{Valentine Ideas Collaborative Project}

Another collaborative project from an amazing group of kids' bloggers, the Valentine Ideas blog hop!
On February 7th, be sure to come by for loads of brilliantly creative Valentine Ideas from:

Mama Pea Pod, Let Kids Create, My Creative Family, Hands on: as we grow, La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life AngeliqueFelix.com, The Golden Gleam, Teach Preschool, Critters and Crayons, Living at the Whitehead Zoo, The Iowa Farmer's Wife, Nurturestore, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, The Chocolate Muffin Tree, Jamie's Jumble, The Outlaw Mom Blog, Mama Smiles, The Mommies Made Me Do It, Dinosaurs and Octopuses, Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas, Toddler Approved, Messy Kids, Rainy Day Mum, JDaniel4sMom, Glittering Muffins, Red Ted ArtMommy and Me Book Club, Putti Prapancha, Dilly-Dali ArtCreative Connections for Kids, Mommy Labs, De tout et de rien: Activités pour le Préscolaire, Imagination Soup.net, Rockabye Butterfly, Classified: Mom, Kids Creative Chaos, A Mom with A Lesson Plan, PlayDrMom, RainbowsWithinReach, Living Montessori Now, Curly Birds, Growing A Jeweled Rose, The Home Teacher, A Little Learning For TwoSun Hats and Wellie Boots, The Imagination Tree, Mummy Mummy Mum, Critters and Crayons, La-La's Home Daycare, Come Together Kids, Tinkerlab, Dirt and Boogers, Multiple Mummy.


{Small World Play - Doll House}

For Christmas this year, my girls got my old dollhouse. 
My parents made it for me for Christmas when I was 5. 
I just cleaned it up, made new curtains for it, 
and Santa refurnished the whole thing with new Playmobil furniture and accessories.

I just have to say:




They've been playing with it every single day since!

And I've been having fun 'tidying it up' every night after they've gone to bed, too! 


*You can find all of these Playmobil products in my Amazon Affiliates store in the sidebar.

Shared at: It's Playtime

{Valentine Tea Light Votive Holders}

Princess Pea and I made these super-easy Valentine-themed tea light holders last weekend, and we just love them! They were quick and easy to make with items already on hand, and they look lovely glowing in our dimly-lit hallway.

We used some empty baby food jars, tissue paper, white glue, and then decorated one with foam hearts and the other with fake rose petals laid in a heart shape.

All we did was tear up little pieces of red and pink tissue paper and glue them onto the jars... 

... then brush a bit of glue over the top (you could also dilute the glue with water, but we didn't), decorate, and leave to dry (we did them in the evening after dinner and left them out overnight). 

The glue dries clear and shiny.

Sweet Pea joined us too, at first, and I gave her a plastic yogurt tub to decorate instead of the glass jar (obviously not for putting a candle into), but she just wanted to paint glue onto the tissue paper and then ran off to do other things. 

If you want, you can tie a bit of ribbon or string around the top (we had a bit of pink yarn on hand), pop in a tea light candle, et voilá! You're ready for a romantic candlelit dinner (or a less romantic dinner with the kids!).

Watch for our upcoming Valentine Ideas blog hop on February 6th!

This project is featured in a book available at Hands On: As We Grow 
as part of The Heart Project, a fundraiser to support the American Heart Association. 
Please consider ordering a copy of this book full of beautiful heart-themed art and craft ideas
(available as both a printed book and as an e-book).
All proceeds will be donated to the AHA.


{Outdoor Play Party: Scoping out the New Neighbourhoood}

I must admit, I've been a bit disappointed that we haven't had any (significant) snow yet (I was so looking forward to building a snowman with the girls this winter as Sweet Pea is a bit snowman obsessed at the moment), but I can definitely live without snow for a while longer - winter is not my favourite season!

Instead, we've been taking advantage of the mild winter weather to enjoy some time at various local playgrounds. I've said it before and I'll say it again - playgrounds in Hungary are fantastic! They are plentiful, they are usually newly refurbished with great play equipment, they always have a water tap (though they don't run water in winter), and best of all, they are always a community hub!

It's always disappointing when we go to playgrounds in North America during the summertime to discover that there are hardly any other kids there, if any. We're always hoping to make a summertime new friend, but we find we are usually the only ones there. But here, there are always lots of new playmates to befriend, which is perfect for my social butterfly, Princess Pea!

This week we've been scoping out our new neighbourhood before our move next month. We spent a spent a whole day hanging out and pretending that we already live there! :-)

How did your kids play outdoors this week?

Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us every other week! The linky goes live every second Friday at 12:01 GMT+1. Here are just a few guidelines for sharing.

