26/6/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

dad joke of they day

What’s for Dinner. . .

An elderly dad was concerned his wife of fifty years was going deaf so he went to a hearing specialist who gave him some sound advice ( no, that’s not the joke )
“Stand behind her but at some distance and ask her something…the closer you need to get before she answers will determine the severity of the hearing loss and we can rectify accordingly.”
So the husband goes home to find his wife preparing dinner and from the other side of the room he asks her a question. “What is for dinner love?”
No response so he walks a few steps closer and again asks
“What is for dinner, love?”
Still nothing so he takes a few more steps and becoming concerned, raises his voice
“What’s for dinner love?”
Still no response so he gets right up behind her and yells
“WHAT IS FOR DINNER LOVE?”
and his wife turns around and says.
“For the fourth time…curried sausages!”

dad joke of they day

Weekend Adventures

toddler beach

Its the Weekend! As good of a reason as any to celebrate. Its also my weekend off work, which means its definitely a reason to celebrate.

For those not local we have gone through close to 2 weeks of cold, wet, and windy weather. Your probably thinking to yourself that its Winter, What do I expect from the weather.

The weather isn’t generally something that bothers me. It does however ruin your plans to go outside with your 2 year old who would spend all day outside if you let him. 1 or 2 wet days, that’s manageable, 1 or 2 weeks, and your toddler starts to get cabin fever (no, not the 2002 horror movie about flesh eating bacteria, honestly who would write about that), the kind that drives you a little insane as the limited activities inside the house get repetitive after awhile.

Getting back on track, The weather is Dry, Sunny, and not windy. What does that mean? well its finally a chance to go adventuring outside.

The Hair Cut

This one had been planned for a few weeks, and to be honest was going to be happening rain, hail, or shine. A Haircut for the little guy!!

Now this isn’t exactly a momentous occasion, he has had them before. However with his 2nd birthday rapidly approaching we thought it best to get him trimmed before hand so in the photos it actually looks like we look after him.

note, that wasn’t a dig at parents who choose not to get their child’s haircut. It was stating a fact, his hair tends to grow pretty wild and needs to be kept in check.

Now I don’t know any toddler that actually enjoys getting their haircut, we have found a place that specialises in child haircuts though. They will keep cutting even if your child is screaming. Sure the child will be sitting on your lap and if will be your to hold them still but they will get the hair cut done.

Based on that description you can probably guess how it went.

toddler hair cut

Yes they even let you sit in a car or a plane while you get your hair cut. If that isn’t going to make you happy not a lot is. Note, the above picture was taken after the hair cut, when he was more then happy to have a play. 

Hair cut complete it was time for our next activity. . .

The Park

As I mentioned earlier the weather was about as good as you can get in the middle of winter in this part of the country. The opening of a brand new park a short drive away was the perfect destination to get over the trauma of a hair cut, soak up some vitamin D, and let out some energy. Apparently everyone else had the same idea.

A little bit of shyness around a big crowd was quickly cured by some reassuring looks from mum and dad and a slide down the smallest of 3 slippery dips and the little guy was in his element.

adventures with dad

Of course after we decided to explore some more of the play equipment, the slide designed for toddlers was not enough for our little daredevil who had to climb the netting to go down the next size up slide, over and over. Once Dad got bored of this we decided to check out the biggest of 3 slides, which requires a fair bit more climbing for a toddler. After a couple of practice runs on Dad’s lap, he was going down by himself and loving it

toddler slide park

What had originally planned to be a quick stop, turned into almost 2 hours of playtime! What does this equate to? one tired little child.

A Quiet Afternoon

The rest of the afternoon was a bit more relaxed, consisting of lunch, a nap, some cooking, and some outdoor art. A concrete driveway and some chalk is all we needed for some more fun outside, and while it didn’t last that long, it was still nice to be outside.

Sometimes the simplest things can be fun for a toddler.

