Thursday, 18 October 2018

Thomas Cook airlines

So we have just returned from a week in Alcudia, Majorca flying with Thomas Cook airlines from Newcastle to Palma.

The flight over was brilliant. At 0525 our boarding gate was announced and it was straight down and onto the plane. We did have to sit for about twenty minutes due to some air traffic control restrictions, but once we were pushed back that was it straight to runway and off.

The landing in Palma was very smooth and no sooner had we started the decent than we were on the ground.

The food was pretty good although Freddie did knock my cup of tea all over my trousers and the lovely lady sat next to me. He did mess around with his tray table quite a lot so I did have to use his magazines to distract him 

On landing though Freddie was a bit of a nightmare and he kept trying to climb out of his seatbelt to look out the window!

On the way back Freddie sat in his seat while the other passengers got on but I did have to distract him with snacks to stop him messing around with the tray table. Once we were in the air though I managed to distract him with Hey Duggee and In the night garden on his tablet along with the very hungry caterpillar game he has!

He wasn't that interested in his meal probably due to all the bear yoyo's and oat bars he had eaten before take off!!

However Freddie did actually fall asleep on this flight! Although it was literally twenty minutes before we landed!

Would we fly with Thomas Cook Airlines again? Yes I think we would!

Our plane back on the ground at Newcastle!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Siblings in October

October and we have now completed 10 months of the Siblings Project 2018! 
We have just returned from our first family holiday abroad and we had an absolutely wonderful week in Alcudia!

This months photos were taken while we were away! The boys loved spending so much time together!

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Living Arrows 2018 42/53

Welcome back to another week of Living Arrows hosted by Donna over at What The Redhead Said. If you are new to this then the name of the linky comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

This week we have been on our first family holiday abroad to Alcudia in Majorca. The boys had an absolutely brilliant time! 

They both had a fantastic time playing in the pools at the hotel and also on Alcudia Beach! We had two days down at the beach and one day trip to Palma Aquarium. The rest of the time we either walked down to Alcudia Port and Beach to look around the shops or we were in one of the many hotel swimming pools!

We also spent half a day at the Hidro Park which was next door to our hotel so we got free entrance as hotel guests!

This weeks photos of the boys were taken at Palma Aquarium. James loved climbing on the giant shark in the outdoor play area, where as Freddie was completely entranced by the fish in the big shark tank!

Living Arrows

Monday, 15 October 2018

The Wonder of Make-Believe

For parents who have jobs, grown-up friends, and adult interests, it can be hard to step into the shoes of our children. But if we want them to get the most out of their lives, step into their boots we must.

Over the years, researchers have spent a lot of time thinking about why children engage
in make-believe, and the benefits they may derive from it. As science has progressed,
it’s become clear that make-believe is a lot more complicated than first imagined. It is
now thought that make-believe is an essential tool that children use to prepare
themselves for experiences that they have not yet had. As a result, it can be a great
way to supercharge their development.
So what do you need to know as a parent?

Use The Right Props

Let’s say that you want your child to start becoming more independent when it comes
to food. Investing in a wooden play kitchen would be a great way to get them used
to the idea of actually making their food. Sure, it wouldn’t be the real thing. But unlike
in a real kitchen, your child would have far more freedom to explore the world of food
in a safe and controlled way. You could even get them to pretend to follow a recipe and
serve it up to friends (or teddy bears).

Of course, you don’t just have to focus on cookery. There are all sorts of different
concepts you could explore, from going to work to building a castle.

Get Them To Build Something

It doesn’t matter what your child builds: a fort, a rocket, a treehouse - they all engage the creative and spatial areas of the brain. So as a parent, it’s a good idea to provide the raw material they need. Although it might sound expensive, building things like forts and rockets can be very cheap, often using stuff you already have or were going to throw out. Old boxes, plastic bottles, cushions, and so on can get them started and making something exciting. You’ll often find that once you’ve provided the raw materials and prepared yourself for the mess, the kids will use their imagination and get on with things themselves.

Put On A Show

It’s a myth to think that it’s only kids who play make-believe. Adults, of course,
do it too in film, art, and music.

One way to get kids started, according to Care, is to get them to put on a show. Rather
than coming up with ideas on the spot, which can be a little haphazard, creating their
shows allows children to plan ahead. They can come up with plot twists, characters
and exciting storylines that the people watching will love. It can be something as
simple as a 5-minute puppet show or a quick sketch with a sibling.

As a parent, you can also help get into the world of make-believe through role play.
Your child can then explore you as a different character. Perhaps you could be a
busy firefighter, a troll under a bridge, or a scarecrow. You might want to skip
accountant though.

