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Happy Days Linky – Back to School and off into the world of work

Happy Days Linky – Back to School and off into the World of Work

Happy Days Linky – Social media will be packed full of smiling little faces stood in front of their front doors with their brand spanking new school uniforms, shiny shoes, bags and book bags all eager to start or be back at school.

Monday I was totally the beamingly proud mum sending off my ‘little one’ for his first day at work! Ryan started his first day as an Apprentice Carpenter today. He went off wearing his new work uniform with his high vis vest in his bag, his packed lunch and a smile on his face. Unfortunately he wouldn’t pose for the obligatory standing in front of the front door which is a bit of a shame. Nonetheless, it was a total proud parenting moment.

Routine – Tuesday Isabelle went back to school. She was pleased to go even though she was a little Monkey at bedtime last night and could barely open her eyes.

Birthday Cake Prep – With a full week at work I did something that I’ve never done before. I made the sponges for the cake and put them in the freezer. I knew that it would be stressful getting the cake made so I wanted to be as organised as possible.

Birthday – Friday was Isabelle’s 7th Birthday. The day started at around 6am and was a flurry of presents, pancakes and then a rush to get dressed and out of the door to school and work. The look on Isabelle’s face when she unwrapped her presents was what us mums and dads live for. We’re much more savvy with present buying these days. Quality over quantity. We bought her exactly what she’s been coveting for the last few months. She’s a huge Kids You Tube fan so we managed to get her a giant surprise egg which we filled with ‘blind bags’ such as Shopkins, Num Noms, Trolls and such like. Her face was priceless.

Birthday party – I am pleased to report that the birthday party that we arranged for after school at the local ibounce trampoline park was totally worth it. All the kids that were invited came (yey) and they all had an amazing time. I couldn’t resist a bounce myself and even went off the platform backwards with a little bit of encouragement from the kids! You can see that on my Instagram if you like!

More birthdays – September is the month for birthdays in our family. Clearly the result of all those Christmas party’s. Ha ha!

Sleepover – Isabelle had her first sleepover at our house this weekend. She has slept at her friends once before, and this was our turn. They had dinner then mostly amused themselves with all of Isabelles birthday presents. We watched Strictly which was a bit disappointing as there wasn’t much dancing. They did, however have a bit of a boogie in front of the TV. There was no fuss getting them to bed, and it was quite sweet listening to them whispering and giggling. They didn’t stay up all night as they’d planned and once they were asleep they were gone for the night. The morning saw them trampolining in their pyjamas before resuming trying to cram in a play with EVERYTHING. It’s fair to say that it was a success and I’m just waiting to see how long it is before we get asked again.

Photo’s – Don’t you just love it when the memories come up in your facebook feed? I love it and more so when it involves a birthday and all the pics from previous years come up. This picture is Isabelle’s first birthday when we bought her first trike. Look at that face!

New job – I know I posted about my new job the other week, but this is another new job. I’ve just had the official green light so am pleased to announce that I am the new Local Editor for Mumsnet Exeter. I’m really excited about this.

We’ve had a fab week. I hope you have too!

What Katy Said

Happy Days – A missed week and Pimms

Happy Days Linky  – Celebrating the normal yet small wins in life.

Oops I missed the Happy Days Linky last week, mostly because I spent the most part of last week at home coughing, sniffing and sneezing.

Unfortunately I shared my germs with Isabelle and so she was struck down as well.

Come the weekend we felt a bit more human and headed off to one of the local pubs for some food and Pimms. We sat in the gardens (which are huge) and had a relaxed lunch and a jug of Pimms.

Running – Isabelle made up a game where we took turns in picking a tree in the gardens and she had to run as fast as she could whilst we timed her. A very simple thing but it kept her occupied for ages.

Family BBQ – Bank Holiday Monday was scorching hot so we spent the afternoon in the garden with the paddling pool out, bouncing on the trampoline and cooking and eating yummy food. Actually I should mention that I did absolutely no cooking at all. That was all down to Daddy. My actual contribution was chopping the salad and getting all the plates and cutlery out.

Tuesday – Tuesday marked the official return to work for both of us. Isabelle is back at school next week so I suppose our real return to routine starts next week.

Birthday Preparations – Birthday preparations for next week are steaming on ahead. After lots of thinking we’ve decided on a trampoline park party at the newly opened iBounce.

Birthday shopping – Again all going well. I even managed to find a site that sells the giant surprise eggs that you get surprise bags inside. Isabelle is obsessed with youtube kids so I know she’s going to LOVE this – I might just be a little bit excited about this.

