Monday, December 29, 2014

Our blue eyed girl and our brown eyed boy!

We couldn't be more proud, here are our two gorgeous children - our very blue eyed (for now) Charlotte and our brown eyed Ethan! I know I am biased, but how lovely are they!
 I love seeing my babies together, although I am sure that Ethan  would prefer it if Charlotte actually played with him! I know there are many years yet for that to happen but in Ethan's mind he wants it now! In the meantime, we all need to be happy with the occasional cuddle! 

Ethan is very gentle with his sister, which I am very pleased to see! 

How gorgeous are they together! I couldn't pick between these three photos so you get them all!
One day over the Christmas break we couldn't get Charlotte to settle very well, we thought it was because she was too hot so the kids had their first swim together... it worked and Charlotte had a short sleep after this swim!
We had a few tricky days over Christmas with Charlotte and settling her during the day. On one of the days we tried to walk her to sleep. Unfortunately this day it didn't work... but we did get a change of scenery at the park which was good for all of us!


 Charlotte is growing very fast, I can't believe how fast time flies! 

Charlotte is very busy learning how to hold her head up - she is getting very good at it as well!
Charlotte is also smiling at us a lot now, although sometimes its hard to catch it on the camera (as you can see in the photo on the far right).
 I can't believe that Charlotte was 6 weeks old before Christmas... where has the time gone!
Charlotte is already starting to try and laugh and she coos at us all the time. She is also starting to try to roll a little by doing some amazing back bends! It'll be a while yet but she is definitely practicing!

Unfortunately the next milestone is her first lot of immunisations on New Years Eve, lets hope she takes them in her stride like her older brother did!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

 There's ham in the fridge, presents under the tree and the anticipation is rising - it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house!
The tree has been up for a while in all its sparkling glory!
On the tree are the decorations that Ethan has made at daycare over the years, these are very special keepsakes for years to come.
 Ethan and Charlotte visited Santa and got these great photos. Ethan told Santa that he wanted a Spider Monkey for Christmas... Santa wasn't sure what to make of that request!  Santa also wrote Ethan a letter telling him that he made the "nice" list this year and that his friends also made the list!
Merry Christmas to all my readers, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season spending time with loved ones.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A weighty tale (for Charlotte)

When Ethan was around 4 weeks old I did an update of how his weight progressed through the weeks (read here). So I thought that I should do a similar post for Charlotte:
  • Birth weight - 3.375 kg
  • Day 4: Discharge from hospital - 3.180 kg (-195 gm)
  • Day 7: Child Health Nurse visit - 3.330 kg (+ 150 gm)
  • Day 14: Child Health clinic - 3.608 kg (+ 278 gm)
  • Day 21: Child Health clinic- 4.042 kg (+ 434 gm)
  • Day 30:  Child Health clinic- 4.518 kg (+ 476 gm)

I am pleased to see her weight gain as she feeds less than Ethan did and also for shorter periods (so she must be a more efficient feeder). Sometimes she can feed for as little as 4 mins and be done. Others she feeds for 20 mins!

See how Charlotte has grown:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Is he spiderman, a pirate, optimus prime or Ethan?

There's no doubt that Ethan likes to dress up! On any one day he will be Optimus Prime, IronMan, a Ninja Turtle, Spiderman, a Pirate or anything else his imagination wants to be! We have a few costumes which we have picked up over the years but if we don't have the costume Ethan improvises (or asks me for a very amateur face paint).

Ethan loves being Optimus Prime. Here he is in "truck" format as well as full transformer format.
Spiderman remains a firm favourite in this household! Not sure what we will do when he grows out of this suit!
Ethan loves being a pirate and making us all "walk the plank, me hearties" 
 My face paint on the left (Optimus Prime) vs a professional on the right!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The arrival of Charlotte Rose Papps - born 11 November 2014

At 2.19pm on Remembrance Day (11/11/2014) Charlotte Rose Papps was born via C-Section. Charlotte had been lying sideways for much of the pregnancy which meant that C-Section was the only safe option for giving birth (for both mum and daughter). As it happened, Charlotte's cord was also round her neck.

Charlotte needed two lots of oxygen following her birth, but once the paediatrician and the midwife were happy with her we were allowed our first hold - she was much smaller than her big brother (by nearly a whole kg) at 3375kg (7lb 7oz), 49cm with a 36cm head.
We were able to head straight back to ward after the surgery (where they also removed a cyst from my ovary) bypassing recovery. This was great as we could all stay together from the moment Charlotte was born. 

Charlotte took a while before her first feed... after 6 hours the midwife expressed some colostrum for her (1 ml) and fed her that. It probably wasn't until 10 hours post her birth that she had her first breast feed. 

I was generally pretty lucky with my C-section recovery as I had a shower the evening after she was born, most patients won't be up and about until the next day. I felt great after the shower and it meant that I had a better night than I otherwise would have I think. We went private care this time, so Jason was able to stay the night which meant that he was able to do all the nappy changes for that first night for me.

