Hello!

My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

A LolliBopping Update!

LolliBop's 2014 Line-Up:
Round 2!

It seems as though it were only yesterday that we shared the first line-up announcement from LolliBop HQ, and here we are again, bringing you an update on that list as more acts have been confirmed!

However, before we go into the details of the newly listed acts, we have another exciting piece of news to share with you all ...


Once again, Munchkin and I are official LolliBop ambassadors! We are very excited. We promise to bring you all the updates, breaking news and details of things we think you should know, as well as a wonderful competition in which you could win yourself a family ticket to this year's festival. 

So watch this space!!


LolliBop, the UK’s biggest kids festival, taking place August 15-17 at Hatfield House, has added Lazy Town Live, Bear Grylls Survival Academy and other top names to its 2014 lineup.


LolliBoppers are invited to join the hit television show Lazy Town Live on the main stage at this year’s festival. Stephanie, the new girl in town, with the help of her back flipping super hero friend Sportacus, will teach festival goers how to get active, what is "sports candy", where good energy comes from and most importantly how to become super heroes! This highly energetic mini show will have everyone jumping, dancing and singing along!


Join the universal language of rhythm, theatre, comedy and dance in the STOMP workshops. The team behind the hit West End show will be taking up residence at LolliBop running workshops across the weekend. Step into the exciting world of music using pipes, bins, plastic bottles and much more… and once fully trained, mini STOMP-ers are invited to join the daily parade to showcase their new talents. Bin lids have never been so much fun.


Calling all muggles and magical folk! Sign up to Harry’s Wizard School and take part in fun antics and enchanted activities…. Ever wondered which house you would belong to? Well now you can find out with a visit to the sorting hat! Plus put your wizarding skills to the test with Bean Planting Workshops, Wand Making Workshops and Broomstick Training. Expect one or two special guest appearances too!


Making the most of LolliBop’s new home with its fantastic green spaces and woodlands, the incredible Bear Grylls Survival Academy will be joining LolliBop for the first time. Taster sessions, include Fire Lighting, Shelter Building, Camouflaging and Concealment, Gross Eating and many more. Have you got what it takes to survive?


A must for all budding Beckhams, Rooneys and Bales is the Tottenham Hotspur Global Coaching Team who will be at LolliBop teaching kids essential football skills, including passing, dribbling, keepy uppies, shooting, 5-a-side and more. 

The newly announced acts and activities join an already vast confirmed lineup of some of the biggest names in kids entertainment, including:

CBeebies Superstar Justin Fletcher (Saturday & Sunday)

Mister Maker (Friday only)

Mr Bloom

CBBC’s Big Friday Wind Up stars Sam & Mark 

Andy Day’s Live Show

Thomas & Friends

Chris & Pui Mini Roadshow

Scooby-Doo! The Mystery of the Pyramid

Cook and Line from Swashbuckle (Fri & Sat)

Michaela Strachan’s Really Wild Adventures Show.

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic present a Silent Disco!

Join In with Southbank Centre, including music, dancing, fashion shows, DJs, pirate school, den making and takeaway crafts

Skylanders Trap Team™

Postman Pat® Mini Show,

The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre 

Science Museum.

National Geographic Kids woodlands takeover

Beano events

Live cooking in the Lolli Kitchen


Plus, LolliBop’s first Inflatable Village, a Good Old Fashioned Sports Day, dancing session with Itsy Bitsy Strictly, Ready Sheddy Disco, Baby Ballet, beat boxing, face painting, balloon modelling and much more.

What on earth will they surprise us with next?!

Munchkin is more excited than ever for LolliBop this year, and who can blame her?! With appearances like this, it is looking to be the biggest family event of the year!!

With good motorways links, extensive on site parking and just a five minute walk from Hatfield train station, LolliBop 2014 is more accessible than ever before.

Tickets are on sale now priced £17.50pp from

Also remember to follow the fun on Facebook!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!

A little lot about me!


