ours for a few years, so we have always been apprehensive painting and hanging things from the walls (I married a plasterer, what can I say).  But this time around, I’m feeling much braver!

My first baby purchase arrived the other day and has set the tone for everything to come.  I love Pinterest, but nothing is better than good ol’ madeit and etsy for a purchase!

Image

ImageI’m thinking now of yellow and grey throw cushions as well to brighten the nursery even more.  I have my eye on a beautiful yellow throw with some words written on it.  Thecot quilt that I bought is from Alphabet Monkey on madeit, and I can’t wait til I can’t start moving all the nursery furniture in and start pulling all my ideas together!Image

My sister says that I’m definitely leaning towards boy colours, and maybe I am.  But the fact of the matter is, the quilt is by far my favourite colour at the moment.

So what do you think?  What colours would you decorate a new nursery in?

Bel x

School Holiday Activity – The Drive-ins!

I’m lucky enough that being a teacher, I get to spend the school holidays with my girl!  I try to maximise the quality time we spend together and usually try to plan a couple of outtings, a few catch ups with friends, a night away and some days at home.  Our first school holiday outing these holidays, I decided was to be the drive-ins.

I’d never been before, ever.  I was pretty excited!  We headed there for a 7pm showing of Madagascar 3 but didn’t tell Phoebe where we were going.  During the day I’d already organised the boot of our station wagon with pillows, doonas and our slippers.  I was suprised how busy it was for a Monday night, even being the school holidays.  Once we explained where we were, she was so excited!

We reversed the car up towards the screen, Phoebe and I asumed our positions while Hubby went and got us dinner from the Diner (BUT you can also SMS your orders through and they bring it to your car, amazing huh?).  Now, realistically, this is not a pricey affair for a family, especially if you go on a Monday night.  We had to pay for Hubby and I, which I think ammounted to $17 (I think we could even pay an extra $5 and stay for the movie after ours).  A car load of people is capped at $20.  If we were on a tight budget, we would have had dinner before we came, and taken our own drinks and snacks.  But because we’d never been before, we wanted to experience it all.  We all had dinner plus the normal movie food, popcorn, choc tops and coke, for around $45.  Considering we all had dinner, I didn’t think it was too bad.

Next time, although it wasn’t too cold, we’ll take beanbags instead and sit outisde with our doonas, the bottom of a boot isn’t that comfy, no matter how you try to pad it up (you can tell there are some seasoned drive-inners out there, some of the setups were amazingly well thought out).  I will put Phoebe in her pj’s, I thought I was silly if I did, but when I got there I realised I was the silly one for not doing it.  All the kids were walking around in their pj’s, dressing gowns and slippers (glad we at least took the slippers, we kinda fit in).  And we’ll probably take our own drinks and snacks and have tea before we go.

It was a great family night out (Magagascar was a good movie even for us adults).  So what do you have planned for these school holidays?  I love going to new places with the family, so throw me your favourite!

Bel x

Self Portrait Maternity – 15 weeks

Ok, so it may have been a stupid idea, but an idea nonetheless.  I thought it would be good to take a photo each week, marking Bubba V being a week older and one week closer to arriving.  I didn’t think taking self-portraits was going to be easy, but I didn’t realise how hard either!!  These are my first attempts, the focus isn’t great, nothing is great really but I’m working on it – if only you had’ve seen me managing these ones.  Self-timer on camera, running around like an idiot (and getting puffed in the process), wardrobe changes, camera setting and location changes, I’m tired just typing it!!  So I’ve ordered myself a remote which will hopefully will arrive soon.

As my belly gets bigger, my body confidence grows.  At the moment some things I wear make me look really pregnant and other things, well people would be forgiven for thinking that I’d just put on a bit of weight.  When the belly grows, the love handles will disperse and instead of a couple of rolls, I’ll have a nicely rounded tummy that I’ll be happy to show off with tighter clothes.

It’s been a big week Bubba V.  Your Great Poppy passed away and we had his funeral this week.  I thought the tiredness and sickness had passed but alas, I’m not so sure now.  I’m sure next week will be much better when things have settled down.  My craving for chocolate milkshakes has begun again, just like it did with your sister, and I am really wanting your Dad to make his amazing spaghetti bolognse for dinner!

