Monday, February 27, 2012

happy easy balloon fun

After such a massive weekend, I needed something simple to do that didnt require me to have too much energy to complete. But both of my little peeps had waaay more energy than I did so I sought to find something fun for them to do.

After watching playschool, they had a great idea that we could play balloon tennis. We found some plastic plates, some empty toilet rolls ( we ALWAYS have them lying around... I swear they multiply in this place!) and constructed some simple tennis racquets, found some balloons and tennis was on!

Wow. Ive said it before, Ill say it again... simple really is the best :) This crazy simple game last for over an hour and completely wore these two out. And seeing them have so much fun, I couldnt sit and watch... I had to create my own racquet and was in too :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

what I see.... learning to look through their eyes

Ive had a super sonically great week this week and Ive only just worked out why. Ive been organised. Ive set up cool stuff for them to do and they've been busy. Which makes me feel productive and in turn helps them to be happy and productive! Love it :)

At the moment Ive been trying to encourage Jared with some more art stuff, not neccarily for the product at the end, but because he is going to school next year and I want to encourage his fine motor skills, drawing skills, and to find something he enjoys doing that doesnt involve games on the tv.

So this week I have set out a different medium of paint and made it look as inviting as possible so he will want to come and do it with Amahli and I.
Today I had pastels to draw with and water colour paints to paint over the top. He was actually happy to come and draw and drew his favourite "whirl pool" drawing and painted it. He then had a go at writing his name and enjoyed painting over it. The effect is quite cool as you can see the pastel coming through the paint.
Amahli is just happy  with anything artish and talked the whole time which makes us all giggle.

I asked Jared if he could paint me a picture of anything he wanted. he thought for a long time, telling me " how about a train? Nah I cant paint a train. How about a house? Nah I cant draw a house". I felt kinda sad for this little middle guy and told him he could paint whatever he wished and it would be great.
He then decided he could paint snakes and then got really excited at the idea of it and I let him be to do it.
Instead of commenting through it, I let him work by himself, and he and Amahli chatted about his painting her drawing.
When they had both finished I asked him to tell me about his painting ( I didnt say " Oh wow! Cool snakes!" in case the painting had changed. This is big thing I learnt as a preschool teacher because sometimes paintings need to be looked at through the childs eyes rather than our own) and he told me about his family of snakes: a mother, father, sister and brother, who were travelling to Sydney to see the circus. And so we talked about how they would feel going to the circus and what they would see there. When I stopped and looked at his painting through his eyes, I could see how fast the snakes would have been travelling ( thats why the grass is a straight line, cos its blurry from speed) and how the littlest one is tired.

I sat in wonder at this person who doubts his own ability at 5 and yet can produce something so cool :) I will continue to encourage him and his drawings and paintings in the hope that he will someday realise hes pretty clever :)

Monday, February 20, 2012


Yet more rain here... seriously I dont know where else it can come from! The ocean dropped on us for a full week, flooding our region, roads, and houses, and now its back here again!
Its hard not to get down in weather like this. I personally love the rain but am nervous as our garage flooded last time and its a bit scary to deal with in the middle of the night.... but Miss 3 showed me the upside of rain today.... rainbows.

With Jared not well, ( well hes ok, just really lethargic now so I let him have a day on the lounge.... oh what I would do for a day on the lounge....) I got some paint out for Amahli and I to do.
I asked her what she wanted to paint and her response was " the rainbow I found!"

This is the  rainbow she found :)  ( I was told to " hurry Mum, get your camera!" so I knew it was a good one).
And so we sat together whilst she painted a rainbow.... for about a minute. Then she stopped, looked at me and said " Mum, wheres your rainbow?" and so I got busy with a rainbow too.

And she reminded me that though dark clouds and storms come my way, I can always find me a rainbow... sometimes you just need to paint your own ;)

This is hers.. mine was no where near as good

Thursday, February 16, 2012

cause and effect

Lately Jareds been asking alot to build things lately and has had to learn the hard way that when something gest built, it also usually gets knocked down ( often by a little monkey who thinks its funny).
Yesterday I wanted to set up some activities for him to show cause and effect.

For his birthday recently, I bought him two sets of building things. One is a marble run ( kinda similar to our quadrilla set but a a bit different) and a set of wooden dominos.

Both were a big hit. The dominos we set up and I didnt explain anything about them, we just set to task in setting them up on a big course. The first time I told him to knock it down, he looked at me in shock as if to say " I just set the freakin thing up!" but I quickly showed him how it works and we set it up a few times so he could work out how close it needed to be and how knocking the dominos could also knock over and create a windmill too with other pieces.

He other toy he got was a set called Q Ball Maze and whilst its a bit trickier, it provided lots of fun ( probably more for me but still...). This one isnt about knocking it down, but making it work so the marbles can run all the way to the bottom.

This one is done with help of instructions.

Both work so well in showing cause and effect, and really got his brain working :) I could watch him learning like this all day xxx

This is his own creation :) he loved the fact that the marbles all ran to the bottom!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

spiderman cake

Recently I had a gorgeous little man turn 5. The request was for a Spiderman cake so I scoured the net for a simple version and with the least amount of stress.
I found a cool version with fantastic instructions on You tube and set to task to create this masterpiece.

