Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tom Kitten Turns 1

Well, with his birthday month almost out I had better post about Tom Kitten at 1 year old.  His birthday coincided with our trip down south and so recording the day got away from me.

Way back at the start of May Tom Kitten turned one.  As his actual birthday fell on a weekday, we celebrated the weekend before with a small gathering of our closest friends - whose younger daughter just happens to be Tabitha's best friend!

So, Tom Kitten, for the record here is a snapshot of you at 1.

You are still knee walking.  You take the occasional step here and there but knee walking or crawling is still your preferred method of getting around.  The child health nurse said she hasn't seen anything like it.  It is certainly a very individual 'walking' style.  Your other option is yelling out for perambulation by Mummy!

You have a number of words.  "hewo" - hello.  'Ta' - thank you.  'Mama' - Mummy.  'Dada' - Daddy.  "Nana" - banana.  "T" - sister.  "Da" - dog or cat; or actually any object you are particularly excited about.

You are our mountaineer.  You think nothing of climbing right to the top of the sofa and standing there while Mummy works out whether the best course of action is to sprint to you, or to walk very, very slowly so as not to give you a fright.

You love Noah Puss.  You crawl all over him, and lay your head on his tummy.

You are a great eater.  The oddest food you really like are pickled gherkins.  Five is the most you have eaten at one sitting.  You also really like bananas, jack fruit and cheese.

You have the most wonderful smile.  When you think something is really funny, or you are just being cheeky you screw you face right up, shut your eyes and let out the biggest grin.

You put everything in your mouth.  I mean everything.  Just this morning you ate a crayon.

You love your sister.  You want to do whatever she does.  Sometimes this is to her great frustration.  Other times I delight in watching you play together.

You love water.  The shower is a favourite hang out.  You often have upward of four showers a day.  You will crash in on anyone who takes one; and then there are the necessary ones because you enjoy your food so much.  You like to pretend your cooking in the shower - you take the tippy, fill it with water and stir away with one of the 'toot toot' whistles.  You also think it is funny to inhale water from your sippy cup and spit out all over you.  I am always mopping up puddles, and changing your clothes - it really is an advantage to be in the tropics.

You love lift the flap books.  They are about the only book you will sit still for.  You are a ball of energy, always on the go.

You are almost always very happy.  When you are not happy, you are very, very angry.  There is no middle ground.  When you get angry you let out a high pitched scream, turn bright puce and throw yourself on the floor and wail.  This usually happens when (a) your sister takes something away from you or (b) you don't get something you want fast enough.   If you have this kind of dynamite temper at 1, I don't know what to expect from you at 2!

You don't sleep through the night anymore.  You haven't for six months.  Just a hint, bub, Mummy and Daddy are getting a little worn out.  Your normal bedtime is 6:30pm, you have a feed around 2-4am, and then you are up for the day at about 5:30 am.  You still take a nap in the afternoon.  You sleep with two comforters.  They must both be there.  You hold one in the hand you are sucking, and rub your face with the other.  Comforter ejection from the cot always produces shrieks of protest.  You will root around the cot to find them if they go missing.

You are still feeding three times a day, and once more a night.

Ah, baby boy, you are my loveable bundle of trouble!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Tropical Babes Travel South


Otherwise known as, what two children do when they have no memory of cold weather or falling leaves.

Tom Kitten for one has never been in the cold (apart from a week last winter when he was two months old and I took him back to my parents) and Ginger unfortunately has no memory of our time in Toowoomba, where it certainly was cold and the leaves certainly fell. 

Two weeks ago we spontaneously decided to use one of our RLLT entitlements (a military travel entitlement for remote postings) and head south to the Southern Autumn.  Bliss is all I can say.

We spent most of the time in Canberra, and the surrounding areas of NSW.  

Travelling with young children is quite a different experience.  We did  a lot of research on where to eat before we went, and that helped a lot.  There is a list of some of our hits at the bottom of this post.  We also had a serviced apartment in Canberra which meant we could make breakfast and dinner, and do the washing!  And, we were realistic in what we wanted to do - and that involved hanging out in a lot of parks. 

Clothing was another interesting issue.  Ginger had some left from last winter's trip south, and I ran her up a couple of dresses on the sewing machine.  This was complemented with some thrifted jumpers and a coat ($2, actually got in Toowoomba)! She is a skinny little thing and we not buy pants that fit her on the waist (size 0 or 6-12 months) and on the legs (size 2, or 18-24 months) so she just needed  a couple of pairs of tights and she was right.  Her shoes still fitted from last winter (despite there being 2 years between them, there is only one shoe size between my children!).

Tom Kitten I got lucky with.  I had thrifted a couple of things over time as I have seen them in the op shops here, but I found someone moving south on Gumtree who was selling their baby boy clothes (all of which were winter clothing).  Unfortunately, their baby was the same age as Tom Kitten so they were keeping the 12-18 month size for him, but because they were leaving in a caravan they were selling the size below (6-12 months) and above too (18-24 months).  Now because we breed 'em lean here, Tom Kitten can still fit 6-9 month clothing so pretty much his entire wardrobe was sourced there.  And, know what?  It is much better brands than I could ever afford new - mostly UK brands like Zara and Gap.  I also have a fair few clothes for next winter for him too.  $70 for the lot and it took up a whole Coles Reusable bag (ie the plastic one!).  His shoes I had left from a nearly new sale in Toowooma when Ginger was a little baby, we never ended up using them for her as a friend passed on her daughter's fairy leather shoes - they rather fit with the leaf theme though.

Best Eats of the Trip!

Sugar Loaf Patisserie - 37 President Ave, Kogarah NSW.  We stopped here for breakfast when we got off the midnight horror and were about to drive to Canberra.  Great churros and croissants.  And, the owner was really friendly.  Very good prices.

Flour and Stone - 53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo NSW.  We had our last day in Sydney and went here for breakfast as we were staying in a hotel so couldn't make our own.  Fantastic croissants (go the almond), and Mr Provincial had an apparently very yummy Bran muffin.  The tea was proper loose leaf.  Yummy.

South Beach Seafood - 20 Gerrale St Cronulla.  Dinner here before we left on another night horror flight!  Food was great.  Unfortunately Tom Kitten was overtired and cried the whole time, so I didn't get to eat much.

We had a great pie out at the Fyshwick markets for lunch one day - but I can't recall the name of the bakery.

Wagamama was great for our one night in Sydney city.  They do free kids meals - our kids had chicken, rice and cucumber - with the purchase of an adult's meal.

We also had a great meal for lunch on the way to Canberra, but I am struggling to remember the town.  They had an outdoor seating area which, despite the cafe being packed inside, we had to ourselves.  They had outdoor toys and the kids had a great time.  If anyone is actually interested I will ask Mr Provincial - he has a much better memory for such details.  I made the rest of this list off the jottings in the notebook we took with us.