The past week or so, I've been starting to feel quite a bit better, and so I've been working on trying to get things back to normal around here. Really simple things, like trying to get back into cooking dinner, which is something I couldn't bear at all when I was feeling so nauseous all the time.
The other thing that is forefront in my mind is to try to get my relationship with my daughter back-to-normal. Not that it's gotten horrible or anything - but I just haven't been myself the past few months and I think that it was starting to wear on her a little. I don't blame her at all, or myself really, either, but that's just what life had given us. And so I've been focusing on once again making the most of our time together, and getting our simple, loose routine back. It feels so good.
Because Adelaide is the kid who seems to focus well and enjoys working on projects, I've been taking some time to gather up craft ideas, and research and prepare simple craft kits for her. I'm collecting these ideas up, ready-to-go, in a big bin. It is my hope that by having many activities all ready for her, that maybe on days when I distracted or struggling (and I know there will be lots of these days coming) I will be able to have Addie pick a ready-to-go project out, and get her set up and going. Fingers crossed!
So the other day we awoke to a particularly nasty wet and dark day. Feeling a bit fried, I pulled out the idea bin, and after much consideration, Adelaide decided that she would like to try and paint ladybugs with vegetables - which is a project I found and adapted from the wonderful book Farmyard Tales Big Book of Things to Make and Do. This turned out to be a wonderful project, required minimal assistance on my part, and she was entertained for an entire afternoon.
To paint the ladybugs, we used one potato and one carrot. I mixed up shallow plates with tempura paint powder in red and black. I showed her as I cut potato in half, and then cut one of the halves into thirds. I poked a fork into the half potato, and showed Addie how she could use it to dip in paint and stamp many red ovals with it. She stamped several pages of ovals in this way. By time she was ready to try another type of stamp and colour, the paint from first pages had dried up.
I then poked another fork into the 1/3 of the other potato half, and showed her how to stamp on top of the red ovals to make the heads of the ladybugs with black paint. Once she had finished, we cut a carrot, and she used it to dip in the black paint and make the spots of the ladybugs. When they were dry, we added antennae with a black pencil crayon.
After making many ladybugs, Addie announced that she would like to make caterpillars, too. Her idea immediately reminded me of Eric Carle's classic children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and I ran and grabbed our copy of the book for inspiration. Together we saw that we could use vegetables to re-create this caterpillar, too. After poking around in the fridge, Adelaide chose a zucchini, baby carrots, and a celery stalk to make her caterpillar. She chose the zucchini for the caterpillar's body parts, celery for feet, and a baby carrot for the antennae.
Because of a little paint, paper, and vegetables, Addie and I both had really lovely afternoon. Projects like these may cost a couple of bucks and take a bit of time to think up, research, and prepare, but they truly can make the difference between an awful day, and an absolutely brilliant one.