Saturday, 8 June 2013

The racing car bed of hope

Pardon the pun but there was a lot riding on Alex's birthday present. I'd been planning to get him a big boys bed for months and considering his birthday was approaching I thought we'd make it a special one. He loves cars and what little boy wouldn't love a racing car bed? I did have doubts, is it only spoilt boys who have 'themed' beds? Will he grow out of it too soon? Does it turn bedtime into playtime?

In the end we decided that it was awesome and we'd do it.

The bed also offered a glimmer of home for a bedtime challenge which had been brewing for several months.

About 6 months ago Alex declared he wanted a 'pat' before going to sleep. A 'pat'... where did he get that from? We went with it initially although the alarm bells were going off in my head already - would I be patting him to sleep for his 18th birthday?

He'd never been one who needs much settling to go to sleep - we'd had a nighttime routine since he was a few months old - dinner -  bath - milk - story- bed and he'd go pretty happily if we stuck to that and would fall asleep on this own. What was this patting business? He was very specific about it too, we had to sit on the ground next to his cot, he'd trust his hand through the bars and we had to pat the palm of his hand. And there was no sneaking out until he was asleep.

Once I realised this wasn't a one off and he wanted it EVERY night I tried to go back to the way things were but he would literally scream the house down, going from zero to ten decibels in 0.5 seconds and not letting up.

Daddy didn't mid the patting so much, he would take his kindle in there and quite enjoyed being with Alex as he drifted off to sleep. I, on the other hand resented losing that one glorious hour I had to myself once Alex had gone back to bed and before I collapsed exhausted into my own. On a weekday it felt like the only me time I had. It didn't help that Alex would take much longer to get to bed when I was patting him compared to his dad.

So back to the great racing car bed of hope.

We started talking about Alex getting a big boys bed a month or so before his birthday - mainly so I could start seeding the idea that when Alex got said big boys bed he wouldn't need a pat anymore. I said this statement frequently and often - not convinced it was getting through but hoping against hope. By this stage even Haydn was over the pat routine we'd been landed with.

The moment I thought it might be working was when Alex said to his Amma on skype - I'm getting a big boys bed and I won't need a pat.

So when the day came and he got his racing car bed (he didn't know about the car factor) we were weighed down with expectation. Grandpa was down for his birthday part so kindly helped put the bed together while I distracted Alex downstairs. When Alex saw it, it was love at first site. He was actually due for a day nap and he basically pushed us out of the door said goodnight and went to sleep in his awesome new bed.

That night was the true test though. We reminded him a few more times that he wouldn't need a pat anymore but he was so convinced already and excited about his bed that he didn't even question it. Over the next few weeks occasionally he'd ask for a pat but I'd just remind him of the bed and that he was a big boy now and IT WORKED! I haven't patted him to bed since.

3rd Birthday Tour - Part 2 Sydney

Alex's birthday tour continued home to Sydney a week later (yes I am a good 2 months late with the post) with family and friends gathering for a little party at our place. It kind of worked as a house warming as well (we've been here a year now, you might be sensing a pattern).

Friends in the courtyard thanks to the sun making an appearance
Despite panicking through most of the rainy week leading up to it, even buying a tarp in case we had to cover the backyard, the sun shone brightly on the day and it was great to see our little place full of friends and their various small people.

playing with Fern & Elliot
I was worried there wouldn't be enough little friends for Alex as we don't have that many friends with kids his age so I invited a couple of people from daycare as well. It turns out we had about 12 kids and remarkably the day went off without a crisis. Ok there was one moment when a little girl had found grandpa's electric razor and was inches away from shaving my (female) workmate's head but thankfully the would-be hairdresser's dad arrived just in time to avert that crisis.

Like I said - I was pretty proud of the cake effor
In fact I don't think there were even any tears all day and Alex had a ball getting lots of presents (some of which are still in the cupboard unopened - don't tell Alex); eating his number 3 cake (particularly proud of that one) and some healthy-ish snacks and running around with his balloons and bubbles.

Bubble present was a hit

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Alex's 3rd birthday tour - part 1 Melbourne

official candle blowing ceremony
In a move normally reserved for royals - Alex chose to take a tour to celebrate his birthday - with celebrations on multiple dates down the eastern seaboard. The tour began with a trip to Melbourne where his Alexness was accommodated by the most wonderful Theodossiou / Braun family and the lady Emily. During his time in Melbourne Alex visited local attractions, got up close and personal with local flora and fauna at a trip to the zoo and supported the local economy by paying far to much for a punnet of hand picked strawberries. As you can see by the photos below all celebrations were thoroughly dignified and proper...

When touring it's important for one to sample
the local produce
and I mean sample...

Definitely no fun happening in this picture

The inevitable nude royal snap!

Sometimes one just has to take the wheel

Getting close to nature - and the lovely Lady Emily

Monday, 11 March 2013

taking things into my own hands...

Dear Blog,

Let's not beat about the bush here - mummy has been quite frankly terrible at updating my blog so I've decided to take over and let you know what I've been up to this summer.

But first, the latest with me. I'm almost 3 now, I can count to twenty, although sometimes I forget 13. My favorite things are chasing the new pussy cats, Bronte & Bear, who live in our house, eating grapes and playing with my next door neighbour Lexy, she's only 1 and a girl but she's OK.

It's my birthday soon, I'm going to have a party. I like presents I would like a motorbike, a harmonica and Woody to go with my Buzz Lightyear. 

This summer  I've mostly been...

Beaching with Uncle hOb
More Splashing


Meeting girls

Going up and down
Hanging with Daddy

Getting a bit of 'culture'

Even more splashing (are you picking up the theme?)


Sunday, 27 January 2013

A train journey to forget and a christmas to remember

This year we decided to have Christmas as a proper holiday for everyone, without any of the family needing to cook and more importantly clean up a big Christmas meal. Grandpa picked Coffs Harbour as it was vaguely between the various family members (on mum's side anyway).

We somewhat foolishly decided to catch the train up to Coffs, "it will be an adventure" we told ourselves, "more interesting than a plane" we assured ourselves.

This was true for the first 7.5 hours of the 9 hour trip. Then Alex had what could only be described as a meltdown. He was overtired, scared of the noisy dark train and wanted out of there - fast. Well, he's a toddler, the other passengers will be understanding You might think but - you'd be wrong.

OK, so it was about 1am when the aforementioned meltdown occurred and the other passengers were more keen to try and sleep than listen to our darling Alex scream the train down. Surprising I know. Even the guard was less than sympathetic offering sound advice such as "can't you give him something to suck to keep him quiet". "He's almost 3 years, not 3 months old - but thanks"

In the end we had to escape the evil glares of our fellow passengers by traveling in the noisy area , between the carriages which only served to terrify Alex even further.

But we survived and arrived at a lovely resort with pools, tennis courts, playgrounds and our fantastic serviced apartment filled with family and lots of presents for Alex. The horrors of the train journey were forgotten as Alex embraced the buffet breakfast - and lunch - and dinner...

Rock and Roll vs maths

Recently Alex's passions have recently run beyond the pleasures of counting. Although it's still difficult to walk down the street without Alex doing a blow by blow account of every house number, license plate and roadside speed limit - over the past few months he has discovered the joy of music.

This video was taken a few months back at his friend Lily's birthday - but he's been rocking out and jamming with the new family band (Alex on keyboard, Mum on drums, Daddy or Nanna on guitar) ever since. Unfortunately I have to clear all videos with his agent so it might take a bit longer to get a new musical post.

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