Wednesday 30 December 2015

Me and Mine December 2015

Looking back over the last year I am so proud of all these photos. See behind every one of these I have to force the whole family to take part. Step one is actually finding the place to take a photo, then its have we remembered the big camera. Step two is rounding the troops, getting there children together and a husband is hard work. Step 3 checking we are in the photo / focus. Nothing more disapointing then getting home to discover that the none are good. The final step is getting everyone to smile at once, as you can see we did not achieve one photo where we are all smiling. 

I love every single one of these photos. I planned this year to be more organised, to take the camera with me more, but I did fail on many occasions. Some of the photos were taken at the end of our road by the beach and others in our house. It is hard work but I love the end result. Maybe next year I will be more intnetional with taking more photos. Getting to know that big camera again, going on many more adventures with the Family. Its been an busy busy year. Getting the right balance of work / family time has been very hard at times. We have had a fun year and have been very blessed. My little family is growing up so much. 

January - Broadstairs Beach

February - Shelter at the end of our road. 

March - Our Garden 

April - Minnis Bay

May - France 

June Paris 

June - Kingsdown Campsite

July - Scripture Union Minnis Bay

August - Home

September - Down our local Beach

October  - Westgate St Mildreds Bay

November - Westgate beach

December - Gorleston Beach 

Saturday 26 December 2015

Depression at Christmas

Christmas is supposed to be a joyous time, but sometimes when you are struck down with depression it's the last thing on your mind. The kids new toys are everywhere, people asking you questions. People look happy and all it does it make you want to hide. 

You see depression comes in many forms. For me it comes and goes I have always been such a positive person but the last week I have been hit hard. Hit hard with something trying to pull me down when in fact I should be full of joy, 

I should be the light.

 I should be happy. 

But all I want to do is hide, hide and sleep. 

What's wrong with me seriously what is wrong with me. I have never felt like this before, I am lost, my heart feels sad. I am counting my blessings sure I am so privialidged but I can't get out. I am stuck in this dark place it's lonely I hate it, I hate how it makes me feel, I hate it how it makes me.

I am snappy, tearful and generally not fun to be around. It's hard when I am telling the kids off for being loud. They can't help it they are excited but I can't face it. I enjoy being at work as its a break. That's very unlike me. This is only a phase, maybe I have worked too much. Placed too much pressure on myself. done too much and not paused. It's odd my head is all over the place. 

So there it is depression in one of its many forms, showing I am human. I am far from super mum. The idea of baking and decorating cakes is enough to tip me over board. I love Christmas I must not forget this. 

I must not forget how blessed I am. How privileged. 

Life is flying by.

I need to find a way out of this horrible place I am stuck in. Enjoy these little people I have. Give them my all. Not the stressed out mum they have seen late. Forcing the darkness out with more light. 

Sorry it's not an usual positive post but I feel it is important to show this, so that some other parent/ person can read this and find some support or just to make them feel they aren't alone. 

Depression will never win over me. 


Wednesday 16 December 2015

Finding the Joy - December Part 1

Sorry guys haven't been round much online, Christmas parties and episodes of rubbish on the tv have zapped my motivation. I just though I would share a few things that have been going on in our little lives. This time of year is crazy busy but such fun too, my children are far too excited and nine sleeps is far too much for an 3 year old to cope with. So here is a few things why we are happy this month.

1 - Christmas Parties

So who doesnt love a good party right. Well I do to a point we have had 3 so far!!! The worst is yet to come a crazy busy one is the last one next Wednesday!. I have my staff night out and then the kids general nursery/ school ones then we can start to wind down. The children have loved seeing Father Christmas too. Son Son is in love with him and hugs every Father Christmas. Ami though at one party didn't want to leave baby Jesus and wanted to stay at that party. I haven't eaten fruit for a long time and currently living off cakes and chocolate (true story). All the weight I have lost is about to come back on but hey I am happy.

2 - Time of Work

I am currently counting down the shifts. As from boxing day I have a whole 12 days off. We plan to go to Norfolk and generally just chill out as a family. Be nice to get away and be at the in laws for a bit, with most of my husbands other family too. The kids love it and we generally don't do much. 12 days of is such a treat I can't wait.

3 - First Christmas Plays

My daughter starred in her first nursery play and yes I did cry, like I do at every single play. She was very shy on the stage but sang Rudolph the red nose reindeer song. Me and my husband where very proud and I couldn't help waving and cheering. Sad parent alert.

