Monday, February 28, 2011

Housework and rocket rides

I dont know about you, but finding the balance between playing with my kids and housework is a never ending guilt battle.

Most mornings, my kids entertain themselves until I have at least done the kitchen/dishwasher/floors before begging me to play. And when I do start playing, too often I remember the washing in the tub, or the clothes that need to be trained to put themselves away, or the dinner that needs to be started or the bathroom that needs to be cleaned.... or whatever else is climbing the walls because I NEVER SEEM TO HAVE ENOUGH TIME/ARMS/ ENERGY.....

Late last week, Jared was begging me to play in his new rocket ( from his birthday). I desperately wanted to clean up their room so the rocket could actually "launch" but too often lately Ive noticed myself leaving in the middle of play with them to do something housey so today I wasnt going to do that. So I told him I could play, but that I had to clean too. He was happy with this and helped me clear the floor so we could actually get IN the rocket.

And so we set off... between the stars, avoiding shooting stars, waving to other rockets. When we landed on the moon, I picked up the " moon dust sucker" ( vacuum) and began "taking samples" of the moon. Off to a good start, I began to move their beds closer so they could do "Lunar jumps" between the planets ( and I could vacuum along the side of the beds).

We then fixed the beds for " the man in the moon" who happened to be out of town for the day, and left the angry bed beast in the bed.

By the time to samples were all collected, we'd jumped our last Lunar jump, fixed the beds back and settled back into the rocket to come home, the room was clean, tidy and dust free :)

We then snuggled on the lounge and read a rocket book and talked of our adventures.
When Daddy came home, all Jared could talk about was our awesome adventure and the things we did. There was no talk of a vacuum cleaner and tidying, it was all about play :)
And for now, I have one clean room in the house ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Project 52: week 7 rub a dub dub :)

( before you read this post PLEASE note. NEVER leave your kids unattended with water around. )

I asked Amahli to help me today... I needed to wash some animals we have been playing with for awhile and its hot so I put them in an esky to wash. I half filled it with water.

She was happy to wash them for me.... I turned to reach a bucket and towel to put them into and turned around to see this....

And whats funnier than a kid in an esky??

thats right. TWO kids in an esky :)

I have no idea how the fitted

Project 52: rub a dub dub :)



Processed with Miracles by Paint the Moon. Sorry I love it! I also sligthly sharpened her eyes.

I promise next week to NOT have my kids in project 52 OR use Miracles by Paint the Moon :) But clearly I am love with this gorgeous effect from the new Blessings set.

Happy weekend everyone :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

yet another photo comp!!

After getting such a nice rap the other week for my photo, Im entering another one ;) This one is at the website Love That Shot. I am joining up cos I would love to be able to do more with my click clicks ;)

this is todays entry :) entry closes in about an hour so I dont have anything to add yet, but tonight once kidlets are in bed, I'll show you how to do a quick edit and show you how to make your photos come alive :)

the title is LOVE


Nope sorry, its now late and I dont have enough time to show you some photo tricks... forgive me, it will come if you want to see it :)

Instead, Im going to show you a miracle that happened in our house today, small, probably quite insignificant, but a miracle nonetheless.

My children are strange with food sometimes. I have one that eats ANY fruit, and watching him eat fruit is a show in itself. He is competely oblivious to anyone watching him, hes so in the moment and in LOVE with his fruit. Its sheer ecstasy with eat bite :)

Another one, eats any vegetable and gets strange looks as she sneaks as many beans and snow peas as we shop, eating heads of raw broccoli instead of hounding my in the chip isle, and begs me to buy spinach ( *shudder*) which is gone before we get home.

And the third? She is a pain and only eats frozen blueberries, frozen peas and corn and my morrocan sweet potato. Its a push most of the time to get her to even leave what I serve on her plate instead of screeching to "GET IT OFF!" when I try and sneak through a carrot.

Today, I tried something different. At morning tea, I offered no biscuits. Instead, I cut up some fruit into tiny little squares. You wouldnt have even known it was fruit or what it was, it was just cute bright colours. I showed Amahli what I had, she had the tiniest bit of interest but she wasnt going to try it.

She watched Jared begin to hoe in, still nothing.
Then I gave her a tiny fork to use to stab a piece. I pretended we were " ladies" and ate a few pieces with a fork, overemphasing my lady like gestures which she thought was hilarious. I gave her her own fork to try herself. She liked this idea, and tried it.

