Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick end of year post to say Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family and of course, those of you that take the time to read my blog. There are good things and not-so-good things happening in our family at this time this year so it has been a good lesson for me to take each day at a time and be grateful for the things that we are blessed with.

Some of the things I am grateful for right now are...

  • My little girl (almost 2) who is beginning to understand and feel the magic of Christmas. I never want to forget the way her little eyes lit up when we took her to see the Christmas lights this year. An absolutely magical moment!
  • My mum and dad who are always there for me whenever I need them
  • Time spent with my Nanna in the last few weeks of her life. While I am sad to be saying goodbye to her I also want to be grateful for this time because there are family members that are elsewhere in the world who would give anything for some of this time. 
  • Beautiful friends who know me and Little Miss so well. A friend and I swapped gifts for our girls today and she chose perfectly for Little Miss. I hope we keep these friends for a lifetime. 
I hope and pray that you all have an amazing and memorable Christmas. 

All my love, 

CommonSense Mummy xxx

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Indoor water play

This is a little activity we did a few months back on a rainy/windy afternoon. I think I was cooking - but using sharp knives - so nothing that Little Miss (must have been 18 months at the time) could help me with. I decided to set her up with some indoor water play in the kitchen...

I put a couple of towels down on the tiles and filled the bottom of a washing up bucket with a bit of water and added some plastics from the tupperware draw. Little Miss had a grand old time for at least 30 minutes! Pouring, tipping, squeezing, drinking! 

Maybe you could do this on your deck or even in the laundry while you are folding washing???

What are your favourite water play activities?


A holiday!

This CommonSenseMummy and her little family are currently enjoying their last night of holidays! We have been on the NSW north coast for a week swimming, fishing, watching the dolphins, eating and playing in the park. What a beautiful week it has been! I didn't realise how much we needed a holiday until it was here.

It has been such a pleasure to give Little Miss all our attention at any time of the day and it has really been amazing to watch her language develop even further because of all this one on one time! What a treat!

Hope you have all had an amazing week.

Where is your favourite place to holiday as a family?

Love lots,


Saturday, 17 September 2011

Book review - GRUG!!!

Hi everyone.

You may not be aware but our Little Miss (20 months soon!!!) is (and has been since forever) obsessed with books. She would probably bring us upwards of 20 books a day to read to her and often we get the same ones over and over again. I love books and love reading and I hope in some way I have passed this love on to her but for some reason I don't think I can take much credit. She just seems to have an in-built love of reading.

Anyway....(prattling!!!).... for my baby shower I had everyone bring their favourite childhood book for our little princess instead of presents. And I'm so glad we did it! I got an absolutely beautiful collection of books for Little Miss before she was even born.

One of my most treasured friends (you know who you are!!!) gave Little Miss two Grug books:


Now I have to admit that Grug plays soccer is her absolute favourite and the whole Grug excitement has heightened since we saw Grug live at QPAC a few weeks ago.

Why Little Miss loves Grug
I think she loves Grug because he is an identifiable character and he is quite lovable in his own little way. The words are simple and it doesn't take long to read through the book. She has memorised a portion already!

Why Mummy loves Grug
Most importantly Mummy loves Grug because he is Australian. Unfortunately for us the other characters that Little Miss seems attached to at the moment are Dora (and Boots and Swiper). The books are simple and clearly illustrated and provide lots of memorable sentences just perfect for language learning. Our latest Grug word is "Goal!!" (he kicks a lot of them when he plays soccer!!

Do your kids love Grug? What else are you reading at the moment?

CSM xxx

Monday, 12 September 2011

Play dough cakes (cooks)

On Wednesday afternoons we have swimming at 3 and because Little Miss is not 2 yet I have to get into the water with her. It is way too hard to try and get us both dried and dressed in the swimming change rooms (Little Miss either shivers while I get dressed or I shiver while I get her dressed not to mention the whole wet floor thing!!!) so I have gotten into the habit of bundling us into the car after swimming and racing home to jump in a hot shower. As a result, we are in our pyjamas by 4pm on a wednesday afternoon so this means "quiet" play inside.

Last weekend I made some play dough finding the recipe at the Imagination Tree ( If you haven't visited there yet make sure you do. They have zillions of amazing play ideas for babies. toddlers and preschoolers. Anyway, getting off the topic!! Little Miss has been loving her new play dough (and Mummy is more relaxed in case Little Miss takes a lick!!!) and one of her new words lately is "cook" - which means cake! So our obvious "quiet" play activity last Wednesday was making PLAYDOUGH CAKES.

