Butterfly world

I love family days out, days that cost us less than £15 for all 5 of us are even better!

We have been wanting to go for ages and you know what I’m not sure why we havent, but isn’t that the way it always goes!

Today broke sunny – for a change, and we decided to bite the bullet and the 9 degree weather and do it!  And of course it was fab.  The kids loved it, I loved that it got them outside running around and seeing and exploring new things.

They loved butterfly house (even though we thought there could be more of them) and loved the ant house even more (no extra ants needed here)!!! They loved holding giant snails and looking at the roaches, praying mantis and stick insects. There is a fab play area that is so nicely spaced out that you don’t feel on top of other people as well as different things to do (rope bridges, 3 different slides, climbing frame, sand pit and wobbly bridge).  There are walks and willow tunnels. Different gardens with giant pots and forks, recycled gardens, water gardens, urban gardens as well as a pond.  There is enough to keep you busy for a full morning and actually the kids really didn’t want to go home and wanted to stay playing!

To be honest we thought the gardens were looking a little worn, but I think that’s due to the time of year and that really did not take away from a super day out!

Prices are £5 for adults and over 3’s at the moment which is really reasonable and there always seem to be vouchers out there for half price entry if you look.  They also do toddler mornings, craft days, hold the bug sessions with stroy time and the list goes on!  Next year autumn the new biome should be done – the world’s biggest butterfly walk through which will be amazing… an annual pass might be needed!

Have you been, what did you think?

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Lord Poxalot

So after a year of waiting for the Chicken Pox to arrive in our house with 27 children in Jenna’s class having it last year and her seemingly missing it every time; eventually it has arrived on poor little Carter.

And boy did it choose a doozy of a week to do it… firstly it’s my long week at work and secondly the hubby has the man flu.  Add to that me coming down with a sore throat that seems to be morphing into something more.

The poor little fella started off mildly but over night they turned into nasty looking big red and swollen bumps.  They’re everywhere – hair, ear, eyelids and bum.  He’s even got one under his foot. Thankfully his eczema seems to be under control at the moment or I think we’d have issues.

He’s been great about not scratching which is good because he is not a fan of creams so thank goodness of Eurax cream that lasts up to 10 hours. Oat baths have helped soothe him too and together with some Piriton syrup he seems to have been coping pretty well and sleeping pretty well at night too.

But he does look like such a sad sack, boys are good at feeling sorry for themselves aren’t they… man flu sufferers in training… but he is cute.

Do you have any tips for surviving the pox?? We might be going through this again in a couple of weeks … oi vey!

Rooms.

We’re having a little dilemma at the moment. 3 children to split between 2 rooms means not everyone gets their own room.   Which means the boy is alone at the moment and the girls share which is good.  Or we thought it was good.  Until the boy decided to get upset every night at leaving the girls and going alone to his room. He doesn’t understand why he has to be alone.

I know it’s a phase but I don’t like the thought of him feeling left out, it’s something I’m very aware of having 3, one being left on the side lines.

So the sleep dilemma is ongoing… do we wait it out or do we bite the bullet and move them all in together then creating a play room getting the toys out of the lounge.

Do we stick them in the loft room which is huge which then means moving us downstairs… and why am I even contemplating this when we are away for 3 weeks at the end of the week – camping and then a trip to South Africa; as well as big decisions work wise… distraction I guess.

So tell me now do your children share? How does it work for you? Come on distract me from all the hundred of big things I need to actually be doing!

It’s me isn’t it?

Is it just me… It might be, but I’m hoping it’s not.

Anyone else find this whole children’s behaviour thing a rollercoaster? I think I’ve cracked it, they’re being lovely and listening and just being kind to each other… then the next day they’re absolute little monsters with screaming shouting and general nastiness all all around. And so begins the downhill ride. We hit rock bottom and after much screaming and shouting from me this time we seem to start climbing the slope again.

For a few weeks all is great and I have my children back, or rather the children I want back. And the switch is flipped and the monsters return again!

Why… is it that I relax whilst cruising along at altitude letting them think they can take a chance and push until we free fall. Or is it just normal, is it just the continuously changing and evolving, developing life and nature of children?

I don’t know… all I know is that I want MY children back, and dang it they better be back before our flight… I’ve done the nightmare flight and I don’t wanna go back there!

Is it me?? It is isn’t it?

Stop stealing him.

 

There are so many nasty diseases and illnesses out there, being a nurse I’ve come across quite a few. But when it affects you and your family it’s always different.

We’ve been having a pretty tough time in our family lately.

A few weeks ago my uncle died from cancer, he hadn’t been well for a while and lived to a good old age but losing someone is never easy.  He was such a lovely, kind and generous man who always had a smile and laugh for those around him.  He loved his life and family and will be greatly missed.

