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

 

The Week So Far. . .

baby driver

Its Friday! in this part of the world anyway, which means the weekend is here. Down Under Dad actually has this weekend off work so more time outside, more time for adventures, and more time with the family.

How has your week been? Considering the weather has still been unseasonably warm, the week has been relatively straight forward in the Down Under Household.

Tuesday

So while nothing overly exciting happened on Tuesday, you will understand why I brought it up in a minute.

Tuesday is daycare day for Oliver. From the reports we get back from the centre, some days it feels like he has more fun there then he does at home.

Normally on a Tuesday Mrs Down Under would go to work, with Down Under Dad not starting work til later in the day, it would fall to me to get the little guy up and ready for Daycare whenever he woke up.

This Tuesday however Down Under Dad had been asked to work during the day rather then the afternoon like usual. Normally this is a good thing, and this week was no different. However it did mean that the morning routine which usually doesn’t have a time limit, was rushed.

Now I won’t bore you with the details, but of course a 2 year old doesn’t really understand when there is a sense of urgency about getting ready. It also happened to be a morning after a night of interrupted sleep (see Toddler Sleep Regressions). This meant that not only were Mr and Mrs Down Under Dad tired, but so was the little guy.

How does the morning routine go in your household? Is it always organised chaos? or have you got it down to a fine art? I’m keen to hear your tips.

Wednesday

Regular followers would know that Wednesday mornings means Swimming Lessons with the little guy. You can see our previous experiences here Swimming Lessons .

The swimming lessons happen the same time every week throughout the year except for during school holidays. That means that we are 2 weeks into this term of lessons. It also means that not only did we have a 2 week break before this, but due to A Week with a Sick Toddler , we actually had 4 weeks off.

swimming lessons

For most people 4 weeks off wouldn’t be an issue, unfortunately when you are dealing with a toddler, 4 weeks off can seem a lifetime.

To summarise, swimming lessons aren’t exactly going swimmingly (#dadjoke) at the moment, fingers crossed another week and they will be back to the usual fun.

After swimming we needed to duck into the supermarket for some urgent supplies (literally wearing the last nappy we had), unfortunately getting back into the car with groceries in one arm and a toddler in the other proved difficult. If you follow me on Instagram @downunderdadblog you already know how this goes.

Our 2 year old’s fascination with cars has reached the next level, now he feels the need to pretend to drive the real ones. Oliver managed to climb into the drivers seat before Down Under Dad had a chance to strap him in and wouldn’t budge. What followed was a long ordeal (15 minutes or so) of Dad sitting in the passenger seat while the little guy pretended to drive.

baby driverWhile there is a smile on his face, every time I asked him to hop in the back I was politely told No No No!

Thankfully the hostage situation ended peacefully with the subject restrained.

Friday

This morning we had arranged for our tax returns to be completed. Again I won’t bore you with the details, but the little guy was surprisingly well behaved.

As we had left home in a hurry, we decided to eat out for breakfast. If you have read about Our Quick Escape – Part 1 then you would know we really enjoy eating fancy for breakfast.

The venue we decided on was Table 1 Espresso , we had been before but when the little guy was much younger. The difference now was we needed 3 meals between us not 2.

As before the service was great, as was the food.

Breakfast

As you can see breakfast consisted of Bacon and Eggs etc for Dad, and pancakes for Mum and Oliver.

The thing about eating at a restaurant with a toddler is that you never know just how much you are going to eat. If you don’t order them their own meal, then they will proceed to eat all of yours. If you do, chances are even if its a ‘kids’ serving, it will be too much.

Today proved to be a combination of the two.

20180803_1119041909921049.jpg

A combination of the two in more ways then one, in the picture above you can see the little guy’s excitement at mixing his ice-cream with Mum’s juice.

All in all everyone enjoyed their meal, the little guy didn’t eat much but his meal was finished off by Dad without hesitation.

The Weekend

As its Friday today, that means the weekend is tomorrow. What have you got planned? Mr and Mrs Down Under Dad are having a child free night, which means its finally time for another Date Night .

Enjoy the Weekend!

 

1/8/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

spontaneous dad joke

any resemblance to actual kids is purely coincidental

A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption.

One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named Amal. The other goes to a family in Spain. They name him Juan.

Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Amal.

