Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lets recap....

Since this time last year we;
  • moved down to Barwon Heads. So..
  • the kids started new schools and kindergarten, then..
  • we decided to expand our family to 6, then decided to..
  • cancelled our Brunswick renovation and stay put. Then..
  • packed up the brunswick house entirely and rented it out just before we...
  • bought a holiday rental and furnished it with only days left before high summer, and
  • embark on a smaller reno at Sunnyside to accommodate the new arrival and general growth of the family! 
  • There was also the family trip to Byron Bay, mid year family skiing holiday and my very extravagant trip to Europe! 

We all know how fast time goes by but i really feel like we have had to work through some really big life decision and changes, which made this year memorable, and also bonded us as a family unit very tightly. All our decision have been hard ones , but have also felt right. And i can truly say this feels like home.

Jem and I are supper excited about the arrival of bubs, and we cant wait to find out how this little one will shape our family.

As i right this i have 4 weeks till my due date and i am feeling fantastic! Cant believe it really. I think in my post The Third Trimester is was feeling really apprehensive of how i would go towards the end, but i am still really comfortable and relaxed. Lets hope the final stage goes as smoothly!

As for the older kids;

This is Banjo with his mates at his Kinder breakup. Gabe is in the middle and Remy. He is very close to his mates, when i look at this picture i cant help but try to imagine them as teenagers. It is a big step in a little boys life, leaving kinder for school and i am really proud of Banjo and how far he has come socially.

The small town aspect has been great in relation to kinder/school transition. There is only one kinder and one school, so all his friends move on together. There is no goodbyes, and difficult explanations about why you wont get to see your friends much now. This has made him extra confident about starting school.

Hero has also had a big transition with starting a new school, but is thriving now!

This photo was taken today on the last day of school where she received one of only 2 awards given out in her class. She was so excited and proud, and so was I. She is a joy to watch as she guides through school, and i am so grateful that her personality and strength was rewarded for her effort this year.

So after all the year has brought i am looking forward to,

  • lazy mornings
  • watching the kids frolic in the sea
  • some quite dinners with Jem while the kids are being babysat
  • eating ice-cream in the hot afternoon sun
  • having friends come and visit
  • having family bike rides along the river at dusk
  • and of course meeting the new addition to the family!

So until a bit later in the New Year, that is what i will be doing. What about you?!

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fig Tree House

Sorry it has been a while between posts but things have been pretty busy here.

Mostly due to the setting up of Fig Tree House in preparation to the holiday season.

For those that dont know about it, Fig Tree is a house that we bought after we decided to stay here in Barwon Heads insted of renovating Brunswick.

This house will be very handy next year for visitors to use when it's not rented, and for the grandparents to stay when bubs arrives because Sunnyside will be full!

We have been working hard to get it on-line and now it is up! Fig Tree House can now be viewed and booked!

I would love to know your thoughts on how it reads and looks. Should the 1st image be an exterior one or interior?

Does it need more adjectives it it description?

And of course, make sure to let anyone that might be interested in it know what a wonderful place it is to stay!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hero turns 7.

Hero's birthday was last week. She choose to have a cupcake decorating party with 7 friends.
It is hard to believe that she is 7 years old. At times she can seem so much older. She is only 30 cm shorter then then me and can be such a mature and wise girl for her age. Listening to her read to Iggy and Banjo on the couch really cements how far she has come since starting school 2 years ago. And i get a bit emotional about what an amazing sister she is to Iggy and will be to her new brother/sister.

I love this sequence of shots. She had just won the trophy for best decorated cupcake, and they really demonstrate a comic and silly side that is hard to capture in photo's.

Jem and i often think about her personality and wonder how it will evolve as she enters the teenager and adult years. Is this a good age to help direct their interests in a more refined way?
Less free play more structured activities and hobbies?
Could we influence who they will be or will life and fate do it regardless?

Monday, November 14, 2011


With only 6 weeks till Christmas i am feeling a bit daunted by what needs to be completed. These are not just individual things but major projects.

In 2 weeks we get the keys to "The Fig Tree House" which needs to be fully furnished and ready for bookings over the december/Jan holiday period.So stay turned for that!

Soon after Christmas we want to move Hero into Iggy's room and put the boys together. This is a major reshuffle, but one that has to happen. Hero really needs her own space now, and needs a place to chill out without noisy boys getting into her things!

Iggy's room is quite small and it will be a real challenge to create a space that is both organised and functional as well as lovely. It will be her first own room so i am keen to try and make it as special as i can, but there is a few things to fit in!
The above images are a bit of inspiration but aren't really realistic to the space.

