Wednesday, 28 August 2013

miles.stones - seven months

Miles is shocked to hear he is seven months old, too!

Miles sixth month was a big one... it felt like a very significant transition from infant to baby. All of a sudden he seems soooo much more grown up! (I know I say that every month. Ahem). A lot of milestones and changes occurred this month that moved infancy further and further away. A few sniffles were had at saying a forever farewell to those precious baby days - but I am enjoying his growing personality and independence too!


Miles is on a rough 3.4-4 hour routine/cycle. Waketimes are about two hours in length. Once he was established on solids, (about 6.5 months) I got the nerve to drop the Dream Feed to see if he could sleep through for the solid 12 hours. He did!! Every now and then he might wake in the mid-evening for a feed, which is fine, but mostly my little dude is in bed and peacefully sleeping for 12 solid hours! I admit I do miss him a little.... but not enough to wake him, haha. But I did love and cherish those sleepy, cuddly, quiet evening feeds. They were precious bonding time. But I am glad he can get such good sleep too!

Routine is currently something like...

7.30am-9am – wake, feed, play, nap
11am-1pm – wake, feed, play, solids (sometimes), nap
2.30-4.30pm – wake, feed, play, catnap (just 30 mins or more if earlier naps have been interrupted due to plans)
5pm – wake, feed, play, solids, top-up feed
7.15/7.30pm – bed!
Sleeps 12 hours.

I think we will have to try and drop the catnap pretty soon as it's getting awkward to fit it in but also not sure he can do without it yet so might just see how he goes depending on the days events in the coming month or so!

Milestones and More...

Sooooo - we started solids – yippee!! It was fun to dive into Baby Led Weaning again for the third time. Such a big transition, introducing solids for my little guy! He has done really well.... more gung-ho than I thought he would be. For the first two weeks, he did a mixture of interested eating, playing with the food, sometimes not being interested, or not coordinated to pick up the food, etc. It was so cute seeing him work out how to pick the food up and explore! Then all of a sudden, about two weeks in, it was like a light switched on and he got serious. Now every time he is presented with food options, he digs right in, grabbing food sticks and gnawing away. He can polish off several food pieces in one setting (and there is proof on the other end how much he is consuming, haha). It is doing wonders for his fine motor skills too, I am so impressed by how he managed to pick food up. He is so gorgeous, the way he chomps and chews so intently. The older two watch him like hawks, cheering, coaxing and gushing over every bite. He is a lucky little baby to have such a doting cheersquad ;) I am offering food once or twice a day. It is a new routine for all of us to get used to, haha! So far he has had avocado (his first food, just like the other two kids!), beans, sweet potato, carrot, potato, broccoli and once he had toast with hummus. He loves 'em all!

Physically, he is happy just rolling around. He does these very cute little baby-push-ups (to straight arms, lifting up his torso) and is very wriggly and active but at the same time, he is pretty chilled and doesn't seem all too eager to get going anywhere. I don’t imagine he will crawl for a while (I am pretty sure my other two didn’t crawl till about 9 months... umm.... but I can’t really remember!) so we will just see what happens... he will lead the way! He gets plenty of floor time to play and explore. He sits great in the highchair but can’t really sit unassisted for more than a few seconds... I am kinda trying not to force that before he is ready either.

He loves to mimic (he and Eli have a great coughing routine going on), and can squeal and gurgle and growl at rather a high pitch.... 3rd kid gotta make himself heard!! Oh and I almost forgot - he now has two chompy little bottom teeth too.

We have also introduced the potty! As part of our previous habit of getting the kids into early potty training, we just casually start sitting him on the potty – usually just once a day or so. He has already done a wee on there – big cheers for that! :) Mostly the goal is just to make it a positive place and to learn the association  of what the potty is for. We use baby-sign and Elimination-Communication-type cues so that he can become familiar with the process and recognise his own cues too. Timing is key as well in this learning phase. The other two kids were nappy/diaper-free during the day at about 18 months so we will aim for something similar with Miles but will just see how it all unfolds for him, of course!

He is still the happiest, most sunshiney baby boy around. Everywhere we go, people comment on how happy, content and adorable he is. And he really is. He is our little delightful - the family treasure.

We love you, Baby Miles!

PS Lily asked the other day 'What are we going to call Baby Miles when he grows up and isn't a baby anymore?' 'Ummmm... Miles!?' 'Ohhhh'. A sign that the 'Baby Miles' nickname is pretty entrenched!

Monday, 26 August 2013

milk magic - when science and art collide

It was a cosy and rainy day around the house so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do a little activity with the kids. Now don't be thinking I do this kind of activity every day or anything!! But sometimes time and energy and creativity collide and this was just one of those special occasions ;)

I had seen a friend post some pics of 'milk colour swirling' paintings she had done with her kiddos on Facebook  - mixing food colouring in milk with straws then dipping paper into it to make prints - I remember doing this when little! So I had tucked that neatly up my sleeve to do with the kids 'someday'.  When I googled it to see if I needed to do it any way in particular, I came across this awesome blog/idea which took milk painting to a whole new awesome level - and made it a bit of a science experiment too!!!

According to this nifty little blog, you could dip a toothpick into dishwashing liquid then into the milk, and somehow magically it would disperse the colours around it. I didn't even understand how that could work but was keen to try it out....

I gathered two eager little ducklings (whilst the littlest ducky was napping) and a few supplies. I love when you spontaneously do something fun with the kids and with no planning it all, it takes just two minutes to gather the supplies from around the house. It sure does not always go so smoothly but lovely when it does! Seriously - you can try this yourself and it's so easy because you probably have everything you need right in your kitchen and cupboards!

