Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Simple Prayers - Not So Simple

I'm still on the same theme as yesterday where I talk about how I seem to have spent less time with Adrian than  I did with Aaron. Anyway, one of the areas that I have really slacked off is with our nightly prayers. So slack that I probably only attempted to start the routine of saying a prayer with Adrian a couple of months ago - and I only did it one night.

I'm not very eloquent and have always kept things as simple as possible, and of course, its the same prayer every night. One of the lines that I will have in it, towards the end, is along the lines of asking Jesus to watch over Adrian. Anyway, the first time I said it, he burst into tears. I don't mean mild tearing up at all. This was a full blown, big mouthed, big tears rolling down cheeks sort of cry. The impression I got was that he was either petrified or heartbroken. I think he thought I meant that somebody else, named "Jesus", was going to look after him and that I wouldn't be his mother anymore. Finally, he was pacified when I said that I would be looking after him and nobody else.

Its cruel to laugh at somebody else's expense but this episode was very amusing to me. I mean, I sympathized with Adrian, but it was such an unexpected situation that I had to have a quiet laugh to myself about it.

Fast forward to this week and I finally remembered that I was supposed to get into some sort of nightly prayer routine. I also remembered what happened last time and I tried to word things differently. Specifically, I prayed for Jesus to help me took after Adrian well. As in, guide me in my endeavors to be a good mother.

BUT, Adrian must have once again interpreted it to mean that the person named "Jesus" was going to be stepping in and sharing the responsibilities of looking after him. Again he cried, and cried, and cried.

Writing about it now has got me thinking about it and maybe I've actually pointed Jesus out to him at church but it might have been the man crucified on the cross that I pointed to - that would seem like a scary babysitter to a two year old wouldn't it? I think I might just stick to the usual 'Our Father' until I manage to clarify things to him.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I Need A 'Pause' Button For Adrian

Adrian seems to be growing up even faster than Aaron did. He's exactly 2 years and 3 months today. Unfortunately, I feel that I'm spending a lot less time with him than I did with Aaron. He seems to be able to play a lot more independently than Aaron did at this age but thats because I just haven't spent a lot of sit down time with him. He's also much better at sitting in a car than Aaron ever was but thats because he spends a lot of time in the car with me as I chauffeur Aaron here and there and do the household shopping. 

I like to think that he's picking up a whole different set of skills that Aaron didn't have chance to but who am I kidding? I need find the time to let him work with a pencil more, to read to him more to even play with him a little more. I can feel my Lego creativity skills declining recently from lack of practice. 
Thankfully, he has not been stuttering at all recently and is back to his old chatty self. He likes being a part of the conversation and often asks "What did you say, Mama?". Today, he has been amusing himself by only saying 'Yup' or 'Nope' and refusing to say 'Yes' or 'No'. I think he's picked that up from my father. Those two words sound really odd when he puts in something like this "Do you want to play Lego? Yup or nope?" 

He's very cute and I'm always a little sad when I think that he'll be 3 years old soon and then its sort of a slow decline in terms of cuteness after that. I mean, Aaron is still adorable but he's not longer the baby time of cute. 

Here's Adrian 'mowing' the grass this morning. 

Tomorrow is a new day. I'll try harder. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Praise Junkie

Last May, I did a post on the Parentopoly game that I played which had the rules that you could not PRAISE, THREATEN, BRIBE, REWARD, or PUNISH your child. I can safely say that I don't find it hard not to threaten, bribe or reward. The other two are much harder. There needs to be consequences for things - hence punishment. I hope everyone is nodding in agreement? But for today, I'm steering clear of punishment and I'm going to zoom in on 'praise'. 

Guess what? I've come to the sudden realization that I am a product of over praising. I am a closet praise junkie and I never realized it. More on that later...

Ever since I started hearing that using words like 'Good Job' or 'Well done' was detrimental to a child, I've been on the look out for articles on it. 'Five Reasons to Stop Staying "Good Job!"' by Alfie Kohn is the one I came across this week. It is an interesting read for any parents out there but in a nutshell, the five reasons are because its :

1. Manipulative - parents using praise to reinforce behavior that may make our lives easier in the future. I'm so guilty of this one. "Good job picking up the toys", "Good eating", "Good sitting" etc etc etc...