4 - Christmas Services

I love this time of year and what we celebrate, the greatest story ever told. I love church this time of year, the beautiful lights and carols I love the generosity that it provokes. We went to a carol service the other day and even though the kids where feral it was so beautiful. My favourite serve is Christmas eve but I am working through it but will hear from the ids how it went. They love it Ami keeps on telling us the story about baby Jesus.

So here you are a little insight into out lives recently. Hopefully will update the blog again soon but when I escape the mountain of wrapping I shall be free.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Easy toddler Christmas Crafts

When the weather is rubbish its good to have a wealth of indoor activities for toddlers to do. Having an 3 and 2 year old we often need a few things to break the day other than watching Netflix all day. What better time of the year to introduce some easy craft activities. By easy I mean stuff that is around the house and means you can help them but not actually do it for them.

Easy Homemade Christmas Playdoh 

This was super easy to make to be honest I didn't follow any recipes just got the kids to put some ingredients in a bowl and some how it formed some kind of playdoh consitency. We also added some mixed spice and ginger to make it smell more like Christmas. Also not to forget the food coulouring to make it green. They loved the smell and it wasnt to sticky, it kept them entertained for a bit which was the best bit.

What you will need (approxmiatly)

  • Two cups of flour
  • One cup of salt (or as much as you have if your like me and run out)
  • One tablespoon of oil
  • Food colouring 
  • Christmas spices
  • Bowl to mix and some festive cutters

There you have it some non bake playdoh that smells rather good. We plan to make proper christmas trees now I have actual Christmas cutters. You could add some glitter to make it extra special. 

Easy Christmas Bauble's 

This was another easy idea I thought of when looking for something to do, when I say easy it took less than five minutes to source some card and some glue and off they set decorating. I had purchased some card in a half price sale at tesco in the year and made some large baubles. With the other colours available I cut a few shapes and left them to glue as much on as they wanted. Simple and effective. 

What you will need:
  • Card ( we went for glittery stuff)
  • Glue 
  • Thats it maybe some scissors too to cut shapes and the acutal baubles out. 
They loved it Son Son had just put the glue on the card and chucked the bits on the top.  

Easy Felt Christmas Trees

Another Sticking craft as my little ones love getting messy with glue. Another dead simple craft, I cut out some christmas trees in felt and they stuck on some sequins oh and some glitter too. Simple yet effective Ami was so proud she showed Daddy when he got home from work. I had placed the sequins and glitter in pots in the hope that they would take longer to put the pieces on the paper but no they just chucked it all on as you do. Ami is obsessed with glue she loves it. 

What you will need: 
  • Green Felt
  • Sequins 
  • Glue 
  • Glitter
  • A lot of patience for finding sequins and glitter everywhere afterwards. 
They enjoyed decorating there trees, I finished them off with a bit of string and some duct tape on the back. They have made there way onto the Christmas tree which will house every homemade decoration the children make this year, which when you have three children resembles a school display at the end of it all. 

Easy Felt Nativity Scene 

This one was very simple to make, all it involved was finding some felt and cutting the different shapes out. For me this one was my fave not because it didn't involve glitter and glue but it helped us to talk about the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas.

What you will need

  • Different Coloured Felt
  • Scissors
  • Template to follow
I searched online for an easy template and once I cut all the different characters out Ami was able to play over and over again. Maybe the use of a pen would define the characters a bit, or you could even stick them on for a more lasting picture. 

So there if you are like me looking for some simple easy to find, don't have to spend tons of money crafts then have a go. Share with us some ideas I am rather poor at this stuff.

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Adventures on Windy Days

When you are an outdoors person there is nothing worse than being indoors all day long. I love to be outside, I find that it helps to ground me, get me away from the monotony of the same old washing routine. Some days I need to get out, feel the fresh air on my face and forget about the pile of washing up in the sink, the million stains on the carpet and have a bit of fun with the little ones. The toddlers enjoy being outside, they play nicely and generally like to be outside.

We did our usual lets walk to the beach with the spades trip, which always involves it being high tide and the toddlers cross because the tide is in. It was so windy the tide was right on the prom, they were both afraid to get too close and stuck by the walls. This concluded our time at the beach so off we went looking for something to fill a bit of time before walking back home. It was sunny but with gusts of 50 MPH it was cold. We ended up in a shelter where it was warm at least, we stayed there for a bit before bracing the cold walk home. Made me realise I must go out more, no matter how cold. Everyone loved it, everyone was in a better mood for it. Just need to put on our 600 layers and just get on with it.

Check out the photo's I captured whilst out, yes I actually had the big camera with me too.

