Why we’re sending Jaxson to nursery!

Hey lovelies,

I can’t believe the first month of 2020 is almost over! Time seriously needs to slow down…

So as suggested by the title I wanted to talk about childcare options and in particular the ‘nursery vs stay at home’ debate. Jaxson is starting his new nursery tomorrow and will be attending 3 days a week!! EEEEEKKK. He is exactly 11 months and two weeks old, and has been at home for the duration of this time. Due to the limited amount of maternity leave here in the UAE, I went back to work when JJ was around 3 1/2 months. We were so very blessed that we had family who cared for him for the next month and a half. When JJ was just under 5 months, we hired a nanny to stay at home with him full time.

Our decision to opt for a nanny was mainly due to the uncertainty around the quality of care provided for babies here in the UAE; we both decided that we would send him to nursery when he was a little bit older, more independent and stronger (in terms of his immune system etc.)

I am not exaggerating here, when I say that our nanny is a SUPER NANNY! She really does love and care for JJ like her own and I felt so reassured leaving him at such a young age. I think I also found leaving him that bit easier, as my daughter started at her nursery, at only 3 months. Repeated story, but I had to go back to university and living in Bristol away from family, I had no other choice; nannies were far too expensive! Again, I was so blessed that the manager and key worker at Arianna’s nursery were so so lovely and honestly I still remember them, 9 years on!

Ok, so back to 2020…initially we had said we would send JJ to nursery once he was walking but over the last couple of months, I’ve really seen him develop at honestly such a rapid rate! I just felt that although loving, a great chef, an amazing housekeeper; our nanny just wasn’t able to provide the stimulation that he needs. No fault of her own but she was more like an Aunty, as opposed to a childcare practitioner. I had introduced the concept of sensory play etc to her but I think that culturally she just didn’t quite get it! The other issue here in RAK specifically, is that there is a massive void of playgroups/ meet ups and so I felt there was very rarely anything that my nanny could actually take him to. Plus to be honest, I kind of feel like that’s something I should be doing!

In my opinion, it is so important for children to socialize with other children within their age groups. Although, Jaxson has Arianna, I didn’t want him to miss out on the opportunity to play, engage and learn from kids his age. I think also giving him a new environment to explore and structured activities will really help with his stimulation and growth development! That being said, we have only put him in for 3 days a week initially and will probably review within the next 3-6 months. Interestingly, I have some friends who refuse to send their children to any form of nursery etc and instead do it all themselves at home. Another one of my friends who is a KG teacher, told me that in primary schools here, they have some children who at the age of 4 have only ever been at home with nannies/ parents! Now honestly, I can’t say I agree with that as mentioned before, socialization is so imperative for child development! I think that is also another reason why I probably would not home-school Arianna…that’s a whole other topic!

So let me know guys, are you a send them to nursery parent or keep them at home?  I think if I’m ever in the position to be able to stay at home and there is a wealth of playgroup/ meet up opportunities available, then I would definitely consider staying at home for longer with my children.

I think the key thing is though, every child is different and as a parent you have got to trust your gut in decisions like this! Either way, as long as the child is happy, that’s all that matters right!?

K Vinnice
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My 2019 blog…

Firstly,

CONGRATULATIONS!! You made it! Final year of the decade…wowza!

I’ll try and keep this one to under 5 minutes reading time, as I know everyone is busy. I am currently laying in my hotel bed in Dublin writing this post; in all honesty, I wasn’t going to but I have had several prompts.

I made a conscious decision this year to get more active with my blogs and use it as a platform to generate a range of discussions, help others and hopefully inspire somehow. My lack of consistency has been evident but I’m so blessed and thankful, to know that there are many of you (I’ve been told) who actively read, enjoy and feel inspired by my blogs. Thank you!!

The thought of giving it all up has crossed my mind a few times but I know that negative thinking and a lack of self confidence is my enemy of progress!

Truthfully, I’ve had a lot of amazing things happen this year; promotion at work, birth of my son, my daughter’s birthday, attended some great events, met some amazing people…amongst many others. Yet despite this, I have spent a lot of this year comparing myself and my life to others; holding on to guilt, hoping to re-establish unfruitful relationships, craving attention from those who just don’t deserve it etc.