Misawa Air Base

**Collaborative Post**

Monday, 8 October 2018

Living Arrows 2018 41/53

Welcome back to another week of Living Arrows hosted by Donna over at What The Redhead Said. If you are new to this then the name of the linky comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

It's been another busy week getting ready for our holiday! James has had a great week at school and is getting so excited about our upcoming trip! On Saturday we went to a BBQ at James Beavers Scout Hut! The boys had a brilliant running around and James loved showing daddy and Freddie where he comes for Beavers. Mummy has actually already got Freddie's name down for Beavers!

Freddie had a great week at playgroup again! He loves going for his two sessions a week! I am wondering how he is going to react in January when he goes in for more as once he turns three he gets his funded 15 hours. So we have decided for him to do one full day and three half days as a morning session and two afternoons! On Monday Freddie had actually got up for the day at 5am do he ended up crashing out on the sofa for an hour!

The boys have decided or should that be James has decided he wants to share a room with Freddie so once we are back from holiday we are going to start putting the plans into motion to redo James bedroom and make it into a room for both of them, starting with getting them bunk beds!

Living Arrows

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Supporting Creativity in Your Kids

Supporting Creativity in Your Kids
Image Source

Children are naturally creative from a young age, and if you nurture that creativity as they grow it will get even better. Their imaginations are far superior to ours, and a recent study showed that this helps them to cope with pain and stress. Creativity can make them more confident, become socially adept and make learning easier.

Give Them Space

Find a space in your home for them to be creative. It does not need to be a large space or a special room. The corner of their bedroom or the living room could be ideal. Just make sure they have things they can be creative with. Dressing up clothes, a bag of Lego, plenty of crayons, pencils and paper are a good start. The important factor is that it is their space and they feel free to do whatever they want in it.

It should be a simple area. It does not need to have a lot of expensive toys and gadgets. The coolest kids bedroom furniture; the kind of furniture that allows them to explore and imagine, such as beds that are pirate ships or which have slides to come down from in the morning,  can make the difference between your child being creative or not. It gives them more to think about and they will enjoy creative play far more with it in place.

Give Them Time

It’s great them having the space they need but they also need the time to use it. Don’t organise every minute of their day. Let them have a few hours without scheduled activities so they can potter and do things at their own pace.

Unless they ask for your help, leave them to do their own thing. Managing them takes away the need for them to be creative themselves.

Show Them The World
Image Source

The best places to take your kids to activate their senses are places like art galleries, museums, libraries and outdoors. This does not mean that they should never go to theme parks and have fun, it is just that at some point they should visit these other places as well.

Apart from encouraging their creativity, these sorts of venues can also be educational.

Help Them Pursue Their Passions

If your child becomes interested in a particular subject, make sure they have the materials and activities to help them. A child interested in art, for example, you could buy an easel and varying sorts of paints for. If their love is motorcars, you could buy them books about them and let them watch some of the programs on TV or Youtube that are car related. Some children become interested in subjects that you may know very little about, and then they may need help from other people to be able to progress with them.

Be Creative Yourself

Kids learn by example, and if you are creative your children are more likely to be. Join in with colouring and drawing from when they are young, you might actually find you enjoy it. Many parents do which is why there are so many adult colouring books available. If they want you to dress up with them, play the part they want. You may be surprised at the fun you have and certainly, it is a great bonding exercise for the whole family.

**Collaborative Post**

Monday, 1 October 2018

Living Arrows 2018 40/53

Welcome back to another week of Living Arrows hosted by Donna over at What The Redhead Said. If you are new to this then the name of the linky comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

Our Holiday is getting even closer and we cannot wait! Mummy and Daddy did the majority of the packing last weekend while James and Freddie went to spend some time with Nana and Gaga for the weekend. 

James is getting along with his glasses really well! So far we have only forgotten to take them to school once, So mummy had to run home and collect them and take them back to the Key Stage One door where James TA met me to take them up to his class room!

James had his beavers meeting on Thursday night which he loves! I'm so glad he is enjoying Beavers as it is something for him to do outside of school and make friends that he does not go to school with!

Freddie is still loving playgroup! He is such a good boy for them, although he is such a monkey at home! He has taken to pouring his water all over himself meaning he is going through at least two or sometimes three sets of clothes a day!! He also likes launching his dry cereal across the room so mummy and daddy are doing a lot of hoovering!

Before we took James into school on Friday, we had to pop into playgroup for the photo day! I took James with me to see if we could get a nice photo of the boys together! It was actually a no go as Freddie would not sit down!

