K’s Easter basket

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I thought I would do a post this week on the Easter basket we made up for K in the run up to Easter as it may give you some inspiration on what to put in your own basket if you choose to do one. This is the first year that I have made up a basket for K as I feel she is now old enough to appreciate it and make the most out of it and she has absolutely loved it. It will definitely become part of our Easter tradition from now on. I have made sure that I put craft items in it that we could do together in the afternoons whilst her baby brother sleeps as I sometimes find this the hardest time of the day to keep her entertained. I have made sure that there has been something to do/make/bake every day for the whole of the week running up to Easter. So let’s jump in and see what’s in there..

We’re going on an egg hunt book

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I picked this book up whilst I was shopping in Asda for £3.99 and K absolutely loves it. You have to find the Easter Eggs under the lift up flaps. The story is a sing-song type rhyme and it’s a nice book that keeps her attention well.

Easter bonnet decorating kit

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I included an Easter bonnet and a decorating kit for K to make her own bonnet with as she loves craft activities. I also  let her glue the shredded ribbon which was in the basket on the bonnet too but this isn’t shown in the picture. You can pick bonnets and decorating kits up from most supermarkets and pound shops. They are super cheap but really effective.

Chocolate

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This is self explanatory. No Easter basket would be complete without an actual Easter egg and chocolate!! Although I’ve had to hide the chocolate in the cupboard until Sunday to stop both me and her from eating it too soon!!

Egg decorating kit

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This is another really good craft activity. I bought polystyrene eggs to decorate but you could also just hard boil a couple of real eggs and decorate them that way. I also bought a simple stencil kit to use on the eggs but you could use different paints/glitter/glue/feathers etc and really go to town with it!!

Lamb shaped mini basket

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I picked this up because I thought it was really cute and I knew K would love it. We are going to an organised Easter egg hunt at a local farm over the Easter weekend so I thought this would come in handy to bring with us to put her eggs in that we find. It is made from felt so can be reused for dressing up props etc after Easter.

This is everything in K’s Easter basket. She’s had so much fun this last week doing all the crafts. We have also been making Easter Rise Krispy buns which is basically melted chocolate and Rice Krispy cereal mixed together and left to set in the fridge. Very simple to do but really exciting for toddlers to make. Especially when they get to lick the bowl afterwards!

Are you doing an Easter basket this year? What is in yours? I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Easter!

XOXOXO

D – You are 6 months old (A letter to my son)

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My beautiful boy. Yet another month has passed by in the blink of an eye. You are 6 months old. What a milestone! It is so weird that the last 6 months have flown by yet it feels like you have always been apart of our lives. It’s this month that I feel your personality is REALLY shining through. You are such a laid back baby, nothing seems to faze you. This last week in particular you have started to progess a little more and are now reaching out for objects confidently and turning your body more. You’ve not quite mastered the art of sitting up yet but you are trying so I do feel like your not far off from that. You are continuing to practice your vocals and particularly like shouting and screeching at 5am every morning. It doesn’t matter what time it is though you still have a smile for us when we greet you.

You’ve had a few “firsts” this last month. It was your first time sitting in a highchair. Watching you view the world in a completely different way was so special. You are mesmerised by your surroundings. This last week I have started to give you your first ever tastes of food. Both pureed and finger foods. I remember so vividly weaning your sister and how well she took to food and weaning but you my darling boy are proving to be a slight challenge. I can’t get you to open your mouth for the food to go in! You are quite happy with your milk so for now I won’t push it too much but will continue to offer you food slowly. We shall see where that road takes us. I got you weighed today, you are 17lb 71/2oz (the half an ounce counts). I love to see your weight soar, you were so poorly as a newborn and weighed less at 6 weeks old than you did when you were born so the fact that you are now thriving and a chunky monkey makes us all so happy. We all love you so much, our special little hero.

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Your bond with your sister continues to grow and the love she has for you is so fierce. You are the first thing on her mind when she wakes up in a morning. She loves to kiss and cuddle you. She is so full on with you sometimes and myself and Daddy remind her to be gentle with you but you don’t seem to mind one bit. You love the attention from her and you gaze at her with such love it makes my heart melt. The way you two giggle together is so lovely I can’t wait for you to get older so you can play together. I hope you are both so close. You have been teething for the last few months really but this month seems to be the worst so far. You dribble ever such a lot and everything you touch goes in to your mouth. You are still loving your Sophie la giraffe teether and you enjoy chewing on a toothbrush now. I think you like the feel of it on your gums. Your sleeping routine is pretty much the same as the last few months. You usually have a 30 minute nap at around 10am, then a longer 2-3hr nap at around 1pm then an evening nap of 30 minutes at around 5.30pm. You go to bed after your bath and feed at around 7:30pm and wake once for a feed during the night. You can wake anytime between midnight and 3am for your feed then you are usually up for the morning anytime from 5am -7am. Mummy isn’t very fond of the early starts especially if the night feed was a couple of hours previous but for you my gorgeous boy I will happily get up. I am half way through my maternity leave with you. I feel so blessed that I am able to take a year off with you just like I did with your sister. I am so happy that I get to be with you when you accomplish your milestones and your “firsts”.  It’s also really lovely that not only do I get the time with you but I get the time with your sister as well and the both of you together. When Daddy is home from work and at the weekends I feel like we are a team. Like it’s us against the world. I love that we get to make our memories all together. As a family. We love you our precious boy. Here’s to another great month!

