Wednesday, December 30, 2015

High Country

She grew today. Longer. More.

Good sleeps and ate a heap for dinner.

High country holiday is tiring, stimulating.
Camping, watching birds, running on hills and stamping in riverbed. Meeting new kids.

And me, reapplying sunscreen.

Running up Mt Stirling.

Saturday, December 26, 2015


Unwrapping Christmas presents in bed.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Christmas

Harmonica for Christmas.
Big hair. Tight cuddles. Graze on forehead. Can say 'beach'. Friends with Barry the staffy. Not eating much (but cherries and olives and sometimes bacon). Still loves Jack insanely. Could ride trike straight off. Given many beautiful books. Happy second Christmas my love.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Festive Season 1

Persistent sleeper.
Blinds up, door open and sing song greeting and she still won't rouse, breathing deeply. Surprises us with so many words these days. Charlie worries that she's a brat. Loving 'Mix it Up' book.

Went to a (beautiful, amazing) wedding and missed most of the ceremony due to squirmy grizzly kid. Kept saying 'home?' and pointing away. But she went to sleep easily in hotel room. Methinks hot and overwhelmed.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Peaceful, reading. 

You can just see the braid she came home with. And hint of bruise on forehead. Reading, sitting with her beloved Dad. Warm evening, nappy only after bath. Seventeen months old and surprises us with her smarts (and tantrums!). Today she was reported as 'rough' and I don't know how you describe that feeling, hearing that...

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

17 months

Seventeen months and a member of the family. Is a parrot. Knows right from wrong. Is learning empathy.

Upon waking, first day of eighteenth month. 
Feeds her monkey crackers. Sings 'baa baa' when seeing a picture of the sheep. Can find a boat, a bike, a book, flowers and moon in the book. Very occasionally will have meltdown where only a cuddle from me will do. Like today when I was sick and trying to have a shower. Charlie sat with her in the bathroom while I grabbed my towel. 

Waves 'bye' sweetly when I put her poo in the toilet. Has micro-sleeps on Charlie's chest in the shower. Brushes her hair out of her eyes. But hates me tying it back. Can reach the bench. Loves to trot around with a backpack on saying 'bye' and waving, headed out the back door. Throws stuff, for the fun of it, to seek attention, and to show frustration (alternately, it seems). Lies back on the couch, semi-upright, ready for her milk. Always wants to get off at Flagstaff when we need to wait for Melbourne Central.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Wilson's Prom

A long-planned trip that didn't go exactly as planned. Instead of leaving Friday, spending two nights, we left after breakfast Saturday, Milla had been crook for days and we couldn't be sure we'd make it at all. And Sunday, coming back, I wasn't heading to Malaysia on a work trip at all, but home to contemplate the first week of a new job.

Anyhow, the Prom, decades after my last visit. A few simple, and amazing excursions. Around the Overlook for a walk, a sunset stroll from the house, brilliant sweet moments in the hammock, a run along Boundary Track, small town stops at Fish Creek (terrific op shop) and Meeniyan (ratty toddler on hand).
Watching crabs at sunset. 
Milla and her baby friend played well, a relief to me, the enthusiasm was shared. We kept the Nurofen flowing as Milla had snot, cough, fever and grouch. She said 'spider' when viewing the tiny twilight crabs.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Hanging out in the city by the basketball courts. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Falls Creek

We're back.

Same as ever but not at all. Back to the Bogong High Plains. Where we did the longest multi-day hike ever. Where we camped below the roof of Victoria. Where we turned back on the Mt Cope track, but not before I took some of my favourite photos. That was years ago. May 2011.

Cope Hut, 8 May 2011.
Back to Falls Creek where Milla cracked all those teeth through her gums, so painful, so unhappy. That was seven months ago.

Charlie doing training, that's what got us up there. He was effervescent on the Ring Road, Friday night, past 7pm, we were on our way.

Long drive, Milla dressed in her merino gear for an easy transfer to the tent, she fell asleep, we high-fived, I fell asleep. Around Mount Beauty, Milla woke up, I tried to soothe her. We wound up the mountain. She started throwing up. We couldn't stop, she was gurgling. Horrible. By the light of the moon, we cleaned up. The mountain forest was beautiful. Changed clothes, kept going. Another spew just before the village. A quasi-change of clothes and then press on to Langford West Horseyard on the Omeo side of Falls. Milla quiet and peaky.

Set up at the familiar spot, two tents now. Milla went to sleep quickly, but it was after 1am. A long day.