Sorry to my husband, children, family, friends and followers as I haven’t been wholesome with you this decade. I’ve allowed my negative mindset to overshadow so many amazing things this year; I’ve been ungrateful; unfruitful.

I’ve always believed that the start to change begins with your mindset. So this decade, I endeavour to focus more on what I do have!

LOVE MORE, LIVE MORE AND GROW!

I won’t write out a list of resolutions but will promise to always remember my journey; remember that I’m special, blessed, loved and in a position to help others!

I endeavour to continue, to strive, to inspire and once again thank you ALL (those who love and hate it) for following me this year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  See you in the next decade you beautiful soul!

Much love!

K Vinnice x

A juggling act!

Hey lovelies,

Hope you’ve all had a good week. To sum up my last few weeks…I have felt like I’m in a circus act! Going back to full time teaching with two children has been a whole new phenomenon for me.

Did I stick to my routines these last few weeks! Hell NO! Most the time, I feel absolutely exhausted and have no energy to cook, clean but just enough to play. Having spoken to my friend who also is a teacher and has a baby, it is a shared state of existence!

As you can see from the last blog post date I have been swamped! Sometimes I think about giving it up (blogging) but now and then I receive a lovely message from a reader commenting on one of my experiences. It makes it all worthwhile!

Can I just be honest for a moment and say that I am struggling to practice what I preach though. What I mean by that is, I’ve neglected my own self care!

It can be so hard when you’re exhausted and just ridiculously busy to “factor in” me time. The error that I’ve made with this approach is that ‘me time’ should be as natural as brushing my teeth or having dinner.

Why is it that we view looking after ourselves as a chore or additional task?

I would never neglect my children or husband so why should it be acceptable for me to neglect myself?!

It is not a necessity to always do elaborate things and sometimes self care can be as simple as making a cup of tea and leaving the dishes until later! It’s something that I really have to adjust my mindset to.

Truly what use am I as a mother, wife, friend or teacher…if I don’t care for me!

I would love to start some kind of self care community; like-minded people who want to make each other accountable for their own wellbeing.

Not sure if that’s something you’d be interested in but if you are then please reach out to me! I really would love to hear from you!! 🧡

Kym x

HELP…How do I make friends?

Hey lovelies!

Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who has been reading my blogs and watching our family vlogs; it means the world to me!

Secondly, I’ve always likened myself as the sociable, approachable one but recently I’ve felt that people just don’t like me!

Now I know, we really shouldn’t care about what others think and I may be acting like a school child but it genuinely disheartens me. Am I really that bad?

I’ve learnt from my modelling experience that networking is key and it is something that I actually enjoy doing ALOT! I honestly get SO excited when I meet new people and we get chatting. But since I moved over here, my networking bug has slowed down drastically!

Don’t get me wrong, I have made some good friends but do feel that I want to extend my ‘village’ a little further…

My biggest challenge is reaching out to my followers and people in general on social media. Many people have varying opinions about social media but it really can be a great tool if used correctly. I recently asked on a poll about whether or not genuine friendships can be formed from social media. The majority answered yes but HOW? How do I go about making genuine friendships?

I also really want to form friendships with individuals from all different cultures. Let me reiterate, I already have some AMAZING and valuable friendships but simply have the desire to extend my reach further.

But anyways…right now I feel that I am ranting and also failing miserably in the making new friends department! Haha! So please do enlighten me! How do you make friends? Are there any top tips that you could share?

Please do comment and let’s start a conversation!

Much love

Kym x

Birthday activities galore!

As mentioned in my previous blog, my husband really did spoil me rotten this birthday weekend! From staying in the beautiful Roda Hotel, to being haunted by clowns…I literally did it all this weekend!

So where do I begin?

Initially, hubby had mentioned doing an ‘escape room’ activity and I approved based on my previous experience. For my hen do, I participated in a WW2 themed escape room experience in London, which was a lot of fun. Naturally, the thought of doing another one was very appealing. Hubby did mention that this one was scary but never did I imagine to what extent!

