Easing the Transition to “Big School”.

I can’t believe how quickly the last five years have gone ! I am now preparing “Baby J” as my sister used to call him for big school…..

Making the move to primary school while exciting for some children can be stressful for others. In our case ( and in most cases ) the preschool were super in introducing the topic to the kids and taking the edge off and just chatting in a relaxed manner about the move.

Considering James is my first to hit “big school” maybe I’m a bit of a fraud writing this post but I’m going to share how we are prepping for this big milestone none the less !

Here are just some of the ways we are preparing;

Reading books on the topic of starting school.

In the last few weeks I purchased and borrowed (from the library) some wonderful books that gave James an idea of what school will be like and were a great way to open conversation.

As a result of reading these books we have spoken about such topics as other people’s feelings, making friends and the posibilty of new rules and different routines to name but a few.

You may find this blog i have posted interesting as it is a list of my top 10 books to prepare your little one for school.

https://mindmadnessmilesandmummetime.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/useful-books-in-preparation-for-big-school/

Chatting about “Big School”.

We have been casually chatting about the school and answering James questions for 6 months plus now. We wouldn’t make a deal of it as such just show the school to him passing, mention that a child or children we met were at the school, talk about our own experiences in primary school and even tell some funny stories.

Luckily as a child I had a positive experience in school but that said I didn’t really like going either.. I never mention this to James and always talk about school in a positive manner. It’s so important not to let your own personal feelings influence your child we all know how quickly they pick up on these things !

Visit the school / Attend any open days.

Most schools have an open day and it is a great oportunity to get the feel for the school and potentially meet some classmates if you have not already.

If you can’t make the open day or feel that it would be overwhelming to your child be sure to phone the school and organise a visit. It’s good that the child feels comfortable in the setting and knows what to expect.

Organise play dates / make a buddy !

In a lot of cases someone in your little ones circle, childcare facility or preschool will be attending the school but not always.

No one from James circle or preschool will be starting with him in September so we made it our business near the end of term and during the summer to take James to a small local beach where children from the school and some who would start with him in September frequented.

He now knows a few lads in the older classes ( and looks up to them !) and also now has a few little buddies that will be starting in his class. I’m also hoping to organise a play date or two before the end of the month to make his transition as smooth as possible.

Aside from the emotional preparation there are other areas which you can work on to improve confidence….

It is important that the child recognises their own name so that they are confident in finding their coat hanger etc. This may seem like a small thing but if your child is anxious and/or upset the littlest thing like not knowing where to hang their coat or what desk to sit at can really upset them as you can imagine.

It is also important that the child is confident in recognising colours, shapes and talking about their family etc again so that they don’t feel out of their depth amount their peers.

Encourage independence at home eg; in the area of toileting, dressing, self hygiene etc as this will help them to be self sufficient at school.

Make sure the week before school is relaxed.

Try to minimalise stress in the house by having books,uniforms etc all sorted in plenty of time and if you have to do any trial travel runs do so in plenty of time.

If you cannot drop your child to school yourself make sure they are comfortable with the child minder/neighbour or whoever is bringing them and again do so in plenty of time.

Sleep and well being.

We’ve started getting back into our 7pm bedtime routine since last week to ensure my little people are in tip top shape and well rested as we all know lack of sleep messes with the emotions at the best of times and they will also need to be fresh to learn !

A lot of people give their kids a tonic or vitamin supplement in the lead up to the school term and considering we are fighting chicken pox as we speak I’ll certainly be having a chat with the pharmacist to get some advice on how to have him feeling his best for the big day !

Some tools to combat or deal with anxiety or worry.

Essential Oils.

Pop one of your favourite oils on a tissue so that if the child is feeling anxious than can inhale and breathe it in. Just be sure to use a good quality therapeutic grade oil Here are some of the best oils for anxiety ;

  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Frankincense

Guatemalan Worry Dolls.

On a recent trip to London I grabbed a few of these for my two fairies and my niece as I remember having these as a preteen and found them useful.

Based on the legend of a princess that was given the gift of never carrying a human worry Guatemalan worry dolls are given to brooding or sorrowful children.

The children tell their worries to their dolls and hide them under their pillows as they sleep and the following morning all the worries have been taken away by the worry doll.

Tigers Eye.

