Jan 6, 2015

Daycare Daze.

It's been a big week already here at SSG Manor.  And Tuesday's only half cooked.

Toddler SSG started daycare on Monday but preparations have been weeks in the making with the official ironing on of his clothing labels.  The sets that tinyme make are the best life hack for first time day care mums.  All you need to do is iron on the sticky labels through a sheet of baking paper.  No needles, no thread and no embarrassing risk of your best printing in Sharpie being ranked as illegible by daycare staff.

Labelling the fancy stuff was overkill because none of it will be going to daycare on a regular basis (just on photo and concert days, I'm thinking) but it was fun and satisfying (!!) ironing all the same.

I've made a start on the 'All about me ...' poster that each child at the centre needs.  The idea is to fill an A3 page with photographs of Toddler SSG's favourite people and places.  The posters are laminated at day care and used as a visual comforter during the year.  Then they become covers for each child's yearbook which is a record written by the carers.  I think it's a beautiful idea and am looking forward to reading that first book at the end of this year.

We've done two half days so far and while the drop offs have been traumatic for us both, I'm reassured that everyone's going through the same tears and emotions and also that the staff have been so kind and gentle with each child that by lunchtime, everyone in the room has been calm enough to nap on their own.

A post Centrelink celebratory coffee courtesy of Oliver Brown.

Another win for the week has been a positive experience at the Department of Human Services service centre aka Centrelink.  One of the many stressful things about entering day care is registering for the various benefits and rebates (at last, at last, I'm acutally elegibile for something other than paying tax) working families are entitled to.  The website is 11/10 frustrating which is really saying something considering how net savvy I thought I was.....  

Armed with all the downloads and numbers I managed to work out online, I took myself to a real person at Centrelink this morning and got resolution!  In less than half an hour.  Mind you, I did wait in line for 45 minutes for the centre to open.  But hey, a win is a win.

A stinking hot weekend in Sydney wouldn't be complete without making the trek to the air conditioned calm of your local Ikea and spending half an hour with the rest of Sydney trying to find a parking space.  My perseverance with the parking paid off because I managed to buy the last crocodile non slip bath mat in the children's section.  

Our old crocodile ($7.99 for Ikea family members, $9.99 full price) before the mould took hold...  They're great for long bath tubs and don't look as grubby as quickly as the clear versions I've seen at other stores.

They've been out of stock for months now and I've been in need of a replacement of our current one which has been eaten alive by mildew that wont' wash out.

Mala water colour set - $9.99 at Ikea,  The extra brushes were $4.99 for the six brush set.

I also bought some water colours and stamp pens to bring home for something quiet to do under the blast of the air conditioner.

Mala stamp pens, $7.99 a set (6 pens).

You know how I find toddler art a very therapeutic thing to do myself...

I painted and stamped.

While Toddler SSG stirred and poured.  The old beach towel under the table is a handy trick to know.  If you have slightly damp towel (say from after your mid morning swim for example), it'll make quick work of any rogue slashes of paint on body parts and furniture.

I found this silicone ice cube maker for 49 cents at Ikea too.  I'm going to see how it works as a dish for poster paints when we're ready to move to a new medium.  The tray is quite heavy and non slip.  It also looks easy to wash.

Artistic expression released for the day, it was time to wash up and think about dinner....

You know how I was idly chatting about making a potato gem casserole the other day?  Well, it's happened thanks to this recipe.

Considering that all the chicken and vegies were cooked in a couple of cans of cream of mushroom soup, it all ended up tasting like a Chinese dish.  I have no idea why.

Cheese and a fried potato product topped off the casserole.  How could Toddler SSG possibly refuse?

On balance, I'd rate this as a toddler cuisine success.

All the potato gems and cheese went (no surprises there) but I do believe some broccoli and a pea or two were eaten with the chicken.

And that, my friends, is where things are at with us right now.  Not sure when I'll next be checking in but I hope it will be soon.  So much change to our daily routine right now.


  1. oh my gosh I love potato gems. Now I am craving them!

    1. Potato Gems - adored by all!! I have to have them with a heap of ketchup. Even the ones I used in this casserole...

      SSG xxx

  2. Love the idea for the All About Me poster! This will be a nice thing to work on for a scrapbook :)

    1. Hello Nonya

      I'm just waiting for my photos to be printed and then I'll be dropping in the poster to daycare.

      SSG xxx

  3. awwww first day at daycare! i remember that day way too well last year and i am with you about centrelink and their website! i did go and talk to a real person after they've messed up my claim application because they don't seem to listen on the phone. those ikea brushes and watercolour are also a hit in our home however the recent toddler painting of my new painted walls have moved this lovely artset outside of the house now. hahaha toddlers. you gotta love them xx
    love the idea of gems and cheese. it's soo hard to feed my little one. he's so english i would say sometimes hahaha

    hope he enjoyed his first day of daycare and hope you did too!
    i was a mess on first day and i picked him up at 2 hours hahahaha

    1. MsChikee

      Glad I'm not alone with Centrelink.

      Don't you love how the activities you carefully plan at home never actually turn out how you intended? Something else ALWAYS gets painted or drawn on...

      SSG xxx

  4. Toddler cuisine success? I want it!
    Lovely work with the arts and craft you do. I am not a parent but I love reading about the little activities you are always planning. He will be so ready to learn more by the time he starts school. :Dx

    1. Hi Flora

      Thanks for your 'non mum' perspective on my blog. I've been trying to make it a balance of all the parts of my life so glad to know it's coming across okay to those who aren't currently parents.

      SSG xxx

  5. Canberra is FINALLY getting an IKEA (right across the road from Costco). I am in cheap/bulk buy heaven.
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  6. Hi SSG! Feel terrible as you've already done another post but want to say apart from the fact that you crack a good pace, that I never knew about potato gems but it is another one of your creations that I'll add to our repetoire & I'm sure will be a success during school term.
    Starting daycare triggered memories of our 2 starting (I know it was 9 years ago but I could never have imagined the people/teen they would become)! I know you have it all sorted but trust your instinct if anything is astray - our little boy hated initial day are & that is putting it mildly. We persevered to the point of seven months perseverance but he would cry when I dropped him off and when I came to pick him up! Finally he started preschool where there was a male young teacher who played sport with the 3 year olds and the 4 year olds and our boy loved it! Just trust your instinct & we'll back you up if you ever need.
    Wishing you and toddler SSG all the best on the slippery slope of child care and before you know it infants school! Den xxx

  7. I am SO pleased to hear I'm not the only one who gave up on the website. I did exactly the same thing when my LO started daycare. Penny


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