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35/52 – Lost

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life.

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Anakin: Helping me test some bulbs on the flash kit by running around in front of the lights. Then suddenly you stopped and there was this. You look so lost in thought, I wonder what was going through your head. I love a great smile, but a serious face can be visually so much more intriguing. 

***

I honestly thought for a couple of days that we were over the hurdle of illness. Two days later (and a gym and creche visit after) Anakin got yet another cold. His immune system is shot from the gastro that started it all and the cold/flu that followed.  As I’m writing this he’s currently strapped on my back asleep in the Tula after having to give up trying to sleep in the bed because of a stuffy nose and constant coughing. Thank goodness for a good carrier. Three minutes in it and he was out like a light. No cough, no constant struggle to breathe through a stuffed nose. It doesn’t do wonders for me and all I had planned for nap time, but this is what we do right? We sacrifice so that our children can have what they need, particularly when they’re unwell. I know my back will be sore from standing like this and I know I’m losing valuable work time, but I couldn’t care less. Sleep and love are the best medicines for illness and providing that is more important than anything.

In other news I’m printing my Masters assessment show which opens September 10th and it is such a joy to finally bring these babies to life. There is just something irreplaceable about the photograph as object, particularly when it is work that has been created during the most life changing and excellent times of pregnancy, birth and motherhood, and which stands as witness and evidence of an enormous personal achievement. I’ll share some of the work with you soon.

xx Dida

Friday Love

I love Fridays. It doesn’t really matter what kind of day you’re already having it’ll get better by the simple fact that it’s Friday.

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We’re having a pretty excellent Friday. We’ve already been to the market, done all the grocery shopping for the week, had fresh, crusty bread for breakfast and free veggie soup for lunch. (Cute kids get a lot of free perks!) The sun is out, the sky is all blue and there are promises of a warm, spring afternoon. After nap time we’re heading out and staying out until dinner time. It’s a good day. It’s a really good day. Most of all because I get to spend it with this guy and I can’t imagine better company for a sunny afternoon. Happy Friday!

 

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34/52 -The Observer

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life.

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Anakin: We went for an afternoon stroll to look at some diggers, your fire truck in hand of course, but as soon as we turned the corner there was our neighbour’s car being town after breaking down. We never made it any further. I’m not sure I get the link between boys and big machines and trucks. You were so perfectly content standing there watching it all unfold. Your face full of  serious wonder. I was just happy to watch you watching it. 

***

It seems winter isn’t finished with us yet. We were all on the mend for one day before Anakin came down with a terrible cold and a high fever again. Slowly getting back on his feet, but the past month has really given our health a beating. Even our oldest cat is sick (which is a far more expensive ordeal). But it can only get better from here, right? Spring is on the way and my head is already feeling lighter. The thought of getting into some serious wedding planning fills me with odd excitement and since getting my wedding shoes I often stop to admire them and let myself fill with joy from all the good things that are still to come. There are so many things to look forward to. This weekend has promises of warmer days and I can not wait to lick some sunshine and perhaps even skip the winter coat.

33/52 – Anakin The Builder

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life. 

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Anakin: Anakin the Builder, taking a break to help out with the shopping wearing your work helmet (bike helmet worn the wrong way around is a hard hat apparently, just like Bob has) and carrying your saw, just in case you find something that needs fixing. Whenever you go to work on something you pull the helmet down to shield your eyes and if we don’t look you sneak bites of fruit and vegetables in the trolley. 

32/52- Wishes

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life. 

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Anakin: I’m not sure we’ll ever outgrow the joy of blowing the seeds off old dandelions while making a wish. I hope we never do. You’re still too young to understand what wishes are, but I suspect you’ll discover them soon. 

***

I live for moments like these. After a rather intense period of total rejection of your pappa you finally let his hard work pay off and let him back in. Your punishment was as brutal and loud as it was honest. He had to win you back and you kept testing him. And last Saturday it was as if it had never happened. You took his hand instead of mine on the way to the playground and your face lit up with smiles and laughter as you played on the swings together. You finally trusted that his full attention was yours, that he’d keep you safe and that was all that mattered. On the way back this happened and my mummy heart skipped a beat as I hurried to capture the moment before it was gone.