2. Creates Praise Junkies - making children seek out the pat on the back as an assurance of a job well done. This is where I fit in. I blame my father. He was a 'super praiser' as a father and now, it looks like he's doing an even 'better' job as a grandfather. Anyway, remember how I said I started calling a few dances at clogging. Well, I keep feeling that I need people to tell me that I did ok, even when I know I didn't make any mistakes. AND, I feel a little bummed and insecure if people don't - makes me think they're too polite to say that I did a bad job. 

3. Steals a child's pleasure - doling out a 'good job' indicates that an evaluation has taken place when it may not have needed to be. The child may have felt their own sense of accomplishment without anybody saying anything. I think I might have done this to Aaron already so now, he's always looking to see what I'll say about his drawings. 

4. Makes a child lose interest - Ah...when the praise stops, so does the work. I feel that I'm in that vicious cycle with Aaron's drawing. I'd better make the time to start things over again in that department. I'll have to take him out on a drawing excursion. Oh no, will that make him dependent on excursions to draw....this is never ending!

5. Reduces achievement - Praise creates the pressure to 'keep up the good work' and sometimes, a child may have lost interest, or no longer takes the risk to be as creative and the end result is not as good as it could have been. 

This is heavy stuff when you think about it because it can have an impact on almost every minute of a stay at home mother's day with a child. We're doing things with them all day long. Very often, they are cute, clever and creative. And, we're proud of them and like to demonstrate it. Yet, it can be so damaging - just imagine all the undue pressure I'm placing on myself now over the simple and supposedly fun job of calling a dance. 

A friend of mine also sent me this somewhat related article - The Trouble With Bright Kids. It talks about a study that was conducted on fifth graders and the effect of praise emphasizing either "effort" and "high ability". Both are praise and therefore 'not recommended' according to the previous article I mentioned but it does have some similarities such as the 'smart' kids starting to doubt themselves.

Well, its the weekend. We're just going to play crazy games around the house - I don't think there will be any need for praise so I won't have to worry about how not to do it. Is that me doubting myself because my parents don't pat me on the back and say that I've done a good job with my own children?

The internet is littered with parenting articles with all points of view, I guess we need to read and use whats applicable to us. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Dishwasher Training

Its been awhile since I did a Wordless Wednesday (although its not quite wordless today). I'm joining in the one hosted at My Little Drummer Boys.

Here is Adrian at his weekly Montessori session. In our house, all the dishes are washed by the men so, he's getting his training now. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More On Aaron's Transition To Cycle 2

Aaron is finally spending full days in his new class. I did a post on the transition when Aaron first started visiting on 22nd February. He was staying there for half the day and returning to his old class for lunch and the rest of the afternoon. It was only last Wednesday that he tried out a full day at the new class. He seemed happy, excited and proud of himself when I picked him up that afternoon. He stayed full days on Thursday and Friday as well and I thought we were finally over the daily discussions about the move.

Not quite. We were back to the endless negotiations this morning but he still stayed the whole day and ultimately enjoying it. I thought the new playground would be a major drawcard for him to stay with his new class and I was using it to entice him to stay over lunch. Surprisingly, he told me today that he did not want to play there at all and that he spent lunch time sitting alone, reading. Whats going on?!

I haven't been able to get any real reasons out of him yet. The children that I have met have all seemed friendly and I've seen him joke around with a few of them. I'm not worried about this yet and I don't think anybody picked on him. He'll just have to work it out on his own - and I'm sure he will.

Apart from playground issues, I think he has been thriving in the new class. I can see how excited he is when he tells me about what he did during the day. Today, he suggested that we do a project to cross reference his dinosaur books to make sure they all had matching timelines. Supposedly, he has been working on timelines at school. (By the way, we found a discrepancy between two books on when the Baryonyx lived.) The other day, he came back and told me he did 'geology' but in the end, we figured out it was actually 'geometry'. Its exciting to know that his days are filled with an array of new work and exposure to all sorts of information that he is not yet aware of.

Alright, thats enough bragging from this mom. Just a very quick post today because the weekend of incredible fun has resulted in me having a very sore throat and the start of a cold. I need to beat it so I'm heading to bed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

No Blogging, Just Clogging

Its going to be a fantastic weekend. I'll be attending a clogging camp so, as the title says, there won't be any blogging this weekend. The weekend actually starts tonight with a party, followed by a full day of workshops tomorrow and another party tomorrow night. And on Sunday there will be a whole morning of workshops. I'm not spending the nights there because its only a 35 minute drive from our house and I definitely prefer my own bed to a dormitory.

