Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oh the places we've been...

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
In the last 3 days we have been exploring some great places and events that Brisbane has to offer.
Friday – Shand St (Grinstead) Park @ Alderley
My Mothers group still meet regularly and this week we checked out Shand st Park; wow!! What an awesome park for big and little kids! It’s been designed so well that the little kids can easily explore as well as places within the wooden fortress for parents to sit and chat while keeping an eye on the kiddies. The big kids will love the 2 x awesome slides and theres also great paths for kids like Koby who have just mastered walking to zoom around on their walkers along with swings, loads of shade, picnic tables and a little footbridge.
Saturday – Furniture Shop and Ausfest, Arana Hills
There were so many events on this weekend it was hard to choose; but Ausfest is in our suburb so we went down to support our local community. But first we started the day with a visit to a large discount furniture store; who knew so much fun was to be had in store; running around, jumping on couches, playing peek-a-boo with the sales staff!
After lunch we headed down to Ausfest; checked out the baby animals; got a balloon and an icecream; but the sun was blazing and it seemed to be catered more towards older kids; so we didn’t stay long. However my sister stayed for the fireworks with her kids and she said it was a great night with dancing for young and old.
Sunday – North Lakes Farmers Market and Redcliffe Lagoon
With a 6am start; alittlebird headed off to the North Lakes organic and artisan markets which was having a special family farm day! alittlebird stall was all set up and we met some lovely parents and kids. The kids had an awesome day with  jumping castles, pony rides, getting their face painted, running around checking out the swans in the lake and generally having an awesome time. The day was such a success they are considering having one each month; watch alittlebird for details. BTW I picked up a lovely bunch of flowers, some awesome organic fruit and vegies for the week; I will definitely be back .
Meanwhile the hubby took Koby and his cousins down for a swim in the lagoon right at the end of Anzac Avenue....The Redcliffe Lagoon. WOW! what an awesome place to take the kids; no need to go all the way to south bank for a swim and there is heaps of shade and space for the kids to run around.
Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
Have you checked out some great places lately?
We would love for you to share them here with other parents.

The Great Toy Bonanza...

Toys, Toys, Toys...everywhere. Just looking around my house; there are toys spread from one end of the lounge room all the way through the kitchen and out onto the deck! Do kids really need all these toys? With Christmas nearly upon us; a friend of mine asks these questions in this weeks blog....

Guess Blogger

Well it’s the 1st of November and we all know what that means.... don’t we?  Oh right, it’s only 54 sleeps until Christmas!  Now I don’t know about anyone else, but as much as I love Christmas, I’m becoming very boring about the presents.  I have a 3y/o and a 1y/o and we just don’t need any more bits of coloured plastic for me to trip over.  I have nowhere else to stash them, and we already bought (and filled) a bigger house!

A friend recently mentioned buying toys for his daughter at a 2nd hand market, and how she loved these toys as much as she could new ones, and within days, you couldn’t tell if they were new or not.  A great idea, great for the environment and the wallet.

Still, as much as I want to have a mountain of presents for the kids to rip into on Christmas day, I don’t want the contents to stay at my place.  So what to do?  Ma-Ma and Grandad already tip into the kids’ swimming lesson fund instead of gifts, but they can’t resist a little something to wrap up. 

And the mountain of toys aside, before the actual day there’s the nightmare of the shops (with toddlers in tow) to deal with.  For the last 2 years, a friend and I have put our kids into daycare for 1 day and shopped until we dropped, giving the boys instructions to pick up the kids and with the rule “we don’t come home until it’s done”.  Sure we probably might miss a couple of sales but we also miss the stressful, last minute rush on December 24, and last minute always means big money.

I’m considering (seriously) wrapping up some of our existing, forgotten toys for the big day.  Would the kids realise, and if they did, would they care?  Probably not.  I’m sure the Chinese economy will live on without me.

Should we make a pact?  A toy swap instead of a new toy bonanza?  Should we donate old toys to charity to make way for the new?  What do you do for Christmas and how do you deal with the shopping and the cost and the mountain of toys?  All ideas gratefully received! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have you ever had one of those days?

You know the days.....those days....when all that can go wrong....inevitably does!

Monday was one of those days for me; you may or may not have noticed but our sweet alittlebird disappeared for a while on Monday. Flown the coop and gone for a fly around; in reality we were at the mercy of our I.T company. I reckon dealing with I.T help desks has got to be up there with dealing with certain telephone companies; very painful!!

