Friday, October 31, 2014

Bikram and Painting

I've been painting the shed. Not as fun as it sounds. But satisfying nonetheless. Painted Charlie's wall in between him resetting it. It's such a great time to spend in the backyard. Butterflies, nectarines appearing and everything smelling great and growing fast.

Painting progress. 
Yesterday I went back to Bikram. First time in 18 months. I did used to go to the Richmond studio semi-regularly and it felt amazing. It's not advised during pregnancy so it was a long while before I could return. And it requires logistical coordination. So Ma came and looked after Milla as I nervously headed off to the Yarraville studio yesterday morning.

I had tried to research for advice on breastfeeding and Bikram but couldn't find anything. When I arrived at the studio, though, I was informed that my milk might be a bit acidic afterwards and that my baby might notice. Also that my boobs might hurt in poses lying on my tummy, and to do a variation. I intended to take a spot at the back of the class and simply try to stay in the room for the 90 minutes.

But, it was amazing, and I felt so good throughout. But I remembered this is how it always was with Bikram. I would get nervous that it would be hard, and then it was always way more satisfying and exhilarating than I expected. I felt so energised and when I got home, started up the mower, mowed the yard, then made a frittata, and some cacao power slice. Then a dehydration headache set in and after Milla's 2:30pm feed and being put to bed, I took some Panadol Extra and had a nap for an hour. I had drunk litres of water but maybe I need to have electrolytes straight out of class.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Four months

We went to the nurse yesterday for Milla's 'four month checkup'. These appointments were at least weekly when she first arrived, and we'd be a little nervous as she wasn't putting weight on quickly. Now it's something to look forward to - and the measurements yesterday confirmed she is well and thriving. Statistically, she is short and fat with a big head. Ha!

Milla weighed almost double her birth weight - so, 6.3kg yesterday. She's grown about 300 grams a week the past 5 weeks and is 3 centimetres longer. She gets a feed upon waking, usually about 6am, then around 10am, 2pm and supplemented feeds at 5:30pm and 8:30pm.

Milla at four months.
The nurse said that we could start feeding her some food now, which I was really excited about. She's had some licks of food and sits with us when we eat quite often, so it will be quite natural to give her a piece of sweet potato of her very own.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Grampians Paradise

Three years ago we went as a bunch of friends to camp for a weekend just outside Pomonal, at a campground called Grampians Paradise. Charlie and I were used to backcountry camping and the idea of a place with a shower block and camp kitchen was somewhat foreign.

Major Mitchell at Mount William, 2012.
The date was set to be on the birthday of Charlie and another friend, something to celebrate. A surprise cake was made. The weekend was a success, shared food, great weather, the campground was lovely. So we went back last year, with more friends and visitors, and then this year, with some babies.

View from campground, 2013. 
The pregnancy test that showed positive was taken in that toilet block a year ago, and it was amazing to return with Milla in tow exactly twelve months later.

Camping Milla, under the cake umbrella, 2014. 
The camp kitchen, hot showers and easy access are great, and the dawn chorus, wildlife and views make for an excellent camping weekend. Charlie climbed and rode, I did two road rides, we had a picnic with the crew in Halls Gap, and dinners back at camp.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Morning by the Lake

Somehow Milla slept through until 7am, breaking the camping habit of 3am feed. So we got up and sat in the morning sun, listening to chorus of birds and watching trees shimmer in breeze. All the other tents in campground were quiet.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Sleepy after feed in Sooty while Charlie boulders. Sun heating up. Lovely chatting, commentary on the bush.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Home time

Time to get philosophical. We make the lists of highlights, resolutions for the future and plans for the week ahead.

Our final night was a bummer, but perhaps it was bound to be. We were eaten alive by mozzies at Cape Conran, and had a disappointing trip to Marlo pub.

Milla stuck her feet (and a cheeky hand) into the sand on the beach, and to my amazement, spotted a fast moving bat in the dusky sky.

Very small frame of reference. 
Home felt very alien. The backyard looks lush and green, and the weather is balmy. Milla was very wide-eyed all evening, it was quiet strange watching her arrive back home. She cracked us up by sitting like a tiny adult on my lap. Touching her knee is a new thing, learnt in the bath at Mount Vic.

Sitting on the dock of the bay... 
This coming weekend we'll be in the Grampians, where I found out I was pregnant exactly a year ago. We'll camp for two or three nights, following one of our new rules about not staying just one night when out - too much set up, pack up and not enough fun in between.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Honeysuckle and Murrumbidgee

Charlie got his climb, and Milla and I were witness, as we joined him on the 2k approach. We took the Mountain Buggy on the track, Milla howling as it was her feed time. Charlie and I trotted, then ran, looking for the boulder.

Afterwards, to camp. We were the only ones at Honeysuckle, apart from the herds of roos and wallabies. It became clear that we pitched at a popular eating spot, and during the early hours we heard aggressive barking all around our tent.

Dinner was gnocchi with sauce prepared at Mt Vic, we ate in shifts as I double fed Milla,  feeling tired and hoping for an early night. A gamble, as feeding early likely means rising early.

Bundled into her bassinet, Milla went to sleep as I spotted a long tailed shooting star. We crept to bed at 8:30 perhaps. It was very cold, lovely to be snuggled down. Milla woke us at 2:52 and I got up and fed and changed her in Sooty. Happily, she went back to sleep and then it was a chorus of barks and birdsong that got us up a couple of hours later.

After breakfast, I had a short ride, and Charlie packed. On to Jindabyne. A short cut became a dead end as a huge river crossing appeared foolish. Exciting times as Charlie took a dip and I looked on. Along the way we considered our next move. Would we still try for Kosciusko? Where would we camp our final night? We stopped again by the Murrumbidgee River and I fed Milla, I reckon this is where she got her first sunburn. Guilty mum.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Apollo flies, and we land out near Canberra.

