Playtime ;)

Okay, I finished one article so I feel justified to put up another blog post. Haha! For those of you that don’t know, I write for a Melbourne-based Malaysian magazine (goodness, the alliteration!) called JOM Magazine – feel free to have a look at their online component (and you can read the previous magazine issues) here.

Anyway, yesterday was the hottest April Fool’s Day in Adelaide for 127 years! I know I’ve ranted quite a bit about the weather but we really are having a hot hot HOT time – not the easiest with a little baby!

But since it was just 36 degrees, it was actually really nice! (Am I sounding crazy yet?) We had a really fun day!

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How could we refuse the perfect excuse for a swim? It’s so different now as Jacob can sit up and splash around. Also, he’s outgrown his swimwear! *sob*

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Skittles loves to come and join us when we’re swimming out here. She doesn’t get in the shell because it reminds her of having a bath, but she does like to drink the water and try to steal Jacob’s toys.

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We also had a costume party recently so the play weapons came out! Here he is wielding a sword… or biting the foam. Whatever you want to call it.

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And this is the winner of all photos for the day! Caught red-handed with mummy’s pirate gun! He’s such a poser. Love him to bits!

Alrighty, over and out. I guess it turned out to be a bit of a photo post but don’t we just love photos anyway? 🙂

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Musings on a murderously hot day…

Heat wave! Yesterday’s temperatures soared to 45 and today it’s meant to hit 46! I was tempted to stay in all day yesterday, though it gets pretty hot in the house too – our air con’s working overtime. We escaped to the shopping mall for some retail therapy while Jacob slept in the pram. Dan picked up more work pants, while I pondered about what swimwear to get. My old bikinis are too small and my pregnancy swimsuit is a bit too big. I was toying between these two pieces from Dotti:

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Which one do you prefer? I love the bold colours… Well, since they were on sale, I got both! Ironically, I’ll probably have shorts or a tank over the bikini anyway. So now, I just have to head to the beach one of these days. It’s hard with a baby though, especially since I don’t want to give his poor skin too much sun exposure.

Poor Jacob doesn’t like the heat, so he stays relatively nudie all day (apart from the nappy). Since we were all hot and sweaty, we had another dip in the shell.

ImageEven on the hottest days, babies still get cold if the water is too cold. The last time we had a bit of a swim, Jacob got really quite cold – so, even though it was sweltering today, I added a kettle of hot water to warm it up a bit. Yay for little swimming shells!

Hot weather also makes me more inactive, hence I’ve sat on the computer most of the day. To be fair, I had some projects that I was working on. I’ve been doing a bit of designing as well as arts and crafts with regards to baby showers – would love to share but will keep it quiet til after the showers. First one coming up in less than 2 weeks!

I went to a friend’s baby shower a month or two ago… and she’s just had her baby! I went over to visit her today and it was just lovely to see her and her gorgeous little boy. My sister in law also had her baby back in December, and it’s lovely to see all the cousins together:

ImageAll the baby talk is making me clucky again! I was thinking about the early weeks after Jacob was born and how challenging it was at times. If I could do it all over again (and I probably will if I have a second baby), here are five things I would have done differently:

1. Spent more time in hospital – I didn’t even stay the night (though I guess you could count my night in labour as staying the night). My rationale for going home so early was because I didn’t want to be moved to a shared room in the event that someone else came in in labour and because Jacob and I were doing alright. Thinking about it, I probably would have appreciated a bit more rest. I was buzzing from the adrenaline of it all and didn’t even sleep very much the day he was born. 

2. Shared the baby a bit more – my parents and Dan were at home, but I would choose to sit in the room with Jacob alone just because I wanted to be close to him. I felt directly responsible for anything Jacob did and would always take him when he cried. Now I realise that I could have given myself a few breathers by just passing on the responsibility.

3. Used a nipple shield for breastfeeding – boy, were those first weeks a bit sore! I didn’t even know about them but perhaps they might have helped. I would have liked to speak to more people about what to expect from breastfeeding too, though now I need no introduction. 

4. Not freaked out every time the baby cries – I’ve realised now that babies just cry because they need things. They’re not necessarily sad or upset, but are just trying to communicate their needs. It would have helped the baby stay calm too if I had been calm, but I guess sometimes it’s harder than it sounds.

5. Enjoyed every moment just a tiny bit more – I admit I didn’t enjoy everything I could enjoy in the early weeks. I could have spent more time watching Jacob sleep, or cuddled him more, or even taken more photos. Time puts things into perspective, and I can’t believe how much time has already passed me by.

For now, rather than looking back in retrospect, I’d like to look forward and spend many joyful moments with my lovely family. Tomorrow’s going to be 42 degrees and then we have a cool change (if you can call low 30s cool, I guess). Stay cool, everyone!

 

 

Summer lovin…

We have a bit of a heat wave here – 42 degrees today! I’m keeping Jacob in so we don’t get scorched. On an awesome note though, there’s a bit of thunder out there. I love summer rain, and I’m sure Jacob will too one day! Growing up in Malaysia, summer rain was all too common but here it’s a bit of a rarity. I also love to take walks with Skittles after a good rain – the reserve almost comes alive with the sound of the stream flowing and the frogs croaking.

