Friday, April 29, 2011

iPad2 Fever!

Last night Lyndon found out that the iPad2 was going to be at the Apple store in the mall close to us at 10am so he asked me if I could go and get him one! Okay no problems I can do that :-)
He phones me on his way to work (8.30am) and said he was pretty sure there was a queue so maybe I should get down to the store! Huh ... I don't think so! I didn't even have Maddison dressed for school let alone finished her breakfast!
Anyway I made my way down there about 9.40am and joined the queue - I was about number 60! I have NEVER done anything like this in my life before ... the things you do for your best friend heheee I was the only pale face in line (seriously I was!). The doors to the shop opened just on 10am and I thought there might have been a bit of a mad scramble but no it was very orderly and 2 customers at a time went in and when they came out with their purchase the next 2 went in! :-) But sooooooo slow ... at 10.30am only 10 had been sold! I was thinking ... man this is going to be hours before I can go back home and I wished I had bought my book to read!
I didn't have much longer to wait though because one of the staff came out about 5 minutes later and said all the 3G models had been sold. So I just left hehee Someone said they only had 50 units, but I think 20 might have been more realistic.
I took a photo as I left!

I went upstairs to Harvey Normans and they had a big sign outside saying iPad2 sold out - more stock arriving tomorrow. So I asked one of the sales staff if I could order one. Yes I could - fill out this form and pay and they would phone when it arrived. But I said you have stock coming in tomorrow, I'll have one of those! :-) hehee No Mam I can't do that - they are for the people who queue!
So if Lyndon is really desperate for an iPad2 he can go and queue tomorrow morning and see if he's lucky enough to get one (can you just imagine him sitting outside the store waiting for it to open playing angry birds on his iPad1 heheee).
Hope your morning was spend better than mine!
Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A couple of LO's

Using my Studio Calico March kits :-)
Bedtime Story - everything from the kit except the white cardstock and yellow brad.

4 Wheeler Fun - everything from the kit :-)

They are pretty quick and simple, but hey that's working for me and I am slowly getting that pile of photos scrapped. :-)
Thanks for visiting.

Sketch Savvy - Sketch #34

I am being good and trying to finish off the 3 kits I got from Studio Calico in March :-) It's going to take me a while because there's so much goodness in them!! (so far I have done 13 LO's using papers from them and I still have heaps left!) I had been keeping the kits separate, but yesterday I put them all together so I can mix and match more easily. :-)
Anyway in one of the kits (the main kit I think) there was a packet of Jenni Bowlin chipboard stars and when I saw this sketch from Sketch Savvy I decided it was a perfect way to use those stars :-) (I have a print out of sketches from Sketch Savvy so it's easy to choose which one to use. Love how they use 6x4 photos.)

I sprayed the stars with yellow glimmer mist then stamped on them with the circle woodgrain stamp that was in the kit.

Making do with the alphas in the kit! (P was a B and L was a T!)
Everything from the kit except the mist. :-)
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scrap-it-Lah - Anniversary Bloghop Week 4

Scrap-it-Lah have had an 2nd Anniversary Bloghop this month and this is the only chance I have had to join in!! Oh well better late than never! The 4th week challenge details are set by DT Naddy. You have to create a 2 photo LO :-)
So here's my take :-)

Close up of hand drawn stitching ... grr to the sewing machine!

I have used a sketch from Sketch Savvy. You can see the sketch here - #30, it's one from last year but it worked really well with the papers from the March Studio Calico kits I had :-) Every thing is from the kits except for the thread and pen. :-)
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tips when Travelling with Kids

I've had a few people leave comments or email me about giving some tips for travelling with kids! I am by no means the expert, but I can tell you what does work for us (or doesn't as the case may be!) hehee :-)
Our trip last month they were aged Aaron 5 1/2, Maddison 3 1/2 and Samuel 10 months.

This is how we looked from behind ...
I had Samuel in the front pack and carried the trunki's. Lyndon had all the other hand luggage and held one of the kids hands, in this case Maddison and she also held Aaron's hand.

Front pack
If you are travelling with a small baby I would really recommend a front pack. You know your baby is safe and you also have your hands free to grab one of the other kids (heheee) or cart other stuff. We also had a small umbrella stroller which we checked in at the gate on the long haul flights. Not really for Samuel - it was more if one of the other kids got tired of walking. Sometimes it's a long walk between terminals especially late at night and they are really tired.
Most of my regular readers know that we bought trunki's for Aaron & Maddison for our trip back to NZ in 2009. Here's our honest opinion of these cases :-)
They are a great concept - I love them for putting the kids things in for travel (you can see here some pics of the inside of the case). But really ... using them as they are designed for (i.e. the kids riding them) is a complete waste of time and energy! Well it is for us anyway. I guess if your children are well behaved all the time, or you have kids that are afraid to let you out of their sight, or their ears actually are used for the purpose they are intended rather than being some sort of decorative accessory on the side of their heads, then they would be the perfect travel companion. But for us ... letting the kids ride them just creates trouble, stress and frustration! Trouble because when they are riding them they don't watch out for other people walking ... they are too busy looking down or behind to see where the other one is. Stress for us because their ears seem to be just for decoration and they don't stop when we ask and they are certainly not afraid to zoom off out of our sight. Frustration on their part when they fall off and frustration on our part with the stress factor!

