Monthly Archives: April 2013

A New Project

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Miss E is getting a blind in her room tomorrow.  Her curtains are very light and, with the summer approaching, she has been struggling to sleep in an evening with light, so we have been pinning dark towels and bedsheets onto her curtain rail to keep the daylight out…classy huh?  😉  Her room so far has been quite neutral as we didn’t find out if we were having a girl or boy til the minute she was born.  Now it’s time to add a little girly touch to the room starting with her blind.  I decided I would make her a throw for her bed as well.  Mr P took me to a yarn and material shop near us on Saturday, and I picked up some King Cole Baby Comfort DK yarn.  I got home and found a youtube clip on how to crochet a granny square (that’s right folks, I have never in my life made a blanket before!).  So far I have 7 squares completed.  My plan is to join them all with lilac (I decided this after having been to the yarn store, so that will require a trip back) and then trim the entire thing with a cream edging.  Hopefully it works!  Thank goodness for youtube tutorials!!  🙂

 

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I seem to be getting the squares together quite quickly now I have got the pattern into my head, so hopefully it won’t be too long before I can photograph the finished piece.

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Mary Berry’s Lemon Cupcakes

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After our eventful day yesterday, when Miss E had gone to bed, and I was waiting for Mr P to get home from work, I decided to make him something nice.  We had a lot of eggs and some lemons, so I wanted a lemon dessert.  I didn’t have enough butter for a lemon drizzle cake, but I found Mary Berry’s lemon cupcake recipe, and they are just divine so I had to share the recipe!

Makes: 12
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

You will need
125 g soft butter
125 g self-raising flour
125 g caster sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 large eggs
Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon

For the lemon icing:
125 g soft unsalted butter
250 g icing sugar, sifted
Juice of 1 small lemon
Edible silver balls or glitter to decorate
Deep 12-hole muffin tin and 12 paper cases

Method
1. Line the muffin tin with the paper cases. Put all the cake ingredients into a bowl, and beat with an electric whisk until evenly combined and smooth.

2. Divide the mixture among the paper cases. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 20–25 minutes until well risen and light golden brown. Transfer the cakes in their cases to a wire rack, and leave to cool.

3. Make the icing: put the butter and half of the icing sugar into a bowl, and beat with an electric whisk until evenly combined and smooth. Add the lemon juice and the remaining icing sugar, and beat again until light and fluffy.

4. Spread the icing over the cold cup cakes, and decorate with silver balls or glitter.

 

somebody was standing a bit too close when the icing sugar exploded out of my Kenwood mixer underneath the cover

somebody was standing a bit too close when the icing sugar exploded out of my Kenwood mixer underneath the cover

 

 

cooled and decorated awaiting tasting

cooled and decorated awaiting tasting

 

Finding The Funny

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Well, it’s been one of those days when a worst parenting scenario came true.  The day got off to a great start; Miss E and I having laughs over breakfast, getting dishes out of the way etc before heading upstairs to get ready for the day. We got upstairs and she happily started playing, so I decided I’d make the beds, hang some clothes up in Miss E’s wardrobe and then take her to clean her teeth, get a fresh nappy on and get dressed before I hopped in the shower.  While busying myself I could hear her playing with something velcro, but as she is often rummaging in drawers and our wardrobe I thought nothing to it.  As I came out of a room Miss E wasn’t in to head back to her bedroom(which she also wasn’t in), I smelled the ominous odour of poo.  I thought to myself that it was unusually strong in the air, but carried on placing a few last bits in the wardrobe as getting her to the bathroom was next on my list.  When I had finished in her room it suddenly struck me that things were e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y quiet…..the kind of quiet where a child is very intently focused on a task at hand.  That could be a good thing, and normally it is, but not today!  Oh no, today was something I wish never to see again in my parenting lifetime.  I walked into the bedroom and over the other side of the bed looking up at me from the floor was Miss E……Miss E sat bare-bottomed on the carpet with her entire nappy off (the velcro noise!), Miss E with poo over her face, her hands, her leg and her feet (she had clearly been squishy them in the poo).  I found a carpet with poo smears and she had also kindly placed it on some clothes that were draped nearby, worst of all a pair of my husband’s suit trousers.  In about a second of surveying the devastation and taking a sharp inhalation of air I burst into fits of laughter.  We’ve been having quite a bad time lately, so don’t even ask me where the laughing came from at finding such a scene.  I also don’t do great with cleaning up body functions that are everywhere especially on the carpet or floor…ask Mr P, when the dogs have had terrible times inside or Miss E has vomited on the floor, I have been unable to deal with any of the clean up.  But somehow I managed to formulate a plan in an instant.  We rushed, laughing, to the bathroom where I wiped most of it off, I got the bath running and then ferried the new load of laundry downstairs to the washing machine.  Miss E stood upstairs watching me through the railing laughing away and I came back to find she had done a wee on the landing mat…..yet another load of laundry.  There are some days, when, if this same incident had happened, I would have gone in search of the nearest hole in the ground to swallow me up; it would have seriously knocked my whole day off kilter and put me in a grumpy mood.  Today, however, I was able to find the funny in such a situation! 😀  Hopefully, I can remember how to do it again when life throws me another less than perfect scenario in future.  Have you got any similar parenting stories?