These eclectic and colourful ones might be more true to form. The images are from lapetite magazine which is well worth a look!

This move also means that Iggy will need to go into a big boys bed in preparation for the new arrival of bub's number 4.

There is of cause Christmas shopping to be done too!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Birthday, My Birthday

36 years old?

On Sunday i will 36 years old.

Turning 18 could not come quick enough. 21 was a bit anti climatic. I dreamt about being 30 and loved it. I had thought about 35, but it passed by without to much thought.

36 feels like a bigger step for some reason. Maybe because it is on the other side of my thirties and heading towards 40, but i think it has more to do with nostalgia, and re-capping the last 6 years. I feel as if 4 pregnancies have taken a toll physically on me and i am determined to get my physical confidence back after this one is born.

When i took this pic, i thought about putting on some make-up and and trying a bit harder, but i think it depicts how i feel and who i am at this time in my life.
My fringe desperately needs a cut, hence why i am holding it out the way. In contrast to that i have my nails done because i went to the Melbourne Cup 2 days ago and haven't taken the polish off yet, and i look a bit tired, which is how i feel most days.

Don't get me wrong life is good, it's just that the person i see in the mirror is not quite the person i expect to see at 36. I'm sure it is another example of how fast life goes by.

I am looking forward to a lovely weekend of sunny days at the beach, eating with great friends and of cause being with my incredible family on my 36th birthday.

Happy Birthday to me!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The third trimester!

I haven't written much about my pregnancy, this has not been intentional, there has just been a lot going on. Saying that just because this is my forth, it does not mean that it is less exciting. Not a day goes by that i don't get a flutter of anticipation as to who might be inside me. Especially when i step back and observe Hero, Banjo and Iggy. It is amazing how different they are as individual.

The sex of this baby is another interesting counter-part. If it is a boy, there is no argument that there will be an over balance of males to females, and how will this change the dynamics of the house hold? The symmetry of 3 girls and 3 boys sounds good in theory but would it be as perfect as it seems?
Having a gang of boys sounds fun, too.

In the end, we are happy with whatever we get, and will wait till this bubs arrives to find out.

I am a little apprehensive about the up and coming 3 months, i have a lot of growing to do, and with life being so busy with the others, i think it is going to be a struggle towards the end. I have been really lucky so far in all my pregnancies (health wise) but day-to-day life could not be more jam packed this time round.

I supposed the one positive is that it will go fast!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's late, but I'm back!

I am sorry it has taken me 3 weeks to post on my wonderful journey. I have no real excuses, life has just been busy, and racing by!

London was a lot of fun, Georgina who i stayed with has a awesome pad with a quaint studio flat out the back that was all mine! We ate at some great place's and drank cocktails out of uber cool jam jars!

A highlight was spending time with Mich and her beautiful boy Sonny! He is not much older then Iggy and just adorable with a personality to match. Big xxx Sonny!

Then it was off to Paris on the Eurostar to meet Mum! It was quite surreal to meet up at a Hotel in Paris, but we did and had the most wonderful 5 days.

The first day was so memorable. We woke to a perfect Autumn morning, early, in order to get to one of Paris's incredible Flea Markets. Just look at these still life's! Could they look anymore Parisian? Mum and i bought some real treasures here that will forever take me back when i look at them.

The next major highlight was our trip to Villa Savoye, this was built in 1928 by the architect Le Corbusier. This Villa might not seem that monumental now but when you think of what people were building in the 1930's it is far-and-away ahead of it's time.

It was another perfect day, there were next to no tourists and the grounds were so peaceful. But the house was just so inspiring, so simple, so liveable, so stylish. I could have included hundreds of images, but here are a select few to give you an idea.

Afterwards we caught the bus to the quaint and picturest town of Poissy, where we grabbed a baguette and chocolate eclair, sat in the towns square and watch the French world go by at a lovely calming speed compared to Paris.

The next few days were filled with shopping and nights out, eating at some of the best and happening (Septime) restaurants in Paris!

On our down days we would chill out in a square like this!

The amazing Autumnal light on the changing leaves were indescribable, and it was easy to see where all those impressionist got their inspiration from. 
You would walk through gardens, then look up at a vista like this!

Around every corner there were more and more divine Parisian scenes that you could never get tired of looking at. But my babies were calling for me and i needed to get home to my beautiful family.

But, We had a good-time, didn't we Mum! xx

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I felt inspired to do a shoot with Hero recently. It had been a while since i had taken some proper photos and looking at these i believe she is the essence of 'Spring' at the moment. 