Here's what I put in them.
  • A change of clothes in a plastic zip-lock bag
  • Their favourite soft toy (they are allowed to take only one when we travel)
  • A small polar fleece blanket (this is for when we arrive at a destination colder than Malaysia hehee)
  • Drink bottle (in a zip-lock bag!)
  • Snacks
  • Wet wipes
  • Tissues
  • Spare zip-lock bags
  • Reading books
  • Notebook
  • Colouring book & pencils
  • Activity book (dot-to-dot, maze, colouring, maths & alphabet exercises)
  • Stickers
  • Pencils, eraser, ruler, multi coloured ballpoint pen
  • Small toy (hot wheel car for Aaron, doll for Maddison, Samuel's toy was just something that was chewable hehee)
All their books and activities I put into a heavy duty plastic bag like this one.

Here's an example of what was in Aaron's bag.
Using this bag was a tip that one of Aaron's friends mothers gave me. It was a great one. We could just take out the entire bag from the trunki when we got on the plane and it fitted in the seat pocket in front of them or down beside them on the seat. They could keep the stuff in there rather than it getting scattered all over the place.
All the activity books and reading books were new to the kids. They had 2 picture story books each and one chapter book each which we read to them.
The trick to having things to keep the kids occupied is finding things you know they like. Both Aaron and Maddison love colouring and Aaron also likes activities and anything to do with math (he must get that from his father because it's certainly not my cup of tea!) ;-) The reading books I got them were ones I knew they wanted (Aaron is really into the Magic School Bus and Lego, Maddison had a story about a kitten and one about native animals in a rain forest). On the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore there is no on-board entertainment, so these activities came in really handy. But the Singapore to Christchurch flight there was entertainment (movies and games), so that's what kept Aaron entertained most of the time (he's a gadget kid through and through!). Maddison watched some movies, but she also did some colouring. I also had stickers in her bag and she spent some time sticking them in her notebook.
This last trip we had about 5 hours wait in Singapore before our flight to Christchurch. I bought a new dvd for the kids to watch on the laptop. We were also really lucky on the way over we were able to use a lounge which was awesome. Samuel was able to crawl about and burn off some energy! We weren't so lucky coming back ... it helps tremendously if your kids are well behaved! If one is throwing a tantrum you know for sure they won't want to let you in and will make up all sorts of excuses! (Not that I blame them really ... I probably would have done the same!) When that happens we just go some where close to the boarding gate and find a quiet spot where the kids can sit and watch and Samuel can crawl about.

By happy accident when we travelled in 2009 we didn't get the seats with the bassinet that we had requested. But actually it worked out heaps better because the arm rests on the seats with the bassinet don't lift up, so it's hard to get the kids comfortable to sleep. In the other seats you can lift the armrests and they can put their heads on your knee.
This last trip we were very fortunate that the flights between Singapore & Christchurch and back weren't fully booked so I was able to have the 3 seats with the bassinet for myself and Samuel and Lyndon, Aaron & Maddison had the 3 seats directly behind me. It meant that Aaron & Maddison could take turns at sitting with me if they wanted and it was also a storage spot for extra blankets and pillows.
The most USEFUL tip I can give you though is this. Make full use of the blankets they provide on the plane! Seriously ... they are a life saver! :-) You can see Maddison has it on her lap in this pic.
They catch the food spills (which do happen!) and also the vomit! Those blankets are a great help in cleaning up vomit! Believe me. The last couple of times we've travelled one or both of the kids have been sick and thanks to the blanket we have just rolled it up and given it to the air hostess to deal with - so much easier. To help stop the vomit though I would recommend you don't give the kids the orange juice they serve on the plane! It's too strong (we learnt the hard way!). Also the sick bags on the planes now you have to tear the top before you can use them. If your kid is going to be sick you do NOT have time to be fiddling about trying to tear the top of a sick bag ... that's why the blanket is a must! If you think or know your kids might be sick, it is a good idea to tear the tops of the sick bags before you actually need them! And if you don't need them they make good rubbish bags! :-)
I have a spare change of clothes for the kids in a ziplock bag - it's easy to grab that and the wipes on the way to the toilet if they do need changing and then you have a bag that you can seal with the dirty clothes. (Spare bags are a good idea too!)
All our kids have had dummies, but if your kids don't then I would recommend they have something they can suck during takeoff and landing if they have problems with their ears. Yummy Earth do some organic lollipops which the kids like.
Here's a pic of Maddison at aged 2 engrossed with her sticker book :-)

The bassinet does have other uses than for sleeping. When we went back to NZ in 2008 Maddison (aged 16 months) was really too big to sleep in the bassinet but it was a great playpen for her :-) (I did put her in there once she was asleep though and had her legs hanging over the edge!)
Toothbrushes from the airline are another good toy ;-)
This last trip Samuel only just fitted in the length of the bassinet for sleeping. The disadvantage to the bassinet is every time there is turbulence you have to take the baby out and buckle him back in with the seatbelt to you. That can be very disruptive to their sleep. If it's a bit bumpy I end up not even bothering to use the bassinet for sleeping.

