Count To Ten And Hang In There Until Bedtime

A family with five children is always going to be hectic.  I knew exactly what I was letting myself in for and I live for everything it brings me, yet today was one of those days!

I woke up late getting everything off on the wrong foot.  Rushed breakfasts and missing clothes always create stress for all of us.

After finally getting out of the house and dropping the older ones off to school I pull up at home realising number two still had my house key meaning I was locked out with number five screaming for juice.

Bundled back in the car I collect a spare from my Mother taking the telling off for needing to be more organised!

Handbag collected and food shop surprisingly easily done we set off to get number four.  He happily skipped out of nursery until the reality of swimming lessons kicked it and he turned into the child from hell!  Screaming, refusing to move until finally launching a huge pot of yogurt at my back covering me and the entire hallway.

  
He had won as we now had no time to get out and make it to the class in time.

Housework was then the plan for the rest of the afternoon which took twice as long due to number four creating a path of distrution in every room he went into.

Peppa pig flying out the window and a whole load of batteries thrown down the toilet were just two of the things I had to contend with.

   

 
With a vaguely clean house I get started on the dinner.  An unnerving silence filled the house so I went to investigate and found the boys trying to devour an entire multipack of crisps I had just bought.

Crisps removed they managed to get into number three’s room and cover their faces with her favourite Zoella lip gloss.

 
 
Lip gloss smoothed over to try and prevent a melt down from number three I made my way to the gym for a few minutes of peace.

 

My stress relief was short lived as I returned to a nappy less two year old that had pooed his way up the entire staircase just in the perfect position for number four to the walk it through the entire house!

After this horrendous day I’m sitting her now reflecting on everything that has gone on and I have come to this conclusion.

Raising children is a little like childbirth-you go through this massively, stressful and painful time that is forgotten within minutes when you are handed your beatiful bundle of joy.

Parenting is similar as you spend many hours slogging away and dealing with massively stressful situations and then the little angels do something so wonderful and heart wrenching that everything they have put you through is forgotten, well most things!

Having An Extra Cuddle On Mother’s Day

As I sit here tonight with some little ones in bed and my youngest cradled in my arms I am feeling eternally grateful for being blessed with five wonderful children.

For me Mother’s Day is a time to sit back and really take in how lucky I am to be a parent.  With everything going on in day to day life we tend to take things for granted and although a lot of people are negative about days like Mother’s Day and feel it is to commercialised I think it can be as extravagant or as simple as you want to make it.

This year I was woken at 2.15am by number four whispering Happy Mother’s Day to me and clutching his card.  I snuggled him in bed with me until I was woken again with a huge pile of pastries and chocolate.

  
I didn’t want to go out for a restaurant meal as it always ends up costing a fortune for something we end up throwing down our throats before the children all start to play up.

I love spending time outside so opted for Priory Farm in Nutfield.  Sadly everyone else had the same idea and we couldn’t get a table!

Bundling everyone back in the car we went to one of our favourite cafes in Reigate, happily got a table and had great food without the formality of a sit down meal. 

   
   
We then walked down to Priory Park and head a good walk and mess around in the playground.  

   
   
I went on a bit of a mission hunting for fairies doors that we had never managed to spot before. The kids got bored but I kept searching much to their annoyance and couldn’t find even one!

  
We made our way back home to yet more food and the normality of getting ready for the week ahead.

Such a simple day and nothing that we don’t do on a regular basis but with the emphasis of Mother’s Day in our heads the kids were that little more well behaved and I was that little more relaxed and thankful for all that I have.

What did you all get up to today?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Capturing Moments Or Being Part Of Them

Your child’s first steps, singing happy birthday as your special person blows out the candles on their birthday cake, waving them off on their first day of school.

All of these things are such big milestones in your child’s lives and ones that we want to hold onto for a life time, but sometimes maybe we need to sit back and think, is getting that perfect photo the most important thing or is being there in that moment more what we should be savouring?

I’m never without my phone in my hand much to the annoyance of my husband!  And it was this photo he took of me the other day that has got me thinking.

  
We were having a lovely day in town and I came back with some wonderful photos but did I really need half of them?  Not really. 

Take this moment for instance.  We were sitting outside a coffee shop waiting for my husband by a magnificent ship on the Southbank in on of the most beautiful cities in the world. I should have spent the time chatting with my children about everything that was going on around them, let them talk about their day and what they would like to do for the rest of the weekend instead of trying to get yet another selfie!

I worry that although I’m capturing these moments to keep for a lifetime am I limiting the brains wonderful ability to recall moments in my mind?  Am I making myself the secondary memory and not fully feeding my own mind? 

I’m certainly not going to stop taking pictures.  Since I started blogging photography has become a real passion for me and has in many ways opened my eyes to my surroundings a lot more.  It gets me to look at lighting, finding good backdrops for my photos and I definitely have a new found love for architecture and how I can photograph it.  But from now on when it comes to time as a family I’m going to spend more time with them enjoying thoses special moments rather than worrying as much about the way I’m  going to capture it.

Point And Shoot:Magical Moments

It was number four’s birthday this week and probably the highlight of his day was the fact that his Dad took a whole day off for him.

