School

I made a promise to you all in my last blog post that I would update you all on our school situation. If you’d like to know more, please read on.

So, the last time I spoke about school with you all, Kory hadn’t got a place at his first choice school and rather than send him to the school where he had been offered a place, we decided to appeal for a place for him at the school we originally wanted and homeschool him in the meantime. (I think I explained our reasons for him not wanting to go to the other school in my previous blog post.) That was our plan anyway but it wasn’t as straight forward as we had thought it would be. Basically, our appeal was unsuccessful, despite being second on the schools waiting list there had been no movement within the school and no place became available for Kory. As time went on, it got to January and he had been at home learning with me for 3 months and as bright and clever as he is and as much as I loved having him at home, I’m no teacher and I could tell Kory was really missing socialising with children his own age and we figured it would just be best for Kory if we got him into a school.

A new year, a new start for him.

So we got the ball moving. We asked the other school if we could have a look around. We had a look around the school, showed Kory around, met his teacher and the head teacher of the school and long story short, loved it. Maybe even more so than the original school we so badly thought we wanted him to go to. His new school is much smaller and I like that about it. After that, it was a case of buying him all his uniform, school shoes and school bag and then he started with a couple of taster days just to get him familiar with the teachers and to get him used to going. Monday was Kory’s first proper day at school and this week will be his first full week there. And just like that, my once 4lb 7oz baby boy has gone off to start his school journey and I now have a son in reception.

Crazy.

Do I feel bad for not just sending him there to begin with? At first, yes I did. Just sending him right at the start could have saved a lot of stress for us, especially for Kory who was particularly upset and anxious when he first started his new school because he’d been at home for so long but I can honestly say, I tried everything in my power to get Kory into the other school because that’s where he wanted to go and I know it didn’t pay off but I don’t have to wonder ‘what if?’ I can say that there wasn’t a route I didn’t explore in trying to get Kory a place there. I will always fight his corner. With COVID going on, he’s not the only child who would have missed a lot of school this past year anyway, I think they all have to be honest. And although our plans didn’t pay off, something better fell into place instead and what matters is that he’s there and settled now. In fact he’s more than settled, he’s thriving. He’s adjusted a lot faster than I thought he would, he’s earned rewards, made friends but most importantly, he’s happy.

I really truly believe that sometimes the universe knows what we need before we do.

So, yeah. Kory is now at school full time, here’s to hoping they actually stay open this time! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling lost without him, from the day he was born he’s been by my side but seeing him start this new chapter in his life has been a great privilege and I am such a proud mum. I am so so proud of him I can’t put into words.

Thank you for reading this blog post, I hope you’re all well. How have your kids found returning to school now that they have reopened? Was they looking forward to it? Was you? Or were they/you feeling more worried or sad about it?

Please let me know.

Kirsti, xo

It has been a while…

Well, it has been a while hasn’t it… I’ve taken breaks from blogging before but I think this is the longest break I have ever taken away from my blog since I started writing all those years ago.

I have to say, it feels good to be back already.

I wanna start by explaining my absence. You would think living through a worldwide pandemic and having to stay at home more would give me more time and the perfect excuse for me to write more but it actually did the opposite. Being home alone with two kids 90% of the time, trying to juggle taking care of them as well as playing, trying to keep them entertained, running a house and just trying my best to stay on top of everything proved to be quite difficult and didn’t leave a lot of time for anything else to be honest. Also, the longer I went without writing a blog post, the harder I found it to come back. I just didn’t know where to start.

What I described earlier might just sound to you like my usual, ordinary day to day life – which in a sense, yes it was but throw in trying to homeschool a 4 year old while running around after a screaming 1 year while I also try to make sure we all keep our sanity all at the same time added to everything else I was already struggling to keep on top of and made it even more difficult. I’m only one person and I honestly felt like I was trying to juggle so much, too much in fact, that I had to put my blog on the back burner for a while. Even if I didn’t want to, I had to focus on my kids first.

