I just want to be a baby again Mummy

We’ve had quite a few new babies arrive to our family and friends this last week, which we are so excited about, especially Noo who is going through a real baby phase, and is very annoyed that we’re not having any more! Four year old E, however, hasn’t been quite so enthused by all these babies. At breakfast the other morning she unexpectedly burst into tears, the gulpy uncontrollable sobs that are a big giveaway that something really isn’t right. We managed to discern that she was upset over not being a baby anymore! Poor little sausage. I think it’s finally hit her that for all the excitement of being a big girl and getting to go to school it also means a big change for her emotionally. She told us that she just missed the special days with mummy and all the cuddles. Well, of course I nearly burst into tears on hearing that!

I must admit I really do miss the time we had together, who knew you could miss soft play?! I think September was a big month of change for us, well for E and I especially, and now that the initial excitement has abated we’re now in the reality that this is our new week. One that’s full of homework and reading books, rushing around and working hard.

E baby again

Last weekend the mister got unexpected tickets to Old Trafford so he whisked N off to Manchester for the day leaving E and I at home. After a little chat we decided to spend the day doing things we used to do before she started school.

We managed to squeeze in a trip to our local garden centre, where E was especially excited to see that they had started putting out their Christmas things! Imagine that scene in Elf where he shouts, Santa, and you get the idea.

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She’s a girl after my own heart that one. She was rather disappointed that they hadn’t got the singing Santa’s out yet! After taking in all the Christmas decorations we rushed to a friend’s church where they were showing Home in a cinema style. Home is one of E’s absolute favourites so this was really well timed. After the film we were going to head home, but then I thought why not go to Lytham, it has E’s favourite park and we haven’t managed to get there much lately. So much to E’s glee we changed direction and drove in the sunshine to the park.

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After we’d run ourselves ragged in the park we both decided that fish and chips were an absolute must. How E still had energy to run around afterwards, I do not know.

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Driving home I couldn’t help feel happy that we’d managed to squeeze so much into our day. E is such a joy to spend time with and it really made me realise how much I’ve been missing her. Of course I am so happy with having more time in the week to spend on my business and this blog and I know that E is loving school, I think maybe I just need to make more of an effort with the time we do get together. Her little outburst over breakfast reminded me just how little she still is, and while she may not be a baby any more, she still needs that quality time. I remember doing it a lot with N when she started school. We had lots of issues with her behaviour at home (catch up by checking out the My Angry 5 Year Old series) and we found that ‘Love Bombing’ where you give the child the chance to spend time with you one on one and choose what to do, really helped so much.

I’m going to make the effort to give my girls that special one on one time, whether it’s watching Katie’s videos on Youtube with E, listening to N read or dancing round with Strictly on in the background, I don’t think it really matters, just as long as we have fun together.

morganaI just want to be a baby again Mummy
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Our trip to London town

Over the holidays we stayed over with some lovely friends that live just outside of London and took advantage of being so close to the big city and took the girls there for the day. Now that the girls are back at school this trip already seems a lifetime ago even though only a matter a weeks have passed!

We decided the easiest way to get to central London was by train and the walk down to the train station involved lots of questions from a very curious E. She doesn’t remember going on a train and was full of nervousness and excitement. After being on a rollercoaster the other week she was worried that the train would be the same!

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We arrived in a beautifully sunny London, something that I had not planned for, cue annoyed looks from my long sleeve clad children! We got the tube over to The Natural History Musuem and noticing the time decided to look for for food before heading in.

As short walk away we found LEON. I’d been to a LEON last time I was in London for Blogtacular and had immediately fallen in love with the standard of food and the price. It was just as much of a hit with my girls and husband!

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We looked around the Natural History Museum and it was clear that it was a massive winner with our fact hungry seven year old. I took lots of photos while we were looking around but I think I must have accidentally deleted them as they are nowhere to be found! Massive blogger fail, right there.

After taking in as much of the Natural History Museum that we could we made the short walk over the road to the Victoria and Albert museum.

 

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The girls and I pored over the Fashion collection, it was stunning to see how much fashion has changed over the years. After a little wander it was clear that the littlest was beginning to get a little bored. You know that eyes glazing over kind of look? So I took her hand in mine and we made our way to the cafe, leaving daddy and N to look around in peace.

We grabbed a drink and headed outside to this,

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E was in paradise! At first she just paddled, then the skirt was tucked in her knickers and then her skirt came off completely! Of course we had no towel or change of clothes with us, but that didn’t phase her one bit. It was honestly such a joy to watch her running around in the water, jumping in the fountains and even sitting on them at times! I felt her sense of freedom and it was beautiful. As I sat watching her I reflected on what I might have been like if we’d have come here with N at four years old and I hate to say it but I think I’d have been much more worried about her getting her clothes wet. I think I’d have made sure she only paddled and stopped her from getting too wet. I don’t know why but I am so much more relaxed in the way I parent E. I think it’s because she herself is so laidback. If N had got as wet as E had there is NO WAY she would have been happy to walk around for the rest of the day dripping wet!!