Monday 30 November 2015

Meeting Father Christmas

This year is such a special year for my children, with the little ones growing up and the eldest hanging onto believing into Father Christmas everything feels so special. My daughter is overjoyed thinking about Christmas every day she asks if that's the day. She can't wait to start her Advent calander and is loving learning about the nativity and baby Jesus as she calls it. 

Yesterday we were at a village Christmas fair, it was rather busy with rides and stalls but there was one thing we couldn't get Ami away from and that was seeing Father Christmas. When she spotted him in his makeshift grotto that was it we were waiting however long. Even Son son was excited. As we moved along the queue we had to hold Ami up over the gate so she could catch a glimpse of Father Christmas. 

Asti didn't want to see Father Christmas he is far too cool now days. He knew it was his old infant school governor but still went along for the crack of it for his siblings. He did enjoy the snow machine that went off every now and then. 

We asked Son Son if he wanted to see Father Christmas but he said no but when we got near he did come out the pushchair as we got nearer. Ami on the other hand was so excited she jabbed an elf in the tummy for some reason. It was finally our turn and just Ami and Son son went in, Ami asked for a baby and then she said  "my brother Son Son wants a car and can you get some minecraft toys for Asti please" which I thought was very sweet. 

Son Son was so pleased he got a present he would not let go of it till we got home and he opened it, even on some of the rides he wouldn't let go. It was a lovely moment well worth braving the strong winds and high volume crowds. It's such a special time as a child I remember it so much from my own childhood, I really do love Christmas. 

Saturday 28 November 2015

Portable North Pole Review

We have been fans of the Portable north pole for a few years now,  well except two years ago when we made our son very upset by saying that he was on the naughty list. We hoped that it would help to buck up his behaviour we were not prepared for a melt down.

If you haven't heard of the PNP its a website/ app that offers you the chance to get either a video or a phone call with father Christmas. I have always found them to be the best quality around and all my children have loved them. The app is free and gives you two free videos to choose from.

The best thing about PNP is the fact that they are customised to your child. Photos can be added and the right pronunciation of your child's name too, which is help. when you start you get a series of questions to get you started. The questions are ones like your child's age and gender. Then more detailed questions about your child.

I have to admit that the video that was created was rather fab, the father Christmas in the video is top class, the story in the video is first class too. The other option to try out the video call is something you can do to encourage your child before Christmas or even use it s a threat if needed. The children loved hearing Father Christmas say there name. Made it extra special.

There is two free videos you can create with the website/ app and a ton of other packages to download starting form £5.99 for a unlimited call bundle to £9.99 which gives you unlimited video and call access.

I also did an adult video for the husband who the kids were more impressed with, they found it funny when Father Christmas committed on Daddys beard.

All in all a top Christmas App to download, really adds to the fun of it all. My only issue was my eldest finding the app and saying oh I see where you did the videos then, doh. He is very sceptical about Father Chrstimas this year.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Day Trip to Disneyland Paris - June 2015

Ok I realised that its been nearly six months since we went to Disneyland and I didn't even write about it. What was I thinking? Well I think because I wrote so many holiday posts I held it of until I was in a writing loll, kind of what I am in now. Wondering what to write about next as we don't do much other than work/ nursery/ soft plays areas, life sure does get fun in the winter... I think its because I am an outdoors person, also because I do not drive and live in the middle of nowhere transport wise its hard to get anywhere. Anyway less of me drifting of to a random story, we actually went to Disneyland.

It all happened whilst we were on Our Eurocamp holiday back in June (hangs head in shame in forgetting  to write about it). It was the reason we chose to stay at the resort as it was only an hour away which would make it perfect for a quick day trip. We have been to Disneyland twice before for just a day but not as a family of five. We wondered how the little ones would be would they enjoy it? would it be stressful? Is it a waste of money? All these questions went through our minds and we went for it any way.

We surprised the children saying we were going to a French Castle to explore, Ami was over the moon and couldn't wait whereas Asti was feigning being ill. Asking to go back to the holiday resort. As we got nearer that illness disappeared and he was suddenly back to normal. Ami's face was a picture of pure excitement as she started to notice the familiar Disney signs all around.

 We had the single pushchair which worked well meaning we could keep Son son in one place and Ami and Asti were good at walking with us. Although this did have its downfall during the fireworks when Ami fell asleep on my shoulders. My eldest wanted to go on the buzz light year ride first and with baby swap ( if you haven't heard of it before it's where you can get a ticket then redeem it to go on again with the other parent, one of the best things about Disneyland with a baby). They loved the buzz ride we went on it a total of 4 times. Wet hen split up where my husband got the best deal with Asti whilst I tackled some of the smaller rides such as Its a small world like 6000 times, they sure did love that ride.

