… at our Helen Doron school. We were invited to creat some Christmas-related decorations. It came really handy as at home it is really difficult to do any arts or crafts lately, as Baby Sis has been doing nothing else but destroying whatever she puts her hands on. Of course, for her it’s the exploration phase, for us, an “Oh, noooo!” phase.
It was lovely to get out of the house a little just E. and me. As we arrived at the school the Christmas decorations created the vibe just as the Christmas music and the big screen showing a fireplace.
E. was really happy to find some treats she could eat (dairy and milk free gingerbread, popcorn, apples, tangerines and peanuts). She decoratively packed a plate for herself with all the goodies and this was the closest she could get to being creative.
She was lying on the floor eating, and sometimes helping me out.
We made a pine cone Christmas tree with tiny pom-poms and an elf.
When E. finished eating (well, she was munching something all the time) she started to play with the glue coming out of the hot glue gun.
Our new angel socks were admired by everyone.
All in all, it was fun to be together without high expectations and had a great time in our Helen Doron school, which is always welcoming and offers fantastic programmes.
First, E. didn’t like the elf so much (she called him poopy and blaaah) but on the way home we chatted with Mr Elf and it turned out he’s got magic power and can grant wishes.
We placed our (khm… MY) beautiful creations next to our advent candles, so our table decoration is full now.
Last year I started a hopefully long tradition: taking note of daily memories of December, the advent period, our Christmas itself, the days between holidays and New Years Eve too. Here is the last year’s post.
Now come all the memories of December 2017 day by day in one long post. (This year we’ll be making a paper-based memory booklet as well.)
The kids were at their grandparents and the Angels have brought us the advent calendar.
This year the main theme is decorating a Christmas tree with stickers. It’s great as both girls can do it and enjoy it.
Our advent “wreath” is ready. It’s evident we didn’t have much time for it this year either. Perhaps next year.
In the morning we had a family photo shoot in our home. See the photo collage a little further down.
Our annual Gingerbread Party was in full swing by the afternoon. Friends came over and we made and decorated more than a kilo of gingerbread (this time it was dairy- and egg-free. If you’re interested in the recipe, just drop me a line. It’s really tasty and soft.)
When all our guests were gone E. did the washing of the cookie cutters all by herself.
And we had some more fun at the dinner table. E. made sure L. can’t take out her hair clip(s).
In the morning we went to buy winter boots for E. as this week it’s started to snow.
We lit the first candle on our Advent wreath today.
E. has been singing 12 Days of Christmas all day in birdy voice. (Check out this short video if you want to hear how a bird sings 12 Days of Christmas)
We’ve been playing with the choo-choo train nearly all afternoon.
E. read The Gingerbread Man for L.
I read How the Grinch stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss to E. as a bedtime story.
This was a quiet day. E. was in kindergarten and I was running errands. Little L. spent the whole day at her Grandma. We picked E. up from kindergarten together and we immediately changed into English.
At home E. found an old English writing practice book and started to work on it.
L. was walking around in her pretty red shoes the heels of which light up.
Of course, more stickers got on our Christmas tree.
In the morning Little L. and I went to the Helen Doron English session (Toddler’s Best Start is the name of our new course) which she enjoyed a lot because our new topic was vehicles (trucks, cars, trains, planes) L.’s been crazy about them lately.
But the highlight of the day was the play performed by E.’s kindergarten teachers – St Nick’s glove. It was a cute and loveable show.
My Mum was taking care of Little L while we were watching the play in the kindergarten. After having arrived home the kids opened some presents that St. Nicolas had brought to their grandma’s house.
In the evening the girls cleaned their boots and put them out into the window waiting for St. Nick to fill them with goodies. E. was really excited. She wanted to stay up to have a look at Santa.
I didn’t have to say twice to the kids to get out of bed in the morning. Within a blink of an eye they were in the living-room checking their boots.
They opened their gifts with great excitement. Although we were in Hungarian, they got books, and activities in English, some toys and sweets.
Our native nanny, N. was here in the morning and they tried to paint a magic booklet L. just got from Santa.
