Category: Diary

Little Kids’ Music & Apps

Good Music for Babies/Toddlers 

  1. Medeski, Martin & Wood (try Let’s Go Everywhere)
  2. Caspar Babypants (try Sing Along!)
  3. Justine Clarke (try Pyjama Jam)
  4. “Kids & Family” playlists on Apple Music e.g. R&B, Soul, etc! (Search for “kids family” to find all the playlists)

Good Apps for Babies/Toddlers 

I have a huge bunch of apps for my wee kid (who’s now 2, but I started showing him apps before he was 1). Initially, I just had “baby” ones, but then I realised that even if an app is too old for him, he still plays/experiments with it in ways that are fun for him.

For example, he likes playing the “Endless Wordplay” app, even though he doesn’t know how to spell anything. He likes looking at the letters and asking about them, and he likes tickling the robot who drops the letters.

 

PAGE 1

  1. Baby Karaoke – 10 songs with animations, made by the fantastic Raising Children crew.
  2. Fisher Price Animal Sounds – animal sounds.
  3. Toca Band – get characters to play in a cool band together.
  4. ABC Kids iview – videos.
  5. Fiete – little games/puzzles.
  6. LEGO Trains – train ride story with little games/puzzles.
  7. Fiete Choice – little games/puzzles.
  8. Sandra Boynton’s The Going to Bed Book
  9. Sago Mini Babies Dress Up – dress ups.
  10. Tachin Tachan – little musical animations/games.
  11. Fisher Price Storybook 1 – 2 nursery rhymes.
  12. Fisher Price Let’s Count Animals – simple animations.
  13. Sandra Boynton’s Moo, Baa, La La La! – book.
  14. Toca Fairy Tales – dress ups.
  15. Toca Kitchen Monsters – feed monsters.

 

 

PAGE 2

  1. Fiete Sports – little games/puzzles.
  2. MarcoPolo Weather – play with the weather.
  3. Sago Mini Friends – animals visit each others’ houses – includes little games/puzzles.
  4. LEGO Food – make burgers, sandwiches or ice cream in a little story-game.
  5. Avokiddo ABC Ride – little games.
  6. Fisher Price Learning Letters Monkey – 4 learning games.
  7. Endless Wordplay – learn to spell.
  8. Sandra Boynton’s But Not the Hippopotamus – book.
  9. Go Go Thomas! – racing trains game.
  10. Peekaboo Fridge – learn names of food items.
  11. Bugs and Buttons – multiple games/puzzles.
  12. Fisher Price Storybook 3 – 2 nursery rhymes.
  13. Toca Dance – create a dance, then watch it.
  14. Sago Mini Holiday Trucks & Diggers – shovel & transport snow.
  15. Toca Doctor Lite – help the doctor fix a patient.

 

 

PAGE 3

  1. Fisher Price Giggle Gang – little animations.
  2. Fiete Farm – little games/puzzles.
  3. Crayola Colorful Creatures – little games.
  4. LEGO Ice Cream – my kid’s favourite. Go on a search for ice cream! Story with games.
  5. Fisher Price Shapes & Colors – little animations.
  6. LEGO Circus – put on a circus, feed the animals.
  7. Sandra Boynton’s Barnyard Dance – book.
  8. Sandra Boynton’s Blue Hat, Green Hat – book.
  9. Fiete Match – little games.
  10. LEGO Animals – story with games.
  11. Fisher Price Peek ‘n’ Play – little animations.
  12. Kinderling Kids Radio
  13. Avokiddo Beck and Bo – little games.
  14. Toca Hair Salon – cut and style hair.
  15. Toca School – play being at school.

 

 

P.S. While writing this, I have also downloaded Fiete Christmas, Fiete KinderZoo, Toca Hair Salon Christmas, MarcoPolo Ocean, MarcoPolo Arctic, MarcoPolo Recall, Endless Reader, Endless Numbers, Mr Potato Head, Endless Learning, the Hey Duggee Christmas Bumper Bundle, and the full version of Toca Doctor. I might hide these in a folder and gradually release them over the next year.

P.P.S. Avokiddo Emotions is fabulous, but James has that one on his phone.