Waking happy.
From the wake up on Saturday morning things straighten out again. Life is good. Charlie rode, met up with a friend. Milla monstered, took naps, we did a walk along the aqueduct towards Roper Hut, with a random that I made friends with.

Saturday night we had camp dinner, listened to bogans chainsaw, and when Milla went to bed, we sat by the aqueduct and chatted. After a while I checked on her, howling! I lay next to her, she relaxed, I fell asleep.

Sunday I ran, the morning was glorious. Breakfast in a singlet. The weather closed in later, as I revisited Mt Cope track, with Milla sleeping on my back. We sat on the step of Cope Hut and had a snack.

Milla at Cope Hut, Bogong High Plains.
Drive home following picnic lunch in Mount Beauty, Milla didn't sleep, not til nearly home, but we were all content. We did it.

Monday, November 09, 2015


Two pairs of undies on head.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015


Wakes so happy.


Spring is so sweet. My heart almost burst when I found a huge nest, well established in our lemon tree. That's what the little brown scurry-bird had been busy with! I felt so privileged.

So proud.
Today Milla took her breakfast el fresco, and the parrots were back, ready to swoop through the apricot tree. Great temperature, gorgeous sunshine.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

16 Months

Sixteen months and physically confident and language is booming. Parrots back at you. "Jack", "Pop", "guitar", "arm". When asked, pre-meal, Milla can go to drawer, open, retrieve bib and attempt to put around her neck, close drawer. Mostly eats heaps, loves beans, peanut butter and endless frozen blueberries. Rarely sits down for a book, still likes her 'Milla's World' book (on those rare occasions). Napped one hour in the morning and three (!!) hours in the arvo yesterday. Today only 45 minutes, in the car. So no way to plan around that. Still going to swimming lessons with 'Grandma', twice this weekend, to make up missed classes. Went to Scienceworks for the first time yesterday, still too young really. Can sit and draw at her desk outside, though wanders off with textas in her hands. 

Knows she is hilarious.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Spring and flowers

When I get home, I know they've been out for a trike walk as there are flowers all over the front step. A little trail. I open up and walk through the house. All quiet. Milla is leading Charlie around the backyard. She turns, her face is puffy from crying. Teething. The yard is green and it is a beautiful mild spring evening. Just gone 7pm.

First run this morning, post half marathon. Left calf still aches. Supermoon hanging over Newport at 6am. Milla wakes late, happy and helps in the yard.

Helping sort rubble in backyard.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Grampians Paradise 4

The two nights at Paradise near Pomonal are not enough. We supersized our trip and spent two cool nights at Jimmy Creek Campground first up. It was a mad drive up on Wednesday, I was on the phone, texting, chatting and working. New job in the works and lots going on. Lunchstop in Beaufort.

By the lake at Grampians Paradise.
This was our first tent camping since the big trip before I went back to work. It was clear Milla had no memory of camping. Arriving at the campground she was clearly overwhelmed by the place, particularly the cockatoos. She settled in and was very good at staying safe around hazards like creeks and fires. Importantly, she slept well. I noticed three huge molars finally have sprouted (maybe two months of work there?) and she occasionally pawed at her mouth and drooled. So we gave her some painkillers.

Four nights of sleeping in her own tent. She practically leapt from our arms at bedtime to get into her cot. And when she was beat yesterday afternoon, she went and sat in the cot quietly. She had late bedtimes, it was bright and interesting so it tended to be after 8pm. And then we all slept in, 7am or after.

Milla under cake screen. Check the photo from last year.
It was different and the same with the crew. Now lots of babies. Lots of work. Milla was bowling them all over. Everyone overcatered, that was the same. Weather was great, as usual. It was too hurried and I just wanted to chat chat chat with my friends but it was hard to find the space.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I've considered cutting her hair. It's long and thick and so beautiful. It sticks on her snotty nose and gets porridge wiped in it and is wild in the mornings and she can't see. She pulls out ties and clips. Childcare returns her to me with braids, perfect.

Train ride home, always making friends.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


Bike til you barf. 
Loves it when the trike is pushed down bumpy lanes or Charlie shoots it super fast. Can say 'mwah'! Ate a whole mango at lunch.

