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Sydney: The Secret Life Of Suitcases Ticket Giveaway

Secret Suitcases Giveaway via adventurebaby.org
A fun giveaway for you this week! If you are looking for some holiday fun in Sydney, the Monkey Baa Theatre Company will be presenting The Secret Life of Suitcases from September 28 to October 2 at the Lend Lease Theatre, in the Darling Quarter.

A little bit about the show:

Larry works in an office and he likes it very much. But one day, a suitcase suddenly appears at his door. A suitcase with a tiny label with Larry’s name on it. And this suitcase has a mission…

Join Larry as his world gets turned upside down by a fantastical flying suitcase taking him further than he ever thought possible. Follow Larry’s journey as he discovers the thrill of adventure and the joy of coming home again.

Check out the trailer below:

I’m so happy to offer one reader a family pass (4 tickets) to the Friday October 2nd 1pm session of The Secret Life of Suitcases at the Lend Lease Theatre Darling Quarter (right across from the children’s playground).

All you need to do to enter is comment below with who you would take and why they’d enjoy it. Easy peasy!

Please read the dates and location carefully. There is no exchange or refund and you must find your own way to the theatre. The giveaway is open Friday August 28 9am to Friday Sept 4th 11:59pm.

Full terms and conditions here.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

An Enchanted Fairy Birthday Party – Cheese Turns Four

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

For the little Cheese’s fourth birthday party, she wanted a fairy theme. It seems to be a popular choice for preschoolers! Together we found a pretty invitation on Etsy that was more flower fairy than Disney, and we ran with this for the theme – an enchanted fairy garden party.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

This year was exciting as Cheese started preschool in January and wanted to invite some of her new school friends. It was the first party where she had a say in the invite list, and I feel confident that next year she will be ready to choose exactly who she wants – it’s a big step to see my little one making real friendships. Seeing her little face light up with joy when her friends arrived was just the most precious thing about the party. She literally couldn’t believe that her friends had all come. A magical party, indeed.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

For the food, I had my friend Rosalie of Cakes by Rosalie make up this fantastic four tier white chocolate mud sprinkle cake. As per the birthday girl’s instructions, the inside was blue.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Rosalie also made 24 mini cupcakes with flowers piped on in buttercream. These were a big hit with the kids and adults alike – the perfect size to pop in the mouth.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Also on offer were cheese and vegemite sandwiches that my mum and I cut into flowers, hearts and stars, and fairy bread pinwheels. Both of these were made the day before and frozen.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me
Popcorn was poured into tiny cups that were just the right size for kids to have about a few kernels at a time.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me
Sweets wise, I made little fairy tea cups with marshmallows and other supermarket sweets, stuck together with sugar glue that I picked up from a cake baking store.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me
A talented local baker, Love Lauren xx, made the sprinkle Oreo Pops.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me
My mum whipped up some old school chocolate crackles for a vintage childhood touch.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

I made some fruit wands out of grapes and strawberries for a healthy touch.

I’m not a fan of giving kids anything other than water to drink, so we found small personal water bottles at the supermarket and wrapped fairy labels around them. My smart mum printed out all of the kids names and stuck them on the back, as well as on the party bags, so kids would be able to find their bottles when they put them down. Genius!

On a nearby table for the adults was a big fruit platter, cheese and crackers, and hot pastizzi and quiches.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Gift bags were filled with bubbles, a fairy figurine, little toys like a ring, and custom fairy cookies by Love Lauren xx.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

For entertainment, I borrowed a jumping castle from a friend, hired a fairy from Fairy Wishes, and had some cute princess, fairy and superhero sticker sets and colouring in sheets for the kids to sit down and do if they needed quiet time.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Cheese’s super cute fairy dress was from Pink Poppy. Her flower hairband was from Cotton On Kids.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Cheese had the absolute best day of her life at her party – the only reason why we keep on throwing her parties each year! (OK, I love them too. Kids’ parties are awesome!).

Are you throwing your kids a party this year? 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Read To Your Bunny Every Night

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Disney Junior. Book-loving princess and all opinions are my own.

