school

14 Comments

Happy Fruit & Veg Day

On Friday, Dubz took part in his first Dress Like a Fruit & Vegetable Day at school. I had planned to make him a costume but I was dithering about whether to make a carrot or a tomato. I even went to a fabric store, but my indecisiveness made me leave empty-handed. Dubz ended up in a hand-me-down pumpkin onesie that his sister used in Year 1.

Four years ago, I spent four days creating a strawberry costume for Moozles after spending a couple of days researching and thinking about what I wanted to make. Another example of how much better life is for the first-born child. Regardless, Dubz loved his outfit and had a fun day with his school friends (and I didn't have to make or buy a new costume!). I had to include photos of Moozles from Reception and Year 1 as she was just so cute.

...continue reading

2 Comments

It's Okay To Feel Happy When Your Baby Starts SchoolWhen my big girl started school, I felt all the usual emotions - nervousness, excitement, worry and sadness. Four years later, my baby boy had his first day of Reception. And while I was a bit nervous that he would be scared, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and happiness. I was happy to finally have a little bit of freedom. And of course, being a mother, I felt guilt. Ah, there's always some guilt.

I made the decision to become a Stay-At-Home-Mum over three years ago. Doesn't that mean that I should want to be with my children at all times? Maybe there are some mothers out there who want to be with their kids 24/7. But I am not one of those mums. It doesn't mean that I don't adore my children. It just means that I want, no, that I need time on my own.

...continue reading

9 Comments

Ch-Ch-ChangesThis past week has been full of changes for Dubz. He is starting at not one, but two pre-schools. He will attend one on Mondays and Thursdays, and another one on Wednesdays and Fridays. And the reason he is attending two schools, is purely selfish on my behalf. You see, the first pre-school is nearby and he will make friends who will be at his proper school next September. This school runs from 9.15am-12.15pm, which allows me to go to do some grocery shopping, go to the gym and shower. But the other pre-school has longer days. So twice a week he will be in school from 9.30am-2.30pm. These longer days will give me time to write and to attend blogging events.

Selfish, I know. I have spent the past couple of weeks feeling guilty. Guilty about putting my needs above my son. But this week, as we have been going through the various inductions and as I have slowly gotten some free time, I have realised that this is the right thing. It might not be the easiest thing. But I know it will work for us. Dubz is three and has gotten so much one-on-one time with me. It will be good for him to be with other children and other adults.

Change does not have to be a bad thing. Me-time is not a bad thing. And sometimes mums need to be a bit selfish.

 

mumturnedmom

11 Comments

First Day of School

First Day of SchoolThis was Moozles on her first day of school, three years ago. She was so little. I had to fold the sleeves of her age 5-6 cardigan as they were too long.

I remember being so nervous when Moozles began Reception. How could someone so small be ready for school? Even though she knew her ABCs and could count to 20 when she was barely three, she was such a shy toddler/pre-schooler. She didn't like to speak in front of adults. She had a bad stutter until she was almost four. But in the summer before Reception, something changed in her. She stopped hiding behind my legs. She stopped carrying her blanket everywhere. She blossomed.

Husband and I took Moozles to school, along with Baby Dubz who was only four months old. We took her into the classroom, and left swiftly. I did not want her to see me cry. I was not scared for her. I was sad because I knew that things would move at a quick pace. And they have. Moozles begins junior school tomorrow. Her childhood is racing by. Yes, I will be sad. But I will continue to be proud of my darling girl.

 

4 Comments

Getting ready for school with stamptasticCan you believe that for most of us in the UK, it is only one or two weeks until our children are back at school? Are you ready? Besides buying uniforms, PE kits and shoes, and stationery for older children, you will need to label each and every item.

I know some people who will iron in labels. I haven't used my iron in over two years. This has become a source of pride for me. I detest ironing, and the longer that I don't iron, then the better. So I was thrilled when I was asked to be a Stamptastic Ambassador.

Stamptastic is fabulous. It is a personalised stamp that can be used easily on different mediums, such as fabric and metal. You can stamp everything from your children's clothes, to their shoes, pencils and lunchbox. And the ink will last for loads of washes (obviously it differs on the settings you use for washing, but it could last for as many as 50 washes). And when it fades, you just stamp again. Easy peasy.

Each name stamp costs £10.00, with the stamp pad costing £12.00. You can use the same pad with different stamps to correspond with your different children. And in the unlikely case that you are unhappy with your stamp, then you can receive a refund within 30 days. Free shipping within the UK so order now. And if you wait until the night before school to stamp everything, it will take a lot less time than ironing or sewing in name labels. Fact.

