Tuesday, 31 January 2012


We have had loads of trouble with Alex sleeping lately. Well, if I'm honest, we've had trouble with him sleeping since he was born. He was definately NOT a textbook sleeper. None of the timeframes or strategies fitted him, so it was always tons of trial and error and lots of sleepless nights for us.

A few months ago, Alex's trick was waking up, ready for the day to start, at 5am (see earlier posts for my opinion on that!). Recently he has been waking up several times during the night, coming into our room and not leaving until he got to lay in our bed for a while. This usually ended in screaming matches or one of us laying with him in his bed until he went to sleep~ and often us falling asleep there too.

It made me start to doubt the wisdom of getting him out of the cot and into a bed before the age of 2. Megan coped ok, so we assumed he would too. Of course they are very different sleepers, so perhaps we shouldn't have assumed he would setlle the same way.

I was desperate for a solution and was hoping our Maternal Child Health Nurse would have some ideas at Alex's 2yr check up. Sadly our Super-woman nurse was away and we had a fill-in who didn't know much at all :( However, she did ask if he got 12-13 hours of sleep in 24hours, including his daytime sleep, which he did.

But it got me thinking. Since Alex has never fitted into normal sleep routines, maybe he didnt need as much sleep as everyone else his age. His dad can certainly survive on very little sleep, so we tested the theory.

We started keeping him up during his day sleep, and putting up with "Mr Cranky-Pants" until bedtime. Lo-and-behold, he went to sleep very easily (this has been a fight lately, too) and slept all night until about 7am. Heaven!

Hopefully, this new routine will continue and we will be able to catch up on some much needed sleep. I will miss that 1-2 hours of quite time that was usually his naptime, but if it means a full night's sleep, I'll happily trade!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Times have changed...

It's interesting how times have changed. Things we took for granted as kids are no longer common place for this next generation.

Today was hot. The last few weeks have been hot! And we have had some kind of pool on our patio for the kids (and even sometimes Mike and I) to paddle around in. They have had a ball!

But tonight, because of the heat, I went out to water the garden and the kids had so much fun with the hose. I couldn't work out the fascination- until I realised that I rarely water the garden (ours is pretty self-sufficient). So this was a fairly new experience for them. As kids we used to play under the sprinkler all the time, but with water restrictions around for all of Megan's 3.5yrs, fun with running water didn't exist outside of the shower!

They weren't quite happy with being squirted by mum, but having a go at hosing and putting their hands and feet in the pressurised water was great fun! (I was ever conscious that their hosing attempts were somewhat near the plants that needed it!)

No comment about the lack of trigger-hose please! I took it off for the kids to feel the water :)

Maybe one day there will be a time where playing under the sprinkler wont be wasteful and be back to being a great childhood past time. Until then, it'll be wading pools with 10cms of water and the odd playing with the hose while mum waters the garden!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Fun things we've done this week

The school holidays are nearing the end, and so to go out with a bit of a bang, we've been doing some extra fun things lately (mainly to stop Megan from being glued to ABC kids all day long!). Some ideas I got from a blog called Planning with Kids by a super organised mum with 5 kids (yes you heard right... organised with 5 kids!!).

We've made Grass Heads...no hair yet but hopefully soon!

... Bird feeders...no birds yet, but still fun...

Played with birdseed and then cleaned up afterwards...

Cooked and hung out the washing...

Gardening (aka playing with the water crystals) and shopping at Bunnings...

(and please don't go all gender stereotyping on me...
Alex and Megan both did all of these activities...I just didn't get photos!)

We also had a major clean out of toys, got rid of loads of plastic pieces that got used for 2 mins and then discarded and kept the ones that are played with over and over again. These tended to be the dress ups, play food and cooking, drawing boards (magnadoodle style), etc. We also kept most of the outside toys coz that's the focus I want my kids to have...fun outdoors AWAY FROM TV as much as possible.

So that's been the events of our family lately :)

Things I've learnt in the past few weeks...

Here are some important parent-related things I've learnt in the past few weeks. Some are trivial, some significant!

#1- You can't make a child go to sleep. No amount of reading books, singing songs, patting, sitting in their room, growling, etc, will make an un-sleepy child sleep.

#2- That 5 minute nap in the car at 5pm WILL DEFINATELY affect their sleeping pattern and result in not going to sleep at bedtime (see #1!!)

#3- Hot weather does not seem to bother little kids like it does adults.

#4- I will never get tired of "kissing it better".

#5- It's difficult to present a united front to the kids when you disagree with a particular parenting technique of your partner.

#6- Child-less friends should have a few child friendly toys for when families visit. Or they should have stairs.

#7- The 3 B's are the best toddler toys around....Balls, Bubbles, Balloons...

#8-  Balloons are fun when they are inflated, and when you make that squealy noise with the neck, but not when they pop.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Bikes and Dentists...

Bikes and dentisits....thankfully these two are not related in today's blog. There has been no disasterous bike accident needing immediate dental work ~ thank heavens!! No, these are just two big things in Megans life at the moment.

Megan got a bike for Christmas and, boy, was it money well spent! Mike got the traditional Dad-job of putting it together before Christmas day and we made sure we did it the day before Christmas eve so we could race to the shops if anything was missing (nothing was!)

