Tag Archives: Chum-Lee

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.

Sad Cat is sad.

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Things are bad, very very bad,

Not good, not good at all.

Our cat is sad, very very sad,

He will not chase a ball.

 

We are beyond worried about our Chumtastic.  He is not in a good way at all.  The super young and beautiful vet lady couldn’t actually find what was wrong with him on Thursday.  She said he was definitely in a lot of pain in his legs and hips area but couldn’t feel any fractures anywhere.  He had a fever and an enlarged bladder.  She was a bit worried that he wasn’t able to pee so her and the vet nurse expressed some urine to check that the doodle was in working order.  I wonder if that is like expressing breastmilk – a little squeeze and out it squirts?

She checked him for bites and ticks.  She felt his belly for obstructions in his intestines.  He was very grumpy.

He was given two injections.  A precautionary antibiotic in case it was caused by an infection of some sort and a anti-inflammatory which would last for 48 hours.  This would bring down his fever, reduce his pain and the inflammation in his hind legs.  And it did, it certainly made a big improvement.  He ate a little food, purred, could walk around and was even able to jump the pool fence.  I would not say he was 100% better but was certainly a lot more normal.

 

48 hours after his injection he began to deteriorate.

He is now having trouble moving and walking.  Won’t eat.  Won’t drink.  Isn’t going to the toilet.  Just sleeps.  Doesn’t purr.  It has us completely baffled and very worried.

 

We have been making him drink some water with a syringe.  D got some super cat vitamin and nutrition gel stuff and we have managed to get him to lick a bit off our fingers.  If there is no improvement by tomorrow he’ll have to go back to the vet for some more exploratory tests.  X-rays and bloods = big cat bucks.

Come on Chum Bucket, get better!

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And now a little ditty by Sergeant Starfruit (a.k.a Kai) because he wanted to write a poem too.

 

There was a jolly prince,

He was a clumsy fool.

Princey did a big poo,

Then he started to drool.

 

Weird.

Ewwww! You stinky, rotten, crotch sniffer!

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If there is one thing that I absolutely hate, it is losing something.  No, that is not true.  I also hate it when D shaves his head and leaves the hair on the bathroom floor, and I hate it when I kick my toe on the trolley in the supermarket and have to act all cool like while trying to stifle all manner of swear words and I hate it when someone starts telling you something and then says ‘never mind, it’s not important’ – wtf? Tell me!

But I really really really really really hate losing stuff.  I always know where everything is.  Seriously, you can ask me where anything is and I can tell you, even in this messy house, I can find whatever D, L or K ask me for.  Sports uniforms, rubber bands, the lid for the rice cooker, a glue stick, ‘my other thong’, lunch money, the third Harry Potter book, keys, passports.  You name it, I can tell you where it is.

Only on the rarest of rare occasions, I loose something.  When D and I were first dating, nine years ago, I lost my sunglasses.  It almost drove me to the brink of insanity.  I ripped D’s unit apart looking for them in every crevice and under every towel, t-shirt and Tupperware container.  I searched my car more carefully that a forensic investigator looking for evidence and I called every single GD place I had been to that day.  Nothing but a mystery.  Sunglasses were just GONE, never to be seen again.  It bugged the shit out of me!  It still does nine years later.

 

Well, it has happened again.  I have lost something and it is making me crazy.

 

Yesterday I changed T’s nappy before we went to playgroup.  I tossed the wet one in the nappy pail that sits in the laundry tub.  When we returned, I changed T’s nappy again, but when I went into the laundry to put the dirty in the bucket I noticed that the morning nappy was now out of the bucket.  I remembered Chum-Lee jumping up there while I was throwing a load on before I left.  Ewww, gross, cat has been playing with the dirty nappy!

It was then that I noticed something was missing.  When I put the nappy back in the bin, I noticed that one of the inserts was missing!  The silly old cat has run off with my insert!