E. met “the real Santa” (as she put it) in her kindergarten.
In the afternoon Little L. met St. Nick in our main square. At first she was a little scared but then she got a candy (szaloncukor) and she kept saying she wanted to go back. We were in English but Santa and his helpers, of course, spoke Hungarian, still Little L. talked to me in English.
We didn’t stay out much as it was very cold and windy. All the way home L. buried her little face in my shoulder. At home we made Santa’s beard out of cotton wool balls.
We had some healthy snacks, like raw broccoli in the market and dried cranberries at home.
Our native nanny was here and E. showed her what she got from Santa.
In the advent calendar we found an instruction to put some Christmas lights on the windows. (If I can take a photo of it I’ll attach later on)
I was brave enough to give E. our paper-based Days of December album. She was cutting out some photos and I glued them in, but what she enjoyed the most was putting stickers all over the album.
In the morning we went shopping with E. as she’d grown so much that all her leggings are short, her socks are too small.
We were invited to our Helen Doron school to make some advent crafts. I’ve written a separate blog post on it.
We lit the second candle on our advent wreath.
The girls improvised dot-market painting. The end result looked like Christmas lights.
The girls had been eating so much sweets all day that I made them an obstacle race field in our living room where they could burn their energies.
We’ve started to prepare some Christmas presents and cards with E.
We received our Christmas photos. They turned out pretty well.
Our Advent Christmas tree is getting nicer and nicer with all kinds of stickers.
We finished some greeting cards for Christmas with the girls. (I’ll be writing a separate blog post on the cards and the baubles.)
Gingerbread party in the kindergarten. L. is a little snotty so she didn’t come but enjoyed the company of her grandma and grandpa. We could spend the day together with E. in her kindergarten.
What she enjoyed the most was she could show me her favourite toys and we could play together both inside and outside, in the playground. After lunch we came home and took a nap. next We prepared some Christmas baubles we’ll give to her teachers.
Last Helen Doron lessons of this year for the girls.
Little L. surprised her teacher, Z., with Christmas presents (a Christmassy pen and a Christmas card that we’d made with her hand-and fingerprint) and she said Merry Christmas in the morning.
E. gave her Christmas present to Zs. (her Helen Doron teacher) in the afternoon after her lesson. It was a Christmassy pen, the green-yellow bauble we’d made the day before and her hand Christmas tree card. She wrote Merry Christmas inside.
Our English-speaking friends visited us. In the morning my friend, B., who speaks only English to the girls, came over and played with E. and L.. She also stayed for lunch too. The kids were excited and a little ill so the whole morning was chaotic and tense. Still, we survived and spent the morning in the company of a loved friend.
After nap time N, our native nanny came to have our last session this year. On Tuesday E. invited her for dinner, so she stayed to dine with us. W. gave N. our little mainly home-made Christmas presents and the girls also got a really pretty Christmas card with N.’s poem written directly to E. and L. How sweet is that?
I was preparing for Christmas while the girls spent the day at their grandparents. Both of them have a runny nose. I and my hubby is coming down with the same illness. At least we’re done with it until Christmas. (Fingers crossed)
I was lucky enough to buy white and silver lackmarker with which I’ll be able to decorate out Days of December album.
L. wa s really early bird, got up at 5, I managed to keep her quiet and in bed for an hour, hoping for her falling back to sleep but she didn’t. So we started cooking together. He woke up talking to me English. What a nice start, only if it had been at about 8.
When E. got up we prepared her best friends present. She wanted to save the tatoo for herself, and of course I needed to apply some body art immediately for both of them (Actually this was L.’s first tattoo ever.) What’s more, we found some self-adhesive earrings. The girls got all pretty when they went to the library with their Dad.
In the afternoon we went out to buy infrared heat lamp as we are not getting better.
We’ve had some fun Thanksgiving activities from the Internet in the last couple of years, but I wanted something new for E. that involves a little reading. I didn’t know she’ll be so excited about the cootie catchers that she’ll make her own. But let’s not run ahead.
recently I’ve found this great blog: brendid.com where you can find a free printable section. There are many cootie catchers to make for several occasions, like Thanksgiving, Valentine’s day, St. Patrick’s day or Halloween to mention a few.
