Christmas Gift Guide Kids 3-5 Years

Here’s a rather delayed but still time to order gift guide for 3 – 5 year olds. We have a few in this age group and it’s fair to say it’s a temperamental age but we have some pretty solid gift ideas that can help you out of a pickle.

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Flatout Frankie.
These guys get kids and have obviously not forgotten the power and wonder of a childs imagination. so easy and fun and I love that it encourages children to create the game rather than be fed it. We also have their latest offerings, the stack up dolls. my 3 year old gave them a crack this morning and adored them…

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Flatout Frankie Little unicorn head $29.50, Little racer $49.50, Stack up dolls $23.00 & Little roar head $29.50.

Kids in this age group are awesome learners, growers and love to puzzle things out.  It’s a great time to get them interested in words and writing and puzzles are always a huge hit,  Educational games by Little Tyro have been created by a lovely Melbourn teacher & Mum.  She has created games that are bright and interactive and give kids a fun way to develop their skills.

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Help support the correct formation and directional flow of letters with Little Tyro Pre writing patterning cards $19.95. Teach your child numbers with Number bingo $22.95. Teach months, dates, weather, counting, sequencing and number recognition with My learning calendar $20.95 and Use the playful Magnetic ‘Big Top Circus’ $19.95 Activity is a fun and creative learning tool that promotes confidence in Speaking and Listening.

A lovely stocking filler is the Tiger tribe inflatable globe. only $9.95 and sure to appeal to both the curious and the rambunctious.

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Glottogon Puzzles and games are perfect for keeping the kids happy while on holiday!

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Glottogon Ballerina people puzzle $24.95, Pets Domino $27.50, Robot people puzzle $24.95, Vrrooom Memory match $24.95, Knights & Dragons alphabet cards $29.95.

Another great brand that keeps the kids busy is Tiger Tribe, with colouring packs and games, all beautifully designed with gorgeous colours and excellent quality.

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Sevi is a brand established in Italy, they have been creating wonderful hand made wooden toys since 1831.  These gifts will last a life time and there is something special in giving a wooden toy, they seem to get better with age.  Great interactive toys like the construction airplane are sure to be a hit, The puzzle clock makes learning fun and the flute…  well, that might be for nephews and nieces. and despite the noise, they are always loved by little ones.

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Sevi Construction kit airplane $59.95, Puzzle clock $74.95 , Wooden flute $24.95.

And for those little ones obsessed with fire engines, it’s hard to go past the Snurk duvet covers.  Beautiful cotton with fabulous crisp images of a Fireman $159.95, Astronaut $159.95 and a Trampoline now only $75 for those willing to take on the challenge.

And for the more romantic… Haveli not only create stunning summer cotton hand printed clothing, they have a gorgeous line of linen. Starting at $48.00

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We still have time to get your orders to you before Christmas so order quick.  We also offer express post to get it with you in a few days time!  Happy Shopping!

 

And the little one said is a boutique online website that offers beautiful, stylish and quality made children’s clothing, accessories, toys & home decor.  Mainly smaller Australian and New Zealand designers and stockists – all carefully handpicked by us.  Because everyone needs a little style.

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A geriatric mother

I had my third bub at the tender age of 43 and now a month off 45 (when did that creep up on me??) I find myself with an extremely active and rambunctious 15 month old little boy running around.  There is a fair bit of “Oh God I’m too old for this!” going on at the moment.

I know I am not the only one.  Of my Mums group with my first child (I was 36 so well above the national average of 29) I fitted somewhere in the middle age wise, and I wasn’t the only one to have a late third.  Some of the Mums I know at school are also well and truly in my age bracket, which is extremely comforting, although I fear by the time my third reaches school I am going to be found out a bit.  Those damn wrinkles.

