Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lock & Key


Our home is going through some reno's.
O's toys are everywhere.
In all the chaos of what-went-where, I needed something easy to entertain our brains for 15 minutes.
So out came the padlocks and keys.

It is no surprise that toddlers are immediately attracted to things they think they cannot have.
Toddlers are also mesmerized by anything their parents are holding. For example keys. Particularly their parents keys to the house and not the kiddie toy set their parents bought as a substitute;)
As soon as keys and locks came out, O was in!

Mix 'Em Up. Add several sizes of padlocks and keys to the mix. This gives the child a game of trial and error, as well as works their memory skills ('now which key is it that fits this lock?') In addition (no pun intended) learning about shapes and sizes becomes a hidden math lesson.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Modern Masterpiece

O's first mural!
O & T making a masterpiece!

I am not a parent who has a future occupation in mind for O.
She doesn't need to follow in my footsteps when it comes to her interests and hobbies.
Other than enjoying honest playtime for a second round in my life, I try not to live vicariously through O.
But I will not tell a lie.
When I see O involved in artwork, I get warm fuzzies!

O was introduced to her first crack at wall art, not by me, but our lovely friend T and her Mommy!
What a treat! The girls had a blast getting down-right messy. 
And just look at that pose!
That is O's Peacock Pose that her Dabby and I giggle about; when she sticks out her chest and struts, literally, with only the confidence a barely two-year old can have!

Messy Toddler Play. Not only for summer activities, Nursery Activity Idea's lists a load of ways you can enjoy messy play all year round. http://www.nurseryactivityideas.co.uk/category/messy-play

Messy Art Party. Change your playgroup date into a mothers mess nightmare! Best if you have an outdoor space for hosedown or good, old mudroom. Not just for birthdays...and not just for the kids!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vegan Bites: Fresh Spring Rolls

 Easy Peasy Veggie Wrap
Rice/Glass Noodles

O had her first taste of rice noodles in Thailand last week.
She ate them every day after that.

Back in Shanghai, we brought out our stock of Vietnamese rice paper(we buy from Asian grocers in Canada and bring to Asia in our suitcase?!?). Then we hit the grocery store here to pick up a bag of rice noodles and Thai basil.

Prep and price for handmade fresh spring rolls is minimal.
Options for filling are endless.(Good recipe for using up random veggie bits!)
Little and big kids can help with the stuffing, rolling...and eating!

Fresh Spring Rolls
~Vietnamese rice paper wraps (small circles are easier to fill & handle)
~rice noodles (also called glass noodles, rice vermicelli and a variation; mung bean vermicelli)
~Thai basil, cilantro, chives or other favourite fresh herbs
~veggies (coloured assortment, cut in thin strips)

Cook rice noodles by dropping a handful in boiling water and allowing to soften.

Heat small pan of water that will accommodate size of your Vietnamese rice paper, laying flat. The temperature should be warm enough to be able to handle. Immerse sheets one by one, until they are soft and pliable. Use them as soon as they are taken out of the warm water.

Lay soft rice paper flat. Add a pinch of rice noodles in the middle. Add veggies pointing center outwards, a slice of avocado and sprig of herb. Fold in half and roll. Dipping sauce as desired...or not;)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

No Beanstalk Necessary

 Hello. I am so sweet & adorable. With slightly shifty eyes, planning my next feat!
(Japanese pajama's courtesy of Big Girl Luna, O always reminds me!)

This morning O and I headed off to the Mom-Made Library here in Shanghai.
We've been participating in a volunteer reading time that O really enjoys; I am responsible for reading to a group of children, while O conveniently disappears and finds something else to do.
Today, she opened two rooms (that were closed by me, very much on purpose) to get into the bathroom where she helped herself up onto the stool and counter top to lay there washing her hands in the water.
She piped up proudly when I found her, "Mama! Washing hands!" I could only smile.

To every toddler, the world is a playground full of beanstalks!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beach Bums

Finding 'Frabbies'
Low Tide Dance
Dabby & O
 Mommy & O
 'SIMMING!' in the sweet water pool
 Crab & Baby Prints
 Beloved Durian
 Taste Tester
 Coconut Shredding Stool
 High Tea (O's demo of pinkies up!)
 Quiet Island Afternoon
 Wooden Longboat
 Beach Smooch
Hammock Nap

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Toddler Tales: "Frapes"


O was sick with a cold last week.
This week she is teething.
Not much crafting or creativity going on. 
We're simply in survival mode. 

We went for a walk the other day and I asked her if she would like to buy some grapes.
"Frapes?!" she perked up.
(She loves "frapes". The answer was a no-brainer!)

We passed by an alley where a fruit vendor lay fast asleep in a chair.
China has South America's equivalent of the 'siesta'.

Mama: "She is sleeping."
O: "Seep seep?"
Mama: "Yeah. What should we do?"

(Mama asks such dumb questions!)