Saturday, September 29, 2012

So what's beyond the gate at #58??!?

So a few weeks ago (probably months ago with the way time flies) I read a post on a friends blog (Meghan from MnMs blog) where she took her readers for a 'walk' through her neighborhood. Meghan's post got me thinking about telling you all about what's beyond the gate at #58 Green st!
Across the road from our place is Ethan's daycare - St Peter and Emmaus Early Learning  and Development Centre. Each day we get to just walk across the road for daycare drop offs and pick ups. I can't tell you how much this helps with our day. Not having to bundle a tired toddler into a car at the end of the day is such a blessing. We are home in just 30 seconds (or longer if there are birds for Ethan to spot).
Around 800m from our place is Dog Swamp shopping centre (yes there is a suburb in perth called dog swamp :-) here we have coles, woolies, bakers delight, a chemist, a bottle shop, a book shop, florist and more.
Across the road from Dog Swamp is our very own strip of takeaway stores. You can pretty much get anything you want here!
In the other direct (and just 500m away) we also have "The Mezz" (no photos sorry). At the Mezz is another woolies (how spoilt are we with a choice of three major supermarkets 500 - 800m away), and even more takeaways including the Tamarind, which cooks the best ever Massaman Curry! The Mezz opens out onto the Mt Hawthorn strip. Mt Hawthorn has an eclectic selection of eateries, coffee shops, boutique clothing shops and a dodgy pub! So we really are lucky to pretty much have all this on our doorstep.

Another thing that Perth does really well is parks and playgrounds. We have 6 playgrounds within walking distance of our house and another 6-7 more within 5 min drive from our place. Each is slightly different.

This LOVELY park is just round the corner, and it even has numerous lemon trees that the public can pick the fruit from!
Just round the corner (in the opposite direction) is this lovely park (it has good shade so it will be good in summer). Ethan LOVES the spiral slide here!
Just 2 km from our house is beautiful Lake Monger (with a view of the city skyline). Here we have a 3.5km flat running track (around the lake), 3 separate playgrounds, lots of ducks and swans for Ethan to spot and LOTS of open grassy space to run around in and use up some energy.
Just 500m away from Lake Monger is lake Herdsman, which has a 7km running track around it! 3 more parks, even more ducks and swans and its a great place for us to take our family bike rides together!

There is a lot more to show you, but these are a few of the places in our local neighborhood!  So when I talk about them in future blogs you will have a picture in your head!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spring has sprung!

Ohhh how I love spring in Perth. 

The days are not yet too hot, but the nights are still cool enough for a duvet. 
We can eat outdoors in the balmy evenings and our washing is dry within 45 minutes of hanging it on the line!
We can wear bare feet at the beach without burning our soles!
But most days we don't need anymore than a singlet and shorts.
We have the odd rainy day to keep our grass green.
And there are blossoms and wildflowers everywhere!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lets go riding!

A couple of months ago Ethan decided that prams were for crawlers and once he started walking, he wanted to walk EVERYWHERE! I lost count of the countless loops of the house that I did with him. There were times that we could only keep Ethan in the pram for around 10 - 15 minutes at a time until he was ready to walk again!

Now that Ethan has been walking for a few months he is way more content to actually sit back in the pram. As soon as I realised this I started thinking about other modes of transport!

Its no secret that I love to ride bikes, and I think deep down Jason does as well! Although he is still probably scarred from some of the 4 - 5 hour hills rides I made him do while he was training for his one (and probably only) half ironman!

Given all of this, coupled with Ethan's general love of the outdoors, we thought that it would be a good idea to get a bike seat for Ethan to go on one of our bikes. This is where we hit the first issue.... one bike is an aerodynamic triathlon bike, and the other is a custom built titanium frame road bike. The bike shop soon let us know that neither of these bikes were suitable for a bike seat. So we bought Jason and cheap bike and Ethan the best quality and safest seat and helmet we could find!

At first Ethan was a little uncertain about it all, but he soon (within about 5 minutes) became very fond of the new mode of transport! Last week he even bought his helmet to me "asking" to go for a ride!

Here are the boys with their new toys!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Look - Its a kookaburra!

Ethan loves birds, he could watch them for hours and hours!

So when we were up at my mum and dad's place on the Sunshine Coast Ethan was in his element. Ethan did his Happy Feet dance once he realised there was a kookaburra on the deck railing just a feet feet from us!
 Usually Ethan has to be satisfied with watching the birds in the trees and flying above him. But this friendly chap stayed on the deck railing for at least 5 minutes!
It was almost close enough for Ethan to touch!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Noosa revisited - 8 years on!

