Ten Things Ive Learnt in My First Term as a School Mum

Being a lover of reflection what better way to kick off 2018 than reflecting on experiences as a  ‘School Mum.’  Being my first-born i had no prior experience or expectation on how everything would come together and plan out so what better way then to put pen to paper and tally up what I’ve learnt thus far.

  1. You ‘Love’ getting rid of them for a few hours but once their in school you spend most days twiddling your thumbs wondering what they’re doing.
  2. Cliques are still a thing,even among the playground pick up chaos. Everyone has their set group of Mums and Dads they congregate too. Good luck if you’re a newcomer, its fair to say it took me a good three months to find a common ground with my fellow pram pushers.
  3. HeadLice are yet to become extinct. Those pesky creepy parasites have managed to divide and conquer and if you don’t get a forwarded email or text from the school weekly informing you that ‘Little Visitors’ are doing the rounds then do your kids even go to school? I use a DIY Headlice ‘repellent’ and Spritz Big Littles hair every morning before we clamber out the door  followed by a  quick check every evening.
  4. Extracting the daily play by-play of what your child did that day is a minefield, you need a BA(hons) and playground lingo certification to make any sense of the ‘I can’t remembers/and or i don’t knows.’
  5. Watching your child in their first christmas nativity is a heart kicker, Big little only sat on the stage and belted out a few songs with everyone else but the big ball of emotions came colliding even before he walked into that rather stuffy assembly hall.
  6. You will spend more time washing and ironing your childs uniform than you do your own clothes. After their first week you’ll be the proud owner of a  lovely set of blue paint stained jumpers and scuffed school shoes but you’ll keep them anyway and just hope their teachers and peers think it happened that day.
  7. Never did the Alphabet seem more tedious until you teach your child phonics (Ah (A) Buh(b) Cuh (c) etc..)
  8. Be ready to give up 30 Sundays of the year for the obligatory  birthday parties..don’t get me started on the christmas cards, you think writing it out for one class is bad, wait until you have multiple children and your writing ‘Merry Christmas’ 60+ times.
  9. If you need to drive to school for pick up you better be prepared to leave half an hour early just to park your car.
  10. They grow so fast! its only been three months but im pretty sure he’s a giant, a giant who has mastered the sassy eye roll and learnt a ray of different swear words.

If you’ve started on your second term as a ‘school parent’ tag me in your top ten list and let me know what you’ve learnt over the past few months.

 

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Reflecting on the old, Hello to the new..

I know many think the whole new year new me posts are overrated but I can’t help but get sentimental when looking back at the last 12 months.

Without a doubt I found courage and strength from a place I wasn’t aware existed. Jacobs “differences” came to a head as I chose for him to have surgery and put his life into another’s hands not once but three times. He taught me the definition of fierceness and tenacity while i watched his journey of recovery.

My big little started reception.Feeling so out of control giving half of my heart and soul to teachers whom I don’t really know, but with good faith I hope they discover the smart witty loving soul as did i.

I started on the journey to rediscover myself and had fun with old and new friends. I found a real friendship along the way, she somehow manages to be the complete opposite of me yet we founded an even ground.

I also went through a school Appeal, failed but gained knowledge, earned my independence back, jumped out of my comfort zone, danced the night away to little mix with my dad, Saw James Arthur in concert, watched my twin brother jump across the globe for a new exciting job and fought for my littles in different situations that arose along the way.

Here’s to another world wind 2018 as I prepare my littlest little to go through the same operations as he did this year. Il also watch him flourish come September when he starts nursery school and probably ugly cry for a good few days over the fact I’l be handing my own little shadow to the education system.

Il  witness my big little grow as he navigates his school years, and teach him a few life lessons along the way.

I’m sure there will be some lows and tears to come but I look forward to experiencing the new and reflecting once again this time next year 💖

 

Happy and safe New Year

 

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My Favourite High End Skincare Products Autumn/Winter’17 Edition.

Although my blog tends to focus on the parenting side of life, my two are starting to grow a little more and it got me thinking that Today would be the perfect time to start posting topics a little bit more universal that is relatable to us as People and not just ‘parents.’ Now i just want to add this doesn’t mean my parenting posts and reviews are going to end, I’m just excited to be able to share a little more with you.

