We own a FOUR year old.

Don’t you think four sounds so much older than three?! It’s like she was a toddler and then LITERALLY OVERNIGHT she has become this proper child who you can chat to (and argue with…) and has her own opinions and ideas. It honestly blows my mind and at least once a day I think ‘HOW are you so grown up?’.

Anyway, she ended up having a whole birthday weekend. We were on holiday in Devon last week so we celebrated a day early and went to the beach which is honestly her happy place. If we could pick up our whole family and bring them with us then we would love to move to the sea.

We all went out for a late lunch at a cafe on a boat and spent the afternoon relaxing in the sun eating chips and ice cream. Perfection.

Her big present was her first bike and she was so happy with it. Hopefully she’ll have a lot of opportunities to get out on it with Daddy over the Summer and practise. She also had Trolls and LOL dolls which is just a four year olds dream.

This kid LOVES a party so she had her first proper birthday party on the Sunday where she invited who she wanted, helped choose the decorations, chose her own outfit and selected all of the music. We had face glitter and temporary tattoos, there was a table where the children decorated a flower pot and then planted a seed in compost and then we had Grace’s favourite songs (an album I entitled ‘The Gracest Hits’… thank you very much.) playing with some disco lights. Oh and a mandatory pass the parcel. It’s a classic for a reason.

I won’t lie, it was a lot of work. I always make a massive deal of the kid’s birthdays so it was never going to be a few balloons and a cake… I just can’t help myself! She loved it though so it was more than worth all of the late nights and long eBay searches. (I’ve done a few ‘DIY’ parties now so if you’d be interested in a Top Tips kind of post then just let me know.)

It was so special to see her playing and laughing with friends that she’s made herself. It definitely made me feel more confident about her starting school in September, which is a whole other blog post in itself.

It’s been a lovely (and exhausting!) few days. My girl has been completely spoilt and I’m completely touched by how much love she has around her. We’re now heading towards the end of preschool and she’s definitely ready for a rest!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

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Current beauty favourites.

A child-free stroll through Boots is my idea of bliss. My dressing table is heaving with beauty junk and I’m always have my radar looking for what’s new. That said, I’m now a busy mum of two so I have much less time to ponce about in front of the mirror so I need products that are easy to use and work hard. I did a beauty and skincare favourites post a couple of years ago and I’ve had a few people request an update so I thought I’d share a few of my current hero products with you.

  • No 7 Radiant Results Nourishing Cleansing Balm. This stuff feels so luxurious and smells lovely. It melts away all of my make up with ease and I really think my skin looks brighter since I’ve been using this.
  • Benefit Rockateur blusher. Admittedly it doesn’t look very exciting in the box but it is the absolute perfect colour for me. I use it everyday and it works with any look. I’ve tried a few other blushers since but I always gravitate back to this one.
  • Schwarzkopf got2b glued hairspray. I’ve been using this for years and years now and I just won’t buy anything else. I spray it on my curls and they last until I wash my hair again (… which is often nearly a week!) I also use it in my daughter’s hair when she has her ballet class and it keeps her wild curls contained in a bun whilst she’s dancing, which is remarkable really!
  • La Roche-Posay Effaclar duo. This little pair have not only cleared up my skin but also faded the scarring I had from past break outs so it’s a complete winner with me. It’s not the cheapest skincare out there but if you keep on eye on their website they often have discount codes on.
  • Paradise Extatic waterproof mascara. This is a complete dupe for the Two Faced Better Than Sex mascara but half the price. I love it!
  • L’Oréal Hydra Genius aloe water. This is the lightest moisturiser I’ve ever used and perfect for the summer months. It absorbs really quickly but still stops my skin from feeling tight for the whole day.
  • Garner Skin Active BB cream + blur. I don’t have very long to put my make up on in the morning so this is perfect for me. I just apply a thin layer with my fingers and it blends it easily and smooths over my skin covering up any scarring or redness whilst not being so thick and cakey that you can’t see my skin beneath it. Ticks all the boxes for me.

I could go on forever but these are just my current ‘must haves’ that I always repurchase. Please let me know your top beauty products or quick tricks! I’m particulary in the market for a so-easy-an-idiot-could-use-it fake tan so that my ghost legs can match the rest of my body so please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Holidays: pre vs post children.

We’ve just returned from a few days away in Spain which was just what we all needed. We go to the same resort every year and always have the best time. I was sorting through some photos when we got back when I found some from holidays that Mr Knight and I went on before we had the children and it made me think about just how different getaways are now. We always say ‘it’ll be nice to have a good break’ but the only thing we’re actually getting a break from is the office and our house! The parenting actually kicks up a few notches as you swap lounging on the beach for ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES.

Holidaying Before Kids

  • Cocktail at lunch? OH GO ON THEN!

    2011

  • Late late nights. If you’re tired you can just have a nice long nap by the pool.
  • You can go from beach to bar in half an hour which includes a shower and some ‘pre going out’ selfies.
  • You go home with a gorgeous tan and everyone remarks at how fabulous you look. You make sure to wear white for a week after you return to really show off that glow.
  • You end up on first name terms with the local bar staff.
  • Travelling involves mooching around duty free and having a leisurely breakfast before sleeping through your flight.

