Homemade Kids Paint ~ Easy Peasy Recipe

Happy new year from the K’s

We are finally settling back home annod it’s so good to find a new routine.

To kick start our year we made homemade paint. I was a bit skeptical about it but, I am trying to say more YES’s to my little ones and open to trying out new things.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.~

Pablo Picasso

Miss K and Ky love to paint, sometimes Ky wants to taste the paint, I think the red reminds of her ripe tomatoes, who knows? We can all agree that the pigmentation in store bought paint is quite strong.

3 ingredient home made paint recipe

1 cup of Water
1/2 cup of Flour
Food colour

Method

We mixed the water and flour until it was smooth (it still had a few lumps which you can see in the paintings). Then we divided the white paint (ha! More like pancake batter minus the eggs) in to five containers and then we added the food colour. We used powder food colour, and I took a little shortcut, against my better judgement, and added it without mixing it with water. The green was not very forgiving. It reminded me of a speckled frog ūüźł.

And then we painted.

img_20190108_174715

I can attest to the fact that art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Picasso was right, he knew that art is therapeutic.

Yesterday the song that played in my mind as I painted is ‘Cycles ‘ by Jonathan McReynolds, it explains the circular motions. I enjoyed painting with the girlies, I’ll definitely be accepting more painting invitations.

The pros and cons of homemade paint :

The pros
-it is cheap to make
-it is toxin free and you shouldn’t worry too much if your little one eats it
-it is fun to make, the children can enjoy the process of making it and mixing colours
-it takes a short time to make
-it washes of easier than store bought paint

The cons
-it doesn’t keep long so you’d have to make small batches regularly
-this recipe’s paint isn’t as glossy as regular store bought paint does

I’ll definitely make another batch soon and try out other recipes.

Happy painting ūüé®

Through The Eyes Of A Child

Every night I remind myself that we are one day closer to our little one sleeping through the night. After a month away from home, I feel as though we are back at scratch regarding sleep training, and it is okay. My experience with Ksena toughened me up a little, though, don’t ask me how tough I feel after a few consecutive days of waking up every couple of hours. I feel fatigued, irritable and groggy.

When Ky stirs in her sleep she calls out for one of us to go for her. Most times its Mummy because I am the source of milk :), but if Daddy gave her a bottle last, then she will call out for him. Night weaning is at the top of my to-do-list, I am looking forward to sleeping like a school-going toddler. All those who talk about sleeping like a baby must mean a new-born, I love how they can sleep through anything.

One day you wake up and your children are all grown. You can’t exactly say they grew on a particular date at an exact time, but every day that passes they become a little less of who they’ve been and more of an older version of themselves. I find myself staring at the girls often, taking¬†in all the subtle yet distinct changes that emerge each day.

One of my reflections a few days ago was, “Who am I calling out to?” We tend to call out to the person who helps us in our time of need. Our brains archive their contact information and retrieve it in crisis. I know that I call out to God – most times- the question is, is there anyone or anything else that I have pegged my hope upon? Is there anywhere else that I look for my help to come from? I love how in the simple and mundane things of life, you can still see and hear God speaking.

I am slowing down and giving more cuddles because I know that they are just for a short time. Learning to say ‘Yes!’ to play more often. This TED Talk was such a refreshing reminder, it is a little repetitive but so true. When I allow myself to experience life as a child, I see and hear new things; while I am there, I trust God as a child does, there is something refreshing and renewing about child-like faith.

 

 

 

 

 

The Stretched Out Mama’s Melody

We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string that we have, and that is our attitude.

These words by Charles Swindoll struck a chord within me; attitude matters. I’ve been missing on these lanes, mainly because life happened, I’d love to know when life doesn’t happen. It is not stagnant and that is the beautiful thing about it, it is fluid, and the sooner we adjust the better. You can’t remain an ice-block in hot soup, sometimes life is a lot like broth, it has some chunks that we like and others we’d rather do without, but we soldier on and chew those chunks because you can’t exactly be picky with broth, you take it as it comes.

One of the chunks that I love is that my girls are both toddlers. Where did time fly to? Just the other day, I checked in to hospital to deliver sweet little Ky, and now she is all grown. I have two toddlers, and I am here adjusting to all the milestones, it is surreal, a beautiful blessing to be part of.

