A Mother’s Pain Over A Lost Toy

An anxiety I never anticipated before children, never understood, really, was that of THE LOST TOY.

Of course for the child, it’s the stuff of nightmares, and having lost things I care about, I totally get that. But what has caught me unawares was the anxiety, the pain, that I as mother would feel over a toy that I have no personal attachment to.

Ameli never had a security blanket or a dummy or even a toy that she favoured above others, until last August, when my sister bought her a stuffed elephant at The Rain Forest Cafe in Disneyland Paris. “Rainy”, as he was dubbed, quickly became a new member of our family, and while he might end up in the toy box from time to time, he is still the preferred bed time buddy.

Yesterday we had to take our car in for a service, and despite my protestations, Rainy came in with us. Come bed time, of course, we realised that Rainy hadn’t come home, so we assumed that he had stayed in the car – there were many tears, but after assuring her that Rainy was probably loving his sleepover in what must feel like a campervan to him, all snuggled up comfortably in the car seat, Ameli finally succumbed to sleep.

lost toysRead more: A Mother’s Pain Over A Lost Toy

Weather Crafts With #BostikBloggers

Our Bostik Blogger box this month was just awesome! We had so much fun with it.

When a box arrives I tend to look through it to see what we can make for our #BostikBlogger posts, and then let the kids play and create with what they want for the rest.

Can you guess the theme for this box?

Bostik Blogger Read more: Weather Crafts With #BostikBloggers

Two Questions To Ask Your Kids Every Day

“How was your day today?”

“Fine”

“What did you do today?”

“Nothing”

“Learn/see/do anything exciting?”

“No”

Sound familiar?Two Questions To Ask Your Kids Every Day

This is pretty much what every conversation with my daughters was like, till about a year ago.  Whether they’d spent 3 hours at nursery, or spent the whole day with a friend, they pretty much couldn’t remember what they’d done an hour ago, or they couldn’t really tell me much about their day at all.

I found this really frustrating, and after a while, I stopped asking. Not because I didn’t care, but because I found ‘nothing’ or ‘I don’t remember’ to be too infuriating.

But this didn’t sit right with me.

want to know about their days. I want to know what they’ve been up to. And even if we spend the whole day in the same house, their days often involve different experiences to mine.

About a year ago, I decided to give up on questions that weren’t getting answers, and to instead, change the questions.

While I will still ask loose questions about the time we spent apart, I don’t have feelings one way or the other if they don’t answer fully. What we do now is this:Read more: Two Questions To Ask Your Kids Every Day

10 Sun Cream Facts To Keep You Sun Safe – Infographic

I was sent this infographic a few days ago by a brand of sunscreen I’ve always used on my children. Organic Children from Green People was the only sun lotion that I could put on Ameli when she was an extremely eczema prone baby and toddler that wouldn’t cause her to flair up, essentially ruining her swim or time outdoors.

Whichever sun cream you choose to use, here are ten interesting facts to keep in mind when you choose how to protect your and your children’s skin.

10 Facts about suncream

Infographic supplied by Green People. I was not paid to share this information. Links are affiliate links, if you purchase through them you will not be charged any extra but I may receive a percentage. 

Spring Plant Markers And Critter Crafts #BostikBloggers

We moved house last week, so we are a little late with our BostikBloggers post this month, but moving house and crafts don’t mix.

No matter though – the boxes are almost all unpacked, the seeds are planted, and despite the biting cold, the sun is shining, so we turned our attention to crafts. The box this month had loads of spring themed embellishments, a frame, a paper bag, lollipop sticks and Blu Tack and Bostik Glu Dots among other things, so I let the kids decide what they wanted to do.

Plant MarkersRead more: Spring Plant Markers And Critter Crafts #BostikBloggers

The Importance Of Writing Love Notes To Children

I’ve been thinking a lot about a dying-out medium, that of letter writing, and specifically, writing love notes to children.

My mom and I had what I remember as a difficult relationship during my teen years. Not an uncommon story, I know, but still something that impacts into your adult life.

A few years ago, my mom’s cancer took a terminal turn a few weeks before Christmas. On Christmas eve, the UK was deluged in rain and our garage flooded, along with many parts of the country and some of our neighbour’s homes. On Boxing day, my mother died, and all flood debris was ignored until a few weeks later.

