Posted in Creations, New Direction, Parenting, Reduce Reuse Recycle

Balloon Light Shade

I dont know what it is at the moment, maybe the fact that daylight saving has changed back, maybe it is that the days are getting shorter, the weather is cold and dark…  Whatever it is, I seem to be thinking up lots of different ways to make lights/lamps/light shades.

Today started at 630am (thanks Children!) so we had many hours to fill in before anything was to open today. We also had a few balloons laying around from our sons 1st birthday in the weekend.

fabric balloon part done 2

Idea – Make a fabric mache light shade (for said sons bedroom light).

What you need:

  • Fabric off cuts (we were given a whole bag from a friend)
  • Scissors (to cut fabric)
  • A balloon
  • Glue – PVA (we used a kids craft bottle, with a squirt top.  I would recommend a pottle with a brush if you have access to that! would make things a LOT easier)

Cut up the fabric into small pieces, make squares if you what it uniform, or any shape you would like.  Use any colours you would like.  You could go for a theme – boy or girl, retro, classic etc.  You could use all the same fabric to make a nice shade for a room, or use a mish-mash of fabrics like I did – just cus!

I suggest using light weight / thin fabric so the light can shine through it better, also lighter colours will make the room brighter.

What to do:

With your small pieces of fabric on hand, smother the balloon in glue ( I started at the end where the balloon was tied, and worked my way around in a circle) then place on the fabric piece by piece.  You will get gluey hands!! But that is the fun of it! Make sure that you slightly over lap the pieces so that there is strength in the shade.  Once you have covered the whole balloon, put a thin layer of glue over the top.  This will help set it all hard (I hope).  Once dry, pop the balloon, and cut out a hole at the top to attach to the light (will let you know how I did this, when I work it out!) Also Cut a hole for the bottom of the light, this will make it easy to change the light bulb. 😉

mak fabric mache

The kids will love to do this too, so I suggest each having a balloon and your own pile of fabric (so there is no fighting over who uses which bits 😉  ) Also if you have little ones crawling around your feet, try doing this up on a table with some newspaper down, else they will try eating glue, or scissors, or stealing your fabric. Like mine did.

Have fun with it. Dont be too serious. 😉

Posted in New Direction, Parenting

No TV – Time to Get Creative

We are now 18 days down with no TV! And getting very creative.

A bit of background:  In the past year ( and a month) we moved into a new house and started renovating.  We also had a 2nd child, and started our oldest at Kindy.  All of this change and busyness meant that our now 3 and a half year old had been missing out on our attention.  We noticed her behaviour go “down hill”, we noticed the tantrums ramp up in frequency and power, we noticed we were sitting our child in front of the TV as a “baby sitter” so we could get things done.  And we realised that we didnt like any of these things – a TV baby sitter, or putting up with the tantrums.  We talked about what we through the cause was, and decided the behaviour was all just “attention seeking”.  So we needed to endeavor to give this attention. First step – bye bye TV.

It was decided that with 2 parents at home (when we were both at home, and not working) there was enough “hands” for one of us to look after both children and the other to get things done – cooking, cleaning, dishes, washing, tidying up (all those never ending tasks that go along with a house and 2 children!)  Instead of using the TV to baby sit, one of us, the ‘responsible’ parents, would look after and spend quality time with the kids.  We were trying to work to the theory I had heard about ‘filling up your children’s emotional tanks, so they can then feel comfortable spending time by themselves’.

Our TV used to stand on a coffee table in our lounge.  If we werent watching the TV, lets move it out of the room we thought, then it’s not a temptation.  Out of sight, out of mind.  And so the TV table then became the “drawing table”, or collage table/art and crafts table.  It is the perfect height for both our 3.5 year old and 1 year old to work at.  We have a small chair and stool for them to sit, and pens, glue, paper etc for them to create.

