Monday, 23 December 2013

6 Ways our Christmas has been toddler-enhanced

For as long as I can remember, I have loved Christmas. My husband is a little, "meh", about it. His refusal to wear the Christmas t-shirt I bought him ("Christmas Rocks" with a rock 'n' roll reindeer head on it. I know. Awesome) does little to rein on my Christmas parade (you can ring the pun bell twice). But I know he secretly loves it, too: living off Christmas pudding with brandy custard, devouring bags and bags of pfefernetters pfefiernetars pfefefeferr German ginger bread biscuits, the thrill of cramming his Christmas shopping into one frantic dash to the shops on Christmas eve... Yeah. He loves it.

This is the first Christmas O will really be able to participate in. Last year, his tiny arms couldn't reach up and pull off the Santa hat, and "nononononononono" was only something he could cry in his head as I dressed him in his finest tuxedo onesie. I'm certain this year will be the Golden Year: old enough to enjoy the wonder, young enough not to eat sugar and lose his mind; old enough to open presents, young enough that I could give him a box of plastic lids and he would be thrilled (disclaimer: I'm not giving son a box of plastic lids. That would be mean. I'm giving him the containers as well).

Here are 6 things I think have been enhanced by sharing Christmas with our toddler:
  1. Christmas hats: Finally, someone to share in the delight of a flashing Santa hat! Without kids, I just seemed a little... enthusiastic, but now that O's here I seem festive, and that there's no end to the things I will do to bring my son joy, even if it means embarrassing myself. Ditto elf shoes.
  2. Toy shopping: This is one that is far reaching. My sister rang me the other day to ask if she could buy a talking Mother Goose for her favourite (only) nephew. She was giggling, and telling me how great it was. I think she may want one for herself. Dad had such fun in the toy section of Kmart whilst choosing O's Christmas present that a man felt compelled to suggest that he desist. Pfft. Grinch. 
  3. Christmas movies: Watching Elf more than once before Christmas is acceptable once you have kids. Sure, O doesn't actually watch TV yet, but I feel okay about having this movie playing while he goes about his business. Probably a better choice than Die Hard
  4. Decorations: I could claim that all of the lights, garlands, tinsel and glitter (just kidding. Glitter is banned from this house) are just for O... Okay. Yeah, let's do that. Geeze, I'm such a dedicated mum!
  5. Presents: Bonus gifts for mummy and daddy, since Santa now leaves us something (*cough* he always has). Plus, O gives each of us a gift. Yessssssss!
  6. Santa's snacks: We've agreed to go with the Santa Myth, mainly so we get an extra present each, but also because I like the idea of scoffing cookies and drinking milk before bed on Christmas Eve. Nath can have the carrots.
I'm sure I will discover new wonders in the coming days. If you find yourself a little stressed, or feeling Grinchy, remember these two things: there's nothing wrong with an adult wearing a Santa hat; and the Grinch saved Christmas in the end. Or just give the toddler closest to you a box of lids and watch him go nuts.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas and New Year. 

This was our attempt at making hand prints for Christmas cards.
I went to the cheap shop the next day.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

6 things I have developed a taste for since falling pregnant

I have never been what you would call strict with my eating, and apart from the odd allergy-related diet, have avoided dieting. I did, however, grow up in a household where good food and nutrition were the cornerstones of our meals and snacks. Since falling pregnant, and becoming a mum, there are times when I out-and-out ignore anything I was taught by my mum related to healthy eating, and find myself on first-name basis with the guys at the pizza shop. Here are 6 things I eat and I choose to blame on sleep deprivation and hormone:

  1. Take out. It used to be a rare occurrence, now we don't even need to look at the menu before ordering. 
  2. Chocolate for morning tea: even as a chocoholic from a young age, I still knew eating chocolate before 12pm was like having mimosas for breakfast. Fine to do on holidays, but any other time and you really should take a long, hard look at yourself. 
  3. Instant coffee: BC, it was French Press or it was nothing. Now the thought of grinding coffee, waiting for it to brew, then having to hand-wash to pot is too much. Just flick the kettle on and pass me the jar of freeze-dried stuff. 
  4. Too much instant coffee: Before I fell pregnant, I had got myself down to a healthy 2-cup-a-day coffee habit. Now it's more like 4. Unless I'm at work, then it's 8. What? it's only instant!
  5. Arrowroot biscuits: Delicious. One for O, one for me.
  6. Peanut butter: Once reserved for days when I had an early start, I find myself reaching for it each morning, and sometimes at night, too. I stopped buying it briefly when I realised between myself and O we were eating a jar every 2 weeks, but I'm back on board and can't believe what a fool I was to stop (dagnabbit I just realised I forgot to buy some at the shops today. Nooooooo! I'll have to have jerky old avocado on my toast tomorrow).

Sunday, 1 December 2013

11 joys I have rediscovered since becoming a mum

Having kids keeps you young, they tell me. Some days I feel like I have aged 10 years in 14 months, but I get what they mean. Being a mum has rekindled my love of things that were all but ignored in the face of adulthood. Here are 11 things that I forgot I loved but truly do:

  1. Tents: O was given a little circus tent for his birthday, and we have such fun diving in and out of it, hiding and bursting out to the giggles of the other person, or racing to see who can get there in first. Sometimes we just lie in there and stare at the peaked roof. Looking forward to the fort-building stage of his life!
  2. Splashing: In the bath, in the water table thingo, at the dinner table... It's so much fun to get head-to-toe wet for no reason other than the sheer joy of watching water fly about the place. Wooden floors we can treat, but this splashing phase wont last forever. Better enjoy it while we can.
  3. Cutlery-free eating: Sometimes, to encourage O to eat, I have my own plate of food. That works reasonably well, but I get a better result when I dive in fork-free.
  4. Jumping on the bed: No, I don't (*shifty eyes*)
  5. Squealing: Sometimes, in the face of a frustrated, squealing toddler, all you can do is join in.
  6. Playing the "drums": Banging a pot with a wooden spoon is surprisingly therapeutic.
  7. Dancing like a goober: Fortunately our little dude enjoys San Cisco, Kasabian and Juzzy T.
  8. Sultanas: Why oh WHY did I give up these tasty little morsels? SO good in my belly.
  9. Chasey: I'm not gonna lie to ya... I usually win.
  10. Teething toys: Hot damn they're satisfying to chew!
  11. Crawling: Not the worst mode of transport out there. Mostly I'm a charging bull, heading straight for the tent...
Being a mum has been great from day one, but being the mum of a toddler is crazy fun. So go on... Grab a teething ring and chew out your frustrations.