November 2012

Tree light

The heat has arrived in Sydney. We’ve spent the day pottering around at home, watching the boys chase each other around and enjoying naps on the couch. Rick has now prepared a picnic dinner which we will take to a shady spot near the water, so that we can soak in the cool southerly breeze and hear the waves crashing onto shore.

These photos were taken on a similarly warm day at Balmoral beach two summers ago, only a week before we were expecting Jamie to arrive into our arms. It’s almost impossible to imagine life without him now…

What are your plans for the weekend ahead?

Project Life, Weeks 34 to 36

As you can see, I am now on a mission to catch up on my Project Life posts before the year end, so that I can start afresh for 2013! I figure that combining three weeks in one post should do the trick. So I apologise in advance for the bombardment of Project Life goodness! (You can click on each image for a larger view.)

Now that we live just a short drive away from Chatswood in Sydney, we go there almost once a week for dinner with the boys. On this particular occasion, I’d taken my parents there with Pete and Jamie, and dad – being the photography enthusiast that he is – made the most of the opportunity to snap photos of the boys on his Canon EOS. That’s him in the top right, looking all hip and groovy in his beanie. Actually, if you do live near Chatswood, you should note that there is a secret rooftop garden at the Chatswood Concourse which is usually quite empty and just perfect for letting the kids roam free for awhile. (Oh, and that’s Angus doing a double balancing act on his head with both a cup and a toy boat. We’re a talented family, that’s what we are.)

Every time I see this page, I feel all happy and sunny inside. It was actually a winter’s day but the sun was out and the sky was pure blue. Nothing like stopping by the beach for a bit of sand and fun. I’m not quite sure why I didn’t line up the horizon on those bottom two photos, but as an ultimate test of my character, I am not going to fix it. Because like I’ve said before, Project Life is not about perfection.

I didn’t really take that many photos in Week 35, but I did have some photos that I’d taken for my blog, so I simply included them in the album to fill up the left hand page. I ended up really liking the spread for this week: it offers a bit of calm breathing space amongst all the other busy pages.

The sense of serenity continues on the right hand page. One particular thing that strikes me about this layout is that the top right photo of the lake at Akuna Bay seems to mirror the photo I took of our bedroom curtains right underneath it in terms of lighting, colour and composition. I also love the photo of Rick and the boys in the bottom right – with Jamie doing his own thing as always. For someone who’s only one and a half, he’s as independent as they come.

Just random shots of every day life on this left hand page for Week 36. It’s almost impossible for me to get face shots of Pete nowadays, so photos of him from above as he climbs around on the couch just have to do…

We discovered the amazing lookout from North Head Sanctuary (near Manly) on our day off that week. I remember it being a cold and blustery day, so we stayed inside the car for most of it as we drank in the view. I also remember craving hot soup (ah, first trimester…) so when I saw a small cafe tucked away amongst the bushes, I raced over and waited for almost twenty minutes while the chef seemingly made minestrone soup from scratch (sadly, it wasn’t as good as the ones from a can, in my opinion). As for that pork chop and pasta dish which Rick made that week – it was just divine. I love my husband and I love his cooking!

* * *

I’ve been noticing for a while now that my Project Life approach is becoming increasingly simplistic. Most weeks, the layout consists of just photos and hardly any text at all. Initially, I worried about this and fretted that perhaps I should be journalling more. But as I flip through the album, this is what I’ve concluded: photos really do speak a thousand words. When I lay my eyes on any photo in the album, I am able to recall the entire scene, the mood, the circumstances, the emotions and all the other details from that singular moment in time – without a single written word. So let me encourage you today – don’t underestimate the power of the photos that you take.

You can read my other Project Life posts here.

Materials used: Becky Higgins Design A page protector;Kodak 170gsm glossy photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MP630 Pixma.

(Linking up with The Mom Creative.)

These two…

Sunday mornings.

Rick leaves the house at about quarter past seven. As soon as the sound of the engine fades, another noise inevitably emerges.

The sound of small feet padding their way into the hallway. Then the hesitant knocks on my bedroom door. Then the gentle creak of the door as it slowly swings open, revealing two little figures in the doorway.

Yes, these two.

