Tag Archives: Christmas

Chum-Lee’s Choice – The 2 year old’s Christmas wish list edition.

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Holy crap.  Christmas is in 55 days.  That means there is only 54 shopping days left!

But don’t despair, Chum-Lee and I have been putting in the hard yards for you.  Hours upon hours of toy and goodie research has been conducted and I think I have come up with a pretty darn amazing list of the bestest and the coolest toys and tidbits for the super crazy and active 2 year old.

T wants all of these.  Or rather, I should say, I want them all for T, but I am pretty sure he would tell you he wants them too, if he could.  Some of the items I am about to show you are on my ultimate wish list, but some of them T is actually going to receive, so shhhhh don’t tell him, we don’t want to ruin the surprise on Christmas morning!

When I started thinking about Christmas gifts for the babies, a few things came to mind.  They had to be good quality and made to last.  I am not interested in something they will play with for 5 mins and then leave in the back yard to rot.  I want toys that will stand the test of time with both babies.  The toys need to be something they can play with actively – no screens to stare at.  I want them to use their imaginations and be creative.

 

Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship

I thought I would show this one first because T already has it.  I did originally get it for him for a Christmas present but we had some really hot days here and D had gone away for a boys weekend.  What was I to do?  I couldn’t manage taking both babies in the pool by myself, and the little dude was hot and suffering in the heat!

Needless to say, T got an early Christmas present.  His reaction when I brought the box in was gold.  ‘WOW!!!!! WOW! WOW! WOWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!’ he shouted.  It’s great, he hangs out by the pirate ship all the time.  It has a little motor so running water gets sucked up and comes out the top of the crows nest.  He can press the button himself and it turns itself off after a minute so there is no danger of it being left running and eating your battery life.

Cleaning and refilling it is super easy and T thinks that is the best part because he gets to help with the HOSE!  Chum-Lee likes it too, as there is always a fresh source of water.  Why do cats never want to drink from their actual water bowl?  Chum-Lee would rather drink from the toilet.  Lots of other things like the pirate ship too, like blankies, loaves of bread and hats.

OK, it’s not the cheapest water table out there, but it is strong and made to last.  Mother-in-law gave a little cheapo one to T for Christmas last year and it didn’t even last half a season.  I figure this will last the babies many summers to come, I also scored it in one of the big toy sales so got a bargain.  Money well spent.

T plays with a loaf of bread in the pirate ship.  Because that's where bread goes apparently.

T plays with a loaf of bread in the pirate ship. Because that’s where bread goes apparently.

 

Little Tikes Easy Store Picnic Table

A kids table and chairs was always going to be on my Christmas list.  My parents gave K a table and chairs for Christmas when he was nearly T’s age and it was a great present.  K loved having his own special table that was just his size.  He used it for art and craft, eating, teddy bear tea parties and as a makeshift cubby house.  It was study and lasted us many years.

My prerequisites for a table were that it had to be strong, versatile and tidy.  The Little Tikes table ticks those boxes.  The Little Tikes stuff is tough.  Even cyclone T can’t destroy them.  This table can be folded and stored flat, which makes it very handy for packing in the van to take to a picnic at the park.  What really sold me on this one is the tidy factor.  There are cup/paint holders and a little trough to hold pens in the middle.  There is also a lip around the edge of the table so your crayons won’t roll off.  It’s all made of sturdy plastic so it’s easy to clean AND as it is all in one piece T can’t hurl chairs all over the yard.

LT table

 

Imaginarium City Central Train Table

THIS!  He is going to freaking love this!  I really desperately wanted to get T this train table for two reasons.  One because I think it is awesome and trains are cool, and two because K will love it as well and he’ll love to play trains with T.

Sadly, this train table is pretty exxy, even when it is on special, so I had resigned myself to the fact we simply can’t be spending that kind of cash.  My second option was to get a cheapy table from Kmart that was half the size.  Luckily for us and for T, Mother-in-law kindly offered to buy this as a combined birthday/Christmas gift for T Bear.  I wish we were in the financial position to give this gift ourselves but we are  certainly grateful that she can.  Beggars can’t be choosers!

I love this table way more than the Thomas Tank Engine tables because it has DRAWERS to pack away all the crap!  ANYTHING that helps me maintain some sort of order in this chaos is greatly appreciated.  Also, love that  it is nice stained wood and classy.  I hate the Thomas ones as they have all the landscape stuff painted all around the table, which will look shabby in time when the pain start to chip.  The wooden table can fit in with out decor.