Quite some time ago I can’t remember why in particular I bought my little man a tigers eye stone to give him courage and he responded well to it and has kept it with high regard.

It’s yellow/golden brown colour makes this stone very attractive but also gave it its name as it resembles a tigers eye.

They originate mostly from south Africa and the tiger eye is a powerful stone that helps to release fear and anxiety and helps restore harmony and balance in the body.

Traditionally carried to ward off curses and I’ll wishes this gorgeous stone is known to give courage, strength and self concious to all who hold it and is a lovely gift to give to anyone starting a new adventure or going through a hard time.

Make sure to clean your healing stones and crystals see how here;

https://www.yogiapproved.com/om/7-convenient-ways-cleanse-healing-crystals/

Other tips I received from other mums

Spray some of your perfume/body spray etc on the cuff of your child’s jumper and when feeling a bit anxious they can get “your smell ” which will help them relax.

Draw a love heart on your hand and theirs so that you can think of ea h other through the day when you look at the heart.

As in seen in the book Ná Gabh ar scoil you can kiss your hand, put it in their pocket so that they can retrieve a kiss at any stage during the day that they feel uncomfortable.

What have I left out ladies ?! Have you suggestions !Do let me know …

Xoxo Laura.

Advertisements

Useful books in preparation for “Big School”

It’s seems like only yesterday that I had little J in my arms gazing at him thinking he was the most adorable thing I’d ever seen and now poof just like that I’m preparing him for primary school…

I don’t have any great worries about the transition in general but despite his confidence and enthusiasm about going to school in September I’m still very much aware that will be a huge move for him. None of his preschool friends will be going on with him and I want him to be as best prepared as possible both academically and emotionally.

I’m working on a post focusing on preparing for the transition to “big school” but for now I want to share the books I’ve found to be useful in preparation for this huge milestone.

I hope you find these books as helpful as I have…

Xoxo L.

All You Need To Know Before You Start School – Felicity Brooks/ Marina Aizen/Francesca Allen.

Published by Harper Collins for Usborne Books.

I absolutely love this book ! I wasn’t the only one .. both James and Lucy really enjoy it too.

In this book we join five animal friends who have just started school and they show us just what happens on an average day.

Nothing new you say ! Well what I loved about this book is that along with going through the daily happenings it also goes through all the kids need to know to give them a boost when the big day comes.

From letters and numbers to who’s who in your family, nature names and lots more .

By running through this book I found out in a child friendly manner just what I had to do a little work on .

This is a book I’d highly recommend for all making the big transition !

Usborne First Experiences – Going to School

Published by Harper Collins for Usborne Books.

In our household we are a huge fan of the Usborne First Experiences series and in fact the complete collection (all experiences combined in a small hardback) was the first “proper” book James received from us !

Follow twins Percy and Polly Peach as they prepare for and share their big day with you.

Polly soon overcomes her shyness and Percy gets stuck in ! The twins leave happily after a fun day at school and have made lots of new friends.

This is a simple book with excellent illustrations as always by Stephen Cartwright and one I really like … if you have a toddler or preschooler the combined collection (The Little Book of First Experiences) is one I feel everyone needs to have as it covers do much other including going on a plane, going to the dentist and going to hospital among others.

Ná Gabh ar Scoil – Marie Zeph / Tarsila Krüse.

Published by Futa Fata.

This is just a fantastic book that deals with the usual worries of a child starting school but with a twist …

In this superbly written book it is Mamaí that is reluctant to send her little guy Cóilín to school. Cóilín is very excited and his mamaí is his only problem! Mamaí worries about not knowing anyone and staying in school for the day !

Soon Mamaí realises everyone is kind and there is lots of fun to be had at school that’s when Cóilín decides it’s time for her to go home and leave him to enjoy his first day at school.

This is an absolutely beautiful book (I’ve come to expect nothing less from futa fata as I just love their publications, they have a super team of authors and illustrators) that I would highly recommend.

Fear not if Irish is not for you this is also available in English.

Betty and Jim go to School – Margot Channing.

Published by Scribblers Books.

This is a lovely book that gives a double page to each stage of preparing for school, heading off for school and the different stages during the day at school.

Betty and Jim make new friends, play and describe the classroom among other things.

What I really like about this book is that “lesson time” was mentioned, while its important to describe all the fun that your child will have at school I feel it’s also important to make it clear a little learning will have to take place too !