We also went and watched a Disney Junior show, which all three children loved especially as things fell from the ceiling and bubbles, it gave us a got 20 mins to sit down and recharge for a bit. Once again we split and Asti and Daddy went on some of the more scary rides, whilst I did nappy and toilet runs. Mainly our excuse to look round the shops (Which there are so many). It was then time for the parade which is one of the best bits about Disneyland. We found a good place and by then it was rather Sunny and warm. 

The parade was awesome and all the children sat and watched in amazement, which is surprising for two toddlers and a hyperactive child. Ami was so excited to see the Princess's and there was a massive roar for Elsa on her ice float. Asti received a lot of high fives which he loved. It was great fun and we had the theme tune of the parade stuck in our heads for the rest of the day.

We then pottered round a few more rides, went back to its a small world again just so Daddy and Asti could endure it again. Ami loved the tea cups although her face doesn't show it. We didn't see many characters walking around unlike the last few times and when we did they had a mass of people around them. We didn't realise that a lot of places close early and we only brought enough food for lunch, thankfully we found a place that was just closing and had a quick dinner, as expected it was going to be expensive as everything in Disneyland is. We also missed the time for the sing along Frozen songs much to Asti's delight.

It was slowly getting dark and we decided to hold on for the fireworks at 11pm. Poor Ami had spent the day walking around the park was actually still going. We went back to the buzz ride and looked round the shops again, Ami got an Frozen toy and Asti got other bits for his friends. We stopped of for hot chocolate and by this time Son Son was fast asleep in the pushchair.

Looking back now we should have taken Ami's princess dress as all the girls were wearing them, I didn't think maybe because the last two times I had been had been in the winter so everyone was wearing there coats. Ami did ask for a dress but they were extortionate prices and were mean parents. Son Son on the other hand had tried to pinch a few teddies the little monkey and had become attached to a lots so hugging bear which we let him have. 

By the time the fireworks started everyone was shattered but we all looked forward to the fireworks. We found a good place then it got full up sadly Asti could not see much so Daddy had to hold him up.  I had Ami on my shoulders and Son Son was asleep. I have to say they were some of the best fireworks I have ever seen. The way they went with the light show and music was something so spectacular. Halfway through I felt Ami become very heavy and she had fallen asleep so then I had to carry her. We left the park around 12pm after a long walk back to the car, we should have got one of those Disney buggies but we didn't think at the time. 

It was the most fabulous day, a rather expensive day that took most of our holiday budget but was totally worth it to see the children's faces. Maybe one time we will go to Disneyland for longer than a day but not sure our bank balances would recover. The children were such superstars all day and it defiantly made the trip. Was a highlight of our holiday and the kids were exhausted the next day. Ami still got up at 6am the next day though. 

Saturday 21 November 2015

We are still here

Where have we been?

Sorry little readers I will be back shortly just haven't have the time or energy to write things down at the moment.

I will be back soon with more days out and bad grammar.

I have found my self bored in the evenings and realised its because I haven't spent the evening glued to my laptop. The plan is  to be back on the ball for November but just enjoying a little peace and time to sort where my head is at. Not in a bad way but more of a recapturing those lost dreams that have been put underfoot for the time being.

I miss writing though this little post has made me see that, I love writing. I blog because of that. I blame being at universoity for what felt like a long time and always spending my evenings writing essays. This little blog is nearly three years old, surely I haven't run out of things to say yet?

Anyway I digress much love to you my faithful blog followers.

Heres a photo of us in case you have forgotten us x

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Son Son is Two

Our little Son Son is two. 
Two. My little baby is sure growing up.
We have made two years as a family of five. 
Two years of people always reminding us that we have our hands full (Thanks for the reminder always helpful to hear....). 

You are such a joy, you really are.
The most cuddly and clingy out of the three. 
You have your fathers nature and seem to be very chilled yet know how to have fun. 
You love to dance and basically any game that involves a ball or a car. 
Over the year you showed amazing accuracy with kicking and throwing a ball, we got many balls/ toys/ dummies to the bead.
You love to follow Ami around and want everything she has. 

You make us laugh now that you are starting to talk. 
Each days more words come and its very cute. 
You can form three words together. Mainly "Daddy at work".
You have a lot of energy and like to run everywhere.
You are very clumsy at times, you fall over a lot, and come home from nursery with injury slips every  time we pick you up.
You are about to move to the toddler room at nursery which we are sad to see you go up. 
You love nursery and the staff love you there. 
You really are such a joy to be around. 

Happy Birthday Son Son.
You really light up our lives.
We love you so much 

See below some pictures of the last year below.