Friday, July 31



Beth's become quite attached to her 2 new friends today... I tucked Humpty in with her when I transfered her from the car to her bed and when I heard her wake up from her nap, and peeked in to her room to see her holding him and playing with him in bed.

Jemima and Humpty have been everywhere with us this afternoon... They had lunch with Beth (and each got their own chair at the dining table!) And then they came with us to the shops... and we almost lost Humpty... I was majorly panicked for 2 minutes as I quickly scoured the checkouts at Woolworths looking for him and then retraced our steps to the $2 shop to find him sitting on a shelf she had placed him (all the while Beth's asking "Where's Humpty? Humptyyyyyyy! Humptyyyyyy!" and then crying and getting upset...) She gave him the biggest hug and held onto him tight after we found him again... and I breathed a big sigh of relief... that was a crisis diverted!

Then once we got home, they had afternoon tea with her... and then she played this jumping in the hoops game with them... And this evening they sat next to her as she watched playschool, sang songs together, played picnics, hairdressers (she's obsessed with Humpty's hair!) and restaurants... They have even followed us into the toilet and bathroom when we were brushing our teeth! Anyway, this photo is of her playing cubby houses with them and snuggled up all together... Not surprisingly, they're keeping her company in bed tonight...

She's never really been attached to any toy before, so to see her just fall completely in love with them is so funny and cute... She does have more of a preference towards Humpty, but she does like Jemima a lot and Jemima is Humpty's friend. She likes to make me hold Jemima and have conversations with Humpty... And she is always making Humpty kiss Jemima too... I'm bracing myself for this to become the inseparable trio...

Too Much Fun At The Playschool Concert

Today was the big day we'd been waiting for... the day of the Playschool Concert! I actually didn't tell Beth about it until this morning (because Beth has this issue with being unable to wait!), and I don't think she really understood until we got to the hall and sat down and she saw the set and then she started saying "Playschool Concert!"... and then when all her favourite characters (like Big Ted, Little Ted and Jemima) came out she really got into it... she was a little bit reserved (which is normal for her in large crowds and unfamiliar siutation), but after about 5-10 minutes she was into it and copying the playschool presenters and singing and doing actions... We had a ball! I knew she would love it... We got Angela (an old playschool presenter who isn't on any of the current episodes) and Alex (who is a familiar favourite presenter of hers)... and they were great... lots of fun songs and audience participation. After the concert I asked her what her favourite part was and she said "Humpty!" So I ended up buying her a small Humpty and a Jemima fairy doll from the merchandise stand... Anyone who knows me, knows that I rarely buy stuff from the merchandise stand at any concert... but I made an exception this time, because Playschool is the only TV show that Beth loves and is crazy about (any other TV show she can take it or leave it... but Playschool is always top of the list!)... and really, she adores her new friends.

Obviously, we had way too much fun at the Playschool Concert, because we came home at 11:30am and this is how she was, all snuggled up between her two new friends...

Too Much Fun At The Playschool Concert

She's still asleep right now (1:10pm!) which goes to show how much a Playschool Concert can take out of you! (Although, I suspect the lack of nap yesterday, 8:30pm bedtime and 6:30am wake time might have something to do with it also...)

Thursday, July 30

Afternoon Tea At The Park

Afternoon Tea At The Park

So I'm struggling here with finding time to head out to different locations and setup some lovely photoshoots with Beth (our days are just too busy filled with this activity or that)... However, we have of late been visiting the park near our house quite a lot... so I've taken to just dragging the camera along and photographing just our "every day" type activities... nothing exciting, but they do tell a story of what we do together... plus at least bringing my camera along gives me some kind of entertainment, because let's face it... once your child goes down the slide for the 10,000th time, it's really not that exciting anymore... :p So I figure I may as well spend some time practising the art of photography and get some personal enjoyment out of our afternoon outings...

Wednesday, July 29

Probably of very little interest to anybody but me...

but I thought I would document this for myself and mention now that Beth is pretty much completely toilet-trained... including at night!

