Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Space in a bottle

A variation of sea in a bottle, space in a bottle uses vinegar or distilled water mixed with black or blue paint.  Space confetti shapes and glitter make stars and planets.  Baby oil or vegetable oil tops it off.  The kids and even the grownups enjoyed making these.

Superheroes v. Aliens Party Food

The menu was quite simple:  Mini pizzas, Mini chicken satay, UFO cake with alien cupcakes and lime jelly with eyes

Seaside notecard

A quick thank you card for our hosts last summer.  Glue + sand + fabric + paper flag

Single Crunchy Mama post #1

I have neglected my blog for a loooong time.  It isn't that I haven't thought about my blog. I have even drafted long posts in various journals....but a series of technical problems, including computer breakdown, lack of internet and good old fashioned procrastination has kept us apart.

But I think that will change.  My two munchkins and I have moved to a new home.  We have a working (mostly) computer.  We have Internet.  All systems go. 

It is a good time for me really.  A new home in a new little village.  It has now been two years since my ex-partner officially moved out (2.5 years since we split).Thomas Moore says that it takes at least two years to get over a significant breakup---that anyone else who comes along is likely to be placed on a pedestal etc.  So, I have entered the "safety zone" where dating is concerned.  Not that I have time or energy for that!!

I spend my days unschooling with my kids J (7) and S (2).  S attends nursery a few hours per week.  We attend various home education groups each week.....but mostly we hang out at home: cooking, crafting, exploring....tripping over boxes of stuff we haven't unpacked yet (mostly because we don't have room for all of our things).  I am looking for work, looking to improve our healthy lifestyle, looking to decrease the nasty chemicals etc, and looking for love..(well not really looking as much as hoping it falls in my lap in between the playground and the grocery store, but it sounds romantic.)

Safety First

Call me a worrier, but I sometimes get nervous about what will happen to us if there is an emergency.  I was determined to go over some basic safety information with the kids this year.  We moved in to a new house not too long ago and we don't know many neighbours yet.  I don't expect much from my 2 year old, but I think that my 7 year old could do with practice making phone calls and summoning help if necessary.

There is a post going around the Internet which suggests that people place emergency information on their car seats.  Apparently emergency crews often find the driver hurt in an accident and no one can give basic information such as name, age, etc for the passengers. 

I decided to set myself  a few tasks for the new year:

1.  Important Numbers list.  I typed and laminated phone numbers to put by the main phone. Since my 7 year old doesn't use the phone much I had him practice reading the names, dialling numbers and also how to access these using my mobile phone.  We did a "fake" emergency to Daddy pretending he was 999.  I included numbers for emergency (999), my mobile, their father, my parents, the nursery, the childminder, and a neighbour they know.  Our address is there with the postcode in bold red letters.  I had my son practice the address as well.  The nice thing about this list is that I have the numbers handy and they are there for babysitters too.

2.  Emergency Contact List.  I typed and laminated this list which includes a "who lives here" section and an emergency contact list.  We have our names, date of birth, allergies, blood type etc.  I put large red crosses on the back to indicate they are to be used in emergencies.  One is hanging by the front door and one is taped in the car.  (I flipped them over so the cross is seen and not our personal information for all to see). 

3.  Emergency keys.  I have to keep my two doors locked because my 2 year old would happily run around the neighbourhood if I didn't. So I shrunk the emergency contact info and laminated it to make two 3"x4" cards.  One is with the spare front door key and one with the back door key.  I hung them so the 7 year old can reach them but the 2 year old cannot (she would take them to play with).

4.  Fire Safety.  We went over a few drills crawling around on the floor to stay below the "smoke."  We had a good look at the windows and decided which ones may or may not be safe to jump out of (we live in a bungalow).  We put smoke alarm testing on our calendar so we remember to do it.  When I moved in I wasn't; given the window key to one of the windows so I contacted the council (who owns it) about this.  Our local fire brigade gave me a lot of fire safety information and it suggests closing doors at night to help slow down a fire.  For instance if there is a fire in the kitchen having the kitchen and bedroom doors closed will help contain the fire for a short time while the smoke will still set off the alarm allowing you time to get out. We have a fire blanket in the kitchen and we take it outside when we have a BBQ.  We keep a bucket of water near the BBQ as well. 

5.  Practice Runs.  In addition to the phone calls above we had an emergency scenario where I pretended I fell, hurt my leg and couldn't walk.  We pre-arranged a script in which he runs to a neighbour to get some immediate adult help. 

I am glad that we did these and I am especially proud of my son for taking part.  I don't want to scare the kids too much (or turn them into worriers like me), but I think that the fun of play acting has also helped boost his confidence in a new neighbourhood. 

My son does some basic first aid with his scout troop and his father is a First Aider.  So we might practice some of these skills in the coming months just for fun.