Looking all cheeky and sheepish, as if they know they’ve woken up too early for mummy’s liking.

Usually I’m tired and grumpy and instruct them to go back to bed. But yesterday was different. I felt cheerful, and couldn’t resist their cute little faces grinning back at me. I told them they could climb into mummy and daddy’s bed if they wanted to. They did so immediately, though it took some negotiation to work out who got to sleep on daddy’s pillow.

As I watched them giggling and chatting in hushed tones so as not to wake Jamie up, I could hardly believe that these two were mine.

They are such great mates, even if they don’t know it yet.

I am so lucky to be their mum.

Thank you to everyone for your amazing response to our announcement. We are incredibly excited, and I’m so happy that you are too!

(Linking up with Lou.)

The big reveal…

Kudos to family photographers everywhere. Rick and I discovered today it is near impossible to get three kids under four to do what we need them to do without a bit of bribery. Thankfully, we had a party bag filled with lollies that came in quite handy….

So there you have it, my wonderful friends. You’ve waited long enough to find out: Our fifth little boy is on his way! Of course we wish Cameron were here to celebrate with us, but how hilarious are these other three? We love them all to bits.

Thank you for sharing this incredible journey with us. It means the world to me.

(Dress by Soon Maternity; sandals by Tony Bianco; photography by Rick.)

We know.

He came. He saw. And he told us the sex.

Within the first ten seconds, no less.

My goodness, our mobile sonographer was good.

So we know. We know.

Rick and I are ecstatic!

Unfortunately, I can’t actually reveal the news yet because we have to tell our boys first (bless them, they are all snoozing still) as well as Rick’s parents and sisters (my parents were here when we found out). I’m so sorry to have to string this out – I know some of you are just dying to know.

So tomorrow.

I promise you, all shall be revealed tomorrow…

Thank you to everyone for sharing our excitement! You guys rock.

What we found out today…

This was me at 1pm today. Looking all happy and excited and ready for the big event.

I had a feeling, you know.

I had a feeling how today would turn out.

And I was right.

So here’s what we found out: The baby is fine. Everything looks okay. Nothing to worry about, it seems. We are incredibly thankful for this.

And here’s what we didn’t find out: The sex.

Yes, you heard right. After months, weeks, days, hours and minutes of waiting for that one moment, guess what our little one decided to do?

Sit on his/her foot – making sure that the groin area was completely and discreetly covered up. Zilch. Zip. Nothing.

Nothing but a foot.

I could not believe it.

Considering that we had very definitive ‘boy’ verdicts for the other four pregnancies, I just couldn’t believe that this one had decided not to co-operate.

Which made me think that perhaps this one’s a girl. But then Rick thought he saw boy bits. But then the sonographer said it could’ve been the umbilical cord. Meanwhile, I simply lay there in disbelief as she wiped the gel off my tummy and candidly suggested that maybe I could get another scan after thirty weeks.

Thirty weeks!?

Rick, of course, has some superhuman ability to look for the silver lining in every situation (“I guess the mystery is kind of exciting…”). Bless that dear husband of mine. He is truly one in a million, considering how much he’d wanted to find out as well.

Sadly for me, I do not possess such self-soothing abilities. I was crestfallen, disappointed and grumpy. And unfortunately for Rick, he bore the brunt of it as he sat opposite an utterly sullen (and hormonal) wife during our post-scan coffee date.

[click to continue…]

Today is the day.

Yes, the day. Today we get to (hopefully) find out whether we are having a baby boy or a baby girl. I actually cannot put into words how giddy with excitement I am (you would think we’ve never had a baby before). Suffice it to say that yesterday just seemed to go on and on. I was restless to the point of being bored, and kept pacing the house in an attempt to make time pass. I am in awe of parents who are able to wait until their baby is born before finding out. I am so not cut out for that. Three hours now till I start drinking 500mL of water as requested. Four hours till walking into the ultrasound place. And hopefully shortly after that – the moment of truth.

Please, baby. Be co-operative! We can’t wait to start calling you by your name…

Would you find out? Or are you one of those who can wait?

