Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Five

 
Amazing, our two turned five today - and not four as per the b'day cards I bought. Whoops! You're both our little dudes in so many ways, but in others you're all grown up. Case in point is holding hands while we're at the shops. Alex attempted to give up a year plus ago where Taj will dig my hand out of my pocket if I let him. Until today, when Master T also decided he didn't need to hang on. Good try but we were in a car park so not an option for another few years yet! So love that Alex makes me sing Rock a Bye Baby to him every night. And to catty, and to hospital teddy and to any other friends (of the soft squishy variety) he can con me into singing to. Or yawning to more precisely as I can't get through it without wanting to put myself to bed.

We celebrated their birthday by going bowling with the cousins on the weekend and then had my parents over today for cake. Kids get to share special treats at the end of the kindy session on their b'day, and it sounded like they had a ball with lots of singing and hugs. It's kid party season with four invites in recent weeks, so happy we didn't cave for "Old McDonald's" for the destination just yet. Even happier that we still managed to restrict to family for I'm sure the last time.

Presents have been high on Alex's radar ever since Nik got back from Malaysia a few weeks back (his reward for being full time dad for five years was a week off) as they knew he was going to buy gifts while he was away - and Master Way Too Smart picked there was more than they'd be given due to the size of the suitcase vs the pile in front of them. I don't think I'd be exaggerating to say every cupboard in this house must have been searched at least twice - with the hunt only called off after we said I'd taken the two b'day pressies each to work. We had one very sad not-so-little man when there was nothing to unwrap first thing this morning as no work for me until I can shake this virus (even though the gifts were here all the time), so good thing the Present Fairy saved the day with some new clothes and slippers. She's very into recycling and uses pillowcases instead of gift wrap. Tajy demonstrated how you can still have fun by instantly putting it over his head. Malaysia pressies (Transformers) were finally unwrapped at lunch time and we all agreed the helium balloons are going to last longer. We obviously have very high safety standards for kids toys in Aust! Portable DVD players for the car from the grandparents may end up being the best present yet. How to Train Your Dragon merchandise and board games were also big hits.


We're into term 3 at kindy and they are still super loving it. Interesting to read on the recent report cards that Tajy played more with the other kids in term 2 (I wonder if he got banned from the arts and craft table - haha), where Alex is "very sociable and displays leadership qualities". We visited their primary school today and the structure is going to be great for both of them, and they'll know lots of kids as half their kindy class have enrolled. The focus is - rightly - on numeracy and literacy, with this done by the entire school for the first two hours each day. Even the principal won't interrupt this time. I still reckon he's ex military as the students we saw were very well disciplined.

So what else have they been up to? Just started gymnastics, visiting the grandparents weekly, train spotting, slippy shops (play cafe), the library, money cars (that they jump into at the shops but I never put money into). And medical. Lots and LOTS of medical. Tonsils and adenoids, glasses, opthamologist re the wobbly eyes, hearing test still not completed as fluid in ears again (so more grommets coming up), weekly speech lessons - and that's just Tajy!! Alex continues to go for the dramatic which generally results in a trip to emergency, with the fab scar on his forehead a result of bouncing off a picture frame at the grandparents when he was "running faster than Flash" about two months ago. Yep, you may have been running faster buddy but I think Flash may have missed the wall... Love how they've each claimed their own hospital, but Alex is willing to share if Tajy has an emergency too. The Freckle Fairy has visited Alex a few times lately and has left tiny little dancing feet prints over his nose and cheeks. She popped in to see Taj last week and danced on his nose too.


I think medically is where we see the biggest differences between these two - you can do just about anything to Tajy ("so which hand are they going to put the needle in this time?"), where Alex would just about deal with the devil. He cracked the entire hospital waiting room up when he told the nurse he just needed a bandaid and a wet wipe to fix the gaping hole in his head (says child covered in blood with visible skull) and then proceeded to negotiate with me a zillion times regarding how long the stitches had to remain in for ("I'll never run again if you leave them in", to which I'd point out how this occurred in the first place). Was thinking we'd have to knock him out to get the stitches out when it was finally time, but a good hour later (and buckets of tears) the 5 stitches were out. Then the cheeky bugger tells me on our way back to kindy that he was going to tell everyone it didn't hurt. Compromise was he could say he thought it would be really bad but wasn't. He can also tell you when they need to have their next holiday medi shots (travel vaccinations) and he's right - after Santa comes twice more, so early 2016.

