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!

2016 Bupa Blog Awards

We’ve had a few “downers” of late – I think it’s been a bit of a streak in the last few months or so. We’ve had quite a few kitchen appliances fail on us, like first our microwave oven, then our convection oven, and even our actual oven too – I never knew that oven doors could fall off, but so be it. We’ve also had car troubles, which have already cost plenty, and then a couple of days ago, someone drove into the side of our car and took off. Sigh.

But really, the heaviest thing weighing on my mind is the fact that we are quite seriously rehoming our dog, Skittles. We have thought about it on and off, for a number of reasons, but the main one being that she kept getting out of the house so we put her on a chain while trying to work out some solution, but nothing ever seemed to work. And we did get a dog trainer, but with two kids, a lot of the training was just going right out the window, with only ourselves to blame.

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She is on trial at the moment at a home where she’ll have a companion dog too, as well as a couple of primary-aged kids to play with. I am trying to imagine it in a sense that she’s getting married and will be living on with the in-laws. It’s not confirmed yet, but it sure is looking good. I have considered several times to march over there and get her back, but I really honestly want her to be happy too.

I never imagined I’d be the type of person who would give up my pet. In fact, she doesn’t feel like just a pet – she was my first child; one who I had to toilet train and to set boundaries with and even went to puppy school with. The one who I would have to boot off the sofa time and time again, the one who would nearly yank my arm off every time we took her for a walk, the one who even escaped so often into the neighbour’s garden that they took a picture of her lazing on their deckchair.

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I’m not sure how this will pan out, but I cannot deny this looming sense of loss.

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I know my rant above has nothing to do with the title, but it was one of the “ups” amidst the downs. I got an email saying that my blog was nominated in the 2016 Bupa Blog Awards, which is a real privilege. I don’t know if I’ll win (but I sure would like to) but it did put a smile in my face amidst the storm. You can read more about the blog awards HERE – the next stage will be to cross my fingers and see if I qualify as one of the finalists on the 4th of July. 🙂

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Children’s Book Review – “Mr Pete, Where are your feet?”

Reading is one of my hobbies, or at least it used to be until I got too busy to do it. Even before I started going to school, I used to churn through 12 books a week. But over the years, I’ve had to put that hobby in the background to try and juggle all the other things I need/want to do (being the social being that I am). And now with a baby, this is proving even harder – I borrowed a book from the local library in March and have renewed it twice but still haven’t gotten halfway through it yet.

However, something I indulge in lately is children’s books! Of course, I try to read them to Jacob who is either completely uninterested or tries to eat my book (and cries when I try to take it away from him). But really, children’s books help me remember my love for reading and spur me on to pick up that bigger “adult” book that I have to try and read a chapter (only to be interrupted by a baby trying to climb the TV cabinet). 

I agreed to review a new children’s book written by Katherine Bartlett, a talented lady with a love for winged creatures (i.e. birds, not bats or flying foxes). Her book has a catchy title – “Mr Pete, Where are your feet?”. With Jacob sitting in his cot at full attention, I opened it up full screen and read it to Jacob (in hopes to get his opinions too).

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The book introduces us to Mr Pete and his family – his winged brothers and sisters, and his non-winged mummy (whom he obviously loves to bits despite her not having wings like him). Anyway, mummy asks him a rhetorical question, “Mr Pete, where are your feet?” and it gets Mr Pete thinking. He looks at his feet and to his dismay, they’re “missing” – he had shorter feet and fewer claws compared to the other birds.

So, he sets off to look for his feet. Along with his birdy sisters and brothers, they search all over the place for Mr Pete’s feet but to no avail. Mr Pete is disheartened and is worried that his mummy will no longer accept him for his flaws, but mummy proves him wrong with loving affirmation.

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While this book addresses the issue of disability and acceptance in society, I think that it also addresses another much more common issue – accepting our flaws. Our world today pressures people so much to groom themselves to perfection that people are increasingly insecure about their shortcomings. However, all we need is a gentle reassurance that we are accepted for who we are.

I enjoyed this book – the illustrations were simple but effective. Repetition is always a great feature of children’s books and I really liked the values the book teaches. Probably a more suitable read for kindy or early primary readers, though I must say it did keep Jacob’s attention for a little while (before he started chewing on the cot railing, le sigh).

