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10 Steps that made me a better mummy – The 10 day mum challenge

Are you ready to bring fun, laughter and joy back? Let’s be honest, we tend to get lost sometimes in a sea of “no” and “don’t do that” and we forget to just let go!!!

This has made a world of difference for Pup and I. No tantrums to date since Day 1. Each day includes an activity that you need to do but keep the momentum of the day before by incorporating elements of that day too.

Day 1

No raised voices. If your surroundings are loud, lower your voice so that your little one has to look at you to understand. No screaming across the room or across the house either (we all do it!). Make sure you are looking at your little one when talking 

Day 2

Start a spontaneous tickle fight and end with a long hug. Add kisses and maybe a pillow or two for more fun!

Day 3

Say these 3 things a few times today. Make sure there is eye contact each time 

  • You are so kind and thoughtful
  • You make me smile
  • Mummy is so proud of you

Day 4

Eliminate the word no. You cannot say no at all. Find alternatives.

Day 5

Cover up in blankets and watch the stars for a few minutes before bedtime. Cuddles and/or conversation about aliens or the planets are welcome. Make a wish upon a star!

Day 6

Watch a movie together with tons of snacks. Pause it when someone needs to use the bathroom or when there is an interruption….this shows you are invested in this activity. No cellphones allowed!!!

Day 7

Prep some flour and water and let them mix it up and play either outside or in your bath tub. No, you may not say “Don’t make a mess”. You may say “let’s see how we can keep this inside the bath/container/basin”

Day 8

Have a silly face competition in front of a mirror

Day 9

Switch your cellphone off from the time your child comes home from school to bedtime or from the time you get home to your child’s bedtime. If you are home executive, switch your phone on vibrate when baby is awake and only answer urgent calls. No social media.

Day 10

Reward you and your little one by making a list of the changes you have seen over the past 10 days in you and the kids. 

Now repeat!

Let me know how it goes!

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Junk to Joy: DIY Cutie Critters 

It’s  amazing how much joy can come from household “junk”.

We used:
Empty egg cartons

Pipe cleaners

Glue

Paper 

Crayons

Scissors 

Stapler

Wool

Add a gorgeous  4 year old to the mix and you have hours of fun!

Method:

Colour paper and cut into strips or wrap wool around the carton rounds. Secure with glue or a stapler and decorate using crayons. Stick pipe cleaners in as legs and you are done!

Rachy spent the next 2 hours introducing her new critter to nature! Pure joy!

Enjoy!!!

K

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The Bunny, the Egg and the Cross – Easter Ettiquette!

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I received a call this morning from a friend who asked me how she was supposed to greet Christians on this significant day, Good Friday. After a very brief explaination that this is the anniversary of Christ’s crucification and resurrection, she became even more distraught as she had been sending out messages with the words, “Have a fun day”.

I assured her that many people would use the same terminology this way and that as per my previous post, Demystifying Easter, many people define and acknowledge Easter in different ways.  For example, my family does not mandate wearing black clothes or see the day as a day of mourning. We choose rather to recognise the significance of the sacrifice and the responsibility that we now have to pay that forward.

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Question 2: Suggestions for family time to convey the meaning of Good Friday

We are really non traditional with regard to this. Morming fun involves family games in our PJs! We prefer to pray at home and our focus is community related in the form of “pay it forward” inititaives – we give out Easter Eggs, sandwiches and a cup of coffee to homeless people on the streets close to home. No photos or “evidence”. Rach takes memory pics but shutting both eyes at the same time. Very cute!

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What do you tell your kids if they ask you the meaning of Easter?

As I do this with Rach I would suggest discussions with little ones about the meaning of sacrifice and selflessness. Bring family values and beliefs into the converation focusing on daily dos and don’ts. I do not focus on religious scripture but try to make this a positive discussion. I choose not to mention death in gory detail to Rach (she just turned 4). It’s a concept I have touched on, but not dwelt on. We tell.her its about a dad who loved this son unconditionally, and a son who adored all of us so much that he sacrificed himself for our bad behaviour. It’s the untimately the greatest love and friendship story ever. It teaches us to appreciate the people around us, our current situations and to live with grace.

Greetings:

Your friends and family know you and understand your intentions so any greeting will be appreciated. If you are afraid of being perceived negatively by strangers, choose generic terms like:
“Blessings to you and your family on this day”
“May the Lord be present with you and yours on this day”
“On this day a sacrifice was made that shows us the value of love and selflessness, wishing blessings upon your family”
“May happy memories be created on this holy day for you and yours”

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What is the the significance of 12pm – 3pm?

