Sunday, 31 December 2017

Five Aims for 2018

I've realised strict resolutions don't really work for me. Some I stick to, some I don't and mostly I just end up feeling like I've failed. A feeling that I feel all too often at this point in my life.

So instead, I've decided to have some aims for the year instead. Aims feel a little less concrete. I feel like, if need be, I can dip in when my mental health is good and out when need be. I can do my best, but if I don't quite succeed, it's ok. They are things to aim for and work towards throughout the year.

So here are my aims for 2018:

Keep House
Some days I just don't have the motivation to keep on top of the home. Some days the thought of getting up from the sofa fills me with dread. I've struggled so much this year, but haven't always shared it, especially on here. There's something deeply embarrassing about depression affecting your housework and yet, I'm fairly sure it affects many many people in that way.

So this year, I plan to follow the Organised Mum method. 30 minutes per day seems doable and if I am having an off day, 30 minutes is something my husband can commit to too, or is easy to catch up on, on the weekend.

Oh how I wish to declutter. I don't always have the energy to. With depression it's often difficult just to keep the house ticking over. The clutter makes the anxiety worse though, so when I feel up to it, I really do want to work on the clutter at home and work towards a more minimalist home.

This year I plan to do this by decluttering 2018 items in 2018, as well as working on the Home Storage Solutions Declutter 365 Mission. I'm hoping that by having a little structure, and following the guiding principle of an item only having it's place if it is both useful and beautiful, I will have a home that I feel more at peace in by the end of 2018.

I'm under no illusion that it is incredibly difficult to become zero-waste, but I do want to become more conscious of the waste we produce. Towards that aim, I want to make one zero-waste swap per month for 2018. That should hopefully be 12 swaps over the year. Here are some of the swaps I plan to make, but in a random order.

  • Use a packed lunch, instead of buying food in disposable containers when out
  • Use brown bin for food waste
  • Start using cloth nappies again
  • Switch to wax wraps instead of clingfilm
  • Get a glass coffee cup, so I can support local small coffee shops instead of big corporations
  • Switch to bar conditioner
  • Change to bamboo toothbrush
  • Cloth handkerchiefs (made from old muslins?)
  • Reusable kitchen towel
  • Use a reusable container for buying cheese/meat/fish 
  • Use natural cleaning materials
  • Zero-waste present wrapping!
Ditch the Baby-Weight
Is it still baby weight when the first baby is nearly 3? When the second is nearly 1? I'm pretty sure it's mostly chocolate weight, but that's a whole other story. 

This year, I hope to get back down to the weight I was before I had Baobao. That's roughly 15kg to lose, depending on how much weight I've put on over the Christmas period. I want to do it healthily, although there will be times when I will be giving things up. 

Here are some ideas I've had so far:
  • Take part in Veganuary this January, to kickstart eating more healthily. I don't naturally eat many vegetables, so by going vegan for a month I hope to start it at least. 
  • Possibly take part in the British Heart Foundation Dechox in March, if they are running it again. It's a brilliant cause, and served to kickstart me losing some of the baby weight from Baobao before falling pregnant with Xiaobao.
  • Give up unhealthy snacks, such as crisps, sweets and chocolate for lent. I've done it in the past and feel confident I could do it again. 
  • Work on doing more exercise, possibly following a plan such as the NHS 12 Week Weight Loss Guide or Couch to 5K, or by doing classes, such as Zumba or Yoga when I am feeling more confident
Play More
Baobao has been asking to learn to read recently, so although I am planning to follow her lead on that matter, I also plan to play more with her and document her learning through play on this blog.

To that end, I plan on starting a weekly feature on the blog - Our Week in Play - a look at what we have done over the week, both in terms of learning and in terms of play, something that in our house is interchangeable. In a way, the blog will become a showcase of our home education journey, once Baobao is at compulsory school age. Until then, it's a showcase of our early years journey without nursery.

Friday, 15 December 2017

December Activities: Day 15

It's a mole! So we decided to watch some videos about moles.
Today it is Christmas jumper day. We made a design for grandma to make for us.
We chose a stencil to make our design.
Then coloured in our jumper.
Baobao worked really hard to stay in the lines.
Baobaos finished jumper design.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

December Activities: Day 14

Today we opened our door and found a goldfinch!
It was fitting that we found a bird, because our activity was to make bird feeders.
Baobao mixed melted peanut butter with birdseed.
Then we spooned it into oranges and a coconut shell that Baobao found in the park, as well as pressing it into pine cones. Baobao didn't want to use string, just in case the birds ate it accidentally.
Here are our finished birdfeeders, ready to go in our garden.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

December Activities: Day 12

Today's animal is a hare - so we played sleeping bunnies!
Today we explored shaving foam. It was shaped like a snowman, but that didn't last long.
Even Baobao got involved, something she doesn't usually do.

Monday, 11 December 2017

December Activities: Day 11

It's another bird today - a greenfinch!
Today we made our own wrapping paper.
Baobao drew on some designs.
Then I sprayed on some watered down paint.
Here are some of our finished designs.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

December Activities: Day 10

We think our picture today is a tree sparrow. We really love finding out about the different animals each day with our calendar.
We were meant to go to a Christmas market today, but it got snowed off. Instead, we made footprints in the snow.
Explored how the snow felt different at different depths.
Then Baobao made a snowman with her Baba.
She was disappointed when she found out it might melt soon.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

December Activities: Day 9

Today we found a snowy winter badger.
Our activity for today was to read a story. We got out our Christmas themed books and read them all.

Friday, 8 December 2017

December Activities: Day 8

Today we opened our advent calendar and found an owl.
Our activity of the day, was to make Christmas gifts. We made treats for the cats, using this recipe.
Neko was super excited that we were making something for him.
We spooned the mixture out on to a baking tray
Put it in the oven...
And voila - cat treats for Christmas.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

December Activities: Day 7

After much researching, we came to the conclusion that today's bird is a green woodpecker. We're not 100% sure though, so let me know what you think?
We went to Nature Explorers in our local park today and made a nest..
explored floating and sinking...
decorated for the holidays...
made Stick Man....
and made these amazing pegs - seen here holding up my birthday cards

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

December Activities: Day 6

Today's image on our advent calendar was a fir tree. We talked about some of the Christmas trees we have seen in our local area.
Our activity today was snowflakes. I glued these lolly sticks together using a hot glue gun. Baobao painted them using her Stockmar water colours.
Then used PVA glue to stick on some pom poms

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

December Activities: Day 5

Today's picture was a dog on a walk. We pointed out and described the dogs we saw when we went for a walk today.
Today's activity advent was making Christmas cards.
Baobao painted the background using Stockmar water colours
She did colour mixing and thought really carefully about each colour she used. 
Then she stuck on foam stars. She limited how many she used on each card
Our finished cards

Monday, 4 December 2017

December Activities: Day 4

Today our calendar revealed a swan. We learnt about swans and went to see the waterfowl at our local park. 
Baobao took her camera to take pictures of some of the things that interested her in the park.
She especially enjoyed taking pictures of animals and plants
We bought some birdfeed to feed the waterfowl at our local park. Instead Baobao fed the pigeons.
We also did some climbing

And found the tree that had been decorated for Christmas on Sunday
Here are some of Baobao's pictures:
Christmas Tree



Bird on the water through a bridge