Monday 30 April 2018

Living Arrows 2018 18/53

Welcome back to Living Arrows 2018. f you are new to Living Arrows, then this linky is hosted by Donna over at What the Redhead said, It's all about celebrating childhood. It's name came from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

This week has been a good one for James and Freddie. James had his school trip to the Kaborn Homes site near his school to learn all about building houses as their essential question for this term is "What Makes a Home Sweet Home?" While Nana and Gaga were down, Nana went into James room and tidied up the mess! She also went through his wardrobe and took out a whole load of his clothes that were too small for him! James has all of a sudden had a massive growth spurt and is wearing size 6-7 and 7-8 in tops! 

Freddie had his normal two sessions at playgroup on Tuesday and Wednesday. While he was at playgroup on Wednesday Nana and Gaga were at our house to rearrange his room. We took down his old broken wardrobe and put his Kallax unit onto its side. We now have all his clothes in the Kallax and he also had the second side taken off his cot bed! So now it is a normal toddler bed!!


Living Arrows

Monday 23 April 2018

Living Arrows 20018 17/53

Welcome back to Living Arrows 2018 week 17!

If you are new to Living Arrows, then this linky is hosted by Donna over at What the Redhead said, It's all about celebrating childhood. It's name came from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

So James has been back at school a week now and he is loving being back with all his friends after the school holidays. He was a little bit put out that he wasn't allowed a day off school for mummy's birthday, but then he realised it had been in the school holidays last year! 

Freddie has been back at playgroup and well we had tears again!!  Last Monday on our way to pick up James we bumped into one of the women who works at his playgroup and he was thrilled to see her! He started waving and shouting hi! When James has been in school Freddie has been super glued to mummy's side when we are in the house, he has literally not been letting me out of his sight! We are also in the process of weaning Freddie off green top milk and onto a milk alternative. At the moment we are trying him on Almond milk and even though he is still waking up he is not screaming his head off. 

The weather has been so nice this week that after school on Friday mummy decided to take the boys to the park for a little bit to enjoy the weather, Then on Saturday we got up and headed across to Kingston Park Tesco and bought food for a BBQ!! We then spent most of the afternoon and early evening in our back garden!


Living Arrows

Sunday 22 April 2018

What was number one five, ten and twenty years ago?

So lately I've been listening to alot of music when Freddie has been in playgroup while I have been working on my laptop. I'm definitely a lover of boy bands and classic rock bands. In fact my favourite band recently got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (post coming on that soon!)

So I decided to have a look on the internet and see what was number one ten years ago and five years ago, basically to see if I could remember the songs!

So five years ago the number one single covering 22nd April was Need U (100 Percent) by Duke Dumont ft Ame. I literally have no idea who this is! I had to actually look you on YouTube who they are!

Ten years ago the number one single covering this time was American Boy by Estelle ft Kanye West. Now this is a song that I do remember and did like at the time. It wasn't the kind of song I would normally listen too, but I did hear it on numerous nights out in Manchester where I was living at the time!

and finally twenty years ago. The number one single twenty years ago was Its Like That by Run DMC versus Jason Nevins. Again this was not something I would normally listen to, but I definitely remember seeing them on Top of the Pops.

So that is what was number one five, ten and twenty years ago. I have really lost all interest in up to date music since my boys were born, so give me some classic rock music and I am happy!!

Wednesday 18 April 2018

What does Freddie Takes to Playgroup!

So now that Freddie is at playgroup two afternoons a week for three hours each session, I thought I should do a post on what exactly he takes with him.

The first thing that Freddie takes with him is his Mr Tumble backpack. This hangs on his peg along with his coat!

Inside his back pack we have a wet bag from Poundland and inside this we have: a vest, a t-shirt, a long sleeved top, a pair of joggers and a pair of socks! I always make sure there is a full set of spare clothes in his bag not just in case of him having an accident but the fact he is obsessed with water play and has needed to be completely changed before coming home a few times!! He is completely obsessed with water play and normally heads straight to the water table once he gets into the classroom!

The next thing in his backpack is pull-ups! Now Freddie is nowhere near ready for potty training and wears pull-ups during the day. I always make sure there is at least four in his bag just in case.