My husband works long hours so when he is around the children relish every moment with his biggest fan being number four.

He got a wonderful new gokart for his birthday and we took it up to our local aerodrome to try it out.  Whist we were there my husband and son clambered on top of the disused air raid shelters and with some wonderful lighting I managed to capture a few shots that I have fallen in love with as much as I love these two.



  

Breastfeeding For Me Or The Baby

  
I have happily breastfed all of my brood.  It has been a big struggle with all of them and always took a good few months to get into the swing of things with all of them but it is something I’m so happy I persevered with.

Now I’m onto number five who is still breastfeeding at 20 months and I’m asking myself ‘is this still for him or more for me!’.

As we all know it is suggested that we breastfeed our babies exclusively for the first 6 months.  I can fully understand that this is their only source of nourishment if you chose to breastfeed and of course they are solely reliant on this for their development.  For me as you are introducing food into their diet it is all so hit and miss as to what they are getting I feel happy to carry on demand feeding up until a year.

With the others they have swapped over to a beaker of cows milk more than happily by then and I’ve been quite happy that my job is done and they are moving onto their next milestone.

This time round things have been different and number five is still happily breastfeeding at night and I have made very little effort to break this cycle.  

I know that he is a good eater and is getting more than he needs through his food and now all the feeding really is, is comfort.  He has his bath, his pjs go on and he clambers onto my lap for ‘milky’. He wakes in the night and all he wants to do is snuggle up for a quick feed to comfort himself back off to sleep.

But in the odd occasion I’ve been out he’s not had that option and been more than ok to just nod off by himself!  This is where I am feeling it more the fact I’m clinging onto the last part of my breastfeeding journey.  As I said it’s been a hard one and even landed me on hospital with mastitis with number four.  But it is by far the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done and I still don’t think I’m quite ready to end it just yet!
  

Center Parcs:The Perfect Family Holiday

I first visited Center Parcs twenty one years ago when Longleat was opened and have been there nearly every year since.

It is the kind of place you simply can’t tire of and had something to offer if you are 1 or 101!!

If you were to ask any of my children what their favourite hoilday is they will always pick Center Parcs as the top of their list, well baring Disney (sorry)!

Over the years we had had trips where we have taken part in lots of activities and others where we have relaxed more and made use of exploring the wonderful surroundings Longleat is set in.

  
We always hire bikes when we go as it is the easiest way to travel from place to place, and much more fun than walking.  It’s a great place to practice your cycling as the roads are car free once everyone has checked in and there is not the worry that you would get riding a bike at home.  If cycling is not your your thing then there is a land train that you can hop onboard.

We always get a trailer for the youngest ones which doubles up perfectly as a shopping cart!

 
  
We usually grab our bikes and head off to our favourite resturant, The Pancake House.  This year was made extra special by an allergy free pancake being put on the menu so number four was not left out.

   

  

  

  

Tummies now full we made our way to our lodge to get settled in.  This year we were greeted with the usual open plan, cosy lodge nestled in the woodland with all the things you need from any self catering accommodation.  To our delight our lodge was set right onto a beautiful large pond which was perfect for on tap duck feeding.

   
     

     

The children were now champing at the bit to get to the pool which is a favourite for everyone.  They have a well set out area for babies and toddlers, a large pool area that has a wave machine on the hour that leads into a great lazy river, several water slides, jacuzzis to relax in; but our firm favourite is the Rapids.  It is an outdoor slide adventure that I love more than the children!

  
This year the children picked one activity each and we filled the rest of our time with bike riding, swimming, playing on the beach and making use of all the playgrounds on offer.

   
  

         

Number four had his first outdoor activity this year which was the Mini Trek.  He had a fantastic time and thought he was on ‘Ninja Warrior’.

   
    

 

‘Super Grandad’, hubby, number two and number three all took part in the High Ropes Challange.  This was a two hour activity and they loved every minute of it.

   
       

Last of the activities was the Arieal Adventure. This has changed slightly this year but was still the firm favourite.

   
       

As far as eating goes at Center Parcs we have always found the restaurants really good value for money and there is plenty of choice.

   

We usually eat in a lot as it is easier with a large family with young children and ours love to make use of the barbecue area at the lodge.  There is a supermarket on site with mini trollies which are always a highlight.  The supermarket has everything you could want but is very pricy so I would suggest bringing your own good if you were trying to save money by making use of the self catering.

   
 

   
 

We always have tears when we have to end of trip and I can hand on heart say that Center Parcs can’t be faulted.  It is the perfect family holiday and the fact we have visisted for over twenty years should just show you what a truly fabulous place it is. 

           
  

  

  

Minion Crazy With Crayola

My children along with thousands more are completly minion crazy at the moment.  So when the lovely people at Norton and Co sent us this ‘Colour Alive’ minion colouring book from Crayola they were over the moon.


This is no ordinary colouring book as it works together with a free downloadable app that brings the characters on your page to life!


It was really easy to download and use.  Number three who is nine added it to her iPad with no help from me.

They were fascinated that their art work could come to life in front of their eyes and to be honest so was I.

We are off in holiday soon and I know that this is going to keep them occupied for a good few hours whist we are away.

This book was given to us as a gift and all opinions are my own.