Thursday, December 29, 2011

Aerobics anyone?

Ethan is soooooo very close to crawling, he rocks on his hands and knees, does a very good plank, spins around, moves from lying to sitting and back to lying again! While doing this he really looks like he is an aerobics instructor.... see what I mean!After all that moving around and exercise, Ethan seems pretty pleased with himself as well!
Last night Ethan managed two small crawls forward...I would say its only a few days away and Ethan will be crawling non stop! Now its really time to baby proof this house!

Guitar Hero

A couple of years ago Jason mentioned that he would like to learn the guitar... neither of us gave this statement a second thought until recently. Being a stay at home mum I have become an avid reader of junk mail and at the end of November a catalogue for a music shop arrived with a number of specials on guitars... and then and there Jason's Christmas present was decided!

Jason was VERY curious as to what was contained in the rather large box! Especially since I did tell him that it wasn't for his car or computer. He tried shaking it, lifting it up and down, everything. I was very careful to tape all the seams very thoroughly so that he wouldn't be able to sneak a look through into the box either!

But, after a tough day here in Perth we both caved in and opened our main presents to each other a couple of days early!

Ethan was very helpful with the unwrapping... Ethan has a great fondness for paper, I thought I caught all of it before he swallowed, but there was evidence the next day that proved otherwise... if you know what I mean.Once the wrapping paper was off, it was pretty obvious what the present was... I tried to trick Jason by saying that the box was just a random box I picked up from the shops! It worked for about a second! Here is Jason's guitar, pretty isn't it!
I thought that given Jason was getting a guitar, it was a good idea to get Ethan his own guitar as well. That way we might keep little fingers from wanting what Daddy has!Here's Jason trying out his new toy!
And Ethan doing the same!
The boys guitars in the new stand!
Jason and Ethan just jammin' together!
So since Christmas, Jason has learned 6 chords and it is sounding really good! Jason often practices in the morning after we have eaten breakfast while Ethan is still finishing his breakfast.

Watch this space for some video as Jason improves!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Food... by Ethan Papps

I love food! I love experimenting with new tastes and textures...

I squish fruit between my fingers, and I suck the juice,
I scoop up yoghurt in my hands and drip it into my mouth,
I grab soaked weetbix and feed it to myself,
I chew on red capsicum and cucumber sticks (much to Daddy's disgust),
and I pretty much eat whatever my mummy and daddy eat

I love food in all shapes and sizes, fruit, veggies- you give it to me, and I'll try it!

I love all vegetables,
I actually think my Daddy is a little sad that I choose vegetables over meat!
My favourite vegetable is corn on the cob, I can eat it for hours!
I also like potato and sweet potato wedges, as well as roast pumpkin and carrot.
It's also fun to chase the peas around my high chair tray!
I love bread - fresh and toasted.
My favourite toppings are cottage cheese, avocado and marmite.
Did someone say cheese?
Fruit and cheese sticks are a great afternoon snack!
Although my mummy should learn that I don't really like my fruit too cold!
Some fruit (like mango) is pretty slippery and it can go flying everywhere,
when all I really want is for it to be in my mouth.
My mummy worked out that if she leaves the skin on mango, I can get all the nice fruity bits off while leaving the skin.
How clever am I??
Recently my mummy worked out that I LOVE cottage cheese.
I love it plain, or mixed with tuna.
I can dip vegetables or fruit in cottage cheese, or eat it on its own!
The other day I had mince, cottage cheese and rice mixed together, that was fun!
I liked rubbing that mix in my hair and all over my face as well!

As you can see I really like food and experimenting with new things!
I think that I am trying pasta for the first time tonight! I sure hope that I can pick it up ok!

Christmas baking!

Wow, as we head out of the Christmas season and towards 2012 I am in serious need of a detox! After going 9 months with very little sweet food/sugar (I lost my sweet tooth while pregnant), and then working hard to lose the baby weight, I had been eating minimal sugar for a while. So right now I think my body is in a bit of a sugar shock!

We started with the pre-Christmas Christmas dinner for the Papps'. We had Pavlova and a fair bit of chocolate (cadbury favourites and truffles).

Next up was morning tea with an IMO work colleague (and fellow kiwi) Fiona. I made a lemon delicious slice (pictured below using one of my new cake stencils) and Fiona bought along some Jam tarts as well.A couple of days later I had a Christmas morning tea at the IMO with my team. My contribution was a hazelnut and orange shortbread filled with a brandy butter cream (I forgot to get a picture of this!). Unfortunately I taste tested far too much of this mix while making it as well as the finished product. At the morning tea there was a huge selection of treats, but I stuck to just one chocolate chip cookie! Seeing as how I had nearly already eaten Ethan's body weight in shortbread haha.

