We’ve spent most of the summer in anywhere but Brighton trying to cram in as much fun before Harper starts school in September. We spent a week in a cottage in Pembrokeshire with my brother and his girlfriend, both of whom the kids adore. I think they actually love them more than us at times!! I tend to be really snap-happy on holiday (who am I kidding, I’m like that all the time!) and shared the first part of the holiday in my last Life In Pictures.
A few weeks ago we thought it would be an excellent idea to drive hundreds and hundreds of miles from one side of the country to the other for a little break. We’re trying to fit in as many breaks with Harper as we can before she starts on her school adventure in September.
So we packed up pretty much all our belongings and drove six hours to Pembrokeshire for a week in a cottage with my brother Darren and his girlfriend Katie. We went to Cornwall with them last summer and thought we’d scared them off holidaying with us because of the lack of sleep. Luckily they were up for more fun this year. I’ve not been to Wales since I went to university in Cardiff and met some of the best people in my life there.
Before Harper starts school in September, I wanted to make sure we went abroad with her before we got stuck in the vortex of school holiday prices… and to spend a bit of quality time together! So last year, after hearing two mums chatting outside of ballet class about their Disney holiday plans, I thought this would be the perfect little trip to go on before the summer holidays started. My husband, however, did not.
So it turns out my kids are bonkers about ice cream. Grayson claims his best friends are inanimate objects – ice cream and onions are his two current favourites. He quite often wakes up really early (sometimes at 4am – tell me this ends at some point) and asks if it’s ice cream time. So when the sun’s shining and we’re at the beach, it’d be rude not to have an ice cream…or two.
Last week, when it was hotter than the Maldives, we and our friends decided to go camping for the weekend. Which sounds like a little bit of a silly idea when I write it down, but actually it was really lovely. The only time it was the opposite of lovely was at the crack of dawn every morning, when I woke up in a pool of sweat feeling like I’d been hit by a sledgehammer due to the insane temperature of the tent. And both times I attempted to combat the situation by opening the tent. And both times that woke my kids up. Ugh.
So, something big happened recently. We entered a new phase in our family life, and started leaving the house without a buggy, a suitcase-sized changing bag and four coats. And it felt good. Grayson has decided that he’s a big boy who doesn’t need a buggy, and now wants to scoot everywhere. So that’s exactly what we did recently.
This picture makes me laugh. Look at my child walking (up a hill!), all sweet and happy. Buuuuut no. The camera lies. She was wailing and begging me to carry her – and I was ignoring her and taking pictures which only pee’d her off more. This shot seemed to capture a millisecond of serene between wails. So in it goes!
Hasn’t the weather been c-r-a-z-y this week. Coats on one minute, then Factor 50 the next, and a total wash-out yesterday. Our Bank Holiday was a long weekend of broken-down cars, sickness bugs and a combined number of hours of sleep you could count on just one hand. We had Nanna and Grandpa coming down for a visit and we showed them a rather wet time in the car park of Halfords. So this Life in Pictures is nothing to do with this weekend, but instead a recent visit to their home in Norfolk!
It gets to this time of year and our Instagram feed is filled up with beautiful bluebell fields with shots of angelic children standing in those fields, looking serene. After trying for two years to get said shots, last year we walked away vowing never again – but surprise surprise we ended up there again a few weeks ago.
I’m always intrigued by how families spend their weekends. As we don’t have DIY to be getting on with or a garden that needs much attention, if any, we tend to pack our weekends with day trips, so it’s a bit of a break from the humdrum of the week. Saturdays are always hectic with classes and chores, so Sunday is our day-tripping day (that is unless Tia and I are working together!)
My lovely little thing turned 5 yesterday. FIVE! Five years on the planet. Five years of being a mum. Five years since a labour that wrecked my body forever. Only five little rainbow years. She was very excited about the whole thing, about going to school and having everyone sing the birthday song, about being able to wear her sparkly shoes and about putting on her birthday badge and erm…. hang on, what now? Birthday badge??
So we had a little holiday in St. Ives, Cornwall, for a week and it was lovely and now I think I’d quite like to live there. We left at 4am due to my (slightly OTT) panic about getting stuck in a jam with two bored kids on a journey that already takes 6 hours. But we arrived at 10 (unable to check in till 3…) in a bit of a daze and feeling slightly jetlagged/drunk on tiredness. So we had ice creams for breakfast and sat there feeling confused for a few hours.
As soon as the sun comes out and Spring hits, I get itchy feet to go and embrace the season and get out of the house. We’ve done just that over the Easter holidays so this week’s Life in Pictures is a little bit of a bumper one!
Our first stop was Kew Gardens to see the blossom. It’s such a cliche to say but it is one of my favourite sights and it’s somewhere we try to visit a few times a year. I’m not sure if it’s the long drive to get there but one of the kids is always in a grump and this time it was Grayson’s turn.
This week, like most of the country, we have mostly been stuffing our faces with chocolate. Even as I write this I’ve managed to eat a whole Lindt bunny without even noticing it, bleurgh. I’m at that “just eat it so its gone” phase.
We had a lovely Easter week at my parents, with Egg hunts, ice creams and time hanging out with our littlest cousin. I love watching them all, they’re such good friends. They’re far apart, but couldn’t be closer.
A few weeks ago it was Harper’s 4th birthday and we celebrated with a superhero-themed party. She’s been planning her party since her 3rd birthday, so it felt like it was a long time coming. And the day before, I came down with a terrible virus, so the whole experience was a slightly surreal, medication-fuelled riot!