no looking back baby

Birth order; It’s a funny old thing isn’t it? With your firstborn, you spend every moment noticing and documenting the first of everything.  First smile, first word, first step, first day at the beach, first food, first day of school.

school shoes

Our middle child, like many, has sailed through life somewhat under the radar.  Tagging along with his big brother with some of his achievements documented but sadly, a few overlooked as life got busier with two kids, and then three, in tow.

Then there is the baby.  I’ve spent a lot of time looking in the rear vision mirror of late because of mine.  Reflecting on all the “lasts” with my littlest boy before he started school; Last day at daycare, last special days with grandparents whilst his brothers were at school, last swimming lesson and milkshakes in the peaceful bubble that was our standard Friday morning.  I never wanted that time with him to end.

“It’s not the end, but the start of a whole new phase” friends told me.  How could they say that when it was my baby starting school?  Didn’t they understand? Looking back now, I was stuck.  Really stuck.  Stuck hanging on to all those lasts and fearing the day when my baby no longer wanted to hold my hand on the short walk to the school gates because, as the mama of two older boys, I know it all happens in the blink of an eye.

When the day came for his “Best Start Interview”, a brief meeting with the teacher prior to the official start of school, I cried.  I made sure it was I was out of his sight and that it was big, heaving, ugly (UGLY) sobs so it was out of my system before we arrived at school.  We couldn’t have the poor little tacker burdened with the label of the kid with the mum who “ugly cries” at the school gates, even before he started school.

Jonty classroom

When the official start day arrived, I whacked on my bravest face, faked a smile and off we went.  Our baby has settled in nicely and is owning the whole school gig as he follows in his big brothers’ footsteps.  He’s got this.

And guess what?  Those friends were right.  Now I have finally stopped clinging on and looking in the rear vision mirror, I can see all the beautiful moments that lay ahead for our little family.  Even my baby.  Yep, that’s him running off to school without me.  And that’s OK.

Jonty off to school cropped
Has your baby started school?  How did you handle it?

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world’s most organised mum (wannabe)

Newsflash! Whilst I appreciate the fabulous and highly complimentary title of World’s Most Organised Mum, recently bestowed upon me by some media outlets, my reality is more along the lines of Slightly-Frazzled-And-Trying-Really-Hard-To-Be-Organised Mum, trying to make things work for my family. Of course, that headline is not quite so catchy!

Truth be told, I am a naturally organised person, somewhere deep, deep down in my pre-mum self, but the chaos that comes with kids, in my case three of them, seems to have slowly worn down that natural ability to keep things sorted in their special places.

With Littlest starting school this year I knew things had to change. We needed systems and to return our home to one with a “place for everything”.

So as we welcomed 2016 I committed to getting my shizzle together, for the sake of our family’s collective sanity. It’s started with a mini makeover, and huge purge of “stuff” in the boys’ bedrooms, and the now “world famous” School HQ to house all school related goodies.

Now I have seen the success of such systems and we are all enjoying smoother (but not perfect!) sailing on the school run I’m determined to stay on this organisation mission. And I’m going to share each project here so you can come along for the ride.

How does that sound?

marquee light

Back to School Organisation

Firstly, I’m sorry I’ve been absent of late however we have been planning and preparing for our “baby” to start school.  Let’s just say it took me a while to come to terms with this giant leap forward.  After cramming in as many “special days” as possible, I finally had to concede that time was marching on and our littlest guy was ready for the next phase, whether I liked it or not.

Apart from the emotional conflict , I was also concerned about how on earth I was going to keep everyone organised once we had three little students under our roof.  The school notes alone make my head spin …

They say necessity is the mother of all invention so my overwhelming need to avoid the usual morning chaos and “Shouty Mama” drove the development of our new School HQ. Ta daaaaah!

School HQ

It’s an easy IKEA hack, completed by hubby and I without any domestic disputes whatsoever! The basic unit is the Kallax, a bargain at $159 (no, this is not a sponsored post, we just love IKEA).  During construction, we (OK, hubby) left out the bottom row of shelves to allow space to hang school backpacks and store school shoes.  We have used stick on hooks to avoid damaging the unit.

School HQ bags

There is a shelf for hats and water bottles, and another to house readers, library books etc.

I’ve made a (not-so) fancy new folder for the millions of notes that come home and previously would be stuck on our already crowded fridge, left in a crumpled mass in the bottom of a school bag, or just lost.  Notes will be filed under the relevant child’s name, or general subjects such as band, sport and finances.

JW memo

Because our printer is currently on the fritz we hacked a Kikki K Kontrast Weekly planner document.  You could, of course, easily make your own personalised version which I believe would be waaaay cuter.

This planner is a prompt so the boys all know what they have on each day, giving them the independence to pack for their own requirements eg musical instrument, sports equipment etc. The littlest still needs help but takes great pride on packing his bag like his big brothers.

Just one week into the school term, we are yet to reap the rewards of our new HQ and I don’t expect it to look this pretty for too long however I do believe it is an important step in saving my sanity whilst teaching my boys to plan ahead.  Fingers crossed.

How do you and your family stay organised for school?

school shoes cropped

back to school organisation

OK, we have all made it half way through the school year but, if you are anything like me, the wheels are starting to fall off our ‘systems’ that help ensure our three little ones get to school and daycare each day.

So I thought it timely to share (again) this fab post from The Organised Housewife.  What’s your best tip to keep your kids organised during the school term?

back to school

 

start of school memories

Many of you have little people starting pre-school or BIG school this week so we thought you’d love these cute ideas to mark the occasion.

FIRST AND LAST DAY

 

first day of school printable

 

No matter what milestone you are reaching this year, we hope it has been tear free (for you!) and full of good times for your little one.

sharing fab ideas – camp kidpreneur

As some of you may know, I have recently started working with Club Kidpreneur, a not-for-profit social enterprise teaching primary school aged kids (8-12 years) entrepreneurial skills and thinking.  I just know you guys are going to love hearing more about this!

camp-kid-banner

Club Kidpreneur has recognised the demand for entrepreneurs in this day and age, so it has created a one-of-a-kind, fun, informative and interactive entrepreneur program for kids, in the hope of empowering them and fostering entrepreneurial spirit. 

Camp Kidpreneur will be held in 9 locations in 5 states over 2 weeks this January.  You can find more details on venues and dates here.

Over four action-packed days the kids will be mentored by local entrepreneurs and will be responsible for hand-making their products, merchandising their ‘concession’ and using their sales and customer service skills to then sell what they have made at local markets.

ck creel and girl at market

Creel Price (that’s him in the photo above), Club Kidpreneur Founder and entrepreneur who turned his $5,000 start-up into a $100 million business, said: “There is something quite special about kids learning the highs and lows of business, how to handle customers, building their financial literacy skills around handling cash and setting prices to make profit. Every time the school holidays near I get more and more excited about our camps and what amazing ideas the kids will come up with!”

A range of successful real world entrepreneurs will be mentoring at the camps.

I feel really privileged to be a part of this program supporting young talent in the local community. I have already had the pleasure of working with some of the bright minds of tomorrow, and who knows, one might even become the next billionaire!  (Geez, I hope they remember me if that happens!)

If you’d like to become more involved as a Volunteer or think your kids would love to sign up for a camp, just jump onto the website to register.  You can also like their facebook page to keep in the loop.

ck girls at market larger