Monthly Archives: March 2011

Decluttering 101

Matt and I have just spent the last 3 hours de-cluttering the store room. 2 kids and 4 years later, our storeroom has morphed into a war zone. With the kids at grandma’s for the night, we decided it was time to tackle the mess.

I have to admit I used to be very sentimental about possessions, keeping ticket stubs, old letters…etc. As I’ve gotten older I’ve grown a lot more practical, if it doesn’t serve a purpose, if I can’t wear it anymore, out it goes. With that in mind, we must have thrown out/recycled, at least 5 boxes worth of stuff. A friend of mine used to say ” A place for everything, everything in its place” and now finally, I can proudly say that is what our storeroom is.

I found it very therapeutic, getting rid of things that we don’t longer use/need. We can finally step into the store room without tripping over things. The shelves are packed neatly and everything looks orderly. Let’s just hope it stays that way. I just realised that Mama J has written a post about de-cluttering as well. Great minds think alike my friend  🙂


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Build It!

I try to encourage the kids to play with toys that make use of their creativity and imagination. Ally has recently shown an interest in Lego so I bought this set for her.

She combined the new set with her existing ones

Her favourite character at the moment is Ni Hao Kai Lan

The best thing about Mega bloks and Duplo is that they are interchangeable, the tiles work for both sets which is a huge plus point.

Her house had pengins, polar bears and even a Panda living together with the humans

The mega  bloks sets tend to be more specific, certain blocks come with stickers already attached so their uses are quite limited. At Ally’s age she seems to enjoy the bigger pieces of Mega Bloks better since it “shows” her how to build the structure. I like Duplo as it seems to allow more flexibility and creativity. Sadly both cost just as much so I usually wait for sales before I stock up on sets.

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Speed Demons

Ally getting all geared up

My kids love to go fast, they definitely got that from their father cos I’m quite happy to take a nice stroll and stop to smell the roses. Now that Ally can ride her bike really well, she keeps looking for more slopes to conqure. My heart skips a beat each time she charges down one but the rest of the family seem oblivious to the accident that I can foresee happening. In all fairness she has only crashed into the barriers once and banged her helmet against the rails, oh, and the near pond incident at the Botanics of course.

Max can’t ride a bike yet but he loves sitting in his battery operated car. Matt has changed the battery so that it actually goes pretty fast. Luckily it comes with a remote control so his father is in control, or maybe that’s not such a good thing after all.

Look at the joy on his face!

The faster he goes, the happier he is

Then he decided it was more fun to stand in the car

I freaked out the first time he stood up in the car, with a stronger battery, it actually jerks quite badly each time you start and stop. Then Matt said to me ” he’s ok, he usually stands in the car when I bring him down to play”

Like her brother, she's happiest when she's going fast

Ever the big sister, she never fails to stop to wait for her brother

The bike vs. car race

They raced to the fitness stations.....

To continue their monkey business

It’s amazing how much fun a simple fitness station can offer to two active toddlers.

This bar was their favourite for some strange reason

Ally found something else to swing from

while Max wandered off....

It’s no wonder that the kids always say Matt is more fun, I’m always the one telling them to slow down or be careful while he encourages them to try out whatever they want. Maybe it’s time I loosened up a little as well

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Of Balls and Bikes

We had arrange to meet our friend at the Botanical gardens for a quick meal and to let the children play. Ally decided to bring her bike and Max is now permanently attached to his push car. He wants to go everywhere with it and throws a fit if you try to take it away. He’s too young to realise that it isn’t cool for a boy to ride a pink car , ignorance is bliss.

Max and his beloved car, he's really fast and nearly rolled down a flight of steps giving his mother a heart attack

The weather was perfect, overcast but no rain. We took the kids to the field and they had such a great time running around, screaming, pushing the car down the hill…etc. It was a fantastic way of using up their energy.

Max, Jack and some other boy we happened to meet

Ally attempting a cartwheel, she looks the part

but the actual execution fell a little short

She's such a loving sister, always willing to help Max.

Max managed to roll backwards and fall over while Ally went down and slope and nearly fell into the pond. Both were unfazed by the incidents but I nearly had a heart attack when I saw Ally heading towards the pond. Luckily she was in front of me and I managed to grab her shirt.

