2 Years of Parenthood

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.

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

So the Pope is SUPER early for his flight.

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

With a name like ‘Down Under Dad’, its pretty easier to pick where the writer of this blog comes from.

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.

14/7/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

Scalpel?

Scalpel. . .

Just as a surgeon was finishing up an operation and was about to close, the patient awakes, sits up, and demands to know what is going on.

“I’m about to close,’ the surgeon says.

The patient grabs the surgeon’s hand and says, “I’m not going to let you do that! I’ll close my own incision!”

The doctor hands him the thread and says, “Go ahead…Suture self”!

dad joke

For more Dad Jokes:

Daily Dad Jokes

Weekend Adventures

Its the Weekend! As good of a reason as any to celebrate.

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?

global blogging