I looked high, I looked low.  I looked everywhere a panty-sniffing feline would go.  I went on an emu search around the yard, under every bed, in every cupboard, on every surface, even over the fence.  Do you think I could find it?  Nope.  Gone, just like my sunglasses.

 

Just thought of another thing that I hate.  Things with missing pieces.  Like jigsaw puzzles.  I will turn the lounge room upside down looking for the missing piece from one of T’s puzzles.  D says, ‘who fucking cares?’  I’ll tell you who – me!  I just can’t have a puzzle with a missing piece staring at me, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else.

So now I have an incomplete nappy.  And I am hating it!  Stupid cat.

 

 

OK, now I am feeling really terrible.  I just finished writing that ^ and now there is something wrong with said crazy cat.

Chum-Lee has been sleeping on his chair in the garage all day, which I thought was unusual.  K and I checked on him before the boys went to bed and he seemed to just be hanging out.

Chum has just come out of the garage and is walking very slowly with a bit of a limp.  He won’t come to me and growled when I tried to pick him up or look at his leg.  I’ve checked him for ticks.  He won’t eat.  I am beside myself.  D is out watching the football.  Now he is hiding out in the back of my wardrobe.  Something is wrong with my furbaby.  I’m taking him to the vet first thing in the morning.  I’ll keep you posted 😦

We love you Chum-Lee, even if you are a naughty nappy insert stealer.  Please be OK.

We love you Chum-Lee, even if you are a naughty nappy insert stealer. Please be OK.

Chum-Lee’s Choice – The Baby Expo Edition.

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I have decided that I will post a regular feature on my blog called Chum-Lee’s Choice.  It really has nothing to do with my cat, but Chum-Lee’s Choice sounded way better than My Choice, or Sophia’s Choice or The Taco’s Choice.  And besides, D suggested it and I thought it was funny.  I promise to include a silly cat picture with every post.

What this is really about is stuff I like.  Basically, I tell you what I like and why it’s awesome.  Between the four kids I have tried and sampled just about everything child related and pretty much have an opinion on everything.  If I love it, I really want to tell people about it.  Similarly, if I think something is crap I’ll let you know that too!

Every once in a while you can expect to see a Chum-Lee’s Choice post.  No-one is giving me money or products to review, so these are my honest opinions and things that I truly use and/or love.

Today, my very first edition of Chum-Lee’s Choice is all about things I either saw or brought home from the expo.  Chum-Lee and I hope you enjoy.

 

 

Nibbly Bits Silicone Necklace

necklace

I have not worn any jewellery since T was born.  Kind of like, the only time I get to wear my hair out is when I am sleeping.  Those little hands will latch onto necklaces and hair alike and tug/suck/swallow until the cows come home.  Considering we don’t own any cows, he’ll be tugging for a very long time.  What’s a girl to do?  I can live with having my hair pulled back, but this Mumma Bear is sick of looking drab.

Solution?  Silicone jewellery!  Why have I never seen these before?  These are necklaces or bangle that you can wear which will not break when kiddos pull on them (special quick release clasp to save your neck) and are actually designed for your offspring to suck and chew on!  Made from super soft silicone that will not break or chip off in their mouth and feels good on those tender teething gums.  Also, something for little babies to play with while nursing.  H doesn’t do anything while nursing yet, but T used to try and stick his toes on my mouth, hold onto my nose, pinch my neck/nipple/lips and stick his fingers in my armpit.  To think these delightful behaviours could have been combated with a necklace to play with!

Not only are they practical, they look nice too.  I wore mine today, I wasn’t going anywhere, but I wanted to look nice and feel good.  D noticed and commented.  Win.  Guess who is getting lucky tonight?  T noticed the necklace too.  He had a play while quietly sitting on my lap (quiet and T do not usually go together) and had a taste test.  It passed.

You’re probably wondering what happens when it is all gross and covered in teething drool?  Just give it a wash with soapy water and drip dry!  Love it.  Got a super cute little koala pendant too which is sure to be a hit with T.