To start  I thought id share with you my favourite  Skincare products  that help me feel a bit more human. I’ve always been a stickler with my morning and evening skincare routine after suffering with sensitive and hormonal skin since my teens. My Favourite time of the day is once my makeups removed and I’ve settled down for the night bare-faced and relaxed with a glass of bubbles (although its more likely to be a steaming mug of coffee now winters well on its way.)

Below is a list of my go to High End Skincare products:

For reference my skin is Combination and slightly Dehydrated

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Makeup Remover Clinique take the day off cleansing balm (£23.00)

An emulsifying milky balm that removes even waterproof makeup.

Cleanser- Kiehl’s Calendula deep cleansing foaming face wash (£24.00-250ml)

A Cooling foaming face wash that balances and refreshes skin.

Facial Exfoliator- Kiehls Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub (£24.00)

A Natural face scrub that removes dead skin cells and rejuvenates skin.

Toner- Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner (£34.50- 250ml)

Cleanses and soothes skin.

Facial Mask- Kiehls Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask (£23.50)along side Calendula and Aloe Soothing mask (£43.50)

Rare earth deep pore cleansing mask gets rid of debris and dead surface skin-cell accumulation which leaves skin refined and pores minimised.

Calendula and Aloe soothing mask Cools, Hydrates and refreshes upon application instantly achieving revitalised skin.

Serum- Farsali Unicorn Essence (£50.00)

An oil-free elixir that is brimming with super fruits that help solve a catalogue of common complexion concerns and allows you prime your skin before makeup application.

Moisturizer Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (£30.00 125ml)

Softens, smooths and improves skin texture and condition.

Evening Oil- Kiehls Midnight Recovery Oil (£49.50-50ml)

Restores skins healthy appearance overnight resulting in a more radiant and smooth complexion.

Eye Cream- Kiehls Creamy Eye treatment with Avocado (£34.00)

Gently moisturizes and hydrates eye area.

Blemish Remedy- Clinique Anti Blemish solutions (£21.00)

Starts clearing blemishes upon application and helps prevent new blemish occurring.

Lip Prep- Niod Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate (£38.00)

Boosts lip volume,delivers suppleness, and leaves a natural rouge on the lips after completing  twice a day use for a 30 day period and then once a day for maintained results.

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Now I know most of the products mentioned above are from the same brand however I’ve found they do work particularly well for me at the moment. While my skins agreeing with one brand I try to keep with the same line as to not irritate or confuse my skin. I go between these and some staples i have which are more affordable and available from most known high street stores and/or Online which i will share with you next week. I’ve included the links so if any of you fancy looking into any particular product then all the info is alongside and above.

Please let me know in the comments if this post is something you’d like to see in the future, thanks for reading as always.

 

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*Not a paid or biased review, everything was purchased soley by myself*

Halloween Activities for Children

Halloween is a time that catches not just the attention of teens but sets children imaginations wild, perhaps the idea of diving into their goody bags gives them a pre sugar rush fuel after Trick or treating; or the maybe it’s the Dressing up that fires up their imagination and gets you into the spirit of Halloween. To make life a little simpler  I’ve made a guide of simple activities the whole family can enjoy.

  • Collect Pinecones and make a ‘Spooktacular’ garland with them.
  • 22810500_10159590418730014_1859366337_oVisit a pumpkin patch.
  • Roast Pumpkin seeds.
  • Take an evening walk to admire any neighbourhood decorations.
  • Have a pre Halloween photo shoot with some fancy dress, all you need is a white or the more appropriate black sheet and some blue tack for the perfect backdrop.
  • Make a Spiced Apple crumble.
  • Make an Autumnal sensory box ( you could include crunchy autumn leaves, pinecones,conkers, pumpkin seeds to name a few)
  • Halloween Bath All you need is some  black food colouring and some Jackolantern Balloons. Don’t panic it won’t stain the children, promise!
  • Cotton Ball ‘Ghosties’ – a tactile craft for toddlers using chalk, cotton balls and buttons.
  • Make Monster Hands! Everyone loves a hand-tracing activity, right? Beans and lentils add some sensory fun to this craft.
  • A monster mobile is a whimsical way to upcycle some cardboard toilet rolls and can liven up the hour before bath time.
  • Snuggle up on the sofa with some Cinnamon spiced milk and pop on some family friendly Halloween inspired films such as: Caroline, Casper, Hocus Pocus,  Curious George a Halloween Boofest (2013), The nightmare before Christmas(6+) and Pooh’s Heefalump Halloween Movie.
  • Have a Halloween Tea Party displaying all the crafts you’ve made if your opposed to treat or treating, a simple yet fun way to enjoy Halloween from the comfort of your own home.