I am feeling a bit sentimental at the moment because i am off on a big adventure without my babies!

On Monday i leave for London where i will catchup with some old and dear friends and then to Paris to meet my Mum for 5 days! I am very excited to be going to Paris with my own Mum, it is a very rare opportunity that came up, and i couldn't let it pass!

I will be away 10 day in total, which is not long in the scheme of things but it is a long time to be away from my family, and to be traveling so far away from them feels unnatural, but i think that is motherly instincts coming through. I know when i am there i will have a wonderful time.

Hero definitely takes after me emotionally, and i think she will be most affected by my absence, and i get a bit teary even thinking about saying goodbye to them. But we will be OK.

And hey, spring here and early Autumn in Europe!
Whats not to love!

See you on my return.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

" The best day ever! "

Hero's school had a dress up as your favourite book character day. Which i only found out about 1 day before! But we pulled something together, (Pipi Longstocking ) and as you can see we got a couple of elements right. It was a big success and Hero thought it was: "The best day ever" at school!

They also had a parade which was a nice touch and all the younger siblings got to participate. Banjo choose to dress up as a 'skeleton Pilot!' I'm still yet to find a book that he might feature in! He would go up to all his friends with excitement unaware that they had no idea who he was and what he was! It was quite funny.
His mate Oscar was Max from 'Where the wild things are'.

 Iggy love it all too. He is not intimidated by large crowds, he just loves to be involved. You can see him sitting with his sister, not for comfort, and reassurance, but so he could participate also! It was a very sweet moment to capture.

After the parade the teachers lined up for a photo and Iggy was most interested, so he walk over to the group un fazed that the whole school was behind him and watched on. I guess it was a strange sight!            

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Is it soaking in?????

I have to admit i am struggling with my Banjo. But i feel i need to put it out there, as well as recored it in time for future reference!

Everyday i tell him the same things;
"Don't hit your sister. "
"Be gentle with your little brother."
"Decided if it is the right or wrong thing to do be for you do it."
"Listen to what people want."
"Think about others, not just yourself."
"Dont argue."

Every single day i say these same statements to him, some of them i repeat many times in one day.

I am just at a loss as to weather i am making any difference in his personality. The problem is he has such energy and enthusiasm for life he only lives within the moment, so it is as if he can not hear, see or think beyond that point. The problem with that way of living is that it can seem a very selfish one.

Deep down, I don't believe Banjo to be a selfish person, but the way in which he lives life, makes me wonder from time to time... Why is it that he cant think of others before himself in the moment?

I guess all i can do is stay persistent, and hope that one day it will soak in something will just click!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lets go sking!

This is what packing looks like on a Friday night when you have been in Melbourne all day then off to Aus Kick, dinners and baths....and packing!

 Tomorrow we start our journey to Falls Creek. Spending our first night in Melbourne before setting off on a 5hr car ride to the snow.

This will be our 3rd year skiing with the kids and i think we are getting it down to a fine art. From taking pre-cooked dinners, to hiring lockers at the top of the mountain so we don't have to hold our skis, the kids skis and help the kids get on and off the chair lift all at the same time!

Hero and Banjo are super excited about going which is great, as for Iggy, i will let you know how he fares at childcare (?), i am anticipating him to not enjoy drop off at all!

Stay tuned for the report when we return, ( 20th ).

Friday, July 29, 2011


photo by: Mick Davson

Change in all aspects can be unsettling but also exciting, it is especially so when it happens in a way that drastically changes your life.

We have decided to make a change...we have decided to call Barwon Heads our new home. Permanently.

I have been working through this decision for the past 2 months and it has been a hard one. But once i made the decision, it actually felt right. A few people advised me that making the choice is the hardest bit, so once i committed to it, the rest fell into to place.

I do feel like i have gone 'against the grain' so to speak, and i think that is why it initially felt wrong to stay. But I realised that most of the obstacles were other people and how it would effect them. I was not focusing on the most important element which was me and what was best for my family.

I also became aware of how life does not stay still for anyone, and that the life i had in brunswick has moved along like my life here has moved along too. You can't look at the past when making a decision like this, you have to look towards the future...

Sunday, July 17, 2011


If the last entry wasn't enough for me think about, lets add another bubs to mix!

It all got cemented and real for me this week when we saw bubs for our 12 week scan.
Jem and i thought we were excited, but the kids proved to be even more!

Most of you knew that Jem and I liked the idea of a nicely rounded and even 4, so it probably doesn't come as a surprise. I'm not sure what 4 kids will hold, there is enough chaos in my house already, so i'm thinking one more is not going to cause that much more mayhem! ???

