Monsters & Ducks

BIG MonstersLevi LOVES Monsters at the moment. He was introduced to Monsters Inc when he went to see Chloe one day & since then has seen both Monsters Inc & Monsters University. He adores the monsters in both movies, so with this in mind, I thought that it might be nice to make him some monsters to play with on the felt board.

Technically I made these two big fella’s last night, but I wanted to keep the theme together for this post. The green monster actually has everything glued to it, whereas the blue does not, everything on it is removable. My original thought was to make them both with interchangeable bits, but the mouth on the green monster is a little tricky. You need the red to show the mouth or the tongue looks ridiculously out of place. Levi wanted to play with one then & there (I made it during his nap time, so that when he awoke it was waiting) so I gave him the green one to start. 10-Little-Monsters-free-printable-book-for-early-readers-the-measured-mom1

In doing a search for monster themed rhymes, I found this free book online & thought that I should print off a copy, & laminate it for him, which inspired me to create 10 monsters to go with the book. I have only really completed 4.5 because I got a little bored & annoyed with making more manageable sized monsters for him. The smaller that things are made for the felt board, the more fiddly it gets.

 

Small MonstersI am for the most part creating my own monsters, yes there are similarities to other monster pictures one might see, but I have created patterns from scratch so that I can reference them again in future if I so desire.

They aren’t too bad, but I need to play around a bit more with them, it’s all part of the creative process. Levi adores them, which is more important. Just need to make a few more to go with the story.

5 ducksAnother request was made by Levi for me to make some ducks for him, so that he could wake up to them in the morning, so I whipped up these little guys fairly fast before I headed to bed too for the night. I think it might need a BIG mother duck for the 5 little ducks song.

 

 

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The Valentine Tree

28 days of creativity is the goal for this month, it can be any sort of creativity too, writing, sewing, even cooking I guess if I so desire after last month … crafting of any sort.

The first started on a Saturday, so that was a bit of a bonus, although I had hoped that Geoff would have looked after the kids a bit more than he did (he decided to work on his climbing wall) I did have a few brief moments of peace (mostly nap times) ๐Ÿ˜€

I found a lovely idea for the kids felt board with a rhyme, entitled The Valentine Tree, on a site called Busy Crafting Mommy & then set about making my own.

Valentine Tree for kids crop

The rhyme (which is linked above, all ready to print as a PDF) calls for several different types of hearts. They were the simplest thing to make, hearts of lace involved cutting two hearts, a white one, bigger than the coloured heart to sit within it. I notched it a bit with scissors to make it appear as if it was lace & hot glued them together (later I added some velcro to the back to make sure they stick, as they are heavier than the other hearts). The hearts with flowers were a mix of some scrapbooking satin(ish) flowers & ones that I cut from felt (pain the arse, as they were so tiny) the others were fairly straight forward.

In making this project I discovered that I seem to have inherited some of my mothers ability to draw. I found an image of a tree that I liked & sketched it out. I wanted the tree to be BIG so that it can be used for other felt activities. I think that the tree will lend itself well to showing the seasons & no doubt I will do another post updating my progress on that at a later time, hopefully not too long though.

commissioned valentine tree crop

After posting pictures & links on facebook to my take on this project, granny asked for one to use at the library, so I made another, my first commissioned piece. Here it is all ready to go with all the hearts lined up & the poem at the bottom printed & laminated ๐Ÿ™‚

Of course after I finished making my trees & hearts I felt the need to make something else & Levi requested Monsters, so I made him a couple of them, which I will include in tomorrow’s post

 

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January

Before the year began I thought that I would look at things a bit differently. Instead of going into the new year with this grand list of things that I wanted to do, I’d pick something to achieve each month.

January’s big goal was to have some more variety in our eating. Often I think that you can get into a routine & whilst that can be good, it’s also pretty damn boring. I love food, which is somewhat ironic when I am allergic to as much as I am, but with 2 little ones, I find that I just want to make something super easy to eat & if that means a big pot of soup, curry or something else that lasts for several days, so be it. The issue with that, is that it gets BORING rather fast & then you find yourself eating because you have to, more so than eating because you want to, but it is pretty easy.

The biggest issue with pushing ourselves to have different meals every night (leftovers were ok if eaten the next day for lunch) was that it made going out to see friends a bit of a pain, because you were trying not to have something that you might have when out & we did come undone with that one, when we had sushi at a friends house, after we had, had a friend over for sushi earlier in the month. It was also a gigantic pain when you just felt like something that you had, had the night before or even a couple of weeks before. Yes, it did introduce a couple of new recipes into our mix, but overall it made us realise just how much variety we do in general have with what we eat.

