{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #21 – Sun, Sea and Sinking Sand

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #21 – Sun, Sea and Sinking Sand

Yesterday I looked around our home that clearly needed tidying and then looked at the weather app on my iPhone.  It was only about 16 degrees, but apparently there wouldn’t be a cloud in the sky until around 8pm.  I looked around the house again, and thought about our empty bank account (my husband’s agency had some mess up and hadn’t paid him), we had enough petrol to get to Nana’s in the car, and just enough money in the bank for train fare.  We don’t all fit in the car (until we buy our second car which will be a 7 seater) so I was driving to Nana’s with the children and James was going to get the train.  We had 40 minutes if we wanted Daddy to make the train (which are only hourly) so we just decided Carpe Diem and went for it.
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As soon as we hit the road, we were stuck driving at 10mph…. fear struck as we had enough petrol to get to Nana’s but  maybe not enough petrol for a traffic jam… Yay!  This didn’t last very long at all.  Once we made it past the junction that turned off to the Lake District we were cruising.  Isis was filming herself dancing and singing in the car, she’s such a funny character.  Totally used up all my phone memory though haha, little monkey.  I’m really fortunate that all of ours are good travellers, they don’t need anything to entertain them, there’s no iPad’s in sight, we chat, we’re silly and most of the time..they sleep.  Shayla, Judah and Eden (and James) pretty much sleep any car journey.  Shayla will fall asleep in the ten minute journey home from school at 3pm.  She’s so like her Daddy, any chance she gets to rest she seizes it.  Isis is a die hard and unless it’s late at night, she’s always awake and chatting.

We had some lunch at Nana’s and headed out to the beach with Auntie Jenny and her dog ‘Lady’.  My Mum had to go visit an elderly friend so she wasn’t able to join us, but to be honest, we’d have never got up to our next antics, if she’d been there to advise us against it (so I’m secretly glad she didn’t come, not too secretly though as she’ll probably read this – Hi Nana).

I decided as it didn’t look so far away that we should go and put our feet in the sea.  Daddy was tired so we left him and Eden dozing on the beach, and the rest of us headed off to the sea.  Very quickly we realised this was not the best idea.  What I had thought was a grassy area turned out to be marsh and sinking sand.  From eye level on the horizon it just looked like grass, not the case.  It was maybe 30cm’s tall grassy knolls just big enough to put an adult foot on separated by lots of little sandy traps.  If you put your feet on the sand (which I thought would be safer for myself and my dodgy hips) then your feet sank so quickly and you would lose your shoes.  I, for some reason had put my Uggs on (don’t ask me why, they’re comfy and were lying around whilst we dressed 6 people and packed a baby bag in 40 minutes) and absolutely destroyed them.  They got stuck in the sinking sand, I rescued my feet and then Auntie Jenny had to rescue my Uggs out of the sinking sand as I kept slipping (it’s a good job I’m hypermobile and can do the splits).  We were in hysterics, especially at the irony of my telling James off for spraying them with the water pistol earlier in the day haha – ooops!

After a lot of effort, we made it to the sea.  Now, if you’ve followed my blog at all, you will know that I really struggle with walking just to the corner shop since having Eden.  My hips lock, they cause me great pain and my back is weak due to the excessive weight I’ve put on not being able to exercise and spending so much time in bed.  This was THE MOST FUN I have had in soooo long.  I felt like me again, it seemed like an adventure.  Maybe a bad idea to take a toddler along, especially when about half way to the sea we remembered a fire engine had to come and rescue someone a few weeks ago for getting stuck out where we were (again, would never have got past the grass on Nana’s watch).  It might seem like not a big deal for most people, but I was so aware of how as little as a week ago, there’s NO way I would’ve been able to do what I was doing in that moment.  I was loving it.

Undeterred by the muddy Uggs we proceeded bare foot and eventually found a part of the sand that didn’t suck us in, and we made it to the sea.  Yay! Success.  The children and I were so proud of ourselves.  We then spent a lot of time running, jumping, splashing and doing cartwheels (Isis) in the sea.  It was so beautiful I took a LOT of photos.  Once we were sufficiently soaked through and I felt like uber cool Mum for letting the kids get filthy when I’d not packed clean clothes or a towel (yes, stupid but the kids thought I rocked) we then made our way back to Daddy and Eden via a much safer route.