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I’m sorry I can’t offer more about the exhibitions inside the V&A but know that the water feature is a must see!

Now a daytrip with my girls to a big city just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Wagamama!

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We had such a beautiful day out and after catching the train and getting back in our car to drive back to the New Forest we had two very content sleeping children.

 

morganaOur trip to London town
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Our top tips for preparing a child for school

In an attempt to get my head around my youngest girl starting school I’ve put together our top tips for preparing a child for school.  These are the things that I’m doing with E and hopefully you’ll find them helpful too, let me know what you think.

1. Getting changed in and out of their uniform and PE kit

E is so lazy when it comes to getting dressed and would happily get me to dress her every day! This is something that we’ve been working on lately as when she’s at school she’s going to need to be able to get changed independently for PE lessons.  You can always guess the days that reception children have done PE as they come out of class with shirts buttoned up wrong, backwards jumpers and ties over the top of their collars – so funny! I know that E will struggle with this so it’s something that we’ll be practicing over the summer holidays, especially those tricky shirt buttons!

top tips for preparing a child for schol

E loves been a big girl like her sister so we had a fun afternoon with both girls trying on uniform. It helped E to watch how her sister put on the uniform, it just freaked me out how old E looked all decked out in it! We’re lucky that the girls school doesn’t require any uniform with logos on, so apart from the tie all the uniform can be bought on the high street.

top tips for preparing a child for school

Of course, with these two they together they can’t stay serious for long!!

silly school uniform

 

2. Reading Eggs and other tools to help them practice

E never used to be one for sitting down and drawing or trying to write but recently she’s started to show an interest. We popped into a bookshop the other day and while we were there we picked up some booklets with worksheets in for E’s age. Twinkl also has some fantastic learning resources that you can print out so check them out too. I’ve left the booklets and sheets on their desk in the dining room and have seen E sit herself down and give them a try. I’m not one for pressurised learning, I don’t sit her down and make her do it –  if my girls are anything like me that kind of thing will make them more inclined not to do it!! She knows they are there and when she wants to do them she does. I take a similar approach with Noo when it comes to homework. We get it out together but it’s her responsibility to do it, I’m not going to sit over her and make her do it until it’s perfect. We talk it through and then she knows to grab either me or her dad if she gets stuck on anything.

top tips for preparing a child to start school

Last year we reviewed the website Reading Eggs and loved it so much I’ve signed E up to it. It is geared to her age and ability and helps with recognising letters and putting them together to form words. She LOVES going on this website and calls it her ‘lessons’! So cute.

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3. Get them excited about school, but just don’t go on and on about it!

E and I have been talking quite a bit about school recently, luckily she is super excited about starting so loves talking about her classroom and teacher and even the canteen! When Noo was about to start school she was a little more apprehensive so we’d talk it through but I’d pick my moments as I found the more I pushed it the more she got nervous about it. You know your child the best so take your lead from them when it comes to talking it through.

 

4. Playdates with children that will be in their class

E only knows a few children starting reception the same time as her, but unfortunately they are all in the other reception class! Someone that I know has a little girl that will be in E’s class so we’re planning a couple of playdates in the holidays so they can get to know each other and will at least be able to go in together and not be as nervous about starting. Though thankfully E is fairly confident so don’t think she’ll have much trouble making friends.

 

5. Have a fantastic summer!

Make loads of memories and have lots of fun. Give them lots to talk about when they start in September!

 

I hope you find these tips helpful. Maybe you have some to add? Just leave them in a comment below.

 

A big thanks to Matalan for partnering with us and sending over uniform for the girls, it is absolutely fantastic so . make sure you check them out for school uniform. They’ve also put together a back to school checklist that’s really helpful!

morganaOur top tips for preparing a child for school
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Our simple family holiday

I’m sure you all know that feeling, the one where you just need a holiday? That’s how I’ve been feeling recently. Working from home has it’s perks but working in the same place and seeing very few people – while on one hand it can be great for an introvert like myself – it can also end up feeling a bit monotonous. I’d been counting down the weeks and days to our holiday in France with the same excitement and anticipation as my children!

This isn’t a review, I’m not going to regale you with all the details of what we did each day. I’ll leave the family travel bloggers to that, they are far better at it than I could ever be! It wasn’t a lavish holiday, it didn’t need to be. A week in a caravan in France with all the family was all I wanted. Of course, sunshine and wine were clinchers too!

In that week I had the chance to have a mini retreat from social media and blogging. I don’t know about you but I find it really hard to switch off whether it’s blogging or my business I do them both from home and both are online so I’m always on social media – from first thing in the morning and until I go to bed. I love this blog and chatting on social media, but sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and enjoy moments without having to worry about getting the best photos or thinking up blogging content. I was going to check my work emails mid week by buying some time on the wifi, but do you know what when mid week came I had absolutely no desire to look, I knew it could keep a few extra days (a big thank you to my Little and Fierce customers for that). I was able to soak up the holiday with nothing else on my mind, just read books, watch the kids play, chat to family and sunbathe. It was just what I needed.