The skipping of naps though, is one of the chunks I would rather do without. Nap time is half time in my day, when I can recharge, think and write. It doesn’t help that they wake up before Mr Sun has worn his yellow coat, it is usually bright but still dark. One day of less-than-what-I’d-consider-adequate sleep is fine, but a week of that, has me pulling a my recovering hairline, bubbling with negative emotions and questioning myself. This is the roller-coaster of being a mama in this season.

Thankfully, by the grace of God, lest I take any credit, Ky is sleeping better at night. She is self soothing, waking up once a night is much better than the night time circus we had going on, with her jumping up like Jack-in-a-box every other hour. To God, I say “THANK YOU!”, I know I rambled about my lack of sleep here before.

On a lighter note, I hang out with a group of mums last week, bless them, and we concluded that God made women adaptable to sleep deprivation. Regardless of your gender, sleep is important, no-one was made to zombie around full time.

My attitude is under construction, it is an area that needs some divine help, but I am taking it a day at a time. I am certain that next week I won’t be where I was a few days ago. It is what I have within my control, the string in my hand, I’ll play it each day and create a beautiful melody note by note.

 

Borrowed Eggs

Sunday naps are beautiful, refreshing, not too short that you wake with a headache and not long enough to turn you in to a night owl after dusk.

The one day that I hope and pray that my girlies will take a nap is on Sundays, nap time is usually my golden hour(s) of peace. The rays of the sun warm the room, the birds chirp melodiously outside and for a few prolonged minutes the thought of Monday doesn’t cross my mind. I can think. I can breathe. I’m at peace.

Before I had children I didn’t used to take my siesta time as seriously, I’d watch movies instead of sleep, now, I sleep to recharge and I wake up with a rekindled love for life. My siesta is therapy for my soul.

Yesterday, Ky refused to nap. Forty-five minutes of my siesta time was spent trying to convince her to sleep, but curiosity trumped sleep, so she hang out with daddy as Miss K and I slept. It was such sweet sleep.

When Ksena woke, I was on the phone, so she went to join the fun part of K squad ( daddy and Ky). Nobody told me about the 3 year growth spurt, where the appetite of a teenager lives within a toddler. I often hear the words “Mum, I’m still hungry,”, I am waiting to see her chunking up. After naps she wakes up hungry, ready to eat whatever she finds.

When she walked into the room, they exchanged pleasantries with Ky being happy that her sister and friend was now awake.

“Ksena, what would you like to eat?”

“I want,” she said as she paused to think, “The egg Shiku (Kyria) likes?”

“Which one?”

“Borrowed eggs.”

Peter looked at her, processing her strange request for borrowed eggs and then it hit him that it was boiled eggs. I guess she always hears something that sounds like borrowed (homophones and toddlers are chuckle-worthy series of posts for another day.) She likes boiled egg whites but won’t touch the yolk because it is, wait for it, dirty. Yet the dirt is not an issue in sunny side ups, omelets or scrambled eggs. Toddlers!

As I reflected later that night, I realized that there are so many times that I go to God asking for things but using the wrong name. I was comforted that because He is my father, He will know exactly what I mean and give them to me according His will and in His time.

What a beautiful feeling it is to know that we have an open invitation to the King of Kings, and we can share our heart’s desires with him, both the polished and the unrefined, and though we may stutter or say the wrong thing, He will understand.

He will not give us borrowed eggs that we will in turn have to repay, he will give us boiled eggs.

 

Broccoli

After an hour of being  frustrated by internet speeds and Survey Monkey that wanted to re-think every instruction that I keyed in, I was happy to see Ksena when she walked in.

“Ksena, can I serve you some lunch now?”

We exchanged pleasantries as she told me all about her day. The pink sticker on her arm made her particularly happy. On Tuesday she had a nappy-haired super hero who cheered her up despite being under the weather. Today she has a blonde princess whose great at tidying up.

“Ksena, can I serve you some lunch now?”

“Mama, no thanks! I want broccoli.”

“Sorry, what?” I asked as I looked up from the screen. “I want broccoli,” she responded with certainty in her voice.

“But what about the food I’ve made. You like Chapo…” I said as I looked at her,¬†“Yes, but I’d like some broccoli, please.”

In all humility, I went and made broccoli for her and served the florets in a bowl, she ate them with such glee, drunk her water and said thank- you.