Ok, so I was probably having one of my frequent absent days when I agreed to take part in the TMI Meme, but I loved reading Chantelle's over at Mama Mummy Mum and thought it looked like fun. So when Monkey Footed Mummy's Karen asked if I minded being tagged, I thought "why not".

I may live to regret this ...

Sorry kids!!

1. What are you wearing?
Right now? Black leggings, a pink vest top and my slippers. Don't worry, it's an indoor day. I don't need to cover up my lumps and bumps as much!

2. Ever been in love?
A couple of times, I'd say I've been in love with the thought of being in love.
But true love, that's what I have now.

(Yes kids, I mean daddy!!)

3. Ever had a terrible break up?
Yes. Absolutely terrible. But it made me stronger (and all that!)

4. How tall are you?
4ft 11ins
In shoes ...!


5. How much do you weigh?
Just short of 9 stone.
Weight loss is imminent! I promise!

6. Any tattoos?
Yes. One.
I have a 'waistcoat wearing' Taz on my tummy to the left of my belly button. It was one that I drew myself and had done back in 2002. Back in the day of the flat tummy! 

7. Any piercings?
Just my ears. Twice in each ear. I did have my navel done too, but that was years ago. Back in the day of the flat tummy!

8. OTP?
Ok, I'm taking a stab here and guessing this is One True Pairing?
Then mine would be one of my guilty pleasures ...
... The Burton/Depp/Bonham Carter pairing. I can't resist a film combining the skills of these three!

9. Favourite Show?
I'm pretty much loving Breaking Bad at the moment, but one of my most favourites was Bad Girls! I'm a bit of a prison freak, me. But I won't digress!

10. Favourite bands?
Ask me this a few years back and I would have said 'Wham' before you had even finished your question.
Today, ask me this question, and there may just be a embarrassed hesitation before my reply ...!

11. Something you miss?
Sleep ...
... Enough said!

12. Favourite song?
I can't decide. It would be between Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri and Charlene Soraia's version of Wherever you will Go. I'm also a bit of a sucker for Cars by Snow Patrol (that's 'our song') and pretty much anything by Adele.

Sentimental kind'a thing, me!


13. How old are you?
Physically ...? 34!

14. Zodiac Sign?
Leo

15. Quality you look for in a partner?
Someone who makes me cry with laughter & smile through the tears.
(... It helps if they're not too shabby to look at too!!)

16. Favourite Quote?


17. Favourite actor?
Hands down ... Johnny Depp.

18. Favourite colour?
I do love pink ... I'm sorry!
But not the girly girl, candyfloss pink. More a dusky pink.
And most shades of brown!

19. Loud music or soft?
This usually depends on my mood, but I do love my music loud. Maybe that stems from years of working in nightclubs, I don't know. But loud music with lots of bass is good.

Unless I'm listening to Wham ... as much as I'd love to belt it out through the speakers, that kind of music played loud can ruin a reputation ...and a relationship!!

20. Where do you go when you are sad?
To my mum. Mum always makes me feel better and seems to untangle my twisted perspective!

21. How long does it take you to shower?
I don't usually shower. I prefer a bath. And this can take anything between 10 and 40 minutes. It depends if The Man is here to play referee to the rugrats whilst I relax or not!


22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
However much time I am left over after getting the little people ready! This can be 5 minutes, or it can be 30 minutes.

23. Ever been in a physical fight?
No

24. Turn On?
Eyes and a smile that light up a room.

25. Turn Off?
Liars

26. The reason I started blogging?
For Munchkin. Pure and simple. I thought that one day, I could print the blog and make it into a book for her to read and look back on all the things we did.

27. Fears?
I have a list!
Spiders.
Needles (Surgical)
Heights.
Enclosed spaces.

I could go on ...!

28. The last thing that made you cry?
Baby Plum at 3am this morning. He had been awake for 3 hours already and wasn't showing any signs of playing the night time game by the socially acceptable rules!