The day was finished off with a visit from a friend and an early dinner. Unfortunately an early dinner doesn’t always mean an early bedtime for our toddler – see Toddler Sleep Regressions

More Fun in the Sun

Today the little guy was lucky to have his Grandma and Pop and one of his aunties come to see him. Again the weather was perfect so we decided to head out for the afternoon.

One of the best parts about where we live is the proximity to the ocean. Newcastle is known for its beaches for a reason. Not only are they beautiful, but the surrounds are perfect for spending a sunny afternoon.

toddler beach

While waiting for our lunch to be ready we spent our time chasing the birds and watching the waves on the beach.

We also raced. What is racing you ask? racing is our latest trick where we count 1, 2, and he says “Go!” and runs forward. Once you get started you often don’t even need to count, he will just say Go and run.

Once lunch was over we walked back towards our car past another park!

toddler park

While the equipment at this spot wasn’t nearly as exciting as yesterday’s, it still provided entertainment for awhile.

After spending a few hours running around in the sun, it was time to head home. A short walk to the car, and a short drive home. The little guy was asleep within 2 minutes of us starting the car.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, which means back to work tomorrow, but what a fun weekend we have had. One thing about outdoor adventures is that they certainly are a great way to entertain toddlers – Go To Tricks For Entertaining Kids

How did you spend your weekend? What adventures did you go on?

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Toddler Sleep Regressions

sleep regression effects

The term every parent doesn’t want to hear.

You think you finally getting the hang of raising a toddler, your sleep patterns have gotten a little more regular, you no longer act like a zombie during daylight hours. Everything seems to be going pretty smoothly, and then it happens.

Your toddler starts to take a lot longer to go to sleep of a night, your toddler goes through a couple of days without naps, or what starts off as one bad night of sleep turns into multiple nights.

sleep regression

You start to wonder if you have done anything different? or if your child might be sick, and then it clicks. That dreaded term you had only heard rumors of or read about online comes back to haunt you. That’s right

Toddler Sleep Regressions

Yes they are a real thing that the majority of us will experience. They are not just a legend told to scare parents.

Thankfully there is plenty of information available online from experts about what exactly a sleep regression is: sleep regression refers to a period of time when a baby or toddler who’s been sleeping well suddenly begins waking at night and during naptime, or even refusing to go to sleep at all (Baby Sleep Site).

So at least you will know if you are going through an actual regression, or you know, your child is just being painful.

If you have been following for awhile I have actually written about this before in A Good Nights Sleep Is this a reoccurring theme? maybe, all well, this is a Dad Blog after all.

Our Current Situation

Last night our toddler decided to wake up at around midnight, to a non parent this might seem funny, to another parent this may seem like a common occurrence and something we should be used to. Either one would be fine, if he had decided to go back to sleep before 5am.

note, I need to be honest here, it wasn’t actually last night this happened, it was earlier in the week, but yesterday I was too tired to write something that at least made sense.

sleep regression effects

If this was the only ‘refusing to sleep’ event that had occurred recently I would put it down to a bad night, unfortunately its not.

As a shift worker I am not home most evenings when its time for our little guy to go to sleep, so the ‘falling asleep’ routine has fallen upon my wife. She is fine with this (as far as I know), what does get to her is when a routine that used to take all of about 10-15 minutes to complete, lately has been taking up to 2 hours. Yes, that’s 2 hours of comforting, watching, settling, before he falls asleep.

As you can imagine this tends to have an impact on our sanity. It does help to know we are not alone though. Baby Sleep Site has written a good article on the topic here. However as parents know, every child is different and it doesn’t matter how many articles you read or strategies you research, sometimes you just have to wait it out.

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22/6/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

dad joke of they day

the name is Zimer, Al Zimer

An elderly gentleman walks into an upscale cocktail lounge. He is in his mid-80s, well-dressed, hair well-groomed, great looking suit, flower in his lapel and smelling slightly of an expensive after shave. He presents a very nice image.
Seated at the bar is a classy looking lady in her mid-70s.

The sharp old gentleman walks over and sits alongside her. He orders a drink and takes a sip.

