Ayden’s Pooh Party {Long Overdue}

It’s almost 6am. And I can’t go back to sleep.

I realised I haven’t document anything about Ayden’s First Birthday! Indeed it’s long overdue my apologies! 10 months!

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Because I am practically obsessed with Winnie The Pooh naturally Ayden is showered with anything Pooh since the day he was born. No guesses why the theme of the party is Winnie The Pooh.

We practically DIY his birthday favours for all the attendees. Ordered the wooden honey sticks from EBay, jars from IKEA, tubs of Honey from the local supermarket, fabric from Spotlight and print the “HUNNY” labels from home! The husband did that so it was great! I think from a less crafty couple, we did quite well as a team!

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We opt for simple decor; hunny gold foil balloons from EBay, red and yellow tablecovers from the local dollar shop, red/yellow cutleries and plates from KMART. I can’t stress enough that if you are putting tablecovers, you definitely need these babies, it helps a lot especially those unexpected winds! Cheap and practical!

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We try to use whatever we already have at home to reduce our expenses, so we used the light box that we’ve had for awhile and the Disneyland frame we bought from Disneyland Paris which we insert our favourite Winnie The Pooh quote. At my baby shower, I was gifted a Winnie The Pooh storybook and I added that as a prop on the table as well!

We were rummaging through my MIL’s cabinets and found two bowls of honey 🍯 like drips on the sides and we used them to put pretzels and lollies. And found whatever lolly bowls we could use for the party.

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Our cake was made by Mas Creations who have been amazing to accomodate to our requests! Oh my, i didn’t expect to be that huge! I managed to bake meringues, honey joys and butter cookies with the Winnie The Pooh Cutter i got from our holidays in Singapore.

Our food spread consist of noodles lovingly made by the Mother In Law. While I put together the fresh orange almond salad and the boys have been awesome barbecuing rump steaks, lamb cutlets, sausages and chicken wings! We even had Salmon steaks for our Vegetarian friends. I’m glad everything sufficed and we managed to feed everyone!

I must admit, planning and executing a kids birthday party is very tedious, tiring and can be costly if you haven’t done enough look around.

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First Cake Smash!

#AydenAdventures – MEL ICN SIN – Flights

First and foremost, to the mummies or daddies who have travelled with your toddlers on long haul flights by yourselves.

Come I clap for you!πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ*salutes*

This post is just going to touch on the most struggles I have traveling with Ayden which are mainly the flights. Everything else was manageable!  

Since the hubs couldn’t take leave, I thought it would be a great adventure for Ayden and I to go back to Singapore and visit the fambam! I was looking at flight tickets and the cheapest direct flights was $1300 for Ayden and I. Maybe it was due to the Easter Holidays. Then, an idea struck maybe I can have a stopover in Seoul shop and see the cherry blossoms (since the husband is not a big fan!), well when else can I go to Seoul right? To my surprise, it only costed us $1100 from MEL – SIN(transit) – ICN – SIN – MEL on Singapore Airlines. I thought it was a great deal! So we booked it right away!

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Weeks leading up to the travel date, I’ve become super nervous. I kept googling and pinteresting how parents deal with a toddler on long haul flights. Then I found out about a Quiet Book from a fellow mummy in my FB group. And I tried searching for it and realised how expensive it was. But I took it to the last minute, i cant even make it myself as we were running out of time and me working full time didn’t help either. So i went into Kidstuff at Westfield and ask if they sells them. Lucky me (i guess!) they have the last one in stock. My heart sank as the cashier kept my shiny $50 note into the register. πŸ’ΈπŸ’ΈπŸ’Έ

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None of the major stores like Toys R Us, Target or KMart sells them! Booo. And i strongly urge mums to put together a Quiet book if you have time. There are even mother groups that creates quiet book together.

