• The Book of Once Upon a Time
    Just For Fun,  Kid Friendly,  Product Reviews

    Disney Junior: The Book of Once Upon a Time

    Bought to you by Nuffnang and Disney Junior.  

    I don’t know about you, but Disney stories are very popular in our household.  The modern and the classics.  We have quite a collection of Disney DVD’s, most bought post children, but not all J.  Toy Story, Cars, Tangled, Aladdin and of course Frozen have all been watched over and over here, and still retain their magic for the kids and for us too. 

    The Book of Once Upon a Time

    However, I have to admit that until quite recently I did not know about Disney Junior The Channel.  Now, we don’t have pay tv (where it is found on Foxtel, channel 709) but for those like us, it’s also available online here.  And this week, Book Week, they are launching the new season of ‘The Book of Once Upon a Time’, a beautiful, locally produced storytelling series hosted by Kate Mulvany, a fabulous Australian actor and playwright.  And it’s brilliant to hear and watch an Australian accent!  Kate’s storytelling is fabulous.  They kicked the new series off on Monday 24th August at 7:10pm with “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt” and they’re going to follow up with new stories from “Winnie the Pooh”, “Aladdin”, “Sleeping Beauty” and, wait for it, “Frozen”.  Yes that’s right, there will be more Frozen for the kids to shout wildly about. 

    The Book of Once Upon a Time

    Last night, we watched “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt”.  Our normal bedtime ritual is reading a story all together in Ms 4’s room, before Mr 2 goes off to bed.  Last night we all watched the story together on the couch and it was lovely to see how the kids reacted to it.  The story was approximately 6 minutes, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, who can’t always sit and concentrate for too long, especially in the evening when they’re tired.  It was a lovely little magical moment to watch the kids faces as the story was told.  The format is a little nod to the tradition of classic story telling – Kate Mulvany sits in a comfy chair, turning the pages of a lovely big book, not only using character voices but also jumping up and re-enacting different scenes.  And there are moments of animation that add to the magical quality.  I was thrown back to my childhood, watching the seven dwarves and the classic Disney animated characters.  And I could see Ms 4, her face alight, loving the story telling as well. 

    At the end of each episode, the “Land of Once Upon a Time” lullaby is sung, and it was great!  The kids were about to launch into requests for another episode when the lullaby started.  It encourages kids to prepare for bed and snuggle down.  It was brilliant!  It supported me in pointing out that it was the end and time for bed – thank you!

    I know some parents are unsure about screen time and how to balance it in their kids’ lives.  I know we do, and it’s always something to monitor.  I quite like these little episodes because they are short, we sit with the kids and it’s storytelling, something we are very passionate about encouraging as parents.  Disney Junior know that parent’s want to encourage imagination in their children and that they also want educational content to include things like: Social skills, moral values , good basic habits and creative thinking.  And so, they combine the story telling with the following learning components: Early language and maths skills, encouraging healthy lifestyles and emphasising social and emotional development. 

    We had lovely time last night, and we will definitely be watching more episodes.  If you want to watch online just click here to go through to the Disney Story Room.  Or if you have Foxtel, you can tune in at 7:10pm every day on the Disney Junior The Channel.  The stories are available as eBooks from the Disney Store Central app, available to download from iTunes

    How about you?  Are you surrounded by a small army of Disney fans who will love this?  Let me know what you think! 

  • My Child's Asthma Story || www.tullyandmishka.com.au
    Family,  Health,  Parenting,  Toddlers

    My Child Has Asthma

    And it’s pretty scary, actually.  We had been taking Mr 2 back to the doctor on a seemingly weekly basis.  It wasn’t actually weekly, but that’s what it felt like.  Constant coughing that turned into wheezing, that sometimes turned into heavy, laboured breathing where his poor little ribs sucked in and out.  

