Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Nature Study 05 / Various Seaweeds, Somers Beach

The more I get comfortable with the camera, the more I look forward to taking pictures of nature.  I find it very relaxing.  I don't know what any of these are called, but I love that they all wash up on the beach together. 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sittin' and Relaxin'

So here we are, four of us grownups to  take care of one little Clementine spending a few days away from the city.  This house, owned by Isabel and Graeme (Alec's Grandparents), is the "Sloman Country Seat" as Isabel puts it.  They were on a camping trip and were kind enough to let us stay for a few days.

The living room is where everyone sits.  You can watch the weather go by outside and occasionally see an animal or two.  This trip we saw a fox come investigate the porch.  It is always full of light and air and at night time someone builds a fire.

Still so close to crawling!  

Blowing raspberries with Aunt Malia.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Weekend Outtakes

Saturday afternoon Anders and I had a long walk on the beach with the wee one.  I put her in the Ergo not thinking about it very much (maybe Alec would normally have her but he didn't come on this trip).  The moment I pulled out the camera to start taking pictures, she did her best to grab the front of the lens to investigate.

That's one little finger!

Hellooooo Clementine, Mommy is TRYING to be a SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHER OF NATURE.   It's very difficult to do this with a baby assistant.  Lucky for me, Anders was more than happy to take over Ergo duties and I was able to take pictures.

A post about nothing!

She's still a bit wee to sit up there without my help but she looooooooooved it.  We've been in Somers for the last few days so I have lots of pics to share soon.  WEEKEND!!!!  Time to party by going to bed at 8:30 like a champ.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Beef Stew and Cheddar Biscuits

One great thing about Anders is the man likes to cook.  We aren't complaining!  He made this meal last time we were visiting Mom's house in Phoenix and it was inhaled just as quickly.  You know it's a success when there's that nice period where everyone is eating and no one is talking and someone sort of goes "Uh, oh right, you guys are here... Ummm.  This is so good."

This is a very rambly way of saying that we had our friends over for Sunday Dinner and Anders made the best meal ever.  There's only enough cheddar biscuits for everyone to have one, which is probably a good thing so no one ends up eating 5 of them (which is what you want to do).  I didn't take pictures of the food because we ate it too quickly, but I can assure you it was delicious.

These are the sorts of pictures where everyone is making a silly face in one or another.  The most important part is that everyone was laughing and full of delicious food.

Dan had the pleasure of sitting next to Clementine, who spent most of the meal making sure he paid enough attention to her.  That sweater looks like it doesn't have nearly enough stew smeared all over it!

Malia is also being very serious.

"Jess, that is MY BISCUIT!"

Funny ladies.

Matt couldn't hold a straight face while I took a picture, I can relate!  There are perks to being the photographer.

When times are tough, we can always count on these guys.  We sure love them.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Nature Study 04 / Pound Bend

Aside from the obvious appeal of kangaroos, this walk was all about quiet sounds.  The occasional raindrops, the rushing of the river, and the squawking of the cockatoos.  Everything is so green in the winter when it's raining every day.

It's easy to forget when you haven't been in a while how restorative a little walk in the woods can be.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Baby Food

Part of being a one income family is figuring out how to avoid spending money on things that don't need to be so expensive.  Deep thoughts, I know, but we're still working out this being a grown up stuff!  Baby food is ridiculously expensive here ($1.50+ per can, at two a day that could add up so fast).  So.. I'm experimenting with making our own.

Clem took the longest nap of her life this week, 3.5 hours whhaaaaat.  After the first two hours I almost didn't know what to do with myself, so I took some pictures to distract from checking on her every five minutes.

So, here we go.

Step 1: Buy all the vegetables.  I do pumpkin, carrots, beets, and cauliflower. I've tried potatoes and peas but our princess doesn't care for them.

Step 2: Chop all the vegetables.  My hands were pretty sore after this part because I was doing such a big batch.  I find that getting the whole job done in one go makes it easier.

Beets are pretty.

Step 3: Steam all the vegetables!  This part takes forever, mostly because I am doing it with only a small strainer.  Why don't I just buy a proper steaming pot????  I need to get on that.

Step 4: Blend!  I didn't document the rest because it was messy.  I do it in the blender and add a bit of water or almond milk to get it to the right consistency.  It's sort of like making a one vegetable smoothie.

Step 5: Freeze in ice cube trays.  Again with the messiness.  I rub a little olive oil on them first and then it's scooping, smoothing, and smacking them against the counter a few times to settle the puree.  It gets everywhere!

The product of a hard and satisfying day in the kitchen.  Beets are the messiest but I love the color.

A very satisfied customer!  She loves the beets but she has a special knack for getting them on EVERYTHING (less messy vegetables only end up on most things).

Monday, 7 July 2014

Being Resilient

We moved this plant out of the yard a few weeks ago where it was in the cold and the rain and maybe looked a little dead.  As with most succulents I thought, this one just needs to dry out a little and get some sun and I bet it will come back.  And come back it did!  Now it's greened up and has these beautiful pink flowers in the middle of winter.

It feels like an object lesson of my life right now.  The difference between not working out and pink winter flowers is a few feet and some sunshine.  I'm knee deep in planning a business which is exciting and terrifying in all its own ways and taking care of Clementine full-time.  It has been a crash course in prioritizing, multi-tasking, and stress management for both Alec and I (like I'm sure it is for all new parents!).

After hitting my wall mentally more than a few times in the past months, we strategized on how we could get more help.  Turns out I have a brother who could work from home, is excellent with Clementine, and was keen to see Australia.  After a few months of strategizing and budgeting, he's here!  Now we have an extra set of hands in the house and I know it will make all the difference in getting more done.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Pound Bend, Warrandyte State Park

Anders is here, yay!!!!!!  He arrived Saturday morning after a looooong flight.  We've been taking it pretty easy so far.  We decided an easy hike in Warrandyte (which is about 30 minutes driving from our house) would be a nice way to acclimate and see something cool.

I am a little jealous because it took me a good year and a half to see kangaroos in the wild after I moved here and it certainly wasn't for a lack of trying.  Now we've figured out where they live, so when someone wants to see a kangaroo we can take them here instead of the zoo.

For some reason we always have a hard time finding this specific trail, there are about four addresses listed on the internet.  After arriving to the correct spot, driving to a different spot, then driving back again, we got going.  For future reference, go to "Pound Bend Car Park," and the trail is all the way on the back/right.

After an easy half hour walk by the river, you come out to this open field.  Sometimes you need to trek back through the trees to find them, but it was rainy and chilly today so they were all out nomming the grass.

I'd compare them to deer I think, they hang out in packs and as long as you don't get too close or startle them, they are happy to leave you alone.

Keeping an eye on us.

I held back with Molly and Clementine (aka the noisy ones) so Anders and Alec could get a closer look.  They approached slowly and got about 15 feet away.  You wouldn't want to get closer because wild animals and look at those claws, plus there were quite a few babies/adolescents.

Molly wanted to chase them SOOOOOO BAD.  I've let her in the past, but this time especially because of the babies we kept her on the leash.  She was highly displeased.

Cute face.  Clementine was mildly entertained by the kangaroos but would have preferred to get out and roll in the grass and maybe sample some roo poo (it was everywhere).

She fell asleep at the very end, what a sweetie.

All around an excellent walk.  This week I think Anders and I will try to get into the city and see some things there.