Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Five {52 week project} // Photography

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.
{Punky} Her imaginative play is, well, imaginative. I love listening to her play with her toys and the things she says. Her imagination also extends to telling stories. The other day in the car, on the way to Mum's, she told me the following story... "Daddy fell down. He crashed on the road. Then he fell on the grass and he hurted himself. Then he got eaten by a cockroach. But the cockroach spat him out, and then Daddy did stomp on him. Then a tree bit him. Bit Daddy. And then a bird ate him!". The imagination is strong in this one!


{Zee} Because toes are tasty, don't you know?! I constantly bust Zee with the iPad. I limit her use of it, but often Punky leaves it lying around after her allotted time in the morning and Zee comes along and grabs it before I've had a chance to put it away. She is obsessed with it. She knows how to use it as well as Punky does, and it's really interesting to see her start to figure out some of the apps and what she needs to do. I know many people aren't a fan of kids and iPads, but I truly believe with the right limits and restraints in place it can be a valuable learning tool. 
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Friday, 30 January 2015

Linky Lovin' Friday {30th January 2015} // Blogging

{Graffiti in an alley in Perth}
I'm going on a girl's night tonight and I can't freakin' wait! It's been waaaay too long between drinks (literally!) and I'm looking forward to hanging with some awesome chicks, eating good food and maybe even singing some karaoke. The karaoke will totally depend on how well the drinks are going down, but never say never!

It's been a bit of a long week, even with my first child-free day in a long time on Tuesday when Zee had her first day at Daycare while Punky moved on up to the 'big-kids' room. I got so much done with no children in the house, and I even managed to sit down to eat my lunch and watch a bit of TV!

Wednesday was my Tafe orientation, and to say I felt a small rush of pleasure upon seeing the studio we'll be using is an understatement. I am so ready for this course I can't even tell you. I'm pretty sure come next Thursday though my mind is going to be so filled with all of the stuff that I don't know if I'll even manage a Linky Lovin' Friday post. So you've been warned. If anyone wants to guest post one for me, with your favourite links, let me know. As long as you get it to me by 8pm Thursday night it will go live Friday. Just putting it out there!

It was a very interesting mix of people at the orientation and I was a little disappointed to learn that one of the ladies I got on well with is actually doing the course part-time in the evenings. She was really nice and in a similar situation to me (married, 2 kids, yada, yada, yada) but hopefully we'll see each other around.

There was a fairly broad range of ages too, with a few younger kids, a couple of others around the same age as me (30s) and then one or two older people. I think it's going to be fun! As long as the young people walk a bit quicker than they did while we were being given a tour of the facilities, it should all work out fine. Have I mentioned before how much I hate slow-walkers? Soooo annoying.

Anyway, with all of that going on and getting things ready and organised for my start next week I haven't had a lot of time to spend reading and surfing the net, but I have found a few good gems which I've linked to below...

I'm Just a Mum by Big Words - Seriously great post. I've been guilty of this myself and it's definitely time to stop!

Open Home by The Plumbette - A very interesting analogy by Bec, and I have to say that the comments themself are really worth the read too.

Farewell School Holidays by The Uneducated Opinion - I loved this post, it's just brilliant, and I will be re-reading this when my time for proper school holiday periods with the girls comes around.

10 Useful Apps for the Whole Family by Fit Mother Hubbard - Anita has found some awesome apps and shared them in this post. If you're looking for new apps for yourself and the kids you'll want to check this post out.

What have you been reading this week? Seen anything good? And do I need to award a Tosser Trophy to Abbott for the whole wedging himself up Prince Phillip's arse thing or is it just a given?

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Thursday, 29 January 2015

My Top 5... Pinterest Princess Party Ideas

Back in November last year we celebrated Punky's 3rd birthday. When it came to picking a theme there was only one choice. A princess party. 

Originally we were going to make it a Frozen theme, but as I didn't want to have to stick too closely to the Frozen characters and colours I decided to open it up a bit and just make it Princesses all-round. I managed to find heaps of pink and princess themed stuff at the local Reject Shop and once I'd got all the decorations up it was like a Princess had vomited all over the place!

It ended up being more of a Princess Pool Party as it was such a stinkin' hot day and my sister A got Punky the coolest paddle pool with a slide. As soon as the kids saw it there was no stopping them from jumping right in. The only time they came out was to eat the mandatory fairy bread on offer. And the cake of course, which Punky and her Aunty decorated together with stuff I found at Coles.

One day I would love to create a Pin-worthy party, but if I'm totally honest, I'm just way too lazy to go all out like you see on Pinterest. That did not stop me from spending hours looking at all manner of Princess Party themed pins though, and dreaming about what I would create if I actually had the time, money and inclination!

