Too Busy Sleeping {Book Review}

I was thrilled to be sent a copy of Too Busy Sleeping by Zanni Lousie recently as it's the perfect book to read to Miss M in preparation for our new baby to arrive in a few months. My heart melted as I read it to her an imagined how much our life is going to change when this bundle joins our family. I had forgotten that newborns really do sleep a lot! Miss M is right into 'dolly' imaginative play right now, and I think she'll make a wonderful big sister.


Too Busy Sleeping follows a predictable and easy to follow story line - perfect for young children (my two year old even joins in with the line "too busy sleeping"...). Big sister Eleanor is eager to play with her brand new baby brother Reuben on the day he arrives home, but he is always "too busy sleeping". When Eleanor finally goes get to play with Reuben, it's the perfect visual way to demonstrate to toddlers how to be gentle with a new baby. I won't give away the sweet as pie ending, but it makes it the perfect bed time book! Miss M asks for it all the time :)

The illustrations by Anna Pignataro marry the text beautifully with a lovely combination of water colours and collage effects.

If you're expecting bubba number two like we are this book would be perfect for you! But still an equally enjoyable story for all children aged 0-5 years. It would also make a fantastic big brother / big sister gift which is always a nice thing to do so they feel special and it's not just the new baby being spoilt with gifts. I'm planning to have this one in the hospital bag with some other fun activities for Miss M when she comes to visit us.

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You can find Zanni on Facebook here
And her website is here where you can find a link to purchase the book (the book officially launches on September 1st, so keep an eye out at book shops!).

Zanni also has a delightful blog My Little Sunshine House and I loved these posts...

How to Make a Tiny Book (with a single sheet of paper - I made these with my kids for Book Week!)

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Lauren
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One of my Favourite Blogs {Eenie Meenie Miney Mum}

Hello there!

I'm delighted to bring you another interview today! Meet Liv from Eenie, Meenie, Miney Mum. She's such an entertaining writer and also resides here in Adelaide like me. I've loved following Liv lately and I'm sure you will too.

Click here to read my previous interview posts with seven other brilliant bloggers. 

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1. I love love love the name of your blog Liv. Please introduce Eenie, Meenie and Miney to us all.


Eenie meenie miney mum was an 8pm, random, sitting-on-the-couch, not even thinking about anything to do with the blog, kind of brainwave that I'm still sort of high fiving myself for! I find greatness tends to come from all good half a block of Cadbury chocolate eating moments.

Eenie, Meenie and Miney makes reference to my three children, 3 and a half year old twins Henry (eenie) and Tilly (meenie) as well as our little slice of deliciousness, Rosie (miney) who is 8 months old. And the mum part is obviously me! My kids are my greatest inspiration and ongoing source of unbridled hilarity so it's fitting.

2. We are a dog loving family as well – I loved your post ‘Why our dog is like our fourth child’. Tell us about your fur baby.


Ahh Gibson the wonder dog, the pooch we love to love! Like any animal that vomits on your new rug one night and manages to eat half a loaf of bread left on the bench top (barely ripping the plastic) the next, we have our moments. Gibson, our six year old Weimaraner, was pretty much our parental test run. His neuroses include running out of the room when you take a saucepan out of the cupboard and refusing to wee if it's raining... So as you can see, he's complicated! He doesn't get this from me ;)

3. What do you love about living in Adelaide?


The traffic! Or lackthereof! I am an angry angry motorist if I'm stuck in traffic, and I'm a little OCD about punctuality so the fact that we rarely have to sit around in traffic in adelaide is a massive bonus for me and for anyone who takes their life into their own hands as my passenger.

Another great thing about adelaide is city fringe living and the amount of playgrounds and parks we have to choose from. I'm a stay at home mum, or maybe it would be more accurate to say I'm a stay away from home mum because I prefer to be out doing things with my kids rather than trapped at home. I feel so lucky having so many outdoor areas to go with my family right at my doorstep.

4. So, your recent Bunnings trip didn’t quite go as planned ;)
Can you share one of your favourite (and successful) family outings?


Usually our outings go pretty well. Bunnings was a bit of an exception to that, but you know, not my fault... Because, bunnings! ;) We spend a LOT of time at the botanic gardens and the zoo... Both places are weirdly zen for us and have an inexplicably strange and hypnotic effect on the kids that causes an unusual air of obedience and delightfulness that is otherwise foreign in our household. I don't know how, I don't know why... But I am not one to question! I'm just going to keep going there until they start handing out balloons in the car park ;)

5. I have laughed out loud when reading several of your posts (7 legit toddler life struggles). Do you laugh along as you write or proof read?


Both! I firmly believe that parenting without a sense of humour is like being an accountant who sucks at maths... So I try to take a bit of funny with me everywhere I go! I laugh along as I write but I also take my craft very seriously so there is a lot of editing and proof reading involved.. I want everything I produce to be perfect. It isn't always, but the intention is there.

6. Some of your posts have also been particular heartfelt (The three kinds of baby weight that actually count and An Open Letter to my (pregnant) Best Friend). You have such a fantastic Internet voice. Can you pinpoint where this love and ability of writing came from?


