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Glimpses of Home Life

These days sure look different since bringing our new baby boy Alby home.

It’s a beautiful blur of fleeting moments for the four of us. Edie has fallen in love with her little brother, as have we, and watching her get to know him is so very beautiful.

I thought I would share with you some glimpses into what our home life looks like these days.

Above left: The exterior of our 1968 midcentury home we are renovating. The garden has really taken off lately with all the rain / Above right: From sunrise the kitchen is a hive of activity for Timothy O and I.

Our mornings usually kick off around 4.30am / 5am in the wintery darkness of our mainland house which we are renovating. The sun rises up through the gum trees and while breakfast is being made the golden light pours in through the kitchen windows.

Above left: I love this time of morning when the sunlight pours in from the east, making everything warm and golden / Above right: A bunch of orchids I received in hospital from my parents after Alby’s birth, which I now keep in the kitchen.

Music is always on from the moment we wake. With these homebound days in mind I made a new playlist filled with songs that feel sentimental right now and makes for a beautiful soundtrack to our morning routine. It’s a routine filled with the simple things – making breakfast, playing with Edie, bathing Alby and doing laundry.

It can get crazy, loud and messy, and there are sometimes tantrums and tears. Life feels very raw, but it’s all so amazing I wouldn’t change it for anything.

These days won’t last forever.

Above left: Tim and I in the kitchen catching up on how each baby slept through the night  / Above right: This is our current kitchen, it’s little, but offers us everything we need right now.

Tim makes breakfast for Edie while I’m usually feeding Alby. At the moment Edie is eating these spinach pancakes for breakfast each morning, They are effortless and so yummy that we all end up eating them.

Above left: I sometimes look at Edie in the highchair and can’t believe we have reached this age already / Above right: Tim making the green pancakes. A great way to sneak healthy greens into your diet.

For the pancakes just add a banana, a cup of rolled oats, two eggs and a handful of spinach into the blender, wazz it all up and then dot the frypan with the mixture.

Super easy and quick! My pancakes always go cold, as anything warm is impossible these days, but I think they are even better cold and eaten on the go. You can splash them with maple syrup, raspberries and dollops of yoghurt.


Above left: Recipe card for the Green Pancakes we make Edie / Above right: She also loves to get into my leather handbag and rattle around in there.

Edie loves getting into everything, especially my leather handbag. Digging around for things to play with. She is obsessed with my keyring of keys, as I’m sure every baby out there is. It’s all about the keys and then convincing her to give them back, which is a delicate manoeuvre to avoid tears.

She is also at that age where she wants to touch everything in reaching distance, especially the coffee table pieces. My favourite trick for sticking items down is using Earthquake Glue. I’ve linked it here for you.

Above left: The four of us in the living room at home, with my favourite print ‘Seaweed Pearls’ in the extra large size from my print shop hanging on the wall behind us, with paint swatches helping us to find the right colour. / Above right: Staring at Alby while he sleeps is my favourite past time right now.

Alby Douglas is 5 weeks old, making him a winter baby. We named him after the 1970’s adventurer Alby Mangels and his middle name is after my father.

Each day he is getting bigger and slowly waking up to the world as babies do, making these squishy days at home so special together. I love wrapping him up in a blanket and just staring at him.

Above left: Photographing Edie in the living room. / Above right: Edie playing with her little woven pram.

After breakfast we play. I love to photograph these everyday moments. Just watching Edie lost within the joys of play and discovery. She is loving piling all her ‘friends’ – aka her toys, into her pram and taking them for a spin around the living room.

Above: Mucking around on the sofa and photographing Edie, with her favourite toy Duck-Duck.

For me motherhood feels like equal parts of your heart exploding with such beautiful heartwarming moments as you watch your babies grow, mixed with a shadow of mourning, knowing that with each stage of development you are saying goodbye to earlier moments. It often feels heartbreaking.

With this in mind I try to photograph our home life as much as I can. I haven’t had a chance to do anything with the photographs I take, though just knowing I’m documenting and recording these days is reassuring.

Above left: Edie is obsessed with washing her hands, I think she must enjoy the sensation of the water / Above right: She loves getting her own crackers out of the glass canister too.

Between Alby and Edie it feels as though my hands are always busy, either holding a baby, cleaning up after a baby, feeding a baby or moving furniture around to renovate.

Going from one baby to two is a big shift. Everyone tells you this, but it’s not until you’re in the thick of it that you fully grasp it.

Above left: In the entrance an extra large framed photographic print of ‘Weekend’ hangs / Above right: A small photographic print of ‘Rhythm’ adds dimension to a little work in progress nook area.