I’m looking forward to a fun summer with Jacob. Honestly, I’m so amazed at how much he’s grown and how he’s so much stronger, smarter and cuter each day (though I may be biased). He’s sociable, active, a bit crazy at times (like when he makes squawking or screeching sounds) and he does try very hard. He rolls around a lot now (even tries to roll out of his pram) and is really keen on crawling (a.k.a. slithering) around. Sometimes we find him in his baby gym like this:

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Anyway, we caught up with the family over the weekend and had a little splish splash splosh in the pool. I love the fact that he’s a similar age to his cousins, and when they’re a bit older I can see them all running around together having fun. It was a pretty warm day though there was a bit of a breeze, hence Jacob got cold quite quickly so we only let him have a few dips. Initially, Jacob was not impressed as he was being splashed (and the water was a bit cold).

ImageBut, being the lover of water that he is, he decided that yes, he would have a good time despite being a little cold and wet. Of course, this was possibly also because the big kids were out of the pool and he was in the limelight. Photo credits to nanny of course – he seems to love to smile at her camera. Maybe I’ll get a pink phone cover too.

ImageI think it’s so important to give kids water exposure/education at a young age so that they’re comfortable with it. That being said, it’s probably just as important to never take any of that for granted and always supervise kids with water, because they can drown in like mere inches of water.

Here in Australia, lots of babies start swimming classes from 6 months old. I don’t think I’ll start Jacob that early, but I am keen to keep him comfortable with water. He swims quite often in the bath (as we bathe with him in the bathtub) and is quite accustomed to having water being poured on his face, since we’ve really been doing that since day one. I do hope he becomes a good swimmer like his daddy! (Mummy’s not too bad but has no stamina…)

Another highlight of the week is Jacob’s first haircut. The lucky boy had a free haircut as the first one is complimentary! Here’s his before picture, and he’s actually in a brand new shirt that we got from the Pumpkin Patch sale.

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Reason for this impulse purchase? Well, when we headed out to the mall and I thought “Aw, just a short trip so don’t need to worry about a spare change of clothes.” And just a while after we got there, all hell breaks loose in his nappy to a point that he can no longer wear his jumpsuit around. So, what to do – I do like his new shirt though, and it was only $10 anyway…

The result? A handsome happy baby… (in my opinion anyway)

ImageI will busy myself this week with baby shower organisation – there are three coming up in the next month or so and I can’t wait. Not to mention, Chinese New Year is around the corner too and while we don’t usually make a big occasion of it, there are lots of dishes I’d love to cook! 🙂 Hope you all have an exciting month ahead!

Jacob plays baby Jesus!

At long last, the day finally arrived – Jacob’s first stage performance!

We had the privilege of participating in the Living Nativity which is part of the Lobethal Lights. As I mentioned in a previous post, a little country town called Lobethal lights up during Christmastime – houses put on their most dazzling displays and there are markets, pageants and so on. In the middle of the main street, a nativity scene is conducted, telling the story of the birth of Jesus.

I remember first witnessing this nativity scene two years ago – our church choir sings in it once a year, and it was a festive event indeed. It’s a really amazing experience for kids and tourists too as it really brings the scene to life – there are live animals, and of course, a live baby Jesus. 

ImageSo first, we got dressed. Daniel’s all dressed and ready to go, but my costume is a bit more complicated. Jacob didn’t need a costume as he was just supposed to be swaddled in a wrap. Unfortunately, the day’s temperature reached 41 degrees and it was still quite warm that night, so a wrap was not the best idea. 

ImageAnd here’s Joseph and Mary. I had so many layers to my costume that I was steaming hot in it! And I wasn’t allowed to wear glasses as, obviously, they didn’t have glasses back in the day. So I was a bit slow cos my vision was impaired, due to the heat and also because I still had a stuffy head (surviving on Panadol).

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Jacob was obviously Mr Popularity – he was a hit with the angels! I made it a point to give him lots of good naps (he had a good 2.5 hour one before) and he was in a great mood then. He was fed, changed and loved by the multitudes.

ImageSo, naturally, when we get on stage, he screams his head off. Sigh. Typical baby. I couldn’t blame him on a 35 degree night, honestly. I’m sure baby Jesus cried at some point anyway. In the first performance too, he grabbed my costume and my headdress came off – it was probably slipping anyway from the slippery hair and sweat! Gabriel had to come and fix it for me. And I was going to feed him quickly between the performances, but he fell asleep and was an angel for about a minute and then woke up in the middle of the second performance, where he had perfected his mortified wail.

It was funny that he somehow found the right cues to cry at, which made it quite funny really. Examples:

1. The first of the three kings presents him with a gift of gold – as soon as he puts it down in front of Jacob, WAAAAAAAA! (Clearly he doesn’t like gold)
2. Angels crouching around him singing “Silent night…” WAAAAAAAAAAAA! (Not very silent unfortunately)
3. The whole cast singing “We wish you a merry Christmas!”… WAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! (Not very merry either)

Other points to note were the animals. Goodness me, they were cute! My favourites were the calf and the kid (goat), who were relatively playful and insolent. In the first performance, the little goat refused to move back into position and had to be dragged by the shepherd. In the second performance, the calf did the hugest pee in the world right in the middle of the set. Hilarious!

ImageBut despite my screaming child, I decided to take it in my stride and smile and try to have a good time. Really, I did feel quite proud to be part of the production (and the photos don’t show that he’s screaming his head off anyway). It really is a great memory and something we can look back on and laugh at together. And it certainly has made his first Christmas extra special.

Credits to my mum in law for her awesome photos! Go paparazzi nanny! 🙂

For any of you who haven’t yet gone to see this, you have to! The festival still continues to Dec 30th and you can find out more here:
http://www.lightsoflobethal.com.au/