31 Dec 2014

2014 ... The Year That Was

As we all prepare for another New Year's Eve of celebrating with family and love ones, I like to reflect on this past year and what key milestones shaped it.

Things that stand out to me this year include:

  • Starting CrossFit and really taking my fitness seriously. 
  • Celebrating Kai's dedication and his 1st birthday.
  • This blog getting some love from an My Child Magazine.
  • Celebrating key yearly milestones like, Ian and I's wedding anniversary, our birthday's and Eli's 3rd birthday.
  • Finally selling the investment property we previously struggled to sell. 
  • Weddings!! So many weddings this year! But I love weddings. I love celebrating two best friends commit to being exclusive to each other forever.
A few key parenting milestones included: 

  • Toilet training Eli.
  • Getting Kai to finally fall asleep unassisted
  • Watching my boys grow and develop right under my nose. It's amazing how much they change in such a short period of time. One day I get the new phase they're in, then a few days later it all changes again. It's confusing, tiring, challenging but I'm grateful to be there for it all. 

We all tend to look back on the year and think about what could have been, instead of appreciating it for what it was. At this time we also tend to start recommitting to ourselves (starting tomorrow) to become better than this past year. Usually setting big goals with no real thought process on how to achieve it, ending in failure and disappointment sooner than we started. 

As this year ends I encourage you to reflect and celebrate what was great about your year. If you think 'there wasn't anything great about 2014 for me' then be grateful. Be content you've had a steady year with no dramas or major set backs. Be thankful for your family, your amazing friends, your job, a roof over your head or even the fact that you've been consistently healthy this year. 

Enjoy your new year's eve. I hope it's cheerful, you're spending it with the people that mean the most to you and you get to enjoy the fireworks. I just hope I can stay up past midnight ...

Happy New Year!!

24 Dec 2014

Merry Christmas

As we all start to begin our Christmas celebrations, I'd like to send my warmest wishes.

It's so easy to loose sight in the real meaning of Christmas ... why we stop work and celebrate this momentous time of the year. 

This year, now that Eli is a little bit older I've been telling him the story of a special baby who was born on the 25th December thousands of years ago. I've explained to him for us, the significance of this child is the true meaning of Christmas. It's not about what gifts you get or don't get, it's about celebrating the birth of Jesus, spending time with family, being grateful and appreciating what you have been blessed with. I've told him that although he may get lots of gifts, Christmas reminds us of the important to share, give and be kind to one another. 

I know I can't expect him to understand everything, but we can build on it in the years to come. 

Like every year, Christmas Eve will be spent with my family and once 12am hits we open presents. Christmas Day we will attend church for their quick one hour service, then lunch at my brother in law's family home. I can't wait to see my family, enjoy each other's company and eat a lot of food!

What's Christmas tradition do you guys do at Christmas? How do spend this time of the year at your home?

From me, Gen-Y Mum (aka Camielle) wishing you and your family a merry and safe Christmas. God bless. 

16 Dec 2014

Things I Miss About Work

I've been asked about when, if I will ever go back to work a lot recently. I don't know why? But believe it or not I actually like to work ... and I was pretty good at what I use to do, but doesn't mean I loved it. My personality, my character, the skills I naturally posses, my attitude and my head space ... I'm built to be in the workforce. Fortunately or unfortunately I'm also a woman and I never image children would make me question my prowess. 

I use to work in a similar working environment and for similar employers as Ian. Most days he comes home from being away for 11 hours and tells me about how busy his day was, or the current incident he's trying to resolve or difficult person he had to deal with, and I think, "I don't want to go back to that. The long commute, dealing with idiots. Then coming home stressed, tired and taking it out on the boys."

I know it's like that at every job sometimes, but until I figure out what I want to do next work wise, I think I'm not on the "employment market". That being said there are things I miss about working though. Here are the main points I miss most about working ...

1. Making Money
No brainer. I miss earning an income and the benefits of two incomes for a household. I miss having a little more extra in our savings, a little bit extra to buy what we want now, a little bit extra so we're not so conscious of the family budget and a little bit extra to spend on myself guilt free. 

2. Looking Like a Woman
Because I don't work I live in pj's most days, I don't bother with make up cause I only ever venture out to shopping centres and playgrounds, and most days I don't even bother brushing my hair. I miss wearing nice new outfits, slapping on a pretty face and playing around with different hair styles. 

3. Eating Different Types of Food
Anyone who works in town (Sydney) knows there's so much variety of food available everywhere. I miss the pork belly from City Hotel, ramen from Gumshara, japanese from Akaneya and level 5 food court at Westfield City. I miss my morning Campos coffee, walnut and banana bread and the baguettes from Taste. I miss eating lunch at a reasonable time in general, eating food I didn't prepare for myself and eating uninterrupted and at my own pace. 

