Elmo Show!

I have been meaning to post this for ages but it’s really that silly time of year where so much is going on!

Every once in a while, I go on a bit of a “competition” frenzy and enter a whole lot of competitions. I don’t even remember when I entered this competition, but on my birthday, I got an email saying I had won some tickets to an Elmo concert!

Even a year ago, it was difficult to get Jacob to sit still for an extended period of time. He never really sat and watched things til he was about two years old, and even so, he prefers to get up and fidget about. But now that he’s three, he certainly has matured quite a bit and my winning comment was actually along the lines of “I’d love to win this because my son is finally old enough to sit still for a concert like this!”

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So anyway, off to the concert we went – just me and the kids! Hubby was supposed to join us but had some last minute commitments he couldn’t get out of. I was a bit nervous taking two of them on my own but I also was comforted in the fact that it’s a kids concert – so even if my kids were making noise, they’d certainly not be the only ones.

We parked a bit of a way away and had a trek along the Torrens to the Adelaide Festival Theatre, which I think contributed to our success as Jacob could get a bit of the running around out of his system. Before the concert, it was a bit chaotic as I let the two of them loose (to run/crawl around in the foyer) and Jared kept attacking the posters to a point that he knocked some pull-up banners over as I was trying to tell Jacob to stop playing with some retractable barriers. Oops.

But fortunately for me, the kids were great in the show itself. Jacob was a bit too light for the seat (it was one that flips back up) so I had to hold it down with my leg or it folded up on him! And I kept Jared in my Tula for a lot of the time – babywearing has been my new obsession – and he fell fast asleep.

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Jacob was genuinely intrigued when Elmo and his crew came out. He isn’t hugely into Sesame Street but he does know some of the main characters – his favourite is Cookie Monster, of course! Jacob likes to sing “C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me”.

But we really enjoyed this show – relatable characters and good moral theme to become a superhero by being kind to others. I look forward to seeing more concerts with the kids – maybe the Wiggles or Playschool or even Mister Maker. What concerts do you recommend for preschoolers?

Anyway, I hope to post a bit more over the school holidays and share little snippets of our lives. Enjoy the weekend!

Paint me a picture…

I cannot believe it is November. Or actually, it’s halfway through November and I reckon I’ll blink, and the rest of the year will be gone.

The past few months have been a bit frantic yet also rather mundane for no particular reason at all aside from the fact that my once tiny infant is now a boisterous crawler! We have been spending a bit more time at home to give the kids time to explore in their own time, yet it feels like I have been running a marathon each day with them!

Jacob will be 3 years and 3 months old next Monday. He grows more boy-like every day to a point that sometimes I find it hard to fathom that he was once so little.

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Jared will be 9 months old next Wednesday. Many people are shocked when I tell them his age as he is rather big (and also a rather fast crawler).

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It’s also been getting warmer this side of the world. On Thursday it hit 34 degrees, and I was going to do some outside water play but it was quite windy (and that flares up my hay fever) so we opted for a bit of messy play with yoghurt paint.

Yoghurt paint is so simple to make – I just used Greek yoghurt and a few drops of food colouring. The kids loved it – I strapped Jared into Jacob’s booster seat and let him sit a the table, which he loved.

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Jacob did some painting and then took some foam letters to do printing. Meanwhile, Jared painted, sucked on the paintbrush and started licking the yoghurt off the paper until his tongue had a green tinge!

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I hope to get back into blogging and sharing a bit more of our family escapades. Til then, I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sensory Rainy Day Play…

Wow, what a hiatus. Sorry, I think the winter blues must have really gotten to me (either that or I was having too good a time!).

Firstly, remember that baby that I just had like a few months ago? He is a whopping 9kg+ 6 month old now, and he is also on the move as well! He isn’t quite crawling yet but he “knee-hops” around and shuffles himself over to where he wants to go – now I’m in trouble, aren’t I? Plus the toddler also turned 3. What?! I thought he was just a baby, how is he now 3?