I did find some awesome pins though, and thought I'd my Top 5 Pinterest Princess Party themed pins. These are the ones that I think I could actually pull off next time, if and when Punky decides on the Princess theme.  If you've seen any sweet Princess Party posts or ideas floating around the internet make sure you point me in their direction in the comments so I can add to my board.

1. Tablecloth backdrop - This would make the perfect backdrop for the food or present table, or even a great backdrop to take pictures of the little Princesses in front of. You can find the original post here.

2. Princess Birthday Party Games - This is a really great collection of ideas for games for princess and/or pirate parties. Original post is here.

3. Magic Wand Fruit Kebobs - A party just isn't a party without the wonderful sugar injection that is fairy bread, but if you want to include some natural sugar as well, these fruit kebobs are an awesome idea! Original post here.

4. Princess Printable Masks - It's always good to dress up for a party, especially a Princess-themed party, and these cool princess mask printables would make for some great pictures of the kids. You can find them on Etsy here.

5. Frozen Party Ideas - If you are keen to go down the Frozen-themed road, then you will definitely find some inspiration at this amazing party. It looks divine! Original post here.

Do you go all Pinterest-crazy when it comes to planning your kids birthday parties? Do you actually manage to get it looking Pin-worthy, or are you too lazy in the end to go all-out?

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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

First Days // Life

I'm sitting here at my desk and what's that sound?

It's the sound of silence. 

Ok, so it's the sound of rain and loud traffic out the front, but inside the house, there's silence. It's almost too quiet.

Today Zee started Daycare. Her first full day away from me, being looked after by people who are not related to her in anyway. She's less than a week shy of being 18 months and if I'm totally honest, I'm feeling a little sad. I've looked forward to this day for a while now. My first day with no kids in the house. My first day with no-one to think about but myself. 

Punky has her first day in the 'big kids' room today too. I was quite relieved to see that her teacher from the 2-3 year room has moved up with the kids into the 3-4 year olds room because I know Punky has bonded with her and feels comfortable with her there.

I was also more than a little relieved to see that Punky's other teacher from last year has moved down to the pre-preschool room that Zee is now in. It's a familiar face for her in a room full of new. The teacher that was in that room when Punky was in there is also there too, and it makes me happy knowing that she is in such good hands.

First days are weird, aren't they. There is a sense of happiness, in knowing that your child is moving away from you a little, gaining a little independence and starting to find themselves in this big ol' world. Then there is the sadness, knowing that from now on, there is limited time before they are off to big school, and in a place where the harshness of the world suddenly comes much closer to them.

It will be a big first day for me next week, off to Tafe. My first time in 'formal' education, on campus, since 2001. I'm scared and excited, all at the same time. I'm excited about all of the awesome things I'll be learning, and getting to indulge my passion for photography and work hard at realising my dream of doing it for a living. I'm scared about how I'll manage, about getting assignments done, getting through all of the work. But it's a challenge I am so ready for, after 19 months of being a full-time stay-at-home-Mum.

Today marks the start of a new chapter in our lives. The newborn/baby days are behind us. I don't know if we will have another baby. Dave says no, no way, uh-uh. My head agrees with him. But my heart? My heart doesn't know what it wants. 

There is a part of me that thinks about those long newborn days and is glad that perhaps we won't have to deal with the endless feeds and sleepless nights again (not that the nights now don't bring their own wakings!). But there is another part of me that longs to feel those movements inside of me again, longs to cradle a tiny, sleeping newborn in my arms. Longs for the hours spent with a babe to my breast, holding their little hands, stroking their soft skin, and breathing in that intoxicating newborn aroma.

I honestly don't know what the future holds for this little family of 4 but there is one thing I do know. That no matter what, as long as we are together, it doesn't matter. As long as I have my people, my three lovely, beautiful, amazing people, I can do anything and face whatever our future may be.

I'm sad. But I'm also freaking excited!

How is everyone else's first days (school, preschool, work) going? Are you excited about what the future has in store for you and your family?

To the Mummas with babies off to big school today, i am thinking of you all and sending super big hugs. I hope the first day goes smoothly for both your cherubs and you!

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Monday, 26 January 2015

One Perfect Moment {Swimming in Memories}

One Perfect Moment is all about those moments, big or small, that make you wish they'd last forever. Those moments you want to stop in time, when everything feels perfect, even for just a split-second. Snapshots of the mind. Moments to treasure forever. 

On Friday Punky has swimming lessons. Usually, if it's a week when Dave is working, I spend the 20 minutes sitting by the side of the pool trying to keep an increasingly frustrated Zee from throwing herself in after Punky. Zee loves the water. LOVES it! She never used to. In fact it wasn't until the week before she started swimming lessons last year, when she was just 5 months old, that we finally got her to enjoy being in the water. We took her in the pool at Mum's. I kept her fully clothed, hoping that having clothes on might make her feel a little more secure. It worked.