And playing along with my lady role play, she ate a piece. And I fell on the floor backwards whilst trying not to get too excited.
4 pieces later, I had two "ladies" eating very dainty pretty coloured squares.

Some of course, didnt stay in her mouth, but at least they were going in at all.

Sometimes, changing the way you serve can make a huge difference.

Sometimes, an apple looks easier to conquer in small pieces.

Sometimes, changing how you eat something makes it better too.

Sometimes, you just have to play with your food. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All about emotions

Last week, emotions ran high and low ALL WEEK.

Amahli particularly swung from giggles and smiles to horns and screams to tears and hugs and back again in the space of 5 minutes and the days continued like this for most of the week. I dont really know why, I know shes not happy being dragged around all day but I think probably she was tired and it was hot.
Through this emotional crap she dealt out to me, I tried to help her through it by talking about how she felt. If she was sad, I pointed out she was sad and cuddles would help, if she was happy, we danced a jig ( not too many jigs last week, hopefully more to come this week). If the horns appeared with the sound of screaming, I gave her wide berth until the steam stopped pouring from her ears.
By doing this, I began to show her about emotions and how they make you feel.

This week, I went a bit further and we looked through some books to find happy and sad faces, cranky and laughing faces, and with Jared, we talked about the faces. Why were they sad? What would make them happy? What makes them happy?

I dug through the cupboard to find our own stampers of faces so they could make their own faces and also found our emotions teddy match game so she could do the same thing.

Amahli was totally enthralled in the emotions teddy and had different voices for the happy teddy, sad teddy, and cranky teddy.

Stamping was good although she wasnt really into the concept of making a face, just more interested in the stamping. Jared was keen to make happy faces and he talked about the things they were happy with.

"This one is happy cos he has a hug today. He loves hugs" ( yep hes my boy alright :)) He wasnt keen on making sad faces, so most of his had smiles.

We then played around with our own faces, making them surprised, happy and cranky.



We talked for quite awhile about what makes them happy, and then I shared with them what makes me happy.

Happy kids. smiles. hugs. singing. dancing. the beach. daddy. hearing them giggle. rain.

Talking to them about what makes me happy gives them an insight into me, makes me a an actual person with feelings too, not just "mummy". And it opens up the idea that whilst they are ultra important, so are other people too, especially me.

When we got in the car this afternoon, it was raining. Jared turns to Jumeirah and says " Rain is mums happy, does it Mum? I love it too!"

My work here is done :) for today :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gods eyes

Todays craft is for my mum... she emailed me saying she needed some easy kids craft ideas to take on a mission trip she is doing in a few weeks to Cambodia (one day it will be me... one day...)
Years ago, I worked in a before and after school care centre I would get out wool and paddlepop sticks when it was wet weather or too cold and teach my gang to make Gods eyes, and this was an incredibly popular craft to do.
Jumeirah happily obliged to test it out for me so I could take some photos to show you hows it done (actually, I dont think the photos will help but hopefully she'll get the idea)
Start with two paddlepop sticks and cross them together.

Wind the wool a few times over the middle intersection to hold them in place. Then begin winding over and around each stick, continuing in a circular motion, winding wool around each stick before moving to the next one.

This is the pattern that will start to emerge if you go OVER first then under and around.. it was easier for jumeirah to go UNDER first and therefore the pattern is different. Once turned over, it looks like this.

This is the top side for her..

Keep going until the wool is finished or you run out of stick! :) We added more wool to Jumeirahs as she ran out of wool first. YOU can change the wool if you like to make the pattern different, but as we had a purple wool that changed colour we didnt need to.

And what it looks like from the other side.

Keep going until the wool is finished or you run out of stick! :) We added more wool to Jumeirahs as she ran out of wool first. YOU can change the wool if you like to make the pattern different, but as we had a purple wool that changed colour we didnt need to.
Its a quick and simple activity that has very cool results.
If paddlepop sticks are available, tree sticks can also be used, probably thick ones though so they can handle the wool without breaking.
Jumeirah completed two in about 20 minutes and was keen to make more :)

I did manage to take a video to show how easy it is, but the camera hasnt focused on it properly so the quality isnt great.. but you get the idea :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

project 52:week 6

Amahli.... processed with some gorgeous actions from Paint the Moon :)

Enjoy your weekend :)


Thursday, February 17, 2011

what siblings can do

Wednesday and Thursday are fast becoming the crappest days EVER.