Read To Your Bunny via christineknight.me

When Cheese finished her 2s program in New York, her teachers gave her the cutest little book called “Read To Your Bunny” by Rosemary Wells. The book is really quite simple, it basically says read to your bunny every night, it’s only 20 minutes, but the most important 20 minutes of the day.

The book and its message comes to mind a lot when it’s book time in our house. We are a family of readers, and hope that Cheese will be too. We read together at bedtime, a minimum of three books, which are getting longer and more complex as she gets older.

The benefits of reading to your children are well known (I wrote about them in an interview with the amazing Australian author Mem Fox here). When your child is exposed to books it helps them to learn to read, as well as being a special time of day when your child has your full attention. We love books so much that we often read them during the day as well, not just at bedtime. Reading to your child at bedtime has the added benefit of helping kids wind down, ready for sleep.

Read To Your Bunny via christineknight.me

As well as loving books, Cheese, like all preschoolers, loves her iPad or watching a bit of TV. I definitely try to limit her screen time, but I’m happy for her to watch educational programs or play education games.

Read To Your Bunny via christineknight.me

I’ve been really excited about a new, locally-produced, interactive storytelling series called “Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time”. It’s hosted by an Aussie actor and playwright named Kate Mulvany. Every day at 7:10pm you can tune into the new series on the Disney Junior Channel (it’s on Foxtel, channel 709) or, if you’re like me and don’t get pay TV, watch it anytime on their website.

The second season of “The Book of Once Upon A Time” launched this week (just in time for Book Week!) with one of Cheese’s favourite characters, Snow White in “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt”. Upcoming episodes are going to include her BFFs Anna and Elsa in “Frozen”, and stories from “Winnie the Pooh”, “Aladdin” and “Sleeping Beauty”.

Read To Your Bunny via christineknight.me

Cheese and I are highly enjoying watching the videos together. They are just the perfect length – around 5-8 minutes each – with an engaging storyteller and beautiful graphics. Each story is a new telling of a Disney classic, with a focus on encouraging early language and maths skills, healthy lifestyles and social and emotional development. At the end of each episode, a lullaby plays to encourage children to prepare for bedtime. We have been watching one or two of the videos before bath time, and we finish up our bedtime routine with a few books in bed.

If you’d like to get the Disney stories on your mobile device, they can be downloaded as eBooks from the Disney Story Central app, available from iTunes.

Be sure to tune in to “Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time” series two. The premiere episode is Monday 24th August at 7:10pm.

What are you reading to your bunny tonight?

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

On The Town With The UPPAbaby G-LITE

Family Travel Must-have: UPPAbaby G-LITE #stroller #familytravel #framilyfriendly

When you’re travelling with a little kid, a good umbrella stroller is a must. We made the mistake of not taking one with us when we started our trip, thinking Cheese was big enough to walk everywhere. Big mistake. I forgot that when we travel we walk a lot – like upwards of 10km a day. Way too much for little legs to handle. So when we reached New York, I was so incredibly thankful to have the UPPAbaby G-LITE  to get around town.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

I’ve previously spoken about my love for the UPPAbaby series and have listed another of their models, the G-LUXE as a travel must-have on this blog post. The G-LUXE was a great stroller when Cheese still napped as it has the full recline feature that is important to nap on the go. Now that Cheese doesn’t nap anymore and the main purpose of the stroller is to get from A to B with the most ease, what I primarily want out of a stroller is for it to be as light as possible and extremely easy to maneuver.

The UPPAbaby G series dominate the lightweight stroller market for a good reason – they are excellent, affordable strollers. I’ve listed the reasons why I just love their strollers, especially the one I’m using at the moment, the G-LITE.

Lightweight and easy to carry
The G-LITE is their lightest model, at 11 pounds (4.9kg). This makes it so light that I can collapse it and carry it around easily on my shoulder. I can also lift it with the child still in it, up and down stairs.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Easy to collapse
The stroller does need two hands to collapse but it’s so quick and easy to fold down. Simply push a button near the handle and pull the ring on each side of the handles at the same time and the stroller folds down and clips into one piece.