This is sometimes observed as the time that Christ was on the cross and therefore is perfect for reflection. We usually have lunch and discuss what we are most grateful for. It’s a thanksgiving atmosphere. Again, no hard and fast rules, just do what is.best for you and yours! I do not do the graphic colour sheets showing Christ on the Cross or crucified hands, but Rachy does get to listen to Kidified Bible Stories that focus on morals, and her favourite book is: Jesus and You (baby animals learning new values through daily life).

So far those are all the questions answered. These are just my opinion so share yours in the comments! Would love to hear how you and yours spend the day!

K

0

Greeting Ettiquette Good Friday – and other Good Friday questions I have been asked

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I received a call this morning from a friend who asked me how she was supposed to greet Christians on this significant day, Good Friday. After a very brief explaination that this is the anniversary of Christ’s crucification she became even more distraught as she had been sending out messages with the words, “Have a fun day”.

I assured her that many people would greet this way and that as per my previous post, many people define Easter in different ways.  For example, my family does not mandate wearing black clothes or see the day as a day of mourning. We choose rather to recognise the significance of the sacrifice and the responsibility that we now have to pay that forward.

image

Question 2: Suggestions for family time to convey the meaning of Good Friday

We are really non traditional with regard to this. Morming fun involves family games in our PJs! We prefer to pray at home and our focus is community related in the form of “pay it forward” inititaives – we give out Easter Eggs, sandwiches and a cup of coffee to homeless people on the streets close to home. No photos or “evidence”. Rach takes memory pics but shutting both eyes at the same time. Very cute!

image

What do you tell your kids if they ask you the meaning of Easter?

As I do this with Rach I would suggest discussions with little ones about the meaning of sacrifice and selflessness. Bring family values and beliefs into the converation focusing on daily dos and don’ts. I do not focus on religious scripture but try to make this a positive discussion. I choose not to mention death in gory detail to Rach (she just turned 4). It’s a concept I have touched on, but not dwelt on. We tell.her its about a dad who loved this son unconditionally, and a son who adored all of us so much that he sacrificed himself for our bad behaviour. It’s the untimately the greatest love and friendship story ever. It teaches us to appreciate the people around us, our current situations and to live with grace.

Greetings:

Your friends and family know you and understand your intentions so any greeting will be appreciated. If you are afraid of being perceived negatively by strangers, choose generic terms like:
“Blessings to you and your family on this day”
“May the Lord be present with you and yours on this day”
“On this day a sacrifice was made that shows us the value of love and selflessness, wishing blessings upon your family”
“May happy memories be created on this holy day for you and yours”

image

What is the the significance of 12pm – 3pm?

This is sometimes observed as the time that Christ was on the cross and therefore is perfect for reflection. We usually have lunch and discuss what we are most grateful for. It’s a thanksgiving atmosphere. Again, no hard and fast rules, just do what is.best for you and yours! I do not do the graphic colour sheets showing Christ on the Cross or crucified hands, but Rachy does get to listen to Kidified Bible Stories that focus on morals, and her favourite book is: Jesus and You (baby animals learning new values through daily life).

So far those are all the questions answered. These are just my opinion so share yours in the comments! Would love to hear how you and yours spend the day!

K

2

Limiting screen time, child addiction to technology : Confessions of a rambling mummy

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My rude awakening occurred about a month ago. I noticed that Rachy (who just turned 4 a week ago) would get very restless when the television was not on. She constantly needed the background illuminated by the sounds of Disney Junior or the like. Her bedtime ritual suddenly also required a session for her Leap Pad and no trip to the mall was complete without her reaching for my phone to keep her busy. I kept telling myself it was ok just “this once”, that I was tired and deserved a break so I gave in – until it became a habit.

A week later, out of curiosity and in an attempt to make myself feel better, I counted up the time she spent in front of a screen, it added up to a staggering 4 hours (clearly that plan backfired)! Granted this was not purely sitting and staring at the screen, as she always is doing something else too, but that’s 3 hours too much for my personal liking!

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Suddenly it dawned on me that my little girl was becoming reliant – on technology! I had failed her (as if I needed more guilt!)

Now I am not one of those mum’s who does not let their children watch any television at all (not that there is anything wrong with it), but I have always been an advocate for limiting screen time. As someone well versed i  early childhood development and immersed in Learning and Development daily, I fully understand the effect of the flashing images on a young brain. I was in total control until the accident – when Hunky Hubby was recovering from his near fatal motorbike accident I honestly resorted to allowing her a “little” more time watching or playing games so that she would not be privy to the conversations about x-rays and physiotherapy. Then it dawned on me – I realised I was making excuses and I decided to implement change – immediately!

