Saturday, November 10, 2007

More wee?

Huge celebrations here tonight!
Alex did wees in his potty for the first time, after his bath tonight!
He has previously caught me out by weeing unexpectedly after a bath so tonight when he got a bit restless as I was drying him I asked him if he wanted to go wee in his potty and he said 'yeh' and ran to his potty. He sat there for a while with his sudoku book (he reads the numbers) and then we heard a glorious tinkling sound from the potty. It surprised him too! We cheered and clapped him and made a bit fuss about how clever he was and I ran to get the camera. Not that him sitting on a potty with wee in looks any different from him sitting on a dry potty but it's important to photograph those 'firsts' in his life, even if it's just to embarrass him when he brings his first girlfriend home. Naturally as soon as he saw the camera he decided to leave but when he stood up the potty had stuck to his damp, fresh washed, skin. So when he stood up the potty did too and promptly emptied down his legs and onto the bathmat. Hopefully this unfortunately accident and his parents rolling on the (dry) floor laughing haven't put him off using the potty again. Considering he kept saying 'more wee' and wanting to sit on the potty again and again, I think we shall be alright.
Wow I feel so proud! This potty training thing might actually happen this year! My little boy is growing up.
So no potty photo but here's a photo of Alex with his new electric frog tooth brush. He loves it. I bought it yesterday and ever since I've been plagued by demands for 'more tee' (teeth). He just wants to keep playing with it. Last night he wouldn't sleep. He sat in bed saying 'more tee' over and over. We knew he wanted his tooth brush but pretended we didn't. Until he speaks more clearly we can get away with that. Eventually Graham went in and gave him one of his plastic tea cups and he went to sleep. Maybe he really did want more tea!

Another cause for celebration is our new deck. Not quite finished, and there's the rendering and garden to go with it, then there's the carport floor and a new back door, but in one very wet week Dad has taken our back yard from this

to this.

Actually it's been less than a week, he started Monday, had Thursday off and Sunday will be his day of rest (and fixing the electric drill Alex broke).
We replaced the old pergola earlier this year and now the decking is almost finished. It is so nice to walk out the door onto the deck now.
I'm looking forward to being able to sit out there and edit photos on the laptop while Alex plays outside.
Here's some progress shots.
The old pergola coming down and the new one with the deck going in.
Not the best photos. Some of these were actually taken in the rain.

The old pergola was dark, green and falling down.

Tilly is an inside/outside cat now. She got to play outside each day at my parents while we were away and she didn't get lost, eaten by a dog or run over. So we have decided she can go outside here now. I'm still worried about her getting lost, eaten by a dog or run over but so far so good. She has a cat flap on the back door and goes in and out all day then at night we shut her in. Her favourite activity is doing laps right around the outside of the house, in through the front gate, straight over the neighbours fence (they are not impressed) and down the footpath to do the loop again. All at high speed and over and over. She has a bright green collar with a bell so I can hear her even from inside the house.
She likes to think she is a hunter. She certainly can look the part, she is very good at stalking and blends really well with the fence and grass but she has no hope of catching one of the native birds. They can spot her anywhere and they make such a racket rousing on her. Even without the bell I'd know where she is from the birds dobbing on her. The bell is just to make sure she really can't get close to any birds.
Here's the outside version of Tilly before we got her collar. We had to buy the smallest we could find and cut half of it off and make new holes just to get a collar to fit her skinny neck.

Here's what she wants to catch.

Tomorrow we are photographing 'Team Eunos'. It's an early start so I have to get the camera batteries charged and the gear packed up tonight. Here's some shots from our last car shoot, last month. This one was for the UK Toyota Sera calendar.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Golden light

More photos from our holiday. I love how the golden light from the setting sun has turned some of the trees into Autumn foliage.
I have a lot of photos of the back of Alex and Graham. Every time I stopped to take a photo they kept going. There are no photos of me so no family photos from our first family holiday :(

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Photos from September

Alex and I are about to go outside and play with Tilly (the rain has stopped) so I'll upload these photos quickly before I shut down. I've got a min while Alex finds his shoes and hat.
These were taken in September at Wisteria Gardens. I took all my camera gear with high hopes for some great photos but faulty equipment got the better of me. This was the day I finally gave in and the camera (20D) went off for repair the next working day.
These were taken with the 10D because I couldn't use the 20D (still had to lug it around all day) and with the faulty lens I had no control over aperture. It wasn't just like it was a fixed aperture cause I couldn't even tell what it was set to. I was using the ISO and SS to try and control the light but still had a lot of problems with blow outs and couldn't control my DOF as I would have liked. There's a ribbon cable inside the lens that had snapped. It still focused fine but the other controls weren't working. Now I have to wait until next years Wisteria Gardens open day to get some of the shots I wanted.

