One Mum, Lots of Children, A Business and Lots of Chaos

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Tips for a Family New Year Celebration

Tips for a Family New Year Celebration

I have never overly been a New Year’s Eve party-er. All my adult years I have been a parent. So I can count on one hand the nights I have had out partying for New Years Eve. Over the past 10 years or so I have […]

The Christmas Tag

The Christmas Tag

Hello and welcome to the Christmas tag! It’s a blog post chain linked by bloggers tagging each other to join in. I was very kindly tagged by my fellow blogger – Thrifty Mumma Thrifty Bubba. You can read her own Christmas tag post by clicking here. […]

Bluestone – Kingdom of The Elves

Bluestone – Kingdom of The Elves

Bluestone – Kingdom of The Elves

This year I have not been able to get into the Christmas spirit at all. With less than 2 weeks to go and a house full of kids, I really needed to get my head in the game. So when the opportunity arose to visit Bluestone for a Christmas break, it was time to get festive. As I decided the kids needed a treat after a tricky few months.

 Stardust Bluestone

I had heard great things about the Christmas activities at Bluestone for the last couple of years, especially Kingdom of The Elves. So couldn’t wait to experience it with the kids for myself. We were booked onto our flight to Elftopia in the middle of our break. Meaning we had plenty of time to explore everything else on offer at Bluestone. We loved the Blue Lagoon and its waves, lazy river and flumes. The Adventure Centre where the Kingdom of the Elves was based also houses lots more. Including the massive wooden adventure playground, crazy golf, climbing wall, sky trail and younger kids soft play area. So we had hours of fun in the there.

Bluestone has a village of its very own with a convenience shop, gift shop, a couple of restaurants, coffee shop and outdoor playground. Plus the Well Spa Retreat, not that I could visit this time as I alone with the 5 kids. Afterall it would have been kind of cheeky to leave my 16-year-old in charge of the smaller kids while I pampered myself.

Kingdom of The Elves

We picked up the 3 littlest kids elf suits the day before our flight. They didn’t have any suits to fit the older 2 girls, but to tell you the truth I don’t think they would have worn them. However, they were given a large plush elf cuddly toy each.

I made sure we arrived at the Adventure Centre about half an hour before our time slot, to ensure we were all ready. Rosy Cheeks and all. We had to head to the departure lounge where we left all our worries behind and security checked we were all believers!

Departures Bluestone

Then we boarded the plane to Elftopia, the journey was comical, bumpy and snowy too. The Elf Pilot was full of jokes and cheeky antics, that kept smiles firmly on the kids and adults faces throughout the flight.

The kids then went to the stardust workshop, where they met Seren the Elf who was full of glittery, starry fun. Then onto The Funhouse, yes plenty of parents including me can remember our weekly dose of the Funhouse. Elf ‘Pat Sharp’, we loved this interactive part of the Kingdom. There was full parent and child participation in games against the kids and adults. I bet you can guess who won!

Funhouse The Kingdom of The Elves

After the funhouse, it was the final part of the Kingdom of The Elves was pretty icy. We got to meet the Snow Queen there. And had great fun dancing and singing. Plus a full-on snowball fight too.

Snow Queen Bluestone

Our Verdict

The whole Kingdom of The Elves experience lasted about an hour and 20 minutes. We went it the kingdom with a group of around 20, so a pretty personal experience. Not too crowded, so all of the kids got a look in. I find it really hard to find Christmas activities that suit all of the kids. They are aged from 4 years up to 16 years. But we all smiled laughed and joined in, definitely one for the memory jar!

Disclaimer: We were offered a Midweek visit to Bluestone Wales and Tickets to The Kingdom of The Elves in return for an honest review.

Hot Pink Wellingtons

 

Family Money Saving Tips

Family Money Saving Tips

As a mum to a larger than average brood, I’m often asked how I afford it. My kids don’t go without as they are in a bigger family. I just assess where I can cut costs on everyday living so that we can afford the […]

Precious Memories That Live Forever – Remembering Grandpa

Precious Memories That Live Forever – Remembering Grandpa

This week it would have been my Daddy’s and my little tribes Grandpa’s 71st Birthday. On his heavenly birthday, we take time out of our busy schedule to reflect. On his life and all the happy memories, we have of him. Remembering Grandpa enables our precious […]

My 4 Year Old Co-Sleeps with Me!

