29 October 2015

Kids craft: Ghostly plates

Last week Cherub and I created some fun ghosts out of paper plates. While we don't actually take the girls trick or treating (maybe that'll change when they're older) or celebrate Halloween, the girls still love to make craft for different holidays, and enjoy seeing kids dressed up in costumes.

All you need is:
Paper plates
White paper
Black marker, crayon, pencils, textas or paint

You could stick with a traditional ghost using a white paper plate, but as I only had some yellow chevron plates leftover from Cherub's rainbow birthday party, I used one of those instead. I think the chevron's add to his spooky effect!

Cherub and I shared our ghostly plate idea with the kids at playgroup, who of course loved it!

They were happy to draw spooky (or happy like Cherub's) faces on their plates, then stick on some arms and streamers to the plate.

Our last addition was a bit of ribbon at the top of the plate, so they can be hung up for Halloween!

The best thing about this craft is it was low mess, and didn't involve glue or paint. Which sometimes you need a break from.

Cherub's 'friendly' ghost

Suitable age group: 2+ yrs
Estimated setup time: 10 mins
Messiness factor: low

Do you celebrate Halloween? What's your favourite craft to make for Halloween?

13 October 2015

A worry warts guide in preparing for a childs birthday party

To say I am a bit of a worry-wart is an understatement! At times, I can suffer terrible anxiety when organising things like birthday parties, or get togethers. I've had it so bad that its made me feel so sick that I want to vomit.

When I started preparing for Cherub's birthday party last week, I had that sick-in-the-gut feeling every morning (Hubby was sure I was suffering morning sickness....I wish!) when I woke up worrying about what chores I still had to complete on my 'to-do' list, and how many days I had left to get them all done.

I also needed to ensure I had enough time to bake and decorate the cake. I was making Cherub a 'rainbow' cake (vanilla cake with rainbow decoration) and needed enough time to do that without feeling stressed. Haha, that so did not go to plan. I was so stressed making the cake, that it resulted in one stuff up after another.

From top left: Popette welcoming guests / Cherub playing "Pin the tail" /
Our 'rainbow' theme deck / Rainbow streamers and balloons

I am ashamed to say it, but I was horrible to the girls, a couple times I screamed at them to get out of the kitchen when they would pop in to see what I was doing. Of course, Hubby would put me in my place and told me a number of times to 'calm the f*ck down!' I eventually got the cake finished, before heading out for the evening with a friend...which I also stressed about...see I told you I'm a worry-wart! I shouldn't had worried, as I had a great night.

Cherub had a wonderful time at her party, and loved the rainbow theme we went with. As Cherub loooovess rainbows and colour so much, I thought it would be appropriate to have a rainbow party! She loves to tell us over and over again her favourite colours (yellow & purple), as well as all our favourite colours (me - purple, Popette - red, Daddy - blue), and tell anyone else that is interested in hearing about it. It made it pretty easy in finding cups, napkins and tablecloths, as they're available in all the colours of the rainbow! I think the hardest thing was coming up with games, and rainbow inspired food!

From top left: colouring-in station / rainbow fruit platter /
Cherub's "Rainbow" cake / Some party treats

Here is my advice to those of you worry-wart parents who are preparing for a child's birthday party:

* Break tasks down - I wrote a list of tasks and allocated them to different days, i.e. Fri - clean kitchen, sweep floors, bake cake, Sat - decorate cake, clean toilets, vacuum rugs, Sun (day of the party) - pick-up balloons, buy fresh fruit, hang decorations etc.

* Pick a few jobs rather than a lot - I spent a little time each day getting a few chores done and ticking them off the list, rather than spending the whole day doing a bunch of chores, than stress when I hadn't completed everything.

* Control your stress - I find if I try and do everything at once, my stress levels get out of control and if people are in my way, especially little people, I lose my shit with them very quickly. (Refer to making the cake!). Try and find a little time for yourself, to chill out and relax. As an introvert, I need a little peace and quiet, and be by myself. On Saturday I arranged for Hubby to take the girls to swimming lessons, so I could stay home and get started on the cake.

* Ask people for help - I was thankful that Hubby understood that I was dealing with some anxiousness about the party, so he helped me in getting some of the household chores done before the party, and with preparations on the day.

* Think of an intimate guest list - If you feel stressed out about having a large number of kids over for a party, think of having an intimate group of friends instead. I made it a small party (8 friends + Cherub and Popette), and only invited a few of Cherub's friends from playgroup and preschool. We didn't invite all of her friends, so I am a little worried that Mums will wonder why their child wasn't invited. To tell you the truth I just wanted the kids who played with Cherub, and who Cherub wanted to be there. I could have invited friends of both my girls, but then I didn't want them taking over the party and distracting Cherub from spending time with "her people".

We found 10 children a great size, as it let Cherub play with everyone. We also could spend money on buying a nice 'thank-you' present (a bubble wand) instead of the usual lolly bag. As we didn't want Popette to feel left out as she didn't have any of her friends at the party, I made her my special helper, where she got the kids ready for the games, and handing out balloons.

How do you handle stress when organising a party? Do you like large or small parties? What your's best advice to a worry-wart?

06 October 2015

Flowers, Cherub's Birthday and an MRI

Hello I'm back. I hope you had a great break. Today Popette and Cherub are back at school and preschool, meaning we are back to the routine of school drop-offs, speech and occupational therapy appointments, playgroup, doctors appointments etc.

It has been a lovely break apart from spending four hours in the Children's hospital for Cherub's MRI one day, and a not so lovely visit from inlaws.

I am thankful that the morning of the MRI went well, and Cherub was okay going into the room and went to sleep without crying. She was quite happy with the bed ride and later colouring in and making craft while eating an ice block, then some cheese and crackers in recovery.

Cherub back in recovery after her MRI
We are now waiting to see the neurosurgeon for his report in a few weeks time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it will all be fine.

Thanks to those of you who wished me well with my test results. I received my results back from my 2 ultrasounds they both came back good. Now I just have to wait for my colonoscopy in 2 weeks time, which reminds me I still need to drop off my admission forms!

We had a great break and enjoyed some wonderful time together as a family. Hubby took a few days off throughout the holidays. He didn't want to miss Cherub's 4th birthday, which was spent at Sydney Aquarium. She had a wonderful time looking for Nemo, saying Hello to the fish and tickling the sharks in the tunnels.

Another highlight was a relaxing long weekend to Australia's capital, Canberra. We couldn't have asked for better weather while we were there. We spent one day at the Floriade enjoying all the flower displays. If you are unsure of Floriade, it is garden beds of flowers (mostly tulips) created into floral tributes. This year it was the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli. We all loved it. The kids also liked the Circus workshop where they got to try out some circus tricks.

The Floriade in colour
We couldn't go to Canberra without a compulsory visit to the National Gallery of Art, my fave, plus a trip to the Mint, Cockington Green and Parliament House. Popette's teacher has been talking about money a lot in class, so Popette really enjoyed seeing where it was made. I was a little sad that I didn't spot our new PM at Parliament House, but I got to enjoy a coffee and a laugh out of this coffee bean portrait of Julia Gillard!

I wonder what type of coffee she'd make?

I am linking up to EssentiallyJess IBOT.