Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hand Print Blossom Trees - Collage with a toddler

The last two days I've put Miss Daisy down for her nap... she hasn't slept (in her bed)... but she also hasn't asked to come out of her room. Win!

So far today she's played independently in there for over 2 hours! Yesterday this was the result after an hour and a half!

Yes, she's perfectly safe in there. We have a video monitor of both our girls rooms - probably the only thing I've won in my life and so useful! (Yes, you read that right. Miss Peppa is now in her own room now - and loving it!) I've really enjoyed standing at the door and eavesdropping on Miss Daisy's conversations with her toys or listening to her read a book by heart! Brings a smile to my face!

So, today while Daisy's played happily I've done laundry & put it away, cleaned the kitchen, spent time on the computer, called council about our park that disappeared and generally just spent some time without sipping those bottomless cups of tea or singing Upsy Daisy. As much as I do love bottomless cups of tea and I'd make a perfect understudy for Upsy Daisy!! Just sayin'!
"Where's the park gone?"
However I do love to have special time with Miss Daisy where we are doing something creative, meaningful and engaging together. And I try to do it everyday... Today this was it...

I love collage... I remember enjoying putting different materials on paper when I was younger and enjoying my unique creation. I decided Miss Daisy and I would make a handprint craft that imitates some of what we saw on our walk to the un-park this morning! And we saw plenty of trees, most without their leaves on but a few gorgeous trees with beautiful pink blossoms made our walk a little more beautiful!

These were quite simple and only used a few supplies from our craft box. We traced Miss Daisy's hands onto a brown paper bag. She also had a turn at tracing mine which was a great fine motor skill practice. She enjoyed instructing me to put my other hand down etc!

Hand Print Blossom Trees - Just For Daisy
Basically then we stuck her hand prints down onto a blank sheet of paper and then we scrunched some pink tissue paper to make the blossoms.

I love how doing art and craft brings out so much language development and opportunities for conversations that would not come up in ordinary play.

It was about then that Li'l Peppa woke up and decided it was feed time! I one handedly grabbed out a range of our bits and bobs from the craft box and left Miss Daisy with a blank canvas....

This was the first time she'd used feathers... in this photo she was saying, "These trees are really really tall!" "I'm making a tall tree!"

She enjoyed putting things on and off the paper (sans glue) and creating little towers... before throwing it all on the floor.

I'm hoping to create a term plan/program (much like when I was teaching) that will include a range of learning experiences that use a broad range of skills and interests. This will keep me accountable and help me to plan ahead to make sure Daisy and I are doing great things each day!

Oh, and if you're wondering about the disappearing park... it was deemed unsafe... boo hoo!
But on the bright side - we now get to have a say in the 'new park' which will be put in it's place! After having to drag Miss Daisy away from an empty pile of dirt that used to be her park I've promised her nothing short of a theme park! :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Painted Nails & Puppy Dog Tails

I cannot believe that it has been almost 2 years since this precious little girl made her beautiful entry into this world. We have been so blessed with her presence and more so every day as she grows into an amazing little girl.

It is with great joy that I recall putting on her umpteenth Peppa Pig video and finding her hand make it's way around my back and rest there. Gently rubbing a little and giving it a little pat as I finished. The affection kills me.

I laugh as I think of the way she says, "No" with a big grin and then follows it quickly with a long, "Yeees Mummy" It's become a bit of  running joke.

Her empathy when she sees someone is hurt or upset, "Are you okay Mummy?" after I stub my toe or spill milk on the bench. 

She longs to please us. Whether it's helping wash the dishes, peg the washing or wipe your bottom, she is there with valor and enthusiasm. Longing to mimic what she sees us do. Needless to say we draw the line at washing dishes! ;)

I'm filled with butterflies, the excited type, when I think of the day we painted her nails. She sat so still, marveling at what was occurring. She blew on them immediately upon request and was keen to show Daddy straight away.