February = Creativity

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2014

Well, it’s a new year already. Hard to believe that 2013 is now a thing of the past.
It was a bit of a busy year, but I’m still going to try to see how much more I can cram into this one with 2 little ones ๐Ÿ™‚

Last year we managed to get my knocked up, go to Australia, plant a huge garden, that became somewhat overgrown after the animals ransacked it (bending over to do weeding just didn’t happen, so after the ransacking I admit any little interest I had in maintaining it felt like a lost cause). We managed to get a few bigger purchases for the house including; a ride on mower, chainsaw, leaf blower, chest freezer & snowblower (amazing how far you can stretch your dollar when you are looking for sales etc). We welcomed Emily into the family in Oct (now there are 3 out of 4 birthdays for us in Oct), celebrated Levi’s 2nd birthday (a much smaller celebration than his first, where I went a little crazy & invited far too many people). Of note too is that the kids have been “adopted” as grandchildren of good friends & now have local grandparents, filling the gap of my family who choose not to be present in their lives. Both L & E also have a couple of uncles that came with the grandparent package, whom they adore dearly.

This year we are planning on going to the UK to see some of my extended family, from my mom’s side, which will be nice. I’ve found a few through Facebook, so it will be nice to meet face to face. As I’m not pregnant this year (& we don’t plan to have any more kids) this sound be a better year for getting stuff done out in the yard. Not a big fan of the HUGE amount of mozzies that you get here, so still have to find some sort of a solution to that issue to make being outdoors more pleasant, but hopefully we will get there eventually. I’m also hoping to do some more crafting, as it’s something that I enjoy. Who knows maybe I might even do a market if I can make enough stock to sell, otherwise I’ll just make lots of presents for people ๐Ÿ™‚

Last year was a pretty good year overall, we had a few health scares, but it all came good in the end. Here’s hoping this coming year, 2014 will be just as awesome or just a little bit better ๐Ÿ™‚

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Woose Bag!

What a woose! We set a couple of mouse traps downstairs (they always seem to want in, in the colder months) & they went missing, not because of Levi moving them either, but it appears the mice ran off with them. I just found where one of them ran off to, my craft room. I can trap a live one no worries & set it free, I can catch spiders & snakes no worries, but something dead, nope, can’t do that.

I only have a small window of opportunity to do some crafting, Geoff’s out with Levi doing what I am assuming is xmas shopping, so I know that I need to HTFU & go back down & do some work on Emily’s stocking, but I really don’t want to.

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I wish I’d known …..

โ€œI wish I had known that my childrenโ€™s behavior was a language – that their actions and words were telling me something about what they were feeling or thinking.
I wish Iโ€™d remembered that they did not get up in the morning plotting to do things to frustrate me.
I wish Iโ€™d known that meltdowns and explosions usually meant that my kids were tired, or hungry, or bored or frustrated themselves.
I wish Iโ€™d known that they needed an adult to help them find the words to express what was troubling them. But they sure didnโ€™t need a frustrated adult.
I wish Iโ€™d known more about child development, brain development and behaviour.
I wish Iโ€™d known that growing up is a slow process.
I wish Iโ€™d know how each development stage has its own way of seeing the world.
I wish Iโ€™d known the most times they saw things very differently from me.
I wish Iโ€™d listened more to what was true about their hearts and spirits and personalities than working about what other people thought of their behaviour.โ€

What I Wish I Had Known Before I Had Kids (That I Know Now)…
By Dawn Hallman, M. A. Dallas Association for Parent Education

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Banned

So a while ago we had a couple of potty’s given to us. I wouldn’t have bought any because we have had some catastrophic disasters with Levi tipping out his pee or poop into the floor after he has gone. However, he knows what they are & has seen them at other people’s places, so when they were given to us & Levi started to get quite upset with going to the actual toilet because he was missing out on what was happening in the rest of the house, we gave in & let him have the option of using the toilet or the potty. It seems to have helped too, because he gets more excited about having options, not only as to which toilet he can use (we have 2 upstairs & one down) but also whether he uses one of the potty’s (again one up & one down) or the toilet.

This morning I was sorting through some stuff down stairs when he needed the potty. I’m in the mood to sort & chuck, getting rid of lots of boys clothes & coats etc that didn’t work for Levi with the seasons & now obviously won’t work for Emily either, as they are only a couple of weeks apart in terms of seasons. Anyhow, he wasn’t dry (which was a shame as he has had 4 dry days to date, starting last week) but still wanted to go & decided to do a poo on the potty, something that he only started to do in the last week (which really sucks because I hate cleaning up poo & still have to when he poops in the potty, but still better than having it squished all over his butt). He had brought some blocks over to play with & one accidentally fell into the bowl. He kept saying “block, block, block mummy & I thought that he was referring to the blocks he was playing with, until I saw (the potty downstairs is somewhat transparent) that he was referring to one that had fallen in, which was of course covered in poo. The whole reason I started putting him on the toilet to do his poops, was because I couldn’t handle cleaning up his poop when he started solids (something I’m not looking forward to with Emily) so having to fish a block out to clean it was horrible. I did it though, it’s going to be soaked in bleach, just as the potty will, but I have to admit I did contemplate just throwing it out – blah!

