Family · family holiday · Parenting · travel · Uncategorized

Kids club abroad

So I have never been a fan of kids club abroad, I mean why pay for a family holiday if you are going to dump your kids in care several times during the week right? And whose kid really wants to go anyway? 
So the first two holidays we took to Spain T took one look at kids club and said nope, no way, She did absolutely no way, not one chance want to stay there! I could kind of see her point , It was full, and by that I mean crammed, of children of all ages who spoke all languages none of which seemed to be English. The workers weren’t English either and didn’t seem too fussed if we stayed or not. They had some activities out on tables and a play park attached but no real plan it was kind of just a free for all/do what you want sort of session and so for a 4/5 year old it must have seemed very daunting!

This year was 100% different. Firstly the welcome meeting at our hotel was a walkabout so we actually got taken to kids club where several staff members took the time to explain the sessions and how we signed up, What they do, How much fun they have. T was mesmorised! It was a boiling hot morning and she didn’t even once mention the glaring sun we were stood directly in while the explained, in maybe a little too much detail given the conditions, each aspect of the kids clubs for varying ages.
We took the forms and didn’t think much more of it, I wasn’t going to pressure T to go because being a family holiday I was quite happy to spend the whole week with her, after all it’s what I came away for right? But sure enough she asked to go. So the one day we knew would be cloudy I queued up first thing and got her a space in the morning session for 2 hours. She was thrilled.

We arrived and they took down our contact details and asked for T’s name and age and introduced her to the room, “This is Tiana from UK she is new today” 😊 She went in all smiles and seemed happy enough so we left.

Now what to do in a family resort without a child for 2 hours! We went and treated ourselves to a fancy coffee,took a walk along the beach, explored part of the hotel we hadn’t seen before and then waited until we could go and get her!

She had a great time! She came out with all sorts of artwork and had taken part in lots of team games inside, outside in the shade and in other areas of the resort. She had been given a t-shirt and water bottle that she was to wear to kids club if she went again and was hers to keep, again she was so happy about this and even bigger news…. She wanted to go again!!

I couldn’t believe it here was I doing everything i had ever stood against, putting my child in kids club on a family holiday! I wanted the difference to be that she wanted to go though, I was never going to force her. So again we left it a day and she asked again to go. One more morning session down and she had a great time once again.

As we were only there for a week I felt two sessions was enough not to interrupt our holiday too much so we didn’t let her go anymore and she understood why.

I am just still so shocked as to the turnaround in her this time. I think this was just the right kids club for her, the friendly faced encouraging staff really made her want to go and it seems so was made to feel so welcome she wanted to go back! The structure and controlled activities is just what she loves and I’m so pleased we let her have this positive experience, If she never goes to another one again she will always have that.

Children · Family · family holiday · Parenting · Uncategorized

Things I have learnt about T on this trip

She has the independence I knew about but is now growing the confidence to go along with it, during meal times she would happily go off to get her own drink and would get her own food and sit at a table on her own if I let her! Once I even had to chase her back to the poolside as she walked off to see where Scott had got too, this was day 2 and she had been at this pool once before! I don’t know why but she must have felt so immediately comfortable where we were she just seemed to forget all usual rules about not walking off alone.


 She can sing anywhere and not feel self conscious about it. Not loudly but quietly along to herself occasionally accompanying it with a dance move or two. Unless in the car when we get the full surround sound of whatever is going through her head phones, no need for radio!

She can laugh at herself, unless she is tired then she gets grumpy.

She has a determination that makes me proud-we saw this with her swimming, sea swimming.

She is young enough to still say things wrong and make us laugh but old enough to be able to go sightseeing in an old town and not complain.Some of the highlights of holiday were 

“Runaway track” – runway 

Sunball – the sun

“I’ve got dots on my screen!” – she is swimming and water has splashed her sunglasses!

Air freshener – air conditioning!
She is happy with hers and our company and doesn’t set out to make friends, She would have been friendly towards anyone that we met but as no one approached her/us to play she was happy to play at the park/in kids club etc on her own. This must come from being an only child but I’m pleased she isn’t needy of other kids attention and can be happy having fun with us for now.

Is too polite a lot of the time and often lacks guts/balls/just a bit of umph! She gets pushed infront of in lines and doesn’t speak up when I’m a group of kids until it’s too late and someone has already been chosen for the activity.

