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Separation Anxiety With a 5 Year Old.

As the title says we’re having separation anxiety issues with little C at the moment and he’s now 5.

I think a lot of it has to do with starting school because looking back it seems that’s when most of this started. I’ve had him with me for the most part of 5 years. I was a stay at home Mum and apart from him doing a few session a week at pre-school he’s had me to himself for all those years.

He started school back in September – being one of the oldest he didn’t start until around the middle and until half-term, he only did half days until 12, so I collected him and we still had lunch and our afternoons together.

Despite the separation anxiety he’s really loving school and he has settled in so well …. once we have parted ways in the morning that is!

For the first week, he seemed to go in just fine. A little bit overwhelmed perhaps and a bit wide-eyed but none the less he went in ok. But one Monday morning he took me by surprise by getting so upset when we got to school and when it was time for me to leave. The floodgates opened and he was literally begging me not to leave him. I was so shocked by it I come outside and cried. He has never done this, never in the 1.5 years at pre-school did he get so upset, In fact, he never even cried once on the drop-off for pre-school. The teachers were lovely and said they would call me in a while to let me know how he was and low and behold by the time I got home I received the call to say he was just fine and had settled.

Almost every morning since then we’ve had tears at drop off. I’m not pandering to anything so he’s not doing it for attention. I don’t think he’s keen on walking in and going off to find something to do, he almost needs guidance and some confidence so I tend to find a TA to leave him with until he warms up a bit.

C’s school have an online journal diary. It’s a fantastic little system and gives parents a chance to see what their little ones get up to in school with photos, videos and a little written description from the teachers. It’s updated every few days and he honestly looks like he’s having the best time at school. Every photo he’s in he has the biggest smile, he looks so happy and they get up to so many different fun things. We had his first parents evening recently and both his teacher and TA couldn’t have said nicer things about him. Apart from the morning tears and wobbles he’s very settled during the day, he’s learning to sound out words so he can read and his maths is excellent and he’s very popular and has lots of friends at playtime. Every afternoon I collect him he comes running out with a big smile and on the walk back to the car he’ll hold my hand skipping along telling me about his day. He started off having hot dinners at lunchtime but I think he found the hot meal hall a little loud so we’ve switched him to packed lunch and he seems much happier at lunchtimes now too.

But something is unsettling him. He’s become very clingy to me now even at home, he gets very distressed or upset if I go with without him (whereas before he was fine) and we are also having issues at bedtime now too. As bedtime approaches he starts to get upset, he says he doesn’t like being in the room on his own and that it’s ages until morning. He’s woken almost every single night with some sort of dream, not related to school as such but lots of different situations involving all of us at some point. Sometimes he was waking 2/3 times a night. We’ve actually had the last 4 nights where he’s slept through and S and I said it was like having a baby again because we woke up one morning and said: “we slept through, he didn’t wake up!!”.

I definitely think it’s a phase he’s going through and it’s down to the upheaval of starting school. I’m hoping the more he settles in and gets used to going the better he will be and all of these issues will lessen. I hate seeing him so upset and worried and like I said I’m not pandering to it so I don’t encourage it but at the same time, it’s hard not to scoop him up and give him attention for it. It’s clearly not just babies who go through stages like this and speaking to my Mum this morning she said L went through similar when she was little too (you tend to forget don’t you?)

Have you had similar issues with your little ones when they started school? How long did it last and do you have any tips on how you dealt with it/helped them?

 

MSC Cruises – Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.

On Wednesday 4th October I was very excited to have been invited to #BlogCampOnBoard hosted by Tots 100, and MSC Cruises, on board the MSC Preziosa cruise liner. I had never been to a blogging conference before let alone on a cruise ship, hence my excitement.

The MSC Preziosa was going to be docked in Southampton for the day so this gave us the chance to explore the ship as day guests as well as attend various blogging sessions if we wanted to.

When I arrived at Southampton docks it wasn’t hard to spot where I needed to be. The Preziosa was absolutely beautiful and that was from afar. I couldn’t believe the size of her (not surprising seeing as she has 18 decks, 14 of which are for guests). The sun was already shining and it got me excited to get on board and explore what she had to offer.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

We had to pass security just like a passenger would and present our passports, even though we weren’t actually going anywhere we were still treated the same. It was interesting having never been on a cruise before to see it was just the same as traveling through an airport. It looked just like airport departures with security and the departure lounge.

Once we were escorted to board the ship we were once again asked to show our day passes and present our passports to the security team on board – the level of security is really good and definitely makes you feel at ease and feel safe on board.

