Thursday, October 23

First term of school - We survived!!

That's it, the last day of the first school term is here and we are still alive!!
It's been tough on EVERYONE!
We have all suffered, and we are all left a little jaded and scarred BUT we did it and thank goodness half term if just around the corner.  It can't come fast enough.
Roll on 3pm then no school until the 4th November.
School is tough on everyone we have learnt.
I expected Emmy to find it hard, she was used to doing 3 half days and 1 long day in her Nursery, so she sent from being able to rest all morning, doing her own thing and no rushing to needing to be up - that was hard to start as she had begun to sleep in until 9am, to being out the door fed and dressed at 8.30am.
What I forgot was it's hard on everyone else too.
Harry was rushed to eat breakfast, had clothes thrown on him and I was too. 
Getting 3 people up, dressed, fed and looking at least half presentable for 8.30am isn't easy.  Factor in poorly children being up all night and the last thing any Mum wants to do is paint a smile on and make chitchat in the playground for 10 minutes, I'd rather 10 more minutes in bed!
Hair needs brushing and usually plaiting - she like to have it the same as her friends.
School germs are what we are suffering with most - this term alone Emmy has had 7 days off sick, 6 of these were for the same virus which turned into an ear infection which was missed by the doctor and therefore prolonged.
She has a nasty cough currently which she can't shift and has lingered for around 2 weeks so far and we are all suffering from a cold which doesn't want to go away.
She has had her school photo's and actually managed to stay looking half presentable for those, walked up to church to participate in the Harvest festival and had a glowing report at parents evening.
She has survived her teacher leaving after the first 5 weeks to go on maternity leave and is adjusting well to her new one.
She has formed a bond with 2 special friends and they do everything together, they seek each other out in the morning and stay together all day long, it's really very very cute - even if Emmy did have to be moved from the carpet away from her friends one afternoon for talking too much!
We can't wait for half term and actually have made NO plans except for a weekend away to Park Resorts Camber Sands at the end of the week. 
We WILL have pyjama days and quiet days as we all need them now.
Have you found this first term tough?  Are you looking forward to Half Term?
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Wishing, planning and a little dreaming too...

It's always at this time of year when the Christmas decorations are beginning to appear in the shops that I start thinking about redecorating the house.  What is it about being super busy that makes me want to make more work for myself?  When will I learn?
I can't help myself, I really can't!  There is something special about a Christmas tree which makes me want to do it.
To me there is nothing better than a Christmas tree surrounded by presents on nice wooden flooring. This may stem from when we first moved in and decided it would be a great idea to have a real Christmas tree.....a stupid idea really considering we had carpet at the time!
I'm not sure if you've come across that combination before?  I'll tell you now it just doesn't mix well AT ALL!   You really need a good working hoover, something else I didn't have at the time!  But I was young and caught up in the moment of having my own home.
It didn't happen again until we had gotten rid of that carpet and replaced it with a good quality wooden flooring, it was the best we could afford at the time however we never got around to treating it sadly, it was pre-children and we just didn't think much. With hindsight we should have gone for a Lacquered Engineered Flooring as it doesn't need treating.  Ours still looks OK but it is rather worn. 
If you've kids I bet they are the same....the can't seem to hold a drink without spilling it, even in a beaker with a lid - how that is even possible I'm not sure but they manage it and it means my poor and, at the time expensive flooring, has certainly taken a battering.   It's seen Emmy through potty training,  been covered in more food substances than Tesco I'm sure, it's had mud, blood and much worse covering it and has been scratched to pieces by Barney when he was a puppy, but it's lasted well!
The scratches are hidden by rugs,  toys and sofas and I do LOVE the fact I can sweep it with ease.
However I want to replace it, I really do, and now the kids are a bit older and the dog no longer an awkward puppy I hope sometime in the near future to replace with Engineered Walnut Flooring, this is more expensive than I paid for my current one but it looks so nice and considering the wear and tear I've put the last one through I would certainly get my money's worth....and wouldn't a real tree look amazing with this flooring?   It certainly has that homely warmth about it.
Now the question I wait until Harry is potty trained next year?

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year...

It might seem like a long way off right now, but the truth is, Christmas is well and truly on its way. I know, I know. IT’S ONLY OCTOBER. But before you tut and click off this page, it’s really worth thinking about the fact that this holiday really does always tend to creep up on us, in a much scarier way than anything Halloween can bring! Now, whilst in all honesty it seems like you have ages and ages to prepare, it’s best to get a move on, quick!
According to Everyday Loans in this article, just the basics of having a child are costing almost £4000 per year, and that’s not even taking into account things like Christmas presents. There will be so, so much that you’ll have to buy, even if you’re not prone to spoiling the children - that's my pitfall!  From the gifts that you’ll have to order in advance, to the ones you’ll have to find replacements for because Santa can’t quite afford them this year, there’ll be so much to consider that you best get started now!
Of course, it’s not just about the children – there are gifts to buy for everyone else, and cards to write, or even make. It’s one of those annoying times where you actually have to sit down and put a pen to paper for once, carefully making sure you don’t miss anyone off your list (or the kids’). You’ll have to think of everyone at school. At work. At church, or your other groups. It can be a nightmare, too, so you’ll want to have a few spares to hand to save embarrassment. "Oh, yeah, I did write you one but I left it at home, so sorry!" doesn’t really wash with anyone! For the people who are extra special and deserve a little something more, you can get personalised cards made by ChuckleMonster, just to add that thoughtful touch.
The actual arrangements of Christmas day itself will need to be considered, too. Where will the children open their presents? If you and your partner are separated, where will they spend the day? Where will they eat? There’s plenty to think about. Speaking of eating – do you want turkey, or do you fancy something else? Does the whole family just want to escape altogether and spend the season abroad?
There’s so much to think about from budget to everything else. Whether you’re religious or not, Christmas is an exciting time of year. Do you celebrate Christmas? I certainly enjoy it much more now I'm a Mum and I can spoil the kids. 

