Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Messy playdate Tuesday.

Today I hosted our messy playdate again, and thanks to that sickness that has been sticking around I wasn't feeling particularly adventurous after another horrible nights sleep.

I decided on 'goop', essentially dump a packet of corn flour into a container and mix with water until you get the desired affect.  I made two different bins, one that had a more watery consistency than the other and set them both out with some pipettes, food colouring and scooping utensils for the invitation.

Once our visitors arrived Emma and Otto got right into the activity.  Both of them used the pipettes at first to mix the colours and it was interesting to see the effects on the solution, but once that got a bit tiresome they decided to dump the contents of the food colouring into the bin.  Certainly something for me to remember next time, I now need a bunch more food colouring in this weeks grocery shopping!

Otto worked really hard at scooping out the solution and filling up the empty jars and Emma enjoyed the feeling of trying to pick the goop up and have it slide through her fingers as well as transferring from one container to the other.

I have to say sometimes the simplest play is the way to go, this activity got so much more attention then I thought it would and they both spent a fair amount of time playing with it and using elements in further imaginative play (instead of being ducks like here they were birds this time!).  To continue the play a little longer we filled a plastic clam shell with a bit of water and shaving cream and dumped some of the remaining food colouring in there.  They had a great time stripping off and jumping in and out of it. 

Topped off by a bath and some yummy snacks and it is another successful messy day with friends.

What have you been up to with the kids?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

3 Months.

Three months on Saturday!  I am hoping to take him to the child health nurses this week and get some official stats on where he is sitting, however my guess is average weight and above average height again.  Somehow I make tall babies.

Hugo is smiling more and more, we are getting a few chuckles now especially if he is tired.  He is almost rolling over, gets so close and then frustrated when he can't quiet make it, poor love.  His hands are a miracle as far as he is concerned, he absolutely loves watching them and is grasping onto objects faster and easier with each day.

A second child is such an interesting journey, my heart has easily doubled in size and I have a strong desire to stop time right here and let him remain this scrumptious baby for a while, but I also can't wait to see a little more of what is there behind his eyes waiting to come out.  Lucky for me, I don't have to make the decision, time marches on and all will be revealed.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sunday adventures.

Today was yet another gorgeous Brisbane day so we headed as a family into Southbank for a morning of swimming and playing.

While the outside air was lovely and warm the temperature in the water was arctic, those of us too old to remember wanting to play in the water even if you couldn't feel your lips were exchanging raised eyebrows and grimaces at each other while keeping a close eye on our shivering children.

Our wonderful morning was finished off with the traditional ice cream and a new added bonus of a nappy blowout for Hugo (I am hoping that is a transient phase!).  However one photo I was really determined to get was an updated one of our family, luckily my sister in law was happy to oblige.

So there we are, our lovely family, Otto almost three and Hugo three months.

Messy Playdate Tuesday.

I feel like I am living in some kind of amazing dream here in Brisbane at the moment, the weather has been so amazing for late winter I just want to get out there and live every second of it.

On Tuesday we did just that, we all met up again for another messy playdate and had a great time.  There were bubbles, lots of shaving cream, playdoh and well, lots of mess!  

This time food colouring, dishwashing detergent and water were poured onto a foam mat and the kids got to pound, press and rub the foam to feel the bubbles coming out, then a quick run to the slide which was made extra slippery thanks to the shaving cream!

All of them had so much fun running around the yard slipping on the shaving cream and jumping on the bubble foam mat, Otto kept talking about the spongy mat and the slippery slide on the way home and I was so pleased to hear him talk about the different textures.

After exhausting themselves and thoroughly soaking up the sun we headed to the deck where they made their own no-cook playdoh (I don't have the recipe).  Watching them mix the colours together was amusing, brown playdoh seemed to be the end result for a lot of it.

After coming home and having quiet time Otto decided he wanted to paint, I am not sure if he was remembering the playdate from the week before but he really wanted to paint himself.  We compromised and I set it up so that he could paint on a long piece of paper with his hands and feet.