I was going through a trunk full of old photos, cards, letters, and other things I had at one point deemed important enough to keep, when I came across letters that I had quite honestly forgotten about. Discovering them was shocking to me, because I had forgotten their existence. But it was powerfully affirming of my mother’s love for me. I mean, I knew she loved me but seeing those letters reminded me of the days I’d come in from school and find a letter from her on my bed. Love Notes To ChildrenRead more: The Importance Of Writing Love Notes To Children

8 Ways To Not Lose Your Mind When Moving House

Moving to a new places is fun. I should know. I’ve done it a dozen times in my adult life. Moving to a different house in the same area lacks a lot of that excitement because, well, all that’s new is the place you’re moving to. Moving house with children however, is a whole new ball game. You’ve heard those jokes about tidying up with children being like making a smoothie with the blender open? Or brushing your teeth while eating an Oreo? Those apply to moving house with children too.

And add to that home schooling children and it’s like being caught in an episode of a really bad slap-stick comedy. I can just visualise it. Pack a box of toys, go make dinner, come back to those toys all over the living room floor. Repack the box of toys, sit down to check your emails, telling the kids to get ready for bed. Go to put them to bed and find that same box of toys all over their room!

Yeah, it’s not funny when you’re living it. So here are some things to consider doing if you’re moving house with children.

  • Find somewhere else to stay

I’m not kidding. I grew up military and whenever we moved we’d have two weeks in a hotel on our exit destination and a week in a hotel near the new house. I thought it was a nice gesture from the army. As a parent I realise that it was the military’s way of keeping military wives from mutiny!

Find a hotel or a holiday park, spend four or five hours a day packing, then leave. Have somewhere comfortable to sleep, cook healthy food without having to think of what to pack and what to leave out. Get to your accommodation, have a swim, relax, get to bed early, start fresh the next day. It’s for your mental health!

  • Get one room completely finished first

If you can’t stay somewhere else during your move, or if you still have children around while you’re packing this is especially important.

Get one room packed up and cleared out as your first priority. The temptation might be to get the biggest job done first, but by getting one room done you either have a place for the children to ‘be’ without being surrounded by boxes, or you have a place for all the boxes to go once they’re packed, making the room out of bounds. (We weren’t able to do this this time, and it showed in the constant unpacking and repacking of not-yet-sealed boxes.)Moving house

Read more: 8 Ways To Not Lose Your Mind When Moving House

I’m A Freakin’ Parfait {Or The Many Layers Of Mothers}

I’ve had an odd week.

Things have happened, I’ve connected with an old friend, taken a walk down memory lane, had totally unusual conversations, and you know what – I’ve been fully there with it all.

Does anyone remember this scene from Shrek? About the layers?


See. Layers. Like a parfait.

Motherhood changes you. You go from spreadsheets and workshops (if you were an adult educator and project manager like me) to nappies and breastfeeding in a blink of an eye. Unless you make an effort to stay current in your work place, you can quickly be left behind. It’s just how it is. World news has to be big to even break through the fog and haze of sleepless nights, sore nipples, and the mind-numbing awareness that you’re probably doing something wrong.

It’s just how it is.Read more: I’m A Freakin’ Parfait {Or The Many Layers Of Mothers}

Dragon Tales Story Sticks #BostikBloggers

We’ve really struggled with the #BostikBloggers challenge – dragons – this month. Not least because I’ve had a chest infection that’s left me feeling like a fire-breathing dragon myself. So I have a bit of empathy with dragons right now. It’s hard work, breathing fire!

Dragon Tales Story SticksAnyway, I decided to go for our old standby on this one, and created story sticks. The good thing with story sticks is that they aren’t fully formed puppets. They leave a lot to the imagination. I like that, because kids don’t really need everything spoon fed to them.

The Princess

Princess

I stuck a lollipop stick into the polystyrene ball, and put a veil and crown on it. Can’t be easier. And the girls love their interchangeable green haired king, or veil wearing princess. Depending on what the story requires.

The Knight

Knight

Every good princess needs a brave knight to keep her safe. This knight is always ready for battle, wearing his helmet. (Our knight has wonky eye sockets. Never mind.)

The Wizard

wizzard

All medieval stories need a wizard. Ours wears the moon in his hair. He’s just that cool!

The Dragon Guarding His Treasure
Dragon

A paper golden chest filled with golden coins and jewels… guarded by a ferocious dragon. Well, not that ferocious. Actually he looks kind of cute with those droopy eyes.

The girls have enjoyed telling stories about their characters, and everyone from the princess to the knight have had a go at vanquishing the dragon. And in some versions the dragon is more like a family pet, and no one has to be vanquished.

Simple crafts, hours of fun. Winner!

How To Raise Confident Children

Children face a fair amount of adversity over the course of their youth and are often faced with tough situations, like moving to a new city or starting over again at a new school. Smart parents know how to instil a confident attitude in their children from a young age (And they can save money on assorted literature about the subject by using Discountrue.com coupons).

Confidence

Read more: How To Raise Confident Children