A Morning at Don Cuthbertson Reserve

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Yesterday I took Scarlett down to a park we hadn’t been to before, even though it is just around the corner – Don Cuthbertson Reserve.  It was quite pretty with a big lake and lots of ducks.

It’s funny how as soon as the old stale bread is meant to be for the ducks, it suddenly becomes very appealing.  After chowing down on the duck bread, we had a big walk, gooed and gaaed over some very cute ducklings and enjoyed a play on the playground equipment.

Another successfully busy morning = easy nap time… hurray!

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Hey ducks, you want some bread…?

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… well too bad cos I’m gonna eat it!

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Telling tales – mum it was him that stole my bread!

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“He’s got a funny face!”  Well yes I suppose he does!

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The cute little family we met 🙂

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3915web“A plane!”  Spotting a plane is always very exciting!

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“I see it Mummy!  A plane!”

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She’s so freaking cute!

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This looks deceptively as if Scarlett is going down the slide.  Scarlett doesn’t do slides.  She is actually climbing a very short way up and scooting down a few centimetres, which is actually progress for her.

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As you do.

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Poor little owie knee from taking a tumble.

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“Don’t want photooooooo!”

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These Small Hours – The Reason Behind The Blog Name Change

I started this blog three years ago, when two little pee lines changed my life.  I discovered I was carrying a very surprise pregnancy and I started the blog to share my experiences.  I called it “Life After Two Blue Lines” – because those two lines seemed a watershed moment to me, a defining point in my life of before and after.

pregnancy test

I wasn’t wrong.  For the next 9 months my life revolved around my pregnancy, and for the next year or two after that my life revolved around the challenge and adventure of reconciling myself to the realities of motherhood and embracing the journey it entails.  I haven’t used this blog nearly as much as I should have – as much as I wish I had – to record that journey, but it has been here nonetheless as my little place of self-expression and discovery.

becoming mum

Lately, however, as I grow into my role as mum, I have begun to feel confined by the name “Life After Two Blue Lines” as I feel it defines me and my life purely in terms of motherhood.  As I grow into this new life, I am able to slowly remember that I am a mum yes, first and always, but I am also more, I am also else, I am also other.  I am also still me – a new me, a growing me, a changed me… but still me.  Still me whole unto myself as well as being “Mum”.

At the end of the day I think my life story will always be defined around the incredible power of those two lines.  And me the mum and me the person will always be completely, utterly and inextricably intertwined.  And yet I feel it is important to maintain a sense of myself, of my own passions and interests, besides the wiping of bums and cuddling of a sweet and cheeky little body.

me and camera

The title “These Small Hours” comes from the lyrics of the Rob Thomas song “These Little Wonders, which has always spoken right into the core of me.  From the moment I hear the first bars, the first few words, I feel my shoulders relax and I start to remember what life is really about.

let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder
don’t you know
the hardest part is over
let it in,
let your clarity define you
in the end
we will only just remember how it feels

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine
until you feel it all around you
and i don’t mind
if it’s me you need to turn to
we’ll get by,
it’s the heart that really matters in the end

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

all of my regret
will wash away some how
but i can not forget
the way i feel right now

in these small hours
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours

these small hours
still remain

 To me this simple, beautiful song sums up so much that is important to me.

It sums up parenthood – how the beauty of it lies in the small hours – these little wonders – the simple magic of the day to day.

It sums up life – not the big excitements and achievements – but the small hours, the ordinary, the RIGHT NOW where all of life exists, where our lives are truly made.  It reminds you to cherish each day and see what is special in each moment and to remember what is really important –

– It’s the heart that really matters in the end.

And it sums up my approach to photography, my absolute passion for it, my desire to document all of those small hours, those tiny ordinary moments and little wonders that make life so special, so that one day, when
time falls away
these small hours
these small hours
still remain.

I’m afraid that in the end – I will only just remember how it feels.

I want to capture and celebrate the small hours.  I want to remember to dwell always in the small hours and see the little wonders that dwell there.

Scarlett laughing

I want to never forget
the way I feel right now.

{Rock the Shot Forum} April Photo Challenge – “Motherhood”

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The theme for the April photo challenge over at www.rocktheshotforum.com is “Motherhood”.

