Back to School Dos & Don'ts

It's that time of year again, Back to School! (Although a lot of stores seem to have started their Back to School campaigns before the schools even broke up for the summer!!)  So I thought I'd put together some of my hints & tips to help prepare for the first day back at school.

  • Don't leave uniform purchasing until the last minute.  It's surprising how many people do, then have to trawl around multiple shops trying to get the uniform bits that they need.  
  • Be realistic about what you need to buy.  Do you want to constantly be washing uniform?  If not then it's wise to buy multiples of things to save trying to get jumpers dry in the middle of winter, ready for the next day.  Does your child really need 4 jumpers right now?  While it's still relatively warm it might be worth putting off buying lots of jumpers- in my experience they soon get whipped off at school and shoved into bags/drawers/a box because they get too warm.
  • Label your child's uniform. Especially if they go to a school where uniform with logos on is part of the uniform.  I have spent far too much time sorting through 15 identical jumpers trying to work out which belongs to which child.  You can go as basic as writing your child's name with biro on the washing label, up to buying personalised iron/sew in labels.  The same goes for polo shirts, PE kit, bags, shoes even!  There will often be multiple children with identical clothing to your child, and it's a lot more likely to come home if it's labelled!  (I once went through a stage where everytime a child took a jumper off I had to write their name in it.  It just wastes valuable time.)
  • Make sure you know what time your child starts and finishes school on the first day. Especially important if your child is just starting school and has staggered days where they may not be attending for a full day.  There's nothing worse than being late on your child's first day, or being late collecting them on their first day.
What are your best Back to School hints and tips?

Potty training Dos & Don'ts from a Nursery perspective

Do send your child in clothes they can pull up & down themselves. There's nothing worse than a potty training child coming into nursery in dungarees. Yes they look cute, but when it comes to potty training they are the devil's plaything!  90% of children I've seen who've come to Nursery in dungarees cannot undo them by themselves.

Don't put your child in a pull-up for months & expect potty training to just happen.  I'm not a fan of pull-ups, they're basically nappies shaped like pants. A child needs to feel the wetness from having done a wee and pull-ups just don't achieve that.  Plus some children can be lazy and would rather do it in their pull-up than walk to the bathroom and use the toilet.

Do send your child into Nursery with lots of spare clothes- underwear, socks and bottoms are your best bet.  (I've seen far too many children with 10 tops in their bags but 1 pair of pants & 1 pair of trousers!)  You can pick up packs of underwear, socks and leggings/tracksuit bottoms cheaply in Primark/supermarkets.

Don't yell at or belittle your child if they do have an accident.  Accidents happen to all, even those who may have been toilet trained for a while.  Telling your child off makes them feel ashamed of what they've done, and they're less likely to want to admit when they've had an accident in the future.

Do be prepared for having extra washing.  Again, accidents do happen.  One parent I know off will automatically throw clothes in the bin if her child has done a number 2 in them rather than wash them!

Don't send your child to Nursery in their favourite pants/trousers/skirt/dress.  I've had to look after several completely distraught children when they've had accidents and wet their favourite clothes

Sunday Introduction- Cassie and Light Up Zander's Life

Time for another Sunday Introduction post.  This week I'm talking to the lovely Cassie about her fundraising work inspired by her amazing son Zander.

1)Tell us a little bit about yourself and Zander 
I’m Cassie, Full time SAHM & Carer for our middle child Zander. Zander has just turned four.  He was born with heart defects, has had open heart surgeries, eating issues, has a pacemaker, has been diagnosed on the Autistic spectrum. He is an amazing little boy & is very unique.

Zander after his first open heart surgery

A happy chappy Zander home from hospital

2)Tell us about Light up Zander's Life, what prompted you to start it? 
Light Up Zander’s Life was initially thought of & set up by my good friend Kim Richardson. She knows how much Zander struggles with sensory issues & how expensive sensory items are. But we are doing well promoting LUZL & we have decided once funds are raised for Zander to continue fund raising to become a registered charity lighting up Children’s lives with disabilities.