Then to go with the pull-ups we have some baby wipes. The ones we use normally use are the Aldi Mamia Fragrance Free. We have used these on Freddie since he was newborn so we know he has no problems or allergies to them. We currently have pampers fragrance free wipes in as it was all I could find when I needed a small packet to go into the bag.

The next thing to go in his bag is some nappy bags. Now these can be used not only for his wet pull up but also to put in his wet clothes. There have been times when he has only needed to have his vest, t-shirt and long sleeved top replaced after playing in the water, so his key worker leaves the dry things in the wet bag and puts the wet clothes into a nappy bag so when I get home I can just rip the bag and put them straight into the washing machine!  

The last thing to go into his bag is his hat. Now this actually only goes in when he is dropped off as it is on his head right up until we get into the cloak room. Over the winter it has been a woolie hat but as it gets into the summer I think it will be a baseball cap!

So this is what my two year old currently takes to playgroup with him, I expect that over the months things will be added and things taken away from his bag as he gets older and of course once he is potty trained. But also once he gets his free 15 hours from turning three, he will be at playgroup longer so will need to take more things!

Tuesday 17 April 2018

What does James take to school?

We are pretty lucky that we don’t actually need to provide anything for James for school apart from his school bag and his water bottle. His school even provided every child with a new school pe kit back in September! 

James currently uses his Zip and Zoe multi dinos bag for school. We got this as a review item when James was in reception and he loves it although it is starting to get slightly battered and need to be replaced before he starts year two in September! 

In his bag on a typical school day he will have his water bottle, His home school diary where we record his reading and his homework and his reading book.

I also normally keep a spare pair of socks in his school bag as well as James likes playing in puddles and quite often ends up with wet feet.

On certain Wednesdays James will have forest school so I will put his school shoes into his bag and a carrier bag for him to put his wellie boots and his waterproof trousers into once he has finished the session.

On a Monday James will also have his homework book in his bag, his class are given their homework on a Thursday so they have the whole weekend to complete it and hand in on the Monday.

We will also sometimes have a woolly hat in his bag as well sometimes too.

So this is what James takes to school on a daily basis. I'm expecting once he goes into year two in September he will be taking a lot more stuff with him!

Monday 16 April 2018

Siblings April 2018

Another month of siblings!
My boys have had a lovely time on their Easter Holidays from school and playgroup. 
We have some lovely photos of them both together.

This one was taken by my dad on Easter Sunday when we went out for the day with my parents. I find it difficult to get them both looking at the same time, so thanks dad!

When Andy went back to work we had a lovely day where the weather was fantastic, so I walked the boys to our local park. They looked so adorable holding hands as they walked!



The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Living Arrows 2018 16/53

Welcome back to Living Arrows week 16! Sixteen weeks is four months and I am so proud of myself for completing four months of weekly posts on my beautiful boys!

James has gone back to school today after his Easter break and boy was mummy ready! Although to be fair I only actually had the two boys on my own for one day! The first week of the holidays Andy was on holiday too so there was an extra pair of hands around for the boys, then the second week of the holidays James went to stay with Nana and Gaga from the Tuesday till Thursday on his own then Mummy and Freddie joined him Thursday to Saturday and James then stayed again on the Saturday night and came home on Sunday to go out for Mummys early birthday meal!

Freddie has been such a little monkey these holidays, with lots of copying from his big brother! He did really miss him when he went to stay with Nana and Gaga for them few days and was thrilled to be reunited with him once him and mummy went up!

Before James went to stay with Nana and Gaga we had a lovely day weather wise where we took a walk to Tesco first thing, then came home and played then cooked the evening meal and then had lunch and headed out to our local park!

The boys had a brilliant time playing on the swings and slides, while James saw one of his friends from school and played with her for a little bit while I chased the little whirlwind around!! We then went to the local shop and bought some ice lollies that James chose!!



Living Arrows

Saturday 14 April 2018

My Perfect Office Area

As a stay at home/work at home mum, I literally have to take what little time I have to do my blogging.

