Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in review

2013 has been an interesting year to say the least! We have been busier than ever (most due to now being a family of three, increased work commitments and sporting endeavours). To summarise our year:

This year was a tough one for us with Ethan's health.... his issues from 2012 persisted and culminated in surgery (tonsil and adenoid removal, grommet insertion and the trachea-laryngoscopy to try to find out what is going on with Ethan's lungs). Things are still largely unresolved on the lung/breathing front for Ethan but his issues, while still there, are not as bad as they were pre-tonsil/adenoid removal.

Jason had a healthy year, but I was hit with numerous bouts of gastro (at least 4) and two reasonably severe colds. I also underwent a bowel cancer screening colonoscopy due to a family history of bowel cancer. During this procedure I had 5 polyps removed and sent off for testing. As a result of the number of polyps found, I am on a 3-year cycle for repeat colonoscopies.

Home improvements
This year we did a few things round the house, including new wallpaper in the master bedroom, new carpet in the master and Ethan's bedroom, a new side fence and a new limestone garden out the rear of our property. We also drew up many plans for a bathroom renovation and potentially adding a second story/garage to our house. These are plans for future years, so I am sure that we will draw and re-draw numerous times. We finally decided to not progress a swimming pool at our place, although during the mid-December 2013 heat wave we both regretted this decision!

Jason said goodbye to his precious Betty and we welcomed the new commodore into the family. While not quite as cool and character filled as Betty, the new car is far more practical. Unfortunately the Mazda still gave us lots of trouble with at least two major repairs, the most recent costing in excess of $5000.

2013 wasn't a huge year of travel for us. In January I went to Melbourne to meet an old friend from Wellington for an extended weekend. Jason and I each had a few out of town/overnight work trips including - Geraldton, Muja and Albany for me and Albany, Bridgetown, and Busselton for Jason. We went to NZ to visit Jason's family and while over there we chartered a plane to visit Ethan's Great Grandad in Takaka. We also spent a weekend in Busselton (for a race). Finally, we brought my Mum and Dad over from Queensland for a visit.

Both mine and Jason's work scope increased, resulting in some long hours worked. Mine was due to a government announced merger with another government owned entity, with which I was appointed project manager for the implementation of a new business unit for the merged entity. Jason's was due to essentially being appointed in an additional role (while retaining his day job). as the merger is complete as of 1 January 2014, my work life balance should be restored in the New Year, however, I think Jason will have a very busy start to 2014 work wise.

2013 ended up being a busy year sporting wise. Ethan started with lots of swimming (until his grommet operation), he them moved onto Little Kickers soccer and Gymnastics. We will continue with the gymnastics in 2013 but take a break from soccer as he really didn't seem to like the structure of soccer. We will also return to swimming lessons and are doing a 6-week course in surf babies (beach education and familiarisation for toddlers and their parents). Jason's sporting year started very successfully with a Water Polo grand final win. Jason played water polo and canoe polo for much of the year and late in the year decided to train for the 2014 Rottnest Island solo swim (19.2km). My sporting year consisted of lots of running - 3 * 5km races, 2 * 10km races, 1 * 12km race, 1 * marathon (42.2km) and 1 * ultramarathon (48km)... this was backed up by lots of training.

So as you can see 2013 was an interesting year, as we sit on the cusp of the New Year it is time to reflect and be thankful for all our loving family and friends, thankful for the opportunities that we have been given and learn from the challenges we faced.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

2013 Christmas was a quiet Christmas for the three of us. We had planned to meet a few friends at the beach for an 8am swim followed by brunch and a glass of sparkling.... however Ethan foiled those plans by sleeping into after 8! He never sleeps in, yet he chooses to on Christmas morning!!!

We put out presents (or "prinsets" as Ethan calls them) under the tree 4 days before Christmas - I didn't want to give Ethan too much time to tempt him into opening them!
We placed Ethan's "Santa Sock" in his doorway of his bedroom which he was SOOOOO excited to stumble across once he woke up! He came running down the hallway yelling "Santa Sock, Santa Sock". This was filled with 3 - 4 $2 toys and he really loved it. We probably could have stopped right there hahaha!

We missed brunch on the beach but we still had brunch (croissants with bacon and brie) and muesli, berry and yoghurt parfaits.

We went to the beach after brunch and as we had brunch late we decided to have Christmas dinner instead of lunch. It sure made for a more relaxing day!

Our Christmas dinner was:

  • whiskey, marmalade and mustard glazed ham
  • roasted cherry tomatoes
  • smoked chicken, asparagus and pasta salad; and
  • Chargrilled capsicum, corn and avocado salad.
Simple, but delicious!

Dessert was:

  • Red velvet cake/cheesecake (good concept, looked yummy but failed to deliver)
  • "Red" fruit salad (watermelon, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) with mint syrup
  • Homemade white and dark chocolate rocky road with cranberries, pistachios and macadamias

Ethan had a fun afternoon playing with his new toys, including the water feature!
All in all a lovely, albeit quiet, Christmas.

Summer in Perth - A picture post

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ultra marathon - a brutal day

2 weeks ago I competed in an Ultra Marathon (48km) running race. This, along with work, had been what was contributing to my lack of blogging over the last few months!

The definition of an ultra marathon is any thing longer than a marathon (42.2km). 

This race was always going to be tough as it is run in summer and on some very hilly trails. Unfortunately race week also happened to be the earliest ever heat wave Perth has experienced... with the 5 days leading into the race around 37 - 41 degrees! To combat this heat I tried to super hydrate in the week leading up to the race!

To make it worse there was a bush fire in the vicinity of the race in the week leading up to the race! Luckily it was contained before the race.

The race did start early (4.30am) to try and beat the heat, this meant that my alarm went off at 2.45am for "breakfast". As the race start was an hour away from home I decided to stay the night in a motel closer and for Jason and Ethan to meet me at aid station 2. That meant that they only needed to wake at 5.30am, not at the ridiculous time I had to wake up!

The race started with a 3km uphill - good to get the heart going, the blood pumping and the sweat pouring off me. 

Unfortunately around 6km into the race I started having some dizzy spells and just feeling generally off... it was going to be  a long day as I wasn't having a good run. Every so often you hit a really hard patch in training and it feels like you are running in mud - whether its lack of sleep, stress, busy at work or some other factor.... well this race was one of those days. 

But I am pleased to say I finished, in 8th female place and got to cross the finish line with my little boy!
It was a really hard, hot, dry, dusty and absolutely brutal day... but another achievement.... sometimes you have to have the really tough days to appreciate the good days!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Getting to know my Nanny and Poppy Dalziell... by Ethan Papps

In November my Nanny and Poppy came to visit me (my mummy thinks they came to visit her cos it was her birthday but we all know they really came to see me!).

It was really nice spending time with my Nanny and Poppy... we went to the beach, went mulberry picking at the park and just had a  lovely time getting to know each other!
I loved having cuddles with both my Nanny and Poppy! I wish that I could see them more often!
It was lovely spending time with my Nanny and Poppy, I can't wait to see them again!

P.s. my mummy says she is going to update the blog more often and she says sorry to all her loyal readers for being so busy during the last quarter of 2013!