We try to keep it tidy, mostly, and restock things they need.  We have added more collage things as the weeks have gone by, and filled up with paper, or bits and pieces to draw/glue/paint on.

drawing table

So has it helped you might be asking?…  YES.  the behavious has gotten a LOT better.  We are spending more time with the children, making sure we arnt so busy renovating and “being busy” and giving time to the children.  Dad with sit down and draw with the children while I wash the dishes in the next room, or I will do painting with the kids while Dad is at work, or weedeating in the garden. The children are calmer and they know they get to spend some quality time with us during the day. Our oldest loves to make new things and has come up with some awesome ideas of things to make (will talk about these in future posts).

This has been working well.  We need to remember under 3s shouldnt be having any screen time, but dont beat yourself up if they are.  Ours were watching a good 3+ hrs a day before!!  But there are other things you and they could be doing with out TV.  I know we have been getting more done around the house, as we havent been sitting down to watch TV in the evenings when the kids are in bed!  So even though it seemed like we had less time to get things done (with fully supervising the kids) it actually meant we had more time!! GO figure!

Why dont you try having a TV holiday in your house?! You have nothing to lose.

Posted in Food, Parenting

Food – What are we eating? and How does it effect us?

Im standing in the kitchen peeling, dicing and stewing pears.  I remember the conversation I had with the checkout lady at the supermarket.  Many things come to mind that I should have said, but I was just to shocked!

The checkout lady said her mornings are always chaotic as she has a primary school age son who has ADHD.  Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( a label we give to kids who are hard to ‘control’?..) Im not going to go into depth on what it is, and why we think it is ok to label people, that’s a whole other discussion. But what jumped out at me was when she said they have to give him medication and it takes an hour or so for it to kick in.  So in the mornings it kicks in just as he gets to school, so the child is ‘mellow’ for the teachers.

Medicating young children for behavioral issues does NOT seem right to me. This was what put me in a state of shock, so much so that I only just realised now what I should have said to her. My stance on it is this: ADHD and behavioral issues almost always come about from food related allergies and intolerance.  (I’m not a doctor, or a nutritionist, or anyone in a profession that might work with these people and issues. I’m just a mum, so you can choose to listen and test my theories for yourself, or just stop reading here.) I should have said – try him on a wheat and gluten free diet, and cut down or out the sugar, and see what happens in 6 weeks time. ………

As a Mum with 2 children, that have now both been diagnosed with food allergies and intolerance’s, I have seen first hand how their behavior changes depending on what they eat. Our whole family is now Dairy, wheat, soy (or soya depending on what language you read and write) FREE.  Our girl also has allergies to chocolate, cocoa, grapes, strawberries and tomatoes. So we are learning to adapt to food recipes that are free of these ingredients.  And I will tell you, if she eats something that she shouldn’t have… WOW!!!  Watch out, cover your hears, protect your head and private bits, and make sure there are not hard objects around that can be easily thrown.  IS this typical 3 and a half year old behavior? I’m sure some people will tell you it is, and I’m sure to an extent it is too.  But i know what when she hasn’t eaten food she shouldn’t have she is a nice, happy, calm, helpful, caring child. If you know her well, you will realise there is a big contrast.

If you put crap food in, you get crap behavior out. (Crap food does not have to mean ‘junk’ food, in some instances it is just food that that body can not tolerate.) As a family we know when we have been eating things we shouldn’t, as everyone gets tired, cranky, short, grumpy, and does things they shouldn’t due to ‘brain fog’.

So what are some of the issues:

  • Wheat – this gives us brain fog, makes it hard to concerntrate and do things – resulting in frustration, and poor memory or train of thought. Also brings about sore and upset tummies, and heachaches
  • Dairy – sore tummies, aching legs – causing more whinging and short tempers from not feeling 100%
  • Soy – I havent yet found out how this effects us, as it is a new allergy that we have found out about
  • Tomatoes – rash around mouth or nappy rash, server tummy cramps – This would make anyone grumpy!
  • Sugar (this is Me!) instance headaches, lack of energy – grumpy, cranky, B.I.T.C.H (you dont want to be around that!!)