Today is actually Kory’s first proper day back at school now that they have reopened. (Yay!) Homeschooling hasn’t always been easy, there’s been tears from both me and Kory and however much I might be enjoying the quiet today, I also miss the chaos and I’m also incredibly proud of how well Kory has handled being off school and starting a new school. I love that boy. I wanna catch you up with all things surrounding our school situation, I think the last time we spoke I was appealing for Kory’s school place at his preferred school but that’s for another blog post. Which, now that Kory is back at a school, I’ve just the one child to keep alive, I don’t have to homeschool and I actually have a moment to myself, I promise all will be explained very soon. I’m quite excited to get back to writing actually, it has been wayyy too long.

How have you all been? Have you had to homeschool? How did you find it? Have your kids returned to school today also? If so, are you happy about that? I’d love to know!

So, I wanted to keep this post short and sweet, just a quick one to let you all know where I’ve been but more importantly to let you all know that I’m back! If you’ve missed me, I hope you will stick around to see what else I have to say.

As always, thanks for reading.

Kirsti, xo

Halloween 2020

Halloween 2020… Like all things that have happened this year, I think we can expect Halloween to be a little different this year too. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t still be fun!

Halloween is one of my favourite holidays. I just love everything about it, I actually think it’s kinda cool. I love the movies (Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare before Christmas, Ghostbusters, ect) – nothing too scary for me, i’m a bit of pussy when it comes to horror movies. The costumes, the sweets, the music, the decorating and just the overall atmosphere of this particular holiday to be honest.

With all of the uncertainty surrouding Trick or Treating this year, the ever changing rules and what is and isn’t allowed (if anyone knows and would like to fill me in, then please do as I am confused as f%ckkk) we have decided to go ahead and still have some of our own Halloween fun but to just make it a little different this year. If you’re unsure of what to do today for Halloween, please feel free to take inspiration from our ideas that I am about to share with you.

Here goes!

The house has been decorated, the costumes, make up, the food and the sweets have already been bought but instead of Trick or Treating this year, we are going to do our own little svanager hunt for Kory (Which is just as well really as it’s p!ssing down here.) I am going to leave notes around the house with clues on them that will lead him to his next lot of sweets. After that, we are going to have our own little Halloween party, just us and the kids. We are all going to be dressing up, there will be Halloween themed food, decorations and music. And for the Trick or Treaters, I am not going to be turning anyones children down this year or any year so I have decided to leave a bucket outside with bags of sweets already made up for children to help themselves to. That way they don’t even need to knock on our door but they will still have sweeties to take home with them.

So, that’s our plan for Halloween this year. I really believe that this year has been sh!tty enough without cancelling Halloween too. I’m not being careless, i’m fully aware of the current situation we are all living through right now but it’s all about adapating. At least for the time being anyway. So no, Covid-19. Me and my family will still be dressing up this year, we will still be leaving sweets and you will still find me at the end of the night stuffing my face with chocolate and toffees.

I hope you all enjoy Halloween today whatever your plans may be. Please do let me know what you’re going to be doing for Halloween this year by leaving me a comment.

Thank you for reading and I wish you all a Happy Halloween!

Kirsti, xo

Life as a mum of two

Life as a mum of two is crazy. Which is probably why it’s taken me over a year to finally get round to writing about it!

When I became a mum for the first time it changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. When I became a mum for the second time, of course things changed but it was different.

In some ways it was easier. You remember the do’s and don’ts from the first time round, you know what to expect during your pregnancy and labour and in some ways you’re more relaxed but nothing can prepare you for the transition from it being just you and your child to then you, your child and a baby.

In some ways it was harder. The lack of sleep is even harder the second time round as you can’t just decide to have a sleep when the baby sleeps as you already have another child to run around after. You won’t always be able to meet both your children’s needs all the time and with that comes a massive wave of mum guilt. You might not cope as well the second time round and do you know what? That’s okay. I’ve made it no secret on my blog, online or in person that I have found becoming a mum to two really difficult and sometimes I still do.

But eventually you do learn new habits that (sometimes) make being a mum to two that bit easier.