Once all the checks were in place we walked into the breathtaking main atrium of the ship. It is absolutely beautiful. Everything was so shiny and sparkly and so very grand. The spotlights and lights in the ceiling reflected onto the tiled floor below. There was a beautiful piano situated in front of a generous seating area whilst being encased by a Swarovski crystal staircase. The grandest staircase I have ever seen in my life. Each step has been embedded with the crystals and costs a whopping €8-10,000  – yes that’s right each step! I felt privileged to have walked down them and I can only imagine how glamorous it would be walking down them in a ballgown. There were two glass lifts which gracefully carried guests between each floor.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.

Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.

Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.

Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

We were taken from there into the ships Platinum Theatre, which can seat a whopping 1,603 passengers. It was absolutely huge, far bigger than anything I have been in on land and this was on a ship!

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

MSC is a family-owned company and that really showed. They have thought of everything and cater for children from babies through to 17 years.

Seeing as we have such a large age gap (L is 14 & C is 5) I was keen to find out how they could both benefit from the kids clubs and I wondered if they could cater for both of them. I was surprised to find they could.

The children clubs are split into five groups:

  • Baby –  3 years
  • Mini – 3-6 years
  • Juniors – 7-11 years
  • Young – 12-14 years
  • Teen – 15 – 17 Years

Kids can join in as little or as much as they like. Daily schedules are delivered to cabins each day with a forecast on the following day so you have plenty of time to decide what they would like to do. The clubs are open 9am – 11pm and your little cherubs can be taken for their breakfast, lunch or dinner if you wanted the staff to take them. You can even leave them on board in the clubs if you fancied the odd day off exploring an island when the ship is docked. The activities in each club depend on the age but they can range from talent shows, cooking, arts & crafts, discos, DJ/sports/technology programmes … there’s plenty to do.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC

MSC also offers a new baby laundry service for families traveling with children aged 0-6 years so you don’t have to over pack on luggage. How cool is that? We all know as parents accidents and food mishaps can happen. But on board with MSC you don’t need to worry. They have also partnered with Chicco & Lego to bring fun and educational toys and equipment on board for their little passengers.

I know both of mind would love the facilities on board especially the swimming pools, waterpark and water slide!!

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Indoor pool with a retractable roof Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

 

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Indoor pool with a retractable roof Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC

Once we had finished the welcome and briefing in the theatre we were split into three groups. The first thing my group did was have a tour of the ship. We weren’t able to see the entire ship because of time restraints before lunch and the ship currently had passengers on board so we weren’t able to see in any cabins. MSC has however provided some photos of the cabins to show us what they would typically look like.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC

The MSC Preziosa is a beautiful ship, she was christened by Sophia Loren in Genoa Italy. Sophia is the godmother of MSC Cruises. The ship’s length is 333.30mt, she weighs 130,072 tonnes (WOW!), she can carry 4,345 passengers which are accommodated over 1,751 cabins (45 of which are suitable for reduced mobility passengers) and her average speed on the water is 18 knots (although she can reach 24,21 knots!)

To keep you occupied on board the MCS Preziosa has:

  • 3 outdoor pools – one of which is an infinity pool & one indoor pool with a retractable roof, so if you are sailing towards better climates then you can experience the ‘outdoor’ pool vibe.
  • Doremi Castle – a water playground for kids
  • 120mt waterslide wrapping itself around the outside of the ship.
  • Fully equipped panoramic gym (where better to work out overlooking the ocean)
  • MSC Aurea Spa – 1,700m of beauty and wellness offering a range of treatments and expert masseuses.
  • Onboard shopping boutiques selling handbags, jewellery, perfume and even cameras and camera equipment.
  • Platinum theatre – seating 1,603 passengers hosting a range of different shows almost every day of the week.
  • Sports and bowling alley (yes that’s right, an actual bowling alley on a ship!!!)
  • 4D Cinema
  • F1 Simulator
  • All night Casino
  • Wide choice of live music in a choice of different bars and lounges
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC

The MSC Preziosa has an impressive 8 restaurants on board so there would be plenty to choose from.

  • The Golden Lobster restaurant
  • L’arabesque restaurant
  • Galaxy Lounge
  • Panoramic a la carte restaurant
  • Maya & lnca buffet (open 20 hours a day)
  • Eataly & Italia themed restaurants
  • La Locanda international wine bar and pizzeria
  • Le Palmeraire (Private gourmet restaurant for Yacht Club passengers)

MSC Yacht Club.

