Painting On A Tea Set

So today we’ve had a fun activity with Liv! She was not at all in a mood to go anywhere anymore in the afternoon, so I came up with this funny idea- yes, as you may have guessed it (since the title says so)- Let’s paint on our tea set!

DSC05539

To explain things a little bit. Liv once got a tiny tea set from her grandmother, but it stayed at their house and is by now broken most of the parts (not by Liv, though!). Once we got the fun idea to make a picnic at home, while Liv’s friend was staying here… that was sooo great. We needed a tea set for that. So I took out an old retro tea set, which I don’t know why I have still not gotten rid of, and I’m not going to miss if it should break. Needles to say, the picnic in our living room was a huge success. Ever since, the tea set stayed on a tray for Liv to play with whenever she wants.

DSC04473
The tea party/ picnic we had with our friend (and dolls and stuffed animals).

I might wanna add, I kind of like the fact with this tea set that she’s playing with something real, in the spirit of Montessori pedagogic.

DSC05548

Nevertheless, it was always bugging me, that the chocolate brown tea set (though I do like the retro touch) is kind of boring for a little girl. Not that I’d think a child has to play only with bright, colourful, happy-looking toys. Not at all. Still, I thought they were boring.

DSC05550

So here we are, Liv just refused all my suggestions where to go and what to do and bugs me about watching something on the computer (we don’t have a TV). And suddenly I come up with this idea, start taking out the colours and prepare the whole thing, and Liv gets immediately hooked. And I’m happy.

20160426_185809

I admit, though I know she likes painting, I was a bit surprised how much she was into the whole thing. She was sooo committed to it from beginning till end.

20160426_185831

I also admit, I did not think this activity quite through, since it was more of an act in the moment. I had only 3 colours I found at home that could paint on ceramics. One of them a dark royal blue, which was not too visible on the dark brown tea set. As a paradox though, this was the colour that Liv was most into in the end, end she ended up painting it everywhere. It was also the one colour of the 3, that does not really go down by washing. Our hands (and Liv’s belly, since I tried to rescue her shirt last minute from getting very blue) are still pretty blue.

20160426_195028

Yep, we also didn’t get changed for painting. My bad, I should have foreseen it. But Liv just got so hooked so quickly, grabbing immediately a brush and starting to paint as soon as I got it out, I didn’t want to interrupt her anymore. It seemed to be ok in the beginning, she was pretty calm, painting only on the set. But in the end… well, what is there to add. :-)

20160426_193122

Of course, we were not going for something “aesthetically perfect” here. Although, I pretty much love the outcome (and it’s pretty perfect to me, but then I guess, who wouldn’t love the work of their child)! I really wanted to leave her to decorate her tea set. I only added here and there something, more for the sake of encouraging her to paint and try different things, rather than trying to make something really.

DSC05544

DSC05552

DSC05551

DSC05558

Liv really liked the fact that we were working with special colours, with special brushes. She really got the hang of that word.

DSC05560

Oh well. So much fun. So much happiness. From such a crazy idea. I should really try to come up with more activities that are like this. But try to be more prepared next time, haha.

Two Years of Co-sleeping

Don’t you love the way your little ones look when they are sleeping? I sure do. The calm sweetness radiating from them while they are asleep. And I love the way it feels when she’s right there, next to me. The whole night.

20160319_143531

I admit, I never thought I would become such a fan of co-sleeping. I never even really thought about it, before she came along. Of course, I knew I would let my children come into our bed when they would want to. I know I (and my siblings) used to go into my parent’s bed when I was little and had bad dreams or wanted to cuddle. That’s also why I came up with the idea of building our own bed that would be biiig- going from one wall to the other, so there would be enough room for children in there. But I never thought of having my baby there with me all the time. It just didn’t really occur to me. I guess I never even really thought about it. It’s such a common thing here in the west, that the baby is supposed to have its own bed, that it just didn’t come up in my head before that it could be otherwise. So we even had a crib prepared for Liv at home. It should have come into our room. Somewhere. Not that there’s much room left in our bedroom since the bed takes up most of the bedroom. But of course she should have been there in our room. In her crib. We just never got to put it together. :-)

It all started yesterday, two years ago.