She isn’t boastful, T was lucky enough to get a suitcase scooter for Xmas that we could use around the airport and a lot of other kids commented on it how cool it was, they wanted one. She just smiled and looked at us proud of her new toy, one little girl even threw a tantrum because she wanted one right then! She was only about 3 bless her. 

Family · making memories · motherhood · Parenting · Uncategorized

Why the build up to our holiday is so bittersweet

Now we are down to under a week until our holiday we are all feeling ready. Ready for adventure, sunshine, a pool and a beach and most of all just ready to be together. 

We love spending time together as a family more than anything else in the world. Making happy memories and building a childhood for T is what our days off and time together is all about. The work Scott does means this time is even more precious because usually public holidays and fun family events like Halloween, Easter, and every weekend he has to work. We are used to this routine now and use this time to have all the more fun Mummy and T days, but when she knows Scott will be off too she gets super excited. It’s amazing for me to see the bond they have now, it’s like a love that has grown over the years they have known each other and is now blossoming into something long lasting and wonderful.

Now as we are going away for a week with her it was only fair she see her Dad for 2 nights this weekend instead of one. Not only that but then Monday and Tuesday night too, Just so he gets to spend lots of time with her before we go. 

So Sunday night T will be home for a big family bbq, she will have friends to play with and the house will be busy and full. Monday morning I will take her to school and I won’t see that gorgeous little face again until Wedsnesday evening after work.

Now this was all my idea so what am I feeling so sad about? 

This is the right thing to do.

We have to share, she enjoys going and spending time there so this is good for her too.

All this is true but it still doesn’t mean I will miss her any less. She has been away with him for a week before and it hurt like hell but it was made better by the fact I knew she was enjoying herself. I think this is worse because I know she will only be at school during the day. I think I just need to focus on getting ready for the holiday and fitting in as many workouts as I can to feel as good about myself as possible before I go. Walking Poppy will help as a distraction too as I will still walk her in the mornings like I would do on a normal school day. 

I just need to think once I have that little body back in my arms she is ours all ours for a whole week and then the fun can really begin. 

Family · making memories · motherhood · Parenting · philosophy · Thankful · thoughtful · Uncategorized

Finding time to make memories because life is short

These days time is even more in short supply, with the constraints of a working life, hobbies, keeping relationships with friends close, adding in playdates for your children and just generally maintaining your house where do you find time to make memories and just have fun? 

We are all guilty of just wanting to sit and zone out while we mindlessly scroll through pages of social media, it’s just the way people relax these days but it’s far too easy to forget our little people grow so quickly and are not little for long. Time is precious and so even if it’s for a few minutes at a time I always make sure I take the time to put my phone down and actually listen to what T has to say, properly listen. 

Only when we are fully in the moment can happy memories be made and fun times had. 

Like when I climbed the tree house Sunday to eat my ice cream with T, there was no social media, no distractions, just for a few minutes it was just us two eating ice creams in her den. Perfect.

Don’t get me wrong little people can talk, and talk, and talk about mostly pointless things but sometimes it does us good to just listen. To remember what it is like to be little and how important it is to cherish those funny things they say because one day they will realise how silly they sound and stop saying them. 

T a couple of weeks ago ‘I am growing up you know Mummy!!’ We couldn’t stop laughing! 

So take a minute, inbetween loads of washing, on the way to school, after dinner and homework to just appreciate the little things, build those happy memories because life is short and moments matter.

RIP to the zookeeper that lost her life yesterday at the zoo we happened to be visiting at the time. 

Make every minute count, You never know what is round the corner.

fairies · fairy door · Family · Uncategorized · walking · weekend

15.75 miles a beautiful sunset and our busy weekend 

So my walking got slightly stunted this week when the weather was not on our side and one day I couldn’t walk at all the rain was so bad! I was amazed at how frustrated I felt that I could have walked and felt ready to go but it just honestly wasn’t practical to get me and the dog totally soaked for no reason other than to rack up some miles! That said I’ve still had my second best week ever walking over 15 miles. 

Wednesday was a peaceful walk of nearly 3 miles during the evening when Scott was out and I just decided to head down to the lake with Poppy and walk all the way round and back home again! Half way round I was starting to flag but once I turned that corner I was amazed how my energy returned and I just felt a drive to get home and finish my loop. This was my beautiful view once I had walked round.