I was so proud of Judah, he is usually scared of everything, and in a ridiculously short time, he went from clinging to Auntie Jenny’s leg and refusing to stand on the sand (understandably as we were screaming when it was sucking us in) to running on it (when it was much safer) and jumping in the sea.  He then walked all the way home barefoot like the rest of us, as our feet were FILTHY there was no way we could put them back inside our shoes.  James would never walk barefoot as he hates the feel of gravel etc on his feet.  I can’t say I’m the biggest fan either when the ground isn’t always smooth, but Judah just got in with it.  You could see he felt like he was enjoying the greatest adventure.

We had an amazing day.  Just to make sure they were incredibly filthy when they were soaking wet through the girls decided to lie down and be sand angels, so we were all desperately in need of a bath.  Nana had put some bowls of water out in the front garden for us to wash our feet before going in the house (I’d called ahead and prepped her for our messy arrival).  The girls had to wear what we could salvage as spares from the car, Shayla had James’ shirt on (she looked like she was going to go rob the local Spar haha) and I remembered how much fun can be had when you can move without pain.  Eden is now 18 months old and I’m hoping that finally my body (that the physio had said would take a year – I was beginning to lose hope) is starting to heal.  I’m of course a bit sore today, but nowhere near what had become my normal.

I still feel excited thinking about yesterday, because I had SO MUCH FUN, it was free and around the corner from my Mum’s house.  I am really looking forward to Summer and feeling grateful that we live somewhere that allows us to enjoy such moments of pure joy and freedom.  We are truly blessed.

We have been experimenting with vlogging a lot recently, talking about our children, making videos of our little memories, and yesterday we tried a video diary.  If you brave heading over to our YouTube channel to watch our footage from yesterday (or click on it at the bottom of this post below) please comment and let us know if you like the video diary style posts or prefer the music video versions.  Maybe you like a mixture, or maybe you’re like stop spamming my instagram and twitter feed telling me about your videos?  Please let us know what you think.  We’re very interested.

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As always we’re linking up with the beautiful Katie at Mummy Daddy Me, so make sure you click on the badge below to go see all the other wonderful Ordinary Moments.

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A Very Windy Picnic

A Very Windy Picnic

A couple of weeks ago we bought a new picnic basket and blanket (one that was big enough for all of us to sit on).  We have been waiting for the weather to brighten up ever since.  The children were so excited to enjoy a picnic together that the first sign of a sunny afternoon and we had packed up the car to go enjoy a picnic on the beach near Nana’s house in Lytham.
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The weather was very windy last week (as I’m sure most of you experienced) and at the beach with nothing to shelter you it did take the edge off the warmth.  The children didn’t mind this, as they were wrapped up and running around playing.  Nana & Grandad weren’t so sure but were brilliant coming along anyway to enjoy the children’s first picnic on the beach of the year.

We had raided the local Booths of all things chocolatey, made some yummy ham and cheese sandwiches (the children’s favourites) took some cherry tomatoes and diluted some cordial.  The beach is literally 5 minutes walk (10 with teeny legs) from my parents house as they live just off the road that runs parallel to the promenade and I’m so looking forward to this Summer with James only working down the road.  We intend to go with Daddy to work every sunny day and go hang out with Nana by the beach before Judah starts pre-school in September.

It was great down at the beach, because it was windy, there was no-one else sitting there.  A few dog walkers, runners, cyclists going past but we pretty much had the run of the place to ourselves.  We enjoyed our picnic and then the children had fun running around and playing.  Eden was in a ridiculously chatty mood.  I’ve never heard her talk so much.  She must have just felt extremely happy.  It was lovely, she had us all chuckling as her chatter didn’t stop.

I feel very grateful to have such by DeleteAd” href=”#29741380″> beauty so local and accessible, especially with us not having a second car yet.  It means that yeah, our Bucket List adventures may have come to a halt for a while (not that we can’t get around with public transport, it’s just not as easy with two toddlers), but we can spend a Summer by the sea.

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not my finest photography as I was still sat on the picnic blanket as they played

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Our Great Outdoors 2015 Bucketlist #6

Our Great Outdoors 2015 Bucketlist #6

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Last Tuesday when I had scheduled the day to sit at the computer carrying out ‘blogmin’ the hubby decided to come home from work early.  The sun was shining and the computer system at his work had gone down, so he appeared, to take us all out to enjoy the sunshine.  This was a lovely surprise, especially as today, he starts a new job and this is not something he would be able to do again for a long time.  Also, with his new job being further afield, we won’t be having the car in the week anymore (until we can afford a second car) and will need to rely on public transport to get us to our adventures.  This may not seem like a big deal but when you’re trying to battle postnatal depression, it’s just another hurdle to get over.  We will get over this hurdle, it’s just going to take more force of will from myself.