    2012

    2012

 

Holidaying With Kids

  • You will need the biggest beach bag the world has ever seen to contain everyone’s sun cream, towels, snacks, drinks, hats, sunglasses etc. which you will have to lug around all week.
  • Early nights are essential as you know that you’ll have an early start! (Just like at home but with time difference to factor in. Every morning you wake up and work out what time it really is.)
  • Despite being awake from 6am, you won’t actually get out of your accommodation until at least 10am once you have got everyone prepped for a day in sun and packed the bag.
  • You spend all week nagging your children to have more suncream on, drink more water and for goodness sake will you just KEEP YOUR HAT ON!
  • Travelling is a complete logistical nightmare. Essentially you are just trying to occupy your children whilst you wait in various queues for hours.
  • You go home a little bit burnt as your focus was solely on keeping the kids covered…

Relaxing the ‘rules’ feels so good. Ice cream at 10am? Of course! We’re on holiday!

  • Getting to spend quality time together whilst seeing your children discover new surroundings is GOLD. Watching your children jumping in the waves is like nothing else and makes all of the other things more than worth it.

 

Thanks for reading!

Knight Mummy x

Off to school.

A week ago we received our confirmation email about Big Knight’s school placement.

It felt like an eternity ago that we applied and as the day creeped up my stomach was in knots. We had applied for 3 schools, all in our catchment area, but had actually only been on a visit to our 1st choice as our tour of our 2nd choice school was cancelled due to the snow. We just thought we’d worry about looking at the other schools if it came to it.

We were in love with the school we had chosen though. She already attends the preschool so I was desperate for her to stay there to make the transition a bit easier and hopefully stay with some of her friends. We then went on a visit around the school with the head teacher and we had such a great feeling from it; great outdoor space, bright classrooms, lovely staff etc etc. It just had everything that we wanted and we felt like she could really thrive there.

So Monday FINALLY rolled around and I spent the morning refreshing my emails like mad. Like, I’d go to put the kettle on, check emails, get a tea bag, check emails, walk 5 steps to the fridge, check emails… you get the idea! I was driving myself insane so I quickly bundled us up and went into town.

Just like how a watched pot never boils, sure enough after we’d been playing in the library for half an hour, I checked my phone and there it was. I felt a bit sick but gathered the kids up so I could read it without losing them!

She was in.

I did a little happy dance in the middle of the library! I was ecstatic! It’s hard accepting that my big girl is already going off to school but at least I know that she’s going somewhere where she will flourish and be happy. I called my husband at work and then we went to buy celebratory cakes.

I know that during this term, she’ll be going into the Reception class and meeting the teachers and just getting to know the new surroundings which will make such a difference in September. Big Knight gets so anxious about anything new so we’re talking about it a lot and trying to build the excitement. I’ll also get some books for us to read together as they seem to really help her.

So there we go. Soon it’ll be time for uniform buying and parents evening! Please let me know if you have any tips or stories about settling children into school. Big Knight only turns 4 in July so she’ll be really young so I want to help her to be as prepared as possible… I’ll make sure I buy her some really easy school shoes!

Also, I want to make the most of the next few months so let me know if you have any suggestions of things that we should be doing or things that you have planned, like a summer bucket list!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

A letter to the new mum.

To The New Mum.

Firstly, regardless of whether this is your first baby or your seventh, I want to wish you the BIGGEST congratulations. It doesn’t matter if the birth went to plan or not, natural or caesarean, no drugs or high as a kite; you are absolutely incredible!

I’m not a medical expert by any means and I hate unsolicited parenting advice but I’ve had two children myself so I just thought that I’d share some things that I wish I’d known when I had my first baby.

You don’t need to invite the world and his dog to visit you as soon as you get home. Unless you want that, which is great if you do, but if not YOU CAN SAY NO. You have just been through a huge physical and emotional ordeal and you need time and space to heal and enjoy your newborn bubble. With my second baby, I had no visitors in the first week apart from grandparents and it did me the world of good. Hormones are going crazy, you might be full of stitches, nobody is really sleeping, feeding (however you’re going about it) is being established and siblings are adjusting to a new family dynamic. This isn’t a great time for lots of visitors. I realise this might sound a bit cold and I know people are just excited and mean well but you need to put yourself first and visitors will come when you’re ready. No rush.

The best visitors are the ones who put the kettle on or offer to grab something from the shop for you when they arrive and it’s ok to accept the help! They say it takes a village to raise a baby for a reason. If you are lucky enough to have close friends and family then this is the perfect time to use them. Let them cuddle your baby so you can grab a hot shower or accept the offer of a hot meal. Whatever you need, just don’t feel like you have to manage everything alone.

You have just birthed a human being. You are already Super Woman. You do not need to be running around with the vacuum at 2 days postpartum! REST. REST. REST. It makes me cringe when I think about how I forced my husband to go on a walk with me 3 days after my emergency caesarean. I was constantly trying to prove to everyone that I was fine and that I could do everything. Now I can see that NOBODY was judging me, and if they were, who cares?! I barely left the sofa for two weeks after I had my second baby and it was just what my mind and body needed.