Friday I walked with my walking group again and we walked another new route for me through a beautiful wood full of bluebells stopping for a drink at the Fox and Hounds. This is our just over 4 mile route.

This weekend we only managed a few miles as we decided to start a few projects at home and have spent a lot of time with family and friends which has been great. 
In particular the church fete today was a lot of fun and made my friends and I realise that even though our girls are growing up so fast we can’t keep up they still love a fete! 😊

After our fete we had dinner at the in-laws and T got to take home her fairy sign that my father in law had made her. She was really happy with it as she designed it herself and it’s now the perfect addition to our fairy garden. Sometimes I wish I could bottle her innocence and keep it forever. 

I hope you have all had a great weekend and I would love to hear what you got upto! 

Thank you for reading!

Lou x

Children · Easter · Family · happy · horse riding · Parenting · Uncategorized

Our Easter Week

This week has been great. It has been a week full of play dates, Easter egg hunts, bike rides and more. It has been a week of having fun with my girl, enjoying being her Mumma and having as much fun as possible with her before she goes away for a week on holiday with her Dad. I’ve loved every minute of it, here is a diary of our week. 

Monday we biked round the country park near our house, T helped us wash our cars to earn some pocket money and we went to the library for their Easter event. It was a beautiful sunny day and we finished it by watching a movie together.


Tuesday T went on her pony day. She spent the day at the stables and had 3 hours of riding and spent the rest mucking out ponies, feeding and grooming them and walking them to fields. She hasn’t done a day like this since August and she loved it.

Wednesday we went to a friend’s for an Easter hunt, games and lunch. We have done this for years now and always have a great time there.

Thursday we went to a friend’s for a play date and had a lovely time catching up and it was warm enough for the girls to play outside which was great. In the afternoon we went swimming with my cousin, something we haven’t done in months so T loved it. This is something we need to get back into now so she starts to get her confidence back before our holiday in June.

Friday we went to a friend’s for lunch and a little Easter hunt. T made an Easter crown and enjoyed playing with our little friend Kali while i had lots of cuddles with her baby brother.
We then took a bike ride round the same route we did Monday so I could track it and see how far it was. T was great and so was Poppy. The one bad thing, my phone needed an update so didn’t track the route! This meant when Scott came in from work he ran it and took T back on her bike again!
We found out the route was 2.5 miles so T biked 5 miles today! My little trooper:)


Tomorrow we have our Easter egg hunt at home after the bunny has been 😉 then T and I have the rest of the day to ourselves. It’s been such a fun week and I am just now starting to feel sad I have to be without her for a week. This is the pitfall of having to share I guess. At least I know I couldn’t have shown my little person a more fun week and will remember this every minute I miss her next week. 

Family · happy · Sunshine · walking · weekend

7 mile Sunday and one great weekend

Today has been a beautiful day! The sun is shining and our beautiful blossom tree looks like it has pink marshmallows hanging from its branches. Not that we have had much time to appreciate it today as we decided to take a walk today and make the most of this beautiful weather. 

We walked from our house through Ferry Meadows country park and along the Nene Valley railway line to Orton Mere and finished up walking the length of the rowing lake and stopping for lunch at a lovely pub called the Boathouse. 

After we had time to refuel and get Poppy a drink we walked back a slightly different way which was still just as peaceful as we walked past the golf course and through the Ferry Meadows steam railway station until we finally made it home nearly 7 miles later! It really was so nice to just be out walking and taking in the sunshine, making the most of our Sunday together. 
Yesterday was Scott’s birthday so Friday we travelled to the coast to stay with my Nan. Once we had tired the doggies out we took a trip into town and spent some 2 p’s on the machines on the seafront. T loves winning the teeny toys that eventually fall out and we had great fun walking along the pier and playing games to win her more prizes for her haul! 



Yesterday we went for a Captians breakfast at a cafe we have been visiting for years on the seafront, this was a birthday treat for Scott and I think he enjoyed it, although he did wish he was taking part in the park run we were watching from the cafe! 

After another long walk with the dogs

and surprising Scott with his birthday cake we headed home and got ready for our evening out. It’s rare we get out for dinner together and even rarer that one of us doesn’t have to drive so we really did make the most of our evening with dinner at Prezzo and cocktails after including a cherry bakewell and an espresso martini! It was such a great day and night and I think we certainly made the most of the birthday celebrations. 