Bren even explains how to fold a cootie catcher if you happento be as ignorant as I was in the field of cootie catchers.
When I handed E. the cootie catcher I was taken aback how excited she became.
She was reading the questions and jokes by herself and running around the flat to ask everybody (even her 23 month old little sister.) I wish I had taken some photos.
So the following day we made our own cootie catchers, which was totally E.’s idea. So we took out some coloured paper and started to fold our own cootie catchers.
Then we numbered the outside and wrote on the inside. I decided to make a fortune-teller concerning the winter holiday season with Christmasy, snowy pictures,
E. was writing questions about her imaginary Waterland and drew fish, dolphins, whales and anglers on the inside of her cootie catcher.
Then we played with each other’s cootie catcher, then our native English nanny needed to answer the questions, after that Little L. too.
E. loved the idea of cootie catchers so much we definitely do it again and again again.
(If you can’t read the questions in the pictures – she wrote them I didn’t help her at all!:
left pic: Why did the angler catch the shark?/Why did the whale get scared of the hypodoo? – hypodoo is an imaginary fish)
right pic: What kind of dish do anglers make? / Why is the sun gone in Waterland?
Your answers can be submitted in the comment section. And you can win whatever you ask for if you know the answer 😉 )
Little L. loves taking off and putting on lids of all kinds of containers like plastic boxes, lip balms, jars etc. So I collected a few unused containers, empty bottles and jars to entertain her and help improve her fine motor skills.
Here are the different containers I found around the house.
I took the tops off and put the all in a shoebox:
Little feet came to explore:
She loved finding the matching tops, what’s more she didn’t make a mistake at all. Wow!
We managed to play with the box once. Ever since the tops and containers have been lying all around except for the lip balm, which is the greatest treasure.
It’s L.’s favourite and whenever she can’t find it she asks for it: Can I get it, Labello? or L. find it
E. has been into bugs lately (the influence of some new kindergarten friends) so she decided to be a spider this year at Halloween. I was looking for a spider costume but couldn’t buy the right one hence I made a spider costume for her instead.
The most difficult part was finding a black long-sleeved top in her size (116). In the 3rd shop (H&M) I managed. The basic garment for the spider costume: black long-sleeved top and black tights or leggings with black socks.
What you need – legs:
black long-sleeved top in your child’s size
2 pairs of black tights (I used 60 den tights adult size)
yarn (E. chose red as it’s more spooky and she said she was a black widow)
How to make it:
Cut off the tights as long as your child’s arms are or a little shorter (actually we cut off the leg parts at the bottom and after filling them half way we cut them in the right length)
Fill up the tights with pillow filler (The thicker the tights are the more likely the white filling won’t be visible)
Sew the openings on the four legs.
Sew 2 legs on one side and the other 2 on the other side. ( I made E. put on the black top and checked where the legs should go so they are about the same distance from each other. I measured it only on one side and signed it with chalk. Then she took the top off and I folded it half and signed the places of the other legs on the other side too)You can stop here but the legs will be hanging down on the sides.
At the wrist and the elbow parts of the legs I pulled through a red yard (with a big needle) and sewed them to the top. After trying it on the legs slipped down on the yarn therefore with a small piece of red yarn I tied knots under the top legs to stop the slipping.
What you need – eyes:
black satin ribbon
6-8 googly eyes (bigger ones, they can be different in size)
hot glue gun
How to make it:
If your hair band is black go to step 2. if it’s not then cover the with the black ribbon (use a hot glue gun and you’ll be ready in no time)
Glue on 6-8 googly eyes on top of the hair band. E. wanted only 6 as she’s got 2 more that makes 8, just like the number of the legs. You see the logic?
And you’re done. Now you can enjoy the spark in your child’s eyes. Don’t be surprised if your little one will wear it for one more week or even longer after Halloween. She was really proud of her costume in her own reserved way.