Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

Six years ago today, I married my childhood sweetheart and it was one of the best days of my life.

After meeting on the first day of secondary school we became friends but we didn’t actually become a couple until the last year of school. Thirteen years and four children later, we’re still going strong.

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We’re heading off out for a grown up night in London to celebrate. I can’t wait!

Heritage Day – Ramsey, Cambridgeshire

Heritage Day – Ramsey, Cambridgeshire

This weekend has been Heritage Day and our local town has been participating. It gave us an opportunity to wander around our local area, discover some of the history and visit some sites that aren’t usually open.

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We started our adventure at this beautiful church which just happens to be where we were married and all our children have been christened. I love the fact that we have so many happy memories here.

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We then headed on to the beautiful Abbey Gatehouse. It’s a surviving part of a Benedictine Abbey and shows the wealth the local area used to have. We got to have a look inside and when the boys were asked by the National Trust volunteer if they liked it they responded with “boring”!

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The Gatehouse is now an entrance to the secondary school so we carried on through the school grounds to the main part of the Abbey and the ‘Lady Chapel’. Accordingly to the boys this was like a Wacky Warehouse! Not too sure which Wacky Warehouse they’ve been visiting!

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The boys loved the apple tunnels in the Walled Garden. They make amazing jams from the fruit grown here.

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We had a wander around the Rural Museum with all the farm equipment which fascinated the children. We never really knew what they had here but will be visiting again as the boys loved it You know you live in the sticks when there’s a Rural Museum!

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We also did quick visits to the 1940s camp and the cemetery as we were running out of time and the boys were desperate to get to the final site.

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After jumping in the car we headed out to the Fenland Light Railway. We love it here and it’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The walk around town was about 3 miles and we had a great time. There was something for everyone and it was very pushchair friendly. We will definitely be visiting again next year.

School – Day 2

School – Day 2

It’s 10.30 and I’m sat sobbing into my cup of tea absolutely exhausted. It’s not because I’m missing my baby now he’s at school but, because of this mornings epic fight to get him to school.

I got them all up slightly earlier this morning as I thought he might be a bit reluctant to go to school again today. He was awake in the middle of the night for no apparent reason and today is his 5th birthday. I thought I would allow myself a bit of extra time.

The extra time I allowed was about 3 hours too little! He was fine eating his breakfast but then things went downhill. He refused to get dressed. He kicked me (and his sisters) while I tried to fight him into his uniform. He was screaming so loudly the neighbours came round to find out if we were OK.

His friend knocked on the door to walk with us to school and he stood there, in his pants, and shouted at him. I’m guessing we’ll be walking to school on our own from now on!

By 9am, when he should have been in school, he was dressed in just pants and socks in the hall with all his siblings screaming in the living room.

I did eventually get him dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, loaded in the car and delivered to school reception with his uniform in a bag. I sat outside the school and cried. I know it’s a massive change and he’s the first to go to school but how can he hate it so much already?

I was scrapped off the ground by another Mum who offered me tissues, a hug and a partially melted bar of chocolate! She was lovely and I guess upset reception parents aren’t a rarity. 

I really thought he’d enjoy school. He’s been looking forward to it for months and is finally reunited with his best friend again. I’m going to speak with his teacher when I pick him up at lunch. I’m sure he’s not the only new pupil to not want to go to school. I’m hoping she can help as I just don’t know what to do with him. Please tell me this gets easier.

Term Time Holidays

Term Time Holidays

I’ve never really had an opinion on the ‘holiday in term time’ debate as I’ve never had children of school age before but, in the last few months, this has become a hot topic in our household. The reason being, we are off to Mexico in May for my brother-in-laws wedding and the biggest boy will end up missing 2 weeks of school.

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The holiday has been subject to much debate as it’s costing a small fortune and it’s money I had earmarked for our first Disney holiday. Although it’s not Florida, I love the idea of us having a family holiday with lots of extra pairs of helping hands nearby as attempting to fly with 4 small children fills me with dread. But,I hate the fact that B will miss 2 weeks worth of school.

We had no choice over the dates of this holiday as, due to the grooms job, he has to take his holiday at certain times of the year. I tried telling hubby that we shouldn’t really go as it’s not fair to take B out of school but that meant asking him to miss his brothers wedding which didn’t go down very well.

