Spin. Twirl. Pirouette. 

Ever since we went to see The Nutcracker, Eva’s aspirations to be a ballerina have been in full swing. She has displayed more focus in her Saturday ballet classes, and even practices at home.

If anyone—and I mean anyone: us, family, random strangers—talks to her for any length of time, Eva will break out her Jump Jump Star dance routine for them.

And just yesterday, she spent the day in her Tutu Du Monde dress, pretending to be a ballerina. These are the things of little girls’ dreams!  

A Late Sunday Afternoon Walk. 

Creating a Play Space for 6-18 Month Olds

I’ve always been inspired by the Montessori method, and while I don’t strictly follow the pedagogy, I borrowed many ideas when creating a little play space for Owen. Using a heavy blanket, Owen has a defined play area separate from the rest of the playroom. The black and white contrast images on the wall create interest and the open storage basket allows Owen to self select and keep small toys organised — books, musical toys and finger puppets. 

Each of the toys have been specifically selected to not only be ascetically pleasing, but to target development — stacking, clutching, motor control, object permanence and visual tracking.

Favourite Toys: Grimm’s Large Wooden Staking Tower, Plan Toy Wood Drum, Manhattan Toy Natural Skwish Rattle, Hape Little Copter, Wee Gallery Woodland Art Cards, Wonderworld Rainbow Sound Blocks, Bajo Wooden Ambulance

Favourite Lift-the-flap Books: Dear Zoo, Peek-A-Who?, The Robot Book

Late afternoon impromptu trip to the playground. 

Sunday Afternoon.

Sunday Afternoon.

Nap time. 

Nap time. 

Preschool. Kindy. Eek! 

We know it was coming. Johnny stood in line for registration at 4am over a year ago. We had been to orientation. We had read all the information sheets. We were ready.

But I am not ready!

There is no going back. School is such a milestone. An irrevocable one. And as excited as I am about seeing how Eva changes and adapts, it is so bittersweet.

It has been the first of many “Back to School” sales, and for this first one I chose all of Eva’s clothes and supplies carefully. Even though I can’t fully control what happens at preschool, at least I can plan and prepare — labelling everything! 

The lovely people at Stuck on You sent Eva a few things to help her prepare for the year ahead — new labels, a drink bottlebag tag and a library bag. Eva specially chose the Sweet Treats design and was super excited to show her teacher the pictures of pop corn, ice cream and lollipops. She filled her library bag up with books and carried them around the house — just to practice. And of course, she loves seeing her name in print! I, on the other hand, love the stainless steel drink bottle (no plastic aftertaste) and the high quality labels that last wash after wash. 

I see Eva in her new school outfits. Her new backpack. Her hair braided in three plaits—just as she requested. Her lunch packed. And it makes me as anxious as Eva is. Will she adapt? Will she make friends? Will she be teased? Will she miss me? With Eva, I am all positivity and smiles, but inside I am a ball of nerves. Rationally, I know that she will adapt, that she will make friends (she already has), that she will miss me (but she will have fun). 

But she looks so big and so small all at the same time. 

Eva Lilly — 3 years, 8 months old
Loves: playing chasey with Owen, imaginary play, Octonauts, Frozen, Charlie and Lola, dressing up, rice, sushi, the colour red, The Nutcracker, giggling, books, “swishy” dresses, playing “princesses, bad guys, pirates and boys”. 
Hates: having her hair washed. 

Eva Lilly — 3 years, 8 months old

Loves: playing chasey with Owen, imaginary play, Octonauts, Frozen, Charlie and Lola, dressing up, rice, sushi, the colour red, The Nutcracker, giggling, books, “swishy” dresses, playing “princesses, bad guys, pirates and boys”. 

Hates: having her hair washed. 

Charlie and Lola’s Best Bestest Play Ever! 

Protected from the rain, Eva carried her Charlie and Lola umbrella along with her Lola doll as we walked to QPAC. Charlie and Lola has been a long-held obsession of Eva’s, and this year she was old enough to see and understand the Charlie and Lola play.

Bubble filled the auditorium during the bath scene. Paper butterflies flew down from the ceiling. The whole of the set was lit with twinkling fairy lights, and there were ogre shadow puppets. Throughout it all, Eva and Ruby watched intently, while other kids around us fidgeted or had tantrums. At the most intense scenes, Eva hid behind her Lola doll.

But when it was all over, it truly was the bestest play ever!

The best thing about summer? Getting to see Owen’s little baby rolls on display! 

HAPPINESS IS EVA


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