Sunday, 24 February 2013


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

Mahlia: I put too many bubbles in the bath... well maybe you can't have too many. She was desperately trying to see the bubbles in her hair and requested I take a photo so she could see.
Leila: Practising her swimming and sliding down the side of the bath, no matter how many times I tell her not to... she has no fear this one, you can see the defiant look in her eyes.

Joining in with the lovely Jodi over at Che and Fidel.  

Sunday, 17 February 2013


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

Mahlia: We have a small playground next to our house and the girls had a blast working off the cabin fever after the rain subsided midweek.
Leila: There are only a few weeks left of summer!!! We are trying to make the most of the last of summer with as much time spent at the beach as possible! The girls aren't complaining.

Joining in with Jodi over at Che & Fidel.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Christmas Trip Part 2

Following on from part 1, where we left-off taking-off from Dubai and we are Gatwick-bound. This was only a 7-hour flight, but it seemed to take forever. To say I couldn't wait to get there was an understatement. My gorgeous sister was waiting, and it was like a scene from a movie—Mahlia went running into her arms and we were both crying. We had finally got there. I'd been eagerly anticipating this trip back home for long time. After a short trip back to my sister's house, Leila met 2 of her cousins and Mahlia reignited her love with Tom, her 9 year-old cousin. She followed him around and absolutely doted on him.

The following day, Christmas Eve, we took the 2-hour drive to my mum and dad's cottage with my sister and her family. We arrived just as it started to get dark. Another emotional reunion, again Mahlia ran into her Granny's arms, Leila gave her Grandpa a big cuddle before getting slightly overwhelmed. Thanks to Skype, Granny and Grandpa are regulars in our house, so the girls felt at home as soon as we got there. Mum had all the lights off, bar the Christmas tree lights, and had the house bathed in candle-light—it was magical. I was so relieved to be there, and felt 'Christmassy' for the first time in many years. I always have an overwhelming sense of homesickness at Christmas normally.
We spent the evening playing with childhood toys and catching up, before setting out the carrots for the reindeer and a mince pie and a cup of milk for Santa. The girls shared a room and excitedly went to bed.

Christmas morning started early (surprise, surprise!) and the girls came into our room to open their stockings. Mahlia was so excited—she totally got the whole concept of Christmas and Santa this year. Leila wasn't too fussed with her stocking, thanks to finding my phone (which she is annoyingly addicted to) but soon got into it!

Being in England, it was still pitch black outside (there was no white Christmas unfortunately), and we went to show Granny the stockings and the girls were allowed to open one present each from under the tree.

Once we were dressed, the girls in their new dresses from Santa, and after breakfast we opened our gifts to each other before the rest of the family arrived. Mahlia was wearing some of Granny's clip-on earrings—she loved them!

My sister and her family arrived not too long after, followed by my brother and his family. It was really special having everyone together again. After more presents and a scrummy Christmas lunch, some of us headed out for a walk to work off some of the food. Twister was played—hilarious, and very sore after.

So that was Christmas 2012—spent with my wonderful family who we miss so much.

Part 3 of the trip to follow (goodness knows how many parts there will be—we took thousands of photos... bored yet?!).

Sunday, 10 February 2013


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

Mahlia: My beautiful butterfly... after a trip to the hardware store with daddy.
Leila: Poor little Leila was suffering from a fever yesterday. This was earlier in the week, lying on the floor with daddy reading books.

We now have a grassed back yard! The girls are itching to get out there and run under the sprinkler and can't quite understand why they have to wait a few weeks. Photos coming soon!

Joining in with Jodi over at Che and Fidel.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Current heart-melting moments

  • She takes herself outside to sit at the table, or to her bedroom, to read some books, all by herself.
  • Her blasé attitude towards potty training... when she's nude she trots off to the potty, does her business, flashes a coy smile and gets back on with whatever she was doing prior, regardless of the fuss we make.
  • She still asks to go back on the aeroplane to Ganny and Bampa's house, every day.
  • She reads books to her baby (doll), talking, pointing and laughing with it.
  • She has her noo-noo (comfort teddy) touching her face when she goes to sleep.
  • She will hide her face and peek out and say 'I see you'.
  • She can't say her 't's or 'c's yet—'I'm coming' = 'I'm bumming'; 'Mummy, come' = 'Mummy, bum'; 'Look at my tummy' = 'Look at my bummy'