Cathal Sa Naíolann – Christine L’Heureux / Gisele Légaré / Pierrepont Brignaud.

Published by Futa Fata.

Another lovely book but particularly useful if you have a little one starting An Naíonra or preschool as it’s geared more at a younger age group as for example in the story the kids go for a little nap ! We must not  forget about starting preschool as this is often the first loosening of the apron strings !

Do I Have To Go To School – Pat Thomas.

Published by Wayland.

This superb book explains school in a factual yet fun manner, It normalises worries and tackles honestly the new experiences that are ahead for your child.

What I love about this book is it doesn’t shy away from the fact that yes we have to go to school, it’s more than just fun/games and some new rules may even be thrown in your child’s direction.

That said all this is explained in child friendly manner that prepares rather than worries your child about the new adventure that they are about to embark on.

The questions/ conversation starters throughout the book are another lovely feature as they encourage your little one to share their thoughts and/or fears to enable you to talk things through with them and take the worry out of making the move to “big school”

This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone with a littlein heading off in September or as a gift to a child taking the big step.

Going To School – Rose Blake.

Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

On first glance I thought there wasn’t a whole lot to this book but it became clear that in the case of this book the illustrations were more important than the text .

There are a few lines on each page that go through the day at school but there is so much in the illustrations that I feel the aim of this book is to encourage engagement and spark an interest in discussing what can be seen from the different ways we can travel to school to the activities that take place and much more.

Tá Siondróm Down ar Lara – Jennifer Moore-Mallinos/Marta Fábréga

Published by Futa Fata.

This is a beautiful book actually it’s one of a beautiful series Bimís ag caint faoí published by Futa Fata.

This is more than a great book to explain Down Syndrome in a child friendly manner but more importantly it’s a book about inclusion which is why it is listed here as a useful book for starting school.

This gorgeous books eplores the questions children may have about other children with down syndrome from physical features to abilities.

Rosie tells us the story of how she met Lara at camp and how they became fast friends.

A week into camp the leader Máire Treasa shares with the group that a new girl will be joining the group, after Máire Treasa explains that Lara has down syndrome a few kids are a little nervous one boy even suggests that if she has special needs she should go to a camp for people with special needs.

Soon the kids see despite a few differences Lara is just like all of us talented in some areas and not in other areas !

Whiff Wilson the Wolf who wouldn’t go to school – Carl Hart / Leonie Lord.

Published by Orchard Books(.Co. uk)

This is a really fun book ! I adore the whiffy series as I love to read stories where the text rhymes and the illustrations are endearing so in that regard this book ticks all the boxes.

Whiffy like most kids just wants to have fun and stay up late, School is certainly not part of his plan!

Children may relate to the fact that whiffy despite his bravado he is actually quite nervous about school.

His pal Dotty takes him under her wing in school shows him where the toilets are etc and before he knows it whiffy has realised school is not all that bad! So much so that he appears to walk to school with Dotty on Saturday !

Not only would I recommend this book I’d recommend the others in the series whiffy Wilson the wolf who doesn’t want to go to bed and whiffy wilson the wolf who wouldn’t wash !

An Bhfuil Tusa Cúthail? – Núria Roca /Marta Fábreģa

Published by Futa Fata.

Another from the beautiful Bimís ag Caint faoi! Series, this time focusing on being shy.

This gorgeous story shows shy children that they are not alone and helps those who have never been shy to understand just how inhibiting being it can be.

There is also a couple of tips to try and help little people overcome their shyness and working on including themselves and speaking out. It is a lovely book and a conversation starter that could be useful for do many scenarios.

You can buy these gorgeous books from the Bímís ag caint faoi series individually or as a set from http://www.futafata.ie

If you found this useful or like this then maybe you’ll like this post featuring my fave books as gaeilge.

https://mindmadnessmilesandmummetime.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/na-leabhair-is-brea-liom-as-gaeilge/

Or maybe this one … eight terrific titles for your little terrors.

https://mindmadnessmilesandmummetime.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/eight-terrific-titles-for-your-little-terrors/

Into The West …..

For the fourth year running we decided to have a staycation in our beautiful country, there is so much to do and see here that our “to do list” gets larger each year despite constantly tipping away at it !

This year we decided to head to the west of Ireland, Galway in particular. I felt along with Galway city (and even the suburbs) being full of life and packed with things to do it was also a great place to base ourself from and do a few day trips.