This is an exclusive area for passengers wanting that little bit extra on their cruise. This club is offered on seven of the MSC ships – MSC Preziosa, MSC Divina, MSC SplendidaMSC Fantasia, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview. It’s the best way to discover various destinations. Included in the MSC Yacht Club you can enjoy these special privileges:

  • Private swimming pool and sun deck
  • Private concierge reception
  • 24 hr butler service
  • Prestige luxury suites
  • Panoramic top sail lounge
  • Luxury experiences from mini bar, meals, refreshments and drinks
  • LePalmerair restaurant
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
MSC Yacht Club private pool and sun deck. Photo courtesy of MSC.

After our tour of the ship, we were taken to the Golen Lobster restaurant for our lunch. We had either a choice of food from the 3-course menu or we could help ourselves to the buffet. I decided to go with the buffet and enjoyed some cold meats, salad, potatoes and some fresh bread. I also opted to choose some dessert from the buffet because quite frankly they all looked amazing.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

The staff at lunch couldn’t have been more attentive. They were constantly making sure we had water in our glasses and topped up wine if glasses seemed empty. We had the choice of still or sparkling water and red or white wine. For those of us who didn’t want to drink, soft drinks were on offer too. As soon as plates were empty they were being taken away so the tables were kept clean and tidy.

After lunch, there were a few blogging sessions to choose from so first up I decided to pop along to one that Alison Parry was taking all on Podcasts. I found this really interesting and informative and who knows maybe sometime in the future I might just embark on podcasting. The second session was all about metrics with Sally Whittle founder of Tots 100. We had an interactive game to play for a bit of fun and a good way to find out how Tots 100 work.

After all the blogging sessions we had a Q&A session with the lovely MSC staff whilst sipping on cocktails. They answered some pressing questions us bloggers had about cruising with MSC and help us with any information we didn’t already find out from the day. They told us how they are planning to accommodate British passengers on board by providing kettles in the cabins with the famous Yorkshire teabags (my favourite tea!) They also answered queries bloggers had about children traveling on board with medical issues and how the staff would be able to deal with this.

I then took the opportunity to quickly pop off for one last wander around the deck to take some last minute photos and take in the beauty of the ship before we disembarked.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Some of the gorgeous cakes on offer to buy with an afternoon coffee.         Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

Before Blog Camp on Board, I don’t think a cruising holiday would have been something I would have booked as our family holiday, but I was surprised to see how many families and children were on board and how many facilities were on board to keep children entertained. It is definitely something I would now consider.

MSC have 16 ships, two of which sail from the port of Southampton – the Preziosa and the Magnifica. This is a huge selling point seeing as Southampton is only half an hour away and it would save the worry of flying out to a destination to board a boat and no baggage allowances to worry about either!

A huge thank you to MSC for welcoming me on board for the #BlogCampOnBoard conference and also to Sally at tots 100 for organising it all.

If you wanted to find out more information on MSC Cruises, you can check out their website for more details.

 

Disclaimer – I was invited onboard the MSC Preziosa as a day passenger to attend Blog Camp on Board, however, all thoughts and opinions on the ship are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Autumn!

Hello Autumn! Here we are already a few days into October! Honestly just where has the year gone? It only seems like 5 minutes ago we were at the beginning of the year!

Summer feels like it has well and truly finished now. Some days there is still a bit of heat coming from the sun, but the leaves are turning a golden brown on the trees and falling one by one. The evenings are getting colder and darker a lot earlier and the mornings are darker for longer.

I’m having to pop the heating on every so often and I have changed my wardrobe from my summery dresses to winter knitted jumpers and my sandals have been replaced by comfy winter boots.

I absolutely adore the sun and the summer. I never complain it’s too hot and I love spending days out at the beach … but I do also secretly like Autumn as well. Being all cosy and warm and wearing the woolliest jumpers I can buy!I love the crunchy noise the leaves make under your feet and I love the warmth of the central heating in the house whilst the dark evening looks cold outside.

Plus …. it also means Halloween, Firework night and the countdown to Christmas! There are loads to look forward to this time of the year.

I made a start on my Christmas shopping the other day (I will be more organised this year!) and I’m noticing all the shops have started displaying a few Christmas bits and pieces.

What season do you like the most? What do you like best about Autumn?

Kidzania London

We visited Kidzania London last weekend for a Birthday treat for C. He was 5 on the Wednesday and seeing as it was his first week at school we decided to make it a nice weekend.

Kidzania London is situated in Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd Bush. We’ve never been but I have heard lots about it.

Kidaznia is basically an indoor city, just for kids. They have the opportunity to experience various different jobs and careers to earn money, have the chance to spend their earnings on fun activities or to open a bank account to save their cash.

Kidzania is pretty easy to find. Westfield is a huge shopping centre and Kidznia is situated on the first floor by Marks & Spencers. When you arrive there is a desk opposite where you hand in your confirmation. I also assume you can buy tickets there as well, as long as they had spaces for the timeslot you wanted that day. We had pre-booked our day and time slot.

You are given tickets that are like pretend plane boarding tickets. It has your name, date and time slot and various other details to mimic an actual boarding ticket. You then take your boarding tickets over to the main entrance and you are directed to the elevators and told to go to level three to the departure area.

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

I honestly didn’t know what to expect despite watching the official kidzania video on their website but I was really very impressed when we arrived at the ‘airport’

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

Kidzania LondonWhen it was our turn to ‘check in’ we handed over our boarding passes and just like real life they tore the stub off and handed us back the main ticket. We were then also given our security RFID bracelet which are really detailed. The bands were all scanned to link us all together as a family. They would alarm if either of the children walked out of the city and only one parent could leave at any time, one had to stay on site – again it would have alarmed if both parents tried to leave. This allows your children to have the freedom if they are a little older to explore the city and the activities themselves whilst Mum, Dad/Carer sat in the various cafe areas inside. They had to also be removed once our session was over a little like a shop removes a clothing label with a magnet. So kids can’t remove them themselves.

We were also given a brief seeing as we have never visited before explaining how Kidzania works. Both children were handed a health and safety hair net which they had to use on activities that required them to wear headgear and they were also issued with their Kidzo’s. Kidzo is Kidzania’s currency. They were each issued with 50 kidzo’s.

 

 

 

Kidzania London

 

These can be used to pay for certain activities, you can earn more Kidzo’s from doing various jobs in the workplace or they can choose to open a Kidzania bank account and save their money (if they have a minimum of 75 Kidzo’s) and they can leave their savings in the bank to earn interest between visits. There is also a shop where they can buy small items using their Kidzo’s on the way out I believe – we didn’t do this though.

Each activity or job has an allocated amount of children allowed into each session. It’s clearly posted outside each door with the capacity of children allowed in, the amount of Kidzo’s it’ll cost or how much you’ll earn and how long each session takes. We did visit on a Saturday and sometimes we found we had to queue for more than 20 minutes for certain activities. A few times C left the queue he was in purely because he didn’t want to stand around. We all found it pretty exhausting by the end of the 4 hours with all the standing around we did.

C first opted to be a firefighter. Once it was his turn after queuing his group were all taken into the fire station for a briefing before they got called out on a ‘job’ To get to their call out they went in an actual moving fire engine. Parents were able to follow behind so we could be with them or if your children are older you can let them go off on their own.

He was taken to a place over the other side of the city where a hotel was on fire. There were also two other activity groups attending the scene too (paramedics and police) and the area was cordoned off. C and his team had to put the fire out while the paramedics paid attention to any causalities and the police made sure no-one crossed the barrier until it was safe to do so.

There were special effects to make it as real as possible with mini explosion noises and fire crackles. They also had really water hoses to put the ‘fire’ out with. C had a great time.

Kidzania London
Kidzania LondonKidzania LondonKidzania LondonNext up he chose to be a paramedic. It was a similar activity to being a firefighter – he was in a set up a bit like an A&E department – they sat and had a briefing after putting on the uniform and then had a call out – this time they went in an ambulance to the same area he went to as a firefighter only this time he was treating any causalities. At the end of his session, he was paid a wage for his work.

Kidzania LondonHe then queued up to be a shop assistant in the supermarket but he got bored of queuing because it was quite a long queue, so instead he had a go on the climbing wall. This being a fun activity obviously cost him some kidzo’sKidzania LondonKidzania LondonThe next activity he chose was to be a dentist. He earned kidzo’s from doing this and the room looked really authentic!

Kidzania LondonNext up he tried his hand at being a surgeon. He was the only one in the queue so he had the whole activity to himself! His patient needed a liver transplant, he had to put them to sleep and then using the theatre tools he had to perform a transplant.

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

Kidzania LondonLastly, he was a vet with the PDSA. Here he had to help operate on a poorly dog.

Kidzania London

Kidzania is aimed at children aged 4-14 years and although L was within that bracket she actually didn’t want to do anything once she was in there. She felt too self-conscious being that much older so next time I will just put her down as an adult (if we return before she’s 15 that is) Having said that C doubled his money by having L’s.

We had a great time, even just as an adult watching your little ones enjoy the different experiences. We will definitely like to return again one day and perhaps it’ll give C a chance to explore different jobs next time.

 

 

 

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

Monday 18th September 2017 is the date that’s been in my mind and diary for the last five months. It’s the day you start school.

