Colour play: Blue Discovery Box

This was a fun activity Charlie and I did yesterday. A few weeks ago, we discovered that he likes the colour blue. He always favours blue toys and if he sees something blue, he’s guaranteed to want to touch it. … Continue reading

My first attempt at making bandana style dribble bibs

For about a month, we’ve noticed that our sproglet has become one dribbly little monster! And he’s not even teething yet! Like many parents, we’ve fallen in love with bandana style dribble bibs – they’re practical and totally stylish! My … Continue reading

Montessori bedrooms and nurseries

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Today I wanted to share with you my ideas and thoughts on Montessori kids spaces. We are moving in the new year and I’ve been thinking a lot about what I am going to do with Charlie’s first bedroom. We are looking at moving him into his own room when he is about six months old, so if my calculations are correct, that means I will have one month to create a space for him that is his very own. So, naturally, I’ve been playing around with ideas and making full use of pinterest. I found lots of great stuff, however, I became particulary taken by the idea of creating a Montessori bedroom for Charlie. I’m not going to go into it much as I am no expert, but if you are not aware, the term ‘Montessori’ refers to an educational method in which, the learning is almost entirely child-led. If you want to find out more check out this site. It gives you a detailed description of the background and method.

Anywho, I first learned about Montessori bedrooms on the blog Baby Turtle Takes The World. Her whole blog is amazing, but one post that particularly caught my attention was one in which she outlined the plans for her daughters Montessori bedroom. After that, I did a bit of research and found that I completely adored everything about them;  their style, their philosophy, their beauty and possibly my favourite aspect, their simplicity.  Due to the nature of the philosophy, Montessori bedrooms and classrooms are set up in a way where children can easily explore and access everything. And that’s what I love about it. Montessori bedrooms are designed with the child in mind – that is to say, everything is within the child’s reach. Of course, every Montessori room is different as not all children and families are the same. However, some common attributes of  Montessori bedrooms include:

  • A space that is 100% baby proof so your child can freely explore their room without hurting themselves.
  • A floor bed. This is a key element which most, if not all montessori rooms have. Using a floor bed as opposed to a cot or crib allows the child the freedom to get in and out without needing your help.
  • A mobile that hangs over the bed.
  • Decor which reflects the child’s interests/personality.
  • Child sized furniture. The aim of a Montessori bedroom is to make everything accessible to your child, so when choosing furniture, you should consider how easy or difficult it would be for your child to reach or use.
  • Low shelves, particularly ones with book case like cubbies.
  • Natural materials where possible. Consider the textures and fibres and how they appeal to our senses.
  • A mirror attached to the wall next to the bed or near the bed. This mirror should preferably be quite large and low enough for the child to explore his or her body and face.
  • A gate at the doorway so the door may be left open.
  • A well organised space. Toys should all have their place and there shouldn’t be too much clutter. To minimise clutter, you could rotate the toy’s your child has in his or her room. For example, you could keep a majority of the toys elsewhere and each week replace the ones in the bedroom with others that you already have. The room should feel natural and comfortable.

I really love the idea that Charlie will have a space that he can freely explore, without me worrying about him falling out of his cot or climbing on a tall book cases to get a toy. I love child-sized furniture and feel that by giving your child furniture that he or she can easily access, they will begin to realise that they can do simple tasks, like getting out of bed, without relying on you. If you’ve spent much time around kids, one thing you’ll know is that they absolutely love being independent. It makes sense of course, we are their role models and so, they try and mirror what we do. They don’t like being treated differently. That is why even if a baby has a thousand different toys, the one thing she’ll want to play with will be your expensive iPhone! We are not living our lives 100% Montessori but there are many aspects that I like and am trying to incorporate into our lives.  I’ll leave you now with some of my favourite Montessori bedrooms. I hope you enjoy them and feel inspired! I know I certainly do!

Film Review: Never Let Me Go (2010)

234116880600920558_4KlFIQgj_cSometimes I like to watch films based on their title/cover, not really knowing what it’s about. When I chose this film, I thought I was going to get a romancey/drama type film, and though it does have some romance in it, it is no where near what I had guessed. Nowhere at all. Directed by Mark Romanek and based the fictional book by Kazuo Ishiguro’s (2005) “Never Let Me Go” is a film about a dystopian past, one where a percentage of the population are grown to be ‘donors’ These people act as a life support system for the rest of humanity, providing “donations” of their organs, so that others may live. The film starts in a mysterious boarding school called Hailsham and follows the short lives of three friends – Ruth (Keira Knightly) Cathy (Carey Mulligan) and Tommy (Andrew Garfield). As children they are not aware of their purpose and live out their childhoods confined within the school walls.  They eventually are told the truth and are released from the school into the real world to live out the rest of their tragic lives.

I found this film a little confusing at first and in truth, it took us two goes to watch it (partly because Charlie woke up and partly because I had no idea what was going on) but by after about half an hour in, I was hooked. This film is beautifully tragic, and i’ll be honest, the sadness of it caught me off guard. As the three friends headed closer and closer to “completing” their donations I found myself becoming truly sickened. It made me think harder about that old phrase “the end justify the means” and what it really meant. I always thought I agreed with it, but seeing these people living their lives only to die changed my mind.

One thing I found disturbing was the fact that it was set in the past. I’m not sure why but I feel that it wouldn’t have affected me as greatly if it were set in the future. It was a troubling thought to think that our society could have been built on such injustice and corruption. I guess if it were set in the future it would have just been another sci-fi, a depiction of a possible, but not probable future. I found the time setting very dark and powerful at the same time.