Writing was pretty much the only thing I enjoyed at school, and the only thing I ever felt came really naturally to me. I think I grew to love it at a very young age because I was good at it (and frankly there were many things I wasn't good at... Softball... Physics... Doing my own hair....) and having a creative outlet has always been really important to me. I still look at my own work and compare it to others and think I'm crap though, I have an in built self doubt gene, but I do think it helps me to strive to be better. Besides, we can't all be as genius as Rosie Waterland and her bachelor recaps!

7. My daughter is two and a half, what do I need to be prepared for when she becomes a three-nager?


Start brushing up on the answer to every question you can ever imagine it possible to be asked, and then seven more questions... And then a few more questions about those questions. And then another question for good measure. That's a good start! The insatiable curiosity of a three year old is hilariously never ending and at times, I admit it, kind of frustrating. Sometimes I challenge myself to find a legit answer to every question I'm asked, and then one of my twins will ask what sausages grow on and i just can't stop laughing long enough to say "a sausage tree of course".

8. How do you take your coffee? I have learnt you are a coffee addict!


Ahh coffee, the elixir of life. My standard is a full cream milk (hardcore) latte with half a sugar. Twice a day! Sometimes three times if it's one of those days. Coffee makes me a better human, I'm not even kidding.

9. Your blog has done so well in such a short amount of time! I see you pop up all the time. What do you think the future have in store for Eenie Meenie Miney Mum?


Hopefully many many many more words. I just want to write and share a little piece of my world (and hopefully a few laughs) with whoever wants to come along for the ride.. Be it many people, or just a few! I'm so proud of how far the blog has come in four months - I just want to continue to grow and do what I love!

10. I love seeing the little quotes you regularly post on facebook, can you please share a favourite?


I think of all that I've posted on facebook, my favourite so far is:

"Every morning before getting dressed my three year old asks herself: what would a crazy homeless princess wear?" 

Because it's just...so...true!! And frankly, that's not vastly dissimilar to what I ask myself when I get dressed every morning too ;)

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Thank you so much for answering my questions Liv! I look forward to following along with your adventures and hope that many of my Teacher Types readers do as well...

You can find Eenie Meenie Miney Mum here;
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Our "Ditching the Dummy" Story

We, like many other parents chose to use a dummy for Miss M and honestly, what a lifesaver. Like an off button for crying. Don't regret our choice for a second. Here's a bit of backstory to fill you in on what's brought us to our decision to say goodbye to the dummy on the weekend.

Up Until Now


For quite some time (since Miss M was 1), the dummy was only for sleep time and we kept them in her cot. At around 2 years, she started to drop her day naps, and would often still have 'quiet time' in her cot (and had her dummy of course even though she wasn't sleeping). Then when we took the sides off her cot we realised that this would mean she would have free access to the dummies anytime - so this definitely had to change and we started keeping them up high on a shelf.

We discussed and suggested the 'swap the dummy' for a toy at the shop idea, but she wasn't too keen on that one. After watching a Peppa Pig "Tooth Fairy" episode we talked about the 'dummy fairy' and Miss M was quite receptive to this idea. We were all set to give it a go a week ago, but then she got sick.

After a bout of sickness, and us just giving in to her dummy requests too often - we were having daily battles and tantrums because she wanted it all the time. So we decided enough is enough.

The Dummy Fairy


When Miss M was better and we talked about it some more (the day before and day of leading up to it). She knew Saturday night was her last night with the dummy. We wanted to watch the Peppa pig "tooth fairy" episode again and then she decided she would wash the dummy in her bath. Putting it in the little bag went well - she wanted to do it straight away after bath. This is it. No going back now.

Of course we anticipated a tantrum, it lasted about 1 hour. At one stage I started reading a story to myself, with a really animated voice - it distracted her a bit, and by the 2nd book she gave in and came to sit on my lap. Stories worked for a while, but as soon as she thought of her dummy she lost it again. In, out, dad, mum, milk, water... we tried everything.

Eventually she fell asleep in my arms and I attempted the awkward and delicate manoeuvre of getting her into her bed - with just a slight wake up, a few pats later, we had done it...

The night...


She woke up once at around 11pm and was quite distraught when she realised her dummy wasn't there, I eventually calmed her down and she fell asleep in my arms again.

The morning!!


Miss M went straight to the door to look for her present - all bleary eyed and half asleep. She loved the little bed time beanie kid with his own dummy that the dummy fairy bought her, and carried him around all Morning like a sleeping baby.


She mentioned her dummy a few times during the day - asking where it was, and even tried her luck with daddy "You get me my dummy daddy?", but our answer was the same - "It's gone with the dummy fairy, it's not in this house anymore. We said goodbye to the dummy."

Night Two


I couldn't believe it - and I really hope I'm not jinxing myself by writing this but - she went to sleep herself perfectly, just like normal but without a dummy. And slept the whole night through. I couldn't believe it.

Parenting win! 