So now that we know how we are affected by these foods, we can self check whether or not we want to eat them, as we know how we will feel afterwards.  For young children this is hard, as they want what other kids are eating, and they also dont realise that it is the food that later makes them feel the way they do.  So it really is up to the parents to take control.  I find it best to only have food in the house that everyone is allowed to eat, so as to not be exclusive and leave someone out. As an adult we know we feel gutted if there is something we cant eat at a party, or if you are pregnant and cant have drinks with everyone else etc, so imagine being a 2 or 3 year old child in the same situation.  It’s just not fair!

Back to the original conversation with the lady, I truly believe her child would benefit from trying a wheat (maybe all gluten) and sugar free diet. Cutting out wheat can give a clear head, calm behaviour, and weight loss (that’s always good for us adults!) etc.  If you want to know more about the effects of wheat you can look at http://www.wheatbellyblog.com.  Wheat has changed so much over the past few hundred years that our body just cant keep up with processing it. It causes issues like leaky gut – which in turn causes other issues, autoimmune diseases etc..

With the way that food is procesed these days really means that it is best to get back to more ‘whole’ and ‘natural’ foods.  Im not an advercate for ‘organic’, i think that is not always the best way forward.  YES please grow your own fruit and veg, then you know they havent been sprayed (I dont agree with spray to make food look good). I have however heard stories of people that were organic farmers, only to find out that over time the soil they grew their food in had gotten depleted and so the nurtitional values in their foods was a lot lower than those brough at the supermarket.  In short, their food was no longer good for them, so organic is not always best!

What I am saying tho, is whole foods are great, not processed foods.  Nuts and fruit, steak and mince, not precooked sausages etc. Ideally kumaras over potatoes, but it depends on what you can afford.  These things would be better than bread (normal or gluten free).  And my BIG bug at the moment is milk and yogurt.  Go as ‘raw’ as you can when getting milk.  The stuff you buy in the supermarket is really NOT good for you.

I think we need to re look at the food pyramid and what we think is good and bad foods, what is always and what is sometimes food. Iv been having an internal fight in my head at the moment as my daughters Kindy teachers ask the children to eat the ‘healthy’ food first.  Yes this is good practice, sure.  But I don’t know if I agree with their definition of ‘healthy’ food.  Occasionally I have put chippies in her lunch box.  The teachers have said that this is unhealthy. Yes in the sense they are not the ‘best’ for you, but I do ONLY buy the salted/plain chips – ingredients: salt, oil and potato (with a wheat, dairy and soy allergy we cant eat any other flavour). Are they really that bad for you?  There is no sugar in their, no colours, artificial flavours or preservatives.  The ingredients are the same as the homemade roast potatoes I cook for dinner, also the mashed potatoes we have with our mince.

The teachers however, seem to think that a chocolate calci-yum yogurt is more healthy, as it is milk/dairy and full of calcium. Hmmmmm….  I wont bother to list the ingredients on the back of one of these, but im sure you have a rough idea.  A main ingredient being SUGAR!

So what do you have in your pantry and fridge? How much sugar does each item contain (I mean refined sugar, white, brown, corn glucose syrup, wheat glucose syrup etc..)  We are trying to cut down our sugar intake, which means when you have sugar cravings the best thing to eat is something salty – chips?  A friend of ours is a nutritionist and this is EXACTLY what she snakes on – CHIPS!  carrot sticks and hummus are good, fruit, meat (STEAK!!), but some times you need some fast, convent and tasty.  Are chips really that bad?  Maybe go for kumara ones instead (extra nutritional value) or corn chips for a change…

(More later….. 🙂 )

Posted in New Direction, Small thoughts

Needing to write… On what topic?

I have been feeling like I need to start writing again. But what do I write and where do I write it? Lucky for me the World of the Big Wide Web means that everything ‘stays’ suspended in cyber space. Im not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, but it does mean that my Blog is Still Here!! Wow.

