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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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Do you speak English?

Ok so I’ve something new to contend with as a mum that I have never really considered.

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My daughter now speaks Welsh-she’s three, she lives in Wales, she is Welsh so it all adds up.

But I’m English!

Whats the problem?

I’ve always loved learning and as you’ll  see from my blogs I enjoy teaching my little girl new things, making learning fun and finding out what she’s learning at school so I can help her learn the same thing at home.

But what do you do when you don’t have a clue what your child is saying and you don’t know how it’s spelt to Google it?

Help!

So far I’ve learnt how to count from one to ten in Welsh, I can sing ‘A rainbow’ and I know a few colours so I’m holding my own at nursery level Welsh.

But I do have secret weapons……..my Welsh friends and Facebook.

So I’m not totally on my own.

It it won’t be long before my little girl leaves me singing colours though as a sentence is beyond my means.

It’s funny but you sort of mentally dish out who will teach what:

Dad- Maths

Mum-art and craft

Mum-nature

Dad- history

Mum- English

Im a creative person- I like to see and experience. I have a short attention span but love learning new things.

Dad loves facts, history, detail.

Neither of us speak Welsh.

I think that just makes it all the more fun and I’ll try my best to support my daughter a much as I can.

When the time comes that I don’t know my Popty Ping from my Oven then I’m in deep water.

There’s lots of good advice out there but the main one is to always speak in your native language, praise your child when they speak an alternative language and ask them to explain what they are saying to you.

Phew! That’s me sorted then.

So it’s Au Revoir I mean Hwyl Fawr from me-have a good week and spare a thought for me.

In the future when the Wales V England rugby matches are on there will be two flags flying.

Can’t wait!

Happy St David’s Day 2014 to all my friends

 

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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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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

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From The Heart

I thought I’d write from the heart this week-show I’m not Mary Poppins.  I have always had to be ‘the strong one’ in my family for reasons I won’t go in to here-maybe ‘had to’ is not as correct as ‘chose to’.

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I think I have found this a very hard role to move away from and now I have my lovely little girl I have to say that sometimes the pressure of still being the strong one is over whelming. When I lost my Mum to cancer two years ago that’s when most of my strength of character started to wobble. It’s not that I don’t have a Mum any more. I just can’t talk to her-I feel more like her every day and was startled last week when I had my hair cut to see her looking back at me. She would have enjoyed laughing at that! When Mum passed away I felt really alone-and have continued to ever since.

I’ve been the sole breadwinner for three years and to ensure we live a good life I’ve become a really thrifty, creative and hopefully inspiring mum. But it’s been tough. Luckily I love my job so it’s never been an option not to work. There have been days when all I wanted to do was sleep but I feel I’ve got through the hardest times.

My blog has helped me realise that there are lots of people like me who appear to be strong on the outside but have fears and worries the same as the rest of us.

Call this therapy- call it a blog! I thought I would list some of my worries and think you’ll understand where they come from:

  • The thought of my little girl going to full time school really upsets me. I’m almost crying now and I’ve only just started writing. She’s in full time nursery now so it shouldn’t be a problem but the thought of seeing her in school uniform upsets me. Stupid I know. She loves nursery-I loved school. I think it’s just the transition to big girl thing.
  • I thought I’d sneak this in second and type quickly so I can’t chicken out. I’m really afraid of dying-not for me but for my girl. I think that’s a result of me not letting go of control-I need to learn to let others help. But it’s not what I’m used to. My mum was a strong, independent woman- I think she became a bit of a martyr. I’m in danger of becoming the same. (Not going in to it anymore-it’s too painful)
  • I worry that my girl is missing out by me not having my family close by-I didn’t give this a minutes thought before.
  • Am I an old mum? At the moment I’m on the right side of 40-next year I’ll be due a free health check. When I was pregnant I was classed as a mature mother (The cheeky ********!!!!!)
  • Am I an ok mum?

OK so this is not an exhaustive list- my woes change daily but these few stay daily.

So if you read my blogs and think I am MUM OF THE YEAR material you may want to reconsider. I’m a bit like an M&M- hard on the outside and soft on the inside.

If you have any advice for me please share.

