Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Do you ever have moments/days where you wonder what would have happened if you had chosen a different track? If you'd chosen a different career? How life would be?
This morning I heard of a "friend" who is now doing incredibly in her career.. shes a photographer/ journalist and has the social life to go with it, money, shopping, freedom, time. And whilst I wiped the goo from Amahli's nose for the umpteenth time, emptied the potty ( of which I am very proud but its still not a great job), I wonder what my life would have been like had I chosen a different path. Now dont get me wrong I wouldnt change my life for anything. My kids are the absolutely loves of my life ( and daddy too of course) but sometimes I feel like I havent achieved all I wanted to and I ( like all of us!) and getting older.

I was caught in a slump this morning, kids seemed to pick up on it ( arent they truly awesome little people?) and found ways to amuse themselves....

And so, for lunch, I decided to take them down to the water in town and meet daddy and let them run loose. Its such a fun thing to watch them chase seagulls and be free to run. I love that they have no inhibitions. I love watching people laughing at them race back and forth, completely out of breath but still running. I love how they enjoy such simple pleasures as chasing seagulls.

Sitting there, I realised how blessed I am. I have a wonderful, full, happy life. I have three amazing, smart, funny and loving children. I have a great husband who works hard and has job security so I dont have to work.....And really its only me who holds me back from doing all I want to do. And, after enrolling Jumeirah for school next year this morning, I know my time will come sooner than I really want it to. And I will be able to do the things I want to achieve.

And I know, I will miss chasing the seagulls :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

body tracing/ watercolour in the window

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. (Dr Seuss)

I love when the flow of a day is good. And boy, was today good :)

I have been worrying a bit lately about all things packingy, moving and trying to relocate 5 peoples worth of crap and stuff. Sometimes I feel like I am giving my kids the short end of the stick. Patience has also been a bit thin but I know once we move and get settle life will return to normal.
This morning I preparing for an even more hectic morning than the usual craziness that preschool mornings bring as I not only had to get us all out the door and Jumeirah to preschool, the bloody realestate wanted to bring new potential tenants through... meaning I had to clean the place up a bit too. I hate inspections!
So, stupidly, I went to bed last night at 12.30am (got stuck reading blogs) and had a mini panic when I heard Amahli start calling at 5am. I knew that today was going to be difficult enough as it was let along starting at 5am. So I went and told her that it was too early and that she needed to go back to sleep ( we have been in sleep training for a week now so she gets what I am talking about) and I left her. She yelled the place down for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes... and then... it goes quiet. And the next thing its 7.20 and its still quiet :)
And so I breeze through breakfast, cleaned the house, children happy outside, mum is beaming.. 12 people and 6 children parade through my house, and all is still good. I get Jumeirah to preschool. I get home.
And so with Amahli back in bed its time for "Jared and me" time. The greatest thing about moving is that the removalists give you some great big boxes.. and the biggest lump of butchers paper!!
And so I set up two things for him.

Body tracing

This is a tried and true activity I used to do heaps at preschool.
I lay him down on some butchers paper ( which he wasnt keen about) and traced around is body. he wasnt sure i wasnt going to paint all over him so he was a bit nervous but when he got up he turned around and said " LOOK! Its Jared!" and began to decorate his shape. He drew his eyes and shorts, then told me to draw a "thomas" and he coloured it in. We stuck it up to show daddy but every time he walked past it he said " Hi Jared. whatcha doin?" ( you can also do this with chalk outside on the ground)

The second activity today was a painting one which I wasnt sure he was going to do. He hasnt been that into painting lately for fear of getting messy but thing one looked different so i thought that maybe he'd give it a go.

Watercolour painting on a window

I stuck a piece of butchers paper onto the big glass door and set him up with some watercolour paints ( food colouring). The great thing about this is when you paint on thinner paper with watercolour, it goes kind of transulcent and with the sun shining through it gives it a really bright effect, almost like a torch light being shone through it. Its really cool. He spent ages going "uuuuuuuupppp" and "dooooooown" as the paper was almost as tall as he is. he wasnt limited to sitting at a table which was definitely better for him :)

When Amahli got up I thought it was time for her first painting experience. I stuck a piece of butchers paper up for her and strapped her into her high chair. She needed no encouragement once I gave her a brush :) First, she played with the bristles ( being food colouring its totally safe for babies), then she began banging away at the paper. She even did some strokes up and down to. Such graet fun for this little one:)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day two craft without the craft cupboard/ finding things for craft in the pantry

Do you like the Scotty Dog I found in my chips?? How cute is he? Was going to save him to take some funny photos, but I ate him.


Day two craft without the craft cupboard.....the challenge today is finding things to craft with from the pantry... But first, something I made a little earlier...

Monday, Always the most full on day of the week. But I came prepared :)
Last night I made Plaster Molds.

