We’ve moved 

Thank you so much for having followed me on this part of my blogging journey. I am so grateful for the support and the motivation you have given me in following me, commenting and sharing. I am very humbled. 

I hope that you have found useful information or at least something that has made you smile. 

In an attempt to improve the blog (I believe it to be an improvement) I’ve moved to a self-hosting site. This has meant a lot of work and a lot of frustration – there are a whole lot of IT things I still don’t understand so I would really appreciate your continued support. 

Come check out the bigger and better site – AllThingsMomSydney.com 

If you are already following you will have to follow this site for all the new updates, I apologize for the inconvenience. 

  

I’ll see you on the other side! 

Michal 

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One day I will… 

  1. Do all the filing that sits in cupboards, on tables and shelves. 
  2. Make my bookcases look like those fancy ones on Pinterest.   
  3. Take photos of all my son’s artwork that keeps coming home in droves so I can make an album sans originals (don’t tell him) 
  4. Match all the DVDs to their cases. Edit 
  5. Put up a calendar and fill in the dates of upcoming events so I stop double-booking. Will probably then just ignore the calendar and continue to annoy everyone who makes plans with me. 
  6. Stick all the recipes in the recipe book so they don’t drop out all over the kitchen floor everytime I open the book.   
  7. Take all the clothes my kids don’t wear out of their cupboards instead of shouting at myself when I can find “that” shirt because there are heaps of old clothes filling the drawers. 
  8. Clean all the cupboards or the fridge. Either or. Will never do both at the same time, let’s be honest. 
  9. Back up the photos on my phone. 
  10. Finish my first child’s three year scrap book and start my second child’s three year scrap book. Poor second children. 
  11. Do the ironing.
  12. Sort the Tupperware… Maybe not.   
  13. Remove the clothes from the car so it can return to a car as opposed to a wardrobe on wheels, whereby returning to my husband’s good books. 

Our top Netflix shows for under 5s 

By ‘our’ I mean shows my kids will ask for and that I condone. There are some shows I try get them to watch that they are not interested in and then shows they beg for that I don’t agree with. 

  1. Doc McStuffins. Who doesn’t love Doc McStuffins, with her stay at home dad, working mom and supporting characters who have their own personalities. In case you haven’t seen it before, it’s an animated show about a little girl who fixes her toys in each episode one of the toys needs her assistance. I love that there is a princess who wants to save the knight and a big lamb who just wants to be a girly princess. Each episode has a good lesson to learn about interacting with others or understanding your feelings. 
  2. The Wiggles. We may have just immigrated to Australia but my kids already think Sydney is their home. With four lead characters, three males and one female, a dinosaur, octopus and pirate who all sing and dance it’s musically orientated with a story line which runs through the episode. It’s a great show for little kids, my one year old stands and dances on the lounge floor throughout. There are lessons in each episode too, hand washing, teeth brushing etc. My three year old has just decided he doesn’t mind it.
  3. Superwhy is all about a reading. It features a little boy superhero who, together with some friends, fixes classic stories to deliver child friendly / happy endings. It is animated and good for pre-schoolers. 
  4.  Magic School Bus is old school animation. In each episode Miss Frizzle shrinks the school bus so that the kids can go on an interactive learning experience, in one episode they go into a classmates body to see why he has the flu. It’s a lovely show focused on learning. 
  5. Leap Frog: Let’s go to school is very simple in terms of animation and it’s lead characters – two twin frogs – but it’s tops when it comes to teaching and education. It focuses on educating the kids with numbers, letters aznd also helping address issues they may have eg fear of going to school, sharing. The only downside is that this is 30 minutes which is quite long.
  6. Sophia The First. For those who have never watched Sophia, a little girl from the village becomes a princess when her mom marries the King. In each episode she learns a new lesson based on common virtues eg helping others and being humble. She’s kind, polite and helpful, all in all a good character. 
  7. Sid the Science Kid is a Jim Henson animated show (digital puppetry). While Sid must be in school his inquisitiveness appeals to my 3 year old – like my son, Sid has lots of questions, what things are, how they work, where things are, why things do what they do… You know the questions you get asked a million times a day. 

Other shows my kids love which are okay conceptually and which are non-frightening for under 4s are:

– Octonauts

– Jake and the neverland pirates 

– Puffin Rock

– Sarah and Duck

– Masha and Bear (dubbed from Russian I think) 

– Dinosaur train 

– Curious George

– Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom 

– Paw Patrol

– Blaze and the Monster Machines 
Most shows nowadays have educational consultants on board to make sure there is good content so anything in the above list should add some value to your child’s life, aside from just letting you get the washing folded or dishwasher packed. And… To be honest, you can’t discount that these shows help develop their imagination and vocabulary. 

