Parenting 2.0

Archive for the ‘Toys and Fun’ Category

Aside

Posted on: April 11, 2012


If you had asked me yesterday morning when the last time was that I had burned a hole in my pants from playing too hard, I would have had to really think about it. Maybe 25 years ago? My mom actually used to patch my jeans or snowpants when it happened. But as an adult, there’s no real reason to ruin your pants this way. Unless, of  course, you are the parent of a toddler.

I am a big believer in playing with your children. I try to carve out time for this each day – not just watching Niko play, or listening to him in the background, but actually getting involved in what he’s doing. Not having spent much time with two year old boys in the past, this type of play is somewhat new for me. Yesterday it involved going out to the sidewalk with some chalk, some cars and a ramp, and sitting in warm Spring sun, while creating a road and parking lots for his toys. Of course, you can’t play with sidewalk chalk without getting right down on your hands and knees.

Anyway, lo and behold, time passed, and I looked down to see the skin of my knee glaring at me through my jeans. One of my favourite pairs! Ah well, they had been well loved over the years and perhaps it was time. At one point ripped jeans were “in” anyway, and maybe I’m on to something here. An updated form of “mom” jeans perhaps? I’m just a budding fashionista, really!

One thing’s for sure, all this play certainly tuckered out little Stella.

A New Take on “Mom” Jeans


Again, I ‘m a little behind in posting this segment (as Stella was 2 months on February 24th!), but honestly, the pics were taken on that day… It’s just the getting them out of my camera and onto my blog that’s proving a touch time consuming…

Ah well, better late than never!

Note: Stella and Suzy: One Month Old



When Niko was a baby I dressed him for Halloween in my Build-a-Bear’s karate outfit. He was just over a month old, and this inspired a series of photos. Each month I took his photo beside the bear to document his baby growth. So in total a series of twelve photos were taken.

Well lo and behold a month of little Stella’s life had passed and I realized I had not yet started this for our newest little darling. Not wanting her to feel the “you-have-less-photos-of-me-than-the-first-born” drama, I nipped it in the bud and seized the closest item I could find to start documenting. I mean…after much thought and care I settled on Suzy to be the chosen the doll to document our precious girl’s growth. (Of course, her size growth portfolio wouldn’t be so haphazard as me just nabbing the closest item…).

Suzy, by the way, is my beloved Cabbage Patch doll from when I was a child. And charting her first month, here’s Stella and Suzy!

Note 1: These pics were taken around January 26th, even though they are just being posted now. So they do accurately reflect one month of growth. My tardiness at posting them is more a commentary on the time restraints of my current lifestyle. Two young kids and finding it hard to find time to blog. Who would have thunk?

Note 2: Niko is in daycare today.

Note 3: At Stella’s one month check up, her stats were as follows: weight – 10 lb 8 oz, height – 22 inches. (90th percentile for both).

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SnowToddler may more accurately describe the little snow tyke that took residence on our front lawn the other day. SnowToddler only because it ended up being about the same size as our real life toddler. Granted it was sort of raining during the making of this little guy, and I am impressed not only that it was built at all but also with its staying power over the last few days, Happy Birthday hat and all!

Follow up Note: Niko loves looking out the window at his SnowToddler, but was sorely disappointed – tears etc. – when he peered out one day only to see that his creation was missing its nose and buttons. Seems a squirrel had come along in the night, and tried to make off with it. But squirrels must not like carrots much because upon closer investigation, Frasier discovered the carrot and pieces half buried in the snow just a few feet away. Which actually only perpetuated the problem (and tears) because then Frasier tried to devour the remains only to render himself gagging on the frozen carrot bits. Good thing Daddy stepped in to save the day, and the remains of the carrot. Once pulled from the clenches of our poodle, the nose and buttons were put back into place and despite all the gagging, you can barely tell what they’d been through. And at last…tears ceased! Phewf.



OK, so maybe the collection of works that have taken residence in our basement wouldn’t necessarily fit in at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), but they definitely qualify for the MoTA (Museum of Toddler Art).

I had been wondering what to do with the steady stream of artwork that Our Little Picasso had been coming home from daycare with. I tried the fridge – but when it comes to space on a stainless steel version, you’re limited to only one magnetic side. So realistically, among all the photos that have also called that space their home, it just wasn’t cutting it.

I framed a few of his paintings. But how many frames can I actually put up in my house? Right now, the limit on frames and toddler art is two. (Maybe that will change once Little Sister arrives…).

Then, a month or so ago we went to Talia’s third birthday party and got this great idea for displaying toddler art. All it took was some string, wall hooks and clothes pins, and presto the MoTA was made!


As mentioned before, I’ve been trying to figure out how best to introduce our little lady to her big brother. Since my previous post, I’ve been given a few more pointers:

  • the first time Niko meets the baby, she should be in her carseat, or some other neutral area (not cradled in Mommy’s or Daddy’s arms)
  • he should be allowed to go up to her, touch her and check her out
  • get him involved in an artsy way

I’m planning on doing all three. To elaborate on the third point, my friend Heather suggested getting Niko involved in making some sort of artwork to hang in his little sister’s room – a welcome-to-our-family gift of sorts.

The idea is simple really: using leftover paint from the baby’s walls create a toddler-made painting. We happened to have some blank canvasses and acrylic paints in the basement so away we went. In total it took about 10 minutes a day for a period of 4 days.

Day 1 Purple: using the purple paint from his sister’s room, Niko finger-painted the background

Day 2 Green: using a 2″ brush, Niko painted on the second layer (I’d envisioned lime green, but as an amateur self-mixer this was the closest I could get, using the blue, yellow and white paints we had on hand)

Day 3 Yellow: using a small paintbrush, I encouraged Niko to make circles on his masterpiece

Day 4 White: using leftover trim paint, I had planned to glob it on and then have Niko blow through a straw to create a special effect – turns out the globs were too thick, and at times Niko sucked in instead of the reverse. And there was that one time he turned the straw around and put the painted end in his mouth. Ah well…live and learn. In the end, we dipped a small paint brush in the paint and sort of shook it onto the canvas. I also tried to get his hand print in the bottom right corner. A toddler-style signature, similar to the greasy ones that grace the walls of my house…

And presto, c’est fini! Overall an artistic success and I love the way it looks hanging in the baby’s room. Great work Little Man!

All we need now? The baby!

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This year Niko’s pumped for Christmas and it’s the first time he actually understands (at least as much as a toddler can) what’s going on. He talks about Santa, presents, decorations, Christmas lights, Baby Jesus and Jingle Bells. He’s right in the thick of the Christmas spirit and it’s so cute to see. This weekend we attended a Santa pancake breakfast and Niko was delighted to meet the man in red. More so than last year, that’s for sure…

Christmas Delight (2011)

Christmas Fright (2010)


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