Funnily enough, the 18th September 2012 was your due date. Five years on and the date remains an important day in my calendar.

 

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

Five years ago (well almost, you’re just two days away from being 5) you come bounding into the World. You never think then how fast the next few years will go of being at home together – you just assume it’s years away and it’ll take forever to get there and you just take in for granted those days spent together will last forever. I know people say it all the time and it’s such a cliche but they have honestly whizzed by so quickly I can’t quite understand where they’ve gone. You’ve gone from our little newborn to a happy smiley baby onto a very energetic toddler who liked to climb everything. You would climb onto my windowsills after searching out a box to push over to sit under the window to help you up, you would climb on your little Ikea kitchen (and I’m talking about being just a year old!) you would grab hold of both handles on the French doors and use your feet to climb up the doors … the list was endless. You gave us a fair few frights seeing what you were getting up to.

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

You started pre-school in January 2016 and right from the start you absolutely loved it. I never had any problems dropping you off and you always had such fun coming out at the end of the afternoon with a smile. You would hold my hand and you would skip along next to me chatting about your afternoon, what you had played with, who you had played with and what snack you had

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

 

When you finished pre-school in July I knew that we had 8 whole weeks together. I planned on doing as many fun things as we could as well as doing what you like best …. spending the whole day at home without even getting dressed.

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

I thought those 8 weeks would last forever .. silly I know but I did think it would, but alas here I am sat here writing this at the end of those 8 weeks, your uniform is all washed, ironed and labeled and sat ready for you to put it on in the morning.

I’ve had the best (almost) 5 years. We’ve done so much together. From toddler groups to music classes with Heather, we’ve met with friends for play dates, we have gone to soft play, parks, the beach, we’ve gone swimming, we’ve met up with your Auntie & Cousin every week to go on a new adventure. We’ve gone to adventure parks, farms, Country Parks …. you name it we’ve done it. We’ve certainly made the most of our days out during term time because I know from now on we’ll have to do all of these things on school holidays, weekends and the odd inset day. The best decision I made was to get us both annual season tickets for your favorite place ever ….. Paultons Park, I wanted to get them so we could experience going whilst everyone was at school and make the most of the park and the rides being quiet. I think since May we’ve been practically every week and you’ve ever got bored of going. I’ve loved our days there together and although we can still go for years to come there really was something quite special about going whilst everyone was at school and work. I think you must have been their biggest “summer beach party” fan!

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

 

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

 

You’ve given me a new lease of confidence, I’ve done so much with you beside my side and you’ve been my buddy. I’m sure going to miss you so much during the day and I’ve been dreading ‘handing’ you over to someone else to be with them during the days. You’re mine and I don’t want to share you. I want to know what you’ve been doing without having to find out snippets when you remember to tell me. Thinking about you starting at times has made me hurt really bad inside, my heart has ached at the thought of this new journey starting and some nights (a good few nights) I’ve gone off to sleep thinking about it with tears pricking the back of my eyes.

You’ve not really expressed much about going to school because I think it’s been mentioned so much you’ve almost given up waiting …. but now you’ve known for a few days the big day is almost here you’re starting to get excited and chatting about going with your best friend in the entire world.

I don’t know how I’ll feel tomorrow stood there gripping your little hands tightly but not too tight it hurts, my heart beating and dreading the time it comes to let go … let you go off on this new journey and let you off into the real world on your own two little feet. This is the start of your education, the start of you beginning to learn the world around you more than you do now, to learn how to read and write and make new friends. I know you’re going to absolutely love being at school … well, I hope you do and I hope you love it as much as pre-school. I know once we’re into a routine of being at school it’ll seem like second nature to me (well us), but I do know that at the end of every school day I’ll be there stood waiting to see your little face, to grab your hand and walk off together listening to your tales from your day. I will look forward to the weekends and school holidays as we shall make the most of those days.

From my squishy newborn to a toddler, to a pre-schooler to my big primary school boy. It’s been a blast and although I don’t want to do it again with another I would love to go through it all again with you. If only we can rewind the clock eh?

Always stand up for yourself and don’t let anyone bring you down. Be strong, be kind. But above all just be you. You’re an amazing, funny, caring little thing and big school is very lucky to be having you.

As much as I don’t want this to happen I am really looking forward to watching you in your future nativities and sports days and seeing the new friends you make.

Good Luck on your first-day sweetheart. I’ll miss you lots but I know you’ll be mine again at the end of the school day.

Lots of love always Mummy xxx

 

A Letter To My Boy On The Last Day Of Pre-School!