My Rookie Mistake


A few days later, Miss M and I were at the shops, and I make the mistake of venturing down the baby aisle. "Anything we need from here?" I say, "Dummy for your new baby" Miss M replies (which we have been talking about for a while). I have a quick look and they don't have any newborn ones, to which Miss M figures out "Buy some more for me...". *Face palm. What was I thinking? Minor tantrum in trolley followed. 

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Maybe we just chose the right time, and Miss M was the right age to understand the whole dummy fairy concept. So if you think it's time your little one ditched the dummy - give the dummy fairy a try! It was easier that we thought...

Lauren x
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We Loved the Play School Concert {Review}

I, like many other children born in the 80s, grew up watching Play School. Does this clip bring back those childhood memories for you as well?


Awww! I get quite nostalgic sometimes. I'm a sentimental type :)

I truly believe that Play School is the most educational out of all of the children's programs these days (well, for young children anyway). There are so many opportunities for learning in every episode, covering a wide variety of themes, songs, stories and life skills. It's also become one of Miss M's favourites (and I love how we can watch it any time here on ABC Kids).

Yesterday she and her one year old cousin ventured off for their first play school concert at the Norwood Concert Hall (accompanied by us of course!) and we all had lots of fun. If you haven't been before, it's good to know that it's mostly an open space for children and their parents to sit on the floor with a few rows of chairs around the edge. I think this is great for the little tikes to have a chance to get up and dance during the show, I just wish we had gotten there a bit earlier to be closer to the front. Miss M (2.5 years) did pretty well watching and joining in, but being so far back was difficult to keep Mr C 's (1.5 years) attention on the show. He was having much more fun showing off his new walking skills!


The story of the 40 minute interactive show was cleverly done, but still nice and simple for young children to follow. A large story book was the main backdrop and pages were turned through out the show with many familiar characters and stories filling the pages. The presenters Teo and Rachael were energetic and engaging. It was a really special moment when the whole audience joined in to sing the classic theme song "There's a Bear in There" at the conclusion of the show.


The good news is that there are still tickets available for the remaining Adelaide shows so it's not too late if you'd like to go along! Kids Promotions have all the details you need. After Adelaide, the show heads to Western Australia, Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong with different Play School presenters.

Thank you Play School for all your years of educating our little people and here's to many more successful years of TV and live concerts in the future!

Not sponsored.
Images used with permission from Kids Promotions.
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Colour Sorting for Toddlers

Hi there!
I'm here with a simple colour sorting activity today that Miss M recently enjoyed. I love these mini tubs from Howards Storage World and immediately thought of ways to use them for a fun activities.






Click here to see the full range of 'Tubtrugs'! They're such a great addition to a play area.

We love the bigger Tubtrugs as well - they fit perfectly into our IKEA shelves and are perfect for storing toys. Here's one of my previous posts where I share some pics of our play corner.

Lauren

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT. Haven't been there for a while :)
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Inside Out - Review + Resources

Yes yes, I know I'm quite late to the 'Inside Out' party - but I couldn't help but share the fantastic resources I found to support the movie, which I took my students to this week.

If you haven't heard of the movie - where have you been? But anyway, it's all about the emotions of a young girl and the inner workings of her mind and emotions. I cannot explain how cleverly it was done; core memories, the train of thought, imaginary friends and more... My students have had some fantastic and insightful follow up discussions since seeing the movie. It's not often you come across a movie that can have so many educational benefits.

From TpT, I found the following fantastic resources (click the link to visit the store)

Inside Out Feelings Cue Cards & Posters - by Teaching with Balls


Inside Feelings Puzzle - by The Helpful Counselor


Inside Feelings Mini-Book - also by The Helpful Counselor


Inside Out Word Search - by Reflective Practice

And here are a few freebies I found!





Emotions Sorting Game

I loved the movie just as much as the students. I think this will be one of those films that many children will be enjoying for years (and maybe even generations) to come!

Well done Disney Pixar!

Lauren :)
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Simple Painting Ideas for Toddlers

I was feeling arty and inspired today so Miss M and I did some simple painting activities together. You've probably seen them elsewhere before, I'm certainly not claiming them as new ideas - just wanted to share what we've been up to.


I love this first one because it is literally NO MESS! Simply put a piece of paper into a tub, squirt a few blobs of paint, place a small ball inside, put the lid on and ask your toddler to shake it all around! (Tip: marbles would probably work better - but we just used what we had - a plastic golf ball).


Miss M and I were both too curious to see what was happening inside the box that we took the lid off and rolled it around a bit more. "Wowee!" she says :)

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The next idea is called Tape Resist Painting. All you need to do is grab some painters tape (because it will remove much easier) and stick it all over a large sheet of paper. Miss M loves painting with her hands so that's what we did. Even when I try and give her the bush, she starts painting her own hands lol!


When the paint is dry, carefully remove the painters tape. Magic to a toddler's eyes!



See some of my other painting ideas here

Well, thanks for stopping by. It's been a wonderful Saturday to have some blogging time :)

Lauren
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