It was one of those mornings - j napping and I was torn between getting some housework done and spending quality time with e. After so many absentminded 'yes-es' and 'I see-s' in her direction, while I scramble to finish the dishes or the like bites sometimes. My goal is to be an abundant Mama, not and absent minded one.
So I brainstormed on what project we could both focus on. Since I hadn't managed to clean up the kitchen much, what better project than homemade playdough.
I did remember reading about a recipe online not too long ago, which sounded different than all the other previous ones I had made. 'So here we go,' I thought.
The recipe calls for heating the playdough, something I was a little apprehensive about at first, mainly because I just know myself too well and I was not really up for having to explain to my husband how I managed to burn playdough on one of my pots.
But it worked out a lot better than anticipated, no burned pots or anything.
So here is the super easy recipe that will take all of oh let's say five minutes tops?
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of salt
1 cup water
1 TBS olive oil (or vegetable oil)
3 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients and stir over low heat until combined.
And that's it. *big smile*
You can add food coloring if you like, I prefer not to. Food coloring is not something we usually keep around the house and I felt it looks more fun to play with without. e certainly looked like she was having a great time playing and it kept her busy for a good little while. We worked next to each other on our projects, her creating playdough moose and I finished cleaning up the kitchen. Win-win for everyone, I love projects like these. Ding, ding, ding, ding!
On a last note - I was able to store the Playdough in an old canning jar in the fridge for a long time. It's reusable, another win. Ha!
[And my auto correct keeps trying to change Playdough into Playboy...].
We wrap. Often.
Not so much with E when she was a baby because I was still working full time and I just didn't know about all the benefits, but definitely a lot with J.
On some days it can feel like my entire self is drowning in the constant dependence of my two tiny human beings. Those moments when everything is going blissfully great followed by some where I'm going insane because I just can't.put.them.down.
Hungy. Teething. Grocery shopping. All of the above.
I have learned to love myself and love myself when wrapping.
When I wrap my baby, I don't just wrap for convenience. Though that's a big plus - especially during dinner preparation and while grocery shopping. But wrapping is about so much more! I am close to my baby, and I mean "I-can-kiss-you-as-much-as-I-want" close. I can talk to him, love on him, and he can rest his sleepy little head on my chest when he wants to.
I have a busy little boy, who loves exploring and spending time with Sister. But when he's ready for some snuggles, it feels so good to just scoop him up and wrap him. He's so content in there (until he's ready to get out and explore again). This has been a win-win for my tribe and me.
Weekend getaways are fun. No worries about making your bed and cleaning dishes, scrubbing the bathroom or cooking dinner. Staying in a hotel takes care of so much of our normal daily chores, I love it hands down.
But then there is packing for the trip. *gasp*
Besides my husband's work clothes, we aim to keep a fairly minimal wardrobe as it is - kids included. This takes care of most of the packing already. But just in case, here is my "how to pack" for a quick getaway with two kids.
1. Choose your colors and stick with them. Not only for our getaway, but our closets in general, have mostly neutral whites, creams, and grays with some blues and blacks in them. This is huge as my daughter's closet used to be all pink and purple, she now has a selected few items that are still left over from her pink days (mostly PJ's). Everything else has been replaced with more neutral whites, blues, and grays, as she has been outgrowing clothes. As much as I wanted to go ahead and replace her ENTIRE closet at once, I waited patiently until she outgrew and then replaced her new clothes. It made for a fun transitioning time that will always be remembered. *smile*
2. I stick to my favorites. New outfits that I'm not sure how they wear just yet will get a different occasion to be worn, but not one far from home where I am stuck with what I have. My basics last weekend were a pair of blue jeans and a pair of tanned, with a white and tanned shirt to mix and match. It worked.
The kids matched in blue and white, so did my husband with his black and grey. Perfect for the tons of family pictures that were taken. No bright pinks or oranges that throws everything off balance.
3. I choose basics tested in time. Chasing trends is great if you like it, but just as said above, I stick with a color palette that I trust. I don't want to look back on our family photos years from now and wonder "What was I thinking wearing that eighties bright color" (not that I have anything bright to wear, but you get the point).
4. I choose easy to care for materials, especially with having two kids - and one of them likes to wipe his mouth on my shirt all. the. time. Thus, I make sure to choose materials I can wash in the hotel sink and that dry quickly over night if needed. Now, for a weekend getaway it may not matter much (unless your kids are at their best behavior #not ), but for a longer trip this is something good to keep in mind.
5. Shoes. I went out on a limb by choosing only one pair of shoes to take. Now keep in mind it was only 2 days and I checked the weather forecast. I packed two pairs for my daughter, because alas she is only 3 and loves jumping in puddles, dropping ice cream or *gasp* have an accident. You get the point.
In retrospect, all went well and she only wore her one pair of sandals all weekend. Ha!
Now on to the bag!
I was determined to go as minimal as possible, choosing only to bring a small carry-on sized suitcase. But, I do have a Baby and a Toddler coming with me, with Pyjamas and burp cloths and a couple of toys, we ended up going with the regular sized suitcase. One half filled up larger suitcase in favor of having to bring multiple bags and run a gazillion times between the van and the hotel room. It worked for us. :)
Not shown are the outfits we wore on the trip and all the toys/blankets we took.
And that was our packing for the weekend. Now I can't wait for the next trip to push myself a little further in minimal packing.
I have a thing for fresh foods. Fresh fruits are a beautiful sight to look at, all these colors, shapes and textures. Oh, and don't get me started on the taste. The juicy bite of a watermelon (and I they made me oh so sick during my first pregnancy), the spicy crunch of a radish, or the soft mush of a Banana.
And the more exotic the foods and tastes, the better. Heavenly.
Arrange them for a pretty salad and it's even better. Love. It.
So I tend to buy whole foods, fruits and vegetables at our local farmers market. And lots of it. Our fridge is in a constant state of fullness with fruits and vegetables. On some days we have to shuffle things around to get even one container of left overs squeezed in. Ha!
But here's the problem -- I have the unfortunate tendency to leave half a jig-a-marig of fruit turn sad in the fridge. The beautiful site of a fruit plate for lunch on Monday or Tuesday, gets forgotten in the hustle of finding enough ingredients for dinner on Wednesday.
Yeah. I shall work on that and change it pronto.
But besides the point -- I was very happy to help out with the fruit display and dip for a Babyshower at our church. I not only like to taste fruit, but also prepare it. Double browny... errr fruity points. lol
Motherhood, such a wonderful calling. A calling where these bundles of joy fully depend on us, want us and love us unconditionally. But with this joy also comes responsibility as I am my children's first teacher.
A daunting task, that oftentimes has left me feeling unprepared despite my best efforts and preparation.
I long to build a solid and well-footed foundation now in the early years. A foundation that is wide and deep and strong. At this time of their childhood, my children depend on me, more than just on the basic survival skills. This dependence goes beyond a roof over our heads and food on the table. It roots itself deep in the knowledge that my kids can depend on me emotionally as well.
At this young age, my children are still in the phase of impulses. She is in a stage not so much about getting her own way than it is about being able to control her impulses until the time is right. And that's where I as a parent and teacher come in. To gently guide her in expressing her desires. I can do so by giving limits and boundaries.
Not choices, but boundaries. I am guilty of having given my child too many choices thinking I may crush her spirit if I don't. But in the long run I found this to be more frustrating for both of us, especially in hurried situations. On the other hand, if I take the daunting task of having to choose between oh so many choices, she is much more calm and well spirited. It's a win win for both of us.
So for the month of July I have been focusing on guiding my Little Ones and helping them comply to my directions.