After mummy dropped James off at school on Friday she popped into the school hall for the Macmillan coffee morning. Although this year poor Freddie could not have any of the cakes due to his dairy intolerance. He was pretty grumpy about that! But mummy made sure she had some of his dairy free snacks with her!!

Nana and Gaga came down in the afternoon and collected the boys before taking them up to their house for the weekend!

Living Arrows

Friday, 28 September 2018

What I'm Packing For Freddie

So in a few weeks time we are off on our first family holiday and I am so excited! I have been buying and putting things away for this trip for months and its finally time to pack the case for the boys! 

The best way I find when packing for any trip for the boys is using Ziploc bags and putting stuff together ie day time outfit including a pull up and socks in one bag and same for evening in a separate bag. I find doing this it takes up less room in the case. I am also then going to put the boys stuff into separate packing cubes to keep their things separate. 

So for Freddie I am packing eight day time t shirts - we are away for 7 nights but will arrive at the resort around midday on the Monday and leave mid-morning the following Monday so I will be changing Freddie out of his traveling clothes once we have arrived at the hotel!

Then we have two pairs of swim shorts and his swim jacket. We have six pairs of shorts for wearing during the day and four pairs of shorts for evening. We then have seven smarter tops for wearing on an evening. 

We also have his Paw Patrol poncho and a big beach towel packed for Freddie as well!.

Shoe wise freddie will be traveling in his primark trainers, but we will also pack his sandals and also his doodles.

For his nappies we have 21 nappies that he wears over night, Two packets of swim nappies and 10 pairs of pull ups. We have ordered the rest of his pull ups and extra swim nappies from Boots and will collect them once we are air side at Newcastle airport! 

His changing bag will also be fully stocked and packed into the boys case. The bag that goes under the pushchair which contains our SnoozeShade, some carrier bags and our first aid kit will also be in here.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

What am I Packing for James!

So we are finally off on our first long awaited family holiday very soon and I am so excited! I have been buying and putting things away for this trip since we booked it in November last year and its finally time to pack the case for the boys! 

The best way I find when packing any time the boys go anywhere is to use ziploc bags. This means putting stuff together ie day time outfit including pants and socks in one bag and same for evening in a separate bag. I find doing this it takes up less room in the case. I am then going to put the boys stuff into separate packing cubes to keep their things separate.

I am packing eight day time t shirts, even though we are away for seven nights we will arrive at the resort around midday on the Monday and leave early the following Monday morning so I will be getting James to change out of his traveling clothes once we arrive at the hotel, especially as he will have been in these clothes from around 2am!

James has two pairs of swim shorts and his swim jacket. We have two pairs of shorts for wearing during the day and four pairs of shorts for evening. We then have seven smarter tops for wearing on an evening for when we go for dinner and probably a walk around the resort. We will probably try to watch the hotel entertainment on a night as well especially as there is a mini disco every night! I'm hoping this will tire the boys out so they will sleep!

Shoe wise James has his leather trainers which he will be traveling in, a pair of cheaper trainers for wearing during the day and also a pair of sandals for around the pool. 

James also has his Spiderman poncho and a big beach towel packed. There will also be an extra set of inhalers in his case. 

I think that is everything we need for James! If we do need anything else then there are shops in Majorca!

Monday, 24 September 2018

Living Arrows 2018 39/53

Welcome back to another week of Living Arrows hosted by Donna over at What The Redhead Said. If you are new to this then the name of the linky comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

This week Freddie and James have been pretty busy with school and playgroup. 
James has had his second lot of spellings to learn at school and we also collected his glasses on xxx. I'm hoping these glasses will help James to improve his reading and writing. He has been so stubborn towards his homework, reading and spellings this last couple of weeks but I think it's down to not being able to see them properly. 

He was also made up to come home with Star of the Week! He got given a sticker in assembly and then a certificate was posted home, which mummy proudly put up on the kitchen wall!

James also had a science day at school last week and they all made slime/gloop aka cornflour and water with food colouring! He was also talking about seeing a giant tortoise in school too!

On Wednesday James had a forest school session and parents were invited in to join the fun! Mummy had a brilliant time with James making a kite, a dream catcher and also a hedgehog out of a pear and sticks! 

Freddie has been quite grumpy and waking up at silly am in the morning. He has cried at playgroup drop off again but been full of smiles at pick up. He is not seeing the dietitian for his intolerances till November and mummy is finding it tricky as he keeps having reactions with a bad tummy from either hidden dairy or hidden soya. We didn't realise that most bread companies actually use soya flour, so the poor thing has been having toast most days!.

