After being wiped out for the last week by a particularly voracious sickness bug Jack brought home from nursery, I thought this would be a good time to share my top tips for keeping the bugs at bay (or at least trying to).
We’ve all seen the adverts promoting the benefits of good bacteria but did you know it is important that we are exposed to bad bacteria? It is unhealthy for us to over clean and wipe out all bacteria from our homes before becoming immune to them. This is especially important in children who are developing their immune system, a few coughs and colds are good for them. However too much bacteria is bad news, it is all about finding a balance and you can achieve that balance through simple everyday steps.
And most importantly remember we can’t guide against all germs and as I said earlier, a little sniffle never hurt anyone.
We were quite quiet last week and heres why…..
As first time parents every new experience for Jack is also new to Daddy and I.
Having survived the newborn, weaning, crawling and walking stages and being right at the start of the terrible two’s and potty training we had a few hurdles behind us but this week presented a new one.
As we are on a low income Jack is eligible to 15 hours of free nursery care a week, which I decided to divide into three 5 hour days.
I spent the weekend before researching what I needed to pack, what to expect on his first morning and healthy lunch ideas.
Monday night I was determined that the next morning would go without a hitch, bag packed (with 2 changes of clothes for captain pee, several nappies and wipes), coat and shoes out ready and a lovely healthy lunch made and ready to go.
I wanted to give J the best lunch possible for his first day, a day full of emotion and new experiences. I tried to stick to the main food groups, protein, fruit/veg, carb and dairy, so for J’s first lunch I made a pasta salad of Mattessons smoked sausage, tinned tomatoes, onion, courgette, butternut squash and pasta. I also added a few Ella’s kitchen multigrain snacks, grapes, a box of raisins and huggy bear biccies. I was very impressed by how much of it he ate as he usually picks at his food and some days refuses to eat anything but fruit.
We had taken Jack on two taster sessions and he got stuck in and couldn’t care if we were there or not, unfortunately on Tuesday morning he wasn’t so enthusiastic. Everything was going well until we walked through the nursery doors, then the tears started first from J and then me. Once in the toddler room we tried everything to distract him from “Wow dinosaurs” to staff setting out a colouring activity (his favourite) but as soon as I tried to leave he would cling to my leg like a koala. After about 15 minutes one of the staff took a handful of children out in the garden and as J tagged along Daddy and I were able to slip away, or so I thought. As we closed the door to the toddler room I could hear him hot tailing it from the other end of the nursery and hammering on the door screaming “Mummy!”
It took everything I had to sign him in and leave instead of tearing down the door that stood between me and my hysterical child. It took me a while to settle myself once we were back home and the usual toddler chatter and laughter was replaced by silence. Still at least I got a lot of housework done that morning, with no one under my feet.
As 2pm came round I found myself practically skipping with joy as we climbed in the car ready to collect him. For all his messes, tantrums and refusal to behave some days he is my world and in some ways a rock for my confidence and focus so when he is not around I feel it more than his father.
When we arrived at the door to collect him we were given a run down by the staff about his day and it sounded like a busy one, playing in the garden, dancing to nursery rhymes, playing shop and drawing pictures. He had eaten all of his lunch except for his huggy bear biscuits which he polished off on the journey home.
While we were talking another staff member had gone to collect J from the garden and we could see her point us out to him through the french windows. Once J had caught sight of Daddy and I he excitedly banged on the window then charged down the ramp from the raised garden into the nursery and shouting “Mummy!!!” at the top of his voice, ran into my arms and gave me the biggest hug. For the second time that day I was in tears but this time at the cuteness my boy had just shown.
I was very surprised that Jack refused an afternoon nap once we were home, he doesn’t usually have them but it had been a tiring day. He did however fall asleep at 6pm and when I woke him up for his dinner he said he didn’t want it and went back to sleep until 5am the next morning!
Unsurprisingly he was full of energy and pretty hungry by then so up we got two hours earlier than planned for his second day of nursery. The night before I had packed him a lunchbox full of yummy things such as a dairylea dunkers orange, crackers and a plum mighty four pouch. Jack isnt a big fan of bread so I had bought him some sandwich thins hoping he would prefer them and I even let him choose that days filling, cherry jam he asked sweetly. I cut it into bite size pieces and decorated it with little cucumber stars trying to make it look as appetizing possible but unfortunately when we picked him up he had eaten everything but.
Dropping him off that morning was a little easier but he did take a little coaxing to get stuck in with an activity, giving us time to leave. No tears or hysterics that morning which was a plus and reassured me that I was doing the right thing.
As we arrived to pick him up once again he charged across the room once he saw me and presented me with a picture he had made, his first without my help. It is now in pride of place on his art wall, as silly as it sounds I am very proud of that picture because he made it all by himself by joining in with the other children.
That afternoon Jack had his first afternoon nap in a long time, even if it did take a bit of wriggly toddler wrestling to get him down.
Jack woke up on Thursday morning coughing and sneezing and was hard work that morning, point blank refusing breakfast and having to be held down just to brush his teeth. Dropping him off felt like we were back to square one, because he felt under the weather he just wanted Mummy cuddles but he wasn’t poorly enough to keep home.
