VirtuallyAllSorts

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What would you add for your little one’s development?

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This week marked the 4th birthday of our ‘little’ one.  As I was going through my emails, I read one from babycentre.co.uk.  Way back, when I did a positive pregnancy test, I signed up for several websites that email you baby development information.  I’ve been reading these emails with interest over the last few years, noting that our little bear is developing well.

None more so than one titled ‘Your preschooler – four year old, first month’.  Here is an extract of the ‘blurb’:

“If three year olds are busy, inquisitive and fun, four year olds are all that, magnified yet with a budding maturity, self-control and understanding of rules that help make life a bit calmer.  Wariness around new people wanes, and your child will probably enjoy making some new friends and having some playdates.”

As I followed the link (which will be available at the end of this blog), I nodded my head in total agreement at the points raised;

  • Frustration ~ “I can do it!”  Although we try to let our little one do things herself and work things out logically, time inevitably doesn’t always allow.  So when asked if she wants help with ‘that zip’ or ‘those buttons’, you get the determined reply, “no, I can do it!”
  • Expression ~ Our little bear got ‘Star of the Week at her pre-school last term.  It was for ‘being kind and thoughtful’ when she looked after her friend when another child wasn’t so nice to them.  We see this more and more from our daughter.  She’s very expressive physically and verbally when she tells us about when someone has been “naughty” or when someone shouldn’t use a words such as “pooh pooh head”…
  • “I’ll check my diary!” ~ are words I find myself uttering more and more nowadays.  Not for myself but for our bear.  Her social life has turned into ours!  I ‘speak’ to good friends and old colleagues by text and social media but unfortunately rarely glimpse them in the flesh.  Other parents, however, are the ones that I chat to over sipping squash in plastic cups and party food (our childrens’ parties, not ours!).  So many of my new found friends are from when our bear and their little one have met in the ‘gloop’ at Messy Play or from singing ‘Old McDonald’ at playgroups.  Don’t ask me about The Great British Bakeoff because I haven’t a clue.  CBeebies schedule and theme tunes however and I’m your woman!…

This is not an exhaustive list of development areas but points I have taken from the email.

You can see the full article here.

What would you add for your little one?

Disclaimer: This is not an official link to or from Babycentre.co.uk.  All words and opinions are my own.

Picture source: baby.more4kids.info via Pinterest (this little girl is not ours)

Read my emotional and inspiring true story ‘Diary of a Complicated Pregnancy’. Available now through my website at Virtually All Sorts. 50% of sales to the charity Action on Pre-Eclampsia. …and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @ComplicatedPreg

Also available – my indispensable guide to avoiding Working Mum Guilt. Whether you are about to return or have already started back, this book offers practical solutions and feedback from real Mums with real families in real situations. Covering topics such as Post Natal Depression, childcare options, yours and your child’s development and time management – Ditch the guilt today! … and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @WorkingMumGuilt

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It’s a tragedy…

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I must try to see more quality Shakespeare.

After a brief chat with my Mum about a poor production of ‘Hamlet’, it got me to thinking of an excellent film adaptation I saw years ago.  Mel Gibson was Hamlet and Helena  Bonham-Carter was Ophelia.  Having studied ‘Hamlet’ at A-level too many years ago to be specific, I can remember a handful of quotes from the play.  I’m sure I’ll remember them to my dying day. Not so much because of the duration of my study or technique but because of my fascination with, and love of, The Bard.

One memory of my English A-level days is the difficulty I had in translating my understanding of the themes and structure into an essay of above average standard.

A fantastic teacher, Mrs Walker, gave up a handful of her lunchtimes out of the goodness of her literature-filled heart and nurtured a few of us on how to breakdown the points of a play and then expand the points into a structured essay that makes sense.  She truly was an inspiration.  Like the quotes, I will never forget her passion and patience.

Back to The Bard ~ I do love a bit of Shakespeare.  In fact Olde English literature such as Ben Jonson (‘Volpone’) and of course Geoffrey Chaucer (‘The Miller’s Tale) were both works of literature that gripped me and I thoroughly enjoyed breaking each scene down, and down again into intricate studies.

