TV Stars!

Okay, Jacob and I aren’t exactly Hollywood actors but we made a small stage presence in a clip on Today Tonight a few nights ago.

The report was done on a food distribution project I help out with at the ADRA Community Centre Parafield. The project, now known as Wednesday Food Tray was started out by a friend of mine, Lauren, who invited me and Jacob to help her out.

The food from the program comes from Second Bite, which is an organisation that redistributes surplus fresh food to community programs. We pick up all sorts of different food, from bread and potatoes to veggies and fruit and even frozen meat sometimes. I find it somewhat exciting to see what they have for us each week – but what’s more exciting is meeting the people who come along to get food as well and seeing how this food can make a difference in their lives.

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That’s Jacob above helping us sort the food. Or really, he’s just playing in the apple box thinking it’s a ballpit.

Generally, the program services around 50-100 people (meaning people in the household, so we get maybe 20-50 people coming in) but we’ve had monstrous days where all the food is gone and the number is more like 150! And even if we have surplus food at the end of the program, it doesn’t go to waste – some of the fruit and bread go to schools for breakfast programs, and the rest goes to The Shepherd’s Lodge which is a meal program running on Thursday night.

But anyway, here is the clip: Battlers – Today Tonight

Enjoy! And look out for Jacob and me. :)

Blossoms.

Yes, I have been on a hiatus. I think I’ve just been a bit too contemplative of late, to the point that the motivation to blog escaped me. 

But a walk in the park nearby spurred me to start again, or at least reminded me of a happier time in my life that I wanted to reflect on. Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t say I’m not happy now. But I think I’m the type of person whose happiness comes from looking at things ahead of me rather than living in the moment.

With that in mind, I want to stop to see the blossoms.

20140813_142728I never experienced blossoming trees very much as I was growing up, or at least not the ones that we have here in Australia. It’s not to say that I didn’t see lots of flowers – we had ixora bushes near our apartment and white tiger lillies decorated the sidewalk. I used to climb a frangipani tree near the library I went to and bougainvillea trees were a common sight.

But there’s something about the blossoms at the reserve near my house that make me smile. When I first saw them, I kept calling them sakura because I thought they were cherry blossoms (and then Daniel kindly informed me that not all blossoms are cherry blossoms, lol!). I only really noticed them last year when I was on maternity leave and went for daily walks with Skittles.

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The same time last year, the blossoms looked very similar but I looked quite different! :) And as I was out walking today, I was reminded of the spring of last year where I felt all the hope and joy in the world. Every walk I took in that beautiful reserve reminded me of the miracle of creation and the joy of a new human being who I was longing to meet.

My walk today was a pleasant one, but it made me wonder why things had changed.

Firstly, the reason why I actually went on the walk was not to enjoy the sunny weather, but was really to get a stubborn little boy to sleep. I got him into his pram, fumbled with the straps as he writhed, and got Skittles on her lead – and we were off!

Walking the dog with the pram is a bit of a challenge at times, but it is easier than putting Jacob in the carrier because he’s a bit too heavy for me now. A lot of the walk is focused on getting Skittles to walk beside the pram and not to dart in random directions. I told Daniel that he could get a good Physics question out of our ordeal – namely vectors.

But anyway, so we were walking along, doing the same thing we normally do when we go for walks, and then I saw it. A tree full of blossoms. I stopped for a moment (more because Skittles stopped) and I remembered that I once used to appreciate things a lot more than I do now.

Perhaps it’s the lack of sleep. Daniel blames it on the coffee, which I admit that I’ve been turning to relatively often. But after barely 5 hours of sleep some nights, I justified that coffee was a lesser evil compared to not being able to function every morning. But perhaps it’s the fact that once again, I’ve started setting goals for myself and for Jacob that aren’t coming to pass, and I’m getting frustrated about things that I’m not able to do despite knowing that I don’t actually have to do them.

How does that make sense? I suppose to put it simply, I have been the cause of my own unhappiness. Rather than live in the joy of the moment, I’ve chosen to live aiming to be someone I’m not. And frankly, that is a silly way to live because it just leads to disappointment after disappointment.