We took the 15 minute drive from our hotel, to another part of Dubai and was greeted by literally a horror themed escape room! Even from just standing outside, fear overtook my body! It really took some serious guts for me to even go in there and it only got WORSE! The sinister voice over the tannoy system and pitch black atmosphere was enough to make me pee my pants (and no not due to my pelvic floor). Deep Dark Dubai, hats off to you; I honestly believed that I was in a horror film and was ready to go home! It took the guilty look of my husband, encouraging words from the owner and very strict instructions from myself to tone down the scary, for me to succumb to the idea. But I did eventually go in and I wasn’t disappointed! The concept was really good, the puzzles were not too hard and the extra scary bits and bobs had me both screaming and jumping down flights of stairs! Safe to say I was so VERY GLAD when we escaped! Hubby wants to go back to “Beat the Clown” I’m not too sure about that one TBH! Maybe I will one day…A bonus is they currently have an offer on GroupOn too (thank me later)!

I survived it to tell the tale…Now onto our second day of adventure and we went flying!

I had recently put out a poll on my Instagram and the majority voted for me to do indoor skydiving and that’s what we did (well kinda)! A slightly less horrifying experience but equally a massive adrenaline rush! The staff were extremely patient and friendly despite us rebooking our slot about 10 times (life with kids!).

The centre was massive! We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived, to find that we were the only guests there. After sitting through a safety video and being geared up, we embarked on our journey to the wind chamber! Now I really didn’t know what to expect and as always offered for the husband to go first (safety test). We both had two minutes each in the chamber; it sounds short but felt like a lifetime, when we were actually in it! I also have to shout out our instructor Arthur, he was really lovely and helpful during the experience.

The chamber…well what a thing! My initial reaction on my first go was to start hyperventilating, as I couldn’t quite figure out how to breathe with wind that strong blowing in my face! I cant really say in figures how strong the wind was but I think the pictures will reveal all…

It really was so much fun and although we weren’t aware that you had to bring a USB stick to capture the raw files, we were very thankful for the DVD of the experience with additional images added complimentary! I think we will definitely be returning for another fly experience at InFlight Dubai! AGAIN, they have an offer on GroupOn (thank me later)!

Tag me in your posts and pictures if you decide to visit any of these places and I would love to hear what you thought too!

Kym x

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I feel like S***!!!

Did you know that maternal anxiety is nearly as prevalent as maternal depression?

Here I am at the age of 20, two months after giving birth to my daughter. Behind the smile, I was lonely, sad, anxious, frustrated and feeling low. BUT I never realised until now that these were all signs of maternal depression and anxiety.

I was determined as a young single mum to cope at all costs and never show weakness, as society’s stigma was already evident for me! This was at a big cost, as I masked my feelings and suffered in silence. There were nights I would regret ever having my daughter, times I considered myself unfit and would cry at the thought of not being able to take care of her sufficiently. If only, I had the reminder that it’s ok not to be ok, my experience of motherhood would have been so very different!

This time round, I am in a totally different place in my life…thriving in raising my almost 9 year old daughter, married to my best friend and living up life in the UAE. Yet, why did I still feel anxious about being a mum the second time round? I realise that ALOT of my anxiety was developed from my innate desire to succeed in all things. I wanted to be a BOSS at being a mum of two and wife and initially felt more like a college student on an Internship!

This week is Maternal Mental Health Week and I can’t express how important it is to speak out! I have been able to manage and cope with my anxiety better this time round by acknowledging my anxiety, recognising that it is normal and speaking about my feelings (something I REALLY struggled with in my younger years). There are so many amazing campaigns and organisations out there so no-one should feel isolated in their feelings. Please feel free to message me on any of my social media accounts, if you just want a listening ear!

Please do check out The Blue Dot Project and the amazing work that they are doing in addressing maternal mental health!

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Kym x

Unconventional and LOVING it!

It is now 2018 and firstly I would like to say a Happy and Prospeous New Year to all those who are reading this!

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Now there are several purposes to this blog post, the first being (like many of my others) to inspire family, friends, strangers and foes. Oh, I also need to apologise as I haven’t been as consistent with the blog writing, as I would have hoped!

My second purpose of this post is to demonstrate how stepping out of comfort zones and the norm can be so fulfilling and quite frankly fun!

