Our Swansea Adventure

James has been working in Swansea for a few days a week sporadically for months now and it seems set to continue for the time being.  We all miss him the three days he spends in Wales and so back in March he suggested we all go together.  He would still have to work but at least we could have the evening and as Ollie was off school because of a teacher training day and St. Patricks day, why not?

On Mother’s Day James got us all packed up while I went to church with the boys.  Ollie was going to be singing a Mother’s Day song with the rest of the kids in front of the rest of the church.  We didn’t stay for the whole of church, we skipped out early and James was waiting for us in the car park.

We told the boys that we were all going to the airport to wave Daddy off.  They didn’t have a single suspicion… not when we unpacked a stack of bags out of the car including their Trunki…. not when we went through security and Nate and I were searched… not when we were sat at Burger King in the departure lounge!  So we broke the news by talking about it being a shame that Daddy was away, we would miss him and it would be cool if we could come too… would they like to do that.  Ollie didn’t believe us for a few minutes and once it sank in, the boys were super excited.  Ollie thought our sneakiness was hilarious… and the fact that James had packed their toys and pjs already.

The boys enjoyed the plane ride and once we landed we had to go and pick up our hire car.  It was so fancy, with a parking camera and everything!  The drive to the hotel was a few hours and both boys coped with the journey really well.  Nate slept for the most part.

Once we arrived at the hotel we got the boys bathed and into their pyjamas and we ordered room service for dinner.  Rather than having a meal each, James and I ordered a bunch of starters… we had romaine lettuce chunks with humous and pitta bread, cockle popcorn, pork belly bites with a yummy chutney, goats cheese fritters and calamari!!  It was so good and a perfect Mother’s Day treat.  Before bed the boys were brought cookies and warm milk, something the hotel offers to everyone with kids and such a lovely treat… the cookies were chewy and warm, freshly baked.  (James and I had one each too….)

The next day, James headed off to work early while the boys were still asleep.  We lazed about the room for a little while before getting ready.  The restaurant was just downstairs so we got breakfast.  The boys had a mixture of pancakes and sausages and fruit salad while I had fruit and a croissant.  It was self serve, so you could help yourself to anything.

We visited the beach that was right outside our hotel.  It was clean and BIG and we found a play park there too.  The boys drew in the sand and we collected a lot of stones and shells and only left when it got too cold and windy.  The three of us arrived back at the hotel room to find that the maid had tucked their Paw Patrol pups into bed.  The boys thought it was super funny.

After our trip to the beach we decided to go and get lunch in the tallest building in Swansea.  The views were amazing but it was a shame it was so cloudy!!

Before James was due home we headed to the hotel swimming pool for a while.  It was nice, small but warm and had a tiny kids bit too.  It was totally deserted though, we had the entire thing to ourselves.  Nate cried when we had to leave, he was having such a blast.

James got home in good time to take us all for dinner.  He has been there a lot and so knows where is good to go.  He took us to The Smoke Haus, a really cool, laid back BBQ place.  We stuffed ourselves silly with ribs and deep fried corn on the cob and fries.  When we got back to the hotel, the boys went to sleep and James and I watched tv shows on the laptop.

On Tuesday morning we got breakfast delivered to our room after James went to work.  It was amazing!  They brought us croissants and danish pastries, cereal, yoghurt, fruit juice, meat and cheese!  The boys thought it was a great idea and loved eating their breakfast in their fancy hotel bed while watching tv.  Those croissants though, oh my!!  So very very good.  With time to kill before James arrived back and we had to leave for the airport, we went for a walk around the marina to look at the boats and then we had lunch in the hotel restaurant.

We decided that last minute, spontaneous family trips are FUN!!

Blog Burnout and a Thirty Update

I’ve kept this blog now for 7 years.  I’ve so far recorded the majority of happenings in the life of my family and occasionally I’ll go through a period of having NO motivation to sit down a blog.  It’s only ever once before lasted 6 months.  I could say that nothing blog-worthy has been happening here, but my Instagram feed would tell a whole different story.  I guess we sometimes just find ourselves overwhelmed with life that it causes us to crash when we get the chance… crashing instead of blogging!

In just 11 1/2 weeks, I turn 31.  That sounds so much older than 30.  I had hoped that this would be the year I would get my s*** together. Has this happened?  Kind of.  Not really… but I’ve 11 1/2 weeks left.  My thirtieth year has been crazy… it has been both amazing and crummy… unproductive and chockablock.  I’ve achieved so much but also dealt with some of the hardest obstacles I’ve ever encountered.

