When my eldest was a toddler he used to love anything to do with Bob the Builder, he had all the teddies, toys, bed covers and clothes with Bob on them, but most of all he loved going on the Bob ride.
When Jak was born my parents owned a chalet in Clacton, it was a lovely little site which had its own club house and swimming pool. Every weekend we used to pack our bags and drive to the chalet, the park was about a 10 minute drive from the seaside so we spent quite a lot of our time walking along the seafront. Jak use to go mad when he saw the little Bob the Builder ride the was always outside the amusements arcade, in fact he used to scream to go on it that much that a trip to the seafront used to be unbearable unless he had a go!
He used to scream ‘Bob Bob’ as soon as we parked the car up, he knew what was there and he knew exactly where it was, as when I used to walk a different route around the shops (thinking that I would trick him) he would shout ‘Go back Mum, Bob over there!’ Pointing towards the direction of the amusements.
When Jak was 2 and a half the chalet park got close down and we had to give up our chalet, which meant no more weekend visits to the seafront.
We did go back to the town a few times but Jak was older and had grown out of his obsession with Bob the Builder.
A couple of weeks ago, we went back to the same seaside resort for the day a we walked down to the same amusement arcades and guess what was there? Yep, Bob the Builder ride lol
Jak couldn’t resist one last little ride, just for old time sake lol
I think he may have outgrown the ride but I secretly think he enjoyed it more than what he let on
On March 3rd, Myself and many other parents will find out what secondary school our children would have been allocated to start Year 7 in September 2014.
Am I Nervous? YES
Am I Worried? YES
Do I think i may have made a mistake? YES
All 6 choices of schools that was placed down onto the common application were made by Jak and myself, after visiting the schools on their open evenings, researching the schools, reading ofsted reports and talking to other parents who have been in the same situation before.
Our local Comprehensive school is within walking distance to our house, at 0.6 miles away we are definitely in the catchment for it. It is an over subscribed school but is larger than average senior schools, the number of students have dramatically increased over the recent years pushing them up to a yearly admissions of 360 pupils. It has expanded it’s intake from being a 10 forms on entry to 12. The school was judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2013 and has just had a £26 million pound rebuild.
I can not lie that it’s facilities are not good, but I was not really impressed with the open evening. We was herded around the buildings in groups and their wasn’t many teachers or other school children around to answer our questions, I noticed that some of the glass in two doors were smashed and I didn’t get the homely feel a school give. Jak said that he didn’t feel very comfortable whilst walking around and wasn’t sure that it was the school for him. We missed one of the big talks on the hall given by the head master, but we was lucky to bump into him on the way out and he sat down with us to answer some of our questions. He emphasized quite a bit on how they were now an outstanding school and he told us that the school has no mixed ability classes, all children take tests as they enter the school so that they can be placed into classes with other children of similar abilities. There are three ability bands and all classes are with the same students, this was teachers can develop every child at the right place. High ability children can also be moved a year up if they work at a considerably higher level than others.
I wasn’t quite sure that I wanted my son to be placed into the same ability groups, shouldn’t he be mixing with all children? I understand that high ability children can move on ahead very quickly this way but doesn’t this also make them a target to the bullies of the school who are jealous of their ability!
With that said we decided to look out of the borough for a school and heard from Jak’s drama teacher about a school, that is 5 miles away, were holding auditions for children who were talented in dance, drama or dance to try for a place in the school.
The audition was to comprise of aptitude tests in one of the disciplines of music, drama or dance. We filled out the application form and was given an audition date. Jak chose to audition in drama, he thought it went well but we wouldn’t hear anything for a week. All children who auditioned were to be sent a letter with a place on where they come in their chosen discipline, five places are allocated to each of the disciplines with two remaining allocated to the next best students from any of the three. Jak came 5th in drama and 2nd overall!
When the pupils are in the School the courses open to them will be those open to all pupils of the School, though it is expected that such pupils will continue with their extra-curricular Arts studies throughout their period at the School.
