Friday, December 31, 2010

iPhoto Year In Review

In January, to escape the ongoing catastrophic money pit home extensions, we spend two very slow-paced nights down by the beach in Gippsland. That's about all we do in January. Ahhh.

January:  On seeing Daddy in the ocean on his own, a blue-lipped and alarmed Lolly (the wind off the Southern Ocean was fuh-reeeezing) sat quoting her swimming classes' water safety motto to herself out loud - "Swordy says.... never.... swim.... alone." Daddy got a full reprimand on exiting the waves and rejoining us at the towels.

In February, I take the best macro photo I've ever snapped: a single dandelion seed for my sister inlaw's website. I try to burn the kitchen down by way of a pot of oil left on high flame on the stove (I don't think I ever even admitted to that one on the blog..... so ashamed... ruined a bloody good pot - and set of lungs - as well, damnit). Steve and I finish the back-breaking laying of the bitching bastard fiddly fuckers bamboo hardwood flooring and it looks spectacular. In fact, all the rooms - including the family and bath rooms - are finally coming together nicely, after works that began in August 2009. The dog gets in so many photos that I pander to her neediness for inclusion and take her very own special photo (smiling dork cutie that she is) so that she leaves me alone and stops getting her arse, waggily tail or head in all my shots. I ponder what else I could be doing with my time instead of hanging out black sock after pissing annoying black sock so much that I take a photo of them when I'm only half way through pegging duties.... The offending culprit black sock wearer poses alongside his Magna-doodled likeness (as drawn by the LGBB). Lolly starts writing her 'signature' and is very proud of herself. I rest easier at night, having finally found the right green for her bedroom walls ("Willow Tree" by Bristol, if you're wondering).

In March,  on the 6th at around 3pm, a once-in-a-lifetime storm event hits Melbourne ... right over our house. After 20 minutes on the ground, the hail stones are still about 20cm in diameter even after melting on the previously warm day. The damage sustained to our home, and more to others in the neighbouring areas, reaches well into double figures in insurance. We have to replace our annihilated roof - a bucket placed on our kitchen bench yields 5 litres of water through a ceiling light in the space of less than 2 hours. It's scary and a big clean-up but not as much as many others in the area. The hail bounces off the ground to around 10ft in the air (watch the video - the sound of running water half way through is actually a leaking window that was literally pouring water in onto our floors), the hail strips paint off our fences and goes clean through Lolly's trampoline and outdoor play equipment. Steve's car is totalled (a boon, which nets him a nice brand new car... small bonus, really) and we have to replace all our outdoor furniture and toys: thank you, RACV, what a blessing to be insured. The storm puts significant halt to our garage/home office plans (final stage of extensions), so we run away to the beach again, this time to Wilsons Prom with some dear friends for a memorable short vacation.

In April, the last surviving great-Aunt on my mother's side passes away. I visit their rural property in South Australia with my brother on a hastily arranged trip for the funeral. On reaching their homestead, I am overcome and overwhelmed with the feeling of home-coming for me, the house turns out to be a stately, welcoming old family friend, with many ancestral heirlooms - including the bed our great-grandfather spent the final seven years of his life sleeping in - and I feel a deep sense of belonging to this land which I have not visited since I was barely three. I cannot quite comprehend that in every direction I look, on waking to capture the sunrise the first morning, the family owns the farming land. I am choked and humbled and feel very small as I think of the original owners who have long since been driven out by white settlers. The colours are different here. And although it is razed almost completely and there is hardly a landmark in sight, the place is captivating, haunting and stunning. When I arrive home, the new tin roof is up and it looks marvellous.

In May, we go to Phillip Island for the day and have a blast together. This is despite the LGBB's very best hand-on-hips-ish pre-four year-old behaviour throughout the day, which is tedious and confusing and full of contradictions to say the least. Still, forging on, we visit a farm and Steve milks a cow, we go to the koala conservatory and make the obligatory Penguin Parade stop to watch the fairy penguins come ashore at the end of a long, cold trek for their food. Phillip Island: A highly recommended place to spend some time, if you're ever visiting Victoria. By the end of this month, we have dismantled the wall that surrounded our outdoor deck and the garage/office wall is up and ready for frame stage.