20140813_143114This week, I’m going to dwell on the beautiful things in my life. I’m going to come out of my dark corner and bask in the sunlight. And I’m going to bring the people I love with me, too. :)

So, remember to stop to see the blossoms. <3

 

 

Photoshoot!

Many people have said that Jacob’s photogenic – and while I do agree, it is SO hard to take photos of him sometimes (especially when he refuses to cooperate)!

Last week, we enlisted a professional to get some cute shots done for him. He was in a relatively good mood and sat still for about 45 minutes (with the occasional crawl away) so we could get a few shots of him.

Here are some of the shots!

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Thanks for the photos Mikhaela! Do check our her Facebook page – Mikhaela Herriman Photography.

Later this week I’ll be posting some swimming pictures too! :) Over and out!

So, about Sydney…

I’ve been having a problem lately with using the computer in the presence of my little man because HE HATES IT! Or rather, he hates the fact that I can use it but not him. So he comes up to it and slams on the keyboard and on the screen (which is a touchscreen too, by the way) and messes things up, so I simply shut the laptop, put it away and vow to use it again when he’s asleep (only I actually have to do housework when he’s asleep).

So, my point is, I want to minimize typing and will just put some photos up. :D

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Sydney, over and out!

Travelling with an almost-toddler

Alright – the secret’s out! I’ve been away so that’s why I haven’t been blogging. Honestly, we were only away for less than a week but a lot of time went into preparation and getting things organised for when we were away.

Up to the night before we flew off, this was all that was in our suitcase. At least we remembered the important thing – the nappies! :P I swear by Coles nappies now – they’re inexpensive and work well, so how can I complain?

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From this first experience at flight travel, I think travelling with a baby/toddler is a lot of give and take. Naturally, you can’t expect your little one to WANT to sit still when there are so many more fun things to do (like crawling, learning to walk, grabbing things and putting them in your mouth, etc.) So you’ve got to give them the opportunity to do some of the things they want to do, so they’ll then be a bit more civil when told to sit still.

At the Adelaide Airport, there’s this awesome kid’s play area which is like a mini climbing gym. Jacob didn’t really make too much sense of the structure but he did get a chance to crawl around lots before the flight. We also dressed him in loose, comfy clothing – it was quite warm on the plane especially with him next to me, so it was good that his clothing was layered so I could take off one or two layers.

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We also chose flight timing according to his naptime, so that “hopefully” he would fall asleep in the plane. I fed him on the way up and he was a complete angel – slept through the whole 2 hour flight! On the way back from Sydney, he fell asleep again but woke up for some of the flight. Here he is, my little cutie pie:

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When we got to Sydney, we decided to take a train into the city. Our hotel was just a minute’s walk from one of the stations, so we set off. Jacob was really intrigued by the train and loved looking out the window. He nearly pressed the emergency button because it was so bright and shiny – argh! 

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I’ll be making this a short post because I’m in a hurry to get all my laundry (and other tasks) done, and also because I’m annoyed that I had to type this out all over again because WordPress didn’t save. I thought it was autosaving but my internet was cutting in and out, and I think it just disappeared into the abyss of cyberspace. More about Sydney next time! :)

But here is a picture of Jacob asleep on the first night – after a long day of travel, he was certainly bushed! Look at the hair!

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Looking back on tomboyish days…

Honey, I’m home! (Once again, sorry for the break)

We’ve had such a busy weekend but I’m counting down the days because it’ll be the school holidays soon and we may have a little excursion scheduled… more details later on! ;)

But anyway, this weekend was the first time I played paintball! Some people were quite surprised at this – perhaps because I seemed to know what it was about, or at least pretended to know? I’ve always wanted to play it but wasn’t allowed because it was too dangerous, and never really had an occasion to do so until this weekend.

