Monday 31 July 2017

One Week Down, FIVE to go!

So week one of the summer holidays is officially over, and I have survived having both boys with me 24/7!!!

Now people will read this and laugh as of course I had both boys with me last summer too, but last summer (2016) Freddie was not mobile! I could quite happily leave him on his baby gym and go into the kitchen to make lunch or a cup of tea!

Now this year summer 2017 Freddie is very much mobile, in fact he's running all over and pestering James something rotten!

So week one has been pretty chilled out, we have pretty much stayed at home bar a doctors appointment for mummy's dodgy knee, a trip to shop and a fun morning at our local sure start centre!

We also had Nana and Gaga drop in for a couple of hours too! 

The highlight of the week though for James was our trip to Newcastle on Friday where we went for a pub lunch with Nana and Gaga!

Week two we are going to stay with Nana and Gaga. So there will be lots of walking into the village to go to the river, maybe ice cream and of course lots of visits to the play park 

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Freddie at 20 Months!

So my little menace we are only 16 weeks away from you turning two! We have no idea yet what we are doing! When your brother turned two we went to York for the day, but with your birthday being winter and also during school term we can't really do that for you.

You are now fully off formula milk and are drinking green top cows milk. The next step is to get you off your bottles! You are taking all your water from a munchkin 360 and I have bought you two beakers with silicon teats to try and get you off your bottles at least during the day! So far you have actually taken to one of them pretty well and have most of you milk in the day time from it and only have a bottle at bed time or in the night if you wake up and don't settle back down.

Your sleep can be a little hit and miss, but most nights you sleep from between 7 and half past till at least 6 in the morning. We still do have the odd night where you like to have a rave between 1 and 4am! Generally this happens when you are teething or mummy has noticed if you get disturbed at bed time by your big brother acting up, then you are normally up and down during the night.

You are such a little menace, and accident prone! You just don't know when to stop! You gave yourself two bruises on opposite sides of your head when we were at James school for the singing picnic all because you wanted to run! You do not like to hear the word 'No' if we have to say no Freddie you generally answer with either yea or me.

You are in more 18-24 clothes and take a 5F in shoes. You wear a 5+ nappy at night and a size 4 pull up during the day! You haven't worn a sleep suit at night in a few months as mummy and daddy found trying to get you into one too much of a challenge as you definitely do not like having clothes put on! I think you would be quite happy running around wearing only a nappy.  

You love playing games with your big brother, oddly you seem to love him pulling you around the lounge by your ankles. When he does this you are normally laughing hysterically at him. You have also started to climb up onto the sofa next to James if  he is watching his favour YouTube video Scary Flying Shark!

You absolutely love going to our sure start group and I know you will miss going weekly over the summer as it changes to every other week so we only have three groups on over the holidays! But I think you will definitely enjoy the summer groups as you will have your big brother there to play with you! 

The next time I write to you Freddie you will be 21 months old and the summer holidays will be all bout over! 

Love you always my cheeky boy

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Summer Reading 2017

James is not the best reader for his age. He loves having stories read to him, but ask him to read to you and he gets grumpy!

This year at school, he has brought home books but most have lasted a few weeks before he has had them changed as he kept refusing to do his reading with us.

Now he is on holiday for six weeks and Mummy is determined to get him reading more so when he goes back he will want to do his reading.

So with that in mind I have designed him his own summer 2017 reading record book!

I thought that the school might have sent something like that home for the kids over the summer, but they didn't so I sat down on the first Saturday night of the holidays while James and Freddie were in bed and designed one myself! 

I designed both the cover and the inserts in Jasc Paint Shop Pro 7, Which is quite an old soft wear, but its one that I love! And even when I have tried new ones I always end up coming back to this one!

Below is what I came up with! The only difference between the cover below and the one I have printed out is that the printed copy has James' name on!


I inserted the cover onto the right hand side of a landscape Microsoft Word document to make a cover. I then inserted two of the record pages onto a landscape Word document, then printed them out, I then worked out which way to put the paper up in my printer to print on the other side to make the record sheets double sided!

I'm really hoping this encourages James with his reading over the summer, so when he goes back to school in September he makes a good impression on his new teacher and also that his old teacher and his old TAs are proud of him!  

Saturday 22 July 2017

James is Turning Five - The Party Haul

So with every party, you need a good party haul on stuff for the party! So this is our first haul for the Spiderman Party to celebrate James turning five!

First off we have the Spiderman party bags! These were £1.50 for eight at Tesco, who also have all their party stuff on offer for 5 for the price of 4! So four packets of party bags were purchased.

Next we have the Spiderman happy birthday banner. This was also from Tesco in the 5 for the price of 4 offer.

We have the number 5 candle for James cake! Last year we had candles spelling our James on the cake and they were such a pain to light so this year we have gone with just the number!

We also have some mini sparklers for the cake! James had sparklers on his first birthday cake so when I saw these at Tesco I knew I had to get them!

James is after a pinata so I'm on the hunt for a Spiderman one!! If you know where I can get one from please email or leave a comment below!

The next haul will be on the party bags and what is in them!

Friday 21 July 2017

End Of Reception - First Year at School!

So it's James last day of school today and I really can't believe my baby boy has finished his first year in school.

This time last year he was finishing nursery and I was all i cant believe he's finishing nursery for big boy school and now he's finished his first year in school. Year one in September sounds so grown up.