Add to that my dad hasn’t been well. He recently needed to have surgery to remove more malignant melanoma’s; which is no fun for a nearly 82 year old. He also has Alzheimer’s which makes everything more difficult. On top of that it was his brother who died which made everything a lot to deal with.

His memory is really deteriorating and he is unable to focus for long periods of time.  It makes me really sad that he doesn’t know that my children are mine and he has no memory of Tamsin. He doesn’t always remember where I live and when we last saw each other.

One of the saddest things is him losing himself.  He’s not the man I remember.  Old age has stolen some of his vibrancy and personality. It replaced it with paranoia and confusion.

I’m finding it incredibly difficult at the moment to be far away and not be able to help or just visit.  Even calling feels difficult as we can’t have a real conversation and I come away feeling worse than before.  But it’s not just about me feeling better for the calls it’s about him feeling better after the call! Sometimes I don’t see that in my selfishness.

Sometimes I just want to shout at God to stop stealing my dad away from me, I don’t want to see him like this. He is such an independent and stubborn man and losing that is hard on him. It’s hard on us too seeing his frustration.

I have the most incredible sister-in-law who looks after him and loves him and cares for him. She might not be blood but she’s as good as, even better than most of us! We’re so lucky to have her in our family.

Saying all that our family has been so blessed this year!  With things that we needed, money and camping trips. And recently a trip to South Africa to spend some precious time with my dad before things get to the point  where he is unable to remember who we are. To introduce our youngest treasure to the oldest man in our lives. To build memories for the kids of their grandpa when he able to get out and about and play with them. To catch up with other family members and build on those relationships set to last a life time.

It times like this where I need to focus on the good things and blessings in life, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it all and everything that is going on and how much stuff needs to be done to prepare for the trip which is only 24 hours after arriving back from our camping holiday.  But through it all God is good, He has blessed us with family and friends who have blessed us to spend time with loved ones when it matters most.  He has also cleared the way with work who have told me to “do what I need to do and we’ll figure it out”.

I love my family and love that we get to see more of them now when the time is just right, now we just need to get through a 12 hour flight with 3 loud monsters!

Sunhat attempt 1!

I love sewing but I’m not very good. But I decided to be brave! The girls have outgrown their sunhats and ever optimistically I decided to try and make them some new ones from some material I was recently given!

It didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted but it serves it’s purpose I suppose… next one I’m off to Pinterest to get some tips!

It was pretty easy though (double circle and 2 bands) so and fun to make so not a waste of time! And just in time for the last few days of sunshine we’ve had!

Anyone else get impatient and impulsive and just wing it? Mmmm… maybe that’s why I have so many half done projects!

A day for dad

This year fathers day was on Jenna-May’s 4th birthday, which made logistics a little more difficult for mom. Especially when the 2 wanted different breakfasts all before church!

Our children as so lucky to have a dad who loves them so much and wants so much for them.  A dad who works hard to give them all the things they need. Who loves them so much he gets upset and sheds a tear when he’s too hard on them and loses it.

A dad who loves to laugh, giggle and tickle with them. A dad who loves to talk, a lot. And especially loves to talk with them.

A dad who is so alike his eldest daughter that seeing them fight is a giggle in itself. Who are both as stubborn as each other,but who love each other more than anything.

This morning we sat in bed and opened a lot of presents together.

One of them was this little sign…

And it’s funny but it’s also true.. he is part of the reason why we have (in our opinion at least) such funny, confident, entertaining, smart and loving children.

So happy fathers day my love, we are all so lucky to have you in our lives!  xxx

Hip hip hooray!

Today is my big girls 4th birthday.

Tonight as a bedtime story I told her about the day we first met her (editted version obviously!!). She was absolutely facinated and couldn’t get her head around the fact that at one point there was only 1 child in our house.  I got to the point in the story when I told her I met my baby and she finished the sentence with “Carter, Tamsin and Me!” 

She is such a feisty, independent, funny and bright little girl.  She has always known her own mind and she wants out of life. Which may be tough now but I hope will help her as she gets older and faces more pressure from her friends socially.

Sometimes in the midst of life and chaos and busyness I forget what an absolute privilege it is to be a parent especially to this little girl who teaches us so much everyday about enjoying life to the limit, laughing with your whole body and seeing everything with fresh new and enthusiastic eyes!

We sang a song today which really hit home… It’s an old one but the words are so true,

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

I wish I could always remember this, even when times aren’t as good as they have been this weekend celebrating the life of my special girl. Is there anything more humbling to celebrating a life that you had a part in creating. 

May I always remember where all my many blessings came from and use them to glorify Him.

Have a listen here… if you wish