Mummy wins, Mummy guilty

Tonight was the night, I dread.

We have been moderately giving the IPad to Ayden for him to watch his favourite shows on ABC kids and playing educational games. Before, it was strictly when we are out and about.

Since Ramadan started, I’ve been giving Ayden the iPad while I carry out my Ishak and Terawih prayers.Tonight was different. He hasn’t slept all day, hence I was thinking of putting him to bed early, after all he must be so tired not napping the whole day!

Boy was I wrong, after changing to his Pyjamas, he started asking for iPad. I shook my head, he begun crying like there was no tomorrow, kicking and throwing tantrums. It was so hard to see but I was adamant that we both can get through this. The battle lasted for 20-30mins (it seems like an eternity for me!) finally as he was sobbing very hard; he crawled onto my lap, eyes shut and slowly drift to sleep.

I cradle him tightly for the next half an hour and gently kissed him on the forehead and whispered in his ears; “I’m sorry I had to do what I had to do. Mummy loves you very much”.

I think the part that scares me the most is when he starts to demand for it and worst when he expect it from me.

We’ll get there. Here’s to us trying 72hours without an iPad.

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Weekends

Here i am sitting on the steps of the State Library blogging after savoring a delicious Apple Puff from Pafu. Its comparable; well may be a lil more delicious than my favourite apple turnovers from Delifrance.

All of that while listening to Julia Michaels. Such an incredible songwriter! All her songs, really, she definitely wears her heart on her sleeve. “They say all Good boys go to heaven but bad boys bring heaven to you..” Oh god those sultry lyrics, i think it’s genius! She even co wrote one of my favourite Linkin Park songs; “Heavy”!

The past few weekends has been super busy, since the long weekend we had from Australia Day. Beginning of February is very busy with this lil family of ours. Back to back birthday weekends! First Ali and then this weekend will be Ayden.

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Off to Geelong with the Syeds for a good beach day roadtrip but the weather suddenly takes a sudden turn, we had to endure cloudy and cold winds at Torquay and decide to drive down to Geelong after lunch and to our surprise. Mr Sun decides to show up! It was quite busy at the waterfront with Craft market, some carnival going on and some event. It was quite a delightful event for the kids.

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We had a wind down Saturday splashing about by the river just behind our area which we don’t even know until now! Pound bend Reserve definitely one in the list of our favourite picnic spots!

We packed on some bbq meats and sunscreen! And slowly, people driving in with their canoes and kayaks and some just clad in their swimwear all ready for a swim! Definitely great for families!

It was such a refreshing Saturday despite the hot weather! After the swim, we packed up and hit Chadstone for some AC and Dinner! Summer days in Melbourne is a good time to head to the mall for some cool down time! Once you had enough of the Sun that is.

Back to first loves.

What’s life without social media?

Honestly, full of curiosity but it definitely gives me a breather.
✖️ Facebook ✖️ Instagram ✖️ Whatsapp
Although I cheated on whatsapp when I have to call Bibik to video chat with Mum. Other than that, here I am back to basics with texting, emails and letters. Back to writing and journaling of which I used to love.
“Back to my first loves” he said.

My sincere apologies for unanswered messages on Whatsapp (im hardly on it) and social media. Texting me is the way to go.

Back to first loves, also meant for the love of libraries. If only, the State library was merely a walk away. The whole idea of immersing myself with a book; finding my little cosy corner in the library full of character which I feel is part of a good meditation on a Saturday morning. I knew Azura will agree with me on this one.


Ayden and Ali decided to come with me to the Library the other day, Ayden was happily glancing and hopping through the library and picking out picture books with cars and buses on its cover. And Mummy is thoroughly happy with her Marie Kondo‘s books that came in at the most apt timing! Also very excited to try out some kitchen experiments with Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cookbook!


Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic: A Journal – Spark Joy Every Day, is all about the KonMari method of decluttering and tidying. I am only halfway through the book, but acts of thanking each item before discarding them off, working through categories instead of places and most interestingly does the item sparks joy? If they are not, thank them and discard them. You’ll find it easier to discard them. I am quite a sentimental hoarder and find it quite effective using the KonMari method to declutter my clothes. With her method, folding is one of the highlights and the way to go. She can fold anything and everything. And using her method of folding too; you will learn to love folding in no time and find yourself maximising your wardrobe/drawer space! Can’t wait to finish reading her books and as you can see someone love it too! 😂


Ayden’s all time favourites are the Maisy books as well as Spots but these days anything with cars and buses really. And sometimes helicopters or aeroplanes too. Like any active toddlers, his attention span can for from 5mins to 0 in a second! Some mums are lucky enough to incorporate bed time storybook routine, for me, I’m just content if he sits with me reading a couple of books a day without any distractions. Our goals for 2018!

 

xoxo

ana

Ayden + Friends

This week we have been having several play dates which were only penciled the night before. Glad we all made it work!

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We had a great New Years Day with the Syeds. These days I fell in love with impromptu barbecues and picnics all over again. We checked out the Valley Reserve this time at Mount Waverley as they called it an award winning Playspace. I thought with the hot weather, the beach may be a lil too crowded! And the boys would love some adventure play area!

It was the tops of 26 🌤 We had a picnic mat full of noodles, pastries, fruits and snacks! It was such a relaxing day under the sun catching up on life and family getaway plans. It was just a great day to chill.

Ayden enjoyed himself thoroughly, that he even missed his nap and he just fell asleep as soon as we drove off from the park!

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It was my last day of the holidays, hence, we decided to drive to Werribee to stock up on my crafts only to realise after an hour drive, that they decided to close early! Boo! We’ve been planning to meet Ana & Ali (yup! A couple with exactly the same nicknames as us!) for a while now, but never got around to it! So we finally got to meet up at the Wonderland Playcentre for a play date and we had a late lunch at Ummah Thai with the family of 5!

I realised that Ayden loves the outdoor playground more than the indoor ones. Not sure why. He seems to be more intimidated and less motivated to play whereas he’s more eager at the outdoor playground, running around, climbing and trying out all the different slides.

The next day the hubs and Ayden decided to spontaneously join Ali’s fambam and Mai (and her girls) on a lil Adventure to the Zoo. Definitely in envy, since I was stuck at work the whole day! They had so much fun, I can tell from the photos and his laughters! Glad that he had a Baba bonding session! Looking at all the photos, glad the Ayden could join in the trip and immerse himself with all these animals he’s been watching on TV and reading in his books! Am actually going to sign up for the Zoo membership soon! Its really worth the price for just $9 a month!

Definitely more #AydenAdventures coming into 2018! Probably more impromptu picnics and road trips! Who knows?

xoxo

ana

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!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼*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. 💸💸💸

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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! 👏🏼

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! 🙂

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

xoxo

ana