What are your plans this year and are you like me and have the 'battle' of who's parents you go around to avoid cooking? 


"This is a collaborative post"

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Wednesday, October 22

Construction sets with a difference - GoldieBlox

When I was younger Lego was for boys....the horror! I loved Lego.  Now you can get Lego friends sets which is obviously geared at girls being pink and all that.
There were also loads of construction type kits for boys, Mechano being just one example.
It was rather stereotypical even back then.....and no I'm not that old only mid 30's!  Girls had Barbie's and boys construction toys.  I got it. It didn't bother me, Mechano didn't really interest me. It was boring.
Now, I bring my kids up knowing they can play with whichever toys they like....Harry is often seen with a Doll and a Buggy and Emmy Lego sets but I also get that these sets don't interest her much.
GoldieBlox recently sent some of their new girls construction sets for Emmy to play with.  She is a girlie girl and they were an instant hit.  These are award-winning toys from the US which have recently landed in the UK! 
They are construction toys which teach basic engineering and building concepts to girls in a fun way.
By following the story and the diagrams you can build a parade float, dunk tank and a spinning machine.
Emmy was instantly engaged. She could see from the off she was making and how to get to the finished result in a few basic steps
Review, GoldieBlox, Parade Float
Each set features an interactive toy, containing a book series and construction set, which encourages kids to build in the context of a narrative. The stories feature Goldie, a girl inventor who solves problems by building simple machines.
These kits are great fun and the feature the cutest animal characters which bring alive the toys too!
GoldieBlox, Spinning Machine, Review
Created by engineer and entrepreneur Debbie Sterling, GoldieBlox aims to introduce engineering concepts to girls at an early age, providing them with more options and spawning a movement to disrupt pink toy aisles everywhere. 
GoldieBlox Dunk Tank, Review,
I really love this idea and the sets are wonderful too.  Emmy adores them and it wasn't long before she was trying to create her own ideas using the sets.
These sets are now available from Amazon and Hobbycraft

Disclaimer:  We were sent these sets for the purpose of this review, all thoughts are our own and unbiased.

5 reasons you should get an ultrasound before your 2nd trimester

Hello, soon-to-be-parents, and congratulations! Finding out you are expecting is one of the happiest and most joyous times in your life! Although it is an extremely exciting time, discovering you will soon have a little one to care for can also bring about the nervous thoughts like, "are we ready for this?" and "will I be a good mother/father?"

While we may not be able to answer these questions, we can provide answers for some other very important questions, such as why you should get an ultrasound before your second trimester. In case you were wondering, you should and here are five reasons why!

The first, and probably most important reason why (which is probably why it is number one!), is an ultrasound before your second trimester allows you to confirm the pregnancy. This first ultrasound, which normally takes place around 6-8 weeks, will not only let you know for certain that you are expecting, but it will also let you and your doctors know if the fetus is properly implanted and developing in the uterus. If there is an issue, an early ultrasound may be the reason why it was discovered.
The second reason why, and most tear-jerking, is to say hello to your developing bundle of joy! You will always remember the moment you saw your baby for the first time. The tears will come, but they will be happy tears! This big moment will always be remembered and it also makes for a great keepsake for the baby books that will one day be created to help remember the special moments like this.

In addition, an ultrasound before your second trimester also allows you to capture every milestone. For women who are unsure just how far along they are, an ultrasound is a great way to determine the gestational age of the fetus. In more simple terms, it will tell you how long you have been pregnant. Having this accurate information will give you a more accurate timeline of you pregnancy, which ultimately leads up to a more narrow due date range.

Another reason why you should get an ultrasound before your second trimester is to determine viability and to check for signs of a possible genetic complication. Also, an ultrasound will help point out if there are any potential risks for both mother and baby.
Lastly, an ultrasound before the second trimester allows the parents-to-be to plan for the future with their little one! An early ultrasound can let you know if you can expect multiples and this will give you plenty of time to plan for you new additions. If you find out that you are expecting twins, triplets, or more, the earlier the doctor knows the better because a pregnancy where multiples are involved can pose a slightly higher risk than normal pregnancy.

So, what are you waiting for? Call your doctor to schedule your ultrasound so you can benefit from the five reasons why you should have an ultrasound done before the second semester!
This post was written by Glenn Josephik. Glenn is an account representative and the marketing coordinator at MedCorp LLC, the industry leader and premier business source for used portable ultrasound systems. You can follow Glenn Josephik on Google+
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