This is what happens when you shoot into the sun with infrared and no effective camera controls.

and here's the broken part of the coffee machine. Had to take a photo, it was hard to believe that something could just snap like that, after just 3 years. The replacement parts are working but leak so not as good as it used to be :(

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Digital Scrapbooking Day

Happy Digital Scrapbooking Day.
Almost over here in Oz but the rest of the world is still celebrating so there's lots of freebies, competitions and sales to be found online.
I don't do a lot of scrapping but I do enjoy it as a creative outlet when I've run out of things to photograph. I like to challenge my photoshop skills :)
So I couldn't let today go by without creating a page. Here's one I did this afternoon while Alex slept, Graham worked and Tilly explored the garden.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Down on the farm

'bout time I blogged again (as Jim has reminded me).
Just had a few days break on the farm at Narrawilly so feeling refreshed and freshly inspired.
I fell behind with blogging when my camera broke (and my coffee machine and my tooth). I still had the old 10D backup and still took photos but the 'magic' was missing.
It didn't take long to get the camera serviced (and coffee machine parts) but I only got my main lens back yesterday. That's over a month for the lens repair (dentist is worse, thats in 3 weeks).
It's been hard shooting without my main lens, the Sigma 18-125mm. I have plenty of other lenses to play with but that's the most useful everyday range and it's a good sharp lens.
It's going to take me while to get things up to date here. Even lens handicapped I have a lot of photos to share :)

Let's start with this week.
We had been wanting to go away for our wedding anniversary in September but it just didn't happen. We looked at going to VIC for a few days but things were too expensive, we didn't know what to do with Alex and Graham didn't have time off. It looked like we weren't going to get the
break we craved. Finally Graham surprised me with a couple of nights at Narrawilly. It's a farm with a couple of mudbrick cottages, lots of kid friendly space and not too far away. We went there 5 years ago, a sort of honeymoon after we got married, our bestman gave us 2 nights there as a gift. We loved it so much we've been wanting to go back ever since. It's just so relaxing, no internet, no TV, no work etc.
This time we had Alex with us so not quite as relaxing but it was worth it because he had so much fun. He could get up in the morning and go straight outside and see the horses, chickens and sheep and we didn't have to worry about anything except the electric fences :)
Alex slept and ate well while away and we relaxed and ate well and I am once again the trivial pursuit champion!
I took photos of course, over 600. I think most of our luggage was camera gear. It's a good thing I took the notebook too because I kept filling my memory cards and needed to offload the photos. Still have to go through most of them but here's a few I've prepared for web.
On our second afternoon there we went on one of the walks around the farm. A nice easy walk with lots of flies, bulls and electric fences :) It took 2.5 hours at toddler pace.
My intention was to photograph the sunset from the lookout at the top. Only problem is that would have meant walking back in the dark. So we did the loop, took some photos as the sun bathed everything in golden light and long shadows, and ended up back at the start in time
for me to still go get some sunset shots nearby.

These were taken with the Canon 40D and mostly the Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS (my anniversary present).

That's our cottage down there in amongst the trees.

The second night there Alex woke up crying after just a few hours and wanted his shorts. So we put his shorts on over his PJ's and put him back to bed and he slept until about 8:30am. Here he is when he got up in the morning.

This is the back of the cottage, the TV aerial is a new addition and the honeysuckle and plumbago has grown a lot since our first visit.

part of the view from the backyard

and the horses out the back. It was pretty much dark when I took these, the sun was down and I used ISO 1600 and 800. It was still really hot!

There were heaps of flies and bees. Indoors and out.

Alex loved going in and out all the french doors. Hence the flies indoors.

We tried to take him to the beach, he wasn't very impressed,

but he thought the lighthouse was cool.