Wordless Wednesday – Shape Collage

This will actually have quite a few words.  I’ve found a fantastic free programme called Shape Collage that does exactly that – you put your photos in and it gives you a collage in any shape you want.  It has some pre-programmed, but you can also create any silhouette you like and off you go.  I can see it will be fantastic for presents and fun!  I’ve been playing around with it, this is one I’ve made.

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13 ways in which I am priveleged

Thursday 13

  1. White
  2. Well-educated
  3. Middle – upper middle class
  4. Heterosexual
  5. Able
  6. Never been abused
  7. Cis (not transgender)
  8. Financially independent
  9. Accessible communications technology
  10. Married
  11. English speaker
  12. Healthy
  13. My immediate family are healthy

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Wordless Wednesday – Snow

Our little desert girls have never seen snow.

Putting things away when you finish

I love the theory – I mean it’s so simple.  When you finish playing with something you put it away before you get the next thing out.  I’ve tried to enforce this since the beginning, first me then the girls when they could get the concept.  But 4 years on, my house is covered in half-done jigsaws, textas with or without lids, pull along toys and lots of little bits and pieces.  My kitchen floor is a graveyard of soft toys, fridge magnets, wipe cloths and little plastic containers.

Some of this is ‘good mess’ – the soft toys are there because the little girl knows she has to let go of whatever she has when she climbs or she’ll fall off, the wipe cloths are because both girls are really good at cleaning up spills and can’t get into the laundry to put them in the wash afterwards.  Some of it is the house – the plastics cupboard doesn’t close and is very high traffic, so all the little bits fall out then get kicked around.  Some is just the result of little kids – they love playing with the fridge magnets but of course that involves taking them off and they never seem to all go back on.  There are always clothes on the bathroom floor because they toilet independently, but can’t (or don’t bother to) get their undies and bottoms back on afterwards and I don’t know until later.

It seems that we generally start a new activity inspired by the last one, and stopping to put things away would ruin the flow.  Or if I’m really honest, I don’t think of it until later and then I don’t want to interrupt them when they’re concentrating/being creative/playing beautifully together.  And it’s causing fights with the big girl – every time she asks to get something out the answer is “As soon as you’ve cleaned the last one up” and she DOES NOT WANT TO.  She’s not going to get away with that, but I’d rather avoid the fights because it’s not a pleasant way to spend the morning.  (I went to play floor dominoes with the girls this morning and they were in their bedroom.  I asked why they were in there not the living room and the answer was “We don’t want to clean up there before we’re allowed to play.”)

Five minute clean ups at the end of the day work the best so far, but then I still spend the day stepping on small things with lots of corners, the girls skid on paper and hurt themselves, textas are left without lids, and vital pieces mysteriously vanish.  We’re reasonable and getting better at having homes for everything – there’s a box or a shelf they are supposed to be on, but not everything makes it back and as the day goes on we progressively drown.  Then it’s such a hassle getting the girls to bed that I just flake out and seeing napping is a bit disastrous/non-existent it’s my first break of the day and I want to get some of my stuff done, so every day starts a bit further behind.  My darling husband on weekends keeps the house ticking over.

I think after 4 years it’s time to admit the truth – I’m not going to remember to pack things away as soon as they’re done with.  It would be nice, it would be efficient, it would be easier.  But it hasn’t happened so far and I can’t see that changing.

So what do other people do?  Do you have really good memories?  Do you have extreme limits on toys?  (We don’t have limits as such, but a lot are packed away where they don’t remember them and we rotate.) Do you let it go then clean it all up afterwards?  I really need a system, I’m completely open to suggestions.

TV – Postpone and magnify

I’m happy with the way we use TV, so this post isn’t to get into that whole debate.  But I’ve noticed something in the last few weeks and it’s getting beyond coincidence.

We don’t watch much TV.  The big girl used to have a DVD while her sister was ‘napping,’ it was on, she’d have another activity as well.  Now she’s at preschool at that time, but DH often puts on a MacGuyver DVD before or after dinner (does that date us?).  So we’re only talking an hour or two a day, which makes her behaviour really noticeable.  TV doesn’t relax her or calm her down, except temporarily.  It postpones and magnifies.  So if she is tired and I pop on a movie on Friday afternoon, she happily watches and then she’s exhausted.  If she’s upset when something goes on she’ll calm down and watch, but when it finishes she’s beside herself.

I think it would be waaaaay too simplistic to blame TV itself – there are all sorts of other dynamics going on.  I mean if she’s tired and stays up an extra hour to watch something, of course she’ll be exhausted.  And if she’s upset and I really really need to cook dinner rather than being with her, of course she’ll be more upset later.  And if she’s happy before something goes on there’s really no problem.

It’s more an interesting thing I’ve noticed that I’m throwing out there as food for thought.  For us, it’s meant that I’m now very careful when to use TV.  If I think she’s overtired, I’ll do something quiet with them instead.  If she’s upset, the same.  I haven’t come up with a solution for getting dinner done, looks like I need to produce more leftovers for use in emergencies!  Or I suppose I could be organised?

The journey to find my waistline (part 2)

Bah! That kilo I lost? Well I found it 😦  Turns out it lives in the bottom of a box of chocolates.

I didn’t expect to go well this week. I hadn’t been keeping track of what I had eaten and I hadn’t done much in the yard, which seems to be the best place for me to get incidental exercise, so really it was to be expected.

My bad result though was completely overshadowed by some other results I received yesterday though….I have had my first scan after my last operation for cancer and it came back clear! I have beaten it, I knew I would but the relief was more than I could believe- I started to cry as soon as I heard the news, so no matter the outcome of Weight Watchers, it was always going to be a great day!

At the meeting we talked about how losing weight can have such a huge impact on your health, and as our fearless leader stated- Health means everything. And as she said it I just had a grin from ear to ear. I realise now that I do have my health- not just my positive thinking but a clear scan to show me I am healthy, so this morning I got up, turned my computer on and logged straight into my weight tracking site. I might have been set back a step by that kilo but my clear scan has put me back in the lead.

Here’s to good health! Cheers! 😀

13 Ways of Showing Love

Thursday 13

It’s Valentine’s Day coming up!  While our society seems to think this is all about young couples, there are a lot of other people in our lives we love, young and old, these are some ideas of different ways to show them.

  1. Phone someone you haven’t seen for ages.
  2. Have special one-on-one time, especially if you have more than one child it can be hard to find.
  3. Do someone else’s ‘job’ for them, like the dishes or cleaning the bathroom, especially if you know they don’t like it.
  4. A sleep in!  Breakfast in bed is even better.
  5. Write a letter, complete with pictures, even if you live in the same house.
  6. Let them choose the activity after dinner, whether that’s the game they want to play or the TV programme.
  7. A foot massage or shoulder rub, or for little ones brushing their hair.
  8. Tell them something they do that makes you happy.
  9. Hand make them something – a present, a card or a cake, whatever you’re good at.
  10. A little present, for kids some stickers or pencils or for an adult their favourite fruit.  It doesn’t have to cost much, just show you’re thinking of them.
  11. Make their favourite meal.
  12. Go for a walk together and hold hands.
  13. A note on their pillow.

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