Wednesday, March 31, 2010

easter wool baskets/ rice bubble slice

I peeked outside today to see this little scene.... apparently they are on a nature walk. Chatting, giggling, holding hands... I took the photo in case I need it in years to come to show them how much they love each other :)

I had Jumeirah home yesterday.. she'd woken up with a pretty horrible cough and so I told her she could spend the day at home resting ( ha yeah right). She was pretty happy with this and began to plan her day. She wrote a list ( hehehe more lists) of the things that would be good for her body to "get more healthy" which included broccoli, carrot and beans and also water. Unfortunately, she is way to aware of whats healthy and whats not after watching me and my never ending weight loss quest..... and working on fixing both of us so it doesnt become an obsession. I also realised, I am going to have to be SUPER organised in the holidays to keep all three of these creatures busy and happy. Jumeirah has been fast forwarded into doing more hard core structural things, Jared isnt a painter and Amahli is fast becoming Michelangelo ( although she cant quite reach the roof yet)... will have to write a list :)

Whilst She did her homework, I sat with Jared and Amahli and repeated the memory game of last week.

Repeating activities with the age group is great as it gives them a chance to practise it over and over. Most of the time, they love this repeatitive learning. He was much better today, whilst he had his own personal cheersquad helping him on ( thanks Amahli!)And although she hasnt quite got the language to fully play this game, she began to point to where the object was missing from. Clever one:)

After I put the littles to bed, I got out an activity I had wanted to do myself this week as an Easter centrepiece for our table. Using wool, a balloon and glue, I thought I could make a basket. Seeing as she was at home and willing and able, Jumeirah got involved too. ITs pretty messy and gluey, but I totally loved that. Jumeirah was more careful with the glue but really enjoyed making hers too.

To do it:

Cut up strips of wool

Put glue ( I used PVA but I was wondering if mod podge would work too?? Glue has to be fairly strong) in a bowl.

Blow up a balloon and put it int oa bowl to hold it still

Take a piece of wool and cover it with glue in the bowl.

gently slide your fingers down the length of wool to take off most of the excess.

Drape the wool over the balloon. No method here, you just need to make sure when its done that most of the balloon is covered evenly.

Allow to dry ( one of ours is still drying as its raining here today) then pop the balloon and you have the cutest little bowl.

They look pretty good when they are done!

We also had a crack at cooking something more healthy for lunchboxes today as well. I have never realised how much extra crap goes into the snack bars I buy for my kids until I saw it on the news the other night. Most of the time, they are happy with fruit and veggies, or rice crackers. But sometimes its good to have things like rice bubble bars or museli bars for something different. And so we tried to make our own rice bubble bars.

Melted the butter, added the marshmellows.

The smell was mouth wateringly delicious.

Once melted, we poured the mixture into a bowl of bubbles and stirred well. I put it into a tray and put it into the fridge to set.

And, whilst it looks really good, its way too soft and gooey and not crunchy and chewy the way we planned, was more like the soggy remains of breakfast when its been sitting there too long... ewwww gross, thats the worst kind of breakfast...

Anyone got any easy good recipes for things like this???

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

challenged with the "what would you do?"

How do you read a book? Do you read the back of the book or go into it blind? My hubbin thinks I am a book ruiner, for some reason, I have a really bad habit of reading about 10 pages in, then I read the last page. Admittedly, it does ruin it sometimes :) But I absolutely cant help it!

In the rare moments I get 5 seconds to myself, I run to books. I LOVE reading. I love escaping to distant countries, different times, to become someone different, even if its brief. I love trying to sort out characters lives, their loves, their problems.... all in the sanctuary of my own space.

There is one author though, that challenges me more than I would sometimes like to be challenged. She writes fictional books, but they are incredibly strong, sometimes difficult, full of facts, and mostly, about parents and their kids. Most of the kids in the books have a physical, mental or emotional challenges. Most are incredibly awful situations. And all of them make me wonder how I would cope as a parent in any of these situations.

The author is Jodi Piccoult. She writes amazing stories about these kids and their families and the lengths that people go to to help them. "My Sisters Keeper", the first book of hers I read, threw me into a world where a child is sick and another is concieved to save the first child.