The kids slept through lunch on the way up so rather than wake them we continued to drive and headed to The Maldron on arrival which was right across the road from our accommodation and it was superb !

The staff were great and it as as very child friendly in general, the kids were given lovely colouring packs and a great menu to choose from … typically though they still picked the usual sausages and chips and a pizza ! I got a fab green curry and Mr Mmmm got a serious burger that tasted as impressive as it looked.

We ate here twice on our stay and I also noticed they had a superb kids club schedule displayed at the front desk. Obviously I did not see the rooms but having stayed in one The Maldron groups hotels prior I would have no problem recommending this hotel or the hotel group in general.

* My delicious Thai green curry ! *

See more at http://www.maldronhotelsandyroadgalway.com

We usually opt for a hotel as our two water babies like to have the pool at their disposal but with J having his arm in the cast it meant swimming and water parks were out for us this time round so we decided to stay in student apartments and they were good value, comfortable and clean.

We stayed in Cúirt Na Coiribe just outside the city centre and I couldn’t find fault, It was everything we needed and the kitchen was really well stocked with crockery etc I was surprised to even find an eggcup when I looked for one ! The only complaint was there was no real opportunity for my crew to interact with other kids but that’s not really a fault of the accommodation.

Galway Atlantaquaria

It didn’t take a genius to predict how the day was going to turn out when we awoke to the first day of our jollies … yup you guessed it after weeks and weeks of sun it rained on our parade or our holiday if you want to be specific.

Luckily a trip to the aquarium was on my to do list anyway as the only thing I love to check out as much as a zoo when I’m away is an aquarium and it was an experience the whole family enjoyed.

Galway aquarium boasts the fact it is Irelands largest aquarium and not only is there a superb variety of sealife to be seen (even some sea horses, my favourite!) there are lots of other interesting experiences to be had.

The opportunity to get “kisses” from some mullet was a real treat and my two found it hilarious ! They were also in awe at the real fin whale skeleton and loved getting up close with the star fish and spider crab, I would highly recommend organising your trip around the touch pool tour.

There is a great gift shop with something in every price range and plenty of pocket money toys so you are not fleeced !!!! And there is also what seemed like a lovely restaurant attached also which we only saw passing as we opted for icecream instead ! I would highly recommend a trip to the aquarium if you are in the area.

Check out http://www.nationalaquarium.ie for prices (we paid e33 for a family ticket) and touch pool tours/feeding times.

St Brigit’s Garden

Visiting St Brigit’s garden has been on my to do list for almost two years now and my trip didn’t dissapoint.

Each beautiful garden is designed to represent one of the Celtic festivals, Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasa that marked the beginning of each season.

* The highlight for me personally was the beautiful wildflowers basic maybe but they lift my soul *

There is something to appeal to everyone from the beautiful wildflower gardens, the herb beds, the stone circles, the fairy trail, a playground/sand play area and much much more.

On entry the kids were given activity sheets that were a little beyond my guys but lovely for school going kids and even helped us adults notice a few things we might not have done without them !

We had brought a picnic for the kids and had said we would grab something for ourselves at the cafe/ creperie and I must say the food there was exquisite, initially when ordering I felt the cafe was a bit pricey but on receiving our food we both agreed it was worth every penny ….

I ordered the goats cheese quiche and Mr Mmmm got a sandwich but in all honesty the sandwich was so much more than two slices of bread with some filling. The food that is served is of superb quality and is just mouth watering and I can assure I’m very fussy about food ! We weren’t hungry enough for cake but there was an amazing selection and the slices were huge !

We spent at least 3 hrs + in this beautiful attraction and another while in the beautiful gift shop.

There was a summer camp taking place the say we chose to visit and it looked like all were having a blast and there are other fun events organised throughout the year.

See http://www.brigitsgarden.ie to see more !

Salthill Promenade

Saturday morning we hoped for the best and headed to silver strand just outside Salthill but it was very windy and the showers were more than sporadic so we got back in the car again and true to form it dried up ! We walked on the Prom in Salthill and in true seaside fashion got chips for lunch followed by an icecream.

At that point it was after turning into a lovely day so we headed for the playground near the aquarium. It’s a super playground that caters for all ages is quite big but is well designed and you never feel like you’ve lost sight of your little ones.

