Sunday, January 31

Photo A Day - Day 31 -

Day 31 -

It's been raining all day... it's steamy and humid... and I really wanted a photo of my 2 favourite people in the world for my last photo in the photo-a-day series.... I tried to get some photos of the two of them outside on the grass... but that lasted all of 5 minutes before it started raining... but I managed to capture this cute moment between the two of them just outside the front door... She's giving her Daddy a "dinosaur kiss" ... :)

And here concludes my "photo-a-day" project for Jan 2010... and I have really enjoyed the journey the last 31 days has taken me... but as much as it has been, fun, I'm also really looking forward to having a break now!

But... I'll still be blogging for February... I still have photos to share... the advantage of doing photo-a-day has been that there have been out-takes (you don't seriously think I've taken a single photo to get these shots do you?)... There have been some funny ones, some ridiculous ones, so good-but-not-good-enough ones ... so this next month, I'll share some of these photos with you... stay tuned!

Saturday, January 30

Photo A Day - Day 30 - Iphone Junkie

Day 30 - Iphone Junkie

Phan's latest new toy, his iphone, has in actual fact become Beth's new toy... She loves it... thinks it's the best thing ever... She mostly likes to play educational games... there's a puzzle game and a tracing alphabet letters game that she adores playing... and then she likes listening to an interactive version of the Little Red Hen story and Old McDonald and Incy Wincy spider... And there are some drawing games that she thinks are pretty fun...

She also is pretty good at playing a free game called "Traffic Rush", which is highly addictive (I'm addicted... trying to beat Phan's high score at the moment)...

One more day of photo-a-day... I can't believe I've lasted this long!

Friday, January 29

Photo A Day - Day 29 - After The Rain

Woo hoo... only 2 days of photo-a-day to go! I'm getting a bit over the photo a day... I think because we had another long day at kindy daycare today and I'm tired and totally lacking inspiration. Today kindy went down as well as it did yesterday... Beth did some craft, played dress-ups and some puzzles and she did her very first show-and-tell... She brought her "Flower Bear", a bear we got for Daffodil Day a few years ago... and there was a lot more showing than there was telling since she's still learning and ropes and is still quite shy... but for her first time, I was rather proud of her... I thought it was just amazing that she got up in front of all the other kids (10 kids today) without me having to prompt her... she was excited to stand up there, but just got shy on the talking part... baby-steps... but I think she's doing really well. We stayed for nap at her insistence (trust me, I would have been more than happy to leave before the nap if she had wanted to!) But she was excited about lying down on her own bed with the other children... After nap time, she had afternoon tea there (and was sitting at the table and talking and laughing with the other children) and I had planned for us to leave, but it started bucketing down with rain!!! (and I mean really bucketing!) Elizabeth still wanted to stay and play anyway, so I thought we'd wait until the rain subsided a little... Half an hour later, the rain stopped a little, but she had just started playing and interacting with some of the other little girls, so I relented and we stayed a bit longer... We had one small hiccup when she got overwhelmed when there was a group of 4 kids suddenly surrounding her as they were playing some pretend game... I think they were making her lie down and pretend to be a baby and she didn't want to or something... but a few tears and hug from the carer and a big cuddle from me and she was fine and back playing with the other kids again... Finally convinced her to leave and said we would come back again next week and as we were leaving one little girl even said to Elizabeth "You're my friend" and gave her a hug... it's so nice to see her starting to interact with the children ...
So we didn't get home until after 3:30pm! An hour later than yesterday!

So once again I'm quite tired from my very long day at kindy... and I just wanted to get my photo-a-day out of the way, so with fading light, I wandered outside to see if I could capture any natural raindrops... (I confess now, my previous photo of the dewdrop on a leaf was completely staged and I purposely dropped waterdrops on a plant which I placed in my bathroom to get the best light... :p) I think I did alright to capture some natural raindrops clinging to these leaves...

