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!

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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.

Father’s Day DIY chocolate cards

One of the odd things I found when I moved to Australia is the fact that Father’s Day is in September. Really?? I always thought it was in June! I think the International Father’s Day is in June but for us Aussies, we do it in September – probably because it’s more or less warm enough to fire up the barbie?

Anyway, it’s Father’s Day weekend, and my husband is incredibly hard to shop for! Either I get him something incredibly corny and pointless, or the thing he wants absolutely and utterly blows the budget (for example, his last present was a smart watch). But anyway, I wanted to do something a little different and more personal, so I searched for ideas on the net, and decided to pair a little humour with a bit of chocolate.

While we have a range of chocolate bars in normal Aussie retailers (Snickers, Mars Bars, KitKat, Smarties, etc.), I wanted to broaden the range a bit so I checked out Blackeby’s Sweets in the local mall which is a confectioner that carries a whole lot of imported chocolates. So chocolate shopping we went!

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Naturally, our boys wanted to help out, which often ends up in disaster!!! For one, both of them wanted to eat the chocolate – Jared wasn’t fussed that it was chocolate, like he’d eat a sock if I gave it to him, but Jacob was really interested and was like “Can I open this one? Just one pleaseeee??”

Finally, when I successfully convinced Jacob that the chocolates were not for him, we started to write the messages and stick the chocolates on. Yet again this process took forever as the kids continued to try and eat chocolate and stick/unstick the chocolate from the cardboard. Not to mention Jacob kept asking me “Who is this one for?” for literally every piece of chocolate, to a point that I practically begged him to play a game on my phone so he would just stop asking me haha!!

Disclaimer: I just put Jared on the table to take this picture – normally I don’t put 6 month old babies on dining tables. No babies were injured!

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At long last, these are the cards I came up with. Which do you think is the funniest?

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Anyway, if you’re ever short of ideas for an interesting card (be it Father’s Day or a birthday) and the person is a lover of chocolate, why not try this out? 🙂

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there (including my dad who lives many miles away and if I had made one for him, it probably would have melted on the way there)!

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! 🙂

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?

Slow cooking for dummies

So, you know how you have those moments where you head to the supermarket to buy just one thing and come back with ten clearance items you need to eat within the next 2 days, some sort of exotic fruit with a name you can’t even pronounce, three different types of breakfast cereals, cat food even though you don’t own a cat, a new toaster and half of aisle 10?

Well, no, I didn’t actually buy all of that, but I did pop by the shops just to get milk and instead I bought half the week’s supply of groceries as well as a slow cooker. Yes, that’s right, I bought a slow cooker from a supermarket. In my defense, it was on offer and I had been thinking of buying one in recent days, but just never quite made it to the places I wanted to buy them from.

This comes along with the notion of trying desperately to eat healthier. I admit I have been a nutritional disaster of late and that’s also been rubbing off on my family, since I am the one preparing the meals. I do admit that we’ve have Asian takeaway and KFC sometime this week, and those are probably my weak spots because if you give me a choice, I could have that more or less every night!

Part of my “excuse” is that it’s hard to cook a proper meal with a busy toddler and a cuddly baby. I wouldn’t call Jared clingy, but he likes to be held and if I leave the kids unsupervised for even 5 minutes, Jacob often ends up trying to undress Jared or draw on his face. I’ve relied on Jared’s brief naptimes (often 30mins at a go) to do any food prep and have just popped things into the oven rather than stir fry things, unless hubby is home.

But now I have a slow cooker, this will be bliss! I look forward to getting my meals ready in the morning and then cleaning up the kitchen before lunchtime! And looking forward to being able to cook in larger portions so we can all have lunch prepared for the next day too!

So, hit me up with some of your best slow cooker recipes! I’m looking forward to making some delicious homecooked meals.

On an ending note, here are just a couple of things we did this week. Jared is starting to get the feel of play cafes while I’ve put Jacob to work already, though it became a rather soapy affair.

4 month update

We had Jared’s 4 month check up and immunisations today. He was in such a good mood that I felt so bad to subject him to a needle in each thigh. The GP was amazed at how happy he was to be undressed to be measured and weighed – he loves being changed and laughs when I take his arms out of his sleeves as it tickles him. He’s a merry ol soul!

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So, at 4 months and 1 week, Jared weighs 8.43kg and is 68cm long/tall. He’s on the higher end of the charts, which is great but is also why I have to go back to the chiropractor to get my back adjusted because of all the times I’ve done my back while carrying him.

Another thing I learned today was about the shift in the introduction of solids. Back when I had Jacob, we were told that anytime between 4 and 6 months was fine and to just introduce slowly such as give one food for a few days before trying another food, and to hold back on introducing “high-risk” food that cause allergies such as eggs, dairy, peanuts, etc. But now, it’s pretty much start at 4 months on the dot and introduce a number of things one after the other including things like eggs and nuts, as this actually helps in the scheme of reducing the likelihood of allergies.

Hence Jared has been upgraded to the status of “high chair”. He loved sitting in it but I put in a pillow to prop him as he’s still a bit wobbly. We tried some mashed banana with a bit of BM today – he mainly licked it as he still has the tongue thrust reflex, but I reckon he liked the taste nevertheless. I’m sure he’ll get the hang of it soon!

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I may be biased, but Jared is such a delight. He is just happy most of the time unless there is a reason to be unhappy, such as a dirty nappy or his brother sitting on him. I am looking forward to many more of his milestones – some of the main ones we’ve seen of late are being able to roll from front to back (but not the other way round), sitting up for short periods of time, gooing and gaaing, and just most of the other things babies do at his age.

Also, on a closing note, one thing I love about winter is all the rain. Growing up in the tropics, rain never bothered me, and my body is finally acclimatizing to the cold. Rain equals muddy puddles! We went puddle jumping the other day and found the biggest puddle ever (which he eventually fell into, ugh!).

Have a nice week everyone!