Tuesday, 28 July 2015

TOURIST TUESDAY: BALI DAY ONE LEGION

So after very little sleep the night before, we all set off to the airport, wondering if we were even going to get on a plane.



There was a delay, yet not due to the volcanic ash, but because someone had checked in, put their luggage on the plane, yet not boarded the plane. Who does that, and why? After a long, long wait, okay it was not that long. But we were excited to take off and this has always struck me as a weird thing to do.

Jarvis was an angel during the whole check-in, customs, flight, customs, bag retrieval. Not sure if the Bumblebee was the reason, but it definitely helped.

Part of the package deal, I booked, included a private car transfer from the airport to the hotel. So again, this all went with ease.

By the time we checked in we were all feeling pretty tired, so it was a very quick exploration of the hotel. Soon our bellies called, and we set off to find somewhere to eat. Yes, food ruled for most of our journey.

Jarvis was a little quiet on our first walk through Legion, I think over tired, plus a little over whelmed by the noise, sights and smells. He coped with this, by asking Justin and I to carry him, whenever things got too much for him.


After dinner I had a shower and the boys had a very long soak in the huge bathtub. Which Jarvis declared 'good'. Yup, he is a child who likes luxury. An early night, with the thoughts of a good sleep in... hmmm more on that in the next post.

Entrance to hotel.

 View from roof top pool.

 Ground level pool.

 Exit of hotel.

Legion, 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

A NOVEL TO MAKE YOU CRY: STILL ALICE

Have you ever stayed up late and read an entire book in one big gulp? Have you ever sat up in bed, at midnight, simultaneously crying your heart out and feeling hungry?


Not sure how much of it was PMT. However, I recommend giving Still Alice a read. I woke with the reality of Alice's story in my mind. Will definitely be giving Genova's other novels a read.

It has also been made into a film, but not sure about that. Not sure how they can portray the internal struggle as well as the novel did. I like Julianne Moore as an actor, but all the Baldwin brothers as actors make me gag. 

I sourced a quick blurb of what it is about of the internet.


Still Alice is a 2007 novel by Lisa Genova. The novel is about a woman who suffers early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Alice Howland, a 50-year-old woman, is a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned linguistics expert. She is married to an equally successful husband, and they have three grown children. The disease takes hold swiftly, and it changes Alice’s relationship with her family and the world. It was Genova's first novel.

What books have you read that linger in your mind for days?

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

HOW TO TRAVEL ON A PLANE WITH A TODDLER

Though this post is titled "How to Travel on a Plane with a Toddler", it could be titled "The Importance of a Great Travel Bag for a Toddler".


In the weeks leading up to going to Bali, I kept explaining that we were going on a holiday, and that it would take a long time at the airport and on the plane. I told him it would be like a long long long car ride, except we would be in a plane in the clouds.

Step 1: Get your child ready mentally for the trip, and what going on a plane entitles.

The next thing I did was to get Jarvis involved, I allowed him to pick and buy his own carry on luggage. At first he wanted a "Rainbow" suitcase, but as soon as he saw the Bumble Bee, it was love at first sight for him. We made a big deal about this explaining all of his 'special things' would go in to this for the plane, and for the holiday. I also allowed him to pick my new carry on bag.

Step 2: Allow your child to make decisions.

Filling the bag, was as much fun as buying the bag. Together we wrote a list of things he wanted in his bag. He said, food, lollipops, books, cars and his ABC learning cards. I thought his list was pretty good so I stuck closely to that. The hardest thing was editing down what books to take. I bought him three new Matchbox cars, so he would have something new to open in cases of emergencies. In the end, he also wanted to take his hand knitted Bear on holiday, so Bear came along as well. 
There are heaps of other posts online giving hints on what to pack.  A couple of new things to open and amuse them, also make sure there are familiar things to give them comfort.

Step 3: Make sure they pick things to fill the bag that are important to them, not to you as a parent. What you think is important can go in your own carry on bag.

Jarvis practiced wheeling his bag for days before we left. So he was thrilled to wheel it when we got to the airport. But I also made sure it fitted, and was easy to carry, on top of my carry on luggage.

Step 4: Think through the process of two carry ons and a toddler. In case you have to carry all three items.

Once at the airport, Jarvis was happy, and could not wait to get on the plane. On the plane, we made sure everything was easy for Jarvis to reach. I sat him in between Justin and myself so he would not annoy anyone with his getting on and off the seat to reach into his bag. Some 'quiet time' was had, with me bringing along my notebook so he could watch a movie.
I also involved and allowed him to make lots of choices. Giving him freedom to be a toddler. That way the big things, such as staying in your seat, being quiet, then dealing with the huge line ups at customs he allowed us to make the choices.