She was so happy to have all that open space to just run and play

Max and his trains, never goes anywhere without them

Jack brought a little football and the kids had a blast kicking, chasing and throwing. To tire them out even more we would suggest to them to kick as far as they could and then race to see who could get the ball first. Perfect activity for active toddlers. Max tried to keep up with the older kids as much as he could, as usual his whole head was drenched in sweat within five minutes. We took two very smelly, sweaty and tired children home, it really was one of those perfect evenings.

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Zoo Trip With The Kids

Since we live relatively near to the Zoo, the kids and I like to go there quite often. Taking two toddlers to the zoo on my own wears me out for nearly the entire day. Here are some of my essential zoo survival tips:

  • If possible, avoid visiting the zoo on weekends, public holidays and school holidays. The place is PACKED
  • Try to go early in the morning, it can get unbearably hot in the afternoon
  • If you have young children, bring a stroller, there’s lots of walking.
  • Taking the tram is a good way to to view some of the animals but you tend to miss a lot of the exhibits
  • Try to watch an animal show or view one of the feeding times. My kids love the giraffe and goat feeding
  • Bring some small snacks in case the kids get hungry, food options are limited at the zoo.
  • Don’t forget the mozzie repellent, use LOTS of it.
  • Check the website for scheduled closures of the Rainforest Kidzworld play areas. Once we forgot and Ally was all excited only to find the water area closed for maintenance.
  • Always be prepared for wet weather, ponchos are available for sale at the gift shops but if you have a tiny toddler like Max, nothing will fit him so best to bring your own.
  • Try not to over schedule especially with young children. We usually aim to watch one show or do one animal feeding, the rest of the time we walk around to look for the animals that the children love like Ally’s penguins or Max’s giraffes.

Hope you found my tips helpful, have fun at the Zoo!

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Best Friends

The past week has flown by so quickly, I seem to be busy everyday, though with what I’m not too sure. Haven’t had much time to write but I just wanted to share this photo. It brings a smile to my face each time I look at it and warms my heart.

My dad bought them beanies on his recent holiday and the kids had so much fun trying them on.

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Man Things Have Changed!

Since it’s the school holidays, I decided to take the kids to the Science centre. The last time I stepped into the Science centre was more than 10 years ago and this is how I remembered it, ” Dark, dirty and musky” . But I checked out the website and it did look pretty impressive so we decided to give it a shot.

Max refused to leave the Zhu Zhu pet at home, it was squealing and making all sorts of annoying noises the entire journey. Oh, I am proud to say that his shorts were sewn by me!

Ally was thrilled that there was a water play area, she reminded me no less than 3 times to pack her swimsuit.

The highlight of the day for the kids

From the outside the building was impressive, there was a garden with some water jets that kids could play with without buying a ticket to the science centre. The Water Works area is inside at Hall A, took us awhile to find it. We went early in the morning before the crowds came in so the kids had the place mostly to themselves.

Ally ran into the maze of jets immediately

Max prefered the tamer water jets, he's not a big fan of water play areas

The kids loved the exhibit with the balls, even I was taken by it. Jets of water would shoot the plastic balls in the bucket, then they would travel along a course and end up in Ally called ‘ the washing machine”

The "washing machine"

Ally was really good at retrieving balls for Max who could barely reach the exhibit without failling in

She kept her eye firmly on the pink ball

Ally was so excited she kept running, jumping and screaming. One would think she had never been allowed out of the house before

It was so cute to watch the kids playing. Ally just ran to everything without even thinking. Max, never a fan of water jets, hung back and was more than happy to watch his big sister. He saw a big red button and pressed it, never expecting that it triggered off this extremely loud awful noise. The look on his face as he ran away in fear as priceless! Poor boy!

Can you guess what she's trying to do?

Ally saw a group of older kids do this really neat trick. They took the balls over to the maze of water jets and made them float.

She was thrilled when she finally got one to stay up

And even more excited when she managed two!

Max was curious as to how the balls were staying up, but not curious enough to venture closer. He stayed a good few feet away from the jets and nothing could convince him to go closer.

Still looking at the water jets, unimpressed as always

They loved the water exhibit that explained how water goes from the reservoirs to homes, Ally kept saying " look Mama, I made it rain!"