However you decide to celebrate Halloween this year please be cautious and respectful of neighbours that may not be so warm to the idea of Halloween if you do venture out. Be safe and remember to have fun.

I’d love to see what crafts and activities you get up to so comment under this post or get in touch via Instagram and let me see all the ‘Spooktacular’ fun you’ve been up to.

 

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Where i am, Where I’ve been and Everything in-between..

Once again I’ve managed to disappear off the blogosphere world so I thought id update you all with the Ins and outs of why I’ve been so quiet.

If you follow me on Instagram you would probably already seen that September has been a bit of a Crazy one for me. My eldest started Primary School all while I have been at Great Ormond Street Hospital with my younger son while he has gone through three surgeries consecutively for three weeks in a row.

Jacob (younger Son) has had a surgical procedure that in short rotated his forearm 180 degrees. This had to be done in stages as to not compromise the blood supply and lower the risk for compartment syndrome. If you click here  you will be able to go back and read in more depth about what led Jacob to needing the Surgery, and at some point I will do a post sharing an in-depth of what the condition is and try to raise a little bit of awareness for it.

So although this isn’t much for an update ,the past 9 months have basically been limbo awaiting an operation date for Jacob so on part I felt like my life has been put on hold, Now we are one week away from the Plaster coming off for Jacob and a few weeks away from Franks first half term il be trying to kick it up a notch with this posting malarkey and get some routine and order back around here.. ( here’s hoping)

 

To keep up to date a little better, keep checking in with me over at my Instagram id love to see some familiar and some new faces.

 

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Weekly Meal Diary Planner

I for one always struggle to know what to cook for every evening meal of the week, so to keep me focused while down the aisle in our grocery store I’m trying to Plan  meals for everyday ( give or take) of the week and thought id share what I cook each week in the hope that if you’re wondering what to make you may feel inspired.

Monday:-

Breakfast: Fruit Salad and Cereal ( this is what the boys have most days) Oatmeal Muffin for me

Lunch: Cherry Tomato Omelette

Evening Meal: Chicken Italian Heck Sausages with Sweet Potatoes Mash and Peas

Tuesday:-

Breakfast: Fruit Salad and Cereal For Boys and Smoothie for me

Lunch: Poached eggs on Toast

Evening Meal: Vegetable Noodle Soup

Wednesday :-

Breakfast: Fruit Salad for Boys and Toast for me

Lunch: Left over Vegetable Noodle Soup

Evening Meal: Roasted Peppers and Green beans with Plaice

 Thursday:-

Breakfast: Fruit Salad for Boys and Strong Coffee with Breakfast bar for me

Lunch: Tuna Salad Wrap

Evening Meal: ‘Big mac in a bowl’ Minced beef,lettuce, pickled onion, Diced Onions and Relish 

 Friday:- 

Breakfast: Fruit Salad For Boys and Cereal for me

Lunch:  Beans on toast ( forever a family fav)

Evening Meal: Homemade Chicken Chow Mein

 Saturday:- 

Breakfast: Bagel for Everyone

Lunch:  Normally grab something quick and easy while out

Evening Meal: Tortilla Pizza

 Sunday-

Breakfast: Fruit Salad For Boys

Lunch: Roast Dinner

Evening Meal:  Normally Picky’s for me and Weetabix for the boys

Now that’s my meal plan done for the week, id love to hear what you eat each week too!

I’m thinking about adding ingredients for future meal plans or even a shopping list Receipt Picture if that would be helpful to anyone?

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*Disclaimer; I’m not a Culinary Guru or Nutritional expert this is just how i planned the week, some evenings subject to change according to leftovers or mummy tiredness* 

What I wish I knew as a first time mum

If only i could use my somewhat newfound knowledge and tell the 19-year-old me all  i know now those initial parenting months would have been a lot more stress and worry free, but hey that’s what being a first time parent is all about, learning the ropes of motherhood and more importantly learning how to combat a nappy explosion  and a refluxy baby all in one.