 And before I knew it another Tuesday adventure was over, Otto went to bed that night with blue tinged toes and talking about bubbles under his feet.

It is my turn again next week and I am really looking forward to what they come up with this time!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I can do hard things.

That has been my mantra for this week, Han left very early Monday morning and won't be back to way past their bedtime tonight, solo parenting with an almost 3 year old and a 12 week old baby has not been my idea of fun.

Don't get me wrong it hasn't been all bad, we have had some wonderful times over the week, but those crazy hours just before bed? Well they are a whole lot worse with only one person working to get everyone to bed and two little people working against you.  To top it off we are now ending the week sick and my children always skip the memo that says you need to rest when unwell, so I end up with over tired sick children.  I bet you can already hear the wine bottle opening, because as soon as those children give in to sleep tonight I am opening a very nice bottle and giving myself a pat on the back.

As you can imagine we haven't done a huge amount this week (unless you count not sleeping!)

I knew I was in trouble when this happened Monday morning, before I had even had my first coffee.  Oh and that was only his hands I didn't manage to take a picture of the rest of it.  

The best thing about this week has hands down been the weather.  It is only a few days until Spring but it decided to come early and give us a bit of a taste and boy did I like it.

I am pretty sure Otto did too, it has been a while since I have tasted the goodness that is a rainbow paddle pop!

By the end of the week Otto was getting good at perfecting his pout while sitting in time out and got even better at scrubbing paint from the brickwork after many futile attempts to convince me that the birds and monkeys from the jungle came and did it.  I will give him ten points for imagination though.

And Hugo?  He has traveled through this week all smiles, even though he decided to throw me some crazy sleep antics in the middle of the night and during the day.

Someone looks mighty happy to be sitting up in the pram now doesn't he!  It must be nice to be able to look at something other than the ceiling.

The minutes are ticking by and my partner in crime and life will soon be home, and you can bet he is on baby and toddler duty tonight!

(excuse the dodgy iphone pictures I am sure to one day stumble upon my camera charger again)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ekka holiday.

Yesterday was the Ekka showday, and what a glorious day it was, Brisbane really knows how to turn on the weather as it gets closer to spring.

We gave the ekka a miss this year and probably will for a fair while yet, it would be such a huge day for them and both kids are too small to appreciate it yet.  We did still have fun though and headed to the Roma St parklands to catch up with friends.  Otto had a great time playing and running around the park with his friends, chasing the water dragons that are so tame thanks I am sure to all the dropped food that exists around a playground.

The best part though was that the little train was running, his already large smile became even bigger once he realised he could go on it.

The best part of doing these things on a weekend or public holiday means I get to steal a few minutes with Otto on my own and not worry about Hugo at all.  It reminds me of all the little adventures we used to do just the two of us.

We weren't the only ones enjoying such a beautiful day, there were families and couples all over the area having picnics and catching up.  We shared our train journey with another lovely family who had a young girl and watching them all interact made me realise just how lucky we are.

The mother of this family was obviously wearing a wig, had her eyebrows drawn on, and a few other hallmarks of recently having chemotherapy.  She looked tired, very tired but was determined to enjoy the day, her husband often looked concerned and asked if she was ok but both parents were committed to having a special time with their daughter, they talked with Otto and the little girl told him what they had been doing that morning and she seemed so excited.  It made me hug my family just that little bit harder when they went to sleep last night and offer a silent thanks that right now we are all ok, happy and healthy.  You never know what the next day might bring and watching that little girl walk away with a huge smile on her face holding her mothers hand made me appreciate my little bubble in the world all that much more.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Messy playdate Tuesday.

After sickness had us cancelling last weeks playdate we finally got our chance today.  Sadly one of our trio was still sick so there were only the two of us today.

I decided not to go with the coloured spaghetti, although I will possibly try that next time, instead I decided to try paintball.  I absolutely love the way these kids take an idea, turn it completely into their own and come up with more imaginative ideas then I could ever have dreamed of.