Any who I don't want to spend the whole time talking about my crappy Monday so I will summarise :). Apart from the huge headache and frustration of not having a live website, it also involved; a misquoted item which was now going to cost me 3 x as much, my best friends health results getting worse, the grandparents being sick so they couldn't look after the small person the next day and lastly my weekly dose of gossip in the form of a magazine delightfully delivered to my house every Monday afternoon....did not arrive :(

So what do you do when faced with a day like that? Well firstly I treated myself to a very indulgent and unhealthy lunch with my girlfriends. Then in the afternoon I picked up my smiley little boy from day care; came home, put on some great music; turned it up loud and we danced around the house together laughing and singing! By the time my husband came home the crappy day was well behind me; as I told him; I had isolated "that" day so the next day and the next day could be be awesome!

I would love to know what you do when you have one of "those" days.....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Out and about with kids...and their hats!

Firstly don't forget to check out our new and improved; we are dedicated to providing parents with a comprehensive uptodate service of what's on in your area. .
Isn't it awesome when the weather is sunny; you've got the kids bags ready and decide to head to the park for the day. In this last week we spent a day at the amazing kids playground at New Farm Park and a local park near the Ferny Hills Primary School with my lovely mothers' group.

The kids have a ball; running around, eating bark, interacting with other kids, while the mum's either chase after the kids because they've decided a drain is way more interesting than the actual playground and occasionally we get to sit down and relax.

Being out and about in Australia as we all know it's important to be sun smart especially with our little peoples delicate skin; so it's hats and sunscreen to the rescue. Except for my 1 year old boy! Let me explain...

He has ginger hair (there I said it; btw we have NO idea where it came from) and therefore he has that gorgeous translucent skin that often accompanies gingers. BUT he will not wear a hat of any description; no matter how tight I tie the under chin strap; even with 2 other mum's helping me. All the other bubba's are happily playing with their hats on..except Koby! I've tried making it fun, wearing it inside, me wearing a hat and the ever so joyful game of "I'm not going to loose Koby" where I followed him around for 20 minutes putting the hat back on his head every time he pulled it off; I ended up loosing.

So as much as we both love getting out and about to our local parks (alittlebird lists some great one's in it's new directory) I'm concerned about his sun safety.

I think in the end I will have to sunscreen his head :)

Love to hear your suggestions on hat wearing along with what your kids are like when it comes to sun safety.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What does your child really eat?

This week’s guest blogger talks about all things diet with our kids and despite all our best intentions to give our kids a healthy balanced diet like in everything they do; ultimately it’s up to them and what they choose to eat.
So common fess up and share with other parents, what does your child really eat?
The other day all Koby would eat for lunch was biscuits; I figured it was better than nothing :)

Guest Blogger
My 3 year old has Up and Go’s for breakfasts; does that make me a bad mum?
She loves to eat raw mushrooms, straight from the brown paper bag (occasionally she eats one before we have gone though the checkout).
She also loves corn on the cob and more often than not will choose to eat a plain piece of Pita Bread for lunch; nothing on it! She loves meat of any variety; this was a child who was chewing a piece of steak when she was 9 months old; she loves it! 

Should I be worried about her eating?

I don’t want to make a big deal of her eating habits as I want eating to be a joyful experience, not something we argue over. I figure she’ll come around to eating cereal for day. On a plus she does love eggs and soldiers but that only happened in the past 6 months.
She runs about, laughs and is a very happy child. She loves her mum and dad, her friends, her cousins, doggies and she loves life. She has beautiful manners, cares for others and gets to spends lots of quality time with the people that love her; so should I really be worried about what she eats?
I guess it's important to remember that it’s perfect for her not to be perfect, just like her mum and dad and all the other interesting and colourful people in the world.
So in the end who really cares if she will only drink Up and Go’s for breakfast.
Share with us your child's interesting food habits :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

7 Steps to being a good parent...

I found this today on the internet and thought gosh so often we get busy with our lives or in my case busy with a certain little bird and can forget that the most important thing of all is being an awesome parent to the small people in our lives.

I have printed this out and stuck it on my fridge :)

What would you say to other parents is the most important thing to being a good parent?

Share your thoughts here.