The language, the double entendres, the wit, the sarcasm, the tragedy.

Ah, the tragedy.

“The rest is silence.” William Shakespeare, ‘Hamlet’ 5.2

What’s your favourite tragedy?

Read my emotional and inspiring true story ‘Diary of a Complicated Pregnancy’. Available now through my website at Virtually All Sorts. 50% of sales to the charity Action on Pre-Eclampsia. …and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @ComplicatedPreg

Also available – my indispensable guide to avoiding Working Mum Guilt. Whether you are about to return or have already started back, this book offers practical solutions and feedback from real Mums with real families in real situations. Covering topics such as Post Natal Depression, childcare options, yours and your child’s development and time management – Ditch the guilt today! … and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @WorkingMumGuilt

Thank you.

Picture source: http://www.etsy.com/listing/80076944/feather-quill-ink-well-pendant-vintage

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Most definitely human ~ It’s in the bag…

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I was reading my virtual friend’s blog recently and we got commenting about being a mum and our under-eye bags…

So, to follow on from our light-hearted comments, here is a tongue-in-cheek run-down of why I am most definately human and not a mummy robot.

My list of bags:

  • The mandatory under-eye bags ~ Show me a mum (or dad!) that hasn’t got these and I’ll show you the definition of ‘botox’.
  • Changing bag ~ In the early mummy days the changing bag doubled up as my handbag or to put it more accurately, my shoulder bag.  With every possible scenario covered for a shopping trip or just a simple trip to playgroup, the park, there was all manner of items crammed into the changing bag.  Over time, the changing bag has got more and more dog-eared, the velcro has lost its stickiness and the nappies have been replaced with emergency clothes.  If you look right at the bottom you will likely find a stale quaver or similar snack.  There will also be said stale snack lurking in my…
  • Working bag ~ I covered this in a recent blog.  Ask any working mum and you will probably be told that they also have a ‘work bag’.  Mine contains the most important (and boring) item for my daily walk to and from work… waterproofs!  So, my working bag is different to my…
  • ‘Own bag’ ~ because I like to at least try to keep my ‘own bag’ for me.  I’m sure that you will find yet another stale snack lurking somewhere but ultimately it’s all mine.  Essentials such as purse, keys, a couple of paracetomol, perfume, curled-up-at-the-corners supermarket coupons (oh yes!), diary, pen, notepad, small makeup bag (though to be honest it’s hardly an essential as I rarely get time to or remember to put any slap on these days!), nail files (nothing worse than a snagged nail that keeps catching).  Now you see why I need a separate ‘own bag’ – I’d never fit it in my ‘work bag’.

As our little girl gets bigger, I still seem to be laden down with baggage when really, perhaps I shouldn’t be.  Perhaps it’s because I like to be prepared and when you’re struggling for time, and scurrying to and from pre-school, childminder and work, it’s just easier to have everything possible to hand.  If she asks for something, at least I’m confident that it’s in the bag…

Read my emotional and inspiring true story ‘Diary of a Complicated Pregnancy’. Available now through my website at Virtually All Sorts. 50% of sales to the charity Action on Pre-Eclampsia. …and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @ComplicatedPreg

Also available – my indispensable guide to avoiding Working Mum Guilt. Whether you are about to return or have already started back, this book offers practical solutions and feedback from real Mums with real families in real situations. Covering topics such as Post Natal Depression, childcare options, yours and your child’s development and time management – Ditch the guilt today! … and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @WorkingMumGuilt

Thank you.

Picture source: jowebereconomist.wordpress.com; Image from “Superhuman Robots with Artificial Muscles: A Reality.”

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How do you write what you write?…

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…I would be interested to know.

Me?  I have a favourite pen which feels ‘right’ and glides across the paper effortlessly as I scrawl my notes and ideas, which come flowing from head to paper.

Yes, paper!  I have a wad of scrap paper held together by a good old-fashioned bulldog clip.  I love writing like this.  To me, it feels ‘raw’, which helps to inspire and spur me on.

Rare is the moment when I type straight onto a screen.  In fact, this usually gives me writer’s block.