My 4 Year Old Co-Sleeps with Me!

Parenting is a constant learning curve and I am not sure I will ever get it sussed. So this is a post I thought I would never be writing about why my 4-year-old co-sleeps with me.

Ok, when all my babies were small they didn’t co-sleep with me. A couple of reasons I fed completely on demand so never clock-watched. When they woke they had a little top up. Then dozed off and I transferred them to the cot. All of 5 of them were pretty settled accept my middle daughter. After pacing the floor with her for awhile while she woke the whole street up. She would give in and fell back to sleep and then settled down in her cot.

And as a teen mum with my first 16 years ago I had been advised not to and wanted to be the best possible mum I could be and stuck to the rules. Yes, you don’t hear that often but you did read that correctly I stuck to the rules!!! The more children I had the rules regarding co-sleeping seemed to change every time and it seemed like a minefield. So I stuck to what I knew and popped my little sleep depriving bundles back in their cot.

So fast forward many years and my youngest bundle is now a school goer at the ripe old age of 4. And she wants her Mum more than ever at bedtime. She goes to sleep absolutely fine, but more nights than not when I go up to bed she’s in my bed. Do I move her back no, would I have done so with the others, yes! Sorry kids that doesn’t mean I love you any less, in case you’re reading this. It just means I’ve caved and become a softy. But subconsciously I know I’m holding on to my final baby.

But the reality of it all is she now spends 5 days a week away from me, more than ever before. Her little brain has adjusted to some big changes, with starting school. So I’m not going to cause a fuss about it.

How long will it last, I have no idea but I’m sure she won’t still be creeping in when she’s a teenager. So as winter’s coming and the nights are getting colder. I’ll allow her to warm the bed up and save me to effort of filling up a hot water bottle!

You Baby Me Mummy

 

Disneyland Paris at Christmas

Disneyland Paris at Christmas

Disneyland Paris at Christmas – A Memory to Last a Lifetime Last Christmas after thinking of what to buy the kids for Christmas. Dreading the thought of just buying lots of toys just for the sake of buying toys. We certainly didn’t need more toys […]

My First BlogOnXmas

My First BlogOnXmas

BlogOnXmas For the last couple of years, I have wondered what all of the hyper was about the BlogOn conferences. I have tried other conferences which I have enjoyed and met some fab fellow bloggers. Also listened to some inspiring talks and taken part in […]

Our Summer Holidays Highlights

Our Summer Holidays Highlights

What does the Summer Holidays mean to our family? Lazy days, adventures, sunshine, rainy days and most important of all no routine. The holidays seem to have been way too short and flown by. Looking back on my 10,000s of pictures I thought I would share our highlights of our summer holidays.

Camp Bestival –

The weather in early July was pretty glorious, So we were very much looking forward to our first ever festival and first ever camping trip. Then the weather decided to take a turn for the worst with heavy rain and wind forecast. To say it was making me slightly dreading the weekend, would be pretty spot on. When we arrived it was sunny and my positivity returned. We stayed in Pitch Village so our tents were already up and ready to go. The Pitch Village also had nice and clean facilities, with lovely friendly staff too, we will definitely choose this option again.

By the next morning the rain was pretty heavy and endless, so we got kitted out in our wellies and waterproofs and headed to the main site. Yes, we got absolutely soaked for the majority of the weekend but we made some truly magical memories watching and dancing to Mark Ronson was a once in a lifetime thing. The final day was sunny and we enjoyed lounging around in the sun enjoying the variety of acts. The kids are desperate to go again next year and I’m coming around to the idea too.

family-trip-camp-bestival

 

Avebury Manor –

If you follow me on Instagram you will see we love a good National Trust day out. So we returned to Avebury Manor for a family day out, the kids absolutely love it there, great for just a walk or for the kids to dress up and get hands-on in the house.