Friday, October 02, 2015

15 months

Says "ear". Can find her nose and yours. Understands when I say "both hands" when on the trike. Will stand up in the bath when she's done. Hates the ocean. First trip to zoo. Loves curry by the bowl fulls. Rarely sits still for a book now. Loves the climbing wall. Says "taaaaa" and gives you tiny tiny things. Picks her nose. Hates getting her nappy changed. Can take her top off over her head. Very steady on her feet. Very good with dogs, courageous and mostly gentle. Flat tummy in morning and huge round belly by evening. Loves to drink water. Still has a 150ml bottle of cow milk before bed.

Williamstown Beach. Milla 15 months.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Spring Days

I think Milla's been well for... days! And current obsessions are keys and her trike. Warmer weather means playing with buckets of water. And another howling trip to the beach. Why doesn't she like it?

Hated the beach on a warm sunny glorious Sunday. 
Walking, striding, very confident. Face planting in the evening when tired. Put gumboots on her today and her waddle changed. She undid her nappy and thought she was hilarious. She picks up the tiniest thing and hands it to you. Played with cars today for the first time. Winner. The funniest thing is when I drive them off the side of the bluestone step and say 'noooo!' when they crash.

It's all about the bike and the trike. Got the trailer for my bike, a helmet for the monkey, and did two test rides into town. It's such an awesome ride, bike paths all the way. Big ships and lots of anglers at the back of the power station. Everyone in the city points at us.

Watching the traffic. 
The trike I found on the street. It's pink. It's a favourite. We have been doing an evening block, and met some chooks in a front yard.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Watching Milla stack blocks. Unbelievable the feeling it gives me. Utter pleasure and satisfaction. This feels like a milestone.

She stacks up five on top of each other. Examines each piece for suitability. When they fall, she says 'owh!' and continues undeterred.

Spring has sprung. My half marathon is weeks away. We finally got a bike trailer so maybe I can ride to work with Milla.

Afternoon busy work. 

Sunday, September 06, 2015


Milla roamed the backyard wearing a merino top, a bib, socks and volleys. No pants. She played joyously on the swing with Charlie and chatted at full volume, maybe playing an imaginary game.

The guys left for afternoon biking and I ran the bath and placed Milla in the shallow water. Hysterical howling and trying to climb up the side. I checked the tepid water, I checked her feet, legs, area for painful wounds. All good. She clung to me.

I got undressed and lay in the bath. She put her head on my chest and fell asleep immediately. Time passed.

The kid is teething, out of sorts.

Last night we had dinner at the Bright Brewery, saw the warm afternoon disappear by the river. Walked home and put Milla to bed. She woke at usual time, 6am, and I picked her up from her room next door, and jumped back into bed, placing her on Charlie's chest. She fell asleep immediately. Aside from murmuring and taking some glugs of water, she stayed asleep, cheek to sheet, across the centre of our bed until lunchtime.


Friday, September 04, 2015

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

14 Months

A stranger gave Milla a paper crane this morning on the train. No words, just the crane.

Using my pedometer as a phone. 
Long day at childcare, very tired kid upon home time and only ate a little dinner. First day of spring and blossoms all through the backyard, clear night but not too chilly at 6pm. Now she's been in bed for an hour but has woken, howling. Maybe another tooth? She was pawing at her throat. Maybe another gastro?

Yesterday we went to the Bowie exhibition, hung out in Fed Square, and in the afternoon, she declined naps and instead walked walked walked independently around the house. She turned corners, turned around, and fell well. It was amazing.

Milla at 14 months walks, eats bircher muesli for breakfast. Still loves being read to, often in a hurry to turn pages. Just started trying to wear things as bracelets, drapes things around her neck as scarves. Can now reach shelves where delicate things are. Still howling and it's nearly 9pm and she's had Nurofen.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Toddler life

I'm at the computer. Milla is standing next to me. She's very tired. Declined afternoon naps, now it's gone 6pm. I ask her, "Milla, would you like to choose a book?". She takes a few steps to her left, sorts through the book tub and hold one aloft. Charlie in the kitchen, so surprised. Big kid.

Determined to get the mower started.
She's walking more, still wants to grab a hand but loves to take a few hilarious steps between us. Occasionally will walk from us to furniture. Charlie has taken her for a couple of walks down the street.

She's started collecting crumbs and replacing them into her bowl, a welcome change from flinging everything about. Eating a lot. Naps unpredictable.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Milla's new word today is cheetah. She also says 'hi, Dad' and can wave at Sooty when we say 'where's Sooty?'.