Provide unconditional love and encouragement to your child
  • Saying "I love you," is important. But even more important is showing your child that you love them by giving your time and attention. Playing games, reading stories, and talking all show your love. Encouragement is also essential. Every child needs to feel like their parents are their best cheerleader. And with their parents help they can accomplish anything. I often tell my son you can do and be whatever you want and he believes me.
Make your kids a high priority
  • This doesn't mean that you don't take care of yourself and your marriage. But it does mean that your children should come before others. This may mean that you need to say �no� sometimes. I have a hard time saying "no" and I often have to remind myself that if I say "yes" I will be placing my children lower on my priority list.
Strengthen your team
  • Strengthening your team applies to parents. It means that parents agree beforehand on important issues like rules and discipline. They discuss together important decisions that need to be made concerning the children and family.
Discipline consistently
  • To cultivate this quality of being a good parent is one of the hardest things to do. At the end of a hard day it is so easy to give in to a child that is crying or whining, but that is not consistent. It does not teach them and only makes your job as a parent more difficult. Set limits and rules and always enforce them.
Teach responsibility
  • Give your children responsibilities. My son is required to make his own bed. He also empties the small garbage cans every week. All my children are responsible for helping clean up the house and clearing their dishes off of the table. Children need to understand that they are responsible for their own actions and the consequences that follow. I often tell my children "no one can make you mad, you choose how you react."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sleep ideas when out and about with kids...

How do you ensure your kids have a sleep even when your out and about for the day?

Do you try and stick to a routine or just go with the flow and see how the day pans out?

Do you take the long way home so they have a sleep in the car or hope they sleep in the pram while you have a coffee?

It's a question that for some sleep deprived mum's can be quite stressful and I know for myself in the early days used to put me off going out at all as I didn't know what to do about...sleep!!

Kids love getting out and about; trying new things and having fun and here at alittlebird we encourage and promote acitve kids SO how do we as parents ensure we have active healthy kids AND manage the ever important and ever elusive S.L.E.E.P!

Share your thoughts, suggestions and amusing stories here; love to know what you do when your out and about :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I heart my Ergo!

Ergo Carrier that is!! For those that haven't read my birth story (click here) I gave birth to a very large boy nearly 1 year ago and thank goodness I had an Ergo Carrier. I also had other sling type carriers but when you have a baby the size of a 3month old they don't do a whole lot apart from break my back.

That's where the Ergo comes in handy; even now at 12.5kg I can still carry him in it. That's the great thing about it; it takes big kids! AND being that my husband and I are "giants" it fits us great as it sits on our hips and takes all the weight there; unlike other baby carriers where the weight is around your middle.

Why am I blogging about my Ergo Carrier you might be wondering? Well there are 3 reasons:

  1. If anyone is pregnant or has a friend who is pregnant well I wouldn't reccommend any other carrier 
  2. It's International Babywearing Week this week; which is all about celebrating parents who carry their bubbas and there will be celebrations at local parks and cafes all week.
  3. Any excuse to put up photos of Koby
Check out some of the great events on this week @ Babes in Arms whose initiative is sponsored by ERGObaby

Saturday, October 2, 2010

School holidays, wet weather and sick kids..

School holidays have drawn to an end; I hope alittlebird helped make planning what to do with the kids easier and that we got you out and about trying new things :)  

As a new parent I was so impressed with all the awesome activities on offer for kids over the school holidays. Even my local shops had this cool Paint with Sand thing that I almost had a go of; instead I watched the young girls put brightly coloured sand on their ballerina pictures.

The wet weather did however put a dampener on a lot of the awesome outdoor activities. I have my son's 1st birthday party planned in a local park for this Saturday but I may need to re-think that option. If you got this weeks newsletter we are focussing on indoor fun - places to go and fun things to do inside!

As a kid I remember telling my mum on rainy days after she dropped me off at school that I didn't want an umbrella to walk home with. Instead I purposefully took my time walking home so I could jump in puddles and pull on the leaves of trees so the rain would pour onto my head. Sure I got home soaking wet but that hot shower never felt better. There are some older kids who live in our street and I saw 3 of them the other day running around outside in the rain - now that's having fun!!!

So as much as there are heaps of fun things to do indoors when it rains; sometimes the most fun to be had is outside with your gum boots on; splashing in puddles; collecting rain in a container; searching for all the different critters that come out in the rain, making paper boats and racing them in the water......

You may have noticed my post also includes sick kids.....well this weekend was our first bout of a vomiting bug with Koby and if you're a parent reading this I know you will understand but wow! I have never seen so much vomit in all my life. Thankfully my little boy improved one we got some electrolytes into him and we are slowly introducing solid food again. We were going to go to the Thai festival on at South Bank today but instead we are going to stay at home.

I hope you all enjoy your week. We are also on the look out for people to join our alittlebird team; if you have sales experience and love the alittlebird brand please contact us.

Happy 1st Birthday Koby!!