I love to watch her with her baby sister. She hears her cry and says, "I'll fix her" and off she goes to say "It's okay, It's okay" or sing her a song (usually the song we've sung to comfort her for the last 2 years.) If she cannot fix her she will promptly state, "Mummy give her some breastmilk from your breastses"

My eldest niece turns 5 this year. I know that will come all too quick. 

For now we'll deal with turning two. 
We'll play more games. Build more towers. Sing more songs. Read more stories. And we'll watch more Peppa Pig.

Oh, and occasionally we'll pull a puppy dog's tail! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Quick & Cheap Laundry Makeover

Miss Daisy still affectionately says, "We're at the new house" each time we pull up at home! We should have named it something more creative when we were preparing her for the move - but 4 months on it is still affectionately known this way!

The new house has a mud room - cool I know. It doesn't look like some of the gorgeous mud rooms I've pinned on Pinterest though! It's muddy, the dogs frequent it, there's been a mouse or two sighted and it houses the laundry sink, firewood and all of our muddy boots! So I needed a few little changes to make me 'enjoy' getting out there.

This particular shelf has been a point of contention. Notice the bottom two shelves are empty...
I had a gorgeous pair of leather blundstone style boots for Miss Daisy and a gorgeous pair of leather sandals that were amongst other shoes on the lower shelves. Well, our puppies decided they'd be great chew toys and took one shoe from each pair.... couldn't they have just picked one set and ruined them!

I actually held onto the opposite shoes long after throwing out the mangled ones. Not like they were useful for anything. But when they're the only shoes I've bought for Miss Daisy that cost more than $8 (They were $40!) (The sandals were free) it really hurt to see them go!

The puppies were in trouble that day!

I didn't want to spend a lot of money making changes as we will hopefully renovate this room properly soon and I wouldn't want to have wasted money unnecessarily!

So I grabbed a tin of white ceiling paint we had in the shed and did a rough coat on the aforementioned shelf!

The roughness was good and left it with a whitewashed/shabby feel which I was thoroughly happy with!

I replaced each of the shelves and then hubby and I took a trip to Bunnings and got some brackets to mount it to the wall.

Yes, our dishwasher is currently housed in our laundry/mud room. Our kitchen doesn't have a designated space for it at the moment so we're waiting patiently for the right time to hack into the kitchen and make a few adjustments. I'm quite enjoying those quiet times at the sink and Miss Daisy is starting to enjoy helping me in her own little sink, "I get my toothbrush Mum" - we've (kind of) established that it's a scrubbing brush and it's NOT for her teeth! Or hair!
         One of my aims was to get all of these bits n pieces off the dryer/dishwasher and up onto a shelf...

I will need to take more 'finished' photos but here is a taste of what it looks like now! The shelf was mounted horizontally to give me some great shelving space in the compartments and also above. I've also got some hooks to attach to the underside of the shelving for things like dustpan/brush, washbags etc.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On doubling recipes... and children!

On Tuesday I decided to make my go-to cookie dough and have some cookies to give to our neighbours... of course everyone wants to keep cookies for themselves so I thought I'd double the recipe...

Well, somewhere along the line I wasn't concentrating. It could have been the load of nappies I was swapping from the washer to the dryer. Or perhaps it was the fact that I also had a batch of pumpkin soup on the stove. Actually, it was probably the momentary lapse of thinking as I fixed Miss Daisy a snack and mopped up the second cup of water she'd tipped on the floor.

As I was running to the bathroom with Miss Daisy upon her request to go to the toilet... fast! I noticed that the cookies in the oven were a little flatter than usual! I thought perhaps it was the no name butter I bought from the grocery store?

It couldn't have been anything I'd done... perhaps it was because I used the food processor to cream the butter and not the hand mixer? Maybe you can't double this recipe? No, I've doubled it before - maybe it's the oven.

