Thursday, August 20, 2015

Six

Happy birthday you two, today you turn six. You're as excited as if it were xmas, but this is way better as it's all about you.  You're both pumped and have been counting down for weeks.  Still laughing at Alex after he came screaming into our bedroom at 6am yesterday yelling out "it's my birthday tomorrow" (accompanied by arms waving in air), to which I responded what's going to happen that makes it a special day (as still have to go to school et al).  Turns out nothing special was about to happen, but that doesn't matter as he's a kid and he's having a birthday.

You started school in February and you both love it. You're in the same class but sit at different tables. You're also enjoying opportunities getting older brings, such as after school sports and getting dropped off for a day with the grandparents during holidays. Alex's teacher informed me he was awesome during parent / teacher interview last term. He's so wanting to learn and applies himself well - until readers or sight words get pulled out at home. Actually, that's both of them lol. Taj is exactly where they need him to be, which is no small achievement. We've learnt a lot about Tajy's vision in the last six months and are getting support through school and a number of providers, including speech. It's definitely true how other senses kick to compensate as his sense of smell is amazing. Alex continues to have incredible distance vision for no reason other than he does.

Alex is still ridiculously tall and would again be at least 7cm taller than his brother. He'd also be at least 5kg heavier, if not more. They definitely have different builds where A is solid and stocky and T is on the slight side.

We headed back to Malaysia in April and again had a ball. This time we also visited Legoland and Angry Bird Park. Boys getting their Lego licences was a HUGE hit. Think Nik and I enjoyed Penang the most as we had lots of space (apartment vs hotel room) and the amazing swimming pools again. Caught up with friends for a few days who were also zipping around on holiday, so that was good - and a great excuse to visit lots of local restaurants. Got around on the local buses again, including intercity. Will be restricting vacations to during school holidays in future, so can see we'll be doing lots of driving around instead of heading overseas.  Boys are happy to not do an international flight for a while, even more so when Tajy realised we have swimming pools here too. We're all hoping his grommets will be out by this summer so he can totally enjoy getting wet.  Alex is also itching to get in again as he worked out what a pool is all about while we were away - do a bomb in, swim / float around, get out and do it again.  And again.  And again. Being able to reach the bottom of the pool definitely helped.




Thursday, December 25, 2014

Xmas 2014

Lots of fun and lots of Santa visits again this year, with Tajy now super keen to chat to the big man in red too. Alex's eyes nearly popped out of his head and he is totally convinced Santa does know everything after I was addressed by name and Santa responded "I know" when he told them they were twins - definitely helps that he used to work at the same company I do. Must track him down again next year as I am still getting mileage out of this visit!  Chippy, our Elf on the Shelf, has appeared in lots of crazy places and there were tears when he had to leave last night. Don't think Taj is coping with things ending at the moment and totally surprised us with being inconsolable after finishing kindy (it's Alex that is sensitive where Taj - until now - goes with the flow). We told the boys Chippy could stay but that would mean no pressies next xmas as the elfs need to make toys until then. He was allowed to go, lol.

Santa bought the boys Transformer gear (small toy, book and costume) to replace the dodgy versions Nik bought for their birthday in Malaysia. We gave them active and co-ordination gear (totem tennis, badminton set, pool toys, diablo, kids chop sticks) and the practical (kids scrabble, new water bottles for school, flip flops, Spiderman underwear). The fun pressie was from each other - a monster truck for Alex and a fire engine for Taj. Both are remote control and both have mute buttons (yay for us). Lucky I stocked up on batteries last week. Kids tool belts from the grandparents are a huge hit. There were a ridiculous number of parcels to open which didn't cost much, which is good as we've been focussing on experiences and doing things vs owning more stuff. Boys are great at packing up things they're no longer using and donating. I know what we'll be doing again before they start school at the end of January!!




   

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Emails to grandma

To grandma.

For xmas, can you and grandpa please get me a kids tool belt with tools. They have them at Bunnings. That's what I seriously want. Even with a hard hat so nothing falls on my head. And a work coat (which we think means a high visibility vest).


Love Tajy

* * * * * * * * * *

Hi grandma.

I wish you, for xmas, to get me a remote control crane. Ok, make it a tool kit with the remote control crane. Please.


Little hug.


Alex


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 still 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.