  • You learn how to do things with two children and you get better at splitting your time between them both. It’s nice being able to play with both children at the same time but when Kora is napping, that’s my chance to have some time just with Kory and to do something we would find difficult to do if she was awake and wondering off, such as baking and vice versa.
  • You don’t grow an extra pair of hands but you will learn how to hold your youngest whilst doing something for/with your other child.
  • You learn how to get two kids out of the house without it taking 3 hours. In my case, I pack the pram bag and everything I think we might need the night before.
  • You learn how to get both kids to sleep at night at the same time and you will feel like a boss.
  • You learn that you thought having one child was hard and then you realise it was easier than you thought compared to being a mum of two.
  • You also learn that you’re a lot stronger and more capable than you ever give yourself credit for and you can do more than you ever knew possible.
  • You will fall in love with your second baby just as much as you did with your first and seeing them together and love each other will make your heart want to explode. You will never know a love like it.

Life as a mum of two is crazy but absolutely worth it. Of course there are hard days but when I see my two children together and the bond they have with each other I know that making the decision to have another baby was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Parents who have two or more kids, how did you find the transition from one to two? Do you have any advice for anyone expecting baby number two? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Kora turned 1!

Just over a week ago, Kora turned 1 years old. First of all, I would just like to apologise for this post being a little late – since homeschooling Kory it would seem I have even less time than I did before and second of all, how is Kora a whole year old already and where has that time gone at all?!

I say this all the time but I honestly feel like she was born just two minutes ago but then somehow I must have blinked and now here before me stands a toddler that is walking and talking. It is actually mind blowing.

Kory’s first year went by fast and it’s hard to believe he is now 4 years old but I have to say I think Kora’s first year has gone by even faster (how is that even possible?!) I think it may have something to do with having two children to run around after rather than just the one and also – lockdown. (We have Covid to thank for that.) Nevertheless, my baby girl who is no longer a baby but who will always be my baby is now a toddler and I am super excited to share with you all some details and photos from her 1st birthday.

Whilst planning Kora’s birthday, I had lots of things to consider in terms of what we could and actually were allowed to plan. I knew I didn’t want something big and over the top for her anyway but still under the current circumstances (again – Covid) we were limited as to what we could do so we opted for something smaller yet still special. We actually did something similar for Kory’s first birthday too.

Kora’s birthday landed on a Sunday this year so on the day of her birthday, we had a small tea party for her at our house. On the morning of her birthday after she had finished opening all her birthday presents with the help from her big brother of course! It was time to get everything ready for the tea party. With the help from my mum and nan I decorated the house and garden and just put on a little buffet for the close family and friends we had invited to celebrate her birthday with us and somehow even managed to have everything ready in time!

For the buffet, There was various sandwiches, pasta, salad, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, crisps, cakes and sweets.

We decided the theme to the tea party was going to be ‘Unicorns’ which seemed perfect really as Kora’s bedroom is decorated with unicorns also and she seems to love them! Of course, there was the all important birthday cake to match!

The tea party turned out perfectly and was everything we could have imagined for our little girl’s very 1st birthday. It really was a unicorn tea party fit for a princess. Kora really enjoyed her special day.

Thank you for taking the time to read all about Kora turning 1! I hope you liked this blog post.

Home schooling

Hi everybody!

I wasn’t sure whether I was going to write about this or not but a few people have asked Kory how has he found going to big school and they’ve looked a bit confused when he’s said ‘I haven’t gone yet.’ This post is basically just to sum up why that is.

I thought after coming back out of lockdown that my home schooling days were over with but then Kory didn’t get offered a place at his first choice school despite spending 2 years at the nursery there which he absolutely loved. I would just like to add that this was due to no fault of the school, they were just simply over subscribed this year and Kory just missed out which is unfortunate. He is currently second on the waiting list which is really good but as the reception class this year is already overpopulated, I’m not sure how long we could be waiting before a place becomes available and is possibly offered to Kory.

Even still, we have decided to wait rather than sending him to the other school where he was offered a place. Kory understandably didn’t want to go there and so I made the decision not to send him. In the meantime I will home school him or as a last resort send him to another local school that we were considering should a place become available there first.

I know children adjust but I know my child better than anyone and he doesn’t particularly cope very well with change. Some people might think I am being stubborn or even stupid by choosing not to send him anywhere at all but they haven’t had to look at their child and see tears in their eyes after they’ve been told they may not get to go to the school they always thought they were going to go to after all and that they may have to go to a different school to their friends. The same friends he’s gone to nursery with, played with and has done for 2 years.