We’ve had people say that it doesn’t matter as it’s just his first year at school and he’s not going to miss anything important but, I disagree. All education is important. His first year at school is one of the most important as he is getting used to being in an educational setting while learning the very basics which he’ll need to build on over the years.

I know teachers hate it (my friends have told me as much) but I will be asking his teacher if there is anything we can do while we’re away so he doesn’t slip behind. I also fully intend to have B working while we’re away on holiday. I am on the lookout for a camera for him so he can take pictures and make a holiday diary that he can show to his friends when he gets home.

During a visit to the primary school before we made our choice, we discussed term time holidays with the headteacher. He wasn’t overly concerned about it and said as it was an exceptional circumstance he would authorise the absence for us. Unfortunately, since that meeting, the headteacher has changed! I now have to go and make an appointment with the new headteacher and hope she’ll authorise the holiday. I’m going to feel like such a naughty girl sitting outside her office before the meeting!

This will probably be our one and only chance to go on a Caribbean holiday with the children as the cost during the school holidays is ridiculous and flying on our own with 4 children is just stupidity! I know we’ll most likely have a great time but, I can’t get excited as I know B shouldn’t be out of school.

How do you feel about taking children out of school for holidays? Do you worry about the effect on their education or do you think that children are still learning while they’re away?

Tuesday Twinkler
Off To School

Off To School

The uniform has been purchased and labelled, the induction sessions completed and now the summer holidays are drawing to a close. This can only mean one thing, the biggest boy is off to school – woohoo!

He is incredibly excited and I know he’ll be just fine as he’s the oldest in the class. He was more than ready to go last year but, due to his tardiness of not arriving on his due date (thanks son), he’s had to wait a whole extra year.

The excitement of him starting school ends here though as his introduction to school is the world’s biggest ball ache! I understand it’s a massive change and that some children are a lot younger than others but, it hasn’t gone down too well in my newly returned to workplace that I need to have the whole of September off!

This is because the boys school do a very, very, almost painfully slow, gradual introduction. The first 2 days are just an hour which barely gives me enough time to drag my other 3 back home before I have to turn around and go back again. It’s a small village school and there is nowhere to go to waste an hour either.

The following 2 weeks he finishes at 12 which at least gives me time to get home and let the 2 year old rest! The final 2 weeks of the introduction extends the school day to include lunch before going home at 1.30. I have nobody else who can do the pick ups at this time of day so I’m having to take the entire month off work. My company were not particularly impressed when my parental leave application went in!

Most children in this day and age have been doing long days at nursery for some time so I’m wondering if such a drawn out introduction is necessary. Other local schools have shorter days for a week or 2 but I’ve yet to find another who take such a long time to settle the children in.

I know I’m looking at it from an older child’s perspective and will probably write a very different article in 3 years time when my twins, having just turned 4, head off to school. But, I’m really interested in hearing other parents views of their child’s introduction to school. Is anybody else faced with a whole month of shorter school days?

Twin Birthday Etiquette

Twin Birthday Etiquette

I’m not really too sure how to write this and I don’t want to come across as ungrateful but, I want to share my first big twin dilemma with you.

How would you feel if your twins were given a joint birthday card? This is the exact situation we found ourselves in just a few weeks ago on our girls 1st birthday. I know they’re only 1 and they’ll never remember it but it’s really annoyed me and I feel it needs to be addressed before it becomes a regular thing.

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I’ve always made an effort to make sure the girls are treated as 2 separate people. I know that’s hard when they’re small but it’s something we will make sure we do more as they grow up. We don’t want them to be viewed as “The Twins” as that’s almost implying they are 1 person. What we buy or give to 1, we are very careful to make sure we give the same to the other. Almost exactly as you would treat any other siblings.

The card was sent by a very close family member which I think has made me more annoyed. These are the people who see the girls on a regular basis and know we want them treated as individuals.

It was the same family member who just a few days before their birthday, called me and asked whether we wanted them to have the same present or different as they “didn’t want there to be an argument “. Had they been a bit older, there would have been an argument over the card instead.

I wouldn’t send a joint birthday card to other siblings so why are twins any different? They are 2 separate people so surely they deserve a card each? What will happen when the move out and live separately? Will they only get half a card each or does buying 2 stamps defeat the object?