As soon as I saw the theme, I knew I had to enter this photo.  This is an “outtake” from a breastfeeding session I did for my lovely friend Cat and her gorgeous little daughter Jazmine.  In fact, I didn’t even realise I had captured it until I downloaded my photos and found this little gem sitting there.

To me this photograph sums up motherhood completely.  Because motherhood is crazy and chaotic and hard and challenging… but every single bit of it is infused with this – just this pure love.  Just this eyes-squeezed-shut, soul-filling, heart-bursting, totally-pure, utterly-beyond-words love.  This photo expresses what cannot be put into words.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.

~ Helen Keller

Rock the Shot Forum

{I Heart Faces} Best Face of 2012 Photo Submission

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Photo Challenge Submission

When I saw the Best Face of 2012 competition being run over at I Heart Faces, I couldn’t resist entering my gorgeous little monkey – after all, I have plenty of material from 2012 to choose from!  In the end I chose this one, taken when Scarlett was 15 months old  – partly because it’s tack sharp, but mostly because it captures her happy, zany personality perfectly, and it makes my heart smile every time I look at it 🙂

Family Christmas Trip 2012 – The Highlights

Seeing as we spent Christmas over here in Australia last year, we decided to make the trip to New Zealand for Christmas and New Years this year, to see my family (Scarlett’s grandma and aunties).  They hadn’t seen her since our trip over there when she was 6 months old, so they loved spending some time with her, and she loved it as well!  She got very spoilt for Christmas!

Seeing as there is no direct flight from Perth to Wellington, we decided to break the trip up a little and had two nights in Sydney on the way and two nights in Melbourne on the way back.  I’m really glad we decided to break the flights up like that (flying with a 16 month old can be challenging at best!), and it was really nice to get a quick little glimpse of two Aussie cities that I’m rather fond of.

The weather in Sydney and Melbourne was fantastic, and even Wellington turned on the sun and a bit of warmth for Christmas Day!  Daddy C and myself even got a couple of nights on the town in Wellington thanks to a grandma eager to babysit 🙂

Travelling with a toddler certainly isn’t the laidback beach-chillin that comes to mind when you think of the word “holiday”… but we had a really great two weeks together and it was a wonderful break away from everyday life to round off a really good year.

I decided to write this as a highlights post and pop up a photo from each day of our holiday… there will be individual posts for each day with many more photos to come 🙂

 

Saturday, 22 December – Flying to Sydney

dad and bubba at airport

 

Sunday, 23 December – Sunny Day In Sydney

babywearing at darling harbour

 

Monday, 24 December – Christmas Eve – Family Time in Wellington

bubba with aunties

 

Tuesday, 25 December – Christmas Day in Wellington

bubba at christmas table

 

Wednesday, 26 December – Boxing Day – Drawing

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Thursday, 27 December – Fun at Grandma’s

bubba riding big cat

Friday, 28 December – Grandma’s 52 Year Old Teddy Bear

bubba with grandma's teddy

Saturday, 29 December – “Cooking”

bubba pretending cooking

Sunday, 30 December – Hanging With Nana

bubba reading with nana

Monday, 31 December – New Year’s Eve – Family Day

family photo 16 months old

Tuesday, 1 January – New Year’s Day – Three Generations of Girls

three generations

Wednesday, 2 January – Flying to Melbourne

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Thursday, 3 January – Melbourne Hotel

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Can’t beat Melbourne on a good day!

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Friday, 4 January – Flying Home!

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{358/366:2012} A Full Day in Sydney

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Today was our full day in Sydney.  In the morning we attempted a nice brunch on Darling Harbour – instead it was a game of tag team, trying to scoff some food down before it was your turn to run after the monster, who was intent on investigating the fountain, wandering into the chocolate shop and chasing after and shouting at the seagulls!

She seemed sleepy after all that, so we postponed a trip to the aquarium and went home instead.  Naturally, she then didn’t go down for a nap for about another three hours!  So we just had some chill out time in our lovely hotel.  Luckily, the aquarium was open late, so we headed down after bubba woke up from her nap.

Not so luckily, it turned out Scarlett was really not that interested in the aquarium!  She gave a few obligatory “wow!”s… but really the things she loved most about it were running down the ramp ways and the little blue lights on the walls to light the way lol!

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2312web-2Chasing seagulls on Darling Harbour!

2312web-4Nap time for everyone!

