Wednesday, 8 July 2020

AD - ORS Hydration Tablets Review


Over the last few years we have had issues with James and his consumption of water during the day. He would go to school with a full water bottle and come home barely having drank a a few centimetres down the bottle. 

When he was in Foundation and Key Stage One we knew he was getting either milk, water or a juice at lunch time and that he was drinking it. But once he moved into Key Stage Two in September 2019 he moved onto pack lunch. For the first few weeks we were putting a drink bottle of weak squash in his lunch bag. He was barely having one or two mouthfuls and he was then bringing home a barely touched water bottle from the classroom. We then moved to giving him fruit shoots in his lunch bag and he would sometimes drink half of it, but other days he would bring it home untouched along with an untouched classroom water bottle. 

We tried all sorts to get him to drink over the course of the day, We tried using his reward chart at home by drawing a line half way down his bottle and saying well if you drink to the line you will get an extra star on your chart, but this didn't work. James would get badly constipated due to the lack of fluid he was drinking. He would be getting up in the night with a bad stomach.

When O.R.S. got in touch and offered to send us some of their kids hydration tablets we were thrilled. We got sent a selection of their tablets for kids and adults. James is almost eight, so for him it was two tablets per two hundred mls of water and no more than ten tablets in twenty four hours.

We would normally give James a water bottle at seven in the morning and by around eight am he would have barely touched it no matter how many times we have said to him "James drink your water!" When we made up two hundred mls and put it into his drink bottle at around eight am he had completely finished it by half past nine!


To make the solution up, I put two hundred mls of water into a jug and added the two O.R.S. tablets and left them to fully dissolve. Once they were dissolved I poured the solution into James water bottle and he drank it! I don't know if it was the fact that the blackcurrant tablet turned the water pink or that it flavoured the water but he drank it! 

We will be seeing how James does over the next few weeks with these and will report back!!



**We were sent the O.R.S tablets free of charge in exchange for this review, all words and pictures are our own. 


Monday, 6 July 2020

Living Arrows 2020 Week 27/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2020! This is the third year I have taken part in this linky and I love taking part each week! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" 

 Each week I share one photograph of James and one of Freddie and share what they have been up to during the previous week.

This week started with mummy going into school to drop medication off for Freddie as he was due back.

James had a great online virtual Beavers session. We are now running joint with the Cubs so we learned about the Japanese star festival Tanabata. He was set homework to make a Tanzaku. Since daddy had a week off work James decided he was going to come and help in the garden! 




Living Arrows

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Living Arrows 2020 Week 26/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2020! This is the third year I have taken part in this linky and I love taking part each week! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" 

 Each week I share one photograph of James and one of Freddie and share what they have been up to during the previous week.

This week we got the confirmation that Freddie will be back in nursery on the 6th of July for the last two weeks of term. It will be so strange not having him here, but I think he needs to see other people that are not mummy, daddy and James. 

James has also turned into spiderman! He's discovered he can climb our hallway wall!



Living Arrows

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Living Arrows 2020 25/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2020! This is the third year I have taken part in this linky and I love taking part each week! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" 

 Each week I share one photograph of James and one of Freddie and share what they have been up to during the previous week.

So the lockdown situation is starting to lift a bit in the UK. Non essential shops have reopened. Not that we are going to any! The only places mummy and daddy are going is Tesco, Aldi and occasionally Poundland!

We have had some more lovely weather so we have tried to take the boys out for walks on an evening when it has cooled down at bit as its been far too hot during the day to take them out!







Living Arrows

Saturday, 20 June 2020

[AD] Review of Robot Workshop by Ojo

Back at Christmas 2019, we received a brilliant coding game for James called "Which Way!" it was based on the Cbeebies programme Messy goes to Okido, James absolutely loved it and even now six months since he still plays with it often.

When Ojo contacted us and asked if James would like to try out another one of their games of our choosing I was thrilled. Ojo specialise in STEM and learning games. So even though they are really fun to play James is also learning something while he's playing!

The object of the game is to get from start to finish. When you roll the dice you move the number of spaces, but if you land on a mission card you have to complete the mission to move the rest of your spaces. If you fail the mission you have stay where you are and let the other players take their turns. 

 When you land on the mission card, you have to follow the instructions on the card and build the robot to meet the specification. Every player is given a core card at the start which is the robot's body, as you can see in the picture to the right, the core card on this robot was orange. From the instructions on the card you then have to choose a head, an arm and some legs. You then check the pictures in the back of the instruction book which contains pictures of all the robots for each mission. 

