Let's make cake (and eat it too)

 
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Let’s make cake, and eat it too! Or in Austin’s case, let’s eat as much cake mix as we can while mum isn’t looking.

Although Austin hates most foods in general (there are only a handful of foods that he will eat so long as they are cooked to his very strict guidelines), he actually really enjoys cooking! So long as it is something, sweet and chocolatey. And that doesn’t bother me at all, if he is in the kitchen and getting used to mixing, measuring and cracking eggs I think it is all good! And hopefully one day he will expand his horizons a little outside of sweets and try to cook something else (and if he would start eating a wider variety of foods too that would make me oh SO happy). Baby steps!

Austin used the My Little Giggles Learning Tower here to bake this cake, it is the perfect height to get him working at the bench top so that he can see exactly what he is doing (and not accidently fall off a chair). And considering how much he is loving cooking at the moment I think it is going to get a lot of use!

My Little Giggle’s Learning Tower has just launched online and are Australian designed and made using FSC Certified Sustainable timber. They have been created to be a design piece in your home, keeping in mind space for those who have smaller kitchens or live in apartments. Plus it includes a height adjustable top step as well as a removable safety rail so once your little ones no longer require a safety rail you can simply remove and store away until you need it again.

And does it have the kids tick of approval? Well considering how much they fight over who’s turn it is to use it, then YEP, it definitely does!

I have a 5 year old, wait what?!

 
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Meg wears  JFahri dress ,  Tony Bianco  shoes similar  here . Austin wears  Nike Court Royale’s ,  Target Tshirt,  Next  jeans .

Meg wears JFahri dress, Tony Bianco shoes similar here. Austin wears Nike Court Royale’s, Target Tshirt, Next jeans.

So something happened. Yep, the kid turned 5. FIVE, yes, F I V E.

Wow, I’m not really sure when or how this happened. Ok, it actually was a few weeks back now. But this little boy, who was once my little baby, is BIG. Like growing REAL big. He’ll be taller than me soon (ok, we all know that won’t take much effort ha ha).

They say time goes fast when you’ve got kids and I’m pretty sure I blinked and five years passed, but well here we are. And because Austin is 5 now, we have been looking at where to send him to school next year. We are keen for him to go to one of the local state schools, and have put in his application. We are pretty much on the borderline of two schools and are applying to the one which is just on the other side. Fingers crossed it all goes well, will keep you posted!

Lego for the win

 
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Once in a while, something amazing happens, something so unexpected, something so good that you just have to run with it. And that thing in our house is LEGO. Not duplo, not building blocks, not wooden blocks… but the real deal. Teeny, tiny pieces of finicky little lego. That feel like tiny, little, nails under your feet, that get lost everywhere, that could drive you completely mad…. except… it keeps the kids absolutely and completely, totally occupied. Hallelujah.

So our new teeny, tiny, blocky friends have been coming everywhere with us. On the plane ride to Fiji. In the car. A little visit to Grandma’s house. And of course off to our brunch at Clubhouse Malvern. What’s better than delicious chia pudding and bacon and eggs? Chia pudding and bacon and eggs with happy, quiet, occupied children who are busy playing with their lego (and drinking vanilla milkshakes).

Hey, I think we’re onto a winner here. To all the forces above, please let the lego phase be one that goes on and on and on…. Thankyou!

Bulla baby!

 
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Well, you can never really predict what is going to happen when you travel with kids. Will all our plans go smoothly? Will it be amazing? Will everyone have fun? Maybe they will hate it?? After a lot of deliberation we took the kids to Fiji. Hubby and I talked about it for weeks and weeks. “Soon we’re off to Fiji” “Can’t wait until we’re in the sunshine!” “Only five more days until happy hour by the pool!”

Finally the day came, and off we went to the airport. Things started off really well. Got everyone through security, customs and to the gate. Onto the plane, no worries. Sitting in our seats waiting to take off. Now that Remy is 2 he had his own seat. But as soon as the plane took off, oh no, he just wanted to sit on Daddy. And he stayed there for the next 5 hours, despite the lonely empty seat next to Austin and I (don’t worry, we definitely made use of that ‘lonely’ seat with a mountain of random things). I’d packed a stack of kids toys, magazines, stickers and other activities and it took every single item to get us through the 5 hour journey without a huge meltdown from the kids. So finally the plane descended and phew we had made it! Except first we had to get through customs, only Remy refused to put his shoes on, so I wouldn’t let him walk on the floor so he screamed and wiggled in my arms while we waited for twenty minutes (fun!). And through all this the lady behind me tapped me on the shoulder to let me know there was a big gooey gross piece of gum stuck to my bag (no, not mine). Why??? So gross!

Anyway, we eventually made it to the resort and I’d like to say it was smooth sailing for the rest of the holiday but nope! Austin spent every day saying he wanted to go home. Remy shat the bed twice, through everything, three layers and sheets. BUT…. it was a glorious 26 degrees every day. The beach was beautiful. The kids club was great (hello alone time for hubby and I - woo!). And it really was nice to get some quality family time in together.