Was probably the most easiest cake Ive done so far and I had one gorgeous boy who couldnt have been more delighted with the end result.
Gotta be happy with that :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

daily life

Finally the rain has let up :) Apparently its going to be short lived, but Im taking it whilst I can!

I had a whole heap of washing to do, but I wanted to find something that I could involve the other two in.
So, I set up an outdoor area that would include a few different areas for they to engage in.
Both were interested in what I was doing, and quickly came to help.
These are the areas I set up.

PAinting wasnt overly popular, and the boats were short lived, but the washing...BRILLIANT :)

The washing took ages and I kept having to find more and more things for them to wash. This is a brilliant activity for a heap of reasons..... self help skills, looking after your own things, working together ( making sure no one gets soaked) fine motor to squeeze out water, problem solving skills( when the line gets full or when clothes run out). But it also teaches a great life skill in a fun way. I HATE washing with a passion, but I dont know if I would hate it as much if it was as fun as this :)

Amahli spent the afternoon checking if it was dry, then pulled it all off and was ready to fold :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

getting ready for school

As you can probably tell, life has still not got itself sorted enough for me not to feel dizzy everytime I turn around ;) I havent been in here much, I havent had time to sort through the few photos Ive been taking, Im still working around being exhausted and longing to return to school holidays where life seemed so much simpler! Im so behind on photos it just isnt funny....

This year, Jared is at preschool for two days a week. Im not really a big fan, but it will help in the transition to school next year ( dont even tell me how much worse next year is going to be!)
Whilst he is home with me the other three days in the week, Ive been trying to create a mix of school readiness stuff, combined with encouraging those wonderful self help skills that will aid him in not only surviving but thriving at school :) Things like problem solving, dealing with things when they dont go the way he wants, sharing, looking after your own things... all things that dont come as easily to him as it does his older sister ( and he really doesnt care much either).

So this week, I spent some time with just him, whilst little miss was asleep (another thing that isnt going to last much longer *sigh*). We did something simple to set up and not really involving anything too difficult.

I drew on a piece of paper all the numbers 1-10 and the letters of his name with dotted lines between each digit. He had to cut them all out, then sort them out in order, then glue them in order.

This is a great actvity that they can do whilst you help a younger child, or even whilst breast feeding a younger sibling as its something that requires a more verbal encouragement rather than a physical assistance. I used to do lots of these things whilst feeding Amahli for Jumeirah as it kept her busy but still gave me time to help her without using my hands.

Jared loved doing this and we chatted throughout his cutting, when he wasnt concentrating just like his mum does ;)

Once it was all cut he spent ages gluing each number and letter on it order ( I dont have a final photo of this but you get the idea) and was proud to show dad this arvo.
Im glad of this time with him. Jumeirah got two years at the beginning, Amahli gets two years at the end. But he doesnt get just him and me time so I am savouring every moment :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

the simple things

Today was the last day of a very long, busy week. School is back in full force, with lunches having to be done everyday, preschool for Jared two days this week, a 5th birthday... I feel like Ive starting running on Monday and have only just stopped now.

This morning, I had absolutely nothing for breakfast, Im talking no bread, no cereal, and limited milk. At 7.30am, the last thing I felt like doing was traipsing off to the shop to find breakfast.....
But, with three hungry mouths to feed I didnt have a lot of choice. Until a brilliant 7 yr old came up with the idea of making our own pancakes.
Now, I have to admit, I dont realy make much from scratch. I love my packet mixes, premade sauces, anything that makes my life that little bit easier :) This stretches to even the shaka maker pancake mix.
But she was pretty determined we could work it out so we googled a recipe and searched for the ingredients. All that was needed was sugar, milk, self raising flour and and egg, all surprisingly, in my cupboards and fridge!

So with a recipe in hand, we began to make our first homemade-from-scratch pancakes.

Dont you love pancake bokeh?? ;)

When they were cooked,  we also found a punnet of fresh blueberries to go with them.
I felt vey mother nature-ish as my little hungry hoard happily ate them all.
Its funny how the simple things can bring such easy pleasure :)

Happy weekend :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Photo photos photos

Today, my amazing sonshine turns 5. Again, I have no idea how they grow so fast, its just ridiculous. I swear I only had him not long ago and now hes 5!!
To celebrate, I wanted to take some photos of him and his lovely sisters.

Now, I take photos of other peoples kids. And mostly, they turn out beautifully. But stick a camera in front of my kids?? It quickly becomes a three ringed circus.

This is 8 from 35 photos I took today of the clowns I love so much. The whole process took less that 4 minutes. 

Often, (so very very often) its Amahli whos the worst. She has no concept of " look at me!" and says " I am! Cant you see me?" when looking straight up at tree. Seriously, this little monkey is the hardest thing Ive ever had to work with.

So I do what I do a lot of when I shoot my kids. I SNAP. ALOT. As in, I snap alot of photos :) Normally, in a shoot with them, I have about 5 shots to get one good one.

But in doing this, you capture the moments in between. The tiny glimpse of love between them. A snort that sets them off again. The glint of mischief. I love these moments....

So when taking photos of your kids, take LOTS. And then take more. They'll get sick of you. But they will look back at those photos and laugh at how many there was, but also the ones they love will be the moments in between :)