Sunday, 30 December 2012

Never Mind...

When Alex wets his pants and starts to get upset, I say "Never mind!"

When Alex falls over and grazes his knee and starts to cry, I say "Never mind!"

When Alex drops his yoghurt all over my clean floor and rug, and I start to get upset, he says, "Never Mind Mum!"

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Time for Christmas...

Christmas Day was a different pace here this year.

There was time to sleep in.....  well...  past 8am anyway.

Time for a leisurely late breakfast...just the four of us.

Time to open gifts one at a time and appreciate them, play with them.

Noticing the time passing and enjoying each other's company.

There were (almost) no fights or tears today. Possibly because the kids didn't hear the word "No" much today.

Chocolate was eaten throughout the day.

Lunch and dinner was leftovers from the big family get together yesterday.

And then even more chocolate was eaten.

Today was nice.

Just what Christmas is supposed to be.

Friday, 21 December 2012

The joy of giving...

Our Family Activity Advent Calendar has been doing OK in it's inaugural year. We've forgotten to look at the activity a few times and totally ditched some when we simply ran out of time. But there was one particular task that I was very keen to add and made sure we didn't miss.

  I love the idea of the kids donating something of their own before Christmas. Partly to make room for new gifts received, but more importantly to recognise that there are other families with a lot less than us and its nice to give for the sake of giving.

My mum often talks to the kids about the "Smith kids" who are from the Smith Family (charity). Megan and Alex think that the kids on the Smith Family ads are real kids who don't have toys and clothes like they do. I know it's not entirely true, but it has given a very real face to a difficult to understand topic.

So when we pulled out today's advent calendar card and it said donate a toy and book, Megan got really excited. She chose her book and toy carefully and wanted to find more and more to give. I really didn't want her to give away the 'Meg and Mog' book because I had searched the Internet especially for it when we first had Megan. But it was her choice and I think she chose it because she likes the story and wanted the Smith kids to enjoy it too.

Alex didn't really understand so just randomly chose a book and toy, but I hope he remember it for next year when he may understand a bit more.

So the gifts are boxed, ready to pass onto the Smith family charity (I'll make a point of donating to them so that I can say they items DID go to the Smith Family!)

And I'm looking forward to keeping this tradition up for years to come.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Going Overboard...

I'm about to be controversial...hold onto your hats...

The consumerism and "I want, I want" mentality of kids is our

Do kids really need 10 birthday presents? NO.

Do kids know if you have spent the same amount of money on one and not the other? NO.

It's our own sense of fairness and keeping up with the Jones' that leads us to buying more, doing more.

Mike and I were racking our brains for types of food to include in Alex's Dinosaur Birthday Party last weekend. We thought for weeks about how to make a dinosaur birthday cake. But this was us trying to make everything perfect, not Alex demanding a party with strict design and food guidelines!

Would he have been happy with a plain round (even store-bought) cake... No doubt. The fact that it had a candle on it and it was for HIS party was all that mattered.

And Christmas.... Ahhh Christmas....

The time of year where parents feel they have to give their kids the biggest and best of everything.

We had planned to make a cubby house for the kids this Christmas, but time and money got away from us. But hubby then decided that we had to spend the money that was for the cubby on the kids anyway.  HOLD UP!!!

The kids didn't know they were getting the cubby house, they didn't know how much it was going to cost, they will not notice amongst their other gifts that they are missing out. They are getting plenty need to go out and buy more, simply to assuage our guilt over not being able to provide one particular thing.

Alex would be happy with a $1 bubble wand from Kmart and Megan would love a packet of new hair clips or nail polish.

So why do we feel the need to have to get them expensive, fandangled super-toys?

Parent guilt... That's why! (OK, and possibly some really good company marketing strategies!)

Lots of big gifts under the tree looks great. A mountain of wrapping paper ripped from presents on christmas morning makes us feel good.