Bel x

An ode to people who are ‘just’ work friends

I have some friends, they are my work friends.  A group of girls, around the same age, who all have the same occupation and work at the same school.  Most of them are now married and are Mum’s, some are not.

But they are just my work friends, they are the type of friends who, send flowers when your Pop has died, with a well thought out card.

Message you from the other side of the world while they are holidaying, knowing that it was your Pop’s funeral.

Message you late at night or early in the morning, knowing that sometimes this can be the darkest park of your day.

Lately, call eachother for a quick chat, which turns into an hour, even though you saw eachother just the other day.

Tweet late at night during those sleeples nights or while up feeding bubs.

Organise weekly catch ups because we know that some of us might not be coping as well as others that particular week.

Work out a roster system to visit a friend, because, we know without her asking that she needs the company and the help.

Hold eachothers hands physically and metaphoically during the tough times, at funerals, when family members are sick or when a tough decision has to be made.

Attend your Hens night and your wedding and turn it into such a jolly affair.

Visit you in hospital or when you arrive home with your new bundle of joy.

Have an opinion and offer advice but never judge!

Head out for birthday dinners or deserts, and pen beuatiful birthday cards.

Offer to watch your child when you are in a bind, even if they have more than a handleful of their own.

Will send birthday cards to your daughter snail mail style because they know she cries every time she goes to the mailbox and there is nothing for her.

Remember insignificant and significant appointments and always check to see how you went.

You see, I have some work friends, but they are much more than that.  They are great friends whom I just happen to work with.  Our bond has strengthened more so over the last few years into something wonderful and supportive.  So they are not ‘just’ my work friends, they are true friends.  Work friends is how I describe them but as you can see, they are so much more than that.

What would you add to the list that your wonderful work friends do?

Bel x

Escape from the daily grind

After a long week of working hard and being emotionally drained, we for once had nothing on the calender.  We headed off without a second thought to our caravan down by the beach.  We spend more time here in the colder months, and we long for the quietness of it.

I realised while writing my post the other day about photographs and what I do with mine, that I have rarely been using my camera of late, and I miss it, I miss it alot.  We the easability and accesibility of my iPhone, my camera has taken a back seat.  So with renewed inspiration and gusto, over the weekend I put my camera into use.  I’m also trying some different editing this time around, I usually stick with clean and crisp, but have taken a different path with these images.  Let me know what you think, do you like them or should I stick to what I am used to, something that wont outdate?

Everything is changing, plants are sprouting new leaves and flower buds.

She loves being outdoors, but more so, she loves being with us!  She is besotted with her Dad on the weekends but I’m lucky enough to still get a look in!

She could play here for hours on end, just in the sand, collecting shells and exploring the rock pools.

The whole beach to ourselves, until we round the corner to find surfers, fisherman and people like us escaping the daily grind.

Two great photographers who have mentored me in the past anyways said never to put your camera away when you think the ‘job’ is finished.  It’s usually then, something happens and you almost always get your favourite or best shot.  And this is exactly it, my faourite shot of the day.

So what do you think of the ‘style’ of the edits I have done?

What did you get up to this weekend?

Bel x

The importance of photos

Yesterday was spent with my Mum, Sister and Uncle after the passing of my Pop the day before.  My sister and I spent hours trawling through old photos (we need some for the service) that Mum had and some that I found in Pop’s room that he had stashed.  I love photographs, they are so much more than just a picture.  The stories behind them, the youthful faces, hopes and dreams, the small black and whites, all reminded me yesterday how much photographs can mean, do mean.

It’s taken me a while to get my digital photo system down pat, but I think I’m almost there.  I thought today I’d share with you how I catalogue my photos and what I actually do with them all, because lets face it, with digital cameras now, you can’t afford to go and print each photo you take, but they are still so precious!

First of all, on my desktop I have a folder for the year, so for this year, it’s obviously labelled 2012.  Within that folder I have sub-folders listed as all the months of the year AND one for my iPhone photos.  At the end of each month, I upload the photos from my camera, edit them and then save them to the correct months folder.  From here, I also backup the folder onto my removable hardrive.  Sometimes I will even then backup onto a CD too.  I’ve lost photos in the past, so I am particular now about making sure I backup.

