Sick :(

This week, Moo has been sick.  She got ill from J, the 3yr old I look after.  Last week Sunday she looked awful and I wasn’t feeling too great, so I took the Monday off much to my boss’s disgust!

This is her on the Friday she got ill:

All bundled up to brave the cold front which hit us on Monday

We’ve been working on Montessori style activties lately.  I set out several activities / toys on the bench table we have in the lounge and she is free to help herself to an activity and then pack it away afterwards.  Being on the bench, neatly set out makes everything easily self-accessible, easy to see and easy to pack away.  I also have 1 cupboard in the kitchen locked, the rest are fair game to her and in amongst my baking stuff is her baking stuff, her plastics in the main plastic cupboard, the bottom 3 drawers full of child safe utensils etc so she is allowed to use them as she see’s fit, and pack away afterwards.

Here she is with her baking stuff – a little mixing bowl, mini whisk, mini spatula, mini wooden spoon, mini cake tin, small measuring jug, measuring spoons etc

One of the activities she enjoys is using a spoon to transfer ping-pong balls from a bowl into a muffin tin. This incorporates her gross and fine motors skills, problem solving (what happens if the ball falls, if 2 go into 1 compartment etc), numeracy (one ball / compartment).

As part of the Montessori ethos, Skye pours her own drinks and helps to prepare her own food.  Here she is pouring her juice (and she says ‘joooooose’) which is actually rice milk.

Someone asked me the other day how big are Skye’s feet.  She wears a size 3 shoe (when I can get them to stay on her feet!).  I’ve been taking imprints of her feet since newborn so I took a photo of the canvas and measured them.

Newborn – 7.5cm long, 6 months – 8.5cm, 12 months – 10cm, 18 months (not printed yet) – 10.5cm

By Wednesday, Moo was doing a lot better and rushing around outside with the girls in the afternoon.

Our sad news is that last Sunday evening, our kitty was knocked over by a car and severely hurt.  This kitty was a favourite of Skye’s.  He was super patient with her.  He was one of the pair we raised from almost newborn after Brendon found them in a rubbish dump.  Unfortunately, due to the extent of the injuries(broken jaw and shattered pelvis), he had to be put down.  Skye came with me to say goodbye.  She was so gentle with him, holding him and stroking him as he died.

And that’s our week 🙂  ‘See’ you next weekend.

New car seat

I’m quite sticky about car safety, it irritates me to see people who don’t seem to care enough about their children to actually ensure they are safely restrained in the car.  I did quite a bit of research and it is safer for your child to stay rear-facing in the car long past the currently recommended 9kg/1year mark.  Moo is not exactly a big girl and until last month she fitted in her infant seat very comfortably.  At 18 months now, she only just manages to get to 10kg on the scale (and that’s with clothes on!).  Anyway, in Sweden, rear-facing car seats are common for children up to the age of at least 4yrs old.  Several European countries have more rigid regulations about keeping your child rear-facing for at least 2 years and the USA is following suit.  Unfortunately in South Africa, you have a very limited choice of car seats in the major shops, none of them cater for rear-facing beyond 10 – 13kg.  Luckily for us, there are a few options if you are willing to do some homework.

1) Import on from http://www.carseat.se  (I know several people who have done this with great success and relative ease)

2) Buy from http://www.rearfacing.co.za (they stock a range called BeSafe, one of which offers extended rear-facing passed 2 years)

3) Buy a car seat from Volvo, which is what we did.  The Volvo seat is a Britax Multi-Tech, only re-branded with a Volvo colours.  It can safely secure your child rear-facing up to 25kg (aprox 5yrs).  It can also be used forward facing up to 25kg using a harness and then convert to a booster eat when your child reaches the required weight and height.  It cost about the same as a decent forward facing car seat found in major baby shops in SA, but offers just SO much more.  And when I look at the condition of cheaper branded car seats after several years use compared to top range car seats after the same amount of use, the cheap ones just don’t cope.

Moo LOVES her new car seat 🙂

Pizza!!!

This weekend we decided to make pizza for supper.  Moo LOVES pizza, in fact when-ever we tell her it’s supper time she asks ‘pzza?’ (pizza)

We started off my making the pizza dough.  Moo helped to pour and mix the ingredients and put them in a warm spot to proove.