Ahh, the joys of toddlers & toilet training. At least he didn’t tip out his business all over the floor or in a container of bathe toys like he has in the past (at someone else’s house of course).

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Saturday

Following the trend set by my last post by using a day of the week as a title, I thought I would call this one Saturday ๐Ÿ˜›

Amazing how much a little bit of help changes your mood. I was so tired & worn that in re-reading part of my last post I realised how cranky it had made me.

Today,we are expecting some friends/ framily (friends that have become like family) to come for a visit. It’s going to be another sushi making session … delicious!

We have spent most of the day thus far in getting the house sorted ready for visitors. I have been doing laundry NON stop, but hadn’t had much time to sort & put it away & every time I would start to fold it something would happen. Levi also discovered how fun it was to get into the laundry & have fun, so progress was not happening, until the morning. Sometimes it literally takes one of us to distract & entertain them & the other to do stuff & that’s pretty much how we have managed to get as much done as we have today. Good to finally have some of it sorted, frustrating that it took so long.

We’ve had a bit of snow today too, so Geoff’s plans of using the leaf blower to tidy up more of the leaves has been left for another time, because he can’t use the leaf blower (leaves too wet), apparently rakes are so yesterday ๐Ÿ˜›

 

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Friday

I’m so looking forward to it being Friday, this week has been rather long & hard. Geoff was on the organising committee for an IT conference this week, so I have had some longer than normal days on my own.

Emily has been a little unsettled this week, I think it’s gas & Levi has had his moments as well. We had a couple of awesome days without any accidents & then today we had 4 HUGE wet incidents (one when he woke up, another after his nap, one after I put on a little bit of a DVD for him because he seemed to be redeaming himself for the 2 accidents previous & then one more at dinner). He did have a bit of the runs today (no accidents with that at all, just pee), so he drank a fair amount, but still I just wish we hadn’t had any of those accidents at all. Today was spent doing a bit more washing than normal, because I hate the smell of pee & I was sure that after the first accident we would have no more, then no more after the second etc.

I seem to be running from one to the other most of the time, very rare that they are both content at the same time. Emily cries because she has wet herself or needs to be held or fed. Levi needs help going to the potty/ toilet because getting his undies up or down, is harder for him to do with plastic pullup pants that go over the top. OR he wants food or drink, a book read, cuddles etc. It’s never-ending. There are certainly times that I wish that I was doing paid employment so that I could find some time to take a pee or have a few minutes to think, because it never stops when you are pretty much the principal caregiver.

Mostly I am so over tired, that any time that I do have, once I get them settled, I end up in an exhausted heap, falling asleep on the couch or in bed, only to be woken up shortly after by one of the kids needing something because they really weren’t asleep like I thought (usually Emily rather than Levi).

Finding time to make nice decent meals is hard, due to time & motivational limitations. At the moment one whole couch is covered in laundry to be folded & has been like that for about a week. Hell, I’m falling asleep trying to write this post. It’s never ending & a bit of a thankless job, not many people appreciate the efforts of stay-at-home parents. At least with a paid job you have holidays, there is no holiday from parenting, at least not when you have decided to be present for your kids.

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Another milestone

Bath time tonight featured Levi in the bath & me in the hallway, watching from a distance, because as soon as I come in the room I get splashed (thanks for teaching him that Geoff).

Normally he wouldn’t have had a bath by now, but he had to have an early bath because of a little incident. He decided that whilst he was in the bathroom with the door closed, (because he needs privacy when he pee’s) he would sneak off, get Emily’s soap (which dispenses soap the same way as a hand dispenser you have in your home) & cover himself in it.

I would like to think that it won’t happen again, but he’s also fascinated with bubbles & thought that it was fantastic that he had so many in the bath with him, so yeah, kinda screwed with that one. I’m going to have to get more soap for Emily a little sooner than I thought in the meantime.

The best thing about today is that we had a completely DRY day, no pee accidents at all. He was completely dry. I still need to prompt him a bit & sometimes take him to the toilet, but he pee’s once he gets there. It’s not all up to us to remind him though. He woke up at 5am & told Geoff that he needed to go potty & asked me a few times through the day, so it’s a bit of a combined effort.

He’s getting a bus & some cake after dinner to celebrate his achievement, we promised him a BIG treat, so gotta follow through with it. I already put on some Wiggles for him to watch, which he has been enjoying. It’s certainly been a long road to get this far, but yet another step closer. It’s going to be amazing once we can go out & not have to worry about pull-ups or even him wearing waterproof outer pants around the house. He’s growing up so fast. ๐Ÿ™‚

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