An extra bonus at the end was the fact that it was a true story (and we were introduced to all the real-life bird characters!). I think it’s really great to bring the story to life (and perhaps pave the way for a sequel?). Awesome story, Katherine, and I look forward to future books!

You can purchase her book on Amazon here.

I apologise for a bit of self-promotion along with this post, but this brings something to mind that I haven’t thought of for AGES! Back in 2007, I joined a writing competition which won me a trip to Dublin. We were meant to write a 1500 word piece on the title “Helping Hands” – and as I read the piece I wrote, I think “Damn, I was a pretty good writer!” 🙂 

I found the archive of it – read my story here.

And just to prove to you that yes, I have been in the paper before, here is one of the archived articles about my prize-winning experience. Please ignore the terribly ugly picture of myself trying to look as though I’m excited.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!! 🙂

Travel bug…

I’ve been busy with my parents, who have just left Adelaide for home sweet home.

ImageIt was wonderful for them to be here to share in Jacob’s upbringing. They watched him go from rocking back and forth to crawling and climbing up onto things. They watched him eating lots on good days and throwing food on the floor on not so good days. They witnessed him go from super friendly baby to slightly wary baby, as he just developed his stranger anxiety. But most of all, they just got to build a bond with him and I’m sure he’ll love to see them again when we head to Malaysia later in the year.

I’ve had the travel bug lately and have been dying to seek out another destination to travel to. I have actually been to quite a few places, but perhaps the more I travel, the more I feel like travelling! Anyway, here are 5 awesome places I’ve been to in the last few years (and would LOVE to go back to).

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Auckland, NZ (and surrounds- Rotorua, etc)
I admit Auckland isn’t the most interesting place, but I definitely want to go back to New Zealand to explore the great outdoors.

ImageJakarta, Indonesia
My dad used to work here so we used to visit him here.

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The Gold Coast, Australia
I loved the theme parks in Gold Coast, but will only go back when Jacob is old enough to enjoy them.

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Cairns, Australia
(and surrounds – Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation, Chillagoe, Innisfail, Great Barrier Reef, etc.)
I worked here and also went on some awesome road trips. Love this region!

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Phuket, Thailand
We went there for our honeymoon and it was awesome. Enough said!

Which of the following places do you like the best?

And finally, I won something – or really, Jacob won something. Remember the competition I posted about last week?

ImageYippie, we got a runner up prize! I’ll find out exactly what I win on Tuesday. Thanks again to Avalon City Imaging Photography!

A quarter way through…

I woke up today and thought, ahh – April Fools’ Day! I can try to play some tricks on people – until, of course, I remembered that March has 31 days!

How quickly has this year gone? It’s already a quarter way through! In this time, the following has happened:
– We did our first road trip with Jacob to Melbourne
– Attended 3 baby showers, 2 of which I helped host
– Dressed Jacob up in a Chinese fashion for Chinese New Year
– Our house floor has had a full refurbishment, from carpet/lino to tiles
– Survived a week with Jacob when Daniel was away at school camp
– Had Jacob’s baby dedication
– Had a getaway to Port Elliot (with my parents)
– Had my parents come over (and it’s nearly time for them to go home)

But what’s really been amazing is seeing the change in Jacob – three months ago, he could barely roll over and now he’s all over the place, climbing up and trying to walk now. Before, breastmilk was all he wanted but now he’d happy have a teething rusk, strawberries in a net or some veggie puree. One thing I know – he grows cuter every day and I love him to bits!

When my next blog post will be all depends on whether I’ll be able to finish my magazine articles in time for submission. I will work hard and try to post something towards the end of the week, but I don’t want to give false hope (as I have a long way to go, haha!). But I’ll just make this a bit of a photo post:

ImageSomebody likes going shopping. 🙂

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 He’s too eager to get into his bath… he love bubbles.

ImageI can sit up and I’m doing Thriller in the garden!

ImageI’m showing off just because I can…

ImageYou need to tidy up this change table, mummy…

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I want to have big feet like daddy!

I’ll end with just another quick reminder about the competition I entered Jacob into – it’s ending Friday and I’d really like to get as many votes as possible. This is the link to it… 🙂