The ball throwing was interesting for a little while, I had also added the liquid spray bottles into the mix to give the children another option.  It quickly went from throwing balls, to finger painting, then to the inevitable body painting.

 For reasons I am not aware they walked around the yard covered in green paint quacking for ages!

By this point they were covered in paint and having a great time, so to extend the activity and have some more sensory fun with the paint we got the shaving cream out and mixed it in.  This play activity all up lasted about 1.5 hours and both children had an amazing time.  It was the perfect winters day to enjoy being outside covered in paint and shaving cream.

Anyway, there is nothing that a quick bath can't fix.  We just won't mention that both children are still have a slight hue of green on their faces.

Another fabulous day spent with friends.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hard Friday.

I don't normally post about the challenges of mothering, especially with a new baby, but sometimes it needs to be kept real here too.

Friday had all the hallmarks of being a wonderful day, we were expecting a special visitor in the afternoon and we were heading to the shops to buy a few things for the dinners I had planned.  I am not sure how it all became unravelled, I think it had so much to do with the lead up.

Every now and then like anyone things end up on top of me, there is so much washing, sorting, folding, cleaning, bottom wiping, disciplining, cooking and loving to be done in a day it just feels too big.  Friday it became a mountain.  I had been feeling like I wasn't able to give much of my attention to Hugo of late, whenever I had some moments to sit down with him a disaster would happen somewhere else in the house needing my full and constant attention, and then inevitably by the time that was done it was almost nap time for him again.  I was finally caught up on jobs, the dinner was cooking, and I had made sure that I had a few hours ready to spend with both Otto and Hugo.  Except that didn't happen, there were nappy blow outs, potty training disasters, rice explosions (thanks to Otto) and phone calls that required my full attention and immediate decisions.  This all ended with me trying to bite back the tears and resurrect the day playing with Hugo on the bathroom floor while watching Otto in the bath.

In the end it all worked out, smiles were shared and love was given out but if life has taught me anything so far, time flies, we all know the saying 'the days are long but the years are short', never is a truer word spoken.  My time with these magical boys is so short I want to grab it with both hands and never let go, but I also need to cherish all the time I spend with them, even if at that moment I feel defeated, exhausted and like giving up.

Because at the end of the day there is no better feeling than folding the washing and smiling as you remember the dirt on the knees, and the magic that happened even while you weren't watching.

Poppy comes to visit!

Friday morning deserves it's own post and I will get to that, but thankfully Friday afternoon made up for it big time!

My Dad, commonly known as Poppy around here arrived after a 6 hour drive.  The excitement from Otto was palpable.

These two don't get to see each other as much as either of us would like but when they do, my goodness the fun they have.  My dad always wanted a little boy, and while I am positive that he wouldn't give either myself or my sister back, the fact that he now has two little boys in his life thrills him no end.  

There is magic in all grandparent relationships and dad has the great ability to go from playing with trucks to imaginary tea parties with stuffed animals thanks to all his previous experiences with my sister and I.  A man's man with an excellent raised pinky while sipping tea out of a spotted tea cup is surely hard to come by.

We headed off to the Ipswich rail museum on Saturday for a morning of train fun.  Is there any almost 3 year old boy that isn't obsessed with Thomas and trains in general?  This household currently lives, breaths and reads about Thomas to the point of insanity (mostly Han and I's mental health is at risk!).

Not sure who had the most fun, Han, dad or Otto!  The little nipper section was especially popular with everyone, I couldn't believe how brilliant this museum is, so cheap ($40 for a year pass) and only 20 min from home.  I can see a lot of trains in our future!

Hugo just took it all in as usual, I kept thinking that it wouldn't be too long before I am chasing both boys around this place and nothing could make me happier.

Topped off by a lovely afternoon stroll in the crisp weather before tucking into a pork roast, life can't get much better than this.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Goo Thursday!

