Sunday, 16 October 2011

Turning two

Time has passed quickly once again and this blog was almost forgotten! Well, Isabella has recently had her second birthday. She appeared to know all about it and asked for “birthday cake” as soon as she woke up. Then again, we had been to a lot of birthdays lately and her birthday is the very last one in a long line of family birthdays. Finally, it was her turn.

The cold and rainy weather put a stop to our backyard party plans but thankfully Grandma & Pa O'Connell were happy to host the party at their place.

When Issy was all dressed up in her pretty fairy dress she rushed out to show her Daddy, “Look, Daddy,” she beamed with excitement. “Oh, so beautiful,” Luke said. Issy smiled a wide toothy grin. She knew she looked gorgeous.

At the party, she had an absolute ball being the centre of attention (every two year old’s dream) and having present after present to unwrap. She would tear open the paper, glance at the present and toss it aside, asking "more?" or want to play with it, suddenly uninterested in the next gift-wrapped parcel.

 When Issy wasn't feeding herself another 100 and something Jatz biscuit, she was playing with the birthday present Luke and I gave her - a cheap but cute plastic doll's house. Issy with her two little friends, Zoe and Maddy, somehow managed to play with the doll's house together without fighting. Their favourite role-play appeared to be putting each dolly on the toilet to do a poo. This got them laughing. Three weeks on, Issy still loves the doll's house and the family which includes "little mummy", "new daddy" and "baby." We were a bit confused at first when she started asking, "Where's my new daddy?"

When it was birthday cake time we got Issy to sit at the head of the table and everyone surrounded the table to sing “Happy Birthday.”Seeing Issy’s face light up while everyone sang (and she sang along) brought joy to Luke and I’s hearts. Not just because she was happy but because she was surrounded by people who love her. At such a young age, it’s such a blessing to have so many people love and care for you. Not every child has a loving home or a large extended family to envelope them in love (and presents).

So now with a two-year-old in the house we are have many things to laugh about and also lots of cheeky behaviour to test our patience!

But I’ll write all about that some other time. For now, I am off to clean up all the stickers that have been stuck to the carpet in the lounge room. Wish me luck!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Creating fun under house arrest

Last month we had one of those weeks where i felt like we were under house arrest. Issy came out in about three pimply spots which grew to around seven by the end of the day. They looked just like the chicken pox spots i had as a kid. This meant no day care for two days and no work for me. So we had a week at home. No going out. No play dates. No visits to the library. No playgrounds. I didn't want to infect any kids, pregnant woman or immunise comprimised people (all of which exist in my extended family). Plus, we also couldn't even step outside in our own backyard. Outside it was blowing a gale and my local area had been declared a disaster zone. Trees were toppling over everywhere - on houses, trains, and roads. It was a good week to stay indoors anyway.

Thankfully, Isabella was in a happy place. She didn't seem sick at all so that was a bonus.

But i felt slightly overwhelmed. How I am i going to entertain my 22-month-old for five days straight, inside our shoe box sized house without venturing outdoors? I just had to be creative and make an effort. So over the next five days we had fun doing a number of different activities ranging from craft, cooking, imaginative play, dancing, reading and TV time.

Here's a few of my favourite I thought I'd share. Perhaps if you have kids you could try them out on a rainy, indoor day.

I should also add that after all that effort to remain indoors, locked away from society, Issy didn't have the chickenpox afterall! It was just a side effect of the vaccine.

Although we put ourselves under house arrest for the week I don't think I would change it looking was a lot of fun most days. I also got a lot of cleaning done. But by Friday I was quite ready for a break and a trip outdoors!

Sugar-free, gluten free, apple and blueberry muffins. They were yummy!

Cooking with a toddler puts new meaning to the phrase, "Cooking up a storm."

The new doll's house made out of two fruit boxes and a couple of shoe boxes was the hit of the week.
We painted the house and stuck pictures on the walls. Issy had fun putting dolly to sleep and waking her up and putting her to sleep and waking her up and putting dolly to sleep...yes, just like that for about an hour or two each day! It was so cute to listen in and hear her conversation mimic the conversation Luke and I have with her around bedtime.