He slowly turns to the lady and says: “So, tell me; do I come here often?”

dad joke of they day

Shopping for Kids Toys – With Kids

kids ride

Shopping for kids toys has got to be one of more fun jobs that comes with raising children, albeit an expensive one.

The Down Under family has just returned from an after daycare / after work, impromptu  shopping trip. The occasion? The Annual Big W toy sale. You can read about previous shopping trips with kids here – Shopping with Kids.

note this isn’t an ad, just a rundown of our afternoon.

As we discovered this time last year when our toddler was about to turn 1, Big W has an annual toy sale during which not only are a lot of their toys on special (duh), but they offer extended lay-by services until Christmas. Unfortunately last year we had already bought his presents for his birthday, but were able to get our Christmas shopping started.

This year we knew it was coming, in fact it started at midnight last night. While we were planning on leaving it until the weekend, reports from friends told us “all the good toys are selling out”, so this afternoon we ventured out.

As I mentioned before this was an after daycare trip, which meant our toddler was already tired, was that a risk we were willing to take? absolutely! Did he play up while we were there? it could have been worse.

shopping with kids

Above photo was taken during a pit-stop, here I am trying to get a laugh out by sitting in the tiny car next to him, as you can see he is not impressed.

The thing about these toy sales is you generally know what you want to buy before you go in – we had a catalogue circled ready to go. If you have been following for awhile you already know my thoughts on Kids Toys. The other thing about these toy sales is the toys aren’t just confined to the toy section of the shop, they are everywhere. What does this mean?

Firstly is it takes a lot longer then you would expect to find what you are looking for. You want cars? better check the book section, looking for Lego? check the home-wares, Dinosaurs? clothing. I could go on but you get the idea.

Secondly is that you have no idea if something has sold out, or if you just haven’t found it yet. Sure you could ask someone, but then they have to go check. Got a few things you can’t find? you are going to be asking a lot. If someone from Big W happens to be reading this, next year make a map. Seriously it wouldn’t be hard, and would make shoppers lives a lot easier, in fact give me early access to get exactly what I want without the crowds and I’ll even make one for you.

Now I won’t go into detail around how many times we walked around the store, or how long we waited in line for lay-by. But if you happened to be there, our child was the one riding around on the trike getting in everyone’s way.

I’m also not going to spoil the surprise of what we bought. If you keep following his 2nd birthday is only weeks away so you will see then what he gets, Christmas is also closer then you think so you will see those too.

If your after a clue, checkout my post – Vocabulary of an Almost 2 year old, it lists a few of his favorite words which match some of his favorite things.

After a couple of hours shopping, an early dinner out as well. Sometimes its the simple things that put a smile on your child’s face.

kids ride

 

When 3 become 4. . .

baby coming soon

I could start this off with some cryptic math related sentence as a bit of a red herring, but given this is a parent related blog, most of you have already guessed what I’m about to say.

We’re Expecting!

That’s Right! We are Happy to Announce we are going to be welcoming another member to our little family.

Down Under Bub #2 is joining the family sometime in October.

Here’s a little sneak peak

Baby

As you can see the baby looks just like its Dad, Just kidding, I hate when people say they can see who the babies look like from a scan at 20 weeks. It looks like a Baby, a happy healthy baby.

Now for a bit of fun,

Can you guess what we are having?

Stop! don’t scroll any further

We are working on a honesty system here.

I want you to guess what we are having,

you have a 50/50 chance of getting it right.

Chosen your answer?

.

.

.

its a girl

Get it right? Well done!

Get it wrong? really? you had a 50/50 chance. . .

Cue all the quotes “now you have one of each”, “you can stop now” etc etc.

We are so excited to share this news.

and yes, you will be hearing a lot about this on my blog moving forward.

baby coming soon

 

19/6/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

dad joke of the day

wait for it. . .

A guy is taking his girlfriend to the prom.

He waits in the ticket line for a really long time but he gets them

He goes to rent a limo, but the rental line is really long, but eventually he does it

He goes to buy her flowers. The line at the florist is really long but eventually he gets the flowers.