An added bonus of Tajy having his tonsils out was the sudden growth spurt, which was an inch in a month! I hadn't stopped to think of this, even though we've noticed how much he now eats (due to no longer being obstructed it's quicker to eat) - his new funny name is an oldy but a goody, Hollow Legs. He no longer snores like a freight train, so the better rested, better fed child now has "so much enerrgggyyyy". There's still about two inches between them so it will be interesting to see if this narrows further. Alex's new oldy but a goody nickname is Eagle Eyes as he has incredible vision, much to his disgust as he wants glasses too.

I'm loving watching their brains develop and enjoy the ongoing questions about how things operate, such as how long is it until we get somewhere in the car. A new one is to go visit a cow being milked, so we'll definitely be doing that one shortly. White lies are also starting to appear, so they're testing boundaries in lots of ways. Don't mind this at all, but it resulted in paint being peeled off a freshly painted door and two little people swearing it wasn't them. The first got caught out with paint under his nails, the second through a process of elimination. Consequence was quickly learnt as this happened when Nik was away, so we had to ring to tell him to buy fewer presents as he had to buy paint when he got home.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Travel and Term 1

Term 1 has come and gone, and both boys continue to be in their element at kindy. The staff have commented that Taj is the only child that can currently finish a task (bet they wouldn't be saying the same thing if it didn't involve something at the arts and crafts table, haha) and Alex is best friends with every kid he's ever met - even when he can't remember their name. They're now collectively known as "the twins", which I am sure started as no-one would believe they were telling the truth based on height and speech differences. Tajy has been accepted into the school based speech therapy program, which is great as they will continue to work with him (from within the education department) when he starts 'big school' next year. As with lots of kids, the letters F and L are a bit tricky. But he'll get there! Those undected ear infections have certainly had an ongoing impact. Thought we'd lost a grommet recently as something red fell out of his ear (which of course we couldn't find), so a quick visit to the doctor confirmed they're still both in. And green. Tonsils will be coming out shortly which should help with other issues (snoring, slow eating). Boys are highly concerned when the other isn't well (the rest of the time they're bashing the other up), so we'll be working with Alex a lot over the next few weeks so he's ok before Tajy and I to disappear into hospital for a night.

March saw us head overseas again, this time to Singapore and Malaysia. We spent nearly two weeks in a private apartment in Penang and it was fabulous. Nik definitely missed having buffet breakfasts but the space (three bedrooms and two bathrooms) definitely made up for having to cook our own meals. We spent four nights in Kuala Lumpur before heading home and, even though the shopping was great, it was all a bit too busy. Think we'd zen'd out a bit too much in Penang! And that's what happens when your days revolve around heading somewhere in the morning via local bus (Tesco shopping centre or into Georgetown were favourites), grabbing lunch while you're out, catching a taxi back and then hitting the pool. We took the boys to the butterfly house and fresh fruit farm, with the souvenir shop continuing to be more exciting than what we were there to actually look at. Play cafĂ© at one of the big hotels was also great fun, with Tajy coming away exhausted (result of up the stairs, down the slide, up the stairs etc for two solid hours). Alex souvenired carpet burns on his back which complimented nicely the bruises he had on his hips from the water slide into the pool at our apartment complex. Boys will be boys! Alex finally, finally got to try a coconut and instantly declared that a smaller one would have tasted better.




Holiday sleeping configuration continues to be boys with me in the big bed and Nik on whatever else is available. I booked two extra seats on our overnight flight home (we had six seats in total), so the boys slept relatively flat for about five hours. Such a good investment as they both weren't feral with jet lag the day after! Boys were very excited to be on a plane (five for this trip) or after dinner as this was "tablet time". We're still laughing about Tajy sleeping on the flight between Singapore and Penang as he was so wanting to play Angry Birds but fell asleep before we departed. Even funnier that he wouldn't believe we'd landed and were in another country. I finished off my month off work by graduating from my second degree. That is definitely the end of study for me!

I was incredibly fortunate to be invited to an Indian wedding in KL, which turned into a week long girl's trip before heading home for two weeks and then heading back to Malaysia with the family in tow. Wow wow and wow. The wedding was over four days and I loved every minute of it. The bride was radiant and wore the most amazing saris - all purchased from multiple trips to India leading up to the big day (she's Australian too, new husband is Malaysian). Shopping in little India or Klang in KL was just like being in Mumbai. The cat definitely coped with me being away as the boys fed her double her daily allowance while I was awol - the three of them are definitely best friends now. We had a quick road trip to Melbourne during the recent school holidays to catch up with two other families that were created in India. I so love how small our world is!! Nik's being rewarded for five years of hard work by going away for a week by himself in July. He's heading back to KL as it's cheaper to go there than go fishing locally for a week. Go figure.



