Jack’s First Trip To The Cinema

Would you believe that we only took Jack to the cinema for the first time this Tuesday??

We’ve had a few people ask why it has taken this long to take him. After all, he is 5 – he’ll be six in December. I don’t feel that we really should have to justify ourselves but I simply wasn’t going to waste money when he didn’t have the attention span to sit through a film. Once he actually started sitting through films at home, we realised it was now time to take him – and so we did.

My Mum kindly came round and looked after Olivia so we could both enjoy this experience with him. Olivia had a lovely time with her Nanny and it was great to get some time with just Jack – I think he liked it too as it has been almost 7 months since he last got us to himself!

We booked in advance on the Cineworld website so all we needed to do when we got there was pick up our tickets and grab our snacks for the film. We picked Despicable Me 3 in 3D for Jack to see as his first ever cinema experience as he absolutely loves the film series and has been begging to see it! We also got him the Despicable Me 3 bucket and cup that Cineworld were offering at a discounted price with a Munch Box. Armed with a Munch Box (popcorn, water (we had a choice of water or Capri-Sun) and raisins (choice of chocolate or raisins), a hot dog, a Tango mixed Ice Blast, 2 Diet Cokes, some Milky Way Magic Stars and some Pick & Mix, we headed into the film.

Before the film had even started, Jack mentioned two films he wanted to see next just from the trailers – Captain Underpants and The Emoji Movie! So we will be heading back again soon apparently! So how was Jack’s first time at the cinema?

He absolutely loved it! He spent the film giggling away and couldn’t take his eyes of the screen. He loved seeing Gru, Lucy, the girls and the minions again and loved meeting Dru. Of course he couldn’t stand Balthazar Bratt! Even Steve and I chuckled a few times – it really is a great family friendly film.

 We will definitely be taking Jack back again soon – and even going just the two of us for date nights. Our local cinema has recently had a revamp and it is incredible! So many screens, so much to see, there’s even a Starbucks there too! I’m so glad Jack’s first experience was a positive one and he loves the cinema just as much as we do!

How old was your child when you first took them to the cinema?

 

 

The Essentials You Need for a Newborn

Congratulations! You are soon to be parents! Once you are over the initial shock, you must prepare yourself for the onslaught of well-meaning advice from friends, family, and once the bump starts showing, from strangers on the street. You are now entering a new world; one which you have never had to notice before, but it has always been there – lurking. In this new world, you will be made aware of unexpected gadgets and gizmos that apparently a baby needs in order to thrive. However, amongst all the products out there, there are some essentials that you will need straight after birth.

Clothes

First things first: when the baby is born, they will need to be clothed! You are going to need clothes for a baby whose size is a mystery. Newborn clothes are very, very cute; however, your baby will not be in them long, and may even never wear them depending on his birth weight, so do resist buying too many. It makes far more economical sense to buy 0-3 months, otherwise, the baby will be dwarfed by them initially. Note that sleeves can be rolled up, and legs left long. Buying secondhand or accepting hand-me-downs is the ideal because babies just don’t wear these sized clothes for long. Remember to buy a quality washing detergent that will be gentle enough for a baby’s sensitive skin.

Nappies

Whether you choose cloth nappies or disposable ones, be prepared. You will use up to 15 a day at first. It is best to buy small packs of different brands so that you can find the type that suits your baby – some may irritate your baby’s skin or not fit as well as another brand. Be mindful that baby wipes, while they get your baby’s bottom clean, are very harsh on their skin – warm water and a cloth is the gentlest. Remember to pat your baby dry, and use a diaper rash ointment to not only prevent nappy rash, but to treat it too. Choose one that is free from any chemical nasties.

Car seat

How are you going to get the baby home from the hospital? The baby needs to be transported in the safest way available, and now there are a vast selection of car seats available on the market. You need to think about whether the seat is suitable for your car’s make, or if you have more than one car, make sure the seat fits both. Consider as well whether the seat will fit safely in the front and the back seats of the car – you may have a 3-door, in which case you need to think about how easy it is to lug the baby seat in and out, and be able to fix it securely from a front viewpoint.

Cot

Current advice is to have your newborn sleeping in the same room as you, placed on their back, for the first six months of life. Choosing a Moses basket or crib provides a cozy and confined space for your baby, however, you may prefer to go straight to a cot. Make sure to think about whether you will want to have the baby sleeping near you when they have their daytime naps. Remember that it is always advisable to replace the mattress if you have a second-hand Moses basket or cot – it is inexpensive, but may prevent your baby from getting ill or worse from lingering mattress bacteria from another child.

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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.

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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?

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