Summer Fair – We spent Saturday at one of our local parks at their annual Summer Fair. We were joined by my mum, niece and nephew. We played drums, hooked ducks, won raffle prizes, ate yummy greek food, had snow cones and finished off with a play in the park.

Today we had our first roast dinner in a long time. As it was pouring down with rain we watched trolls whilst it cooked and then stuffed ourselves silly. Yummy.

Bring on this week when Monday we send Ryan off into the big bad world of adult work and Tuesday Isabelle is officially a year 2 girl.

Have a great week.

Lisa x

 

What Katy Said

9 Top Tips for Starting Back to School

9 Top Tips for Starting Back to School

Isabelle is going to start in Year 2 in September. We’ve met her teacher and know which classroom she is going to be in. Whether it’s your little ones first day at school or if they are returning, here are my 9 top tips for Starting Back to school.

9 Top Tips For Starting Back To School

Tips

1. Make a note of all the important term dates. I don’t know about your kids but Isabelle likes to do a count down in days to practically everything.

2. Early nights – we all let the daily routine slip during the school hols so about a week before gradually return to normal bedtimes/wake-up times so that it’s not too much of a shock.

3. Name Labels – Schools encourage all parents to labels their kids clothes and it’s much better in terms of getting things back should they leave them behind. We used My Nametag Name labels with little Hello Kitty’s on them which made it much easier for Isabelle to find.

4. School Bags – again there are popular bags that a lot of other children will have so either choose one that will immediately stand out or make it more unique by adding a key ring to the zip which may have there name on. When Isabelle started one mum had actually made little laminate labels with her daughters picture on for her bag and her packed lunch box.

5. Lunch boxes – again I would recommend either trying to find one a bit different or personalising it as they usually all go on a trolley which then has to be collected at lunch time.

6. School Talk – Isabelle was really shy and the things that worried us the most was her not asking to go to the toilet or telling somebody if she was hurt or upset. Whenever she was unsure about something she would usually stand and not speak or join in. We talked to her about which people she should ask for things i.e. If she needed to go to the toilet ask any grown-up in the room and making her familiar with her things so she knew what she was looking for.

7. School shoes – this one seems quite simple but then you go school shoe shopping and the gorgeous Mary-Jane style shoes have are shouting at you from the shelf. WALK AWAY!! – Harsh I know but how many four year olds do you know that can do a buckle by themselves? Same for boys – resist lace-ups. Keep things as simple as possible. Go for Velcro straps so they can put them on and off as quick as a flash.

8. Lunch – maybe I should have out this in with the lunch box tip but Isabelle came home on three consecutive occasions where she hadn’t eaten her sandwiches but they looked a bit mangled and she hadn’t eaten her fruit winder which she loved. When I asked her about it, it was because she couldn’t take the cellophane off her sandwiches or undo the wrapper of the fruit winder and was too shy to ask for help. To make things easier we bought a little sandwich box and some pots that she could easily undo herself.

9. Try not to show your nerves- I know this is a big ask but try and transfer as much confidence to your kids as possible. It’s okay to have a few tears as you do the walk back across the playground minus your son or daughter. I unfortunately was that mum whose child had to be peeled off me whilst I walked away to the sounds of her pleading me to stay. It was horrendous. Don’t let that put you off, at this point Isabelle was still the most clingy child I’ve ever known!

These are my top tips but most schools seems to make it as easy as possible for new starters by using pictures instead of words. Isabelle was a ladybird which she liked a lot so all of her school things has her name with a ladybird next to it.

Ooh I almost forgot. Try not to make any after school plans for the first couple of weeks as they get really tired and ratty adjusting to the new routine. I think that may be where the term ‘Witching Hour’ come into play.

Let me know if you have any great tips in the comments below.

Lisa x

Happy Days – Our Holiday and being reunited with our pooch

Happy Days Linky

Happy Days Linky – I’m really glad that I started linking up with the #HappyDaysLinky with Katy and Sian as it does help you to reflect on the god rather than dwelling on all the rubbish.

As I write this post we’d just heard of the terror attack in Barcelona where Chris and Ryan were the day before the attack. The other attack is just six miles from where we are now. We watched the news in the bar along with all the other guests with disgust at these senseless loss of lives.

It’s scary knowing how close this is, especially as we’re in a foreign country that we don’t know all that well.