So, we got all suited up – it was a press stud suit and reminded me of putting a jumpsuit on Jacob (who was being babysat). I smuggled my phone in and took a couple of photos: Image

I had an awesome first round as I got up to a good spot and managed to shoot a lot of people (won some extra points, whoopee!). I think I have it quite easy because I’m a difficult target to hit – I was easily one of the smallest and shortest in my group. The second and third round weren’t as great for me because I kept getting headshots so I couldn’t see. One of them went straight through my vents and gave me a mouthful of paint! I ended up looking like this:

ImageAnyway, it was good fun but I must admit that it is one expensive game! It was like $20 for 100 paintballs – it got cheaper if you bought them in bulk, but you get the gist. As a result, we had to be quite sparing with our shots (which can be hard when you’re being shot at right left and centre). I probably couldn’t afford to play this game too often, but I had an awesome time (despite the scratches and bruises)! A nice hot shower was in order, especially since we were rained on once or twice in the course of the day.

Playing paintball got me thinking about some of the things I used to do that I don’t anymore. I was never the sporty type (more because I didn’t really stick at a sport long enough to be good at it) but I was, at some point of my life, quite fit. I was probably in the prime of my life at National Service – I was toughened by circumstance, strengthened by faith and agile as anything. My team won quite a few things and I kinda looked a bit tomboyish, to a point that I had a girl hit on me!.

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I don’t think I was ever good at riding a bike, but here I am in a helmet anyway. I had very short hair for the first few years of my life and my mum said I was often mistaken for a boy (much to her annoyance).

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And here’s Mowgli. Oh wait, no, that’s me. Sorry it’s blurry as it was me taking a photo of an old photo. I love swimming (though I’m a bit lazy of late) and used to go fishing with my dad; not rod fishing, but fishing with a jala (net). The net itself was pretty heavy and a lot of the time, we got fish by knocking them out with the weights rather than getting them caught in the net.

ImageBack in the day, when I used to do martial arts, I used to think I was pretty tough. I used to enjoy hanging out with the boys, but come to think of it now, any girl could have done what I did. I used to think that I stood out because I was the girl, and perhaps that was the case to an extent, but I think what’s most important is that it was me being me. I really enjoyed getting roughed up and rolling in the mud, as opposed to getting dolled up with makeup and dresses.

I admit that I’ve toned down of late, perhaps because I’m considered more a ‘woman’ than a ‘girl’ now, and because I play roles like ‘wife’ and ‘mum’ where tomboy doesn’t always fit in the picture. Or does it? I know that the main reason I’ve stopped martial arts is because I need that time for my family – time to prepare and eat a family meal and to get the little one bathed and tucked into bed. I don’t indulge in adventure so much anymore because I’m saving money for family outings and little occasional trips. But I think, deep down, I’m still a tomboy at heart.

I am excited at the prospect of bringing up a little boy – it’s almost like a second childhood for myself. I look forward to learning to play a sport with him, taking him camping, teaching him martial arts moves, riding a bike with him (pedal-type and motorized maybe?), letting him get dirty and not complaining (there’s always Vanish to get rid of mud stains), etc. And one day, he’ll grow up into a man but I hope he’ll still see me as a fun mum who shared similar interests with him.

But I’ve thought to myself before – what if I had a girl first? Would I have bought all things pink and completely changed the decor in my nursery? Would I be playing with dolls instead of cars? I don’t know. Maybe, if I have another child and it happens to be a girl, I will find out. But for now, I’m perfectly happy indulging in boys toys.

Speaking of boys, here are some shots from this week! Here he is with his cousin playing the piano – what musical geniuses they are!

ImageHere he is helping daddy with Maths.

ImageHere he is watching the footy. Adelaide Crows had a great win so I let Jacob wear his Crows scarf around.

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And lucky last one – anyone want to suggest a caption? :P

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Hope everyone has an awesome week!

10 months old!

Was it really 10 months ago that my little boy was a fresh new face into this world? I can’t even fathom how much our lives have changed in that time, but it’s been a wonderful time!

Here is my 10 month old cherub, thinking “Mum, why would you make me wear this hat?”

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He’s not walking yet, which is a relief, though he does like to scale areas like the playpen or the sides of the sofa. He is an avid crawler though, and gets around very quickly (and follows me around the house like a pet! Awww…)

ImageHe’s covered with yoghurt in the above pic, which is supposedly one of his favourite foods except he doesn’t take anything from a spoon now. He loved having food pouches squirted into his mouth, but mostly he loves handling his own food, as messy as it can be. Favourites are (in stick form) carrots, broccoli and asparagus as well as apples, bananas and strawberries. He’s also at the “dropping” stage where everything he eats goes on the floor at least once. Sigh. At least it builds immunity?