You probably realise that I prefer good quality study toys that are going to last our babies a long time.  These are our big ticket items and a lot of time has gone into researching which will be best suited to us and our family.  I can even get some ‘pink’ trains for H.

train table

 

Crabbie Sandbox

I’ve been on the fence about a little sand pit for a while.  I’m not too keen on more mess being walked into the house, nor am I keen on cat poo in the sand, but after seeing just how much T LOVES playing with sand at our playgroup, I have decided that I can work with these two challenges.

I like this Crab Sandbox a little more than the basic clam shell ones for the simple fact that it has a little seat for this old mumma to sit on, but the clam shell sandpit would also be fine if you had younger knees than mine.  The sandpit needed to have a cover to keep the cat crap out and this one does.  I just need to keep a dustpan brush at the back door to brush down the babies before they come back inside.  Kmart also does a little wooden box with a cover that would work.

sandpit

 

LEGO DUPLO

T is just a bit too young for the massive bucket of LEGO we have in the cupboard and the little pieces are not safe for H.  Duplo is awesome.  You can build cute animals and people.  It is really easy to put together and pull apart.  T really loves building things with blocks and gravitates towards the Duplo whenever he has the opportunity to play with some.  I love the fact that this is a unisex toy, and as with the train table, pirate ship and sandpit, it is a toy that both my little babies and big doodles will get joy out of for years to come before the graduate to the little LEGO.

duplo

 

Fisher-Price Doodle Pro Classic Doodler

This a magna doodle.  You know, what you played with as a kid?  Yep, they have been around for years and are still excellent.  I chose this one as the pen string is attached in the middle of the board so it is good for both left and right handed little artists.  It looks like T is going to be a lefty.  This is just a really handy toy to have.  It is cheap, easy to transport around and apart from the few little stamps there are no pieces to be left all over your lounge room.  Creativity at its best.

magna

 

A Very Busy Sticker Book (The World of Eric Carle)

T loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar and he loves stickers.  Most kids do!  I just stumbled upon this book and grabbed it on a whim but I think it is a winner.  A good cheapie.

sticker book

 

Personalised Peppa Pig Book

T, like a lot of kids his age (and their mums) love that cheeky little pig, Peppa.  T is Peppa Pig obsessed.  He has a Peppa figurine that he tucks into the top of his nappy so she can cruise around with him.  He loves her.  I found that you can have your own personalised Peppa book printed so your child is actually a character in the story.  You get to design what he/she will look like and can even have a personal message to your child printed inside the cover.

I remember when I was a girl, my mum had a personalised book for me printed.  I think it was about fairies?  Anyway, what I do remember was I was so amazed that I was actually in a book!  I mean, this book was about ME, it was the coolest thing ever for a book lover.

T has a couple of Peppa books already which he reads over and over, and I think he will get a real kick out of being the star in one.  I haven’t gone ahead and ordered one yet as they are quite pricey, especially once you add shipping on top of that.  I am wondering if this might be a better present next year, but it is pretty rad, which is why I am including it in the list.

peppa book

 

George Pig Beanie

Now, T does love Peppa Pig, and there are some pretty cool Peppa toys out there but I am not about to shell out the big bucks on something fancy if he is not going to play with it.  This is a safe bet.  It’s not expensive and can be the test to see if your little one is a true Peppa fan.  If he loves it to death and plays with it, then perhaps go out and buy your kid the playhouse or rocket ship of whatever, but sometimes it is a good idea to test the waters first.  You could end up saving yourself a wad of cash.   Oh, and H will be getting a Peppa beanie so they can play together.

george

 

Humpty Beanie

T’s other obsession is Play School.  The kid can’t get enough and I like Play School too.  I have a secret mummy crush on Teo.  I can’t get over the fact that they are still singing the same songs that they did when I was a little girl, and I remember them all!  I would love to get ALL the Play School friends but I’ll just stick with Humpty for T and Jemima for H, for now.  Then we can have our own Play School type fun at home.

humpty

 

Ok, that is 10 of my best (For now.  I reserve the right to add a million toys to my wish list).  Do you have any super amazing toys or present ideas that I can add to my list?

We should all thank Chum-Lee for his help.