My mother has very generously offered her place at the workshop to Richard so that he can hopefully catch the same clogging bug that we all have. She'll spend the weekend with Aaron and Adrian. I thought it was very magnanimous of her because I don't think I would do that for him. I'm very grateful to her. 

So as a quick post tonight, I'd like to direct you here. Its about how every mother passes on an average of 41 `pearls of wisdom` to their children. It looks like my mother only passed on 28 pearls to me. That makes sense because she was brought up in Malaysia and would have probably inherited a different set of pearls from my grandmother.  As for the 28 pearls that she has been known to throw at us, she told me that she learned them all from an Irish nun that was her teacher in school. 

When I try to think of anything Chinese that my mother has quoted to us, I can only think of two toilet related ones. They're not really pearls of wisdom but little shots of reprimand from her. You're all going to think she's really crude but she's quite the opposite. Its actually because these funnier ones stick in my mind more than the other non-toilet ones. 

1. Lazy people always need to go to the toilet. Its actually a little more crude than this but it basically means that a lazy person (eg me not wanting to do my homework) always has many excuses.

2. Waiting until you absolutely need to go before looking for a toilet. This one has to do with procrastination and leaving everything to the last minute - obviously.

So what is the most memorable saying from your mother?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

High School Reunion - 20 years!

Today, I got added to a Facebook group that looks like it was setup to re-connect everyone from my senior year in preparation for a reunion later this year. I had heard from one of the few high school friends that I'm still in touch with that there was another reunion a few years ago, before I moved back to Brisbane. Supposedly, it was quite enjoyable.

As I looked through the 94 names that have been added to the group so far, all I could think of was how I couldn't remember most of these people. Maybe some of them have changed their names but their photos aren't helping me remember them either.

I'm not sure if I'd want to attend a reunion. I don't think I'd know anybody and they probably don't remember me either so I'll just be standing around feeling uncomfortable the whole time. I think there were about three hundred and fifty students in my year and I always had a group of friends all throughout high school. Strangely, I think there are only three people that I feel were true friends. I'm in touch with two of them but the third one is very elusive and no amount of Googling or Facebooking has helped me find her.

Since we're on the topic of reunions, and reunions are all about walking down memory lane, here are some random memories from high school.

1) In Grade 8, I won a school music competition playing the Sonatina in F by Clementi. I then spent the rest of my high school years trying to keep up that sort of standard. Unfortunately, I only won once more and had to settle for seconds and thirds after that.

2) In Grade 9, at a swimming carnival, I stomped on my best friend's foot on purpose and went to be best friends with another girl. Even now, I don't understand why I did that and I still feel terrible about being so mean. I did see this girl's name in the Facebook group but she stopped talking to me in Grade 9 so its not like I'm going to 'friend' her and apologize.

3) In Grade 10, I was in a class of brainiacs but I didn't feel like I belonged there. Maybe I was the token 'not-so-smart' student to balance the class out. This was the year that my German teacher told my parents that I had tried my best and I could go no further with German.

4) In Grade 11, my friends started having boyfriends but I didn't even have a friend who was a boy. My mother was a part time Tiger Mom and one of the things she banned was attending school dances.

5) In  Grade 12, I chose music as a subject. There were about fifteen of us in the class. We had a young, non-habit wearing nun as the teacher and we won group singing competitions around Brisbane. I'm definitely not a good singer and don't claim any credit for the wins but it was the most fun I had in that year. We were special to the school because we were a small music class and not one of the choirs. I was very proud to be part of that.

Now I'm thinking that if would be nice to just say 'Hi' to some of these people from the past again. I just need to make sure I have at least one friend by my side so I don't have to feel as insecure as I did on the first day of Grade 8.

Have you attended high school reunions? Are they worth the anxiety?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Rocked My Babies To Sleep Too!

I've blogged many times about sleep and babies. After many books, multiple experiments and mountains of good intentions, I have to say that I soothe my babies to sleep, whether its by carrying them, feeding them or lying down with them. The controlled crying sleep training method is not something I believe in.

Even though this is something I believe is right for my family, I often feel judged by it. The rest of the world seemed to have been able to train their babies to put themselves to sleep. And, there is always so much praise for such those 'good babies'.