Thirdly, this post will hopefully answer some of the unasked questions that we know both family and friends may have…

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So where do I begin: well for those who don’t know Daniel and I have known each other for almost 7 years now, of which during this time, a lot of our relationship was on and off like a light switch! Lol. In August 2017, myself and my daughter moved to the UAE, where I started a new job; subsequently, despite Dan and I not talking at the start of 2017, it ended up being our best ever year together! So advice point 1, not everything is instantaneous some things require a journey of maturity and development and I can certainly say, that was the case for our relationship. We spent a total of 12 weeks apart, which for some experienced long distance relationshipers may seem trivial but for us, it was major! Especially, as we had both realised that we were inseparable and despite the low points previously, did not want to do life without each other.

Advice point 2: communication. When I initially found out about the job, I shared everything with Dan and we spoke about the future and my decision to go etc. Dan understood that this was a lifelong dream for me but also it was about laying foundations for our family; I struggled with my decision as I didn’t want to mess up what we had but also didn’t want to turn the job down and live a life of regret and resentment. It was at this point that Dan started actively considering and making plans to leave the UK and move to the UAE with us! Now readers, if you know my husband you will understand that the love is real. My husband and his large family are very close and he isn’t as adventurous as me, so for him to say and action that he’s coming- sealed the deal!

Moving the story along, we had always discussed marriage and I would share with him my wish to be married before having any more children, as marriage and its meaning means a lot to me. *Disclosure* I am NOT pregnant yet! Lol. Initially, Dan didn’t share the same enthusiasm for marriage and didn’t see it as a priority like I did. It was in November, that in the midst of one of our regular skype video calls, we again stumbled upon the topic of marriage…it was different this time though, as Dan was more enthusiastic and open to the idea. We began to discuss when we’d get married, where we’d get married, amongst other things. Jointly, by the end of the Skype call, a decision was made that we would get married in London during my Christmas visit (18 days); we then later concluded that we wouldn’t have enough time or money to have the wedding we’d both want in December so decided that we’d have a ceremony, with our close family in a local registry office and then the full wedding in Summer 2018. Neither of us, felt that we wanted to wait to have everything in the summer: for legal reasons, moral reasons but more importantly, we just wanted to be husband and wife immediately. We were both truly and deeply ready to take the final step of commitment to one another.

Advice point 3: have faith. Both excited with the plans and decisions that we’d made, we started to enquire about the possibility of a registry office marriage during December in London. We hit a brick wall. With all the legalities, time frames and notice periods, a marriage in London was impossible; we even consulted the British Embassy in the UAE, who were unable to help us. It was at this point that I started to get really down but as usual, Dan kept reassuring me that it would all work out. I would like to thank my three RAK ladies (you know who you are) who implanted the seed of ‘Gretna Green.’ I was quite apprehensive about what my parents would think about a Gretna Green marriage but I put my fears to the side and we started the process (in the end they loved the idea). By the beginning of December, it was confirmed that we would be married on the 30th December 2017 at Gretna Green Registry office in Scotland.

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Now what was meant to be a basic intimate ceremony, turned out to be an intimate but unconventional wedding road trip! We travelled 7 hours by coach to Scotland on the 29th December, stayed in a beautiful castle overnight and on the 30th said our vows and were pronounced husband and wife! I missed a bit from the story, so will go back to the engagement…now in November we both obviously knew that we would be married by December, however because we were apart Dan couldn’t do a physical proposal (which was his desire). So yes, although I knew a proposal would happen in December, I didn’t know exactly when nor had I seen my stunningly beautiful engagement ring! I had however, purchased our wedding rings from Dubai at the beginning of December so we actually had those before the engagement ring.

So time frame: engaged on 24th December 2017 and married on the 30th December 2017. Although, I think for us both, we had been engaged in our souls through love and God’s grace for a while.

The actual wedding (part two) will take place this summer and planning a UK wedding from a different country is definitely something worthy of its own blog post (to follow). Our love story isn’t the norm but we have never tried to be that! What we can say, is our story is real and we have overcome a lot of hurdles, which has made our love for each other stronger every day.

We have been married now for one week and again will be doing long distance for another 2-3 weeks until Dan officially moves over. Believe me when I say true love approved and ordained by God really does win!