My desk is in one corner of the lounge with Andy’s in the opposite corner behind me. Andy has the corner where the plug sockets are so my laptop has to slide down the side of one of our units to charge as there is no socket by my desk. It also gets turned into a dumping ground for James and all his school stuff!

We have been in our house nearly three years yet we haven’t managed to decorate our lounge yet! 

What I would love to do is where my desk is, I would love to have a couple of shelves, something like the Ekby Alex from IKEA would be amazing as it has two draws as well so I would have the shelf to display things and then the draws to hide things away from the boys! In the drawers I would put things like my tapes and pens away from James as he always trying to borrow them! He seems to forget he has his own pens and pencils to use but I think mummy's always seem to be much more interesting to him!

I also love this HOME Cube shelving unit from Argos. This would give me a lot of storage to get things up off my desk like my pen pots and pencil case, which in turn would give me more space to work and also to use my desk for photographing products for blog posts!

I would also be able to put up some photographs of us as a family in the smaller cubes! I would hopefully be able to hang my twine photo holder off the bottom of this as currently it it held onto the wall with blue tac and it keeps falling down!

Another big issue I have is not having a place to store letters that come home from school. 

This desk tidy from IKEA would fit perfect on the desk and would take a lot of my paper work off my desk and I would be able to put my phone into it as well so if I got an alert I would see the screen flash instead of having to get up and go across the room to get my phone! 

It would also mean I would have to go through my school paper work more often as at the moment I tend to only go through it at the end of term and end up filling the bin with paper work that is no longer needed!

My current desk is the HOME Calgary Corner Office Desk from Argos. I do love it but the boxes are a lot smaller than the IKEA kallax unit so the kallax boxes also from IKEA do not fit meaning I have to store things on the shelves where the boys can get to them or they are on the desktop leaving me with very little space to work, meaning I end up on the sofa with the laptop on my knee getting distracted by the TV!

I really do like this desk but if I had more space then I would love to have something like this HOME Tall Unit also from Argos as it would take up a little bit less space! 

I love the fact it has a small shelf and also quite a big draw where I would be able to keep papers shut away from the boys! The only downside I can see with this desk is the shelf is quite small and the draw is not very deep. 

So these are things I would love to have to make my working area a bit more user friendly. I think having a more user friendly working area in our house would encourage me to sit and work without the TV being on to distract me!!!

All going to plan I will be updating a post soon on what we have done to make my desk area more user friendly!

Wednesday 11 April 2018

What's in My Changing Bag?

So now that Freddie is two years 4 months old, I thought it was about time I did an updated post about what I keep in my changing bag for him and also for James, who is five and a half.

First of all my bag is a Babymule Original in the Black and Grey (RRP £63.00) I bought this bag when Freddie was about ten months old as I had been struggling with my old bag with getting everything into the bag for both boys. I chose to get this bag after many friends told me how amazing it was! The best thing about this bag is the fact it can be clipped to the pram with the built in clips, it can be a messenger bag and it can also be turned into a backpack. When the messenger strap and the backpack straps are not in use they can be hidden away!

So what do I keep in my bag! The bag comes with a complete essentials kit which includes an essentials pouch, which can be used as an insulated cool bag or a nappy pouch, a padded changing mat, a Neoprene bottle insulator and a small purse which contains a wet bag!

So in the big back pocket which also has a zip pocket and a net pocket I keep the small purse with the wet bag folded up inside, I keep my purse in this pocket along with a spare set of clothes for Freddie, which includes vest, trousers, t-shirt, socks and long sleeved top! There is also a small first aid kit containing calpol, plasters, spoon, syringe etc which is definitely needed with a child as clumsy as Freddie!

In the next pocket I keep the essentials pouch with nappies, wipes, nappy bags and nappy cream in here. I also keep a folding toilet seat in here for James as it makes the seat size smaller and James sometimes gets a bit scared of big toilets. I  will also sometimes slip in Freddie’s drink bottle as it quite often gets lost in the basket under the pram!

In the small front pocket I use the neoprene bottle holder now to keep hand sanitiser in. I also use this pocket to keep a small pencil case with a pen and a USB cable inside. I also keep my power bank in this pocket too. I never go anywhere without my power bank and USB cable. In fact the cable I have can have an adaptor clipped onto it to turn it into a lightning cable for my iPad. There is also a little tin of lip balm, spare gloves for Freddie and an blue inhaler and spacer which can be used for either James or Freddie if it is needed.