I started Little Miss off by moulding the play dough into 3 flat balls and placing them on plates. Little Miss then had a lovely time adding beads as candles...

Luckily she wasn't so busy thay she couldn't give Mummy a big "cheese"!

After a while, we ran out of "bead candles" and Little Miss was saying "more, more, more" so Mummy was brave and got out the real birthday candles...

And one more happy "cheese" for a fun afternoon of "cooks"!!!

This activity is good for:
  •  Fine motor skills (pushing candles into the play dough)
  • Language development (talking about the cakes and the candles and eating. We even sang Happy Birthday a few times!!)
  • Pretend play
  • Independent play (once I set her up Little Miss was happy for a long time by herself - ocassionally bringing me one to taste!)
Have a great week. Would love to hear about other play dough ideas for toddlers....

Common Sense Mummy xxx

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Water play

Hi everyone! I haven't blogged for a while. Not because I haven't had any ideas but just because I have been busy. Blogging for me is purely a hobby. A fun one at that!

When Little Miss used to have 2 sleeps a day I would treasure her morning sleep and spend that time in the kitchen. I would do all the dishes, do some baking or start dinner, sweep the floors.... You get the idea!

Now, we have one sleep a day and, while I am enjoying the longer sleep (!), it has made me rethink my morning cleaning routine. Little Miss just wants to help mummy whenever she can which is just lovely but makes thing take just that little bit longer.

So...I have discovered that if I set Little Miss up at the spare sink and fill it with water and add some plastics then she is happy for over half an hour while I am in the kitchen! Such a simple idea but so effective!

Does your toddler love water play? And how do you keep them occupied when you are in the kitchen?

Have a great week....

CSM xxx

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Sticker and crayon play

As an OT I am obviously interested in developing Little Miss CS' fine motor skills. I am continually inspired by the amazing blogs that I follow but often the activities that I see are targeted more at the 2-4 year age range.

Last week I bought a packet of stickers at Kmart (Dora of course!) and thought we would give them a go. I had to help Little Miss pull them off the page but then she loved placing them on the paper and pointing/chatting about them. We had the crayons out as well and we both did some drawing on and around the stickers. I have been using Crayola Slick Stix with Little Miss because they are so smooth and so much darker than regular crayons so she is able to see her drawings better and get more immediate satisfaction from her drawing attempts.

Here is our finished product:

This activity is good for:

  •  Fine motor skills (pulling the stickers off, drawing with crayons)
  • Starting to understand that what we draw means something (the very beginnings of handwriting believe it or not!)
  • Language development (pointing at drawings/stickers and talking about them and labelling them)
What are your favourite toddler fine motor activities?

CSM xx

Friday, 1 July 2011

Guilt free Mummy...

I was chatting to my neighbour and good friend today about things we are going to try hard NOT to feel guilty about. I am totally susceptible to "mother guilt" and have been since the day I fell pregnant. So....these are my top 3 things that I am going to work hard on NOT feeling guilty about over the next few weeks....

1. Letting Little Miss CS watch a small amount of television every day. I know the government guidelines say no TV under 2 but it helps me put something semi-nutritious on the table every night when I get half an hour to do this. I know I should sit and watch with her but I don't. I feel really really guilty about this so this is my top one that I am going to try and NOT feel guilty about. I am trying to see it as some timeout for both of us and just another play experience during the day. Am I convincing anyone yet????

2. Doing something for me (like read my book for 20 minutes) while Little Miss CS is asleep in the day. I always feel really guilty because I should be using that time to clean/cook/make phone calls/do the filing etc etc. But I need to look after mummy too so I am going to try NOT to feel guilty about 20 minutes of down time.

3. Not filling every moment of every day with "developmental play opportunity". I think it comes from being an OT (I am sure my health professional and teacher readers will relate!) but I tend to feel guilty if I am not providing Little Miss with creative play experiences every day. I really want to let this go and enjoy her and let her be a little girl with no expectations.

I really feel vulnerable writing this. As if I am exposing my soul. But I figure that if I share these resolutions then I will be accountable to trying my best.

Would love to hear your "mother guilts" or more importantly - what are you going to try and NOT feel guilty about???

CSM xxxx

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The sweetest sound

This morning we had a morning at home to catch up on all our jobs because we have only been back from Fiji for a week. Little Miss CS was quite happy pottering around after us and "helping" us as much as she could. (I just love this little helper age!) Anyway, I was in the kitchen unpacking the dishes when I heard the sweetest sound a mummy can hear - Mr CS and Little Miss CS giggling together.