No riding for Charlie today, feeling lackluster and it was raining. We decided to drive and explore. It wasn't roses, we'd woken at 3:30am to Milla's coughing and struggling to breathe, so stopped at a Doctor in Scottsdale where we got a dose of reassurance.

We drove north, to Waterhouse, where the fields of cows and sheep gave way to some dunes, little beaches and rocks like those at Cape Conran.

Stopped at Bridport and Milla walked the sand, took a few steps down the main street independently, and watched the seagulls fight for our soft apple. Almost trendy café, yarn bombed tree with blossom litter, yummy coffee and retro high chair.

Afternoon back at Derby, our final night. I did my 'easy' run, 6k in the drizzle, along the Tasman Highway. Tomorrow long run, 1 hour 20, we've checked out the northeast rail trail as a possible venue. Then back on the big boat from Devonport tomorrow night. It's been a long week. In a good way.

Bridport bike.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Arrived tiny Derby. Cold, foggy, no frost. 10k run along the Tasman Highway, birds and rockcrushers about, no track to run along.

Happy Indian meal at St Helens last night, hosts had gorgeous cheerful baby for Milla to play with. Long drive on windy roads to Derby.

Milla has her own room, sleep through, as did we. New tooth in the morning. Eight now. She's coughing a lot. Mostly when resting. No other symptoms. Seems to be getting good at saying 'hi-i' and 'byyyye' in a sweet voice with a floppy wave.

Helping in kitchen. These moments. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Up early to pound the pavement with Dadda. Unbelievable to be running together, somehow. He ran fast and I kept up. Possibly my fastest 5k ever. The sun came up and it was a brilliant day with no break from beautiful warm sun.

Milla and I went for a long walk while Charlie explored some trails not far from Hobart. It was relaxing, strolling, over to Sandy Bay, back through Battery Point and then over to the CDB. I found a cafe and Milla made friends with a little punk called Adelaide. 

Something went wrong and we forgot MONA was closed Tuesdays so instead we headed up the mountain to get a look at some snow. Poor Milla got cold feet but it was glorious up there. 

First snow play for Milla. 
Dinner with Dadda-Pop at the amazing Smolt. We realised it was the first fancy dinner we'd taken Milla out to. It felt like a long time since we ate so well. Afterwards Milla walked home! Up the Salamanca hill, refusing to let go of father and grandfather's hands. 

Monday, August 17, 2015


Milla was so good getting out the door. After pizza dinner and a quick offer of warm milk in a bottle, we were into the car instead of off to bed.

Queuing at the dock she was calm and sweet, singing occasionally and pointing out the seagulls. Into our room and the lights of the coast, something about the view, filled her with excitement. She marched around the tiny room and carried on happily.

Anyhow, it wasn't a terrifically restful night. Milla woke around 3am and after a good while of wailing, I lay with her. She in the cot on the floor, me naked, half in, half out. She was chatting and singing and called to Charlie a few times. We eventually slept, Charlie put the doona over me.

Then it was all hustle as we slept in. Milla had to be roused.

Sleeping on her side on the big boat.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Well, I didn't see it. At childcare they announced that Milla walked yesterday. Mark this day, I guess.

At the National Gallery of Victoria. 
She was exhausted last night: big effort at swimming class, yielding a sticker, a certificate, and praise from Grandma. Then apparently the walking and lots of garlic bread and raisin toast. Then tired and grouchy at dinner with us.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Flashback a year ago. Milla in her crib, swaddled, in Ballroom.

Brilliant light. 
This morning, after three nights in her new big blue bed, she again took me down the hall, to her bed, patted it and pointed at it, chatting. It's definitely a new thing, receiving note.

We chickened out last night and after two cups of milk in her tiny glass (about 60mls) we gave her another 60mls or so of cow milk in her bottle. She was tired and grouchy by 6pm. An adjustment to one nap per day perhaps. Maybe I should do as they suggest and follow the childcare routine of early lunch and one afternoon nap.

Hanging out in East Brunswick.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Big Blue Cot

Last night Milla moved into a cot. All this time she'd been sleeping in a crib that I carefully chose because it was designed to attach to our bed. It was in our room for such a brief period, then for longest time she's had her own room, and that crib has gotten smaller and smaller.

I bought a big blue cot and when Charlie put her to bed in it last night he reported that she was definitely baffled. Tonight more at ease. But she only napped in the car today, howling when I put her down in the morning. She was annoying today, overtired and grouchy.