My darling boy,

It only seems like five minutes ago I was preparing for your first ever session at pre-school, and now eighteen months later it’s the morning of your last session there.

You jumped right into pre-school from the word go. I don’t think in the last year and a half I’ve ever dropped you off and left you crying or not wanting to be there. You have loved every minute of it and when I’ve picked you up after each session you’ve come out with a big smile on your face and full of the tales of your 3 hours, telling me what you’ve been up to whilst holding my hand skipping next to me.

You’ve changed and grown so much and become much more confident in the past year and a half. You have made friends with lots of other children, you have tried new things and tried new foods that you wouldn’t have even considered trying at home. You’ve brought home a vast amount of paintings, models and all different creations you’ve made and I’ve proudly pinned them to the kitchen cupboards to display them to everyone who comes round.

You’ve enjoyed trips out, mornings playing rugby & some mornings doing gym, alongside the role play, arts and crafts, and all the outside garden play.

You always seem so pleased and excited on a Tuesday night when I tell you it’s a pre-school day tomorrow – you then know you have three days of fun, messy play, dressing up play, playing with friends all ahead of you and you’re so happy.

I’ve just dropped you off for your last ever session and I’m sad and heartbroken for you, your time at preschool is ending. You’ve definitely had the best time ever and I really want it to carry on for you … but you are so excited about going to ‘big’ school in September I’m sure the happiness will continue. I hope your years in big school will be as happy as the time you’ve had in pre-school.

I have been given your little book today – a book full of work you’ve done, pictures showing how much fun you’ve had, words and sentences you’ve been telling your teachers and when I look back at the beginning I can actually see how young and tiny you were – at the time you were 3 and didn’t seem to be as little as you look now, but I can tell you’ve started off pre-school as a baby and progressed and grown into a little boy.

I hope you’re having a blast sweetheart at your last session. I’ll certainly miss taking you there.

Day one compared to your last day!

A Letter To My Boy On The Last Day Of Pre-School!

A Letter To My Boy On The Last Day Of Pre-School!

A Letter To My Boy On The Last Day Of Pre-School!

 

 

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa – Orlando, Florida

If you’re planning a holiday to Florida and are looking for family accommodation then I can thoroughly recommend the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, as a perfect place to stay on your holiday. By doing some research we come across these perfect apartments within a hotel environment.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

Having only been built in 2006 and had some refurbished work carried out in 2017, there are 495 apartments spaced out over 5 buildings, which consist of either private one, two, three or four bedrooms, sleeping from 1-10 people.

Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, a jacuzzi bath in the master bedroom, flat screen TV’s in the living area and all bedrooms, a living room with a sofa bed if extra sleeping space is needed, a washer and dryer and also high-speed internet. They have absolutely everything you might need for your Orlando stay.

I don’t know about you but when we go away being a family of four the washing soon builds up. I liked the idea of being able to pop a wash on every few days to a) save it all building up for when we got home and b) It saved us a lot of luggage weight not having to take 2 full weeks of clothing away because I knew we could wash, dry and rotate clothes whilst we were there.

I also liked the convenience of some days making stuff in the kitchen for us, especially breakfast. We tended to have breakfast in the apartment and make up some snacks and bottles of ice water to take to the parks. On the days we had off from visiting the parks I wouldn’t mind cooking us something in the evening. I tend to get a bit bored of eating out for two whole weeks so making the odd ‘home’ cooked meals didn’t bother me at all and it was actually nice some nights.

We had a two bedroomed apartment. It included two bathrooms, two toilets and two separate bedrooms. Bedroom one (the master) had a huge king sized bed, a Jacuzzi bath, a separate shower and a toilet. There was also a large walk in closet/wardrobe which housed a fairly decent sized safe, and in the bedroom itself we had a chest of drawers and a flat screen tv. The beds in the resort are amazingly comfy. There’s loads of space as well because the beds are massive.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

The second bedroom had two twin beds, a wardrobe and chest of drawers and next to the bedroom in a separate room a bath & shower combination, sink and toilet.

The lounge/dining room had plenty of seating, a flat-screen TV, a table in the centre of the sofas and the dining room had a really lovely big circular dining table and 6 dining chairs.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

The kitchen had a cooker, microwave, kettle, toaster, coffee machine, fridge/freezer, all the crockery/glasses/cutlery/pots and pans you would need and in a separate cupboard, there were a washing machine and dryer.

