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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!

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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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Rainbow Vegetables

I passed through a Welsh country village this weekend and did a stopover to visit a huge fruit and veg shop-somehow I managed to spend a fortune as I picked up every Autumn vegetable in sight-a beautiful array of rainbow colours. In my basket I had a butternut squash, sweet potatoes, marrow,beetroot, carrots, melon, cherries, leeks, avocado, tomatoes and onions. No idea what to cook with it all!

I thought I’d share with you some of the things I cooked using these ingredients-mostly with my toddler in mind but partly because I want to lose some weight before Christmas (And not just from my purse!)

Butternut squash and carrot soup

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Baked Stuffed Marrow

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Steamed Red Cabbage and apple in the slow cooker

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Boiled Beetroot (To put in a salad)

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I also put a big tray of potatoes in to bake-enough for the week

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Taking a bit of time to plan a healthy week ensures you start off on the right foot. It’s a little more time consuming to prepare fresh food but so much more tasty.

I hope you find some inspiration here

Have a good week

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