I found a great no sew Quiet book if any mums are interested! Well, in all honesty do we even have time to sew?
http://www.andnextcomesl.com/p/the-3-day-no-sew-quiet-book.html

Spoke to a handful of mums from various groups, many packed a whole cabin bag of toys and whatnots and snacks for their lil tots. But traveling on my own, I don’t even have the capacity to carry so many bags on top of this “heavy” and active toddler of mine! 

Instead, I packed his Toddler Pack with heaps of snacks (yes Ayden is a big eater. If you have food, he’ll be right behind you!), a couple of play dough packs, an unused wallet with heaps of cards and zips, The Quiet Book, several sticker sheets and his favourite Peek A Boo book.”Boy that will suffice won’t it”, how wrong I was! You’ll read about it soon hehe

The Melissa And Doug book was given by a friend while we were in Singapore and it was super awesome! Ayden spends heaps of time on it on the flight back! You can find the whole range at Officeworks!

This Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow Book allows you to colour by painting with water. It features 4 reusable pages and a refillable water pen so you can continue drawing over and over again. 

https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/melissa-doug-on-the-go-water-wow-book-vehicles-mbmnd5375

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Additionally, Instead of bringing our BabyJogger, I bought a $20 Kmart stroller for the trip. I can’t risk them destroying my favourite stroller 😣! This umbrella stroller is super easy to fold and very light indeed. My mistake was not using this stroller all the way to the gate and instead I checked it in with our luggage. It could have saved me the energy of carrying Ayden all the way to the gate! As the day arrived,  my packed Herschel backpack was filled with milk powder, bottles. wet wipes,  diapers essentials, sweater, extra clothes and Ayden’s toddler pack and off we go to the airport!

As we got to the airport, we were given an aisle seat and we have a seat blocked for Ayden as all bassinet seats were taken. Yay! Although I must admit we knew this before hand as a kind soul Mama from our SG Mothers a Group pulled strings for us to get  extra seats where bassinet is unavailable. I thought i was being the smart mama and booked the evening flight to coincide with Ayden’s bedtime! Oh no no no! As we sat buckled in our seats praying that the third seat will be vacant, I looked around and prayed so hard that Ayden will be on his best behaviour. As the door shuts, I squealed knowing that we had the whole 2nd last row to ourselves!

Ayden was just very curious with the lights; with the people around him, the remote, the screen, EVERYTHING! And nope he did not sleep until the last three hours to the flight! It was the hardest! I gave him toys, I let him watch videos of himself on my phone, snacks after snacks, played his play dough , flip his peekaboo books like a zillion times and even his quiet book didn’t last him at all.

Then I muster up the courage to let him walk down the aisle, this was about 10PM AEST. Lights were dimmed and passengers were trying to tucked themselves to sleep. And this tiny little fingers decided it was fun to poke everyone sitting on the aisle as he happily strut down the aisle 😧 I scoop him up with such struggle and walked towards the back so he can walk around the galley which is a bad idea since it was busy! I was drained by this time! 

He was overtired and overstimulated. He kept hitting the monitor hence the person in front of us got annoyed. Then finally an air stewardess came to assist and entertained him while I dash to the bathroom! He played with the crew for a while and then I decided yes it’s enough for him a warm bottle of milk and tucked him to bed! This was 3 hours before we landed!

2AM SGT, it was a 2hour transit before our flight to Seoul. I let him walk around and made sure he exhausted himself! True as it is as we board our Singapore to Seoul Flight, he just slept through almost till we landed in Seoul! πŸ‘πŸΌ

Our flight from Seoul to Singapore was at 9am in the Morning. We were seated at the Bassinet Seat right in front of the Galley which is a horror! It was super noisy with chattering, laughters, slamming of trays and trolley!  I knew right then it was going to be a very bad flight! So Ayden had trouble sleeping due to the noises so he played, eat and watch TV. And finally asleep on me almost 1/2 of the flight. But it was a tiring flight to have him on my for 3.5hours! But I rather that than him walking around. He even played with his friend in the next bassinet! 