Holiday – for the past week we’ve been on holiday in Salou, Spain with Chris’ parents and sister. It was much needed and we did the usual beach and pool combination. I’m not a sun worshipper at all and at times I think I was pinned as a bit of a kill joy but I cannot stand too much sun. I have sunburn and blisters to prove this theory! Actually at the time of writing this paragraph I was sat in our hotel room with the air con up high smothered in aloe Vera gel with two soaked tissues on my legs to help cool my burning hot legs. I also have cleavage blisters I’m not doing a down the top shot for you!


Time with the teen – Ryan has been with us on this holiday. It’s likely to be one of the last as he’s way too cool to hang out with us. However, he was here with us and talked at dinner which is a step up from the usual eating in his room or not at all. As Daddy’s birthday treat we paid for a trip to Barcelona to tour around Camp Nou, the zoo and also see the sights which they did as a ‘lads day out’.

Sibling rivalry – not sure this should be on my Happy List but it does make me chuckle (not at the time). Standing in the dinner queue we have the usual:

‘mum tell Ryan to stop looking at me’

‘Mum Ryan’s smiling at me!’

‘Mum Ryan’s looking at me in a mean/rude/horrible way’

At the time it drains me, but I think it’s like a right of passage for kids growing up as I remember doing the exact same thing with my brother and sister. It seems that an 11 year age gap still doesn’t abolish this age old family way.


Birthdays – we’ve had two birthdays this week with both Daddy’s and my mother in-laws so we’ve had two gorgeous really light cream filled sponge cakes. Being birthdays we took them out for a lovely meal and drinks at the all inclusive hotel restaurant – ‘order whatever you like’ we cried ……… ‘No expense spared!!’

Swimming – Isabelle has Ben like a little fish this week. She’s either been in the sea or in the pool. She has armbands but she’s learnt to swim with her head under the water and jump in off the side. She’s been going to the deep end of the pool so can’t stand and she’s also been doing a bit of lilo surfing at the beach.

Reunion with the pooch – Although we were all sad when the holiday came to an end, but I was looking forward to seeing Charlie again. He was really excited to see us and it was great to hear that he’d had a great week of long walks on Dartmoor with his new bestie Zac. He did have a wiggy on with me which lasted from Saturday until late Sunday afternoon which I think was my punishment for leaving him.

What have been the highlights of your week?

 

What Katy Said

Happy Days Linky – First Day Nerves & Sharknado

Happy Days Linky

Happy Days Linky – I’ve done it! My first day in my new job is done and dusted. I found it quite unnerving going from knowing my stuff to being the new girl not knowing who to pay the tea fund money to. It went fine. I was useless but it was fine!

Sharknado 5 – One of my guilty pleasures are cheesy films featuring monster sharks, huge crocs or such likes. Tonight is the premiere of Sharknado 5 so what better way to finish off my first day in the new job. If you haven’t watched them then you have to. My favourite film of all time has to be Lake Placid. Don’t judge me!

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The funny things that Isabelle says – At six years old she comes out with some crackers in total innocence that have me snickering and face away laughing. On our dog walk, Charlie seems to like peeing in the river but he always cocks his leg towards long grass along the edges. Isabelle says “I think he does that because he likes the grass tickling his willy” whilst she eyerolls and sighs ‘boys’!

Holiday – We can finally say that we’re going on holiday ‘this week’. There are clothes all over the house in bags and ready but not quite packed for the final pack on Friday morning.

We made it to Spain. The flight was absolutely fine. I set off the beeper so had to go in the machine and then be frisked. Here’s to a week off.

See you then.

Lisa x

 

What Katy Said

Happy Days – chippy chips and Rain

Happy Days Linky

Happy Days – Monday started off with a grey sad looking sky so I suggested a trip to the museum or the library. Isabelle fancied the museum with a Trip to the park on the way. We got ready in such a leisurely manner that it was almost lunch time before we left the house. I was going to make a little picnic but there’s a great chip shop near the park so I thought we would be naughty and get some chips and eat them in the park. This part went so well. We got the chips and found a picnic table at the park. Isabelle ran off to the play equipment whilst I went to the bin where I was mugged by a seagull who was determined to get the chip wrappers. The seagull won!

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We had a play on the equipment for less than 10 minutes before the heavens opened and it poured down with rain. Parents and kids all ran off in different directions looking for shelter. We started off under the slide but big blobs of water started to drop through the gaps so we had to run to a big tree to camp under until it stopped. Isabelle thought it was hilarious! When it finally got to drizzling we decided to make a dash to the museum – which of course doesn’t open on a Monday. We ended up at home wet but happy!