He responds, “They’re twins! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.”

spontaneous dad joke

For more Dad Jokes check out Dad Jokes of the Day

or follow me on twitter @DownUnderDadbg

 

Top 10 Dads on Twitter

top 10 tuesday twitter dad

Its Tuesday which means its time for another ‘Top 10 Tuesday’ segment.

This week’s topic is Twitter – or more specifically, Dad’s on Twitter.

Now I’m going to come out and say it, and if you don’t hear from me again you will know that the secret ‘Parenthood Illuminati’* have quietened me for making this secret public.

*may or not may exist

Twitter is where you find out what really goes on in Parent’s Lives. Its Honest and Unfiltered, and for the most part a judgement free zone.

But as this Dad Blog started off as a resource for Dads who need some support, I feel its my duty to bring you:


The Top 10 Dads on Twitter


Note this list is the Top 10 that I have found so far, given the sheer size of Twitter and the number of parents in the world, this list is by no means comprehensive. Here they are in no particular order.

1) Shaun Smith –  @Shaundsmith80

Shaun daily posts cover the hilarious side of parenting


2) Twinzer Dad – @TwinzerDad

If you thought having 1 toddler was tough, try having 2 the same age.


3) ThreeTimeDaddy – @threetimedaddy

As the Dad of 3 he has a lot of experiences under his belt, and has no problem with being honest about them.


4) Richard Dean – @dad_on_my_feet

Most of Richard’s daily funnies come not so much from what he does, but the responses it generates from his kids.


5) Dad and Buried – @DadandBuried

For something a bit different he tweets more about his life as a Dad, rather then what his kids do.


6) Modern Dad Pages – @moderndadpages

While normally a good source of retweets from various Dads, he can occasionally be found asking the real questions in life,


7) A Bearer of Dad News – @HomeWithPeanut

This Dad is great for supporting other Dads on Twitter,


8) Dad Bits – @DadBits

This Dad has some older kids compared to others I follow. While the stories are different, the themes remain the same.


9) The Real American Dadass – @R_A_Dass

Its the honesty of this Dad that keeps me entertained the most.


10) Mr. Dad – @parenthoodperks

As the Dad of an infant, these tweets bring back a lot of memories, and help prepare for the future.


So if you’re a parent on twitter, then definitely follow these guys for those days when you really need a laugh.

If you’re a parent and you’re not on twitter, you probably should be.

If you’re on twitter and you don’t have kids, use this as a way to see what parents are really going through.

After another Top 10 List? Check out last week’s Top 10 Random Facts about Newcastle

Weekly Wrap Up – Sunday 29th July 2018

Weekly Wrap Up

Ready for the week to start all over again? me neither.

My work roster gives me a 4 day week and a 6 day week, unfortunately this week was the latter of the two. That means less time spent with the family, less adventures, and less time writing for my readers, it doesn’t mean it was a quiet week though.

We should always spend some downtime reflecting on our day to day happenings, that’s what this is about,

Down Under Dad presents – The Week that Was.

The End of our Quick Escape

After a busy couple of weeks I finally got around to finishing my account of our short getaway, you can check out Our Quick Escape – Part 3

In case you haven’t been following, part of the reason for our little holiday was our family is about to become bigger, you can check out the details here When 3 become 4. . . . The other part was to celebrate our little guy turning 2 and Mr and Mrs Down Under Dad surviving 2 Years of Parenthood.

The main focus of day 3 of our getaway was our visit to the Hunter Valley Zoo. While we didn’t spend a full day there, it was well worth it to see Ollie’s reactions to finally seeing animals that he had only ever seen in books, in real life!

20180713_1129221649452515.jpg

Down Under Dad is Famous

Well, not in the traditional sense of the word, but hey, you gotta take the small wins when you can get them.

I was invited by Chris of Dad of Divas to be featured on his segment Dad’s in the limelight. A series of interviews with various Dads around the world answering questions to give you a deeper understanding of them.

You can follow the link to check out the full interview Featured – Dads in the Limelight

featured dad

How many Parties is Too many Parties?

You already know that our little guy recently turned 2 and the celebrations were out of control (well, as out of control as you would expect for a 2 year old).

What you might not know is that he has group of friends all with birthdays within 2 months of each other.

What does this mean? every year around this time the Down Under Family spends at least 1 day of most weekends attending a child’s birthday party.

You can check out our adventures at 2 of them here 2nd Birthday Bonanza

toddler playground megamania

If you can’t tell already they were pretty wild too.