The day after my cousins wedding Jason and I decided it was time to head up to Noosa, seeing as it was almost 8 years to the day since we were married there. So we timed our drive from the Gold Coast to coincide with Ethan's daytime sleep and off we went!

It was a nice easy drive, although Ethan didn't sleep the whole way and got ants in his pants for the last 25 - 30 minutes of the drive! But when we got there it was worth it! It was a lovely day in Noosa and despite it being a whole lot busier than we remembered it was a nice day trip!

We started with a little play for Ethan in the park! He needed to release some pent up energy!

Then it was time for lunch! We did try to get a table at the restaurant that we had our wedding reception at, but the lunchtime crowd meant there was no spare tables. Luckily enough restaurants and cafes are a dime a dozen in Noosa, so it wasn't long until we found somewhere nice to eat!

We then had a nice play on the beach and true to form Ethan decided to go swimming! His fear of the beach seems to be well and truly over!

Although this wasn't planned the photo below reminded me of a couple of our wedding shots from 8 years ago (I only noticed the similarities once we were home in Perth and I was reviewing our holiday photos)! If I had of thought of it at the time, I would have tried to get someone to take a photo of the three of us walking along the beach! It would have been a nice keepsake!
It was lovely visiting Noosa again and remembering our special day 8 years ago!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lee's wedding

While we were over East we got to celebrate my cousin Lee's wedding to Pat. The ceremony and reception were on the Gold Coast and we were treated to a wonderful day weather wise. My Aunty Raewyn had arranged the babysitter for us and it was all planned out so that the sitter arrived in time for us to get comfortable with her and then get to the ceremony on time.

Unfortunately there are two Crown Tower resorts on the Gold Coast and the sitter went to the wrong one! So we were waiting, waiting, waiting for her to arrive. Luckily the Bride was delayed a little... in the end the Bridal cars pulled over for 10 minutes and waited until the sitter arrived and we made our way to the ceremony site!

Here is the lovely Bride arriving in Uncle Fred's girlfriend (I kid you not - the monaro is Uncle Fred's pride and joy and is affectionately known as the girlfriend. My cousin Ryan was driving the monaro and I have heard rumours that Uncle Fred wanted to take Ryan for some driving lessons first - even though Ryan has been driving nearly 20 years!).
Lee (the bride) looked amazing, as did her twin sister Cara and older sister Danah. Uncle Fred also scrubbed up well!
Uncle Fred and Lee looked wonderful walking down the aisle!

The bride and groom during their vows! We had such a stunning late afternoon! It was amazing!

The reception was held in an eclectic, quirky little cafe, perfect for a cocktail wedding!
I (and all of my family) thought the lolly bar was a great touch!
The bridal bouquets were just lovely! Very feminine and pretty!
Here is the happy couple cutting the cake (yummy red velvet cake made by Danah!).
As I mentioned above, the reception was a cocktail party and it was just lovely! The finger food was really tasty (more so for me than Jason as he is not a fan of seafood etc). I also thought it was a lovely touch to have small plates of potato mash and beef bourguignon passed around at 9 ish. So it meant that we didn't just have nibbles!

It was a lovely night and to top it all off we had a sleeping baby when we got back to our hotel room! The sitter had done a wonderful job (with the help of cousins Harry and Hudson) to get the babies to sleep! Ethan ended up sleeping through as well, which was lovely!

The night was not without drama though, once we got back to the hotel, Jason was a bit hungry so he tried to cook some garlic bread. I say tried because he turned the oven on, popped the garlic bread in and then forgot about it! The smoke filling the hotel apartment woke me up and I am very, very thankful that it did! Luckily we caught it just in time before the fire alarms went off (causing the evacuation of a 30 story hotel on the Gold Coast is not high on my holiday to do list)! Needless to say, there was no late night snack for Jason that night!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Queensland visit - part 1

 A few weeks ago Jason, Ethan and I went over East to visit the family and attend a family wedding. The flight from Perth to Brisbane is a long flight and I really wasn't sure how Ethan would go! But the last time we went to Brisbane it was just me and Ethan, so surely having Jason around it was going to be much easier, right??

Things didn't start well with Ethan suffering from yet more ear infections (a constant running theme for the winter). But after a few days of antibiotics he seemed to perk up a bit!