But let’s go from the beginning.

After two days of labour, she finally came to see the world at 23:19 two days and two years ago. I was so exhausted by the time she was born, the doctor even had to ask me if I wanted to open my eyes, to see my girl. She definitely looked at me, with her big blue eyes. They left her with me for two hours while I was still in the birthing room, then they took her away for the night, so I could get some sleep. I was glad, to be honest. I really was tired. A few hours later, at about 6 in the morning, they brought her back to my room. I wanted to cuddle with her, have her in my arms, so I took her to my bed. And there it was. It just happened. She stayed there ever since. The baby bed in the hospital was right next to my bed and was the barrier so she wouldn’t fall down. But I put her in there only if I had to go away for a while. Otherwise she was in my bed with me all the time, even during the nights.

Photo0074

When we came back home, she went straight into our bed with me. I couldn’t think of her being in another bed. Though, admittedly, this tiny creature seemed a bit more lost in our big bed. But it was great. It is great. I converted to co-sleeping ever since. Though, it was only after we got home that I even heard the term “co-sleeping” for the first time and found out that there’s quite a discussion going on about it in the world.

SONY DSC

Of course, everybody has to find their own ways that suit them and their family. This worked for us. For me definitely. It helped me (and helps me still) be more rested, since I didn’t have to get up to feed Liv during nights. In fact, I pretty much slept through most of her night-feedings.

It helped me be more calm about her. Less worried about SIDS and her stopping breathing and such. Whenever I would wake up in the night and feel worried, I could touch her, see and feel that she’s alright.

Also I definitely think that if something would have happened, I probably would have woken up soon after. It still happens that I wake up in the night moments before Liv even cries or asks for milk. (Yes, in case you wonder, she’s 2 and still breastfeeds, even during nights.)
So we got through the first few months without having to use breath-monitors that peep even when the baby is breathing (that was my experience the 2 times I tried to use it before throwing it away).

20150116_111130

I don’t really want to get technical and go into all the details and advantages of co-sleeping here. Other people have gone written about probably every aspect there is to say about it, and have done it much better than I ever would. There are, for example, wonderful and very interesting studies you can read up on the topics, like from anthropologist James McKenna.

All I want to do in this post is share my experience. Why? Because I was watching my child sleep during the day today and took another photo of her in our bed and it made me reflect how it came to be that she’s there. That’s basically all there is to this post. :-)

20150201_131425

I heard con-arguments against co-sleeping, that there’s the risk of crushing your child. I always wondered about that one. Personally, I think it’s a stupid argument (to use nice words here). Unless you’re drinking or on drugs, I don’t think a mother’s instinct would let you. Even in sleep, you are pretty much very much aware of the little creature beside you.

Also, since our bed is big enough, Liv always had her “spot” in it. Basically it’s as if she had her own bed, only right next to me and I can scoot and be right next to her and vice versa. Ok, now we don’t have it so differentiated any more as it used to be in the beginning. She’s just there, next to me. Or on me, haha, like when she sleeps with her feet (or head or other parts of her body) put up on me.

20151004_121346

I guess she will be in our bed as long as it suits us all. I guess sooner or later she probably will ask herself to go into her own bed or something like that. Until then… I’ll enjoy her company, her smiles in the morning, her cuddles, the fact that she still wants me to be around.

SONY DSC
My sister enjoying morning cuddles with Liv when she stayed for night..

I have to enjoy it as long as she lets me, right?

Best Art Happens Off-Canvas

We have had a busy last week, always going somewhere, so I think both Liv and I were quite relieved to stay home on Friday afternoon and have a nice calm afternoon-evening. So after she had her daytime-nap we went on a little meadow near-by to our home, trying out our new kite for the first time! I mean not only the first time for our new kite, but for the first time for Liv too. :-) We’ve been really looking forward to this ever since the end of summer. Sadly, I didn’t get to make a photo of it, since I was running around for the most of the time with Liv on my one arm and trying to hold the kite with the other. She really wanted to hold the kite, but she’s not such a great runner yet, so I had to carry her around. Anyway, it was great fun and the kids (we went with a friend who has a girl too) loved it.