One of the most fun cheap easy activities for ages 2- ?? ( I had 10 year olds loving it at Jumeirahs birthday last year) and something that you can pull out on a rainy day, or in my case, a monday :)
I have bought over the years 5 molds. I originally bought two for Jumeirahs beach party as I wanted an activity for the kids to do. I took some small containers of paint and some brushes and they spent ages doing it. Also made for a great thing to take home.
Two of the molds were from Ebay, ( thomas the tank engine and the cupcake) and the others were from Big W. All are relatively cheap ( the thomas one cost about $5 and the Big W ones are about $4-10 each, they have an awesome dinosaur one Iwant at the moment for about $15 but it has 6 molds in it!) (BARGAIN!) The best molds I have found are the latex ones as they bend really easily so its easier to get the plaster out when its dry. the flower and the butterfly are mini cake molds. The thomas one tends to break if its not quite dry enough ( yup I am way too impatient!)
Plaster I got from spotlight, although its not hard to find. Ebay does plaster or probably even Bunnings.

I make them up the night before and they are ready in the morning. This morning we used food colouring from the pantry which worked ok. It does work better with real paint as food colouring tends to be absorbed but it still was not too bad. My kids aboslutely love doing these. I have made them every couple of months for the last two years ( and a whole set I made for a wet week at preschool) and the molds still work perfectly.

I am nearly up for getting some new molds... hmmm will wait until we move :)
if you really want a set of molds made up ready to paint, let me know. Im sure I can work something out ;) )

Next up was collage, which we had found in the bottom of a random cupboard but needed to make glue from something in the pantry. Cornflour. Now cornflour glue is an art. Its taken me 15 years to perfect it and still I have days when it just wont work. But its fun to make and can be used for glue, fingerpaint or paint with brushes.

How to do it:

Put about half a cup of cornflour in a mixing bowl ( boil the kettle, nope its not a tea break, you'll need boiling water)

Add a small amount cold water, just enough to make the cornflour slightly runny to stir.
Then slowly adding a little bit of boiling water stir stir stir.... continue to add boiling water until the cornflour "turns" it should turn to what looks like mashed potato. If you've added a kettle full of boiling water and nothing as happened, chuck it out and start again :)

We added food colouring to ours for effect.

And what do you do when you little bundles of loving energy are zinging off the walls and you cant go outside cos its getting cold and you've hit Spastic O'clock with a massive bang?? Why DANCE!! And for added fun, I gave them Amahli's scarves to dance with. Dancing with ribbons or scarves tends to make dancing time less "lets run around until we smash heads" and more liturgical and interpretative :)

Dont ya love Amahli's russian dancing??)

Try it! Its very fun. Just make sure you shut the curtains :)

If anyone needs a more comprehensive guide to Cornflour glue, let me know.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

day one craftless cupboard.../getting your kids to help

DAY ONE of craft without a craft cupboard

oh what a day...Sunday, day of rest...not so in our busy household. Its packing/cleaning sorting day :), or so I told my three cherubs this morning. This news was of course meet with glee and "oh yes we'll help!".....hmmm not quite but nevertheless it HAD to be started today. So daddy heads outside and leaves me with three disgruntled ( putting it mildly used) children.Jared decided to go watch daddy mow the lawn, Amahli went down for a sleep ( SHE WHO WOKE AT 6.45AM YAY!!!!! A SLEEP IN!!!!) 10 minutes into my kitchen blitz I hear " Mum, Im so bored!". (This from the child that played for 40 minutes with two pencils and a ruler that she had somehow turned into a wicked witch, a horse and some random child who was riding in the forest). "go find something to do" said I as I rattled off a list of things she could do, a puzzle, read a book, draw... nope nothing sounded " fun". And so she followed me around the kitchen heavy intermittent sighing, "I'll just wait..." hmmmm...
So armed with the wet washing and a ball or wool I told her I had something fun to do :). I strung a line of wool three strands think between the clothesline and the trampoline, gave her her own lot of pegs and a pile of clothes. And away she went :) Actually she really enjoyed having her own responsibility and was very proud of herself when it was done. Its a great thing when you can find something that helps a child to feel proud of themselves, its a great noost to their self esteem and makes them realise that they can be helpful in an "adult" way.... plus the bonus for me is that shes learning a skill I can milk for all its worth until she realises that actually is a horrible job!!
Jared came and hung two things up and declared " nah, not me" and went back to watching dad mow the lawn.

And so, off she skipped ( yup hanging out the washing will do that to ya) to find something to do...
She comes back 15 minutes later ( no joke I am still hanging out my lot of washing) with the molds of my teeth from the dentist and the food colouring jars. Oh the things you find when you start emptying a house :) Shes also found some paintbrushes and can she paint them? Sure why not???

After that it was a bit of light gardening with Nanna, ( goodness knows how we would have done all we did today without Nanna and Grandad and their love for all things gardeny!),

a walk to the so-close-to-finished house, play in the dirt and home for a bath and bed.

Now, what to do tomorrow???? Maybe I should tackle laundry mountain which Amahli can decimate in about 5 seconds by pulling whatever is closest to her.. best game in the world Mum :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sea Scape

Finally Tim comes home.. flight this morning was CANCELLED ( how dumb is that really!) so I had to somehow tell the three little ducks following me all morning that daddy wasnt coming home until 4 O'clock. News not taken well, I spent the next hour picking Jared's wobbly bottom lip off the floor... *sigh*.