Day 29 - After The Rain

Thursday, January 28

Photo A Day - Day 28 - Too Much Fun At Kindy Daycare

Day 28 - Too Much Fun At Kindy Daycare

Today we had our first ever day at kindy daycare... :) She was quite excited about the prospect of going and was kept telling me "I'm going to kindy... and I take my Little Miss Sunshine bag..." (yes we have a little miss sunshine backpack which she loves!)

She's going to be going 2 days a week and today I stayed with her for the session so that she could get used to the new environment and the carers and get a feel for what kindy is like... I actually only planned for us to stay for the morning and leave after lunch (so from 9:30am-12pm)... but nap time goes from 12pm-2pm and she didn't want to go home (I asked her and she really wanted to stay) and insisted that she wanted to stay and lie down on a bed (they have little mattresses which they bring out for all the kids)... so we stayed for the whole 2 hour nap period (during which she had no intention of napping, she just lay there and looked around the room and at the other kids and then read books to herself for the last 1/2 hour of nap time... I was *VERY* bored for those 2 hours!!!). Then we stayed for afternoon tea that followed the nap and a little bit of extra play. Then I asked her if she wanted to go home and she still didn't want to go! I only managed to convince her to leave by telling her that we would come back again tomorrow... and by that time it was approaching 3pm when we left! So what I planned to be a 2 hour visit with her there, turned into a 5 hour event! I'm glad she liked it so much (although I do wish I'd brought a magazine or something to read!)... planning to stay with her again tomorrow just so she can keep getting used to the idea of it all (and bringing myself some lunch and a magazine in case she decides she wants to stay again for the nap time!)... And then ease her into staying there by herself next week for an hour or so each time until I can leave her there for a whole day. I'm feeling much more at ease about the whole kindy daycare thing now that I've seen it all in action... the carers are lovely, they have a great structured program and the other children are really well behaved and just lovely... so I'm really happy to

Anyway... as a result of the huge amount of excitement and not napping during the day, Beth crashed out on the couch in front of Playschool at about 4pm for about 45 mins... she looked exhausted from her fun day! And yes, I know I've already taken a sleeping photo of her earlier in my photo-a-day journey, but I'm seriously lacking motivation having been deprived of my own afternoon nap... and since this cute sleeping moment arose, I captured it... I love sleeping kid photos anyway... :)

Wednesday, January 27

Photo A Day - Day 27 - Perfect.Sweetness

Day 27 - Perfect.Sweetness

I can't believe how more and more grown up she is looking these days... We decided to muck around in her room this afternoon (I have tonnes of out-takes)... She actually loves me taking her photo these days and always asks to "have a look" at the LCD camera screen after I've taken a photo... We've come a fair way from the toddler that constantly avoided looking at the camera! Only problem is I get a fair few silly, crazed photos now... but I genuinely love spending time with her taking photos and asking her to "pose"... and I use that word loosely... it's more like me asking her to do one thing, like lie on her tummy on the bed and then I get her rolling around on her back on the bed in fits of laughter... so silly... so funny...

Tuesday, January 26

Photo A Day - Day 26 - The Jewellery Box

Day 26 - The Jewellery Box

This is a jewellery box that Elizabeth got from her friend Veronica for her birthday last year... it came in a set of nested 3 boxes and it's soooo shiny and sparkly... what more could you want?

It's so hot and humid today that I was lacking in inspiration and motivation to do anything that required a lot energy for my photo-a-day... My lack of energy may also have something to do with the fact we decided to do something typically "Australian" and went to the pool this morning and spent 2 hours there frolicking and swimming in the water and now I'm totally knackered!!! Beth had a total ball as usual!

Happy Australia Day to you all!!!