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I took so many amazing photos on this lovely afternoon that I am really going to struggle choosing which ones to put on this post.  I narrowed my favourites to 25 which is obviously far too many for on here, but I will try to fit as many into this post as possible.  We went to a local nature reserve ‘Brockholes‘ that is only a couple of junctions down the motorway for us.  When you live practically on top of a motorway junction where three different motorways meet, most places seem so easily accessible.  What’s special about Brockholes despite all the great educational things they put on, and events that they host is that these are “the moors” that my Mum grew up playing on.  She used to live just behind here and as children and teenagers this is where her and her siblings would spend their time.

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In the Visitors Centre, there is a lot of information displayed in many different ways.  This little wooden info board is ideal for a child Isis’ age to learn what they can do to help preserve wildlife and the environment.  It is such a beautiful place that it is perfect for all the family.  Even if you were just to walk around the reserve you could spend hours.  We soaked in the tranquility by the water for a while and then had a lot of fun on the adventure park, which is fantastic for all ages.  I know that our toddlers loved it and even Daddy had a great time on the zip wire.

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We met up with a friend who’s little one had only turned one a couple of weeks prior and they had a lot of fun enjoying the play park too.  He and Eden enjoyed going on the see-saw together which was very cute.  Eden was quite restricted by her lack of footwear, but we resolved that this weekend with her first pair of outdoor shoes which we’ll be writing about on our ‘Just the 2 of Us‘ post tomorrow.  I’m so glad that in future she will able to roam around exploring with her big brother.

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Judah is still very much scared of most things.  It’s funny how much it frustrates James as his Mum tells me that he was the same, almost scared of his own shadow.  Judah will go up to most things, excited by how it looks and then back away as he’s decided that it’s dangerous.  He had some fun enjoying the slide and zip wire with Daddy’s help.

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We had such a lovely afternoon, Judah as usual didn’t want to come home despite an incident falling in mud earlier.  After that he had wanted to go home, but once we cleaned his hands up with a baby wipe he decided that it was ok.  I got so many more great photos, but I will save some for our ‘Living Arrows‘ page that we update weekly.  I will leave you with a few more…
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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Our Great Outdoors 2015 Bucketlist #5

Our Great Outdoors 2015 Bucketlist #5

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It has been a bit hectic for us recently for various reasons, but this has meant that we haven’t really been keeping up with our adventures.  This week despite my still being unwell, the weather looked a bit brighter on my weather app one day so we seized the opportunity to go out to a local park.  Worden Park is literally 10 minutes drive from where we live now but this is the first time I have ever taken any of the children.  I think last time I was at this park I was pregnant with Judah, and that was after a long time, many years in fact.

Martina loved it, she explained to me that in Italy, parks like this were very rare, she would need to travel for over an hour and it wouldn’t be as beautiful.  I think it’s very easy to take for granted how green and luscious our country really is.  She’s often mesmerised on the motorway at how green everything is and all the sheep in the fields.  This is just a local park in one of my least favourite towns but it is breathtaking, and I certainly have taken it for granted.

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Martina and Judah started climbing various places on the hunt for all the squirrels they were seeing.  It’s so helpful having another able bodied person with me, especially when I have the buggy with me (you can see the top of the buggy bottom left).  He has been obsessed with ‘squiddles’ ever since.  We have spent a lot of time drawing them and everytime we go out in the car I’m asked if we’re going to look for squiddles again.  Well, I say asked but it’s more like he tells me ‘we go to the park, then have a play, then some lunch then look for squiddles’.  I like that he’s bossy, can’t imagine where he gets it from.

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This little girl adored soaking everything in.  I get annoyed when I leave her pacifier in too much, not long after this photo I removed it.  When she has it in, I sometimes almost forget there’s a baby in the buggy that I’m pushing.  It’s like she’s gone to sleep, but if I take the pacifier out then she’s humming and singing to herself.  I know that she’s happily enjoying her surroundings.  Her feet are getting to a size now where we should be able to get her some outdoors shoes.  Now that she’s walking I can’t wait for her to be able to follow Judah running around chasing the ducks.