If you get the design right you can finish your turn. If you get it wrong, it passes to the next player who rolls the dice and moves their spaces. If they land on a mission card then the whole process is done again, build the robot, and check the design.

This game has been absolutely fantastic for James. He has had so much fun playing it. This is one of those games that can be passed down to Freddie as at the moment he is slightly under the lowest age limit for playing.

We will definitely keep on playing this game with James and I think it is something that I could actually borrow from him and take into a Beavers session! 

With James having a birthday in a couple of months time I am definitely going to be going to look for more Ojo games for him!

You can buy the games direct from Ojo or you can buy them on Amazon!

**We were sent this game free of charge in exchange for this review. All words and pictures are our own!**

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

The Siblings Project 2020 - June


Oh boy we are late with the post this month! Time has just got away with us being on lockdown and not going out of the house very much! This months pictures were taken when we were taking part in the Virtually Marra camp over the May bank holiday weekend.

With only weeks until the school summer holidays, I am hoping the weather improves a bit more so we can get the boys out and about for walks to burn off some energy!



Living Arrows 2020 Week 24/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2020! This is the third year I have taken part in this linky and I love taking part each week! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" 

 Each week I share one photograph of James and one of Freddie and share what they have been up to during the previous week.

So the lockdown has been slightly lifted and non essential shops have been allowed to reopen! Yeah I'm still not taking the boys out. We are staying home as much as we can. Mummy is only leaving the shops once a week and thats to go to Tesco for extra supplies!

James has been working very hard on another badge for Beavers which is now almost complete! Freddie has been just a little tinker and very naughty! I think the whole no nursery and not seeing any of his little friends is really starting to get to him!





Living Arrows

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Living Arrows 2020 Week 23/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2020! This is the third year I have taken part in this linky and I love taking part each week! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

Each week I share one photograph of James and one of Freddie and share what they have been up to during the previous week.

This week well the same as every other week we have stayed in. James had his online Beavers meeting where mummy had the pride in announcing that James has gained his chief scouts bronze award! He has worked so hard over the last two years towards this!

Freddie has just been his normal crazy self. He is really starting to miss his friends at nursery now. Even though the government has given the ok for nursery to go back, our school hasn't made a final decision yet. 




Living Arrows

Monday, 1 June 2020

Living Arrows 2020 Week 22/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2020! This is the third year I have taken part in this linky and I love taking part each week! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

Each week I share one photograph of James and one of Freddie and share what they have been up to during the previous week.

So it's lockdown week erm 11? I literally have no idea how long it has been. All I know is we've not seen my parents since 16th March and that's the longest time the kids have never seen them! 

This week was technically the school half term week. We should have started the weekend by visiting Carnival Marra with Beavers, but we obviously did it virtually.

Most of the week James has spent in his pj's lol! He was quite difficult this week as normally we would have been staying with Nana and Gaga for the week. The last time the boys stayed there was February!

We did get James's out for one walk, we waited till daddy had finished work and then we all went together! 

This weeks pictures are well James doing hiss selfie with Maddie and Greg. And. As for Freddie well this is how we found him the other night in his bed! 



Living Arrows

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Living Arrows 2020 Week 21/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2020! This is the third year I have taken part in this linky and I love taking part each week! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

Each week I share one photograph of James and one of Freddie and share what they have been up to during the previous week

I've totally lost all sense of what day it is and how long we have been in lockdown now. 
The boys are losing the plot now and the naughty behaviour is creeping in. Especially from Freddie. When we have been on walks he has been running off on the field to hug the trees!

This last weekend should have been a big scout camp called carnival marra which me and James were meant to have been visiting with Beavers, so instead they put a virtual camp online and mummy and James and Freddie did two out of the three nights! 





Living Arrows

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Redesigning my blog with Font Bundles

When I first set up the blog back in May 2014, I went for a very simple blog header, which had cartoon monkeys on, and a very simple and plain layout, especially as I did not think I would actually keep it up, but I did and here I am six years later and I still have the blog going.

When the blog was first set up it was hosted on blogspot.com under the name mummy to my little cheeky monkey. This name came from James who at the time was twenty-one months old and we used to call him our little cheeky monkey. I then took the leap in January 2017 to take the blog self-hosted onto the www.victoriahockley.co.uk domain name. And now finally nearly two and a half years on from going self-hosted I am dropping the cheeky monkey from the name, but I am keeping it as the email address as it would be far to much stress to change it on everything and email out contacts to change it.

Over the last six years I have had many simple designs using the simple fonts you get already programmed onto the computer. But finally, after six years I am ready to take the leap and download some fonts to make my logo and header stand out.