POV

Every now and then, if I reflect on everything that has happened since buying these babies from the Baby Shop, I think:

  • I must write about stuff I would recommend for new mums/dads (I always meant to write a “Babby Stuff 3” post after Babby Stuff 1 and Babby Stuff 2, but then couldn’t make the brain-space for it)
  • I must write about apps that are cool for little kids
  • I must write about music that’s cool for little kids
  • when you are a stay at home mum/dad, by gosh it is isolating
  • a million other thoughts
  • AND
  • this whole experience has been a lesson in how, when something in your life changes,  fundamental beliefs can change too.

Of course, we have periods in our lives where we gradually, at a snail’s pace, evolve, and we emerge through the other side with some core tenets of our personality changed.

I remember being about 17 and watching OLD PEOPLE go into a “over 30s” night club on a Friday night in Hawthorn, and thinking:

  1. I will never grow that old! That is so old!
  2. Ewwwww! Old people dancing! That is so gross!!!!!!!!!
  3. I will never, ever, ever, stop dancing. But I will also never grow old.

Then, one day I’m in my thirties and I remember that little passionate moment. And I remember how strong my beliefs were – I was unequivocally certain that I would never feel any differently.

I also remember, in my twenties, thinking that I would never be a boring person at work. There were some boring people in one of my first jobs – they came in on time, left on time, didn’t socialise, did the bare minimum of work, and were really jaded. I would never ever be like that!

Then, one day I’m in my thirties and I find myself hating one of my jobs – going into the workplace and knowing that even though I had spoken to my manager about my work dissatisfaction, nothing would change; even though I was currently job-hunting for something better, I didn’t have hope that something better was out there. I was going into the workplace on time, leaving on time, not socialising, feeling (and looking) utterly jaded.

Yep.

But there was a long gap, a long evolution between those kinds of transformations. At least a decade each time. And they’re the sorts of changes we have where we can be a bit dismissive of our previous selves – because of youth, or naivety, or ignorance, etc.

The transformations after having a baby are much more immediate, and so you don’t dismiss your past self so easily. You realise how much your past self – a fully grown adult, hopefully not too ignorant – was a complete DUFUS. A close-minded dufus.


An example:

A few times, in my past, I’ve come across advertisements where people were seeking to re-house their pet, because they now had a human baby. Each time I saw such an advertisement, I thought: “How can they! What cruel people! That poor dog/cat has known them all their life, how can they discard them like that! Even if they are super tired or whatever, surely it will be better for the dog/cat to get a few months of being ignored and then they will be able to resume their love & attention for their old friend!” – and I also thought – “I would never do that!”

Well. Overnight, my beliefs changed. After my first baby was born, we asked my parents to look after our dog for a couple of weeks, because we knew we’d be very sleep-deprived. But as time went on, I was dreading getting the dog back. It wasn’t just that I was sleep-deprived. I also had a huge amount of stress and emotion, and I couldn’t take on one more responsibility. When we did get the dog back, I didn’t handle it very well. I found it really hard to even feed him dinner. He was one more layer of stress. There were times when I was super tired, and I had just lulled the baby to sleep, and even though I was so deeply tired, I was desperate to have a bit of alone time – to just sit on the couch and gather my thoughts – and then the dog barked. I cussed. I shouted. I was so cold to the dog. I wished, very much, that he was around people who could look after him and give him some TLC.


It’s confronting when a belief changes that quickly. And it makes me think about all the other beliefs that I hold, or beliefs that other people hold, and how, with a couple of little tweaks in our lives here and there, I could probably see their viewpoint, or they could see mine.

That’s one of the reasons I get bummed when people disparage Trump supporters, or anti-refugee protestors, or One Nation supporters, or the people who voted for Brexit, or men’s rights activists. We don’t get anywhere good by being mean. I feel like Obama gets this.

(OK OK OK OK OK OK. There are many other examples of ways my beliefs have changed since having kids, but I seriously need to get on with some other tasks now, and I need to stop writing here!)

Mexico / Dream Home

My kids are in a pretty straight-forward routine, now. The eldest is almost 2, the youngest is 7 months. I’ve been feeling less brain-tired, more organised, more motivated. Different priorities have been able to emerge, as a result.

I would like to write more, think more, get my house in order (metaphorically & literally), plan a big house renovation, and start at least one side project that is completely separate from my day-job.

Even with our little routine in place, I cannot fit in journalling. I prefer journalling to happen in the morning, requiring about 30-45 minutes, and I am not prepared to wake up before the kids to make that happen. My kids wake up at 8am, and that is A-OK by us. We are very happy to have our evenings to ourselves; to have from 8pm-11pm doing whatever we want to do, then a good 8 hours of sleep.

As a temporary fix, I’ve started the Five Minute Journal questions, every morning and night, to get back into a different way of thinking. Before, when I was brain-tired, I could only live in the moment. I couldn’t think of a fabulous future birthday gift for a friend, or plan how to get my house in order. I couldn’t do anything that required much brain energy. I couldn’t even read a magazine. I have about 30 unread magazines on my desk. But now I have a bit more energy, I want to grow it.

I went to my bookshelf and picked this small notebook for my Five Minute Journal.

The photo doesn’t do it justice. The notebook is gorgeous. Vivid but subtle, textured but smooth.

I bought the notebook in Mexico in 2013. We were trying to find a cafe one day, and found a bookshop-cafe, which is one of my favourite ever things, and even though the prices were crazy, I allowed myself to buy one (1) book and one (1) notebook as a special, memorable treat. (The book was Blow-Up and Other Stories – beautiful and amazing.) I had to choose this notebook, because it reminded me of everything I’d been seeing in Mexico – colour, depth, character, stories, decoration, emotion, history, meaning. Seeing it made me reminisce about Mexico, even though I was still there! It was the opposite of the aesthetic back home, in Melbourne, Australia – plain, minimal, chic or functional, no decoration, no stories or history or emotion or depth captured in our buildings, houses, gates, doors, cars, sidewalks, train stations, or tea cups.

I already missed the aesthetic.

I’m now looking at this wee notebook every day, for my mini journalling ritual. <3

Related:

We are buying a house. The paperwork will go through very soon. We have the opportunity to renovate, and I’ve been thinking about how to step away from this plainness, this sterility of the Australian aesthetic, and to give some warmth and character and meaning and colour to our sweet home.

It might take a bit of work to convince my partner, but I would really like a couple of murals / wall paintings in our house.

Not this pastel, but…

Something!

With all the details of the house, I’d like to do this. Make it not plain, somehow. I miss Mexico.

 

September & October Updates

Need more time. Have little time*. I say this every month! I am trialling having a nanny for one day a week. We shall see. Almost all the way through October and I’m just getting to this September post. OOPS. I have returned to yoga class after a long absence. And one night, I went out with my sister shopping. It feels weird to be out “on the town” at night! I am so glad I am being a parent now, in my thirties, not in my twenties. I would have felt FOMO times a million.

What else? Well, the big news (besides Sky turning 6 months) is that we are buying a house and planning to renovate it.

My attitude towards house/home until now was something like – “I’d like it to look nice, but it’s more just a place to sleep; I’d rather go to beautiful cafes and bars and restaurants and have a beautiful workplace to go to, instead of putting a big amount of time and effort into making my living quarters look amazing.” I think that’s because I was always renting, so I never really felt I could make any significant changes to my abode, and it wasn’t worth spending money on nice furniture (or nice anythings) because I’d probably move in a short while, and my stuff mightn’t look good in the new place.

But when we were talking about buying the house, I realised that I was being daft thinking about how I wanted to work at beautiful workplaces and holiday at beautiful vacation spots – home is actually where I spend the most time (soooooo much time), so my home should be the place that I make divine, amazing, wonderful! Such a dumb revelation, but yeah. I want my home to be like the most beautiful workplace I could step into, or the most gorgeous getaway. I want to drive up to my house and think, wow, I love my house! And step into my home and think, wow, I love this place. I love my bedroom, this kitchen, this lounge, this garden, this space.

So. That is the big project for now. Lots and lots of renovation planning. Making a pretty and fun and calming and cosy and loving space for these cuties.

 

*and when I say “time,” I mean brain space/energy. I do have some free time during the day, when the kids are asleep, but then I am pooped. Like right now.

August Updates

I have zero time for reflection. I must have had so much time to think, before. I do have down-time – about one hour in the middle of the day, and three hours at night – but I can’t say I ever get any reflection-type-thinking done. I tried writing a letter to a friend the other day, and it was so hard! You have to be able to think in a certain way to write a letter, reflecting upon your own thoughts and then considering the other person’s life too, and I couldn’t do it very well. Writing here is the same.

I gotta make more space. Just a little. The equivalent of a “weekend” each week. Or just a Saturday. Something like that. Time to think.

I’m loving my life, though. Looking after two babes, nurturing them, enjoying our days, experiencing so much fun (for example: we’re on holidays at the moment and my babes are an excuse for me to go down the waterslides over and over and over!). Happy Fox.