After that we went home. And how to end such a nice, calm evening better than with painting before our bath.

20151002_191408

For some time now we have started to use paper and different colours, which I bought in IKEA last time I was there. I didn’t really mean to use them for some time yet. But I was always really sorry to have to wash away all of Liv’s creations, so I thought -well, why not try it this way? After all, she doesn’t eat the paint anymore. (And I’m there with her all the time anyway in case she would want to try.) So here we are.

20150827_183728

20150919_191114
In the mood for some blood? :-)

Liv does really like it. However. Somehow, she always paints only for a few minutes on the paper. Then she gets much more interested in pouring the paint out of the bowls, mixing them, and such. I don’t blame her. It is really fascinating, how the paints flows down the bathtub, mixing together… There is a certain kind of perfection in it. Natural perfection. So. As much as I would like to have some of Liv’s art creations conserved for years later, her best art always happens off-canvas (or off-paper, if you will).

20150827_184423                             20150827_184221    20150827_184202

Isn’t it in real life sometimes (often) just like that? Best things in life happen outside of the paper… outside of cameras… you can’t really capture it.. :-)

20150924_185932

20151002_19135420151002_19140220151002_191723

Liv cleaning up after painting. How Montessori, isn’t it? :-)

20151002_192100

Baby’s First Art

My little Liv loves to paint. Drawing too, but painting is always a bit more exciting.

It all started in December last year, a few days after Christmas. She was 9 months old then. I wanted to have our first painting experiment for some time already, but that day was like made for it. It was snowing all day long and we couldn’t get outside. So in the late afternoon/evening we were getting bored at home and that’s when I finally decided to try it out with her.

SONY DSC

I put out big papers (actually 2 layers to protect the floor) on the floor. And made our own edible paints.

That joy in her face :-)
That joy in her face :-)

The recipe?

1 cup of flour
1 cup of water
food colouring

Liv had to try the paint with all her senses… Touch, of course. Taste.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC
One of my all-time favourite pictures :-)

Sound. Of the bowls, banging them together.

SONY DSC

I usually mix the flour and water in a big bowl and divide it then into 3 smaller bowls, where I add the food colouring. I have found 3 bowls to be the ideal number so she has something to mix and choose from, but not to get too overwhelmed with too many choices.

After our first experiment I tried to put her into our bathtub to paint just right before bath-time in the evening. That way it would be easier to clean anything that gets painted on and also her. She was soooo dirty after the first time. :-) Had to paint with her whole body.

SONY DSC   SONY DSC

Ever since, she is painting in our bathtub.

20150520_190425  20150607_191726

Starting out pretty clean… to get all messy like this…

20150520_192126  20150808_185813

And she loves painting. She loved it from our first attempt. And nowadays she even knows where the painting-stuff is and she asks rather regularly to paint. And as a new addition, she loves to clean the bath tub herself after painting. :-)

20150520_190917     20150520_191001

I have a new appreciation for (post)modern art. I really do. Suddenly I find all kinds of perfection in wet paint running down, spluttered paint around… and such.

20150808_184625  20150808_184448 20150808_184422  20150808_184046 20150607_191708  20150607_190701 20150520_191622

That Girl and Her Motorbikes

My little girl just LOVES motorbikes. In any form you can find. Whether it is a real one on the street- which she automatically wants to sit on- or a picture of a motorbike in a book or a magazine or anywhere else, a tiny motorbike for kids to sit on or an even tinier toy motorbike… Anything there is, really.

2015 - 1

Guess what. We were at a store last time and there were just a few lego-boxes they had. Which one did my daughter choose? Of course one where there was a Duplo-Spiderman, who had -what?- a Motorcycle. Where it not ridiculously expensive taking in consideration that it was just the spiderman and his motorcycle in the box, I would have bought if for her.

That face when she sits on a motorbike... :-)
That face when she sits on a motorbike… :-)

If we are going somewhere and she gets a bit whiny- the best thing that helps is start looking for motorbikes around us. She always gets excited for that.

She just nows from an early age what’s good. ;-)

20150711_182530

Does anybody else have a kid with funny/awesome obsessions? :-)