Boys decided recently they'd had enough of swimming lessons for a while, so we've started them at gymnastics. Little athletics is looking like a winner next as Alex so, so wants to run in races (as he's sure he'll get a trophy or a medal for winning - reality check coming up buddy). Disney movies are a new staple in our house and they're a HUGE hit with Alex who continues to be princess, pink etc mad. He discovered Sofia the First on cable tv while we were away and we know when he's watching it as he's completely silent (to the extent I'm sure he forgets to breath). He loves seeing women with long blonde hair as "they're so beautiful, just like a princess". Obviously no royal hopes for the rest of us with darker locks, lol!! We had to retire Pooh Bear ("PB") while we were in Penang as Tajy had squished him just about into a pancake, so Mickey Mouse is now the bed time buddy.  "Doctor Pooh" still lives on Tajy's bed, and proudly still wears his hospital name tag the nurses attached during the grommets surgery.

Nik and I have both given up on trying to work out where the boys have picked up things from (they go both to kindy and childcare, as well as to my parents every weekend still) - with recent discussions including:

"Is it real?" - Alex asks this routinely, to which we respond that it doesn't matter if it isn't as it's still fun.  Love that he won't believe me that he's not going to find a unicorn.

"How clever" - common statement from Tajy, along the lines of "how clever mummy that you have xyz"

"When I'm..." or "How old do I need to be?" - another Alex favourite. He continues to be obsessed about how big / old he needs to be to be able to do something. "When I'm at big school" was a favourite there for a while, to which I replied that kindy will be the best year of their lives and to not rush Tajy through it. I'm pretty sure the "how old" question comes up as he's always being told how big he is and then we tell him he's too young for whatever it is - so he's obviously trying to get his head around it.

Other really, really interesting conversation happened just this week when Alex was discussing how he came out of an egg when he was a baby and then asked me if he came out of my tummy. I hedged my answer and instead turned the conversation to surrogacy, along the lines of some mummies help other mummies whose tummy is broken by giving them a baby - or when there isn't a mummy like our friends where there are two dads. I asked him if that would be ok (ie being in another mummies tummy and then being given to us) and his answer was a very tearful "but if I wasn't in your tummy I wouldn't know who my mummy is". Okkkaaaayyyyyyyyyy. Important lesson learnt - talk about surrogacy from a really young age (they know all about India, including we were there when they were born) or leave it for much, much later. Conversation ended well after Alex decided he came out of a suitcase instead. Not far wrong there buddy, but I think it's technically called a cryoshipper!!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kindy kids

Huge, HUGE day in our house yesterday - boys started kindy! This is the first year of only an annual intake (instead of multiple throughout the year), so boys will be the "big kids" already as some of their class mates won't have turned 4 yet. And the biggest pressure as far as I was concerned? Having to send a packed lunch - haha. Hopefully the third variation of lunch box we purchased holds just the right amount of food. Taj is going to find not being able to raid the kitchen whenever he likes a tad tough. Lucky for him they're only going one full day each week, so he can happily pillage and plunder on the afternoons they're home. So how did they go? Alex bounced around and was the life of the party while Taj was in his element with "arts and crafts" supplies on tap. Sounds like he wasn't seen without scissors, a paint brush or glue stick in his hand all day. The teacher is highly impressed they can both write their names.

Summer has been fun in our house, except for a heatwave or two. Alex was overjoyed that the forecast was for 42 degrees yesterday as that red sun on the TV weather means they get to go in the pool. It's only a blowup number but it works a treat for them. Nik not so much. They went bowling for the first time last week and visited the zoo, train museum, a few restaurants and spent a day at the pool when we had friends over just after xmas. You know we got up to a lot when Alex announces "I've had a GREAT holiday" and we hadn't been anywhere. Even catching the bus into town so they could ride on a tram was a huge hit - getting to sit in another fire truck was just an added bonus.