Don’t ask me how I am because I’ll always be fine- it’s when the mess has been tidied away, the dishes are washed and the sound is down on the TV-that’s when I don’t want to have the time to think.

Live for today!

Have a good week everyone

Amanda

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Toddler crafts for rainy days

One of my favourite things about being a mummy is making crafts. Most of the time I’m left on my own with the glue while my little girl has moved on to other projects. I still love it. To me it’s evocative of my childhood where I spent hours making miniature gardens on a saucer, crafts made out of recycled household bits and pieces and things made out of cut up Christmas cards.

Today’s blog is mainly pictures but the ideas are so simple and fun not many words are needed. So get out the glue and make a mess. Enjoy!

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Paint stamps made from corks carved to with a Stanley knife to make circles, squares, diamonds etc. Lots of fun stamping them on to paper.

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Paper plate flower cello taped on to a green plant stick. Easy!

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Paper flowers in a yoghurt pop

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Toilet roll animals

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Weather mobiles

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kite mobile

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Plate forest-I couldn’t resist

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Alphabet rocks from my creative friend Louise

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Sweet tin covered in coloured paper and decorated with stickers.

Hope you like these. We we enjoyed making them.

Have a great week.

Amanda

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The Other Mums!

I’ve never spent much time in the big mum website forums because I often find the comments from other mums patronising and judgemental. It’s clear they often don’t read questions properly before  jumping on their moral high horses proving they are the best mum in the universe.

My mum friends are not afraid to share their mistakes as well as their achievements. I wasn’t afraid to tell them that I cut my daughters fringe so short she looked like Friar Tuck and I’m not afraid to share some of my little girls ‘naughty’ moments-they are funny to read and sharing often lightens the load.

When you have a child you feel that you have to portray to the outside world what a wonderful life you now have (with a dreamy smile)-in real life there are days when it’s just sheer hard work. Of course we wouldn’t change a thing (Well maybe I’d make more time for a haircut!) and our little ones are so precious but how do the other mums do it?

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My friends, the working mums, are a great source of inspiration to me-they probably don’t even realise it. I asked them what’s your tip for helping you cope with all you have to do. Here are there replies:

  • Tell the ones you love that you love them-it helps you remember what’s important (Particularly the partners)
  • Never let the washing build up for more than a few days or you’ll never catch up.
  • Always have a night out-a happy mum equals a happy child.
  • Don’t stress about the mess-spending time with your child is the most important.
  • Try not to use the TV as a replacement for time with you because you’re busy cleaning-get out of the house and go for a walk. The cleaning can wait
  • Keep minor misbehaviour in perspective. It’s easy when you’re stressed  to blow things out of proportion in the heat of the moment. Take a minute to analyse the situation before you react. You don’t want to regret discipline you’ve chosen.
  • Wine o’clock helps!
  • Takes 5 minutes out to find stillness within yourself. It helps bring calm and order after some of the toddler tantrums, breakdowns and accidents you may have to deal with. Just lie still for 5 minutes and try to get every part of your body to be still.
  • Routine brings stability to everyone’s lives-set bedtime, waking up time, tea time etc. It’s not always possible but it helps children feel in control. Breakdowns often happen when they feel unsure of a situation or it’s a break from their routine.
  • Pick your battles-some things aren’t worth the upset.
  • Never let your children go to bed upset. Laughter and cuddles will help them wake up happy too.
  • Make memories rather than trying to buy happiness. Some ideas in my other blogs
  • Routine ensures you have you time- don’t forget you are a person that needs to be happy too.
  • It’s important for your children to see you happy so do what it takes to put the smile on your face-a spa, a walk, a night out, a movie etc.
  • Don’t feel bad about working-it gives you independence and helps you provide for your family and sets a good example for the future.
  • Only you know what’s right or wrong for your family-don’t worry about what you should or shouldn’t be doing.
  • ‘Those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter’
  • Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!
  • Lock yourself in the shed!
  • Wine

(Clearly my friends were starting to go down the ‘relaxing’ route the later they replied to my question 🙂 )

Some great comments from some great working mums

I enjoyed reading these-I hope you do too

Enjoy your weekend-the sun is out and I’m off with my little girl and husband to spend the day outside.

Amanda