I know James is really going to miss the TA they have in the afternoon as she was his TA in nursery so he has had her for the last two years.

So it's not been an easy year for James. He has had his struggles, mostly with his stubbornness. You ask him to do his keywords or his reading and he just mucks about.

He has some lovely friends most are from his class at nursery, but he has made friends with some of the kids that were new in the school.

I have loved going up to pick him up and hearing all about his day. I have been going up that little bit earlier so I can see him play outside with his friends. Its so cute hearing his little friends shouting "James there's your mummy and baby!"

Since James started school, his relationship with Freddie has got so much better. He comes out of school telling him he's missed him.

We had the end of term project outcome last week and mummy, daddy, nana, gaga and Freddie went into have school dinner with James and to collect our cook books that the kids had made this term.

Although it's the end of school, James is still not yet five and wont be five till the second last weekend of the summer holidays.

I'm so proud of everything James has achieved in reception and I'm looking forward to him continuing to flourish in year one.


Wednesday 19 July 2017

Improving Fine Motor Skills.

Fine motor skills is something we have found this year James has struggled with, This is why he seems to hate writing so much! 

Mummy is on a mission this summer holiday to improve James fine motor skills so when he goes back to school come September he will hopefully not struggle to hold his pencil!

Pintrest has a lot of posts on fine motor skills and how to improve them. I have started spending free time on an evening searching for little things that will help James and so far I have made him two little games.

The first game is threading straw beads onto pipe cleaners. The bits of straws have been cut into beads of different sizes to be threaded onto pipe cleaners. 

The second game is similar but instead of using pipe cleaners, its a piece of wool. I'm hoping that these games will help James.

I'm also looking into making him some threading games, where he has to thread a piece of wool through holes to make patterns on shapes.

I have also made him some writing practice sheets, I'm really hoping to get him wanting to write over the summer but I'm literally not holding my breath due to his stubbornness!

This is a link to my board on Pintrest so if you have any more ideas of ways I can help James leave a comment below!

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Review - Summer Infant Cushystraps

When we bought our second pushchair last year, the only thing we didn't get with it was the chest pads as we had bought it second hand but virtually brand new.

Freddie loves our Armadillo, but I had noticed when he went to sleep in the pushchair, the straps would often rub on his cheek or neck.

When the lovely people at Summer Infant got in touch and asked if we would like to review their Cushystraps we jumped at the chance.

We had used their Ivory Terry Snuzzler insert when Freddie was newborn in our Mamas and Papas Sola as we used the lie flat seat rather than buy a carry cot. So we were already fans of the Summer Infant products.

The Cushystraps arrived and I put them straight onto the Armadillo Straps. They were so soft and the teddy bear heads made them look adorable. 

When Freddie first went into the seat, I actually had to adjust the straps as they Cushystraps did what I was hoping they would do! They stopped my little menace doing his Houdini impression and trying to escape!

The Summer Infant website says "Soft-cushioned shoulder strap covers designed to help protect your little one from strap irritation and provide extra neck support and comfort. The cute characters easily attach to most harness systems with hook and loop fasteners."

Freddie has slept in the pushchair a few times now with the Cushystraps and when he has woken up there has been no irritation from the straps on his face and his neck. The Cushystraps are made from 100% Polyester and are machine washable. With a child like Freddie who likes to eat and drink in his pushchair this is a brilliant thing!

We found the Cushystraps easy to attach and easy to swap between our two pushchairs. I love the fact there is so much padding on them, as it means Freddie is comfortable when he is asleep in the pushchair. Freddie is one of these kids who will only nap in his pushchair, which for me is actually a good thing it means if we are out and about or visiting family he has a familiar place to sleep and will go over pretty quickly.

If you are looking for some chest pads for your pushchair, I can highly recommend the Cushystraps! Freddie loves them and so does mummy!

Disclaimer: We were sent the Cushystraps free of charge in exchange for this review. All words and photographs are our own. 

Monday 10 July 2017

Intu Metrocentre Baby Brunch

When the invite arrived in our email inbox inviting mummy and Freddie to a baby brunch at Intu Metrocentre to celebrate independent retailers week we were thrilled.

We dropped James off at school and jumped on the number 7 bus and off we went to Intu Metrocentre. Originally we were going to have to leave the event a bit early for sports day, but the school cancelled that due to a soggy school field that morning.  

Intu Metrocentre has loads of independent retailers and I was so looking forward to browsing them without James! 

There was loads of activities for the kids like duplo, megabloks and Freddie's current favourite - cars! He had great fun going brum brum on the AstroTurf especially with a Blaze monster truck! 

They way the area was set out was fantastic! It was right in the centre of the village area meaning people could walk round it on either side, causing no disruption to the actual retailers.

There was a brilliant flower arranging demonstration from the lovely little florist that's in the village which mummy really enjoyed and there was even a visit from Rusty and Maggot two of the Metro Gnomes! Freddie was a bit unsure of them at first but then he had great fun grabbing their noses! We even got a fab photo with Rusty! 

We had an absolutely fantastic morning out at Intu Metrocentre and looking forward to our next visit soon! We are really lucky having this shopping centre on our doorstep and I'm planning on making more of it and visiting over the summer holidays with the boys.

Disclaimer: We were invited to this event by Intu Metrocentre. All words and pictures are our own