Honestly, I think toilet-training was on my "most-dreaded" thing to do on my list of motherhood tasks... I put it off (yes, I had the excuse of the San Diego trip)... but in the end, that worked to our advantage, because she was well and truly ready by the time we started. We started when she was 2.5 and it pretty much took 1.5 weeks of just afternoon training on the potty for Beth to get the hang of it... then 2 weeks later, she started going on the "big toilet" and we haven't looked back since... It's now been 2 months... last week, we had a little setback, where Beth started leaking a little into her knickers before she made it to the toilet (nothing major, we just went through a lot of slightly wet knickers, but not enough to go through to her pants). I started showing her that her knickers were wet and she quickly figured out she didn't get her obligatory reward of a bit of chocolate frog or a lolly snake when they were wet ... So she got back on track pretty quick and now after doing a wee she firstly announces "I did a wee on the potty" (she still calls the toilet the potty)... then quickly she feels her knickers and looks at them and points and says "See... it's all dry!" ... very proudly! Then this is followed with "And I get a chocolate frog!" and I always say "You can have a little bit of frog" (I'm cutting back, she gets a quarter of a frog these days... I'm tight... :)) And then she tries to sweet talk me by saying "How about a big chocolate frog?" all whilst giving me this cheeky big grin that tries to melt your heart... but I still only give her a bit of chocolate frog, but it's super cute and hilarious seeing her try to wrangle for some more... :) Lately, she's been asking for snakes again... and today she was being sneaky and trying to get both... but I'm a tough cookie and don't fall for it... :)

On the night time training, I did nothing to encourage this, She's just figured it out by herself... before she brushes her teeth, she asks to go the toilet... then she'll wake up twice a night and ask to go again (once around midnight, again around 4-5am)... She normally just calls out "I need to wee!" and I normally hop out of bed, she does a wee (with her eyes closed and still announces "I did a wee on the potty" but she never asks for a chocolate frog or snake... instead she says "And I go back to sleep...". Really funny seeing her sit on the toilet so sleepy...

Apparently the other night, Phan and I must have been in a deep sleep and Phan woke to hear her calling out and asking "Can I wee on the potty please?"... obviously, she must have yelled out "I need to wee!" a few times and didn't get response, so she thought she'd be polite and see if that got a response... LOL... poor girl... I must have been tired, I normally always hear her... at least Daddy saved her...

Haven't been game enough yet to forgo the night nappy yet though, despite her progress... might give it another month, and if all still seems good, we'll try it and I'll get some waterproof covers for the bed just in case...

Okay... if you read that far, I'm impressed... I know it's boring reading about someone's toileting habits, but for me, I am so proud of my little girl...

And, I know she's totally going to hate me when she's older for taking this photo, but I took it anyway...

She's A Big Girl Now...

Tuesday, July 28

A Rundown Of Our Day...

We spent a rare day completely at home today... and this is what happened (in chronological sequence)

Today we....

- woke up at 7:20am

- drew pictures on the magna-doodle

- played the Mr Potato Head game (new purchase... it's a race to put together Mr Potato head... really quite fun!)

- had pancakes for breakfast

- coloured in about 30 pictures (I have just discovered a fabulous site with lots of free colouring in pages - ... just print out what you like and what you need (in our case, a lot!) and away you go... we've been colouring in with crayons and watercolours and textas... so lots of variety with the one activity.

- listened and danced the chicken dance about 20 times... Beth loved skipping around the table, I was dancing whilst marinaded some chicken drumsticks for dinner... LOL... how appropriate... :)

- baked a vegetable slice using this recipe... really yummy and quite healthy with lots of vegetables in it. (Note - lots of flour went everywhere during this period!)

- make home-made yoghurt iceblocks (blueberry yoghurt)..

- made lemon flavoured jelly

- made toilet roll people and knocked them over like ten pins with a tennis ball

- painted (with watercolours and with squishy paint) and made a big mess

- had fried rice and a pear for lunch.. then crackers and brie (she has "refined" taste)

- didn't have a nap

- blew some bubbles, spilt some bubble mix, then cried

- watched some TV ('cos Mummy needed a break!)