Monday, January 25

Photo A Day - Day 25 - Watermelon Days

Day 25 - Watermelon Days

Elizabeth is a watermelon fiend... She has always loved it since she was about 12 months old ... and has always managed to eat copious amounts of it (a gene that she has inherited from her Daddy!)... Anyway, there's nothing better than kicking back on a hot summer's afternoon with a great, big slice of juicy watermelon... Also, for those who are photography-inclined... This is the first time I've actually swapped lenses within the same shoot... so most shots taken with the 24-70mm, but the close-up of her eating is taken with the 100mm macro... Just thought I'd try something different... and have discovered using the macro on a wriggly, fast moving child is somewhat of a challenge because of the slower focusing... but we'll get there.. :)

Sunday, January 24

Photo A Day - Day 24 - Simplicity | Complexity

Day 24 - Simplicity | Complexity

My sister sent me an email poking me to take some more macro shots, so I went for a walk by myself this morning to search for some subjects to macro-fy (I just made that word up... :)) I managed to find quite a few in the half hour that I was out and about (which I may share later)... but this is my favourite shot... it's simplicity and complexity captured in the one shot and it's what I love about macro photography... I really need to take more macro shots.... And for those that are interested, you should pop over to my sister's blog to check out her photo today which is a different take on the same subject... Funny how we can take a photo of the same object though we live 1000s of kilometres apart... :)

Saturday, January 23

Day 23 - Pretending To Be A Kangaroo

Okay, I got a bit desperate for a photo today... we had some friends come around for dinner, so I managed to take a bit of a happy snap of Elizabeth playing some imagination games tonight... She was pretending to be a kangaroo, giraffe, elephant and stingray... quite a diverse selection of animals huh?

Day 23 - Pretending To Be A Kangaroo

Friday, January 22

Photo A Day - Day 22 - 20 weeks + 1 day

I been rather preoccupied and excited by having my 20 week ultrasound today... so I've kind of cheated today and taken photos of my ultrasound photos... I'm saying it still counts though, because I took photos of the photos (and that in itself is not that easy at night with flash without getting glare coming off the photos!).

Anyway, I found it exciting and wanted to share... :) ... Our little baby (gender remains unknown, we want it to be a surprise) was an active little thing and moving all over the place (thus the two different side profiles in the photo, it completely changed sides and did all kinds of funny things like playing with his/her belly button and feet and lying on his/her hands and making it hard for the ultrasonagraphers to get a good shot (there were 3 of them, 1 technician, 1 in training and one senior person called in at the end) and then kicking me when it was being probed too much... we got there in the end... it's funny, but I don't remember Elizabeth's ultrasound taking that long (it took an hour), but maybe I've just forgotten... And we got a glimpse of the baby's tongue (yeah, a bit weird!) and really good view of the feet and toes and the baby's hand curled up in a fist. We also saw there was food in the baby's stomach (which I thought was pretty cool!). Going by my original dates, I am 20 weeks + 1 day, but by measurements today (and from the last ultrasound in my obstetrician's rooms), I'm dating a week ahead now at 21 weeks + 1 day... so the baby is growing well... we'll just have to wait and see what happens... I have a feeling this baby is going to be early like his/her sister.

Elizabeth was really well behaved during the whole session (which considering how long it took was quite impressive)... She was interested for the first bit... but when they had to do all the nitty gritty shots (and this was the point even I had no idea what we were looking at), she got a bit bored, but was entertained greatly by games on Phan's iphone! She was even singing songs, which my ultrasonagraphers thought was so cute! At the end of the session, they were so nice and gave her some koala stickers as a reward for being so good which she thought was pretty cool!

Day 22 - 20 weeks + 1 day

Thursday, January 21

Photo A Day - Day 21 - My Not-So-Little Baby

Day 21 - My Not-So-Little Baby

For some reason, as soon as I get her out of the bath, she has a habit walking briskly to her room (because she's not allowed to run) and then of curling up in this "newborn" pose on her bed or on the floor... strange... she's really not a baby anymore...

Wednesday, January 20

Photo A Day - Day 20 - Too Much Partying...

Day 20 - Too Much Partying...

No nap yesterday + a fun filled night with our friends Vicky, Matt and their kidlets Claire & Amy and a 10pm bedtime (!!!) resulted in a 7:30am start to the day this morning... And then for some reason she resisted an afternoon nap again today... So come 5pm whilst waiting for Daddy to come home so we could have dinner together, she decided that there was a window of opportunity for a micro-nap...

Tuesday, January 19

Photo A Day - Day 19 - The Girly Girl

Popping out quickly to the shops to grab some milk, this is what she decided to wear....

