Friday, 27 October 2017

Finger Paint!

Finger Painting! I had been looking forward to this for the longest time! I knew that I wanted to wait until Squish had started solids, there was a more than even chance the paint was going to end up in her mouth at some point! I also knew that I wanted to make my own paint, but didn't want to use fruit or vegetable based 'edible' paints at a time when Squish would still be working out what was food and what wasn't.

I followed a simple recipe that uses only cornflour, water and food colouring. as you can see, we only needed the tiniest drop of colouring to give us some vibrant colours. I was a little worried about colours staining her hands, but in the end it was just a little of the blue colour around her fingernails.

We covered the entire area in a towel and I had her stripped down to just her nappy. I had considered using a sleeved bib, but they're all too big on her and I didn't want the sleeves trailing through the paint, I wanted to see those cute little finger prints! 

I just plopped a blob of each colour on to the canvas and let her go at it. She kept swiping and mushing away for quite a few minutes. Then once she reached for her mouth I grabbed her up and took her straight to the bath.

She loved every second of it and I want wait to do it again. We also have water painting on the list of things to try once the weather warms up a little more!

Friday, 20 October 2017

9 Month Update!

Well, we passed 38 weeks and 1 day, baby has officially been on the outside longer than she was on the inside! :D

She's crawling around and getting into everything! We have made her bedroom a "Yes" space - she can play in there independently and there is nothing for us to say "No" to within her reach. We also had to get a gate for the kitchen, strange but as we installed it I actually felt like a parent for the first time!

There will be a lot of other firsts this month, too. She's about to go on her first plane trip (super nervous for this one!) and go to her first "Show" when we visit her grandparents.

She's talking a lot, she says dadada the most, and will say it almost all day, but she also seems to associate it with her dad. If I ask, 'Where is Dada?' she looks at him, or for him if he's not home. She only seems to say mamama when she's complaining about something!

We have been putting seeds out in the courtyard for the birds and she loves sitting and watching them. They are getting used to her and don't fly away when she flaps around or screeches out to them. She's fascinated by the dogs we see when we go for out nightly walks, and videos of cats meowing (thanks Dad) crack her up.

We're back in to swimming and looking forward to going with Dad again as he's on holidays for two weeks. Lots more family adventures to come!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, 2017

This day is so important to us, and to many bereaved parents. It is a day for honoring the memories of little ones lost, and for trying to break the silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss.

I have posted many times in the past about this topic, and now, parenting after loss is bringing a whole new perspective to this date. I often look at our little one and think about the siblings she sill never meet. She could have had a big brother or sister two years older than her. How would they be together? Would they look alike? Would they play together or antagonise each other? How would our lives as parents be different with two instead of one? It's even possible, given the timing of our losses, that she could have two older siblings, what would THAT look like for us?

And then I get to thinking that if we hadn't lost those babies, maybe we would never have had her. Our little Squish might never have been born due to spacing gaps between siblings or a whole range of other issues that can come with bringing home a baby.

Parenting after loss can bring such guilt too. There have been so many times when we have been struggling with sickness, sleep deprivation or simply not knowing how to ease our little one or what she needs, that we have been cross with her or with each other. And then to feel such guilt for not always being 'happy' with our little miracle. We love her more than anything, but she's still a baby! And babies can be a challenge!

If you are grieving the loss of a little one, our thoughts are with you. Especially to those who suffer in silence and have not told their friends or family about their loss. love and hugs to you x

Picture from Luminous Light Studio

Sunday, 8 October 2017

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

 Just a quick post to share how much Squish and I love the Very Hungry Caterpillar series of books. We read a lot, but she always comes back to these and her face lights up as she turns the pages.

I have always loved Eric Carle and no matter what year level I was teaching I would always do a unit on his books with my class during library. For the littlies it would just be from a pure story point of view, for the older classes, we looked at how his illustrations were crafted and used in the stories (Hello, Red Fox is amazing!).

There is so much vocab in the original story, from days of the week and counting, to common fruits and other foods. Throw in a bit of science with the life cycle of a butterfly and you have such a rich learning opportunity outside the fun of the story itself. Because it is so great for vocab I even had a copy in German (Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt) when I was teaching German classes.

The Touch and Feel Playbook was fabulous for tummy time. Putting the book flat on the floor in front of her gave her something to do with her hands, standing it up in front of her encouraged her to lift her head.

The Where is book and the counting book are recent additions to our collection, and Squish loves lifting the flaps on each page to look for the Caterpillar and counting the animals on each page - well, I count, she watches :)

I had planned to do a Totoro cake for her 1st birthday, to round out the Baby Shower theme, but now I am thinking it might have to be a Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Friday, 6 October 2017

Spinach and ricotta pinwheels

These have become a new lunch time favourite, and so easy to take out when we are on the move.

Spinach and Ricotta Pinwheels

Makes lots! 40+

6 sheets puff pastry, thawed
I tsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic (or more to taste)
180g spinach, shredded
300g ricotta
Parmesan to stop (optional) 

Preheat oven to 180C
Step 1
Lightly fry onions and garlic until transparent. Add roughly chopped spinach and stir until wilted. Set aside to cool.
Step 2
Stir ricotta into spinach mix.

Step 3
Spread spinach and ricotta mix onto pastry sheets, leaving a 2cm gap at one end. Roll into a tight log, starting at the opposite edge and sealing along the plain edge. Repeat with remaining pastry sheets.

Step 4
Cut into 1cm widths and place on baking tray. Sprinkle with parmesan if desired. 

Step 5
Bake at 180 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
We loved these fresh from the oven, but they are also great cold. We freeze in meal sized batches, then I just pop a container in our bag as we head out, and they are thawed by the time we are ready for lunch!