Our Childcare Plans For The Future

With the big changes happening in our life in the next few months, we have really got to start thinking about how we are going to use our time and what we will do in regards to childcare. With Jack being in full time school apart from the holidays, we don’t have to worry about him but of course we still have Olivia to think about.

Currently I work from home and look after Olivia whilst Steve works full time outside of the home. He’s moving to part time work and will be studying so I will be needing to make up the rest of the money that he would usually earn. We know I can do it but this will require me to have more dedicated work hours and whilst Steve will be able to look after Olivia when he isn’t working or studying, we have to consider that we may need to utilise some childcare if he is working or studying during my working hours.

Of course we have family and friends that will help us but we are also considering putting Olivia’s name on the waiting list for our local pre school/nursery. It is very sought after and we know that we need to get her name on the list asap if we have any chance of getting her in there.

But obviously we would need to make sure that it is the perfect childcare setting for our child. Safety outdoors in nurseries and of course indoors is paramount (play area surfacing is SO important) and the quality of the childcare needs to be 100%. I know that everyone raves about the place so I am positive it will be the right place for her if we do decide to place her in childcare for some days of the week if needed.

Do you utilise childcare around your working life? Let me know what you do.

Collaboration

 

Now You Are Going Into Year One…

Jack,

It seems like only yesterday you were going into Reception – I even read the post I wrote about your first few weeks just last week and couldn’t believe how long ago it was and how much you had changed since then…and some things that have never changed.

You still love lunches just as much as you did when you started – especially on Friday when it is pizza day. You’ve been enjoyed the ‘cold’ option of rolls – tuna, ham and cheese rolls are often making their way into your lunch choices these past few weeks. You still enjoy English and Maths and having time learning through play.

But how have you changed over all this time? Your reading has come on leaps and bounds – so much so that you were level 6 just six weeks ago and you’ve made the leap to level 9 in that time – and the teacher says you could potentially move up to level 10 – however they have had to take in your reading records to give to your new teacher!

Day 1 of Reception | Last Week of Reception

We received your school report last week and you are right on the expected level for everything except Maths and English which you are apparently exceeding expectations in. You have grown in confidence so much since September – before, you would just talk to your peers and would shy away from talking to grown ups – now you are so much more eager to chat with everyone. You are less sensitive and more likely to stick up for yourself when something is wrong. You have really grown so much in a year and it is amazing to see.

Now you are going into Year 1, I can’t wait to see where your journey goes. Your learning journey was so interesting to look at – seeing what you have done all year. I know it is going to be strange – your Year 1 teacher has been helping out in your Reception class so you are used to her but you are going to have to say goodbye to your Reception teacher and wave goodbye to the Teaching Assistants you are so used to – one is leaving and the other who you have had since nursery is staying in the lower years. It will be an adjustment but I know you will persevere and just get on with things and I can’t wait to see what Year 1 has to offer you.

Just a few more days of Reception, Jack – let’s make them count and have a fabulous time.

Mummy x

 

 

School uniform tips for budding sports stars

There’s only one thing at school that comes close to rivalling Jack’s love of hot dinners and that’s playing sports. He’s a typical boy after all, but I’m sure there are plenty of girls out there too who can’t wait to be mini athletes at break times.

While I love the fact that he’s getting plenty of exercise and having a ball at the same time (pun intended), it did mean that to begin with he was constantly coming home with messy clothes and scuffed shoes. Over his year of being at school I’ve come up with a few ways of combating tired uniform that I wanted to share with you. I hope you find these school uniform tips for budding sports stars useful.

Spare shoes

The thing that gets the most wear is definitely Jack’s shoes, with wear from kicking a ball about and skidding on the floor. There are a couple of things you can do – first is to get a good quality pair of school shoes, a lesson I learned the hard way. But boys’ school shoes needn’t break the bank as you can pick up a good-looking leather and scuff resistant pair from the selection at Tu shoes and plimsolls.

What I’ve also taken to doing is packing a spare pair of trainers (with Velcro fastening) in Jack’s PE bag that’s always at school and I’ve asked his teacher to remind him to change into them at lunchtimes. They completely understand as I’ve explained how he loves his sports and that I want to keep his nice school shoes in good condition.

Uniform fit for the job

Now that the shoes are sorted, it’s on to school clothes that stand up to grass stains and sliding in the mud. Fortunately there’s lots of hard-wearing uniform options out there with teflon-coating and reinforced knees that don’t cost much more.