29. Last time you said you loved someone?
About 5 minutes ago to the girls as I was lifting each one out of the bath.

30. Meaning behind your blog name?
The Hart of the Munchkin Patch.
Well, Munch is the Munchkin of our Patch, and our surname (or, at least, their surname, until we finally marry!) is Hart. That is where our blog name comes from. I recently wrote a post about the meaning (and the rugrats) behind our blog name if you wanted a read ...?

31. Last book you read?
Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson.
The bedtime story of choice right now.
For Munch ... not me!


32. The book you are currently reading?
Reading? Currently? For me? Like, actually sitting down and staying awake for long enough to read a book? For me?

Moving on ...!

33. Last show you watched?
For me? Eastenders!

34. Last person you talked to?
Beastie Boo. I think I was asking her to stop climbing on the back of the sofa, or crawling under the travel cot, or throwing bricks at The Pooch, or something like that!

35. The relationship between you and the last person you texted?
The last person I texted was The Man.

36. Favourite food?
Chinese takeaway, my mum's cauliflower cheese and my dad's bubble & squeak.

Not all at the same time of course. Unless I was really hungry!

37. Place you want to visit?
I desperately want to go to Florida again, but will wait a few years for all 3 kids to be old enough to appreciate it. But most of all, I want to visit Alcatraz. Badly! (Refer back to my prison comment in answer #9!)


38. Last place you were?
At Munchkin's nursery, picking her up at the end of her day.

39. Do you have a crush?
No. I feel I'm too old for teenage crushes, and too young for embarrassing mummy crushes!

40. Last time you kissed someone?
About an hour ago when The Man arrived home from work.

41. The last time you were insulted?
Last week, whilst on the nursery run, we were walking past a local primary school minding our own business when a little group of around 6 year olds shouted "Fatty" at me, One at a time. I would normally have ignored such behaviour, but not when I have Munch with me. I will not tolerate 1) her hearing other children calling me names and one day thinking it is ok to do the same if she's unhappy with me, b) Munch thinking this behaviour is acceptable and then subjecting someone to the same treatment when she is in the school playground, and c) her thinking that if someone calls you a hurtful name, then you should let them do so without facing any consequences. It's ok though, as they didn't bank on a teacher being within calling distance for me, and I was able to inform her of what had happened. I have since spoken to the teacher who has assured me they were suitably punished for their actions, and they have had to each write me a letter of apology. Don't think they'll be doing that again in a hurry!

42. Favourite flavour of sweet?
I'm not really a 'sweet' person, but I am the one in this house that picks all the yellow and greens out of the bag of Jelly Tots!

Chocolate ... Now that is different!

43. What instruments do you play?
I used to play the flute when I was at school, but I never really got anywhere with it as I never practised at home. 

44. Favourite piece of jewellery?
A pair of earrings I have that belonged to my beautiful nanna who passed away in 2012.  

45. Last sport you played?
'Running races' with Munchkin. She won, of course.
She always wins - even when I reach the 'finish line' first!!

46. Last song you sung?
Do you Wanna Build a Snowman from Disney's Frozen. 

Ask me this question at any time, on any day, and my answer will probably be the same!! 
I'm a mum to a 4 year old girl ... what do you expect?!


47. Favourite chat-up line?
I don't really go for chat-up lines. But if I had to choose one, I'd have to choose the only one that ever worked on me, and that would be The Man's first move on me ...

"Are you flirting with me ...?!"

48. Have you ever used it?
Never!

49. Last time you hung out with anyone?
Apart from the kids ...?
Wow ... Erm ...!
Errrrrrrmmmmmmmm ......!

50. Who should answer the questions next?
I am tagging Jo from My Monkeys Don't Sit Still and Emmy's Mummy (aka Clare!) to reveal all. 


So, do you feel you know the real me a little better now ...?  





As the planning begins ...

Planning our stress free wedding!!

Ok, so expecting the planning of our wedding in 2015 to be completely stress free may be a little on the optimistic side, but I figured, we have three children, The Man works full time, our lives are stressful enough. So time to try and plan something with a little less tension and a little more fun!