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XOXOXO

Siblings (March 2016)

March. Finally I think we can say that spring is here! Hurrah! I feel like we have been waiting for it forever. The nights are starting to get ever so lighter and we are finally eating our tea whilst it’s still light rather than it being dark outside and all the lights in the house on. There’s something about spring that makes me feel fresh and ready to start a new beginning. Finally, I feel motivated to start that diet that was supposed to have commenced in January and I feel more inclined to have a walk to the park with K and D after tea instead of slumping out in front of the TV.  The mornings are lighter so it doesn’t seem as horrific when D wakes me up at 6am ready to get up for the day! K really benefits from the nights being lighter and the weather being better. She is such an outdoors girl so she is thriving now we can actually fit a park run in our day or take a day out to the farm. It also means she sleeps better at nap time and bedtime as the fresh air has tired her out. Surely there’s a win-win in that!? ha!. Our life is a super jam packed one this March so having time to photograph my two together has been a bit tricky but we managed to do it – just.

My siblings in March

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I mentioned last month that the bond between K and D was so fierce and so strong and I can only comment that this month has seen it go from strength to strength! They absolutely adore one another. The look of love that D gives to K is so amazing, it makes my heart melt.

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K is an amazing big sister and I am finding this month that she is desperate to help out with him a little bit more even if it’s something as simple as fetching me a clean nappy or a clean dummy. The help is always appreciated and it makes her feel like she has a purpose. D is the first thing on K’s mind from the minute she wakes up and is desperate to see where he is and what he is doing. She is particularly fond of sitting next to him whilst he is in his bouncing chair and watching baby TV with him. It’s the one thing they can do “together” at the moment.

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D is getting to the age now (nearly 6 months old) where he is paying attention to a lot more stuff and reaching out to grab items such as toys and teethers so K “plays” with them with D. He is also trying to sit up and lift his head up more and every time he does it K shouts “Good boy D” or “Well done little fella” (she copies her Mummy and Daddy a lot haha) It’s so great that she is there to encourage him and cheer him on. I hope she continues to be his cheerleader when they are older and I hope he does the same for her.

It’s so lovely as a mummy to hear your children giggling together. I mentioned last month that K is the one person that can make D laugh and this is very much the same this month. She’s currently at a stage where she’s learning to share a little bit more and is enjoying sharing her toys with D (whether he can play with them or not – he is having them).

 

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I feel excited about the future and look forward to seeing over the coming months how my sibling’s relationship grows.

XOXOXO

The Me and Mine Project

What to look for when choosing a nursery

As most of you know, K started nursery at the start of February and is absolutely loving it. I thought I would be one of those mummy’s who would drop their child off for their first day and be a snivelling, snotting mess. I did leave her with a slightly heavy heart but I was more proud of her than anything and I was happy that she was starting her new adventure as I think it is something she has been craving for a while now. It made it easier to leave her knowing that she was in the right nursery for her and that she was in safe hands. We had viewed a few nurseries in the run up to K starting the one she is at now and I think it’s important to make sure you chose the most perfect one you can find to fit your child’s needs. I have outlined below what helped us choose the right nursery for K and some tips on what to look out for when making your decision.

 

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  • Make sure you visit the nursery before you send your child to it and try to view it when it’s busy. When my husband and I were looking for a nursery we both went together but found that because it was towards the end of the day (the only time my hubby could get away from work) it was really quiet, there wasn’t many staff or children around so we couldn’t get a good idea of how the nursery worked. Therefore if we found a nursery we liked the look of and it matched our criteria that we needed then I would rearrange another viewing on my own during the day when it was busier so I could get a feel of how well the nursery ran. You can visit a nursery as many times as you like until you feel satisfied that it is the right one for you.

 

  • If it is a private nursery then how much does it cost to send your child there and does this fit in with your budget? Lets face it, childcare is EXPENSIVE and different nurseries charge different prices. Also ask what is included in the price of your childcare as some provide snacks, lunch and juice plus nappies and formula if needed and some nurseries ask you to bring nappies/formula and pay extra for the child’s lunch. Make sure you are aware of what’s included before hand.