And finally our last sector back to Melbourne was a breeze. We were on the 7:45am flight. He slept as soon as breakfast were served and woke up playing with an older gentleman beside us. He was partially well behaved on the flight.  And nap again. It was great when we found out we actually landed 45mins earlier than expected! I wonder how we did that! 

Not all flights were horrible but it was very unpredictable how Ayden turns out in every flight and circumstance. Distractions and patience are the key! Personally, I won’t travel by myself with a 15mth old toddler again. Maybe I’ll distract him with an iPad next time which we are not used to since he doesn’t get screen time at home. Maybe in the future I will when Ayden can talk and we both can understand each other. It’ll be heaps easier!

xoxo

#AliAnaFamille ~ Tasmania Part 2

In the midst of finishing up these Tasmania trip entries, i am trying to juggle planning Ayden’s birthday party, his DIY cake smash photo session and of course our finances all in one go. And at the same time all these blog entry ideas like me trying to go on the #projectpan with all my skincare and make up items and also all these crazy motherhood entries is flowing through again!

Please bear with me.

AND… We set off the next morning exploring the surrounding areas of Bicheno and got some groceries at the local IGA store as well for our stay. First stop was Pasini’s Cafe to fill our tummies with the delicious array of food eastern Tasmania got to offer! Of course, i had to order the Seafood Chowder and the Scallop Pie! Indeed, it was delish!

Then we set off to St Helens and the Bay of Fires! So we drove 45minutes to Scamander then another 20minutes to St Helens, which is the gateway to Binalong Bay and the Bay of fires. On the way to Scamander, we stopped by the four mile creek. It was such a beautiful, serene beach! It was just amazing!

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After a lung full of fresh air, an ankle dip in the waters, Ayden ecstatic fun with the sand and of course full of family snaps; we continued our road trip to St Helens. We were almost famished then as we drove past Captain’s Catch Seafood Restaurant! So we ended up going back to the restaurant after stopping by at the St Helens Information Centre to grab the maps and places to visit around the area. Unfortunately it was 3pm then and the restaurant will only be serving dinner from 4pm onwards. So we decided to book a table and off we go to Binalong Bay and Bay of Fires.

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Binalong Bay


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Bay of Fires (Well one of them!)

The views were just amazing, very surreal. I wish i could upload videos on my blog without me signing up for premium (thanks WordPress! not!). The drive was just full of ooohs, ahhhs and wows! Such tranquility. We hurried back to Captain’s catch for our late lunch and early dinner. Fresh seafood and amazing views. What else can you ask for? The photo below was our view from where we were sitting.

 

After dinner, we drove back to the cabin and have a rest before heading out to find Penguins in Bicheno. Yes! Free Penguins viewing instead of paying for those tours. So everyone layered up and once the sunsets we set off with two infants in tow braving the cold sea breeze! Unfortunately, since my previous phone was flushed down the toilet bowl. Every photo and videos in the phone are now gone. And sadly i did not back up any of them which has been such a deep regret! If you need to know the exact location, just email me i will be able to draw you a map! πŸ™‚

So the last and final part of our trip will be in the next entry! Till then…

xoxo

ana

#AliAnaFamille ~ Tasmania Part 1

Tasmania. An underrated destination but full of fresh goodness and sceneries. Although its just an hour flight from Melbourne, we never had plans to visit until recently, a group of friends went as a getaway and could not stop raving about how beautiful Tasmania (to be specific Hobart is!) This will be our first time traveling with another young family (which happens to be my cousin, Khai; his wife Ana and lil 5 month old K). We didn’t know what to expect and although we have travelled with Ayden earlier in the year to Singapore and Malaysia, he’s 3 months young then. An interesting road trip adventure we hoped it would be!

After weeks of researching, we decided to embark on the Great Eastern Drive – 4 hours road trip on the East of Hobart. Stretches of beaches, great seafood and a good road trip all around! With two infants in tow, we decided to base ourselves in the middle of the Great Eastern Drive; Bicheno! Which is roughly about 2-2.5 hours from Hobart Airport. Hence we would be about 2hours apart to the both ends of the great eastern drive and back down to the start.