What I really loved about this playground was the metre of grass all around the perimeter, it was lovely to sit down and have a coffee and it meant we had a picnic spot for snacks also.

There was a fantastic array of climbing frames etc and a lovely atmosphere here and along with friends we met up with we almost spent 3 hours here !

The kids enjoyed the playground so much that in the end we didn’t go to the merries ( amusements /funfair for those not from Cork !!!) As planned but they looked fab !

The stops en route home !

One of my favourite things about the west of Ireland is the stone walls everywhere and I was adamant I wasn’t leaving without a picture of the gruesome twosome on one of these walls and I hit the jackpot just outside Kinvara in that not only did we spot some nice looking walls but a round tower too ! We hiked up the field , spoke a little about the history of the round towers and got my snap and I was happy – the simple things huh !!!!

Actually we stopped a few times between Galway and Lehinch to take in old ruins and basic landmarks as it’s something I love to do and the kids love the little things like hearing about “long ago” and playing pretend in an old gatelodge.

* what a peaceful view looking up from inside the roundtower *

We stopped for lunch in Lisdoonvarna in the first pub we saw ( and had a nice lunch ) but there was loads of places to choose from as we drove through.

This was by far the best day weather wise so we decided to stop at the beach in Lehinch which was super but unfortunately the timing was bad and the tide came right in putting a stop to our fun after less than an hour ! This is certainly a place I’ll be returning to as it had a cool vibe and I have my heart set on a surf lesson !

More exciting things to do and see !

Although we did not experience any of the below they either were on my to do list or caught my eye ….

Leisure land in salthill looked fab with 3 pools to choose from a huge slide and an inflatable obstacle course !

See more at http://www.leisureland.ie

Caherconnell Fort Carron, Co Clare also caught my eye . More than one of the best preserved stone forts on the Burren there is also a selection of sheep breeds to be discovered and sheepdog demonstrations also and when you’ve worked up an appetite you can satisfy it in mountain haven cafe.

To find out more see http://www.caherconnell.com

Terra Nova Gardens Killmallock Co Limerick.

Visit the beautiful gardens and feel the magic at the natural fairy fort. Look for the fairies and check out the fairy shop. This is a lovely way to break the journey into the west ( well from the south anyway ) and I was dissapointed not to have the time to stop on our journey home last week that said it’s high up on our to do list.

See more at http://www.terranovagarden.com

Despite being unlucky with the weather we had a great trip up west and four nights was not enough as there was so much more that we hoped to do and didn’t but we will be returning for sure !

If you have any recommendations for our next trip up west do let me know.

As always all my opinions are genuine and my own and are based on our experiences alone.

Xoxo Laura.

Our Stay At Top Of The Rock Pod Pairc.

Last Friday we headed west to Top of the Rock Pod Pairc in Drimolegue, it was not our first trip here as we had been two years ago but the kids being two years older ( 3&5) meant it was a whole different experience and even better than the previous one.

We got a warm welcome from the pod pairc owner David Ross who omits a calm and relaxing vibe that gives you a sense of the kind of experience you will have during your stay.

We opted for a luxury pod again this time as it is the only pod that has a toilet and kitchenette with fridge. The other pods and tent pitches are only a stones throw from the communal kichen/ toilets and showers and communal area (which are all spotless) so it’s not a massive dissadvantage not to be in the luxury pods.

For once we weren’t the last to arrive so while we waited for the rest of our party the kids scoped out our digs and the pairc itself. We got aquainted with the animals and even got to help David feed the crew and get to know and bottle feed Billy the kid who was a big hit with all the children.

When all the gang had arrived we headed off down to the river for a paddle, unfortunately my battery had gone flat so I couldn’t capture the gorgeous scenery and the beautiful mountains as we went cross country from the pod pairc to the river.

The kids had a ball in the water and on the fantastic stepping stones and it’s possible for older kids/teens to have a swim.

It was a gorgeous walk but uneven for the smallest two so we returned via the road which was quite a challenge as although it is short it is quite steep when your carrying a three year old ! Bring a buggy or carrier if you have a diva or a smallie!

After working up an appetite we cooked tea and just let the kids have a free reign which was just amazing. It was fantastic to be in such a safe space that we could feel comfortable in giving the kids a bit of independence and they had a ball in the playground and met lots of friends.

