Two Year Funding – Why I’m Not Sending My 2 Year Old To Nursery

Two Year Funding  -What Is It?

Two year funding allows children to start nursery a year earlier. This scheme is offered in most deprived area’s and Thurrock is one of them. It’s run to help children learn & socialise a little bit earlier and to give parents a chance to get back to work etc. We have been offered each term a chance to enrol Izzy at a nursery since she turned 2.

I had previously considered taking up the offer but I sat and thought about it. Could I use the time to myself? Yes. Do I thijnk it would benefit Izzy? No. Eventually I decided not to take up the offer and to wait until September when she will be 3.

Why?

I can’t justify sending Izzy to nursery early just because I’m able to. Whilst it is a great scheme especially for parents looking to get back into work or to save a few £’s on childcare or even to get toddlers playing with other’s their own age, I’d rather spend this year helping Izzy develop at home. Although I doubt myself constantly as a mother, I know my girls are learning plenty at home. Children spend so many years in school already & I can’t see why I should add another year to that. Especially whilst I am home all day.

Izzy loves being at home & she has learnt a lot from our usual routines. Shopping with daddy, finding what we need and popping it in the trolley is so much fun for her. Chatting to people all around town from shop staff to people she passes regularly. School run’s to get her ‘Ea-yaye!’ gives her a chance to run like crazy on the way home. Helping around the flat with chores makes her beam with pride. Teaching her everything’s has it’s place & needs cleaning. even if it’s just been sat for a while.

Reading is Izzy’s absolute favourite thing to do, we read a lot of books together which is why we started Our Favourite Books This Week series. She can count to 12 & has started learning basic math. Just this morning when asked what is 2 + 2 she said 4 then counted 4 with her fingers then showing 2 fingers plus 2 fingers make 4. Izzy recognises most letters in the alphabet & has begun to recognise words whilst we read. I’m confident she will keep up when she does start nursery in September.

At home we pull out the craft boxes, paint or draw. Izzy loves getting creative and making lovely pictures to put up around the flat. Her fine motor skills are pretty good, in fact as Eva is a lefty Izzy holds her pencil better.

Going to the pub on paydays with daddy and talking to all the regulars in ‘her’ pub & playing with Saphy the staffy. Then there’s baby Finn who she has watched grow over the last year & become good friends with. Whilst ordering her fruit shoot & crisps she say’s hello to the women at the bar. Whilst she only goes once a week or every other week she loves it. Izzy has a better social life than me and learns so much from this.

Why should I cut that short when she’s already going to spend the next 15 years in school?

Don’t get me wrong 15 hours a week of peace & freedom again for me would be AMAZING! But I will have plenty of time to myself when she starts in September. I am in no rush. I want to make the most of these last few months before she starts nursery in September. I don’t want to send her early and miss out on our time together when I know she’s always learning & socialises better than I could ever dream of!

When Eva started nursery she changed so much, and so quickly too! I guess I’ve realised the years fly past so quickly and I want to make the most of this time. Soon Izzy will have her own little world & circle of friends at nursery & then school. She will be interested in things I am clueless about & wanting time to herself. So for now, I want to make the most of the terrible two’s, have those lazy sofa snuggle days & enjoy these moments before Izzy grows up too fast.

Izzy will start nursery in September and is really looking forward to it. She will be coming with us to take a look at the local nurseries over the next few month’s to find somewhere she will be happy. I’m looking forward to the free time as I fell pregnant after Eva started nursery. I spent that time feeling fat and awful. I will definitely be making the most of the time come September & enjoying some me time but for now I’ll be enjoying our time together.

Whilst I’m not jumping for the early years funding I do think it’s a brilliant scheme which allows parents to get back to work/learning or finally catch up on 2 years worth of clothes washing & dishes or even just getting a few hours to relax each week.

What do you think of early years funding? Is it available in your area? Would you take it up or have you?

Tooth Brushing Fun With Brush-Baby

The girls have had plenty of tooth brushing fun with Brush-Baby Products we received to review.