Kory was really nervous after he left nursery when he realised he wouldn’t be going there again and that the next time he does go to school it will be ‘big school’ that he goes to but what helped him deal with that was knowing which big school and which children he would be with.

It broke my heart to see Kory so upset and not being able to fix this for him. So as far as I’m concerned those people can think what they like but I am not upsetting my son further and if that means that being home with me will be his education for the time being then so be it. Kory has only just turned 4 years old with him being one of the youngest and not to blow my own trumpet or anything but he is a bright child too so a bit of extra time at home with me before he does eventually go to school full time isn’t going to harm him and i’m going to make the most of this time with him.

So far at ‘school of mum’ we have been learning phonics, letters, words, painting, talking, reading, telling stories, making our own instruments, baking, playing educational games, writing and above all just PLAYING and having fun!

This is by far not how I ever imagined my child’s first term in reception but after many tears (from us both!) Phoning schools 17 times a day and having constant arguments with myself, this is what we have agreed is best for Kory. For now at least anyway.

GO2 Hand Gel review

Before we get started, I would firstly like to thank Emma’s Diary Parent Squad for choosing me to test and review the GO2 Hand Gel.

Now without further ado, let’s get straight into the review!

The GO2 hand gel is certified to kill 99.999% of bacteria and not just the usual 99.99% that you see on other hand gels which means it is certified to stringent testing. Unlike other hand sanitisers, the extra .999% is the key and the GO2 hand gel is the ONLY hand gel in the UK that has all BS EN 1276 and 1500 certificates ensuring you are in safe hands with GO2.

What does that mean I hear you ask?

Well, let’s keep it simple! It means that the GO2 hand gels are the most effective hand gels you can possibly buy to keep your hands clean and germ free. The hand gel is infused with tea tree which means it has a refreshing smell to it too! The hand gel is available to buy in a handy 100ml bottle or a 500ml bottle. The GO2 hand gels are also made with 70% alcohol needed for protection which means they are suitable for yourself but not for your children. However, there is an alcohol free version of the GO2 hand gel which is perfect for children to use with tea tree and aloe vera. Both GO2 hand gels offer that all important assurance that it kills 99.999% of bacteria.

As well as receiving a bottle of the GO2 hand gel as part of my GO2 brand hand gel mission, I also received these GO2 inhaler sticks. They are all made from 100% natural essential oils and they are all proven to help with different things. For example, sleep, energy, calmness and focus.

Well, that’s my review on the GO2 hand gel and the GO2 inhaler sticks I received. As always, thank you for taking the time to read my review. Please let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment.

* Please note, I received these products in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

Pampers Pass it on Campaign

Before we get started, I would just like to thank Emma’s Diary Parent Squad for involving me in their Pampers Pass it on Campaign and I would like to thank Pampers for their products!

What’s involved in the Pampers Pass it on Campaign I here you ask?

Well, in exchange for a review, Emma’s Diary Parent Squad sent to me a box of goodies which was filled Pampers products for me to try out on Kora.

The first product I would like to talk about are the full pack of Pampers nappy pants that we received.

I was so pleased when I seen the full pack of nappy pants we had to try out all to ourselves! Kora is constantly on the move and so she hates to lie still while I change her but the Pampers nappy pants have made changing her nappy a whole lot easier for me as they are so easy to pull up and they come off just as easily too with sides that tear down. There is no need for me to fasten anything or for Kora to even lie down!

Inside my box of goodies I also received 5 individual Pampers Nappy Pants samples each with a £1 off coupon for a pack of the nappy pants for me to share with other parents.

The Pampers nappy pants are the perfect fit. They have soft and stretchy sides. These comfy nappies will fit your little one like a glove. In fact, they’re so comfy your little one will hardly realise they’re wearing one – which makes them great for bedtime too! Not only this but their micro pearl technology absorbs and locks away wetness from your baby’s skin for up to 12 hours of dryness. The Pampers Baby-Dry Nappy Pants have a 360 fit that flexes to the shape of your baby’s tummy to prevent gaps and leaks so that your little one can enjoy their sleep undisrupted.

