Taking Baby Passport Photos at Home

Leaving The Country With Your Children

I’ve had a couple of really nice holidays this year with my children. We staying in a caravan in south Wales and we enjoyed a week away with friends in Whitstable. We were lucky to have great weather on both holidays but living in sunny Britain, great weather can never be guaranteed.

We have decided to go to Majorca later this year which will be Olivia’s first flight and George’s first flight where he has his own seat. We booked flights as soon as Olivia was born but then the timer started ticking… time to get her first passport.  Continue reading “Taking Baby Passport Photos at Home”

Mummy Medals August 2017

Mummy Medals

Feel free to comment or make suggestions for the regular questions I should ask myself in my Mummy Medals feature. If you would like to write your own mummy medals and appear as a guest post, please get in touch. 

Mummy Medals Achieved This Week

  • Juggling Mummy – went to a playgroup on my own with to children
  • Tantrum, What tantrum?

Continue reading “Mummy Medals August 2017”

The Mummy Medals

Mummy Medals

Parenting can sometimes seem like a long slog. It can be frustrating  yet fun and frantic. It has been almost 15 weeks since the arrival of my beautiful Olivia. It has gone so fast. I want to make sure I remember the important milestones so I’m making a “Mummy Medals” regular post to help me remember what these little ones are up to when I look back. Its also good to make myself that I’m doing a good job even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.

Feel free to comment or make suggestions for the regular questions I should ask myself in my Mummy Medals feature.

Mummy Medals Achieved This Week

  • Gardening
  • Marking
  • Cold call redirect
  • Juice making
  • Nappy changing
  • Reunited with monkey

What am I proud of myself for this week?

I planted a rockery this week and pulled out all the nettles in my overgrown garden to make it safe for George and Olivia. The garden still has a long way to go but I feel like he can play and enjoy being out there now without being in too much danger.

Alpine rockery newly planted with patio and stone walls to the rear
Alpine rockery freshly planted and watered in my garden

How did George make me Proud?

George makes me proud every day. This weekend we had some friends over with toddlers. George was tired and spent the first couple of hours either napping or in a sleepy tantrum. Eventually he woke up and started to play with the other children. It was so nice to watch him play and interact with others.

Toddler George plays on a red Keyboard in a lush green garden
George practicing his music skills on the keyboard

George has also started to make longer sentences although his favourites are:

  • Open it
  • Get down
  • I do it
  • More juice

How did Olivia make me Proud?

She has started to give us one of the best gifts a baby gives it parents… sleep! She has started to sleep much better at night and it almost feels like we get a good nights sleep most nights. She has the odd 4am wake up but I can’t complain as George was up every 2 hours until he was 10 months old.

She has also practicing her amazing cuteness with lovely cues.

Baby Olivia cooing and looking at the camera
Baby Olivia caught cooing

He neck strength is improving and she had her first bounce in the Jumperoo this week, although I think she still needs a couple of weeks as it did seem a little overwhelming for her.

Funniest Moments

I put George on the phone to a cold caller. He had quite a conversation. I expect a new energy pack through the door any day now.

Toddler drinks juice and hold phone to ear listening to a cold caller
George drinking juice and chatting to a cold caller

Mummy Medal: Cold call redirect

I caught George putting some of his board letters in his mouth. I told him “out your mouth”. He complied, then I saw him hide his mouth and put a letter in again. He thought because I couldn’t see his mouth I didn’t know what he was up to. I had to hold in the laughter as I told him “out your mouth” again as I was starred at with suspicious eyes.

Frustrating Moments

I think the most frustrating moments have involved an overtired George. He seems to be dropping his daytime nap now unless he has a car journey. He gets really grumpy and throws himself on the floor at the first sight of not getting what he wants immediately. For Example: I managed to place him in the pushchair asleep as I “nipped” into Morrisons. I placed his toy Rattie with him but when he woke up he wanted Monkey! I spent most of the trip around the supermarket with a crying toddler who only wanted Monkey. I tried to get out as fast as I could but it was frustrating to watch as I just wanted to make him feel better, poor thing. I was glad Monkey was waiting for him in the car… Phew!