30 minutes in and I was still crouched on the floor trying to be overly enthusiastic about the toy trains as Jack sobbed into my shoulder. One of the staff suggested going into the garden, remembering how much J liked the bubbles they were blowing on Tuesday. He soon got stuck in chasing the bubbles and Daddy and I slipped out the back gate and I tried to ignore the hysterics of my screaming child as we walked back round the sign him in.
Again once it was time to go home Jack didn’t want to leave but was just as clingy with me as he had been that morning, a sure sign he was feeling a bit poorly. Foreseeing this I had bought him a new colouring book earlier in the day which distracted him long enough to get him in the car.
Phew, I hope this week is slightly easier.
Have your little ones started school or nursery recently?
Jack, Daddy and I are big fans of The Battle of Britain aircraft (Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancaster bombers) and are lucky enough to live just down the road from RAF Coningsby where the Battle of Britain memorial flight is based.
This year is very special in the RAF world as the only two flying Lancaster bombers are flying together for the 1st time in over 60 years. A Canadian Lanc called ‘Vera’ has joined our Lanc called ‘Thumper’ for the 2Lancs tour, flying at displays and events around the country .
There is another Lancaster at East Kirkby called ‘Just Jane’, which unfortunately does not have its airworthy certificate but does taxi along the runway. Through The Battle of Britain memorial flight facebook page I learnt that ‘Vera’ and ‘Thumper’ were flying over ‘Just Jane’ while she taxied along the runway and that it would only happen on two different days (2nd and 7th of September), a once in a lifetime sight.
Daddy and I decided that with Jacks nursery taster session on the morning of the 3rd it would be better to aim for Sunday 7th of September, and it was lucky that we did as the fly over on the 2nd was cancelled while ‘Vera’ had an engine replaced.
It wasn’t until that cancellation that I learnt the events were ticket only to see all 3 Lancs and both events were sold out, however the two airworthy Lancasters would be returning to base at RAF Coningsby shortly after and they have a viewing car park that allows you to watch aircraft take off and land. As a bonus RAF Coningsby is slightly closer than East Kirkby, a plus when you get travel sick and have a restless 2 year old in the car.
When Sunday afternoon came round the three of us packed a few snacks for the journey and my Ipad and camera (to take as many pictures as possible) and set off for the 40 minute journey. When we got there the car park was overflowing and people were parking on the embankment along the side of the road, luckily we found a space and once parked got a good spot at the fence.
Jack not really knowing what we were waiting for started to get restless and this is where the snacks came in handy. Munching away happily he stood by my side while Daddy, I and everyone around us scanned the skies and tried to listen for the sound of eight roaring Merlin engines over the noise of the passing traffic.
A man standing next to me nudged my arm and pointed at a hangar across the airfield, telling me
“there they are”
Now I have 20/20 vision but do have trouble picking out details on light backgrounds such as the bright blue sky that day. I couldn’t see a thing and was getting more and more frustrated as the excited muttering around me grew and even Daddy said
“I can see them, their over there”
Where!!! I can’t see them.
It was at that point we heard the faint growl of the engines and even Jack piped up
Ah right THERE they are, I see them now.
I took tight hold of the reins I had on Jack, knowing full well he would try to charge off in the direction of the aircraft and selected the camera option on my shiny new Ipad while Daddy was on camera duty.
We couldnt have picked a better spot at the fence as they flew a lap of the base, right over our heads!
Within a few minutes both ‘Vera’ and ‘Thumper’ had landed and J lost interest again, until Daddy put him on his shoulders for a better view.
That afternoons excitement caught up with J on the journey home as he nodded off, Brewer the bear in hand of course.
Have you experienced a once in a lifetime sight?
Craft activities are a brilliant way for toddlers to have fun and learn at the same time. There are so many ways you can combined the two, how about a colour in world map or learning to cook.
With his cousins birthday earlier this week Jack and I spent last weekend making a picture for him.
Jack loves crafting and viking direct very kindly sent us a box full of goodies, some of which we used on the picture.
I let Jack have free access to paper, colouring books and crayons but have never let him use felt tips before for fear of stains on his clothes and drawings all over the house. The ‘color peps’ felt tips are water soluble so easily wash out of clothes and off hands and with broad nibs, they are perfect for little ones.
We also used UHU glue stick and googly eyes to make a monster, made by my little monster. I am impressed by the range of crafting items for low prices at Viking direct, especially as I always thought they were only an office supplier.
Such a simple activity that kept Jack busy for over an hour, ripping tissue paper, gluing and sticking and colouring in.
Earlier in the week we did a similar activity by making an underwater scene using black sugar paper, paint and lots of foil, tissue paper and fish shapes.
This time however I wasn’t so trusting of the poster paint and striped J down to his nappy.
Little crafts like these help improve hand eye coordination and allow self expression and we all know the meltdowns when your little one can’t express what they are thinking or feeling.
We also made gingerbread biscuits (which you can read here) which allowed Jack to start learning about weights and quantities. He helped me mix the ingredients, roll out and cut the biscuits and decorate them once they had been cooked.
Because he made them himself J also has a sense of pride that he wouldn’t have got had I made the biscuits for him.
There are lots of sites out there with craft ideas, a few that I use are:
intheplayroom (for our role play makes and junk modelling)
Red Ted Art (for our loom band makes, model making and character makes).
What crafts do your little ones enjoy?
Disclaimer: Viking Direct sent me these items to review. All opinions/photos are my own.
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