Day 19 - The Girly Girl

Monday, January 18

Photo A Day - Day 18 - Bedfellows

Day 18 - Bedfellows

We have just a few friends that come to share the bed with Elizabeth at bedtime... :)

Sunday, January 17

Photo A Day - Day 17 - My Beautiful Smiley Girl

Day 17 - My Beautiful Smiley Girl

Well after last night's last minute scraping in, I got Elizabeth outdoors this afternoon to take a photo... I actually wanted to take a photo to show off the gorgeous dress which I bought from Gap while were in San Diego last year... but as often happens, those photos didn't quite go to plan... so I decided to abort and just have some fun with her on the grass...

Saturday, January 16

Photo A Day - Day 16 - Skyping

Scraping in here with today's photo... This is our weekend ritual of skyping with our rellies back home...

Day 16 - Skyping

As an aside, just watched "Up" tonight on Blu-ray... and that is such a cool movie... and I cried a few times through it too... if you haven't seen it, I recommend it!

Friday, January 15

Photo A Day - Day 15 - Dewdrop

Day 15 - Dewdrop

I had a massive computer drama today... My computer got infected with a backdoor virus which proved to be impossible to eradicate (resulted in a blue screen of death everytime I attempted to get rid of it), so I've been computer-less all day (which is not entirely a bad thing) and tonight Phan has been a Sheldon (LOL.... see the latest Big Bang Theory episode for the reference) and has spent his Friday night rebuilding my computer... It's all back now and I'm happy and dandy and we have now taken an image of my computer to prevent such dramas occuring again! Yeah, I know... must be all that porn I'm looking at... but I have a feeling it's actually one of the digi scrapping sites I've been looking at as I've been recently slowly getting back into it... That'll teach me...

Anyway... here's my photo for today, which is pretty close to being SOOC... I really like this one... it makes me feel so peaceful when I look at it ... (ha, if you only knew the reality of what it took to take this photo... but that's my secret... :))

Thursday, January 14

Day 14 - Learning To Use Scissors

Day 14 - Learning To Use Scissors

Beth had tried to use scissors a few times at playgroup last year... but never very successfully... But today while we were at Woolworths doing our grocery shop, I came across a perfect sized kid-safe pair of scissors and on a whim decided to buy them... (also a bargain at $2.50!)... We got home, had some lunch and she suddenly "clicked" and got the hang of it and she's been cutting ever since (stopping only for a nap... but then asking where her scissors where the moment she awoke!)... We have created an abundance of "fringed" sheets of paper today! I thought that this was going to be a good thing... but now I'm not so sure!

Also - wanted to share this "behind the scenes" shot of my new reflector in use (Christmas present from my sister - see Em, I'm using it!)... It definitely is making a difference! I'm usually shooting at ISO 6400 inside, but with the reflector, I've been able to bring it down to ISO 3200... Excuse the mess... that's just what the table looks like when it's craft time!

Behind the Scenes...

Wednesday, January 13

Photo A Day - Day 13 - A Birthday Cake For Grandma

Day 13 - A Birthday Cake for Grandma

My mum was always big on having cake on our birthdays... we *ALWAYS* had to have a cake... and most of the time it was always a homemade one and we could put in our requests as to what kind of cake we wanted... I remember the year my mum made me a cake in the shape of piano... white chocolate for the white keys, licorice for the black keys... it was *AWESOME*... the best cake ever...

So what better way for us to celebrate my mum's heavenly birthday but to bake her a cake today! (One of her favourites too, a feather-light sponge with jam and cream.) So a big heavenly happy birthday to you, Mum... Hope you like the cake... and I'm sorry about the decorations, but Elizabeth really wanted to decorate the cake... and this is what happens when you let a 3 year old loose with the decorations...

Tuesday, January 12

Photo A Day - Day 12 - Owwwwwww....

Day 12 - Owwwwwww

Last week I bought Beth some new crocs (well imitation ones from Target).... they are bright pink and have a "tickly octopus" on them and she totally adores them... However, this morning we went to the park and caught up with Gina, Debbie & their boys and after 2.5 hours of manically running around the park, playing with foam rockets, climbing playground equipment, going down slides, running after balls and searching for mangoes at a mango tree, poor Beth developed blisters on the inner part of both feet... Then once we got home, she managed to pop the blister on the left foot (the blister on the right foot is not too bad) and there were some major tears... Poor girl has been hobbling around the house for the rest of the day, walking even more pigeon-toed than she normally does... She is being a trooper for the most part though ... I'm feeling her pain... blisters really aren't any fun... :( I'm going to have to get her a new pair of crocs ... I'm not letting her wear these ones again!

Monday, January 11

Photo A Day - Day 11 - A New Friend

Phan worked from home today and then in the afternoon took a break and popped out to Chermside taking Elizabeth with him for company (so I could have a nice afternoon nap... aaaaah... ) and he came back with a new toy for him (an iphone) and a new friend for Elizabeth...

Day 11 - A New Friend

Sunday, January 10

Photo A Day - Day 10 - Miss Amy

Day 10 - Miss Amy

And I've made it into double digits on the photo a day project!!!

Today we were invited to this beautiful little girl's baptism... Meet Amy... her sister Claire is one of Elizabeth's best friends and they go to swimming lessons together.... they are like two peas in a pod...

Anyway we had a lovely time today celebrating Amy's baptism and as a bonus I got to take some photos of her too... she is just the most divine little thing... and not only is she just adorable, but she is just so lovely natured too... *cluck cluck*...

Saturday, January 9

Photo A Day - Day 9 - The Human Christmas Tree

Day 9 - The Human Christmas Tree

Nothing spectacular in photography terms... but we took down our christmas tree today... and the crazy child decided to be a bit silly and wrap herself up in the tinsel... it was funny....

Friday, January 8

Photo a Day - Day 8 - 18 weeks + 1 day

Day 8 - 18 weeks + 1 day

I really regret that I don't have a single decent photo of my pregnant belly from when I was expecting Beth... (although I have a quite a few unflattering shots of me lying down looking like a beached whale, taken by Phan when I was too big to chase after him for taking such bad shots of me... ;p) So I really want to get at least a couple of decent "belly" shots this time around... although at this stage, it looks more like I had a really big lunch in this photo... LOL...

Thursday, January 7

Photo A Day - Day 7 - Reading Friends

Day 7 - Reading Friends

We had a playdate today with our friend Veronica... Spent a lovely morning catching up with her mum Julie while, the girls played together so nicely... I caught this lovely moment of the girls reading together on the couch...

Wednesday, January 6

Something To Make You Hungry...

My sister has challenged me as part of my photo a day to take a "foodie" shot sometime... which is hilarious, because I just processed these food photos the other day... these photos are from the last 3 months and are guaranteed to make you drool... (or at least make Em drool... :))

Chargrilled Quail

Chargrilled Quail - made by moi when we Ko and Vinnie around for dinner pre-Christmas

Salt & Pepper Prawns

Salt & Pepper Prawns - made by Vinnie based on Luke Nguyen's recipe from "Luke Nguyen's Vietnam" TV show on SBS... this for the same dinner that the quail was served

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Vietnamese Chicken Vermicelli Salad - made by Ko, again recipe from Luke Nguyen and same dinner.

Banh Cuon

Banh Cuon - (sorry I don't know the translation for this, but it's steamed rice paper rolls wrapped in pork mince and wood ear mushroom)... my first attempt at making them ever... time consuming, but so worth it... *YUM*

Vietnamese Cold Rolls

Vietnamese Cold Rolls - These were chicken ones I made for Phan's work Christmas party... they were the first to go! I've also discovered I can roll 20 in 30-40 minutes...

Are you drooling yet? :)

Photo A Day - Day 6 - There's No Place Like Home

Day 6 - There's No Place Like Home

I've been on the look out for some ruby red slippers for some time and today I found some! I love these... as does Beth... she calls them her "shiny shoes"...

Tuesday, January 5

Photo A Day - Day 5 - The Crazy Bath Monster

The Crazy Bath Monster

Really needs no other explanation does it?