Tuesday was a work day for me and Isabelle was at Nanny and Papa’s. I did the final bag check for Ryan. It’s the last time I’m going to see him before he sets off on a plane to Spain tomorrow. I’m going to miss him but on the plus side there will be snacks in the cupboard for the rest of us!

Thursday I was a bag of nerves as it was my last day in my current job. I’m going to miss my job! I’m going to miss my colleagues and I’m going to miss my desk. They made my last day lovely and I walked out with a smile on my face.

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Friday Isabelle and I spent the day together. We took Charlie out for a walk and played games. It was my leaving do in the evening so I ate, drank and laughed the night away.

happy_days

happy_days

Saturday Isabelle went to the cinema kids club to watch Sing and later on we went to a reptile birthday party where we met all kinds of animals including a baby skunk, a tenrec and a tagu. The tagu was enormous but it was so so beautiful. We even touched a snake!

Hope you have a great week.

Lisa x

The #HappyDaysLinky is hosted by  @WhatKatysaidUK and @QFSheSaid. 

What Katy Said

My Happy List – New Job Talk , holidays and sunshine….

My Happy List

My Happy List – last week I didn’t post anything as it really was a week of slog at work and not much else.

However, this week has been a bit less stressful.

Sleep – I’ve slept a lot better than usual this past week which is always something to feel happy about. This was a big deal especially since Chris has an awful cough and he’s been hacking away most of the night.

New working hours – i was a bit worried about changing my hours at work as three days seems like the best work/life balance and my new job is four days a week. However, given that this is going to be a different job completely I’m up for the challenge (and I have been working full-time for the past year). I have also wangled a Friday off which fits in better for childcare.

Holiday Shopping – we’ve done a bit more holiday shopping this week and I’ve actually bought some swimwear that doesn’t make me want to throw-up!

Park Day – we went to my brothers yesterday and took the kids to the park. It was lovely just sitting in the sun whilst the kids played. Now that they’re eight, six and six you don’t have to chase them round the park and help them on and off stuff. It also meant I could have some baby cuddles from my nephew.  

Dog walking – I love walking Charlie, preferably on my own. I can walk and think, or not. He has no expectations or demands, just walking. I can see my old age in front of me where flashes of 100 stray dogs and no people spring to mind. Ha ha!

Have a great week.

Lisa x

What Katy Said

Happy Days – A New Beach and a night out

Happy Days Linky

This week has been pretty much a working kind of week with not so much in terms of having fun. However, we have managed to sneak in a couple of bits during the week.

Subscription Box – Isabelle received a Mila & Pheebs Kids Activity Subscription box. These boxes are amazing so we spent a bit of time doing an unboxing video which I will share with you once I’ve done all the prettying up. Isabelle loves You Tube kids so she’s loving doing the little videos, but we have to try and tone down her Americanised barbie voice that she keeps putting on.

Dog Walking – With the lighter evenings it’s been much easier to get in an after dinner/before bed dog walk with Charlie. I’ve had to do a bit of bribing with Isabelle, but once she is out she really enjoys it especially if she takes her scooter.

New job – With all the excitement of getting a new job, this week has been a bit of a comedown as since being offered the job I’ve heard nothing more. Every time I think about it my stomach does a little flip of excitement……

Holiday – 5 weeks and 6 days to go…..

Sleep – I’ve slept slightly better this week since the stress of last week with my interview prep. In the last week I’ve probably on average only woken about twice a night which is good for me, and I’ve managed to drop back off straight away. I need to do a bit of research on insomnia as it’s become my norm for over a year now. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Blogger Night Out at Revolution Torquay– I met with some fellow bloggers in Revolution, Torquay for some scrummy cocktails and yummy food. The cocktail menu was awesome. It’s great getting together for a natter about all things bloggy, as I’m sure for most or us our regular non-blogger friends have no idea what I’m talking about. I had a burger with cheesy wotsits (actual wotsit crisps) in it which was very nice.


A new beach – We thought we’d try a new beach this weekend so today we went to Anstey’s cove in Torquay. It’s not a sandy beach its pebbly but it was a total treasure. We had Charlie with us so we had a bit of a paddle, but next time I’d love to take out a Kayak and go and explore the other coves which you can only access by swimming, sailing or climbing over the rocks to get to. We’re really looking forward to going back.


