Rainy Day Activity for Toddlers

Lately the weather has been keeping Israel and I indoors. This afternoon I was adamant to do some more educationally focused play with him. I was thinking about the boardgames that we had and how none of them were suitable for him but then I remembered that we had Twister. I dug it out and decided that I could use the mat as a colour aid. After laying it down I grabbed a bunch of green, yellow, blue and red blocks and objects that I could find from Israel’s toys. Israel doesn’t appear to understand his colours yet, which I wouldn’t really expect from a 17 month old anyway, but it was definintely area that I was keen to focus in on. Currently he is very focused on animals and wants to read every book we have containing animals and make the noises or actions that they do. He has a great elephant, fish and giraffe impression! The Twister mat was a great way to show Israel that there are different colours and they can be identified and sorted into matching groups. I tried to focus on one colour before moving to the next, hoping that the repetition will help. This is certainly going to be an ongoing activity for us to try. After a few minutes all he wanted to do was kick around the blocks, but we will get there!

Twister Colour Sorting for Toddlers

Flying with a toddler

Looks like I have taken two holidays – one away in the Cook Islands and the other away from my blog. Whoops! The good news is that I am back. Michael had been doing a variety of sales trips to the Pacific Islands during the NZ winter, so Israel and I took the opportunity to join him after he had finished working for a family holiday. We had a great 10 days in Rarotonga and Aitutaki swimming, snorkelling, reading, relaxing, motorbiking and general sightseeing. It may seem obvious but traveling with a young child is completely different to traveling with adults. It didn’t necessarily stop us from doing anything that we wanted to do, but previously simple activities like snorkeling required us to take turns going under the water. Overall Israel was a wonderfully easygoing traveler and enjoyed the holiday. Initially my biggest concern about our family holiday was actually flying with Israel. As Michael was already over there for work, I had to do the 4 hour flight with Israel by himself. I know that comparatively 4 hours is a short flight, but with a child who is very active, it is still a big deal. I probably spent about 70% of the time on my feet walking around the plane with Israel as he greeted other passengers. Quiet activities that he would usually enjoy, such as reading, were no longer of any interest. Even on our short 1 hour flight from Rarotonga to Aitutaki, Israel spent most of the flights at the back of the plane climbing over the empty seats. Thankfully on our way home to Auckland Michael was with me, and Air New Zealand kindly booked us into a row of three seats, blocking out a spare seat for Israel at no additional cost. This was the best thing for him on this flight. He loved sitting in a seat all to himself, rather than on our laps, and we only had to walk around the plane towards the end of the flight. He even got to play with the remote control for his entertainment system rather than disrupting mine like on our first flight. If you are traveling with an energetic toddler under 2 then I would recommend finding a way to get their own seat (either by paying if you can justify it, or by pleading with your airline). I can’t wait until our next holiday.. wherever it may be.Cook Island Holiday

Inspiration & Commitment

Recently via Pinterest I came across a quote from Kobi Yamada. The moment I saw it there was an instant light bulb moment in my heart. “She decided to start living the life she’d imagined” was all it said. Recently I had decided that Israel needs a bit more stimulation to meet his active and bubbly personality. He needs more contact with other children and to explore and to get dirty. There is a playcentre near us where children go to play and do activities with other children but also alongside their Mum (or Dad too). As part of the program they encourage parents to do their free accredited courses and to get involved where they can. I have been a bit hesitant about this and committing to the program. Part of me doesn’t want to lose my freedom and being able to choose what we do everyday. In reality it is only two or three days a week, for 3 hours each session. I was being a little silly about it and have registered for our three day trial. When I saw this quote it dawned on me that this “Mum” life is actually what I had dreamed of. These are the sorts of activities I had envisioned myself doing and yet for some reason I had become a little complacent. The lightbulb has gone off and it is time to be a bit more purposeful about the life Israel and I live. Playcentre is just a start, but there is much more that we can do for and with the people around us. The selfish ‘easy’ life needs to end!

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One and Bursting

Our little Israel is officially a one year old. We got to celebrate on Saturday with both Michaels family as well as mine, down in the lovely Hawkes Bay. Israel was lucky to have two cakes in the last week, and I even let him eat the cake and icing for the very first time as a treat for him on his actual birthday. We are very blessed to have Israel in our lives. He has a gorgeous smile and bubbly personality, but what photos don’t show is that he is bursting at the seams. He appears to have the attitude of “What’s next?” as he vigorously moves from one activity to the next with determination and passion. I am in the process of trying to teach him to be gentle, and not to bite. He understands the word ‘No’ but gives me the cutest little grin when I tell him No, as he knows that he is not supposed to do that thing. With all that energy yesterday he must have hurt himself four times, twice involving a bit of blood from his mouth. I have come to the realisation that unfortunately that is just what comes with the territory of a highly adventurous child. I look forward to seeing what the next year brings and watching him grow into a young man. I love him to bits.

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Nearly One

My precious son Israel is turning one this Saturday. It is amazing how fast time has flown and how speedily he is growing and literally how fast he moves. He isn’t quite walking yet but is still causing me to wish that I had multiple eyes all around my head to watch what he is doing.
We celebrated his birthday early last weekend with our Auckland friends and family as we will be away with the rest of our family on his actual birthday. We set out to Maraetai Beach in East Auckland, setup some Shade7 Gazebos and a table of food for a fun afternoon tea, ice-cream and swim. We all had such a fun time celebrating the first year of our little man and Israel certainly had a ball. I am also doing something a little cheesy and have setup a gmail account for him. Provided that this is still the most popular account to have when he is older, he will already have his own account reserved under his name (not that I expect there to be many Israel Pearce’s out there. I am going to email him his birthday photos from every year until he is old enough to access the account. Hopefully he will enjoy seeing himself grow up each year.

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Stomach Sleeper

It is hard to believe that Israel has been outside my tummy longer than he spent inside! My darling boy is just growing up rapidly! I know it is an expression people always say, to value your time as they grow up so fast, and it is so true. One of his latest developments is that I have discovered that Israel has become a tummy or side sleeper. Even if I go in and put him into his back, he just instantly rolls to his side and then sometimes right over to his stomach. Short of tying him down in some sort of safety sleep item, there is nothing I can do to change it. All the information I read suggests the risk of SIDS is drastically reduced after 6 months, and as Israel rolls freely it should be okay for him. Many generations including me as a baby, slept on their side and stomach, and they turned out fine. I am embracing it and continue to be thankful that he is such a good sleeper. Only a few more months until I finish up breastfeeding and then I can finally have a sleep-in of my own!

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So shiny and new

It’s a season of exciting new things! Today Annabel Langbein’s new cook book “A Free Range Life” was released. There is a lot of buzz about this on Facebook at the moment with everyone trying out her recipes. I can’t wait to give them a proper whirl this Sunday. The other exciting thing is that Shade7, where my husband works, have recently released some new lines of luxury rattan outdoor furniture. The brand name is OceanWeave Furniture, and there are some stunning pieces available. I dream of my own luxurious backyard complete with pool and spa to place these gorgeous lounges, dining sets, sun loungers and Shade7 umbrellas!

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The rights to the images above belong to Annabel Langbein and Shade7 Ltd respectively.