Friday, 28 February 2014


The Reading Residence

My word of the week this week is cooking.

We have been doing a lot of cooking this week with Princess, in the hope of inspiring a love of food, getting her to try new things, and breaking out of the rut that we have been in, of her wantting plain pasta with cheese every night for dinner.

We went to the library and got out some cook books, and sat down with Princess to look through them to choose what she might fancy trying. (The Ella's Kitchen one was great for this as the pictures are fantastic and every dish is pictured.)

We got her involved in making a list, and some of the shopping, as well as the cooking. So far this week she has made and eaten vegetable risotto, salmon fishcakes, chicken and vegetables stir fry and cupcakes, and has picked out a few more things to try.

She is also becomming more eager to look through the book and choose recipes, to start she didn't even want to do that!

So far, so good........

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Quick messy play session to calm down angry kids

Princess has a bit of a temper. Most kids do. And when she looses her cool, there is nothing I can say or do that will help, everything I say just makes her more upset and angry.

But there is one thing that works almost without fail to calm her down.

I will share it with you so you can try it too!

I simply fill the bathroom sink with water, give her some cups/bottles/toys/whatever's to hand, and the vital ingredient, shaving foam.

Then, after some messy, watery, sensory play, she is all smiles again


Friday, 14 February 2014

Word of the week, One-off

The Reading Residence

My word of the week this week is:


Something exciting, amazing and long overdue happened in our house this week.

Grapie SLEPT ALL NIGHT!!!!!!!

Now, I wish my word could be more positive, something like "finally", "amazing" or "breakthrough". But even though she is nearly 18months now, this has never happened before, and it's not looking likely be the start of a new pattern, based on the past few night. Unfortunately.

Oh well. It was good while it lasted!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

My family

My family by princess (age 4)

We had to capture this on camera as it was drawn on the Megasketcher so only lasted about 5 minutes.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Winter Olympics small world play

Princess loves the Olympics. We took her to see an event at the 2012 Olympics, and she still remembers it even though she was only 2, and she has been enjoying watching the winter Olympics this year.

I made her this little Olympics small world play scene this week out of a cardboard box. It was quite simple to set up, and she has played with it for hours. It has really  sparked her imagination, and she has been making up all sorts of events and games to play with it, both with me and on her own.

I used a box with a lid that opens up to be the ski slope, I used bubble wrap at the top to be the launch platform. Then i used tissues on the alope to make it snowy, but when I tested it with a skier it just wasn't slippery enough, so I added a freezer bag on top of the tissues so the figures could really ski. 

The skier was made by blu-tacking some craft sticks onto the figures feet (we also made some into snowboarders later by using just one craft stick!)

I made a luge run out of a toilet roll cut in half and covered in silver foil and stuck on.

The winners podium was made out of Duplo, with pipe creaner medals.

I used cotton wool in the bottom of the box for snow and made an ice skating rink out of cardboard covered in foil. I sectioned a bit of the box off for the audience, but this has hardly been used as Princess likes alk the figures to be involved! I used stickers to add details like team GB flags on the figures and Olympic flags to decorate the box.

Princess has loved playing with it, she has gone back to it several times since, and I'm planning on covering it with fresh snow (shaving cream) once the novelty wears off, too give it one last lease of life. Which she will love, but we will only be able to do once! 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Muddy puddles and scooters

This afternoon, something very rare happened. The sun came out and the rain stopped. This momentous event occurred, even more incredibly, while I was picking Princess up from preschool. So we made the most of it and went to the park!

We are very lucky to have an excellent park close by, with a tennis court that the girls can run around in. Princess had her scooter, as did some of her friends, so they had a great time scooting around, while Grapie toddled after them.

Then we went for a play in the park, and after that Princess wanted a scoot around again and Grapie discovered jumping in puddles!

We had a lovely afternoon, as you can probably tell from the state of Princess's shoes by the time we left!

A bad night shows me how far we have come

Last night was a bad night for Grapie. She is getting 3 teeth and she tossed and turned all night, waking up and crying what felt like every 10 minutes. Not even Calpol gave her much relief. This took me back to a time when every night was like this for her, when she was suffering badly with reflux. And I realised this morning just how far we have come.

Don't get me wrong, its far from perfect. She still wakes several times a night and I still spend half the night in her bed with her. But she sleeps in her own little bed in her own room, she falls asleep without any help apart from me being in her room and she has stopped breastfeeding.

We still have a long way to go before she is sleeping all night but we have come a long way.