If any first time parents are reading this then please be reassured, things WILL get easier and you’ll continue to learn more about your new baby and yourself everyday.

There are so so many controversial parenting topics we could discuss such as breast or bottle feeding, but only you will know what ultimately works for you and your baby, shrug off others opinions and trust your natural-born instincts on this one.

Between the sleep deprivation and the newfound mum “bun” you’ve been rocking those first few weeks you’ll wonder where you left your old self. Parenting is challenging enough without worrying about loosing the carefree part of you and your sanity too. Just remember things take time and once the beginning of the jigsaw is put in place you will find time to be other versions of yourself rather than “just a mum.”

So to match your new hairdo you might possibly have the matching ‘mum tum’ to go with it too. Your body just grew and housed your child for the past nine months, give yourself time to recover. It takes nine months to form a baby and nine plus months to get your pre pregnancy body back.If twelve months down the road your still wearing your mothers apron don’t put negativity into your mind, like I said earlier its all about finding a balance and things will come together in the end.

The biggest message i wish i could tell any first time parent is to  enjoy them while there little! They grow up in a blink of an eye so cherish every single moment. If you’ve been up all night with your teething toddler and they are demanding every morcal of energy and patience  you have to give just exhale; and remember one day you will pick your child up for the last time and they won’t Ever need or want to be picked up again. Each child develops differently so let them reach their milestones at their own pace; Just because your friends uncles child is walking at 8 months doesn’t mean your child walking at 16 months is any less gifted than theres. Remember the ideal Parent and Ideal Child is all fantasy. Take the Good with the ugly and keep going forward together.

Finally… Things change, those are fleeting and you will make mistakes. It doesn’t make you a bad parent because you’ve given in to your childs droning demand of sugary snacks just so you can get around the supermarket, or you’ve given them your iPad to watch Peppa Pig  just so you can get five minutes quiet.. It makes you Human! Youl probably be more like your parents than you ever knew you could be before you had children, but now those phrases of ‘ because mummy said so, or if you don’t eat your dinner youl go to bed hungry’ sound so more apparent now they are spoken from your mouth.

so To the 19 year old me and to every  first time parent out there, Keep Going, Laugh and cry over a television advert if you want but just Find the Balance, and before you know it you will have your own knowledge imbedded in you to help someone else out.

Thanks for reading, as always you can find me on the web by heading over to my contact details or leave me a comment and share with me anything you’d of liked to tell the First time parent in you.

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Babies First Holiday Survival Guide

Summer is almost here, and this year may be your first holiday as a family. whether you’re jetting off abroad, or staying closer to home your first holiday will fire many emotions at you as you prepare to pack up your little one(s) and take them on their first adventure. Travelling with a little one is as exciting as it is tiring yet those memories that you as a family  create will resonate with you forever.

As a parent you can tick off the long lie ins and afternoon sunbathing sessions, but don’t dismay you have your little ray of sunshine to enjoy everything and more with.

Once your holiday is booked and finances sorted  now is the time to find out what is/isn’t available at your destination; if your baby drinks formula then is this available to purchase? If not then think ahead and get some tins ready to put away in your case.

I have put together a mini checklist of essentials for your baby

Baby Essentials

  • Carseat, small foldable buggy and or baby carrier
  • for Formula fed babies, I suggest ready-made cartons where possible as you won’t be able to guarantee what the water supply will be like.
  • Bottles,teats, sterilizing tablets.
  • For breastfed babies  pack nipple pads, creams, covers *optional* to keep mum and baby as comfortable as possible.
  • Nappy changing essentials, Nappies, Wipes, Cream.
  • Small First Aid kit.
  • Ready prepared jars of food and snacks for your little one ( remember over-estimate rather than under.)
  • Bibs,beakers, plastic spoons.
  • Sun hat or Bobble hat  essential for Warmer/Colder climates.
  • Long sleeved cotton tops,light trousers and dresses to keep the sun off your child and keep their  skin covered up and less exposed from the sun.
  • For colder climates pack easy layering clothes such as vests,long-sleeved t-shirts,trousers,hoodies and coats.
  • UV protected swimwear.
  • Backup entertainment for your child such as favourite toys, colouring book and even a portable DVD player/ iPad depending on your parenting preferences.

it’s a good idea to write a list of anything specific that you want to take, as if your like me and your mind still overrun on baby brain there will always be something you forget. A tip that has really helped me is  planning in advance when your baby will sleep (or ‘should’ sleep) and work your schedule accordingly. It simply makes life easier! for example if your going on an aeroplane look for flights around this time and if your taking the car then set off about an hour before nap time, Happy baby equals relaxed parents.

and finally remember to HAVE FUN!!

