I need a catchier name for these little buddies. Maybe Truffula Photographia? Who knows. Anyway, I love ‘em.
I have an abundance of unframed photos scattered around my house. I always intend to frame them, it just never happens. Enter the spool photo holder. I saw the idea here:
I used a much finer saw blade than she did because my pictures were unmounted. I also didn’t saw all the way to the middle because I ran out of patience, but I intend to finish that part up soon. Luckily it’s functional as is. Halfway through, I realized it’s much easier to move the spool across the saw rather than vice versa.
I like to make pompoms, but have a hard time finding a use for them. Usually I make giant sized ones, but last night I thought I’d give some itty bitty ones a try. I got some pretty purple yarn, a tiny pom pom maker, and went to work while watching The Wire. After finishing two of them it became clear that I needed to make a pom pom tree. I gathered some twigs from the yard.
I had intended to use some spools as twig vases (an idea I saw at Treehouse Kid + Craft) and some as photo holders. Once I made one, though, I really liked how the combo looked together. I think I’m going to line the top of the piano with these. Off to Treehouse now to stock up on spools.
Yesterday, I made a little table into a nature shelf for Daisy. I am trying to learn to restrain myself and not put everything out at once. The table has storage, so I can add and delete stuff easily. It’s also nice to have a place to put the 8000 rocks she brings home after every walk. Next to the table is a basket full of fake flowers. I have a few vases there so Daisy can fill them with flowers to her hearts content. (I got this idea from her school.)
This morning, as I was feeding Clementine a bottle, I heard Daisy singing to herself in the next room. On the steps, we have a small round container in which we planted amaryllis bulbs. Daisy checks every day to see if they have grown. I was curious as to what she was doing near them, but I’ve been trying to encourage her independence lately, so I didn’t want to interrupt. After about 20 minutes, she told me to come see her work. It was this:
She had artfully arranged all the silk flowers, with the tallest ones in the back and the shortest in the front. She had also placed all the treasures from her nature shelf: gemstones, rocks, shells, feathers, birch bark. It looked awesome.
She was so proud of her work. I’m not sure which I love the most: her pride, the work itself, the delight she took in creating it - humming and singing such happy songs the whole time, or that I have now discovered that if I just keep this corner of the steps clear of stuff, we have yet another little place to play.
I slept late today, mainly because Daisy kept me up all night. When I woke up, Daisy was laying out his role for their game of pretend: Okay, you be the wolf and I’ll be the mermaid. And you don’t know that I’ve lost my home. And you…
It goes on for a while. He plays along, he gets it wrong, Daisy corrects him. And on, and on. “Welcome to my entire 8 hour day,” I tell him.
Daisy is very, very into pretend play. She has a great imagination so her story lines can be pretty amusing. Yet, I’m just not into these games. I’d rather make something. I try to bend the games my way (“Hey, let’s build a cove for the mermaid to hide in!”), but it rarely works. Instead, I half-heartedly play my role as the prince, the mermaid, the wolf, the horse, or (my favorite) the-big-purple-blue-black-bear.
Dave is great at these games. He creates incredible story lines, does great accents, and throws everything into it. My mom is great at these games. I am not.
So, the amo, the I love for this post… I love a timer. Yep, a kitchen timer (but because it’s me it’s the one on my iphone). Bear with me as I shift gears, and then dramatically bring it back to the topic at hand.
I am, at heart, a teacher. Teachers love timers. I learned my favorite timer trick when I was a parapro. The classroom had gotten way way too loud during writing time, and instead of repeatedly asking for quiet (and driving herself nuts) or threatening to take time off of recess, the teacher said, “You’ve gotten too loud. We’re going to have silence for five minutes. When the timer goes off you can talk again.” It worked magically. When the timer went off, the kids talked again, but in much quieter voices. I used that method in every classroom I’ve taught in and it always works.
Daisy responds pretty well to a timer. If I warn her we have five more minutes at the playground and then set a timer, 80% of the time she’ll go without a fuss when she hears the timer go off. (This is a pretty good percentage for my girl.)
So, what does this have to do with Daisy’s imaginary games? It occurred to me today that a timer might work on me. Rather than spending 4 hours half-heartedly playing the mermaid while I’m thinking about all that I have to clean, the laundry that needs to be done, what I want to photograph, how to solve the problem that is our dining room, and so on and so on…I set the timer. I told Daisy I’d play mermaid with her for 15 minutes, but that when the timer went off I’d have to clean the kitchen. It worked. She was happy because she had my undivided attention. I was able to throw myself into the game and actually enjoy it - because I knew there was an end in sight. I did the voices, incorporated plot twists, fashioned an outfit for Clementine. It was all a lot of fun for both of us and 15 minutes seemed to totally satisfy Daisy. I’m sure it won’t be this way all the time, but at least it worked today.
Clementine was very reluctant to drink her bottle this morning. She kept knocking it out of my hand. Finally I got the idea that she wanted to feed herself - something she is completely incapable of doing. I gave her the bottle anyway to see what she did. It was great. She held it in front of her, stared at it for a minute, and then let out a blood-curdling samurai yell, and jammed the bottle towards her face. She hit her cheeks, her forehead, her nose - everywhere but her mouth. She still wouldn’t give in and let me give her the bottle, though. She played this little game for about ten minutes - each time following the same steps: stare, scream, slam into face. She was quite delighted with herself.