Step 5: Allow them lots of little freedom. So they follow the rules when needed.

I think Step 1 and Step 5 are the most important. Get your child ready mentally for the trip, plus allowing them to be a toddler when ever possible. Jarvis friended another child in the lead up to getting on the plane. So when the plane was delayed, and all of the adults were getting annoyed, I encouraged Jarvis and this other boy to play. I said to Jarvis as long as he stayed in a two meter radius of me and did not bump other passengers or make to much noise her could run and play with the boy. So when we boarded, he had burnt off a fair bit of energy. The hostess remarked on how extremely well behaved he was for the entire flight.


I think the biggest hint I can give is talk to your child, before, during and after the plane ride. Ask them how they are feeling, what they are thinking. Kids are such intelligent beings they will allow you to help them, and guide them into being amazing travellers. 

Monday, 6 July 2015

THE HORSES... FOR JUSTIN

                 

                     

07/07/15 EIGHT YEARS

On the 7th of July it is my eight year anniversary. Yup, 07/07/2007 is our ‘date’.
Who would have thought that your quiet gentle soul and my loud emotional one would have made a match? On paper you and I do not make sense, and not just the fourteen year age gap. But somehow, we do. 


Yes, sometimes, my OCD neat freak, list making personality wants to head butt your messy, willy nilly leave it to me personality. However, I could not imagine my life without you in it.    


After eight years I love you even more. 


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

3 YEARS AND 6 MONTHS


Growth & Appearance:
Your face still has the softness of the baby/toddler years, but your height is the contrast to this. I got asked yesterday, by a stranger, if I was doing home schooling, or the no schooling approach. I replied that since school was still a few years away I had not thought it through. She was shocked at the fact you were only three and a half, as you were the same eight as her five year old son.
Yup, you are tall, but still super lean.


Eating:
Like all kids, well I think most kids, you go through fussy stages. But I have never been worried as I know it will pass. What I find funny, is of late you like you drinks in shot glasses. Yes, I know this is odd, but I used them once, as a bribe to get you to eat your dinner and now it is your 'thing'. Three shot glasses of half juice/half water, plus three shot glasses of ribena.

Talking: 
Your speech and understanding. Over the last few months the way you process information is showing such maturing. I certainly makes life easy, for when we explain the reasoning behind something, you grasp it and turn it around with a question for us.
Your counting, and days of the week has also improved out of sight. You asked me this morning what day it was and when I replied 'Thursday', you then said "home from work before my nap". Yes gorgeous, today is my half day at work.
I would like to say your Cantonese is/has improved, especially since your grandparents stayed here for the month of May. However, you claimed " MaMa speak funny", and when she called you by your Cantonese name you kept correcting her all telling her your real name.

Sleeping: 
After the month of May with you being super sick and waking up several times a night, I am so very grateful that you still like to have a day sleep, on average two hours, plus go to bed really easily...most nights. The reverting back to waking is so draining, reminded me of the first two or more years of your life. Fingers crossed, please please go back to sleeping through the night.

(This is your 'zombie monster kiss face') Also the face I like to pull when you do not sleep through the night. 

Development:
I wonder if your maturity has to do with the role you have taken on with Chester? Now that we have been looking after Chester during the day when Tamika works. Being an uncle has made you behave so much older. You are Chester's protector. you are also a little stresser, like your Mummum, around Chester. He has to be buckled in the car seat first, you then like to check his buckle. He has to be strapped in shopping trolleys, at the slightest cry you are yelling out to me to take notice.
I think with Chester around it is teaching you to share and be a little more patient. Which I think is a good thing. Plus, I know you like having him here as you often question why he cannot stay here, Saying he does not have to go home.


Favourites:
I think your favourites have stayed steady for awhile now. You love going to the movies, you ask at least once a week if we can go. You love the library. Going to the park. And Eeeworld (Seaworld, we have six month passes).
But, you are just as happy at home playing with your cars (you love making what you can traffic jams on the window sills and say 'no green light'). You love helping me do anything, even if it is making the bed, what ever I am doing you want to help. I am thinking I am going to have to get you a sewing machine as you keep asking to use mine.


How I am thinking/Feeling:
With you being so sick the past month, it makes me realise just how little you still are and how much of a journey we still have together.
I often think about how funny you are, the laugh out loud kind of funny. I wonder if you will stay this way or change as you age. I also wonder about how gorgeously affectionate you are.

You are shy and stand offish with most people, but the people you love. Wow! Do you love them. At night, if I am not faced your way curled around you, of late I find you will curl around me in our sleep becoming the 'big spoon'.