Brush-Baby are a company who offer a range of dental care products for babies, toddlers & children. From dental wipes for babies, chewable toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes, toothpaste’s & floss brushes! Whatever you are looking for Brush-Baby will have a suitable product.

Brush-Baby

We received a package from Brush-Baby for the girls to try.

The girls both had different brushes and toothpastes suitable for their ages which they loved. Izzy received the 3-6 years Tutti Frutti Toothpaste & the 3-6 years Kidzsonic toothbrush. She gets on quite well with the toothpaste which surprised me as she can be quite fussy when it comes to flavoured toothpastes. Eva had the 6+ Spearmint toothpaste & 6+ Kidzsonic toothbrush.

They also received sticker charts & stickers to track their progress.

These helped encourage the girls to brush their teeth every morning and night. Both girls have been having plenty of fun using their special brushes and watching the colours change . I love that the Kidzsonic brushes flash for 2 minutes. I don’t have to worry about the girls knowing how long they need to brush their teeth for. It’s been quite nice seeing them get so excited about keeping their teeth clean & healthy.

After trying out the brushes and toothpaste for a few weeks both girls filled their charts completely!

Both girls really liked the designs on the brushes but absolutely loved the LED flashing light and like to turn off the bathroom light to brush their teeth. At one point I did have to hide the brushes in the kitchen unless needed as they loved them so much & kept sneaking off to brush their teeth haha!

 

I couldn’t recommend these products more as the girls have had so much fun brushing their teeth and it’s comforting to know they are will spend a full 2 minutes brushing each time. I have awful teeth due to not brushing properly as a child so it’s nice to know the girls will have healthy clean teeth at my age!

Izzy seems pretty impressed with the products on the back of her completed chart too!

I wish I had discovered Brush-Baby sooner as the dental care products for babies look fantastic, especially the dental wipes! Have you heard of Brush-Baby before? What do you think?

 

Our Favourite Books This Week – Week 4

We are back this week with our favourite books after missing out last week after an unexpected incident last weekend.

The girls have picked out their favourite books which are mostly Library books this week.

Eva chose What Happens to Broken Bones, an Inside my body book.

She loves learning about the body and said she loved all of this book because it was so interesting. We have quite a few body books at home but none specifically on bones so it’s no surprise she was glued to this book for a few days. She really enjoyed learning about what is inside bones & how they are made up.

our favourite books this week

The second book Eva as chosen this week is The Tiger Who Was Angry.

Eva’s favourite part of the story is when the Tiger cries as he realises losing his temper loses him friends and begins to be friendly. This book is a story about dealing with anger which is probably a good book for her to be reading this week as she has lost her temper quite quickly herself this week. She has been much calmer this weekend thank goodness!

Izzy has chosen I Love My Mummy as one of her favourite books this week.

She says she loves the first page because she loves her mummy very much and I’m soft & cuddly too like the mummy in the book. (Aww!) She giggled when the child had their feet their tickled and aww’d a lot when the book was read to her. She ‘read’ the book to me a few times too which was quite cute!

 

The other book Izzy chose this week is the Gruffalo!

This time the full but miniature version I bought them for taking out and about with us. Izzy finds the Gruffalo hilarious she loves how big he is and thinks it’s funny that the animals are scared of him. She finds it even funnier when the mouse pretends everyone is scared of him so the Gruffalo doesn’t eat him when really it’s the Gruffalo behind him they are scared of.

The girls haven’t chosen a book together this week and I’m not surprised as it has been a rather eventful week all round.

What books have been read in your home this week? Do you have a personal favourite?

My Sunday Photo – Sliding At The Park

I missed last weeks #MySundayPhoto after the Mr was attacked by a neighbour. I lost my blogging mojo all week because of it but decided I needed to jump back in & #MySundayPhoto is a brilliant way to do that!

my sunday photo - sliding at the park

We escaped to the park a few times this week & I love this photo of Izzy about to go down the slide at the park. A little bit of sunshine & playing brightened up our week!