It was a long anticipated trip for us. On the day we met at the departure lounge of Melbourne Airport since the cousin flew in from Singapore to Gold Coast, while transiting in Melbourne to Hobart.So it was a coincidence that we were on the same flight to Hobart. The flight was good for Ayden as it was his nap time, hence, he slept while i fed him in the plane. Once we arrived, Cramped with 4 adults, 2 infants and heaps of luggages in our white Mitsubishi Pajero that we rented from Thrifty; we set out on our drive.

I must say through experiences, most of our guests who comes from Malaysia or Singapore where their children were not used to being restraint in car seats have quite a hard time adapting to the Australian Road Safety laws whereby infants and children needs to be in a car seat at all times. But i completely understand since they are just not used to it. No-one likes to be restraint when they never had to previously.

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Back to our drive. We reached Hobart about 6:30pm, got our luggages and crammed everything and everyone into the rental vehicle, and by the time we left the airport it was almost 7:30pm! I must say i didn’t realised how small Hobart Airport was! As we set on our 2.5 hour drive,i must admit it was quite a scenic drive as the sunsets and through the lushes green. Yes 2.5hours with two infants can be a horror especially towards the end. Thank god K was asleep since its her nap time while Ayden was enjoying the ride until the last half an hour when he start to get restless and since i wasn’t sitting next to him, it was hard to calm him down. Thank god his snacks and nursery rhymes work a treat with Ayden.

Finally, (with a sore butt and cramped body!)we reached our lodging, Bicheno East Coast Holiday Park. As most of the Airbnbs were all taken up, i was actually very happy that we got to book this accomodation as it was very much affordable and conveniently located. We’ve got the two bedroom cabin. I never expected the cabin to be as clean, modern and nice as it is. Definitely, recommend this place to anyone who are traveling to Bicheno and looking for affordable lodging.

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Next posts will be more of our road trips to the surrounding areas!

xoxo

ana

Trippin it with a Baby MEL – KL


At 18weeks, Ayden took his first flight out! A 7.5hours flight to KL was the start of our vacation! Indeed it was quite nerve wrecking for us both not knowing how he’ll be on the flight. We’ve got a corner two seater seat with a bassinet on our Emirates flight. Slightly after take off, we fed him and luckily he dozed straight after! Well indeed it was a 2:40am flight which coincides with his bedtime.


Thinking that it would be a breeze with the use of a bassinet, we were so wrong. Flying across the Timor and Java sea, where the turbulence were a regular occurrence, we had to keep carrying, unbuckling Ayden out of his bassinet and strapped him on my lap during each episode. After the 4th, we were exhausted and end up having Ayden on our laps throughout the flight!

As we were about to descend, Ayden woke up. Tried to feed him but he was restless and fidgeting! He was a bit fussy but that didn’t last very long! Thank god! Of course the weather in KL was very hot and humid! It bothered us more than Ayden did. He was happily sleeping in his Ergobaby carrier through the heat and noise! The Ergobaby was indeed a saviour and a must for our future travels. Highly recommended!

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It was a weekend of a beautiful wedding of Yanna & Amir at the Royale Chulan where we stayed during our trip and savoured heaps of awesome food! 

Thank you guys for inviting us to your beautiful wedding! Definitely an honour and we miss you heaps Yanna! Hope to catch up when you’re down under! Will definitely blog more on this wedding soon!

We did celebrate my first Mother’s Day that weekend too with Teppanyaki lunch! It was a great start to the homecoming vacation. Even though Pavillion was our go to place that whole weekend since it’s nice and close and we just want to relax without venturing too far out!

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Then, it was time for Singapore. Meaning constant meet ups, stuffing our faces with food 24/7, endless family time, shopping and being tourists ourselves! Of course no matter how much time we have, there’s bound to be people we just didn’t have the time to meet, places to see and food to eat! There’s just not enough time! But this trip is all about Ayden bonding with his grandparents and spending as much quality time with the family!