Living Arrows

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Living Arrows 2018 38/53

Welcome back to another week of Living Arrows hosted by Donna over at What The Redhead Said. If you are new to this then the name of the linky comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

So we are now back in the full swing of the school and playgroup routines. James has really settled back into school and with his friends. He is loving the fact he is allowed to scoot to school on his scooter. 

On Tuesday we headed straight across to Tesco so James could get his eyes tested. At this appointment we found out that James is long sighted and now needs to wear glasses in school and also at home when doing his reading, homework and on his tablet. The appointment took forever as they were running slightly late and then they ended up needing to put drops in James eyes. So by the time we got home it was time for tea and bed for both the boys! His class are also doing forest school at the moment so Wednesday it was an extra bag to remember his wellie boots! James also had his second Beaver's meeting on Thursday night so mummy took him and then came home and then went back to pick him up! He is really starting to enjoy Beaver's, and mummy is thinking about going back into scouting.  

Freddie is loving being back at Playgroup. He went bouncing in on Tuesday but on Wednesday the poor thing was crying his eyes out as he had seen James coming in from forest school and he wanted to go and see him.  We haven't started going across to our new group yet on a Thursday as Freddie had a dairy reaction so was a little poorly and slept most of the day. Then last week mummy had to go to the dentist so we had to go to nana and gaga's house plus it was also daddy's birthday and it was Beaver's for James!

Not the best photos of the boys this week! Since they have been back to school and playgroup its been so hard to get nice photos!

Living Arrows

Siblings in September

September already! This year is going so fast! and out holiday is getting so close!!!
This month the boys have been driving each other crazy! They have been winding each other up something rotten and fighting so much! I'm hoping that our upcoming holiday will help them to enjoy spending time with each other!
This is the only photo I have managed to get this month and it was taken on the first day back at school and playgroup!

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Friday, 14 September 2018

What is in my Plane Bag!

Welcome back to my series of posts on our plane bags for our up coming holiday! You can read about Freddie's bag here and James bag here!

So first off I am taking my Babymule backpack as my hand luggage as it has three compartments, which means I can separate the changing kit from my own stuff. I will also have my handbag with me which will have my wallet, phone, power bank and USB cable plus all our travel documents. 

So in the very back big pocket of the bag I will have a spare top for me just in case of any accidents, all the changing kit for Freddie will be in the essentials pouch. In here I will have two pull ups and two nappies, a packet of travel baby wipes, some nappy bags, some nappy cream and antibacterial hand cleanser. I will also have a zip lock bag with some extra pull ups and another two nappies along with some spare nappy bags in case I need something to put clothes in. 

In the middle pocket I will have my headphones and iPad, not that I am expecting to be able to use my iPad but I will have some books on the Kindle app and probably download some films on Netflix and BBC iplayer. I will also have some extra snacks for Freddie in here. As Freddie is dairy and soya intolerant I will make sure I have plenty of little bits in here that he can eat if he can't have his children's meal that we have ordered. We have changed mummy's meal to vegan as they do not actually do a vegan children's meal so hopefully Freddie will be able to eat something between his own meal and my meal! I will also have my hat in this pocket, But my sunglasses clip on's will be in my handbag. 

The veryfront pocket will have a spare travel packet of baby wipes and some antibacterial wipes for wiping down surfaces such as the plane arm rests and tray. Freddie hasn't had a reaction by touch, so this will just be a precaution as you can never be too sure. We will also have some antihistamine just in case as well! I tend to carry a first aid kit with paracetamol, ibuprofen, a blue inhaler plus spacer and antihistamine under the pushchair but this will be in our suitcase to get out once we arrive in the resort. 

In the small pocket where the messenger bag strap is I will have a headphone splitter just in case I need to watch something on the iPad with Freddie. 

The most important thing in the front pocket will be a spacer and an inhaler for Freddie. He doesn't normally need it as much as James does, but since he has been diagnosed as dairy and soya intolerant, one of his reaction symptoms is wheezing.  We are sat separate and across the aisle from each other, so it makes sense for me to have one in my bag

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

What snacks are we taking abroad

Packing for a holiday with two children under six one who is asthmatic and one who is intolerant to dairy and soya means its tricky!

Freddie first started having issues with dairy when he was six months old, but it took till he was two for us to finally be referred to hospital to seeing dietitians

Our holiday is all inclusive so we get all our food and drinks included, but we will be taking a selection of Freddie's favorite dairy free snacks in both our case and hand luggage.