In June, I am lovingly made a chocolate birthday cake and the cake topper is chosen by Lolly herself - something to perfectly capture the love between a mother and daughter, a timeless gift that says "I was thinking of you when I chose this"... See it there in the photo? It's a rubber dinosaur. I take a photo this month of our old dog, Pepper, thinking for sure her days of warming herself in the winter sun by the window must surely this time be numbered (six months on, I'm still taking "this may be the last photo" photos of the old battle-ax). The LGBB has her mid-year toddler dance concert (her last in this class before she moves up with the 5-7 year-olds) - her motto seems to be "better to be over-dressed than under-prepared for any occasion, dahhlinks", as the other littlies turned up in sweats and hoodies, a floral dress at best. I blink and apparently miss my leggy little blondie-girl getting suddenly all child-looking... this is the month Lolly appears to drop the remainder of her 'baby fat'. She also discovers the joys of stay-on lippy and I catch her literally painting her face with it - after this photo, she covers herself from forehead to chin, colouring in all the bits she'd missed, and it will take me almost an hour to patiently scrub it off.

In July, our little girl turns four. I almost commit hara kiri with her birthday cake on the way to the party, Scraps discovers his hot chocolate addiction is serious and Lolly perfects her portraits of her Dad, adding features such as the all-over-face stubble and toussled-hair. I walk in one lazy Sunday morning expecting to find father and daughter sharing some quality time together and they are.... on their respective Apple gadgets, happily sharing high-score results and occasionally grunting to each other. They're happy. I shudder slightly and snap a photo, assuming this is just a taste of things to come.

In August, we take the LGBB to see the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for the first time. Steve gets arty with his iPhone4 and a bunch of My Little Ponies, I get arty with bento (Japanese take-away/snack-box lunches) and Lolly gets arty with posing dogs. On heads of other dogs. It's a slow month.

In September, Lolly inexplicably begins breastfeeding Scraps out of nowhere and it is absolutely gorgeous - she even stops play to attend to her doggy every morning and asks to see photos of herself being breastfed as a baby to ensure she's doing it realistically. I take yet another last photo of Pepper (who is still wheezing alongside me while she sleeps as I type this post), and I capture the most delightful set of images on the way home in the long afternoon Spring sunshine. Pity about the dog's piss.

In October, Steve brings home his new baby - the iPad - and we're all immediately besotted with the dear little thing, Lolly takes to using the painting app on there and is chuffed with her hard work and even more excited that she can take a screen shot of her paintings and then print them out. Our beautiful old tree begins to get its leaves back. I'm treated to a Party In The USA impromptu tutu-clad dance routine (about 19 times in a row.... GET OUT OF MY HEAD, MILEY CYRUS!). Steve gets dressed up by Lolly. And we plant ourselves a little vegie patch.

In November, surprise-surprise, yet another 'last photo' photo of Pep, standing (barely) this time. Lolly gets quite taken with the sun shade being put up for her and Pepper to have picnics in the front yard. We're so proud of our girl who has her first end of year concert in amongst the older kids - she's tall for her age at four but is towered over by them - as she holds her own and keeps up with all the moves (wearing her Best, once again). We have a guest visitor on the first warm day - a possum who falls asleep for several hours on the clothes line under our deck. And speaking of decks... it's getting there! The office and garage are finished (shells only, still plastering and painting to finish), the outdoor room is looking good. Just need to decide what colour to put on the blue-board.

In December, there are cupcakes, carols and Christmas trees! Grandpa's tickles and Mummy's kisses. Fun under the Christmas tree. Kindy graduation and baked cookies. What more to life can there be?

So 2011 begins tomorrow. I have plans. Big plans. A few things already in the works. But for now, I'm so darn tired of 2010 that I just don't wanna talk anymore.

Have a good one, please have a safe one. Happy New Year!

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