Dinosaurs remain the toy du jour in our place, with the remote control dinosaurs they got for xmas making an appearance again this morning. The recent zoo visit was definitely a bigger success due to the dino exhibition they're currently showing. Boys loved that they moved and made sounds. Gift shop was just about as big a hit as Alex managed to score a T Rex book, which we've nicely complimented with visits to the library. They definitely know most of the names ("that's a stegosaurus mum") and its great spelling practice. Boxes from the supermarket make great caves and high rise apartments for our herd. Tickle feathers are also in, so we hunt for feathers when we're out and about. Boys got the most amazing collection after visiting my brothers house on the weekend as he breeds parrots, including those amazing bright blue macaws with those long tail feathers. Score!

They both crack us up daily, with a few highlights being:

* T "I am the present" vs being Santa helper (see photo below).
* A constantly reminding us to "ssshhhh" as we were driving around looking at xmas lights as it was night time (so we had to be quiet), even though every window in the car was up.
* A "if I plant a seed [from the bread with heaps of grain], will it grow a sandwich?"
* The playroom being renamed as "the shed".
* A requesting a soft needle for their travel vaccination ( as "sharp doctor medi" hurts).

All has been good on the medical front lately, except for hayfever and Taj getting an ear infection (only time Nik washed his hair they both forgot to put in the ear plugs). Boys both had minor conjunctivitis which resulted in a three day mini vacation being cut to one night. Alex has thrown a few fantastic tantrums, but hopefully we're over that as I kept reminding him they scored so well at xmas as they're nice kids - and nice kids don't throw major wobblies. And while I'm on the xmas subject, I'll quickly capture what we gave them so I have a record somewhere: books with reader; superhero bath paint; dinosaur tshirts (from each other); car track thing that attaches to the table (from the cat). I got a purple dinosaur. Roughly did their heights last month and Alex is still around 90% on the height chart (projection 185cm) and Taj 50% (projection 175cm). Will be interesting to revisit this post when they're 15 and see how accurate it is! There's about 7cm between them still. We rarely get asked if they're twins now.

And that will do from me (the "old sea creature" - absolutely no idea why) until I attempt to upload photos later. Ciao!

 
 
 Kindy is obviously VERY hard work - completely
trashed after day one.

 Santa helpers or presents (according to Taj).
I think we all agree they're the best gift ever.
 
 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Santa visits 2013

And it's definitely VISITS (as in multiple) as every Santa we came across during December had to be visited to remind him that B1 and B2 would like a remote control dinosaur for xmas.  Luckily he took note of the visits and emails and delivered.  And then he left some bikes "by accident" in the shed so the boys were very spoilt.  And that's before any presents from the rest of us - which will be another very late blog post, seeing it's already Dec 27th...

Hope everyone survived the silly season and the credit cards didn't take too much of a hammering either in the lead up to xmas, or in the boxing day sales.





Monday, October 28, 2013

Four and two months-ish

Whoops, it's been two months since I last blogged - so much for this being my 'baby book' recording all of the boys achievements and notable moments. Luckily I've got a list on the go at work so I've been able to capture a few things.  Highlights recently include:

* Tajy - "I love to talk". Really? We would never have guessed.
* Alex - "Will you two stop talking? I'm trying to sleep" when Nik and I were chatting in bed one morning well and truly after the sun had come up.
* Tajy - "CHIPS!!!" every time something goes wrong and/or he crashes into something. Pretty sure the word he wants starts with 'S' and has lots of the same letters, but this is one instance we're not going to correct him.
* Tajy - more general complaints re how loud everything is. And nope, it's not loud buddy - you can hear what everyone else does now.  Those grommets certainly are working.

We're all good and we definitely have grown up kids now. So laughed when they weren't even fussed when I went to a wedding last weekend (on my own, no drama at all as it was one of our best friends so I knew a gazillion people) as Nik had a Batman DVD for them to watch (or dvdvd according to Tajy) which was very obviously a MUCH better option as far as little people are concerned. I completely made up for abandoning them by bringing home two bunches of balloons. Would have been fab if I hadn't got them tangled as it took Nik and I at least half an hour to separate them again. So not impressed when I walked into the lounge room a mere six hours later and one lot were already flat. Not happy Jan!! I sneak them out (with permission of the groom), get past hotel security, disappoint at least five kids who were playing outside as I wasn't giving any away, drive home without being able to see out the back window, give up even more sleep to separate them and they go f-l-a-t. Boys still enjoyed playing with them.