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We had a great time on the play area, if you follow my instagram you will have seen some lovely videos of our time there.  Judah chasing the ducks and Eden enjoying the swings.  Eden was so giggly on the swings, she absolutely thrives on undivided attention.  Martina was playing with Judah in the sand pit and Eden loved her Mummy just pushing her, only having eyes for her (apart from the cursory glances across to where Martina and Judah were).

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Judah really enjoyed the dual control digger, he couldn’t quite master it so he was frustrated with it often, but also determined to work it out.  To be fair, he didn’t quite have the strength to lift once it was stuck in the sand.  We kept helping him, I know that it won’t be long though until he’s a pro, he’s very quick at figuring things out.

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I love having this time with them.  We had been stuck in the house for the best part of 10 days I’m sure and when it was time to go home Judah just didn’t want to.  The sun was going down and the wind was picking up a chill, I remembered that as usual neither of them had gloves on and we didn’t have too much longer left on the car parking.  So nice when they’ve had such a lovely time they don’t want to go home, even if I try bribing with promises of chocolate munching whilst watching Fireman Sam.  It just shows that with children you can’t beat being outdoors.  He loves watching Fireman Sam, I really work at not having the TV on often (we’ve come to an agreement with our schedule that they watch it for an hour before Daddy gets home so I can potter tidying the toys and preparing dinner) but if we allowed him he would watch it all day every day.  When push comes to shove though if it was Fireman Sam or going for a walk, being outside would win everytime.
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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Our Great Outdoors 2015 Bucketlist #3

Our Great Outdoors 2015 Bucketlist #3

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Today I hadn’t planned a specific place to visit as I had no idea what the weather was doing this week.  It was raining, snowing, hailing, a blizzard.  Just didn’t know what we would find on this winters day.  My Mum had plans to see a friend near to one of the places on my Bucketlist, Yarrow Valley Country Park.  I decided that although we may only get about an hour outside, we could kill two birds with one stone, and as this is quite local to my brother, it’s somewhere we’ll probably come again and again as the year goes on.  It was so lovely to find that the snow hadn’t melted here yet when we arrived.  It was a lovely wintery wonderland.  Judah just decided it was a Gruffalo Trail again.  Poor child, didn’t get out and about too much last year, so anytime we go to a park now, he decides that it must be a Gruffalo Trail.

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I loved seeing his happy face enjoying the snow.  I’m not sure Eden knew what to make of it all.  She wasn’t feeling her best (she had been unwell yesterday with sickness), so she wasn’t her usual smiley self.  She’s walking quite a bit now, but would not have the first clue how to get her some shoes for outdoors as she’s still as size 0.  Any tips, please comment below.  It was wonderful having Nana with us.  Even though it wasn’t for long, they were so excited to see the snow, it was lovely to share the memories with my Mum.

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I just couldn’t get one of her smiling

We found a little path with fresh snow that no-one else had trodden on.  Judah loved making footprints in the powdery snow.  I was lingering behind to take pictures, but would’ve loved to run through it.  Guess that’s a simple illustration of motherhood, watching your little ones enjoy the things you know you would love.  We’ve been nappy free out and about the last few days.  I had to keep my eye on where the nearest toilets were at all times.  I have been so impressed with how we’ve finally cracked the potty training malarkey.  Judah is great at dealing with it himself.  I panic when we’re travelling in the car or out and about, and I know when we’re out in the cold as humans it gets our lymphatic system going, but we’ve only had successes so far this week.  So I know it’s a strange thing to say as all children get there eventually in their own time, but I’m really proud of him.

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There were some beautiful swans in the lake and Judah was unimpressed that I hadn’t brought any bread.  Probably just as well though as it would’ve been very precarious to get close to the water in the slippy, slushy snow.  I had such a lovely time and am so pleased that we are doing this weekly.  Even if we only get to steal an hour, I am just enjoying the fresh air and I know that it is helping me battle the PND.  Seeing the children’s enjoyment, knowing that it’s so good for them, helps me to get out there and I know it’s helping me too.

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I love joining in with the Country Kids linky and find it a great reminder to take our little ones outdoors whatever the weather.  Click on the badge below to find out what wintery fun others have been up to this week.