 

Our day 💖💖💙💖 but there was one smiley one missing looking forward to her coming home tomorrow 💖

A post shared by Jessamine (@mumunderpressure) on

Cracking GCSE Results  –

I was slightly worried about the new grading system for the GCSE’s. Plus it was a completely new thing for me to experience as a mum. T and I both lost sleep in the run-up to results day. But I am not sure what we were worried about as the blooming superstar did absolutely incredibly. I am one proud mama and T is now the proud owner of 9 A-C. Meaning she is now off to college to do her preferred course. We did celebrate with a family lunch at Frankie and Benny’s

Victorious Festival –

I wanted to end the holiday with a surprise day out. I spotted that Olly Murs was at The Victorious Festival in Portsmouth so thought that would be the perfect treat. The eldest 3 girls and I went to The O2 to see Olly Murs in the spring. But F was pretty annoyed he didn’t get to come too. On the morning of the festival, once F and A knew where we were going and that Olly was going to be there, they were beside themselves with excitement.

The weather was very hot, so we spent most of the day chilling out in the Children’s Arena. A’s complete highlight of the day was seeing the real Mr Bloom on the stage, singing and dancing. I went with all 5 of the kids on my own, but they were really well behaved, phew! Olly wasn’t on until 9.30pm, but my kids love a late night, so weren’t phased. They all sang and danced the night away. Even if T and I needed to keep swapping the little ones so they could see. When we got back to the car F said it ‘Was the Best Day of His Life’, so a definite parenting win.

The weather was very hot, so we spent most of the day chilling out in the Children’s Arena. A’s complete highlight of the day was seeing the real Mr Bloom on the stage, singing and dancing. I went with all 5 of the kids on my own, but they were really well behaved, phew! Olly wasn’t on until 9.30pm, but my kids love a late night, so weren’t phased. They all sang and danced the night away, even if T and I needed to keep swapping the little ones so they could see. When we got back to the car F said it ‘Was the Best Day of His Life’, so a definite parenting win.

Beach Days –

We love to be beside the seaside and me and the 4 youngest kids headed to Weymouth Sealife Park for a very sunny day out. We spent a long time in the Park and then once we had finished we headed over to the beach to have a little paddle and chill. 

Then later in August, I needed to head to Bournemouth to do a bit of work. So I and 4 of the kids tied it in with a visit to the beach. Firstly we visited Sandbanks, but it was a bit rainy so just stayed for a few hours. I hadn’t been for years and had totally forgotten what a beautiful beach it was. The kids built sand castles and did gymnastics on the sand. We then headed back to the main Bournemouth beach, wow was it busy, but we walked further up from the pier. It was quieter there and I treated the kids to an Ice Cream. We then headed for a paddle, but of course, F turned that into a full-on swim, that boy is water crazy.

family-beach-days

Wow, when I thought because we hadn’t been on a ‘proper’ holiday we hadn’t done much. But now I can see that we did tons and made some awesome memories along the way.

Hot Pink Wellingtons

 

Time for a New Routine

Time for a New Routine

Well, where did the summer holidays go? The start of the Autumn school term means it is time for a new routine in our family. Lots of changes happening throughout the family, only the boy, F, will remain at his school that he was at at […]

Weymouth Sealife Adventure Park – Review

Weymouth Sealife Adventure Park – Review

Even though we live about an hour and a half from Weymouth we love a day at the seaside. We often head to Weymouth as there are lots of other activities to do as well as just the beach. One of the must visit places in […]

It’s almost GCSE results day

It’s almost GCSE results day

The summer has flown by and it’s almost GCSE results day. A first for our family and a new learning curve in my parenting journey. Check out my thoughts.

The last few nights I have had sleepless nights. Not because of restless toddlers or unsettled babies but because results day is less than a week away. When it comes to being a worrying mother that is just not my style. Yes I care and adore my children but I am a real believer that they need to find their own desired path in life. With a little bit of help and guidance from me. I’m really not sure what I’m worrying about what’s done is done and whatever the results on 24th August, I will be immensely proud of my 16 year old.

Daily I read (I mean skim) articles of how unbelievably hard the new style graded GCSE are this year. How they are having to adjust the grade boundaries accordingly to prevent a plummet in this year’s results.  T worked her little socks off for an unclear target that neither the school or education board could seem to clearly translate for their students. 

As a parent, I feel she has been in a year of trail Guinea pigs. I know sometimes things need to change but selfishly I just prefer if it hadn’t been this year. The old A-G system seemed to work with a clear indication of top marks. Bringing in a numbers system immediately suggests to people that 1 would be top. Well, we’ve all seen those No.1 mum/daughter/son cards. But no number one is in fact the lower grade with 9 being the highest a double A** I believe, oops see what I’ve done there converted the new grading back to the old workable one. As everyone is bound to ask what’s does that 7 mean then!