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Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do…but how much love we put in that action.

~Mother Teresa~

Thoughtful Thursdays

Messy Play Gone Wrong

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Yesterday I wanted to try out something I had seen via Pinterest a long time ago.  I had saved the foam from the inside of a changing mat for this purpose.  Basically, you are supposed to place the flat large piece of foam in a tub about a similar size with about 2 inches of water dish soap and various colours of food dye.  As the child splashes and pats the foam lots of lovely coloured soap foam starts appearing….or that’s what happened in the Pinterest photos.  Ours didn’t quite turn out that way.  I didn’t have an underbed storage tub, so I just placed the foam on our tuff spot with warm water.  Seeing as I couldn’t judge the water I probably had too much which may have been part of the problem.  The food dye didn’t create any lovely coloured bubble foam, it sorted of just mixed together into a murky brown.  But, Miss E still had fun splashing around in her tuff spot, so it wasn’t all a lost cause 🙂  If I ever get a small tub I might give it a try again some day.  I’ve kept the piece of foam just incase!  DSC04360

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Have you and your little ones been up to any messy play this week?  Don’t forget to click on the linky button at the top to go check out what others have been up to. 🙂

Latest Achievement

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Somebody was very proud of herself today.  While I was upstairs using the toilet, I heard banging.  This usually means she’s bashing on the shelf of books on the telephone stand, or taking the books out onto the floor.  When I came out and looked down, Miss E was on step number 4 of the stairs looking very pleased with herself.  I came down and stood behind her as she continued on her travels and she made it to the top looking as pleased with herself as someone who’s just conquered Mount Everest.

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Yey!  I made it to the top!

Yey! I made it to the top!

 

What to do now?  Well, I guess a lot of people would rush out and buy a stairgate.  We have one at the top, which can be seen in the picture, so that when we’re all upstairs getting ready she has freedom to roam but won’t fall down.  I won’t be buying one for the bottom for a number of reasons.  One is that when you turn something into a serious no-go area you feed a child’s desire to do exactly what you don’t want them to do.  This turns into a major battle and scene of frustration for both parties involved.  Mainly though, because we are Montessorians at heart.  We believe that children are capable and independent…Miss E has just proven that as she has had no coaching from us whatsoever in getting up the stairs and knew just how to get herself up them quickly and efficiently on her first try.  We believe it is our respsonsibility to foster her independence going at her pace and ensuring that she is able to complete everyday tasks herself.  Because of this, now that she is able to get herself up the stairs, we need to help her put her newfound skills to use with purpose; taking herself upstairs for a bath etc.  To do this, a stairgate isn’t necessary. What is required is the time and effort from the parents.  Stairgates are an easy answer.  They keep a child safe with minimal effort on the parent’s part as you can get on with your activities without having to keep checking on them every few seconds.  Bliss!  But it doesn’t help a child in their quest to complete tasks they are capable of by themselves under supervision.  So, for the next while, I am going to have to ensure Miss E accompanies me on all trips upstairs.  I will need to ensure that, if we are in the lounge, I either accompany her on all her little trips out of the lounge so I can be with her if she decides to climb the stairs, or I will need to ensure the door is closed so she cannot leave the room without my knowledge.  I need to allow her to explore her physical capablities of being able to get up the stairs on her own and let her relish the sense of achievement and indpendence she gets through completing this task.  I also need to teach her a safe way to get back down the stairs.  This will all take time and effort on my part, but, to me, it’s worth it.  She is going to have to learn to get herself up and down stairs one day, and I may as well cash in on her current interest now so it becomes less of an intrigue and game and more just a normal part of functioning in life.