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Our Great Outdoors 2015 Bucketlist #2

Our Great Outdoors 2015 Bucketlist #2

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So, after last time our faux attempt at finding the ‘Deep Dark Wood’ which according to Judah was any cluster of trees, and knowing that they would be finishing in February we decided to go on a real Gruffalo’s Trail.  The Forestry Commission are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Gruffalo so until February 28th you can go and do a Gruffalo Activity Trail at various points all over the UK.  Click here to find out more and where your nearest one is.  I did my research and saw that Grizedale was near to where we live, and it’s a Forest I’ve been to before and really loved.  However, this morning, I looked on a map to see the distance, and checked the weather…. hmm… it would take us 1 hour 30 mins to get to Grizedale Forest and it was forecast rain.  If I thought there was a chance of snow in the lovely Lake District, we would’ve definitely been Northward bound.  Instead, I discovered Delamere Forest that I’ve never been to, was South of us and only an hour each way.  It wasn’t to forecast near Delamere until about 1pm.  So, with that in mind we changed our plans and headed South.

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As soon as I’d finished the school run I collected my sister from the train station and off we went on our little adventure.  I couldn’t find Judah’s gloves, as usual, (I need to attach them to some string so they can live inside his coat), so he borrowed Auntie Jenny’s.  He looked so cute with the giant hands.  He was very excited to begin the trail.  I don’t know how children learn information that you haven’t taught them but he told me at the starting sign, that it was the map and it told us where to go.  We had purchased our Activity Pack for just £2 at the shop but it was a bit above Judah’s level so it waited on the pram until we got to the cafe at the end.

It was so beautiful pottering around, I really felt as though we were part of the story, some of the scenery looked as though it could’ve been taken straight out of the pages of the book.

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So beautiful…

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It was great having Auntie Jenny with us, my hips were playing up again, and sometimes I would need to walk ahead as I was fighting with mud uphill and the wheels of our Bugaboo Cameleon.  I would just try and get up the hills whilst I could, so I would manage to capture quite a lot of pictures of Judah and Auntie Jenny catching me up (usually when we were walking uphill anyway).

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There were multiple points throughout the trail with posts that informed us what we should be doing, this mainly went with the activity pack.  Judah liked interpreting his own versions though.  Here he was just telling me about the mouse making scary shadows from the moon.  It took us just under an hour and a half to walk around as we pottered around slowly.  It was only a mile and a half trail.  Judah likes to take his time, and we were soaking in all that we saw.  There was a little robin that was following us at one point.  I wished my camera could zoom in further as I could only sneak so close to it before it would fly away.

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Can you see our friend?

When we actually found our friend the Gruffalo, Judah was not very impressed.  I wouldn’t say terrified as there were no tears, or screaming, shaking or even hiding.  He just kind of stood there, not sure whether it was going to break out of it’s statuesque pose at any moment.  He didn’t really want to stand next to it for a photo, he needed to keep his eye on it.  I stood him the other side of Eden’s buggy and then he was a little bit easier to photograph.  Once we walked on ahead though, he told me, ‘Fireman Sam gonna get that Gruffalo.’  This is what we say now about purple minions so that he doesn’t have bad dreams.  He was definitely intimidated by the Gruffalo statue, but he knew that Fireman Sam would protect him.  I also reminded him the mouse was going to make Gruffalo crumble, so not to worry too much.

Gruffalos Child Trail, Delamere Forest, country kids, Our Great 2015 Outdoors Bucketlist, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog

Gruffalos Child Trail, Delamere Forest, country kids, Our Great 2015 Outdoors Bucketlist, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog

He started to get tired when we near to the end.  He kept asking to be picked up, I was struggling with my hips so I informed him we were nearly there and there wasn’t long left to walk.  Auntie Jenny took pity and decided to carry him.  It was really funny as he then pretended to be asleep so she wouldn’t put him back down to walk again.  She almost fell for it too until I pointed out he was squeezing his eyes shut.  Clever little monkey.

Gruffalos Child Trail, Delamere Forest, country kids, Our Great 2015 Outdoors Bucketlist, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog Gruffalos Child Trail, Delamere Forest, country kids, Our Great 2015 Outdoors Bucketlist, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog

We finished our adventure with a warm drink in the cafe.  They had the hot chocolate that my sister can have (she’s gluten intolerant) and also gluten free, chocolate covered flapjack.  We treated Auntie Jenny for looking after Judah so well.  Great for the coeliacs out there to know that they will be catered for.