Samuel ate his snacks in there too :-)
The things I had for Samuel's entertainment were snacks and lift the flap books which he just loves. Aaron and Maddison had several board books with lift the flaps at that age so I just put a few of those in for him to look at. He also liked going to the toilet and chatting to himself in the mirror while sitting on the change table :-) Singapore Air have toothbrushes and combs in a drawer in the toilets, so he loved fossicking through that as well :-) (Mind you so did Maddison! In fact every time she went to the toilet she wanted another toothbrush ... after the 3rd time I reminded her to bring the brush she had got the time before! Thankfully she was happy to do that!) :-)
I'd recommend you have something new for them for the return trip as well! I got them a new colouring book (from the $2 shop) and I had a different dvd for the wait in Singapore. Samuel had a new lift the flap book.
So that's it. I am sure I have missed out some things ... and I know that every time we travel things will be different. But that's what has worked (or not) for us in the past.
You know you are doing something right anyway when the couple sitting behind you on the plane comment to you that your kids were really well behaved :-) (that was with Maddison going to the toilet every 10 minutes at one stage (for the novelty of it), Aaron doing a huge vomit and Samuel chattering away like a magpie whenever he stood on my knee and looked at Lyndon and the other kids hehee).
Recently Ali Edwards did a couple of blog posts about traveling with her two kids which were great ... you can read them here and here.
Hope all this helps someone out there :-)
Thanks for visiting.

Hair Cuts and iPads

Yes it was time for Samuel to have another haircut! :-) I would hate for him to crash just because his hair was in his eyes hehee

I finally got a chance yesterday to take him for haircut number 2 (the first one was at the start of the year). This was just before we left (bed hair and all!) :-)
And after it was over he got a turn sitting in the chair by himself. :-)
Lyndon's birthday present (iPad) has been well used! It's a hot favourite with the boys!
Maddison has worked out though that she can have the computer to herself and play Barbie and Dora games without interruption when Aaron has the iPad :-)
Daddy's starting the training already! sigh ...
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Playground antics

Last week the kids discovered this jeep which someone has left down in the play area. It's battery is flat, but that doesn't stop the play!

SOO typical ... Aaron sorts it out that he has first turn!

This might look all very sweet, but there is SERIOUS negotiation going on here. Maddison had had enough of pushing and wanted a turn and Aaron wasn't getting off for anything!
Meanwhile Samuel was doing some exploring :-)

His socks had little grippy spots on the soles so he was up that slide as fast as you like!

Aren't I clever!
Time for me to get off the computer now - Maddison is requesting to play Barbies :-)
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weekly Challenge @ Scrappin Studio

Jessy posted a neat challenge over at Scrappin Studio yesterday.
The Challenge:
To create a layout that has a wrapping element.
Use the photo below as your inspiration

So using my March Studio Calico kits I came up with this ...
Only thing from my stash was the bakers twine. Do you like my play on the "wrapping" part of the challenge? hehee I used it in my title as well as with the twine. :-)

I am on a scrapping roll ;-) Have to stop now though as I need to think about cooking something for dinner.
Thanks for visiting.

Double LO

In March Get Picky had a great double LO sketch. I didn't get a chance to do it before we went on holiday, but printed it out because I knew I could use it for some of my many holiday pics!

I altered it a bit to stretch it to a 12x12 LO and used bits and pieces from the March Studio Calico kits again (including the stamp).

Left page
Right page
I used a dab of liquid pearls in the centres of the flowers. Ink I used on the stamp is Wild Honey Distress Ink. I have given up on the sewing machine for now so just drew a dotted line around the perimeter of the pages hehee

Pretty simple, but I am keen to get those holiday photos scrapped as quick as possible, so I can start printing the next lot!! hehee ;-)
Thanks for visiting.

Scrappin Studio Sunday Sketch

Finally got a chance yesterday to play with this sketch at Scrappin Studio.

I used my SC March kits "Into the Woods" and "Babbling Brook". The chipboard bird was from my stash but I covered it with the Fabrip that was in the main kit.
I have come to the conclusion that my sewing machine (which we got with our Visa reward points) is a cheap nasty one and I suspect there is a fault with it. I bent another needle and even after replacing it, it still missed stitches! GRRRRR I have just put the cover back on it for now ... I will deal with it another day!
Maddison helped put the bling on :-)
I used my big scallop circle punch to cut these out of the patterned paper.
Thanks for visiting.