Saturday, May 3, 2008

hello mr. maker!

Despite the implied funk of my last post, Csilla and I actually had a nice week together. I had a head cold and so did she, but in between blowing copious amounts of snot out of our noses we did lots of activities and had some fun along the way.

In the spirit of keeping track of "scrapbookable moments", here are a few notes about the last few days.

Csilla still loves going to her preschool, but definitely hates change. After staying home sick on Monday, she decided she didn't want to go back on Wednesday unless her "proper" teachers were guaranteed to all be there. I had to make a call to my friend Bendy Linda just to make sure all three of Csilla's regular teachers had been there on Monday. I suppose this is normal for a three-year-old, but we'll have to work on Csilla's flexibility over the next few years. She certainly comes by her resistance to change naturally as Balazs isn't exactly the most flexible guy on the planet.

After preschool on Wednesday, Csilla and I headed over to Linda's for a playdate with her daughter, N. The girls play well together, which is a blessing. The other day Csilla called N her "best friend" - a first for Csilla. N is a perfect choice for a first best friend considering she's a sweet kid who is remarkably similar to Csilla in many ways. Double bonus that I like her mom so much.

The playdate went so well on Wednesday that after our mother/daughter yoga class on Thursday morning, Csilla and I stopped by Linda and N's again. We stayed almost the whole day. Csilla and I just love being at Linda and N's house. It's much bigger and brighter than our house with a great backyard that's much more suitable for child's play than at our place. Csilla and N painted and danced and giggled and had a lovely time together. When we left, I was so busy thanking Linda that I didn't keep both eyes on Csilla... and that's when she stepped out onto the road alone. Csilla was never in any real danger, but I sure as heck felt guilty about it. There are no excuses for not paying attention when it comes to our kids.

A few weeks ago the awesome blogger PedCrossing gave me a great idea to do a Photo Treasure Hunt for Csilla, which we finally did the other day. I took about 30 pictures of locations around our house and printed them on my photo printer. Then I created a chain with the photos to lead Csilla from one location to the next. She absolutely loved it. Especially because we had just finished watching an episode of Blue's Clues that featured a treasure hunt. As we were running around the house from clue to clue, Csilla said things like, "treasure hunts are so great!!" and "this is so much fun!" and "you're the best Mama for making a treasure hunt like this." How great did that make me feel? Considering it was so easy and I received such rave reviews from Csilla, we'll definitely be doing this activity again. Thanks Ped!!

I often beat myself up for letting Csilla watch too much television, but an entire day in the house is often difficult to fill on rainy days in Vancouver, so the tv goes on. I would feel much guiltier about it if Csilla's vocabulary didn't astound me so much. Lately she's been using the words "engrossed" and "responsibility". Correctly no less. Not bad for a three-year-old. I have Pinky Dinky Doo's Great Big Fancy Word Game to thank for those two. Right now Csilla is obsessed with Zoboomafoo. She just loves it and spouts of all sorts of information about animals that I didn't even know. I can't get over how smart Csilla is. Her memory is amazing and her capacity for knowledge is limitless at this point. I wish I could say it was all because of me, but I know I have television to thank for a lot of it too.

Another show that Csilla has really been enjoying lately is Mr. Maker. It's a BBC show that started airing on Treehouse recently. It features this chipper British chap making fun and easy crafts for kids. Csilla and I watch together. She loves to see what Mr. Maker does next, and I take notes so we can duplicate the ideas later.

Here's a few photos of our Mr. Maker creations:

I'm fully aware of how craptastic this stuff is, but Csilla has fun so I tolerate the mess and the ugliness of it all.