Honestly, 3 weeks later, its been a relatively easy journey from her side. I expected more of a battle honestly. I’m happy to announce that all that has changed now. Her birthday party consisted of a few telling moments, but I did not give her my phone and we survived!

The method to weaning her off meant I had to resolve to do a few things differently.

My phone gets put away from the moment I pick her up until she goes to bed. Too much of a distraction and she is more prone to demand Peppa Pig if she sees it.

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Her after school routine is longer and includes a snack, an arts and craft activity  or game, dinner, bike ride or trampoline fun, a shower and bedtime story followed by my method to end “bedtime tantrums” that has her sleeping in less than 30 minutes.

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I have stopped saying “I’m tired” and accepted the fact that I’ll rest when she’s 18!

She sleeps better, wakes better, he tantrums seem better even (I’ll let you know by the weekend if this lasts).

All in all, I feel better about doing better! And I’ve got those 3 hours back and converted them into memory making moments. She still gets her 15min during brekkie and her 30min during dinner so there’s a balance, but my television is no longer a babysitter!

Good luck everyone, life sometimes just happens!

K

2

Making castles from boxes: Keeping a princess busy

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Rachel loves role play and dress up. Like every little girl she wants to be a princess and loves castles!!! Unfortunately her new Princess Hello Kitty is castle-less right now as the other dolls have taken over the other 3 castles we have so we decided to make a castle.

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Developmental areas:
Cutting to pattern
Assembling according to sequence
Listening whilst following instructions
Patience (we literall had to watch paint dry)

What you will need:
3 Boxes of different sizes (use those left over from Christmas gifts)
Empty Toilet roll or empty gift wrap rolls (cut into towers)
Left over gift wrap or Christmas cracker paper
Paint
Paper
Lots of tape
Glue
Markers
Creativity to draw in details or a Hunky Hubby

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Glue and tape boxes together. I kept the one side open to allow the castle doors to.swing open for Hello Kitty to play in.

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Paint paint paint. You can also cover with left over gift wrap. We used left over paper from the Christmas crackers to cover the tall tower. Covering would be quicker. We had to wait a full day for the paint to dry!

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Cover the sized rolls with left over wrapping or paint and assemble on the box framework. You will need 9 of these.

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Cut the top of the rolls to create the tower look. Hunky Hubby folded in every alternate cut for an awesome look!

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Stick onto the frame. We used super glue 🙂

Add details by drawing the windows and doors and make a flag with a toothpick and paper.

Hello Kitty moved in straight away!!!!

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We also love that the “doors” open so that Hello Kitty can invite the Polly Pockets and Barbies over!!!

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Rachy has been playing for about 2 hours with the new creation! I even managed to enjoy a full mug of steaming coffee and Hunky Hubby took a well deserved nap!!!

Enjoy some family time everyone!!

K

5

Upcycling to keep a princess busy: Making a Bird Feeder from a plastic bottle

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Happy New Year!

Summer is a time for outdoor fun and Rachy’s favourite activities always incorporate bird watching. Thankfully she’s finally reached the age where she no longer terrorises them by stalking and then shrieking in their direction, but she is always looking for ways to draw them nearer! So was born the idea of a bird feeder. Now, making Santa look good was expensive enough, so spending money on this was out of the question. Then I saw the water bottle:

What you will need:

Any plastic bottle (water, soda, etc)
Scissors
Paint
Black marker
Tape
And string (preferably not wool)

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Areas to be developed:
Hand-eye coordination
Colour knowledge
Following sequence of instructions

Process:

Cut the bottle making sure that the top half fits over the bottle half. Just cut out the middle section

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Cut a hole through both parts large enough for a bird to pop his head into. You are creating the door

This is where the kid fun really begins!!!Paint paint paint. Rachy had great fun mixing and dotting and streaking. I loved watching her tongue stick out as she sat in deep concentration! Allow to dry. This took about 20min with the current heat.

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Taste the sunflower seeds (ok, so we just love sunflower seeds) and fill into open “door” for birdies snacks!

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Daddy Dearest created a loop with the string, and we placed this under the lid and screwed on.

Hang up on something high (we used Rachy’s swing) and pose!!!

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Now begins the wait! I am trying to convince her that hiding right behind the feeder will not fool the birds at all!!

A great little activity and a cute addition to the garden!!

Hope you and the kids enjoy!!!

K