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Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

On the weekend we went bush walking…our first bush walk together as a family. The Wolli Creek Regional Park is one of the inner west’s best kept secrets. A little pocket of native vegetation in the middle of suburbia. It’s a special place to us, because it’s where we got married several years ago (in the time I recall fondly as “the before”). It was strange being back with two small children in tow…the incessant chatter and rumble of little toddler feet sending nervous Eastern Water Skinks scurrying for cover. We were amazed at how excited the children were to be in the bush. It’s nature’s playground…with so much to see, hear, smell and touch. Whisper thin dragon flies floating in the air, cockatoos squawking over head, interesting rocks and tree branches to navigate and scented wild flowers fragrancing the air. It was a great afternoon…and much more fun without a white frock on.

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In Robin Barker’s book The Mighty Toddler she describes the transition of a 2-yr old into a 3-yr old like that of a frog into a prince. I quietly cherished these words and looked forward with much anticipation to my son’s 3rd birthday. Well, a few months in and it seems that we’re still living with a frog most of the time. Our little frog has dropped his day nap which may have something to do with his tired, less than prince-like behaviour in the evenings. We’ve decided not to sweat the small stuff and instead focus on his good behaviour by rewarding it with a star. Ten stars earns a surprise gift.

I had trouble finding a toddler Star Chart template so decided to design my own and include it here as a free printable. The chart is very visual and the concept of the stars leading to a gift is clear to a 2-3 year old.

Who would have thought that the idea of being swept off my feet by a prince would have a whole new meaning to me as a mother!

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The older my babies get, the harder it is to photograph them together. I mean…really hard. They never sit still. This was my effort to take a nice photograph for Fathers Day. We ended up with a handmade card and a box of chocolates.

Any advice, tips or sneaky tricks would be gratefully appreciated.

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I recently stumbled across a great little blog called Happy Little Kiwi, which features lots of the things I love such as recipes, crafts and useful ideas & products for kids. This week featured a link to a website called Mr Printables, containing oodles of free printables and resources for preschool and beyond.

I used imagery from Mr Printables’ Alphabet Activity Book (see photo below) to create a handmade birthday card for a sweet little boy turning one on the weekend (see photo above). I downloaded the image and cropped it, then used Schoolhouse Cursive B font to type his name in the space provided. I printed the card onto 4×6 card stock on my colour inkjet printer and made a custom envelope out of brown kraft paper.

Mr Printables’ Doodle on the Moon is too groovy not to include here. You can download fabulous high-resolution images of the moon…for doodling on of course. My son drew an Alien Moon Monster…in what appears to be a purple top-hat. Where does he get these ideas from?!

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My little boy leads the anti-vegetable movement in Sydney. His zeal has brought out new levels of deceit in me as I smuggle vegies into the least suspecting of meals.

Recently a strange phenomenon took place.

It all started with a trip to the petting zoo, where he fell in love with guinea pigs.

From that point on he has wanted to be a guinea pig, even though we explained that guinea pigs eat carrot sticks and cucumber (and showed him some YouTube clips for reinforcement).

Now that he is a guinea pig, he eats carrot sticks with great gusto.

Just like that.

He also walks around most of the day on all fours and squeaks when I talk to him..but I’ll take my victories where I can.

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My son has been obsessed with Lego for a few months now. Most of his constructions have been via his personal Lego Monkey. This morning, at a month shy of 3-years, he spent 10 minutes quietly in his bedroom before emerging to display his first independent Lego construction, undirected and unassisted.

Oh and not to state the obvious…it’s a moon buggy.

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Peak Hour [pēk ou-er]

n.

1. The period of the day during which family activity in the home is at its highest, children are at their neediest and parenting stamina is at its lowest.

Peak hour in our house is usually between the hours of 5pm – 7pm. It’s a period of heightened activity when multiple meals are prepared and served, eating is supervised, food messes are cleaned, baths are run, children are washed, teeth are brushed, protesting bodies are dried, pyjamas are sourced, children are dressed, hair is combed, beds are prepared, books are read and endless negotiation over lights out and sleep.

Each day when the clock ticks over to 5:00pm I have a moment of pre-emptive exhaustion. It is incomprehensible that we will survive the next few hours.

To my ongoing amazement, we always do.

Then after that last protest is heard and silence finally descends upon the house, all the things I have been adding to my ‘after the children are asleep’ mental to-do list throughout the day, just dissipate with exhaustion.

Peak hour is hardcore. It’s for people with nerves of steel.

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We have a lovely neighbour that dotes on our children. She spends time with them in the garden, buys them little presents and sneaks freddo frogs to our son when we’re not looking. She’s their honourary Aunty.

On the weekend she gave this little tea cup to our daughter. She told us that she’d seen it in an antique store years ago and fell in love with it. She bought it just in case she had a daughter. Now with her one boy all grown up, she wanted to give it to someone special. I couldn’t think of a more perfect gift for a little girl, or boy for that matter.

Since my son turned two, we have started having regular ‘tea parties’. We lay his table with a tablecloth, set napkins and serve tea with cake. I think it teaches him table manners and the enjoyable ritual of sharing a cup of tea. He has a groovy United Nations mug his real Aunty bought him back from New York. It will be great when my little girl can join our tea parties too.

And speaking of tea, saw this little find, The Vintage Tea Party Book, at Gleebooks:

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Someone today asked if my daughter and her cousin were twins. A little similar in looks, they mostly share a lovely similar temperament. My sister and I agree that ‘these two play well together’.

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