What you need: A couple of roasting (deep sided) oven trays, food colouring, toothpicks, straws, dishwashing detergent and paper (thick is good). Note the eager little hands!
Oh I just realised I fogot to list and photograph the major ingredient - MILK!!!! (Whole is best).

Lily and Eli were so excited to try out our experiment/art project! And I took a lot of photos 'cos it was just all so preeeeeeeeeetty :)

We poured about a centremetre of milk in the trays. A few drops of colour (the kids chose what they wanted) and then
they opted for some straws to disperse the colour....

But then we decided to try out this crazy toothpick idea! The kids dipped the tip of a toothpick into a little ramekin of dishwashing detergent and then dipped the toothpick into the midst of their milk and food colouring drops. To be honest I really wasn't sure what would happen or if it would really work but lo and behold to our absolute wonder and amazement.....

Cool, huh? Within seconds, the colour would start radiating out. Lots of 'ooohs' and 'aaaahs' were heard!

The technical explanation is 'The reaction of the soap disrupts the surface tension of the milk causing the colors to radiate away from the toothpick'. It is such a great mix of art, science and fun!! The kids loved 'experimenting' and I was pretty much mesmerised by the pretty swirling colours and was actually itching to do it myself (must get my own tray next time!!). 

Now enjoy some more pretty :)

Why not just drop the toothpick in, thinks Scientist/Artist Lily

Bubble blowing time

Once the milk got super murky, I gave them a fresh tray. All up we probably spent 45 lovely minutes with two trays of milk for each kid. So it didn't use up too much milk. However, I was kicking myself for tossing over a litre of souring milk just days before... this would be a great way of using it!!

Scientist Eli decided to try the syringes....

For her second tray, Lily only wanted 'a drop' of Milk so she could have fun dripping it around. Although I assemble
the activity and can't help but present some ideas, I *try* and let them follow their own creative path for
the most part. Is is when I step back I really see their imagination unleash with all sorts of ideas and experiments!

The only 'failed' bit of the activity was when we tried to do prints. I don't know what went wrong but we just ended up
with vague coloured smears on the paper, though I tried to dip quickly and carefully! I didn't actually look up how to do this part so maybe I missed some essential element as I have seen kids do very clear prints before. Anyone got tips? Anyway, no big deal, we had fun doing everything else!

Let's focus back on the pretty colours :)

A super fun, easy, creative, beautiful scientific experiment -  yup, let's call that a successful rainy day activity!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

34/52 - little book lovers


This week we celebrated the joys of reading, books and all things literacy with Book Week.

Lily's Preschool hosted an adorable event - Bedtime Stories! The kids came along to the school at night (!) cosied up in pyjamas and dressing gowns (!!). A lovely local author told charming stories to enchant the children and it was a very special little evening for all. Lily was thrilled with the outing :)


This is E's collection of 'trucks'.

 His latest adorable quirk is an obsession with them. He (I am not kidding) diligently moves them around from room to room with him through out the day. ALL OF THEM. It is so funny! He parks them under a table in the bedroom over night too.

He regularly asks me with utmost sincerity and seriousness 'Do you love my trucks, Mummy?'  

Yes, I do, Eli. I really do. (And by trucks, I mean you).


I loooove these little tootsies!

These feet kick and swing and wiggle underneath the highchair, seemingly disconnected to what is going on above the highchair tray.

Yes, they originally had socks on them, but they soon found themselves on the floor. I am yet to find socks or booties that this kid cannot remove in less than three minutes. Truly.

Project 52: A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

More highlights from the week that was....

After snapping a shot of his little feet, I glanced up to see this crazy-cute and inquisitive face peering down at me.
'What on earth are you doing, Mother?!'

Miles' Baby-Led-Weaning Guide to Picking Up Food - In Just Six Easy Steps!!

Lily & Books: For 'Book Character Dress Up Day' at Preschool, it took Lily 2
seconds to decide to go as Cinderella - thanks to Harper for loaning her
 the dress! She took along our favourite collection of fairy tales and nursery
rhymes and the teacher even read some aloud which L was sooo pleased by!

I recently started reading 'Chapter Books' with Lily. My Mum has been reading them to her for a while and when she turned five I thought I had better start too! :) We have been cosily working our way through the Milly-Molly-Mandy series. Love snuggling with her in the evening, reading these enchanting little tales and bringing back memories of when I read them as a little girl. The stories are just so charming and sweet! And so is the time quietly reading with my girl.

(Sorry for bad iPhone pic!)

Miles & Books: This little boy gets a (surprising) amount of reading for a third child! The older two are constantly
reading to him, or propping books up in front of him 'for him to read'. We also include him in family story and he does
not take his eyes from the page!!

Boys Night

Mark took Eli out for a 'father and son' night - a haircut and some fun games at an arcade. 

I don't think I am overstating it to say it was pretty much the best night of Eli's life!! He had SO MUCH FUN just having one-on-one time with Daddy, plus all the fun and noise and craziness in the arcade.

Somehow my little boy went out a three year old and came home looking at least five?!?! So grown up!!! The short hair, the touch of gel (90's style!) from the hairdresser and the big adventure out just with his beloved Dad all contributed to one very happy little/big boy. 

Thumbs up for a fun night out with his awesome Daddy!

Blue Steel

Discovering bulbs popping up in the garden... Spring is a'comin!

Spring is peeking out and we are so very ready for the change of season!