As I imagine any parent who has coped with having two children under two will agree, it can be easy to slip into the habit of just getting through the days. Working through the list of our Advent activities in December really helped to counteract this - we all enjoyed having a specific task to give each day a focus. In fact, it was so much fun that I've decided to extend the activities to include a general Winter theme. Here's what's on the list so far:
Read my favourite old-school winter story - The Winter Bear.
In best Winter Bear manner, scavenge and arrange a Winter bouquet.
Go sledging! It's going to snow in Manchester, right? Right.
Along the same lines, make snow angels. Eva has been practicing her technique on the carpet.
Take the dogs to Tatton Park for a walk.
Make snowflake cookies.
Look for early flowering daffodils.
Make Toad In The Hole (not sure why I associate this particular meal with Winter, but there you go).
Paint a toddler Winter mural.
Go to the beach - I went to university in Newcastle, so naturally associate English beaches with perishing cold!
Make sticky toffee pudding.
Make snow play dough.
Have a Winter braai (Andre will happily braai in all weathers).
Make an ice bowl.
Make apple crumble with custard.
Cook Portuguese chicken soup (made with Andre's secret recipe).
Have dinner in front of a roaring log fire.
Take a walk round the neighbourhood (at toddler pace) and look for Winter berries.
Cook a Jamie Oliver stew.
Make a miniature Winter garden.
Make rice pudding - done! It was vanilla-y and stodgy and delectable. And I ate most of it myself because Eva's reaction was "No my like it" - what a terrible shame :-)
I think that should see us through January and February, don't you? And of course in-between toddler activities I'll be making time on weekends to get on with some furniture restoration projects (chest of drawers, arm chair and wardrobe) and sewing (cushions, bean bags and curtains) for Natalia's room. In fact I got started by spending all day on Sunday sporting my new ear defenders, dust mask and goggles - how glamorous - in order to sand down and re-oil the chair frame. It was horribly dusty and I loved every minute of the experience. Pictures coming up soon!