Well, today, I met a mother of seven month old quads. She also has two other children aged five and two! I have a family with children aged five and two and it is a crazy household. So, when I found out that the baby she carries in a sling each week in the gymnastics class she takes her two year old to was actually on rotation with its other three siblings, I was in awe of that woman. She had long hair and it looked cleaned and well brushed. She had a make up on and she was very soft spoken with the two children she brought with her. If I had met her elsewhere, I would have thought she only had one baby.

Anyway, I couldn't resist asking her the questions that everybody else must ask her. I wanted to know how she  managed four babies at once. She said that she had help at home - good for her. BUT, she also said that she rocked each and every one of her babies to sleep. She chooses to do it this way and does not accept that her babies need to be trained to go to sleep. She did it for her first two children and she will do it for these four. Thats amazing! I don't know about her or how tired she gets but it made me feel that if a mother to six children could rock her babies to sleep, and feel good about it, then I should too.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Another Makedo Project

Today, I felt totally justified in buying the Makedo kit I mentioned in this post. The first dump truck project was mostly me but this morning, Aaron spent the whole morning 'designing', sawing and putting together this 'house'. I helped out occasionally but it was his initiative.

I'm proud of his efforts and his perseverance at it surprised me. He usually starts asking for help about two minutes into any projects he starts but he was so engrossed in the design he had in mind that he didn't need me much at all. Somehow, he even managed to work peacefully with Adrian as his 'assistant'.

This project kept them occupied for most of today. The actual construction time was around two hours (lots of sawing!) but that was spread out through many play sessions with the boxes. I think this is definitely something that I would think of giving as a gift the next time I had to get a birthday present for a child.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Momxercise - Look At The Calories Burned!

I have been in search of a calorie calculator today. One that will help me count the calories that I burn in an ordinary day, without exercise. This isn't because I'm watching my weight or the food I eat, its just out of curiosity. I used A Calorie Calculator and for those activities I do that they don't have listed, I just picked the closest activity that I thought would expend the same amount of energy.

Thursdays (my busiest day):

  1. Make breakfast and lunch (60 mins)....................................................................................................96 Kcal
  2. Clean up breakfast mess, tidy up the house and  get Aaron and  Adrian ready for school drop off (30 mins)...........60 Kcal                                  
  3. Walk Aaron to classroom, walk back including detour to playground with Adrian (15 mins)..........................36 Kcal
  4. Take Adrian for 2 hours of Montessori activities...............................................144 Kcal
  5. Activities with Adrian after nap time..................................................................70 Kcal
  6. Pick Aaron up from school...............................................................................36 Kcal
  7. Activities with Aaron and Adrian for 1 hour after school.....................................70 Kcal
  8. Make dinner (60 mins).....................................................................................96 Kcal
  9. Average of 5 nursing sessions spread out through the day................................250 Kcal

The grand total is 858 Kcal for all the activities I have that are related to being a mother. Thursday is also my clogging day and supposedly 3.5 hours of that burns 756 Kcal. That would bring the total to 1614 Kcal. The other activity I haven't included is going to the gym because I have not been going consistently these past few weeks. But if I did (and I will be getting back to that soon) thats another 264 Kcals per day.

So what does it all mean to me? Nothing much, especially since I have no idea how many calories I take in each Thursday. I was just curious about how much energy mothering takes. If you divide it out, one day of mothering is the same as 3.25 hours in the gym. It does make me feel a little less guilty about not going to the gym but of course, the gym isn't purely for burning calories.

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Experiences

I told one of my friends today that she should go and do something that she had never done before.
When I said that, I was actually thinking of something exciting - like finding her way from one side of Shanghai to the other by public bus. Thats something that I like doing. I think part of me was actually saying it to myself because I often feel that I haven't been able to get out and do things like that. Sure, its not impossible, but its just not the same when you have kids in tow.

Later in the afternoon, as I was waiting around for the doctor (Aaron had to go again), I remembered that I may not have done any exciting new things, like learn how to sail a boat, but I did try my hand at a few smaller, but still new, endeavors. I made my first dress, made a crochet cardigan for Adrian and embroidered for the first time. Recently, I started cueing (calling the dance steps) at my clogging classes.

The enjoyment from each of those experiences was feeling that I was exploring something that I had absolutely no idea about. I had to research, try things out, make mistakes and do it again. With the cueing, I found new enjoyment in clogging because those dances that I could do without even thinking about became tricky again because I had to call out the steps a beat before doing them.

