Thursday, 21 February 2013

Giant bubbles and fun with magnets

At the weekend, Isla and Andrew did some electrical work fixing a radio and also checking Raa Raa and some lego flowers with the multi-meter. I wonder if Isla will develop her dad and Uncle Peter's skills at taking things apart when she is bigger! Here are the photos of the electricians at work:

The weather was very spring-like at the beginning of this week, with the sun shining. We could go out in the garden for some proper playing. Isla was pleased to start making use of her sand-pit once more:

The cats were very excited to have us join them in the garden. Monty was so happy that he got a fluff-tail chasing Charlie about:

On Wednesday we went to Bristol to the @Bristol Science museum. It is not really a museum, but a very hands-on centre with lots of buttons to press and things to do. I was particularly excited to see some microscopes! There were quite a few exhibits about genes and DNA. There were magnetic nucleotide base pairs to put together to make DNA strands; Isla quite enjoyed playing with the magnets. There was an exhibit comparing the size of the genome of different species and images of the nematode I have worked on were there. Amongst many other things, there was a light you could shine on your wrists to see blood pumping in your veins which I found very cool! There were two zones especially for younger children where they can dress up as dinosaurs or jungle animals.

There were some strong magnets with iron filings to play with:

Our favourite bit was making giant bubbles:

Isla got to wear some funky glasses to look at the emission spectra of different gases:

There were some great exhibits on animation:

Andrew touched a tornado:

Isla spent ages dropping a large magnet down through tubes made of different materials which changed the speed of descent of the magnet depending on their composition:

Isla also like making shapes with sand on rotating discs:

A thermal imaging camera showed the hot and cold bits of our heads:

There was a high-speed camera that recorded us jumping and played it back in slow motion:

Afterwards, we treated ourselves to a delicious meal out at Prezzo's:

....and a walk to the harbourside to see some boats.

That evening, we all had a look at the moon and Jupiter through our telescope. It was the first time Isla had looked through a real telescope (rather than her 'special' kitchen roll tube ones) so it was quite exciting. We could see the four moons of Jupiter almost lining up with each other. 

Visiting the cousins

Last weekend, Isla went to visit her cousins. It was a nice sunny day so we went for a walk!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Many, many parsnips

So, as I think I already mentioned, Andrew made a delicious chocolate cake at the weekend:

Isla helped clean the icing from the whisks (she has learnt this particular skill from me!):

We enjoyed a yummy curry (with dum dums a.k.a. poppadums) before trying the cake:

Isla and I enjoyed our adventure into Bath. We had a snack in M&S:

Isla applauded the fire-juggling street artist (even though he nearly killed us with a flying diablo):

Waiting for the bus (we were lucky it arrived that day at all, two had already broken down!):

Later in the week, Isla did her main chore of feeding the cats (actually only chore). Most of the biscuits end up in the cat bowls these days:

We made some biscuits. The dough was particularly tough to cut for some reason and required all of Isla's strength!

Cutting out biscuits turned into a great activity. Isla got on with it herself after a while. Not sure how many biscuits got cut in that time, but she certainly enjoyed herself. Then she went off to feed Applejack and Pob with some biscuit dough. If I were to write a book about activities for toddlers then cutting out biscuit shapes would be in it.

It has been sunny at times this week, but still quite chilly. We went for a little walk to watch some builders repairing the main road, which involved standing and staring at trucks, diggers and road rollers. Isla was enthralled by them. The driver of the road roller honked the horn at her, which made her day. There was also a rainbow in the sky (the photo over the rooftops below). Isla wore her owl hat for the occasion. Perhaps the road roller driver was appreciative of Isla's good taste in hats.

Now for the parsnip bit. Well, this week I made a little mistake with my supermarket delivery order and must have clicked on 2 bags of parsnips instead of just 2 parsnips. Whoops. I think this is easily done, especially since I have been known to 'accidently' order 12 boxes of chocolate finger biscuits instead of just 2. So perhaps it is just easily done by me and I should have a stupidity filter fitted to my computer. Anyway, I had to figure out what to do with all the parsnips...

So I made a parsnip cake whilst Isla napped one day. I didn't have any mascarpone for the filling as it suggests in the recipe, so I made cream cheese frosting instead.

You may think this is a cunning way to get a toddler to eat some vegetables, but alas Isla only liked the icing!

So that used up 2 parsnips.  Lots more to go. Here is Isla demonstrating a parsnip:

....... and some ginger: (now in this case I only wanted 15p worth of ginger, a tiny thumb sized piece, but supermarket picker managed to choose me a whole Isla-arm-sized piece) so we used this in our next recipe too.

If I were to write a book about toddler activities, another one would be 'get your toddler to peel you an onion'. This kept Isla amused for a couple of minutes at least while I chopped the parsnips and ginger up for our parsnip soup. She then enjoyed putting all the bits of parsnip into a bowl and then onto the roasting tray for me. However, she then insisted that the vegetables had to go back in the bowl at least once more before I could roast them.

Isla tried some of the soup for lunch today. She said 'yummy' whilst eating it, but perhaps her face tells another story (she quickly moved on to some ham and bread instead!):

This morning Applejack and Raa Raa joined us for breakfast. Isla chomped on her toast and scrambled egg whilst looking at goldfinches in the garden:

Today is a lovely sunny day, and it is fairly warm too. We went out for a walk to buy some bread in the shop and to drop off some letters. On the way, we saw four different bin trucks. This was very exciting for Isla. She likes waving at them and saying 'bye bye bin truck, back soon'. She also stood on a gate and looked at some horses in the sun.

Congratulations on getting to the end of the great parsnip saga. As a reward, here are a couple of photos from February last year, when Isla was crawling about investigating the garden as an almost-one year old:

.....and very excited to cruise around the dining room: