Saturday, 14 November 2015

Swimming Lessons

A couple of weeks ago we started taking Ella to swimming lessons. Most of the pools around us, in Yarra Council, will only let you start lessons with babies that are at least six months old, but the pool that is owned by Andy's school, part of Paul Sadler Swimland, starts with babies that are four months old. And even better, babies that are four and five months old swim free. Four months old is the recommended starting age by Swim Australia, as by then babies' immune systems have started to mature and they have established a bond with their primary carers. They also say to start earlier rather than later, as babies naturally like the water (they were in water for nine months in the womb, and usually bath time is very pleasant for them), but they can start to develop fears about water as they get older. This does mean that we have to trek across the city to the western suburb of Sunshine for the lessons, so once she hits six months we might look for a pool closer to home. 

Ella has had three lessons so far, and she seems to really like them. I wouldn't say she is loving them yet, as she isn't smiling or giggling heaps, but she isn't crying either so we are taking that as a good sign. Andy has gone in the pool with her every time so far, but eventually I will get in with her as well. They have not had hot water in the showers at the pool the past two weeks, so there is no way I am going until that is fixed! I'm actually having a ball watching them... before having a baby I thought that watching your kids do all their various activities must be SO boring, but I couldn't have been more wrong! It's like, the best thing ever! I'm the crazy one taking loads of pictures at the side of the pool. To be fair, there are other mums doing this as well!

Ella's lessons pretty much consist of her being in an inflatable ring and Andy pushing her around the pool, kicking her legs for her, singing songs, and tummy time on a floating raft. The older babies crawl across the raft, but Ella is not quite there yet. At some point we will have to completely dunk her head under water, but for now she just gets the side of her face wet, prompting her to close her eyes when her face touches the water.

After swimming we've started a little family tradition of going for brunch (What? Brunch? On a Saturday morning? In Melbourne? How original...) I thought we'd sample some new cafes from the west side of Melbourne but so far we've ended up going to the same place twice, called West 48. Both times we have been there the food and service have been amazing. The first time we both ordered the special, which was waffles with bacon two ways (I'm not even sure what that means...), poached eggs, blueberry mascarpone cream and honeycomb. It was the perfect combination of sweet and savoury for me, although Andy said he found it too sweet by the end. I actually would go as far to say that it was one of my favourite brunch plates ever, and that is saying something. Ella was so tired after her first swimming lesson that she fell asleep on Andy's lap in the cafe, and stayed asleep while we put her in the car and drove home. Being pushed around a pool is hard work!

Post swimming brunch at West 48
This week we ordered two different meals to share, which I can hardly ever convince Andy to do, so that was a win. We again tried the special of the day which was soft shelled tacos with pulled beef and beans, corn salsa, avocado and fried eggs. Our second dish was a sweet one, ricotta hotcakes with vanilla mascarpone cream, poached pears and topped with a white chocolate and macadamia crumble. Amazing!! This week Ella stayed awake through brunch and stared at our food while we ate. She now will follow the fork from plate to our mouth and makes chewing motions while she stares at the food... I think she is telling us she wants some! So this week we will start introducing solids to her by way of cooked and pureed veggies. I am looking forward to this new milestone and also to the look on Andy's face when he sees what a mess she makes!

Give me some food!!

I don't usually talk about current events on here, but I do feel the need to mention the atrocious acts that happened today in Paris. We have been fortunate enough to have had a wonderful day with Ella, those in France have suffered a day of horror after the coordinated shootings and bombings across the capital. I have contacted those that I know living there and have heard back that they are ok thankfully. My thoughts are with those who have lost someone. It is sometimes sad and scary to think about raising a child in a world where attacks like these are becoming more and more common. I hope that those in power and they media start to think about and report on the underlying causes of terrorism and what we can do without responding to violence with violence. This TED talk called "The Surprising way groups like ISIS stay in power" is very interesting and though-provoking. 

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