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Anyway, today was just a normal day at home with a toddler and a baby. It was raining so peacefully in the morning that the kids actually stayed in bed til 6.30am (an achievement in this house)!

Of course, since it is freezing and raining, the toddler insists that he needs to play outside on his bike (which he got for his birthday last week). After grumbling all through breakfast, I let him go outside to play only for him to fall off his bike into the biggest puddle in our backyard. And the baby gets food all over his clothing (he won’t take a spoon so it’s messy BLW for us). 2 outfits straight into the wash, sigh.

Then, in a moment of inspiration, I decide we are doing to do some sensory play stuff with pasta, rice and barley. I’ve seen friends of mine doing really awesome things with their kids. Unfortunately, things often get more messy with my kids… Apologies that the pics are not clear as well as I can’t seem to get them to sit still.

First we were putting pasta on the Father’s Day card to make the words “Happy Father’s Day”…

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And then the toddler decides to become Masterchef and cook up a delicious yet messy concoction for us to savour. The mess is aggravated by the fact that the baby thinks he can cook too, so a bit of a tussle ensues and more stuff flies everywhere.

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The thing I did like about this exercise is that it took up the whole morning! It allowed Jacob to have a whole lot of imaginative play, from cooking food to making it rain and snow. Eventually we had to clean up (and Jacob loves his hand-vac and did attempt to clean up though in truth he scattered it more) and by then it was already lunchtime.

In the afternoon, we decided we’d take the rice and barley to feed the ducks – a healthier option than bread perhaps! We also got to say hello to the new spring ducklings – this lot have already been there for a few weeks, and there was another brood of very little ducklings too.

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Then, of course, puddle jumping. The most dreaded time of our walk for me, but I have come to terms with the fact that Jacob would be heading home completely drenched. Trust him to find the deepest puddles ever!

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I must say I absolutely love doing all these fun things with the kids, despite the mess and the amassing laundry I have to deal with. I am quite sure that these little things that we do are actually big things in my kids’ lives. Here’s to the many days ahead – sunny, rainy, whatever the weather! 🙂

Lego & Trains

I’ve been too busy enjoying myself to actually remember that I write a blog, oops! Dan has been on school holidays so we’ve been up to mischief – no, we haven’t just been playing Pokemon Go (though we’re already at Level 20) but just enjoying things with our boys. We’ve had outing days and also stay at home days – we’ve seen exhibitions and also watched heaps of movies. Jacob has finally watched “The Land Before Time” though I think he’ll have to watch it a few more times before he truly gets attached.

But anyway, I just wanted to share a couple of highlights. We went to a Lego exhibition called Brick Barossa last weekend – we actually went with family but had tickets for an earlier session, so we viewed it separately then caught up for lunch. Jacob enjoyed looking at the exhibits but just wanted to touch them all and play with them, so we let him go to the hands on area to play with Lego. He actually made a pretty impressive car with actual Lego (like the normal bricks, not Duplo) but eventually gravitated to the Duplo table and had a blast too!

I let him buy a Lucky Dip and he got a Lego shark (pictured above when put together properly). Obviously, being Jacob, he dropped it a number of times and broke it to pieces. But he said “It’s ok, mum, I’ll fix it.” Here is his fixed shark – Dan and I are naming it Ermahgerd Shark.

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We also managed to ride on some trains! The Railway Museum was having an Open Day so we decided to check it out. I was pretty astounded by the size of some of those train, and it’s fascinating to see how technology has changed over the years. We also got to ride on a couple of the trains, which I think everyone enjoyed:

One thing I struggle at is trying to take photos of everyone – here we are in a moving diesel train and this was the best I could do! Clearly Jacob is a bit unimpressed.

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End of the school holidays, sigh. But here’s to many more memories in the days to come!