Oh dear, I seem to have gone off on a tangent. The reason for this post is just to say whatever the outcome on Thursday 24th August. The results are meant to be and will shape you for the future. Those grades you need for your preferred course were insight, but if something else gets in the way we will adjust accordingly. Life is all about twists and turns, I mean who really know what they want to do with the rest of their lives at 16?

GCSE Result quote

T you are a clever kid and will go far in life.

So as the day comes we will drop you off and await your results. Once you are home we will go celebrate you being you with tons loads of pizza. Well that’s not if you don’t ditch us to go and spend time with your friends.

You Baby Me Mummy

 

Girl’s Day Out in London

Girl’s Day Out in London

Being a parent to big brood means that is can sometimes be tricky to spend time with the older girls. Without the younger ones fighting for my attention. But awhile ago, we managed to grab a ‘grown up’ day out in London, as Grandma offered […]

5 Emotions – My Baby’s Starting School

5 Emotions – My Baby’s Starting School

This September my youngest of my 5 children starts Big School. So I thought I would share the 5 emotions I have been feeling lately about her starting in reception. When she was born, I remember saying that 2017 would be a big year. My […]

Our Favourite National Trust Family Days Out

Our Favourite National Trust Family Days Out

Our Favourite National Trust Family Days Out

Last year I decided that we needed to get out for more family days. So I spotted an offer in a magazine for a reduced rate National Trust membership. What was better was that with a 1 adult family member, I am able to take upto 10 children in for free with me. Not that I would be that nuts to take 10 kids out with me!!! We had lots of fun days out, last year and Jolie, my little historian learnt heaps. The other kids gained a real interest as well. I also learnt some new stuff too. The kids love running around the grounds of the different houses and pretending they are in the olden days.

We have renewed our passes for this year too now, so lots more adventure ahead of us. But for now, I thought we would share our favourite days out so far.

  • Lacock Abbey and Village – this has to be top of our list as it is only 5 minutes down the road. Our family has visited it numerous times through the year. We pop there for a quick walk, a spring picnic or a whole day catching up with friends. My little historian and Harry Potter geek will tell you how some of the Harry Potter filmings has taken place in the abbey. Plus many other period dramas have been filmed in the picturesque village.
  • Kingston Lacy HouseKingston Lacy – This is a bit of a drive for us, but as a birthday day out for Jolie, we ventured to Dorset. The house is grand and very pretty, I spend a good hour or so sat on the lawns in front of the house. Whilst the kids played tag. There is a trail through the woodland. Where we found bluebells and the kids were even quiet enough to hear the birds chorus. We explored the Japenese Garden and loved seeing all the Egyptian artefacts in the house. When we visited on Easter Sunday and as the Cadbury’s Egg Hunt was on it was pretty busy. We will look forward to visiting again when it is quieter.
  • Stourhead – every time we visit we find other areas we haven’t explored before. The scenery is beautiful (seriously how old do I sound) and so changeable with the seasons. On our last visit without a pushchair for the first time, the kids had great fun exploring the caves. We have yet to go into the house so we will look forward to that next time hopefully. 
  • Kynance CoveKynance Cove – Recently on our holiday to Cornwall, we found a little bit of paradise, they cover is stunning and the weather was beautiful, it was like being transported to another world. We now have some beautiful memories from that day and hopefully, we will be able to return when we go back to Cornwall one day.
  • Avebury – is also pretty local to us, so somewhere we can pop to for an afternoon adventure. Avebury is a huge stone circle, so makes for a fun walk. The kids love the Avebury Manor as it is more hands on that some of the National Trust houses. They can lie on a bed, dress up in costumes and even cook up a storm in the kitchen.

We have lots of other places to visit on this year’s to go list, so we will keep you up dated on those adventures too.