 

  • How many children does the nursery take and what ratio is it teacher to child. Most nurseries we visited worked on 4 children per adult which I think is more than enough. Make sure that the nursery isn’t over capacitating so your child has the right amount of attention and care that is needed.

 

  • Does the nursery have an Ofsted report? How well are they performing? Not all nurseries provide an Ofsted report but if they do, it’s worth looking at it as it gives you a good idea on how well the nursery is performing.

 

  • Most nurseries provide the child with a “settling in period” where they will let your child come to the nursery for a few hours (usually 3-4) for free to see if they like it. Usually a parent or guardian can stay with them to make them comfortable. If the nursery offers you a settling in period then take it. Just because you like the nursery doesn’t mean your child will. This helps them decide whether the nursery is right for them or not. If it isn’t, do not feel obligated to send your child there just because they have given you free childcare.

 

  • Ensure that the nursery has a good security system. Lots of people come and go in nurseries to collect and drop off children so make sure that the nursery has a good code of practice when letting people within the building. Some nurseries require an access code or finger print system before you can enter and others provide a password for your child. Whatever it is, make sure it is safe, secure and you feel comfortable with it.

 

  • Do they have a routine? Not always on peoples “must have” list but it was definitely on mine. I have a daughter who thrives on routine and gets worked up when she does something out of the norm so having a nursery with a structure and routine was vital for us. I quite like the idea of snack time = 9am, reading – 10am, play time – 11am, lunch – 12pm etc. It means that K knew exactly what was going to happen and felt secure rather than it being a mixed bag of stuff to do where she would come home upset and out of sorts. Like I say, it’s not on everyone’s list but worth baring in mind if you have a child like mine.

 

  • Do they have a good, secure out side space? Every child needs fresh air and a chance to explore the outdoors. Is the outside space large enough? Does it have outdoor equipment? Is it safe and secure? It’s also worth asking the nursery how often they go outside and how long for. If your child is there for 8 hours, and they only go outside once in the morning for 10-15mins it may not be enough for your child.

All these points are very individual based and every parent requires different needs for their child but I hope it has given you some ideas on what to look out for when choosing a nursery as it is such an important decision. It is your childs first adventure and I do believe that nurseries shape our children so it is vital to choose the right one. It is such an intimidating procedure. It has to be somewhere that you feel comfortable leaving your child, knowing that they are going to get the correct attention and care for them. It will also probably be the first experience of someone other than yourself or close relatives looking after your precious cargo. Take the time out to make sure you make the right decision.

I hope this helped!

I’d love to hear what was on your nursery “wish list”

XOXOXO

 

Me and Mine (February 2016)

So, I’m a day late in posting this but the picture was took yesterday. On a leap year! Happy leap year for yesterday everyone! February has been a busy month for us with K starting nursery and trying to adjust in to a routine on a Wednesday with that and illness has hit this household more than once for some of us plus having the joys of a teething baby. It’s a month that has really kept us on our toes. I’m hoping March brings us a quieter, less busy time where we can have time to relax – Something I doubt as Easter is just around the corner. I do love when February and March come, it’s a sign that Spring is well on its way. Everything seems more cheery, the weather seems to be improving slightly and everything around us seems to be “waking up” from its winter sleep. I am loving that the Daffodils are in bloom they are by far my favourite flower, they are so sunny and bright. They instantly cheer me up when I see them.

 

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February has seen us do quite a few fun family things. I took K to her first ever cinema showing –  Hotel Transylvania 2 which was on a Saturday morning as part of the kids club. I was a bit nervous on how she was going to react as she hates dark spaces, she hates loud noises and she can’t sit still for longer than 10 minutes…but she absolutely loved it!! She was so good and sat on my knee the whole length of the film (which is quite a task for a 2 year old). It was lovely to see her giggling along to the funny bits in the film whilst she munched on her popcorn and sweets (at 10:30am!!). I was so pleased that she had so much fun and I can’t wait to take her again. We’ve also took both K and D swimming a couple of times and this weekend (that has just gone) we visited The Deep in Hull. A large aquarium. We’ve been before a few times but K was a lot younger. She really enjoyed it this time and could really appreciate it for what it was. We had an absolute blast.

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The photos this month really do make me giggle. I was supposed to take them at the weekend but we had such a busy time that we just didn’t get chance to do them. So last night saw us frantically setting the camera up in our house to take some pictures before February was over. Notice that both my children are in their PJs ready for bed! It had been an eventful teatime as it usually is, so we had to quickly clean the pair of them up and make them look semi presentable! Ah the joys of parenthood, hey!?

This month we are loving…

The lighter nights

Penguins  – K’s favourite animal of the month

Spring coming in

Daffodils

Baking buns

Family time

Hearing D use his voice more

That’s it for me this month. I’m really looking forward to March and I’m excited to see what the next month brings us.

XOXOXO

The Me and Mine Project