    It started about September last year.  Initially it was croup – meaning a steroid dose was taken.  The next month, we were away on the Great Ocean Road for a weekend, and his breathing became wheezy and his ribs were working hard.  So we called the Lorne hospital and they recommended we come in.  It was a Saturday evening of a long weekend, and we had never needed to take the kids to an emergency department before.  And we weren’t in Lorne, we were probably 25 minutes further on the winding ocean road.  That had Mr 2 vomiting with car sickness the day before.  Awesome. 

    The very winding Great Ocean Road.
    The very winding Great Ocean Road.

    So we headed in, with Ms 3 happily bunked in with friends in their cabin.  I was, of course, completely anxious the whole way there – was he going to spew on the way, was his breathing going to get worse, was Ms 3 ok with us leaving her when it was night and we were in a strange place.  Naturally, he didn’t spew, slept the whole way there and Ms 3 had an awesome time with the big girls!  When we got to the ED, the staff was great.  Saw us straight away and were lovely.  They monitored him for a bit, gave him a dose of steroids and diagnosed bronchiolitis.  Rest and fluids, and get another course of steroids for him. 

    Over the months since, we’ve been back to the GP at least five times with similar symptoms – particularly the wheezing and coughing.  Each time leaving with redipred and ventolin, and sometimes antibiotics, but no diagnosis.  When kids are under two, there is a reluctance to diagnose asthma, mainly because they can ‘grow’ out of it.  Their airways are small and more sensitive to inflammation.  So they wait a bit and see if the symptoms will ease off.  That’s my understanding. 

    We had started considering going to a different GP, to push for a bit more assessment.  He had turned 2 at the start of the year and it was still happening.  Around March, he was wheezy AGAIN.  Of course it came on later in the day and I only managed to get an appointment at about ten to five and with a different GP.  I got in to the clinic, with Ms 3 and Mr 2 managing to climb all over every inch of the waiting room and the GP’s room.  They cannot sit still when we are in a GP’s office! 

    Well, this one was awesome.  She read the file, listened to what I was saying and assessed Mr 2’s presentation.  “It is asthma” she pronounced and proceeded to instruct me to take him to the local emergency department for assessment.  Wait, what?  She was concerned that he needed a thorough assessement that she couldn’t do at this stage of the day.  He needed to be monitored over a three hour period, to assess his breathing and his response to medication. 

    So off we went to the local emergency department.  The Mister had just got home from work, so he met us there.  Luckily, it went fairly well.  We didn’t have to wait hours and hours.  Saying that, whislt we were waiting, his breathing worsened and we heard that real rattling, whistle type breath for the first time.  That wasn’t great. 

    My Child Has Asthma - Tully & Mishka

    He was assessed and monitored and sent home with ventolin and spacers and instructions to see the GP, having responded well to the ventolin.  And that was how we found out our child has asthma.  Since then, we have had an appointment with the nurse at the GP’s to develop an Asthma Management Plan and to learn a little more about asthma.  That appointment really bought home to me how serious asthma is.  We don’t have it in our family and neither does The Mister.  So I’ve never really been exposed to it.  The nurse made it clear that it can and does kill children when not managed properly.  Scared the bejeesus out of me.  So now he is on preventer medication, morning and night, with the plan to reassess once we are through winter.  For Mr 2, coughs and colds appear to be a trigger, so winter can be a difficult period.  And we carry ventolin, spacer and mask with us all the time, in case an attack flares up.

    My child's asthma story.  Tully & Mishka
    More stuff for my bag!

    Luckily, the younger kids are when they’re first diagnosed, the more likely they seem to grow out of it.  Fingers crossed that happens for us too.  He’s been travelling well so far through winter, with only a few episodes of needing ventolin, usually when he has had a particularly severe cold/cough.  

    Did you know there is an Asthma First Aid Plan?  I didn’t, I had no idea.  Click through if you are interested in knowing more about it.  It’s simple and straight forward, and good to know if you’re with someone who appears to be having an attack.  

    How about you?  Do you or your child have asthma?  Was it a surprise, or does it run in your family?  Let me know, I’d be keen to hear (read!) your experience.  