Our recipe is: 500g flour, pinch salt, 1Tbl oil, sachet instant yeast, 1tsp sugar, aprox 1 Cup tepid water.  Mix together, knead, allow to proove.

The we pressed out our dough out and added ingredients

And it was YUMMY!!!

Decoding Toddler Talk

Skye speaks a lot now,both in words and baby sign language,we understand most of it,no-one else has a clue besides the obvious!
For example,the subtle difference between ‘whee'(where) and ‘wee'(wee) determine if you will have a wet lap or not. Then you have ‘wow'(poo) and ‘wah'(said when she nearly falls) and of course ‘wah-wah’ (dog). Of course,there’s no mistaking a very firm ‘no’ but sometimes ‘uh-uh’ can mean yes and sometimes no and sometimes it’s just an uh-oh that came out wrong!

In the realm of baby sign’s,the opening and closing fist is used in a manner of different ways to mean ‘milk’ ‘fish’ ‘star’ and ‘hot’ (and probably lots more I’ve forgotten for now).

I love watching her communicate with us and I’m so glad we started using baby sign language,she ‘talks’ so much with her hands and you can see connections forming in her mind.

Something old…

I wanted to re-post something I wrote several months ago, it’s still pertinent today 🙂

I like to think that I’m fairly well educated and I enjoy learning new things / concepts / ideas.  I’ve never been one to just ‘follow the rest of the sheep’ and do what is normal orexpected.  I have had quite a few years experience with young children and not everything I have done or been asked to do has felt 100% right to me.  That doesn’t mean that it was wrong, just that it didn’t sit well with ME.  A lot of the things I choose to do with my daughter are not conventional and this does seem to bother a lot of people.

For example, we co-sleep.  I love it.  Not only does it give us a chance to cuddle with my baby, she sleeps a lot better especially now that it is cold at night.  It also means that if she want to nurse I don’t have to get up, we can both do it half asleep and fall asleep again nice and snuggly warm.  She naps in her own bed and 90% of the time goes to be in her own bed joining us at around midnight or 2am when she wakes up cold or lonely or peckish 🙂  I also follow baby-led weaning  ( http://www.facebook.com/BabyLedWeaningLetYourBabiesFeedThemselvesweeblylink_new_window  ) and do baby sign langauge ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baby-Sign-Language/135339096490587 ), use cloth nappies ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Doodle-Bums-Diapers/149935841685302 ) , ‘wear’ baby in a sling and have recently started Elimination Communication or Early Potty Learning with my baby (http://www.earthbabies.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=32&Itemid=78 ) .

I don’t think there’s a reason I do this except that it feels right to me.  I listen to what my baby has to say and try and follow her needs.  My 7-month old feeds herself.  It is awesome!  I don’t have to cart around specially prepared food or worry about where she will eat.  She sits at the table with us (either on my lap or in a highchair).  She eats whatever we are eating.  She can tell me when she’s hungry, when she’s had enough and when she need to go potty 80 – 90% of the time.  None of this has been ‘forced’ or ‘taught’ in the traditional sense, but gradually learnt by both of us as we grow together.

I practise some form of attachment parenting with all the children I look after.  My biggest ‘ideal’ is responding to children appropriately, quickly and lovingly because to me this is the essence of attachment parenting.  A lot of my charges have been worn in a sling and most have been demand fed, but this doesn’t make me rigid to MY parenting choices and I respect other parents and their choices.  I have worked for parents who parent differently to me and I have always been able to do as they wish whether or not I agree with it.

A brilliant way to start the work week!

I’ve burnt the mince, twice!  And it’s not even mine.  It’s for work.  Well, half of it is my mince (I cook it together) but I don’t have any more mince to start over.  Skye was miserable and wouldn’t sleep, and just as she was falling asleep I could smell it was starting to catch, but the cleaning lady got there first and stirred it (I was hoping to just scoop the unburnt off).  I managed to get most of the burnt taste out…then, I managed to burn it again.  I really hope I can save it 😦  Else it will have to be tomorrows supper tonight…what a waste.