 

Pat-a-Cake Baby Wetbag

butterfly wetbag.pngsm

I get frustrated with the size of the wetbags I own.  Big enough for a day out with one baby but not for two.  And that is just to put all the dirty nappies, then you need another bag to out all the clean ones!  This wetbag is big.  I hung it on H’s change table and fit nearly her whole day’s worth of nappies in it.

Special features include a big pocket on one side and two smaller pockets on the other, so you can shove your clean naps in a pocket and some wipes and cream in the others.  I also like that it has a clip on handle so you can hang it on your pram or similar and it is made of material not elastic.  The cheapo wetbags I was using at home had a flimsy little elastic handle that was stretched to within an inch of its life after placing just one nappy in it.  This is much better.

Apparently the waterproof material is the top shelf stuff that will not grow mould.  So if you accidentally leave your bag of crappy nappies in the car for a few days to fester, all the nappies might get all manky but your wetbag will remain pristine.  I don’t have enough nappies to leave a bag in the car to rot, but there you go anyway.  Sold!

You can get these nappies here in Australia from Finlee and Me, they have some beautiful gorgeous things.  Check out their dribble bibs (got a couple) and their Christmas stockings!  I wanted one so bad for H but was not in the budget 😦

 

Cheeky Wipes All-in-one Kit

cheeky wipes

While we are on the subject of accessories for using cloth nappies, this kit has so far been worth its weight in gold.  I love it.  I never have to buy wipes again.  We were going through so many packets of wipes it was crazy.  I use wipes for everything – the high chair, messy hands and faces, clean the table, bums obviously, handprints on walls, spilled my coffee… You name it, I clean it with a wipe.

I now have 3 cloth wipe ‘stations’ in my house.  The full kit lives on my dining room table.  I have super soft coloured microfibre wipes in it to use on hands and faces and general cleaning/wiping.  I just pull out a clean wipe, clean what is dirty and drop it in the mucky wipes box and at the end of the day I chuck ’em in the wash with my nappies.

In the babies rooms I have just used a Huggies wipes container and made up a solution with the essential oils provided in the kit.  For nappy changes I use soft bamboo wipes and when they are used I just pop them strain in the nappy bucket with the dirty nappy.  That way, I have different coloured wipes for bums and faces.  Neat hey?

It is such a handy system, making cloth wipes easy and the oils smell lovely.  I highly recommend Cheeky Wipes, but you don’t need to buy more than one kit if you want to have wipes in different rooms, one kit is enough but you’ll probably need extra wipes.

 

Organic Baby Intensive Soothing Cream

baby cream

I needed to get a cream for nappy rash that was cloth safe.  You can’t use zinc based creams on cloth nappies because it wrecks them or something.  I don’t know why really, but apparently it is a big no-no.  I think the cream sticks to the inserts and won’t come out.

Last week T did a poo during his sleep and we with it might have been in there all night long because in the morning his poor bum was red raw, like weeping.  It was bad, real bad.  So bad in fact that I put him in disposables for a couple of days so I could smother his little tush with sudocream at every nappy change.

By the time I bought this, T was back in cloth but his bottom had not completely healed.  This cream cleared it up over night and has kept his butt kissable ever since.  It goes on like a dream and smells gorgeous.  I am not sure how it would go on a really bad rash, but certainly did the job on a medium rash and sped up the healing time.  I was impressed and will be getting a second tube for H’s room.

I got this from Little Innoscents, who have a wide range of lush and nourishing organic skin care for bubs, kids and mums alike.  And they do free shipping, just saying…

 

Love To Dream Swaddle Up

swaddle-me-up

 

I did not buy any of these from the expo because I already have them.  I used them with T and I use them with H.  I cannot rave enough about these swaddles.  I love them.

Have you ever noticed that you see so many ultrasound pictures of babies with their hands up by their faces or sucking their thumbs?  Babies like to have access to their hands, it helps to soothe them.  But how do you let your baby suck on her hand while ensuring they feel secure and not wake themselves back up with the startle reflex?  Easy, zip ’em up nice and snug in one of these little babies.  Unicorn awesome.