     Here are some more links you may find useful:

    • The Asthma Buddy App – great for slightly older kids learning to manage their asthma.  
    • The National Asthma Council Australia – lots of information for those with asthma, or caring for someone with asthma, for professionals and for media.  
    • Asthma Australia – again, has lots of information and links to state/territory specific sites.  

    #MyAsthmaStory || Tully & Mishka

     

     

  • Crayola Color Wonder Review || www.tullyandmishka.com.au
    Kid Friendly,  Product Reviews,  Toddlers

    Product Talk: Crayola Color Wonder Review

    This product talk is bought to you by Nuffnang and Crayola.

    Crayola Color Wonder Review || www.tullyandmishka.com.au

    In this house, when the kids choose colouring as their activity of  the moment, I think two things.  What are they using to colour and what are they colouring on??  Because, you know, we are inundated with colouring books, and pencils, but somehow drawing on other things and with pens, textas or even crayon is a much more permanent way to display their artistic endeavor.  I present you exhibit A:

    Crayola Color Wonder Review || Tully & Mishka

    Yes, the other day, Mr 2 was having a great time colouring the chalk board.  He was very enthusiastic and when he called me over to see “look, Mum!  Look!” I realised he was colouring with crayons.  Not chalk.  Sigh.  So when Nuffnang offered me the opportunity to try the Crayola Color Wonder range, I was all for it.  After all, it was offered as a “mess free” activity.  Mess free?  Hells yeah.  Because frankly, this house doesn’t need more mess, for reasons best described by the forthright and awesome Janelle at Renegade Mothering.  

    Crayola Color Wonder || Tully & Mishka

    And joyously, the review included TWO packs!  Frozen and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (high school flash back anyone?).  Both kids sorted.  Basically, each pack comes with five textas and once colouring book.  The textas are clear, and it’s not until you (or your child, whoever gets the texta first) draws on the Color Wonder paper that the colour starts to appear.  When you’re a 2 year old kid, that’s hands down amazing.  I give you exhibit B: 

    Yes, that’s one excited little man!  And really, this stuff is cool.  It’s non toxic, there are hidden patterns in the pictures, and I have not found texta colour anywhere else, not their clothes, their hands or the walls.  Well, not from these textas anyway!  Seriously, I just got interrupted by Ms 4 telling me Mr 2 was drawing on the wall.  Gah! At least that was with chalk……
    Crayola Color Wonder || Tully & MishkaCrayola Color Wonder || Tully & Mishka

     

     

     

     

    What activities do your kids love doing indoors?  Is it mess free, or full of fun and educative messiness??? Let me know!  And let me know if your kids love the Color Wonder range too 🙂 

    I’m linking up with Mama Raj Says’ Review Round Up!  

    And here’s a bonus video of Mr 2 and his speed colouring. 

     

     

  • Toddler sleep
    Parenting,  Toddlers

    Sleeping on the edge

    Toddler sleep

    Monday night, Mr 2 decided that he was going to wake up at 3am and come into our bed.  Now, to be fair to him, the whole previous week The Mister had been away and I was not going to do the ‘sleeping in your own bed’ battle by myself.  So Mr 2 was used to just coming on in and sleeping on top of me.  Because why sleep on the other 3/4‘s of the bed when you can make sure mum is sleeping on the edge? 

    Suffice to say, he got a rude shock when he was gently guided back to his own bed at 3:00 am on Tuesday morning.  He did not handle it well.  And for the next two and half hours, did his best to ensure no one else in the house slept either.  He cried, he got out of bed continually, he kept heading up the hall to his sister’s room.  Often, he would be put back into bed, appear to settle for 10 minutes, and somehow sensing that I was just about to return to sleep – bam!  The pitter patter of little footsteps could be heard as he made his way to our door.  To say that he was less gently guided back to bed at this point would probably be an understatement.  I was not coping well with three hours sleep! 