Real Mum Reviews

 

10 tips for a stress-free day at Legoland

10 tips for a stress-free day at Legoland

10 tips for a stress-free day out at Legoland We love family days out and now we have Merlin Annual Passes we are forever darting off along the motorway for an adventurous day. Recently we visited Legoland and I must say it was a much […]

Pre-Teen Mobile Phone Agreement

Pre-Teen Mobile Phone Agreement

So when I was ten I probably couldn’t even use a computer, now my 10 year old is a whizz online. The internet is a great resource but also a pretty dangerous place, so the request of a mobile phone is a pretty big deal. I […]

Our 2017 Plans and Wishes

Our 2017 Plans and Wishes

New year always brings a refreshed hope and ignites all those dreams of a better life. So while the ideas are still at the forefront of my mind and seem achievable, I thought I would share our 2017 plans before the stress of everyday life dulls them and they fall by the wayside.

Here’s Our List

  • Firstly to make the most of the last 6 months of our Merlin Annual Passes. We brought them on a whim last June and have had fab days out in Weymouth, at Chessington, Blackpool and Alton Towers. But there is still so much to explore we will be visiting London a couple of times. Where we will visit all of the attractions included there especially The Shrek Adventure and The London Eye. The teen also wants a grown up day out to Thorpe Park to enjoy the rollercoasters, not sure how keen I am but heyho best keep the eldest happy.
  • A personal one for me would be to grow my blog following and regularly post weekly or more and also gain confidence in vlogging too
  • Our first and maybe one and only camping adventure. The eldest it 16 this year and asked to go to a festival for her birthday special treat, so we have booked for the whole family to go to Camp Bestival in July. I’m really not sure where to start, so any camping tips gratefully received. Some of the line up has been announced and looks like so much fun. Camp Bestival 2017 Line Up
  • It is GCSE year so a biggy, so we are all hoping that the pressure of exams doesn’t make the house a too dull place. She will shine I’m sure, good luck gorgeous.
  • My business goals have been set and they will be achieved (positive thinking at it’s best). I will keep to them this year and see some growth enabling (us) me as the only adult in the house to not worry so much about making ends meet each month.
  • We absolutely loved getting away to Disneyland Paris just before Christmas this year. A getaway was much needed after the long school term, but as completely amazing as it was it was bloody knackering too. So it got me thinking, dreaming and wishing for another holiday next Christmas, but I would love for us to chill in the sunshine and let the kids swim/splash about it a pool (as I would love to see the benefit in heavy investment into swimming lessons). So I will be in contacting my travel agent soon to pick her brains for ideas of where to go
  • Our house is busy and very well used by our big family. I’m first to admit it isn’t as tidy as I would like but seriously I can’t keep up with it and running a business and looking after the kids. So a cleaner would be a dream but until I can afford one, I think it’s time for a freshen up, so we plan to get the paint out!
  • I’m sure we will add tons more adventures along the way this year but this gives up a good start. What have you got planned?
New President Trump – What The Actual F*#k

New President Trump – What The Actual F*#k

Trump – What the actual F*#k So I had set aside some time this morning to blog about some great days out and experiences the children and I have had recently. But my head is not in the game as news broke this morning that […]

Choosing a Secondary School

Choosing a Secondary School

Choosing a Secondary School for your Child So the first day at Big School 6 or so years ago seems a distant memory, the primary years have flown by and all of a sudden it is time to look into secondary education. Choosing any school […]

Warwick Castle – Knights and Castles not just for boys.

Warwick Castle – Knights and Castles not just for boys.

Warwick Castle – Knights and Castles not just for boys.

Our final Merlin trip out for the summer holidays was to Warwick Castle. I have to admit it wasn’t first on our list when we got our Merlin Annual Passes earlier in the year. But chatting to the tribe they all agreed that the boy of the family would love a day out full of Knights and Castles. It sure isn’t just for boys the girls were hooked and loved every second, well apart from the odd squabble and toddler meltdown, but no family day out would be complete without those!

It is just under a 2 hour drive from us so as we usually do we packed a picnic and set off early for a full on day out. We were at the castle just before they opened so bagged a space close by in the stables car park, definitely worth the extra pennies as it was right at the castle entrance so no trek across town.

Knights and Castles Not Just for Boys

As we arrived the kids spotted a Knight on horseback add were instantly buzzing, then we all saw the size of the castle and couldn’t wait to explore.

We checked out the maze and completed all of the stamps on our card before finally stepping inside the castle walls, then stopping for a snack on the lawn in the middle whilst planning where we were going to head next.

There was a full schedule of shows and events to fill the day.