Its so easy to fall into the rut of pushing through the chores of each day and then slacking off each night with the excuse that day was long and tiring. So, I'm not going to be ambitious here (like committing to 101 things in 1001 days), I'm going to start off with a commitment to gain one new experience each month. I'd love for it to be one of those really exciting ones like going hang gliding but it probably will be more along the lines of learning how to juggle. I don't think I'll count things like going to a new restaurant as a new experience. Hopefully, I can remember to do this.

What about you? Try anything new lately? What would you like to try out?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Montessori Way - Brilliant but Scary For Me

I didn't put up a post last night because we were at Aaron's school for a Primary Parent Education evening. It sounds like this is something regular but it was our first since Aaron has only recently joined the class. Last night's presentation was more of a celebration because the Australian national curriculum body has recognized the Montessori National Curriculum as an alternative national curriculum. It sounded like a big deal and I can see why it would be a big deal for the Montessori community in Australia  - all Montessori schools now have the same curriculum and there is a document that affirms its methods and teachings as something 'official'. It does make me feel a little more confident that my child will end up learning everything they are supposed to know each year.

I know I sound as if I don't have any confidence in the school that I have chosen for Aaron. This is not the case. I think the Montessori way of educating a child holistically and within context of their lives is brilliant. I love that he will be able to explore and investigate independently but with the support of his teachers. The development of strategic thinking and self discipline is much more important to me than the ability to sit obediently in a classroom and only do homework that he is assigned because he has to.

My hesitation and insecurities about this very system stem from the fact that I have no personal experience with it. It is so far removed from my own childhood education and the many beliefs that my mother has ingrained in me that I can't help but question the "follow the child" motto that drives the Montessori way. How do they know what is good for them? What if they don't choose the right activities? What if they aren't born with any curiosity to investigate anything? All this requires me to trust the teachers in his class more than I think I would need to in a traditional school. There is no homework for me to check up on his work with. No exams to give me some indication on where he stands amongst his peers. I'm in the dark! So, its back to the teacher again. There are meetings with the teacher every term and I have my first one in two weeks.

I've been thinking about it a lot. I need to sound like an interested parent, but I don't want to be labeled as one of those overbearing control freak parents that teachers probably try to avoid. Neither do I want them to think I'm one of those parents that are always worried about their child because they may then only give me the good side of things. Finally, I want them to know that I intend to continue teaching him at home even though they feel that the home is for fun activities, i.e. play. I teach him things in fun ways (except for Chinese) and I want to do this in a complementary way to the things he is exposed to at school. (OK, so maybe there is a bit of that control freak parent in me but they don't need to know that.)

So, let me end this post with this video clip. It sums up what the Montessori system is and why it is so attractive to me.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Listening In On My Neighbors

Yes, thats exactly what I'm doing right now. I'm pretty sure its not counted as eavesdropping because they are forcing me to listen to them.

Our house is sandwiched by two blocks of units and unfortunately, I hardly know who lives next door. They aren't usually noisy and this post isn't about how terrible they are for being this loud. In fact, they are providing a lot of entertainment.

I can't really see them but I think there are about three or four men out on the balcony. And, they are singing. Not karaoke but just singing along to their CD players or iPods or whatever. That alone would have been funny enough for me but they are singing all the songs that I had forgotten about. Music that I used to listen to all the time. In a way, they are taking me on a slightly off key walk down memory lane.

They're all singing along and they know all the words. I find it strange that a group of men would sit around and do this. They aren't even rubbishing one another. And take a look at the type of songs they have been singing....

From 1994:

From 1995:

This has left me with a bit of a puzzled feeling inside because singing along to CDs was not something I thought guys did when they sat around with their friends. In any case, they are very distracting because I also know all the words to that particular Boys II Men CD and can't help joining in quietly from my little corner here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Funeral Plans

I had a very interesting conversation with Aaron and Adrian today. Out of the blue, Aaron proclaimed from his car seat that he would be an excavator driver when he grew up - no surprises there. It was his second proclamation that got my attention. He announced that Adrian would be a coffin maker. What?!

Aaron's rationale was that Adrian would make my coffin and he would dig the hole where my coffin would be buried. Now, don't start thinking that my kids already wish me dead, they were actually being very matter-of-fact about it. I told them that I preferred to be cremated (and kept in an urn in their home). Unfortunately, Aaron insisted that he didn't want me to be burned up. And, without me even saying it, he came to the realization that if I wasn't cremated, I'd have to decompose in the ground. So, in this horrified voice, he said "I don't want the maggots to eat you either! I want to put something on you so that you'll stay the same."