Zander in his last week at Nursery

3)What is your initial aim for Light up Zander's Life? What sort of impact will reaching this have on Zander's life?
Initial aims is for sensory Hides, indoor & outdoor, bubble tubes, and other sensory Items. He will have a much calmer, less stressed daily life.  He will feel safe & secure and be able to be alone as he pleases. 

The first item funded by LUZL, a magic teepee

4) Once you've reached your initial aim, what will come next for you? 
Becoming a registered Charity & help others like Zander. 

5) How can people find out more about the Zander and your fundraising efforts? They can look up our page on Facebook: here Also our auction page: here They can follow me or Kim on Twitter: Cassie and Kim

6) How can people help Light Up Zander's Life? 
Contact myself or Kim, donate items to our Auctions, to a fund raising event themselves, buy a LUZL wristband £1.50 plus P&P. 

LUZL wristband
 A big thank you to Cassie for taking the time to answer my questions.  If anyone else would like to take part in Sunday Introduction and talk about their business/blog/charity work then please get in touch.

Thursday Throwback- Sibling love circa 2011

Back in 2011 I was working as a supply teacher, so I had the advantage of having the summer holidays off so I could spend as much time as I liked with my friends and their kids.  Fast forward to 2014 and I'm working in a Nursery and having to book leave to do things!

In 2011 I spent a lot of time with Vicky and her kids, and being snap happy with the camera managed to snap quite a few photos of Sophie and Ryan's exploits!  SO my Thursday Throwback this week is reliving some of the fun.

Exploits on the local park

Such a look of adoration here. :)
Quietly contemplating how to copy the big bro

Anything Ryan can do...

See-saw...the harmony didn't last long if I remember right!

Offering a helping hand
Other exploits...

We're lucky enough to have the National Space Centre here, and this was out first visit with one of Ryan's friends.  Sophie was a bit young to appreciate everything, but still had fun!

Feeding the goats in the rain at Gorse Hill City Farm.  Hopefully something we won't be repeating in a few weeks at another farm park!

Bus friends!  They used to love the novelty of riding a bus somewhere instead of going in the car.

Not entirely sure what they're doing here, I have a vague memory of Sophie ending up sat on Ryan's head!

What memories do you have of playing with your sibling/s?

Wednesday Wishlist- clothes!

Now, if this was a completely idealistic wishlist I'd be looking at all the skinny minnie clothes websites to match the skinny minnie body I'd need to wear said clothes.  But I'm not, I'm cuddly & look more like an apple than a stick insect.  Nevertheless, I'm a bit of a sucker for clothes!  Mostly nice casual stuff, as I have to wear smart trousers for work.

Evans black straight leg trousers  £25. Sadly the website is highly irritating and won't let me either save the photo or get the url of it, as it only lets me rolls over the image for a zoom!  I'm sure everyone knows what black trousers look like.  These are my go to work trousers- I did have 3 pairs but had to have 1 pair cut when I injured my knee (and a right mess the A&E nurse made as well!).  My other 2 pairs have seen better days, so 3 pairs would be ace!

Evans floral print swim dress  £25.  Another Evans item so no image, which is a shame as this is such a pretty one! Evans is one of the only stores I've seen that do swimming costumes by dress size and cup size.  I'm a 24 but quite busty and when I've looked elsewhere at costumes that are just done by dress size, I'm in danger of popping out and giving everyone nighmares!  I used to love swimming and haven't been for a few years now, so maybe a new costume would get me going again?!

Converse Star Player Re-mastered Trainers £45 from Schuh.
Hurrah, a photo!  I love Converse, although they don't always love me!  (I'm quite flat footed & they don't have a massive amount of arch support)  I already have 3 pairs in grey & turquoise, lilac & navy, but could do with a black pair.  I like the slightly different styling on these.

Purple cropped trousers £15 from Yours. 

I've pretty much lived in cropped trousers since injuring my knee, they're comfy, they help to keep you cool and I could get them on over my plaster cast!  I've got a range of colours in my cropped trousers, but no purple.  In fact 90% of my cropped trousers are from Yours- they last well and the staff in their stores are always lovely!

Floral top £15  from Yours.