Ever since then she has turned in to a complete water baby, and it kills her that she has to sit on the sideline while Punky swims. Last week, one of Dave's days off fell on a Friday. We decided that we would all head to the pool together and have a family swim after Punky's lesson finished. Dave took Zee over to the shallow part of the pool and they swam while I watched Punky's class.

Poor Punky. She has been cursed with her Father's inability to float. She has to try twice as hard as the other kids for half the result. It doesn't stop her though, she gives it her all and she absolutely loves it. She will jump in the pool with no fear whatsoever, and paddle her little heart out until her head barely breaks the surface. That girl gets 100% for effort!

Zee is a floater, just like her Mumma. She doesn't even have to try, she just floats effortlessly. Which makes her think she doesn't need Mummy or Daddy to hold on to. Makes for an interesting time in the deeper water!

While swimming together on Friday we sat the girls beside each other on the side of the pool and sang Humpty Dumpty. As Humpty falls off the wall, so do the girls, and like instince now, after all of the lessons, the second they hit the water they turn towards the wall to grab on and pull themselves up. They were both so pleased with themselves.

I looked at Dave and saw the big grin on mine and the girls faces reflected there. In that moment there was just the 4 of us and the water. Four people, two of them created from nothing but love. Everyone was happy. Everyone was relaxed. It was a perfect moment in a chaotic, crowded, public pool. 

Our perfect moment.

Do you enjoy the water? Do you have water babies a-growing at your place?





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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Four {52 Week Project} // Photography // Life

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.
{Punky} She gave up her day sleep ages ago. About 18 months I think. In it's place we have quiet time. It's not always quiet. But some times, she'll quite happily lie down and watch a movie, with her Blankey Bear snuggled under her chin. I love watching her watching a movie she really likes. The total concentration on what's happening, the way her expression changes, the way she calls out and says "Look Mummy, look!" and explain to me what is happening.

{Zee} This girl loves her food. LOVES it! It doesn't matter how much you give her, she always wants more. She is still going through that delightful stage where she will eat anything you give her. Anything but broccoli, that is! This girl with hollow legs will finish off her second breakfast and then stand beside me and wail when I'm not quick enough to share some of mine. It drives me nuts. I hope she never loses her non-fussy-ness.

Joining the 52 week project with Jodi at Practising Simplicity
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Friday, 23 January 2015

Linky Lovin' Friday {23rd January 2015} // Reading

This week has been a bit weird for me. I've been in this mood, a funk if you will, where I've felt like there is all this stuff that I need to do but I've lost the list and I don't know what it is. It's made me super cranky with the girls and I've had a Mummy Meltdown on more than one occasion, I am ashamed to say!

It could have something to do with the mountain of nerves that are building about heading to Tafe in just over a week's time. I know it's stupid, but the closer I get to starting the more worried I get that I'm gonna show up, they'll take one look at me and my photos and be all like "Get the hell out of here woman, who do you think you are, thinking you can be a professional photographer?!?!".

Totally irrational I know, but I just can't help it. Despite my bravado in real life I suffer from a serious case of self-doubt when it comes to my talents and abilities, and most days I'm pretty convinced that I don't have any. That people say nice things because they are just nice people (or they are my family and they have to!) and that's that. I'm working hard to not let these feelings take over my brain but it's hard work people, and leaves little time for anything else!

So in an effort to distract my brain from thoughts of impending career-choice doom, I've been blogging my little heart out and when I'm not on the computer or dealing with children I've been sitting on the lounge colouring in Mandalas. I'm not sure if it's helping, but I've almost finished one colouring book, and there is nothing like the satisfaction of a beautifully finished colouring book!

On my travels through internet land I've found some pretty top-notch reading material for you this week and I've linked to them all below. I'm starting to think that I should rename this post "My top pick from Handbag Mafia this week, and a bunch of other links that were good too", because it seems that Amy can do no wrong and I am linking to a post of hers every week! I can't help it though, she just posts good stuff. So make sure you head over and check her out and give her all the love. She's worth every bit of it!

And without further ado, here's my pick of the links this week...

On What Feminism means by Handbag Mafia

13 signs you're addicted to blogging by Bec from Seeing the Lighter Side of Parenting

12 Lessons learned in 12 years of Marriage by Justin Ricklefs

They should've warned me... by Jenny Studenroth Gerson

3 simple ways to get direction back in your life by Kelly Exeter

Who is the killjoy in your house? by Emily at Have a Laugh on Me

I'm not going to do my usual intro to each post today, except to say that the post from Emily at Have a Laugh on Me reminded me so much of that episode of Modern Family where Claire gets the shits about constantly being the bad cop and makes Phil be bad cop for the day so she can be all col and anything goes with the kids. It's hilarious! So I had to include that one from her.