To sum up the last six months…

The Bad:

I got behind on my degree course and had to defer.
James and I had our biggest relationship road block in 10 years of being together.

The Good:

We celebrated a lovely Christmas.
We got super into playing board games as a family and decided it was proper quality time.

I decorated some.
We celebrated Nate’s and James’ Birthdays.
James and I went for a weekend away to the castle that we got married.

We discovered Spoon Street, a local froyo place!

Went to the beach multiple times, the farm, the zoo, swimming and gigs!
James took the four of us to Swansea for a few days!

I started roller derby and got on my way to getting fit and healthy!


James and I fixed the road block and got ourselves to a place better than ever.

Life isn’t all peachy but I have a hell of a lot of good stuff going on right now.  Nobody ever said that life is supposed to be easy or plain sailing!  I’m trying to have it more figured out before my birthday so I can enjoy 31 a little more than I enjoy 30.  The same productivity but with a little more happiness.

Shake It Off!

10919268_341657849365808_165253830_nI don’t know what it is that makes the start of the year so hard for me to be motivated… maybe it’s the fact that it is so cold and gloomy here or maybe the Christmas come-down just lingers too long in my head… but I don’t get to feeling real perky about the year ahead until Spring!  Maybe even Easter!  As soon as the weather starts to get better/ warmer and the days start to get longer, my motivation grows and I become super productive, full of new ideas and enthusiasm for the rest of the year.  Is that normal or is it just me?

The end of March is nearly upon us and I can feel myself shaking off the slump that is the first quarter after Christmas!

I’m currently compiling a list of things that make me happy, to help speed up the shake-off phase.  Little things.

So far I have the following:

Compliments when you are least expecting them.
Browsing Pinterest for decor ideas for the boys new rooms.
Sunny mornings.
Driving alone.
Spicy sausage rolls from Attridge and Cole.
Playing board games as a family.
Snuggling with the boys in a blanket while introducing them to movies from my childhood.
Daffodils.
Frozen yoghurt with mochi and sprinkles from Spoon Street.
Seeing my amazing friends.

:)

Nate’s Birthday Party!

DSC_1534 I’m so late in getting this posted but I had a lot of trouble with my blog and those loose ends needed tidied up before I posted anything new.  Nate’s birthday was indeed a couple of months ago now and this year we chose to stay at home and have a few people over.  My littlest man hasn’t yet been to nursery school or anything so he hasn’t the same amount of friends to invite to a big party like Ollie does, so a small celebration at home was perfect.

DSC_1523 He dressed up as Hulk to answer the door to our friends and family… the theme was Avengers, so we had avengers table decor and Ollie drew all the characters on the blackboard in the dining room.  I also made a Hulk cake.

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Instead of party bags that we normally do, I made up little bags of mixed sweeties and chocolate and tied them with a Hulk label that said “Thanks for coming to my party”.

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We got him one of the huge number balloons that are filled with helium and he loved it.  He dragged it about from room to room.

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Most of the friends that came are friends of Ollie’s who, since Nate was born, have taken to him also.  They are all very good with him and include him as much as they can.  We have the same group over for most birthdays and Halloween!

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The food we served consisted of sandwiches, pizza, chips, chicken nuggets, tortilla chips and salsa, grapes, cookies, sausages and potato salad and my mum made a huge pot of her amazing pumpkin soup.

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I also bought limeade, which Nate called “Hulk juice” because it was bright green and he took to calling the grapes “Hulk grapes” too.

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Nate loved the Hulk cake… the second Hulk cake in a week, but by far the easier one because I just iced the cake green and put a Pop Vinyl Hulk on top of it.

629A8469 DSC_1539He opened his presents when everyone went home and he got awesome gifts.  He was given some clothes, puzzles, stickle bricks, building blocks that are blackboard that you can draw on with chalk, a huge toy airplane, a transformer truck, TMNT boxers and a gorgeous Superman dressing gown!.  Both boys were run ragged after the party and so was I! HAHA!

Thank goodness there is a few months before the next one!

Nate’s Birthday

Nate turned 3 a few weeks ago and we had a wonderful time with both a birthday day, just family, and then a proper party a week later.

His birthday always comes so quickly after Christmas that it hits us like BAM and we are sat choosing presents again (even though he doesn’t need very much) and wrapping again.  Sick of the sight of wrapping paper haha.  It was all worth it though when he woke on his birthday morning.  I’m so glad it was a Sunday, so James didn’t have to take a day off work to be with us.

