7 Sep 2014

LSNED Lesson #6

We are taking great pains to teach Pickle Pants to say her Please's and Thank You's. Obviously it is something that everyone should learn for basic manners. But now that we have gotten past simple "Please" and "Thank You" we are trying to teach her the many different times that you say them.

Our current focus is for after dinner. If we have all sat down for dinner, Pickle is asked to say "Thank You for cooking" to whoever has cooked (Or ordered the takeaway/operated the microwave) It is very important to us that she learns to appreciate all the day to day things that go on, and acknowledges them by saying Thank You. 

I'm not sure where it started, it seems like I have only been saying it, or noticing that I'm saying it in the last few years, and particularly since OH and I have been living together. But it is important for us to acknowledge to each other that we are grateful for all the daily things that we do for each other, when it would be quite easy to just bumble along without acknowledging them at all. It feels like it just comes with that fundamental appreciation for the other person in the relationship, and the fact that they are there to help you and for that I am immensly grateful.

And obviously it would be a bit tiring and off-putting to go into gushing thanks every day for him being in my life etc etc etc. But I do think that by making a point of saying Thank You for cooking, or doing the recycling, or changing a nappy, or taking me to Ikea on a Saturday in September when its really busy keeps that base level of gratitude in our relationship, which makes those times that I do specifically make the point to say Thank You for Being in my Life, he knows that its not just for those reasons but because I really am very grateful. Which I am. 

So Todays Lesson is - You can never say Thank You for enough things.

6 Sep 2014

LSNED Lesson #5

This lesson is all about time and I suppose that my topic kind of fits in with this. OH and I are sometimes like ships in the night during the weekdays, but we will eventually come together at some point long enough to have a decent conversation. Now that Pickle Pants is here, a lot of those conversations tend to be about her and Fridays especially are a bit diffent because she spends all day at home with Daddy.

These days are often a bit different than the Mummy days. For starters OH doesn't have access to the car as I still need it to get to work. So sometimes he will ask for the pushchair so that they can go for a walk to the park, on other days its definately going to be a quiet day in for them. Daddy doesn't let Pickle watch anywhere near as much TV as Mummy does so they often do have more playtime together as, if I'm honest, Daddy is also a little less housework focused that I am.

But the other thing that happens if we are in for the weekend is that we can all sit down for dinner at the same time. And that tends to be when we both chat about what they have done that day and all the things that we have each noticed about her over the week. The little changes, the things that she does for either one of us that she might not do for the other. And its so lovely that we both get to have our own special time with her on a weekly basis, as it enables us to gain another perspective of her from each other. 

So Todays lesson is - Enjoy sharing the experience of being parents together.

5 Sep 2014

LSNED Lesson #4

Simple things for this lesson. Like the pleasure and contentment rhat comes from daily routines. 

OH, Pickle Pants and I are fairly established in our weekday routines and normally Wednesdays and Thursdays are nursery days so require a quick turnaround for Pickle Pants and I. 

Despite the fact that she isn't the fastest anymore, and can sometimes be quite fussy about not getting breakfast until she gets to nursery, I would never want to give up this getting dressed and getting out of the door hustle and bustle as it's our special time that we have grown accustomed to. And everyday I can see little changes in what she can do and what she notices which show me how much she is growing. Like putting her top on herself and asking for specific things for breakfast. 

Picking her up from nursery is always the best part of the day. A huge run and babble of excitement and cuddles as I find out the adventures of the day. A hunt for the car in the car park and the joy of finding Pooh bear in the seat waiting. The journey home where we notice the cars around us or each having a little day-dream time to reflect upon our day or our thoughts. 

And then we get home and take off our shoes and put our coats away and have a sneaky snack in front of the TV before Daddy comes home. Such simple little things, but they allow me to enjoy the days when I really don't get to spend that much time with her. 

So Todays lesson is - Enjoy all the parts of the day.

4 Sep 2014

LSNED Lesson #3

Todays Lesson is a bit more of an achievement celebration. With the arrival of The New Freezer, I have been inspired again to make my lunches so they are healthy and cheap. So off I toddled at lunchtime to get some food, brought far too much and then came home to cook it all. In one evening. And watch Bake Off.