After quite a few gruelling weeks back in October, Jak and I decided on his top 6 choices of schools. I let Jak make the decision but obviously if I really thought it was the wrong one I wouldn’t let him make the wrong choice. Jak chose the performing art school as his first choice, he doesn’t know anyone that goes there and as it is in a different borough he doesn’t even know the surrounding area. His heart lies with performing arts and I have to let him follow his heart, don’t I? Or doI? I am so confused!
I have mixed feelings about the chosen schools, I really wanted him to go to my old school, but we are not within the catchment area and our local school there are children there that Jak was bullied by when they were at his primary school. I didn’t want him to start a new school being bullied on the first day by children who previously bullied him, but most of class mates have put this school down as their first choice so he will not be with them. If he does get the school out of the borough then he will not know anyone and it means that it will be a 45 minute bus and train journey away.
I just Monday over with! I need to know if I have an appeal on my hands or if he gets a really bad school wether or not I will be home schooling him until a place in a school that we want comes available.
So tonight i will finish my bottle of wine and hope that I will get a good nights sleep, as Sunday night I will be too nervous to have a peaceful sleep. I just hope we haven’t made the wrong decision! Being a parent is such a worry!
Is anyone else in the same situation at the moment? How are you feeling?
I love clothes shopping whether it be for the boys or myself, there’s nothing quite like walking around a shop and purchasing a few items to perk up your mood.
Last week i ventured into Zara, not for myself mind, I was looking for a particular pair of leggins for my 2 year old. A couple of days before, I saw a picture pop up on my instagram timeline from a friend in the blogging circuit, she had bought some leggins and was sharing with everyone how cute they were, I instantly fell in love with them and knew i would have to go in search of them for Oliver.
I found the leggins that i was looking for quite quickly but I also found some more items of clothing to add to his wardrobe. Zara had a sale on, I didn’t go as mad as i thought i would as I knew I had to carry them home from London with me on the train, But I did buy him a lovely new outfit.
The above items were not in the sale, but I did buy Oliver’s shoes which cost me £7.99, the boots are sandy colour, fur lined and absolutely gorgeous.
Oliver’s outfit in total cost me £29.97.
The leggins are really soft and the print is of a cactus, I did have to buy him 18-24 months as they looked like they would be more his size than the 2-3 but I think I would have been better getting him the 12-18 months size as they are still too big for him. Zara have more boys leggins in store with different patterns and colours, like the ones below which are next on my shopping list
We also bought a Rock and Roll t-shirt in the sale for £2.99 and a pair of really adorable tweed checked shorts that come with braces for £5.99. I will share these with you on another post.
The clothes from Zara are really cute and quite different from the other high street stores, they just have that little edge to them.
This is not a sponsored post, I have simply shared the items of clothes as i really like them.
Do you struggle with your children in the morning to get them to eat their breakfast?
My mornings are like competing a mini obstacle course when it comes to organising the boys, with three boys all under the age of 11, it’s not an easy task!
- First I have to awake them from their warm comfy beds, which is survival in itself having to enter their bedrooms (the youngest would happily stay there all morning)
- Secondly I have to get them all washed and dressed
- Then I have to prepare their pack lunches, trying to put a balance of healthy foods and snacks in them
Whilst I am doing this all 3 of them will be climbing up the banisters, hanging from door ways, shouting at each other and trying to get past me to the back door so they can go out for a morning jump on the trampoline (My house is like a Jungle full of monkeys)
- Then I have to get them all to sit down at the table to eat their breakfast cereal, but only after they have raided the cupboard for their choice of breakfast.
This is the only time in the morning that they are calm and sitting down and it’s the only time from when they have woken up that I may get a chance to sip my coffee (which by now is cold!)
- Once breakfast has been consumed, teeth have been brushed, book bags been checked and any last minute work added to the homework/reading books we are ready to leave the house.
Having a nutritional breakfast is an important part of the day, it sets you up for the rest of the day. The boys need to eat something that is quick but filling to get them through their tough morning at school til lunch time. I always make sure that we have a good selection of cereals for the boys, our cupboard is always full of cereal boxes their favourite being Shreddies.
According to new research by Nestle Cereals, 70% of families have less than an hour to get ready for school, I totally agree with this and the more children you have to get ready the harder the routine gets, But we always make time to eat out breakfast! Eating their cereal means that they are getting a good start to the day and taking in important nutrients like fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Did you know that Shreddies contain 8 vitamins and minerals, and are low in saturated fats and are a great source of fibre?
Did you know that Cheerios are a great source of 9 vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium and vitamin D?
Celebrity Mum, Marina Fogle, says: ” Just like most families, sometimes we find it hard to navigate the jungle of the morning routine. But, however busy we are, making time for a nutritious breakfast is a key. A bowl of cereal is not just quick and easy but a source of important nutrients my family needs to start the day in a nutritious balanced way.”
“My husband is best known for travelling to remote locations and being a survival expert, putting himself through his paces, but back at home I’m a survival expert as a mum!”
To support other parents looking for help to survive the jungle of family breakfast, Marina has teamed up with Nestle Cereals to launch ‘Breakfast Survival Guide’, full of tips and advice.
HOW ELSE CAN I GET MY ESSENTIAL VITAMINS?
How about eating some bugs! Did you know that bugs, grubs and plants from the jungle are packed with vitamins and minerals!
Kids love eating weird and wacky things, A Mopane Caterpillar is a good source of iron and the root of a Bulrush might be a great way get your fibre, or you could eat 100 Jewel Beetles for a great source of calcium.
We was invited along to A breakfast Survival event run by Nestle Cereals, where we got to go on an exciting exhibition through the jungle of the family breakfast routine. The boys had a blast meeting some wonderful creepy crawlies, tasting some of the alternative choices of a jungle cereal and we even got to meet Marina Fogle and renowned nutritionist, Juliette Kellow who were around to answer any of our questions.
The eldest and I tasted all of the bugs, they wasn’t as bad as i thought they would be but we still would prefer to eat a bowl of cheerios any day! Whilst we was tucking away into our nutritional helping of bugs, Joseph was sitting in the next room tucking into a bowl of his favourite Shreddies.
Not only does Nestle Cereal make the perfect choice of breakfast but they are also ideal to put into pack lunches for the children to snack on.
Do you have any tip to make mornings that little bit easier? Why not share them on twitter using the hashtag #BreakfastSurvival
We was invited along to the event for the purpose of this post, thank you to Red Consultancy and Nestle for a lovely interesting and yummy afternoon.
There is nothing quite like a lovely stroll along the seafront, especially after a hectic few days spent in the City of London. We don’t live too far from the seafront but don’t often get the chance to visit it, we spent the last couple of days of our half term holiday staying at Nanny’s house which is a lot nearer to the beach but still a 45 minute drive away.
Nanny wanted to surprise the boys so she didn’t tell them where we was going, they took a few guesses but was wrong until we was about 5 miles away and they started to read the road signs. We drove past all the attractions and the busy part of the sea front, as just a little further down the road is a lovely part of the beach which not many people visit, I think as it isn’t near the rides and shops that it can be a bit more peaceful.
As soon as the boys were out of the car they ran off towards to the promenade, they couldn’t wait to get down to the beach. The sun was shining and even though it is still February it was still very pleasant.
The eldest took his socks and shoes off and went running along the sand, I did try to remind him that it wasn’t summer but nothing was going to stop him from feeling the cool sand in between his toes.
The boys spent ages searching the beach for different coloured stones, Oliver and I was looking for shells but we didn’t find many, Oliver picked up a little stone and put it to his ear telling me that he was listening for the sea
I told him that it had to be a shell to be able to hear the waves, he just laughed at me and told me i was silly
We didn’t have any buckets or spades so the boys used their hands to dig and Joseph found a big stick to make marking in the sand with
I loved watching the boys play and run around so freely on the sand, enjoying themselves and laughing.
Oliver kept picking up the sand and letting it run through his fingers, not once did he ask for a spade to dig with, he was having too much fun just feeling it.
Jak tried to make sand angels, he took his top off as he didn’t want it to get all wet from the sand
After a good hour of running around and skimming stones across the waves
We went for a walk along the promenade to but some chips, Along the way we found a little park for the boys to play in
The walk along the promenade was lovely, the gardens were beginning to bloom and was just so nice to be out enjoying the sun.
The day was even better as we got to spend it with Nanny
I’m linking up our outdoor post with Coombemill Countrykids linky