Hubs found it strange that I was so shocked about what she wanted to eat, but I was so confused by her ‘I only want broccoli’ food preference. I introduced Ksena to broccoli a few months after we started weaning and she’s loved the little trees since. Broccoli reminds me of veggie tales.

As I watched her eat the little trees it occurred to me that if you give your body healthy things it will crave healthy things. In the same way, if you feed your Spirit the things of God, your Spirit will yearn for those things.

Here’s to craving broccoli for the body and its equivalent for the Spirit.

 

Choked

The lump in my throat felt like it had been chained to my molars, it didn’t budge no matter how hard I swallowed, the waves of water I drunk washed it but didn’t push it. It was stuck, and for once I was forced to confront it, see it for what it really was.

Earlier that day, I woke up to pray and I whispered a series of simple prayers, they weren’t seemingly ‘powerful’ command-the-morning, devil-you-are-defeated kind of prayers, though yes the devil is defeated. They were simple heartfelt whispered pleas said from a guarded but expectant heart.

“Babe, what happened to you?” hubs asked as we had our breakfast. “What do you mean?” I asked as I took a sip of my Moringa Hibiscus tea, “You used to pray a lot…you know you will stand and give an account for yourself as an individual,” immediately I heard these words the piece of sweet potato in my throat became harder, I felt like I was eating a sweet fibrous boulder.

“I am trying to get back there. I’ve been praying shorter prayers, but I am still at it.” I responded but the question lingered with me. As I went about my day, I sought the answer within, and I stopped when I realized what had really happened. I had been choked, to the point that I found myself gasping for air, sometimes my faith was even turning blue. It wasn’t because God or His word had changed, but I had shifted my focus. The worries of this world (that is soon passing away) had choked my desire, drive and resolve to pray passionately.

Motherhood has taught me that it is not only bad things that can choke you, even water and breast¬†milk can choke a child, these are liquids that are meant to refresh. In the same way, the things that choke my faith are not necessarily bad things, in fact, some of them are the roles that I play as a mum and a wife, but that shouldn’t be an excuse. If anything it should be a reminder to always be sensitive enough to know when the balance shifts, to know when the water goes down the wrong pipe, to recognize the coughing spasms in my faith, the difficulty praying, and to ask for help.

Here’s to eating life with a big spoon, praying and not choking.

Blue Elephant

From the eyes of a child, the world is an exhilarating and sometimes scary place. Fear is sometimes triggered by the little things. During the last one week. Ky has been facing her fears and reservations towards the unknown. There is a little-stuffed cow that she’d not get close to, but one day she realized that it wasn’t so scary after all. The first day she went around it quickly and stopped one meter past it to see its reaction, it lay there helplessly. The second day she picked it up, tossed it to the side and zoomed past it, she knew that there was nothing that it could do, fear became a thing of the past.

This morning as we played on the floor she met a mummy and baby Elephant. Mama is pink and called Ellie while her litu one is blue and called Blue (I am taking suggestions for names for stuffed animals, some with a little flare.) Ky likes Ellie but she is terrified of little Blue, when I say terrified I mean, she will not let it get close to her and will shake if it tries. What I consider as a cute little blue Elephant seems scary to her.

That is the thing about fear, it’s deeply personal, it takes a different face as the seasons change. They may be little in the eyes of society but to you, they are huge and blue and they make your world come to a standstill. When you face them you shudder, you close your eyes so as to wish them away, and in that moment your grandeur means nothing because fear is raging within.

We often shy away from the pink Elephant in the room, but I think that we need to talk about the blue Ellie that’s in our minds, the one that makes us second guess ourselves and makes us shrink and retreat like a tortoise into its shell.

My prayer for Ky and myself is that our fears will not hold us, hostage, that we will be all that God created us to be. That we will take all the Blue Elephants into our hands, push them aside like she did to the cow, and zoom towards our destiny.

Here’s to fighting and winning the battles within because we know that greater is He who is in us than he who is against us.

Oh dear heart, take courage. Do not fear.

 

 

Existence

If I got ten shillings for every question I answered in the last week I’d probably have more than one thousand shillings. A few months ago, Ksena started asking questions about everything and it was cute. Of late, she has been asking deep and heavy questions as she tries to make sense of the world around her. Sometimes the questions catch me by surprise.

Last week as I cleared the dinner dishes she asked me,” Mama, who made us?” my sleepy brain was not prepared for such a question. I knew that the answer was simple, but there would be questions to follow that I would have to answer.

