22 July 2014

Crochet ice-cream fairy doll and two important lessons

Wellington has the best weather. Said no-one ever. The cold bite of winter has finally hit us with full force and its arrival coincided with the last week of the mid-year school holidays so instead of just being miserable outside, we could all be miserable together inside as well. Thank goodness for loom bands and children that like to craft and watch lots of telly.

Aimee has always been quite the keen artist and the walls in our house bear proud testament to that. Especially at about Aimee height. Ahem. Lately she has been producing some really imaginative pictures where I can actually tell what they are instead of having one of those awkward conversations where I pretend to know exactly what she's drawn and she looks at me all indignantly because I guessed incorrectly.

One drawing she made for me in the holidays was so cute that the moment I saw it, a picture popped into my head of how it might look as a crochet doll. This is Aimee's picture of an ice-cream fairy:
There is so much to love about it. She chose the yarn colours and I spent a day cobbling it together with the help of this crochet ice-cream tutorial. I posted an image of the work in progress on Instagram and this is how it ended up:
You're in luck, this girl doesn't mind being photographed from behind.
All the while, Aimee's older sisters and she would come over to where I was working and see it taking shape and offer lovely words of encouragement. Yet, I could never have imagined how much Aimee would love it once it was finished.

I see all the flaws and the things that could be tweaked to make it look better and the hair that could be much more 'tamed', but Aimee loves it just the way it is, and isn't that a great lesson? To love wholly and completely in spite of any imperfections, both real and imagined?
I received a lovely comment on Instagram that praised my mothering efforts. I was so touched to read that because there are days when I feel like I get it all terribly wrong. Like this shining parenting moment in the holidays that my little artist also captured. It's fairly certain that no crochet dolls will be resulting from this picture.
Evidently, I must have some major anger side-effect issues that make not only my arms fall off but those of the child being disciplined. Or maybe it's a super power because it's a mighty fine excuse to not do any housework or cooking. Every picture of a sad child must also have at least one caricature of a smirking sibling enjoying the verbal tug-of-war. The thing is, I don't even remember what I was angry with her for and I bet she doesn't either, if you asked her. I might have missed the whole point of the picture. I haven't really. I will do my best to make sure that when I next convey my displeasure to one of my children that at the very least, my feet will be pointing in the right direction.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

Joining in with another fairy this week over here.

08 July 2014

I'm a cool mum and that's not cool

More often lately, I have come to realize that the days of watching my girls point at the sky in wonder at the "hopperdoctor" and seeing them bounce on the "pampopleen" are over. It left me wondering about the fact that we spend a sizable portion of our early parenting lives teaching our children how to pronounce words correctly only for them to disappear down the dark hole of SMS speech when they hold a mobile device in their hands. My children do not have cellphones, and despite the fact that I don't converse with them in text speak (soz, peeps, I don't spare you from the same rule) I can see that some terminology is creeping its way into how my eldest daughter communicates with her BFFs. Text terms, abbreviations and acronyms are commonplace and constantly evolving but I feel reasonably confident that I am au fait with the majority of them, or I could at least hazard a guess if I saw it written somewhere. It's not that I have a FOMO. LOL. I just think it's a parent's responsibility to get a handle on these things and if we can't keep ahead of the game, at the very least we can try to keep up.

So, the other day when my daughter said I was cool, I felt quite touched. Then she dissolved into a fit of giggles. I should have known better, although in my defence, it's not uncommon for her to say something heart-meltingly lovely to us. She explained that it is not cool, it's cool - cranky old overweight loser.

Not. Cool.

Seeing my Mum-face, my daughter quickly compensated for the rude remark by saying "No, you're only one of those things". Well, that's alright then. While I was momentarily left wondering which one, she went on to add "You're not old, overweight or a loser, but you are cranky". Fair call. My children are nothing if not honest. I turned it back on them though and asked them when and why I get cranky. They all know it is when they aren't doing something they've been asked to do. Usually for the fifth time. There's a lesson in there for them - and me, but mostly them. Mum FTW (not the obscene FTW, the other one ICYWW).


07 July 2014

{Facebook Find}: Feline shenanigans and why The Bloggess is still TFBOTPWDKIE

Let it be known that I hate animal pictures and videos clogging up my Facebook wall. I just don't find them even vaguely cute or funny and I made a silent promise to myself long ago that I simply cannot be friends with anyone who does. Ha! Only half-joking. I was faced with a conundrum when The Bloggess linked to this Facebook video on her blog, because if she so clearly enjoyed it, then it would result in only one of two outcomes: I'd watch the video and A) admit it was funny and have to reevaluate my Facebook friendship status with a number of close relatives or B) find it unfunny and realise, crushingly, that The Bloggess is not my comedic superhero after all, which would really ruin my day because she is The Funniest Blogger on the Planet Who Doesn't Know I Exist. But it would be only very shortlived disappointment, because there is always The Harridan who is also a very reliable source of entertainment and she'd be a tidy replacement.

So, it was with some reluctance that I clicked on that link and there it was. Every single cat video known to mankind all packaged up into one nice, tidy four minute montage. And, it was actually funny. And a little bit cute. Except for the toe-sniffing, that's just revolting. Those crazy cats. I even viewed it twice just to be sure my judgement was not unduly influenced by the fact that it was recommended by a blogging doyenne, and yep, it was still funny on the second go-around.

Watch and enjoy.
Have a great week, friends.

06 July 2014

There Are No Cats in This Book

I don't tend to count picture books as being among the books that I read, but that isn't being fair to the picture books, is it?

Recently, Aimee and I have been enjoying There are No Cats in this Book by author/illustrator Viviane Schwarz. It has been around a little while it seems but we've just discovered it, realizing only at the end that she has written an earlier book with these characters called There Are Cats in This Book. We will be seeking out that book at the library these winter holidays.
Some children become so enamoured with a book that they want to have it read to them over and over again but I had never really seen that happen with Aimee until this book. She loves how interactive it is, as the cats (yes, there are cats in this book - oh, the irony!) enlist the help of the reader to escape the pages of the book so they can go see the world. 
I am so glad to find a book that she adores and I hope that this marks the start of a lifelong love of books for her.

What picture books have your pre-schoolers enjoyed? Any recommendations are warmly welcomed.