Curls – word of the week

At the very end of last week, on Sunday evening, we gave Joel his first hair cut. The curls were becoming quite a mullet at the back, and the front was starting to come as low as his eye brows, so I thought it was time to trim it so that it grows thicker with more shape. I remember cutting Andrew’s hair for the first time, but I’d only just started blogging and didn’t post on here about it. He was quite a bit younger, as he was born with lots more hair than Joel was and it was long enough to be getting in his eyes before he was 1.

When I first cut Andrew’s hair, I’d not long started cutting Daddy’s hair regularly – with Cambridge barber prices so extortionate, we looked into getting a pair of clippers and when I found out how easy they made it for me to cut his hair, we never looked back and have saved ourselves a small fortune in hair cutting bills. So I wasn’t used to cutting hair when I first cut Andrew’s, and I was a little nervous as to how to do it and what it would look like if I went wrong! I soon got into the swing of it after a few times though, and now I whizz over it with the clippers just like I do with Daddy’s. It’s really thick – I’m quite jealous of it really – but the clippers are great because they shorten and even it out in thickness just with the same length guide all over his head.

Andrew hair Collage

So when I came to cut Joel’s for the first time, I was much more confident, and I went straight to using the clippers all over, which took the curls off and made it look much neater, back and front. The hardest thing was getting him to keep his head straight, but with a few adults, some smarties and a short DVD on the phone, we managed it. Andrew was just like this when I first started cutting his hair, but he soon got used to it and now knows that the stiller he stays, the quicker the job is done. And besides, with the clippers it’s hard to go wrong, even if he moves at the wrong time.

Joel hair Collage

In a way it was sad to see Joel’s baby curls go, but I’ve kept them, to go in the keepsake box where Andrew’s are when it comes out of storage. Now he looks like a little boy rather than a baby, though as he’s been walking since before his first birthday, it’s hard to think of him as a real baby anyway. This week I’ve been looking at his hair whenever I’ve taken some pictures of the boys, and thinking wow, where did my baby go? But it’s exciting to see him growing up, even if that means losing the baby features.

Can you remember your baby’s first hair cut? Do you still have the first curls?

Linking up with word of the week

 

The Reading Residence

 

Home-made playdough

When I bought a bumper pack of child-friendly cutters in different animal and geometric shapes, this reminded me that I really must get around to something that has been on my to-do list for a while: make some playdough! Andrew has recently got into this, as it’s been out at a play group we go to and at his children’s church group on a Sunday. I’d heard that making your own is pretty easy and works out far cheaper than the branded stuff you can buy.

From a quick google search I found that there were various recipes out there, all slightly different, some involving heating up the ingredients and others not, and some involving cream of tartar and others not. I’d heard that the cream of tartar gives it a more stretchy, doughy texture, so I was keen to add that. The recipe I eventually decided on was from the Mumsnet website, because it included cream of tartar and the quantities of flour and water seemed about average in size compared to the other top hits on google. Despite this reasoning, the quantities ended up making far more than I thought! Not that this is a problem, because I’m sure that over time bits will get thrown away or chewed or stuck to the bottom of chairs etc. But I can definitely see why this works out much cheaper than the diddy little pots you can buy in shops for some extortionate price.

All the ingredients mixed in a pan, heating up over a medium heat level
Kneading the dough on a board (with greaseproof paper) just out of the pan. Watch out, it's still hot for a while, but soon cools down once out.
Stored in an ice cream tub (2 litres - this amount of ingredients turned out to produce much more dough than I thought it would!)

It was very easy to make, though I did gain a slight injury in that my arm muscles were tested to the limit and ached for a while afterwards, because as the dough gets stiffer in the pan, it gets extremely hard to stir. At that point you take it out of the pan and knead until it forms a stiff dough. I’m happy with the consistency and also the colour, which did need half a bottle of red food colouring to get it that deep. I read somewhere in my googling (though can’t find the link now!) that gel colouring gets deeper colours than liquid food colouring, so I might try that another time. To make the dough smell nice, I added some almond essence, so it’s a bit like playing with (non-edible) marzipan! I’ve seen sites that suggest adding things like glitter too, which I might try in future.

Here are some pictures showing how much fun Andrew has playing with his playdough 🙂

Look Mummy, it's a HEART! Heart, heart, heart!
Hmmmm, now what shall I make with this....?
Roll it into a ball, roll, roll....
Oooooh look I made a ball of playdough! Isn't it lovely Mummy?!