Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Mummy Adventure

I do my best thinking when I am walking.  It seems so cruel that I feel at my most creative when I don't have an opportunity to record it and I often compose whole blog posts in my head that I cannot recreate at all when I finally put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.  This is one of those.

After two years and three months of recording our lives, I thought I would explain why I called my little space on the internet 'The Mummy Adventure'.  I have touched on it in the past, but I wanted to try and put into words the thought behind the name.

I don't think being a mother is a job.  I don't see it as a role or an occupation.  I see motherhood as a journey, an adventure.  It doesn't matter if your child was planned and longed for or a careless accident after a few too many tequilas on a Friday night.  It doesn't matter if it took 10 years of trying, hormone treatments and IVF or those two blue lines appeared completely unexpectedly.  It doesn't matter if your child has your genetics or not.  That first time that you touch those tiny little fingers, the first time you see those ten precious toes, the first time you hear those little lungs announcing his arrival, that is the very first day.

Whether she arrived by cesearean, via forceps or through a vaginal birth doesn't matter, it is all part of another story, another journey and whether those first moments are characterised by pure elation, post natal depression or something in between makes no difference.

From that very first day, the journey has begun, and like every journey, it is full of change.  There will be twists and turns even when things looked so straight and things will very rarely go to plan.  You may have their and your entire life planned out (My sister has already decided what she will be wearing when Dylan marries Harper Seven Beckham) but like any real adventure, it rarely works out that way.  Whether you travel far or stay in your home town, things will change, because that is the nature of a journey.  That helpless baby who grips his fingers round yours with all the strength he can muster, hanging on like his life depends on it will become a headstrong toddler, determined to assert his independence, insisting on dressing himself even though he will invariably end up with his T-shirt on back to front and his jeans inside out.  That toddler will be replaced by a child with more energy than he knows what to do with, to a teen, and maybe a parent himself.  Throughout the journey you will be constantly learning, and not just the practical things like how to build the best Lego tower, or how to open a stair-gate (I still haven't worked this one out) but you will grow wiser, have more patience, become more sentimental.  

There will be parts of the journey where you feel prosperous and parts where you have but pennies in your pocket.  There will be happy times and sad.  There will be times where the skies are clear, and periods where you feel like you are heading forward in the dark.  Other people may play a part, and everyone will have an opinion, but the journey is yours and yours alone.  

Some parts of this adventure are exciting and other parts are just ordinary, but every moment is shaping the next and quite often the little things become the big.  The adventure starts on that first day, sees the changes from baby to toddler, to child to teen.  You may get the blessing of grandchildren and maybe even great grandchildren but this is still your journey.  One day it will happen that your body stops working.  Your children will weep at the graveside but the journey of motherhood is not over.  You will live on in the shade of their eyes, the determined spirit they passed from you to their own daughter, the words in a book that describe you so well.  They will still think of you, see you and speak to you every day.  You will still shape the person they become and influence their everyday as they work to make you proud.  The journey of motherhood is ongoing and is shared by the generations of mothers before us.                 

                                                                                                                                                                    So this is where my little blog comes into it.  This is my adventure, from the little things to the big, the milestones and the moments, the days out, the holidays and those feelings that I just need to put words to.  Should anything happen to me, I want my boys to be able to see my journey, our adventure, what they made me.    This is my adventure.                                                                                                                                                                                    

Sunday, 13 April 2014

5 Things not to miss on a Snowbizz holiday

A ski holiday is first and foremost about the skiing, but of course there are so many other things to enjoy other than the bright white snow, and this is my pick of the top 5 not to miss on your Snowbizz holiday at Puy St Vincent.  For our full review, take a peek here 


There is something so ridiculously indulgent about lazing around in a beautifully warm pool surrounded by snow, and the new outdoor heated swimming pool in Puy st Vincent is stunning.  It is only a 2 minute walk from the apartments and at 30 degrees the water is perfect for relaxing in.  It is open from 3pm-7pm but the earlier in that time that you go, the more sun is on the pool and of course the more sun, the warmer the bits of you that aren't under water are! We went up on one of the first days when we were not as confident skiing on our own and fancied doing something different, and it was the perfect way to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Packing for a Famiy Ski Holiday

We have just returned from our first family ski holiday thanks to the family ski specialists, Snowbizz and we had an amazing time! We asked a lot of questions in the lead up, and the lovely team were more than helpful and I thought I would put together a little list of what we packed.  I wrote this before we went but there have been a few updates since.

In the Suitcase

I have packed a pair of thermals for all three of us, including some beautifully soft merino tops from Helly Hansen.  I have been told one pair is enough as you hang them up to dry every night.  I have got a spare pair for Dylan though as we only recently potty trained and whilst he hasn't had an accident in quite a while, I don't want to get caught out

packing for a family ski holiday, ski essentials, helly hansen thermals

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Very First Picnic of the Year

He refuses to keep either socks or shoes on, and any exposed skin looks grubby, covered in a thin layer of mud.  He crawls, cruises and explores every surface, touching everything he sees.  He is inquisitive, adventurous and determined and he is loving the weather getting warmer and the excuse to spend as much time as possible outside.