The next challenge was actually packing! Wow, you need a lot of stuff when traveling with an infant - and we were lucky enough to not have to take a port-a-cot or stroller as my sister had some for us to borrow!

Our flight left at 7.30am and we planned to get to the airport nice and early so that we had time for any disasters! Luckily enough things went relatively smoothly (other than inadvertantly leaving one of Ethan's shoes in the car - parked in long term parking, and not noticing until we were well inside the terminal!). But as my father-in-law would say, that is just a $10 problem! So we went on our merry way with Ethan in his socks!

Ethan got some good plane watching in before the flight and then it was time to board. We boarded early (with all the families with young children). Unfortunately once the flight was all boarded there was a delay and we had to sit on the tarmac for nearly 45 minutes. Ethan's good mood was slowly deteriorating and we hadn't even left Perth!

Unfortunately Ethan didn't enjoy the flight. We were one of "those" families. You know the ones with the screaming child! After a few hours both Jason and I were nearing the end of our tether and really all we wanted was to get Ethan to sleep, even if it was just for a bit! Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I held Ethan in the cradle hold and patted him bum rhythmically (against his wishes - and he let the whole plane he did not want to be held like that). After 10 or so minutes of blood curdling screaming Ethan calmed down and finally nodded off to sleep!

So needless to say we were happy to get off the plane!

Our first port of call was Tiffinee and Mark's house, and it was such a relief to get there! Ethan soon found a truck to play with and he was happier than he had been all day!
It was bliss just hanging out on the grass after being cooped up in a plane all day!
Tiff's boys Harrison and Hudson certainly enjoyed having their uncle to stay!!!
Harrison and I popped to the mall to get Ethan some new shoes for the trip and we also came home with a bubble wand! It was a pretty good $1 purchase... as you can see by the joy on Ethan's face!
Ethan was quite taken with some of his older cousins toys, even if he is a little small for them!
It was great staying with Tiff, Mark and her two boys! Here is Tiff and her baby - Hudson!
And here is the Joker.... I mean Harrison (Tiff's oldest boy - all dressed up for book week at school!)
After Tiff and I walked Harrison to school (accompanied by Hudson on the bike and Ethan in the stroller) it was time for Jason, Ethan and I to head down the coast!

Once we arrived and checked into our home for the next two nights it was time to explore the pool! It was such a lovely spot and being August not too busy! I can only imagine how busy it would be in summer/peak season!
Ethan and Jason had a ball on the slide!
After playing in the pool we got some supermarket shopping in and then Ethan met his cousin Mack (see a previous post on this).

After playing with Mack it was time to get ready for dinner when suddenly we were treated with some amazing light! It was time to take advantage of the setting sun and get some mummy/Ethan shots! Sorry I didn't brush my hair but the sun was moving fast!
Later that evening we had dinner with Quentin, Jane and Mack and then retired for a good night's sleep.

Saturday was much the same as the Friday - playing in the pool, a spot of supermarket shopping etc! Only in the evening Jason and I headed off to a family wedding, leaving Ethan with his cousins and a babysitter!The wedding post will be the subject of another blog!

Here's a quick shot of Ethan, his Dad and his Poppy Dalziell! Love this!
Well, that's all on the Queesnland visit for now, watch out for a few more posts on the rest of our trip!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fathers day!

The Sunday just been was Father's Day, a day to honour fathers and celebrate fatherhood!

I am very lucky to have an amazing father who has taught me many things - how to love, laugh, cry, work hard and have fun. My Dad has always been there for me, whether it is to pick me up when I am down or cheer me on when I am flying high! I couldn't imagine a better father that the one that I have! I love you Dad.

I am also so very privileged and lucky to have what I consider to be the best man in the world as the father to my son. Jason is a patient, kind, caring, loving, playful, sometimes strict and very hands-on Dad. I get so much joy watching father and son interact on a daily basis. Ethan adores his Dad, he goes round the house saying "Dada, Dada". He loves reading with his Dad, being swung in the air, pushed on his bike, playing frisbee and more!

Inadvertently Jason and I have started a mothers/fathers day tradition. For both days this year we spent the day at the garden centre and planting new bits in our garden! Check out the boys and their gardening...
 Yes, that is Ethan eating of his gardening trowel (it was a mix of hummus and dirt!)...
Happy Father's Day Dad and my loving (and ever patient husband) Jason, I love you both so much xxx