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Moving Fun for Miss G

Simple Ways to Keep Kids Happily Engaged During a Move | Mama Papa BubbaIn order to get through our move, Miss G spent a lot of time playing independently, which is difficult when the majority of your things are packed and life as you know it is being turned upside-down in front of your eyes.  In order to make things a little bit easier for her, each day that we spent packing, I’d set out a couple of very simple invitations to play with whatever was around at the time.  I have to say, she handled the situation very well and even created a few fun activities of her own.  Here’s some of what our little lady did last week…

BubblesAdd a few taped-together straws to some homemade bubble solution!

Sink playThere are endless possibilities when it comes to sink play.  See some of our favourites here.

Box fortsFlip a large box on its side, add a pillow and blanket, and you’ve got a cozy little space to curl up in.  Miss G also brought markers and chalk inside of hers and decorated the walls.

Pool noodle blocksSlice up a pool noodle and you’ve got fun, inexpensive, and *silent* building blocks.  See some other ways to use them here.

Straw beadsChop up some straws, find a piece of string, and you’ve got an engaging beading station.

Drawing on butcher paperA large piece of brown paper taped onto the ground is the perfect canvas for all sorts of artwork.

Fresh mint playIf you’ve got some fresh herbs growing in the yard, this is a breeze to set up.  Add some scissors, bowls, and water, and scented ‘soup’ will be rolling out of the herb kitchen in no time.

BathsWho says you have to be dirty to have a bath?  Pop your babe in the bathtub and you can get all kinds of work done in the bathroom.

Peek a booA cardboard box + tissue paper = ridiculous amounts of fun.

Cloud dough8 parts white flour, 1 part oil (baby oil and vegetable oil both work great), and a whole lot of fun

Popcorn shopAll that’s needed is a bowl of popcorn and some paper bags!  {See more here.}

Play dough and silicon mouldsWhether it’s  with play dough (in this case gingerbread play dough), coloured rice, water beads, or another sensory material, silicon moulds are always a huge hit in our house.

Packing peanutsPacking peanuts in a bin… That’s all.  Gracen created this sensory bin, then took off her dress and dove in. 

StickersStickers and a big piece of brown paper.  Simple fun.

PhotoSimple matching games made with dot stickers.  We’ve done this forever with doodles, shapes, numbers, and letters and Miss G never gets enough.

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iPhoneography // Moving On…

IMG 2714Only 5 days to pack and a ton to do.

IMG 2650A going away gift. We have the very sweetest friends.

IMG 2639Progress…

IMG 2638All of the toys, books, games, and puzzles Gracen will have in Kuwait are in these two bins.

IMG 27282 a.m. and finally feeling good enough about the progress made to go to sleep before picking up the moving truck the next morning.

IMG 2733Loading day.

IMG 2739Nearly finished.

IMG 2738A sad final dinner in her 2nd home… A towel as a picnic blanket, a bento box for a plate, a spoon borrowed from the downstairs tenants, not a vegetable in sight.

PhotoFarewell, little house.

IMG 2756Halfway through the 6 hour drive back to the Okanagan.

IMG 2761An hour away from our destination and dinner is served…  In a car seat.  Sardined between bins.

 

Whew!  What a week it’s been.  I’ve got to say that moving is probably one of my least favourite things to do ever.  Several Christmases ago, my brother and I sat down with a pen and paper and listed off all of the houses we’ve lived in in our lifetimes and if I’m correct, this move will be my 52nd.  Oy.  I must say, it does get easier…  Moving frequently has caused me to really think about what I hang onto and in most cases, if I haven’t used something within the last few months, I’ll happily give it away, recycle it, or get rid of it rather than moving it just so it can collect dust somewhere new.  That being said, moving with a toddler {and only 5 days to pack an entire house} is not, in any way, easy.  Gracen was wonderful through it all, but it was definitely tough.  Between trying to be an engaged parent, keeping up with making healthy, homemade meals, attending final play dates and outings, and packing everything into boxes while a curious little somebody wants to take everything out, I felt spread thin to  say the least.  Sleep was even less plentiful than normal, which means patience was too. Buuuuuut, thanks to a lot of help from Brad’s parents in the final two days, we did it.  We packed everything up into a moving truck {and two vehicles}, scrubbed down the house, handed over our keys, and said goodbye to the little old house that has been our home for the last two years {since we arrived home from our first stint in Kuwait}.  Now we’re in the Okanagan for the next few weeks until our big, BIG move and I’m happy to report that we should be able to get the bulk of our stuff sorted/stored/put away this morning.  Here’s to a little bit of downtime before our next adventure begins!

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iPhoneography // Sunday Adventures

Sunday Adventuresheaded out // lunch for two

bus ride // pool weather

backyard snacks // never-ending mint

sidewalk art // beautiful bloom

♥ 

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Simple Outdoor Fun: Painting Sidewalk Chalk Shapes With Water

Painting Sidewalk Chalk Shapes With Water | Mama Papa BubbaWhile we’ve done plenty of regular mess-free painting on our sidewalks and fence, today Gracen asked if I’d draw her something to paint.  While maybe not as open-ended as I’d usually aim for, I do find that sometimes she prefers having a jumping off point, so I drew an assortment of shapes on the ground using sidewalk chalk.  The activity was actually perfect for her new found interest of colouring in the lines, and when the water dried, it left our cement pad covered in beautiful, watercolour-esque shapes.  So simple, but she enjoyed so much that she’s already asked to do it again.