The Man and I have been together now for 9 years. In that time, we have lived in 7 (soon to be 8!) different homes together, owned 3 (soon, hopefully to be 4!) cars, bought Alfie, our Pooch and created 3 beautiful babies. It has been quite an eventful 9 years. Yes, we already live as a married couple live. We share everything - belongings, finances, responsibilities, secrets, the lot! I feel there is very little we don't know about one another. But we want to get married. Not because we feel we have to, not because it would bring big changes to the way that we live, but because we want to. I think it is especially important to me, because apart from the fact that The Man is the love of my life and I've spent years wanting to be his wife, our children share his surname. I want to share that surname too!

So I'll start (kind of) at the beginning. Well, at the beginning of this chapter, anyway.

12th February, 2013. The Man's birthday. Munchkin and I had plans, and they pretty much ended up looking a little like this ...



I think the photos speak for themselves? 

I even approached my closest friend with the special request of being my Maid of Honour. 


Ok, so it wasn't 14th February on a Leap Year, but who cares. I'd waited long enough, and decided that his birthday was a much more important day than Valentines Day. He was well aware that I wanted to marry him, but events in the years leading up to this day stopped the dream from being any more than just that - a dream. So he said yes, and we decided on a date in September 2014. However, our babies always being good at reminding us that they are the ones in control of our calendar, made us decide to postpone this date, when we discovered that baby #3, our beautiful Baby Plum, was due to arrive in December 2013. Not wanting the stress of planning for a baby and a wedding at the same time, we decided to wait until 2015 to marry. What's an extra year, after all?! 

See - stress free thinking from the very start!

Now, Baby Plum is a few months old, and we are ready to kick start this planning malarkey! 

I've always had some amazing 'Fairytale' ideas in my head about how I would like my wedding to be. Remembering back to when I was little, I wanted the horse and carriage, the huge jawdropping beautiful dress, the gathering of gorgeous little bridesmaids, the party that no one will ever forget ... You get the idea? 

However, a big extravagant show is no longer on my 'must have' list. Maybe it's because I've grown up and am no longer that 14 year old teenager with her head in the clouds. Maybe it's because I have now met my 'Prince Charming' and now life is no longer a fairytale, but is all so real. Maybe it's because we have all we want from life in both each other and our 3 amazing children, and therefore no longer feel the need for a big 'send off' from single life. I suppose we stopped living the life of singletons a long time ago!


Whatever we choose to have, now is the time to start making those choices, and I can't wait to start putting some real ideas together. And I have this beautiful album here to record our journey. From choosing our date to booking the flowers, from sending out 'Save the Date' announcements to setting a table plan, I can do it all in here. I can record information, pen ideas and store cuttings, leaflets and business cards, so everything can be kept in a nice civilised order making my planning less stressful. 


I also have my little black book. This fits perfectly in my handbag and can come with me wherever I go, whether that is to Wedding Fayres, or out on the weekly grocery shop. After all, you never know when an idea will pop in to mind or something happens to inspire you. Best to be prepared, as with everything that happens for me in a typical day, I am likely to have forgotten everything by the time I get home! This way, I can record handy notes on-the-go, and transfer them over to my album when I am home.


I've never tried meditation before, but it has been recommended a number of times to me. I'm not sure why people think I would benefit from meditation. Juggling 3 kids under the age of 5 wouldn't have anything to do with it ... Would it? Whatever the reason, I now have a meditation DVD to release the tension and help me to refocus on what is important! Meditation for Beginners is just that. A simple, easy to follow, gentle introduction into meditation. Anyone that knows me and my lifestyle personally will know, I could always do with a little relaxation and refocusing occasionally!


To help me along the way, because let's face it, I'm a complete newbie when it comes to planning a wedding, I have a few hints and tips from the experts. The ones who know exactly what is involved in organising your big day. Stress Free Wedding Planning is a handy little book in which 'Experienced Wedding Professionals Share Their Secrets' covers everything from creating your invitations to planning the Honeymoon. With this, I can benefit from the experience of 10 wedding professionals who aim to help me avoid many of the mistakes made by couples throughout their planning process. I am sure I will invent many a faux pas during the next 16 months or so, but at least this book could attempt to keep me on track a little. 

