Tuesday, November 08, 2016

29 months if I count correctly

Charlie hates 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt'. Milla loves it. Chimes in to say 'dark gloomy cave!'. Charlie reluctantly read it to her and tried to elicit empathy for the maligned bear... "what do you do when someone is sad?", the reply: "stop hitting".

Summer evening post-dinner park trip. 
Milla at... twenty-nine months?! We often can't believe she's nearly 2.5 years old. Seems too clever.

Excellent sense of smell, just like me. Could sense mango tray in fridge from me open-shut of fridge door and she a few steps away.

Still loves her sleep, though can now reach her bedroom door handle and has on occasion escaped to the hallway. Once, the other night, her door possibly opened itself and I woke to a sound of somewhat panicked pitter patter along the hallway.

Can be very moody, huge irrational tantrums that can suddenly end and through hiccupy breaths she presents her self as "I'm a happy girl! I'm not crying! I was cryyyyying".

Will do anything for a twelve minute episode of 'The new adventures of Peter Rabbit' - will usually attempt to bargain for two or more.

Can tell you about her day and what she did. Entertains the masses on public transport with hilarious and often loud running commentary. Amazing memory for detail of events and places.

Initially shy around other kids, but is actually just taking the time to work them out and after fifteen minutes she's the ring leader.

29 months

Twenty-nine months and gorgeous, wilful, wonderful, frustrating. Long long hair.
Exercise routine in evenings, involving piles of couch cushions.
Corrected her own grammar.
Still likes orange.
Very matter-of-fact lectures from her.
Incentivised by an 11 minute episode of Peter Rabbit on the gadget at bedtime.
Lately heads off to bed without kisses, cuddles or being carried (not even Alpi last night!).
Loves the idea of birthdays.
Sometimes doesn't eat any dinner. At all.
Counts to eleven but skips ten.
Bragging about legs getting big and strong: "look at my muscles, Mummy!".

Back to Chorki, watching the mountains.
Spent three nights back up at Falls Creek, had company this time, a playmate for Milla, and for each of us. It was lovely, as always. Snowed on Sunday morning. Rides for everyone and a walk in the snow. Milla chatting in Charlie's ear in the Bambino carrier. I got chased by a magpie on my solo ride. Nearly clotheslined myself on the dam wall bridge as we didn't realise the gate would still be shut. Found that speccy waterhole I saw in photos. Thinking out the next visit, of course, always.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

28 months

Three nights camping. No sweat. Loved it.
Love this kid. She is really quite independent. Though terribly affectionate too.
We met a young Chinese guy called Jacky, he camped a night nearby us in Mansfield. In the morning he was packing up and Milla told me she wanted to give him a goodbye cuddle. I think she was too shy and just had a chat but it was a pretty cute instinct.
She and I had a grand time, two long leisurely days while Charlie was riding. Took the trailer out and did the rail tail towards Maindample. She walked, she snoozed, she sung, commentated. We went to parks, parks, parks.

Goofy family. 
This kid at 2 1/4.
Gets a sore red lip from eating a kiwi fruit.
Can count to seven for sure, sometimes 11.
Knows she is being funny/entertaining.
Latest catch cry is 'What's your name', though doesn't listen to answer. When asked she'll say her FirstNameLastName really fast and quiet and it's not comprehensible.
Knows happy, sad, grumpy, scared. Scared is for lawnmowers. And vacuum cleaners.

Mostly I collect her from childcare, around 4:40, to screams of 'MY MUMMY!!' or utter indifference. We have some routines, I must have snacks, she usually has a shoulder ride. She can point out platform numbers and knows we go home via Platform 6 at North Melbourne. Still obsessed with Flagstaff station (we've never gotten of there).

Monday, September 26, 2016

These days

  • 5:30am Bootcamp. 
  • 7:30am Watching diggers, watching Milla eat leftover split olive pizza for breakfast. 
  • 8:30am Drive to swimming lesson. 
  • Grocery shop, visit to park with Paddy and co. I heard Milla say "My name is Milla, what's your name?" to some big girls. I made a show of throwing mandarin segments into her mouth when she was on swing. 
  • Home to cook pumpkin pie, bolognese, roast veges, frittata, call Heath, life admin. Milla watching Play School, eating almonds, taking herself to potty. 
  • "I not tired" is the dead giveaway that she's ready for a sleep. 
  • 3:00pm quiet, dishwasher, diggers, sore foot, work emails, life admin.  

