So Very Proud…

IMG_3578.JPG

Since Moo started swimming I have seen a huge improvement with her confidence. She has come on so far and the year has been taken up with learning new skills.

I watch her religiously, every Monday we make the 20 minute drive to the pool and we say goodbye as she enters. I sit and watch from the gallery with a sense of pride that she can do this.

Moo struggled at first and I did wonder if I was doing the right thing, paying out for lessons that she really wasn’t getting much from. The deep end was not her favourite place and a little mis-hap where she lost her bearings sent her confidence down-hill and it took some while to get them back up. It didn’t help she had grommets inserted, not wanting to get her ears wet was a huge thing for her and it took time to adjust to ear plugs and bands around her head.

We went on holiday this summer and although she still used a ring, we managed to get her jumping in the deep end by the end of the week. This was a huge improvement, but the battle now was that we had to take that ring away and she had no comfort blanket to help her when back in lessons.

This week, she blew me away. I really can’t put into words just how proud I was, and still am. Moo is most confident on her back and she could swim for miles and miles on it. Her front crawl is ok but a little weaker than her back-stroke. She has been nailing a width every week on her front, but you can see how out of breath she is when she gets to the other side. I didn’t think they would be pushing her to do a length anytime soon.

But they did, and she did it, the whole way, without stopping, continuous, on her front.

I wanted to bang on the glass to get her attention, {but that would of been a tad embarrassing!} I wanted to jump up and down and yell she did it {but again, even more embarrassing!} So I silently sat there, a beaming smile spread across my face, willing her lesson to end so I could tell her how amazing she was, and when it did, I didn’t stop telling her. She didn’t get the realness of what she had done, and fair enough, its not that big, but she made me so proud.

So very proud that I am lucky enough to be her mummy…

 

 

The Tough Parts Of Parenting

IMG_1686

As I type this I am currently sat in children’s a&e with a poorly H. 12pm and waiting for a doctor seems like a never ending outcome. As he struggles for breath I realise this, right here has to be the hardest part of being a parent. I’m looking around and I see the fear in every parents face and I know that I am not the only one who is feeling scared.

H had quite a severe attack in the summer and it resulted in a mad dash to hospital in an ambulance. The diagnosis was an allergic reaction. All weekend he has said to me he hasn’t felt good, he had a headache and was feeling under the weather. I gave him medicine and let it be.

Fast forward to 11pm and I can hear a little boy fighting for breath. The sound every parent dreds. A sharp cry and rattly rasps were not of the ordinary. We decided to have him in our bed and I lay there for over 20 minutes listening to him hoping it would get better. I knew better and I knew I should of done it straight away. I called for help, those dreaded three numbers.

We were being seen to quickly and the diagnosis was a trip to the hospital again. I decided to drive this time as getting home was pretty horrendous last time. I arrived and my heart sank at the amount of young children that took up the children’s a&e. It was going to be a long wait. It was a long wait.

5 hours of waiting and a diagnosis of Croup. We arrive back home at 4:30 and with very little sleep, mummy duties continue. School runs and back home looking after a very tired, sick little boy.

These parts of parenting are hard, helpless and the moments I find the toughest. It puts your parenting skills to the test and when you come out the other side you realise just how difficult being a parent is.

But would I change it? Never…

– Seven –

Seven whole years we have held you
Seven whole years we have cuddled you
Seven whole years we have wiped your tears
Seven whole years we have laughed
Seven whole years we have had the privilege of you
Seven whole years we have seen you grow
Seven whole years we have seen your confidence grow
Seven whole years we have loved you
Seven whole years you have been ours
Seven whole years I have been your mummy
Seven..  Today you are seven.

Keeping Our Children Safe | Internet Security

How can I keep my children safe online?

With advances in technology in recent years, the days of sitting together around the television or playing board games are a distant memory. Families now live in a constantly connected world.

According to a recent Ofcom Report, 62% of children aged 5-15 have access to tablet computers, with 34% owning their own. With devices more affordable than ever, opportunities for children to access the Internet are plentiful. A 2015 Pew Survey recently reported that 24% of teens are online “almost constantly,” while 92% of teens go online daily. These are impressively large numbers.

With the Internet more accessible than ever, how can you keep your children safe online? Below are four tips from Intego, the leader in Mac security, on how its new product Family Protector can help you ensure your children navigate the web safely.

  1. Education is crucial

Knowing who your child is talking to online has never been more important, especially considering there are now just over 3.2 billion Internet users around the world. Keeping the lines of communication open about Internet activity is therefore crucial. If your child knows they can come and talk to you about their online activity, the chances of misuse are likely to be lessened. This can also enable you to quickly tackle any online issues, such as accidental in-app purchases or downloading inappropriate content.