Gruffalos Child Trail, Delamere Forest, country kids, Our Great 2015 Outdoors Bucketlist, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog Gruffalos Child Trail, Delamere Forest, country kids, Our Great 2015 Outdoors Bucketlist, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog Gruffalos Child Trail, Delamere Forest, country kids, Our Great 2015 Outdoors Bucketlist, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, mummy blog

It was so refreshing to have had such a long time out in the crisp fresh air.  It was not too cold at all.  It started to rain as we were sat in the cafe, we could not have timed it better.  Yay for weather apps and prestine planning.  We drove back to the city and dropped Auntie Jenny back at the train station with about 30 minutes to spare before going to collect the girls from school.  A really enjoyable day.  When I had awoke that morning I had not been in the mood to go for our adventure, but I’m so glad that we did.

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

18 Days of Summer #19 – Overtime

18 Days of Summer #19 – Overtime

Overtime - 1

So as you will know if you’ve been reading we had our beautiful girls for 18 Days but due to our whereabouts (down South) and their Mum travelling to where we were a day and a half after we would’ve had ‘hand over’ we thought it made sense to keep the girls down with us a little bit longer.  So, we changed our plans, sorted it out with the girls Mum who of course was missing them but could see it made sense for the girls not to do the long journey twice more than was needed.  This meant we got to have an extra full day with the girls.  Hence this last post to tag along with our 18 Days of Summer.

As we had failed to make it to the museum the day before (it was closed) we planned to venture out that way again later in the day.  Shayla and I had been out in the morning for our stepMummy and Daughter time which you will have seen on last weeks ‘Just the 2 of us‘ post. We hadn’t gone anywhere though before we had spent time choosing which hairstyles they wanted from the cute girls hairstyles app again:

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Isis went for this 'double dutch braided tie back' inspired by Heidi Klum
Isis went for this ‘double dutch braided tie back’ inspired by Heidi Klum

Shayla chose the ‘running braid’ which was fantastic for the following day too.  Both of them looked great when they’d been messing in the water for a while as well.

This will be great for sports at school, or swimming
This will be brilliant for sports at school, or swimming

On our way to the museum we found an exquisite little fabric shop that had the most gorgeous fabric swatches.  We bought some to create bunting for their school sports bags that we’re making, you’ll see more about that in a future post, some cute buttons, gift tags for the thank you biscuits that we made later in the day.

The children loved it in the museum, it made me laugh though.  Why do children always go straight to do something they could’ve done at home?

museum 1
look at the concentration

museum 2

 There were ready made templates of flowers and cats etc. on the tables for the children to draw around and scissors provided to cut them out with.  This was a nifty little idea, and one I intend to use.  I have some card that I will make some templates out of for our craft time, probably more like Peppa Pig and Minions from Despicable Me, but it will rescue me having to stop what I’m doing to draw them all the time *winks*.
museum 3 museum 4 museum 5
museum 6
Judah thought this skeleton was a Pirate – he may be right
museum 7
the girls weren’t impressed with these hats, they refused to point to one they would wear
museum 8
‘want these out Mummy’ – drawn straight to the “toys”

Eden was much happier once we were outside and back in the sunshine, we headed to the beach, not before picking up supplies to make biscuits first.

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We headed to the splash pad again, as they had enjoyed it so much on James’ birthday.  It was lovely to see them all running around and having fun.  It makes my heart smile.

splash pad 1
Judah was a lot braver this time
splash pad 2
our lovely ladylike children pretending they could urinate like men
splash pad 3
gorgeous Isis
splash pad 4
beautiful Shayla

As we all walked back down the prom I felt sad knowing that tomorrow they would leave.  I also feel so proud seeing all my family together, I feel so blessed to have my hands so full.  I just wished we could all swan around Worthing forever in the sunshine and never return to real life, but alas, that cannot be so.  I’m sure many of us wish this at some point, not always about Worthing *chuckles* but when it’s been one of ‘those’ holidays that you just don’t want to come back from.

Isis DSLR
mini me

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When we got home I made them sausage and tomato pasta, ‘my favourite’ Shayla said with delight, as we had been talking earlier about her favourite food.  She seemed shocked that I remembered and we were having it *bless.*  It’s the little things that matter to 4 year olds.