4. Having Adult Conversations
Just to talk about anything else besides the boys or being a parent. I miss hearing office gossip, other people to talk to about the recent celebrity break up, or share opinions on the latest news headlines. 

5. Shopping
Anyone who works in town knows the variety of retailers available right outside your office. It can be dangerous but a bit of retail therapy is a nice way to give yourself a break from work. Also it allows you to get errands done without compromising family time on the weekend. 

6. Using My Brain
Work although can be repetitive or tedious at times, requires you to use your brain (hopefully) to complete your tasks. Things you use to do everyday you slowly forget when you're not doing it so often. I was pretty sharp with Microsoft Word and Excel before I left work, but even as the programs update in functionality and layout, I find myself getting lost trying to do the simplest edits.  

7. Dates with Hubby
Date nights are pretty rare so Ian and I use to enjoy having lunch together without the kids. We usually go some place that we really want to eat at, and would be such a hassle (or inappropriate) if we brought the kids with us. I remember one time after I had Eli and I was already back at work we had lunch at Prime ... cause we could. 

8. Catching up with people
Especially as people have their own families its getting harder to catch up with friends during weekends. Luckily a lot of my friends also work in town so it gave us an opportunity to see each other and catch up over lunch, coffee or drinks during the weekdays instead. 

Are you currently not working? What do you miss about work right now?

Linking up with Jess for #IBOT

15 Dec 2014

Before You Offer Your Child Another Snack

A few weeks ago we noticed a hole or decay on one of Eli's tooth. Concern we took him to our dentist who referred us to a paediatric dentist who specialises in his type of clientele - young children. Upon examination we learn he had developed three holes in three different teeth and that they required filing.

Not one to really give me child lots of candy I question how this could have happened. Firstly, I was asked if my son grazes? (eats small amounts of food throughout the day). Yes he does. Being a kid with allergies and also a fuzzy eater, I'm always offering him food even if he just has a bite of it. I learnt the problem with that is, when we eat we produce acid in our mouth, and when not given enough time between last time and next time we produce this acid, it can be harmful to teeth especially young infant teeth that are still very soft.

I also questioned whether fillings were required on baby teeth knowing that adult teeth will replace them one day. I learnt adult teeth don't start coming through until the ages of 8-12, so until then they need their baby teeth. And if their teeth has holes now it will most likely get worse over time if not addressed, resulting in further decay and may require extraction. If you remove baby teeth way before their intended time to fall off, a cap is required to stop the adult tooth from coming through. Ultimately it'll be an even more delicate and complicated (and expensive) procedure if left untreated now.

So last week he had his teeth filled. Leading up to it we had to book their recommended anaesthetist for the procedure because Eli is so young, he's mostly likely unable to comprehend that he needs to sit still throughout the procedure, so he would need to be put under local anaesthetic to subdue him. On the day of the appointment he wasn't aloud to have any food at least six hours prior, this included not having any milk. Plus 1.5 hours prior he had to stick these medicated pads on the back of both hands which, for a three year old was difficult cause all he wanted to do was remove them.

When we arrived at the dentist we filled in more forms, spoke to the anaesthetist and dentist about what was going to happen that day and waited for our turn. Forty minutes later and constantly telling my hungry child he'll have food soon, we went in. There was five people in the room plus myself. Eli lay down on the chair and we all distracted him while the anaesthetist did his job. During our brief earlier that morning, we agreed to give him gas as well cause one of the sedation medication contained an egg protein and we were not going to give it to him just in case he has an adverse reaction.

I think he had the gas mask over his nose for like a few seconds, then he said complained that it smelt funny, pushed it off and attempted to sit up. He was swaying and began to laugh at himself ... the gas was working. We all told him its okay and I gently helped pushed him back onto the chair. Once he was sitting again one of the nurses ushered me put of the room so they can begin.

About 40 minutes laters I was called back into the room where Eli was awake but drowsy. I gently started to wake him and we went back into the waiting room for observations. He did throw up while we were there, so the anaesthetist gave him a tablet that dissolved in his mouth to keep him from vomiting some more.

Another 20 minutes later they removed the catheter from his hand and we were free to go and within the hour he was back to his normal self. He didn't complain about any pain or problems with eating so I guess the procedure was successful. I had a look at the teeth they filled and it looks as good as new. It doesn't even look like he got fillings done, such an advancement from when I got fillings done several years ago.

We will return back in February for a follow up. The dentist did warn me one particular filling my fall off over time cause its on the outer surface and a prominent tooth we use to chew. I also learnt we should be still brushing our children's teeth until the 8 years of age. There's nothing wrong with letting them learn to brush their own teeth but, we should then go back and do a good scrub on their behalf as they don't tend to clean their teeth thoroughly.

Hope our experience have enlightened you in managing your child's baby teeth. I know I've realised how important their young teeth are, and realising that it's not only sweets that can damage them. 