One thing is for sure, and that is Munchkin is almost bursting with excitement about the whole thing. I have my amazing mum and my beautiful Maid of Honour to assist me with parts of my planning and to get involved in all the fun bits. But Munch has to be my little right hand girl and will be by my side for every minute of it. After all, she has informed me that she will be a bridesmaid, and a flower girl, and in have to go with her plans because she has all the best ideas ... Apparently! So it looks as though, from the drawings she has already shown me, that I will have a VERY large hot pink dress, and she will have one that matches, our cake will have many candles and we will be having a pasta based Wedding Breakfast! Sounds fine, Munch. Just fine! 


So, in the meantime, I guess we should make a firm decision on our chosen date for September, 2015 and look into having some 'Save the Date' cards printed. And what better company to choose than one that calls itself StressFreePrint?! A company that promise to take all the stress out of your printing needs by providing a personal and trouble-free service. 

Our main passion is you, the customer. Every single member of our team is focused on one thing only ... Exceeding your expectations in everything we do. And by "everything" we really do mean everything ... From print quality to turnaround time, from competitive pricing to exceptional customer service. We work hard to make your print buying experience as smooth and stress free as possible. 

So, here's to our yet to be confirmed big day in September, 2015, and the beginning of our stress free planning!!




I was sent the items of wedding stationary pictured as a thank you for writing about the beginning of my wedding planning journey, but all words, thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced. No other payment has been received for the writing or publishing of this post.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

LolliBopping into 2014 - The first Line-Up Announcement!



Here it is. This is what we've all been waiting for! The very first announcement from LolliBop HQ revealing the first batch of confirmed appearances for LolliBop 2014! Munchkin has been so excited, asking me daily if Justin will be gracing the main stage again, pestering me about whether or not there will be fun with Mister Maker again and begging me to find out if she will get the chance to see her favourite CBeebies star, Andy Day, as she has done on previous occasions.

Well, now I can tell her "YES" to all of her wishes!

LolliBop, the UK’s biggest kids festival, has announced it’s most exciting line-up to date with CBeebies Superstar Justin Fletcher headlining on Saturday and Sunday and Mister Maker taking over the main stage on Friday.


The event, which this year takes place at Hatfield House, August 15-17, also welcomes stars of CBBC’s Big Friday Wind Up Sam & Mark to LolliBop for the first time.


Other LolliBop ‘newbies’ include Thomas & Friends with a bespoke interactive play experience created especially for LolliBop, Chris & Pui with their Mini Roadshow, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery of the Pyramid, Cook and Line from Swashbuckle (Fri & Sat only) and Michaela Strachan’s Really Wild Adventures Show.


LolliBop is delighted to announce it’s first ever Disney experience with the Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic present a Silent Disco!

Creative kids are invited to Join In with Southbank Centre, in a brand new space for Lollibop 2014. Whether you love, drawing, playing, singing, dancing or creating there is something for all under 10s and their families to enjoy. Southbank Centre is a world-famous arts centre on the South Bank of the Thames, with art and activities inside and out that encourage everyone to become involved in the arts in new and creative ways. At Lollibop there will be music, dancing, fashion shows, DJs, Pirate school, den making and plenty of takeaway crafts


The ever-popular Skylanders returns to LolliBop to launch the fourth installment of its award winning franchise – Skylanders Trap Team™. Kids can expect the opportunity to play the brand new game before it’s released later in the year.

Other big names for pint sized festival goers; include Mr. Bloom, Andy Day’s Live Show, Postman Pat® Mini Show, The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre and Science Museum.


Making the most of the fantastic gardens and woodlands at Hatfield House, National Geographic Kids have planned a Woodlands Takeover, with engaging activities including games, prizes and exploring natural habitats!