Loved the medical practice’s attitude towards us oldies.  It’s bad enough that they put the frighteners on with horrible stats around miscarriage, high risk of twins (didn’t know that one!) and numerous chromosomal abnormalities, but to add insult to injury, I was called either a ‘geriatric mother’ or of ‘advanced maternal age’ on all the various forms.  Lovely.  Lots of extra tests are encouraged as you can imagine and it’s all quite a trial.  Makes you feel somewhat in the bad books for having the cheek to have a baby at such an ‘advanced’ age!  Sigh.  It’s not like we need reminding but thanks anyway.

So with my great age, must come wisdom (surely!?) so I thought i’d put together a short list outlining my experiences of being a, God forbid, ‘geriatric mother’.  Let me tell you third time around helps too ; )

Good news:

  • I soooo don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses.
  • I don’t have to worry about wearing any kind of short skirt or skimpy outfit – think mutton dressed as a lamb.  Comfortable (and dare I say somewhat daggy) is just fine by me.
  • Been there, done that.  Kinda of know what to expect third time around.
  • Poop, vomit, mess, general yuckiness does not throw me in the least.
  • There’s no panic if junior doesn’t eat what he’s given.  They’ll eventually eat, promise.
  • Organic?  Sorry, all to hard.  Whatever is in the fridge is just fine.
  • No such thing as a schedule.  He’ll just have to fit in.

Bad news:

  • The knees, hips, shoulders and back hurts where it shouldn’t.
  • Harder to bend down to pick up the numerous toys, containers, pots, pens, remotes etc, etc that get randomly thrown about.
  • COMPLETELY over going to the park.
  • I’m going to look ridiculous at the beach, park, school grounds wherever at 55 trying to play ball with my 10 year old.
  • I fit in at the school ok now, but when Mr 1 year old goes to school at 5 and a bit I am going to look (and lets be fair, I will actually be) ancient.
  • The kids have no appreciation at all for 80’s music and I don’t know any other kind.
  • Despite my general laziness to make any effort to ‘look the part’ I do in fact feel quite bad sometimes that I could do better (that particular term has been written on my report cards from school for as long as I can remember – that’s probably saying something).

Here’s an article in Scary Mommy on being an older Mum.  She’s got it pegged.

And the little one said is a boutique online children’s clothing, accessories, toys and home decor site run by two sisters with lots of kids between them and a love of all things beautiful.

 

Thank God for Grandparents!

We have had no regrets moving to Australia, but of course there are a couple of things that we miss from home like old friends and family and silly things like Twisties, Bluff oysters, onion dip, Tui’s (the bird, not the beer, although the beer is pretty good come to think of it…), that sort of thing. The bit we miss the most though is definitely not having grandparents just around the corner!

 

Luckily, our Mum and Dad have just come over from New Zealand to stay in Australia for 3 months – YIPPEEEEE!!

They have six grandchildren here, so more than enough kids to keep them very busy!  They’re all young and full of beans and want nothing more than to bounce or climb all over Grandma and have Grandad chase them down the hall. It must be exhausting! They don’t complain though. I think they know they can give them back at the end of the day, and it’s for a finite time so it will soon go back to the twice a year visits.

For my sister and I it is EXTREMELY helpful and a bit of a godsend to have them here. How do people cope without Grandma and Grandad around to help out every now and again? Makes a world of difference to how much you can get done having the kids off your hands – in good hands, and you know they are having fun. Even if it is for a few hours, it’s brilliant!

The kids all LOVE them to death of course, and would much rather hang out with fun grandparents than yelly parents any day.

When they have to go home again, the kids, and more to the point, we are going to be DEVASTATED! It’s ages away and already we’re dreading it! Sigh.

We need a teleport machine thingy.

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And the little one said has a love of good design, beautifully made, quality children’s clothing, toys, accessories and home décor – in fact, all manner of stylish things for your little one. The range has been carefully selected from Australian and New Zealand designers and go from newborn up to size 10.

And the little one said –‘ because everyone needs a little style’

 

 

 

 

Love them as I do…

There seems to be a troubling theme going on with my posts – a yearning for child-free getaways!

Little darlings that they are, they can certainly be a handful. I think what I need is to find a hobby. That might solve the problem. Something that’s just for me.