Getting ready for school with stamptasticGetting ready for school with stamptastic Getting ready for school with stamptasticGetting ready for school with stamptastic Getting ready for school with stamptastic

 

 

 

I was sent a set of stamps for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

 

2 Comments

Preparing for junior school

With the summer holiday being about halfway through, it is time to start thinking of the new school year. I still can't believe my little girl will be starting junior school in September. Besides needing a new uniform and new shoes, this will be the first time that Moozles will need to bring in her own stationery and backpack/satchel. So last week we visited Smiggle in Richmond to see if they had anything Moozles would like. There turned out to be too many things she liked.

If you're not familiar with Smiggle, it is an Australian stationery store that is taking over the world. My daughter's friends all love it. This was only our second visit (the first visit was to buy an initial keyring that all the other girls have on their bookbags). This visit, we got all the school essentials. Moozles picked out the coolest pencil case (in fact it's my favourite item). You press various buttons and out pops out the tape or scissors or sharpener. And it has a ruler hidden somewhere. Why, oh why, did they not have these when I was young?

Moozles also picked out some colour change pencils as well as some scented pencils. She chose cola, and I have to say they smell yummy. I may sneak one of the pencils for myself. And why can't the eraser/rubber ring fit on my finger? *sobs* I had so much self-restraint at the shop not to buy myself anything. I am of course now regretting it. Mums need stationery too! Have you been to Smiggle? What is your favourite item?

Preparing for junior schoolPreparing for junior school Preparing for junior school Preparing for junior school Preparing for junior school Preparing for junior school Preparing for junior school Preparing for junior school

 

 

 

We were invited to the Smiggle Back to School event and given a voucher (though I spent a lot of my own money) and goody bag for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

 

5 Comments

Our Favourite Summer Ginghams

Summertime in the UK doesn't just mean ice cream and paddling pools. It also means summer term at school. For girls in infant and junior school, that means ditching the school pinafores, skirts and trousers in favour of gingham dresses. Moozles, who is seven, loves gingham dresses, so I thought I would share our four favourite  tried and tested dresses.

1. Best Non-Iron Dress, Marks & Spencer

Our Favourite Summer GinghamsThis dress is utterly lovely. The frilled hem adds a sweet and feminine touch. And you can shake it out after it's been washed and dried, hang it up and it is ready to wear. How I loathe ironing.

Plus, this dress has a belt. Moozles loves tying and re-tying belts, as do many of her friends. Costs £10-£14, depending on the age of the child.

 

2. Best Dress to Put On/Take Off Easily, Asda

Our Favourite Summer GinghamsA zip makes a school dress so much easier when you have a little girl. As Moozles is seven, she doesn't have problems buttoning her clothes. But having a dress with a zip makes life easier when kids have to undress for PE and/or swimming. It also makes getting ready for school a bit easier/quicker in the mornings if your little girls isn't great at using buttons.

Also, the zip makes the dress look quite cute and sporty. And at £4, it is a bargain.

 

3. Best Value Dress, Sainsbury's

Our Favourite Summer GinghamsFor £5, you cannot get a nicer gingham dress. It is pretty, has the much coveted belt, washes well and doesn't need an iron. And the heart-shaped buttons are a very nice touch. And if you buy it when Sainsbury's is running a 25% off discount, then you are getting a true bargain.

The only downside is that you cannot order clothes online or reserve them from Sainsburys so you will have to chance whether they have the dress in stock.

 

4. Best Ethical Dress, Eco Outfitters (top picture)

Our Favourite Summer GinghamsMost gingham dresses are made of a cotton-poly blend. But this dress is made from 100% organic cotton. This is the best dress if your child has sensitive skin. Wearing synthetic fabrics can aggravate skin conditions such as eczema.

Although this dress is the most expensive on my list (it is currently on sale for £15.95), it is the only one that is ethically made. Not only is it grown organically, but the spinning, dyeing and printing processes used are also to a high organic standard. But please note that these dresses looked quite creased after washing - the lack of polyester means that they will need to be ironed. Or you could do what I did and throw a jumper on the girl, and she looked fine. 😉

 

 

 

We were given a summer dress from Eco Outfitters for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

 

8 Comments

Starting School

You've done it. After weeks, maybe even months, of agonising about it, you have sent your little one off to school. You may have even shed a tear while walking hesitantly into the building. Your child, on the other hand, most likely skipped into the classroom exhilarated with the thought of now being a school boy/girl. Perhaps you've been happily enjoying some quiet time in a coffee shop? Maybe some cake at home while tears drop into your tea?

Well, there's no need to worry about your child. He/she is at school, making new friends, learning new things and generally being quite happy. And yes, they will be quite tired at first and will also be hungry, so very hungry (make sure to always have a snack when you pick them up from school). But you need to worry about yourself. Because it's not just your child who has begun school. You. Have. Too.