The past month has really knocked us around. Even more so than the last few months did before it. We’re entering week three of being sick and it doesn’t seem to want to let go of us just yet. It’s the first time in a long time that I’m starting to feel snowed under. It’s been an intense year and I’ll admit to have days where I’m not sure exactly how to put one foot in front of the other anymore, but we do. And moments like these are the fuel that make us keep it all going. And despite it all I am still in a happier place than I have ever been. Because even big things become small when you know that at the end of each day you’re going to be surrounded by what and who you need the most. That is my shield and that is my armour to keep on fighting until we catch a break.

 

31/52- Bear

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life

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Anakin: Norwegian bear spotted roaming around the garden in suburban Melbourne wearing a jacket one size too small and pants one size too big. 

30/52 – Into the wild

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life

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Anakin: The older we both get, the more I wish we lived even closer to the bush. As much as I miss my perfect coffees and hipster lunches already  I do love where we live now. Yet I can’t seem to shake this slight urge to move even further out, get a bigger garden and be closer to the bush. Perhaps it’s all in my head, but spending time with you outdoors and seeing how much you love everything about it has certainly planted a seed that may grow in the future. 

***

It’s been a hellish week here. I am playing catch up with everything, including this, between having to lie down and rest to not get sick. Everyone has been, and still are, ill. It started with Anakin’s stomach bug which moved quickly from one to the other, to fevers, coughs, colds and mild conjunctivitis. I’m still struggling to get any food in my system and not having eaten properly for this whole week means there’s not that much of me to go around. It can’t last forever, right?

I’ll be back soon with last week’s 52!

29/52 – Sunshine and lollipops

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life. 

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Anakin: Enjoying a lollipop on the stairs. We limit sweet treats in our house, at least the kind you don’t make yourself and the kind that’s full of sugar and e-numbers. They are for special occasions and weekends, but boy, do you enjoy them when you get them!  Lollipops are a recent favourite. Water melon flavoured lollipops. Sticky goodness. 

28/52 – Sunshine after the rain

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life

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Anakin: That smile. I just can’t go past it. 

***

I had initially chosen another photo for this week, but after some deliberation and in light of the past few days, I ended up choosing this bright smile. During moments of feeling like I’m absolutely failing at motherhood it is this smile that brings me back. That little face that just beams up at me and forgives me for letting myself momentarily slip. I get that it’s not easy being little, being 2,5 years old with big emotions and not always finding ways of expressing them. I get that it’s hard to see mamma and pappa tired and stressed, and to feel that sometimes you’re just in the way or not even properly seen in the whirlwind of the day. I get it. It’s been a tough couple of weeks.

I get that we far too often use too many words, words that are too big, and that we pick the wrong battles when all we really should be doing is listening to you as you struggle to tell us that you aren’t feeling that great either, that you need some undivided attention, that your screaming and bickering is just your way of saying “I’m here too! I’m feeling this too!” And I’m sincerely sorry for those moments when it all falls to pieces. It haunts me and I struggle to remind myself that my failures are so small in the bigger picture.

This too shall pass, my love. Tomorrow is a new day. Sunshine after the rain.

I love you always. xx Mamma

27/52 – Helicopter

A portrait of my son once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life.

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Anakin: I often find you quietly pottering away in your play area. You’ll get your stepladder and pull it down the stairs and over to the small table. When I ask you what you’re doing you say “I’m riding a helicopter! Do you want to come along?”  A piece of plastic becomes your steering wheel, you find other bits and pieces and place around it, all of utmost importance for the helicopter to work of course. 

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I didn’t take many photos last week. It was just one of those weeks again. Everyone had too much to do and with the really bad weather, cabin fever. While this is by far not the best photo of the lot, it is definitely the one that describes Anakin the best these days. His imagination astounds and thrills me every day. I can not wait to hand in my Masters in a couple of weeks and finally take some time off to dedicate to him and him alone. (And cleaning this pigsty of a house that has been neglected for too long!)  While there is still much work to be done before the exhibition that follows, I know that I’ll be better able to be fully present once I hand in this brick of an exegesis. If anyone ever thought doing a postgraduate degree while caring for a kid full-time was a walk in the park they would need their head checked. Then after comes the great unknown, I suppose. The great unknown swimming in a sea of debt. One foot forward at a time, right?

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