That’s it from me this week. Having said that I would still consider it to have been a good week.

Lisa x

 

What Katy Said

Happy Days List

Happy Days Linky

I’ve been looking to for the Happy Days linky to try and break my pessimistic outlook which has taken over for the past year.

I hate that I look at all the negatives, but I think it’s fair to say that the last year or so has been quite tough for various reasons.

Life’s too short and all that, but more so when I look at my once chubby faced little boy turning eighteen in April. It speeds on by, and he’s now taking driving lessons and is starting an apprenticeship in September.

For that reason I’m going to take stock of the good things.

Happy Days

 

My Happy List

New Baby – Technically this happened over a week ago but my brother and his fiancé had a baby boy. He’s so squeezable. He was early so is the tiniest baby we’ve had in the family but he’s gorgeous!

The weather – it was scorching last week. I’m not a sun worshipper but it’s nice getting up and going to work in the sunshine. We finally managed to buy a cheapish paddling pool for Isabelle and Daddy had it all set up for when she came home from school on Tuesday. After sitting on a hot bus on the way home I took my shoes off and got in with her (in my work clothes) which she thought was great since she soaked me!

The paddling Pool – this should have its own title as it’s use after school everyday this week has been great. Isabelle is loving being able to get changed and straight in to cool off.

Last day of college – After two years, Ryan has officially finished college and about to embark on the world of work. 

Holiday – it’s only six weeks and five days until we go on holiday. We cannot wait!

New Job – I spent the most part of last week swotting for a job interview. Trying to cover every possible question that they might ask. I heard that there was quite a lot of competition but……….I GOT IT!!  I’m terrified but mostly excited.

Family day out – life is tiring at the moment but we are trying to make the most of our weekends. Yesterday we went to the circus (post to follow). It was really lovely and then we went for a wander around Darts Farm which is always nice. We love their food hall.

happy_days_linky

Holiday Shopping – Did I mention that it’s only six weeks and five days until our holiday. We’re off holiday clothes shopping today. Ha ha!

What made your week great?

Lisa x

What Katy Said

Elastoplast #TearsIntoSmiles Challenge

Elastoplast Tears into Smiles Challenge.

#TearsIntoSmiles

What do your kids call a cut or a graze?

A Baddie
A Boo Boo
An Oopsie
An Ouchie

Isabelle loves to make a huge song and dance whenever she falls over. She starts off crying and we’re desperately trying to work out if she’s hurt herself and if so what damage has been done whilst she bats us off covering up the ‘baddie’.

TearsIntoSmiles

Once we’ve had a look we have to assess the situation and work out if it’s just a bang and we might need to rub on a bit of arnica or whether it’s more than that.

We have, like most parents a whole kit of stuff for every eventuality.

We have arnica for bruises
Antiseptic spray and cream to get all the nastiness out of a cut or graze
Plasters of course in all shapes and sizes
Cotton wool pads – for holding over the baddies (better with a sprinkling of magic water)
A cold pack that we keep in the freezer

I think that the biggest part of a cut or graze is the initial shock of falling over that scares them more than the resulting injury.

If we have plain plasters, then part of making it ‘all better’ is drawing a design on the plaster whilst a cotton pad is held in place to clean it is all part and parcel of making sure that all is good and well in the world again.

I’m not playing down any falls that Isabelle may have, but thankfully she’s never had any serious ones that have needed proper medical attention.

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We were sent a set of both Frozen and Star Wars Plasters which have all the characters of the films on them so Isabelle has already pointed out her top few from both sets for ‘future baddies’.

#TearsintoSmiles

I love a challenge so it was no different when we were asked to take part in the Tears into Smiles Challenge – #TearsintoSmiles

So what do you do when your child has a fall?

We do all of the above and Isabelle plays a huge part in this by cleaning it herself and putting the on cream herself. She likes to put on the plaster but her aim isn’t that great so we try and do this ourselves if we can.

Following the clean up we have a bit of calm time when we sit and have a cuddle and either watch a bit of TV or read a book together.

Once this is all done, it’s definitely a game of distraction that helps get the day back on track.

We were sent a Hoopla Garden Game to try out as part of the challenge which we set up in the lounge to start with but have since played with it in the Garden, and it’s even been on a trip to Nanny and Papa’s house.

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Isabelle really liked this game and became the chief score taker (good for helping her count in tens and fives).

All the pieces come apart so could easily be packed away for the day on the beach as well.

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This post is an entry for the Britmums #TearsIntoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.

Lisa x

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