Max looking at the "rain"

There were too many exhibits to cover since the kids were getting hungry and tired. I was surprise to find that the Maths exhibit was actually kind of interesting. There were a lot of hands on displays and the kids enjoyed finding out what each one was about. Of course the concepts were too complex for them so I tried to explain it as simply as I could.

For young children the Discovery zone is a must. There is a slide, a big water trough, a simple climbing structure and we were lucky enough to watch a baby chick hatch that morning.

Ally loved the displays, Max was more interested in the turtle that was swimming in the tank

We spent about two hours but honestly, there was so much more to see. I didn’t want to push my luck cos it was way past nap time and they were starting to get hungry. The admission ticket allows you re-entry within that same day which is great. We’ll definitely go back to explore the other exhibits that we missed, hopefully the next time Matt will be free to join us.


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Lego Land

Max has always shown an interest in constructing things, building blocks can entertain him for hours. Ally on the other hand, has only recently started to show an interest in Duplo. Max was given a set at christmas but it turns out that Ally likes it better than him. Mainly because it has penguins in it.

The other day I saw her building something and she said to me ” this is penguin’s house!” this is the first time she has ever contructed something so of course I was very impressed.

Ally's penguin house

Then she asked for a Duplo set and I said alright since Duplo /lego are the sort of toys that are timeless. We went to the shop and I just couldn’t resist buying a set of Lego for myself.  It has been ages since I’ve played with Lego and I am so impressed with how detailed it is! I bought the Christmas Toy Shop and it took me 3 hours to put together. There were so many small pieces and they even have bricks that light up!

Can you see the little train and robot through the shop window? Such detail!

I had so much fun putting the set together, by the time I had finished my fingers were all red from putting together all the tiny pieces. Not to mention hunting for those tiny pieces that I seem to keep dropping on the floor.

I could not stop admiring the completed set, it's just too cute!

Even the husband was impressed once I was done, he kindly cleared a space on the shelf just for my Lego. Ally has already asked for the Duplo princess set but it’s out of stock at the moment so maybe Santa might bring that to her for Christmas. I don’t blame her though, I’m eyeing another Christmas set to add to my collection!

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An Elephant In The Room

Max and I followed Ally to school today and he found some toys cars and wooden blocks to entertain himself. I was too busy observing Ally and didn’t take much notice of what he was doing. Then he called and demanded me to ” see! see!”

Lo and behold, Max had built a parking garage, at least I think that’s what it was. He said ” car” and then proudly pointed to the elephant on the top. So I asked him what the elephant was doing that and he replied ” car” so I deduced that the elephant was the parking attendant.


Max's car garage with Mr Elephant as the car park attendant


Obviously Max had an animal theme going on cos right next to the elephant car park this was what he built.

Who needs a wheel clamp?  Use a horse to block their path instead! He kept pointing to the horse saying “orse, orse” obviously proud of his ingenuity.

Even though this photo has nothing to do with Max's creations, I had to include it anyway cos I think he looks too darn cute

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A Camping We Will Go

Ally has developed an sudden interest in camping thanks to a book that Grandma read to her. She has been asking us to take her camping for the last week so we decided to buy a tent and camp at home.

We headed to Giant supermarket to find something cheap and cheerful. They only had one type of tent so that’s the one we ended up buying. Note to self, always read the label on the product! ( You’ll soon see why)

Unknown to us, we had purchased a six men tent, yes, that’s right, 6 men tent. It was huge, no, make that MASSIVE and took up almost the whole of our living room.

I know its hard to see the tent cos the picture is too dark but you can kind of make out how big it is

Ally was super excited, she took her blanket, pillow and her new sleeping bag inside the tent. To make it a bit more comfortable, I dragged the spare mattress in for her as well. Even with the fan blowing directly inside the tent, it started to get stuffy very quickly. We turned on the A/C which made it a lot more bearable. In the meantime poor Max was placed in his crib to sleep. I couldn’t bear the thought of having him waking up through the night and roaming around the house.

She even had a little camping lamp that Grandpa had bought for her.

It took Ally a little while to get to sleep since she was so excited but she eventually did and slept right through to the next morning. The tent was surprisingly easy to put away despite its size. She has already asked when we can go ” camping” again so we might have to make this a weekly affair.

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