Stays closed
The stroller has a neat little clip that automatically snaps the top and bottom of the frame together when it’s folded, so when you pick it up, it stays closed.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Stands on its own
The stroller has a little stand under the wheels so it stands upright on its own when closed.

Easy locking breaks
Little locks over the wheels are easy to push up with a flick of your toes.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE
Easy to maneuver
This stroller is made for fast walkers like me who like to dodge and weave among slower pedestrians. It’s also tall enough that I find it very comfortable to push, with no pressure on my lower back. My husband, who is 6 feet tall, loves pushing this stroller for the same reason.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Big canopy
As well as the regular canopy that folds down, the UPPAbaby strollers have an additional section inside, the UV canopy, which folds down to provide protection from the elements.

Decent basket
The basket under the stroller is roomier than you’d imagine. I can fit a fair amount of stuff and with the high edges nothing falls out.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE
Comfortable ride
Cheese is approaching 4, and 17KG (37.5 pounds). The UPPAbaby G-LITE is suitable for kids from 6 months to 55 pounds /25kg. It has to be said, Cheese loves this stroller. She finds is incredibly comfortable and is happy to sit in it for long periods. The seat length is perfect for a child of her size, letting her feet land on the foot rest at the right angle. Other strollers we borrowed had the foot rest at an angle where her legs couldn’t fold to touch it, leaving her legs to hang and feet to get caught on the ground.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Some extra info on the UPPAbaby G-LITE from their site:

  • Tall ergonomic handles for easier pushing
  • Hand level triggers for quick fold – no foot action required
  • Lockable front wheels for added stability
  • Shock-absorbing, 4-wheel suspension
  • Easy-open, removable canopy
  • Extendable SPF 50+ sunshade
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Stands when folded
  • Stain + water resistant fabric
  • Removable, machine-washable seat pad
  • High-performance, 4.5” diameter wheels
  • Convenient carry strap
  • 5-point harness
  • Large easy-access basket
  • Removable cup-holder
  • Weight: 11lb / 4.9kg

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE
Thank you to UPPAbaby for sending us this stroller for our around the world trip. I’m a loyal UPPAbaby stroller user and all opinions are, as always, my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

What I Know About My Parents Now That I Am One

Things I Know About My Parents Now That I'm One #parenting #family christineknight.me

Our parents are the lynch pins of our lives in many ways. They’re the force that gave us life, cared and provided for us, and taught us about the world. I’ve always looked up to my own parents with love and admiration but once I had a child of my own, I began to see them in a whole new light.

They were sleep deprived
My mother always tells me about my brother’s refusal to go to sleep at night. My dad would have to get the car out and drive in circles around the block to get my brother to go to sleep in the car seat and then transfer him into his bed. Even though I obviously knew that my parents raised us from babies, the details of our babyhood were never really talked about that much until I had a child of my own—and now the funny stories won’t stop coming!

They did their best
I thought my parents were experts in parenting when I was a kid. So, of course, any mistakes they made were a horrible let down because of my expectation of perfection. I was a pretty horrid teenager in retrospect. I judged my parents, criticizing what I saw as their failings and, basically, was an ungrateful brat. I always saw the ways they failed (like if they said the wrong thing, or gave me the wrong gift) instead of where they succeeded. What I see now is parents who loved their kids a huge amount and tried their very hardest to make them happy—parents who were just regular people, muddling their way through this parenting business, who made mistakes and got things wrong, too. They did a pretty darn good job.

They put us first
My mom was a public school teacher. She left her job after my brother was born and didn’t work again until I started preschool at age 5. She was out of the work force for eight years, and didn’t have child care if she ever needed a break from us kids. Her career probably took a big hit but her focus was always on what was best for us. Now I’m facing my own dilemma finding a balance between raising my child and working, I feel the enormity of the personal sacrifice my mother made to stay home with us.

They sacrificed a lot
I remember my weekends as a kid as a blur of dance classes and birthday parties. My parents remember their weekends of my childhood as a blur of driving me and my brother all over the city, and waiting for us to finish whatever it was we were doing so they could drive us back home again. I actually cringe when I think of how I took this for granted. I never once thought that maybe they wanted to do something on a Saturday except chauffeur me around. Now that I drive my daughter around I get it—I don’t want thanks because I enjoy her enjoyment but I do now tell my parents how grateful I am for their time.