11 Dec 2014

Be Proud

So last week I finally created a Facebook page for my blog. You can see it here and feel free to give it a big thumbs up and Like my page!

I've been avoiding setting it up for awhile for a number of reasons. Mostly because I'm shy, afraid of what people will think and fear of being discovered. What I mean about being discovered is, although I know my blog is not private, and I actually do share personal things on here, (like not thinking of using pseudo names for my kids) -  I don't actually "advertise" my blog out to people. I don't post anything about my blog on my own personal Facebook account and I have a separate instagram account for this blog too.  I actually don't talk about my blog unless someone brings it up and admittedly I get a little shy about it ... Weird I know, cause I'm sharing so much to people I don't even know. 

I remember reading a post from another blogger who wrote how they over came their fear of sharing their blog to others, was when they realised they were proud of their blog. And when you're proud of something you can't help but tell others about it - I like that and I am proud of this little space. 

I get asked by friends what my grand plan is with this blog. It was always just a place to document my experiences, thoughts and life as a new mum. I have thoughts of doing more, and I try to invest as much time into it as I possibly can, but the answer is I really don't know? I have no idea where this blog is headed, but I know I am proud of it. 

So that's why I decided to finally create my blog page. If I'm going to continue to blog and be open to where ever it may take me, I want to put 100% effort into it. And in the social media space that includes covering key platforms such as Facebook. 

Thank you for the encouragement, the follow and the feedback. I love hearing it all! You guys make me blush, you guys inspire me and a make the late nights writing content worth it! 

9 Dec 2014

My 14 Month Old + 3.Something Year Old Boys

It's been awhile since I did one of these. Partly because the past several weeks home life with my boys has been mostly plagued with some form of sickness. We've all been hit with either a virus, or the flu, or conjunctivitis, and we seem to be passing it to each other again and again.

Kids must catch and bring home super bugs, because I've never been this kind of sick ever in my life. I'm not one to get sick often and I can usually solider on when I am, but these last few rounds of sicknesses I've actually been bedridden. During the peak of the illness I was having delusional thoughts like, "This must be how cancer patients feel like ... when you're body is in so much pain, but you can't make it go away." We recover but then we're sick again a few days later. I dunno maybe the contrast in weather conditions plays a part too?

But besides all the sickness, my boys have grown and changed so much these past several weeks. I was looking at Eli just the other night and he looked a little taller than usual so I asked him, "Eli have you grown?" He responded with "Yes, I'm stronger" and lifted his arms to show me his non existent mussels.

His personality has developed even more recently. He's so much more aware of what he's doing that he questions and fights concepts that he disagrees with. Just this morning Ian brought to my attention spat out food he had found hidden under his bag. We believe it was from the day before when Ian told him he couldn't have dessert until he finished the food in his mouth. Refusing to swallow, he must've decided to do something about it and spat it out and attempted to hide the evidence.

We can already see his defiant spirit. Already he argues, gives laser eyes, talks under his breath and tells white lies ... not looking forward to this in his teens. I think Eli and I are very similar and I understand where the attitude is stemming from, so I try and mitigate these types of behaviours before they appear. 

Eli still loves his music. He's still dancing, singing and drumming away to tunes he loves. Right now it's One Direction. One morning to my amazement he danced the routine to Beautiful from Just Dance 4. I was amazed he picked up the moves and routine all on his own and so quickly. 

I was told last week that he'll be moving into the preschool room next year. I feel like its a big deal, it took me half a day to digest the news personally. In this room they start to prep the kids for actual school by having a more structured learning program and removing day naps. This news has triggered the discussion of where he will attend school between Ian and I ................ I'll save that for another post. 

Eli fights for attention. Whatever anyone is doing to Kai, he demands it to be done to him too. If you tickle Kai, he wants to be tickles the same way. If you sing songs with Kai, he wants to get in on the action. If I'm holding Kai, he squeezes in and wants to sit on my lap too. 

His lack of attention at home has resulted in him wanting to spend more time with the grandparents. He's been having more frequent sleep overs - as per his request. He'll tell me he needs to speak to one of the grandparents on the phone, and then asks them to pick him up so he can sleep over, or when we visit and its time to leave he tells us he's not coming cause he's sleeping over. The grandparents are more than happy to have him over of course. 

That means I've had more one on one time with Kai.

And my Kai is one beautiful child. As a mother you can really tell how different your children are, and their differences dictates how you love and interact with them. Kai's spirit is gentle, sweet, observant and resilient ... but he's also tough, fierce and strong.

I love his smile - the "gigil" (filipino word that means trembling and gritting of teeth) face he pulls when he does it. I love how he is even more responsive. He knows the meaning of some words ... well, I assume he does cause he actions them. 

He too loves to dance but slightly different to his kuya's at the same age. Kai either sways his hips side to side, or raises an arm like he's doing a fist pump action to music he must like. 