The theme for The Creativity Project this month is thankfulness. There were many photos I considered for this post, but in the end, I narrowed it down to this one image. Every day, I am thankful for our boys. I may not be the perfect mother, but they are indeed the perfect gift. And even though Cameron is not in the photo, I am eternally thankful for him too. His life and death changed me, moulding me into the person I am today.

Make sure you follow the circle and visit Becky at Life with Kaishon.

Stillness

We woke up yesterday morning to the sound of rain falling on our roof. The boys didn’t knock on our door until half past eight, allowing us a rare sleep-in on our day off. We spent most of the day at home: Rick made dinosaur magnets with the boys while I worked on a big memory-keeping project. It was chilly and overcast, so we rugged up in jumpers and long pants; I even pulled out my knitted scarf and woollen cape at one point. Perhaps it was the rain, the cold, the overcast or the fact that we didn’t go out, but there was a certain stillness about the day that I found somewhat disconcerting, poignant and refreshing all at once.

How is your weekend going – wherever you are?

Weeks 32 and 33 continued the documentation of our family holiday back in August. For the first time since I started Project Life back in May, I actually did a double spread for a single week. Talk about living dangerously, right? I’m glad I did it though: despite the fact that we didn’t go anywhere, our holiday was nonetheless full of precious memories which I’m glad to have recorded in our Project Life album. In addition to the double spread, there were also a few extra inserts which I’ll also show you today (you can click on each image for a larger version).

Most of the photos I include in our family Project Life album are the ones taken on my iPhone. However, I made an exception here because we were spending so much time with the boys in the holidays, so I decided to include a few portrait shots that I took using our Canon EOS (and yes, most portrait shots take place at the meals table because that’s when they’re all sitting down properly!). That smaller black and white photo in the middle, with the boys in the foreground and the buildings in the background, is one of my favourite photos as it has such a dramatic feel to it (whereas in reality they were just running around hysterically, wanting Rick to pick them up and swing them around).

Yup, drinking fruit smoothies, driving into the bush and watching the sunset down at the beach pretty much sums up a large portion of our holiday! I also adore that picture of Angus and Pete in the top right – it’s a lovely little snapshot of their friendship. Oh, and I’m giving myself extra brownie points for including not one but two photos of myself on this page – even if one of them is simply of my shadow…

Those sweet little moments between Angus and Pete continue on this page, along with snapshots of our various expeditions to cafes and yum cha restaurants. And of course, the sea. Always the sea.

As you can, I loved the 8×8 insert format from Week 31 so much that I decided to make it an ongoing staple. In this instance, it was the perfect way to showcase our trip to the Sturt gardens and cafe in Mittagong. Looking at a storyboard like this makes me so happy.

Week 33 was the first spread in which I used more black and white photos than colour ones, and I quite liked the effect of it. As a matter of practice, I don’t often convert photos to black and white. However, here I felt that the colours in the original images of the beach were too stark and distracting. By stripping them away, and leaving only black and white, it adds drama and interest and draws the eye to what Rick and the boys are actually doing inside the photo. (You’ll also notice that I moved ‘Week 33′ up from the bottom of the photo, to make it work with the image that I had chosen.)

In contrast to the previous page, I do love the different shades of blue here. This was the week we discovered Freshwater for the first time (it only took us eight months). I remember how fun it was to explore a new beach. Not only was it small, cosy and generally empty, there was even a small playground nearby and a kiosk near the car park that sold great coffee. That was a good day, that one.

Rick and I were very fortunate that week to be able to sneak away for one night to one of our favourite places in the south: the Acacia House in Milton. I wrote a post about it here, and I wanted to include the post in the album as a more detailed record of our ‘romantic getaway.’ I simply used the 6×12 template that I had already designed for past weeks.

And because I took so many photos at the gorgeous bed & breakfast, I simply had to include them in yet another 8×8 insert…

And that’s it! Our 2012 family holiday recorded for us to look back on in years to come. I love that I didn’t need to do anything separate for the holiday – it just fit right into the rest of our Project Life album, simply with extra inserts and one cunning double spread.

I would love to know – how do you guys record or document your holidays?

You can read my other Project Life posts here.

Materials used: Becky Higgins Design A page protector; American Craft 8×8 page protector; Kodak 170gsm glossy photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MP630 Pixma.

(Linking up with The Mom Creative and Kootoyoo.)