They showed us the world
One of the absolute best memories from my childhood is a wonderful eight week trip we took to Hong Kong, London, Europe and Egypt. I constantly pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. This trip (back in the late ‘80s) must have cost my parents a fortune and they had obviously saved up for a very long time. It was the one big family trip we did all together. While I’m sure they enjoyed the trip immensely, I’m also sure they had no way of knowing the effect it would have on my and my brother’s lives. This wonderful experience opened my eyes to a world outside of my little suburbia. It gave me the wanderlust bug that hasn’t stopped moving my heart and feet all around the world. We were a family who were big on experiences rather than material things and it’s a lesson I am trying to replicate now for my daughter.

They loved me hard
And still do! My whole childhood I felt loved, but it wasn’t until I had a child of my own that I really saw, for the first time, everything my parents did for me through the eyes of an adult. I finally felt the magnitude of their love for me—and it was humbling.

This article first appeared on MommyNearest.

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

70 Signs You’re A Sleep Deprived Parent

70 Signs You're A Sleep Deprived Parent #family #parenting #kids via christineknight.me

We’ve all been there—some of us are there right now. You’re tired and on the verge of collapsing. Everything is a little fuzzy. You probably already know that you’re a sleep deprived parent. But just in case you aren’t 100% sure, here are some of the ways you can tell you need a good night’s sleep.

1. You put the milk in the cupboard.

2. You put a teabag in a cup to steep and discover it the next day.

3. You don’t know what day of the week it is.

4. You go to the kitchen to get something out of a drawer and by the time you get there you’ve forgotten what you needed.

5. Your kid is running around with no undies on because you forgot to give them a fresh pair after their last accident.

6. When you roll out of bed, heaven help anyone who tries to talk to you before you get your first hit of caffeine.

7. You made coffee with cold water because you forgot to boil the kettle.

8. You find yourself napping at work.

9. You mistake your hairspray for deodorant.

10. You wash your hair with body wash.

11. You keep signing forms with your maiden name even though you changed it when you got married more than two years ago.

12. You try to put the bread away but end up putting paper bags into plastic bags and forget the bread entirely.

13. You’re calling the children by the pet’s name and vice versa.

14. You make your child a cheese sandwich, put it in the fridge and give your child a giant block of cheese instead.

15. You walked away from the ATM without taking your money.

16. You stop at the green lights while driving.

17. You look everywhere for your sunglasses that are perched on your head.

18. You find cartons of milk in the freezer from who knows how long ago.

19. You pour mouthwash into your contact lens case instead of saline.

20. You find your watch in the crisper.

21. You give the kids “top and tail” wipe downs at night to avoid bath time drama.

22. Your phone is always missing, usually turning up in the fridge.

23. You try to plug the phone charger into the baby instead of the phone.

24. You put cat food into your salad instead of tuna.

25. You find yourself spitting toothpaste straight onto the floor instead of the sink while brushing your teeth.

26. You make your kids dinner earlier so that you can trick them to go to bed earlier.

27. You make forts in the living room so the kids can play by themselves and you can lay on the cushions and still supervise with one eye open.

28. If you have a newborn in particular, you haven’t washed or changed your clothes (except undies) for over a week.

29. You put Desitin on your toothbrush instead of toothpaste.

30. You find your umbrella in the fridge.

31. While holding your baby, you ask your spouse where the baby is.

32. You wash your hands with moisturizer.

33. You lose your keys, cups, debit card and find them all in the trash. At least you know where to look when you “lose” things!

34. You have trouble making a cup of tea—you make it with no water, or make a cup then put in the fridge (leaving the milk on the counter) or you make a cup of tea minus the tea.

35. You roll on insect repellent instead of deodorant.

36. During the night, you roll over in bed to pat and shush your husband.

37. You walked out of the house all “done up” with make up, nice hair and a nice dress, but wearing fluffy pink Ugg boots.