 

Pram Liner by Bambella Designs

pram liner

I really really really wanted to get a couple of pram liners to jazz up the double pram (bus).  This lady from Bambella Designs makes the most beautiful liners and car seat covers and trolley seat liners and things like that.  Alas, as much as I like these, the budget was tight so they will have to wait until another time.

She has a huge range of gorgeous fabrics to choose from and can even make a cover to custom fit your particular pram. I am quite partial to owls and the Very Hungry Caterpillar spots print.

I really hate that I am forever trying to clean crumbs out of the seams in the seat of the pram.  Why can’t T eat cleaner?  I would love pram liners so I can chuck them in the wash.  Not an easy job to clean the pram and quite frankly, who the hell has time?  No-one with kids that’s for sure.  But then, if you didn’t have kids you wouldn’t have a dirty pram to clean would you?  This conversation is going nowhere.

OK.  I think that is enough for now.  Well, what did you think of Chum-Lee’s Choice?  Boring?  Interesting?  Helpful?  None of the above?

And now for the silly cat picture I promised.

Silly Chumbelina and Silly Kai

Silly Chumbelina and Silly Kai

I am not impressed.

I am not impressed.

Why leaving the house can be like a marathon event – long and arduous, with seemingly no end in sight.

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I have a feeling my last post might have left you thinking that I have really got my shit together and am juggling these 2 babies with the skill of a circus clown.  Well, I am attempting to juggle, but doing so like a clown in training, who is constantly dropping his balls.

Sometimes, leaving the house in the morning runs smoothly.  Sometimes, like this morning, it goes like this:

 

T wakes up at 6.  This is fine, it is my preferred baby wake up time.  If he wakes at 6 he is nice and tired by 11, then he has a nap and is awake by 1 at the latest, which gives him enough time to play and get tired for bed time at 6:30.  He seems happy enough.  I change his nappy, have some cuddle time and a chat, make a coffee and give him the box of Nutrigrain to help himself to.  What?  Not acceptable parenting?  Either he eats them out of the box and then has a cup of milk or I make him a bowl.  No diff.  And besides, eating from the box is FUN!

K wakes up and says hello to T.  T decides he wants to play in the big boy room but J is still sleeping so K shuts the door.  Cue T’s first tantrum of the day.  T plants his butt on the floor in the hallway and screams.  H wakes up.  K says that T hates him.

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Excited mummy voice, ‘T, can you hear that?  It’s H.  H is awake!  Shall we go and say hello?  Come on, let’s go and get H up!’

H is just wriggling around in her cot with the hiccups.  T runs in and sticks his arm in the cot to give her a good morning smack on the head and poke in the eye.  I get Princess H out of bed and give her a kiss.  T tells me he wants to give her a kiss too.  I bend down so he can rub his head on her head (that’s what he does when we say ‘give H a kiss’ – it’s very cute), I say ‘awww’ and T looks proud of himself.

Time to change H’s nappy.  I rub her belly 100 times, then I pump her legs up and down.  This is the morning routine guaranteed to make her fart and poo.  I find if I only rub her belly 50 times she only gets half of it out and then fills up her new nappy within minutes of changing it.  100 is the right amount of belly rubs it seems.  She can fart like a trooper.  She can give D and K a run for their money in the fart department.  When K was a baby, I didn’t wake up and listen to hear him breathing to see if he was alive, I just listened to hear him toot toot.

This is my poo face

This is my poo face

Once H has been changed I want to take her and T out to the lounge room so I can nurse H and T can play.  Well, T had other plans this morning.  He wanted breakfast.  I figured since he had already munched on some Nutrigrain it was only fair that he waited until H had her breakfast.  T did not like this.  Tantrum #2.  I just told him calmly that H had to have her milk and I would get his breakfast once she was done.  Then I left him to it on top of the steps while I got comfy on the couch with H and while she was nursing I read T’s favourite book aloud WITHOUT HIM.  T did not want to miss out so he came and joined me.  Mummy Wins.