Having researched Warwick Castle on Instagram, the jousting was definitely a firm favourite with many so we needed to take a look, we got down to the field in plenty of time to get our ringside or should that be arena side view pitch. We certainly weren’t disappointed, it was amazing balls as one of the kids said. High pace, energetic, audience engaging with an added bit of sense of humour.

We then headed into the castle, wow wow the kids loved it. Then it was picnic time followed by a visit to the Princess Tower to help her solve the mystery.

The kingmaker display was very interesting but a little too dark for the baby of the family so couldn’t explore as much as we would have liked because she was desperate to escape.

Birds aren’t my thing so missed that one out (selfish Mummy!), plus the thought of trekking (carrying little ones up) up the tower didn’t appeal either so will do that on another visit when the kids are a bit bigger.

We finished the day off watching the Horrible Histories show and the fire catapult. The horrible histories show was very funny from start to finish, I had heard of Horrible Histories but never watched a programme or shared one of their books with the tribe, so I was amazed how informative and educational it was whilst being so light hearted. We will definitely be looking out for more HH stuff. We sat on the hillside waiting for the real fire to be launched by the man powered catapult. A good end to a memorable day.

We will definitely be returning, have you visited Warwick Castle? What was your favourite thing.

Back to School They Go!

Back to School They Go!

Back to School they go! I love the lack of routine and one of my aims as a Mum has always been to let the kids amuse themselves and enjoy spending time with each other. Plus getting out for lots of adventures, sometimes life doesn’t […]

Rio Olympics – What Did They Teach The Kids

Rio Olympics – What Did They Teach The Kids

Once every 4 years, the world seems to come together to put on a great show of solidarity for just 2 weeks. So it got me thinking about what the Rio Olympics were teaching the kids. We aren’t a hugely sporty family, we don’t take any […]

Summer Holiday’s – Week Four

Summer Holiday’s – Week Four

After a fab third week I was looking forward to spending more time with the kids during week four of the summer holidays. It was a very different week and my patience have been tested to the max.

Monday friends popped over to continue sorting the garden, that is a never ending job.

Tuesday we headed back to Winchester to see an old friend, it is always good to go back and catch up with old friends, it is pretty unbelievable that we relocated to Wiltshire 5 years ago. Even though it was the best decision we made we still miss friends. The weather was lovely and warm so we chilled and chatted in the garden all afternoon prefect.

Wednesday was the start of a pretty rubbish few days, the kids were tired and grumpy and seriously uncooperative, so there isn’t much positive to say, but the babies and I did manage to enjoy half an hour of calm grabbing a Milkshake at a lovely local cafe whilst the 3 older girls swam with one of my friends. The milkshake was so off plan., but seriously struggling with keeping on the Slimming World plan with the kids home. Then the middle one ticked off one of her summer wishes by learning to ride her bike hurray, so proud to see her excited face as she achieved her goal.

Thursday was the day the boy got his arms back, hurrah. After just under 4 weeks he had his plaster removed and now is in splints for the next few weeks to ensure his wrists heal well. So the first thing we did once we got home was the bath him, as his hands were minging. The messiness in the house has reach a new high and I have an army of 5 undoing everything I try to do.

The baby of the family seems to have picked up a bug too, bring on the extra washing and clinginess, oh and don’t forget the sleeplessness. By this point in the week I was pretty tired and didn’t need any extra stress but someone had other plans for me. Friday I was clung to by the baby all day so nothing amazing happened. Both the middle girls picked up certificates at Gymnastics and Swimming this week, love to see my money isn’t going to waste!!!

At the weekend Grandma returned from holiday yay, that means I might get 10 minutes peace or at least a chance to try and catch up with my never ending to do list. So we just spent time catching up over the weekend.
Putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, it doesn’t seem like we did much but, the week seemed pretty hectic, but that’s our life hey!

Summer Holiday’s – Week Three

Summer Holiday’s – Week Three

Week three came around so quickly and we had plans to catch up with loads of friends we don’t get to see during term time much. Monday was a funny day, I woke up raring to go, we had a workman due to come in and do […]

Chessington Adventure

Chessington Adventure

A few weeks ago we headed to Chessington World of Adventures, check out the highlights of our Chessington Adventure. As a child I have some fond memories of family days out at Chessington World of Adventures. So it is great to add to those memories […]

Summer Holiday’s – Week Two

Summer Holiday’s – Week Two

So the first week of the school summer holidays flew by, so it was full steam ahead into Summer holiday’s – week two. But where’s my energy gone? I was feeling shattered from the start so it was an exhausting week.