I would love to own a beautiful fountain pen to scrawl my notes with but feel it would be over-indulgent.  Perhaps I’m romanticising the whole process and have seen too many pictures of original Jane Austen manuscripts…

My notepad with trusty bulldog clip stays at home.  Dreaded is the day that I ever lose my beloved higgledy-piggledy notes.  Not dreaded for the fear of some unappreciative soul finding them (I doubt they would find my notes legible!), but dreaded for the fear that I have lost a part of my creativity and brainstorming.  I do carry a small notepad everywhere, of course I do.  Just like I’m sure many of you lovely readers do.  My wad of paper and trusty bulldog clip stays safely tucked up at home, like a faithful pet awaiting my return!…

So, how do you write what you write?

Read my emotional and inspiring true story ‘Diary of a Complicated Pregnancy’. Available now through my website at Virtually All Sorts. 50% of sales to the charity Action on Pre-Eclampsia. …and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @ComplicatedPreg

Also available – my indispensable guide to avoiding Working Mum Guilt. Whether you are about to return or have already started back, this book offers practical solutions and feedback from real Mums with real families in real situations. Covering topics such as Post Natal Depression, childcare options, yours and your child’s development and time management – Ditch the guilt today! … and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @WorkingMumGuilt

Thank you.

 

Picture source: Bulldog clip de alfabeto de Dave via http://www.uppercasemagazine.com via Pinterest

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The party starts here!… and here and here…

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I love that it’s currently party season.  No, I’m not talking about an early Christmas party but our little one’s jam-packed social diary!

Last weekend she had 2 parties (with 2 of her very best pre-school friends), yesterday she had another with a childminder friend, and next week she has one with one of her best playgroup friends.  Then, after a week’s respite, she has her own birthday party!

It’s got to be said that it’s exhausting for her and us BUT I love it… and so does she.

I love the socialising with other parents – my friends that understand my celebrations and woes, my friends that can relate to my dilemmas and often offer advice.

I love seeing our bear go off and play with her friends as they all step into their own worlds.  A world which seems daft and crazy to us grown-ups but make perfect sense to them.

I love that when our little bear says goodbye to her friends at the end, they call each other by rhyming, crazy nicknames!

The sugar crash from the party food and cake isn’t quite so much fun, admittedly.  But, let’s be honest, is an inevitable aftermath of parties…  and actually, I love that too!

Read my emotional and inspiring true story ‘Diary of a Complicated Pregnancy’. Available now through my website at Virtually All Sorts. 50% of sales to the charity Action on Pre-Eclampsia. …and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @ComplicatedPreg

Also available – my indispensable guide to avoiding Working Mum Guilt. Whether you are about to return or have already started back, this book offers practical solutions and feedback from real Mums with real families in real situations. Covering topics such as Post Natal Depression, childcare options, yours and your child’s development and time management – Ditch the guilt today! … and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @WorkingMumGuilt

Thank you.

Picture source: http://www.bestbirthdaywishes.net

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Drawing and doodling ~ Is it just ‘a phase’?

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Our little bear absolutely loves colouring, doodling and drawing at the moment.  It would be lovely if it’s not an ‘age thing’ or a ‘phase’ but if it is, so be it.  At least she’s happy.  Either way, we saw the perfect opportunity to nurture her current hobby when The Book People had a pile of books on show at her pre-school.  We had a leaf through ‘The Usborne book of Drawing, Doodling and Colouring for Girls’ by Lucy Bowman.  

We ordered it, we got it and we’re very impressed.  It’s great quality, there’s lots to do and plenty of space to let her imagination run wild with her own doodles and squiggles.

It’s very reasonably priced and well worth the money.  I can’t wait to see her little face when she opens her birthday present in a couple of weeks!

What does your little one like to doodle?

Read my emotional and inspiring true story ‘Diary of a Complicated Pregnancy’. Available now through my website at Virtually All Sorts. 50% of sales to the charity Action on Pre-Eclampsia. …and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @ComplicatedPreg

Also available – my indispensable guide to avoiding Working Mum Guilt. Whether you are about to return or have already started back, this book offers practical solutions and feedback from real Mums with real families in real situations. Covering topics such as Post Natal Depression, childcare options, yours and your child’s development and time management – Ditch the guilt today! … and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @WorkingMumGuilt

Thank you.