All I can say is thank god we only booked 6 nights. After ‘poo-gate’ and ‘I-wanna-go-home-gate’ and ‘Austin-not-eating-any-food-for-6-days-gate’ we were well and truly done by the end! I’d like to say we’re gonna book our next holiday to go back, but I think we’ll be going to old trusty Queensland next time. Just a little bit closer, a little more familiar and hopefully a lot less complaining from the kids.

A house full of boys (and full hearts)

 
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Mum with two sons wearing white tshirt and headband
Meg and boys wearing  Me and Mini Tshirts , Meg wears  Kookai  skirt similar  here , Remy and Austin wear  Next jeans .

Meg and boys wearing Me and Mini Tshirts, Meg wears Kookai skirt similar here, Remy and Austin wear Next jeans.

Never, ever did I think growing up I’d be a boy mama. I was always the little girl wearing pink, going to dancing classes and twirling and swirling around. I even decided at one stage I would only drink pink drinks (wow, fussy much?!). But having two boys in the house (three, if you count hubby too) is showing me a whole new world.

Slime, lego, fart jokes, soccer mornings… all the things that make up my day to day now. And? It is refreshing! Each new phase they go through, a new set of toys, the new ‘in’ thing, some new gross joke (Austin at the moment likes to breath his morning breath on us, using it as a weapon…. um thanks kid haha) is all new to me. What on earth will be next?! I have no idea! But I do know a house full of stinky, naughty, (and oh so very cute) boys makes for a heart full of love <3

It's beginning to look a lot like...

 
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Austin wears LTL PPL grey jumper, Seed Heritage shorts, similar here, Birkenstock sandals. Remy wears Jamie Kay cardigan, Tip Toey Joey Parky sandals.

Christmas! It’s nearly here. And we’re getting really excited. Especially Austin who has asked if it is ‘present day’ for the last 27 days straight (no kid. It is a loooong way off). Remy has gone bananas on the Christmas tree pulling baubles off, putting them back on and tugging on the branches and well, I’ve just been trying to tick of my Christmas present list which seems to be getting longer and not shorter (why does that always happen?).

So we’re nearly a week and a half out from the big XMAS DAY and I can’t wait to see their cute little faces on Christmas morning. Definitely one of the best moments you cherish as parents <3

Life's a beach

 
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Meg wears Target  dress  and Converse  sneakers , Austin and Remy wear Target  shirts  and shorts similar  here .

Meg wears Target dress and Converse sneakers, Austin and Remy wear Target shirts and shorts similar here.

Kids are so completely unpredictable, am I right? We went to the Brighton Beach Huts a few months ago and both kids had an absolute ball so I thought, let’s go back, why not! And so we did and of course things didn’t go quite to plan…

Austin simultaneously wanted his shoes off but also hated the sand touching his feet, so that was fun. Remy had a blast, but beelined for the water over and over. And when we let him get his feet into the crisp morning water he cried because the water was too cold.

So although we packed buckets, spades, towels and snacks we lasted about 40 minutes at the beach tops! Here’s hoping we have some better luck as the warmer weather rolls around.

Playtime at Fawkner Park

 
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Meg wears: Country Road  knit , Seed  jeans ,  Oliver Bonas  hat. Austin wears: Country Road  jumper , Next jeans similar  here , Country Road  boots . Remy wears I dig Denim jeans similar  here , Austin's old jumper, Angulus boots similar  here , Pat wears Industrie  chinos , Nique  t-shirt,&nbsp; jacket from several seasons ago.&nbsp;

Meg wears: Country Road knit, Seed jeans, Oliver Bonas hat. Austin wears: Country Road jumper, Next jeans similar here, Country Road boots. Remy wears I dig Denim jeans similar here, Austin's old jumper, Angulus boots similar here, Pat wears Industrie chinos, Nique t-shirt, jacket from several seasons ago. 

Are you even a mum of boys if you don't spend most of your time looking for parks, playing in parks and researching the next park you're going to head to? There's no denying it these boys of mine LOVE the outdoors and I love seeing them so happy when they are out exploring.

Fawkner Park is one of our faves to hit up so I thought I'd share all of the hidden little pockets and areas to play within the park (because it is seriously HUGE we are still finding new areas each time). 

And this sweet little Daffodil field has just popped up (which the boys absolutely loved, especially watching the doggies run wild through them).  If you're hunting it down, it is right near the Slater Street entrance (you can't miss it!).

There's also two playground areas (choices!), the first one is next to Christchurch Grammar School on Toorak road. It's quite cute with a little flying fox and lots of slides for all sizes. If you head down towards South Yarra Primary School there's another two playgrounds here, one for the younger kids and one for older. There's also a great stretch of footpath along here for kids to ride their bikes (or learn how to ride, cuuuute!).

And just on Sunday we found a really sweet little sandpit area behind the Fawkner Park Tennis Centre. Literally we just keep finding more spots! And thank goodness because these boys appetite for playing and exploring is just endlessssss.

