I cannot believe I have been writing this blog for 9 whole years this month. It is absolutely crazy to think I have been gabbling away for all of those years. Taking millions of photos (and I am not joking) and working with lots of fabulous people. I have really enjoyed writing this blog, being creative and sharing some of my ideas along the way.

I thought it was such a nice 9 year anniversary gift that a local newspaper featured an article about my blog, my family and acknowledged all of the hard work that I put into this. It is hard work. It isn’t a case of “wow you get free stuff” like some people perceive. I have to actually work in order to get the things we get, or go to places we go. When the kids are not playing ball that can be really stressful, as this work can only happen if my family are up for it!

There have been occasions where the children have hated things or places. Refused to take photos or turned into a little monster – and I still have to try and work with what I get. On the whole it is a lot of fun and I love to be able to do what I want with it – photography, writing and the blog design itself. It’s my space and I am really happy with it.

It was nice to see my screen time trick picked up in the news article. The trick is for every minute the kids walk the dogs, they earn a minute on their devices. It was funny to see it being called a genius idea as I simply see it as another way of trying to encourage the children outside and away from their devices. It worked. So I shared the idea! Sometimes all it takes is a little bribery, or focussing their attention on something different. Earning their screen time is definitely working and they appreciate the screen time more when they do get it.

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It suddenly dawned on me this morning, over breakfast, when Noah was talking about earning points and prizes. We can only sort their behaviour out if we do it #together. They had suggested the notion of earning certificates and so many certificates earned a prize, a few weeks ago. But I hadn’t put too much thought into it. Namely because their request for a puppy at 100 certificates made it quite unrealistic! But it dawned on me this morning that earning everything is the way forward… so I just blurted out: “for every minute you walk the dogs, you can earn computer time”… with that they both wanted to take the dogs out. No complaints. No negative noises. At all. I was gobsmacked. Then walking around I said: “for every nice photo I get you can have an extra minute”. They wanted to stop and pose for lots of photos, each time they kept a tally (by using stones) for how many times I told them I got a nice photo. Obviously I had to hide the fact I took 9,998 photos. They ended up with 41 nice photos! We got home and they counted up their stones and added it to the minutes walked and they were extremely excited to know they had earned 2hrs and 3 minutes on their computers. They appreciated the devices much more when they did get to go on them too. Whilst they were playing on their devices I made them certificates. So we add stickers to their certificate (almost like a sticker chart). They get a sticker for good behaviour. I told them if I didn’t have to tell them off at great grandmas they would earn a sticker. They didn’t. So they didn’t earn a sticker. They seemed devastated on the way home but both said they would try hard tomorrow! 🤞🏻 we’re getting somewhere… AT LAST! #mummyphotoaday

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Thank you for reading all the posts over the 9 years. Thank you for making the comments for 9 years. Thank you for telling me what’s rubbish and what’s great – the feedback is always useful. Well, here’s to another year of writing and sharing.

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Last Update: Sunday, 14th April 2019