Painting

On our last visit to Christchurch (we left exactly a week almost to the hour before the quake, again), we did something I haven’t plucked up the courage to do at home yet.
We painted. Or rather, Harriet painted.

There were some learning curves at the start. If we squeezed the paint into saucers, she naturally thought they were something both highly colourful and edible. When we squirted small blobs onto the paper, then things started happening.

The only problem then became that things didn’t stop happening.

Let’s just say, it’s wise to run the bath before beginning the painting.

The Botanic Gardens

Wellington has fantastic botanic gardens, full of fountains and secret paths, and other children.

The beautiful weather here has made it hard to resist, and it’s so close to our new house.

The hot house, with its raised fish pond, was H’s favourite. I loved that she was quite happy to toddle about pointing at plants and people, and that there was an environment in which it was fine for her to do that. We’re not free-range parents by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d like to think we’re pretty free-reined.

Summer shirts

Harriet and I have just come back from a week in Christchurch. It was absurdly hot down there for two girls who have thoroughly acclimatised to Wellington. Good thing I made these before we left:

Knowing it would be hot, I made up some little peasant tops, using the tutorial from indietutes again. One is in what I suspect is a coral cotton/silk (but was purchased in a grab bag from a Plunket fundraiser, so who knows?) and the other is a very graphic light cotton from Global Fabrics. I flared the bottom of the tops out into an A-line, and left off the elastic on the slightly-longer-than-last-time sleeves.

They’re comfortable and light and were in constant use in the hot sun, protecting fair little arms (that were also slathered in suncream). Also, H seems very happy in them…

…mostly…

(Notice the very fun props she has. They spend far more time being played with than worn!)

Baking

H and I spent a lovely day in the kitchen yesterday. We were both very pleased with the results. I was trying out a sugar-free biscuit recipe as part of my quest to find foods that are easy to hold to give to H, and it’s hard to find things that don’t contain loads of sugar or salt. These biscuits can be found here here. Not sure they were a total hit… lovely and moist, but the banana is leaving me a bit cold. [Edited to add… I wasn’t so keen, but H was pretty into the one she had for afternoon tea on Saturday] These Apple Breakfast Bars have been far more successful and are a breakfast staple around here, just to break up the tedium of Marmite toast. Suggestions for baby friendly finger food would be much appreciated!
H loved playing with ‘real’ objects, and things that she hadn’t seen or handled (like onions!) before. Sometimes toys are overrated.

Spoon feeding at our house

Is not popular unless the baby is holding the spoon, as you can see with this Red Thai curry (!) and rice.

And custard? I can do it myself, thanks.

Oh, sorry, what did you say? I’ve got custard, where? Behind my ears… I know, I was storing it for later. In my hair… well, what do you condition with? Up my nose… I like the smell. And anyway, Mummy, there’s custard all over you as well.

Baby Led Weaning

So in our house, this is really the truth. I am doing no leading. Harriet is in almost total control here, and it’s a wee bit frightening for the precedent alone. Harriet was so keen to start the eating process, she has been grabbing food out of my hands, and way too often it was of the chocolate variety. I did my reading and we started solids. I mashed and pureed, Harriet spat out and clamped her jaw shut. Then she reached for whatever I was eating.
She wouldn’t eat baby rice. She wouldn’t eat pureed apple. She wouldn’t eat pureed pear. She would eat rusks… and she kept grabbing food out of my hands. So I gave in, and now am really pleased I hadn’t bought a stick whiz!
Things she will eat so far: apples (I give her a whole apple with a bite out of it and she just sucks it), rice crackers, broccoli, courgette, cauliflower, toast (with jam or Marmite), carrot, kumara and pumpkin.
And although I haven’t had to buy a stick whiz or a mouli, I have invested in long sleeved bibs, and huge plastic floor mat, wipe clean placemats and Gill Rapley’s book.

It’s really interesting to watch her eat. Instead of just opening and closing her mouth for a spoon, she really investigates her food. She pokes holes on the courgette, pincer grips bits of cracker, squeezes broccoli to let the water run out and mashes the pumpkin everywhere!