That very same day we had a pre Christmas dinner with our good friends Sandy and Nathan, I had promised Sandy a "healthy" dinner. We did have a healthy dinner... but then for dessert I made a white chocolate mud cake with a white chocolate truffle icing (which tasted like the filling of the while choc lindt balls). We served this with double cream, vanilla bean ice cream and raspberries! It was a pretty awesome cake and one that I will make again (for special occasions).
So... then it was onto the Christmas day baking (while snacking on leftover mud cake... hmmm where had my willpower gone!). We were heading out to a friend from mother's group for Christmas lunch and I had offered to take dessert. First up I made my never fail chocolate, cheesecake and raspberry brownie (times two as there were 25 people to feed for dessert) and following this was the trusty pavlova, only this time it didn't work! Arghhhhhhhh. So at 8.30pm on Christmas Eve I went in search of more caster sugar... only to realise an hour later I was also short 2 eggs. Jason very kindly went on an egg rescue mission for me! I whipped up another pav on Christmas morning! No pictures of these desserts though as Christmas day ended up being too busy, but they were a hit at lunch and we were lucky enough top be able to leave the leftovers at Chelsea's house!

So after a fortnight of decadence its back into a little hard work and healthy eating to get back on track. Although I lost weight over the last few months I have a couple more kgs I would like to lose to be totally back into my pre-baby clothes. So no more desserts at Eldorado st for a wee while!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa Photo 2011

I think the picture says it all!P.s. A hard copy of this photo is winging its way to all the Grand, and Great Grand Parents. It should arrive soon xxx

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Secret Santa

While I was pregnant I joined a forum site and a "due in May 2011" group. It was fantastic as we were all going through the same things at the same time and we could help each other out and support each other through the ups and downs of pregnancy. The babies started being born in March (one very prem girl) and were all born by 8 June. So we went from being the due in May 2011 group to the born in March - June 2011 group!!

Once all the babies were born we migrated the group from the forum site to a private group on facebook. We now chat daily, share our trials and tribulations and try to meet one another (you may recall I met Trish and her lovely girl Isla at Melbourne airport a few weeks back).

It is a lovely supportive group and is made up of girls from all over Australia and New Zealand. This year we all decided to do a secret Santa for the babies.

Ethan was Jamie's (from Invercargill, NZ) Secret Santa. Here is Jamie opening his present from Ethan...Ethan's secret Santa was Liam from Kununarra, WA. Here is Ethan opening his pressie (check out Ethan's meer cat impersonation in the top right photo).
Ethan was very lucky to get a new t-shirt and an amazing gyro spinning bowl, that apparently never drops food on the floor! We'll put it to the test over the coming weeks!

The festive season has begun!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A visit to AQWA!

Yesterday we visited the Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA)... AQWA is an underwater journey along the 12,000km of the Western Australian coastline - from the icy waters of the southern ocean, to the tropical wonderland of the coral reefs in the far north.

We decided that Ethan would be able to appreciate the sights more from the backpack rather than the stroller, plus I figured it would be easier to navigate through crowds of people. Check out the two cool dudes!
In previous blogs I have mentioned that Ethan is a really tactile person, he loves touching, stoking, scratching and feeling different things and textures. As well as this Ethan is also a really visual person, he just looks and looks at things, taking in the world and all its wonders.

Our choice of activity was a visual feast for Ethan! He just stared open mouthed at all the fish, coral and lights on display!
Part of the aquarium was a moving walkway through a tunnel with lots of fish (including sharks , massive turtles and stingrays) swimming around us. I wouldn't like this to be swimming towards me in the open water!!
I have come across a number of jelly fish while swimming in Wellington Harbour, at the beach in Perth and in the Swan River. However, they never seem as beautiful when swimming in them as they look here!
The coral and fish continued to enthrall all of us: Gran, Grandad, Jason, Ethan and I.
There were spotty fish and stripey fish!
And amazing living coral to marvel at.
More coral...
An amazing palette of colours!
There were ugly fish...
And pretty fish!
There was a touch pool, unfortunately Ethan is a little young to touch the fish this trip, but he sure was still interested in what was in it!
After a visit to the gift shop (and a number of tempting items on display) we decided to head to Hillarys Boat Harbour for a quick dip in the water.