2 happy babies

2 happy babies after boob and book

 

This is about when I start watching the clock and trying to time things so I can get out the door in a timely fashion.  Everything needs to be planned and often relies on H going down for her first nap (and staying asleep which can be hard with the boys and D all getting ready for school – it can get loud).  H can now last around 1 hour before she gets tired and that usually means that by the time T is eating his breakfast she wants to go to sleep.

I know I have said that I have got the sleep thing sorted, and I do have it pretty good most of the time, but I still need to make sure that H is in a calm and happy place for her to fall asleep in her own.  In the mornings this can be difficult to achieve, so I often bounce her with my foot in the bouncer while T eats breakfast.  This helps her block the chaos that is unfolding around her.  Once she is asleep or sleepy I move her to her room.  While she is napping I run around doing everything else I need to do to get organised for our morning outings – school lunches, get boys out the door, load of washing, pack T’s morning tea, get T dressed, get myself ready etc.

If everything goes to plan, I can sneak H out of bed and into the car to arrive at our destination by 9ish, just in time for her to wake up and want her next feed.  Sometimes, like today, it does not go to plan.

 

Did I mention that when J woke up he announced that he had to be at school early this morning for band practice?  This was immediately before he went and laid on the couch for half and hour…

 

Time to get T’s breakfast organised.  Toast, yogurt, fruit.  No problems, he is eating with gusto.  H is happily getting bounced staring off into ‘I’m getting sleepy land’.  Cue the beginning of ‘everything that can prevent H from sleeping’.  K can’t find this, J needs that, T wants some water, I need to poo.  Every time I need to get up, I stop bouncing H and her eyes ping back to AWAKE.

Finally she is close to sleepy so I chance it and pop her into bed.  I just knew that she wasn’t going to go to sleep by the time I left the room but thought the sleep fairies might be on my side and she might just drop off.  And she almost does.

 

So it is time for the boys to leave to get J to school on time for practice.  D is ready.  K is ready.  You guessed it, J is not.  He has not brushed his teeth, nor has he packed his lunch.  We rush him off to do his teeth and D does his lunch.  All this time, I have T ready to do the ‘wave goodbye routine’, where we stand at the garage door and wave the boys off as they reverse out.  If we don’t wave goodbye, T will crack the shits and the day is over before it begins.  Meanwhile, I hear H start to cry a little.

Teeth are brushed, lunch is packed, they are almost out the door.  D says, ‘hang on a minute J, have you printed out your Spanish assignment yet?’  Of course he hasn’t!!!  T is getting impatient, H turns it up a notch.  D prints out The assignment and they are almost out the door again.  J hasn’t packed his books.  FUCK.

 

H is really crying, I can’t wait any more but I can’t leave T up there because he will want to go in the car with them if I am not holding him for ‘wave goodbye routine’ or he will do a Indiana Jones dive under the garage door while it closes and roam free in the neighbourhood or just get run over.  All three situations are unacceptable.  So I take him with me.

‘Come on T, H is awake let’s go and give her a hug!’  As soon as we get to her room she fills her nappy.  Awesome.  ‘Oh T, H has done a poo! Time to change her nappy!’  I just get her pants off and D comes down to say goodbye.  Of course T wants to go with him so I have D shut the bedroom door and close T in with me.  T flings himself against the back of the door.  His world is over.  Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad waaaait fooooooor meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!! FUCK.

 

Mumma Bear does a song and a dance and something stupid to make him laugh and calm down.  Now the fun really starts.  Once again in happy mode T sets off on his daily quest to destroy and rearrange everything in his path.

