Thursday, 23 February 2012

Planning Ahead - School Holidays

As everyone knows, money isnt excatly freely flowing in our household at the moment with it tied up here there and everywhere between the buisness, kids and paying the rent! This means we're not planning on taking a properly holiday this summer, and so me and the kids are in for a long old 6 weeks!

I remember how last holidays I started out with such good intentions to keep busy and active with the kids, but 3 weeks in and I was already struggling to work out quite we were going to do with our days!

So this year I am hoping to learn from experience, and with this in mind I have made use of Travelodge's excellent advance booking offers!
For a bargainous £15 me and the kids, (and the other half too if he's got any spare time!) will be spending a night in Chelmsford visiting the mother in law over easter and a further 2 nights, one in Arundle and one in Brighton spread out over the holidays visiting family.

This way for £10 - £15 plus the cost of some petrol me and the kids will have something fun to look forward to and plan for over the holidays, and avoid the huge expense of planning these trips spur of the moment.

Ive picked places where I can take the children myself if the other half is too busy with work and know that we'll still have a fab time seeing friends and family.
There also places where I know theres a wealth of free and fun places and activities for the kids to get stuck into for a couple of days.

Now the only question left is do I take a risk on booking a night in London to catch up with friends or do I trust to past learnt knowledge that I really cant stand the place!?!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Subtle Hints

Thomas has started Preschool in the last couple of weeks and he only goes on Monday and Friday mornings at the moment, I thought he might like easing into the idea.
However on every Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday morning since when I get ready to head downstairs with Alice its how to a wail of screams cries, attempts at getting picked up and the occasional shoe thrown behind me down the stairs from Thomas.

Clearly Thomas is ready to move on up in the world sooner that Id thought! and so while his name has been added to the Wednesday mornings waiting list, Im having to try and keep up with ways to keep my ever more troublesome two year old entertained.

When me and Alice got back from this mornings preschool pick up after Thomas's extremely charming hints that he'd like to go out (attempting to put his own coat on, picking up unmatching shoes and pointing down the stairs!) I thought why not drag them over to the local museum.

St Johns house museum is only a 5 minute walk from our house and I can remember going there when I was in school! Not much has changed to be honest. Its got some nice toy displays and quite alot that the children are allowed to use, a mocked up victorian classroom and kitchen whish the kids enjoyed a run around but probabaly need to be a little older to really get a feel for.

We also went upstairs to the fusiliers museum which the kids had a ball in trying on different soldiers hats and coats and making mischief with the special night vision camera and box that they have.

The staff were lovely and friendly and the kids had a great time. For a raining day this was the perfect change of scene from just being stuck at home without breaking the bank!

I think we spend all of 60p on two postcards.

So next time your bored why not check out your councils website and see what free museums are around your area. Even if you think your kids might be a bit young for the actual content these museums are often relatively quiet and make an ideal change of scene for kids without breaking the bank.

Particular recommendations include:

Roman Alcester

Museum of London Docklands: Mudlarks Play Area

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Bug

What with the unseasonably good weather at the moment and those general January feelings that it's time to get more active in mind we've been thinking about getting a cycle trailer for the kids and getting about more cycle than car bound!
I know that the best brand is Burleys but I thought I'd have a look on eBay and see what was about as these sell new from between £300-£500!

I saw a few unbranded trailers sell second hand for around £70 and decided for that amount of money it wasn't worth buying as I just didn't feel happy about the safety features these unbranded cheapos might lack!!

I then struck gild finding a brand new burley ladybug trailer being sold locally for £275 as it had been slightly shop soiled. Some haggling later and we met in the middle at £225
While this is still alot of money for a bike accessory I now fully intend to get my money's worth with some family days out a few less trips in the car and using it on holidays.
As my kids are only 2 & 3 I feel confident i'l get my money's worth over the next few years and now I can cycle and take the kids!

Can't wait till I'm off work tomorrow day to hook it up to the bike and get started!
Specially with a name like Burley on the back of our bug!

Monday, 28 November 2011

On the Move part 1

well we are on the move right now, and by this time next week I will *hopefully* be lying in bed in our new house with the kids fast asleep! Hopefully..

We have had the er blessing of having moved house several time since having the kids and to be honest hadnt pictured moving again for several years, but circumstances must so the packing has begun!

Obviously we are already experiencing all those niggling annoyances that go with any more for anyone. However this time around with two tots in tow there has been a few additional challenges, and theres still a week to go.

Firstly there has been the confusion about what this all means - are the toys going, are they being given away, no just moved to the new house, 10 begrudging minutes later life is relatively calm again.
Then theres the eternal question - 'Will Santa find the new house?!?' now this ones important this year in a way it never has been before.
Alice has been reassured that as the new house has several large fireplaces all should be well on the Santa front, she seems sumwhat unconvinced still!
Iv also been informed (by Alice) that she will definitely be on Santas nice list this year, however Thomas still has some work to do as he's currently languishing down in the Naughty pile!!

So poor little Alice and Thomas have the prospect of what to them is a life altering change to deal with, and so far so bad really.
On the surface all is well but when you look underneath you can see the strange reversion to some extremely dare i say it 'baby' like behavior.
The smallest of reminders even, not tellings off will lead to floods of tears, public places cannot be left without a screaming toddler in tow while morning are back to being early mornings.

We're trying our best to make everything as stressfree as possible for them as much as us and if anyone else has suggestions then please share!

As they will have to share a room post move we have begrudgingly put them in together in the house for the last week, which is so far working out fairly well. (At least in so far as they have both ended up sleeping in the end!). Hopefully that can be one thing which stays constant post move that way.

Also I have good intentions (time permitting) to have the house already christmatised by the time the kids see it, hoping this will sweeten the deal.

Last but not least is the large bag of new (now I say new but these are actually just toys I was given by my lovely friend as her 2 had outgrown them!) toys never seen before by A&T incase some distraction tactics are needed!!

Right well iv only mentioned a tiny slice of our lives in a very rambling sense but it shall have to do for this evening as Im off to the last of nod any minute!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

About time too!

Well Im sorry to say that my poor blog has gone sadly negelected over the last several months!!
All I can say is that Im extremely sorry (although I think im probabaly only apologising to an audience of possibly 5 at best!!!) and that I will try my hardest to revive this will it still had life left in it.

A short summary of the events of the last two months could go along the lines of :
Ran a half marathon (extremely slowly!!)
Got married to my amazing husband
Started working full time at the pub
Began packing up all our things to move house
Trying to support my husband while he sets up a new business.

All of the above has kept me really just a little over busy, but still thats no excuse for neglect!

At the moment we're really feeling pretty spread thin as I am working 45 hour weeks at the Pub while my husband now does 1 or 2 of the killer early mornings over at the golf course every-week just to make the books balance. On top of that he is trying desperatly hard to set up his own business from home which is consuming every hour of his day, and several of mine that I hadnt known existed in years!
Now Im not the kind of person that likes to moan and winge but really this is the place for it theres any, so right now I shall just put my marter bid out there and remind everyone that that means Im basically working a full time week at the pub, but still being a full time mum to the kids all but the one day a week I have to do a day shift, while still providing my early morning husband taxi service!
Right rant over, apologies!!!!

I shall really try to get back on track with this though as Im finding more and more of those little moments in the day that used to be set aside for me have turned into parcel wrapping and fruitless attempts to understand html and the never ending nappy changes life just seems to be made of. Therefore Im making a stand, and if Im still not able to retain my privacy on the bog, I will at least attempt to retain my decency on the blog!!