Weekend morning making pancakes. 
Milla is a cousin and I'm an aunty. Thinking back to those early days of milk-filled boobs and general haze. 

Milla's been in a study about sedentary behaviour and has been wearing 'computer pants' for a week. She's a pretty active kid! 

Thinking about how busy work is and that I should go to five days but Mondays are just the best. GAH. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

34/52 Spring is coming

Charlie thinks she's not toilet trained. But the toilet training seems a while back and she seems like an independent kid for the most part.

It's her imagination that's great this past week. The puggle under the carpet. The cat hiding in her tent. Making up stories about going on a holiday.

Train ride to Wangaratta, using the quiet/busy book.
Bike ride after dinner, light on helmet. Even in the dark, after fifteen minutes of riding, she remembers this was the bit of footpath that we saw some discarded rosemary stalks a few weeks ago.

She didn't nap for us on the weekend, but back at childcare it's at least a solid hour. After the train rides home, straight to her table to pick up her new scissors and start cutting. So much concentration.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

25 months

Cleaning the bricks. 
Zoo trip after a sleepover at our place with uncle and aunt. Funtimes apart from the senseless night wakings. Random.

Started to amass critters for bedtime... Used to just be Alpi, then doll, then rabbit, then baby, sloth, rat, more rabbits, a duck... Referred to as 'everyone, everyone!'.

Riding the balance bike around the block with skyrocketing confidence. Great for lighter evenings as winter begins to wane.

Hasn't done swimming lessons for maybe six months, maybe start again this week.

Hard to describe but seems strange to call her my daughter as she feels like she is her own person, Milla, an independent member of our family.

Did two year check in at the nurse and she's mid-range for height and top of range for weight. Speaking in sentences of six or seven words, sings her whole alphabet, can sometimes count to seven.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Life at two

Life at two is us writing lists of her impressive sentences and great imaginative interactions. Great at playing by herself, very caring and interested in others. Can sing forever, medleys of favourite and the occasional new composition. Great at recall, people's names, my mentions of things in past and future. Hilarious. Eats well, sleeps well, though started skipping naps. Takes an increasing cast of cuddly friends to bed with her. Said 'happy birthday, Paul!' to her grandfather on the phone. Helped spoon muffin mixture into tiny cases. Rides on my shoulder. Tantrums. Loves to say 'I did it!' though latest catch-cry is 'what are you doing there?!'. Favourite colour is orange.

Morning ponder in the garden.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Birthday Eve

It's the eve of your birthday and I'm listening to you coughing. An hour and a half, in bed, warm and cosy with your four little friends, a doona over you, the heater on, a chink of light through that big gap under the door. Coughing coughing. The doctor says it's just snot in the back of your throat. Not much we can do. Honey and Panadol.

It's a little heartbreaking. But we're hoping better and brighter tomorrow after three days of crook. Your birthday is right when winter bites. That was a name on the list - Winter. But Milla won.

First week baby. 
Of course thoughts go to last year, we were all crook then too. The year before, the amazing story of your arrival. And the year before, moving into our home, before you.

Now. We are so mad in love with you. Charlie's face when you're naughty and we send you to sit in the hallway. Trying not to laugh. How you say 'scuse me' as you busily bump into us as you work around the house. How good you are with your letters. How lovely you are with Alpi and friends. Your serious face when helping cook, crush garlic, stir, pack the dishwasher, carry laundry to your room. How you try to tickle me. When you ask for cuddles. The face when you've just poured water over your head in the shower. The habit of wanting to hold our hands lately. Saying 'I wake up!' in the most cheery way. How you pretend to be a baby with me. Gah, and those tantrums, particularly trying to get undressed as we head out the door.

Monday, June 20, 2016


Sitting in Sooty.
And here we were, two years ago.  And last year, breastfeeding finished.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Just like that.
She wanted to walk down the hall to put herself to bed.
We were taken aback.

Monday, June 06, 2016

23 Months

Meeting (Grand-) Papa.
First of June we flew to Cairns, a long lovely day. Started with caution, as Milla has thrown up on the train the previous day... Childcare called and instructed me to collect her as she had a temperature. I had cycled in (four degrees in the morning!) and so thought better to take her home on the train. She was flat, cuddly, warm, then vomiting and distressed.