Little J was very put out when I told him he had to refuse the invite to a “party” some older girls were having in their pod, I suggested he meet them at the swings and thought to myself if he’s getting invites like this at five I’m going to be in trouble in ten years time !!!!

Just before bed I called the kiddies to roast some marshmallows on the superb campfire and funny enough they were ready for bed after that so I had no arguments ! There was a lovely atmosphere around the fire among kids and adults alike and the fun went on till midnight but even though we were right next to the fire it didn’t disturb us at all.

The Following morning after a fantastic sleep the we were all eager to eat breakfast and get going on the Farm Hands programme. This activity wasn’t in operation the last time we visited so we were all eager to enjoy the experience. There is an additional charge for this of e10 per person ( children and adults alike ) but it is well worth the charge as you get almost two hours of fun and education.

We started off at the farm learning the history of the Ross family and farm along with learning about all the animals in the pairc and even meeting the beautiful doves that work as surrogate mothers to hatch the duck eggs. We were lucky enough to see some little ducklings released to the pond also and that was only the beginning !

We then took a stroll to the farmyard and met the climbing goats on our way and learned a lot about tree species, we then hit the farm yard where farm safety was explained to us and the kids enjoyed the straw bale maze!

Then the bit they had all been waiting for ……

The tractor ride !

We all piled in and we were taking on a tour around the farm learning as we went but also stopping off for a picnic of delicious home baked biscuits and Glenillen lemonade (included in price) both were a bit hit with children and adults alike.

When we completed farmhands we went back to the communal area where the kids received a certificate come activity sheet to colour from David.

At that point the kids were tired so we had some lunch and made for the road while the folk that were staying on went for a nap.

We didn’t even make it to Drimolegue before they were sound asleep ! We all had such fun and a jam packed 24hrs the kids absolutely loved it and I had such a relaxing time which is a big win !!!

It was so good to switch off and not “nag” for 24hrs… Top of The Rock is a superb place that every family needs to experience, to switch off and get away from the rat race.

I for one can’t wait to return.

For more info see https://www.topoftherock.ie

When in the area also check out;

Waterfall Alpaca Farm

https://m.facebook.com/waterfallalpacafarm1/

and Glenillen Farm

https://www.glenilenfarm.com

Eight Terrific Titles for your little Terrors!

Looking for some new titles to add to your bookshelf or reading corner or maybe your stuck for a gift idea ?

Hopefully you will like these titles as much as we do ! Mostly in English but with a few as Gaeilge and a sprinkling of Spanish !

Enjoy

xoxo L.

What are Germs ? – Katie Daynes/Martha Álvarez Miguéns/ Susie Harrison.

In this beautiful Usborne lift the flap book we learn what are germs?, where do they live and how do they spread along with much more … This was a great aid in our house to ensure hands were washed etc !

J (5) and L (3) are equally as impressed and intrigued by this fantastic factual and informative book.

This is one from a series of these lift the flap very first questions and answers books and another of our favourites is what is poo !

This is a book that gets read over and over and one we all highly recommend !

Gobnait Ge – Marni Mc Gee / Alison Edgton.

Published by Futa Fata.

An leabhar eile álainn ó Futa Fata…. lèaráidí álainn, scéal deas agus na focail ag bath… gach rud gur maith liom !

An sionnach glic convinces gullible Gobnait that she has lost her ears ! On the search for her ears gobnait gets nearer an nearer to ending up as the foxes next meal … will she realise what’s going on in time !

Another favourite of James’ so much so that when he asked his grandad with no Irish to read it to him James ended up telling the story in English almost word for word !

Futa Fata never let us down when it comes to fantastic stories with beautiful illustrations but this is by far one of our favourites.

Some Dogs Do – Jez Alborough.

“All dogs walk and jump and run, but dogs don’t fly- it can’t be done ….”

Or can it ?

Little pup Sid discovers he can fly one morning on his way to school but none of the other pups believe him as he cannot repeat the fun when asked … the story shows just because you have not seen something done does not mean it can’t be done !

Sid also encourages us to believe in ourselves and that when we do anything is possible ….

A lovely book with illustrations as equally beautiful as the message it sends to little kids.

Mac Tíre na Draíochta – Laurence Bourguignon / Michaél Deruilleux.

Published by Futa Fata.