Family Protector can help by providing some much needed peace of mind about your child’s activities. This includes allowing you to monitor what websites your child is accessing on their iOS devices. With Family Protector you can even prevent access to the device’s camera, stopping children from taking photos or sharing videos with others.

  1. Set and maintain boundaries

It is important to set and agree on Internet boundaries with your child. Parents can no longer solely rely on software to monitor their child’s online experience. Educating children about what is acceptable online behaviour is essential, because it will help them understand how Family Protector assists in keeping them safe.

Family Protector helps enforce your rules by:

  • Eliminating bedtime distractions – schedule device restrictions during bedtime hours to help them get a good night’s sleep.
  • Getting them to call home – disable an unresponsive child’s access to third party apps and web browsing while sending them a lock screen message to call you.
  • Scheduling mealtime breaks – schedule time to turn off third party apps, stop web browsing and disable video chat, so they can enjoy other activities, such as family mealtime, and take a break from the screen.
  1. Age-appropriate content

Web browser safeguards ensure content is age-appropriate so their digital time is well spent and no unsuitable material is viewed. Family Protector also allows parents to apply age-based restrictions to control what children listen to, watch and read to ensure it’s suitable for their age.

  1. Monitor and Communicate 

For older children, the Internet should be used to explore their interests and as a resource that assists inquisitive young minds, safe in the knowledge that their parents are there for guidance. While older children do not require as much monitoring as younger children, they do still require a degree of supervision. Parents need peace of mind that their teenagers aren’t taking advantage of the freedom they have been granted. Family Protector provides clear, easy to access information and controls so parents can navigate difficult parenting conversations with confidence.

Why Family Protector?

With its low cost (£5 a month) and generous cover (up to 15 iOS devices and unlimited family managers/administrators), parents now have a great tool to put them back in the driving seat without being invasive or overly controlling.

Parents can manage Family Protector from any web browser or through the iOS or Android management apps, which are available on their respective app stores.

Unlike most other parental control products available in the market, Family Protector does not require an annual subscription and can be cancelled at any time. Also unlike other products, Family Protector does not require a jailbroken iPhone, nor does it redirect traffic though a proprietary server or require a user’s private iCloud account credentials.

A full feature 14-day free trial is available for all users. More on Family Protector is available at website www.intego.com/family-protector.

**This is a collaborative post**

– Happy Halloween –

IMG_3257

Halloween is never a holiday I celebrated as a child. I don’t feel I missed out on much to be honest, I wasn’t keen on knocking on peoples houses asking for sweets. It didn’t bother me that I didn’t celebrate it.. if anything I was scared of the prospect of going out.

As the years have gone on celebrating Halloween has become more of a “thing” in the UK and the shops grab onto the idea and cash in. Since having children I have become a little relaxed on it and last year was the first year I and the the children had ever gone Trick or Treating.

We dressed up {which is definitely something I am very wary of, what with the awful accident in the news last year} and we went knocking on peoples door. We went to my in-laws and they have a whole row of houses that really do go to town. Moo was scared as I knew she would be by a few and even I was a little jumpy at some. The homeowners went to town and not only gave away sweets, but were giving away {what I call} pocket money toys. Moo and H came away with buckets full to the brim! We planned to do the same this year but unfortunately Mr B had to work and I didn’t want to do it on my own {yes I am a meany!}

I did agree to buy sweets and carve pumpkins and open the door to those that knocked. We live in a quiet road and I am hoping we do get people knocking as Moo and H are so excited at the prospect of handing out sweets! If not then we have a bucket load of sweets to get through!

– A Birthday Girls Wish-List –

Moo will be seven is just a short few weeks. I am still wracking my brain as to how its all happened so quickly! A few weeks ago, we gave her a toy catalogue and she happily circled all the toys she could possibly wish for. She is now eager to see what she will get.

Untitled

  1. Dressing Gown {Marks and Spencers} She has been asking for a new one for ages!
  2. Shopkins, anyone with a child who likes to collect will have heard of Shopkins. They are addictively fun little characters
  3. Micro Scooter
  4. Lego Friends PopStars {Moo WANTS this, she has been going on about it ever since she saw it advertised!}
  5. Frozen Figurines. Moo is still Frozen mad and loves to collect little figures, these are perfect and they finally have the whole set to buy
  6. Tsum Tsum, at first I wasn’t a fan of these, more cuddly toys to clog up the bed, but actually these are really cute and again a nice little collectors item
  7. CareBear
  8. My Little Pony Equestrian Girls
  9. Lego Friends PopStars

I am so excited for her birthday this year. She has been asking about it lots and we are now officially on countdown. I still cannot believe how we are at her seventh birthday already, it only feels like yesterday I was having her!

The School Diaries #1

I wish I had started this a few years ago. I really should of done when Moo started school but I didn’t think about it then, so I am going to start now.

