Tag Archives: play

I’m not a particularly crafty mamma. The mess drives me a bit batty and until recently Lachie’s attention span for any crafty-arty project was about a tenth of the time it took to set-up and clean-up. During our Christmas shopping last week I spotted a packet of different sized paper stars and feeling mildly inspired, picked them up.

A few days ago we had a rare afternoon with not much planned so out came the paint box and brushes and we set to work decorating the stars.

The Monster & Me | Christmas Craft Star Garland

I find that if left to his own devices Lachie likes to simply smear every single colour of paint together until it resembles a non-descript shade of brown. So there was some gentle guidance, with only one or two different colours available at any time. Oh and my two year old can’t paint parallel lines, I was getting into the spirit and did some star decorating too.

The Monster & Me | Christmas Craft Star Garland

The next day we collected all our painted stars on the kitchen table.

The Monster & Me | Christmas Craft Star Garland

And with Lachie’s art direction I hole punched and strung the stars on some baking twine (it’s all I had, I told you, I’m not very crafty).

The Monster & Me | Christmas Craft

The star garland was then hung between two conveniently located lights in our living room.

The Monster & Me | Christmas Craft Star Garland

The Monster & Me | Christmas Craft Star Garland

It was such a simple project to add a little colourful, handmade Christmas cheer to our home. Oh and my tip for getting paint of little ones without using chemicals? Exfoliating gloves. With some soap and gentle scrubbing my multi-coloured child was back to his lovely pink self.

Are you the crafty type? Have you been getting into the Christmas crafting spirit? Do share.


Our TV died a few months ago and its replacement arrived in a truly gigantic box. And that box, in all its hugeness, has sat underneath our house ever since. And annoyed me ever since. Even though it was my idea to keep the thing ‘to make something fun for Lachie with it’.

So finally, I did. And much to Troys (and my) surprise, it didn’t suck. So I figure I might as well share it here with you in case you find yourself one afternoon with a restless toddler and a gigantic cardboard box.

You’ll need:
– One large box
– Stanley knife
– An enthusiastic toddler

Flat screen tv box toddler cuby house

Take the large box and cut off the top and bottom sections so you’re left with just four walls.

Then roughly shape it into a square.

Flat screen tv box toddler cuby house

Cut a door and some windows out while your toddler amuses themselves away from the sharp knife. If you’re accident prone like me, be careful not to hold your other hand where you are cutting. That would be bad. Very bad (and totally something I would do).

Flat screen tv box toddler cuby house

Fashion some long cut-off pieces into a roof of some description.

Enjoy the endless cups of imaginary tea your child will serve you in their new abode!

Flat screen tv box toddler cuby house

toddler cubby house cardboard box

Flat screen tv box toddler cuby house

Flat screen tv box toddler cuby house

Pssst. There’s a much better cardboard box cubby house tutorial over at Kidspot here.

I’ve been rather quiet around here of late. The ‘to-do’ list needed desperate attention and as much as I love blogging unfortunately it tends to get pushed toward the bottom of that list. After a few days of being dragged from place to place, as I frantically tried to tick off one more item before day’s end, The Monster needed a break. So yesterday we made the most of our yearly theme park passes and went to Movieworld.

Unfortunately Lachie’s sub 90 centimeter stature excluded him from the fast and dizzying rides he would have so loved. Not that a mere height marker stopped him trying to clamber through the metal bars. The kid gets points for trying. The few rides that he was tall enough for were met with numerous ‘yay’s’ and high fives. And the musical show featuring Marilyn Monroe was apparently so entertaining that he was willing to dodge security guards to get in on the action. I wasn’t so keen on being that parent that had to wrangle their kicking and screaming toddler away from the crowd but it’s not like such an event was a new experience for us.

The tantrum that followed (what was I saying about two-year old being so awesome?) signaled our time to leave making the visit a short one. Regardless it was nice to steal away from the ‘to-do’ list, even if only for a few hours.

Dear Lachlan,

This week you turned twenty-four months. Two whole years old. Supposedly the terribleness starts here. I’m not convinced. I think the last month has been one of our very best and I’m holding on to the hope that the extra challenging days are behind us, at least for a little while. Part of this optimistic outlook stems from the fact that you are FINALLY sleeping. After two long years of broken sleep we are all reaping the benefits of a good nights rest. And it shows. Perhaps my favourite part of the day now is putting you to bed. We read some stories, cuddle, and then when I ask you if you want to go to sleep you nod happily and crawl under your cosy blankets, I tuck you in and walk out. No tears. For anyone. Which feels something close to miraculous.

With all the extra sleep being had, there’s more energy to play. Which is a good thing because right now, you LOVE to play. Cars, chase, sandcastles, scooting, ball. But your absolute, hands-down, favourite is hide and seek. It took a few days and lots of practice but you have finally figured out that to hide you actually have to be hidden instead of simply standing in the corner of the room and squeezing your eyes shut. Yes, sorry to say the idea of ‘if I can’t see you, you can’t see me’ doesn’t actually work (although I have had a few moments in my life that I have wished it did!). Oh and it’s probably best practice not to correct the ‘seeker’ when they ask “is he in the cupboard” by yelling “NO, TABLE!”.

But that’s just you. Since you found your words in the last few months there is no stopping you expressing yourself. And as far as you’re concerned it is totally ALL ABOUT YOU. Some days I think my ears might bleed if I hear “MORE”, “AGAIN” or “MY TURN” one more time. Except for the fact that despite the repetitiveness, I love the sound of your little sweet voice. Although something tells me you might not love the sound of my voice quite so much anymore. Just a sneaking suspicion I have since lately when I’ve tried to sing to you I’m met with a very emphatic “NO, MUM!”. It was really only a matter of time and frankly I would have been worried had you not started to realise that my singing voice is akin to a drowning cat. But that’s what I’m loving so much about you at this age. We talk about things and you can tell me, at least partly, what you are thinking. And that, that is so special. And something I look forward to more of in the coming weeks and months.

None of this terrible two’s business okay Monster? There’s too much fun to be had.

I love you more than words.

xx mum

You can find my other Letters to Lachlan here.

Some of my favourite childhood memories are of days spent exploring the dress-up box my mother lovingly filled for my sisters and I. A giant vintage chest brimming with sequined dresses, brightly coloured tulle scarves, 80’s high heels, handbags, hats, trousers and beads. Contained in that box were characters only limited by our wide-open innocent imaginations: from Arabian princesses to flying doctors and chimney sweeps. The dresses may be less-sequined but twenty years later we are still playing dress-ups, our sartorial love story tracing back to those early days.

I’m yet to track down the perfect vintage box but a recent garage sale haul began the start of the Monsters very own dress-up collection. Hats, beads, and handbags. He wanted to wear them ALL, all at once. Sometimes my dear Monster, less is more. On the other hand, sometimes, more is more. So you go, girlfriend Monster!