First of June she woke ok so we retrieved the bike, packed the car, headed to the airport and boarded without incident... Milla was a handful on the plane, tired but not restful. We arrived to Papa's following that dark, winding drive along coast and through cane fields up to Wonga Beach.

Milla at 23 months. Energetic. Conversational. Warm, caring, cheeky, stubborn and very curious about the world.

Eats everything. Drinks tea. Loves sausage, blueberries, almonds and olives. Sleeps from 730pmish to 630amish. Needs to wake up on her own terms or grouchy. Sometimes has hysterical illogical tantrums that end suddenly. Sings sings sings. Particularly A-B-C lately. Insanely affectionate with the puppet teddy in a book that Charlie animates. Not quite but nearly toilet trained during day.

Monday, May 30, 2016


Being defiant. 
We've had some toileting setbacks. Frustrating. Maybe we need another intensive? 

This week we go to FNQ to relive my first trip there in September 1982. Mum brought the albums around so we could review the photos... me in a t-shirt saying 'kids are people too'. Discovered pigtails too. 

Overnight all good in bed, no problems with falling out. Maybe getting cold when doona slips away. Very grouchy sometimes upon waking. Or ecstatic. Yup.

Being a defiant character. I think it's just with me, a bit with Charlie. Lots of 'mine' and 'no' to any question. A performer, big in comedy, legend in her own lunchbox. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

22/52 Big bed

First night in big bed. Well, I saved money and just asked Charlie to take a side of Milla's cot. It worked a treat. Her doona was intact, tucked in just as Charlie left her, eleven hours later. Trying right now for first nap there so we'll see. 

Walking the plank

Thursday, May 05, 2016


Listening to story of the caterpillar. 
"I funny!" she says from the back seat of the car, cracking herself up. This is after childcare calling to say she may be crook, wasn't herself... Um, I think she's ok.

Found a baby tomato plant and rapidly got a trowel to dig it up... wanted to relocate it... Somewhere.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

22 months

Can be grouchy in the morning. But is awesome. Is toilet trained. Is speaking in sentences: "I found it!" "I did it!" "I fix it!". Very keen to help in kitchen. Seems to genuinely want to understand when concept are explained to her. Loves to high-five and first-bump. Still. Olives are still the best treat.

Calls 'Each Peach Pear Plum', 'I-peach' and wants it read every day. When she sees letters she makes letter sounds, like spelling out the words, likes to try counting, has moved on from 1-2-6 to 1-2-3!

Starting to grasp 'soon' and 'later' concepts. Is in the toddler room at childcare. Catches the train into the city, walking, no stroller. Loves to say "all done" as question and answer.

Sometimes says 'sad' but we can't tell why. Still doing swimming lessons, been 15 months of weekly classes now. Sat next to guitar tonight and strummed.

We love her. She's the best kid around. She just surprised us by identifying a puffin! Also charming when she says 'one day...'

Milla watching birds at Chorki Ski Club, Falls Creek. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

One change

After two days of riding to work, catching the train felt harder. It was a weirdly balmy day, end-to-end. The train home wasn't too packed: there was a 2-week old baby mewling near us while Milla commandeered a seat and ate cheese and crackers. But the big win was that I only had a tiny bag of soiled goods to cart home: one change of undies. We got home and went to bathroom together. Two more wees and poo and no, as they say, 'accidents'.

No Charlie this week and houseguest out late. It's been Mum n Milla. She's tired, clever and gorgeous.

Headed home, Mum and Milla times.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Toilet training or die part 2

Not dead yet. Day two of three. Not particularly encouraged. Not giving up. We did have more 'wins' today than yesterday. Less undies washed, no poos in undies, a few big wees in potty and poo in toilet. High fives and olives as a reward. She didn't sleep, howled in cot for an hour instead, while I took a turn outdoors, which felt miraculous. House arrest.

Dressing up. Defiant.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Toilet training or die

Only four hours in. Listening to Milla howl from bed. She was really exhausted by morning one of toilet training. As am I. She's on undies #5 and likely wee-d in bed now.

We drilled her on the idea, she was on board. This morning when she came into bed I said "it's undies day" and she replied "no more nappies".