We've been in the new house for a year now and have started to have people over now the backyard is in order. Wood fire oven has had a workout and we've finally done pizzas in it. One word - sensational!! Boys routinely ask who's coming over with the next mob to be the newly weds and our other mutual friends. Might need to wait to it to warm up slightly again. You can definitely tell it's spring as the temperature here is varying up to 15 degrees. It's super windy outside and I've just spent five minutes explaining to Alex that it's cold and raining (not hot and raining like it was the other day), hence him having a jumper on. Somehow this led to a conversation about snow, which occurs here about once in every twenty years. So as much chance of that as stolen helium balloons staying inflated in this house, ha ha. Had ceiling fans installed in the bedrooms last week in anticipation of a long, hot summer. Got new drawer / book shelf / desk units for Alex recently so his room is now fully organised.

Time to share a few photos and then get back to studying.  Final unit of my second degree and I am being severely punished for waiting 18 months to attempt it.  One assignment and one exam to go and I am finished.  Just in time too - think B1 and B2 will be coming home with homework sooner than later...

Demonstrating how not to blink while watching a DVD
 
Anything with bats on it is a HUGE hit, so
funny Halloween masks and headbands it is!  

Tajy contemplating his next career move

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Four



Four. You guys are four. Not two (as my old boss thought when I was speaking to him yesterday), or eight (as Alex was showing us last night when he held up four fingers on each hand). You're four. So, before you get fully into school and being influenced by peers and all the rest, I thought I'd capture my wishes for you.

Alex: it's ok to play with boys that are your age even if they're smaller than you. Don't be so keen to follow the big kids whenever you encounter them as they can do stuff that you can't (as they're older and stronger). This frustrates / hurts you, but they're not doing it on purpose ~ you'll understand this as you get older too. I love that you say Taj is your best friend and how kind and considerate you are to him, even when he's being a bugger to you. Keep enjoying books as much as you do. Even though it's super funny when you do the full body stamp, we'd really appreciate it if you went back to stamping one foot - or none at all.  You are such a ladies man, and daddy already calls Lily's mum "the mother-in-law".  The caty thinks it's great that you two fight over who gets to feed her.

Taj: I want you to remain soft and gentle. You can rough and tumble with the best of them, but I love love when you sit on my lap (there's a lap, you're on it) and touch my face when you want my attention. I've seen you do this to daddy too. I'm not sure if it's because you've had some issues hearing over the last year so you think we can't hear you either. Regardless, I love it. I also love your hugs (squishy booby hugs are still great) and how you sing to yourself in bed when you're drifting off to sleep, or first thing in the morning when you're still in bed. You talk all day AND all night - even in your sleep. Feel free to grow out of whatever makes you scream nightly around 11pm. Sooner or later we wish that you'd learn to give whatever it is you're playing with to Alex voluntarily.  And remember that there's more to life than playing with a smart phone or camera!  And well done with your first operation this month (the expected grommets) - you were a real trooper considering this was your first time in hospital.

And yes Tajy, "it's OUR birthday"...



 
 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Four-next-month

Taj was diagnosed with glue ear a couple of weeks back, and we’ve now realised that he’s had reoccurring ear infections. We knew his speech deteriorated every xx period but hadn’t realised it was probably the result of an ear infection each time. He’s back to the doctor again on Friday and I expect a referral to an ENT shortly. I have no issues with grommets being inserted, even though some think they’re unnecessary as the infection will go away itself over three months or so. Agree, but reading back I can see we’ve been having on and off issues with his speech for around a year – so I don’t think this will go away on it’s own anytime soon. We realised something was up this time as he was incredibly loud and was standing really close to the tv. Happy to report that both issues have been resolved with the latest round of antibiotics (Alex was very upset he couldn't have any of the "doctor medi" as it was pink). Alex is great at being quiet when he's asked to be, but we're still hunting for Tajy’s “off button” with no luck. Tajy lasts all of three seconds before he's back at full volume again.

Backyard renovations are now complete and the last load of rubbish went last week. Boys are loving the grass area and the bike track around it.  Nik is loving not having to do anything except maintain it all. We still need to get the kitchen painted but it's good that our painter is off on holidays for a few months as the roof leaked yesterday so we’ve now got a splotchy ceiling that needs to dry out. Think that will happen pretty quickly as the gas heating is permanently on.

Random recent occurrences:

* Alex asking "did you understand that mummy?” after he finished a long winded explanation yesterday
* new worker at the child care centre not believing the other staff that the boys were twins, until she checked the enrolment paperwork herself
* current addiction - capes. Superman capes, Batman capes, red satin capes with a batman logo (thanks grandma!), baby blankets tied around your neck, towels attached with a peg. The more the better.
* squishy hugs
* "wowsa" is a standard word in our house