In the entrance I made sure to hang this extra large photographic piece which reminds me of our island home. The strong lighting treatment hitting the coastal pandanus also reminds me of botanical photographs from the 1930s and 1940s, with a small print called ‘Rhythm’ nearby.

With life being so hectic with a million things on my mind I keep a pile of market baskets by the door, as I find I’m always forgetting them by the time I get to the shops. This way they don’t get missed as I dash out the door.

I use them for everything – handy for laundry, toys and even as a nappy bag. They are also great at disguising household recycling.

Above left: The travertine crazy pave in the living room / Above right: A pile of materials piled up which I would usually hide under a drop cloth.

We are slowly making changes to the house while living within it. There are benefits to living within your renovation, in that usually you can shift and change certain decisions as the build progresses and evolves. Sometimes the best ideas are formed while feeling and living within the space.

There are a few downsides, one of them being the dust and mess. A couple of tips I use to overcome this is to buy an industrial vacuum from Bunnings, they are about $100 and this way you aren’t ruining your nice vacuum, as dust kills vacuums. I didn’t believe this, though 7 broken vacuums later I have finally accepted this (yes, 7).

I also like to use drop sheets to cover excess materials and ‘work in’ progress areas, so you don’t see all the mess when you aren’t chipping away at the jobs and it’s a lot less overwhelming.

Above left: Snapshots of home life in the living room / Above right: The living room with the new rosewood ceiling and the travertine crazy pave floor, with ‘Seaweed Pearls’ hanging on the wall.

While I was pregnant we made some changes to the house, including replacing the large original ceiling panels with a beautiful expansive rosewood ceiling. I love how my ‘Seaweed Pearls’ print compliments the tones of the golden timber ceiling.

Above: Playing with Edie in the living room with her woven pram.

Then just recently with the help of my Dad we started to lay the travertine crazy pave flooring in the living room.

We still have colour swatches painted and render experiments on the walls which we can’t decide upon, but overall it feels as though slowly things are starting to come together.

Above: Edie and I playing with my sheer cotton dress, as she tries to get underneath it. I remember the feeling of doing this as a child to my own mother and it means so much to see my daughter doing the same to me.

Such ordinary moments have such a big impact. Something simple like when Edie tries to get under my dress and hide in the fabric. Just makes my heart swell.

Above left: Feeding Alby in the morning light / Above right: Nice and warm, wrapped up in a swaddle.

In the mornings I like to lay Alby down in the bed with me, open the curtains and let the sunshine wash all over him. They say that sunshine helps babies sleep at night, and that’s what we want more of. Natural sleep.

Above left: Alby’s little limbs and proportions, and all the skin / Above right: Edie loves to come in and be part of the action.

I’m actually sleeping in our spare room since bringing Alby home. It’s a lovely room that I have kept minimal, and I look forward to the morning light each day. It feels really special, as though I’m cocooned away from the hustle of the home.

How it works is that I have Alby and Tim has Edie. This way I don’t wake Edie when I’m up feeding and changing Alby throughout the night.

Above left: ‘Dawn’ photographic print in my large size and framed in my signature framing style, hanging above the bed / Above right: Everyone loves to visit me in the bed come the morning, and I love it!

The only thing I did when I moved into the spare room was hang this large photographic print of ‘Dawn’. I love this ocean piece and the mood it sets.

I think ocean prints are the best in bedrooms. When I’m doing print consultations for the print shop I always recommend the ocean for bedrooms, nature helps set such a restful mood.

Above left: Playing peek-a-boo with Edie in her room / Above right: I shot this piece especially for Edie’s room, it’s camellias in bloom and it’s called ‘Secret Garden’ in extra large.

Edie’s room connects to the spare room, so it’s easy to play with Edie with Alby nearby. I just love having this camellia print hang in there. This piece reminds me of the innocent and endless days of childhood.

Above: Playing a simple game with a glass jar, filled with water and a bunch of flowers.

I read somewhere that children like to play with everyday objects more so than toys. Everyday objects are more challenging and children don’t tire of them as easily.

Simple games with ordinary things like a glass jar filled with water and a bunch of flowers offer hours of curiosity and fun. We play this outside on the path and I encourage Edie to place each flower stem in the jar, one by one. It’s amazing watching her little mind tick over with the repetition.

Above: Fun in the backyard while hanging out the washing on the old Hills Hoist.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what life looks like at this moment. If you would like to see more here is a photo essay from our home from last year.

And, here is the link to our latest playlist, so you too can turn it up while making breakfast in the mornings.

I LOVE the first song!

Kara x


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