Since the header is used on both the blog and also on Facebook I wanted something that will pop out and have a wow factor, but also since the blog does not make that much money I do all the graphic work myself as I simply cannot afford to out source the work. Especially in the current situation, all spare money I have is going on the boys who have decided it was the perfect time to outgrow all their clothes and some of their shoes.

I searched on GoogIe to see if I could find an alternative to Dafont, I then decided to have a look at a fantastic website called Font Bundles, who have loads of brilliant free font available to download!

The first font that I looked at was called Bring Heart, I really liked this one as it was kind of like a script font, but eventually I did rule this one out as I thought it would be hard for people to read who are partially sighted.

The second font I looked at was called Monkey Mayhem. This one was quite bold and stood out. This font looked like it was going to be a possibility for my new header on the blog and, also on Facebook, especially as it gives a nod to the original name of the blog – mummy to my little cheeky monkey.

The final font that I looked at was called Playful Jake. This was quite cartoon like, I decided to go against this one as I wanted something that stands out and is easier to read.

Now that I have chosen the font, I had to start thinking about what pictures I was going to use. The last picture I used was one of me and the boys taken before we went out to see a theatre show, but this time I thought I  was going to use pictures of the boys on their own, but eventually I went for these two pictures of the boys together that I took on a recent walk around our local area.

The first picture was taken of the boys from the back as they walked back towards our house. I chose to use one of the boys from the back as it is actually my current favourite picture of the boys together. The second one is from the same walk, they are building some new houses near us on a patch of grass that used to have some blocks of flats on and round the edge there is some grass with some lovely trees which the boys were running around and erm hugging them so I have no idea how I managed to get them to stand still for a couple of pictures.



So above you can see the final design that I went for, for my new blog header. This is the first time you will see it along side it now being uploaded to the top of the page. I always tend to go for designs with a lot of white in them and stick to a plain background in either white or pale blue. I do this as it is less fussy and so much easier for people to read, especially those who have sight difficulties.

**This is a Collaborative Post**

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Living Arrows 2020 20/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2020! This is the third year I have taken part in this linky and I love taking part each week! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

Each week I share one photograph of James and one of Freddie and share what they have been up to during the previous week

So its lockdown week nine? All the talk this last week has been about the schools reopening. We have not made a final decision about Freddie and won't till much nearer the time and when we also actually have a date that our school is reopening. 

The boys have spent a lot of time playing together this last week. I think when one of them does go back to school the other will really miss them!!



Monday, 18 May 2020

The Siblings Project 2020 - May

This month we are a little behind with The Siblings project. Normally we post right on time, but this month with the current situation everything has just got totally behind!!

This months photographs were taken when I had the boys out on a recent walk and they were actually being nice to each other!!





Monday, 11 May 2020

Living Arrows 2020 19/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2020! This is the third year I have taken part in this linky and I love taking part each week! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

Each week I share one photograph of James and one of Freddie and share what they have been up to during the previous week.

So this week Freddie had failed the soya ladder at stage 3. But on a plus side padding stage 1 and 2 has opened up so many new foods to his diet!

James is so bored with the whole home school now, but he isn't in the list for first to return. He will go back but only when his head teacher says its safe for him to go in. 





Living Arrows

Monday, 4 May 2020

Living Arrows 2020 18/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2020! This is the third year I have taken part in this linky and I love taking part each week! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

Each week I share one photograph of James and one of Freddie and share what they have been up to during the previous week.

This week its the start of lockdown week 7, its also a 4 day week as its VE Day on Friday. 

Last week the boys were part of a world record attempt for the largest camp. This was an idea by our Scouting District Northumberland Scouts that actually went viral! At the time of writing this over 90,000 people had registered to say they had joined in!

The boys slept so well in their den! Mummy was all cosy with the monkeys too! 




Living Arrows

Monday, 27 April 2020

Living Arrows 2020 17/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2020! This is the third year I have taken part in this linky and I love taking part each week! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

Each week I share one photograph of James and one of Freddie and share what they have been up to during the previous week

So we are into the sixth week of lockdown i think! I have really lost all sense of time and days since the 23rd of March. The boys went back into home school last week. We have started using the BBC Bitesize with James, and just doing little bits with Freddie as he is much happier watching Numberblocks and Alphablocks on iplayer!

The BBC Bitesize stuff has been really good and James has been flying along with the maths!!

Our school are now sending out work weekly and we are mixing that in with what we have found ourselves. 

James and mummy also renewed their Beavers and Scout promise on video for St George Day. 