    To add to the fun, Ms 4 had woken at roughly the same time due to a coughing fit that continued to annoy her for an hour or so.  She wasn’t asleep either.  In fact at one point, when Mr 2 was still in his room, yelling loudly, she suddenly appeared in our doorway, hands on hips and demanding “what’s all this racket about??”  If I wasn’t so exhausted and irritated it would have been adorable.  In fact I think it did manage to raise a small smile.  She was promptly sent back to bed, and exhausted, we gave in and bought Mr 2 to our bed.  Where he quickly fell into a deep and angelic slumber.  Faaaaaark!!!

    How do they always manage to have these terrible nights when you really need them to sleep early and well?!  We have kinder at 8.30 for Ms 4 on Tuesday’s.  We need to be up and at them in order for me to be only slightly late and disorganised.  So of course, the two cherubs would have slept until about 9 if I’d let them on Tuesday.  Any other day that would have been great! 

    Sleep and Mr 2 has been an ongoing battle for us.  Recently, it had seemed to be a lot smoother.  We put in some hard work (using the camping out method) and he was sleeping well in his cot, not crying for us to bring him to our bed.  Then after a little while we decided to take the side off his cot, whilst he seemed settled with his sleep, so that he didn’t think he needed to come out.  It was a theory.  A theory that seemed ok until routine changed and it all went out the window.  He had been going to bed and staying there, and only every now and again coming to our room.  Now, he fights bedtime and, well, please see above!  I know for some, kids in the bed are no big deal.  And I didn’t mind when he was smaller, but now, it just doesn’t work.  The Mister doesn’t sleep at all well and finds himself exhausted when doing the long drive to work.  So for us, it’s not something that suits us. 

    Now I could ask for your tips on sleeping, but really, I just want to know that I’m not the only one battling this!!  Do you have a toddler fighting to get in your bed?  I saw that Tegan over at Musings of the Misguided has some good tips for coming to terms with a kid who won’t go to sleep.

    *Update* For this week, the cot has been turned so that he can’t get out.  And we’ll be revisiting the camping out method 🙂 

  • Oats cooked in the thermochef
    Food,  Thermochef

    Thermochef Oats

    How do you go getting your toddlers to eat breakfast?  Is it an easy task or one of those  things that make you question how your children are ever going to get substantial nutrients into them?  It’s quite often the latter here.  In fact, Mr 2 spent a good ten months screaming at me no matter what I put in front of him.  However, we have discovered a winner.  Something that is rarely refused by the little man (knock on wood).  

    Oats in the Thermochef

    Oats.  Good old-fashioned oats.  He will usually try to eat two bowls of this.  Which is fine, because of course, Ms 3 rarely finishes hers.  Sigh.  Anyway, a little while ago I wrote about using my Thermochef and some of the recipes I had used.  There was a bit of interest in some more posts about cooking with the Thermochef, so I thought I would start a little series of them.  And why not start with the basics.  

    Oats in the thermochef

     Mr 2 loves my Thermochef Oats with a bit of maple syrup on top, as does Ms 3.  I always add a good knob of butter, and use full cream milk.  If I was cooking for me (I’m avoiding grains) I’d add cinnamon as well.  And use the rolled oats, not the quick oats.  When I cook oats this way, they always turn out thick and creamy, and are usually all eaten up.  

    What do you successfully feed your toddler for breakfast?  Share your tips, please!!  

    Thermochef Oats
    Serves 2
    Easy, filling oats in the Thermochef
    Write a review
    Print
    Cook Time
    8 min
    Total Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    8 min
    Total Time
    10 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1 cup rolled oats
    2. 1 cup full cream milk
    3. 1 cup water
    4. A good knob of butter
    Instructions
    1. Place all ingredients in the bowl
    2. Cook for 8 minutes, 90 degrees, speed 1.
    3. Serve with toppings of your choice. We find maple syrup popular at the moment.
    Notes
    1. Once finished, I blend for roughly 10 seconds, speed 1 with a little cold milk.
    2. Serve immediately or it thickens and is harder to get out of the bowl.
    Tully & Mishka http://tullyandmishka.com.au/
  • Easter Egg Hunt
    Family,  Just For Fun,  Kid Friendly

    Easter Egg Hunt 2015

    Easter Egg Hunt

    Today the kids had their first Easter Egg Hunt of the season.  They had a ball!  A lovely friend organised it, and graciously invited 10 small and not so small kids into her home to find and devour chocolate.  Did I mention she is brave?  The house was decorated with lots of gorgeous Easter themed pretties, and the bigger kids even did some Easter craft.  So Ms 3 managed to get her hit today, without me having to pull out the craft box – win win!  