“God,” I answered as I put away the sponge and wiped my hands and anticipated the next question.

“How did He make us?” she asked as she sat on a stool to listen to my answer. I silently prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me the wisdom to speak to her in a way that she would understand as I stooped down to her level.

“God knit us in our mummy’s tummies, remember when Ky was in Mama’s tummy? God was knitting her and helping her grow in there until she was ready to be born. She started like a small seed and God helped her grow.”

“Why did He make us?” she asked with furrowed brows.

“For His glory, so that we could reflect His image on earth and have fellowship with Him,” I said as I was grateful that we had taught her The Grace, so she understood what the word fellowship was.

“Okay Mama, let’s go to bed,” she replied as walked towards her room. I switched off the lights and followed her smiling, happy that she was questioning and seeking to understand.

I wondered where the questions had come from, then I remembered my prayer. Every day when I pray for Ksena and Kyria I ask God to give them a hunger for Himself, and to teach them and that they will know great peace. Here I was seeing how God was answering my prayer and I marveled at who He is.

The following morning I read this verse during my quiet time:

1 Corinthians 8:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, [a]who is the source of all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things [that have been created], and we [believers exist and have life and have been redeemed] through Him.

It tugged on my heart and I began to memorize it so that I will always remember FOR whom and THROUGH whom I exist. It summarizes purpose.

In 2015, I run a series called 30 Days of Depth, where I posted every day in the month of September. This year I am back at it and pretty excited to share here every day. All that I do and all that I am is for God, it is Jesus Christ who enables me to do it For His glory.

Happy new month! I pray that you will encounter God in a new way this month.

 

 

 

 

Ride To Heaven

Six years, three months and ten days ago my world came to a temporary standstill. The world was moving, but I was stuck. The clock was ticking, but I was fastened to the spot. Like a pendulum fastened to a branch, I would swing as the wind blew but my heart was stuck at the same place, at the point of grief. I was like a soldier in the army, mark timing, but thinking I was moving. My world shattered. I was heartbroken and I was selfish.

I read a blog post¬†a few weeks ago that reminded me that parents are human too. I hadn’t viewed him as a human being. He was dad, my very own super human, not perfect, but he always had his strong face on even when his world was caving in. I wish I had seen his struggle for what it was, allowed myself to read in between the lines, and understood the circumstances, but I was too fixated on my own ideals.

Six years ago, I was a very selfish version of myself. As I grieved I thought about how my dad’s death affected me. But as life would have it, over the last six years, I have examined the situation from different angles.¬†I was so upset that he wasn’t going to walk me down the aisle, especially since I had told him that I wanted to get married a few days before. It was my dream as a little girl to have him hold my hand and hand me over to my groom.

I remember our last hug, our last conversation, the way he called out my name, his laugh, his gaze, his gait and I miss him. I am tearing as I type this, but the tears are not as sad and bitter as they used to be. They are not hot angry tears, they are reflective tears. Tears that signify a longing that cannot be met. Tears that flow as peace floods my heart.

For weeks, I would dial his number out of habit. It took a while for me to stop drafting texts to him. When I finally deleted his number from my phone, I realized it was ingrained in my memory. He was absent in person but so present in my heart, I stored our moments, the things that I wanted to remember safely in a vault. The first couple of weeks, I saw his face when I slept. And then it faded, and I retrieved the happy memories and replayed them every time I thought of him.

A few weeks ago, my great-grandmother went to be with the Lord. She had lived to a ripe old age. My only regret is that she hadn’t met my little girls. The last time I was in Nairobi, we weren’t able to go and see her. We planned to go in August, but she didn’t make it to August.

‘Love now!’ is what I repeat to myself. There’s no day excursion to heaven. Once your time on earth expires, that is it. When a loved one goes to be with the Lord, they remain there, and you here, until your ride comes.

If wishes were horses, I would ride to heaven and give my daddy a hug, a big bear hug. Having been a mummy and gone through a few dark corridors, I realize, that it was so hard for him to be a dad when he felt like a skeleton on the inside. My hearts goes out to him. I wish I was able to be more, to understand more, to do more for Him. I miss him, some times more than others. From time to time I wonder how he’d play with my girlies, what his thoughts would be when he reads my manuscripts, I’d have loved to share my books with him. That’s water under the bridge.