He wants to stand in front of me while I change H and tries to push me out of the way.
He pulls the nappies out of the box under the change table and distributes them over the floor.
He drops the sudocream, baby moisturiser and powder into the cot.
Now he wants to hop in the cot.
Comes and gives H a pat on the head.
Drop sudocream, baby moisturiser and powder on the floor.
Tries to climb out of cot so I lift him out.
Pulls all of H’s dirty clothes out of the hamper one by one and gives them to me like he is helping me with the washing – oh thank you T, you are so helpful!
I pile these clothes up on the end of the change table.
He wants to hop on the nursing chair but can’t get up himself.
He wants Bear.
He wants to hop of the chair.
He hides the sudocream, baby moisturiser and powder in random places so I have to go on a treasure hunt next time I need them.
He wants to say hello to H.
He wants to put things in the nappy bin.  No T, that is DIRTY.
He wants to go back in the cot.
Drops blankies and swaddle from in the cot over the edge.
Get me out of of the cot!
Hands Mum 3856 nappies.  Just trying to help.
Pulls out 506 wipes.
Gives H a kiss.

And we’re done, finally!

 

I give H a quick feed and then she chills on the mat while T and I run around packing bags and brushing teeth.  At last we are ready to go!

Shoes on, strap H into her car capsule and am just about to put her in the car, when you guessed it – poosplosion.  FUCK FUCK FUCK.

‘Hey T!  Guess what? H has done a poo!  Come on, let’s go and change her nappy (and all her clothes)!  Oh what fun!’

 

At last we are ready to go.  Both babies are smiling and we go to hop in the car.  As I am putting H in, Chum-Lee jumps in too.  He just sits there and watches while I strap everyone in.  That is until, I go to grab him and then he duck under the back seat into the boot.  Too far for me to reach under and it’s too deep for me to reach over the seats.  Are you serious?  Could this morning get any more annoying?  I have to open the back of the van and drag the cat out, and I mean drag because he has dug his claws in and isn’t letting go!

 

Cat is out.  Kids are in.  Let’s get the F out of here!

All of this just to get our of the house and let T have a run around in the park.

All of this just to get our of the house and let T have a run around in the park.

Update on the cat training and a nursery sneak peak.

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To be perfectly honest, last night I was just really tired and went to bed early without my obligatory nightly post.  Soz (as J would say).  I had some pretty intense Darrel Braxtons (what I call Braxton Hicks contractions – if you love Home and Away, like me, you’ll get it), but they were irregular and usually just coincided with me having to get up to either go to the toilet or chase the cat with the water spray.

 

Cat training, by the way is not going to well.  First night or two I thought I was onto a winner, but since then he has ramped up the crazy tenfold.  Now he not only meows and scratches and whines at stupid o’clock down at our bedroom, but when he realises that it is going to get him nothing more than a water spray in the face, he goes and pulls the same tricks down the other end of the hall outside all the boys’ bedrooms.

This behaviour still has me getting out of bed 496 times a night and quite simply cannot go on.  Time is up.  Drastic measures from now on.  This morning he had me up and down constantly from 4am – 5:15am, by then I was so cranky that I kicked him.  I meant to kick his butt, however in the dark, I kicked him right in the face.  I felt awful but he let me get back to sleep for half an hour.  Don’t worry peeps, he got his own back.  While I was giving him an ‘I’m sorry for being a bitch cuddle’ earlier, he reached up and swiped me fair in the face too.  Payback.

He eventually got D up out of bed, who was also pretty angry with the cat.  Neither of us has had a decent night sleep for weeks.  As soon as we (mainly me) hear his little bell jingling, we think, here we go again…  And then game is on.  Perhaps he is reacting to the change which is about to happen at home, or perhaps he is just a naughty cat at night but last nights cat-scepades were the last straw.

 

Tonight, he gets locked in the garage.

 

He likes the garage, he goes in there all the time.  We have a storage room off the back which we will set up his bed and food in.  He’ll probably hate us for a while but this shit cannot go on.  I don’t see this as a permanent solution.  I’m hoping that he’ll calm down and we can trail run him back in the main part of the house in the future but for now this is what we must do.  Please don’t send me hate mail.  We love Chum-Lee, but we also need to sleep and he needs to learn that he is not the boss of our house.  Dinner time and breakfast time is set by us and not him.

 

Anyways…

LSP will be evicted tomorrow.

Here for you now is a sneak peak at her nursery.  The full reveal will happen after her birth.  Possibly from the hospital if she lets me have enough rest and I can manage posting from the iPad, but more likely when I get home.

Hmmmm, what is her name?

Hmmmm, what is her name?

I’ll try and post tonight but I cannot promise anything.  What I can tell you is that I have to get up early tomorrow morning and shower with a special hospital antiseptic sponge.  My Dad is going to drop me off at 6:30 and I’ll go and get myself admitted and settled in.  They begin the surgeries at 8 so Dave is just going to come up then.  His time is better served at home getting T up and feeding him breakfast before my mother-in-law comes to watch him.  And besides D doesn’t do hospitals well, so the last thing I need is to hear him bitching and moaning about how bored and creeped out he is.  I could even go back to sleep for a bit.  Can’t say for sure what time I will be going in for my surgery as emergencies get to cut in the surgery line so it’s kind of a play it by ear deal.

sneakpeak2

What happened to Mr Perfect Cat?

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Chum-Lee has got into pretty GD annoying habits of late.  Habits that we really need to nip in the bud right now!

 

I’ve just pretty much gotten T’s night sleeping back on track in preparation for bringing LSP home (really really really hope D can keep it together while I’m in hospital!) and now I have to throw all my efforts into Chum-Lee.  I’ll be damned if I have to be getting up all night long for a newborn AND a cat!

Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth right?  Think again!

Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth right? Think again!

Chum-Lee is allowed outside to chase lizards, spy on dogs in the park and dream of the birds he will never be able to catch.  It is actually pretty funny watching the birds all gang up on him and chase him back inside.  However we keep him in at night.  We are responsible cat parents.

 

Usually, he hangs out with D in the lounge room until D comes to bed.  Sometimes he chases cockroaches in the garage and does a few ‘cat crazy’ dashes around the house.  D is Chum’s boyfriend so when D comes into bed Chum follows.  He sleeps with us for most of the night – usually right in between us, possibly so I don’t get too close to his lover.

This is all fine until Chum-Lee decides to be a big fat pain in the arse naughty cat.  This can occur any time between midnight and 4.  It begins with Chum waking and getting agitated.  He walks all over the bed for a bit trying to find a happy spot.  This always wakes me, D, as I said last night, can sleep through anything.

Then, naughty cat jumps off the bed and starts scratching up the base of our bed.  This is his nightly routine and I can’t for the life figure out why he keep on doing it because it ALWAYS results in me swinging an arm or a leg off the edge of the bed to try and give him a whack, but he just keeps on coming back for more – it’s like a game to him!  In the end I chase him out of the room and close the door.  Good bye naughty cat.  Hello happy sleep.

All is well until around 4:30ish when he decides to come back and piss us off again.  He sits outside our bedroom door and meows louder and louder and louder until one of us gets out of bed swearing like a sailor and either feeds him or lets him outside.  Cat wins.  This cannot continue.  For one thing, meowing outside our bedroom will also be meowing outside LSP’s bedroom and we can’t have that.  For another, it’s incredibly annoying!

 

How do I stop this behaviour?  Any cat whisperers have any secrets they can impart on us?  We have 1 week.

 

Today I bought a water spray bottle.  I am going to try spraying him tonight when he starts with the bed scratching.  It’s pretty mean I know, but I don’t know what else to do!  I am happy to get up and feed him at 6 when I have to be up for the kids anyway, but I really don’t want to be loosing any more precious sleep with this tom (cat) foolery.

Captain Naughty Cat

Captain Naughty Cat

If the water spray doesn’t work, where do I go from there?  Shock treatment therapy?  Please help me!  I really need to sort this and it is stressing me big time!  Is it time to call Dr Harry?

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.

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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.