Once a month I am going to post a little update on how Moo and H are doing at school. I think its nice to look back on and see how they have progressed over the year.

So here is my first School Diary

Moo has now been at school for two years. She swiftly returned and has been enjoying her first month back in Year 2. I think it helps when she likes the teacher! Every evening I get lots of chatter of everything she has done throughout the week and its so lovely to hear. Moo is excelling in her reading and I am blown away every time she opens up her book. Its amazing to hear her fluently reading.

During the summer Moo really concentrated on her writing and I have seen a huge improvement since being back at school. She really enjoys writing and literacy and she is always telling me they are her favourite subjects. Maths is a bit of a weak subject and she isn’t really such a fan {I never was either!} She has improved so much in Year 2 though and we are only 5 weeks in.

Another favourite subject is PE she really likes gymnastics and I really hope she continues to love it {again I was never a fan of this subject either!}

I am so pleased with Moo’s level of academic. I think she fits in with her age and I couldn’t ask her to do anymore than she is. She is eager to learn and is becoming so much more confident in her subjects.

H has really surprised me at school I really didn’t think he would be that eager to learn anything or take part in classroom activities but he has. By week three of school we had the rendition of the phonics song and he would show me the sounds and actions. He is always eager to let me know when he has learnt new sounds and proudly shows them off.

Reading is still hit and miss, I try and explain the words and sounds but I think its going to take time {obviously!} He is willing to sit down with a book and try which is all I can ask for. He will get it, he just needs a little bit more time. H’s learning is still based around play.

H is quite honest in telling me he doesn’t like dinner time, I can see why, it is a bit overwhelming for a small boy. Moo has been taking care of him as much as she can and he does seem to be improving. We have less tears 5 weeks in.

Both Moo and H have settled back into school really well and I am so proud of them. I will be back next month with my second edition of the School Diaries

– I’ve Lost My Boy To The School –

When people ask me how I am enjoying my free time I honestly don’t know how to answer them. I want to be honest and I want to scream at them but its polite to just answer, its ok, than actually tell them the truth…

I have lost my boy to the school…

I hate it…

I hate being alone…

I hate not having him there behind me…

I hate going to the kitchen and him not being there…

I hate going to the toilet and him not standing behind the door…

I hate making lunch for me, and only me…

I hate not having the afternoon snuggles on the sofa…

I hate not being able to play out in the garden with him…

I hate not having Peppa Pig on 24/7… Okay Okay that might be a lie…

I just hate it…

I don’t think I will ever get used to the fact that I have lost my little boy, my baby, to the school playground

Will it ever get easier?

– Mummy Guilt –

Mummy guilt is not a nice feeling. As I type this I am feeling pretty terrible. Not only am I still recovering from my operation, I have severe mummy guilt.

Motherhood is hard and sometimes its really difficult to distinguish the truth and the exaggeration. As I left the playground this morning the guilt rushed over me like a wave and now I am sat here wanting 3pm to arrive so I can go and pick Moo up and squeeze her tightly.

This morning I was mean and not a nice mummy. Normally this guilt hits me at bed-time but now I am on my own and am just looking after myself during the day its hit me earlier. I may of shouted at her a lot and I may of not been the best mummy I could of been. I did apologise to her and I did give her a cuddle before school, but I am now thinking that wasn’t enough. I should of sat down with her and I should of cuddled her more tightly. I should of kissed her and I should of handled the situation a lot better than I did.

Its too late now, and the more I dwell on it, the worse I am going to feel.

Why is mummy guilt so awful?

– Full Time School Mum –

We survived the first week. Its been pretty manic and a few stressful mornings but we survived.

I am still getting used to the fact that I have two children at school. I still find it hard to believe it. Since when did I have two children old enough for school? This year has flown by, and it only felt like yesterday that I was applying for Moo’s schools place, let alone H’s.

Since having children, life has sped up a notch and it seems to flash before my eyes. The weeks turn into months and the months turn into years and I am willing for it to slow down. Moo seems to have had a major growth spurt within the six weeks holidays and she looks as though she should be entering year 4 or 5 not year 2. She is so eager to learn and is coming home full of tales of what she has been up to. She has become more confident and it shows.

This week has been hectic, rushing around trying to get both children out the door has been testing. I arrive at the school a little hassled and when I get home I have a quiet cup of tea in peace before I tackle the day.

Its a strange feeling not having anyone at home. Lunchtime is quite and I don’t have little hands picking things off my plate. I miss the noise and sounds of little voices. Its going to take some adjustments. As much as I am looking forward to some time away from the children, it will give me the opportunity to clean and tidy, do the shopping and continue full time with my blogging, I know I am going to miss them like crazy, and when 3.15 arrives I am going to do all I can to spend time with them. Close the computer and concentrate on them.

I am now officially a full time school mum.