Shayla enjoying her food
Shayla enjoying her food

I didn’t want them to go to bed so we made our thank you biscuits which you can read all about here.  It was the perfect day, I loved hanging out with all of them.  It was really special even though we didn’t really do much at all.  I want to remember days like this forever, and it makes me grateful to be able to blog about it.

What was your favourite day this Summer?  Is there a specific holiday that stands out when you look back that you wish had never ended?

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18 Days of Summer #18

18 Days of Summer #18

macdonalds

So today should’ve been our final day as our big blended family for the summer holidays, but we managed to extend for a day and a half.  The girls now go back on what would be Day 20 in the morning.  I have so enjoyed having this time, and I would have the girls all the time but of course they would miss their mum too much.  They haven’t mentioned her since Day 10, but I think that’s because they know in their head that this is coming to an end and they will see her soon.  I am starting to really worry now about how it will affect Judah when they go back.  We let him drift off to sleep in their bed before moving him across for the last 2 nights, the first night Shayla and him were holding hands and tonight he was hugging her when James went to bring him back to our room.  I am now thinking this was a big mistake, it will just make it harder for him when they leave *sniffs*.

so sweet
so sweet

Today the battery for the DSLR was left on charge so the pictures we snapped were taken on James’ iphone, so apologies for the quality, but these are our memories.  We had a relaxed morning, Isis caught up on reading this blog, I like that it increases her vocabulary, she will ask me what words mean and then I catch her using them in sentences throughout the day *winks*, educational as well as editorial content.  Of course the girls chose their cute girls hairstyle again:

cute girls hairstyles, cobra braid
Shayla chose the ‘cobra braid side pony’

and Isis went for the beach look with her already wavy locks…

bubbled fishtail, cute girls hairstyles
Isis chose the bubbled fishtail

I wanted to buy some sea salt spray (I fancy the Lee Stafford one) to encourage their natural waves to have more definition and stay throughout the day, but we didn’t really make it to a chemist that would stock it today.  I will stock up before we get the girls again.  Shayla’s hair just needs a little bit of water and it’s curly, but Isis’ hair is very straight, the only way I’ve EVER been able to get AND KEEP it curly was when I had her sleep in rags, which was the best way anyway as there’s no heat involved.  I’m sure the sea salt spray will help it have that beach wave look.

We sat and watched some television whilst the babies napped and got ourselves ready for when they awoke.  Eden woke first so we made sure that she ate some lunch at that time, then when Judah woke, we all got out of the house as quickly as we could so as to not waste the day.  We had planned to go to McDonald’s for them to have happy meals and then go to the museum.  We went to McDonald’s but when we arrived at the museum, it was closed *sighs*.  Open 10-5 Tuesday to Saturday.  Of course we had ventured there on a Monday.  So, I tell the girls, we’ll come back tomorrow and we ventured just a little bit further to the soft play centre around the corner.

Children LOVE soft-play centres, us as parents usually do not.  I like it when I can go and join in ie. with Judah, I have a great excuse, but with a baby too that doesn’t really happen anymore.  They all had a great time, James and I discussed how extortionate it was.  Eden practiced her standing, she cruised around a little as well, I was very shocked at how strong her little legs are becoming.  However, I don’t think I would encourage this anywhere else as she did bash her little face as she crumpled a few times, not that she even flinched as it was all padded, but at home she would have certainly injured herself.  Good tip to remember that babies can practice cruising at soft-play centres.

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he was far too excited with his balloon dog to stand still, this was the best we could capture as he kept jumping
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he turned his balloon dog into a Gandelf staff which seemed to encourage bravery
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Eden enjoyed talking to herself in the mirror
dontcallmestepmummy
‘hiya’

The girls were off doing far too thrilling things to stop and be photographed, plus they were usually surrounded by other children as they all shot through the older side like they were on ‘the eliminator’ assault course from Gladiators.

After the soft-play centre we perused some shops and then went for ice-cream before heading back to our holiday home (James’ parents).  It was nearly 7pm now so we all just had a quick pizza dinner and hung out watching TV in bed together before they went off to sleep.  I love the ordinary moments such as these, where we don’t do anything particularly special but I know that they will remember feeling secure and loved as we all just piled around the one bed watching TV together.