The outdoor swimming pool “The Pirate Plunge Pool’ features an excellent Pirate Ship which has a water slide. It’s even been built into the shape of a seahorse! There is a poolside bar so if you fancied a drink, snack or ice-lolly in the sun, sat down by the pool you could.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

 

We found the Lake Buena Vista Resort perfectly located for the Disney,  Universal & Seaworld Parks and also for restaurants, shopping and supermarkets. DisneyWorld resort is only a short 10 minutes drive, Universal & Seaworld were 20 minutes and Walmart is literally a few minutes drive across the road. The resort also offers shuttle busses to all of the theme parks too.

They have three restaurants on site as well. Pizza Hut Express, Lani’s Lanu pool bar and Frankie Farrell’s Irish Pub.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

The resort is also next to the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, so plenty of shops to help that all-important shopping day!

The Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa have their very own ‘Reflections Spa & Salon’ on site so if you fancied a little treat and some time to relax then you don’t have to go far and if you are feeling more energetic (if you’re brave after a full on day at the park) you can make use of their fitness centre too.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

I would definitely choose to stay there again and I have recommended the resort to anyone who’s been looking for recommendations on places to stay.

Have you ever stayed at the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa?

All featured images are supplied courtesy of Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa.

 

 

The Primary School Journey Begins.

I know up until now we’ve had the placement announcement and Mr S & I have had our parents evening and show around the school, but today marks the day of the new journey for little C. This afternoon he is having an hours induction at his new primary school ….. on his own. Without me, without his pre-school teachers.

So yes technically he has been in the school and had had a few visits with his pre-school but today is different. Today I will be dropping him off and leaving him there for an hour with everyone else on his own.

It’s big … it’s pretty huge especially for him (well and for me too!).

I think it’s been on his mind a lot this week too. Up until now he’s been really excited about his ‘big school’ (that’s what he calls it) but this past week or so he’s not been as keen on chatting about it and he said something very logical the other day:

“Mummy I can’t be going to big school yet, I’m still the same size”

Fair point! I think in his little mind he assumed he would be off to ‘big’ school once he was bigger, like his big sister. He’s also been waking up a fair bit these past few nights with nightmares – nothing to do with school but I think it’s because school is playing on his mind. He keeps asking me not to leave him there today and can I stay with him.

C’s pre-school is AMAZING – they really are. I mentioned to his main teacher there yesterday about his fears and she said she would take him and a little group of children over to the primary school (they’re next door to each other) and let them have a little look around. The primary reception classes were on their school trip yesterday so the classrooms were empty.

I picked him up from pre-school yesterday and he had a big smile on his face telling me all about his adventures over to his new school that afternoon. His pre-school teacher said that she would print the photos they took overnight and he could see them in pre-school in the morning.

I dropped him off at pre-school this morning and when we went in there was a huge poster hanging up with 5 photos of the classrooms and peg areas with a big printed sign saying ‘C had taken some pictures his his new school to show everyone’

I was bowled over by the effort she made yesterday to try and help his afternoon today go easier. All I mentioned was he was nervous about going for his visit and she did all of that for him. I will be so so so sad when it comes to him leaving them, he’s honestly had the best time ever there.

Anyway, it’s currently 11.04. I’ll stop this post here for now and I shall update this afternoon on how he found his little settling in session at his new school (I’m trying to change big school into new school for now). I’m hoping once he’s been today his second settling in session will be much easier for him and he will be able to look forward to it.

 

So it’s now a little later on and little C is tucked up in bed hopefully dreaming of his great afternoon at school!!! He LOVED it.

When we arrived he picked up his name from the table and stuck his label on. We waited by the doors and when they opened the teacher knew who he was from a previous visit into his pre-school so that broke the ice a little bit. She said to leave Mummy/Daddy/Nanny etc there and they would see us later … and just like that he gave me a big smile and walked in. Ahhh my heart swelled and broke at the same time.

He was only there for an hour so in no time I was stood back outside the door eagerly waiting on him coming out to see how he got on. The teacher called a child one by one and made sure they went to whoever was there to collect them … eventually, C come out, ran over to me with the biggest of smiles and gave him such a big cuddle. He was so excited to tell me what he had been up to – he chatted all the way back to the car skipping alongside me. I knew then he had a good time.

His next settling in session is in a few weeks and next time hopefully he’ll look forward to it rather than worry on the build up. Then that’s it … after that settling in session the next time he goes will be when he starts in September *sobs*

 

 

Pick Your Own {The Ordinary Moments}

Yesterday afternoon we took C to a local ‘pick your own’ farm. I love strawberries in the summer and although supermarket strawberries taste ok you don’t get many in a punnet, and because C thoroughly enjoyed picking his own pumpkin last October.

