Wednesday, November 28, 2012

fun and games

Through the last few months Jared and I have steadily been working our way through and awesome "learn your letters"style book. To start with, he totally didnt get it and I worked really hard to not get frustrated with him. Then all of a sudden, it began to click. Everywhere we went, he was identifying them, from signs in shops, to squealing on the highway for me to pull over cos he'd spotted a "t", to finding them just about everywhere and being so excited by that.

Today I played a game with them that encouraged that letter recognition but also secretly rewarded him for being able to learn so many so quickly :)

"Dont eat Pete!" is a game Ive seen all over the web and I may have even blogged about it before but I couldnt find my original board for it. So a quick google image search found me one and I printed it off to start playing.

The original version has nine people in squares. The way to play is each square has an M & M ( or smartie or whatever) on it. One person goes out of the room, the others quietly decide which person is called Pete. First person comes back into the room and has to try and guess which one is Pete. If they guess wrong, they get to eat the chocolate from the square they picked. They guess until they find him :)

both kids couldnt quite believe I was playing with chocolate but were also very keen.
After a few rounds, I changed it and quickly drew a new board with 9 letters. The same rules applied and I sent Jared out of the room.
He grinned when he came back and saw the new board and then happily and correctly, tried to find Pete.

Looking for a cute quick fun game to play?

This one is perfect :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

balloon popping fun

I was struggling to find something cool to do on a monday morning but to my absolute surprise, Jared came up with something all on his own ( with help from playschool).

Apparently on playschool they had done an activity that involved paint in balloons being popped over paper to make cool patterns. Jared was veyr keen to give it a go and there was no way I was going to disagree with my little paint a phobic child!!

And so we started :)

I got 4 balloons and filled them a little bit with of paint ( probably more than I should have but Meh!) and then tied them up.

We had to work out how to attach them so they would hang and Jared thought that using a chair would be the way to go, tying the balloons with wool and a slight distance apart.

We placed paper underneath to catch the gently falling art as it hit the ground. I gave him a sharp skewer and stood back to take photos ( turns out it wasnt far back enough... I ended up covered too)

And this is what happened.

It sprayed everywhere. Oh, everywhere EXCEPT the paper underneath it ;)

His first comment was "I need a shower, NOW"but I encouraged him  to finish the other balloons before we did that so he tentatively popped the other three.

So wish Id had a white background to shoot with but you get the idea of how it went down.. or up as the case was.

So much fun, I dont think Ive laughed that much in ages, his face was priceless but it was a good fun activity that Id happily do again :)

Going to try it with mini balloons next time and less paint!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

MEGA hama beads

Hama beads ( you know the ones you put on a plastic frame and then melt together?) have always been popular in our house. Jumeirah has created MANY pieces using them and has spent hours meticulously working out patterns... sometimes disaster strikes ( in many forms) which causes the said masterpieces to bump off their designated spot and tears flow. But still, they are one of the most popular toys in our place :)

Having raved about them, they are also the worlds biggest pain in the butt. Jared just cant stay there long enough, his fingers arent quite as nimble and he cant work as fast and then gets frustrated and leaves a half finished project. He then doesnt want you to pack it away but he also doesnt want to finish it. And poor Miss 4 just cant get a grip on those tiny beads... until now :)

A wonderful friend of mine sent my kids a package last week that contained all sorts of awesome stuff.... hama beads, sun exposure paper ( cant wait to use that!!) and a set of what looked like giant hama beads!!

Amahli squealed and begged me to start straight away! And so we did. But soon she realised she didnt need me.. she was completely able to do it herself!

these are the comparisons between small normal hama beads and big ones

The set comes with a plastic frame, a book of instructions and the beads. We worked out that you line up the frame with a picture and then just copy it. SO much easier! And because the beads are larger, it doesnt take them anywhere near as long a time to do it ( each piece Amahli created took less than 10 minutes) Jared saw how much fun she was having and wanted to do one too. So once Id ironed one of hers he was able to line up the frame and complete one too :)

It also seems that they are sturdier once ironed too as the beads are larger.. we still had tails fall off and a leg from the cats they made but I think that was more due to "seeing how far they bend"rather than poor design and ironing skills ;)

I will definitely be buying a few more sets of these. I havent been able to find replacement beads as yet so if youve seen them let me know!

The brand is called Klutz,  I had to google to find them but there are a few places you can get them from.

Such a great christmas idea for littler fingers :) Ill show you all our awesome pieces tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

get in your kids photos

I  totally wont be surprised if theres no one still in here with me... Im finding it harder and harder to get in here to write even though I have heaps more to share... I hope that from time to time you stumble back ;)

Today, my beautiful littlest Miss turned 4. I know. Its crazy.
This is one of the first photos I took of her on this blog...

This is what she looks like today :) Three years out of 4 of this babes life Ive blogged for! She'll have a great momento if and when I ever get to print it!

Today she turned 4 and with promises of a great day ( plus a sister at home with a sore ear) we started. First to a weekly music lesson, something weve gone to for nearly 7 years.
Then a walk through a new part of town ( well its actually a historical cemetery but Ive never been in it before!) thats absolutely beautiful.
I told both girls I wanted to take some new photos. Now, I may get paid to be a photographer for other families, and I think Im pretty good at it! but my own children?? NEVER WORKS. But I was determined today to get some anyway :)

So we walked and talked and looked out for bats and I shot and dawdled and listened to conversations between two amazing sisters.

And we were done and ready to leave. I had a quick scroll  through the photos, relatively happy with what I had. Then stopped, and realised, yet again, Im in none of them.

I created a video for Amahlis birthday of her life from 0-4. 140 photos I used to make the video and Im in 2 of them.
I know I struggle with how I look currently, but Im working on it. But in the meantime, my kids are growing up without visual proof to look back on that I was ever there ( except behind the camera).

So I passed the camera to Jumeirah, gave her a quick lesson on how to line our heads up, giving some space around us, and watched her shoot.

And whilst I dont love the photo of me ( only a touch of editing, I promise!) I love it of US.

And Im going to work on getting a whole lot more :)

Get in your kids photos, today. Who knows what life has in store, but it would be a terrible shame to look back and not be in  those memories.....

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Sorry guys... am having a short Hiatus. Im up to my eyeballs in editing and still cant hold my camera up after shooting the Iron man for 11 straight hours last weekend... next week, I promise!!