The small pocket on the top/side (depending on which mode the bag is in!) I normally have  a packet mints in here along with the messenger bag strap if it’s not in use.

I have even used this bag without the kids for just me! When myself and Andy had to do down to Surrey recently I used the bag on the coach for my stuff and had my flask of tea, headphones, iPad etc in. 

The bag is comfy as it has padded straps and also a padded back. There is also a waist strap for extra comfort! I will definitely be using this bag as my hand luggage when we go to Majorca in October! The whole having two pockets will mean I can keep my things and Freddie's separate on the flights and in the airports!

Monday 9 April 2018

Living Arrows 2018 Week 15/53

Wow I am in total shock that we have made it to week 15!!

So in the last week we have had daddy off work for a week and we had planned to do a few things but it rained virtually every day apart from Friday!

So on Friday we got up early and jumped onto a bus to town and then hopped across to the metrocentre to meet nana and gaga! They then took Freddie off while mummy and daddy took James to see Peter Rabbit at the cinema!! We had a brilliant time! I think it will be a while before we attempt to take Freddie as I really don't think he would be able to sit still!!

This photo of the boys together was taken on Easter weekend by my dad at the hotel him and my mum were staying in! I literally don't know when he actually managed to get it without me or Andy seeing!

This photo of Freddie makes me laugh! He had already eaten one bowl of cereal and asked for another one, but instead of going to his seat he decided he was going to sit in James chair!!

This is the last week of the holidays and James is off to stay with Nana and Gaga for a few days from Tuesday! Mummy and Freddie will miss him but I think the boys need a break from each other!
Living Arrows

Saturday 7 April 2018

My Dream House!

As a stay at home/work at home mum, I literally have to take what little time I have to do my blogging.

Our house is a pretty small three bed roomed mid terrace house. Upstairs we have me and Andy in one room, James in the next biggest room and then Freddie is in the box room. Then downstairs we have our kitchen/utility room and then our lounge so there is no spare room for an office for me or a man cave for Andy.

I generally feel as though I get distracted working downstairs in the lounge as I can only really work when the boys are at school or playgroup or if Freddie is at home then he is having a nap. I always have the television on when I am in the lounge so there is another distraction.  I would love to have a small room where I could go and sit with either the radio on or music and just sit and write. When I was a student I could have either the TV on or I could have music on as the music interfered with the TV picture.

My desk is in one corner of the lounge with Andy’s in the opposite corner behind me. Andy has the corner where the plug sockets are so my laptop has to slide down the side of one of our units to charge as there is no socket by my desk. It also gets turned into a dumping ground for James and all his school stuff!

This is the current layout of our house upstairs and downstairs. As you can see we do not have a lot of space or spare room to have a dedicated working area. We currently have a separate toilet and bathroom with our boiler being in a cupboard in the bathroom. I would love to have our bathroom all in one and that little bit bigger!

Now if I had my dream we would have a double story extension built onto the back of the house so we could extend Freddie’s bedroom and also make the bathroom a bit bigger and add on an extra room upstairs to make either an office or a man cave.

Downstairs we could create a playroom for the boys, add in a downstairs toilet as being the only female in a house of boys it is not too fun having to prise a five year old off the toilet when he takes up residents i.e. he takes his tablet up and sits there to get some peace away from his little brother. Then we would have another room which could be either the man cave or the office.

I feel that having an extra toilet would definitely benefit us along with having a dedicated area for me to do my work as I feel it would certainly motivate me and stop me being distracted as much by the television!

I think that the things I would add to our house would certainly add on value as to get a property with everything I would add on in our area would be close to £250,000 which is money we definitely do not have and would probably not get a mortgage for. I would want to stay in the area we are currently in as it is close to the primary school that James attends and that Freddie will attend from nursery in 2019, also the secondary school is a short walk away too so when James moves schools he will be walking distance rather than a bus ride away.