I hope you've all had a fabulous week and have a great weekend planned. I'm going to do some serious self-talking and try to convince myself I'm not as shit as I think I am, so cheers to that!

Have you read anything good in internet land lately? Do you suffer from self-doubt? What do you do to combat it?

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

#fmsphotoaday January 1-17th 2015 // iPhoneography

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Museum of Fire // Kid-Friendly Sydney

At the start of the new year my extended family and I visited the Museum of Fire, in Penrith, west of Sydney. The first time I visited the Museum of Fire was ages and ages ago, back when I was about 10 years old. My family has a connection to the Museum, in that my Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great (got that!) Grandfather, Andrew Torning, formed the first volunteer fire company in Sydney, The No. 1 Fire Company.

As a lover of history I find it really interesting to learn about how my relatives first came to this country and the contributions they made. Andrew Torning arrived in the colony in 1842, and after purchasing the Victoria Theatre he then purchased his first fire engine for 250 pounds, which he used to set up the No. 1 Fire Company.

The Museum of Fire is filled with the history of firefighting in our country, and has an incredible amount of information and antiques from the earliest years of Australian firefighting. It's a not-for-profit registered charity and a community museum. Many of the staff are trained firefighters and are passionate about preserving the history of some of the country's bravest men and educating the community about the dangers of fire and fire safety.

The main hall of the museum is filled with a huge array of firefighting vehicles and trucks, all of which are in working order. The museum takes these trucks to antique machinery shows and it's amazing the work that goes in to finding parts, restoring them, and keeping them in running order. If you have a kid that loves trucks or Fireman Sam then they will LOVE this!

As well as the history and antiquities, there is also heaps of information on fire safety, with interactive displays where you can get hands on when learning about fire safety in the home and outdoors. There are timelines of the major Australian bushfires, including footage of firefighters in action and the people affected by those fires. There are also videos and touch screen computers with lots of interesting facts and tidbits. There is so much fun stuff for kids (and adults too!) that it doesn't feel like learning at all!

By far the favourite section for Punky and Zee was the Junior Firefighter Training area. There are tables set up with pictures and coloured pencils for colouring, life-size fire engines for the kids to get in and explore, as well as an episode of Fireman Sam to watch. Fire hats and coats hang on the wall so kids can have a little dress-up, and one of the fire engines has a video screen set-up where you can pretend you're driving the fire truck yourself.

The staff are absolutely wonderful, and the manager even took the big boys out to the shed where they restore the fire engines and told them all about the process they go through. With some of the older trucks, it takes the purchasing of up to 5 other trucks to be able to source enough parts to get them in working order.

There's a gift shop with heaps of cool trinkets and collectibles to satisfy both kids and adults alike. The admission prices make this a really affordable outing at $10 for adults, $8 for concession and $6 for kids 2-13 years old. There's also a family ticket (2 adults + 2 kids) option for $25, which the cashier was nice enough to charge us, even though technically Zee was free, being under 2, so we saved a dollar. Score!

The museum is located 5 mins from Penrith Westfield if you feel like having lunch at a nice cafe or restaurant afterwards, otherwise there are picnic areas and a big playground for the kids if you want to take a packed lunch with you.

I highly recommend checking out the Museum of Fire if you're looking for a fun and interesting place to visit with the kids. It's really kid-friendly with plenty to keep everyone entertained, and of course you might even learn a little something in the process!

Have you been to the Museum of Fire? Do you ever take your kids to Museums?

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Monday, 19 January 2015

One Perfect Moment {Shopping Sisters}

One Perfect Moment is all about those moments, big or small, that make you wish they'd last forever. Those moments you want to stop in time, when everything feels perfect, even for just a split-second. Snapshots of the mind. Moments to treasure forever.

On Saturday I spent the day with my sister. That's nothing out of the ordinary, but what was out of the ordinary was that the day was child-free. I left the kids with Dave, and headed to Penrith Westfield. By the usual standards it was a pretty normal day, a normal thing to do, go shopping.

We talked. We laughed. We had lunch. We bought handbags. We went to the markets. We ate snow cones.

I was relaxed. Happy.

I'm so lucky to be able to call my sister my friend. To be able to share things with her that I don't share with others. To know that she loves me, no matter how horrible or bitchy I can be.

As we were walking along the riverfront at the markets, eating our snow cones, I had one of those moments where I realised that life was good. That I was happy. I want to remember that moment forever.

Because that is where happiness comes from.

One perfect moment in the chaos of life.

Have you had a perfect moment this week? Want to share?

Every Monday I'll be sharing my one perfect (or imperfect!) moment from the week as a way to practice gratitude and reflect on the small (or big!) moments of happiness in life. If you'd like to join me by sharing your moment in words or pictures, I'll add a linky to next week's post. I'd love to visit you and share in your perfect moments.

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