Did you have a bit of sunshine this week? What did you get upto?

Photalife

4 Ways To Save Money On Your Mother’s Day Bouquet

4 Ways To Save Money On Your Mother’s Day Bouquet

 Mother’s Day is not far behind Valentine’s Day. If you bought gifts for the holidays and for Valentine’s Day, you might not have a lot of cash left by the time Mother’s Day comes. This doesn’t mean you can’t treat your mother to something special on this holiday. Mother’s Day is the occasion to give something back to your mother for everything she does for you. A fresh bouquet of flowers might not seem like much, but your mother will appreciate this gesture. Purchasing flowers can seem difficult if you are on a tight budget. You can find florist flowers at an affordable cost if you know how to shop. These tips will help you find flowers for Mother’s Day without having to spend a lot.

 

mother's day bouquet

 

Choose Seasonal Blooms

Flowers are usually more affordable when they are in season. Not all flowers bloom at the same time of the year, which is why prices vary. Flowers that are not in season will be more expensive because they have to be imported or grown in an artificial environment. Flowers that are in season can be grown in a less expensive manner. You should find out which flowers are in season in your area around Mother’s Day to get a better idea of what will be affordable. Do some research before going to the florist. If you want to order flowers online, the website of the florist you decide to use might have a section with seasonal flowers. If you decide to visit a local store, put together a list of seasonal blooms so you know which options will be more affordable. Some florist have a special section on their website or in their store for Mother’s Day which makes it easy to compare your options.

Consider A Smaller Bouquet

There is no need to go all out for your Mother’s Day bouquet. A simpler choice can be more elegant and your mother will appreciate that you thought of getting her something on this special day. Getting the larger bouquet you can find is not necessarily a good choice. You can make your mother happy by choosing flowers or colors she will like. Besides, a smaller bouquet is more practical if your mother doesn’t have a lot of space to display the flowers. Don’t overspend to get a large arrangement that will take too much space in your mother’s home.

Order Flowers Online

Ordering flowers online can be a good way to have more options to choose from. You might be used to shopping at a local florist but this could be an opportunity to try other options. You should explore your different options by visiting different local florists and browse different websites to compare prices. You might be able to find coupons and discounts by shopping around. Shopping online is a convenient way to compare your options and to find good prices for Mother’s Day flowers. You can easily do some research online whenever you have some free time or when you get home from work, we do recommend sites like WOW FreeStuff UK, who are offering £10 off Mother’s day flowers at Next.

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

You should start shopping for your Mother’s Day gift in advance. You will have enough time to do some research and to compare prices. You should save links to different florists or websites so you can easily review your options. Take the time to compare the different bouquets you have found, ask yourself which ones are in your price range.

Ladies Purple Heat Holders Lounge Socks – Warm, Cosy & Purple!

 

A pair of Ladies Purple Heat Holders Lounge Socks were sent out for me to review. Anyone that follows me on twitter knows I am always cold and complain my feet are freezing a lot so I couldn’t wait to receive them and see if they really did make my life warmer & purple. 😉

Ladies Purple Heat Holders Lounge Socks

Soo warm!

The socks instantly warmed my feet up, with a 2.34 tog rating they really do keep your feet toasty. I actually managed to get through an entire day without complaining about cold feet. An impressive feat! I love the purple pair I was sent & the thick purple heart grippers on the bottoms. The inside’s are so soft and fluffy they feel lovely on your feet too.

I’ve tried out a lot of different fluffy/thermal socks & slippers in an attempt to keep my feet warm but tend to end up wearing several pairs of socks. Keeping my feet warm is something I find quite frustrating as it makes my balance worse too. It’s nice not to have to keep putting on more socks across the day & tripping over cold numb feet!

Warm & Purple!

Impressively the Heat Holders Lounge Socks actually stay on my feet without the need to continuously pull them back up. I tend to have this problem (which REALLY annoys me) with most fluffy/thermal socks. Having had a look through the range on the heat holder’s website I will most definitely be buying more pairs for me & the girls as well as there are some beautiful designs for girls on there too!