Living the nerd life

I’m sure you’ve heard of Pokemon Go. It’s taking over the world like a storm! It encourages people to venture out to new places and even has caused mishaps like people causing accidents being too engrossed in it.

I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a nerd, though I exhibit some nerdy characteristics. I was a bit of a plain Jane in high school – I was never really into makeup and preferred to spend my time hidden behind a technological device, i.e. computer or phone.

So many years later and it hasn’t changed! I wasn’t really into Pokemon back in the day but I certainly remember a thing or two about it. And what’s awesome is that hubby is full on into it too!

Hence resulting in our numerous walks we are taking simply to catch Pokemon. No, our kids are not going to stand in the way, we are going to wear them on our backs/fronts and keep trying to catch ’em all!

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But really, there are a lot of perks of living the nerd lifestyle. Some of these include:

  1. We’re pretty good with technology. Okay, Daniel is pretty good and I am just catching on/surviving as we go. He is the go to person if some gadget of ours breaks, but I’m okay with using the gadget anyway. We often help our friends out with gadgety stuff. The fact that I’m using the term gadgety tells you how good I am though. Oh, you get the gist.
  2. We’re in on the conversations. I think I’m still not quite there yet though I can occasionally quote anywhere from Harry Potter to Game of Thrones. It’s exciting to talk about the shows / books that we like with other enthusiasts. Back in the day, I used to write fanfiction – doh, I know, right?
  3. We do well at trivia things. I wouldn’t call my sister-in-law and brother-in-law nerds (though they might disagree with me) but at their son’s school quiz night, they absolutely nailed it. Knowledge and nerdiness often go hand in hand, which can come in handy, but if not, is also just a whole lot of fun to know all the same.

  4. We can dress up and be whoever we want to be. One thing our family really enjoys is dress up parties – it’s so awesome to be able to have an excuse to dress up as some book character or superhero. Can you guess what characters we’re dressed up as below?

  5. We have nerdy artifacts (and love them). Back in the day when I did martial arts, I accumulated a number of training items including tantos, bokkens, hanbos, shurikens, etc. and it often suprises people that I have all this in my home. Dan, on the other hand, has a Nintendo 64, which is pretty vintage in a different way too. I never played it when I was young but have finally got the opportunity to play it now. And one day it might be worth quite a lot… While we haven’t gotten into a whole lot of merchandise, I am sure one day we will – we’ve already started building our Lego collection!
  6. Movie nights are always fun. We have a lot of movie nights, especially now in winter. Netflix is our best friend after 8pm. We have seen so many series and as we’re watching, we’ll be like “Ohh where have we seen that actor before?” and we try and work out what other show he’s in, or sometimes just check on IMDB. Regardless, we always have a fun time.
  7. Our kids tend to catch on. I do let Jacob watch some degree of TV but for some reason he can name every single character on ABC kids. Even all the owls on Giggle and Hoot – Hoot, Hootabelle, Hootley, Hootaluna, etc… Jacob loves that he can relate to these characters and he often uses a range of them in his imaginative play.

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Here is Jacob at maximum hipster. Disclaimer: Yes, those are my glasses – I only let him wear them for this photo and took them straight back.

So, for those of you who are a borderline nerd like me, just embrace it – it’s ultimately a fun lifestyle! Keep on playing Pokemon Go, though be mindful of where you are so you don’t walk into a lamp post – hope you catch ’em all!

Snow Play!

It’s well and truly winter here in Adelaide, which puts me in the mood for snow! Sadly, it doesn’t snow here (though funnily enough, last night a bit of snow fell on Mt Lofty). But at the local ice skating rink, they ran a snow play day for kids – count us in!

It took us ages to get ready for it as I was trying to work out how to dress the kids. While it’s an indoor rink, it’s really cold in there so I just wanted to make sure they were rugged up enough. I just put them in a number of different layers and rummaged the shed, and actually found winter stuff that could fit. What do you think?

