Weekend Adventuring – You Yangs

Last Saturday, instead of staying home and doing laundry and cleaning and cooking and the things that we should do, we headed out to the You Yangs to enjoy some quiet time in the sunshine and trees.


Note: This post has been sitting here for a couple of weeks due to some technical issues. I’m still not happy with the quality of the photos as they are displaying, but am posting this as I’m out of ideas on how to display the photos accurately.




SnuggleBub was pretty stoked to be out exploring!

Gorgeous views within a couple of minutes of walking

SnuggleBub wanted to use Monsieur’s pockets to store her treasures in, but got really upset when he walked away with said treasures in his pocket! She compromised and used my pockets instead.

SnuggleBub was focused on the small details of the walk.

SnuggleBub running to catch up with Monsieur and R

What do you mean, I have dirt on my face?!

The look that says, “I may be doing something of which you will not approve”

SnuggleBub loved the smell of these leaves

Everyone had to smell the leaves….

SnuggleBub was only satisfied once each of us had come to smell these leaves

Looks like there are plenty more tracks to try

The rock.

The end of our path – looking out at all the rest of the You Yangs, just waiting to be explored.

SnuggleBub was determined to lead us down the mountain bikers’ path

But she was more determined not to be left behind when we started walking down the path back to the car!

Such a perfect day for a walk

The surrounding farmland

The day drawing to a close

SnuggleBub decided it was more fun to slide than walk

Especially when she could hold on to Daddy and just slide everywhere without any risk of falling over!

Date day with Monsieur

Monsieur and I don’t get a lot of one-on-one time anymore, so every now and then we do a “Mummy and Monsieur Day”. It’s usually half a day, technically, but it is still a large swathe of time dedicated to whatever Monsieur wants to do together. As long as he feels that he has had hours of Mummy-time, then he is happy and sated.

Last year we were away for both July and September holidays, so didn’t do our date days. We had the occasional afternoon together on weekends but during term weekends fill up quickly. I have noticed that I need to ensure we get some special time together at least once a month. Usually when Monsieur had become really fragile and clingy to me, I will look back and realise that about six weeks have passed since we spent any proper one-to-one time together.

Monsieur reminded me a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to go to Arboria, an inflatable walk-through sculpture that was at Federation Square for the summer holidays. Fortunately he reminded me in its last week, so we are able to bring forward our date day and get tickets to go and see it.

It was amazing. I am so glad that he reminded me about it. He had mentioned it in December after seeing it advertised and I had completely forgotten about it.

From the Fed Square website: “ARBORIA is created by Alan Parkinson of internationally acclaimed Architects of Air (UK) and is one of a series of Luminaria, which are inflatable structures designed to generate a sense of wonder and enchantment.

It truly was a place of wonder. The light was beautiful. The shapes were soft. The soundscape was ethereal. It was a magical experience to share with Monsieur. I love that he notices these things and wants to experience them.

SnuggleBub at 19 months – Photos by Robert

We had photos taken when SnuggleBub was just over a year old, but I clearly haven’t got them up in a post yet. So instead, here are some at 19 months old!

SnuggleBub is so quick and full of adventure. She is going to be the one jumping out of planes, leaping off ledges (with bungee cord attached), riding rollercoasters and generally living life out large. And loud. And completely full of joy. So much joy. And exuberance!

I love these little photo sessions with Robert. He captures beautifully the little everyday moments that I want to remember. Putting her shoes on, snack time, our conversations, her absolute joie de vivre. I love having beautiful photos with me in them. I treasure the photos I have of myself as a child with my parents, especially the ones that show me peering over Mum’s shoulder while she sews, or sweeping up leaves with my Dad. Glimpses into what my childhood was like, filling in the gaps and the blanks in my memories. I have studio portrait photos of my mum and I, but they don’t evoke any rush of emotion when I look at them. They are just pretty. I have no real desire for studio portraits of Monsieur or SnuggleBub either. I much prefer photos that show all kinds of expressions and moments.

All photos by Robert Wagner


SnuggleBub at 10 months – new photos by Robert

At the time of taking the newborn photos of SnuggleBub, Robert mentioned that he’s always to happy to come back for little photo shoots over the course of her first year. Originally I had intended to just get the newborn photos, but this idea sat quietly in my mind. It was lovely having some beautiful photos of SnuggleBub, but even more so, it was so nice to have good photos of me with her. R does ensure that he takes my camera and gets photos of me with Monsieur and SnuggleBub, but life gets busy and months can slip away between the opportunities for this to happen. I really liked the idea of getting professional photos of myself with SnuggleBub at regular intervals over the course of her first year.