They are so busy, so much running around, so many car trips ( and petrol!!) and very little time to sit and enjoy crafty things. I DONT LIKE IT. And its making for a very boring blog on both of those days ( please tell me its not always boring ;) )
Yesterday, I had nothing to post. We had no time to do the things I wanted to do with them and so I had NOTHING.
Today was much the same. I got in the car at 8.30am, and basically got home at 5.10pm, with only a brief stint at home for Amahli to collapse in a tired and sobbing heap and sleep.

So I have nothing much to say today either... or do I?

This morning, I set up the brilliant Marble set I bought a few years ago (its called Quadrilla) for them to play with whilst I got organised. Actually we've been playing it alot this week, its fantastic for working together, hand eye co ordination and its absolutely mesmorizing to watch marble after marble run down the track.

This morning, I could hear Amahli getting frustrated with it. It kept falling over everytime she put a marble in. Running late, I couldnt help her fix it, it takes awhile and shes impatient. And then all of a sudden, she stopped crying. And giggled. And then I hear " Jared you make me soooo happy!" And I come out to find Jared is teaching her how to put the marble in without it falling over, showing her how to fix it when it does. How to race them. And cheering her when she gets it right.

Grab the camera... click click click :)

Later ( much later) this evening, just before bed, Jumeirah decides she wants to play in the backyard with the water squirters. (luckily for her Im too tired to stop her at this late hour. Plus they were having fun). Both she and Jared filled the pump and then squirted each other with it. A great game... but Amahli cant work the pump to fill it with water. And again I can see the frustration building.

As I get up to go out and help her, Jumeirah takes over, teaching her how to hold the pump so she can fill it. She doesnt take it off her to do it for her ( like I was going to do) but shows her by doing it beside her.

And after a few goes, she gets it. And what do I watch as she realises shes doing it all by herself??

An amazing, proud little "I DID IT ALL MYSELF!"

Click click click :)

I was blessed today.

To know my kids have each other.

To know that they are learning even when Im not the one teaching them.

Knowing that though they fight and argue and annoy the crap out of each other sometimes, they really do love each other too.

And sometimes, they are even better teachers than me :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

bath paints

Ive always considered myself a pretty cool mum.
I spend my life making the lives of my family easier, more enjoyable and fun. And mostly, its self rewarding. But today, its hit me that although Im a great mum, a fun mum, an amazing mum... I'll never be as great as daddy.
And to be honest, that kinda sucks.

Today I found myself in a conversation with Jumeirah about the fact that I didnt come and look at a game she and daddy were playing ( whilst I cooked dinner and cleaned the carpet from Amahlis unfortunate accident AND kept her happy while she begged for daddy time too) and therefore I must not really care.

It hurt.. alot.

How do you find balance? How do you get to be the fun one but also make sure the house doesnt fall apart and that kids are still fed and watered and that the day continues to move forward as its supposed to??

Life has gotten very busy for us with school and preschool and swimming and jazz and goodness knows what else fills up our days and a few children ( well really, its all three of them) are bucking the system. I have tears in the afternoon if something goes missing, there are "friends" no longer being "friendly", and I seem to argue over stupid things when I havent had to before.

Today it was Amahlis turn to REALLY let me know she wasnt pleased with how the day was going ( understatement as you'll see for the photos) ( NO Im not a bad parent for taking photos of her upset, she didnt want me to but I want to show her them later in the week)

Tired and out of ideas, I threw her in the bath I calmly ran her a lovely warm bath and put her in. To keep her happy and entertained, I made her up some bath paint.

Using Shaving cream ( the cheap stuff from Coles works a treat) I added a few drops of food colouring to it and mixed it in. I then added a paint brush and gave it to her. She had an absolute ball.. painting the bath tub and herself mostly ( I would recommend that you encourage ONLY painting these areas as the tiles and grout might not like the food colouring) and spent a good 20 minutes creating and painting.

Once she as clean, calm and happy to get out, we snuggled up on her bed an read for about 10 minutes and then she told me it was time for milk and dummy and " you go out now".

*sigh* *sit* *breathe* .... and then its time to get the circus back up and running to do the school pick up :)

When are school holidays??????