But actually I didn't. I cooked some for tea and had some spare, and created a lovely new recipe and alternatives. I steamed some vegetables and make the house smell absolutely vile. And I made some stilton and brocoli soup. Just one thing. But it was really good to be able to just potter about, and know that at the end of it, I had 5 portions of 2 different lunches, plus some other food ready cooked to play with on Friday evening. No big drama, no big rush, and still a result.

And this is something that I am finding is happening more and more. I have learnt to take my time and assess what time is actually available to me and to use it in the best way. Which means sometimes that I do sit down and watch TV rather than rushing about all over the place. I am learning to recognise times when I shouldn't start in-depth discussions with OH because neither of us are in the mood to deal with the subject at hand. And this makes for a quiet and peaceful and contented life which is really all I'm looking for.

So Todays lesson is Do as much you feel like doing.

My other lessons of the day

1) - When you want to book your child into a pre-school, put his/her name down when you have your 12 month scan
2) - Children will pick the most random things to be absolutely excited about. Currently Pickle Pants is obsessed with Launch Pad from Duck Tales, and has taken to referring to him as "Daddy Duck". I don't know how that reflects on OH but its very amusing to hear her shouting "Daddy Duck" at top volume at the TV.

3 Sep 2014

LSNED Lesson #2

Today's prompt is about people who have taught us things but today I have had a pretty full on day of being Mummy. I do look at Pickle Pants sometimes and wonder what I am teaching her, consciously or otherwise. 

We did some cooking today, which is a skill that I want her to learn and so I am taking the time and effort to teach her and be patient when she makes a mess or take over when she doesn't do things in a quick and efficient way. 

My mum recently told me that she didn't like cooking with us as she didn't have the patience but I remember differently and it was always a treat to get to bake a cake with her.

But today was dominated by the arrival of The Second Freezer and acquisition of a huge cardboard box. This is a special and magical time for a toddler and I wanted to make the most of the experience. 

And let me tell you that the panic that a blank sheet of 12x12 can create is NOTHING to the terror of trying to decide what to make from a large cardboard box.

In the end we made a car and I feel that I acquitted myself well in the production of windscreen, door and working steering wheel. 
It certainly killed 2 whole hours of the afternoon which, in toddler language, is the mark of a job well done.

So Todays Lesson is Take the plunge to teach things that are important to you, even if they are incredibly messy!

2 Sep 2014

LSNED 2014 The Plan and Lesson #1

Hi all.

It's September again! Hooray! I think that I might be in my last year of being able to enjoy it neither as a student or a parent, so I'm going to make the most of it. (aside from a scary dream I had on Sunday night of having to take Pickle Pants to her new Pre-School by way of a gym which needs to be accessed by massive travelators - DON'T ASK, I don't know what the subconscious text behind that is!)

I don't have a clue about what I might learn this year. But there is one thing that I know I would like to try and learn. Which is to learn to play more with Pickle Pants. I am not as good at OH as getting into the moment and sitting down to play a game, whether or not it is trains or chase or bouncing the balloon or just running madly about like a loon. I always feel so self-conscious so I don't do it, and now that Daddy seems to be Numero Uno, I wonder if that is because he is better at Play time. 

I'm not going to get into a long winded thing about all the things that I don't do vs all that I manage to do, because at the end of the day I know that I am Managing Just Fine. I just would love to get caught up in the moment and forget about all the Mummy stuff for a bit because it looks like so much fun. But we will see how well I manage over the month.

The album itself will hopefully be a 6x8 PL album making use of the 2x 3x4 & 1 4x6 pocket protector and my Amy Tangerine Cut & Paste Mini Kit that I REALLY wanted for my birthday. It makes it much easier then. Just 1 landscape 4x6 photo. 1 3x4 with the Lesson on it and the other 3x4 as either more journalling or just a filler page. And because I have the kit already I can get started without waiting for supplies and just get the album and pocket protectors later when I am ready! Mwahahahaha, just one more reason why Project Life is taking over my world! (In a good way!)

As far as my blog posts go, the post for the previous day will hopefully go up every day. So today is Tuesday 2nd but today's post is all about the lesson I learnt on Monday 1st. This is for 2 reasons

1) I was still trying to finish off my little rant about stories and albums
2) It gives me a fighting chance to keep up to date and post at a reasonable time of day. 

