So this week is a bit of a milestone in our household. Little E is being tested at school to see how well she knows her phonics. This is the first time one of the kids has been 'tested' and we've feeling a lot of pressure from the school to make sure she passes.
For those of you who haven't had the (dis)pleasure of encountering phonics yet I'll briefly outline how it works. Children are taught to read by recognising individual phonemes. A phoneme is a unit of sound which distinguishes one word from another. For example, the difference between the words kiss and kill is the end phoneme. They children learn rhymes to help them remember the sounds for each letter of the alphabet and then begin blending them together to make a words. It starts off simple and gets increasingly more complicated as different rules and exceptions are applied such as split-digraphs and tricky words. The phonics test is a national test for children in Year 1 to check they recognise and understand the key phonics rules.
Have you seen the new Beauty & the Beast film yet? Belle is certainly the Princess of the moment and to celebrate the new movie Hallmark has launched a range of stunning Beauty & the Beast cards at Tesco - the perfect choice for a Birthday Princess! We held our own Princess Party at home to bring some Disney magic to tea time!
Taking kids to eat at decent restaurants strikes fear into the hearts most parents and we are no exception. On a good day we may survive the three courses unscathed but to minimise the risk of social and gastronomic carnage we tend to stick to family friendly restaurants where the food is rather uninspiring (garlic bread and spag bol for two please waiter) but you can almost guarantee the kids will eat it without making a fuss. Plus there will always be another child acting worse that your own.
Giggling Squid in the heart of Reigate town centre is the kind of restaurant we would usually avoid with the kids. It's elegant, minimalist decor and wonderful Thai menu make it perfect for a child free date but, let's be honest, we get about two of those a year so the thought of sampling their culinary delights with the kids in tow was appealing. The launch of their new kids menu sealed the deal. We visited on a Sunday late lunchtime which was surprisingly quiet.
Just in time for the Bank Holiday weekend organic clothing brand Frugi have created some fantastic free customisable door sign printables - perfect to keep kids busy on a rainy day (which is highly likely on a Bank Holiday weekend!)
Yes, you can catch chickenpox (varicella) after having the chickenpox vaccination. We know this because currently Little I has chicken pox, despite being vaccinated against it two years ago.
It took me a few days to realise this wasn't a normal bout of hives and even our GP didn't believe it was possible and said it was some kind of skin infection. But our paediatrician at the hospital has confirmed it is in fact chickenpox and explained that you can still catch chickenpox after being vaccinated. In fact this is the case for all vaccinations. Nothing is 100% effective.
Plus we have recently discovered Little I has a weak immune system. Which means her body may not be reacting to vaccinations the way it should. Distinctly worrying. After all they get vaccinated against much scarier things than chicken pox...
The good news is if you have been vaccinated against chickenpox but still catch it you are more likely to experience a weaker version of the virus. And that certainly seems to be the case with Little I whose spots seem to be fading away rather than blistering and crusting.
Phew! As her sister has a particularly horrific bout of it which is the reason why we paid to have Little I immunised in the first place!
So we are in full chicken pox quarantine mode at the moment. Luckily I stashed away some of the Easter themed craft kits from our last Baker Ross delivery so we've had lots to keep ourselves busy with.
And if your little one does catch chickenpox remember not to give ibuprofen as that can make the spots worse and increase the chances of infection. Even if your GP tells you it is ok please stick to infant paracetamol as ibuprofen can cause complications - visit the NHS website here to see the advice about avoid ibuprofen during chicken pox.
I am not a medical professional and this is not qualified advice. I am speaking from personal experience only. Always seek professional medical advice if you or your child is unwell.
Our house is on the market and I've been daydreaming of the possibility of our new home and how I want to decorate our kids bedrooms. They both have such unique personalities and I want to express that in their new bedrooms. Today I've been thinking about our youngest, there year old Little I, and how her new bedroom could look in our new family home. Here are my top ideas for pre-school girls' bedroom design.
Little I has so many toys it is unreal. Storage has to be a key consideration right at the beginning of her room design. I love modular storage with it's clean lines and ease of use. These roll-out six cube units from Aspace are great because not only can you move them around but you can put little doors on to hide all the toys inside. The top also provides a little shelf to display trinkets and photos.
Family life might seem chaotic enough without adding a pet to the mix! However, there are many different benefits associated with having a furry friend . This include improvements in mental, physical and emotional well-being as well as enhanced social skills. They can also help to provide motivation when it comes to getting round to doing some exercise and are a way of keeping loneliness at bay.
Owning a pet is certainly popular at the moment. Research recently conducted by Voucherbox has found that over half of all UK households have a pet. Dogs are the most popular choice with a quarter of pet-owning families having one, closely followed by cats at 24%. According to the PFMA, other animals in the top-ten include fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and even lizards! If you are thinking about making an addition to your home here are five reasons why animals could be good for your child as well as family life.
A portrait of me by Little I presented at her pre-school Mother's Day assembly. The extra eyes are ears by the way! I love it!
Linking up to #mysundayphoto
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.