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The problem of course is going to be fitting it in between everything else that is going on in my life. Already work is squeezed in whenever I have a free hour in between 3 x kids, meals, house stuff and everything else that seems to be in my job description. Sadly exercise is way down the list (and I am acutely aware it shouldn’t be!). I bought a 10 class gym pass 5 weeks ago and have managed to go twice in that time. Sigh. Trying to find some “me time” is a going to be a big ask.

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If by some small miracle, I could find this precious time, then the question is what “hobby” would I choose. I’d have to have a good think about that, because I’m not actually sure what that would be. I’m thinking something creative, something to do with art or something that would be fun to do – craft, sewing of some sort? Although who am I kidding, my sewing is abysmal, and not sure I want it to be any better because then I would feel obliged to actually use that skill every now and again. I’m not the scrapbooking, card making type either. Maybe a bookclub? I’d also love to go to art shows every now and again, although would find it hard to come home without purchasing whatever masterpiece I fell in love with.

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My other problem is my husband is away from anywhere between 1-3 nights a week for work, so I can never rely on him to be home to look after the kiddies on any one night.  Hmmm, all sounds in the too hard basket, but also a very appealing idea! Then again, I really probably need to get in some exercise as a priority first. Still have 3 babies worth of chubby left over –and lets be honest, I was never a slim jim to start with to there is some serious work to be done.

Small steps is what I need. Right at this moment, think I will take advantage of my parents in-law visiting and nip to the supermarket on my own – bliss! (and yet so sad).

 

NB.  With thanks to ‘Everything I need to know I learned from a little Golden Book (Diane Muldrow).  So true.

 

www.andthelittleonesaid.com.au is an online store that offers beautifully made, quality children’s clothing, accessories, toys and home decor.  Because everyone needs a little style.

Party time!

I don’t know about you, but for me, organising a child’s birthday party is a major undertaking.

My daughter turned the big 5 so I guess it’s only fair to have a party for such a momentous occasion!   It’s a right of passage isn’t it?

Her birthday is very early in the year, so difficult when you just start a new school – not quite enough time to make new friends.  Consequently we invited all the girls in her class (as well as a few boys thrown in for luck), and all her old friends from last year at preschool.  Very quickly we had 23 kids.  Arrghh!

Quick, hire the local community hall (yay!) and then I needed to start thinking about how to entertain them for 2 hours!  I could have gone down the hired princess/fairy/musician/animal tamer theory, but left it pretty late, so madly thought I can do this myself!

Craft!  That’s what’s needed.  Quick Google Kids craft idea’s and we’re off.  We ended up with pet rocks, animal masks, brown paper bag faces and multiple options for drawings.  We roped in my almost 8-year-old daughter and sister to do face painting (they were all lining up – always a hit, although some of the requests were a bit abstract – I want to be a fox please – oooookkkay, how do you draw a fox again??)  We also had the usual kids party food, sugary stuff, cupcakes, mini hot dogs and several fruit platters to see if we couldn’t balance out the bad with the good.  Parents got my favourite go to nibbles – mini quiches made a week before and frozen.  Yummy.

We managed to get away with only a couple of games – musical statues, what’s the time Mr Wolf and Duck, Duck, Goose –all the parents out there will know these beauties like the back of you hand.  Then of course the dilemma, whether to open the presents or not.  Hmmm, on one hand kids love to see their gifts being opened – and it does take up a good chunk of time!  On the other, you have no chance of writing down who gave what present so you can do personalised thank you’s.  And worse, you have to watch your perfectly pleasant child turn into a monster as she rips open her stack of presents with reckless abandonment, throwing aside one carefully picked present for the next goodie in the pile.  Fairly horrific.  Might not do that next time….

Anyway, thank goodness that’s over!  Sammy had a wonderful time and was exhausted afterwards, always a sure sign that it went well.

Now for the next one – only a month away – a first birthday party followed two days later by a 8 years olds birthday party (we didn’t time that very well).  Her request?  A slumber party for 8 girls.  Hmmm, not sure what is worse!