That said, I thought that it was beautifully shot and scripted and I really enjoyed the direction of the film.  This was rivaled only by performance of the actors who managed to capture my heart and break it at the same time. I also find great pleasure in character matching and thought they did a great job with Cathy and Ruth as children. However, I wasn’t quite convinced by the Young Tommy! An outstanding moment in the film had to be the final monolouge, profoundly scripted and beautifully delivered by the talented Carey Mulligan. All in all it was a great film that I highly recommend if you’re looking for something thought provoking.

DIY sensory bags and shakers

Instead of joining the hoards of people down at the mall, Charlie and I are staying in this boxing day. The manly one is at work and it’s a bit of an inside day so I thought to entertain myself … Continue reading

Merry Christmas!

Vintage Christmas Card014It is 5am Christmas morning here, so I just thought I’d take a few moments to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and the best wishes over this holiday period. We are just spending the day together, our little family of three. We have a lot coming up next month, so it will be nice to spend this time together, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. So, happy Christmas my dear friends, I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

With love,

Gracie x

The incredible wonder that is life, and how we all come to be.

When I think about pregnancy and birth, I get so overwhelmed. The whole process still seems weird to me, even now, months later. I still can’t get over it. The sheer miracle of it all.  It  feels so alien and yet so human at the same time. There are a number of things that I find intriguing about it. Firstly (and probably foremostly) I grew a person. Inside my body. A person. And I grew this person out of essentially nothing. Out of cells. Cells which multiplied. And multiplied again. Over and over until eventually, those cells became a heart, which began to beat. They became lungs. They became a stomach, a bladder, a liver, arms and feet. They became a person. A person with no knowledge. No preconceptions. Nothing. Just a tiny person, waiting to be born.

And then, for nine months that person shared my body. Where I went, he went. What I ate, he ate. I kept him safe and warm. He had eyes, though he could not see and his lungs were filled with water – that’s one thing that I find intriguing about pregnancy and birth – In utero, babies are essentially fish. He did not need air to breath, as oxygen was transferred to him via his umbilical chord. He did not need to eat, as that was transferred to him in the same process. He did not need blankets or clothes, as my womb is just the right temperature for his growing self.  Inside my body everything was taken care of, without much thought from me. Aside from the obvious things, I continued to live my life as I always did. I remember waiting for something to happen, something that would signify pregnancy, a moment perhaps? I don’t think it ever really sunk into that I was pregnant. Aside from the ailments that come with the gig, I continued to live my life like I always had. I ate good food and watched good films. Spent time with the manly one. Did my nails. Read books. Prepared our nest. Life went on and as if on auto pilot, the nurturing took care of itself.  For nine months, I was this person’s life support system, and I didn’t even fully realise it.

Then, when the time came, he got ready to make his grand entrance into the world. He rotated and went head down, burying deep beneath my pelvis. Somehow, he knew what to do without ever been told. No instruction manuals, no how-to guide, just instincts that were laid out when he was conceived. Embedded in his DNA was all the instruction he needed, the blueprint of life. During labour, I was surprisingly calm, though the manly one might tell you something different. My body contracted and released, urging him down. When I think about it, it’s almost as he were the last little bit of toothpaste left in the tube – and I was trying to get him to the surface, onto the metaphoric brush that we call life. Though I find it hard to recall the pain now, I remember thinking that my back was going to rip apart. I remember thinking “I just want this baby out now” And then, it all began. The miracle of life: birth.  I’m not going to go into the details of birth but let me just say one thing – Once your baby is out and he’s all clean and pink, it’s hard to imagine what he went through. You think “well, he can’t possibly have come out of there” – but then you remember – yes he did, those stitches are living proof.

And then you take your baby home and then the fun really begins. At first, you will feel lost. Unsure. Even a little scared. You will wonder if you’re really cut out for this and possibly doubt yourself often. Well, at least that’s how I felt anyway.Then I got to know him. I watched his personality grow. I tuned into him and now I can tell his cry from a hundred others. He fits into your life like a puzzle piece – the one you never knew you were missing until he arrived. His tears will break your heart. His laughter will fill you with joy. Being responsible for another person doesn’t seem as hard as you thought it would be, or as hard as it was. Instead it seems natural… normal. The way it’s supposed to be. Occasionally, you will yearn for the person you once were, the person who was interested in art, film, politics… Now your life revolves around baby poop, feeding schedules and making sure you’re home in time for naps. At first, you will find it difficult to talk about anything other than your precious wee one, but as time goes and he drops from BEING your life to becoming a part of it, you will find your old self. Make sure you find time in the day to do something that you love, and to appreciate your other half. Becoming a family should strengthen the bond between you, not tear you apart.

You will watch the months whizz by and wonder where they went. It becomes difficult to remember life without him. Pregnancy seems now a distant memory. Those months spent preparing, waiting anxiously… feel like a dream. Even the birth – you will find that hard to recall. And life before any of that? Even harder. Time is a fickle thing – how is it that last year can feel like just yesterday but so long ago at the same time? Time flies fast and your baby literally changes before your eyes and you can’t imagine him ever being different to the way he his now. But sometimes, I look at him and I remember. All those thoughts I had of him. All those nights I stayed up late thinking what he would be like. What he would look like. Smell like. Taste like. Waiting for the time where I’d be able to have him in my arms. It all seemed unreal, slightly detached. Like a dream. And then I look again.

That’s him. The person I grew in my body. The person I dreamed of. That’s him there. That’s his smile. Those are his arms. And his legs. He is everything I imagined. He is more. He is my world and everything in it.

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