  • Any kind of children's outdoor play is welcome. If it happened outside, then please link it up!
  • Please do not share any competitions, promotions, or posts that are not related to Outdoor Play.
  • Please remember to link back to this post and help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play! Please grab the Outdoor Play button from the sidebar. 
  • Each time we will feature an activity from the previous party. By contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished. If you have been featured, please feel free to grab the 'featured' button from the sidebar.

    Our last party had a TON of fabulous ideas linked up, it was really hard to choose which one to feature this week - they were all brilliant! But one that caught my eye was the post on 'Outdoor play and learning opportunities'  from Sixty Second Parent. A great article with loads of suggestions all in one place. I encourage all of you to read and share it! 


Sharing at: Family Frolics

{Visit to the Hospital}

This past weekend, as those of you who follow the Mama Pea Pod facebook page may know, was rather eventful in the Pea household. Poor Princess Pea caught a horrible gastrointestinal virus that caused her to throw up everything in her body, and couldn't even keep down a single sip of water for more than a minute. Concerned about her inability to take in any liquids, we called her paediatrician. She recommended that we bring her to the hospital for an IV, which would definitely help her, but mentioned there was also an option to get some kind of suppository from the pharmacy that may work, but may not. Not wanting to be extreme and go straight to the most invasive form of treatment, we opted to try the medicine first. Daddy Pea and Sweet Pea headed off to the 24 hour pharmacy to get it, but while they were out, Princess Pea's condition deteriorated. After throwing up yet again, she lay across my arms on the bathroom floor, head flopping back and eyes rolling in her head. As I held her, I knew in that instant that no matter how traumatic it might be for her, we had to take her to the hospital for the IV.

I knew she was really sick because she didn't cry or complain about anything. 

I knew she was scared of the needle, but she barely whimpered as they put in the IV line. She watched as they injected something, drew vials of blood for the lab (something I could never bear to see), and hooked everything up. My sweet 4 and a half year old was so brave! 

Within 15 minutes she noticeably improved. She perked up and began to speak. She asked questions about what the nurses were doing. She asked questions about the hospital room. In another hour or so, she was admiring the splint on her hand, placed there to hold it still so she wouldn't knock out the IV line.

After 2 days and one night in the hospital, she was released and we were able to come home. We received countless messages from friends, family, and many of you wishing her well - thank you! 

Many commented to me that it must have been so scary for her, and for me as her mother. I know it was scary for her, but she was so brave it barely showed. But interestingly enough, and contrary to what I would have expected, it wasn't really scary for me. Scary isn't the right adjective to describe it. I never doubted for a moment that she would be alright - thankfully it wasn't a serious illness, as many families must face. So I can't say that I was scared. But it was painful. It was painful to take her to a place that we knew would scare her, to have a procedure that we knew would hurt. It was painful to hold her arms still as the nurses inserted the tube. It was painful to see her little body in that great big, adult-sized hospital bed, hooked up to the IV. But most of all, it was painful to see her on the bathroom floor, barely conscious as she lay in my arms. 

In the end, her experience was a positive one. She acknowledged right away that she was feeling better because of the IV. The hospital facilities were very nice, certainly luxurious by Hungarian standards, and she commented that it was like a hotel because there was a number on the door. She received excellent care from helpful and caring nurses. She got to watch lots of movies, read lots of books, and play lots of board games. And she had a wonderful doctor who was kind and gentle and seemed very glamourous to a 4 and a half year old Princess because she wore high heels and could be heard coming down the hallway. 

This experience reminded me about all the families out there, including some we know, who do have to face serious illnesses in their children, who don't have the positive experiences we had, and who don't all have happy endings. It reminded me that we are very fortunate indeed.

Back home again and right back into it


{Busy Times Ahead}

*Note: Pinners are always welcome at Mama Pea Pod, but the pictures on this particular post are ones that I myself pinned onto Pinterest. To ensure that the original source gets credited, please do not pin these two pictures directly from here as it will show this post as the source - instead, clicking on them will take you to my pin. From there you can repin onto your own board, with the original source intact. Better for the blogger who deserves the credit, and better for you to find the original post with instructions - better for everyone!

I am so excited that we are (finally!) moving to our new house in a month! I can't wait! Because of the move, I will probably be quite preoccupied for the next few weeks, so you may not see me around as much as usual.

In the meantime, if you follow along on Pinterest, you'll notice that these days I'm pinning lots of home ideas. In fact, there were getting to be so many that I had to reorganize them into separate boards for each area of the house! :-)

One of the things I'm most looking forward to about moving is having our very own garden to play and create in. I have so many ideas for creative outdoor play that I want to try! (See my outdoor play pinboard or our collaborative 'outdoor play linky ideas' board to see what ideas I'm collecting.)