We’re really lucky to have a farm literally down the road. Once we arrived we collected a punnet and went off to find the strawberry patch (there were loads!)

We had SO much fun. It’s funny how a simple little half an hour doing something so simple can be so enjoyable. I loved watching C’s rummaging through the bushes and watching his little face get all excited when he found a nice big ripe strawberry.

Pick Your Own {The Ordinary Moments}

 

It didn’t take us long to fill the punnet and to be honest, I wasn’t planning on filling it all the way up but he was having so much fun.

We took our filled goods back to the little farm shop and I was expecting to pay around £6/7 for the amount we had. I didn’t mind too much seeing as it wasn’t often we did it and we really did enjoy it. But to my complete surprise, they only weighed in at £3.90!!!! I was shocked and how cheap they were – for fresh strawberries – I could even smell them they were so strong, that’s something I don’t get from shop bought ones.

I’m definitely going to get my strawberries from now on this way. They taste so much better and because the farm isn’t too far and it didn’t take us too long to pick them, I’d rather once a week pop along and pick my own. Plus it’s nice to support a local farm.

Pick Your Own {The Ordinary Moments}

Pick Your Own {The Ordinary Moments}

Pick Your Own {The Ordinary Moments}

Pick Your Own {The Ordinary Moments}

Pick Your Own {The Ordinary Moments}

Pick Your Own {The Ordinary Moments}

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve linked up with Katie and Donna on ‘The Ordinary Moments’ link up.

 

 

 

Things I’m Most Looking Forward To This Summer

We are now in June … the start of the Summer has begun (well according to the gorgeous sunny weather we currently have it’s arrived) I love where we live especially during the Summer – there is so much to do and seeing as it’s the Summer before C starts school I intend on having a much fun as possible.

Here are some of the things i’m most looking forward to getting up to in our local area (in no particular order and there are far too many to list)

  1. Crab Fishing – There’s a Quay literally a few minutes drive away. We tend to go of an evening when it’s a bit cooler and the scenery is beautiful, especially when the sun is setting. We catch the crabs with crab lines and nets (using fish as bait) and then pop them back into the water when we’re finished. It’s such good fun and over the years as C has got older he’s been able to take part more and more rather than relying on us to help, so he finds it more exciting.

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

2. The Beach – Living on the South coast we are surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches. We have over  seven miles of award winning beaches, so we have plenty to choose from. Both kids adore being by the sea and i’m so pleased to have been able to bring them back home to grow up by the sea. We’ll quite often pack up the car for a day down at the beach and this year for the first week of the summer holidays a friend and I have rented a beach hut for the week! I can’t wait. Some nights we just even pop along to our nearest beach for a walk along the promenade whilst C has his bike or scooter & we stop for an ice-cream on the way back. It’s times like this, that make me feel really happy and content.

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

3. Paultons Park. I did a whole post just on Paultons Park the other day so go and check it out. C & I are season ticket holders now so we can go as often as we like. We’ve been going almost weekly recently whilst the weather has been lovely. During the Summer we will go as a family some weekends (especially to see the Paw Patrol special weekend) and with only having to pay for Mr S & L it doesn’t make it an expensive day out.

4. Hoburne Holidays. We have three Hoburne Holiday parks near to us and we have local summer membership to one of them. We have access to all areas on the holiday site including the indoor and outdoor pools. On a super hot day there’s nothing better than popping along, grabbing a lounger and diving in for a swim. Their outside pool is even heated to it makes it so much better. I hate cold swimming pools. Whilst you’re there you tend to forget your everyday life and it feels like you’re actually on holiday somewhere. It’s bliss!

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer\Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

 

5. Our Garden & BBQ’s – It quite literally has to be the best garden I have ever had. I love it when the sun is shining and all the gorgeous summer flowers are in bloom splashing colour all over the place. Sometimes I like nothing more than a day at home spent in the garden. I get C’s pool and water slide out, he’s got his trampoline and an array of garden toys to keep him occupied. Finishing off the day with a BBQ just tops it all off nicely.

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer

Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This SummerThings I'm Most Looking Forward To This Summer6. Hiring a boat. This is something we’ve done few times now and it’s a nice way to sit back and relax for a little cruise along the river (well for me anyway whilst Mr S does the driving!!) You can hire the boats out for either half an hour or a full hour.Things I'm Most Looking Forward To This SummerThings I'm Most Looking Forward To This SummerThings I'm Most Looking Forward To This SummerAs I said these are just some off the things i’m looking forward to this summer. There are so many different places we enjoy going to and lots of different activities we like. There’s always plenty to do nearby and i’m so very pleased and lucky to be able call this my home.