I hope you enjoy wherever your summer adventures take you this year and forever, as always if there is anything i havent covered feel free to leave me a comment.

Thanks for reading,  

One Year PostPartum-

Today i write this as a Makeup Free and Messy Haired  Sleep Deprived mother of two.

As you all know Jacob is Turning One! (my eldest  Frankie-George will be Three in June.)

anyway.. I thought id talk about my first year experience of being a parent to two.

Jacob is disabled/handicapped he has AMC (Arthrogroposis) which was finally diagnosed in December 2015. This was a really hard time in my life hense the slow decline in my posts and me never confirming what was going on. When he was born we knew he had a deformity in both upper limbs but it was something several consultants were unfamiliar with, we travelled to London 8 months into Jacobs life to finally get the  correct diagnosis from Gill Smith Plastics Consultant at Great Ormand Street.

I gave birth on Good Friday which meant that the majority of Consultants were on annual leave resulting in the  whole hospital being pretty much shut down..  i ending up having to wait until the Tuesday to find out what really was  going on with my son. To be told 4 days pp that your son is deformed in some shape or form was utterly heart breaking. I remember standing on my own in Neonatal (Nicu) and they point blank fired that at me without warning, Que what felt like my whole world breaking apart.

I have no shame in admitting those events did and will always affect me. i suffered from Postpartum depression which myself and my GP combated initially with medication and now after a year i am managing without any prescriptions. There will always be triggers but i try to manage them myself, every negative thought i look to my son(s) and see how far he’s coming on all by himself and it brings me back.

Now Let me tell you, not all has be bad this past year. Yes, it started off unbearably hard but i have the most beautiful sons and my heart is full every single day because of them.

Frankie-George is such a Good big brother to Jacob, yes we do have moments when his inner toddler comes through and he won’t share with him but the little things he does for his brother triumph that time and time again.

On the note of sleep deprived mammas/parents out there I’m with you. Im in awe of each and everyone of you. Frankie-George has only just begun sleeping through the night undisturbed but Jacob has other ideas.. I totally understand at this age  brain growth/ activity is at a high and we all love those Dreaded Sleep Regressions but Someone help me out. So Tonight i am getting rid of 1) during the night bottles and replacing with water  and 2) Moving him onto a trainer bottle rather than giving him his milk in a infant bottle so lets hope it does something.. The silver lining on all this is that we were gratefully contacted by SLEEPYHEAD (DOCKATOT) the sleep company that make the sleeping pods and we will be reviewing the Grand Pod so fingers Crossed that helps us out.

A quick summary of all things ( that i can remember) that had gone on this past year after Jacobs arrival. I took my children to Butlins Minehead on their first family holiday. We celebrated Jacobs first christmas and this year was so very exciting for Frankie-George it was magical to watch. I also moved house ( Yippie) so now the boys have a double bedroom that they will be able to share and enjoy for many years to come. And we have now booked to go away for Frankie-Georges third birthday  to Butlins (Swashbuckle is what he likes to call it) as it is a  child’s heaven when you go during Just for Tots Weekend.

I Hope this past year has treated you all well, And please keep your eyes peeled for some new product reviews.

if there is anything I’ve missed comment below and i can always add to this,

Thanks for reading,

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(Disclaimer this post is not sponsored with any Companies mentioned above)

 

 

 

Jacob..

At 22.41 my little world wind turns 6 months! Already having a 2 year old I thought I’d realise how fast time passes but again it has surpassed me.
You have already taught me so much more about myself than I could ever imagine, you have given me so many more reasons to love than I already thought possible.
I love  each and every thing about you,

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from your little baldy head to those chubby cheeks.
Even though you have obstacles in your future mummy will always be there to help you each step of the way.
Don’t grow up too fast,

love one over emotional soppy sleep deprived mama x

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