Well, while I was attending to Toddler Toileting 101 and reading Thomas the Tank Engine - I remembered the cookies in the oven! I sang out and requested  that hubby retrieve them promptly. (He was a little unsure as the cake I asked him to check last week came out uncooked three times! Then he dug a small crater in the middle to really test it!) Hubby commented on the cookies looking a little different to normal, actually I think he said, "They've all run together and look like a cake, is that what you wanted?"

What!? They didn't spring to life and magically rise into Pinterest worthy creations while I was gone?

Then it happened...
Hubby: "Do you think you might have left out an ingredient?"
Me: "No I make these all the time. I doubled everything."
Hubby: Something along the lines of I bet you didn't... chuckle... they're okay... chuckle... check the recipe
Me: "I doubled everything!"

Of course I couldn't help but go back and check the recipe... and the unfortunate truth was revealed. Yes, I did that thing where you forget to double ALL the ingredients. I hadn't doubled the flour!

The cookies were intensely sweet... hubby tried to tell me they tasted like Subway cookies but I made sure each tray made their way to the bin across the course of the afternoon!

I was bitterly disappointed that my easy cookie dough had taken up a good chunk of my afternoon and to no avail. I remade the cookies Wednesday evening, I doubled the recipe, successfully this time! I made them chocolate chip with sprinkles... after finding this great recipe with 100's and 1000's around the cookie! They were delicious!

Miss Daisy usually enjoys cooking with me. Last night she was in bed, and on Tuesday she was in one of those moods where she was impartial to everything. "I can't make cookies with you Mum" "I can't have lunch today" "I can't have a new nappy" "I can't have a nap" 

I don't like to do too many 'me' things without her in the day that make her wait or mean she has to be occupied by DVD's or fish for attention. She plays wonderfully with her toys and I love to listen to her little imagination soar as she plays solo! However, at times she wants me to play with her - and I like to oblige... she brings me so much joy and these moments are only for a little while.

Like doubling recipes we've doubled our children in the last month! And that has brought with it new challenges... and perhaps new blog posts!

Some to note on doubling children include:

- What order to pack kids in and out of car...
- How to grocery shop successfully with two children
- Do parent naps exist with two children...?
- How many times can you 'forget' you have two children before it becomes a DOCS issue?
- If both are crying, who do you see to first?

Anyway, I'm adjusting to the new life with two children. I would love to have more... perhaps... and so I am resolved that I must become stronger, wiser and more patient. Daily.

And always remember to double ALL ingredients! Perhaps we'll double our kids again soon! ;)

There's a baby in my bedroom...

It's past midnight. Half past to be exact. I've gone through a few phases of tiredness in the last hour. The cranky type where you're woken from peaceful slumber to the sound of a grunting baby who you know is working their way up to a cry. It's feed time. Who could blame her!

The disbelief when the cry starts even though you knew it all along!

The head dropping tiredness as you nurse that gorgeous little bundle. Waking yourself suddenly as your head dips lower abruptly and your eyes droop!

We never had Miss Daisy in our room. Not a single night - she never slept in our bed either aside from a below zero camping trip and the odd illness after she was one! Deprived? Perhaps? She slept so well there was never a need. She was happy and content and slept well - in her own room.

It's cold here. The new house. So I felt sorry for Li'l Peppa. Or maybe I felt sorry for me. She's here, in our bedroom. It's been nice to have her a meter away. But it's also been difficult.

Babies are noisy! They grunt and groan and squeak! Sometimes I listen and enjoy the sounds. In awe of the life we created laying beside me.
Oftentimes though I pull the covers up high over my head. I grunt and groan and attempt to tune out from those precious sounds. Trying earnestly for just one more minute of blissful slumber.

She's sleeping well. I'm only feeding her once or sometimes twice through the night. Nothing to complain about really. So soon we'll probably put her in her own room. Maybe.

She's asleep on my shoulder right now. Because she's quiet there. No grunting or groaning. Just beautiful little breaths and the occasional whistle through her slightly blocked nose.

She's precious. I must remember how quickly she will grow. How fleeting these tiresome nights really are.