The offending family member just happens to share his birthday with another member of the family. Guess what he’s going to be getting for his birthday? If you guessed a joint card, you get a gold star!

To mums of older twins, am I going to be forever fighting for I and L to be seen as individuals or will they always be seen as one?

”Twinkly
One Year On With Twins

One Year On With Twins

This week we celebrated our twin girls 1st birthday. We survived our first year of being a family of six and managed to keep 2 babies alive at the same time.

We’ve had a really great time and the girls managed to string their birthday celebrations out for 5 days with parties and a day out at the seaside. Talk about little princesses!

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This week has got me reminiscing and remembering back to being told we were expecting twins. After the initial shock dispersed, the panic set in. Although I had done this ‘having a baby’ thing before, I now had to do it with 2 babies at the same time!

I have a few friends who are twin parents so I turned to them for help. They all agreed on one point, how hard the first year is particularly if you end up with a stay in SCBU. I was literally horrified at how difficult raising twins sounded. I wondered how on earth people manage to get twins past their 1st birthday if it’s that hard!

Thankfully our twins arrived at 38+5 weighing in at a whopping 7lb 5oz and 7lb so we got home straight away. We were also blessed with 2 of the most laid back little girls I have ever met. After having had 2 boys born full of energy, they were a welcome relief. They love a routine, go to sleep without too much of a fuss and still nap. It’s probably a good job as I sometimes struggle to give them the attention they need with the 2 other whirlwinds around!

We’ve had one of the most exciting years ever. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy but it’s not been half as bad as I was expecting. There have been days when I’ve wanted to give all the children away but they usually get forgotten about when they come running at me for a hug or pile into my bed in the morning for a snuggle. We’ve also had days where we’ve had so much fun, I almost didn’t want to put the children to bed.

I think the real challenge now begins! Both of the twins are on the move and one of them is up on her feet. In a few short months, I will have 2 toddlers who want to try and walk everywhere and refusing to use the pushchair. This will no doubt be nicely timed to coincide with us all having to do the school run for the first time!

I am so much more nervous about having to shepherd 4 small children along the half a mile walk to school before 9am than keeping newborn twins alive!

I cannot wait to see what amazing things we get up to over the next year. I’m looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops and how much mischief they can get into together. Wish me luck!

Mummascribbles
Days Out In Cambridgeshire

Days Out In Cambridgeshire

The summer holidays are upon us and with it, 6 long weeks of entertaining bored kids! Although I’m now back at work, I still have more than 50% of the week to find some way of avoiding boredom.

Cambridgeshire has so many amazing places to visit (some of which are free which is an added bonus) and this is how we are intending to spend our summer (providing the rain goes away!)

Here’s my list of local places that are great to visit with under 5’s.

1. Sacrewell Farm
With tractors to climb all over and have rides on, animals to feed and an amazing soft play area, this makes a great day out. It’s not too expensive and has indoor options should the heavens open. They also have additional activities on during school holidays.

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2. Hinchingbrooke Park
Apart from a small car parking charge, it’s free to visit. There are miles of lovely walks, plenty of open space for running around and lots of play equipment for children. Also, if the kids stay quiet enough, there’s lots of wildlife to be seen. They usually have additional activities such as pond dipping in the school holidays.

3. Johnsons Farm
This is about 5 minutes in the car from us a definitely a great way to kill a morning. The kids love visiting the animals. They have all sorts there but their favourites are always the alligators. Although it’s free to visit, I always get stung for the amazing food in their cafe and farm shop!

4. Anglesey Abbey
A beautiful National Trust house and gardens. Lots of outdoor space for the kids to run around and amazing for a game of hide and seek! We all learn something new here as well look at the array of flowers and find out what they are.

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5. Sedgwick Museum
There are plenty of museums in Cambridge to choose from but this is my favourite. I love all things earth science related and with dinosaurs involved the boys tolerate it too! Always plenty of activities going on to amuse all ages. There’s also a great geology trail that takes you on a walk around Cambridge centre after you’ve finished in the museum. Totally geeky but we love it!

House Of Fraser Cushion Competition

House Of Fraser Cushion Competition

It’s summer and what better way to celebrate than by brightening up your house. A quick and easy way to do this is by adding cushions. We love a good cushion on absolutely everything (it must be a woman thing)!

House Of Fraser currently have an amazing selection of cushions which are guaranteed to brighten up any room. There is pretty much something for everyone. You can check out their enormous range here.

We’re currently in love with the Roald Dahl range and this beautiful Matilda cushion. It looks great on my sofa and the kids love it. It’s the only thing in my house that they treat with care! I loved Roald Dahl books as a child and this gorgeous cushion brings back very happy memories.
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We’ve teamed up with the lovely people at House of Fraser to give away another beautiful Matilda cushion from their Roald Dahl range. This beautiful pink book cushion will look fab in any little girls bedroom or, if you’re like me and you’ve never grown up, in your living room!
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Enter our competition below to win. Please note that this competition is only open to residents of the UK and Ireland.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

Thank you very much to Martha Mother for my nomination. I’m very honoured to be nominated for such a prestigious award!

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The Liebster Award is all about getting to know other bloggers so please pop over and check her blog out. It is a really fantastic blog and you’ll have a blast reading it.

Martha Mother has set me these questions:

1. Where is your favourite place in the world?
That’s a toughie. I have visited so many amazing places in the world but I’m stuck between Cuba and Bali as my favourite. Both beautiful countries with such wonderful, welcoming people. Both countries I would go back to tomorrow. Bali holds special memories for us though as it’s where we honeymooned.

2. How would you describe your blog in 5 words?
The madness of my family!

3. Is where you are now with your life, where you planned it to be 5 years ago?
I wanted my family complete before I turned 30 so in that aspect I’m where I planned but I hoped to have progressed a bit further with my career. Due to a crappy company plus an additional maternity leave that I hadn’t bargained on, I’m still in the same role I started in 9 years ago.

4. What is the best compliment you have ever received? 
This is a really tough question. My husband always tells me I’m useless at noticing and accepting compliments so that might be why I’m struggling to think of any.

5. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?
Who is this breathing all over my face? My eldest had crept into bed next to me after hubby had left for work. As much as I love him, it was a bit early for that!

6. Do you have a favourite post of your own? If so what is it about and why?
I love this piece I wrote about my difficult decision on returning to work after maternity leave. It’s a massive decision that I need to make over the next few months and I’m so, so torn.

7. If you could be any age for a week, what age would that be?
I think I’d like to be 21 again and remake my career choice. I had a teacher training place and foolishly turned it down for a job. Really wishing I’d trained as a teacher now. I’d also love to be able to go out with hubby every night of the week without having to worry about babysitters and bills!

8. Where do you go to work on your computer? 
I mostly work on my lap in the front room either while supervising play time or while hubby is having a PlayStation session!
We bought a new house 18 months ago before we found out I was pregnant. I had the box room earmarked as a study. It now houses a child and all their associated mess instead of my laptop!

9. Do you have a favourite book or read much? Why or why not?
I love reading and before children used to easily demolish a book a week. I don’t have so much time for reading now unfortunately.
I love P.S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern and The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

10. What did you do for your last birthday?
My last birthday was a biggie. On the actual day I just went out for dinner with my family as it’s also my Dad’s birthday the same day. To celebrate my birthday properly hubby took me away for 2 days to Alton Towers and the Splash Landing waterpark. It was adults only and we had a fab time.

11. What do you feel most proud of?
Boring I know but, it’s my kids! I brought 4 amazing little people into this world and they are perfect. They make me so proud ever day as they learn and grow.

Now it’s my turn to nominate some other wonderful bloggers.
Reimer and Ruby
Tummy Mummy
Mummy Lala
This Mummy Lark
Mum of a Bean
All Past Midnight
New Mummy Kate
Sugar and Rhubarb

Apologies if you’ve already done it. I did have a nosey to see if you’d done it before!

Here are the rules for all those taking part:

1. Acknowledge and thank the person that nominated you.
2. Use an award image to add to the post.
3. Answer 11 questions given to you
4. Nominate up to 11 blogs
5. Don’t forget to let them know!
6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

My questions for you are:

1. What’s your blog all about?
2. If you could interview one famous person for your blog, who would it be?
3. What’s your greatest achievement?
4. How do you spend your weekends?
5. What’s your favourite day of the week and why?
6. Where’s your ultimate holiday destination?
7. Who would be your 3 perfect dinner party guests?
8. What’s your favourite song and why?
9. If you could have any superpower what would it be?
10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
11. Why did you start blogging?