When SnuggleBub was around three months old, Robert came and photographed her and I. When she was around 6 months old, he came and photographed the whole family again. In February, when she was around 10 months old, he came and photographed her with Natasha (our wonderful nanny) and I. I love the photos so much.

A few weeks after receiving them, I was going through some recent photos that I had taken of SnuggleBub and I was even more grateful to Robert for his images. So many of my photos of her are blurred. Clearly I am doing something wrong at the moment; or maybe it’s just that low-light photography just doesn’t work with super active, fast babies!

Below are my favourites from the most recent shoot.

(All photos by Robert Wagner Photography, More of Robert’s photos can be viewed at www.robertwagnerphotography.com.au)





Tough Mudder –

One of the many comforting signs

On Saturday R took part in the Tough Mudder Melbourne event. A 20 km course with 22 obstacles to overcome, many of which require team effort and a lot of prayers of “Please don’t drop them” from the sidelines.

This ramp was high. Seriously high.

He was in a team with his brother, nephew, work colleague and a couple of his nephew’s friends. He has been training for the event all year, building up his running stamina and strength.

So shiny and clean at the start!

I hadn’t thought too much about the event until the night before, when reading through the waiver that I had to sign as a spectator. The waiver had some scary sounding clauses such as not being responsible for inadequate medical care, and a listing of some hideous-sounding injuries that could result from watching or participating. I suddenly had images of R injuring himself and being affected for the rest of his life. Let’s face it, we’re not getting any younger and at the moment life is so hectic with two Littles that we don’t ever spend the time on self-care, recovery or rehabilitation that we should. I was very relieved to see two ambulances on site when we arrived.


I was also a bit nervous as to how I would go, walking around the course with Monsieur and SnuggleBub in tow.

Loving the day out!

There were warnings on the website that the terrain would not be pram-friendly but you can never tell if they mean that it will be too rough and difficult even for an all-terrain pram, or if they just mean flimsy, designed-just-for-foothpaths prams. I can carry SnuggleBub in my carrier, however when I have to carry everything else as well, I have a limit of 1.5-2 hours before my back protests too much. The team were expecting to take about 3.5 hours to complete the course.

Sneaky foot trying to get some sun

I went with the option of putting the pram in the boot, going in with just the carrier and planning to go back to get the pram should the ground be okay. And that is exactly what happened. I did miss a number of the obstacles because it was a round trip of about 45 minutes for me to leave the course, return to the car, feed SnuggleBub and get back to whichever obstacle they were up to. I was wishing that I’d just brought the pram in to start with (I hated missing some of the obstacles) but it is far more awkward to be stuck dragging a pram around in an environment where it really shouldn’t be. Fortunately Monsieur was able to stay with his Aunty and cousins while I was doing that, so he didn’t miss out on seeing too many obstacles.

Giving the pram a good test – it passed with flying colours

Some of the obstacles looked hard and some of them looked downright scary. The last two obstacles I found the hardest to watch. One was a big curved wall, similar to a skate ramp, which participants had to run up and leap to grab the hands of other participants who were at the top and get hauled up over the lip of the ramp. Sometimes these people would end up with the arms and legs being held, their heads hanging upside down and all you could think is how bad it would be if someone got dropped. No one did (that I saw), but it was heart-in-throat watching. R made two attempts and both times I was so worried that he’d seriously hurt himself when he fell back down. I breather the biggest sigh of relief when he and one other team member elected to walk around that obstacle.

The spectators did not have to cover nearly the amount of ground that the participants did

One thing I really like about Tough Mudder is that the emphasis is on supporting each other and helping each other through the obstacles. If you don’t want to do a particular obstacle, there are walk-by paths provided and if you need to walk some of the course, that’s fine too. R did note that there is definitely less enthusiasm from people to help guys like him and his brother who are tall and very solid whereas smaller people who were clearly lightweight generally had no trouble at all getting the help they needed. This is where it was great that R and his brother were doing it together as they are similar builds and both are strong enough to not be too worried about whether they would hurt themselves trying to help each other up.

Nearly half way there

See below for more photos!


The final obstacle was Electroshock Therapy. Basically they had to run through an area with live wires hanging down, trying to avoid getting zapped or tripping over hay bales. I have no photos but I did take the following video. R got zapped in the head and said that he couldn’t remember ending up on the ground. This obstacle is just for first-timers. Once you’ve done a Tough Mudder, you can do the alternative obstacle at the end. I am very glad that I’ll never have to watch that again. Oh yes…again. R has signed up to do it again next year!











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