An leabhar is fearr linn as Gaeilge in ár d teach anois gan amhras… gach Lá nuair a thàinig Maidhceo Mac Tíre ar ais tar eis ag siúl cheap sé go bhí duine no rud eigin isteach sa teach.

Maidhceo decides to give his walk a miss one day and hides until his visitor identifys himself !

His uninvited guest is none other than chearbhall a self professed magic rabbit, an unlikely friendship develops and they are living in harmony until the rest of the pack of wolves get word of his secret and invite themselves for Christmas dinner.

Maidhceo and his new friend need to come up with a clever plan to ensure chearbhall agus a chlann are not on the menu for Christmas dinner !

If you only buy one book this year I suggest this is it, You won’t regret it !

Giddy Up Buckaroos! – Shandy Trent/Tom Knight.

We recently borrowed this book from our local library and my two both loved it ! Join 2 amigos as they use their imagination to enter the wild west !

This is a lovely fun book with great illustrations and a lovely rhyming pattern that is arranged to include twelve fun Spanish words ! The last page and back cover help you by phonetically guiding you with the pronunciations along with giving the translations.

A lovely book for pre schoolers especially if you want to sprinkle some Spanish into everyday life !

See more at http://www.littletiger.co.uk

Babaí Cathal Am Dul A Lui! – Anne Paradis/Katy.

Published by Futa Fata.

A beautiful book to introduce Irish to little people and a lot of fun for tiny hands.

Help Cathal get ready for bed by helping him find all he needs under an aray of flaps..

The Cathal series in general is a lovely one but I really love the board book with these great flaps to engage little ones and develop fine motor skills.

Futa Fata does it again !

Super Red Riding Hood – Gemma Cary/Kelly Caswell.

Right from the first page we see that this girl means business insisting she is to be called “super red riding hood” leaving the traditional “little” in her dust!

Red takes pleasure in helping others and displaying acts of super heroism on a daily basis so it’s no surprise when she encounters the big bad wolf in grandma’s she sees right through him and deals with him efficiently!

This is an empowering re hash of the traditional fairy tale that is less frightening and shows not all little girls need “saving”.

I absolutely llllllooove this book ! And the gruesome twosome got a great kick out of it too ! This is a book I really enjoyed and would highly recommend.

Owl says Hoot – Libby Walden/Amanda Enright.

Caterpillar Books.

This is a beautiful touch and feel book with six beautiful sounds.

We don’t actually own this book but I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve borrowed this from our local library!

Meet the different animals who all have a different lifestyle and sound… this book has gorgeous illustrations, lovely rhyming and realistic sounds with Luna the wolf being our favourite…

This would be a lovely addition to any book shelf that has little hands reaching in ….

Do let me know what you think or I’d you have any must reads you’d like to share please do !

If you like this maybe you’ll like a post on my top ten fave of last year … or my top 10 books as Gaeilge !

See below ;

https://wp.me/p8Fxga-1aq

https://wp.me/p8Fxga-1np

A man may be marvelous but it’s always the mighty who keep the show on the road ….a house is only a home when the lady of it is at her best !

Whoooah what a week … so after ever so cockily celebrating the exit of sickness from our house after a loooong winter, thinking to myself

The weather has changed for the better… this is it now a fun, healthy and energetic summer lies ahead wooohooo…

Boy was I in for a low blow ! I had been feeling quite tired and low for a few days before but Wednesday was when it hit a throbbing throat , feeling hot and cold and completely void of all energy, even the skin on my left leg irratated the right !

But the show had to go on or I put on a few low level performances to say the least … I kept the kids home from preschool as I genuinely didn’t have the energy to drive or dress myself , there was microwavable mash, cooked chicken, pizzas and a trip to the chipper for dinners as i didn’t want to look at a potatoe peeler !!!

Now Mr Mmmm is very good he does his share in the house but the reality is anybody who knows a farmer or anyone involved with farm machinery knows its silly season right now so 9-5 his phone is hopping, he’s  dealing with the machinery and then when he gets home it’s off to tend to his own jobs so I actually can’t remember the last night out or even night in we’ve had together …

Back to my point ..so after a few days floored the wash baskets are overflowing, there isn’t a matching pair of socks to be found and grabbing a clean knickers is a struggle !!!! The floors are mank and the whole house needs a going over … so what’s my point your saying ?