This year he unwrapped a Spiderman scooter, a Teenage Ninja Turtles dress up, Playdoh, a toolbox, a Nerf gun and some superheroes!  Each unwrapping was met with a grin and a gasp… so much fun watching him open presents.  

I served the boys Brioche for breakfast and then we got up and dressed to take the boys out on their scooter/ skateboard.  It was freeeeeezing so we didn’t stay out long, just long enough for Nate to get somewhat to grips with how his scooter worked.  We grabbed a KFC on the way home and waited for Uncle Ryan to drop by.  He had a family ticket for W5 and we thought it would make a great birthday outing!

After spending a few hours in W5, we went to Nando’s for dinner.  It’s always a fail safe for us, the boys love the food there and they get all you can eat frozen yoghurt afterwards!  When dinner was done it was straight home for cake and bed.  Hulk cake that is.

To my 3 year old

Little Nate, 

We say it every year, but we really can’t believe how fast the time goes.  You’re now THREE!  You turned three a couple of weeks ago and honestly, it feels like we have no more babies in our house.  Our baby days are done and we have two amazing boys who are growing up at rocket speed!

I think back to all the mischief you caused in the lead up to your birth.  You kept us guessing night after night for weeks, about when you might arrive… it was all on your terms.  To this day you are still as headstrong as you were before you were even born.  You are so confident and independent and you smile at everyone you meet.

I’m so glad I was blessed with boys… you LOVE having Ollie as your older brother even though at times you bother each other.  You are learning to stand up for yourself at the same time as he is learning to have patience and when you guys play together nicely, you have the BEST time.

You aren’t even slightly babyish anymore.  This last year we have tackled potty training and you have done remarkably well… you gave your soothers to Santa this year so he could give them to crying babies everywhere… and you don’t need a pram anymore, you love to walk and this September you start nursery school… you’ll be gone every morning until 11.45!  I’m going to miss you so much but I know you will love it.

Your speech has come on leaps and bounds and considering that last year they wanted a speech therapist to check on you, you’ve proved to everyone once again that you do things in your own time.  You talk in full sentences and actually, you don’t stop talking…. some of your words are very cute.

You currently love Paw Patrol and anything superhero… your favourites are Hulk and Batman. You love being read to and you love to do anything crafty and would play with playdoh or colour in for hours.  You enjoy rough-housing with Ollie and you emulate everything he does including karate and breakdancing and honestly, I’d like to get you into a class when you’re old enough because you are really rather good!  In terms of what you like to eat…. that changes day by day… but you love cereal and bananas and you call green grapes Hulk grapes!

We love the absolute bones of you and we are beyond lucky to have you.

Love, Mummy.

2015 Goals

Each year I make a list of goals for the year… and I call them goals because I think the word resolutions holds too much pressure.  Goals would suggest trying…. resolutions carries a lot more in the way of failure if you can’t rigidly stick to them.  Here are the five things I most want to work on this year!

1.  Establish my photography business!  I want to be a photographer.  I’m practicing and practicing and am still getting to grips with my camera and lenses and I want to work hard on my portfolio this year.  Nate starts nursery school in September so I’m going to have a lot more time on my hands!

2.  Take better care of myself!  This one is more because I turned 30 in the last year… I know I need to look after myself better.  I want to get into a habit of either running or doing yoga 4 times a week, lose a little weight and I need to drink more water and A LOT less Coke.

3.  Say yes more often.  This is a goal I set every year because it’s super important and there is always room for improvement.  I am guilty of saying “in a minute” or “we will do it later”, when really the most important thing is the boys, chores etc can wait.  I also need to consciously put my phone and computer away for a while and really absorb all the wonderful things that are happening in my day.

4.  Knuckle down and STUDY.  This year I started on a degree course part-time.  I love it and I am doing well, but to be honest, there is so much room for improvement where study is concerned.  I am getting good marks without putting all my effort in, so imagine what I could get if I REALLY TRY.

5.  Get serious about saving.

I’m late to the party in posting my goals for the year but it’s still January, so it still counts!

A Whole Year Of Sibling Photos

Last year I decided to join in with a bunch of other bloggers, in taking at least one really nice photo of our kids each month.  The boys are running crazy or doing their own thing so often that it’s hard to get a nice one of them together.  They are also at an age now where they hate to stand still for photos, so one a month is quite enough.  I love being able to see how they’ve both changed!

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER