A Day off with Dad

a day off with dad

For the little guy, Wednesdays are A Day off with Dad each week. It works out well as Ollie goes to daycare Tuesdays and Thursdays, and while Mrs. Down Under is still working until Bub #2 comes along (see When 3 become 4), Dad and the little guy get to spend the day together.

Breakfast with Dad

Whether its a  normal working day, or a Day off with Dad, breakfast it always the first port of call. Literally as soon as we are out of bed Ollie has to drag me to the kitchen to get it started.

Given we have been going through Winter and our house is often cold in the morning we have been having porridge, for breakfast, every day. Although since Down Under Dad has gone back to working days, there have been some mornings where Mrs. Down Under has had to organise breakfast.

That meant today when I tried to make porridge, our 2 year old was adamant that he was having cereal instead. The box of Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut that had been left unopened was in his sights, and while he did finish most of a bowl, the rest did end up scattered around him.

Getting Set for a Day off with Dad

One thing about Wednesday mornings is that they can go very quickly. Our first adventure has a deadline of 9:30am, which may not seem early, but anyone with toddlers will tell you that you can never leave enough time to get ready.

With Mrs. Down Under heading off to work early, if the rest of the household isn’t awake by the time she leaves, then its safe to say we will be rushing to get there on time.

The other thing about Wednesday mornings is that, that is when our Bins get collected. This means that our first adventure on a day off with dad is putting the bins away. While this may not seem like an adventure for most people, it is when you have a 2 year old who has to help with everything.

a day off with dad

Swimming Lessons

Longtime followers of Down Under Dad and the adventures on a Day off with Dad, would know that swimming lessons are a weekly occurrence. We have been taking the little guy for lessons for around 12 months now. You might ask how we managed this in Winter? thankfully we decided to take him to Balance at Wests Mayfield where not only are the pools indoors, but the one used for lessons is heated too.

If you want to read some of our previous experiences with swimming lessons you can check out Swimming Lessons Part 1 and Swimming Lessons Part 2, not only do they document our experiences, but also provide some helpful advice for new Dads (or any parents really) who are planning on taking their toddlers swimming.

a day off with dad

As I’ve been lacking in my posts lately, you might not be aware that the last few weeks Ollie hasn’t really been enjoying his swimming, there have been tears on multiple occasions and he has been going backwards in his skills.

Well today I am happy to report that we made some progress!

  • He showed progress in some of the skills they are taught
  • He only argued during some of the activities
  • and the tears didn’t come out until right at the end.

While it may not seem like much, you have to take the wins where you can.

Note, the tears probably could have been avoided, but given he was finally showing some progress both Dad and the instructor pushed* him a little too hard at the end.

*I don’t mean literally pushed, just let him swim freely for too long.

Coffee Break

Any parent would know that spending the day with a toddler without your other half can wear you out. While this is all part of being a parent, a Day off with Dad often requires multiple caffiene hits throughout the day.

What started as a reward for following instruction during swimming has quickly turned into a weekly routine. After the lesson is over we sit in the sun while Dad has a Coffee and Ollie has a Chocolate Milkshake.

There is always some confusion when I go to order them though as Ollie can’t quite pronounce the word Milkshake yet, and as you can see in Vocabulary of an almost 2 year old, when I say the word Coffee, he proceeds to refer to it as a Hot Tea.

After finishing our drinks and snacking on a cookie, or as he refers to them ‘bickkies’ it was time to keep moving.

Dad’s Visit to the Doctor

Now before you start worrying, Dad’s visit to the Doctor was nothing serious. With Bubba #2 not far off, Down Under Dad needed to get his Whooping Cough vaccination updated. Don’t worry, I’m as happy as you are that it wasn’t serious, after being Hit for 6 and Out earlier in the year, the last thing I want to deal with is another Week with a Sick Toddler

Every parent would remember when they had to take their newborn babies along to the doctor for their first set of immunisations. You know walking into the room that it isn’t going to be pleasant for anyone involved, and when your baby starts screaming afterwards, it can bring a tear to your eye.

Just to clarify, today’s appointment was for Dad, not for the little guy. However when they Doctor came into the room to give Dad his injection, Ollie burst into tears, despite it having nothing to do with him. The Doctor was even nice enough to give him a lolly afterwards to help settle him down.

Dad can we stop for Ice-Cream

Located beside the Chemist where we saw the Doctor is a Baskin Robbins Ice-Cream Parlour, which depending on which way you look at it can be a good or a bad thing.

One method often used by parents to calm their kids is bribery. Given I’ve said I will always be honest on this Blog, Yes, Yes I did resort to bribery, but to be fair, I also wanted the Ice-Cream.

While he still hasn’t mastered some of the skills he needs to swim safely in the pool, he does a pretty good job of not making a mess when eating an ice-cream.

a day off with dad

The Remainder of the Day

Heading home after ice-cream it was time to wind down. While according to the clock we were only halfway through the day, again anyone with a toddler will tell you sometimes that’s enough for them.

Without even making lunch, the little guy promptly told me it was time for a ‘bot bot’, which roughly translates to “I’m ready for a nap”. I say roughly because despite him telling me he was ready, the 35 minutes we lied there before he fell asleep says differently.

By the time he woke up, Mrs. Down Under had returned home from work, which meant a day off with dad had come to an end.

 

5/9/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

dad joke of the day

The world’s leading expert on European wasps walks into a record shop.

 

He asks the assistant “Do you have ‘European Vespidae Acoustics Volume 2? I believe it was released this week.”
“Certainly,” replies the assistant. “Would you like to listen before you buy it?”
“That would be wonderful,” says the expert, and puts on a pair of headphones.
He listens for a few moments and says to the assistant, “I’m terribly sorry, but I am the world’s leading expert on European wasps and this is not accurate at all. I don’t recognize any of those sounds. Are you sure this is the correct recording?”
The assistant checks the turntable, and replies that it is indeed European Vespidae Acoustics Volume 2. The assistant apologizes and lifts the needle onto the next track.
Again the expert listens for a few moments and then says to the assistant, “No, this just can’t be right! I’ve been an expert in this field for 43 years and I still don’t recognize any of these sounds.”
The assistant apologizes again and lifts the needle to the next track.
The expert throws off the headphones as soon as it starts playing and is fuming with rage.

“This is outrageous false advertising! I am the world’s leading expert on European wasps and no European wasp has ever made a sound like the ones on this record!”
The manager of the shop overhears the commotion and walks over.
“What seems to be the problem, sir?”
“This is an outrage! I am the world’s leading expert on European wasps. Nobody knows more about them than I do. There is no way in hell that the sounds on that record were made by European wasps!”
The manager glances down and notices the problem instantly.
“I’m terribly sorry, sir. It appears we’ve been playing you the bee side.”

Workplace Antics – Drought Relief

drought relief

Today at work we played dress-ups. No Seriously, this isn’t a bad joke, or some bad creepy game, we actually did.

While it wasn’t the kind of dress-ups you might have expected, it did have a serious note attached to it.

DROUGHT RELIEF

Warning, Shameless plug incoming.

The business I work for has gotten behind the country and is supporting the Relief cause to aid with the ongoing Drought our country is experiencing.

Our Workplace decided to go one further with this and raise some additional donations from within our team and our local community.

This is where the dress-ups came into it, since the cause was for drought relief for our farmers, the team decided to dress up in ‘country’ style.

drought relief

While there was a lot more of us, not everyone is happy to be on camera.

Warning, another shameless plug incoming.

The team may be camera shy, but they did raise over $600 between them, and are pretty good at convincing our customers to do the same.

OK, so it wasn’t really dress-ups, in fact I’d say a lot of my colleagues probably just raided their own wardrobes.

Reblog – 16 Hilarious Parenting Memes

parenting meme

Reblog from Father-Hood.co.uk

As I was doing some nightly reading to catch up on what every other Parenting Blog (and more) have been up to I came across this one that I felt the need to share with everyone.

16 Hilarious Parenting Memes

Anyone who is connected to the various social pipes knows what a meme is and appreciates and values their humor.

While non-parents may still get a laugh out of this list,

Only parents will truly understand them.

parenting meme

Enjoy!

Fatherhood.co.uk’s 16 Hilarious Parenting Memes

Weekly Wrap Up – Monday 6th August

weekly wrap up

Its Monday, which means its the start of a new week. It also means I am a day late with my weekly wrap up.

and while I could give you any number of excuses why I am running late this week, I’ve said from the start I would be honest with you and I simply don’t know why.

The Down Under household had a fairly busy week last week which partly attributed to the missed timeline, but also my thoughts have been thinking outside of just daily posts to keep you updated and trying to think about the bigger picture, big things are coming.

But enough excuses, here it is, the week (and 1 day) that was.

Top 10 Tuesday

Last weeks Top 10 was all about Twitter (way to many T’s I know), and the hilarious Dad’s that use it to share their real lives with the world. I say real lives as Twitter is where the truth comes out.

Just check out some of these Dad’s and you will know what I’m talking about.

top 10 tuesday twitter dad
By Friday the Down Under Household’s week had already been full so I called a time-out and updated you with

The Week So Far

Tuesday the whole family was overtired, thanks a lot Toddler Sleep Regressions

Wednesday started off as usual with our weekly Swimming Lessons and ended up with a hostage situation that lasted a horrific 15 minutes.

baby driver

Friday’s first stop was the tax man, a boring affair by all accounts, but a well behaved toddler meant it was followed up by a fancy breakfast.

You can read all about it here The Week So Far. . .

If you actually read it you would also know that Mr and Mrs Down Under also had their first child free night in months on the weekend. Why is it that when you finally have the free time without children, all you want to do is relax and sleep.

Don’t forget the Dad Jokes

If you haven’t realised yet this is a Dad Blog, and you can’t seriously have a Dad Blog without the Odd Dad Joke – or in this case, without regular Dad Jokes.

This particular Dad Joke is the perfect play on words, also a good example why you should think carefully about what you name your kids.

spontaneous dad joke

So that’s it for last week in terms of the blog. Obviously more happened in the week then I posted about. However balancing a full time job with being a Dad means sometimes there isn’t always time to let the world know about every little happening. If you would like to keep up to date though I’d suggest a quick follow on Twitter @DownUnderDadbg or on Instagram @downunderdadblog

Been away for awhile, check out my previous weekly wrap up here Weekly Wrap Up – Sunday 29th July 2018

 

25/7/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

Dad Joke of the day

So there was this man in Bulgaria who drove trains for a living.

He loved his job. Driving a train had been his dream ever since he was a child. He loved to make the train go as fast as possible. Unfortunately, one day he was a little too reckless and caused a crash. He made it out, but a single person died.

Well, needless to say, he went to court over this incident. He was found guilty, and was sentenced to death by electrocution. When the day of the execution came, he requested a single banana as his last meal.

After eating the banana, he was strapped into the electric chair. The switch was flown, sparks flew, and smoke filled the air – but nothing happened. The man was perfectly fine.
Well, at the time, there was an old Bulgarian law that said a failed execution was a sign of divine intervention, so the man was allowed to go free. Somehow, he managed to get his old job back driving the train. Having not learned his lesson at all, he went right back to driving the train with reckless abandon. Once again, he caused a train to crash, this time killing two people.

The trial went much the same as the first, resulting in a sentence of execution. For his final meal, the man requested two bananas. After eating the bananas, he was strapped into the electric chair. The switch was thrown, sparks flew, smoke filled the room – and the man was once again unharmed.
Well, this of course meant that he was free to go. And once again, he somehow managed to get his old job back. To what should have been the surprise of no one, he crashed yet another train and killed three people. And so he once again found himself being sentenced to death. On the day of his execution, he requested his final meal: three bananas.
“You know what? No,” said the executioner. “I’ve had it with you and your stupid bananas and walking out of here unharmed. I’m not giving you a thing to eat; we’re strapping you in and doing this now.” Well, it was against protocol, but the man was strapped in to the electric chair without a last meal. The switch was pulled, sparks flew, smoke filled the room – and the man was still unharmed. The executioner was speechless.
The man looked at the executioner and said, “Oh, the bananas had nothing to do with it. I’m just a bad conductor.”

See more Daily Dad Jokes here: Dad Joke of the Day

Dad Joke of the day

Weekly Wrap Up – Sunday 22nd July 2018

weekly wrap up

The weekend is Over, you have done what preparation you could for the week ahead and now its time to sit down and get that final bit of relaxation time in before heading to bed to start the week.

This is the perfect time to catch up on the week that was, especially if your like me and have been slacking off, too busy, or just focused on other things, that’s fine, I understand, this post is made for you, a summary of the last week, or so.

Disclaimer, this is actually a two week summary as I missed last weeks. Sorry to mislead you but Weekly Fortnight Wrap Up just didn’t have the same ring to it.

Our Quick Escape

I told you I have been busy, our little family went away for 3 days to the beautiful Hunter Valley.

The first day was really a half day by the time we arrived. A filling lunch at a nice little cafe, a play in the park, and exploring the hotel rounded out the day, check it out here – Our Quick Escape – Part 1

quick escape hunter valley

The second day was fully packed from the time it started (around 2am). There was plenty of good food, we found some snow (in this part of the country??), and enjoyed some hot coffee. Some more fun back at the hotel and the day was over. Find out more Our Quick Escape – Part 2

I also told you I have been slacking off, so much that I still haven’t finished Part 3 – Coming Soon.

The Little Guy Turns 2

I’ve been blogging now for a few months and I just realised I never actually mention our little guys name. Oliver has finally turned 2 and Mr and Mrs Down Under are celebrating, not just his birthday but making it through 2 Years of Parenthood .

There was a wild party at the local pub to celebrate (as wild as it gets for a 2 year old), and plenty of new toys to keep Ollie occupied for at least a couple of days.

car

Twitter Mention

So it turns out that something Mrs Down Under stumbled upon on Youtube – Super Simple Songs is pretty well known. They should really teach you this stuff before you become a parent.

All I did was tweet something that my child did and tagged the artist and it went viral, well as viral as someone with 170 followers on Twitter can go.

baby shark

If you want to stay up to date and hear even more bad dad jokes (only the best ones make the blog), then give me a follow @DownUnderDadbg

Bucket List Contribution

A few weeks ago I came across a post from Wendy at Travel Drink Dine , asking for submissions for an Australian Bucket List. What better way to highlight the great city Down Under Dad comes from then by contributing a section for my hometown of Newcastle. You can find the full list here by following the link Reblog – The Ultimate Australian Bucket List – Travel Drink Dine

Random Facts about Newcastle

The contribution to the bucket list was only short and was more touristy then anything, sure it might interest you if you were travelling around Australia, it didn’t really give you much information.

After reading The Cole Campfire’s Top 10 Random Facts about Oregon I decided to make a similar list.

If you want to know more about where Down Under Dad comes from, check out Top 10 Random Facts about Newcastle . While it doesn’t neccesarily sum up the best things about Newcastle, it certainly has some interesting facts that not even the people who live here might know.

Nobbys Beach Newcastle

Dad Joke

Have you been paying attention? I told you only the Best Dad Jokes make it to my Blog. 2 Dad Jokes made it to the hall of fame that is the Down Under Dad Blog this week.

You can read the one about the Surgeon and his Patient here 14/7/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

Or if the Pope is more your style check out 21/7/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

dad joke

As I said at the start this wasn’t so much a weekly wrap up but a fortnightly wrap up as I’ve been a combination of Slack and Busy. This week should see a change in that.

Hope you’ve had a Great Week! Enjoy the week ahead. If your still awake and feel like some more light reading, you can check out the previous Weekly Wrap Up here – Weekly Wrap Up – Sunday 8th July 2018.

NEW-Dreamteam-badgeglobal-blogging-feature

2 Years of Parenthood

birthday party

When you were young, 2 years seemed like a long time, now as adults 2 years can go by pretty quickly.

This Dad is proud to say the Down Under Family has made it through 2 years of parenthood, that’s right our little guy has just turned 2 years old.

There has been plenty of good memories made from the last 2 years, there was also plenty of tough days. As always though the good ones will always outnumber the bad.

“The next time you think you are struggling with parenthood, just remember the duck that let all 5 of her ducklings go away before going looking for them”

But that’s not what this post is about, this is about our little guy turning 2.

kangaroo

His Birthday

As part of his birthday celebrations we went on a short break into the Hunter Valley which you can read about here – Our Quick Escape – Part 1

The last day of that break matched up with his actual birthday and we started the day off by going to the Zoo! You can read a lot more detail about that in the final part of that series.

Oliver got to see many of the animals he had only ever seen in books or on TV up close and even got to feed some kangaroos. While he did get freaked out by Dad feeding an Emu, he was amazed when the lions decided to roar at each other for a good 5 minutes non stop.

To summarise though at the age of 2 no matter how many times we told him it was his birthday, it didn’t really click until later on in the day.

When we got home we wasted no time in giving him his birthday presents from us. If you read Vocabulary of a almost 2 Year Old you probably have a fair idea of what we were getting him.

car

That’s right, his presents were themed from his 2 favorite things, Cars (not just any cars, has to be the licensed stuff), and Dinosaurs.

Awhile ago I wrote a piece on Kids Toys – Kids Toys . In this you can read my thoughts on how strict parents should be with the age guidelines on toys. Given the size of one of his dinosaurs, lets just say we still don’t follow these strictly.

His Party

I never wrote about the party we held for his 1st birthday as this blog wasn’t around. To get you up to speed, it was in our backyard (our small backyard), we did all the food ourselves (with a little help from our family), and Mrs Down Under made a multi-layer cake herself (with many practice runs). While it ran smoothly and the weather was great, it was also a lot of work, something we didn’t really want to do this year.

Fortunately we had found a great venue to have it. A local pub that has recently undergone renovations has built an indoors playground next to a large beer garden area. We booked the tables closest to the only entry point to the playground so the kids could play as they pleased and the adults could relax – as much as possible at a kids party.

birthday party

After a couple hours of playing, snacking, and a couple of drinks it was time for cake

“A Party without Cake is just a Meeting”

A simple ice cream cake with his favorite car on top was certainly a hit. So much that when the car was taken off a few of the toddlers wanted to ‘share’ the car. I say ‘share’ because we know how good toddlers can be at sharing.

Most of the attendees at the party were actually friends that the little guy made before he was even born. My wife’s mum’s group became friends before any of their kids were born and are still good friends 2 years down the track. What does this mean? it means that 12 months ago there was a party every weekend for close to 2 months. It also means that this is the first 2nd birthday party of many in the coming weeks. Stay Tuned!

21/7/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

dad joke of they day

So the Pope is SUPER early for his flight.

He asks his driver on his way to the airport if he could drive around for a while because they have time to kill and he hasn’t driven a car since becoming the pope.

Naturally, he’s a bit rusty, so he’s driving poorly, when suddenly he sees police lights behind him. He pulls over and when the officer comes up to the window his eyes go wide. He says to the pope “Hold on for a minute,” and goes back to his car to radio the chief.

Cop: “Chief we have a situation. I’ve pulled over an important figure.”

Chief: “How important? A governor or something?”

Cop: “No sir. He’s bigger.”

Chief: “So, what? a celebrity or something?”

Cop: “More important, sir.”

Chief: “A major politician?”

Cop: “No sir, he’s much more important.”

Chief: “WELL WHO IS IT!?”

Cop: “Well actually I’m not sure. But the pope’s his driver.”

dad joke of they day

Top 10 Random Facts about Newcastle

toddler beach

With a name like ‘Down Under Dad’, its pretty easier to pick where the writer of this blog comes from. However Australia is a diverse country with many different places and lifestyles scattered throughout an area larger then Europe and close to equal that of the United States.

One such place is my hometown of Newcastle. Want to know more? Here’s 10 random facts that you may not already know.

1. Newcastle is Australia’s second Oldest City. Settled in 1804 by convicts that were rebelled in Sydney.

2. The Bogey Hole was actually carved out of rock by Convicts for the governor’s personal swimming pool. Still a great place for a swim on the coast, just keep an eye out for the waves.

bogey hole

 

3. The Hunter Valley is Australia’s Oldest Wine Region. OK so not technically a part of Newcastle the city, but it is right outside.

4. Newcastle’s Fort Scratchley is the only coastal fort in Australia to return fire
at an enemy vessel during a time of war. During WW2 a Japanese Submarine shelled Newcastle targeting the steelworks, while they weren’t successful, Fort Scratchley did return fire.

5. Nobbys Lighthouse used to be on an island. Until the break wall was built to protect the entrance to the harbor and created one of Newcastle’s classic beaches.

6. A 225m long Bulk Carrier almost called Nobby’s Beach Home. After getting beached during wild storms, it lived there for almost 2 months.

pasha bulker

7. Sand from Stockton beach is exported to Hawaii.  We really do have some of the best beaches in the world.

stockon beach

8. Newcastle is home to the largest Coal exporting port in the world. Always fun for the kids to watch the big ships coming in and out of the harbor daily.

9. Newcastle shares its airport with the Australian Air Force. Its not uncommon to see the fighter jets practicing maneuvers over the beach. Although if you wait until you hear them its normally too late.

10. One of the most well known landmarks is shaped like a giant, uh. . . Remind me again why we are proud of it.

queens wharf tower

 

This post was inspired by a blog that started around the same time mine did. The Cole Campfire Blog recently posted Top 10 Random Facts about Oregon . I actually learnt some interesting facts from it which made me think not all of my readers would know where i’m from let alone where I got the name Down Under Dad.

Hope you enjoyed it and maybe even learnt something. I’d love for you to share some interesting facts about where your from. You can leave them below or link back to my blog.