 

Number One

 
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And just like that the smallest person in our house is one year old. We thought time went fast with one kid, well with two, it just wizzes by like no tomorrow! We threw a bit of a party to celebrate Remy's birthday (and to also celebrate us all getting through the year in one piece. I mean, first birthday celebrations are really for the parents, right? Just a little, WOO-OO you guys all survived!).

It's been a year of learning to juggle two kids and their competing needs, battling sleep deprivation and ordering deliveroo Messina ice-cream (what else is a gal gonna do when you're a sleep deprived mama with two crazy, screaming kids at home? Yep, stand over the sink eating ice-cream while yelling at the kids to be nice to each other!).

Remy has been a dream-boat of a baby. He is so soft and cuddly and loves a snuggle. He's cheeky and giggly and can't get enough food (which is just the BEST THING IN THE WORLD after dealing with Austin who still only eats the same 3 things over and over). 

When he was a newborn he was sleeping through the night (I know, WHAAAT?? Yep, it was mental but amazing). Then he did a full reversal and was waking all night long and turning his mama into a walking mombie (thats a zombie mama to you and me). But a quick trip to sleep school has fixed all that (thank F). 

I'm trying to think what his favourite things are... TV shows, toys, books? But he's really not in to much because the thing that takes all his attention BY FAR, is his big bro. He couldn't care less for TV shows because he can watch Austin tearing around the house, jumping, running and being crazy, and why sit still for a book when you can play chasey with your brov. He loves animals, especially dogs and squeals like a nutter when he sees them at the park. 

We love him to bits, our little Remy boy, and now we have a year of the precious little boy being 'number one.'

 

 

 

7 'mum hacks' that my hubby taught me

So it turns out ‘mums way’ isn’t the only way to do things around the house (who would've thunk it, huh?). I know because I’ve been watching hubby around the home and he has shown me all these totally legitimate alternative ways of doing things. Mind blown. In fact I’ve been so impressed that I've been taking on some of his little tricks and they are making life pretty damn good. So if you are wondering what they are, here are the top seven for all you mamas and dads out there:

1. No TV screen in the car? No worries! Yep, hubby got me on to this sweet little trick – all you have to do is put the head rest up, wedge your phone in and get the youtube going! This little nugget has got us through many a long car trip, especially the last 20 minutes when nothing seems to work. (Oh, praise youtube). 

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2. I do heaps of batch cooking in our house, it just makes dinner time way more manageable and it especially makes Remy’s baby food quick and easy (I mean, who wants to be steaming and pureeing every few hours?). The only problem with this is when I over microwave some of the food (so easy to do when they are small portions) but you have a hungry child who needs to be fed immediately. So mostly I would just sit there and wait and hope that it cooled down really quick. But hubby knows the lay of the land and showed me that all you really need to do is 1) switch the food in to a new cold bowl, and 2) if you really want to speed up the process, put the food into a bigger bowl or plate. And voila the food cools down twice as fast! (Can I just say, this probably seems super dooper simple but not once did I think of it before I was shown). 

3. I overhear hubby doing this one all the time, in fact I’m pretty sure he does it every bedtime! Austin loves his bed time books but however many you read it is never enough. So every bed time even though hubby has full intentions of reading 3 books, he always says ‘last book’ before book number two – then when he ‘caves’ for one more Austin thinks he has won the book time battle! I wonder how old Austin will be when he cottons on to this little trick?

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4. As a general rule if the dishes are in the dishwasher they will be cleaned. That’s right. Get ready to get over your OCD because they don’t have to be in the right shelf, height order, rinsed or scrubbed before you put them in... yep, you heard correct! No re-stacking for the second time and you will still get sparkly clean dishes at the end. (In all truth sometimes there might be one dish that is not completely clean but I don't even care! I just leave it in there for another cycle. I know, I'm crazy right?). 

5. Pyjamas are nice but not necessary. If your child falls asleep earlier than expected, or is simply being fussy (or downright difficult) at bedtime, there really is no need to kill yourself trying to get the jammies on your toddler. Chances are they won’t even notice, or if they do they couldn’t care less.

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6. If your child is old enough to communicate and is not saying ‘I’m hot’ or ‘I’m cold’ or thirsty or hungry or anything else... it is perfectly fine to just let them be. They will let you know if they need something. (Yes, this also doubles as a personal note to self as I am forever checking in on the kids to see if they are 'ok').

7. Do things beyond your kids current abilities and push those boundaries. So often I see my hubby trying to do something with the kids that my immediate thought is ‘Stop! He can’t do that yet!’ and luckily I’ve bitten my tongue because some of these moments turn out to be the best! Throwing the kids in the air, playing wrestling games (like REALLY wrestling) and general craziness gets the BIGGEST laughs from them and I can honestly say the kids have the best time. Encouraging the kids to do things they can’t yet (when I might be hesitant to avoid it until they are ‘ready’ to prevent injuries or tears) has shock, horror, never ended in disaster. It’s just encouraged them and started them on their next little learning journey. Go dad!

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So, thanks for the learning curve Daddy-o, it seems sometimes the best mum hacks, were created by dads.