Elliott’s First Parents Evening

Earlier this week I dosed myself up on cold and flu tablets and headed off to Elliott’s first ever parents evening. Elliott is 17-months old, rather young to have an official parents evening, I’m sure you will agree. Never-the-less off we trundled to meet Elliott’s Key Worker and I’m pleased to report it was all great news.

Elliott’s nursery follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum so we received a full report on how Elliott’s development is doing against this framework and fantastically he’s right on track with everything. Boy done good!

The part of the report which made me smile the most was the comments section which started:

Elliott is such a happy little boy

Achieving milestones is one thing. But, as far as I am concerned, happiness is where it’s at, so that being the first thing they wrote really made me happy too. More proof that wherever Elliott goes he spreads happiness, bless him and he doesn’t even realise it yet!

We also got to look through the photographs, observations and paintings in his Learning Journey folder which just made me squee with motherly pride. To anyone else they’re scribbles and blobs of paint of a piece of paper but to me they’re his first masterpieces. I love looking at the photos and seeing what he’s like and what he’s up to when I’m not around. You can even see from the photographs that it took him about two weeks to settle into nursery. You can just see a change in his face when he feels comfortable.

I came home a very proud mummy indeed.

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Bloody Nursery Germs!

Since the start of October I think I have felt well for approximately two days!

The remainder of those two months has been spent in a cold or flu induced haze, causing destruction to rainforests as I make my way through countless boxes of Kleenex and mainlining cold and flu tablets as if they’re Smarties. I even had a course of anti-biotics at one stage.

Sure, I’d heard the rumours. When your kid starts nursery they get ill and you get ill. Iller than you’ve been before. Ill all the time. Ill with things you never even knew existed pre-child. But with Elliott starting nursery in August I enjoyed a graceful bug free summer period with just the odd sniffle. Now Autumn is here (are we still calling it Autumn, or does the fact that I have to regularly de-ice the car in a morning mean we jump into Winter yet?) it’s bug central around here.

Hubby seems to be OK. Which is a good job. He is the only one keeping it together, doing nursery drops whilst I work from home and generally keeping the place running. To be fair, snotty bugs are my nemesis, whereas stomach bugs are hubbys. Elliott is working his way through the full range of cold and flu type bugs at the moment which hits me. But when it comes to good old D&V I’m well aware that it will be me flying solo.

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that Elliott was off-colour at the weekend,  which we attributed to teething. We now know it was the start of hand, foot and mouth. There are multiple cases at his nursery right now and as he seems to be on the mend, he kindly thought he would pass it onto me. I feel much better in myself now. On Tuesday night I was literally curled up on the sofa delirious with fever. I already had annual leave booked at work yesterday, but plans of starting my Christmas shopping were put on hold as I just concentrated on feeling human enough to make it to Elliott’s first parents evening. At this stage I still didn’t realise it was the dreaded HF&M. Unfortunately I still have cold symptoms, lips like Lesley Ash post fillers and some beautifully attractive blisters. I’m also royally pissed off at being ill again. I actually can’t remember what it feels like to be able to breathe through my nose! Adults don’t normally get HF&M, it’s usually a treat reserved for the under 10s, but I’m guessing my immune system is so low already from fighting all the other cold bugs and Tonsillitis (a childhood favourite of mine returning for an encore performance) that it just jumped right on in there and made itself at home. Sod off, virus – you are not welcome here!

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Just a few of my sexy blisters from Hand, Foot & Mouth

I really need to get my immunity sorted, starting with kicking this bug in the ass. Once that’s done I need to rebuild my immune system doing all the things I should be doing but either can’t or aren’t because I’m too busy being ill/trying to still turn up to work/be a good mummy/wife/friend/keep our apartment spick and span. Grr! It’s super frustrating. Between unscheduled nursery pick ups where I have to leave work early to take Elliott to the doctors and either being off ill or working from home I feel like such a crap employee. I’m so fortunate that my employers have been understanding but it still worries me that they will just see me as flakey. Then I also feel like a crap mum. Laying on the sofa in my PJs when I should be playing with Elliott. Staying in the warm rather than taking Elliott to the various groups we usually attend. Still wallowing in bed to try to sleep off the latest bug whilst Daddy whisks Elliott off to nursery. I also feel like a crap wife. I look like a mess most of the time, rely heavily on hubby to cook, clean and take care of childcare whilst I try to recover from the latest lurg and am generally just a grumpy cow as I sniff my way through my day-to-day life. I know things could be a lot worse. I could have a life threatening illness. I appreciate that. It doesn’t make the snot go away though unfortunately.

So, that’s me – snot city! Any other parents struggling with nursery germs? Any tips on boosting my immunity? Any tips for styling huge blistered lips? Sniff!

The Little Book of Hygge

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Hygge – the art of being cosy and introverted and happy and Danish – is to 2016 what KonMari was to 2015.

Minimalism and being kind to your socks (never did get that one) has been replaced by snuggly blankets, warm coffee and cosy socks (that one I do get).

And, as with the KonMari trend Hygge has been cropping up every where in recent weeks, especially this book. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen some over-excited YouTuber waving it around in a video. Curious (and slightly jealous of the fact that hubby was treating himself to a new PlayStation game) I decided to see what all the fuss was about and purchased the book during a recent shopping expedition to our local Tesco.

I kind of wanted to dislike it. That’s awful isn’t it? But I’m always a bit anti-trend. Sure, I loved the front cover, who wouldn’t love those cute pictures and that lovely calming blue colour? I loved the fact that the book was tiny and twee. And, do you know what, I loved the contents of the book more.

First up, the idea of Hygge isn’t exactly ground-breaking. Put simply it’s about cosying up with your loved ones, eating stew, drinking coffee, cuddling up in blankets, enjoying soft lighting. Hygge might not translate exactly into English, but for me Hygge translates to chill time. What Meik Wiking (best name ever!) has done, however, is take this simple concept and written about it in a factual way, with lots of stats to back up why the Danes are so god-darn happy; but also an amusing way. His tongue in cheek humour resonates throughout the book and adds an additional warmth (or Hygge factor) to the book.

For someone like me who is running around at a million miles an hour most of the time (hence why this blog hasn’t been updated in such a long time) this book reminded me that it’s OK to take some chill out time and that actually chilling out with friends rather than trying to do something extravagant can be supremely enjoyable.

The part of the book that really struck a chord with me was this page:

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Practicing gratitude was something I used to be really good at. But more recently it’s slipped by the way-side as my time gets taken up with nappy changes, cleaning, tidying, prepping for work and nursery, trying to get out the damn door to get to work and nursery and trying to fit in something that resembles a social life. I really must be better at appreciating things, so I think I’m going to try to start doing daily, or at least weekly, gratitude lists over on my Instagram account (@samheathcock if you would care to take a look).

And, relax…