Monday, 22 April 2013

On second thought...

I have been thinking long and hard about going down the ADEC route to teaching in Abu Dhabi and have decided to go on with my application. I have an interview booked on Wednesday with someone in Canada, I think. I'm really hoping I'm successful. My son won't much like the change. He didn't like it when we changed the gate (he demanded we put the old one back) but I'm hoping this isn't just a good change for me but for my entire family.

Let's see what happens on Wednesday...

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Bubble Tea and Macarons

Bubble tea and macarons are my new obsessions. Bubble tea isn't completely new to me. The Filipinos have a similar drink called gulaman which is made with sea-weed based jelly pieces and tapioca pearls. The popping boba is not something I've come across before though. My son calls them popping bubbles and absolutely loves them. Luckily for me, I have a Bubbleology and L'Orchidee at my local Westfield. Not good for my waistline at all!

This was my coconut bubble tea with tapioca pearls and passion-fruit jelly. Yum!

Gulaman image from here

Library Visits

In order to keep my son from going stir-crazy on the weekends, I try to take him to the library every other Saturday to borrow some books (it's also to make him understand the concept of borrowing).

I thought this sign on the library table was just so funny.

I wonder how many people have had to fall asleep at that table for the librarians to put up that sign.

On the subject of books, my very generous brother bought me some books from my wish list. You can view my wish list here.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

My favourite baby products

Here are some of my favourite baby buys:

1. Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter: It's amazing stuff. It keeps my baby's bottom nice and rash free, it smells gorgeous AND it became a hit with other mummies as an inexpensive face-cream.

2. Waitrose Baby Solid Coconut Massage Oil : I started using this when my son was a baby after he had his bath. He's four now and I still use it on him. It's got a subtle smell of vanilla and coconuts and really moisturises his skin. Some coconut scents can be very overpowering. 

3. Halos and Horns bath products: Not only do these smell divine, they are also SLS and paraben free and do not irritate sensitive skin. 

4. Huggies Pure wipes: I don't like scented wipes. Apart from the fact that I like baby products to be as "organic" as possible, scented wipes give me a headache! These work a treat! I usually use cotton balls and warm water at home when changing baby. The wipes are for when we're out and about. Plus, they are good at cleaning up just about everything from spilt drinks to dirty faces. 

5. Vital Baby Breast Pads: I have used many different types of breast pads and these are by far my favourites. They don't leak, they stay in place even when I don't use the sticky adhesive backs and they are big but slim - i.e have more coverage. I've only just discovered these.

6. Naty Disposable Nappy bags: Unscented, compostable nappy bags. Need i say more?

7. Kiddylicious Apple Crisps: Ok, so these are not baby products per se but these snacks are to oh so yummy. I have to stop myself from nicking my son's apple crisps. I think I just have to buy myself some next time. 

8. And while we're on the subject of food, this book has been indispensable.

Hmm, my tummy's rumbling and it's almost midnight. Midnight snack is in order...

Fingers in too many pies

I've not been very good with keeping up with my blog. I have so many things I want to do that when the kids are finally asleep and I have some time on my hands, I have no idea what to do first. I want to do everything! Methinks I need to set up some sort of timetable to organise myself. I have about three or four unfinished crochet projects; a web design course I bought on Groupon; an online TEFL course I bought from KGB deals; scrapbooks to put together and a pile of books to read  - and not enough time!

On top of that, my organising urge has come on. Every once in a while, I have this compulsive need to sort out and organise something (my bookshelves, storage boxes, wardrobe, my drawers etc etc). Right now it's my bookshelves and yarn stash that literally calling out to me.

While all this goes on, I compile a mental list of potential blog posts in my head which I promptly forget once I actually get the ole laptop out. Argh! I have my fingers in too many pies!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Crafty overload

Crafting has come back into fashion in a big way. I discovered crocheting a few years ago and have loved doing it. I also made a scrapbook for my son instead of buying a baby record book. With the launch of Mollie Makes, I subscribed immediately. They have now released some sister magazines, Simply Crochet and Made in Paper. I am hooked.


Baby stuff

With my first child, I ended up buying a lot of things I thought I needed but then found no use for at all.  I used to go to those baby and toddler shows and get sucked in by things like leather bibs and expensive cots by Stokke (always wanted one but didn't buy one). Some people have realised what a huge market there is in marketing baby equipment you feel you must get for your little one. And what parent doesn't want the best for their child?

With my second, I have been much wiser. Other than the breastfeeding butterfly, I have not succumbed to buying anything though the temptation is always there. I even have my little girl wearing her brother's baby grows and onesies. The doctor even said, "Let's check your manhood" because she was wearing a blue onesie to her 8 week check up!!!

Changing bags are so expensive! They can range from £40 for a reasonably nice one to about £100! Much as I wanted a nice one, I made do with the free one you get when you join the Boots parenting club. Used it for my son and am using it for my daughter now. I also never got a changing unit. I didn't see the point. Once baby can start rolling over it becomes a dangerous place to put the baby. The moses basket, sofa, bed have all worked out just as well with a changing mat underneath baby. Those nappy bins, in my opinion, also a waste of money. I just put the nappies into a nappy sack and throw it out straight away (I also have a little bin in my bedroom for night time changes just for nappies).

Things I did buy which I found useful are:

* a moses basket (you can take it from room to room)
* a play gym from Asda during their baby even so it only cost £16 (those things can cost upto £60)
* a baby monitor
* an extra car seat (again from Asda for £25) so I didn't have to keep taking it out of one car to put in the other
* the Annabel Karmel book on for recipes for baby food
* a Lansinoh breast pump

Lots to think about

As I've mentioned before, I've been looking for a job abroad - mainly in the UAE and in Qatar. That job search has now been focussed on the UAE as there is a big drive by the Abu Dhabi Education Council to recruit teachers into state schools there. Aside from the very generous benefits package, it does come with a few things to think about. First off, it doesn't tell you what school and in what area you'll end up in if you are successful - not until you get there. With a young family like my own, that can be a bit daunting especially when they tell you life in the Abu Dhabi outback can be hard. They also don't give a school allowance for your children and international schools there aren't cheap. It seems though, that I'd be able to sponsor my family which is a big plus. I am so ready for a change but this all bears so much thinking. I have no idea what to do....