But it leads to the one trait of kids that I can't stand.....greed.

And our little boy displayed exactly that on the morning of his party when he said...

"Where's my next present??"

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Why do boys need to touch their willies...?

Seriously....all the time?????????

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Long-Awaited Dinosaur Party

The Dinosaur Party finally arrived!

I had a hard time giving Alex his birthday presents today, since his actual birthday is more than 2 weeks away. But he is still at an age where he doesn't realise that today isn't his birthdate, despite being able to recite his birthday as "at Christmas Eve". And we are having family over for Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, so it would be confusing for the little guy to get birthday and Christmas presents on the same day.

The theme has been discussed and planned for close to 6 months and since Alex kept changing his mind about what he wanted, we picked something from his list that we thought would be easy enough to organise.

However, we didn't take into account the busy and expensive time of year, so some of the things we wanted to do were just not possible (head over to my Dinosaur Party Pinterest board to see all the lovely things that endless money and time would have provided!)

But all in all, Alex was happy and that's all the matters!!

The Stegosaurus cake was a hit with old and young- for decoration and taste, and I love sharing that the cake inside is a 79c packet mix from Safeway! Alex's first choice of Stegosaurus colour was pink, then purple, then green, then orange. We went with orange (even though the photo looks peachy-pink).

We have lots of fun planning food around the party theme and this time was no different!

I really loved the Dinosaur outfit I made for Alex, even though he wasn't as impressed. Today was the only day ever that he didn't feel like roaring like a dinosaur!! Oh well, he can wear it around the house!
And the effort we went to to make these guys was a waste, coz they weren't used in the way we had planned and weren't quite as impressive as the look here (plus Mr T-Rex got eaten by the dogs)

In the end, we had 2 kids hyped up on sugar which is always a sign of a good party. Everyone was well fed, had fun and is now completely tuckered out!

No more party planning for a while... except that Christmas Eve dinner... and Megan is making requests for her "number 5 birthday" already...

Oh well, at least Pinterest takes the hard work out of finidng ideas!!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Family Activity Advent Calendar....

I love the lead up to Christmas. The excitement, the all adds to the fun. So I love the idea of advent calendars that count down to Christmas Day.

The kids have their first chocolate advent calendar this year and I found on Pinterest a cool "activity advent calender" that I added to my Christmas Pinterest Board, so I thought I'd have a go at making one (in fact I think I like mine better!),

Once I finally got all the materials and got going, it was great fun! And choosing the activites was cool too. The Pinterest page had some ideas that we used and we came up with a few of our own as well. We strategically placed the activities in the calendar so that busy days weren't made busier with tasks and those that needed a bit more time and effort were done on the weekends. I even made a few spares so that we can change things around next year.

Here are the activities we have used this year...
  1. Decorate the Christmas tree
  2. Hang lights on the house
  3. Colour a Christmas picture
  4. Listen to a Chrostmas CD
  5. Make Christmas Cards
  6. Make a new Christmas decoration
  7. Write a letter to Santa
  8. Sing a Christmas Song to someone
  9. Take photos for Christmas cards
  10. Make hot chocolate and stir with candy canes
  11. Read a Christmas Story
  12. Wrap presents
  13. Choose a toy and book to donate (this is my favourite
  14. Cut out paper snowflakes
  15. Have a sleepover in front of the tree
  16. Make Gingerbread men
  17. Draw and Christmas Picture
  18. Take a gift to your teacher
  19. Drive around and look at Christmas Lights
  20. Go and visit Santa Clause (at the shops)
  21. Make reindeer food (I love doing this with the kids at school)
  22. Watch a Christmas movie & eat popcorn
  23. Make a treat and take it to a friend
  24. Read the "Night before Christmas"
SPARES: visit the Myer Christmas Windows, make a stained glass window (another favourite that I do at school!)
I'm really looking forward to doing each of these activities with the kids and hope it helps build the excitement towards the big day!

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