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The Memory Maker

Their first drawing, their first painting, their first tracing-so hard to throw them all away. I keep scrap books stuffed with these items and in one book I cut the pictures out and use them like a picture alphabet book so they can be looked at for learning and not just stuffed behind the sofa.

This got me wondering if there are any other ideas for keeping our memories alive.

PINTEREST.

Take a photo of your child’s artwork and collect the photographs on Pinterest for them to see when they’re older. No need to keep heaps of paper


KEEPY

An app that lets you capture works of art, special times and messages all in one place by their age. Bring the memories to life

 MAKE A MEMORY BOX

Nothing better than looking through objects that have an important meaning no matter how small. I have shells, jewellery, cards, photos and baby clothes in a special box. Even my little girls umbilical chord is in a bag (Not my idea-it’s gross)


SCRAPBOOKS

Here are my scrap books-I love them

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You can buy some lovely items too-silver fingerprint jewellery. First tooth silver boxes and photo albums.

 

I think it will be lovely for my daughter to see how she grew, what she did and where she went. These are the times that will help her develop and learn.

These are the memories I have too of being a mum.

Have a lovely weekend.

 

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Turn The Page

World Book Day is coming soon-March 6th 2014 and my little girl has just brought a letter from school saying they have to go in dressed as a character from their favourite book.

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I’m so excited-I mean my daughter is so excited.

This comes on the day, however, that as I was tidying her room this morning I found two crumpled pieces of a gorgeous pop up book in her bed. I was a bit sad to see she’d ripped this as it really it a lovely bright book with lovely thick glossy pages.

She loves books though and has a bookcase full in her bedroom and a book box in the living room. At Christmas time we have a Christmas book box filled with stories of Santa, Snowmen and the Twelve Days of Christmas.

I love books and have a floor to ceiling book case-full of art books, novels and hobby books. I have a case full of cook books too.

But I rarely get to read which is sad.

Books are a way of escaping, a way of dreaming and a great insight in to other people’s lives.

So what are our favourite books?

My daughters:

  1. Daisy Duck-A delightful story of a little duck who swims off with out her Mummy
  2. Peppa Pig and the tooth fairy
  3. Flip and flop-a story about two penguin friends
  4. Santa needs a wee-yes it’s still out and being read
  5. Day Monkey and Night Monkey (Secretly my favourite book of hers too!)

My favourite books:

  1. Phantom of the Opera by Susan Kay
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia
  3. The Diary of Anne Frank
  4. Lord of the flies
  5. We’re going on a bear hunt (Love reading this to my daughter)

There are some great resources for parents:

WORLD BOOK DAY ONLINE STORY http://www.worldbookday.com/videos/dr-seuss-on-the-loose/

TIPS ON HEARING YOUR CHILD READ http://www.topmarks.co.uk/parents/ten-tips-on-hearing-your-child-read

BUY BOOKS TO SUIT THEIR AGE http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/cms_rhPlainArticle?storeId=10001&catalogId=10051&langId=100&articlePath=%2Fjamboree%2FRed+House%2FTop+10s%2FTop+Ten+Books+by+Age%2FThree+years+%2B

So celebrate World Book Day and get reading.

I’ll let you know if my daughter goes to school as a duck or a pig!

2

25% of parents do this….

25% of parents are so afraid of upsetting their children they do not discipline them.

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I’m not in that group and consider my daughter to be quite well behaved-with an odd tantrum thrown in here and there but generally she’s good.

Not with Dad though!

I’ve witnessed her walk behind him and spit at him, smack him, throw things at him, hiss at him, snarl at him, scream and shout at him. None of which she does to me. And none receive any discipline. (These incidents don’t happen all the time-I don’t want to paint her as a little monster because she’s not)

Why?

Because she’s Daddy’s little darling and she gets everything she wants.

I remember telling my husband that if he continued to give her everything she wanted she would turn in to a right little handful and that it was his job to show her that she can’t always have what she wants. Some of what I said is starting to come true-but of course I wasn’t certain this would happen-I’ve never done this before.

Daddy is great with her and will play games gently for hours.

But if our little girl gets given a blue spoon-she wants a pink spoon and that’s what she gets. If she’s given a cup of milk-she wants water and that’s what she gets. And so on.

I’m not a shouty mum, I don’t lose my temper very often but I am very clear that I will not accept smacking, spitting, throwing things in a temper and shouting. Why would I let her think it was ok to act like that when I wouldn’t accept her doing that to someone else?