Honeysuckle campsite chosen for proximity to a bouldering area. Maybe I can get a ride in too.

We left the Blue Mountains, another beautiful morning, packing up the house, feeding Milla at 4:30 and 7am. Cheerful and round looking kid. Head towards Goulburn.

I make sure to look up bakeries, not wanting a repeat of the disappointing pasty of Singleton. Luckily Goulburn has a few, and the big merino is right next to a winning bakery.

A feed for the family, a well-timed nappy 'splosion, goofy photos at the merino and then along dry Lake George to the crapital. Sunny and brisk, typical weather.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


It's not usual. In fact, it's the anniversary of bushfire up here in the Blue Mountains. But last night, it snowed. We watched from the cosy lounge, showing Milla through the window. Long, heavy, drifts that lay still the following afternoon. Beautiful and totally unexpected. The power was off all night and we lay in bed wondering what our next move was.

I headed off to a second yoga class, in Blackheath. Along the way, trees down and snowmen built. At the fitness centre, no footprints in the snow, and I sensed class wouldn't be on. Another student appeared, swiped in and offered to lead me in the class... Very generous and delightful. We had a quiet hour and then I headed back to Mt Vic.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mount Victoria House

A beautiful day. Family and lover and outdoor times. True holiday feeling. 

My first sighting of the Blue Mountains, light hitting just so. We had a lovely morning walk around Newnes, finishing just as the rain approached. Then on the road. Bakery lunch in Katoomba, epic nappy change in Coles car park. On to our AirBnB stay in Mt Vic. Turned out to be proximate to a family holiday memory spot of Charlie's.

Great views, cosy house, a bathtub in the sun room, a spot to watch the storm roll in. Charlie cooked dinner, Milla played on the floor while we ate, then we watched her face as Lord of the Rings was put on the telly.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Blue Mountains

Long hard day. The first tough times in a while.

We left Newcastle already tired, and though excited to be on the road together, maybe we were a little sad to farewell our fab hosts.

Back to navigating, with tired brain, not sure when Milla started. It was awful, an hysterical howling that wouldn't cease and defied our theories. We were trying for Newnes camp, in the Wolgan.

After dark, many content wombats spotted, we reached camp, exhausted. I feed. Charlie does everything else. We creep around, get into tent. Milla wakes us at 4:19 and won't settle. Feed with bottle.

Clear night and brilliant moon, I get up around 6:30 and feed, so tired, in a very beautiful place.

Newcastle life

Brilliant sunny spring weekend of activities. Charlie rode the mountain bike trails and we walked through bush to lagoon and ocean. Milla's first trip to the beach.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Newcastle: first flight

The flight was uneventful: what everyone wants. Milla and I were at the back of the plane with the row to ourselves.

Nursing at take off and landing worked a treat, and then Milla gazed around happily for the middle thirty minutes. The only thing that stopped her in her tracks was the pilot's announcement.

Charlie picked us up from the airport in the warm sunshine and we headed to town.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Strange days

Two and a half days solo. Charlie left today in Sooty to head north and Milla and I waved him off. She's had a funny couple of days and now, it's midnight and she's still asleep from her 5pm feed. I'm heating some of the pumpkin soup from the freezer and will gently wake her after I've eaten my supper.

Both my parents visited today, and Milla did some tummy time and talking. I discovered a blazing red patch of skin in the folds of her chin, maybe where some milk had come to rest. Not an easy place to clean and dry. I gave her a bath and used the hairdryer to try to clean the chin rolls, angling her so her curious little face would turn just so.

Is that a dimple?

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Royal mail

Packages addressed to Milla have arrived since before she was called Milla (notably 'Lil Stevie'). A lucky kid.

Special delivery. 
Yesterday she received Royal Mail from Scotland, a package of thoughtful goodies, including a cuddle toy themed 'Guess how much I love you'. It's soft and lovely and of course compliments the book, which I read at least once a day before Milla is put to bed.

Another milestone, for the whole family, as yesterday I went to work to attend a seminar from 10:30am to 3:30pm. Charlie took leave and stayed home with Milla for the day. We only missed one feed, and though I packed the pump with me, I wasn't so uncomfortable that I needed to use it.

It was hard to get out of the house in the morning and I was emotional on the way in, but felt okay once I arrived in the city. Charlie sent some updates on the activities and it sounded like they were having a sweet day together.

Charlie photo of baby gym time.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Life at 3 months

It was a strange morning. Charlie got up early for a spin, I kept sleeping, and when Milla woke around 5:30am, Charlie collected her, changed and played with her before bringing her to me for a feed. She was full of morning smiles and bounce, and my body was ready to feed! But Milla lay back and just smiled and chatted and cooed, not interested to eat. I persisted for a while, then let her chat and play for an hour before putting her back to bed.

Looking at the camera, getting distracted. 
Planning for our trip next week, I've been researching how to fly with babies. It'll be a big day! The flight to Newcastle is 90 minutes, in the middle of the day. I'm hoping I can guard against Milla getting worn out with all the excitement of the new places.

Last night we had our first sit-down restaurant dinner, at the fab Station Hotel. Milla was dressed to the nines and full of cute after I'd given her an epic feed and bottle. She was so so curious, shiny-eyed, looking around. The place was noisy, full of smells and so interesting! After maybe 15 minutes, it was nappy change and cuddle, and then into the Ergo. Charlie walked with her outside, rain hood up to do sensory deprivation, and she fell into a deep sleep in a few minutes. We then ate dinner and it was very easy and she stayed warm and cosy in the Ergo.

I'm reading up on how to work with her now! Wanting to make the most of the development boom. Montessori stuff is so interesting - these posts about three and four month activities especially.