One big wee in the potty was the highlight of the morning. It followed her wee-ing on my lap and being in between undies. She took herself to potty in bathroom and filled it, coming out to kitchen declaring "I did it!".

First blossoms on our Silver Princess.
She also wee-d in bed when I'd just put new sheet on, wee'd on my slipper as she tried to see saw and a big wee at the door of her tipi.

She's exhausted, we've just started. We have the weekend and Anzac Monday to get this. Tuesday then marks day #1 of moving into the toddler room at childcare, hoping this will help not hinder the #ttod project.

Monday, April 04, 2016

21 Months

These days. A barista told Milla she was too big for the stroller. She talked about the truck and its engine, dazzling Charlie when he asked about her day. This week, screaming after going to bed, and crying upon waking "mummy, mummy", not a name I'm known by.

Picked up from childcare today and she had a baby doll in arms and a carrier sling. Apparently needed her hands free to go to the shops. Wanted to walk to station, howled down Elizabeth Street, strapped in stroller.

Says "tiny" in the cutest way. Scrunches up her nose in a gesture of negativity, hard to explain. Loves going under bridges, loves circles, loves sitting at her desk and drawing on an already full page. Drinks her milk from an open cup, seated on couch, usually 7:30pm.

Big crazy happy love and affection.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Fat curls. 
Hometime, after riding, to backyard to draw with chalk, refill bird bath and play bikes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Watching the screen, in Charlie's lap. 
Attentive little face. Was caring to her 'tiny' rice, she thought they were cute! Decided to put of toilet training for another few weeks. Her little friend, Toby, has moved up a room at childcare, now they meet at the sandpit when they can. I'm sad for her.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


Look at this big girl. 
We have a houseguest, an artist, fresh from Paris. Wonderful to have the Ballroom lived in and really, to meet a new and lovely person. She helps in the kitchen and with Milla.

Meanwhile I've been walking. Doing the big walks as Oxfam Trailwalker training. Though I'm a sub, not sure if I'll be doing the event. Getting out of town, remembering old hiking and awenturing days. Also it's meant Milla and Charlie spending some long days together.

The garden has had a major refresh, 1.5 cubic metres of soil and said goodbye to the tomatoes. Now Milla will wait for the lemons to yellow.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

20 months

Really good at remembering names. Really tired on Monday and Tuesday nights after running running running at childcare all day. Best friends with Toby (Toby Toby Toby!). Spent first night and day with just Charlie. Hot cross bun for breakfast. Eats all meals standing at tower, high chair gone. Wants to help, put nappy in bin or laundry, pack/unpack dishwasher, wash vegies, wipe up spills.

Goes to bed with Alpi, Doll and Peter 'Babbit'. Getting longer all the time. Loves to kiss and cuddle and greet and farewell.

Really getting into conversation, will run through all vocabulary and seek confirmation. Very content and peaceful sitting with tools out by the bikes. Knows an Allen key and where to use it.

Still very adaptable with people, happy with groups of people. Not interested in books.

Would benefit from moving into toddler room, her brain is exploding. Can say goodbye to me going to yoga or wherever and be relaxed.

Visiting my office. 
Love her love her love.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Warm night, big raindrops, pink sky. Milla quiet to bed. Charlie away.

Home on train, strawberries from Aldi disappearing fast. Unfriendly people on train, rare. Home to stand at counter, eat haloumi and more strawberries.

Into Milla's room, "Switch, light. Shoes, off, please. Buttons." Turns around for me to take her dress off. "Shorts, nappy. Up!"

Into bed to lie on her tummy and gaze at me lying on the couch. Chatting chatting. Pulls a blanket up over her head, turned away from me. Chatting chatting.

At some point she wants out and lies on me on the couch, soft fleece dressing gown covering her. Little eye peeping.

At home. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Singing talking chatting. 
Talking talking. This is a vocal kid. To bed tonight and 1 hour, 15 minutes later... Still singing to herself.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

19 months

"The days are long but the years are short." True indeed, Gretchen Rubin.

Tomato harvesting. 
Milla at 19 months. Says 'bridge' as we pass under the West Gate. Goes to get a fresh nappy from the shelf, want to put the dirty one in the laundry bucket. Is still driving me crazy picking green tomatoes when I'm not looking.

