Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I’m probably a bit late writing this post as it’s January 3rd, most of the country is back to work and Christmas is a distant memory!

We’ve had such a busy Christmas with 4 very excited small people and a house that now resembles Toys’R’Us! It has topped off what has been an incredible year. 

Our year started with me quitting my job and having a complete career change. Gone are the long hours, long commute and stress I didn’t need. I now work in children’s services, much closer to home and see my own children far more. It’s amazing how much of a massive difference it’s made to my life and how much happier I am.

We’ve had 2 fantastic holidays. One as a family to Mexico, where we welcomed a new sister-in-law to the family. A stressful 10 hour plane ride was made a lot easier by the addition of 20 family members. They also helped a huge amount while we were away and discovered just how stressful 4 little people can be!

We also had the opportunity to have a holiday as a couple to Las Vegas. 

It was a bit of a belated 30th birrhday present to ourselves as our big birthdays passed us by in the blur of newborn twins. 

The kids spent a very enjoyable half term with their grandparents while we got to have a week of being grown ups again. Some people might not agree with our decision to holiday without our children but all of us had a great time and the kids had a much better half term with their grandparents than we would have given them!

While there, I finally got to visit the Grand Canyon. As a geologist, it’s one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit. We took a helicopter ride out to the Canyon and back and it was absolutely incredible. Definitely a tick off the bucket list. 

We also went to one of the most amazing weddings ever (which just happened to be my brother’s). He decided to get married on Tower Bridge in London with a party on the Thames afterwards. 

It was such a great location for a wedding and we had such a good time. Nothing beats a good family party and it’s not often that we get everyone together. 

This year is looking a lot quieter for us. I think holidays are on hold as we are looking to build an extension on our house. We bought our forever home when we were just a family of 4 and now we are 6 it’s getting a bit tight! I am so looking forward to having some extra space even if it does mean sacrificing some of my garden.

How is your 2017 shaping up? Is it looking like a busy, expensive year or a quite one that is just going to tick by?

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
5 Great Things About My May

5 Great Things About My May

So, April had its highs and lows. The girls had a lovely christening day, I turned 30 and realised it wasn’t the end of the world and B got his first choice school place. But, Easter and our trip to Thomas Land was completely wiped out by chickenpox.

We’re hoping to get out more this month and enjoy ourselves after last months washout!

1. Double Bank Holidays
Daddy at home for a 3 day weekend twice in one month is fantastic. The boys really miss seeing their Daddy so love it when he’s at home for an extra day.

2. The One Year Holiday Countdown
One year to go until our first family holiday to Mexico. We’re going to a family wedding but I’m excited about spending 2 weeks of quality time with my hubby and babies. I’m dreading the flight but currently there’s 22 family members on the same flight so lots of pairs if helping hands.

3. Trip To Dublin
My husband Great Aunt is poorly and couldn’t make it to the twins Christening so we have decided to drive over to Ireland with all the children for a few days to see her.

4. My 30th Birthday Present
Hubby is taking me to Alton Towers for a couple of days minus the small people. I’m a rollercoaster junkie and last time we went was only 5 weeks after my c-section so couldn’t go on any. I’m secretly looking forward to some quality time with hubby too.

5. B Starting His Introduction To School
His nursery have a day planned for activities to get them ready for school. He’s so excited about going to school and is really looking forward to this day at nursery. I’m not sure what activities they have planned to prepare them for school but I’m sure he’ll have fun all the same!

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Our First Family Holiday – The Planning

Our First Family Holiday – The Planning

We’re going on holiday!

This may seem like a really stupid idea but we are going to fly half way around the world with 4 small children and an amount of luggage that could rival the Beckhams having a weekend away!

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This is a holiday we have been forced into going on as a very close family member is getting married but, it is the perfect opportunity for us to go away and have lots of extra pairs of hands.

We will be travelling with grandparents and Uncles plus lots of family friends so we are hoping to have lots of different people to distract our children on the flight.

We have 14 months until we travel yet, I can already feel the panic setting in about being stuck in a tin tube for 10 hours with my kids! I have bought 2 Trunkis for our trip in the hope of filling them with distraction methods.

I am not so worried about the boys as they will be 5 and 3 by the time we travel. They are usually easily pleased by a movie or some games and at least they have their own seat. My biggest worry is the twins. They will be 20 months and I know they are going to be full of energy and hard to amuse.

I think am still scarred by our holiday several years ago when we thought it would be a great idea to take a 12 month old on a 2 and a half hour flight to Spain. I have been on long haul flights before but they felt short in comparison! It’s a wonder we have more than 1 child to be honest, as B spent the entire flight jumping up and down on Daddy’s lap! No amount of toys or snacks or distraction by grandparents would calm him down.

We’ve been hit by the curse of the large family and haven’t been able to get a room large enough to sleep us all. If this was a normal holiday it wouldn’t be a problem as we would just find a different hotel but, we needed to be staying in the hotel they’re getting married at. We have had to offload 2 of our children into the grandparents room! They say it’s not a problem now but, when they’ve been woken up at 6am for the 10th day in a row, I can imagine the novelty will wear off!

For the next 14 months you will have holiday updates to look forward to. I’m sure there will be lots of stresses to come as we try and get 2 adults, 4 children, 125kg of luggage and 175 nappies to the other side of the planet!

So, what are your top tips for travelling with small children? No suggestions about sending them in the cargo hold. Apparently that’s frowned upon!

Running in Lavender