On a separate note, ever since we got back from Adelaide, we have ditched the night nappy... we only used it more for our piece of mind than for Beth's benefit. So far, so good... I have bought these things called Brolly Sheets though to put on the bed ( which are basically a waterproof sheet cover thing you put over the sheets... they go on top of the sheet, so if there is an accident, you just take that off and replace it with another one (we have 2) without having to make up the whole bed... I think they're a great invention and wanted to share for anybody out there who is night toilet training their child!

Monday, January 4

Photo A Day - Day 4 - Spiced Trio

Day 4 - Spiced Trio

It's about time I started playing around with the macro a bit more...

Sunday, January 3

A Photo A Day...

I'm attempting the Photo a Day project again this year... Last year, I fell off the wagon at about day 6, so lets see how much further I can go this year... My sister Em is doing it too so we're supposed to be motivating each other... She is posting on her blog which you can find here - Towards the end of last year, I also got her interested in this photography gig (I'm converting the world, one person at a time... muhahahaha...)... so she bought a Canon 50D and a 70-200mm L series to go with it and mostly captures photos of her puppies and kitties... but she also got the 100mm macro for Christmas too (the same one as me) from her husband (we have such great husbands!), so she's venturing out into macro stuff too... I also think she's better at it than me too! Check out her blog to see her photos... she's also not post-processing either 'cos she doesn't have photoshop, so it's pretty much SOOC, which I think is mega impressive... :)

Anyway, to my photos -

Yesterday effort -

Day 2 - Unmasked

Beth made this frog mask at playgroup at the end of last year some time... she totally loves it, which is really bizarre, 'cos she normally hates having things on her face/head when dressing up... but she really took a liking to it.. so much that she refused to take it off the day we made it and we ended up walking around the shopping centre with her wearing it... I could see lots of people looking at her and thinking she looked very funny! Anyway, I rediscovered this mask yesterday while I was cleaning/tidying some stuff up and Beth loved being reacquainted with it...

And today's effort -

Day 3 - The Retro Kitchen

This is what Phan and I got Beth for Christmas, but she didn't get to see it until we got back from Adelaide... She totally loves it and it was worth the wait! She loves cooking in it and washing her hands in the sink... she loves baking things in the oven (she even tried to bake Jemima today! I couldn't get a decent photo of that though...) And that is why I love the little red tea set from the previous post so much... it matches her kitchen perfectly!

Yeah, I know it's supposed to be *a* photo a day, but I thought these photos told the story so much better as a series... :)

Stay tuned for more photos... :)

Friday, January 1

A Bright And Shiny New Year!

Happy New Year!!! 2010 is here and I hope it brings good fortune, peace and happiness to you all.

Some of you may have noticed that this blog has been a little quiet over the last few months... Part of this has been because of preparations for a 3 year old birthday party and our recent visit back home to Adelaide for Christmas... but I guess, now is a good time to reveal that part of the reason has been because I am expecting again. I've been a bit tired and lacking in mojo (I've had a bit of morning sickness which is easing now), so I've not had a lot time or energy to blog (or do anything really!) but I think I'm beginning to feel a bit more energised as I am now a few weeks into my 2nd trimester. It has also helped in part by having a nice relaxing time back home in Adelaide with family over Christmas, so I'm feeling all relaxed. I'm due on the 10th of June, which apparently coincides with the beginning of the soccer World Cup, so Phan assures he will be very helpful with the baby for that first month as he will be up at all weird hours of the morning watching the soccer anyway!

So here's to an wonderful and blessed 2010 for our little family as we welcome a new addition to our family!

I'll finish this post with a photo, since it's been *ages* since I've posted a photo on here... This is the sweetest little tea set that Beth got for Christmas from our friends Vinnie and Ko... and you'll understand why I love it so much when I post the next photo in my next blog entry.... :) (Yes, that means I'll be back blogging semi-regularly again now hopefully!) Beth adores this tea set... and what better way to welcome in the new year, but with some tea!

Day 1 - Welcoming In The New Year With Some Tea