Sunny Sunday ♥

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It’s late Sunday night, way past my bedtime really as I’ve got work tomorrow but just wanted to squeeze in a quick post to finish the week off. It has been a lovely weekend – less busy than of late which is exactly what we needed. A full social life is great but too much of a good thing can be, well, too much sometimes.

I went for dinner at a friend’s house on Friday but yesterday was mostly spent at home apart from swimming and ballet lessons in the morning and a trip to the supermarket in the afternoon. Gardening, catching up on homework and watching the World Cup were all on the agenda. Today Casper’s school held its annual summer fete which is always a fun day out. The kids had a great time catching up with friends, spending their pocket money on silly toys that will last all of five minutes and eating far too many sweets.

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{Clemmie and Casper going down the bouncy castle slide at the summer fete }

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{Cameron spent most of the afternoon at the ‘Beat the Goalie’ stall. As long as he’s got a football, he’s happy!}

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{Clemmie held on very tightly to her lucky jar. Prior to the fete parents are asked to fill jam jars with sweets and small toys which are then sold for £1 on the day.}

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{I also managed to do some baking today as it’s Clemmie’s birthday this week and she’s having a little party for her friends on Tuesday.}

Definitely time to go to bed now! Hope you’ve all had a great weekend. X

 

Five on Friday

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{Clemmie playing school with her dolls. It must be a girl thing – I don’t remember the boys doing this}

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{This guy went away on a school trip for three nights this week – the longest we’ve been apart since he was born. He returned safely today – tired and dirty but having had a fab time with all his friends}

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{Husband came home from work early yesterday so we put the kids in the car and went for an early dinner at our local Thai. The yummiest Pad Thai I have had in a long time and a cheeky glass of rose on a Thursday night}

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{I’ve been admiring the gorgeous flowers on display at our local florist. Now the sunny weather has arrived it is time to spruce up the garden, methinks}

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{A football tournament for Cameron, swimming for Casper, a princess birthday party for Clemmie and a trip to London for me to see The Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition are all on the agenda this weekend. It’s going to be a good one!}

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! X

 

Too Cool for School

Clemmie in pink hat

{Ready for school?}

One of the interesting things about living in a different country to the one where you were born and spent your early years, is that it gives you a great platform for comparison. For instance, in my view, people in England are more tolerant and prepared to poke fun at themselves than their Swedish counterparts. On the other hand Sweden has cleaner air and more green spaces and things like public transport tend to run more efficiently. I could go on and on, but the purpose of this post is to talk about one difference between the two nations and that is how the education system works. In Sweden the school intake is determined by the calendar year a child was born in, from January onwards. As I was born in October I was one of the youngest in my year, not one of the oldest as I would have been here in the UK where the reception class intake includes all children who turn four before September 1 of that school year. However, the big difference is that I started school just before my seventh birthday, not just after my fourth birthday as my daughter is expected to do this coming September. I should point out that the system in Sweden has changed slightly since I lived there and children now start in Year 0 (equivalent to Reception) the year that they turn six (although it is not statutory schooling at this stage and parents do not have to apply for permission if they want to take their kids out of school for holidays etc)

In the last year I have had major reservations about my daughter starting school so young. With my boys it was never really an issue as they were born in late October and early November respectively and were almost five when they started in Reception. It seems almost absurd that my daughter and her cousin, who lives in Sweden and is only six months younger, will be three school years apart. As my sister’s daughter is born in January she will be six and a half when she starts school in 2017, the same year that Clemmie moves up to year 3 at the Junior School, having already completed three years at infant school!

Despite being a third child, Clemmie seems younger than her brothers did at the same age. Careful and shy until she gets to know people, she finds new situations like birthday parties incredibly daunting, preferring to sit close to me rather than joining in. On a more personal level, I really feel like I am making great headway in bringing her up to be bilingual and I know that as soon as she starts school, English will start to take over as she will be expected to ‘read’ books and do homework pretty much from the start.

I have looked into other options, such as enrolling her at the American school that I went to as their formal education starts later, but with two other school age children, logistically speaking it is just not possible. In Ireland, parents of children born between May-August can decide if they want their child to start school just after their fourth or fifth birthday. It seems that England is slowly moving in the same direction and after reading this article on the BBC News site I thought it was worth asking about the possibility of deferring Clemmie’s school place for another year. This afternoon I met with the head teacher at the local school and spoke to her about my concerns. She has promised to check the rules for deferment requests with the council and get back to me next week. I know it is only a very slim possibility but if there is any way that I can keep her in preschool and at home with me for a year longer I will definitely take it.

Part of me does wonder if I only feel like this because I know that, for us, living in another country with a different approach to early years education is not a far-flung fantasy but an option that we could easily have chosen. The majority of the people around me seem pretty happy to accept the status quo but whether that is because they are actually happy about it or because they have never been presented with any other viable alternatives is another question.

