A long belated bloggy….
We spent last week at Centerparcs, a holiday treat that is now established in our family calendar. There would be a mutiny on our hands if we didn’t do it i think, it is something that the children look forward to very much indeed and so do we. Somehow, it is so restful to have a week with no big shop, no driving and no commitments at 4pm! Elveden is particularly nice because it is forest based and i do love wandering through the trees with no particular aim in mind.
We managed to get ourselves organised to leave home early on monday, after i sat up till midnight working and parcelling after a busy bead weekend – i had so much stuff to tie up too so it was hard work. I took parcels to the PO early and we were away in good time. We stopped on the way for a Little Chef lunch and made a mistake; Amelie had a tomato based dinner which must have had milk in it; she was itching wildly by the time we left.
When we got there we went straight for a swim, spent hours in there (hurrah for finally remembering to pack swimming stuff on top!) and by the time we left it was almost dark. Frittered away the time doing bits and bobs, pattern blocks, stories etc etc.
Tuesday was characterised by the fact that Fran, who had taken 2 Rainbow Fairy books with her, started to read one. The week progressed with her suddenly discovering she can in fact read stories now – she finished Ruby, then Amber, then we had to buy her a Horrible Henry book and she basically walked around all week with her nose in a book – 6am, 10pm… it was like someone turned on a light in her head. Quite honestly she couldn’t wait to get home to get her hands on the next book! Passed a pleasant day of more swimming and walking (i went for a 40 minute brisk walk every morning) and in the evening Max and i sat doing a jigsaw of an Elizabethan map of thew world… now, my caption to the photo of this was supposed to be…”thereby proving we do know how to have fun and our marriage can stand even a 1000 piece jigsaw” – however, Max randomly crunched it before i could take a photo (despite me clearly saying for him not to, he NEVER listens to me!) which did somewhat test our marriage further than the jigsaw itself.
🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄
It was lovely weather too, bright and cold all week, a good change from our previous weeks where it had rained. All the lakes and streams were frozen and we all spent ages one day watching squirrels ice skate!
Wednsday signalled the start of “the tummy bug” – Josie threw up 3 times in quick succession. Couldn’t quite work out what was going on but after the third time she was fine. Unfortunately involved a certain amount of juggling people for swimming and so on, which was a shame. Can’t remember what we did the rest of the day except that Fran and Maddy had a go on the elasticated bungy trampoline thing. Think it was a bit more scary than either of them imagined it would be – Fran did last her go but Maddy didn’t, Fran finished off her session as well though!
I must download the photos of pattern pictures that Maddy took, she created some very elaborate story pictures and quite impressed me by being flexible enough to add some of our suggestions too. She also did some “floor patterns” out of her head after i described the idea to her. Fran spent a lot of that afternoon reading. Josie stopped throwing up but never really recovered her temper about it. We did take her swimming again on other days but she stopped enjoying wandering about on her own and was much more clingy. My abiding memory of her during the week though will be her imperious little “watching look” – she took everything in, all the time. She people watched ferociously the entire time which was very sweet; she reminds me a lot of Maddy at that ages, who was always giving people a “Paddington stare” but Josie doesn’t have the same worried look Maddy always had, more a slightly disdainful one!
Paid a slightly ridiculous amount to take the little ones to a toddler session. i actually really enjoyed it. In a funny combination of things, they are a much more confident pair of children that Fran and Maddy were at that aghe, plus i am a far better “mummy to toddlers” than i was back then. I’m happier to play and engage and enjoy their littleness far more than i did with Fran and Maddy. Social occasions with the big two were always such hard work; Maddy was impossible to peel off me, Fran sobbed at the slightest confrontation and i was generally very isolated at that time too so toddler groups tended to be my only adult contact aside from Max. I’m very different now.
That afternoon, i got a 3 hour session at the Aqua Sana spa, followed by a facial. I’m starting to realise why people with lots of time and money always look better than i do! It was blissful to have some time to myself and be pampered and i thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you Max, for the treat and the time too 🙂 While i was out the girls went to a “Cinderella around the world” entertainment session (though only Maddy spotted a link that evening when i read them an Irish Cinders story! :roll:) and did bits and bobs. Think Josie was a bit of a monkey. Unfortunately by the time i got back Fran had commenced the 3 puke bug – but she was over it very quickly.
Packed in record time, swum, retailed theraped and had lunch at Chez Pierre before heading for home. Fran chose something from the grown up shop instead of the toy shop which was a bit of a bizarre “grown up girl” moment. 😯 Max let them go on the simulator thing which they loved, Maddy’s favourite thing in the WHOLE WORLD being rollercoasters! The big two and i also had a long conversation about China and it’s poulation issues which had a real “this is how the next phase of HE will be” type of feel to it. We decided to look at China a bit over the next two weeks as a short project. Their idea, not mine, which i like 🙂
Got home to a freezing house. Sarah had elected to come up despite the vomit, which was very brave, so before long she and Abbie were with us – just in time for Max to start puking 🙁
He managed to get it over and done in 2 pukes though, so was ready for a 5 child onslaught the next day when Sarah and i left a 7am for a train down to London for the Toy Fair.
We had a ball – it was lots of fun – plenty of freebies, more catalogues to look at than we could carry and loads to oggle. Loved the fuly kitted out Stormtroopers and Darth Vader, who were so intimidating they scared us (though the comic effect of them loitering in front of a pink and sparkly stall later was good!) I’ve found several things i’m going to buy in to sell via a new venture, including a great wordplay game, Fun Blox and card games as a start. Also liked the wooden stuff my Hama suppliers already sell. Going to get going on that asap. The new Hama stuff is fab – 3 new boards, a new book, some nice new sets and a good chat with the MD about promoting my site from within their one. Am glowing from the fact that he loves the mixes i do so much he has told Hama to look at my ones on my site because they are great 🙂 Am fired with enthusiasm for all sorts now 🙂
I enjoyed the day so much – i felt like a person, not a mummy and it made me want to start a new phase to some extent – i can see a way forward beyond more babies. I’ve felt a bit like that for a while now – but this motivated me in a whole new way. Felt amazing to be able to talk to people about my 2 successful enterprises and not be making it up! Plus the whole experience reminded me that i am actually a really good salesperson, a bit of me i’ve forgotten – some of the reps were AWFUL!
Was great to spend some time with Sarah, kid free and all kids had had a great time together. I survived London, despite Amelie questioning me closely on London, bombs and the likelihood of being killed 🙄 Needed that; 😆 and WTF at her even remembering about it!?!?!?!! Was a bit shocked to discover that while i didn’t worry much about getting blown up (aside from making Sarah laugh because i avoided front carriages!) i really can’t handle being underground anymore – i am rubbish at that, i can’t even watch films of people underground but i lived in London and i was always fine with the Underground then; yesterday it just seemed so fast and deep 😯 I’ve obviously got less brave 🙁 I really don’t think i could take the kids on it now, there is no way i could hide how anxious i was from Fran at all. It is a bit annoying actually, i like London a lot. Perhaps the further i get from Josie’s birth, it will fade, like my over-reactions to car journeys has. I’ll put it on my list of things to recover from! However, i did like being back in London – i love that it is still familar to me ever after 13 years and get a ridiculous kick out of seeing the Dome, Canary Wharf, Billingsgate Market and seeing the names of places my Dad talks about from his East End childhood. I’m a secret Londoner 🙂
Finishing on a high by losing 2lbs again this week – 9lbs since Xmas Eve. I can feel myself morphing into a big-middle-sized-person, rather than being a smallish-fat-person. I am so proud of myself!