We should all thank Chum-Lee for his help in researching these toys.  He was very good at sitting in front of my computer screen and knocking things off my desk when I disagreed with his input.

Like four doodles were not enough, I have another. Meet Chum-Lee.

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Growing up as a kid we had a cat.  Actually we had a few, but I don’t really remember the ones from when I was really young.  I vaguely remember a tabby that we had called Pokey, aptly named because he liked to poke around in the rubbish. I was pretty young but I believe he disappeared one day.  He liked to get in cars and sleep, we think he hoped in someone’s car and napped there and they drove away with him.  Or I might be thinking of the cat before Pokey, so what happened to Pokey?  Not sure, Mum if you are reading this, WTF happened to Pokey?

Anyway, after Pokey came PJ (aka Pokey Junior – highly original), he was the runt of a litter between a Persian and a feral Tom Cat.  I recall going to visit all the kittens at someone’s house and picking out the smallest one.  We saw the daddy cat hanging about in the distance, and man this cat was freaking huge and scary, like a tiger.  But we thought we had picked the smallest and cutest kitten of the lot.  Surely he would take after his mum, not his dad, right?  Wrong.

PJ grew into one bloody enormous cat.  A big fat cat.  A big fat wonderful cat.  A playful, crazy, loving, sneaky, pain in the arse cat.  A family cat.  An adored cat.  We loved that cat so much, he truly was a part of our family and stayed with us all though my childhood and teenage years before passing away in my early twenties from cancer.  He was buried in a sunny spot in the garden garden, outside my brothers window where he likes to snooze in the sunlight.  Always in our hearts.

 

I’ve always been a cat person, not a dog person.  I don’t dislike dogs, but just don’t love them like I love cats.  Has to be a special dog for me to love it (Domino – you’re my favourite dog), and not a jumpy, toe licking, yappy dog.  I’m not such a fan of crotch sniffers either.  Yes, I know I have just described classic dog behaviour but that is how it is.

Unfortunately, since PJ and moving out of home, I have always been in rentals and never had any pets other than fish and birds.  J has always had pets at his mum’s house, but K (another cat person) has always wanted one, to which we always said that when we owned our house he would get one.  Who are we kidding, at this rate we will NEVER be able to buy a house!  I would love for my kids to have a childhood family pet that they would love and remember as fondly as I do PJ.  But, still we rent.

 

This is why my Christmas present from D this year was such a fantastic surprise.  I received a card, inside we were words – Your Christmas present?  A cat of your choice.

Best.  Present.  Ever!

I couldn’t believe it.  Thrilled would be an understatement, and K and J were super happy about it too.  D had secretly contacted the real estate and gained permission.

 

We went on boxing day down to the animal welfare league to visit the cats and see if there were any suitable for us to adopt.  We were looking for a young adult cat who would be more settled and good with Theo and the new baby.  As adorable as kittens are we thought it would be smarter to adopt an older one and bypass any kitten training problems and kitten attacks on unsuspecting babies.  Plus, it feels good to adopt an older cat who might usually be overlooked in favour of the kittens.

Basically, we had a look at all the cats but the first one we saw that we liked was the one we came home with.  We picked him and he picked us.  A ginger and white tabby.  He was so friendly and happy for us to pet him and hold him.  They called him Captain Hook.  That name sucked but we took him anyway.

We don’t really know much about him, other than he had only just gone into the adoption part the day before Christmas, after a stint in the pound.  He was a stray.  But he had to have had a loving family at one point in time because he is just so loving and friendly, but then again he had only just been desexed and if he had a family surely they would have had that done already?  So we have no idea of his past.  He was 8 months old, so not exactly the adult we were looking for, but like I said – he picked us.

P1090425

 

We bought him home and he settled in right away.  No adjustment period.  Just walked in, looked around and made himself at home.  He is the perfect cat for our family.  He is so tolerant.  T pokes him and prods him and the cat just lies there and takes it.  He gets the cat crazies and makes us all laugh, but best of all he gives love.  And takes it.

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The night after we brought him home, K said this – We haven’t even had him a day, but I just love him so much already.