At prom she asks him to go get punch, he goes to the refreshment table. . .

. . .and there’s  no punchline.

dad joke of the day

More Daily Dad Jokes below

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Hit for 6 and Out!

6 and out

There is no better Aussie past time then Backyard Cricket. While every yard is different and everyone skill set varies, the rules always remain the same. Hit the ball, run back and forth, get caught on the full or between the stumps and your out. But there is also 1 more rule, the 6 and out. Hit that amazing shot that clears the fence, breaks a window, goes into the river, or anywhere else generally out of bounds, and its a 6, and out.

Is this a post about cricket? not exactly. After a great long weekend away with the family last week, and a relatively easy start to the week for work, Down Under Dad was struck out!

6 and out

That’s right! The Down Under household had been hit with the flu. While we aren’t under strict quarantine yet it has already spread from one family member to another with the 3rd on high alert to try and avoid getting sick.

Last week our little guy paid a visit to the doctor as he wasn’t well. Now I am going to start this off by saying he used to hate going in for a Dr visit. While he would be OK in the waiting room, as soon as we were called into the exam room, a tantrum in one form or another would reel its head.

This time I am happy to say was quite the opposite. While there was a small cry, by the end of the exam there was ‘high fives’ and ‘fist bumps’ all around. Sure this was helped along by the offering of a free balloon by the DR which Dad continually inflated and let go, and the stamp on the hand for being a good boy (although this almost caused a tantrum as well). But as with most parenting moments, the best advice is often to do whatever works.

Turns out our instincts were right and he needed a dose of antibiotics to get back to his usual healthy happy self. If its one thing you learn as a parent, its to trust your instincts. Despite what anyone else around you says, and sorry Dad’s in this situation often Mum knows best. If you think your child’s health warrants a trip to the GP, then take them. Remember they often don’t know they are sick and even more often can’t tell you.

man flu

This week the illness my son got, had mutated not only into the fabled Man Flu, but all the way into the Dreaded DAD FLU!

How is the Dad flu different to the Man flu? well how do you normally cope with the flu? Do you wrap yourself in blankets, lie on the couch, and watch reruns of your favorite TV Show?  well that sounds like a great coping mechanism, but as a Dad its not that simple.

Parenting doesn’t switch off just because you are sick.

I am going to take this opportunity to call out the amazing job Mrs Down Under is doing at supporting me while I am sick. She is constantly going out of her way to take as much of my part of the parenting load off me so I can recover. I also know she reads this blog so Thanks Again!

So is it time I stopped relying on my age and health to push me through the winter season without getting sick? Should I be getting the yearly ‘flu shot’? Hard to say. But given Dad’s can be stubborn and I (hopefully) won’t get sick again this year once this passes. Who knows what next year will bring.

Got any hints or tips for beating the Flu? or how to avoid it all together? I’d love to hear them

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16/6/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

spontaneous dad joke

Australian’s always have the last laugh. . .

After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, British scientists found
traces of copper wire dating back 200 years and came to the conclusion that
their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 150 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the British, in the weeks that followed, an American
archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story
published in the New York Times: “American archaeologists, finding traces of
250-year-old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an
advanced high-tech communications network 50 years earlier than the
British”.

One week later, Australia’s Northern Territory Times, reported the
following:

“After digging as deep as 30 feet in his backyard in Tennant Creek, Northern
Territory, aboriginal Billi Bunji, a self-taught archaeologist, reported
that he found absolutely fuck-all.
Billi has therefore concluded that 250 years ago, Australia had already
gone wireless…”

spontaneous dad joke

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Long Weekend Family Roadtrip

family roadtrip

Long weekends are great for spending time with your family. Whether its a project in the yard, an outing to the park, or a quick trip away, Public Holidays are the perfect opportunity to catch up on family time.

For the Down Under Family, this long weekend meant a quick trip away. Friends of ours were celebrating their child’s 3rd Birthday so we used the time to make the 5 hour drive down to join them.