Love Mrs Kym Rose x

I think I’m healthy…

Today was definitely one of those “this is so strange yet interesting” experiences, one of many I’m sure to experience in a new culture.  In order to become a fully fledge resident of the United Arab Emirates, all expat adults have to undergo a thorough medical check.  Whilst in the process of arranging my new classroom, I was quickly whisked away into a school bus that took 15 of us to a location not far from school.  When we arrived at the medical centre, the ladies were shown to a “Ladies only waiting room” (something you soon become accustomed too).  We were directed by our ever so friendly bus driver, who I have to commend for his logistical rigour…

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The first room was for the biometrics and I really hadn’t realised how many different prints existed on my hand!  We were asked to take a photograph, of which I was told not to smile, after my first take.  Our driver then showed us to another smaller room, where each of us were interviewed for about 2 minutes; I was asked if I’m married (hopefully soon and very soon).  The herd of expatriate sheep were then herded to the bloods room for a blood test. Hats off to the ladies there who get through people very quickly and with minimal pain!  Having had a pint of blood taken (hyperbole at its finest) we were then taken to an x-ray room for our chest scan.  Again, the ladies only waiting area was about the size of a shoe box and we were directed to remove our blouses and bras and to fashion an appealing x-ray gown.

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“Deep breath in and hold madam”

Back to the shoe box to change and then out into the sweltering corridors to join the rest of my group.  All in all, I have never seen a medical screening happen so efficiently and in such detail. Like I said it was a strange yet interesting experience but I am excited to know that my Emirates ID should shortly be on its way!

P.s. Good news is the children don’t have to do a medical, as they would need an army to get Ri’s bloods!!

Kym & Arianna

 

Our UAE adventure

We have arrived safely in the UAE, as you’ve probably seen.  This is such an exciting adventure and journey for myself and Arianna, which we so want to share with those who take the time to read.  We hope that from our adventure you will feel empowered, inspired, encouraged and determined to seek out and fulfil your own dreams and ambitions.img_6369

Please feel free to leave your comments, questions and of course share with all!

 Kym & Arianna

and welcome to the beginning!

It’s our 5th day in Ras Al Khaimah, although time and days all seem to be blended at the moment! It feels like we have been here much longer!

We arrived early hours on Sunday morning having experienced great hospitality and a lovely flight from Emirates airline. The immigration and baggage collection went smoothly and the air conditioning disguised the scorching 42 degree heat outside. As we arrived in the arrivals hall, we were pleasantly greeted by members from my new school; they immediately took us to set up our UAE number at one of the local Etisalat stands. It’s at this point that the realisation of migrating to a new country and setting up from scratch truly kicked it! New number, emirates card, residency visa…wait a minute this isn’t a temporary holiday but a permanent move! Emirates polaroid

We were taken to our new apartment which was huge! Immediately, Arianna began unpacking her toys and making herself at home. We are privileged enough or for me tempted by one of the many malls, across the road from our building. After an hour or so, we were collected by a lovely couple (from the school) who took us over to buy some essentials bits and bobs and an unofficial meet up. It didn’t take long before the “Mummy I’m bored” ran through my ears; luckily for me the UAE malls are packed with endless amounts of entertainment for children! We managed to navigate our way around the supermarket aisles, recognising many brands and purchasing ingredients for a first meal. P.s. My cooker and fridge are huge!

Later that evening, a very tired mummy and daughter fell asleep whilst waiting for our amazing family who had flown in the night before, to arrive into RAK. I am very thankful for the powerful AC in my apartment which stopped us from melting! After the arrival of my family at 9.30pm we decided to have a late night shopping/ eating session in RAK mall (closes at midnight) to purchase more bits for the apartment. MATALAN! The runs across the road by now were becoming familiar; the driving and road etiquette is very different from the UK…

By day 2, our TV and WIFI had been ordered and awaiting delivery/installation. THANK GOD! I hadn’t realised how much we relied on internet and how alien it is living without it! I suppose with all of this, setting up from scratch was a bigger task than I expected!

However, 5 days in and our house is looking a lot more like home! We have visited the area of Al Hamra (which is very plush) and have our first excursion booked for this weekend. I’ve had 2 days in school, going through some logistics, however after the Eid holiday our first full week of induction will begin.

img_6376img_6365Arianna and I have already made some lovely friends and the entire newbie crew and welcoming committee have been fab!

Signing out for now lovelies but will have my next blog post up very soon!

Kym & Arianna xx

 

 

p.s. This evening we found a bat on my balcony, evidence below…

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