Pampers have come up with a fun way to demonstrate how adaptable and flexible their nappy pants really are by providing a simple step-by-step guide so that you can take part in their #PampersMilkBellyTest and see the magic of the Pampers Nappy Pants for yourself…

What is milk belly? After your baby’s night time feed their tummy expands but as they sleep, it contracts. This ‘milk belly’ effect is a sign of everyday development but it’s also a reason why some other nappies gap and leak which can cause disruption to your baby’s sleep (and yours too!) So it’s important that your little one has a nappy that flexes to their tummy throughout the night to prevent leaks for a peaceful nights sleep.

Here is a demonstration I have done for you:

  • Step one: Blow up a balloon
  • Step two: Take one of the Pampers Nappy Pants and place it around the balloon
  • Step three: Let the air in and out of the balloon to mimic the ‘milk belly’ effect and watch the Nappy Pant expand and contract (this represents the movements of your little one’s milk belly throughout the night)
  • Step four: Shake the balloon to see how snuggly the Nappy Pant still fits and share the results with your parenting pals!

Pampers Nappy Pants are recommended by 9/10 parents of wriggly babies agree!

Has your baby started to:

  • Roll
  • Sit up
  • Crawl
  • Stand
  • Cruise

If you answered yes to at least 1 of those things on the list above then your baby might be ready for Pampers nappy pants.

Say goodbye to fussy changing times and try out the Pampers Nappy Pants for yourself!

As always, thank you for reading my review. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

* Please note, I received these products in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

Filling in the gaps

Hi! It’s me again.

After reading back my two previous blog posts, I realised I jumped from talking about how I was feeling unsure about letting Kory return to school to suddenly him saying goodbye to nursery on his last day there. So, I just felt as though I wanted to come on here and fill in the gaps. So, Here goes.

I’m guessing from reading my blog posts you’ve gathered that in the end, Kory did end up returning to nursery. This wasn’t an easy decision for me to make, I had so many arguments with myself as I just wanted to do what was best for Kory. Of course I wanted to keep him home and keep him safe but I also wanted him to have a bit of normality and for him to see his friends again. Like many other children, he’d already had so much taken away and at 3 years old, had to try and get his head around that. As an adult, it was much easier for me to understand what has been happening but to explain that to a young child and to try and get them to understand, it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared myself so to try and remain calm and positive during a pandemic for the sake of my child has been hard. All I wanted was for things to get back to normal again.

But when I was told that Kory could return to nursery as he was in one of the selected year groups to do so, I wasn’t sure I was ready for normal. I didn’t let Kory return to nursery straight away as I really was in two minds about what to do. When we first went into lockdown and the schools closed, Kory was really missing school. He was missing his teachers and missing playing with his friends. I felt so bad for him. However, on the other side of things, I also felt wary and as more weeks passed, I felt as though I didn’t want him to return to nursery at all with everything that’s going on and I just wanted to keep him at home with me for as long as possible. And it’s because of this that I kept him home for the first two weeks of the schools being reopened as I still hadn’t made my mind up but in the end, I think what helped me to finally make a decision was when it was announced that it would be mandatory for all year groups to return to school in September.

So, unless I was going to be homeschooling Kory. It looked like he would have to return by then anyway and this virus isn’t going to have miraculously disappeared by then completely. I also felt that this was the best way to prepare Kory for returning back to school full time once the term starts. Not only this but September is going to be big for Kory. It’s a new start for him but also a massive change. He is going to be starting a new school in a new class with new children and a new teacher and new hours. He will be attending Monday to Friday all day instead of his usual two and a half days a week at nursery and so I thought he could benefit from a bit more schooling before breaking up for the summer holidays and before his return properly in September. It also meant that Kory got to say goodbye to his nursery properly and I felt that gave him the closure that would help him.

And so, for all the reasons mentioned above, I allowed Kory to return and I am glad that I did and I feel like I made the right choice. Returning to school gave Kory the normality that he wanted and needed and it made me and him both so happy when he got to see his friends and his teachers again. I’m so glad he got to see them before having to say goodbye.