And it Wouldn’t be a Dad Blog Without?

Dad Jokes of course!

If in need of a good laugh you should check out 25/7/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

and there you have it, the week that was!

Stay tuned for the week ahead!

or if you have been away for awhile and want to see what we have been up to, check out Weekly Wrap Up – Sunday 22nd July 2018

2nd Birthday Bonanza

toddler playground megamania

With a title like that you’re thinking one of 2 things, either:

  • I am one of those (insane?) parents who not only celebrates the birthday of their children but the entire month, or
  • We somehow had another child born within a couple of weeks of our first – now that would make for a good story.

note, you could be forgiven for choosing option 1 as we did go away for 3 days leading up to the little guy’s 2nd birthday, you can read about it here Our Quick Escape – Part 1

Or I could be wrong and its something completely different, either way I’ll offer up a third option;

More 2nd Birthday Parties to Attend!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before but my wife has a group of Mum friends that she is really close with. They all met during antenatal classes before babies came along and stayed good friends, the Dads became friends too, albeit not as close as their other halves.

Anyway that means they have a group of friends all with kids around the same age. That’s means the kids all know each other and are growing up together (to a point). This also means that their birthdays are around the same time of the year.

Last year that meant every weekend for almost 2 months there was a 1st birthday party to attend – if we’re honest it was the most social any of the group had been in 12 months.

This year the calendar isn’t quite as fully booked, but there has still been some fun to be had, you can check out the celebrations for Oliver’s 2nd birthday here 2 Years of Parenthood

Want to see how we celebrated his friends birthdays?

Party Number 1

Well 2 if you count ours as number 1.

So our Party was held at a Pub, Party number 2 was held at a local Play Centre called ‘Megamania’ – Think Multi-Story indoor playground.

As far as a venue for a kids party goes, this would have to be right up there. Its secure so your kids can’t escape – not that they would want to, they provide party food, drink, and cake – because you can’t have a party without cake, and the fun is physical enough that your toddler will be worn out enough by the end to have a sleep – at least you hope so anyway.

toddler playground megamania

The playground itself is imposing enough for an adult (would be close to 3 stories tall), let alone a toddler.

No, don’t worry, the playground doesn’t have some inbuilt spy cameras, to give Ollie enough confidence to play by himself, Down Under Dad had to play with him for the first few times.

You can see below just how high the playground is

toddler playground megamania

After being forcefully removed by his Dad as cake was being served, the little guy ended up going back inside all by himself – #proudparentingmoment right there.

If you look closely you can see him up the top

toddler playground megamaniaIf you look over the right of the photo you can also see the large red slide. While this was the cause of much joy and laughter, it wasn’t without some bumps.

At some point Ollie decided to go down on the slide by himself. Long story short he ended up with a small friction burn on his chin. Like a true toddler though he continued playing like it was nothing, he did however drag Dad back up to the slide each time after that though.

Overall the Party was a success, although it didn’t quite wear him out as much as we would have thought.

Party Number 2

or is it 3??

The next party was something completely different again. The venue? a local park, if you have been following you would know that this is a dream come true for the little guy, check out Weekend Adventures .

Luckily at the moment we are going through a surprisingly warm time for the middle of winter. Not only is it warm but the sun is out and there is little wind. Perfect for a day at the park.

One of the bonuses of this park was it was also only a short drive away, no major planning needed and anything we forgot was a short trip back home.

note, not that we did, I did see that as a bonus though in case we needed it.

A feature of the park was a large network of paths connecting BBQ areas and playgrounds. This proved to be the perfect chance to try out one of Ollie’s birthday presents.

toddler bike

Before you say anything, yes he does have a helmet, but it was left at home – only a short drive away. Not that we did go get it, #parentingfail ,  to be fair he didn’t actually spend a lot of time on the bike.

He did however choose to eat freshly cut fruit over crackers and dip, already choosing the healthy option, that has to be a #parentingwin right there.

toddler playground park

Did we mention at earlier that this party was held at a park? part of the reason not a lot of time was spent on the bike was that he was distracted by the play equipment.

Here you can see him climbing up the netting, the first couple of times he got stuck at the top but once we showed him where to hold on, he did it all by himself, over and over and over.

Unfortunately our time at this party was cut short as Down Under Dad had to work in the afternoon, however a great time was still had.