Other activity confirmed, includes Beano Events, cookery workshops in the Lolli Kitchen, LolliBop’s first Inflatable Village, a Good Old Fashioned Sports Day, dancing session with Itsy Bitsy Strictly, Ready Sheddy Disco and Baby Ballet, Footballing Skills, Beat boxing, face painting and balloon modelling classes.

With more acts and activities still to be announced, LolliBop truly is the biggest day out for kids this summer!


Situated in Hertfordshire, just off the A1 with plenty of parking or a short 22 minute train journey from London Kings Cross, the stunning country house and gardens of Hatfield House offer an incredible array of spaces to host LolliBop’s vast activity and entertainment programme.

Festival Director Gareth Cooper said: 

“For a family destination, Hatfield House can’t be beaten. The setting is breathtaking - with stunning gardens, lush green areas and a woodlands just waiting to be explored - it’s allowed us to open our imaginations and programme an event like never before. The 2014 lineup is jam packed with big names for the main stage, alongside an unprecedented number of live theatre performances; sporting activities; creative workshops; nature talks and brand new areas and acts, never before seen at LolliBop.”

With good motorways links, extensive on site parking and just a five minute walk from Hatfield train station, LolliBop 2014 is more accessible than ever before.

Tickets are on sale now priced £17.50 per person at www.lollibopfestival.co.uk
Be sure to follow the fun leading up to the big weekend on Facebook too!

My self confessed Mummy Fail!

My promise to try harder!


I try hard to listen to all of the things that Munchkin dreams of doing. All of the things she tells me she would really like to do during the school holidays, or at the weekend.




And now for the great big elephant in the room ...


... So why has she never been swimming?

Well, mainly because I have never taken her. I have been locked in a personal inner battle with myself for years now, and I have let it defeat me to the point of my children missing out on something so simple. They have lost the opportunity to take part in something that to many is part of everyday life, but to me has always been something we will do "in the next week or two". I have allowed my personal issues and low self esteem about my physical appearance affect the kids.

And this is my big Mummy Fail!

But this is all going to change. Before Munchkin starts school in September, she WILL have picked out a new swimming costume, packed a bag with her towel, goggles and floats and experienced the swimming pool. She wants to go so much, and so I need to let go of the demons that have clung to me for all these years for her sake, and I will! I've made her a promise!

So to seal that promise, as it were, we have sat down together to pick out some new swimming gear. That way, "yes" will definitely have to mean "yes", or I will be letting her down all over again!

Ok, so a swimming trip will be much more tricky now that it would have been a couple of years ago, as instead of it being an activity involving just me and Munch, we have Beastie Boo and Plum to consider too. So we thought it best to make sure we kit all 3 of them out in lovely new swimwear for their upcoming adventure!

And where better to look ...?
Splash About has a really gorgeous selection of swimwear and accessories that would be just perfect for this little lot!

I can see this getting expensive!

First for Munchkin's 'shopping list'!


Next for Beastie Boo ...


... And finally for Baby Plum ...


They sure will be the talk of the pool, strutting their stuff in this lot. 

I love the way their swim outfits can be coordinated so perfectly. Also the fact that their Happy Nappy claims to be the BEST reusable swim nappy on the market, and recommended by all major swim schools! This has always been a concern of mine when thinking about venturing into the pool with the younger ones. No one wants any nasty accidents in the pool, do they?!

So Munchkin, this is my promise to you. And you can hold me to this one!

I WILL take you swimming before the Summer is out. I won't let you suffer my personal insecurities any longer!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Wherever we lay our hats ...

... That'll be home!


Anyone that knows us will know that we are looking forward to moving home soon.

Munchkin is excited about getting another new bedroom.
Munchkin is excited about getting a garden.
Munchkin is excited about adopting a new play area.
Munchkin is excited about not having to share our front door.

Munchkin is excited!


In fact, we are all excited. We are really looking forward to starting a better life.