I’m not writing any of this to explain myself. I don’t feel like anyone should have to explain their choices to anyone, all any of us can do is do what is best for ourselves and our families. Everyone has different circumstances and opinions and therefore what works for one parent may not work for another or they simply may just have different views on the matter and that is okay too. I think we would all do well to judge each other’s decisions a lot less. I chose to send my child back to school but I can also respect those parents that chose not to and their reasons for that. It really isn’t any of my business and who am I to judge?

Whether you chose to send your children back to school or not, I hope you are all well and I hope for the sake of us all that things continue to get better.

Take care,

Kirsti, xo

Saying goodbye to nursery

It only feels two minutes ago since I wrote all about Kory’s first day at nursery and yet Thursday was Kory’s last day there. I don’t even know how that is possible but I know that it was hard to say goodbye. I think it was even harder for me than it was for Kory even though he was the one leaving!

Kory has attended the same nursery since he was just 2 years old and now he’s almost 4 so the teachers and the little friends he’s made during his time there have been in his life for most of it and that’s what made Thursday such an emotional day. I was emotional on his very first day in the toddler room, I was emotional all over again when he moved up into the preschool classroom and I was an emotional wreck on his last day. I spent the majority of that day bursting into tears as I sat and thought about how it would be the last time I will get him dressed to go there, how it would be the last time I will walk him to that nursery, the last time I drop him off there and say bye to his teachers and the last time I would ever pick him up from there. I promised myself I wasn’t going to cry but when I walked up to the doors to pick him up for the last time the tears just started to fall. I couldn’t believe that this was it.

I am an emotional person anyway. Sad song on the radio? I cry. Heartfelt advert on the tv? I cry. Heck, I’m even crying as I write this post.

The days when both my children are at home with me and we’re all together are my favourite but Kory genuinely enjoyed nursery and although I missed him on the days he was there, I really loved his nursery too. I really loved the teachers and seeing how much Kory loved it too.

Kory, your teachers tell me that you love to play in the small world corner with the dinosaurs and the cars. (This doesn’t surprise me, you’re the same at home.) They tell me that you always enjoy your day when you’re there and they tell me that you’re always good. (Now this surprises me! Ha)

Kory leaving nursery really feels like the end of a chapter in his life. I still get upset when I think about all the things we won’t do anymore now that he’s left and how I don’t feel prepared for him to start reception in September when he will go to school full time and I will see him even less! I’ve heard some of the parents talk about how their excited for their children to start school properly and I’m excited too I suppose but I also feel so sad that this chapter of his life has come to an end.

It’s not so much the new beginnings that upset me, it’s the goodbyes.

Kory’s nursery has taught him so much and I will forever be grateful to his teachers for that. They tried so hard to make Kory feel comfortable when he initially struggled to settle when he first started there and we all wanted to cheer on the day he no longer cried when I dropped him off. They encouraged Kory who is particularly shy to join in and make friends, which he did, he now has more friends than me! His teachers have made endless paintings, pictures and memories with him. They worked so hard to teach Kory how to count, write and a million other things too. They have sung songs with him, played with him and read with him. The nursery also didn’t mind that I would ring up every single day he was there just to check he was okay. The nursery that made him feel safe and gave him a cuddle if he was sad. The nursery where he learned to share. The nursery that has helped shape him into the wonderful little boy he is.

I know how much Kory loved nursery and although he hasn’t cried, I know he will miss it. Even on those days when he would tell me he didn’t want to go. When I chose this nursery for him I knew I’d made the right choice. I have loved watching Kory grow and getting to know his teachers and his friends and their parents. It has been a pleasure.

Although Kory’s nursery days have come to an end (a day I thought was ages away but came round quicker than I could have ever imagined!) I am sure he will remain friends with the children he has gotten to know and love and continue to make even more friends throughout his schooling life. Kory’s nursery teachers have given him the best start in his school life and I will forever be thankful to them for that.

Kory, I wonder what you will remember about this as you grow older? I know your teachers and your friends will always remember you.

I am so proud of you Kory, thank you for letting me enjoy your nursery days with you.

Love always,

Mum, xo