- played with lego

- played with dolls

- played dress-ups

- washed the kitchen floor with a bottle brush and then (dangerously!) decided to skid around in the slightly damp patch of tile whilst proclaiming "Whoa! It's a bit wobbly!"

- had chicken drumsticks with "trees" (broccoli) and rice for dinner. Followed by a banana.

- swept the floor with Daddy... and wielded it like a weapon

- had a bath (and kept putting bubbles all over your eyes and face and spitting water out of the bathtub!)

- argued because she insisted she didn't want to go to bed... but then fell asleep on the couch 5 mins later...*grrr*... lucky she's so cute, but *man*... why are toddlers so damn stubborn sometimes?

So here is the latest sleeping pose - I call it the "But-I-Don't-Want-To-Go-To-Sleep" pose...

The Sleeping Poses of Beth 4

And now, this Mummy needs to go and get some rest... early morning swimming lesson tomorrow... Beth better not sleep in!

Sunday, July 26

The Many Poses Of Sleeping Beth...

With the demise of the afternoon nap rapidly approaching, the days where Beth doesn't have a day nap often (but not always) results in her being quite tired in the evening and occasionally falling asleep on us when we're not watching.

This is how we found Beth on the couch tonight... she had been snuggled up on the couch having a bottle of milk whilst watching Playschool... and obviously she got a little too comfortable... I call this The "I-had-preconceived-notions-about-falling-asleep-on-the-couch" Pose...

The Sleeping Poses of Beth 3

In this photo she was out for the count at about 6:30pm one day... She hadn't even had her bottle of milk that night! I call it The "I-just-might-close-my-eyes-for-a moment" Pose...

The Sleeping Poses of Beth 2

And this photo is from a couple of weeks ago... I changed her into a night nappy and put a jumper on her and she didn't stir in the slightest... completely out of it. This is the "Sleeping Sprawling Starfish" Pose...

The Sleeping Poses of Beth 1

(ps - experimenting with some vintage black and white processing here because these photos have way too many clashing colours going in them... not sure if I love it, but something I'm playing with)

Saturday, July 25

Daaaaaddddeeeeee... hurry up and come down the slide!

And those gumboots you see her wearing... uh huh, they were all *her* idea ... I'm pretty sure gumboots are not the best choice of foot attire to be wearing when you are climbing playground equipment and running around the park and such... but she insisted... and well... quite frankly.. you gotta pick your battles and she got to win this one because there will be bigger battles that I need to win... :)

Thursday, July 23



We have a new galloping friend (picked up for a bargain $10 Toys'r'Us last week)... As you can see Elizabeth loves him very much.

And a bigger view of one of the photos from the storyboard above... I love her expression in this photo... she looks like she's having sooo much fun...

Giddy Up... Go...go ...go....

Tuesday, July 21

Pretty Bling

In line with our current phase of wearing things around our neck, here's Beth decked out in her gorgeous bling... And then of course, that second photo would be a shot of her 2 seconds later where she's decided she really doesn't want to wear them anymore and needs to *take-them-off-right-at-this-instant-right-now*... fickle toddlers....

I wanna take them *off*! Pretty Blingy Necklaces

Monday, July 20

Very Messy... Very Silly...

Art and craft is a daily occurence in our household... In fact it often happens twice or three times a day... Beth loves to paint... with water colours or poster paints... it doesn't matter... I swear we should go into mass art-production or something... We go through 10-20 sheets of paper a day... If we could only find someone who would buy our amazing artwork ...

(These photos were shot at ISO 6400, very late afternoon in our bathroom as it was getting dark... I know I've said it before, but oh my goodness, how I love the high iso!)

Very Messy

Very Cheeky & Silly

Thursday, July 16

My Friend Duckie

Cute series that I shot yesterday... Elizabeth rediscovered her duck (yes, it's Jemima Puddleduck from Peter Rabbit... on wheels! Speedy... ) and insisted on taking her everywhere... even though Duckie isn't really suited to the rough terrain of our grass... :)


Wednesday, July 15

Breathtaking Beauty...

Breathtaking Beauty...