I think one on one daddy play time is so important for our little ones for a number of reasons:

  1. It shows our children that daddy cares as much as mummy even if he is at work during the week
  2. It shows our children that daddy loves and plays in a different way to mummy (they were rough-housing on the bed!)
  3. It allows our children to bond in a unique way with their daddies
  4. It allows our children to show their personality in a different way (Little Miss CS plays so differently with Mr CS)
  5. And lastly, it gives us mummies a few minutes to ourselves!!!
Do you love the sound of your daddies and kiddies playing together? What is their favourite game?

Have a great week.

CSM xxxx

Monday, 16 May 2011

Baby sign - does it reduce tantrums!

Without consciously setting out to do it, I started doing some signing with Little Miss CS when she was about 10 months old. Because I was used to doing it at work, I started subconsciously signing "more" and "finished". Mr CS was very skeptical until one morning in bed, he asked Little Miss CS if she wanted more milk and she signed "finished"!

She had these 2 signs down pat by about twleve months and we decided that we wanted to teach her some more signs but wanted these to be really functional. So the next two we are focussing on are "eat" and "toilet". This last weekend Little Miss CS has really started using these well.

Now that she is better (finally!), she has been standing in front of the pantry and signing "eat". Clearly she is trying to put on all the weight that she lost while she was sick! She has also been signing "toilet" when she does a poo or a wee or when Mr CS or I go to the toilet.

The reason I wanted to blog about this is because I believe that this small amount of sign has limited Little Miss CS's frustration and (touch wood - we'll probably have one tomorrow) as yet, we have not had any tantrums.

I had a bit of a look on google scholar tonight and found a critical review paper looking at articles on teaching hearing babies some sign language. Here is the link: Appealed to the scientific side of my brain!

Would love to hear about other people's experiences with baby sign. What are the most useful signs to teach? What do you think I should focus on next? Do you have any questions??? (I am no expert but happy to share my thoughts).

Have a great week!

Common Sense Mummy xx

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Our own cardboard box challenge

This past week I have been totally inspired by the 20 bloggers out there who have been partaking in the Tinkerlab cardboard box challenge. Lots of the bloggers who participated seemed to have older children so I wanted us to do something that was age appropriate for Little Miss CS (15 months).

Little Miss CS has been very sick the past week but on Sunday morning (Mothers Day) we decided to risk a trip to Bunnings to pick up some new herbs for the garden and some wood for Mr CS (he is making us a craft table - yay! - will blog about it when it's done). Anyway, when we were mosying around Bunnings, I saw some vanities that they had in very large boxes. I quickly cornered a young salesman and asked him if I could have one of the boxes. He said that they normally crush them straight away but that he would check out the back and see if there were any that hadn't been crushed yet. And.....success! We got a huge box that used to hold a very large pot.

So, that afternoon - after a LONG sleep by all of us - we decided to head outside and plant our herbs and BUILD OUR CUBBY!

CSM lovingly outlined where I wanted the doors and windows to be and then Mr CS and Little Miss CS took over and created our masterpiece.

Note the arch above the doorway after Little Miss CS hit her head on the way in the first time!

Little Miss CS just had to get in on the action....

 And then some more help from the inside...

Unfortunately since that afternoon Little Miss CS has been very sick so we haven't had a chance to play in it or paint it but we will and I will definitely post some photos when we do.

Are you inspired to do your own cardboard challenge?

What are your favourite beginning pretend play activities for toddlers?

Have a great week.

Common Sense Mummy (CSM) xx

Monday, 2 May 2011


Hi everyone and welcome to the Common Sense Mummy!

Thanks for stopping by.

I am new to the blogging community but I have been inspired by some amazing "mum blogs" that I have been following recently.

I have been a mum now for 15 months and I have tried to follow as much common sense advice as possible on my journey. I am an allied health worker in the paediatric field and I feel like this has helped me make these "common sense decisions" along the way.

My aim is to share tips, thoughts, ideas, articles and links for mums on my blog on all sorts of topics. Play, feeding, sleep, work/mum/life balance, behaviour and sensory processing just to name a few.

I am happy to "investigate" for people so if you have a question or a topic that you would like some more information about, feel free to leave a comment below.

Please stop by again soon!

Thanks for your support.

CSM (Common Sense Mummy) xxx