It’s a bit of a running joke in my family that I never remember any of the drama that happened as we were growing up because I was always asleep.

‘Do you remember that time Grandad punched a horse?’ someone will ask.

‘Of course she doesn’t,’ someone else will say,’ she will have been in bed.’

(Note: my Grandad never punched a horse but I couldn’t think of any examples because, obviously, I was asleep.)

fast asleep

Me from 9pm onwards

I get tired okay guys? I can’t help it.

As a teenager I never had any good TV programmes to talk about at school because I was always in bed and asleep by about 9pm. I normally manage to keep things going until about 10pm nowadays, but any later than that and my knees start twitching and to be honest if it was just me at home I’d probably be in bed earlier. I’m just trying to impress Belle. Whenever I go away on my own I’m in bed with a cup of tea catching up with the Archers by nine. View Post

In association with Ageas

What’s your worst driving habit?

Generally I’d say I’m a pretty good driver. I check my mirrors all the time, I indicate, mostly when I’m meant to, and I always check my blind spot. I get bad motion sickness, to the point where I can feel sick while I’m actually driving, so I always try to drive nice and smoothly too.

I *sometimes* twist the car sharply from side to side just to scare the children, but only if there is nothing behind me, so I think that’s totally acceptable. I also like to freak them out a bit sometimes by taking both hands off the wheel, but if you’re going in a straight line, how important really even IS the steering wheel?

Apparently VERY.

worst driving habits

I took part recently in a little driving experiment with insurance company Ageas. I was told that the project was all about parents teaching their children to drive, and as Bee has had her provisional licence for years now, and had about 20 lessons while she was at university in London, I figured she’d be pretty good. She did keep telling me that she felt VERY NOT OKAY about the whole thing, and that cars make her anxious, but I assured her that it would all come flooding back once she got behind the wheel.

Things did not flood. View Post

In association with Pumpables

I never expected to breastfeed a toddler.

I breastfed Bee for about six weeks, which on reflection wasn’t a bad go really. I was only 17 at the time, I lived in a house full of people and I went back to college about a month after she was born. And the MILK – my God, the milk. There was so damn much of it. At night I had to cut nappies in half to stuff in my bra otherwise the duvet, sheets and mattress would be soaked through. There was no way I could have gone back to college OOZING like that.

Second time around then, I was open-minded. I was prepared to give breastfeeding a go, but I was also prepared to stop if it didn’t work out. I wasn’t putting myself under any pressure.

When Belle was about six weeks old I went to a breastfeeding group. I’ve written about it before here, so I’m not going to harp on about how life changing it was, you’ll have to read the original post for that. Needless to say that it was, and I ended up breastfeeding Belle for two and a half years. I also trained as a breastfeeding counsellor, volunteered as a breast pump hire co-ordinator, wrote about breastfeeding for The Green Parent magazine and starred in an international breastfeeding calendar.

I was ALL about the boobs.

breastfeeding upside down

This was just an experiment – not a recommended feeding position

There were a few things that surprised me about breastfeeding a toddler: View Post

You know how Facebook does that thing where it reminds you of stuff that has happened and shows you pictures of yourself looking younger and thinner?

Well today it had two special memories for me.

Firstly it reminded me that ten years ago today I had to take Belle to A&E because she’d pushed a bit of orange peel into her ear. She’d had a friend to play after school and I think she did it as a bit of a joke, but then she couldn’t get it out and in her panic just pushed it in further and further until she was screaming.

So that was fun.

oranges

Photo by Naomi Koelemans on Unsplash

The second memory was from four years ago.

‘Packing today, moving tomorrow.’ It said. ‘It’s very depressing. :-(‘ View Post

In association with Coca-Cola

How do you get kids to recycle more plastic?

When they’re young it’s easier to be creative around recycling – you can decorate recycling boxes together, create star charts and set up rewards. You can even make a trip to the recycling centre fun for primary school aged children if you go about it in the right way and have chocolate buttons for the way home.

Teenagers though.

Teenagers are generally not so easily engaged. When we moved into our new house last summer I actually bought some stickers in the shape of flowers and leaves, plus a house number sticker, thinking Belle would want to use them to decorate the outside bins. Bless me and my determination to cling to the past.

Needless to say that our outside bins remain undecorated.

how do i get kids to recycle

Over the next six months we’re taking part in Coke’s Family Plastic Challenge, a new initiative to support the wider sustainability strategy they introduced last year. (You can find out more about the team of bloggers that I’m part of here.)

Currently only 58% of plastic bottles in the UK are recycled*, and this is a problem for Coke. It means that there isn’t enough recycled plastic – known as rPET – in the system, which in turn means it’s harder to make bottles containing high levels of recycled plastic.

I think a lot of us (me included) don’t really think about the lifecycle of a plastic bottle. We see it as a disposable item, and even if we do recycle we probably don’t think about what happens to it next. (I just imagine recycled plastic getting made into those pens that were popular when I was young that said ‘I was made from a plastic bottle!’) Plastic bottles are not single use though – when you recycle a plastic bottle it can reused again and again to make more plastic bottles.

It’s not just about the novelty pens guys! View Post

Belle is currently in the middle of her GCSE exams. They started around mid-May and her last one is on June 19th. There seem to be a LOT of them.

Her revision programme has gone something like this:

  • English literature: watching a rap about Macbeth on YouTube in the car on the way to school
  • English language: me saying ‘don’t forget to use your wow words’
  • Music: eating some pulled pork and watching Vampire Diaries

Now I know school has changed a lot since I went, but to me this doesn’t feel like your classic exam revision strategy.

But what am I meant to do about it?

How to make teenagers revise

Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

I guess the question probably isn’t ‘should I make my teenager revise for exams?’ and more ‘HOW do I make my teenager revise for exams?’ View Post