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate - a life and a role that she has never questioned… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister - and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable… a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life… even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less?

( the movie is quite possibly, the worst movie I have ever seen. Totally far off the book and the ending they make is so different from the book it isnt funny). The books dont end like you want them to ( most of them) and leaves you really wondering what you would do.

I have been blessed far beyond what I really understand in having three healthy, happy, beautiful children. How far would I go to keep them that way? Would I hurt someone else to protect them? Would I steal? Would I lie in court? Would I kill?

I have just recently finished "handle with care" which plunged me into a world I really hadnt heard before. A child with Brittle Bone disease. A decision to sue the doctor for not finding out early enough so you could have "done something " about it ( i.e an abortion). Massive rollercoaster to get the best outcome for that child, whilst trying to tell her you still love her and really wanted her regardless of her disease.


When Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe’s daughter, Willow, is born with severe osteogenesis imperfecta, they are devastated – she will suffer hundreds of broken bones as she grows, a lifetime of pain. As the family struggles to make ends meet to cover Willow’s medical expenses, Charlotte thinks she has found an answer. If she files a wrongful birth lawsuit against her ob/gyn for not telling her in advance that her child would be born severely disabled, the monetary payouts might ensure a lifetime of care for Willow. But it means that Charlotte has to get up in a court of law and say in public that she would have terminated the pregnancy if she’d known about the disability in advance – words that her husband can’t abide, that Willow will hear, and that Charlotte cannot reconcile. And the ob/gyn she’s suing isn’t just her physician – it’s her best friend.

Handle With Care explores the knotty tangle of medical ethics and personal morality. When faced with the reality of a fetus who will be disabled, at which point should an OB counsel termination? Should a parent have the right to make that choice? How disabled is TOO disabled? And as a parent, how far would you go to take care of someone you love? Would you alienate the rest of your family? Would you be willing to lie to your friends, to your spouse, to a court? And perhaps most difficult of all – would you admit to yourself that you might not actually be lying?

Its a big one. I had to stop a fair bit and process my own thoughts a number of times. But I love the challenge it gives me as a mum.
Before reading them, I would have said no to most of the above questions, but then I have never been a situation that calls for that kind of behaviour. Once I began to read them though, it really challenged my thinking and sometimes even forced me to take sides in the story.

If you've never had this kind of reading experience, I totally challenge you to get one of her books.

( I am not being endorsed for this plug. I just would love other people to think/read outside their bubble)

Monday, March 29, 2010

edible Easter/ easter hat parade

Rainbows of happiness :)

Dont you hate when life gets in the way of what you want to do???

I had planned on spending this weekend trying to do some more of my plane activities of a million years ago ( ok so that was a bit dramatic, but seriously, it FEELS like ages)and do some fun stuff for ME but this week is the end of school for the Term ( HOORAY!) and theres an Easter Hat Parade on Friday, so instead of stressing on Thursday night, we decided to do it on the weekend :) Wise I am :)

We talked about what she wanted to do.. something simple, easy to wear, nothing to exotic and NO chocolates ( school rule unfortunately). We bought some cardboard and set to work.
On Friday, I was asked the question " why dont you paint outside?" I have a very good reason too. Although most of our crafts LOOK messy, it is mostly a controlled mess. Outside, it beomes uncontrolled so fast due to an extra fun element, WIND. It has no respect for keeping paint pots, paintbrushes or painted paper, on the ground, prefering to flip them over and spread paint faster than Amahli. And trying to get paint of wooden poles, decks and pebble crete is no mean feat. But seeing it was only Jumeirah to paint, I took this activity outside to enjoy the fresh sea air.

I cut out some egg shapes from cardboard and covered them in silver foil.

She then painted on these shapes with a few different colours of her choice.

Then, using the other end of the paintbrush, she etched some designs into the painted egg. They looked so effective!

Unfortunately, the afore mentioned wind decided to play and flipped all eggs upside down onto the wooden deck. And so, she had to repaint almost all of them. Once we had placed them inside to dry, she took off with the camera and snapped away whilst I removed evidence that would no doubt have been used in divorce court had daddy seen it :) Lucky for me, it wasnt too bad. ( bad enough that I will be sticking to cleaning tiles and walls inside in future!)