Lake Belvedere Pram Walk / Trike Ride, Sydney Olympic Park

Lake Belevedere, Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park provides a great morning out with the kids. Pack the pram, trikes or scooters and a picnic and you’re set for a good morning out. 

As with anywhere we go for the first time we got lost. Sydney Olympic Park is massive and it’s easy to get lost trying to get there and then once you’re inside. 

Thankfully, Bicentennial Park is right at the main entrance of Sydney Olympic Park. Coming along Homebush Bay Drive / A3 you will see signs for Sydney Olympic Park, going around the big circle at the entrance will land you on Australia Avenue. 

  

Once on Australia Avenue, look out for signs to turn right into Bicentennial Park. The first right will take you into Bicentennial Park Drive. If you miss that go right into Bennelong Parkway – it’s the first big intersection with traffic lights. 

   

The best way to enter is along Bicentennial Park Drive, drive all the way around until you see the lake on your left and then find a parking because then you won’t have to push the pram and carry the trike / bike or scooter uphill.

Lake Belvedere has a wide flat path all the way around which you can walk along with the pram or with your little one on a trike or scooter. You just have to keep them close to you because there is no railing between the path and the water. 

  
There are hundreds of different birds that swim right up to the path and the decks. I took a photo of the identification board at the beginning of the path so that when we came across the ducks and swan my son could check to see which bird it was. 

There are a lot of signs telling you not to feed the wildlife and I would stick to that advice. 

We went out onto the deck to take a closer look at the swans and watch them swim under the decks, look for fish and discuss the fountains (my 3 year old loves to discuss the technicalities of such things). There were railings on the deck which allowed me to put the 1 year old down so she could feel close to the birds. 

The water isn’t blue, it’s more brown which may be a good thing because then the kids don’t rush to jump in it. 

There are lots of benches and grassy patches to sit down either in the sun or the shade. A bit further up the hill are covered picnic tables and BBQs. 

   
   

We had a picnic at the top of the hill overlooking the water which turned out to be a good plan because my son instantly needed a loo and the closest one is at the WatervieW centre. They’re not great ablutions but will do. 

  
There is also a playground at the Village Green which is circled by a bicycle path which makes for another good adventure but that’s a whole other post. You can easily spot it if you’re standing at WatervieW Centre or on your drive along Bicentennial Park Drive. 

Golden Jubilee Field, North Wahroonga

Big path to cycle around, big sweeping bush land views. The area has plenty of parking and is completely accesible with a pram making it perfect for a pram walk and trike / scooter ride. 

  
It is referred to by the Ku-ring-fai Council as a “sport and recreation spot” which is a strange way to describe such a big piece of land that houses soccer fields, one or more baseball diamonds, a playground, a mountain bike training area, a model aeroplane club, off-leash dog walking, playground and an rural emergency service.

I’ll just call this whole area “The Field” throughout in an attempt to stick to its title but really it’s made up of fields but I’m getting sidetracked and want to avoid confusion. 

So, to get to The Field put Esk Street, Wahroonga into your GPS or Golden Jubilee Field, Wahroonga (or North Wahroonga) may work too. 

  
Driving to Esk Street along Westbrook Avenue turn left into Esk and the entrance to the Field will be on your right. It’s such a big space you can’t miss it. 

Initially what you will see is a massive field which is either set up for soccer or baseball. To get to the walking / trike track or the Mountain Bike track you’ve got to head to the field at the back. Below is an aerial view to help you follow me. The blue dot is where you park and the ‘sandpit’ looking thing to the right is actually a field which is the main baseball field. It makes no sense to me that it looks like that when it is actually lovely and green (you’ll see from the pics I took on out bike ride / pram walk). 

   

The second ‘sandpit’ looking thing is very much like a sandpit. As it is the Mountain Bike Course. It is huge fun for a 3 year old boy. I will get to this a bit later in the post. The buildings in the picture are the Emergency Services’ buildings. 

Starting out from the parking (where the blue dot is) you’ll need to go up onto the field level, there are plenty of entry points. You’ll either see the model aeroplane grandads in action (such fun) or there will be a soccer game or baseball game in action. On the days we’ve been there we’ve not seen a sports game in action. You’ll then have plenty of track to cycle / pram round and round. 

The views out over the bushland are impressive and it’s all fenced so you don’t have to worry when the little ones go off track. 

  

   
   
You’ll find a spot in the track where you can go right past the emergency services buildings and can ride to the other baseball field. You’ll know you’ve found the right turn when you get to the sign that says “dogs must be on leash from this point”. 