Today I had decided we were staying at home, adventures are great but sometimes exhaustion takes hold and the will to leave the house just isn't there, today is one of those days.  We were lucky to have some friends drop around to see us and I put together a few activities for the two boys.

I had 3 stations out but only took photos of the most popular one with my iphone.  The ultimate in lazy!

If there is one sure fire way to get Otto to have some fun it is to bring out the jelly bath, because the weather is so lovely and there was more than one child I decided to set it up outside, in a tub on a tarp.  I think the best part was putting plastic insects all through it that the boys had to dig in to find. (thanks K-mart!).

Moving it outside and onto a tarp transformed the activity so many times, it went from searching for bugs, to using measuring cups and play kitchen pots, to becoming a slip and slide.  Watching these two boys work and play together was wonderful and gave us mum's a chance to catch up.  It is crazy to think that both these boys were conceived while we lived in South Africa at the same time, what an adventure we have been through together.  But those are stories for another day, today belonged to goo and the boys!  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


A subject so fraught with emotion for toddlers and small people would have to be sharing, and why shouldn't it be, often adults haven't mastered the art of sharing themselves!  Otto is ok with sharing some things but try and take his Thomas trains and you will feel the full wrath of an almost 3 year old with exceptional screaming ability.

At the park today we ran into a little boy, Eric who we see there often, Otto and Eric have played nicely a few times, each with their own toy cars and so on.  Today I wasn't planning stopping at the park on our way home but the day was so lovely we were drawn there, however I was unprepared.  Eric arrived soon after ourselves with a little bag full of booty provided by his Grandmother, (who doesn't speak any English), and to Otto's delight there in front of him was a huge amount of Thomas trains.

Otto asked nicely and Eric divided up the trains evenly and they proceeded to play happily sharing for the next hour with these trains.  I fed Hugo while Eric's grandmother and I watched on as these two boys were bound by their mutual love of Thomas trains and lost in their own world of play.

It made my day to see these boys play so well, no shouting, snatching or crying for a whole hour, imagine that!

Our week so far.

Another lovely week so far in our household, we have been duck feeding, pounding the footpath and spending huge amounts of time in the local parks.

One thing I always said while we lived in Jakarta was that when I got home I would take none of it for granted.  Don't get me wrong, Jakarta wasn't all bad but for these misplaced Queenslanders the inability to get outside and play is just so foreign.  We are blessed with pretty much perfect weather year round and an abundance of space to enjoy it, and enjoy it we will.

Tuesday morning we headed to story time in the local botanic gardens, I spent the majority of the time holding Hugo while Otto chased bush turkeys, but the lovely lady reading didn't seem to mind her pauses being filled with the sound of my son screaming "GO AWAY" to the ugly birds, and to his credit he did at least sit down and listen through one story.

I believe these gardens are also one of the few places where you can still actually feed the ducks in the pond.  I luckily remembered the bread as we were screaming (Hugo literally) out of the house that morning.  Feeding ducks equated to one very happy boy.

(excuse the dodgy iphone/instagram pics)

Since we don't have a huge amount of local knowledge of the suburb we are living in I have made it a mission to head to a new park each afternoon for Hugo's late afternoon sleep, it has been great to find new favourites, and new walking tracks.  It has meant that dinner is even more basic and later than usual, and we miss our housekeeper from Jakarta who would whip up amazing meals from nothing but I figure in a few years our meals can become more exciting again, until then, afternoon adventures it is.

I love the afternoon light that comes streaming through our playroom, Otto loves to try and catch the dust in the rays (another good reason to not dust)  while Hugo is entranced by the rays of light hitting different areas, it gives me a few moments after nap time to gather myself and face the afternoon, and the perfect afternoon tea would have to be a boiled egg covered in pepper and salt.

And of course we need a lovely photo of Hugo, this little boy that comes along for the ride each day, all smiles and happiness, as much as we love our adventures it is great to have time at home as well to recharge and stare into those eyes a little as well.

Now it is the downhill slide into the weekend!