**This post is just all my ideas about what I would love to do to our house!**

Friday 6 April 2018

A DITL of a Blogging Mummy in School Holidays!

So as it's Easter holidays for 5 year old James, I currently have both him and 2 year old Freddie at home 24/7. My blogging days are so different in the holidays to term time, So I decided to do a post detailing what happens, especially on a day daddy is at work!

Both kids are normally up and about by 7am at the latest so it's downstairs we go. The boys settle on sofa watching milkshake on 5 while I head into the kitchen to make my first cup of tea of the day and get the boys some cereal. 

One the boys have their cereal I will sit down with my tea and start checking my emails. Starting with the blog account and then going onto my personal account. I star things that need replying to and delete things that are junk mail. 

By the time I have finished the boys are normally shouting for more food, so I get them their second breakfasts and I will grab another cup of tea then I head upstairs have a quick shower or bath. Then once I'm ready I will be back downstairs to where daddy has been holding the fort before he leaves for work around nine am.

Depending on the weather it depends on what we will do for the rest of the day. We've had a lot of wet days so far this holiday so we haven't been venturing out and it's been a lot  of snuggling on the sofa with Netflix and Amazon prime. By around ten am my phone battery will need charging so I will plug it in downstairs and grab my iPad.

The boys will quite happily watch a film on Netflix or Amazon prime, so I will use this time to check social media and start scheduling on Facebook and Twitter. I then go into Evernote on my iPad which is where I do the majority of my post drafts as I can access it on my phone, iPad or laptop. I also keep a list on here of things I need to do for blog posts. I will sit and draft out some posts and come up with titles for posts ready to copy into blogger later on that night!

By around 12 the boys are wanting lunch so I put the phone or iPad away and go make us some lunch. After we have eaten we might play with the toy cars, Freddie's Beatbo or some of the other toys in the toy box. If it is a nice day we might take a walk to the local park or go to the local shop as we will nine times out of ten need to buy more milk!

Around 3pm I will put another film or TV series on to keep the boys amused while I go and cook the tea. This is normally done and ready by half four for the boys to eat. 

Wind down time will start after tea. If Freddie has not napped he is put into his pjs and he will snuggle up on my knee with some milk and CBeebies. I try and keep him awake till at least 6pm then it's up to his bedroom with more milk which he has lying down in his bed while I put his night nappy on.

Once he's asleep I'm back downstairs to James who will be watching CBeebies or playing on his tablet. I will then finally open up my laptop and log into blogger. I will copy posts over from Evernote into blogger and schedule them on Facebook and Twitter. Andy will get home around quarter to 7 so he will have his tea, then take James up to bed between 7 and half 7. I've just started to take on paid blogging jobs, so I will browse sites like Get Blogged to see what opportunities have been released and put some pitches in.

I will normally try and shut the laptop down by 8pm at the latest and go to bed and browse social media then I try to read a book on the kindle app on my iPad.

So this is my day in the life in the school holidays, If anyone has any tips on working more around the kids or things I could do then drop me an email!

**This post is in collaboration with Get Blogged!**

Wednesday 4 April 2018

Living Arrows 2018 14/53

Welcome back to week 14 of Living Arrows. 
I can't believe I have managed to get this far into the linky this year!

So the boys are now on holiday from school and playgroup for two weeks! James didn't actually finish till the day before Good Friday this year so he actually gets two weeks and one day off school before going back on 16th April!! He had a school disco on the Wednesday night which he was thrilled about, however Freddie was not too happy about having to come home and then go back out 45 minutes later then go back out an hour and a half later to collect James!

We went out on Good Friday to meet Nana and Gaga. Freddie needed some new shoes and James needed a summer coat! Mummy decided to get James his coat bigger than what he needed as he is going through a massive growth spurt at the moment and seems to be out growing everything!!

We also had a day out on Easter Sunday where Nana and Gaga treated us to lunch at TGI Fridays and then we took a walk down to the Quayside market and went to their hotel for a drink and also to let Freddie have a nap in the warmth as it had suddenly turned really cold! 

This weeks photos were taken on our adventures!! We have daddy off work for a week at the moment but sadly the weather is horrible so we can't really do much!




Living Arrows