My friends Fiance passed away a few days ago. It makes you realise how precise life can be, and how suddenly things can change.

….So I really want to take the opportunity to write, but I would like to open the floor to anyone that is still following this blog on ideas for a Topic to write about.

And Go!!

Comment on what you would like to hear about, learn about, explore with me. Anything… (life, death, love, loss, economics, technology, the environment, geography, astrology, numerology, religion, family….) Dont be limited by what I have listed here. What ever comes to mind, comment it below and I will write something about it.

Thanks for your help.

~ treasure those that you hold dear, enjoy every moment, value yourself, respect everything around you. ~

Posted in New Direction, Parenting

What shapes us – As we grow

I have had my dear daughter sleeping in bed with me for the past week. She would go to sleep in her own cot for a half hour or so, and then wake up crying. As much as we have tried to get her back to sleep in her bed, she would only stop crying when she was with me. Leaving little other option.

While trying to get her back down in her own bed last night I remembered a past experience that broke my heart. I have blogged about this experience before ( in a different place) and am starting to see how strongly it has impacted me.

When I was in Trinidad as a kid, many years ago, I helped out in their orphanage for a week. I was in the nursery area. 1-2 babies per cot. And so many of them were crying… When they were picked up they would stop, but when you put them back down they would cry again. These precious souls, they just wanted and needed love and attention. And my wee girl is no different.

It makes me think about how how our children are treated young builds the foundations for who they become later. (Extend Paid Parental Leave!…) How what we do and say molds these little people into the leaders of our future.

I was having a conversation this morning about suicide, after a friends daughter lost a close friend to it this week. There are always so many questions around when this happens. Could I have done more? Was it my fault? Should we have seen it coming? .. the list goes on. And you cant understand how the family feels, the friends, the partners, the children that are left behind.

Is how we treat our children in the first 3 years of their life a factor in determining if this will happen?. Is this our “punishment” for being bad parents? Or for being a “bad” society? Or is suicide something that happens in a split moment that is only in relation to something that happened a split second before? Or could it be any number of things?

How can we reach out to our most vulnerable? How can we keep our children safe, our teens safe? Our loved ones. … How can we lower child poverty numbers, and decrease teen suicide rates? Hug and kiss our children more maybe. Nurture every bodies individuality and talents. Treat people how we would like to be treated. Take responsibility for our own happiness. Reach out. Share and care. ???????

         “Imagine”

Posted in New Direction

New Life, New Theme, New Direction

I have been thinking about blogging again for some time now.  This blog is no longer about RES or Silverstripe (anyone following for those reasons this is FYI). This blog is about where my life is at present.

I now have a new theme for the start of this new direction. The Pink is symbolic of my baby girl.  This is what this “chapter” of this blog will be about. Life as a mum and all that brings with it. About what I think, how I feel and not what I am meant to be “doing”. Gone are the days of study and project (thank goddess), not so much gone are the days of technology (as I have 2 computers sitting next to me – along with my wee girl feeding herself lunch), and there is still some unfinished SS work that I need to do. But all this will mingle in with my life, not so much the main focus.  There may still be posts about SS, there may still be posts about computers that freeze, phones that brake etc, but who can say that these are no longer their life with the age we currently live in. They may no longer be the whole of my life, but they are still a part (hopefully a small one!) of it.

And there we have it, so much rubbish that means nothing to anyone, but the start of something new.

Posted in Project - Work

What I said I would do vs What I have done.

I have just checked my proposal and timeline to see how I am going in relation to it.

What i found was that I have done way more work on my website that way i outlined in my proposal.  I guess this is a good thing.  Some things I said I would do, the client no longer requires and so these have been replaced by other things.

What I still need to do, but might add to the site after the project is due is the Portal to enter the website.  The client has given me some content for this, but I think that I might need to use something like After Effects on the Mac computers as I can not find any good editing software on my laptop.