At the end of every year (and this is my favourite bit), I make a new folder usually called ‘Best of 2012’ and spend time selecting at least eight photos from each month that show what we did, where we went, who we spent time with and copy them into this folder.  Once I’m done, I make a photo book for that particular year.  Last year I also made a seperate book with the photos I took with my iPhone.

Initially, the first book I made was ALL about Phoebe.  The last year or so, I’ve been steering the books into a different direction, more about us as a family and also our friends.  I love that I have these yearly records that we can pull out and look back on.

I find my system works well for me, it’s easy for me to find photos when I need them and also when I look back a few years without a date stamp, the folders quickly jog my memory as to when the photos were taken.

Do you have a system or do you just upload your photos and leave them?  Is there anything that I’ve shared that you think you might find useful in the future?

Bel x

Chapter

If you didn’t already know, I’m expecting another baby in March next year.  This will make our family the perfectly even number of four!  A new chapter in our lives.

I always love the initial questioning you get when you tell someone the news, the first of which always seems to be, was it planned?  Followed closely behind by, we didn’t know you were trying!  And, are you going to find out the sex?  And finally what do you think your having?  So to clear those up, yes it was planned (it shouldn’t matter if it wasn’t though, we are obviously having the baby if we are telling you and are both extremely excited!) and yes, we were trying and you didn’t know because I didn’t really want the world to know that we were bonking regularly in order to reach this outcome.  No, we are not going to find out the sex, we loved the surprise with Phoebe and as Hubby says, “You don’t get many surprises in life these days”.  And for the record, I think I’m having a boy.

The other question is usually, is it different this time around?  I think most pregnancies are different, but yes, my two have been so far.  With Phoebe I was extremely lucky to suffer NO morning sickness at all, I had a few weeks of extreme tiredness which seemed to pass quickly, I didn’t pop out until about 22 weeks either.  I loved being pregnant with Phoebe, I was the healthiest I had ever been, my migraines amounted to two in the nine months I was pregnant and I felt amazing.  Granted, I did have quite a few scares along the way with her, but I savored every minute because back then, we only thought we would ever have one child.

Now four years later, I am pregnant again!  And we are so excited, Phoebe included (she is going to make a great big sister).  I’m glad that I will too savor this pregnancy like my last, because this will be my last.  This time around I have felt ill, all day sickness, but have never thrown up.  The tiredness has stretched on and on, and despite what everyone says, it’s not because I have Phoebe around, she is wonderfully self sufficient and usually not too much hard work.  My skin is terrible, I have never had so many pimples in my life.  And at nearly fourteen weeks pregnant, I have a very obvious bump going on (not to mention the massive boobs!).  But, as with Phoebe, I have already had a few scares, all of which have passed.

So, I have lots on my mind at the moment, we have lots to do and lots of preparation before the end of the year.  My Blog will remain the same, but now just add in some baby stuff here and there, hope you don’t mind!?

Bel x

Puff Paint – the recipe

A few weeks back I wrote this post, about making presents. Lots a people thought it was a great idea, and since then, one Mum and pretty girl have tried it out. They loved it and it worked a treat! So here is the recipe, which I sourced originally from here. I just played around with the quantities to make enough to put in the jars, to make it a thick enough to paint and not drip everywhere.

1 tablespoon of self raising flour

1 tablespoon of salt

4 teaspoons of water

Food colouring

I found it easier to mix the ingredients with a whisk, it was definitely less lumpy this way.

I then found the cute little jars I used from the Reject shop, packets of brushes from Safeway and used some ribbon to pretty them up a bit. To finish them off, a nice pretty bag, some instructions to go with the paint and a card. I wrote my own instructions which went a little like this:

Magic Puff Paint

Using some carboard, paint a masterpiece!

Don’t use the paint in big blobs thought!

Are you finished?

Place your masterpiece in the microwave for 10-10 seconds.

This will make the magic happen!

I play to make some more for Phoebe to play with over the holidays. If you make some, let me know how you go and if the kids enjoyed it!

Bel