  • Making Friends - Your child isn't the only one who will be making new friends. Sure, you could just freeze out the other mums and dads, but that won't be easy. Other parents  can be a great asset if you're ill or running late, and need someone to help with school pick-up and drop-off. It's also nice to chat with others who are going through the same things. And since they normally live near you, it's dead easy to meet up for coffee/gin. But just because your children are friends, it doesn't mean that you will like one another. And just because you like another parent, it doesn't guarantee that they will like you in return. Another tip, if the parents have older children, be prepared that they won't have time for you. It turns out that parents normally make their closest relationships with the parents of their eldest child. Don't take it too personally if someone you get along with, doesn't want to be your new bestie.
  • Homework--If your child has begun Reception, you won't really have to worry about regular homework until Year Two (unless they are at private school--then it's homework every day). But there will be projects. Projects that your child won't actually be doing. They may pick the topic and do some sticking, but it's going to be Mum or Dad doing most of the work. But there will be weekly reading. Some children are happy to do this. Some children need some bribery persuasion. You will need a lot of wine/gin/chocolate to cope with the arguing.
  • PTA - Schools need money to run those fun, educational extras, and that's where the Parent Teacher Associations come in handy. If you work full-time, you will feel guilty for never being able to help run the bake sale stalls or to volunteer in the classroom. If you are a Stay-At-Home-Mum, then you will feel bitter for always having to help. Do as much as you can, but don't feel bad if you can't help.

There you go. Some helpful tips for surviving school as a parent. Good luck. I know you can get through it! xx

 

3 Comments

I can't believe that summer is almost over and that my daughter will be going back to school next Wednesday. I wish I could say that I had sorted out new shoes and new uniforms but I haven't done a thing. Yikes! I think I may have been in denial that my baby girl is about to begin her final year of infants' school. From her first day in Reception, Moozles has changed so much.

Back to School

Luckily Moozles can still fit into her summer dresses as she will be wearing those for the first couple of weeks. That gives me an extra week to get her a new skirt, polo tops and a new jacket. But I will have to get the shoes next week. I had a look at the Debenhams website to see if I could get my daughter kitted out for school for £100. I managed to find some great items which won't break the bank (especially as there is a 20% off sale on back-to-school essentials at the moment).

These shoes are girly and cute, but look like they will be comfy and allow Moozles to run up and down her school's adventure playground with fervour. Moozles had patent shoes last year and they actually show less scuffs than the plain ones she has had. And at £12.80, I won't feel distraught if she goes up a shoe size in three months.

This skirt (£7.20) is lovely. I love the pleats, and Moozles adores pockets (you would be surprised how many stones and twigs such a girly girl brings home). Moozles won't wear school trousers, and can still fit into her pinafore, so a new skirt would be perfect.

Moozles also needs a couple of new polo tops. I thought girls were supposed to be neat, but she normally comes home covered in dirt and paint. Hopefully these tops (two for £5.60) can handle some staining.

Last but not least, Moozles will need a warm winter coat. This one will not only keep her cosy, but is the prettiest shade of pink. At £54.95, it is the priciest thing on our list, but it needs to be of an excellent quality. Moozles' last winter coat lasted two winters so I am hoping this will do the same.

Moozles isn't the only one who needs a new school wardrobe. Her little brother Dubz will be starting at the local pre-school three mornings a week, beginning next Friday. *sniff, sniff* Luckily, he will be able to wear his usual clothes. But it would be nice if he had something new on his first day of school. Although he is two, he wears size 3-4 clothing as he is quite tall. Here is a cool outfit he will love but that will be survive the rigors of pre-school. The top and trousers come to £20 so I have reached my £100 limit. But I'm pretty pleased that I have found everything for Moozles and even something for Dubz. Smart clothes for my two little smartypants.

 
This post is my entry into The Debenhams Back to School Competition on BrummyMummyof2.co.uk.

 

12 Comments

My daughter's teacher calls me 'Mrs. Moozles'. Obviously she does not know that my daughter's nickname is Moozles but she uses Moozles' real name. That's what all the teachers call us parents. Mrs. John, Mrs. Lucy and Mr. Sophie. Our children's first names have become our identities. There are 30 children in my daughter's class. I understand that it would be very tough to learn the names of each student's parent(s). I wonder what they do in the States, or other countries for that matter. At my daughter's nursery, the carers would call the parents 'Mummy' or 'Daddy'. I found this quite creepy. At pre-school, at a different nursery, the carers seemed not to want to call us anything. I preferred that.
 
Here I am. I have given up gainful employment to spend my days as a Stay-At-Home-Mum. And as I have slowly lost my identity I struggle to be 'more' than a mum. But everyone reminds me. I am a housewife. I am Mrs. Moozles. But there is more to me. I am a wife. A friend. A sister. An aunt. A daughter and a granddaughter. And now a blogger. I am a good listener, and love giving advice. I am quiet but loud. I love Jane Austen, watching trashy television and baking goodies. I am a terrible cook and detest cleaning. So go ahead, call me Mrs. Mummy, for I know that I am much more.