She loves her bike. We went for a walk around the block the other day so she could go for a real ride. We made it halfway before she wanted to walk, but she looked after the bike herself which suited us with a pram and 2 dogs on leads!

We have a small paved patio area where she rides in small circles and thinks it fantastic. We have a huge house block by todays standards but it isnt really bike friendly. Stones are hard ot ride on and steps up and down the patio dont help either. We may have to make some adjustments so she and Alex can hoon around like I did as a kid :)

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *       *      *      *      *

Megan had her first denal visit today. Just a get to know you visit, really. We talked about what the dentist does, the big chair, etc and as if by heavenly intervention, "Play School" had a segment on destists yesterday too. All necessary preparation for the stress-head, Megan.

So when we went along to the dentist this morning, she thought it was great. She wouldnt sit on the chair by herself, only on my lap, but she was happy to wear the groovy sunglasses, open her mouth when told and let the dentist have a look at her teeth. She was most impressed with the tooth-fairy sticker she received from the dental nurse when we left. A successful visit as far as she was concerned!

***Not so successful for me however...a filling for me plus being told to get orthodontal cover on our health insurance coz Megan will need it when she gets older... AWESOME!!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Time away from them...

I love my kids: heart and soul, to the ends of the world and back. But gee I love time away from them!

We (hubby and I) are currently on school holidays, but the kids have return to thier daycare centre after a week off over Christmas/New Years.You might think it's unnecessary to send them when we are at home, but I look at it this way.

Our childcare centre (or creche as we call it) doesnt give reduced holiday rates, so we are paying regular fees regardless of whether the kids are there or not. If we dont send them, it uses up some of the allowed absences for the year. So we thought they may as well go for a few hours, solialise with their friends, and we get some uninterrupted adult time!!

I usually plan particular activities during creche days...scrapbooking stuff spread out all over the table, lunch out~just the 2 of us, shopping in places that would be a nightmare with 2 toddlers, etc. The kid-free time is bliss and usually flies by faster than ever.

And as icing on the cake, by the time we go to pick the kids up again, I have usually missed them to bits and they are super-excited to see us. So the time apart has brought us closer together!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

the Chatterbox...

Alex recently turned 2 and he amazes me with the things he says. Sometimes it's hard to understand him because of the dummy firmly wedged in his mouth (any ideas on getting rid of that are welcome!) but otherwise he is quite loquacious.

It shouldnt be surprising that he is a good speaker, he has an incredibly chatty older sister as a role model. Here are some of my favourite things that Alex says (with a translation if needed!)...
  • "Mum, watch!"- usually doing something mundane like touching his leg, but wow mum, aren't I clever and I love the attention you atre giving me!
  • "plane!"- he can hear them from a mile away and stares at the sky searching for the source of the noise.
  • "doing?" (What are you doing?) he's happy with any response really, I think he just likes asking something that people understand!
  • "are you?" (Where are you?)- Mum, Dad, sister, toys, everything...
  • "I do it"- and you can't help him either, he has to do it, whatever it is!
  • "'s wrong?" (What's wrong?) I just love that he cares to ask and he can tell by frustrated grunts or groans that there is something wrong!
  • "cuddles"- self explanatory but again I love that he wants a cuddle and I'm happy to give them out.
  • "Kisses"- he's just learnt that kisses make it better so na matter has been bumped or hurt, a kiss makes everything ok again!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Baby Wipes...how I love thee!!

I love Baby Wipes, seriously love them. This is not news to my family and friends. They hear me rave about them all the time. But I just found a new use for them and need to share my love!!

Obviously, baby wipes are great for cleaning baby bums. We only have 1 little tacker in nappies now so you would have thought our stocks of baby wipes would be reducing...not so!! I think we buy more now than when Megan was first born and we stocked up (as new parents do in all the excitement, you know, 3 super-sized boxes of nappies that newborns grow out of so quickly!!). In fact, I think the ratio of wipe use is about 1:3, 1 packet used on bums, 3 pakets used around the house!

I use them in just about every room of the house. We have a pack on the dining table for wiping faces and hands after eating (not great for the environemnt, I know, but soooooo much faster and more efficient than face washers). I use wipes to dust-on the rare occasions that happens :), wipe finger smudges from the fridge and often the walls too. Yesterday I used them to clean the dusty muck from on top of the microwave and today hubby used them to clean the grease from the rangehood vents above the stove. Amazing clean- as good as when I soak them in hot, soapy water. We even used them on the inside of the oven once!

I am happy to share my secret, too, to all 2 of my blog readers out there!! I know you wont be rushing the shops and cause a huge change in my wipe-buying practises! They are just Aldi wipes. They have Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, which sounds lovely for young bottoms, but must be important in general cleaning too even thought I wouldn't have thought so.

On the downside, there are some things my super-wipes cant do...
  • Clean purple nail polish from my cream walls (thanks for the Alex!)
  • Mop my floor-  not that they couldn't, I'm sure they'd do a great job, I just haven't stooped that low...yet!
  • Prune my garden
  • End world hunger
Pretty much anything else, is covered!!

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