Archive | October, 2010

Halloweened out

28 Oct

Mummy Mad is hosting an Autumn craft and activity ideas carnival-type thing (I’m not up on the old lingo, so excuse me if I have gotten this wrong). Anyway, it’s a great list of things to do with bored kids. And while I was there I discovered this great idea. Shadow art. Brilliant! And timely, because the Turtle has become extremely interested in shadows recently, or “shade-ows” as he calls them (he has an interesting little accent going on, part Irish, part South Carolinian, part Californian and honestly, it’s downright odd). Either way, making a “shade-ow” picture was a great way to spend a morning while the Hubby was catching up on his sleep. The Turtle even got to try out his new scissors. So a success for him, no matter what way you look at it. Sadly, a two year old mad to show off his scissoring skills does not an intricate and beautiful shadow picture make (nor does using thick crayons to draw around cookie cutters, but ho-hum). We’re proud of ourselves nonetheless and gave it pride of place on the sliding door (unfortunately I didn’t think this through and almost squished it when I tried to open the door, but it has been rescued and put up on the only window wide enough to hold it and it is still admired, sporadically, by the Turtle as he whirlwinds through the house).A fabulous end to our Halloween crafting. Yes, there is time to do more, but I’m Halloweened out.

Out of the mouths of babes…

28 Oct

“It’s night time again… bath time again… sleeping time again…(then it’ll be) tomorrow again”

It’s amazing to watch him put the world together for himself. Carving a pattern out of randomness.

Hello twelve year old me…

23 Oct

Do you know, that when I entered secondary school I was very skeptical of even the idea of Home Economics. I would have nothing to do with it. I thought it was a way for the Nuns to keep the girls in their place. Cooking, cleaning and dressmaking. Quite obviously a conspiracy. I knew what I knew when I was 12 and there was no point in talking to me. I knew I wouldn’t get married. I suspected I wouldn’t have kids of my own but that I would adopt (one from every continent, long before Angelina made it hip). And  I knew I would never, ever, ever need or want to sew (or cook or clean, but I was right on those ones).

Hello twelve year old me! It’s 2010 and you have just spent the past two days sewing! For fun! And part of you wishes you had taken Home Ec. now. I sincerely doubt Mrs. Lawless would have let you get away with the kind of tomfoolery (and swearing) you have been at! And she’d have clued you in on the basics before letting you go off half cocked. Your seams would match. And be straight.

Still, not to worry. You’re having fun. And you can tell the people who look too closely “That’s what I was aiming for!”

Not only that, you’ve taken up cross-stitching and are making some kind of mad Christmas picture with cutesy snowmen and beads and whatnot.

You’re also obsessed with freezer-paper stenciling. Because it is awesome!

You’re crocheting and knitting again too.

It’s just a matter of finessing your technique. I don’t suppose I could convince you to take up this crafting mallarkey a bit earlier??

Salt dough ornaments

22 Oct

“We” (well, I) decided we should give salt dough a go again. Surely this time we won’t end up with door stop sized ornaments, I thought. It’s just like play dough. How hard can it be? Hahahaha! I went with the easy 2 cups of flour, one cup of salt, and up to 1 cup of water. I kneaded it. And kneaded it. And kneaded it. I chilled it. And kneaded it. A fair bit. I read that salt dough should be well kneaded. I’m not sure if I went overboard though. Because it went a bit gloopy. Plopping all over the place.

The Turtle got bored. The Hubby and I got more and more determined to produce something presentable. That would dry in less than a week. And be cute hanging in the window for Hallowe’en (well that might have just been me). And you know what, 30 minutes later we ended up with a few fairly presentable bits. And they only took four hours to dry (perhaps less, I forgot the oven was on).

And this evening we painted them. With poster paints, even I’m not brave enough to let a two year old loose with the acrylics. Presumably once they are sealed they’ll be grand.

(And it may be wrong, but I’m hoping that trying salt dough and retching like a sick dog will deter the Turtle from trying to eat the play dough. It’s probably a vain hope though.)

(Edited to add the results! Sealed with Mod Podge, the sparkly kind!)

The best dollar you’ll ever spend…

19 Oct

…as a parent, will be on an empty spray bottle. Seriously. With it you can:

  • play “cleaning”. And a bit of toddler elbow grease will actually get dirt off of those places you don’t normally look (making the dirt left behind even more obvious, but ho hum).
  • play “storms”: “Oh no, Thomas! It’s raining. Splash!” (Thomas, obviously falls off the track with the force of the rain!)
  • get your toddler to follow directions, such as “show us your knee until I squirt it” nothing vaguely useful. Still it inspires hope.
  • a dab of (tempera) paint and a good shake and off he goes to paint the concrete, the fence, the grass, Mammy’s flowers, everything really.
  • mad “Run or I’ll squirt you” games (which should be played outside because someone will fall on a slippy wet floor).
  • a squirt of washing up liquid (and a shake) will lead to an investigation as to why the bubbles don’t come out of the bottle.
  • play “wash down” a game in which toddlers and toys alike are washed. Sponge optional.
  • “Squirt in the mouth” (not my idea! Hee hee!) Just make sure you use clean water.

Honestly, the possibilities are endless. Endless!

Free the piggies!