Living Arrows

Thursday, 23 April 2020

What The Kids Will Love For Summer

The summer time is a big deal for kids of all ages - it’s when school’s out, the
sun is out, and there’s a beach or park to race down to and have some fun
with friends and family. It’s a time of year they look forward to the most, apart
from Christmas, and they always have a lot of energy for it! 

Which is why it might be useful to know now what the kids are going to want
for summer this year. They’ve been cooped up inside for a little while now,
which means they might just have ten times more energy than before, and
you’ll need to give them outlets to get all of that out. 

Without further ado, here are some suggestions on what to buy your kids for
summer this year. Make sure they’ve got the tools to have fun, and they’ll be
looking back on this time for years to come!

Pexels Image - CC0 Licence

Beach Toys (even just for the garden!)

Beach toys are the pinnacle of summer fun. If you have a beach ball on hand,
you can have a good game of volleyball on the beach, or float around with it in
the water. If you’ve got a bucket and spade, you can make all kinds of creative
projects out of the sand or pebbles on offer. But even if you’re not at the beach,
or don’t have the chance to get down to one, you can still make good use of beach
toys in the back garden. 

Alongside that bucket and spade, get your hands on a small sand pit that the kids
can mess about in for an afternoon. That beach ball can still be used for back yard
games, and even for something as simple as not letting the ball touch the ground.
This can be a lot of fun and laughter for the whole family! 

Something to Dress Up In

Kids love to play dress up, and it’s nice to slip on a costume and pretend to be a pirate
or a prince for the day! And when the summer time comes along, there’s a good chance
your kids are going to be wearing special costumes more often than they’ll wear normal
clothing. So, why not try to encourage their imaginations, and buy them more and more
fun things to wear? 

And you don’t even have to invest in costumes either; just buy them some clothes that’ll
help keep the dirt and muck off while they take a dip in the ocean or get covered in mud
from the football field. Boys tracksuits are always a populargo to for this, not to mention
how grown up your child might feel when they've got one on!

A Bit of Camping Equipment

Camping is something we like to do in the warmer periods of the year, and it’s especially
good to do as a family. Taking the kids off to a campsite to pitch a tent, teaching them
how to make a fire out of nothing but twigs, and having to sleep under the stars with the
sound of the world around them. All in all, it can be a very magical experience. 

And even if you can’t get out to a campsite, you can always set up a tent in the garden.
The kids will love the novelty of not having to sleep in their beds for the night, and
getting cozy under a sleeping bag and some blankets. They’ll love being able to tell ghost
stories with lanterns in hand, and it’ll certainly be a lot cooler on those hot summer
nights too! 

Maybe Even Their First Bike?

And of course, if your kids don’t already have a bike, now could be the perfect time to
buy them their first bike and teach them how to ride it. They’ll love being able to go on
bike rides through the woods or along the park, and it’ll be a lot faster to go round a
friend’s house when they’re able to do so again! A bike can be a hefty investment,
but it’s worth it. 

The kids love the summer time, even when they’re the kind of person to hide away
in their bedroom. Because the sun brings out the best in us; it makes us happy, and
helps us to feel a bit healthier, and the summer is a period filled with nostalgia! So,
make sure you’ve got some great activities set out for it this year. 

**Collaborative Post**

[AD] Review of Happy Confident Me Journal

With everything that is going on in the world at the moment, James is very emotional. 

He is really missing his school friends, his teachers, the staff at the school, his friends at Beavers and of course our other three Beaver leaders. 

Just before all this kicked off we were asked if we would like to review the Happy Confident Me Journal. James is normally quite a sensitive child, so we were thrilled as we thought it would help him to get his emotions out and onto paper.

The Happy Confident Me Journal is designed in a really positive and child friendly way. The colours are so bright and eye catching, I love how it has lots of ways to help James get his emotions out and onto paper. 

James has been writing in this most days since the lock down started, the first few days he was ok, but once the government announced only to leave the house for essencial trips aka food and medical trips, it soon changed. 

He has been having numerous meltdowns as he just does not really understand what is going on. We are trying to shelter him from the news and only checking what is going on from our phones or putting the news on once the boys are in bed. 

This is an example of one of the pages in the Journal. At the top there is a place to write what day it is, then a place to write how you are feeling. 

I love how it has space to write three things that you are grateful for that day, Then it has a section for the best part of the day and at the bottom a space for something they have learned that day.

Some days James is finding it a struggle to write how he is feeling as he is just so confused as to what is going on. Then again mummy is just as confused at times too. Its quite hard to comprehend that the boys realistically could have finished year three and nursery!!

This is definitely something I would recommend for children age 7+ especially at the moment

**We were sent this product free of charge in exchange for this review**