Until recently, I haven't let Csilla help me too much with food preparation in the kitchen. She's just too much of a wiggle-fart and I always worry about accidents such as cuts and burns because she just doesn't listen when I ask her to be careful. This week I started letting her participate more because my mom has been out of town and I can't just shoo Csilla off to Nana's house (upstairs) when cooking is in progress. On Tuesday Csilla loved helping me clean lettuce and I was thrilled. It's a task I detest, but she thought it was fantastic. She loved the rinsing and ripping and had a grand time with the new salad spinner we bought together. The lettuce washing was such a success, that I let Csilla help me make a Hungarian dish called Rakott Kel last night. Rakott Kel translates as "Layered Cabbage" and it's essentially a casserole of cabbage, rice and ground pork with lots of sour cream, paprika and a few other spices. Csilla washed all the cabbage for me before I cooked it up. This is one of Csilla's favourite dishes to eat, so it came as no surprise when she exclaimed: "That smells divine Mama!" I'm not kidding. My three-year-old uses the word divine. I think I have Pinky Dinky Doo to thank for that too. And even better? As Csilla wolfed down her food she said, "That was deeeee-lish! May I have some more please?" Csilla cracks me up and she has excellent manners. What more could I ask for?

Another quote from Csilla, last night after baking cookies all afternoon (did I mention we baked cookies together yesterday too?) and making Rakott Kel (which is quite involved and takes some time), Csilla said:

"Why don't you lay on my couch and rest Mama."

Well she didn't have to ask me twice!

Talk about music to my ears. It was almost as good as hearing Balazs say something similar to me a few weeks ago:

"Mama you work so hard around here all day, why don't you go put your feet up."

Huh? I'm not sure when the body snatchers came to my house and replaced my husband, but they are welcome any time, just as long as it's for upgrades and not downgrades.

That's about it for now. Time to go make dinner. Hope everybody is having a lovely weekend.


ped crossing said...

I'm glad the hunt was a success. I am always happy to share easy, fun, non-messy kid entertainment ideas.

It does sound like a pretty great week. My boys love the salad spinner, they just won't eat the product.

Tammy said...

Isn't the capacity of children to learn great?!?! Corinna was a tony little thing and she said cracker so I got crackers excited that she finally was talking. Before I could get some cheese crackers and grapes on her plate she said clearly: "I would like a cracker please." How could mom resist that!!! Keep up the great work and enjoy Csilla!!!

Jennifer H said...

That photo hunt sounds like a great idea.

And look at all your craft projects! Wow.

Csilla sounds like a smart, lovely little girl, and it's obvious that you're responsible for a lot of that.

But I also had to thank television for a good bit of my kids' vocabulary and knowledge of exotic animals. Maybe I should start watching kids' TV again. I could learn a thing or two.

Corey~living and loving said...

ooooo great post. I love the crafts....and the photohunt Idea. I'll have to go look for it. :)

love the pics too. :)

oh and Sugar loves to help me cook. and use big words. Pinky dinky do....ROCKS!

Suzanne said...

I love the photos you took of craft time....and the little bugs she made are so adorable, you could make fridge magnents out of them or you know, put them on the living room window and see if the neighbors notice....okay, that last idea was just stupid! but I do love those bugs, Csilla must have had a blast making them...and you are a great mom to help with that.

Jan said...

What a fun weekend. Glad she has a a friend in N. That will be such a fun summer to get together. I love how creative you 2 can get. All those creatures from egg cartons are darling. And the pencils too. They look like something even Mattie would like to make. I love the photo treasure hunt. I might have to do that. We had a treasure hunt this week with some girls that I get together with every other week. It was an excercise one. Alot of fun. We even played leap frog which I haven't thought about in years.

Love the words of Csilla to mommy. Yes Carolyn, you've worked hard all day. Go grab a cookie and lay down on the couch and put your feet up. Darling girl.

Kaycie said...

Have I ever told you I think Csilla is an angel?

Kimberly said...

You are such a good mum! I have a hard time letting Emma and Becca make the messes that go along with those kind of projects.

Deep breath, Kim...time to let it go and let the kids have fun!

Aline said...

Oh, I love the crafts! I have to steal this idea doing it with my son as soon as possible. Thank you!