Ethan came to meet his sister for the first time on Wednesday morning. He was super excited and very proud! I loved seeing how gentle he was with his sister!
Ethan visited us every day in the hospital. 
Ethan was on hand to help with the daily bath at the hospital as well, which was lovely and gave mum time to have a shower and a rest!
Baby Charlotte has been a good sleeper thus far, here are a few shots of her first few days in hospital. She came out so much smaller than Ethan that we needed a couple of emergency trips to the shops for some smaller clothes!
More hospital photos of Charlotte! Looking gorgeous in the outfit her Daddy picked out for her! The far right photo in this collage is our first selfie together (taken at 2.30am).
 We got out of hospital on the Saturday following Charlotte's birth, Charlotte seems quite content to be home!
I have even got some sleepy, milky smiles from Charlotte already (which is lovely). Charlotte likes to have one sleep a day on someone's knee
 Here are some of my favourite photos so far... Charlotte on her rainbow blanket! and one of her first eye open photos!
Welcome to the world Charlotte Rose Papps!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Walking, Walking, Walking!!!

120 days before the end of my pregnancy I decided to take on a walking challenge, it was to walk 500km in the remaining 120 days (which averaged out to around 4.2km of walking per day). I had been having a tough pregnancy and as I am a goal oriented person, this challenge was just the thing for me! The rules were simple, I only counted additional walking - no incidental walking (i.e walking that I would have done if I didn't have the challenge) was counted. 

At the start of the challenge I aimed to get a few km in the bank so that I could relax a little bit later on as walking got a bit harder. Initially I walked to work a few times a week (which is around 7km a trip). Here I am mid challenge, all ready to go walking.
I walked even when there was no outside option. Here I am at the Melbourne Airport hotel, I walked 3km on the treadmill and 1km in the pool.
We are so lucky to live close to lake monger which has a 3.5km walking path around the lake. Perfect for nice easy pregnant walking!
We also live close to Yokine reserve, which also has a 3 - 4 km walking track (depending on which path you take).
I finished the challenge on my birthday with a 3.7km walk (last year for my 36th birthday I ran 36km, so this year I walked 3.7km - next year I hope to run 38km). The belly was getting much bigger here (close to term) and I was a lot slower than earlier days!
 I even managed to talk Jason into coming with me on my birthday walk!
 Here is the record of my walking, as you can see I really tapered off near the end, so it was lucky that I had a few km up my sleeve!
I finished the challenge 10 days early - which was lucky as wee Charlotte arrived the next day!

Project New Lawn - Phase 2

After the reticulation was finished the next stage for our lawn project was adding a new soakwell in the area, moving all the dirt in and then levelling the site in readiness to lay the grass.
Last weekend Jason, Ethan and Gran drove north of the city to pick up the 45sqm of grass for laying.

Wow, what a difference our new lawn makes - how good does this look!
 Lots of extra playing area for the kids, and less scraped knees for our hurricane Ethan!
 We are also anticipating that the additional lawn area will ensure that this area remains a little cooler in the hot summer months ahead! We now have 42 days water use exemption to water and bed down the new lawn! 
 So two weeks from start to finish and we have a new lawn! Pretty amazing job by Jason! We will look to replace the existing lawn (as its in pretty poor condition) around March/April next year!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Project: New Lawn (Phase 1)

Last weekend we decided to rip up the old patio and replace with new lawn. We wanted to do this for a couple of reasons - Ethan constantly scrapes his knees on the bricks and its quite hot in this area of 40+ degree Perth Summer days. Here it is before we started!
Ethan (AKA Spider-Iron Man) came along to help!
 Midway through the job! Each brick weighs between 3.5 - 4kg (we weighed them) and Jason had to move over 1500 of them!
Here is the pile of bricks as it grew throughout the weekend (latest news is that we managed to sell them all within a day of listing them online). 
 Ethan loved the new sand emerging... although his mummy didn't like the sand being traipsed through the house so much!
Next job was to get some new dirt (just 7 tonnes of it).
We were lucky enough to have a friend of a friend to help lay the reticulation. All done in one day! Its a lot easier to dig trenches in WA sand soil than NZ soil, that's for sure!

 Here is the pipe being laid for the reticulation. 
 Finally, Ethan and Jason moving lots and lots of dirt. Hopefully next weekend we will lay the new lawn! I am very excited to see the results (and to stop the sandy foot prints being laid throughout the house!).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waterfalls in Melbourne!

While in Melbourne I wanted to take Ethan to some waterfalls given the lack of water and decidedly unspectacular waterfalls over west! The first visit was a chance stop where we saw a sign to a waterfall as we were driving the great ocean road. I did a quick google search and it said that the waterfall was a 10 min walk from the road. Given google usually estimates time for a slower than normal walker we all set out with enthusiasm... especially Ethan (he loves any sort of "adventure").

10 minutes in and we were still going up and down, 20 mins in and we weren't there yet.... I had visions of us all lost and on the news fore our inappropriate clothing and footwear as well. But we eventually made it and this is what we found!
On one of our last holiday days we visited a second waterfall... this one, unbeknownst to any of us was down what felt like 1000 steps (in reality it was probably 400 steps!). But it was worth it. It was a lot like NZ bush and I was really pleased to make the trip (although climbing 400 stairs while 30+ weeks pregnant wasn't the easiest thing I have done... and Jason had a passenger on his shoulders for much of the climb as well).
It was incredible how like NZ the scenery was. 
Ethan and his Gran went on a long adventure walk as well!
I couldn't resist the obligatory selfie while at the waterfall!
There are so many waterfalls to visit along the great ocean road and we only saw two of them. It's hard to know the "best" ones to visit but we took a chance with two that we saw street signs for!