I wouldn’t say that Jacob really loved the snow. He did attempt to build things with it at first, but then he was daunted by how cold it was. I was thankful that I’d bought two pairs of gloves for Jacob as it was good to change it over halfway so his fingers didn’t get too cold.

Then he got into a tube and I pulled him around, which he loved and kept yelling “Faster!” but there was only so much I could do with Jared in a baby carrier (he was fast asleep). I watched some dads there catapulting their kids around at top speed – maybe I should have asked one of them if they were willing to do that for Jacob! We also tried the toboggans and sleds but tubes were easiest to handle for me at least.

Jared then woke up and I squeezed him into a snowsuit (it was for 3-6 month olds but he is just a bit too chunky). The picture of him on the tube is particularly hilarious because he wasn’t actually able to move his arms cos the suit was so tight. I only left him in it for a little while because he started getting a bit grumpy about his limited mobility – he was in about 5 layers underneath that so he wasn’t really that cold.

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Overall a fantastic day – an icy cold playtime and complimentary hot drinks to warm us up. Also, a lovely lady asked if I wanted a photo with the boys – so here it is! I admit I wasn’t rugged up as much as I could have been, but I kept warm cuddling Jared and chasing after Jacob.

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What are you up to this winter?

Strawberry Picking for three

I was going to post about strawberry picking ages ago but got sidetracked by the blog challenge. Mind you, I really enjoyed the blog challenge and I hope people reading found it interesting, insightful and if anything, mildly entertaining.

Strawberries are a household favourite here – probably more mine and Jacob’s faves, though hubby doesn’t quite mind them too. Now that it’s winter, it’s so hard to get flavoursome strawberries at a decent price here.

The last time I’d been strawberry picking was when Dan and I went to Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. We weren’t even married back then – that’s how long it’s been! It’s really funny because when I first met Daniel, I kept cutting his head off when I took photos of him – and I never actually realised til I looked back on our entire Malaysia trip photo albums! Oops!

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Anyway, this goes back to the last April school holidays – I’d been bugging hubby to take us strawberry picking at Beerenberg, and we tried to head out there at a number of times but something always set us back (either a sick child or sick pregnant woman i.e. me, or sometimes when we were going to go, the patch was closed).

So, it was nearing the end of the season and I was getting desperate. There was one day that we were able to go but then Daniel had a meeting, and I thought, you know what, I’m going to do this anyway!

Hence here I am with a 2 month old baby and a 2.5 year old toddler, tackling the strawberry patch! We headed into the shop to get our punnet and pay – the lady at the counter advised me to put my bag in the car as it’d probably get a bit too tricky to carry a baby, toddler, punnet of strawberries and a handbag too.

The strawberry patch was across a busy road, so naturally, I freaked out and carried Jacob across cos I was too scared he would do his whole “I can’t walk anymore” thing and crumple into a heap in the middle of busy traffic. This is probably the key to my weight loss – carrying bub in the baby carrier (who was about 6.5kg at that time?) and carrying the 13kg toddler.

We got there and Jacob was psyched! I was half afraid that he would pull the entire bush out but he was keen on picking just the strawberries. I was a bit of a QC baddie and kept telling him “No, not that one! Get that BIG one!” And he kept trying to pick green strawberries as well, so I asked him to try one and after that he decided he would stick to the reds.

We filled our entire punnet and crossed back to the shop to get them weighed and paid for. Before that, Jacob found an acorn tree and added a whole lot of acorns into the punnet too so we had to sort that out as well. Then, of course, it was ice cream time! They have their own ice cream maker where they blend fresh strawberries with vanilla ice cream to make fresh and authentic strawberry ice cream- yum! I was going to get it in a cone but realised it would just be way too hard to contain the mess.

All in all, a great outing but next time, I’ll do it with Dan too! And anyone else who wants to join me! The strawberry patch is closed now but come November this year, we will definitely go again! 🙂