We’ve got into the habit of Jack taking his uniform off when he gets home before it gets any messier in the garden. I’ve also bought an extra set of uniform that I keep as a spare until after school photo day, so it’s good as new.

Freshly laundered clothes

Keeping on top of washing is much easier with coated trousers or skirts, but shirts need a little more focus – especially white ones that turn grey over time. Lemon juice works wonders as a natural and gentle whitener, for example. Either run half a lemon over the shirt before washing or, to refresh a full load of whites, add 100ml of lemon juice to your detergent when washing.

If you have kids who are becoming more fragrant as they get older, you might also have to take extra measures. In this case, always air-dry the uniform rather than tumble drying as the dryer will lock in odours. If the smells are lingering, pop some white vinegar in a spray bottle and squirt it on the underarms and collars of shirts before they go in the wash. For more tips, take a look at this handy guide on making clothes last.

What do your little or big sports stars get up to at school, and what tips do you swear by for keeping their uniform good?

Collaborative Post

Our Weaning Journey So Far

We were sent the Babease items for the purpose of review – all thoughts & opinions are our own.

Olivia recently turned six months old and we decided to start weaning her. She is still breastfeeding but we have introduced a few meals a day with her having milk when she needs it. We are giving a few different things a try – we are combining both baby led weaning and purees – and seeing how she gets on.

Right now, she currently has porridge or toast for breakfast – we feed her the porridge, she feeds herself the toast. For lunch, she will have a puree or toast if she had porridge for breakfast – we won’t give her toast twice. For tea, she will generally have a puree but we are also going to give BLW a try for this too – we are often having salads for tea ourselves so it will be easy to make her a small amount for herself. For snacks, she generally has some age appropriate crisp puffs or wafers.

We were recently contacted by Babease,  a company founded by trained chef Tom Redwood and endorsed by expert nutritionists and parents. They aim to introduce little ones to distinct flavours and textures through a broad range of fresh and tasty recipes. They are championing the importance of babies developing savoury palates before sweet ones with a vegetable-led, real food focus.

We were sent a variety of 6m+ pouches and 7m+ – of course, Olivia hasn’t yet tried the 7m+ but we have been trialling the 6m+ ones so far. Her first pouch was the sweet potato, carrot and cauliflower. The puree itself was very smooth and I love the fact that the pouches are organic and that the ingredients list literally includes just the three vegetables that make up the puree. So far this has proved to be her favourite, although the pear and mixed berries is following closely behind. I can’t wait to see how she gets on with the 7m+ range!

What I really love about these pouches is that you can either squirt the puree out into a bowl and spoon feed your child or you can let them hold the pouch themselves and feed themselves. As you can see, Olivia much prefers to feed herself.

She is getting so good at feeding herself and is finally starting to understand how food differs from breastmilk. For the first few days of weaning, she seemed very confused – trying to suck on everything and not realising she needed to gum stuff to mush it up in her mouth. We believe she has a tooth coming so that will definitely help her as she continues on her weaning journey.

The Babease range is available in Tesco, Boots and Ocado and you can also buy them from Amazon too {affiliate link}, retailing at between £1.20 and £1.50 per pouch. There is such a wide variety of flavours!

So far we seem to be having a really successful weaning journey and long may it continue – Olivia seems to enjoy most of what she is having – whether that be pouches, porridge or toast – and we can’t wait to try more things with her over the upcoming weeks.

Have you got any top tips for weaning? Any things in particular you think we should try?

Olivia | Six Months On

Since Olivia’s five month update, a lot has changed. She has really come into her personality a lot more and the biggest thing is that she has started weaning! Instead of just doing purees/pots or baby led weaning, we are doing a bit of both – getting her to try different textures and flavours and see what she likes the most.

So far she is adoring porridge and some baby banana wafers we found. She has also been trying some of the Babease range which we will be reviewing very soon. She’s still trying to sit upright and getting very frustrated when things don’t go her way. She has really found her voice right now and can shriek (and cry) really, really loud if she wants to!

She is still attempting to roll over and has managed it a couple of times now – but not consistently. Her sleeping pattern is a little weird – some days she will have lots of sleep, other days barely any at all. She’s got such a cheeky personality now and it is brilliant to see her interacting with my family and friends and enjoying spending time with them.

I can’t believe she is now six months – she’s half a year old, how did that happen?