As she gets older I find myself being much more patient than when she was a baby because I know she understands what I’m saying. Last night at 4am she woke asking to go in my bed. I said no sorry you aren’t coming in my bed there’s no room. She then started shouting loudly and crying then screaming. In a calm voice I kept saying ‘I’m sorry but you’re not coming in to my room-it’s night time’. I told her stories about a day monkey and a night monkey to explain that some ‘monkeys’ get up in the night because they can see in the dark-some sleep and enjoy the daytime. After about an hour I was set free and snuggled back in to my bed where we all slept until gone 8am.

The easy option would have been for me to let her come in to my bed but tough love-I think-is a way of teaching right from wrong. Plus I’ve been warned by a friend who’s lovely girls still get in to bed with her at eight years old- “Don’t Do It!”

In an effort to try and help my husband understand that his lack of discipline is making his life more difficult not easier I showed him this apt article I found-it summed up exactly what he’s going through:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2101786/My-soft-parenting-monsters-children.html

I think my husband knows he has to change but I can’t make him. I want him to see that he’s doing it for our daughters good. I really don’t like seeing her crying but I know I’m doing right by her. I’ve gone downstairs of a night in tears myself. The proof is in the pudding though-generally with me my daughter is well behaved.

I’m sure Daddy will see a way through this-I really hope so.

Have a good weekend

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Children In Need

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I find it very difficult to watch Children In Need because my daughter nearly didn’t make it three years ago. I’ve not talked about it too much-I thought it might be ‘therapeutic’ to write a little about it in my blog.

My little girl was 12 days overdue when I went in to hospital to be induced. I’m very much a deal with a problem inwardly type person so during labour I was quite quiet even though I felt like a scene from Alien was going on inside me. At around 11am the hospital showed concerns about baby’s heartbeat and to cut a long story short without due care at 12.45am my little girl came in to the world not breathing.

When she was 6 months old an MRI scan showed signs of brain damage and from the little bit of research I’ve done since I have found out that the damage caused to her during birth could have manifested itself in Cerebral Palsy. This condition can be very mild or extremely severe leading to disability. I still cant relax about the medical possibilities but as she gets older and reaches each milestone I become more confident in her abilities.

So even though I am extremely lucky to have such a bright and healthy little girl the amount of worrying I have done has sometimes taken the edge off of some special moments.

When she learned to crawl, talk, walk and laugh instead of being excited I felt a huge wave of relief-yes she can do these things. These things you see were milestones I wasn’t certain she would ever reach.

My daughter spent 9 days in intensive care when she was born- and I had to go home before her. I cannot tell you how sad I was the day I walked through my front door without her. Her room all ready and waiting, congratulations cards on the bookshelf and an overly tidy house from 12 days of ‘nesting’. It really broke my heart.

When I went back in to hospital to visit her I saw proud mums leaving hospital with their bundles of joy wrapped in new blankets and proud Dads carrying pink or blue helium balloons. I felt so very sad that my moment had come and gone and I couldn’t even hold my baby.

For 9 days I couldn’t really bond with her properly-I’m making up for it now. I’m sure sometimes she thinks Oh Mum just leave me be!

So Children In Need time for me is a tear jerker because I know I’ve been really lucky-I’m still very upset about the whole experience. More than that though I feel for any parent who’s child is in any way suffering. You find such strength but there are times when all you want to do is cry.

Thank you for taking time to read this.

I will always support Children In Need- no child should ever have to suffer and money shouldn’t be a reason support can’t be offered.

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Jungle Boogie

Todays blog is one of the easiest to write because I’m going to give you some ideas on parties-love them or hate them they are an essential part of a child’s social life-where else are they going to learn to hide under a table eating a blancmange, have a fight in a bouncy castle or get their faces painted like spiders?

Today my daughter had a joint party with five of her friends-all celebrating their third birthdays.

We decided to share the party after all six of us mums met in a parent and toddler group in a local library. It was a turning point in my enjoyment of being a mum. Before this I was stuck at home, used to working, desperate to go back to work. When I met these girls for the first time I wanted my maternity leave to last forever. When you become a mum friendships like these are invaluable. Anyway-I digress! So we all met and we thought a shared birthday party would be great for those of us on a tight budget.