♥ 

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iPhoneography // A Dinner Picnic at the Beach

Evening at the beachVancouver sunshine plus an impromptu dinner picnic at the beach and ocean-dipped toes makes for a very happy mama and babe.

♥ 

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Veggie Lentil Pasta and Cheese

Veggie Lentil Pasta and Cheese | Mama Papa Bubba

While most mac n’ cheese isn’t overly nutritious, this version is packed with protein, veggies, and whole wheat, so I can feel good about giving it to Miss G.  Plus, despite requiring a couple of pots and a immersion blender/blender/food processor of some kind, it makes for a fairly quick and easy hot lunch. Gracen loves it and it pretty much covers the food groups in one dish, so it’s fairly regular in our lunch rotation around here.  

The recipe is less of an actual recipe and more of a guide as there are so many possibilities, but here’s how I normally make it…

Veggie Lentil Pasta & Cheese

  • 1/2 package of the wholewheat pasta of your choice
  • 1 medium carrots, washed and chopped 
  • 1 small piece of squash
  • 1 small chunk of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup of dry red lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of basil
  • dash of cayenne pepper (this doesn’t make the dish spicy…just adds a little depth to the flavour)
  • sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of sharp cheddar, grated

Put two pots of water on the stove to boil, one smaller one and one bigger one.

While waiting for the water to boil, wash and chop the vegetables (the combination is really up to you…you can use all 3 veggies, a combination of just 2, or just one kind of veggie – we just use what we have in the fridge at the time).

When the water in the smaller pot comes to a bowl, add your veggies and lentils and cook at a gentle boil.

Add the pasta to the larger pot once the water is boiling and cook according to the package’s instructions.

When the lentils and veggies are very soft and mash easily with a fork, drain them while reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water.  Pop the lentils and veggies into your blender or food processor along with your herbs and spices and puree until completely smooth.  

When the pasta is cooked, drain it well and return it to the pot along with the lentil/veggie puree (you don’t have to use all of it if you don’t want to – basically what replaces the usual butter and milk combination).  Add cheese and stir over medium heat in order to melt everything and create a thick, creamy sauce (adding cooking water to thin it out a bit if needed).  

Serve and watch your munchkins gobble it up.  (If you’re a parent that needs to be a bit creative about the way you feed your child(ren) veggies, this is the perfect dish.)

Enjoy!

♥ 

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iPhoneography // But Not a DRAGON!!

PhotoOne of the fun little things I’ve tried to keep up is having Gracen pick a new fruit or vegetable to take home and investigate during our weekly shopping trips.  Though she seriously contemplated a papaya, she ended up selecting this particular dragon fruit today.  This is the conversation that ensued while browsing the other aisles…

Gracen:  What’s dis one called again, Mama?

Mama:  It’s a dragon fuit.  We’ll cut it open when we get home and see what’s inside.

Gracen: NOT a DRAGON though, right Mama?!

Hah!  Silly little goose.

♥ 

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iPhoneography // Sunday Funday

Sunday Fundaya trip to the bookstore  //  magical stickers

pizza for two  //  lunch with a view

aboard the Canada Line  //  I spy two of my people

riding riverside  //  driftwood park

♥ 

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iPhoneography // Skating, Day 2

Gracen s Second Day of SkatingGracen and I went skating for the second time today (see our first try here) and it was pretty great.  We still rotated rounds of skating with the support with the extra fun chair rides, but Grae was a lot more confident today and skated for most of the time without me holding the support behind her.  

Here she is in all of her skating glory…

That little clippity clop of her skates on the ice makes my heart melt.

♥ 

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iPhoneography // A First: Skating

IMG 9078While on Christmas vacation in the Okanagan, I finally came across something I’d been on the lookout for for a while now… Old-school double-bladed skates. ☺

And though we didn’t get around to a family skate session while on vacation, today my little lady and I stopped by Hillcrest Centre for their weekly preschooler skate.

IMG 9075Gracen was really excited about trying skating, so we got suited up and hit the ice.  At first, we skated hand in hand, her taking quick small steps on the slippery surface and I doing my best to balance the both of us.  After a few minutes, I realized we’d both be better off starting with one of the plastic support apparatuses (thank heavens for them!)  It was so much easier, especially with my rusty skating skills involved.  Grae stood in front with me behind her and all was good. In fact, we happily made it all the way down the ice and halfway back again before she took her first spill. That’s when things started going downhill a wee bit.  While she’d been confident and happy for the first bit, after the fall she was anxious and much more cautious.  Though I got her up and having fun again, she told me several times ‘Dis ice is soooooo slippery.  Too slippery, Mama!’  

IMG 9077In an effort to turn things around, I offered to push her on a chair for a bit like many of the other parents were doing with their kids.  Needless to say, with the risk of falling removed and the fact that she could glide across the ice at super speed without really having to put forth any effort added in, she loved it.

IMG 9076With spirits boosted from a good long chair ride, we hit the ice again and tried holding hands and using a cone for support.  

It was short, but overall I’d say our first ever skating session was a success.  Gracen left happy and she says she’s excited to go again next time.  Can’t ask for much more than that. ☺

♥ 

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