On our flights we have changed mummy's meals to vegan just to make sure there is something Freddie can eat, as they do not do vegan children's meals. 

The first thing we will be taking is two cartons of almond milk. This is what Freddie drinks first thing in the morning and also at bed time. We normally add a little bit of water to it as well. These will be packed inside our Duc cool bag in one of our cases. We will also take a carton in our hand luggage along with a letter from GP to say he is dairy and soya intolerant and we need to take it through security.

Both boys love crackers so we will take a big packet of them in both our case and hand luggage. These will be ideal for putting into a sandwich bag and into our cool bag for when we are around the pool or out and about in the resort.

Freddie absolutely loves these dairy free flapjacks from Tesco. These come in packs of 5 so we will have one in hand luggage and at least two in our case. These are individually wrapped as well which is brilliant.

Another thing Freddie loves are these raspberry oat bars from Kiddylicious. These are from the baby and toddler aisle in supermarkets and are fantastic for him. Again these are individually wrapped so are the ideal snack for both boys.

So these are the snacks we will be taking away with us. If anyone can suggest anything else that is dairy free please let us know in the comments below!

Monday, 10 September 2018

Living Arrows 2018 37/53

Welcome back to another week of Living Arrows hosted by Donna over at What The Redhead Said. If you are new to this then the name of the linky comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

James has been back at school now for a week and he is loving it! He was only back in school for one day before he was on a school trip to Bamburgh Beach and The Grace Darling Museum. Then on Thursday James had to be collected early as he had a hospital appointment at 3pm to collect the equipment for his sleep study. James has very big tonsils and snores quite badly so the doctors decided we needed to do a sleep study to see if he needs them removing. Then on Thursday night James had his first Beavers group! 

Freddie also had his first days back at playgroup for this term. He had an absolutely brilliant couple of days being back with all his friends and making some new ones. He did cry a little bit on the Tuesday at drop off but he soon stopped. It was also the first time he has been in playgroup since he was diagnosed with being intolerant to dairy and soya, so mummy had to go through it all with the staff and go through his inhaler and when he would need it. It's a whole new routine for Freddie as the Sure Start group we went to from him being 7 weeks old has stopped running so I have decided to start taking him to the toddler group I used to take James to over in another part of town. 

Living Arrows

What is in James Plane Bag

As you already know we are going on holiday in a months time and this mummy is getting organised as to what the boys are taking in their hand luggage. 

I've already posted about what is in Freddie's plane bag which you can find here, now it's James turn!

For James we are taking his Avengers backpack that he got for his birthday from mummy's aunt and uncle. In the bottom of this bag I have put a carrier bag containing a pair of tracksuit trousers, a t-shirt, long sleeved top, pants and socks. There is also a unopened packet of travel size baby wipes just in case as Andy and James are across the aisle from mummy and Freddie so it makes sense to have a packet of wipes with them. There will also be a water bottle which will be filled up once we are through security.  We also have his sun hat and his sunglasses in here for when we get off the plane. The most important thing in James bag though will be his asthma inhalers and his spacer. I will have extra in our checked luggage but he will have his in his bag for the flight just in case he needs it!

Now for activities! First off there is the Paw Patrol sticker book like Freddie has. Again this was bought in the Aldi Special Buys back in March for £1.99. We then have a Room on the broom activity book and a Gruffalo colouring book. These came from Aldi in the August baby event special buys priced at £1.79 each.

Then there is a couple of Paw Patrol blind bags in the small front pocket, These were £1 at Poundland. James absolutely loves blind bags and I can see these keeping him amused for a while on the flight!

Then we have a colouring book, which was £1 at Tesco and a pencil case containing some colouring pencils. There is also a pencil sharpener with a lid and some normal writing pencils in here too as James has brought some work from school with him to do while we are away.

We also have a Gruffalo colouring book and a Room on the Broom activity book that we picked up in the last Aldi Baby and Toddler event. Then there is his Usborn Dino book he got from his aunt and uncle for his birthday 

Then we have his tablet and headphones. We bought this last Christmas for James as his old one was starting to come to the end of its use. His headphones are JVC and we bought these when he was about three and they still have a lot of life in them! We will buy him a couple of magazines at Tesco before we go as well so they will be in here too!

As for snacks we have two lollies one for take off and one for landing to help with popping ears. There are also a couple of Bear Yoyo's, some Bear Paws, 2 of the dairy free flapjacks and 2 of the Kiddylicious Oaty Bars.

The final thing that will be in James plane bag will be CB! This Bear has gone everywhere with James since he was about 18 months old, so going on holiday and not taking CB was out of the question,.