Although it was a long weekend, my work meant the public holiday wasn’t a day off so we made the plans to drive down one day and home the next. With a toddler in the car whose longest car trip previously had been 2 and a half hours.

family roadtrip

The Plan

Down Under Dad had to work the Friday night before the weekend so the plan was to leave early Saturday morning. This would also avoid the dreaded ‘long weekend traffic’ – a dreaded situation that no one likes to be stuck in, that only seems to occur around public and school holidays. Generally due to the fact everyone likes to use the long weekend to take a short trip.

Even though we were only going for 1 night, it is amazing how much we needed to pack. A bag for Mum and Dad, a bag for the little guy, and a bag for the car because no one wants to be on the side of the highway going through the boot looking for nappies. We also took a chilled bag with drinks and snacks for everyone, and some toys in case we needed distractions over the course of the trip.

The route we were taking was never going to be an issue. It is a fairly straightforward drive with highway 90% of the way. The remaining 5% could and has been a major traffic jam in the past. This could easily add another half an hour to the trip.

Once at our destination we would stay the night and make the return trip the following afternoon.

Sound like a pretty clear cut plan that’s bound to succeed? As any parent would know even the best laid plans are never stuck to 100%.

The Drive

So after not sleeping much on Thursday night, our 2 year old decided Friday night would be a good night to catch up. Good for Mum as she needed a good rest, Good for Dad as he had a long drive ahead. Bad for the plan – before we even left. Our planned early departure time of between 7 and 8 turned into just after 10.

The first stage of our trip went relatively smoothly albeit a bit wet. While there was no traffic, Mother Nature decided the rain that had been hammering us for a few days should continue for our trip.

After a quick pit-stop for fuel about 1.5 hours into our trip, we were back on the road for the longest part of the drive. Thankfully at this stage our toddler decided it was time for a nap which meant we no longer had to listen to his playlist but could enjoy our own.

A further 2.5 hours into our trip and it was time to stretch our legs and have some lunch. A widely known fast food restaurant on the side of the freeway worked out well, even if every other family on a long weekend road trip had the same idea. With Lunch in our bellies and our toddler having exhausted some of his energy we were back on the road, probably a longer break then we had planned.

20180609_135821455814646.jpg

A quick check of Google Maps told us we only had another 1.5 hours to go! Great that means we are on the home stretch.

One thing about the trip is the weather did improve as we got further along, while it does make for easier driving, a break in the rain back home would be nice too.

Another hour in and our youngest decided it was time for another break. Thankfully along the highway there was plenty of places to get out of the car and stretch the legs. Our rest area actually came with a view as you can see, according to the map it is Lake George, although one may think their GPS was off track.

lake george

One thing about living in Australia and travelling south is that it gets colder, especially in winter. Having left our jumpers in the car the rest was short and we continued on.

Not long after we arrived safely and relatively sane.

The Return Trip

The following days journey went without issue, for the most part. Our breaks were fewer and shorter which meant total travel time was reduced by almost an hour.

While the weather had improved on our way down, it was the opposite on the way home.

Our son had napped for what seemed like a short time on the way down, was almost non-existent on the way home. While he wasn’t necessarily upset, his mood was maintained by his favorite tunes on repeat, this and the rest of the family singing along. Put it this way if we didn’t know the words on the way down, we learnt them on the way home.

The Learnings

Note, some of the items on the following list we may have already known, but they are wise tips none the less.

  • Snacks – not just for your kids but yourself as well. Do yourself a favor and pack a variety, because if your toddler is anything like mine then they like to have a choice.
  • Packing the Car – If you won’t need it on the road, put it in the boot, the more space you have inside the cab the better. However, make sure you have a small bag handy with what you might need on the road, snacks, drinks, nappies, jumpers etc.
  • Be realistic about your time frame – don’t rush it, if you have deadlines then leave plenty of time despite what Google Maps tells you. What should have been a 4.5 hour trip down, was closer to 6 once breaks were included.
  • Make a Plan, but don’t expect to stick to it.

Maybe next time this guy can do the driving. . .

baby driver