I thought I’d share my top ten best party ideas for you-based on our party today:

  1. Eyeball jellies-these really were the star of the show. A lychee set in jelly with a grape or blueberry in the centre. Simple and great fun for kids (great for Halloween too) Courtesy of Gillian Jackson DSCF1829
  2. Share the cost with friends-we had a two hour party complete with face painting, games, bouncy castles, food and hall for less than £40 each. It’s easy to spend close to £200 for this sort of party on your own.DSCF1839
  3. When you are having a party for younger children the less structure the better. Just let them play and have fun. We had no sit down buffet and the children could just come and go as they pleased.
  4. Set a really broad theme-we chose jungle because of the bouncy castle we hired- one friend made home-made bunting in animal fabric, another friend brought yellow cutlery, animal plates, another friend bought wrapping paper to cover the tables with in animal pattern and I brought in some soft animals to put on the buffet table. Another friend made palm leaves to put on the tables, It all tied in so well and more importantly it was easy for us all to buy items in different places.
  5. With food have a selection of foods so parents can choose whether they want to have a healthy meal or a plate of party nibbles or a bit of both. We had a good selection of fruit, vegetables sandwiches, crisps and of course cake.DSCF1837
  6. Party bags-our entertainment company Fizz Kids sold these at £1.90 each which was a really good price as you can go overboard as they can often look cheap. Our party cups were nicely wrapped, jungle themed-with a whistle inside, sweets colouring book and animal stickers. By the time you buy a few bits you can easily spend three or pounds per party bag so it’s worthwhile looking at buying them ready done.DSCF1827
  7. Keeping everyone happy in a party- it’s important for all parents to make sure they’re children are behaving as tempers can flare up with all the excitement. Keep a lookout for any situations which may ruin others’ enjoyment of the day
  8. Try and include parents who may have come to the party alone-parties are great events to make new friends-not just for the children!
  9. Birthday cake-shop bought or home made-don’t worry. Just don’t forget the candles as that is what makes a little persons day.
  10. Have fun and don’t stress. The only way you’ll be judged is by how much fun the children have had-not on how much you have spent.

Thank you to Fizz Kidz and all my mum friends for making this blog possible.

Have a good week all

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Is there such a thing as the terrible three’s?

I thought I’d share today some of the things my lovely little girl has been up to this week-I might save this blog and pin it to her Facebook site in years to come but it makes me wonder if there’s a Terrible Three stage!

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Lady ‘You were a good girl in that game weren’t you?’

My daughter ‘No I wasn’t’

Now I have to say that I only have this trouble, mainly, when me and my husband are together. I don’t know if she’s playing up, playing us against each other or just playing the buffoon.

Well a problem shared….here are some of the  little escapades have I witnessed this weekend:

Cloth handkerchief in the toilet

Watch in the kitchen bin

Breaking a plastic spade in a nik nak shop

Wiping her nose on my dress

Running outside with no pants on

Getting a toy stuck in her mouth and having a mum jack on the breaks, go running round the car holding up the traffic hyper-ventilating

Opening the party gift we wrapped for her friend

Asking for a magazine while on the potty

And finally using croquet sticks as sledge hammers!

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I’m sure I’m not alone here-any advice for me.

My husband is away on training and left this afternoon and there hasn’t been one incident-he will do anything to avoid confrontation-I’m happy to sit it out and make sure my little girl knows bad behaviour is not acceptable (I find it very upsetting but I know I’m teaching her for the right reasons and I always make sure we have a laugh afterwards). I think it’s the two different styles of parenting that is causing the friction.

I think I’ll do some research on this online-I’ll share it if I find anything useful. Like I said before I can’t be alone.

I found this great list-10 Ways 3 year Olds Are Much More Terrible Than Two Year Olds (edited slight to fit in with my blog):

1. At 2, they can barely talk.

At 3, they never shut the hell up.

2. At 2, they cry.

At 3, they throw temper tantrums so epic, you become convinced that they are possessed by the devil.

3. At 2, they’re happy to eat anything you present to them.

At 3, they eat only three foods (usually consisting of a starch and processed cheese).

4. At 2, baths are a 10-minute event, the result of which is a clean child.

At 3, baths take over an hour and result in a drenched bathroom, sopping wet mommy, and 16 used towels.

5. At 2, they wear diapers that can be changed on your watch.

At 3, they’re potty trained and the world revolves around their bladders and bowels.

6. At 2, they are distracted by a box of Gerber Puffs at the grocery store.

At 3, they want to dictate your entire food list.

7. At 2, they let you dress them, looking innocent and adorable.

At 3, they insist on picking out their clothes.

8. At 2, they don’t like to get dirty.

At 3, they thrive on it.

9. At 2, you can do things for them, saving infinite amounts of time.

At 3, they must do everything by themselves, taking FOREVER.

10. At 2, manipulation is the last thing on their minds.

At 3, they own you. And they know it.

And on that note have a good week and I’ll try to make sure nothing else of mine is broken, binned or flushed!

Amanda