On Monday we returned from our trip to Wales, then I managed to dump (drop off) most of the tribe at Grandma’s so I could head to Aldi to restock my cupboards with triple the amount of food than we usually consume on the average term time week, because children like to constantly eat when they aren’t in routine. So cupboards stacked with more than the average amount of treats so that I can bribe my way through the week, the kids had a choice for dinner instead of the odd couple of fish fingers, a pizza, some pasta and cocktail sausages.

Kids fed I headed to SW as I skipped it last week due to the the boy’s wrist trauma, I was dreading it as I has well and truly fallen of the SW wagon. The result wasn’t good bloody 2.5lb on FFS, I was only 1lb away from target and now I’m now needing to shift 3.5lb to get my next shiny. The gain was totally deserved, so I will be on salad all week!

Tuesday and Wednesday I worked and the 4 smallest went to Grandma’s so I finally got to tick some tasks off my never ending work list.

They baked cakes and flapjacks, which they loved as we never bake at home.

Wednesday I had an ultra exciting meeting about the future and am still buzzing from that, all will be revealed very soon, eek!

As my meeting ran over I was later than expected to collect the kids, so swung by the golden arches to get tea, which instantly put me in the kids good books, because there is nothing better than a tea that comes with a toy and you can eat out of a cupboard box, sod the crap nutritional food content. Dish the kids boxes out for one of them to ask where are my chips and then realise none of them had chips, so I rang and they said they would have new meals ready with the added bonus of McFlurry’s that I was too tight to buy. So even though I had to drive all the way back across town, my brownie points had now doubled with the kids.

The day was then topped off with the lovely gesture from the boy, he picked me a beautiful rose from Grandma’s garden, it’s the small things hey!

Thursday was new cast day for Faryl and he was super excited to be getting coloured casts. I was early for the hospital, which is pretty rare for me to be early anywhere. But a good job I was as there is no parking at the hospital due to building works so we had to drive around and around!! The doctor was running 90 minutes late, thank god I took the iPad with us otherwise the boy would have been climbing the walls. Then once we had seen the doctor we had a 45 minute wait for him to be replastered, yawn!

So that was fair chunk of the day gone, Grandma had the other 3 little ones, so we met her in the local park where there were free kids activities. But it was like torture for Faryl who has recently developed no fear and still wants to scale the highest climbing frames even though he has both hands in casts, so moaned continuously that it wasn’t far, so we will be avoiding parks for the next 2 weeks until he has his arms back in full working order, hopefully! Then came the leaving the park fiasco, running away, wanting to stay longer, wanting to go home with one of the other mums we were out with, yes the usual parenting jazz. Which if similar ever happens to you, you will sympathise with my thoughts of why the hell did we ever come to the park and continuously give the kids an open threat that we will never go out for the day again!! But finally I bribed them into the car with chocolate brownies, so Monday’s food shop wasn’t all in vain.

Swimming lessons aka ‘Mum’s Weekly Sweat Session’ carries on so I headed to the pool with the two middle girls, even though it was as hot and sticky in there as ever. Today’s proud Mummy moment came with one of the girls doing the final task need to complete the level, so will soon be swimming in stage 2, not bad work when she only started lessons at the end of May. The other tried really hard and completed loads of tasks to rocket her from 29% to 78% of her way through the stage. Good work girlies xx

Friday, we had plans to head to Countryfile Live but hearing about the nightmare traffic stories from the day before we decided to give it a miss. The thought of being stuck for hours in traffic which a screechy, whiny load of kids in the car filled me with dread. And we were going to do something locally, but the firstborn had a reaction to a sting/bite so need to see the doc right in the middle of the day, so I was given no choice but to stay home and tidy the tip that is our house. Why o why during the holidays can they not all play with one thing and put it away then move onto the next, oops I forgot they are kids!!!

Grandma is now away for 2 weeks so I have no childcare and a little extra work so wish me luck.