And although I'm no gardener by any stretch, there are a few little kid-friendly garden projects I'd like to try - like these adorable planters made from the kids' outgrown wellie boots! (How cute are they?!) There are instructions and a link to the original crafter on the pin.

So, if I'm not here much, you can still find me on Pinterest or Facebook, or follow my tweets, and I'll post here whenever I have a bit of time. And if you're on Google+, you might also see me there!

Now, let the countdown begin!


{Outdoor Play Party: Lighting up the Dark}

Well, after that nice, long break we are back into real life again - and it's time for the Outdoor Play Party! We've decided that since real life is super busy, we are going to run the Outdoor Play Party every 2 weeks instead of every week, and the linky will be open to accept links for 2 weeks.

Did you get up to lots of fun outdoor play over the holidays?

We enjoyed a couple of nights outdoors in the dark over the holidays (the dark always adds an extra layer of excitement for the little peas) playing with sparklers. This was the first time either of them had tried sparklers before, and I was impressed with how careful they were.

Hungarian Christmas tradition is that instead of Santa coming at midnight on Christmas Eve, Baby Jesus comes in the evening after dinner, and brings presents and a decorated tree. One of the trickier aspects of this tradition is getting the presents (and the tree, for those that do that part - we don't) into the house and set up without the kids noticing - particularly difficult when you live in an apartment! So we found the perfect excuse to get them out - they had to go outside to light sparklers that Baby Jesus could see from afar, to indicate that we had finished dinner and were ready now! The girls had a great time after some initial tears about dropping half the pack of sparklers and losing them in the dark!

We also went out and lit sparklers with all our friends from the building on New Year's Eve at our spontaneous New Year's Eve party. All the kids had a great time waving them around and blowing their noisemakers to welcome in the new year!


How did your kids play outdoors this week?

Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us every other week! The linky goes live every second Friday at 12:01 GMT+1. Here are just a few guidelines for sharing.

  • Any kind of children's outdoor play is welcome. If it happened outside, then please link it up!
  • Please do not share any competitions, promotions, or posts that are not related to Outdoor Play.
  • Please remember to link back to this post and help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play! Please grab the Outdoor Play button from the sidebar. 
  • Each time we will feature an activity from the previous party. By contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished. If you have been featured, please feel free to grab the 'featured' button from the sidebar.

    Our holiday linky was rather quiet, so an extra big thank you to those who were able to find time during this busy season to link up! I especially loved this Night Hike from The Family Adventure Project - a super blog that I'm so glad to feature!


{2011 Best Ideas for Kids: Link up your own favourite post of the year}

Happy New Year everyone! I'm back and ready for another year. I can't believe it's been close to a year since I started this blog! Time sure does fly when you're having fun...

So to start off this new year, since the collaborative Creative Christmas Countdown idea turned out to be such a great success, many of us same bloggers plus some more, too, have decided to collaborate on another project - The Best Ideas for Kids of 2011!

The post I'm sharing as my 'Best of 2011' post is one that was an activity we had on our Summer To Do List. It's simple and I'm sure everyone has done it at some point in their lives, but for whatever reason (perhaps because it is so simple?), this post proved very popular. And best of all, Princess Pea and I had a lot of fun making these Rainbow Pasta Necklaces! We still have them and they remain as bright and vibrant as ever! Click on the picture to see the post.

You might also be interested in checking out Mama Pea Pod's Best of 2011: A month-by-month look at my own favourite activities we did in 2011!
Now, we invite you to join us in the blog hop below and link up your own 'best' kid-related post of 2011, too. It might be your post with the highest page views, it might be the one that garnered the most comments, or it might be your personal favourite of the year. (Just please only link up ONE post. Others will be deleted.) Or just take a browse through the links and see what all your favourite kid-bloggers deem their own 'best' posts of the year. Our hope is that you'll find lots of inspiration for 2012!

Happy New Year from:
 The Golden GleamAngeliqueFelix.comhands on : as we growToddler ApprovedRed Ted ArtThe Iowa Farmer’s WifeThe Outlaw Mom BlogLet Kids Create,  Come Together KidsCreative With Kids,  Science sparksMama Smiles,  Rainy Day Mumteach mamaKitchen Counter ChroniclesThe Imagination TreeJDaniel Fours MomTeach PreschoolDe tout et de rien: Activités pour le PréscolaireTinkerlabMama Pea PodCrayon FrecklesSun Hats & Wellie BootsFrom Tantrums To Treasure HuntsMy Creative FamilyClassified: MomPuddles and GumbootsArt For Little HandsCreative Connections for KidsAt home with AliNurturestore, The Chocolate Muffin TreeCritters and CrayonsThe Mommies Made Me Do It, Mommy LabsJamieJumble, Messy Kids, Dinosaurs and Octopuses