It has made us re-think many things...
Barwon Heads seems like the most perfect place to bring up a large family...
Am i ready to more away from Melbourne...

Separating my needs from my family needs in this decision has proved to be very difficult.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Well it has been a cold start to winter here and lets just say, Sunnyside has not been to sunny!

Saying that, i have loved sitting in front of the fire with the kids in the evening, and starting the embers a light in the morning. And life here has been rolling along quite nicely and with ease. Which has been quite a contrast to our Shamrock St plans! I wont bore you with the details but it has stalled quite dramatically, and paused the momentum enough that it has made us stop and think about things.

Is this mammoth reno not ment to be....? Are these hurdles here to question which may we should be going...?

My mum told me once, "Viva, you are good at life. You have always known the right path to take and with such commitment."

I believe that to be true mostly, I have always trusted my instincts when making decision, and so far they have helped me to create an genuinely happy and for-filled life.

But this decision, of wether we keep on this Shamrock St path or veer off it and stay down the coast has really thrown me.

I remember when i wrote this first post, thinking that we were not just finishing a chapter, but ending a book on that time of our life. I think i did in some ways know there was an element of uncertainty of how the next book was going to go then, but it has only been in the last month or that is has surfaced.

I hope i have articulated ok the numerous thoughts, concerns and apprehensions that have been going through my mind over the last month. I felt the need to get in out of my head into words, (hoping it might help with the decision making!)

I have often wondered what my dad would have advised....but i think i know that answer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Garden work

Since any work on Shamrock St has been non existent, we thought we might take this opportunity to do a bit of work on the garden here at Sunnyside.

The land at the front is quite extensive and important to the views from inside the house, so looking out at all the weeds all day was not that relaxing.

The other part of the garden that needed attention was the east boundary fence where we would ride our bikes from the shed to school. It was grassy, bumpy and just not very pretty.

Now the next job is to paint the house! How much better will it be to see that fantastic turquoise and beach house blue combo gone!
Any suggestions on colour ideas?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It's not what it is, but what you do with it....

Last week i took the kids to Melbourne to see The Art of a Brick exhibition. (You can find out more about the artist here.)

Banjo has just got into the whole Lego game this year and is great at creating his own spaceships and aeroplanes, but what i loved about this exhibition was how it showed you to think outside the box.

Not only that, but how anyone can manipulate the things around them (like life) and build and design it in different ways. Oneself  is the only limitation.

The kids let the sculpture's run over them, with most of there complexities going over their heads, but enjoyed, and took delight is what others created.

This T-REX was quite amazing, the shear scale of it was unbelievable, when you look at one individual lego brick!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Want to know what a barrister does?

I am on the home stretch... Jeremy has been away with work for the past 2 weeks, so my nights tend to be couch and then bed bound!

I have had a lot of help, (thank-god) but i am really missing my man and my complete family unit.

Being at Sunnyside has made it impossible for Jem to come home when he has a trial on, so it can be hard. Thankfully they don't happen every month!

Last week, Hero's class looked at 'Community Workers', and each student had to prepare a 1-2min talk on a 'community worker' of their choice.

With Jem going away for work (as a barrister) Hero was super keen to talk about her dad.

After some phone conferences with Dad and some visual prompts from mum we manage to put together the most simple and clear talk on, "My Dad a barrister, and why they are community workers." 

Sorry about the camera angle and sound.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mr Banjo's Birthday

This photo was taken on his 1st birthday, 22nd May 2007

And this was taken on the weekend at his bowling party!
( I told him in the morning to wear something nice for his party and this is what he chose! Dose it look  familiar?

We had a lovely weekend, Banjo took 5 mates bowling, it was a great old school bowling centre in geelong, and the kids loved hurling their bowling balls down the lanes. Some also chose the slow and steady technique, which created a sense of anticipation on impact!

Banjo requested a surfboard styled cake this year. Here was my attempt. 
You cant see it to well, but the cake was covered in eatable blue glitter too!

Next, School!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Beautiful Kids

Everyday is a challenge with 3 kids.

Frustrations, constant repeating of ones self, the war and bickering management and the never ending packing up and tidying up, is just a few of those daily challenge's.

They are getting so big and i can't quite get my head around the fact that they are mine! All 3!. And in between all those challenges, i do still realise how lucky i am to have produced these 3 perfect gems!
Love you

These photo's were taken on the weekend at a fantastic winery called Oakdene winery just near us.

We were there for a family gathering and had such a wonderful time. There grounds were a treasure trove of strange sculpture's and building, as well as animals, that the kids absolutely love.