Being a mum involves remembering lots of things and I am yet to have the perfect trip! This time I remembered spare clothes, nappies, wipes, a wet flannel, food (a big variety- fruit, cheese a sandwich and a rusk), water, the back pack, and the stroller.... but I forgot the sunscreen and a hat! Given it was 30 degrees and clear skies I needed to at least get a hast for Ethan. Here he is in his new cammo hat! Grandad definitely approved!
We took Ethan down to dip his feet in the water and before we knew it he was in the water in all his clothes!
So the visit to AQWA and the Boat harbour was a hit... and a lovely day was had by all!

Christmas 2011 - Part 1

We have been lucky to have Gran and Grandad Papps staying with us for a couple of weeks so Jason, Ethan and I cooked up a surprise Christmas dinner to celebrate Ethan's first Christmas...

We had a 3 hour window to prepare and cook a Christmas dinner while Gran and Grandad were at IKEA. On the menu was:
  • Peach Bellinis (I think this is my new favourite drink),
  • Ciabatta;
  • Whiskey, orange marmalade and mustard glazed ham;
  • Baby potatoes;
  • Steamed greens (brocollini, sugar snap peas, beans, asparagus and peas) served with a redcurrant glaze and toasted almonds;
  • Honey glazed baby carrots;
  • A beetroot, orange, goats cheese and rocket salad (with a dash of balsamic glaze);
  • Pavlova served with copious amounts of whipped cream and fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries); and
  • White and dark chocolate rocky road (with marshmallows, cranberries, macadamias, pistachios and coconut).
We kept to our red and silver theme! Jason keeping Ethan entertained while blowing up 25 balloons!Ethan (Santa's little helper) met his Gran and Grandad at the door with his present to them!
Who could resist this little fella!How cool is our tree looking at the moment... however these won't be opened until Christmas Day!All in all a great start to Ethan's first Christmas.

This year we will be in Perth for Christmas Day. Jason, Ethan and I are heading to a friend's house (from my mother's group) for lunch with her family. I am providing dessert, at this stage it will be another pavlova and most likely a cheesecake... but maybe a chocolate and berry tart...

Seasons Greetings to you all!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Alicia's wedding

The weekend after returning from New Zealand we went to the wedding of one of Jason's workmates. It started with the ceremony at Cottesloe Civic gardens at 10.30 am. What a beautiful venue!!! It was a lovely day, around 27 degrees, sunny with clear blue skies. The bride and groom thoughtfully provided us with cute parasols to keep the sun off us! A lovely thought!

For the ceremony Jason, Ethan and I went all in black, red and white!
We were asked by one of Jason's workmates if we planned the colour coordination?!? Hmmmm "ummm yip" was the answer!During the ceremony Ethan and I enjoyed the lovely manicured lawns! Much nicer than our lawn at home! Ethan is such a tactile person, he just couldn't stop touching the grass, he loves all different textures and it keeps him entertained for hours!Ethan stole the show in his little outfit, the photographers LOVED him! Who can blame them!
The lovely bride and her groom!
After the ceremony we had a long break until the reception (6.30pm). So we went home and got back into our normal routine for the day.

We all wore a second outfit to the reception (as did most of the guests)!

The reception was at Acqua Viva on the Swan River. When I say on the Swan River, I mean it. The building is out on the river, accessible via a jetty. It's a lovely venue, with the water gently lapping at the side of the building and the million dollar boats berthed outside.

Alicia had done some amazing work with her table decorations, I LOVED the place names!
So much so that I made them into a wall hanging once I got home!Given Ethan is usually in bed around 6.30pm I wasn't sure how the reception would go. I need not have worried, as he enjoyed every minute of it. Many of the guests remarked how good he was! So proud of our little boy.

We did leave before dessert though as Mummy was getting tired! Given the day's outings I was uncertain how many wake-ups Ethan would have over night! I think we had just the one. So all in all it was a lovely wedding and all three of us had a great time!

Guy Fawkes on Mayling

While we were in New Zealand Jason, Ethan and I got to watch the Wellington Guy Fawkes fireworks on the harbour on Jason's parent's boat Mayling. It was a great way to get as close to the action as you can and a spectacular Wellington evening.

Here we are leaving Evans Bay Marina with all the family.
As the sun went down we got some lovely lighting for photos!After a great dinner down below deck we were treated to a special sunset.
I was worried how Ethan would react to the fireworks as the "boom" sound is amplified on the water, we had some ear muffs for him, but as it happened he didn't need them at all... once again, our little boy proves that he is wide open to experiencing new things!

Wellington put on a great show for us all!
All in all a fantastic way to spend an evening! Family fun, good food, a couple of drinks (diet coke for some hehe), a calm evening on Wellington harbour, a beautiful sunset all finished off with a massive fireworks show! A night to remember!