Saturday we headed out with friends, the weather was lush, when it’s hot and sunny, it always make me want to emigrate somewhere sunny, as I always feel so much more positive and have energy when the sun shines. Oh well maybe one day hey!

Sunday I had grand plans to do some gardening, but it was raining when we got up, so that was enough of an excuse to not bother. So did a few bits around the house, but I was feeling pretty knackered, so lounge around a bit. The kids were expecting a visitor but they didn’t show and could see them clock watching, so as the weather brightened up I decided to get them ready and headed out after lunch. As National Trust members (not I’m not old before my time) we have some great houses and gardens locally, so chose to go to Avebury Stone Circle and Manor as t had been recommended to us by friends. The kids had a whirl and we blew away the cobwebs. It was a lush end to week two and we only finished the day with 2 major meltdowns, result!
School holidays are completely exhausting, but I do go to bed remembering the kids laughs and smiles through the day, call me mushy but that’s what parenting I all about right!

Summer Holiday’s – Week One Done And I Survived

Summer Holiday’s – Week One Done And I Survived

Week one of the summer holidays are now over and done with, I survived. Our week started with the confirmation the The Boy had fractured both his wrists after a fall off a climbing frame at the weekend. So bring on the emotions, when they told […]

Our Family aka The Tribe

Our Family aka The Tribe

A Little bit about our Family One Mum, One Business, One Home, One Car aka Bus, 5 Children, 2 Cats and anything else our busy lives through at us. Me a Mum who never wanted to follow the rules, well I was the baby of […]

Our Alternative Family Holiday

Our Alternative Family Holiday

Our Alternative Family Holiday

As a family we love a holiday, it’s something to work/save towards all year and a very welcome reward and break from the general pressures of life.
I had originally planned our holiday to Eurocamp in Brittany, France. Having had two fantastic holidays in the past two years in Vendee at Eurocamp site, we were very excited. But the difference this time it would be me flying (driving) solo with all 5 kids. I thought that as they’d aged the lengthy time in the car last year they would be better this year. But earlier this spring after some stressful not particularly long journeys in the car, I realised that it would be an enormous pressure to drive to France. This would lead to a stressful start to the holiday, and the kids or myself wouldn’t enjoy it.
So I CANCELLED!!!! A big decision and lost several hundreds of pounds but hopeful saved some of my sanity.
Next decision was what to do now, as much as the kids love holiday camps like Haven, I find I’m constantly saying no, no I can’t manage to take you all swimming alone, no your sisters doesn’t want to go and see Sid & Lizzie, let’s have an early night and not go to the disco tonight, no you can’t have that overpriced tacky merchandise from the shop, no you can’t have endless fizzy pop from the bar!
So I wanted to be able to say yes, so decided to try something new to us all, a quiet cottage in the country, so I spend a couple of evenings searching cottage websites and on Hoseasons found a suitable cottage near Glastonbury, Somerset.
It was close by just over an hour so no lengthy car journey ✔️
It had 4 bedrooms, a luxury as we only have 3 at home ✔️
It had a garden, to eat outside, one of the kids requests ✔️
It was in a new area we hadn’t explored before ✔️
So I was very excited about switching off from work and spending some quality time with the tribe.
Our online food shop arrived first thing Monday morning, we packed the car and set off.
On arrival we were impressed with the cottage, it was clean and very well equipped, they even left us chocolate biscuits (well that was the kids converted).
We had lots of fun days out and one day just exploring our surrounds, with a family random trek.
The holiday was fab and the kids were very well behave the majority of the time, only the odd meltdown. We made some precious memories which will stay with us all forever. The sun shone lots. I proved that you can take 5 kids on holiday with 1 parent, with not too much pressure.
So I’m so glad that we changed our plans to an alternative destination. We will be heading back to France again maybe next year or the year after but think we will be taking Grandma too.

Mum Under Pressure xx

18 goals for 2018

18 goals for 2018

18 Goals for 2018 We are now a few days into the new year and before the full-on routine kicks back in. I thought I would take a little bit of time out to make some goals for the year ahead. No big new year […]

Our 2017 plans and wishes review

Our 2017 plans and wishes review

Wow, where did the year go? As the year draws to a close, it is time to look back at our 2017 plans and wishes and review it. Did we tick them all off, what will be carried forward to 2018? So read on for […]