Im just impressed we went out for dinner, drinks and dancing and still walked 7 miles the next day! Peak District/ Lake District training is well and truly on 😉

Family · lonely · Uncategorized

Silent loneliness 

It’s days like today where I have been awake since 7 and have the prospect of a whole Saturday alone I am pleased we got our puppy. I really have to force those negative thoughts from my mind and push the positivity in to keep me going. 

I don’t want to be alone all day but Scott has to work to provide for our family. 

I don’t want T to be gone but she has to spend time with her Dad too.

I don’t want to have no plans but after texting several friends this week and no joy with any of them I have to accept they have lives too.

I have no motivation to go to the supermarket and get the things I need but if I don’t T won’t be able to bake for her homework project next week.

I struggle to see the fun in gardening alone but I look at my garden and feel sad that parts of it need weeding and I would be crazy not to take advantage of this sunshine. 

Another walk alone with the puppy does sound lonely and I do wish I had a friend with a dog so we could sometimes go together but if we didn’t have her I wouldn’t have discovered we had such pretty paths to walk.

So the negatives turned into positives mean I have a husband with a job, a daughter who has a relationship with her Dad, friends who have lots of fun things planned with their own families this weekend, money to buy ingredients for T’s homework project, a garden to tidy and sunshine to be able to do it in, and a loving puppy that wants to find a new path to walk with me.

This is how I deal with my silent loneliness until normal service is resumed and my family are home again. ❤

Family · Mums

Why mothers day is special to me

So today was Mothers day and I have had a wonderful day just being spoilt by my little person. T has always loved Mothers day and I love the excitement she has for the day. All week her and Scott have been having secret talks always and today they did not disappoint, along with a beautiful plant and chocolates I got a notebook to plan my adventure to Scafell Pike in,a beautiful pendant with separate charms inside each with a special meaning, (there is a T, a heart with Mum engraved on it, the word love and a mother holding a child), and 3 beautiful cards. 

The excitement started when she went to sleep last night with everything hidden under her bed and this morning it all came into our room so I could open everything in bed. She wouldn’t tell me what we were doing until we were ready to leave and then when we got back she wouldn’t tell me where we were going next! The whole idea of her planning little surprises for me all day is just special and I feel so lucky she has Scott to help her pull them all off. 

After coffee and a cake we planted a tree in our garden that we all chose together at our local garden centre, it has a pretty pink blossom and I’m so happy with the space it fills in our garden. Then we had a bike ride round our local country park we enjoyed a family roast at my in laws house. Once T was back here in bed asleep I even got to watch a bit of Coyote Ugly on TV! (I always loved that film so it couldn’t have been a better end to my day!)

Blogger · Changes · Family · friends · Friendship · Uncategorized

Friendships

I’ve been thinking about writing a blog about friendships for a little while and how we all change over time as we grow and evolve into different people. Some people don’t change, some stay the same as they always were. Others find they place in life, their happy and change to fit their lives around that. Because of this some friendships are built to last and some are not. Some people change with you, some do not. Then you meet new people with the same thoughts and values as you and start to realise the world is a big place and there could be more people out there like you its just a case of meeting them and starting a friendship. The ones that stick around, that accept your changes and are happy for you they are few and far between but that’s ok because life is full of people we meet and are in our lives for a purpose at that particular time. Some of these people end up in our lives for longer than others, some we become close to but then eventually drift away from. Some there are just too many differences to be close for ever. Some no matter how hard you try seem to want to close the door and say goodbye. Others the time comes when closing the door is the only option as the differences are too great.
All this is only important in a small proportion of our lives because the most important thing is family. When I had my daughter my world immediately revolved around her, then when I separated from her father my friends helped me get through tough times and my world still revolved around her. Now I have found my husband I have someone who wants to share her childhood with me and it’s amazing. If we are lucky in life we find friends who want to share this journey with us but building lasting friendships is just like building a lasting relationship, it takes work,  commitment, give and take, on both sides and most of all effort. Once the cracks start to show sometimes this is the beginning of the end, sometimes not.
The main thing is we surround ourselves with people we can be honest and open around and who make us laugh. Life is too short and full of too much stress to let anyone or anything else unnecessarily bring you down.
Be happy, if you can’t it’s time for a change.