However, I do often worry. I wonder if moving home as often as we have will have any negative impact on the little ones. Mainly Munchkin. She will be 5 years old in September, and when we move again, it will be her 4th home move. Ok, so the first one was when she was just 11 months old, so she doesn't have any memory of that. However, we then moved again when she was just 3 and again when she was nearly 4. Now, as her 5th birthday approaches, we are looking to move again really soon. Yes, she is excited, and yes she is looking forward to all of the positives, but could this be damaging at all? I do worry. We never intended to move home as often as we have, in fact, we hate moving. But for one reason or another, it has happened this way and we need to deal with it in a sensitive manner. 

I have concerns about anxiety - the worry of moving home, moving away from the places she knows, the sights she sees every day, the people she passes every morning that say hello to her in the street on the way to nursery. I worry that behind that big excited smile could be a confused little frown that's frightened to settle. 

She's had a few nightmares recently ... could this be the cause?

This got me looking into things to think about, things to consider and things to remember when moving with little people in tow. Little people who can't necessarily voice their feelings or even understand their emotions enough to identify them themselves. I came across some helpful tips and I wanted to share some that I thought were really useful.



Talk to your child about moving

Discuss moving with your children. Tell them you're looking at moving home and what that will mean for them. Younger children are quite likely to lose focus while discussing the move after just a few minutes so just let them know they can ask you any questions they might have when they think of them. You may find they forget about it completely until you mention it again, whereas older children will be more aware of what is going on and want to discuss things in a little more depth. Munchkin just wants to talk about how she wants her room to be decorated at the moment, but that may change. Once we're moved, and she has things the way she wants them (within reason!! I draw the line at house trained unicorns as pets!!) she may feel something different. The anxiety or negative emotions could stir once she no longer has the immediate distraction of the move to keep her busy.

Involve them 

Don't take them to every house you see, but perhaps take a look in estate agents windows together and ask what they want from their new home. Go to viewings on your own and take your children on a second viewing when you can really work out if it is the right place for your family. Once you decide on a house, why not take a few visits to the area and discover it together on foot. Find out where the local schools are and how close they are to your house, as well as where the sweet shop and the park is. Getting to know the area will help your child feel more at home ahead of moving day. 

This tip was really interesting for me, as Munchkin has always been with us on house viewings, and I now understand how confusing this could be for her. I mean, 4 house viewings to her is 4 new bedrooms she has picked out, 4 new gardens she has planned with furniture, 4 new play areas she has mapped out ... I had never thought of it like this before!



New House New Room

Let you child choose the colour of their new room. Kids love feeling like they have a say in things and as moving is such a big upheaval for them, allowing them to choose the colour scheme of their new room will help them to settle in quicker. You could even let them help you paint if you’re feeling brave! 

Munchkin = Pink & Purple
That is all!

New School

If your new home means starting a new school, it may be that you need to chat with your child about settling into their new school. Try to visit the school in advance of starting there - maybe have a settling in day if you can, so it's not too much of a shock to the system when their first day comes around. Visit the school uniform shop together and pick out their new uniform, letting them choose things like a new bag or lunch box to make it all the more special. The school uniform shop from George at ASDA has some great uniforms and school accessories, perfect for any school. Once you have their uniform it makes it feel a little more real, so be prepared for any questions they may have about making new friends and how things work at their new 
school. This is particularly useful, as with Munchkin being so little, I feared I would struggle to kit her out in September. But now that the generic uniform items are available in places like Asda, I shouldn't have a problem finding things small enough to fit her!

We are really hoping that our home move doesn't mean a school move for Munchkin. After all, she has attended the same nursery since she was 3, and has just been offered a place at the local primary school for September, which will be attended by a number of her friends from nursery. She is so looking forward to going there. We will avoid moving too far away, but we know from previous experience that things are often out of our control. So if we end up having to rethink Munchkin's school placement for September, we will make the best we possibly can out of the situation we are given.

By realising that for children a move is far less likely to be about the practical side of things and more likely to be about the emotions it stirs up, thanks to leaving friends and familiar places behind, you're more likely to be able to help them adjust to their new surroundings.

The bottom line is, we are the Harts, and as we always say, our home is where the Harts are, and as long as we stick together, we'll be just fine!