This year I'm committed to getting it right,
Into bed early and up at first light,
Making the time do the things I forget,
Remembering birthdays, and dates that I've set.
Being that mum that everyone hates,
All made up and perfect, at the school gates,
With projects, P.E kit, and children serene,
Meals all fresh and nutritionally sound,
Consisting of food mainly grown in the ground,
Nothing artificial, or sticky, or sweet,
Even if it is what they most want to eat!
Being first-rate and organised is my primary aim,
I am certain, this year, I'll make it come true,
This is it, I commit, I will see it through!
Nothing can stop me! Except... maybe life,
And the ups and downs of every day strife,
Because however I try, every darned day,
Life always seems to get in the way!
So, perhaps it is time to accept that I'm me,
Not perfect, but normal, as it should be.
However I try, when all's said and done,
I expect I'll be same old, predictable mum!
I think I've finally got Christmas under control with one day to go, which is a vast improvement on last year! So, my thoughts have been turning to New Year's Resolutions. This year, my resolutions aren't just about me, they're more about Luke. He's ten this year and I really want him to learn to take care of some of his own needs and be more responsible, as well as get the most out of life, while he is still young enough to have the freedom to enjoy it! If you have plans for your children in the new year too, have a look at these ideas that I've put together from some of the companies we've worked with this year.
The Outdoor Life
I don't think we spend nearly enough time outdoors and this is something I would really like to change. When Jade was small. we didn't have a car, so walking outside in all weathers was part of everyday life. Where we live now is lovely, but there isn't any civilisation for about three miles and even that's limited, so we have to remember to go out, just because it's good for us, which isn't always easy. Here are some ideas I came up with to encourage him outdoors!
Funky wellies are really popular with children, like these wellies from Brantano, and you can't really wear them in the house, so they're bound to encourage outdoor play. Also, I think it's really important that they have appropriate footwear for the weather, or they might associate the great outdoors with being cold and miserable, which won't help at all! Props can also help, especially, I find, with boys. They seem to need an objective or something to do, so we always take along a camera or some binoculars. Bug viewers are great too, for the less sqeamish! *shudder*
I don't know if I'm just getting old, but children's toys and games seem so expensive now. This is definitely the year when we will be introducing pocket money. It's becoming more and more important for Luke to understand the value of money, as he is starting to desire more expensive items. If he can see how his money builds, he will hopefully have a better understanding of its worth and will be responsible about what he spends it on. Skills that he will need more and more as he gets older. We've worked with two companies who are doing their bit to help improve our children's financial knowledge recently.
The second, Osper.com, have launched a new debit card, especially for children, which works just like a normal debit card, but with additional safety features. Parents can load money on to the card, whenever they like, and they are brilliant for days out and even school trips. There is also an option to set up a regular payment onto the card as pocket money and it's all done through a handy smart phone app. You can see what Luke thought of the card in his Youtube Review. It's another great way to teach children good spending habits.
Continuing the recycling theme, Brecon Carreg hosted a craft event that we attended where they showed us how to make monsters out of water bottles! You can find the instructions on the Brecon Carreg website to make your own. You could make something similar, using the same design, if you're not a fan of monsters. Perhaps a sea creature, or an alien! Craft activities are definitely something I want to do more of in the new year. We intend to carry this idea on in the New Year, perhaps coming up with our own toilet roll challenges! You can follow Nouvelle on Twitter to get access to the activity sheets yourself, if you would like to get involved with this project.