Five on Friday

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{Clear blue skies and pretty blossoms made me smile despite the runny nose and sore throat}

I sat down to write this post and suddenly realised just how tired I am. The weekend really couldn’t come at a better time and for once the diary is quite empty so hopefully we can fit in some proper family time. I’ve been battling a horrible cold all week so it will be great to get a chance to recharge the batteries and just chill out at home. On the plus side we have had some fabulous weather – isn’t it lovely to reach for the sunglasses rather than the umbrella before heading out the door?

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{I’ve been trying to stay healthy and boost my immune system with a daily dose of Spirulina. The boys have dubbed it ‘alien juice’ because of the green colour! I have to admit it does taste pretty awful and is just about bearable mixed into orange juice or a smoothie. But if it keeps the cold symptoms at bay it is definitely worth it.}

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{I promised Casper that I would include a picture of him dressed as a Viking for his class assembly this week. He did really well, remembering all his lines and the words to the all the songs, and there were quite a few. Strange to think that his next assembly will be the leavers one, before he and his classmates move onto the junior school.}

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{My ballerina pumps had their first outing this week. These are from H&M (last year) and so comfy but I need to buy some more – in black, silver and maybe pink.}

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{Despite feeling like death warmed up I made it to my rescheduled hair appointment this week. I had a good couple of inches taken off the ends – as I use hair straighteners every day without fail (I know, slap on the wrist for me..), my hair was quite damaged. I love the shorter length though and the lighter colour. I’ve only been to this hairdresser a couple of times but she’s definitely a keeper! Incidentally, while I was there I read an article which argued that taking selfies is good for your self esteem. Not sure I agree with that, it took me about 20 attempts to get one that I was vaguely happy with and I don’t think I’m exceptionally vain.}

Happy Friday everyone! Mine was made even better by the fact that my husband brought me flowers when he came home from work. That doesn’t happen every week, believe me! X

This Week’s Favourites

This weeks Collage

This week has whizzed by as I knew it would. It’s funny how in the summer holidays time seems to slow down but as soon as school starts – and with it the relentless routine of school run, homework, after school clubs and weekend activities – I hardly have time to blink and it’s Sunday night yet again. Despite the rain (yes I know, I will stop going on about the weather soon!) it has been a good week, catching up with friends I haven’t seen for six weeks and watching the boys settle happily into their new classes.

Now all the kids are in bed and we’re just about to watch a movie – probably The Oranges with Leighton Meester who played Blair in one of my favourite TV series, Gossip Girl. But first, here is a quick round-up of the last few days: Clemmie started ballet class this week and amazingly didn’t cry when I left her there (it probably helped that she was with her best friend); The Chanel nail polish in Particuliere is one of my favourite autumn hues; I finally got to wear some of my Fall purchases such as this knitted jacket from River Island and tiered sweater from Anthropologie; My bargain of the week was this floral tube scarf from H&M for £6.99; I’ve also been digging deep into my wardrobe and uncovered some old favourites like these Miu Miu heels that I bought for my hen night 12 years ago. I wore them with the Anthropologie sweater and skinny jeans for a night out with friends; A morning latte to brighten up a drizzly morning; In our house weekends mean pancakes for breakfast; One of the best things about Autumn is snuggling up on the sofa to watch a film with candles lit on the mantlepiece.

And that my friends is exactly what I’m going to do now. Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. X

Happy Friday!

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We’re only a week into the new school term and already our summer holiday seems but a distant memory…

I downloaded our holiday photos from the big camera today and it was fun to look through them and remember all the good times we had. This picture of Cameron jumping is definitely on my list of photos to print out for my planned photo walk (more on that project next week).
The first full week back at school has sped by and I can’t believe it’s Friday already. I only realised it was the 13th when I had to write a cheque for my daughter’s gym class earlier today. The date used to spook me a bit but ever since I met my husband, who was born on Friday 13th, I don’t think of it as unlucky anymore. Are you superstitious or do you treat it as any other day?

Whatever the date, I wish you all a happy Friday! XO

 

Just the Two of Us

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After we waved goodbye to the boys at the school gates this morning, Clemmie and I had a leisurely walk back home. It was another beautiful, sunny day but the house seemed almost eerily quiet and it hit me that next year I will be at those same gates waving off not two but three kids. I still can’t get my head around the fact that kids here in England start school so early. The boys are both autumn babies so they were nearly five when they went into Reception class but Clemmie’s birthday is in July so she will have just turned four, which seems so very young. She starts preschool in two weeks’ time but that will only be 12 hours a week so just enough time for me to go to the gym, do a bit of blogging, and attempt to keep on top of the housework.

But if the last few years are anything to go by, I know that September 2014 will be here in just the blink of an eye. And then (with no more babies on the horizon) it will be time for me to really figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life… An exciting but also slightly daunting prospect.