So as per Monday mornings prompt
My name is Elliefantasy and today marks the start of Learn Something New 2014. 
This September I am most excited to Learn How to Play

And Mondays Lesson is.....
Sometimes Mummy is the one who wants to get ALL the bath toys out to play with!

I'd love to see your LSN lessons if you want to share.

See you tomorrow

Elliefantasy xx

1 Sep 2014

Stories and Albums - The Resolution. Sort of.

Hi All

So after 2 days thought, here is a roundup of my feelings about how I put my albums together.

1) I am not totally wedded to Project Life but I do like having photos in the little pockets
2) I don't like trying to print photos to the small 3x4 size so I'm not going to bother. I have a punch to cut them down with so I shall just use that where I think I can.
3) Most of my thoughts tend to appear as my facebook status's so I need to design some 3x4 cards that I like and get them printed up ready for me to write down my statuses if I like them enough.
4) I need to take more photos. I used to take loads of photos of Pickle Pants when she was a tiny baby and didn't do much. There are loads of her in her bouncer in babygrows, so many that it is difficult to tell which week it was as they all look identical. But now she is an active and bonkers toddler, I seem to hardly take any at all.

5) Some photos don't need scrapping twice. But some do. Just because it is in the Photobook doesn't mean that I can't scrap it in an album. But I will try not to scrap them in more than 1 album, I just need to identify the reason that I am scrapping my story and that will dictate the album that I put it into.

6) I might need to get some more albums which have designated story purposes. Some include My Story, Our Story (just for OH and me), My Family. Happy Campers. This fills the gaps that I think are missing and then when looked at as a whole collection, all the parts I want to scrap are there.
7) I can take photos of my craft/house achievements and put them into my Project Life albums. They are my life at the moment, and I want to record this time when I was very interested in these things.
8) My yearly albums don't have to be the same format every year. A method that works for this year wont work for other years and that is OK. 

Not Einstein or Shakespeare but pretty revealing. Especially point 5. Which seemed to me to be the thing that was really holding me up. So I spent some time on Friday night just pulling out photos to print whether or not I had printed them and had loads more to do. This made me happy.

I also had a quick look at the actual PL site. There is some advice there on how to set up your album, which can be quickly done, especially if you only have design A pocket protectors. You identify the Title 4x6 cards (I didn't realise that's what they were), pop them in with a load of 3x4 cards and then just add photos. I had a go with my Strawberry kit for 2013's album but got a bit annoyed with putting in the 3x4's as I just didn't know what I was going to end up with Photowise. So I took them out. But if you are looking for a really simple solution to getting started then its good advice.

I spent Saturday and Sunday re-organising my craft room (This is not a mandatory step, it just happened as part of the preparations for Freezer Day). I had some photo albums that were taking up space, and as I looked through them I realised that I had a load of photos that needed to go into my Friends PL album. So Sunday evening I spent ages putting photos in page protectors, punching out 3x4's and adding in journalling cards. I haven't written anything down as its the sort of thing that I can do when I'm playing in the Living Room with Pickle Pants. 

My Big Room Change also means that I now have a much more accessible place for all my albums to go which was a bit of a bug bear for me, and now sorted I am much happier. The room is a tip, I have loads of stuff I want to put into my albums and I'm in serious trouble of running out of page protectors but these are problems that I feel that I can overcome, and that the initial roadblock has been removed. 

So, its been a messy struggle but I think that we are there. I'm hoping that this bumbling week of mine has maybe been some help to someone as I don't believe that all crafting and organising problems are dealt with in a very structured and organised fashion in the real world. If you have had a problem that you have solved in a scrappy way (ha ha, pun not intended) then why not share?

I'm going to end with a quick apology as I've offered yet another long post that is just text. I'm going to go back through in the next week or 2 when I'm free to put some photos in and tag my recent posts up so its a bit less heavy and easy to navigate. The reason that I haven't is that I really wanted to get writing and publishing again and so made the decision to take the plunge and start up whilst leaving tarting up till later on. This blog is going to descend into 30 days of #LSNED and I'm going quick and dirty on that so it should leave lots of time! 

See you tomorrow 

Elliefantasy xx