Some cute, painted wooden beads I had picked up from Aldi a few weeks ago
came in handy. She loved the bright colours and little faces.

Playdough! This is so messy and the entertainment factor lasts about five mins.
I wouldn't say it was the best but if you can be bothered cleaning up afterwards it's five
minutes of creative fun.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Flower girl

A few months ago Isabella was a flower girl for her Aunty Amy's wedding. She knew it was a big day. For the last two months she had been admiring the "Amy-Josh wedding shoes" as she called them. I had stored the white, ballet bling shoes up high in a shoe box but somehow she always managed to coax me into letting her wear them at least every few days. When she put these little shoes on, the clip-clop of the tiny heels kept her amused for hours. In these shoes she was no longer a baby girl but a big girl.

When the big "Amy-Josh Wedding Day" arrived, it was finally time for her to wear the much-awaited for wedding shoes. This time she could actually keep them on and wear a beautiful flower girl dress to match. The dress was gorgeous - a delicate vintage dress with lace trimming, pearl buttons and silky ribbons. Once she was dress she knew she looked beautiful. While all the bridesmaids and the bride were having photos and buzzing around adding last minute touches to their hair and makeup, Isabella sat on the staircase, as poised a princess, back straight, head tall, observing all the excitement in the room below.

When it was time to walk down the aisle, she and her cousin Will, who too was only young at 3 years of age, walked all the way down the aisle holding hands. I was one proud mumma! She did so well and looked absolutely beautiful, just as the bride did!

After the wedding she took to the floor and danced up a storm, moving and grooving. She even tried to pick up a little lad who was wearing a suit and bow tie. But he palmed her off saying she was too old for him...a couple of months is a big age gap when you’re talking one year olds.

It was a day she may forget but we never will. Her day as a flower girl marked the day when she was  no longer a baby but our little toddler lady! 

How the day begins...

"Muuuummmy! Mum, mum, mum, mummy!"

It's 6.34am and like every morning for the last 20 months I awake to "Mini", my toddler, Isabella (Issy), who also happens to be my daily alarm clock.

I know that if I lie here long enough "muuuummmy" will soon change to daaadddy!".Thankfully, daddy can't resist those early morning calls, unlike myself who tries to hide under the covers for as long as possible.

Once daddy tumbles out of bed, changes Isabella's nappy and feeds her two and a half Weetbix it's all over to me. I am in a half dream state when I feel the mattress beneath me sink and bounce.

"Mummmy! Sleep?" I hear Isabella yell as she bounds across the mattress to examine my face.I roll over and see the cutest, brightest face staring at me through the slated sunlight that streams through the wooden blinds. The sun stings my eyes and I shut them tight. I then feel Issy lunge forward and plant a sloppy, wet, milky kiss on my lips.

"Sleep?" she queries, as she stabs her chubby, little finger into my left eye.

"Ouch, not anymore," I reply, rubbing my eye, I look up snd smile at her, wrapping my arms around her for a cuddle. Smiling, she nuzzles into my shoulder, "Mummy."

... And then i smell it....the morning poo.

Second nappy change already. Why does the poo always come after you just put a fresh nappy on?

I grab Issy from under the arms and swing her off the bed and into her room. After 20 months you would expect the poo thing to get better. But in many ways, although it's less frequent, it's smellier and more human-like which adds a bigger cringe factor. Plus meat never comes out smelling like it went in. It ferments. Especially when it's last night's spag bowl. As I clean up the mess I remind myself that in just a few months we'll be toilet training.

So, this is how most “Mini and Me” days begins, it's usually followed by eating, cleaning up mess from eating, playing, eating, cleaning up mess, playing, sleeping, eating, cleaning up mess, playing, eating, cleaning up, bath, sleeping.

But there's so much else that goes on in between...and this is what this blog is for, to capture the fun, silliness, craziness and adventures that belong to being 1, 2 or 3 and the lessons learnt in between.