Wish me luck.

 

 

My how things have changed!

I saw one of those quotes that had been doing the rounds on Facebook the other day.  An oldie but a goodie.

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I should mention up front I have 3 kids, and boy oh boy is the third time around a WORLD apart from the first time!

Like a lot other first timers, my husband and I had no clues when our daughter was born.   To try and get prepared, I had magazines and books galore.  I read ‘Up the Duff’ (as you do), and then went on to ‘Baby Love’ as my bible when my little girl was born.   I stressed about all sorts of things.  Was she getting enough milk?  Was she eating enough? Was she too hot, too cold, God forbid, sick?  And why oh God why, won’t she sleep!

She never slept so we’d CONSTANTLY be rocking her in the damn pram every night, spend hours walking around the streets with her, rock her in our arms, whatever worked (not much did).  We were SOOOOOO tired!  I remember going to our first Mum’s group meeting when Holly was 3-4 weeks old and saying how astounded I was at the complete sleep deprivation, we just had no clues how hard that would be!  And breastfeeding!  My God, I won’t even go there.  I persevered but it seriously almost killed me and I think maimed me for life (how jealous I was of those people who found it so easy – lucky, lucky sods!).  Daughter number two on the other hand never saw the light of day.  She’d sleep, wake, feed, brief 5 minute play, straight back to bed. No fuss, no rocking, people probably didn’t think she existed in those first few months – brilliant!  Can’t do that with number 3.  He gets carted about everywhere at all times of the day.  He just has to fit in a sleep when he can.  I also tried breastfeeding him for the first month, sadly same old issues appeared so instead of beating myself up about it, and battling for months, I stopped.  I was wracked with guilt for the first month or so, and then the blissfulness of what it meant for me set it.  Right decision.

So contrast that first year with Holly to my first year with Felix and i’ve definitely learned a few things along the way.  Felix was a wee whoopsie daisy moment – he’s wonderful, wouldn’t want to be without him and I love him to bits, but he wasn’t exactly planned!  So the first month there was quite a few expletives wondering how I was going to cope with three at my “advanced maternal age” (Gee, thanks for that, like I didn’t realise).

My husband was recently telling a new father to be at his work how Felix gets cold milk.  Remember constantly asking in cafes for a jug of hot water to warm the bottle?  None of that. Felix never knew any different and he appears to be absolutely fine : )  He also looks pretty grubby most the time.  I’ve given up on washing his knees (and my floors obviously) so it appears like he hasn’t had a bath for a week.  There’s no changing his clothes 3 times a day and dressing him up to go to the supermarket either.  He’s lucky if he gets pants.

Other gems I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing are the dog cleaning the high chair.  Brilliant.  Licks it all clean, sometimes even cleans Felix.  Can you imagine doing that with number 1 child?  No way. I also have got into the habit when I am trying to do something of watching him from my kitchen as he plays out the front of the house on the concrete patio thing, edging his way down the fence to the front gate (he’s safe, he can’t get out) in plain view of the main street.  Like the dog, who you have to drag in from getting pats at the front fence, he just loves it out there.  And it’s easier there than constantly fetching him from the stairs, his next favourite pastime (we cleverly got rid of all our baby stuff after baby number 2 so we managed to find one old gate, but haven’t got around to getting another for the damn stairs yet – it’s on the list).  Anyway, i’ve had a few people stop and look concerned – where is that baby’s terrible mother they are no doubt thinking.  Except the other day one guy stopped and said, he’s not your first is he?  I have 5 kids, whatever works.  Yup.  I’m with you.

Facebook is fun to watch some of the classic first time parent questions come through.  Detailed, graphic, panic stricken questions.  Ah the memories! Don’t get me wrong though.  I’m no expert just a little battle hardened. Saw this post today from Scary Mommy (love Scary Mommy!  It means there are others out there that are not perfect parents too – phew!) ‘10 Differences Between Novice Moms & Pro Moms‘.  Classic.  My point exactly.  My favourite is number 2. Ha ha!