 

His name?  Well, we couldn’t leave him with the name Captain Hook.  On the way home from the pound D, K and I tossed around names.  They were all really bad.  Sir Licks His Butt was the best we had come up with, until D said, why don’t we name him after a TV character, we’ve had luck with that before.  Our late bird was named Fletcher, after Sally Fletcher from Home and Away – a show that I love.  It’s my guilty pleasure.  This led to some more names being thrown around the car from our favourite show.  They were all shit, until I said, what about good ‘ol Chum-Lee?  You know that dopey fat guy from Pawn Stars?  He is the star of the show for us.  A few seconds of silence passed before a chorus of yeahs!  So that is how Chum-Lee got his name.

It’s a great name.  Lends itself perfectly to many nicknames:

Chumtastic

Chumpulstilskin

Viva Chum Vegas

Chummy Bear

Chumbelina

Chum Norris

Tom Chum

Just to name a few.  If you can think of another, let me know and pop it in the comments.

 

Here is our Chum-Lee playing with boxes.

Thank you my darling husband for Chum-Lee.  I know you love him as much as we all do, even if he is a pain in the mornings 😉

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A quick little update on the Personal Planners give-away – Thank you everyone for playing along xxxx This has been great fun and I hope I can run another one soon! I am very pleased to announce the winner is the lovely Fiona L ♥  I have contacted Fiona and we are currently both waiting anxiously to hear back from Personal Planners regarding the prize.

Mass Magic Milestones. I warned you they were coming. It’s going to be long.

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Okies.  I said this post would be on it’s way.  Well, it’s here – da da daaa!!!!  Welcome to a quick flashback of the last 6 months of my life.  Warning – mad labour woman and boob feeding pictures coming up.

I go into labour in the wee early morning hours on December 21st 2011.  Little Baby Bear was born at 11:27pm by emergency caesarean.  If you are lucky I’ll treat you to his crazy-time birth story later.

This is me after about 16 hours of hard labour. It took all my energy to not flip D the bird taking this photo. I warned you – tragic.

Looking pretty happy with ourselves.  We made him.

My first breastfeed whilst still in recovery.  I absolutely love breastfeeding, this really was a magical moment for me.

This is the tasteful version of ‘the first breastfeed’. Is much as I’d like to post a beautiful picture of T on breast, I think I will keep those for my personal collection. Scary wild woman hair and 6 chins.

K and J have their first cuddles.   1 day old.

Jai and Bear

Kai and Bear

T comes home.  3 days old – 24th December, Christmas Eve.

Carried over the threshold. Yes, that is Red Rooster you can see in the foreground. I made D stop and get me some food on the way home from the hospital.

T’s first Christmas.  4 days old.

My Christmas Miracle. Theodorable.

First Smiles.  4 weeks old.

Look at those chubby cheeks!

First time grasping a toy, even though we think it was a complete fluke.  It still counts.  6 weeks.

T says, ‘I have no idea what I’ve done, but Mummy, you obviously think it’s something special.’

Sitting with support, what a clever little muffin.  8 weeks.

‘I’m adorable, and I know it.’

First swim.  Do you count this first one as the one that they actually enjoy, or just the first time they get wet?  I am going with the first time he gets wet.  Did not like.  9 weeks.

‘Mummy, get me the hell out of here, you evil witch!’

He starts cooing.  2 and a half months.

He starts lifting his head up in tummy time and not crying about it.  10 weeks.

Deer caught in the headlights.

Starts consistently sleeping through the night.  10 weeks.  Don’t be a hater, this all went to shit sometime between 4 and 6 months for many reasons, and is only now finally getting back on track.

If you wake the baby, I’ll kill you!

Begins to transition out of his swaddle.  14 weeks.

Seriously, I’ll kill you dead.

Actually enjoying a swim 🙂 15 weeks.

So damn cute it kills me.

T starts rolling over.  He was pretty slow to start off and it took a few more weeks to be able to roll the other way but now he is a rolling machine.  4 months old.

Really begins to laugh in earnest.  4 and a half months.

First jump in a Jolly Jumper.  These things are awesome.  4 and a half months.

Sleeps on tummy happily without waking up all freaked out, after rolling in his sleep and not being able to get back.  5 and a half months.

Sleeping with butt up in the air.

T becomes acquainted with his new walker.  5 and a half months.

And last, but certainly not least, T begins solid food (and solid poo-d).  5 months, 3 weeks.

And that pretty much gets us up to date.  Thank you for sticking with me.  Coming to a Magical Milestone soon will be sitting unaided but we are not quite there yet.  I’d love to hear of any important milestones anyone thinks I may have missed.  I am sure that are some that I’ve missed out.

Peace out.