And seeing as Tim was due home at 9am I didnt really have any crafty plans today so my brain was on holiday which kinda made things worse.. oh well... Plus the dust storm hit and we couldnt go to beach as my back up plan so I dug around the mystery kids craft box ( ha its the one with so many bits and pieces or everything I probably should really just chuck it out) and pulled out some cellophane and a box of shells.... I found a paper plate in the pantry ( also looking rather bare but its more to do with my slackness in shopping than packing) ( I never get time to shop so its normally done when the kids start pulling out raw pasta, icing sugar and shredded coconut for morning tea) and we were good to go.

I have no idea where we first got this idea from but will find out.

Sea Scape

What you need:

sand ( I dug mine from the sandpit, its got to be used up by next weekend :) )
sticky tape
coloured paper ( scraps from my own craft cupboard I havent even attempted to pack yet.. crap its a big job)
two paper plates

how it goes:
with one paper plate cut a whole in the middle of it ( quite big as this is the window, or I guess, the port hole)

On the other paper plate, paste glue on the lower section of it and sprinkle sand on, also place shells on the section too

Ccut some fish shapes out of paper ( my kids didnt want to cut today so I did this bit for them. Jared wasnt that keen today so he watched, got the sand, and picked the shells he wanted Jumeirah to use
Next, sticky tape the cellophane to the other paper plate on the " where you would put your food" side (you know what I mean) :) This should cover the hole.
Now you can either sticky tape or glue the plates together and you have your own port hole!
Not the fanciest looking craft and goodness what will do with it, but it takes time and has lots of different "layers" to it so it keeps kids busy for quite awhile, which I needed today :)

Daddy finally got picked up at 4pm... cant wait until its my turn :)

Any Ideas???

Friday, September 25, 2009

blog addict :)

Oh crap.. again its nearly 11pm and I am still on this thing.. totally addicted to other peoples blogs. They are part of the reason I started this one myself. Partly to show my kids what fun we had when they were little and at home,partly to prove to them I am jsut as cool as dad, partly to show that I do exist in my little world of me and the three... but mostly because I am so inspired to blog by so many awesome mums! And yes mostly they make feel totally inadequate, my house isnt as clean ( ha mine doesnt even come close), my baking is limited to packet mixes, and some days craft is simply a heap of paint and collage cos I cant be bothered and no one really wants to do cool stuff anyway... then I read these amazing stories and fell like I have jipped my kids once again and get back into doing stuff ... then tonight I find these two blogs her bad mother, and just like the number, and realise all mums have shocking days, messy houses at times, kids who are possessed creatures from other planets...and really, its all pefectly NORMAL. So while I am in love with my Soulemama, mother perfection/ amazing seamstress/ homeschooler and culinary extrodinaire with 4 ( yup 4) perfect kids, I must remember that I am doing a great job too.. most of the time :) And my kids will love me even if I'm not :)

number bean bag game

New Game drying in the sun :)

Wow its friday again!! And day two of "no daddy".. Tim is in Sydney for some swish "do" and a day of nothing to do.. he'll be home tomorrow... YAY. :)

Today I wanted to have a few things new planned, I knew it had the potential to feel like a really long day so I wanted it to be fun :) I also had set myself the challenge of packing up my kids craft cupboard. Yes it looks atrocious, but I know exactly where everything is. I am really quite amazed at the amount of stuff I have accumulated in the last two years... the collage shelf is just ridiculous!

So I started with Amahlis beloved posting box which I changed by adding Duplo to seeing as she loves the stuff, and it makes a great noise when you shake it! For Jumeirah I had printed off her name this morning and I wanted her to form the letters in her name. Shes been writing it for almost two years now but tends to write really fast and by the "h" at the end its sometimes hard to read. I wanted to refresh how the letters were supposed to look. She loved doing this, rolling each "Worm" to form a letter.
Smiley is added of her own doing.. So her.
Jared was happy helping me in the kitchen this morning, I let him serve his and the girls breakfast ( quite possibly my biggest mistake today, but boy, did he have fun making "rain") of rice bubbles. I think I 'll be finding them in all corners of the house, but only for another week!
Once Amahli was down to sleep, I got out some calico and told them we were going to make a new game. Now my kids love games....board games, made up games, silly games, if you say its a game they are in :)
So I found the idea at More Mom Time but needed to change it a bit as Jared isnt quite up to letters and I wanted to include him. So we went with numbers and colours. They helped to paint the numbers on and we let it dry and took a trip to the toy shop.

After lunch it was dry so we played!

The aim of the game is:

Throw your bean bag on the mat. Whatever number or colour it lands on is yours. If its a number, you have to find that amount of the same thing ( eg 4 pens, 2 cushions, 6 books etc) if its a colour you have to find something of that colour. We made it a race which was quite hilarious as Jared thought the whole game was just running like a madman around the house.
The mat hasnt quite been finished as somehow my yellow paint has gone AWOL and I want to back it as well. But for the moment, this was a big success:)

And look what else I managed to do :)

Super mum? Heck yes I am!! ( today :) )