  • This week, at Montessori, she patiently sat with her friend while he showed her how to do an activity that she already knew how to do. When the teacher asked her why, she simply said 'he wanted to teach me'.
  • When she laughs really hard, she gets the hiccups.
  • She gets an 'itchy' tongue when she eats something spicy.
  • She mothers her little sister and has done from the moment Leila was born.
  • She still can't quite get her tongue around the word 'animal'... to Mahlia it is aminals.
  • Bedtime chats about her favourite parts of that day.
I love those girls x

Monday, 4 February 2013

Christmas Trip Part 1

Well, it is now February and I am now getting round to writing about our Christmas. I promised a post about our trip here—we did obviously survive the jet lag and it took a good week to start to feel 'normal' again. Leila is still waking slightly earlier than before we left, but she is sleeping through the night, so I can't complain.

So, all my family are still in England (I moved to Australia in 2001). We hadn't been back since 2009 when Mahlia was just 8 months old. My dad, brother, niece and nephews had never met Leila (we last had a family get-together in 2010, where we all met in Thailand and Leila was a mere tiny bump!). So we booked our flights back for Christmas 2012. Flying long-haul with young kids will be another post!

We stopped in Dubai for 3 nights on the way over to avoid suffering jet lag over the festive period. The girls loved the hotel and the pool, and if they had it their way, they would have just stayed there rather than see the sights. But, we had other plans and dragged them out.
We stayed at The Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa, located in the older part of Dubai - thoroughly recommend it! The view above is of the Dubai Museum from our window.

We flew in at the ungodly hour of 5.30 am, and after a swim and a nap we headed out. First stop was the Dubai Mall—one of the largest shopping malls in the world. We visited the aquarium inside the mall, which the girls were amazed by.

We then watched the Dubai Fountains at the base of the Burj Khalifa—the tallest building in the world. The fountains are timed to music with light effects—it was pretty spectacular. Mahlia had fallen into a deeeeeep sleep by now and it took a loooong time to wake her... she was quite grumpy for the rest of the evening! Leila, on the other hand, was as happy as happy could be!

And then we made our way to the top of the Burj Khalifa, which was a waste of money in my opinion. It would probably have been better in the day time, but for the amount of time you have to queue to get up there and then back down, I definitely wouldn't do it again. Exhaustion had really caught up with Mahlia by this point and she was feeling unwell, so we managed to skip the queue on the way down (we escaped and hour wait!!). See the grumpy face below. Leila also flaked at this point.

And that was only day 1!! After a good nights sleep, we headed to the Atlantis Palm, located on the man-made Palm Islands. Mahlia's and hubby's Christmas prezzie was a dolphin encounter. Mahlia was initially very reluctant to go in, but after some coaxing/pressure she relented and enjoyed it! Leila and I watched from the beach (she was very good not running into the water).

Entry to the water park, Aquaventure, which is part of The Atlantis Palm, was included—Leila absolutely loved the slides and kids areas. Mahlia didn't. It is an awesome water park, and I don't even like water slides! Hubby took Leila down the rapids, Mahlia screamed down the rapids. Didn't get many photos here, as the camera was in a locker most of the day for obvious reasons, but I did get a photo of hubby in front of the ridiculously tall (27.5 m), long (61 m) water slide that he conquered—it goes through a shark-filled lagoon! Not a chance in hell you'd get me on that! I was not ready to take a photo of him on the slide... below is all I got as evidence that he did do it! (Wedgie?!)

Day 3 was a little less energetic—we went on a private abra (a traditional wooden boat) along the creek, and then across the creek to the gold and spice souks. Just near our hotel were the textile souks—beautiful fabrics and souvenirs... haggle, haggle, haggle!

We flew out on day 4 to Gatwick. I've just realised that we took no photos at airports or on the planes—yes, it was that constant with the girls the WHOLE time on the plane, that we didn't get a single photo. I really loved Dubai. It's easy to get around, and relatively cheap to get around as well, especially the metro. There's plenty to do for kids, and we'll definitely stop there again when the girls are older.

Part 2 here!

Sunday, 3 February 2013


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

Mahlia: Exploring the back yard which is slowly transforming into a lovely play area, but is currently a mud pit.
Leila: Watching the ants marching one by one.

Joining in with the lovely Jodi at Che and Fidel.