Mummy Medal: Reunited with Monkey

Guilty Moments

I have been marking GCSE Chemistry and this has been taking my time where I wanted to spend it with the kids. It will pay for our summer holiday spending money though so I can’t feel too guilty. I just don’t want to miss out on any previous moments.

Any Plans?

I’m looking forward to the Crich Village Fete on Saturday. We haven’t been before but it is supposed to be great for kids. I might even meet some other mummy’s with toddlers George’s age.

I also have a meal with my work colleagues on Thursday. One colleague is leaving and another retiring. I’m so happy for them both as they are going onto new adventures. It will be nice to see them and give them a send off.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Mummy Medals. What are your Proud moments this week?

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101 Ways To Get Creative With a Box #cardboardboxkidfun


1. The Ultimate Hiding Place

This is actually a little bit of fun. Why is it that we buy (or have bought for us) expensive toys… and lots of them, then it’s the humble cardboard box that gets pride of place at play time?

So if you want to know 101 Ways of getting creative with a cardboard box, just give your kid one and they’ll show you!

Share and comment with your box fun pics. Don’t forget the hashtag #carboardboxkidfun

Let’s have some fun with this and see what our kids come up with.


GCSE’s – Success Is Still Possible With Retakes

GCSE Season is complete

This is an incredible time for most GCSE students. Months of hard work, revision and dedication are over. It’s finally time to relax and wait, wait to see if the hard work has paid off. Interviews for college and 6th form have been completed and provisional offers are in place. The only thing left is to enjoy the summer.

August approaches

GCSE exam results day is 24th August this year. Students will file into their eerily quiet schools to collect an envelope that contains their hard earned results. As a teacher I am often there along with many other teaching colleagues to so show support for my students. Year upon year I see similar expressions through different faces.

Overjoyed and elated – They got the results they wanted or needed to progress on their chosen path. The elation comes from remembering how hard they worked and that they do actually deserve this result.

Happy as expected – This student was confident throughout the GCSE process and found the exams to be as expected and their results are as such, as expected.

Disappointed as expected – This student may not have realised they needed to work hard to attain results and they underachieved. They may have known at the time of their exams that they hadn’t done enough but still held some hope that they may have done better.

Completely devastated – It’s hard not to feel for these students. They are distraught. They may have worked their socks off but for one reason or another just didn’t get the grades they needed to progress.

It is heartbreaking to see any student disappointed. It feels like now more than ever there is so much pressure on them to do well. To make matters even more confusing the grading system is changing from A*-G to Grades 9-1. I try to use mindfulness techniques to help students cope with this stressful time.

What if the grades aren’t enough?

I’d like to reassure anyone who doesn’t get the results they want that it is not the end of the world. Some of us take a little longer reaching our goals and believe it or not there is help out there.

The difference between a grade C and a grade D is one mark, but unfortunately some students miss out by this tiny margin and need to retake the exam in order get onto their preferred course. If you or your child ends up in this situation there are options available.


For many students their final year would have been filled with pressure and a longing for it to be over. Why would anyone want to go through all that again? It can be off putting and some students give up at this point. However, there are specialist colleges for retaking GCSEs  such as Rochester Independent College. At Rochester Independent College students can start their A-Levels in the subjects they enjoy whilst working towards retakes into the GCSE’s that they need to improve upon. The wonderful thing about this is that the students can start to enjoy their education by becoming more specialised. This serves as motivation for retaking the GCSEs. As colleges such as this are invested in the student doing well in the A-Levels they have great support in place for GCSE retakes.

Student sat on laptop revising for GCSE
Study for Success

It is worth knowing that this option is available before your child collects their results envelope. If the results don’t come back as expected, taking positive steps to support the success of your child could make a huge difference in keeping them in education and on track to a successful future.