Diclaimer: This product was purchased for us, by us.  All views and opinions are mine and not those of The Book People Ltd.

Picture source: http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk

 

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Encouraging Literacy ~ words & shapes

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As our ‘little’ one approaches her 4th birthday, her Mummy and Daddy (that’s us!) are so very proud of her in so many ways.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to gush about our little girl for the whole of this blog – although I easily could…  Instead I’m going to say how proud we are that she will say has begun to form letters.  She will say, “I’m going to do some drawing and letters,” and go off to her drawer to do just that.  She has particularly enjoyed the Top That! Early Learning Fun: Words and Shapes sticker activity floor pad.  It’s an excellent activity book which has encouraged her to form letters by tracing the dots and it goes without saying that she loves the stickers!

Just this weekend, instead of making her friend Jack a birthday card,  she formed some letter on some scrap paper for him.  We popped them in an envelope and she was very pleased with herself.  She has been able to write her first name for months and after reading about literacy online this week, it seems that this is no coincidence.  Since she was around 3 months old, we have done all of the following with her:

  • Read to her
  • Pointed out everyday objects to her
  • Talked her through the activity we are doing (such as cooking, putting her in her car seat/pushchair)
  • Chatted to her while she was kicking happily and admiring herself in the mirror under her play gym

In short, we have encouraged her with every little thing she has done right with her literacy.  From when she has pointed to an object and repeated the right word, to pointing to a letter/number and repeating the right one, and reading her the same stories that she has asked for over and over… and over and over again… and again!

Parenting is hard work.  Quite possibly the hardest job you will ever find but the most rewarding – if done with your heart and soul in the right place.

However, if you lay the foundations and build them up steadily, they will soon allow your little one to shine through.  

Trust us, we know.

 

Read my emotional and inspiring true story ‘Diary of a Complicated Pregnancy’. Available now through my website at Virtually All Sorts. 50% of sales to the charity Action on Pre-Eclampsia. …and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @ComplicatedPreg

Also available – my indispensable guide to avoiding Working Mum Guilt. Whether you are about to return or have already started back, this book offers practical solutions and feedback from real Mums with real families in real situations. Covering topics such as Post Natal Depression, childcare options, yours and your child’s development and time management – Ditch the guilt today! … and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @WorkingMumGuilt

Thank you.

Disclaimer: This product was purchased for us by a family friend.  All views and opinions are mine and not those of Top That! publishing plc. 

Picture source: Amazon.co.uk

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How to be like Mr Happy and self-publish your book!

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So here are the final steps to self-publish your eBook.  If you missed the start of the guide, click here.

  • You’ve got your ISBN, edited your book, chosen your format and got a professional-looking book cover.  Great, let’s crack on.
  • Research your price and do your marketing plan.  Get a good old-fashioned calendar and back up important reminders with the calendar on your ipad, desktop or phone.  (Be careful of distractions while doing this… procrastination can creep up in the blink of an eye!)  Note days to tweet, update your facebook page, comment in forums and blogs.  And share, share, share!
  • Happy with the finished book?  Great!  Now to put your ISBN on your copyright page and allocate it to your book on Nielsen.  While you’re there, don’t forget to upload the book cover to Nielsen as well.
  • Get it out there by uploading the file to the platforms you’ve chosen and here comes the hard but satisfying part…follow your marketing plan.

Read my emotional and inspiring true story ‘Diary of a Complicated Pregnancy’. Available now through my website at Virtually All Sorts. 50% of sales to the charity Action on Pre-Eclampsia. …and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @ComplicatedPreg

Also available – my indispensable guide to avoiding Working Mum Guilt. Whether you are about to return or have already started back, this book offers practical solutions and feedback from real Mums with real families in real situations. Covering topics such as Post Natal Depression, childcare options, yours and your child’s development and time management – Ditch the guilt today! … and visit my facebook page or follow me on twitter @WorkingMumGuilt

Thank you.

Picture source: positivityworks.wordpress.com via pinterest

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