    Easter Egg Hunt

    And then the kids were let loose on the backyard, and everyone managed to find sufficiently equal amounts of eggs to keep everyone happy. 

    easter egg hunt 1

    And the big kids made sure the little kids had enough, which was lovely.  With minimal prompting from the grown ups.  

    Easter Egg HuntWhat are you doing for the Easter weekend? Getting out and about, or just staying in and making the most of this chocolate overloaded period?  Let me know!

     Don’t forget to sign up to the newsletter!   

     

     

  • Cocobella Kids Coconut Water
    Food,  Kid Friendly,  Product Reviews

    Cocobella Kids! – A Review

    *This is a sponsored post.  I received product for myself and for the kindergarten my little one attends for use in fundraising.  All opinions are my own.*

    Cocobella Kids Coconut Water Do your kids love juice?  Mine do, and I am reticent to let them have too much.  So much sugar!  But I wouldn’t mind if they wanted to drink coconut water.  I drink coconut water, and find it refreshing when I want something other than plain water.  It’s not sweet, and love it after some exercise.  Mr 2 doesn’t mind plain coconut water, but Ms 3.5 – no way.  Scrunches her nose up, and I receive a resounding ‘yuck!’ whenever I try to get her to taste it!

    So when I was presented with an opportunity to test the Cocobella Kids Coconut Water on my little ones at the recent Kids Business Bloggers BBQ, I gave it a go.  And was pleasantly surprised!  Ms 3.5 loved it – especially the Apple Berry Breeze flavour.  And Mr 2, well of course he drank it down as quick as a flash.   

    Cocobella Kids Coconut WaterSo I was very happy to do a review of the coconut water, as were the kids – there was much excitement when the box arrived!  And it was perfect timing – with kinder starting, these little packs are the perfect size for lunch boxes.  Now, let me tell you some of the nitty gritty.  Cocobella Kids is a lunch-box-friendly and healthy coconut water drink for kids made from 70% coconut water, 30% fruit juice and nothing else.  No added sugar, no added colours or flavours and no additives or preservatives.  This is why I am happy for the kids to have this drink.  The majority of it being coconut water, massively reduces the amount of sugar they are taking in when they drink it, compared to average fruit juice drinks (see table below for some comparisons).  I really love the size of these packs – they fit in the lunch boxes, they’re easy to hold for my toddler and they can even slip into a bag easily.  They freeze, so are great for keeping snacks cool and fresh as well.  I’ve been a fan of coconut water for a while now – it’s naturally rich in minerals, particularly potassium, so I have no issues with giving it to the kids.

    Cocobella Kids Coconut Water

    And the most important opinion, being the kids?  They have loved having these in the house!  They get 10 out of 10 from the kids.  I will buy these again for the kids, and I think they would be great for kids parties too.  I really do like having this option available, and I’m sure the kids do to – because I wont buy straight juice for them and this is the only way they will get ‘juice boxes’!!  And yes, to any family members reading this, I am well aware that I have now become my mother!!  Hehehehe.  

    Tell me – do you buy juice for your kids?  Do they like coconut water?  

    If you want further information about the Cocobella Kids range, you can check out their website here www.cocobellakids.com.au or search #cocobellakids on your favourite social media site.  Cocobella Kids is available in 200ml Tetra-Pak (BPA free) and in two yummy fruit flavours (apple berry breeze, tropical island) Cocobella Kids retails for $3.49 per 3-pack in Woolworths supermarkets nationally.  

    Cocobella Kids Brand Comparison