Milla is pretty awesome. Pretends to drink from empty cups. And shares it. Gives Alpi first sip of her beloved milk. Kissed Charlie's scab very gently. We have her old cot set up in Ballroom and she lies there and takes Alpi and Doll with her.

Captured 'snow goose' being said on video. Very affectionate, curious, learning all the time. Can point 'up' and 'down' and say the words. Started to say 'please'! Says 'tuddle' for 'cuddle' with arms outstretched and 'tum' for 'come', with hand outstretched.

Is looking longer and sharper. Doesn't like sweet things, including my Dad's amazing chocolate ice-cream. Would rather eat olives.

Enjoys screen time! Play School and How to Train Your Dragon and Attenborough documentaries.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Good morning face. 
Wakes so happy. Going to bed earlier. Tomato harvesting gets her out of bed. Both Alpi and doll into bed with her. Still those big lips. More of a neck everyday.

Camping on the weekend, back near the Howqua where we'd taken tiny baby Milla at nine weeks old, Charlie's first Father's Day. She was one of many kids in the busy holiday weekend campground. Something we would have hated in the past as camping snobs... Horses camped nearby, noisy cockatoos waking us early, ducks in a brace parading.

We had two helpers, Charlie decided a ratio of 4:1 is perfect. Milla slept well both nights, we arrived Friday night to camp at 10pm. Hiked both days, Charlie rode up Buller twice and the weather was insanely good, much better than the forecast had me thinking. I should have brought swimmers.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Back out for another turn around the tomatoes. Milla says 'tomatoes' so that it sounds the same as 'mummy' and 'monkey'. She was allowed to pick a big one today. I'm belatedly trying to stake.

Tipped cold water down her pajamas.
She can say the 'l's in her name now. Can say my name too. Can identify one colour - pink!

Sunday, January 10, 2016


First tomato of the season. All gone in seconds! She'd been waiting for this.

Not quick enough to focus with the 50 but still love the pic. 


Thursday, January 07, 2016


Milla says 'sit down', and pats the spot next to her. 
She says 'high five' and puts her little hand up. 

Backyard hosedown.
Charlie's been home with her this week as I went back to work and childcare was still closed. He reckons this is the best age. Learning so fast and so cute. Wiggle dance, funny creeping around, giving herself a fright when the washing machine starts up. Affectionate.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

18 months or one-and-a-half

Milla at eighteen months. Beautiful, wonderful and fun. Loves giving affection and can cling cling to Charlie just for the joy of seeing him. She understands a lot, fake laughs and chats. Is learning words so quickly (but still LOVING saying 'rubbish'!). Learns names VERY fast and could distinguish the names of Alana and Elena.

Mt Stirling saddle, making a cubby from her cot. 
We can tell when she's tired as she starts to roam around doing all the hot button naughty crimes, like knocking stuff of tables or touching the bin, or picking at a hole in the plaster.

Has a funny clinging habit of saying 'Da! Ma?' to Charlie to asking him where I am, liking to check where each of us are.

Though given a doll for Christmas, Alpi is still favourite, she's always wanting to change his nappy, offer him food and water and put him to bed (after wrapping him up and patting him VERY firmly).

Milla is becoming more independent, as long as we're not far... Can play play play independently and quietly with books, blocks, water, clean laundry, buckles, Alpi.

Very keen on books and gets read maybe ten books per day, often choosing which one she wants next.

Looks like new teeth the past few days, as predicted, when away on a camping trip away! And her front one is maybe chipped, has been for ages.

Milla has distinctive walk, she goes places with purpose. Is obsessed with olives and could eat them all day, loves to say the word too.

Still not keen on cockatoos.

Can get up brick walls that are chest height.

Has broad music taste, hip hop is still a favourite and this song is #1. These days has been singing 'no more monkeys' incessantly!

Still loves her bottle. Asks for it around 7:30/8pm and will go to fridge. Then couch and nest, lie prone. Hoping to break this one...

Can identify, say, and draw 'circle'. Can identify and say 'triangle' and 'yellow'. Can say 'high five!' and give one, then a fist bump.

Can tell me when she's about to poo. Never caught it in a toilet but we're working on it.Milla has amazed and delighted us. We love her new 'wiggle wiggle' dance and attempts at the harmonica. It's been a huge 2015 and we have grand plans for consolidating family life and happy habits.

New Year's Eve. Lil fat head. See last year!