Sunday, 25 March 2012

Rock... Paper... Scissors...

Rock... Paper... Scissors...

Ok, so there are no rocks involved, but what master silhouette artist Karl Johnson can create with just paper and scissors in only two and a half minutes is amazing! It totally rocks. Aha, that's where the rock comes in!

This week the girls were treated to their very own original silhouette portraits hand cut by master silhouette artist Karl Johnson of Cut Arts. This special event took place at our local toy store Mr Mopps.

Two beautiful sisters

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Keys please...

Ava loves using keys.

She loves to use the swiper at the entry to our building. She loves to open our front door with the key.

In fact she loves using keys so much she keeps asking when she can get her own set!

Seeing as my answer to this question is never the answer that Ava wants to hear she decided that she would make her own set of keys to use.

To make sure her keys "work" Ava traced around my apartment key, mailbox key and building swiper. She then coloured them in and I laminated them to make them a little more sturdy than paper.

Ava's keys and swiper

Updated Calendar

Last February I put up a post about the daily "calendar" that I had made for Ava.

Ava's "calendar"

This calendar, which is more of a daily schedule, shows what the day has in store for Ava i.e. preschool, swimming, playing with friends... I made the calendar just before Ava turned three in an effort to stop the repetitive "What are we going to do today?" that she would come out with every single morning.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

San Francisco Zoo

The weekend of Ava's birthday we took the girls to the San Francisco Zoo.
Wow - that was over a month ago already. Time sure is flying by!

This was Lola's first visit to a zoo. Ava has been to the Adelaide Zoo on quite a few occasions as well as the fantastic Singapore Zoo. Seeing wild animals up close is something I can't imagine Ava ever tiring of so the more zoo trips the better!

Ava and Lola with the flamingoes
Lola with the flamingoes

Bicycle built for two... or three...

I REALLY want to get myself a bike.

The Bay Area is great for bike riding - apart from the hills - and it's quite a popular mode of transportation here.

As we don't have a car I walk everywhere with our Bugaboo Bee stroller - Lola in the stroller and Ava standing on a skateboard attached to the back. I like walking everywhere however it's not the fastest way to get around. A few extra wheels would really come in handy.

Because I have to take the kids into consideration choosing a bike isn't so easy. I want to make sure that I choose the safest option for them.

There are quite a few options out there that I'm currently looking into. Each has its pros and cons.

Winther Kangaroo

Winther Kangaroo

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Pirate Patches for a Lazy Eye

Ava has a lazy eye.

That eye's so lazy it just doesn't want to do any work. It's perfectly happy to let its partner do everything.

This lazy eye must be taught a lesson.

For about a year we've been trying to combat this problem in swashbuckling pirate style: with an eye patch.

Since we've been in Berkeley Ava's opthamologist has recommended a new method of combating the lazy eye and we're now mixing the patching with Atropine drops.

Both methods work in pretty much the same way...

The patch covers the good eye, the hardworking one that does everything, and forces the lazy eye to do some work. Ava wears a patch over her good eye for a few hours a day. This becomes a little tricky to coordinate with a busy preschool and after school activity schedule. Ava is not keen to wear the patch out of the house. Having worn a patch full time over my own lazy eye as a child I'm not keen to make her go through this either. We squeeze in an hour of patching here and there before preschool and in the afternoons.

This is where the Atropine drops come in handy. The Atropine drops dilate the pupil in Ava's good eye which results in blurred vision. Ava can still see out of this eye however it's not clear enough to focus properly so she is forced to use the lazy eye. The results of the Atropine drops are relatively long lasting and in general we can get by with using one drop every second day. At the moment we're doing both drops and patching to get the best results. Of course the drops have a down side too, that being getting the damned things into Ava's eye in the first place! We usually attempt to put the drops in while Ava is sleeping. This isn't always so easy. For someone who can sleep through the fire alarm in our apartment building, Ava is an astoundingly light sleeper when it comes to someone touching her face!

Now, no one likes wearing an eye patch (unless they're a pirate) or having drops in their eyes, so to make things a little more fun for Ava I've come up with a reward chart. I had Ava help me make the reward chart to get her excited about using it. She drew lots of pirates and lots of drops with eyes and after a touch of photoshop they were all the same size and ready for the chart.

Pirate Patches & Eye Drops
Ava's reward chart

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