Nobody quite realises what you do at home all day until you don’t ….

We all do it when your partner comes in after work what do you say when they ask “what did you do today ?” What’s the first thing that comes out of your mouth … mmhhhhmm yup NOTHING. … nothing my arse !!!

More like the only person you did nothing for was yourself but that’s a whole other post !

So aside from being sick it was quite an emotional week with the referendum Fri and all the posts on my feed leading up to D-day were buzzing ! Ironically it wasn’t the opposite sides tactics that got me down (as I felt they held no truth for me anyway for the majority of the time) but the many stories of brave women dealing with harrowing scenarios broke me … I just had to scroll on from Wednesday as emotionally I wasn’t able

poor me huh reading about it… just how must all these women have felt ?

So I dragged my sorry arse to the polling station as nothing and I mean nothing would have stopped me… I felt my self looking at each person questioning in my head what way they would vote?

Thankfully common sense has kicked ass and our daughters, nieces , friends and other females we know now can be free to choose … I feel this country is now a little better now for my beautiful girl and I thank everyone of you who voted yes … as for the people who campaigned “religiously” you are amazing .

Anyway the next time you feel you do nothing or your job as mum isn’t quite enough …stop …and you’ll see just how much you do ! Or write down everything you do even just in a two hour frame ! Youll see ….

That was quite a ramble but right now I’m too tired to go editing ! Sometimes you need to leave things be and accept them and not just online !

And Publish !

Xoxo L

And just like that I am mother to a 5 year old !

Every year I say the same thing where did those … years go ! Seriously though he’s five !!!! In September I will no longer have two preshoolers and even now he is well and truly a boy.

If you’ve read my birthday posts before you’ll know I have had parties at home and a cake made on request for the gruesome twosome the last five years as I have so many happy memories of my childhood birthdays and I hope they will too.

That said there is more prep gone into one of these parties than I put into my own wedding …fact ! Because it’s so important to me that they have a blast.

I’ll be the first to admit I probably get a little worked up about the idea … this day last week I was going to paint the kitchen and the hall for the big event…

Really … what planet was I on !!! I barely got the normal household tasks done !

It was great that the celebrations fell on a Sunday as I had all day Saturday to get organised and to make the cake .. this year’s request was batman so we hit Google images and J picked exactly what he wanted , thankfully one of the easier ones too.

For the actual cake I used Pearl Mc Gillicuddy’s all in one bun recipe which I doubled and added 4/5 drops of doTERRA Lime essential oil.

http://kitschow.blogspot.ie/2010/03/372-pearl-mcgillicuddys-all-in-one-buns.html?m=1

and the BBC good food recipe for cream cheese icing but instead of the orange juice I added 4 drops of doTERRA Lime essential oil.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/user/220914/recipe/foolproof-cream-cheese-frosting.

To decorate I follow my picture from Google images and I started as I always do by tracing round the tin on paper and cut out so I know the dimensions I’m working with.

I generally draw the patterns free hand but you could always print a colouring sheet of your child’s favourite characters and work from there, some obviously are easier than others and this batman symbol cake was one of the easier ones !

I first covered the cake with the base colour you can use marmalade, jam or as I did edible glue to stick the pre packed icing on, I then rolled out and made the belt part of the cake.Then using an oval serving dish I had I cut and placed the yellow badge on top.

Next up was the bat sign ! I traced the same oval but took about 2cms off the edges to make a smaller oval. I then used an egg cup and a knife to cut the curves and ultimately make the bat shape !

After that was whacked on I was done !! Definately alot easier than my previous efforts (the two tractors being the hardest !).

Now he’s five of coarse his independence has shot through the roof so he had to cut the cake ! Each year the party and the guest list grows I’m allready dreading the numbers next year when “big school” has started ! We had a lovely day celebrating with family and friends who were so generous and thought full when it came to gifts.

Its safe to say we have enough lego to entertain an army of children and that’s only the new sets I’m talking about !

In his element ! Isn’t that what it’s all about ! That smile ….

* Little miss refused to be in the “family” picture ! *

All over for another year …

Xoxo L.

To see last year’s minion cake and how I made it click here !

https://mindmadnessmilesandmummetime.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/my-son-my-son-i-cant-believe-hes-4/

And little L’s unicorn cake …

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1923683284561977&id=1721773594752948