We drove down to Plymouth and took the ferry overnight to Roskoff and then drove to the Eurocamp resort in Brittany that would be our home for the week. We had some beautiful hot weather for one half of the week and cloudy for the second half. Here are a few holiday snaps from my iPhone – I took my big camera but it stayed in my case all week!

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E wore this fantastic set by Sunuva swimwear, I reviewed them last year (you can read the post here) and they kindly sent us a new set for E as she’d outgrown last years. The rash vests are the perfect cover up, quick drying and like all the swimwear they are UPF 50+ – I’d definitely recommend them.

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I’m so thankful for this simple family holiday and all the memories I have from it.

morganaOur simple family holiday
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It’s my party..! Celebrating my 30th

I know that you’re all probably fed up of me banging on about my birthday, but I promise this will be (one of) the last times you have to read about it!

Considering 30 is rather a big number to some we thought that it was a good reason as any to throw a party – cue the mister stressing out about getting our laminate floor laid in time!

I decided to go with a gold sparkly theme with accent colours of bright pink and purple and as our living space is white I think it worked really well.

My gorgeous friend Lydia out did herself with the cupcakes and they were a huge hit. So pleased that we squirrelled a couple away for the girls as they went super fast!

Of course a party just isn’t a party these days without a photo booth – well according to Pinterest anyway! For mine I bought a few metres of sparkly gold material to hang as a backdrop and picked up a load of little props from Hobbycraft, that I displayed in a basket. A genius friend of mine came up with the hashtag #butwhy30why so every time someone took a pic and loaded it on social media we were all able to keep track of them.

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I had such a fantastic night with so many fantastic friends and it definitely softened the blow of turning 30!

Just wish I’d taken more photos – no change there then!

morganaIt’s my party..! Celebrating my 30th
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“I want to watch opening eggs!” – the Youtube obsession continues

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A little while ago I wrote about my little youtube lover and her obsession with watching videos of people opening Kinder eggs. Yes, that is a thing, who knew?! A few months have gone by and E is still very much in love with them, more than ever in fact. I wish I had money for every time the words ‘opening eggs’ came out of her mouth, lets just say I’d be very rich!

Here’s an example of the extent of her obsession. We left soft play the other day and one of the  bribes  promises I made was that she could watch ‘opening eggs’ when we got home (anything just to get her in the car!). She fell asleep on the journey home and as I carefully carried her from the car to the sofa she stirred and actually said, “I watch opening eggs now”, luckily she fell back asleep as she said it so I was able to get on with some work without E bouncing on my knee shouting “What you gonna get? What you gonna get?” loudly, in my ear.

This youtube obsession is spreading in our house with Noo  – never one to miss out on anything –  recently joining in with wanting to watch stuff on there. Unlike her sister she’s not a fan of ‘opening eggs’ and prefers playdough tutorials and hairstyle tutorials. She also enjoys watching toy reviews, especially if they are My Little Pony and Littlest Petshop related – unfortunately these only serve to foster her ‘I want that!’ .

Yesterday I was washing up and getting continually pestered by the small one for ‘opening eggs’, eventually she gave up and went off to play with her sister. Five minutes later I heard excited squeals coming from the living room and some very annoying ‘background music’ you know that elevator style of music. E excitedly ran into the kitchen, grabbed my hand and pulled me into the living room.

“OPENING EGGS ON THE TV!!!”

Somehow Noo had got hold of my phone put a video on for E and then put it onto our television, do not ask me how, I don’t think she even knows! I know that the mister often does that for workout videos on youtube and as we have a Smart tv it’s pretty easy to do (apparently!).

So for the next hour, yes hour, they took it in turns to choose videos. Let me tell you, every day is a school day because I even learnt to do a fishtail plait in Rapunzel’s hair that afternoon, such a valid life skill right there.

Her current favourites,

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It’s just a shame about this poor lady’s voice, I often turn the volume way down when we’re on this channel!

 

The Mommy and Gracie Show

‘Mommy and Gracie’, (or Marnie and Gracie as E insists it is), will do toys reviews as well as ‘opening eggs’ so this is a favourite with both my girls and there is always a video both girls will want to watch. They love the blind bag toy opening and they aren’t  annoying like so many others – we are quite the youtube connoisseurs now, don’t you know.

 

So now the girls are wanting to have their own channel so they can upload videos of themselves opening eggs and making stuff. I often catch them talking about what they are doing while they play with playdough or talking about each of their Kinder Surprise Disney Princesses (another obsession – we just need Belle!)

Hmm.. maybe we should give it a go, what do you think?

morgana“I want to watch opening eggs!” – the Youtube obsession continues
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