  

Going along this track will take you past the batting tunnels and down to a playground. The playground isn’t big or fancy but definitely a nice addition to the fun of cycling. 
  

On this occasion we didn’t visit the playground, we decide to keep left and make our way round the trike track again and then onto the mountain bike training park, Jubes Mountain Bike Park.

Had this been the weekend or anytime when there were actual mountain bikers on the circuit I wouldn’t have let my son on but as there was no one else there (like the other times we’ve been) we had free reign.  

There are three areas according to the web (KMC – Jubes Mountain Bike Park website): “Skill development – Designed to help riders improve off-road cycling with rock, wood and narrow sections. Pump track – Easy, medium and difficult levels to encourage the rider to use their upper body to ‘pump’ through the course.Single track -800 metres of track that meanders up and down the hillside.”

I’m not sure which sections we were on but my son rode over some mud mounds, rocks, paths, wooden ramps and then moved on from the bike and together with my daughter “practiced their running”.

   
    
 
A word to the wise: if there is mud, even a little bit rather avoid it. I know it’s meant to be fun and probably is huge amounts of fun but the mud is thick and sticks to the wheels and feet, shoes, legs, clothes and everything that comes into contact with it. 

  

Gift Guide, 7 Gifts for the Stay at Home Mom

I’ve been the corporate mom and am now a stay at home mom and this is a list of things I have or would like. It’s not just items but things you can do to make your stay at home mom feel special. 

  1. A great pair of comfortable shoes. Comfortable but stylish let’s say 65% comfort and 35% style. My choice would be my Supergas, they’re stylish (well for walking / everyday shoes) and they’re comfortable. Mine are pictured below.   
  2. All her Favourite treats to nibble on during the day – nuts, choccies, biscuits, candies (all those unhealthy things) or maybe health bars, goji berries, veggie chips (I’ve heard these healthy things can be nice).
  3. A cleaner for a few hours during the day. This will help take off some of the strain of cleaning, washing and ironing. It’s best to get a referral from someone you know so that you know that they are good and a will add peace of mind not detract from it. 
  4. A babysitter for the evening for her to go out with her husband or her girlfriends. I came across one of these services the other day at a baby expo – for website link click here. I haven’t tried them so can’t attest to them. 
  5. Make her dinner. You can get a printable voucher and fill it in for her.   
  6. Take her out for a drink – either a cocktail or a cup of tea. A cocktail is always good if it has a stunning view and a cup of tea / coffee is always good if it comes with a piece of cake 😉
  7. Something stunning from her favourite clothes shop. Shopping is a novelty when you’ve got kids. I would go with a nice shirt, jersey, scarf or good jeans because as a mom you spend most of your life in casual clothes and only buy stuff if it’s on sale and you happen to walk past it while shopping for the kids or your husband. I love Zara, Mango, Forever New and Banana Republic.  
    all of these are from Mango.com
       
    All of these are from Zara.com
     

Gift Guide: 7 Gifts for the Fit Mom

I am no fitness expert but my two sisters are and my husband has been known to run / cycle and swim so I do know what to buy … 

  1. If the gym bag is older than 3 years, it’s time for a new bag (according to my expert relations). Great gym bags can be snapped up at any sports store. Easy peasy. Of course you would want to add a cute sports bottle and towel too. 
  2. Lulu Lemon Align pants. These are incredible yoga pants, exercise pants and just-wanna-stay-on-the-couch pants!  You can buy online or in store. There are a few outlets around. The one we have exhausted is at Homebush DFO. 
  3. Earphones for running. There are a lot of factors to consider when buying earphones – price, sound quality, fit, style and device with which they work – so it may be best to get a gift card for them to be self-purchased if no you can check out the following brands Bose (Link to in-ear earphones here), JayBird Bluebuds X (can buy online here) or Yurbuds (powered by JBL: link here ) there are a number reviews online about each.
  4. A crazy cool yoga mat. There are some seriously funky designs out there – why use the studios or the typical purple or turquoise from Target when you can get something super snazzy. Yogadesignlab.com has some nice stuff.    You can even get a double-sided one from Gaiam.com    or a personalized one from etsy. 
  5. If you’re going big, there is always the watch. The sports watch. My family are big supporters of the Garmin but there is also the Suunto. For runners the new TomTom Runner 2 Cardio which has got some good reviews. But I would do some more research on watches as this is a big gift and you want to make sure you know that it is perfect for the gift-reviewer. 
  6. Classes – cross-fit / yoga / Pilates or training sessions. 
  7. A wind cheater or warm exercise top specially for exercising Nike always has pretty cool ones. These keep you warm but allow a lot of movement. The ones in the picture are Nike Element Half Zip.