Of course, this lead to quite a drawn out back and forth conversation about how we all have to die and we all either end up decomposing or cremated. I had to resort to offering them some snacks in the car to distract then from the conversation because it was reaching the point where Aaron was starting to get worried about me dying. And when I said that if I didn't get sick or have an accident, I should have many more years left, it didn't console him for long because he then started to think of my parents and how old they already are now.

Poor little guy, he was really starting to get worked up about it. It started off as an innocent plan on how to prepare my grave but it lead him to realize a whole lot of unpleasant things about the end of life. I gave him my usual explanation of how when we die, we hopefully get to heaven and will meet the people that have died before us. Thats how I like to think about it but you can see how easily a five year old is going to shoot me down with questions on that one.

It was a somewhat depressing conversation but at the same time, it was sweet to see how much Aaron cares about me.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Oops! I've Forgotten ... A LOT!

I had to fill in a form at Adrian's speech pathology appointment and amongst plenty of other details, it asked for the ages that he rolled over, started babbling, spoke his first word, spoke his first sentence, stood up and walked. Uhmmmmm.....Hmmmmmm...I clearly remember him trying to walk with a stool at around 7 months and actually taking his first steps at 10 months. As for rolling over, there is a post somewhere on this blog about that but I'll need to look for it. And first words/sentences? I don't know! He's been talking for a long time and I often think that he talks too much.

What kind of mother am I? Should I have all this information at the forefront of my brain? And if not, shouldn't I have written them down somewhere? Somebody gave me one of those baby journals when he was born but there are only about six entries and the last one was when he was around 4 months old. If only I had stuck with that.

I think I made more of an effort with Aaron but that doesn't mean I can remember each of those ages. I have it written down somewhere, maybe spread out over several somewheres. I wrote him a letter for each month of his young life for about a year and a half but guess what? Hard disk crashed and I had deleted the backup off my external hard disk to make room for more photos. This blog is about the most reliable place for me to go and look up the past.

I feel bad about this. I know I'll have wonderful memories about their early years but these are general memories with the occasional specific incident here and there. Somehow, it feels as if this is not going to be enough when I'm old and sitting alone in a nursing home somewhere. I suppose I'll just have the thousands of photos and video clips of them played on slideshow in my room.

A commitment needs to be made but I dare not make it now. Nearly two years ago, I started working on photo albums for each year of Aaron's life but I have nothing to show for it. These precious little beings are my life but by that very fact, they take up all my time and I'm not sure I'll ever get around to preserving some sort of account of their childhood for me to savour once they are grown.

Here's an example of the simple things I'd like to remember in years to come. This was taken yesterday when they were out in the garden looking for bugs. Adrian looks like he's in his PJs but thats actually just a big shirt made from very light material to help protect him from the sun. The hat he's wearing was one bought at Pangkor Island for Aaron. Its a girl's one and originally came with two fake plaits down the sides. Aaron really is in his PJs and he's wearing the Superman cap that a close friend of mine gave him a couple of years ago.

Oh, and maybe Id like to remember that we always had to eat sweet potato leaves because they grow like crazy in our garden.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Makedo Projects

I really like that name - Make Do. Its one of our family mottos so when I saw this 'toy', I really felt drawn to it. Its not so much a toy but a kit that will allow you to make toys out of things around your house. I'm not going to give you the link to their official website until the end of my post, after you've seen our projects.

The kit I got was to build a small car but so far, we haven't found the ideal box for that yet. If I'm going to work on a car with those two boys, I need it to be one that is big enough to fit the both of them in. 

Our practice project was this caravan looking bus that ended up being a semi trailer that moved cars.

I finally got my hands on some bigger boxes and today, we started off making a car, but then, it was converted to a dump truck. I did all the major cutting with the plastic saw that came with the kit while Aaron worked on the details like the door handles, steering wheels and lights. It was also his idea to make it the dump truck. Adrian did the decorating with a few stickers here and there.

We had to go without the wheels because we ran out of those little round headed cable ties. This 'dump truck' doesn't look like much but it provided a whole morning of fun.

Now, you can go look at some of the more professional looking projects at mymakedo.com