Do you struggle to keep your feet warm too? If so I’d definitely recommend having a look at the lovely designs by Heat Holder, there’s something for all the family!

I’ve Crashed. I Need A Reboot Button.

I’ve crashed. I need a reboot button. My anxiety has hit me hard today. My brain is all messy and I need to write to get it out. I wasn’t going to post today but it feels like the only thing I can do right now.

Why have I crashed? A simple appointment. Contractors coming in to check the ventilation system. It wouldn’t have been a problem for most people but having yet more worker in set me off badly. We’ve had so many rude workers come in who act like I don’t exist. I know my flat is owned by the council but I do pay rent and service charges, surely that gives me some say in what goes on?

The worker’s who came in luckily were alright this time but the idea of the mess and having to repaint any damage etc. really got to me, If you have been following my blog for a while you may remember we had a Kitchen, Bathroom & Toilet refit. Well the places they needed access to was behind all the lovely freshly painted boards.

For almost a year now my flat has looked DREADFUL. I’m really struggling with it now. I just need everything finished. Luckily the workmen listened and seem to understand a little and worked with us to resolve the issues and get the job done. There was no mess or damage in the end thankfully. Once they left though I was almost in tears. The day has just been too much.

I’d waited since 8am and they finally turned up at 12.40pm then had to return an hour later with more parts. I panicked about when they would be back knowing the Mr was doing the afternoon school run as I’d already knackered myself out doing the morning. Being home on my own with work going on gives me panic attacks.

At our old house a worker decided to threaten to punch the Mr for pointing out his shabby work & requesting it to be redone. I ended up having to lock the doors when he went to his van because his threats & temper scared me so much. I really freaked out as he started banging the doors and shouting so I called the estate agents to get him to leave the property and eventually he did. With it just being me and a toddler Eva at the time I freaked out and locked us in the play room just in case whilst I made the calls & got the Mr to come home. Ever since I’ve panicked about workers coming in.

The Mr was just leaving when they came back so it was a little easier as he let them in when the knock made me jump. They got on with the work and were back out the door quite quickly but as soon as they were I almost cried. I felt dizzy and weak. A full on crash. I hate how anxiety leaves me so exhausted whilst my heart feels like it’s going to jump out of my chest.

I've crashedI’ve crashed

I really need this CBT to start. I’ve crashed again & it’s getting ridiculous. The most simplest stupidest things have me on edge worrying over a million possibilities and feeling ridiculous. It’s hard when you know you are worrying over thing’s that are absolutely ridiculous or impossible but can’t stop. I want my life back. I need to stop worrying about EVERYTHING and having these crashes.

The worst part is I’m finding it hard to chat to people again so I feel even worse. I only rant to 1 or 2 trusted people and over the last week or 2 I’ve even struggled to do that. I keep trying to jump in then panic and feel lost and don’t know what to say so I hide again. I’m sick of this. I am a lively hyper happy person usually but with chronic pain, anxiety & depression fucking me up I don’t feel like me anymore.

Other than waiting for CBT and Pain Psychologist appointment’s I don’t know what to do. I just want to feel like me, I’d like to wake up and make that important call. I want to wake up & not panic Eva will be late when she is NEVER late! I panic about so many stupid little things from the second I wake up & I just want my brain to shut up.

The worst part is today actually wasn’t that bad in the end yet I still feel so upset & drained. I feel ridiculous for getting so worked up over something so simple. I’ve probably left the blokes thinking I am a complete freak but I couldn’t stop my panic attacks. I really wish I could just hit reboot & be me again.

FUCK YOU ANXIETY.

 

Our Favourite Books This Week – Week 3

The girls have picked out their favourite books this week again and have had lots of fun reading different books to pick from.