Okay, so I know I'm totally biased because I'm her mother... but isn't she just beautiful? It just makes my whole heart just sigh in amazement... she's really not my baby anymore... growing up so very, very fast ... with the personality to match... Just in case anyone out there thinks I'm going down some Jon Benet-esque path (which I'm not!)... the whole dressing up thing was Beth's idea... We're going through a phase where Beth likes to wear things around her neck... feather boas, leias, scarves, necklaces... sometimes all at once! And today she was in the mood to wear her tutu and fairy wings ... which it totally out of character for her... She's not a big fan of playing dress-ups (despite my enthusiastic encouragement)... Normally if she puts something on it lasts all of 5 minutes before she wants to take it off... But today, she played in her fairy wings all afternoon... I even had my own real life laundry fairy today as she helped me take in the laundry (in the same manner as yesterday... yes, I'm such a slave driver, Thao... but I like to think of it as being creatively inventive in a productive manner :))... All in good fun!

Tuesday, July 14

What Do You Do When You're Sick Of The Boring And Mundane Chores...?

You turn it into a game of course! I did two loads of laundry today and needed to take them in... Beth was pestering me to let her do some painting ... and seriously, she'd literally spent half of today painting or gluing or doing some kind of messy craft and I was a bit over it... so to distract her, I asked her to help me put some clothes in the laundry basket for me... which then turned into her doing repeated shuttle runs between the clothes horse and the laundry basket... I unpegged the clothes from the lines, and draped them over the clothes horse, she retrieved then and put them in the basket. She had a lot of fun... and burnt some energy... and I was happy that the laundry got taken in (although it took 10 times as long as if I'd just done it myself!)... Still, it was a nice way to spend half an hour this afternoon...

Sunday, July 12

Ong Oi...

Elizabeth calling for her grandpa while we were waiting for the bird show at the wild life sanctuary (he had snuck off to talk on the phone) ... This photo really makes me laugh...

Ong Oi....

Saturday, July 11

A Day At The Sanctuary...

Today we went to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary with Phan's parents... we had such an awesome day... lots of birds to look at (and seeing as Beth's obsessed with birds, that was a good thing!), we saw a bird show with lots of different birds, a general wild animal show with snakes, baby dingoes, lizards and a golden possum... Beth insisted we stay and watch an Aborginal cultural dance demonstration (not something Phan and I would normally be interested in). The highlights though would be Beth getting to pat a kangaroo (She's normally a scaredy cat and won't touch animals, but this kangaroo was sooo placid, she loved it!) and she also looooved touching a baby crocodile (possibly more than touching a kangaroo!) And for us... it would be the lorikeet feeding... which is really indescribable... just imagine *hundreds* of lorikeets flying around and then feeding from dishes that people are holding... they sit on your arms and head and will eat... the photos kind of tell it all, but they don't describe the beautiful atmosphere and the sound of the birds chippering away... Honestly, it's a once in a lifetime experience... it's amazing!

My favourite photos from today (another post coming, but I wanted to get these up in a hurry so Bao could see them!) -

Up Close & Personal

She loved the baby crocodile...

Lorikeet Feeding Time

Lorikeet Silhouette

Friday, July 10

The Much Loved Spotted Gumboots

The Much Loved Spotted Pink Gumboots

Thursday, July 9

First Shoot with the 5D Mk II

Okay.... now I'm sure I'm really in love... Here's my first outdoor shoot putting the new gear into practice...

Funny Face! Hanging in a tree...

Playing with Grandpa 1

Playing with Grandpa 2

Planes with Grandma

Planes with Grandma 2

And when you're in the mood for tap dancing...

What other song could you possibly want to tap to other than the "Macarena"?

I also love how she does the funny "rainbow" arms when it gets to the "Aaaaa Macarena" bit... If you're curious about the tap shoes... we made them at one of a playgroup session last term... it's a metal flat ring hot glued to some elastic and then foam shapes are threaded through the elastic as decoration, tie the ends together and then you have instant tap shoes which you can attach to any shoes you want... in this case you can see she's turned her crocs into "tap crocs"... :)

Wednesday, July 8

I often wonder...

how Phan and I ended up with such a quirky child... she really is so amusing at the moment.... A couple more video snippets :

The first one is of Beth mastering the art of blowing into one of those party blower horn things so that it makes a noise...