ImageSleep-wise, he’s not too bad lately. We had a few issues when he was growing teeth (his fifth and six ones are already on the way!), but we have also had a few nights where he’s slept through (which is BLISS). 

ImageHe loves the outdoors – being pushed in the pram in the reserve, playing on grass, watching dogs play, etc. It is getting a little cold and rainy now that it’s winter, but we still get a chance to have a play outside once in a while.

ImageHe’s still a sociable baby and loves meeting other people at the social things we do each week, like church, charity work and meeting up with friends/family. 

ImageI can’t deny that I am SO proud of my little boy and what he’s become (even if he is a bit of a rascal at times). I look forward to many more days, months and years full of joy and fun with our little family! <3

On a final note, I’m feeling generous so I’m running an EOFY sale with 20% off ALL wall stickers. Get the promo code on our Facebook page and thanks in advance! Have a great week everyone!

Scumbag Baby

I apologise for taking so long to write another post – maybe I’ll just have to take a step back and do only 2 posts a week (which seems to be the case anyway). I’ve been doing a bit of driving later and am going to put up a couple of posts about the gorgeous little towns tucked away in the Adelaide Hills.

But anyway, on to this post. Have you seen Memes about scumbag babies? I always thought they were relatively funny (until I actually realised that babies actually do those things).

Here are some examples (and disclaimer – these are not my images so if you click on them, they go to the original websites where I got them):

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Here are a few scumbag things Jacob has done in the last few months (or as far as I remember anyway):

- He refuses to eat his food and throws it on the floor. But then he’ll try to eat food on the floor, and cry when I try to take it away from him.

- So, he’s playing in his playpen with plastic balls and throws a ball out, then cries and wants to get it (despite there being like a hundred other balls in the playpen?)

- He has a hundred toys to play with but insists on playing/biting my shoes. It doesn’t matter if he’s in a different room – he will go searching for my shoes to bite them.

- When I try to take a video of him laughing, he stops laughing the moment I start recording.

- When we watch movies at night after we put him to bed, he’ll wake up and cry right at the climatic parts of the show. And refuse to go back to sleep.

In all truth, he’s a good baby and is tolerant of my agenda. I do quite a few things and drag him along on my excursions, but he’s fairly patient and I think it’s all a give and take thing (and timing is so important). For example, with our road trip today, I timed it with his naps so for most of the car trip, he was asleep. He got to meet Nanny and cousin Esther at lunch (and I got this gorgeous shot with both of them smiling):

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And because he was a bit squirmy, I stopped at a playground and let him play on the swing. I know it’s a blurry picture, but it’s a happy one.

ImageAnd for the grand finale(s), I’d just like to redirect you to a site about “Reasons why my toddler is crying” – there’s a full website where people upload them by the day, but here are some of my favourites.

Have a great week, folks!

 

Cutie Pie Stickers (a.k.a. my new business)

So, I’m finally going to tell you all what I’ve been up to with this business. I have bought an online wall sticker business!! Yippie!! Okay, I think I’m getting overexcited here, but I’m really quite happy to have a pet project to work on (which hopefully will make me a bit of money, or at least earn my capital back for a start).

Firstly, add this to your bookmarks – http://www.cutiepiestickers.com.au/
Okay, thank you! :)
Next, please like us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cutiepiestickers
Okay, thanks again!

Why “Cutie Pie Stickers”, you may ask? Well, I actually didn’t choose the name because I didn’t start the business from scratch. Looking at the platform that it uses, in retrospect, I could have actually started something like it but I think it would have taken me quite a bit of time and skill to develop. And it’s hard when Jacob’s awake because he automatically wants to use my computer every time I’m on it. Or he does things like break my home entertainment speakers or the blinds like he did when I was doing some editing work the other day. Le sigh.

Here is my cute little boy, my mascot, on the swings – he loved being pushed though he nearly fell out because he insisted on leaning forward:

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Here are some of our awesome stickers on the website (which actually link you to the page too if you click on them):

ImageHow about some cute alphabet stickers for your baby’s nursery, playroom or even all around the house?