38. You give the baby a scoop of cereal and a scoop of coffee for breakfast.

39. You wear your T-shirts inside out.

40. You sign an email with “xxxxx” to your boss.

41. You pour milk into the coffee machine tank.

42. You fall asleep standing up while rocking the baby to sleep.

43. You try to answer the phone with the TV remote.

44. You sleep in the same clothes you wore during the day and just stay in them them next day because hey, you’re already dressed, right?

45. You ask a question and forget the answer the moment it was given and have to repeat the question.

46. You want to call your friends at 6am. You’ve been up since 4am with the baby after all, so 6am seems like a decent time to call.

47. You lie down to “play” with the baby but you’re secretly having a two-second power nap before getting hit with a toy.

48. You put your newborn’s diaper on the toddler.

49. You catch the train home from work and then remember that you drove to work that day.

50. You turn up to your child’s “meet the teacher” appointment…a week early.

51. You put cayenne pepper on your cereal instead of cinnamon.

52. You try to open your front door using the car keys.

53. You wash your face twice because you can’t remember if you washed it the first time.

54. You put your undies on inside out or backwards.

55. You answer your phone when the baby’s toy one rings in the stroller.

56. You find a pair of undies in your hair that you mistook for a scrunchie.

57. Strangers stop you in the street to tell you your dress is on backwards/tucked into your underpants.

58. You’ve left the house in very wrong shoes.

59. You cracked an egg into the garbage bin and put the shell in the pan.

60. You’ve poured your smoothie/coffee/wine into a sippy cup.

61. You step into the shower in your pajamas.

62. You rock the cart at the supermarket when you’re there without your baby. And sometimes, it’s not even your own cart, but a stranger’s cart that you’ve accidentally walked off with.

63. You put salt in your coffee instead of sugar.

64. You microwave your iPhone instead of a heat pack.

65. You book your child into classes in the wrong borough.

66. You catch the train to work on a Saturday.

67. You roll insect repellant onto your face instead of sunscreen.

68. You forget your ATM pin number that you’ve had for 20 years.

69. You tell strangers your baby’s name is Justin when they ask (when in fact, it’s actually Jonathan).

70. You try to fold the stroller down with the baby still inside it.

This article was first published on MommyNearest.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

To Market, To Market! Market Basket Giveaway

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

I am so obsessed with bags. Not fancy pants handbags (although I love them too!) but mostly bags that I can use to carry all the stuff around that I have to lug now I have a kid. I’ve tried all kinds of backpacks and shoulder bags, and I’m currently really enjoying the Market Basket.

This really cute Market Basket was introduced to Australia by Lindy McLeod. The baskets have been used in France for a long time by women to carry their fresh produce in. I’m a strong believer in using recyclable bags for groceries rather than plastic anyway, so I really love that this basket does double duty for me. I can use it for my grocery shopping, and also for all of Cheese’s stuff that I inevitably need to take with us, like water bottle, snacks, spare clothes and toys.

These baskets are genuine French-style market baskets imported from Morocco. Each one is uniquely handmade using traditional methods, and is made of strips of woven palm leaves from a species of date palm – Phoenix Dactylifera. The strips are then sewn together and the basket built up in “rounds” into the traditional triangle shape, variations of which can be found in countries all around the Mediterranean. The handles are of genuine Moroccan leather and firmly fixed to the baskets so they won’t pull off. Handles are either short so the baskets can be carried in the hand or on the elbow, or longer to go over the shoulder.

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

The lovely Lindy send me a Market Basket “Mia” to test drive. I was full of intentions to use mine to get the groceries, but this happened when I tried to take it out the door. Cheese also loved my beautiful new basket and hijacked it to use as a toy carrier. It was so adorable I couldn’t resist taking a few photos (please excuse my messy apartment in the background! There’s nothing like spontaneous photos to show up when you need to tidy up.).

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

The market basket is also great for the beach (not that it’s beach weather in Sydney right now!). The basket is fine to get wet, but needs to be hung up after use to allow for drying thoroughly.

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

GIVEAWAY! WIN A “MIA” MARKET BASKET

Lindy at Market Basket is offering one lucky reader the chance to win their own Mia Market Basket. (RRP $49). To enter, fill in the form below and tell me what you’d use your basket for.

Entry open to Australian and US residents. The most creative answer will win. This is not a game of chance. Competition is open Friday June 5 2015 to 11:59pm Wed June 10 2015. For full terms and conditions click here for Aussies and here for the U.S.

Thanks so much to Market Basket for sending me the basket for reviewing purposes. 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

30 Things I Never Thought I’d Say Before Becoming a Parent

30 Things I Never Thought I'd Say Before I Became A Parent via christineknight.me #parenting #family #kids

I had all kinds of best intentions before my daughter was born. I was going to be kind, patient and wise. I wasn’t going to yell or swear or judge. I was going to be the very model of perfect parent who my daughter would adore. Sound familiar? So far, my sage words of life wisdom haven’t been heard by my preschooler’s tiny ears so much as this barrage of “please dont’s” and poo talk. How many of these 30 sentences have you said to your child today?

1. Good job on your poo, honey!

2. Stop calling me “poo bum.”

3. It’s not nice to keep yelling “poo poo bum bum.”

4. Wipe the poo out of your front business.

5. Keep your pants on.

6. Undies to sit on the couch, no bare bums.

7. Don’t put that in your mouth.

8. Don’t put that up your nose.

9. Don’t touch anything in the bathroom.

10. It’s not nice to “kill” people.

11. Stop licking my face.

12. Don’t sit on the dog.

13. Don’t kiss the dog’s face.

14. Don’t lick my jeans.

15. Stop carrying the dog by its neck.

16. You need to wear pants to school.

17. Don’t spit water in other people’s face.

18. Stop hitting me on the bottom.

19. Use your words.

20. Using myself in the 3rd person: “Mommy loves you!”

21. Don’t drink the pool water.

22. Don’t drink the bathwater.

23. Get your fingers out of your nose.

24. Can you please pee in the toilet today, not your pants?

25. Mommy doesn’t want your boogers wiped all over her face.

26. Don’t touch the poo on the floor!

27. Don’t wipe your snot on your clothes.

28. Stop yelling at me!

29. I know, it’s sad that ice doesn’t shoot out of your shoes like Elsa.

30. Mommy needs a break!

This article first appeared on MommyNearest.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

My Life Didn’t Have “No Meaning” Pre-Kid

My Pre-Kid Life Was Kinda Awesome #parenting  via christineknight.me

I can’t help but roll my eyes when I hear people say things like, “My life didn’t have meaning before I had a baby.” Seriously? These people must have had pretty boring lives pre-kids. I love my daughter and I love my life with her, but you know what? My life before I had her was pretty awesome too! Here’s a little tribute to my old life—may you rest in peace.

1. I had time for my husband
Like, all the time in the world. He was the center of my attention and I put a lot of time and effort into him and our relationship. I’d do little special things for him, like going out of my way to make his favorite dinner (even though I’m a pretty average cook), or writing him love letters and leaving them in places for him to discover. We were a pretty loving couple and it was wonderful being the focus of all of one person’s attention and love in return.

2. My dogs were my babies
My two little fur babies were the next biggest focus of my time. In addition to pampering them and giving them all of my attention after my husband, they were spoiled with non-stop belly rubs and ear scratches—something that they don’t get so often these days as they do tail tugs and neck hugs courtesy of our preschooler.

3. Traveling was important
I love to travel to new places and explore cities all over the world. Before we had our daughter, my husband and I found a lot of joy in our travels through learning about different cultures and immersing ourselves in world history. Our trips were at a different speed and tone. Sitting in silence in cathedrals. Flying in a helicopter over the cliffs of Kauai. Climbing mountains in the south of France to visit the ruins of Cathar castles. It was all wonderful.

4. Developing a career
I really enjoyed working and growing my career with no other distractions. I could devote time to my job without it taking away from time with anyone else, and still leaving time for family, friends and the man who became my husband. When at work I was able to focus on the tasks at hand and not be wondering if being there was or wasn’t the right choice.