And then this one is of Beth singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" (she's singing it quite softly) whilst accompanying herself on the keyboard...

Funny Game

This is a game that Beth is obsessed with playing with her grandparents... it's hilarious to watch, I just had to capture it. I call it the "Slide/Ghost/Hide & Seek game"... I also have a new phone (contract just ran out, so I upgraded, but it's costing us less now on as I've switched phone companies), so the quality of the video is better... however, the file is marginally bigger, so I apologise now for the larger download sizes now...

New Toys!

Elizabeth and I have been spoilt of late... we currently have Phan's parents' visiting and staying with us for a week and we are loving every minute of having them here... Beth has totally loved harrassing her Ong Ba into playing one of her many favourite games. Today we spent the morning at Chermside, just having fun being out together... They bought Beth this Vtech toy phone that talks and makes a gazillion beeping/electronic noises and lets you record messages on it... she loves it!

And me... well, last night I got a beautiful new toy too...

I've been spoilt... I am one lucky, lucky woman to be married to the most wonderful man in the whole world! Phan came home from work yesterday via Harvey Norman with this in hand, which was a complete and utter surprise! Bought it for a very competitive price (got them to price match Ted's) and got it on 3 months interest free too... but even so, he spent some serious $$$ and for the first part of the night, I was umming and ahhing about whether I should even open it... but in the end curiousity got the better of me and I opened it... and Oh.My.Goodness! There was no going back... I am in love... the bigger clearer viewfinder, the huge LCD screen on the back, the high ISO (crazily amazing!)... and the full frame... *WOWSERS*, my 24-70mm is a completely different lens and it is fantastic!

And for a couple of photos, that really do nothing to showcase how amazing this camera is... but I had to take photos of something today! It's cold and dreary and a bit damp outside, so I'm having to shoot indoors -

Beth with her new toy phone (and her sweet bed hair) (first photo is SOOC) -

Love her bed hair. SOOC

Really, not all that impressive, until I tell you it was shot sans flash at ISO 5000 (@ f/3.5, 1/200 if anybody cares about those details)! Look at how little noise there is!!!

And then this photo, nothing technically fantastic, but the expression just makes me laugh -

Beth has new toys too... The transition from using the 40D to 5D has been seamless... The main controls are pretty exactly the same so it's easy to adapt and there's hardly any extra weight (only 70g more)... There are some fancy new functions that it can do, that I'll have to read the manual about (like taking HD video, but i need a bigger memory card before I can play too much with that)... but it's just amazing! (I think I already said that, but it's worth saying again! :p) Looking forward to getting outdoors and really having a proper shoot... hopefully tomorrow, if the weather is kind to us... Stay tuned... :) (yes, that probably means, I'm going to be stepping away from my Facebook game addictions now... which is not a bad thing)... :)

Saturday, July 4

I am "published"!

Oooh, I'm pretty happy today... A few weeks ago, I had some flickr email come to me from out of the blue from someone at Schmap, asking if I would consider submitting one of my photos to be short-listed for publication for the San Diego tourism guide. No payment as the guide is a not-for-profit thing, but I thought, "why not?" and submitted it for consideration... From what I gather, Schmap is an online map/tourism guide, accessable via normal computers, but appears to be especially handy for those with mobile phones/iphones/itouch who want to access the information on the go. The site gets good reviews from a number of high profile American newspapers and even TIME magazine...

Today I found out my photo was included on the San Diego Schmaps page... :) It's the San Diego Trolley photo that I took on my G10 and not my DSLR and there was no pping to the photo, as I had put the photo up while I was in San Diego. I'm credited with taking the photo under the pseudonym "groovyjellybean" (which most people know me as in the online world and name I've used ever since uni days).

To check it out, here's the link...

San Diego Schmap Link

The photo is in the slideshow in the right sidebar... I'm photo number 49.... Cool yeah?