Whilst we’re on the subject of being a superhero, keep on top of your painkillers. They are prescribed for a reason, even if you feel fine, just follow your course.

Hormones are completely wild and it can be a really difficult time. Talk to people you love and trust and things will balance out again soon. Have a cry on your mum or explain to your partner if you’re having a down day. This is all perfectly normal and you don’t have to paint on a big smile and pretend you’re cherishing every second (#blessed). If you feel like you’re suffering from a bit more than the ‘baby blues’ then please tell somebody. Go to your GP or Health Visitor or even just check out the PANDAS Foundation who are a charity supporting people with pre and post natal depression. Just don’t suffer alone.

And finally, enjoy your delicious new baby! Time really does fly. Remember nobody knows your baby and your family like you do so trust your instincts and do whatever feels right. You’ve got this!

Thank you for reading,

Knight Mummy x

Another 1st birthday celebration.

It’s happened! My tiny baby turned ONE even though I’ve told him to stop growing up hundreds of time. Sob.

We had the best time celebrating though. We hired the room at our church and threw him a big dinosaur party and I was so pleased with the end result.

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We hired a little soft play which included a slide, soft shapes, rides on, see saw, space hoppers and, his absolute favourite, a ball pit. We had quite a varied age range of guests but they all seemed to really enjoy it and, most importantly, the birthday boy was in his element.

I also did an activity table for the older children with dinosaur masks, colouring, stickers, rubber dinosaur toys and temporary tattoos which I was really pleased with as everything got used.

I filled the room with every dinosaur banner I could find, I had spent many evenings scrolling through eBay, Instagram and Pinterest in preparation. The real stars of the show however were Mr Knight’s dinosaur balloons which he was incredibly proud of!

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Turning one isn’t all fun and games though! Our boy partied so hard that he had to have an hour nap half way through. We just about managed to do his cake and sing happy birthday before he fell fast asleep! It’s hard work being the host so we’ll let him off.

 

His big sister had a brilliant time too. She can be so shy and would’ve really struggled in a situation like this before so it was amazing to see her playing with other children and dancing and just being so happy. The party took quite a lot of preparation but it was so worth it to see how much they loved it.

I didn’t do traditional party bags as I wasn’t 100% sure who was coming and again, we had such a wide age range of children so everyone just went home with a nice slice of cake.

It was so good to have a day just completely focused on our boy. Being the second baby, that probably hasn’t happened since he was actually born!

Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with us.

Afterwards we came home and the mass ‘open every present in sight’ explosion occurred. I’d had every intention of doing lovely thank you cards for everyone but it was impossible to keep track of who had bought what! As usual, good intentions are all I’ve got!

His actual birthday was on the Monday, Mr Knight had it off work and Little Knight missed preschool so we could enjoy the day together. The kids both woke up in such a foul mood and the weather was AWFUL so it looked like it was going to be a fail but we managed to save the day. We went for lunch at Frankie and Benny’s as it’s become a bit of a family favourite and we went swimming in the afternoon which they both really loved. Even with the massive palaver of getting everybody changed it was worth it! We definitely need to start taking them regularly. On the evening we went for a Chinese takeaway and chocolate cake at my parent’s house which was the perfect end to the day.

I have no idea what to do with all of his new toys… this boy is just so loved! He has had the biggest smile on his face throughout his celebrations so I know that he’s had a great time. AND I didn’t even cry once! Success!

Happy Birthday, my gorgeous little bear. I love you more than words and I cannot wait for another year of your cheeky little ways.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

 

 

Another first birthday.

Can you even believe I’m writing this post already? I swear I had this baby a few months ago and now my precious boy will be ONE!

Those of you who have been with me from the start will know that I was also very emotional about my daughter’s 1st birthday (you can read that here) and if I’m honest I was the same at her subsequent birthdays too. When did I turn into that mum? Please tell me I’m not alone in this. Birthdays just seem to really emphasise how quickly time is going and fast children grow up.

I think there are a few reasons why I feel so bittersweet about my boy turning one.

Firstly, he’s my baby! Since he came along, Little Knight became my big girl and he took the position of little, scrumptious baby (which he has filled perfectly). Now he’s making his way into the toddler zone and I am just not ready for that. He’ll be 1, he’s walking now, he eats real food with his real teeth. We’ve decided to get him measured for his first shoes this week and I’m just not ready. I know they say time flies but this last year has DISAPPEARED.

He might be our last baby. Mr Knight and I don’t know what our future holds and if it’s just the two for us then we’ll be saying goodbye to the baby days for good. That is so hard! img_6619.jpg

BUT I’ve accepted that this is just the way I parent! I am an emotional mother (just like my own!!) and that’s ok! I’ll probably cry at every birthday, assembly and school report forevermore.

This weekend we are having a party for our boy to celebrate his first year with so many of our favourite people and it’s going to be really special. His actual birthday is on Monday which Mr Knight has off work so we’ve got swimming and a nice lunch out planned followed by a big nap. What more could a 1 year old want?

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x