Depression is hard. It’s dark. It’s lonely. It’s difficult trying to soar when you are tethered to the ground my the weight in your heart. Trying to be positive, when not even a glimmer of light illuminates within. Struggling to be strong for others because you are using all that you’ve got to hold on.

Today my heart goes out to those who are trying to be the best versions of themselves yet they feel like they are dying on the inside. To those who are clasping on straws, trying to stay afloat. To those who have been labelled and dejected. To those who are fighting monsters and battles unseen. To those who feel like there is no reason left to live. Today, I send you a ((big hug)). And I pray that as you read this, you will know that you are not alone. I pray that God will comfort you, reveal Himself to you and enable you to stand. How I pray that He will carry you through and out, in His time.

For those who are loving , please don’t give up on them. Encourage them and be present. Love now, hug now, because wishes are not horses, and it’s difficult to ride to heaven for a day. I pray that God will strengthen you and grant you patience and understanding.

Let’s all come in for a group hug, and purpose to love and be loved, till the ride to heaven arrives.

 

The Himalayas Of Insecurities

Before I had my babies, I thought I was a morning person, because I definitely wasn’t a night person. When the clock struck 9:00 pm, my eyelids would receive their daily load of sleep. By 10:00 pm, the weight of the exhaustion would break the imaginary toothpicks holding my eyes open.

Now that I have my girls, I have concluded that I am just a person who is able to adjust to different seasons. Sleep interruptions and deprivation is by far one of the greatest challenges that motherhood came with. I now understand how sleep deprivation is a form of torture.

I’ve had to adjust to late nights, waking up frequently, and somewhat early mornings. Our morning ride to playschool with Miss K is a time of singing, learning and laughter. We count, pray, go over our alphabet and sing (sometimes off key) at the top of our voices. I stick to the left and drive at 20 Kph.

Once in a while, there is a driver who is in a hurry to get to their destination, so their bonnet almost touches my boot. Initially, when she started school, I used to feel the pressure (that I put on myself) to drive faster. The times, I’d focus on driving faster, keeping up with a person whose journey and destination I knew not, I would lose the rhythm of the song that we were singing. I’d hit potholes and deeply regret.

In my journey as a stay-at-home mum, I have felt like a slug, covered in goo from all my crying sessions, inching along an Olympic track, as the rest of humanity, who I refer to as the ‘Usains’, bolt past me. And I am left behind, changing dirty diapers, dealing with tantrums, wiping running noses, still donning those nursing bras, covered in food stains while teaching shapes, colors, numbers and letters, pouring out myself in to my family while struggling to find me-time.

When I start to compare my journey I lose the rhythm of the music. I stop dancing. I lose my balance, and most times I fall into – the seemingly never ending -hole of self pity. Muddle in the pit of doubt and slide into the pool of questions. I struggle to stay afloat as I grapple with these questions:

“Am I where I should be?”

“Does what I do matter? Am I making a difference?”

“Will I ever catch up in my career?”

“What am I good at?”

Sometimes it feels like the fight of my life. It’s easy to descend into the pit. It only takes a few minutes to spiral down. Climbing up is no easy feat. My insecurities seem like the Himalayas, and I have to work through them as I sort the heap and layers of laundry.

It is hard and it hurts. The beautiful thing about rock bottom is, you can only go up. In the brokenness, there is beauty.

I am learning to stick to my lane and to embrace my pace. The reality is that there will always be people zooming past me. That is just the way life is. But they are on their own journey. It’s easy to covet their lives, but they too have their own struggles. And what matters most is that they are where they need to be. What matters most is that I am where I’m supposed to be. That I am watering and tending my lawn.

To avoid spiraling down to the pit, I have to keep reminding myself the truth, my truth in this season; why I do it. Why I strive to serve my husband and girls with joy, in this season. This role comes with no or low monetary pay, long hours and limited hours of leave. I believe that it is a calling. Some days are good. Some are gruesome. But I know that one day, I will look back and miss these days. One day Miss K and Ky will be all grown and I will be on to the next seasons. I’m listening to this song and reminding myself why I do it all.

To my fellow stay-at-home mum who has doubts her call from time to time. You are not alone. In the chaos and the monotony of routine, remember that you matter! You are making a difference. Your worth in this life is not equivalent to how much you earn.