We missed the library last weekend so we went yesterday to return the books the girls previously borrowed and pick out a few more. After almost an hour the girls #LoveGrays tote bag was loaded up with quite a few books! Along with the other books we’ve picked up this week in town we’ve been quite busy reading through new & old books.

 

Izzy’s favourite books this week:

Izzy has been loving discovering a range of books at the library & this week chose a few lift the flap books & chose 2 of them as her favourites!

Busy building site is one of Izzy’s choices this week as she loves anything to do with building! She loves watching the digger’s & cranes when we go out so it was no surprise this was a favourite! Izzy loved the fact they build a school and you can see the classroom at the end. There were a ton of flaps to lift so it kept her quite busy especially pointing out all the things she recognised!

 

Izzy also chose Who lives a here? A lift the flap Gruffalo book discovering where each animal lives. Izzy loves lifting the flaps and telling me who she had found. We had to read this quite a few times! Her favourite part was finding the Gruffalo who is apparently her favourite out of all the animals in the book.

 

Eva’s favourite books this week:

Eva chose Abracazebra this week as her favourite book. She picked it up at the library at the last minute but seemed to enjoy it the most. Her favourite part was when Abracazebra came back on the boat. Eva loves reading stories like this to Izzy, they enjoy looking at the pictures together too.

 

Eva also chose The  Rabbit Who Want’s to fall asleep.. although she didn’t fall asleep haha! She loved it when Roger Rabbit met Uncle Yawn & loved that the picture from that page matched the front cover too! This one is off of our bookshelf and she’s read it quite a few times over the last month or so.

Our Favourite Book This week:

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” Said the Sloth by Eric Carle was the girls favourite book & I had to read it to them  a few times although Izzy does get rather impatient at the end and likes to skip back to see what the Sloth does “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,”. Eva likes that the Sloth is slow and doesn’t mind being slow.

What have your kids being reading this week? Have you picked up any new books?

My Sunday Photo – A Lovely New Crocheted Unicorn Friend

Izzy received her lovely new crocheted unicorn friend this week and I absolutely love how happy & smug she looks. After lots of arguing between the girls over Eva’s pink sparkly unicorn Izzy had to have her own!

She couldn’t be any happier with her stunning new friend Crocheted by the Lovely Mrs A/Tracey at Hooks & Dragons.

lovely new crocheted unicorn friend

I love this photo so much I had to share it as my Sunday photo even though I already shared it on Instagram! Both my girls now have their own unicorn in their favourite colours. Finally the arguing has stopped.. over unicorns at least…

 

Photalife

An Arty Day Out At The #LoveGrays Event

On Saturday the girls enjoyed an arty day out at the #LoveGrays event on in town. The Mr pointed the event out to me as he spotted it on facebook so I decided to drag the girls to town to see what was going on.

We only stayed for an hour or so as it was cold but the girls really enjoyed themselves!

#LoveGrays event

Eva headed straight to the stage where local’s performed across the day. She joined in with the dancing and Izzy followed but spent most of the time just staring at the stage or trying to be cute when the photographer’s were around.

We decided to go see what crafts were happening and the girls joined in drawing the things they love in grays. Izzy drew the ‘park & boats’ and a few other little pictures happily chatting away as she did. Eva drew her teachers & had hers put up on the display’s.

I actually loved the way the displays had been made with large reel’s stuck together and painted. They soon filled up with postcards by kids filled with pictures & writing about why they love Grays.

The girls then moved to another table where they got to pick a picture from a copy of local history books and stick it to a piece of card & draw/decorate/write on it however they wanted with Posca pens.

I was quite impressed with Eva coming up with the idea of outlining parts of hers.. I half expected her to just add hearts & flower’s everywhere haha! Eva loves these activities which are run by Metal  to get people involved in arts across Southend and south Essex.

Last summer we attended the Village Beach event too where Eva earned a certificate for designing & printing on a tote bag. She still has her bag & loved receiving her certificate last year too! We will definitely be keeping an eye out for any other upcoming events!

Do you have anything like this running in your area? Do you or your kids enjoy getting involved in events like this?