Once all the eggs had dried, we cut out the cardboard to make it look like grass. Staple, sticky tape and we were ready to add the eggs to "hide" in the grass. And basically, its done! She really liked that it looks like a crown :) We'll add some flowers later in the week ( probably in a mad rush on thursday night!)

This morning, after a fairly horrible school drop off ( will this ever get easier??) I came home feeling fairly flat and really not in the right frame of mind to do craft. But knowing how much fun these two would have with what I had in mind, I decided to do it anyway :)

And so I began to get out the massive sugar rush I was about the introduce on my lovely ones.

I took them outside, strapped Amahli in her chair, and showed them the multicoloured treasure we were going to create with.
I gave each of them an Arrowroot biscuit ( its egg shaped, and thus the reason I was even attempting this craft!)and also a little container of coloured icing. ( Unfortunately I may have been a little over zealous with the colouring.. should make for pretty nappies later). Jared got right to it, carefully trying to spread the icing without getting it on him.

Amahli couldnt get it on fast enough for her, so I helped her a bit. SHe then decorated it. I told her she could taste it, it was something to eat. ( I can understand her hesitance, it isnt often I give tehm lurid blue food). Then she ate the decorations. And then the biscuit :)
The idea is to decorate them and put them in the fridge to set, but really, but this stage there was no way she was going to wait :)

Jared completed about 4 of these today, and ate two :) He really enjoyed himself and was quite meticulous in how he put the icing on to how he decorated it.

How good do they look!!!

Try one, you say?? Oh ok, Just one :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

fun with colour and sound

I took a sneaky day off yesterday, sorry about that :)

The afternoon turned into a wonderful family time, a series of "moments" that just filled me with such an intense love and feeling of pure happiness, by the time we came inside I was totally exhausted! So actually I am not really that sorry at all :)

At the moment, I spend my crafty time on a very fine line of chaos. This is how it usually goes.

Amahli begins to paint. Carefully at first, loving the colours, textures, patterns.

Jared comes to see what shes doing, likes what he sees, tells me he wants to do one

I do an internal happy dance as this little guy does NOT do messy stuff.

In this split second, Amahli has somehow managed to paint herself, not much but enough so that every time she moves, paint hits something else, the table, the chair, the wall.

I beg Jared to hang on whilst I race and wash Amahli.

Jared leaves, realising its potentially messy, leaving me sighing.

And so this morning, I set her up with some paint ( washable cos I knew this would be messier without me sitting right there the whole time) and let her loose :)

Last week sometime, Amahli was painting with blue and yellow paint, probably something I whipped out for her cos she was driving me spare with her cry for "paint!", nothing that spectacular really. Jared walked past, looked at her painting, looked at the paint and said "wheres green?" Amahli had ) in her usual complete mess fashion) created green paint on the page from mixing colours together. I wanted to explore this more with Jared today.

And so, I set him up at the table (no chance Amahli will get at this one!) with some special glasses filled with different heights of water. I got him to squeeze a few drops of yellow into one, a few drops of blue into another.

( meanwhile I was totally mesmorized but the gorgeous floating colour... looked like some awesome cocktail... oh what time is it?? Oh not time for THAT yet) I then got him to squeeze a few drops of blue in the yellow and watch very carefully. "ITS GREEN!" he cried and gentyl swirled the colour into the water. Hitting the side of the glass he said " Its a bell!" and then happily created lovely water music for quite sometime.

And so, whilst he played his happy bell music, I finished painting with her, quickly washed any evidence of mess, set her up with dinosaurs and sticks in the sensory stones, then got him to come down and see what I had. He wasnt keen so I did one first. He was surprised that, like the water, when I mixed blue and yellow together, it made green!
And so he obliged and helped me to do it too.

We did a couple of paper folding ones ( like you normally make butterfly prints, we folded it a bit different and made fish!) and then he was happy to swirl the spoon around on the paper without folding it.

He added blue and again was excited at seeing green :)

Happy Days :)

Ooppsss luckily it comes off!