Sunday, 6 March 2016

Update and Weekend Family Fun

Ok, so how is it already March?! I cannot believe how fast this year is going by. I have, yet again, failed in my goal to write four blog posts a month. Ah well, maybe I will make up for February this month... I always have the best intentions when it comes to this blog! And, this will sound very clichéd, but I can't believe I have an 8-month old. Ella is growing so fast (hey! Another cliché!) and she is at this lovely stage where she is super interactive, laughs and smiles a lot, can sit on her own, BUT she cannot crawl yet. So I can put her down to play and she doesn't go anywhere which obviously makes life a lot easier. I am soaking up this period of time as I know that soon she will be off and much more challenging to contain!

Soaking up the sun with my gorgeous little girl
February for us was all about getting in to our new routine. Mondays are basically the worst day for us (and most of the world) as we both work and Andy coaches soccer in the evening. We are out the door by 7am, and then I pick up Ella from daycare and walk her home which takes about half an hour. A good way to get in some exercise, but it has been very hot lately and so by the time we get home I am usually sweaty and knackered. But it doesn't matter, because there is no sitting on the couch and having a rest after work when you have a baby! Especially when daddy is not at home to help. I barely have time to get myself a glass of water! I do the dinner/bath/bottle/bed routine, and then by the time that is all over I just want to collapse in a heap. We have decided that a perfectly acceptable dinner on a Monday night for the two of us is cheese on toast.

Tuesdays are a day off for me, and thank goodness... I am really not looking forward to when I have to work consecutive days. I know that sounds pretty lame but it just feels like life will be relentless at that point. I'm sure all the experienced parents are rolling their eyes at me, thinking "suck it up sweetheart. That's just life!"

The past two weeks I've signed up to Hello Fresh, which is a dinner delivery service. Each week we get the recipes and ingredients for three meals delivered. All the ingredients are measured out for you, so all you have to do is a little bit of prep and throw it together. I am loving it so far, as it takes the stress out of thinking about what is for dinner, and having to go to the grocery store to get that one ingredient you are missing. The recipes have been really good as well, and all of the ingredients that are used are (mostly) local, high quality, and in season. It is definitely more expensive then just buying everything yourself, of course, but the meat and fish are definitely a better quality than I would have picked out at Woolworth's. I think it will also force us to eat a more varied diet, and I am building up a collection of dinner recipes from them, as everything we have had so far I would make again.

Hello Fresh meal - Roasted Chicken with Beetroot and Quinoa
Summer is officially over but you wouldn't know it here in Melbourne! The weather has been pretty hot here lately, and looks like it will be well into the 30s for at least the next two weeks. Last weekend we were able to take advantage of the nice weather and do some very "Melbourne" things...

Saturday morning I did my usual yoga class at Kindred Movement and Andy took Ella on a run in our jogging pram. We normally go to Ella's swimming after that but we had a Meetup with a mums Facebook group that I belong to. The group was created near the end of 2014 (I think?) for any mums in Australia with a due date in July 2015. Andy's colleague, Sarah, added me when she discovered that our due dates were a few days apart.  The group has 69 members and has been invaluable in terms of getting advice and support from other mums who are going through the same things at the same times with their babies. A few months ago a Meetup date was set and was in Melbourne, and about 25 mums and their babies came from all over the country. It was really nice to meet all of those people in person that you'd been chatting with online for over a year!

Ella with Sarah's son Nate at the AJM Meetup
After that we had a BBQ with some friends along the Yarra. This is one of those things that I thought I would do all the time when we moved to Melbourne. I was so impressed with all the free BBQs in parks and public areas around the city, I thought we'd be taking advantage of these all the time! Well, in our three years here we've done it maybe three times? And never at one of the BBQs along the Yarra across from the Botanical Gardens, even though we lived about a 10 minute walk from here when we lived in South Yarra. Anyway, we had a fantastic afternoon hanging out with our friends, and Ella was in very good form the whole time. She is super interested in eating now and it was very hard to eat my own sausage without her grabbing it out of my hands! She DOES NOT like it when you eat in front of her and don't share!

Ella enjoying being up on daddy's shoulders
On Sunday afternoon we met up with Adam and Charlotte at the NGV. We were planning on checking out the Andy Warhol & Ai Weiwei exhibition that is currently on, but the line for tickets was super long when we got there. Instead we headed out to the garden area where we stumbled on the last of the Summer Sundays series, featuring live music, a BBQ and a pop-up stand of my favourite... Gelato Messina! Yum. We relaxed there for a few hours before taking a long walk along Southbank, stopping for a glass of wine. Unfortunately Ella had had enough by this time so we had to rush our drinks and speed walk back towards the NGV where we had parked. My fault really as I hadn't thought we'd be out so long and didn't bring enough food. 

Hanging out at the NGV - nice face Ella! She was in the process of spewing, haha.
Summer Sundays at the NGV
Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles - an installation of 1500 bikes
The water wall out front of the NGV. Ella and another baby are enthralled with each other!
By the time I've got around to finishing this post off it is a week later. We've been so lucky to have had two excellent weekends in a row - beautiful weather and time spent as a family with our friends. What more could you want?!

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