Down the hall for a sook.
Tonight the formula tin was finished and tomorrow we will be trying bedtime without a bottle. Charlie is feeling quite sentimental about it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

13 months

Life at thirteen months is walking on knees, smacking forehead on edges, spooning dirt from the garden, batting away food from the bench when tired (or just annoying!), another round of conjunctivitis. We're listening to coughs that come and go, Milla saying 'that!' all the time, which seems to need to reply of whatever she's pointing at. We're wondering what the post-bottle routine will be like, only days away. Perhaps less of the surrender monkey and some howling as she's put down? Meanwhile my mother's group discuss overnight feeds so we're grateful.

Climbed 'into' the BBQ.
Goodbye to Tolmie this weekend past. Strange days. Rearranging furniture here and getting some things from memory lane.

Last photo of me/us at Tolmie.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


A while since I posted a photo photo. But feel so pleased with this. Auto setting and manual focus, oh well.

It's digging and eating dirt season. I uncovered a paved area, lurking beneath the soil in the back corner. A reason for the failed acacia. So that keeps me occupied while Milla mixes up a mud tea.

Dirt crumbs. 
Signed up for 12 months at new yoga place. And half marathon training needs to start now. Eleven weeks out. Excited.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Seems like stars are Milla's first obsession. She can find a tiny star in the margin of a storybook. She found them on her shoes. When given a souvenir t-shirt from Vietnam, she was delighted!

On Monday at lunch Milla used the spoon to gather some pasta from her bowl and feed herself. First time.

I ran a 10k race on Sunday. A very cold morning, lots of ice on windscreen. Milla had woken at 4am and so it seemed like the morning's sleep was too disrupted and no way would I get to the race. But I did. I was fast for the first few ks. I wished I had not eaten curry for dinner. I did not doubt my pelvic floor. I ended up running a minute slower than I did in 2011, but pleased to have raced and completed.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Nearly walking

Sick days. Family gastro episodes. Hospital and doctor visits and watching the rain. Milla taking steps. So close to really walking. Saying 'star', 'duck' and 'bird'. Apparently cuddling teddies and dolls at childcare all day. Cuddling Alpi and her sheep at home, patting them affectionately and locating ears and eyes.
Picking sultanas out of snack bag after childcare.
Coming home from childcare with Old MacDonald on her lips. Swaying her heads to music or my terrible singing. Worse than usual as I'm deaf on right from blasted ear infection.
Little bits of nostalgia as old house takes centre stage in a new TV show. Mum just sold Tolmie so another place to farewell. Some furniture (maybe the piano!) to come to us.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Being a family

Lunch today with the subdued Milla who just pushed a new tooth out. Talking with an old friend, who's a new mother. About those dark, strange, long days. They're a year behind me or near enough. And yes, many things help. A partner who makes sure you have breakfast. Days when it doesn't rain. Having a baby that is well. But confidence and true calm take a while.

Winter days.
Only after I left lunch, packed that quiet snuggly kid into the car did I realise I have actually got the hang of it. It's not a shock to realise I'm somehow disembodied, that little new, precious part of me that isn't me, dependent on me, isn't a burden or afterthought or curious scary mess. Or beautiful curiosity. At some point I got into our family life. And Milla as being a person!

I bought a painting today, perfect for our westside life.
'The Severing of Relations Between East and West'
by Sandra Eterovic

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Blue Birds and Stars

This morning while I was at yoga, Milla lead Charlie down the hall to her room, patted her mattress and in doing so, announced she was ready for her morning nap. Yep, she's a person these days. 

Eating mandarin, definitely feeling better.
A week of illness. Charlie, strangely, well. Me, a cold with hideous cough; an endless first period after weaning with long migraine; agony in the night with an ear infection that took me to the emergency room early before Milla's party. Then Milla, recovering from the cold, the cough, the ear infection, vomited and vomited all Thursday morning. Viral gastro. That terrifying moment when her third vomit was chunky and pink, Charlie put his shoes on and I started to sob before I remembered I'd given her a single blueberry an hour before.

Whole date in the mouth. Birthday jeans. 
So today she's eaten like the old Milla Gusto. She's lost weight, thinner after these weeks of illness. Looking and being like a kid. Loves her cuddly friends and tries to carry her favourite three all at once wherever she goes.

Birthday cake for days. 
Sounds like she's added 'stop' and 'don't' to her repertoire, sounding very serious and bossy. Can cuddle on command. Loves birds, especially blue birds, and stars. Played with her two new watering cans today and picked up on the game of moving the limes from one to the other.