Archie is in his element in the park, and although he isn't quite walking yet, he loves the freedom when I let him explore his own way.  The warm weather meant we spent the first of many long days at the park, and the picnic blanket made its way out of the cupboard for the first time in months.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Our Family Ski Holiday with Snowbizz

We have just returned from a week in the beautiful Puy St Vincent, France with the family ski company, Snowbizz.  Neither the bloke or I had ever attempted to ski before, and with two children under 3, we hadn't seen it in our future for quite some time either, but Snowbizz have everything covered and the four of us had an easy and fantastic holiday.

sledging, snowbizz, family ski holiday

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Three Generational Holiday

Our trip to Butlins was not only brilliant for the children, but it was an exciting and relatively relaxing experience for the bloke and I too thanks to the presence of my lovely mum and dad.  The three generations travelled down in the same car and we were in rooms next door to each other, giving the children the option to spend time with us both as they wished.

The culture of multi-generational holidays seems to be increasing and I can really see why.  Not only do the children have so much attention and more options, but my parents love spending time with the boys, getting to spoil them, read them bedtime stories and see the special moments and of course the bloke and I get some time alone - the possibility of a date, or more importantly a solid 8 hours sleep!

Archie had his first 'sleep over' whilst we were away - the first time I had left him at night but I was reassured knowing he was no furthur away really than when we are at home, but far enough for someone else to be listening out for him whilst I could really relax and enjoy a cocktail or two.

We enjoyed time all together and time seperately.  My parents had time to explore together as did the bloke and I and the children were incredibly spoilt as rather than having to share my attention as is normal during the week, they had four of us to play with, four of us to read stories and carry them and four of us to buy cakes!

Here is what my mum thought of the experience:

"My daughter was appointed a Butlin's Ambassador and asked whether we would like to go on holiday with them as a family. My first thought was yes - it would be great to spend time with our two Grandson's and my daughter and partner of course. My second thought was 'Oh no, I hope it has changed a great deal!' A school visit when I was young had tainted my memory with a dirty chalet, food not to my tasting (although I was fussy with my eating) and the loud speaker every morning telling us to get up!

We arrived at Bognor and were greeted by the Red Coats doing the Macarena and the children were excited. We parked up with a one minute walk to the hotel, booked in and then up to our room. Well what a relief, the room was very well decorated and extremely clean. There was an area that the boys could stay in if their Mum and Dad wanted us to babysit - which we did take advantage of. The rest of the room was spacious and there were chairs so we could sit and read or watch television if we needed some quiet time away from the family.

After a small walk around the site - we didn't have time to go round the whole site as it was so large - we went into dinner in our hotel! Wow, I should not have worried - the choice was fantastic for children and adults alike. We had not taken a cup for Archie but on asking for a straw for him - I was told not to worry by a member of staff  - 'they were here to help so we can relax on holiday'. Onto a show for the children to watch and then an early night.

Day two, after breakfast, which again had a great selection, Becky and her family went to see what was what for the children. We had a leisurely morning walking round and spying out the various restaurants. We found the family and sat down to watch a show while eating some lunch, then onto the rides -  cars, bugs, and aeroplanes. In fact there was so much for them to go on, watch, see,and play it was a pleasure. As the majority was included in the price it was great as you didn't have to say 'No'. Dinner that night at Papa John's was really good but a little too dark for my liking and I was glad I was under the light! The men went off to see the football in the bar!

Day three, a walk off the site down by the beach was brilliant with the boys, a look round the local shops and then back for lunch. Off to the swimming pool in the afternoon. Unfortunately we had not taken in that it closed at 5 and so it felt like we had been cut short. Dinner was in an amazing restaurant - The Deck - the best by far. The choices were absolutely brilliant and the boys were happy too. Becky and Ed wanted to go out so we babysat for the boys but in our room. It was very special having them to ourselves and they slept all night!

Day Four, another family breakfast and off to the swimming pool - it was very busy but still plenty of room. A great time was had by all. Scooby Doo in the afternoon and then back for dinner. Again a glorious choice. Archie is not the cleanest when he eats and when he has had enough it's on the floor. We were never made to feel this was a problem! The boys stayed a second night - not so successful as the previous night but you can't have everything.

Day Five, time for breakfast and to clear our rooms. We were allowed to stay on site till 12 and so we had a leisurely walk round  still enjoying the free rides!

The journey home was very quiet as the boys fell asleep from exhaustion. I may have had a small snooze too. The week was a fantastic experience which we certainly enjoyed. It was brilliant spending time with family at such a chilled out place and whose staff could not be more friendly if they tried. I would certainly recommend any grandparents to to take children up to the age of about 10. There is so much for them to enjoy and so much for a grandparent to enjoy with them!

I don't think we would ever go without the family but hopefully they might invite us again - hint, hint! The answer next time will just be YES PLEASE.

Thank you to Butlins for a great adventure."

Disclaimer:  As Butlin's Amabassadors we were sent on a 5 day/4 night break for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

Monday, 7 April 2014

13 Months In

Not only has a whole year passed since Archie's entrance into the world that cold February morning, but another month as well.  Archie is leaving behind the baby days and hurtling towards toddlerhood at a level I am not altogether happy with!  Being a second child, he seems desperate to be running around like his big brother, and he watches the toddlers playing with envy, trying to join in at every possiblity.

This month Archie has been doing more steps unaided and can do around 8 before falling on his bum.  He keeps letting go of things and practising and I don't think it will be long until he is walking properly now.  He has been getting up the stairs with no problems for several months, but recently he has been climbing down as well (supervised of course), and loves sliding on his belly.

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