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There’s just something about birds in their little birdhouses that make one feel happy and joyful.

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All things French seem to be the way to go in home decor – this would look awesome on a feature wall.

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There’s nothing cooler than Spiderman breaking through your wall.

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For the music lovers. :)

I’m shopping around for more wall sticker designs as well and I also promise that I’ll have more boyish designs (think superheroes!). I’m also looking for good quotes to add to the list, cos I love to put up a good quote somewhere that I’ll see often, to put a smile on my face.

Anyway, please wish me luck! I am new to this game and any advice is most welcomed. Also, I might mention that I may be interested in getting some Australian-based bloggers to do reviews of my products for me. If you’re keen, just drop me a comment below or contact me on the Contact Me page on the Cutie Pie Stickers website.

Have a great day folks!

Breakfast, prams and emergency haircuts.

Okay, I broke my promise and didn’t blog before the weekend! I guess a lot of things take priority over blogging unfortunately (i.e. feeding, changing, playing with baby, etc.) but I have been productive too, which is really great.

I might note that this is one of the few long weekends we have in Australia in conjunction with the Queen’s Birthday. Hooray for queens being born! :) But really, it’s great to have Dan at home to spend some time with Jacob (and in turn, I can spend a bit of time setting up that little venture that I’m working on. Details soon!).

Firstly, random question – which of the following do you think Jacob would be most keen on eating? (Orange, Strawberry or Kiwifruit)

ImageAnswer: His own foot! I don’t know why he sits like that but he usually ends up like that by the end of every meal. Sometimes, when he’s wearing socks, he pulls them off and chews them. Odd baby. But really, I think he likes kiwifruit the best out of the three (though it might just be a passing fad).

On Saturday, we discovered a new game – air hockey but using a baby instead of a puck. Jacob was crawling around aimlessly so I set him down on the table, but he decided to continue crawling around. So some of us urged him on to crawl to us and very soon it became a back-and-forth thing. He thought we were chasing him and found it hilarious.

ImageIn all seriousness, it is a long way to the ground for that table so we were keeping full attention on him. It’s funny how, because of previous tumbles that he’s had before, that he knows when he’s in trouble. When he loses his footing at times, you can see the expression on his face change to shock – but if he’s saved by something or someone, relief comes over him and he sometimes laughs. Funny little boy he is.

One reason why I’d never make a good food blogger is because I always forget to take pictures of the food! Today we went out to breakfast at Virginia Nursery, which is an oasis out in a rural-ish farming area. Most of our friends (including Dan) had Eggs Florentine which was simply divine – I pigged out a bit and had a full vegetarian breakfast. All this was topped with the delicious Vienna Chocolates we had (and Jacob had a tiny spoonful of cream). 

Another thing on the agenda for us was to go to have a look at a pram at someone’s house near that nursery. Yes, I’ve officially joined the “multiple prams” gang. I know people with up to 4 prams for different uses/occasions! Our rationale was to get a pram for travel – while our red one (Steelcraft Compact) is strong and sturdy, it’s a bit too bulky to travel with.

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Jacob’s very first pram ride! We only bought the pram after he was born, so he came along to choose his pram!

Initially I was thinking of buying the cheapest pram possible (maybe the Kmart or Big W pram) but was concerned that it’d either be too flimsy or too uncomfortable for Jacob. So, I resorted to my favourite place to grab bargains – Gumtree! I found an awesome Steelcraft Express that was almost brand new for just $40!

ImageIt’s so new that the plastic is still on the footrest! Not sure if Jacob approves of it, but time will tell…

On a final note, silly me was cooking with my hair untied; I reached to get something and burned my hair! I hate burned hair because it gets all frizzy and smelly! (and yes, I’ve done it a few times before). I couldn’t be bothered going to a salon so I just gave myself a haircut! What do you think?

ImageOkay, my hair might just be getting a tad bit too bushy. I love having thick hair but really, it can get rather forest-like at times. Oh wait, you weren’t looking at me or my hair – you were looking at my gorgeous little boy. And that’s fine by me. :) 

Happy weekend (and happy week) everyone!