5. Investing time in myself
With so much spare time I was able to really enjoy hobbies. I dabbled in life drawing and sewing. I blogged and went on evening photography walks. I had so much energy that I played basketball at night and took dance classes and rock climbed on weekends. Being active like this made me happy and would still make me happy if I was able to return to doing it! I was able to indulge myself with nights out dancing with friends at a moments notice and sleep away a hangover the next morning without someone peeling back my eyelids. I found meaning and joy in all of these little inconsequential things that added up to my life.

I feel like we need to celebrate all the stages of our lives loud and proud. Admitting I loved my pre-kid life doesn’t mean I don’t love my current one. People who never have kids are leading amazing meaning-filled lives, as are people who are retired and exploring on their own, or teenagers taking a gap year to discover themselves before starting college. There is meaning and value at every stage life brings us, and I’m all for enjoying each moment as much as possible, and then bidding a fond goodbye as the next stage beckons us in.

This article first appeared on MommyNearest.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

28 Signs Your Child Is “Spirited”

28 Signs Your Child Is Spirited #parenting via christineknight.me

If you have a child who is all systems go from dawn till dusk, and whose emotions run high 24/7, it’s likely you have a spirited child. If the giant bags under your eyes as you feverishly reach for your third coffee of the day aren’t enough of a giveaway that you’re living with a “spirited” child, here are a few other signs that might be familiar with…

1. Your child bounces out of bed every morning at 7am, 6am, 5am or earlier.

2. Food is consumed on the go because they don’t sit down long enough to eat.

3. “Sleeping through the night” is myth perpetuated by people with less-spirited children.

4. If you take your child to a cafe they get up and down from their place and generally run around until it’s time to go. Their bottom may or may not ever actually touch a seat.

5. Every decision is a battle. Yes, it’s raining and you need a jacket. No, sandals are not appropriate for a hurricane.

6. They bounce all day long and refuse to nap.

7. They even bounce into and on their bed at bedtime, and you end up pleading/begging/bribing them to go to sleep.

8. You usually get a visitor during the evening when you’re asleep—sometimes more than once a night.

9. No matter how active you keep your child during the day, it never wears them out.

10. Your child literally passes out asleep in the middle of singing, chatting and insisting they’re not ready for bed.

11. At preschool, your child is the one who wants to play chasing, hiding and dress up games all day long, when other kids like to draw, look at a book or have a nap.

12. Meltdowns are around every corner. It’s a minefield out there.

13. If you cut their sandwich in triangles instead of squares, they’ll cry like they’ve been stabbed.

14. You have to meet with your child’s preschool teacher yet again because he or she has been throwing things/stamping her foot/being generally defiant again.

 

15. Other people’s kids look pretty easy to you, even when there are three of them and you only have the one.

16. You answer the question “When are you having another child?” with, “Are you crazy?”

17. A trip to the playground is an activity that needs close monitoring as your child is always the one who wants to climb equipment for older kids, or tries to follow bigger children when they climb up giant trees.

18. At the end of the day, you are so exhausted that the mere thought of going anywhere, like, say, the gym, is a hilarious joke.

19. When it’s time to leave a playground, your child cries as if you’d told them they can never play again.

20. Saying goodbye to a friend? It’s like they’re never going to set eyes on their face again.

21. When things don’t go their way, the tears and foot stamping are almost enough to make you give in, just to shut them up.

22. Your child has extremely good vocal projection. Lovely when they sing, not so much when they’re yelling “no no no no no no!”

23. Playtime at home involves climbing over the backs of couches and on top of kitchen cabinets. It can also involve launching oneself off of these pieces of furniture.

24. You use words to describe your child like “intense,” “high energy” and “emotional”—and they’re only three years old.

25. You’re dreading the teen years because the toddler years and preschool years have been emotionally exhausting already.

26. When your child actually wants to focus, they can get so immersed in what they’re doing that disrupting them is a last resort (see #12).

27. You get sick of hearing the word “please” because the context is usually, “please can I?” and it’s repeated a million times until you give in.

28. You wish you could capture all that energy and bottle it. All of that enthusiasm could power your house for a year.

This article fist appeared on MommyNearest.

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.