14 Oct

Leaving the in-law madness aside for the moment (5 days left, so there may be more). This guy

is the new bane of my life! And this is the reason why:

I’m not sure if we’ve been watching the same episode of Sesame Street over and over or what, but every time I turn around this song seems to be on. And it really is quite catchy. So I find myself singing it at random intervals throughout the day. The problem is that the Turtle has taken its “message” to heart. Any attempts to put on shoes are met with “Piggies free Mammy! Piggies free!” And when it’s put that way how can you resist? But if you think the looks you get when you have a tantrumming toddler are bad, you should try walking around with a barefoot one. Even husbands are likely to look at you as if you’re mental, especially if you say “But it’s piggies free time. Don’t blame me, blame that Bob Marley-looking fella on Sesame Street” (I didn’t know his name, you see). Even husbands give up though when they realise how fast a barefooted toddler determined not to wear shoes can be (like lightning, I tell you, lightning!)

Free the piggies! Free the piggies! (Somewhere safe and warm…)

Hanging in there

12 Oct

I am. More or less.

Usually I would characterise myself as rather easygoing. A “go with the flow” type. At the moment though I’m not sure that I am. Everything grates. Every little thing. It’s because I have to let the big things “go”. And I can’t. So the little things are driving me a little bit insane.

I do have larger things to be thinking about. People at home sick and dying. Still though.

Here are the things I want to say, but can’t (and I realise some of them are petty but I can’t help it).

  • Don’t tell my son he can’t do something when I am standing right there. If he’s not allowed to do something I will tell him. If I haven’t said anything it is because he is allowed do it.
  • Don’t try and feed him your crappy cereal while I am in the kitchen cooking him breakfast (and you have seen me).
  • Don’t coerce him to eat. Or try and put things in his mouth. He’s 2! Conversely, don’t berate him for not using cutlery when he is actually eating.
  • Don’t wipe his face while he is eating.
  • How hard is it to understand that you can shower before he goes to bed or a half an hour or so after he goes to sleep? Not while I am putting him to bed. So there’s an hour a day when I would prefer that you did not shower. One hour. Out of twenty four. Why is that exactly the time you go into the bathroom? You may as well be doing the Macarena around his bedroom. He’s 2. He needs his sleep. And yes, his sleep is more important than your ablutions.
  • Do not rearrange the doodads on my mantelpiece. Maybe their arrangement offends you, but that is how I like them. I will put them back one more time, but if they are moved again I will put them in a box in the garage.

There’s more, but just thinking about it is apt to make my head explode. Hopefully getting this much out makes it less likely that you will see my face on the news with a big “Wanted” sign under it 😉

The guest room

8 Oct

I thought I should share it with you. The finished article (well it could probably do with a picture being hung, but that’s unlikely now).Not too bad for a first attempt. Perhaps someday I’ll gather up the courage to make curtains for the living room. Someday.

The wonders of a lie-in

7 Oct

I had one this morning. One of those now almost mythical creatures. The lie-in. I didn’t get up until almost 8am. Don’t get me wrong, I was woken at 5:30. And kept awake until nearly 6:30. But then the Hubby came home and I got to stay in bed. Laying there in that place, half way between sleep and wakefulness. Ahhhh. Heavenly. Then a shower. Upon waking. Not half way through the day – which necessitates getting dressed for a second time when it is so hard to do so the first bloomin’ time. Aahhh.

And do you know what happens when Mammy gets almost enough sleep and wakes up feeling almost human? Do you?



Of course, half-way through I wonder what I was thinking. But fun was had by all.

We bought the little plywood Jacko’Lantern at a craft store for about $1.50! We coloured it in with crayons yesterday. Boredom set in with that relatively quickly. So today we put sellotape on it to make designs or stripes or something. Added interest? Then we painted it and peeled off the tape. The finished product (which I forgot to take a picture of) is quite astounding and will be adorning the front door as soon as I figure out the best way to hang it.

I must confess that I wouldn’t let the Turtle have any other colours. Just orange. Otherwise it would have turned to mud you see. I hate that little control freakery bit of my personality. But I just couldn’t do it. I wanted one orange Jacko’Lantern. Just one. I let him have free rein with the paint and a cardboard pumpkin. Then we brought out the glue and the “fuzzies”. In for a penny, in for a pound!

And he only ate one mouthful of paint. No glue or fuzzies were ingested (that I saw). Progress!

There was however, so much paint residue in the bath that I thought it was sand.

Things done

7 Oct

I am absolutely useless when it comes to “To Do Lists”. I mean, I can make them with the best of them. Colour co-ordinate them. Decorate them with stickers and stars and what not. Beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. When it comes to doing things off them? Absolutely useless. Somewhere, in the deep recesses of my brain there are some cells that equate making a list with actually doing the task. So if I make the list there is almost a guarantee that whatever is on it will never be done. Ever.

But a good way to buoy my confidence? Is to list out the things I have actually done. It helps to consolidate all of the things left to do in my mind. Somehow. I’m not entirely sure how it works. But it does. So here goes:

  • the curtains are made and hung in the guestroom
  • the shower curtain and bathmat have been washed
  • the hoovering and mopping have been done
  • the nets have been washed and rehung
  • the insides of the windows have been washed
  • a modicum of dusting has been attempted
  • the toilets are clean
  • surfaces have been scrubbed
  • mirrors are sparkly (for now)
  • the kitchen tables have been freed from the random bits and bobs that always accumulate on them.
  • I’m more or less on top of the washing
  • I have bought more towels (and shampoo)

But there’s still so much to do. So much. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!

And I have about twenty people coming over tomorrow nigh for “kids’ movie night” – my attempt to get through the horror of the hubby working four nights in a row (arranged before I knew the in-laws were coming).


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