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2312web-8This is perfection.  Sigh.

2312web-9 Aquarium fail!

We Finally Made It To The Beach!

When we first decided to build our house, one of the things that drew me to this location was the fact that there is a coastline and beach just 5 minutes drive from the house site.  And yet, we moved in and somehow just never made it to the beach!  At first we didn’t have a car, and it really is just that little bit too far to walk.  Then we got a car… but it was winter… and life settled into a routine… and we just never got around to it.

A few weeks ago I decided I really needed to check out this local beach!  So Scarlett and I popped down for a quick little visit.  It’s gorgeous!!  Fairly secluded and quiet but totally stunning, it felt like being on holiday and it was less than 5 minutes drive from our house!

As soon as we got over the sand dune, Scarlett started pointing at the ocean and emiting her little interested noises “ah!  ah!”  I put her on the sand and she started racing off towards the water!  I didn’t let her go in this time because I wanted to go to the shops afterwards, but we definitely have to head back there soon with togs and towel and let her go for it in the wet sand.

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Seagull!

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Mum The Photographer

I’ve always loved photography.  Often the highlight of traveling for me was new things to take pictures of – I would just go for a big walk whenever I arrived somewhere new and take photographs.

But when bubba came along, suddenly I had the perfect photographic subject – she provided ample opportunity and inspiration, and she made any photo cute just by virtue of being cute – who doesn’t love a photo of a baby?!

Babies are cute!

In late December, I came across the wonderful Georgia from Gregarious Peach, who invited one and all via her blog to participate in a 366 project – a project she called Documenting Delight.  Basically, it involves taking a photograph every single day for a year (2012 being a leap year, that makes it a 366 project).  I decided to take the project on and have been documenting my photo a day since January 1st over at everylittlewonder.wordpress.com.

For the first half of the year, I was using my cruddy old camera.  I don’t even remember where or when I got it, and I was getting very frustrated with it.  It was terrible in anything but the brightest light, and incredibly slow and sluggish.  Daddy C saw how much I was enjoying the project and how much my camera was annoying me, so he promised to get me a good camera for my birthday in July.

My old camera. Aka: hunka junk.

Bless his heart, I don’t think he realised just what he was getting himself in for when he promised me “a good camera”! 😛  I did a lot of research and eventually decided to go with a DSLR – the latest release from Canon, the 650D.

Me and my new camera. I luffs it. LUFFS IT!!!

Well, the camera arrived three days ago and I am in absolute heaven!  I can’t believe the difference it makes – even just the clarity of the photos is amazing.  Not to mention the increased creative possibilities.  I am slowly learning about apeture,  depth of field, the exposure triangle and the rest… with a little bit of photoshop thrown in there for finishing touches.  It’s a big learning curve but I feel like I am slowly grasping it and learning to put it into practice and it’s so exciting!  It’s so exciting to see the potential for a photo and actually be able to produce something close to what your minds eye envisaged, rather than being continually frustrated.

This is a picture taken in the evening with my old camera, straight from the camera. Crap.

 

Photo taken with my new camera, at the same time of day with similar lighting conditions to the one directly above (photo straight from camera). The clarity!  The sharpness!

And yes, I know – I know it’s the biggest cliche ever – the new mum who suddenly discovers a passion for photography.  For me it has always been a latent dream, I swear.  In fact, just before I moved to the UK (where I met Daddy C), I had enrolled in a full time photography course in Wellington – but, being a little lost in life, decided to travel instead.  And besides that – babies are inspiring and there’s nothing wrong with that.  They inspire you to want to capture the precious moments you have with them, to keep forever – cos babies are babies for such a short time.  They inspire you to want to capture everything about them that you love so much.

As I explained to Daddy C – to me, photography is art for people who can’t draw (I suck at drawing!).  It’s a form of self-expression – it’s not just about capturing what IS… it’s about capturing what YOU SEE – your perspective, your vision.  Being a mumtographer to me isn’t just about taking snapshots of your kids – it’s taking the kind of photo where the viewer feels how much you love them just by looking at your photograph.

My gorgeous little monkey

Photography to me is a collaboration with light, with the camera as a tool.  I’m so lucky to have such a generous man who indulges my little passion.  Not to mention such a gorgeous wee subject.  And gosh damn, it’s just so much fun!