He wants to crawl at every opportunity. He must gets bored of being held then wriggles as much as possible so that you will want to put him down. However when he's mobile that's when you need to be on your guard the most. Everything Kai finds goes into his mouth. If he can't pick it up with his fingers he will bring his head close and lick it up. I've found him choking on leaves, hard plastic and bark. I've even seen evidence of paper and plastic bags in his mouth too. 

Kai's taste palate has changed slightly. He's over the baby mush and wants what we eat. He prefers food he can chew and hold. It's great though, means I can slowly stop making a separate meal for at least one of my kids. Speaking of food, Eli is now drinking rice milk and he loves it. No more formula for him and onto milk that doesn't require a script ... finally. 

Kai always wants me near and it seems only when we're at home. When we're out I can pass him around to family and friends and he doesn't seem to mind. But at home I step away for too long and he's sooking. Secretly I don't mind though, cause I've realised how much Eli isn't a baby anymore and I'm soaking up these precious baby moments with Kai cause it'll all be over before I know it.

Linking up with Essentially Jess

2 Dec 2014

Yo Gabba Gabba Giveaway

This is a sponsored post. Full disclosure can be read here.

Our family loves Yo Gabba Gabba! I think the boys are drawn to the catchy songs and cheerful characters; Dj Lance Rock, Brobee the little green one, Foofa the pink flowerbubble, Muno the red Cyclops, Toodee the blue cat-dragon and Plex the yellow robot. I'm impressed by the topics they cover and the number of really famous people who make guest appearances on the episodes.

The award winning, live action television series and stage show Yo Gabba Gabba! is back with an exciting new instalmentHaving created a trip stack fan based with their unconventional formula and retro style, Yo Gabba Gabba! has become one of the most popular children's entertainment programs today, engaging everyone from preschoolers to parents and indiemusic lovers alike.

Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing Yo Gabba Gabba! Season 4, Volume 2 on DVD from December 4, 2014, just in time for Christmas. In this volume join the Gabba friends' adventure as they ride to the land of the dinosaurs, help a miniature king restore order to his kingdom and learn new games and crafts at Day Camp. Jason Batemen also guest stars as a bad spy who steals all the balloons from the Gabbaland balloon art party and Josh Holloway teaches the Gabba friends about growing vegetables. 

I'm running a giveaway where you could win a copy of the new Yo Gabba Gabba! DVD. Perfect Christmas present idea for your little person or a fan you may know of. And I'm giving away five copies so there's even more chances to win!

To be in the running all you have to do is Like my new Facebook page Gen-Y Mum Blog, or entering www.facebook.com/genymum into your internet web browser, or clicking on the link here. Then find the link to this post on my Facebook page and comment with which is you or your child's favourite Yo Gabba Gabba! character. 

Good luck!

Giveaway Terms & Conditions:
  • Unfortunately, giveaway is open only to Australian residents.
  • The five (5) winners drawn are final.  
  • Giveaway is open from now and closes 8/12/2014 at 9:00am.
  • Winner will be drawn at 10am and announced on my Facebook page and Instagram so follow me on @genymum to see if you've won.
  • A successful and completed entry must Like Gen-Y Mum Blog page and answer question "Who is your favourite Yo Gabba Gabba! character on facebook page.

1 Dec 2014

November in Review

I'd like to upload on Instagram more often. But being the perfectionist (or introvert) I am I triple guess the image I think about uploading then decide not to do it. Insta, although does not stop you from writing as much or as little as you want to to the attached image, I tend not to write a lot and go over board with the description or #hash tagging. 

So here's a little more of the story behind selected images that I've uploaded on Instagram, and makes up my November.
1 Nov - Went away for the weekend down south with some friends. 

2 Nov - Checked out the famous white sand and turquoise water of Hymes Beach.

3 Nov - Was named member of the month at my CrossFit box because of the effort I've been putting in the gym.

14 Nov - My birthday!! A cronut, or four was in order. You can read about how I spent my birthday here.

16 Nov - Celebrated a friend's kitsch engagement at a uber chic venue at Atura. Its a new hotel right in the middle of no where western Sydney but it felt like Palm Springs Los Angeles. I'm trying to think of a celebration just so I can host something here myself. 

23 Nov - Christmas celebrations have begun. Starting with the Bebots annual Christmas feasting. Everyone brings a plate as always and this year we finally successfully ran a secret santa gift exchange. Previous year was a total fail thank goodness for technology to help us organise the simplest of tasks. 

29 Nov - More Christmas celebrating (or feasting) this time with some long time friends. A friend generously offered her home and set up an awesome inflatable pool that included slides and water guns to help keep the kids cool. Again too much awesome food and generous gifts exchanged. I love these girls and how our families have grown over the years. 

Feel free to follow me on insta @genymum 
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