Tomorrow we will attempt the museum again and we’ve all been nominated for the ice-bucket challenge.  I was hoping to avoid carrying this out but the children are very excited and so we must comply.  We will do this in the evening and then have nice warm baths afterwards.
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18 Days of Summer #15

18 Days of Summer #15

dontcallmestepmummy

Today was a slow starter as we all took our time getting ready.  I seem to be lagging after all these busy days in the mornings at the moment.  I’m not sleeping very well which isn’t helpful when I’m trying to keep four children entertained.  It’s been really helpful having the inlaws around as they help keep the children entertained and allow us to rest a little.  Don’t know what we’ll do when they’re away next week.

As usual the girls chose their hairstyles from the cutegirlshairstyles app.

dontcallmestepmummy
knotted headband

Shayla went for the knotted headband that Isis wore last week

dontcallmestepmummy
ladder braided pony

Isis chose the ladder braided ponytail. This was easy to do but I don’t think it’s my favourite. She liked it though so I guess that’s what matters.  The difficult thing with four children and 2 that are still so young is that sometimes we have to work around naptimes.  We have never had a strict routine with naps.  Judah got himself into a routine at one point, but then it would change with different things that we needed to do etc. sometimes he gets woken up because I have to.  I don’t have the time to just sit in the car for a couple of hours if he’s fallen asleep on the short drive to the supermarket.  However, saying that, when we can allow them to rest when they want/need to, we do.  Eden went for a nap, so we started to prepare to go out for a picnic when she awoke.

The children were hard at work helping prepare the picnic with their Nanny.

cheese grating
Shayla official cheese grater
Isis sandwich making
Isis sliced and buttered the bread rolls, and then chopped up cucumber
Judah
Judah had to pull the tomatoes off stalks and put them into a container

Once Eden was awake we packed everything up and headed out to ‘Brooklands’ for a picnic.  We hit the playground first as we weren’t sure how long we would have the sun for, then it was time to eat, then we managed to go on the train ride before it was time for us to go and visit family.  Here are some pics :

shayla with hello kitty
Judah was petrified of this fake ‘hello kitty.’ Shayla was amazed that she met the ‘real’ Hello Kitty
buggyboard bugaboo
Judah enjoys his buggyboard

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We’d only put 2 hours on the carpark and the weather seemed to be turning so we then headed to see James’ auntie.  The last time we saw her was the day of her son’s funeral so it was strange to be back there.  We had the children though, that was nice, Shayla has never even met them before as she was born up North where I met James, the last time they saw Isis she was in a buggy, so that must’ve been before she was 3.  Was nice to be with family.  We are looking forward to when they come to visit us at the end of September which will tie in with Shayla’s 5th birthday party, so that will be a joyous time.

Shayla and Nanny
Shayla-Rae with Nanny
Eden maxi=cosi
Eden whilst we were outside waiting for them to arrive
Eden in headband
Eden in Isis’ headband
cheeky Eden
Cheeky Eden
pregnant Natasha
beautiful Natasha (James’ cousin) only has 6 weeks left
James & Caitlin
the teenagers were bored, gorgeous James & Caitlin
Janette
Auntie Janette with Eden

We headed back once it was time to get back for dinner.  James’ parents nipped to Waitrose on the way home and we all had pizza for dinner.  I’m trying to eat better but as I don’t seem to be losing weight anyway (4 weeks of being good) and it was a one off, I caved and joined them.  It is difficult to eat right when you’re not cooking for yourself isn’t it?  Well, that’s what I find.  Not to seem ungrateful, I have felt really blessed having so much help with the day to day things us Mum’s have to do, but I am looking forward to getting back to meal planning *coughs*, sad I know.

The rest of the evening was spent with James’ mum and his brother having to do the ‘ice bucket challenge’, James loved being the one to sort out the ice-water, he’s quite sadistic like that sometimes.  Here are their videos:

After dinner they all watched a DVD of a childhood holiday with James’ late cousin in it. It was a special bonding time for the family, I was upstairs blogging whilst Judah and Eden slept in the room. I was sad not to be there for James, but knew I needed to catch up with blogging and didn’t want to be doing it after he came to bed. The Matrix was on television when James came to bed, I was so excited to watch it with him but just ended up falling asleep.

Does anyone else love ‘The Matrix’ as much as I do? Was gutted to miss it, think I will have to watch it when we get home *chuckles*. Tomorrow, James’ parents head on holiday and I plan to make cards with the girls for James’ birthday Sunday. First birthday where I haven’t bought James dozens of presents due to finances. He’ll be 30 next year so guess I can spoil him then…
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