I'm such a sucker for a nice top- I think tops outnumber pretty much everything else in my wardrobe!  I love the floral detail on the shoulders of this one, very pretty!

Sunday Introduction- Lisa from Lisa's Dummy Clips and Glitzy Bitz

1)Tell us a little bit about yourself
I'm Lisa. I live with my partner Micky and our 6 month old baby girl Sophie. I work in a call centre on a sales team.
2)Tell us about Lisa's Dummy Clips and Glitzy Bitz, what prompted you to start the business? 
Lisa's Dummy Clips and Glitzy Bits is something I set up after having Sophie. I got her a dummy clip and realised I'd be able to make them myself. The glitzy bitz is jewellery, which is something I used to make and decided to get back into again. 

3) What has been your biggest success so far? 
My biggest success has been having to make 15 dummy clips in the space of a week.

                              Examples of Lisa's Dummy Clips

4) What are your favourite and least favourite parts of the business? 
My favourite part is knowing that there shouldn't be any dummies going missing! Least favourite part is waiting on new stock coming and hoping it doesn't get lost!  
Author's note: we've all been there with lost mail!!

5) What do you have planned for the next few months? 
In the next few months I will be bringing some jewellery lines in as we will be in the run up to Christmas soon. 

6)Where can people find out more about the products you're selling?
People can find my page on Facebook -  Lisa's Dummy Clips and Glitzy Bitz   

A big thank you to Lisa for taking part.  I've still got plenty of space for anyone else wanting to share their business/charity/blog.

Thursday throwback- leg gate

So those of you who are regular readers may have noticed me mentioning an injury I recently suffered, so rather than just alluding to it I thought it was time I actually shared with you all what actually happened!

The short version is I dislocated my knee.  The long version is slightly more interesting and involves me getting slightly high on gas and air!

It was a usal hectic morning at work, I'd had an apprentice not turn up for work and my manager was at her daughter's assembly so I was holding the fort.  I sorted out pre-school ready to take my kids through, dashed off to get them, and as the gate opened the doorbell rang (late apprentice!) and the next thing I knew I was lying on the floor.  I could feel some pain in my left knee, so I put my hand out to feel it to find it wasn't quite where it should be.  Calm as anything I called for one of my colleagues for help, then everything went into super speed!  My manager was called- luckily only a few minutes away.  The kids were ushered back into the room they'd been about to come out of, and a pillow was found for my head as I couldn't even attempt to get up without an awful amount of pain shooting through my knee.

Unsure what to do, one of my colleagues called 111, I answered the same questions several times and they decided it was probably best to send an ambulance for me.  My Mum was called (handily working at home that day) then it was a waiting game.

The lovely lovely paramedics turned up, took one look at my knee and decided it was time to get the trolley and the entonox.  They took my vitals, then stuck me on the gas and air.  It gets a bit hazy from here on out- I know the entonox made me dizzy so I closed my eyes.

They somehow got me upright, without any swearing, and somehow got me onto the trolley, again without any swearing.  I then remember getting worried my mum didn't have my bag or trainers, so asked about those about 10 times!  They whisked me off to A&E, into a bay & the next thing I knew there was a doctor there, who popped my knee back in with a small tug.  Then it was down to x-ray to have it x-rayed, then up to A&E again to have it plastered.  At this point I'd come down from the gas and air and was anticipating being told to rest for a few weeks.

Wrong!  They put dislocated knees into plaster to stop them popping out again!  I could've cried at this point!

Fresh home from hospital, plastered from ankle to mid-thigh & sporting a pair of massacred trousers!

 I spent nearly 4 weeks in plaster, which were a nightmare in terms of personal care and getting to sleep!  I ended up having a total of 10 weeks off work, but reached the point where I was going completely round the twist being stuck at home, so went back as soon as my GP would ok it!

I'm still having regular physio, my knee's still quite weak and I get tired easily walking without a crutch.  (Apparently that's my body working harder to get my knee to work 'normally') But I'm heading in the right direction, albeit slower than I'd have liked!

My slightly more colourful 2nd cast

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Welcome to my blog. I'm Sarah a 30-something Nursery Officer, formerly a Primary School teacher, based in Leicester.