Posted in Days Out, Family Life

Getting Out The Door With Four

 Organisation

The summer holidays are in full swing here, and that means lots of fun days out planned. However, before we can go out and enjoy our time together there is just one thing we need to do, get everyone out the door. While that sounds like a simple task it can be the most stressful part of the day, even worse than bedtime.

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Meet the kids

We have Roran (6) who wants to help by doing everything, but can’t do it without asking first and has no concept of priorities. Willem (5) who has severe selective hearing and is not very keen on helping at all. Persephonie (3) who is adamant she can do everything herself and will except no help even when we are running super late. Beatrix (1) well she can’t really do anything for herself so pretty reliant on me doing it all.

Starting early

I aim to start getting everyone out of the door at least 30 minutes before I need to, the first step is shoes. We have a shoe cupboard by our front door yet even though it is full somehow it never has the shoes in that we require, those are hidden somewhere around the house. The boys are usually good at finding theirs, although I do often need to ask Willem several times first and explain why we need to wear shoes. Persephonie’s are usually harder to find and often we find the wrong pair, she has far too many shoes and is very picky. Beatrix is easier she only has one pair which she rarely wears.

Looking after their skin

Next, sun cream.  Even after weeks of hot weather I am still explaining that we need it on. So we have a bottle in the car and one in the changing bag and another in a box by the door. Roran is always happy to apply his, although I have to check his face as he seems to forget that.  Willem will do his but often protests with an elaborate reason to why he doesn’t need it and needs some encouragement. Persephonie won’t let anyone help her except for me and Beatrix happily sits there.

The right hat for the right mood

Sunhats.  Each child has at least 3 sun hats and still every time we leave the house we can’t find any. There is a box for them by the door, but they never seem to make it back in there. They do turn up in the car, the garden, a bag, under the sofa or even in the doll’s house. Even when we do find hats they have to be the right one. Roran is now ‘too cool’ for your standard sun hat, it needs to be a cap. Meanwhile Persephonie, who has the most hats, needs the one that fits her mood.

Staying hydrated

Water bottles. I always make sure we take a water bottle out with us in the summer, and Roran is keen to fill them up, but first they need locating. Each of the children have a Klean Kanteen which they manage to lose daily, often they are found in the car. Once we have located them all Roran will fill them up, but he cannot unscrew them so that is my job. Then I need to remind them to actually take them out with us.

Double checking EVERYTHING

Whilst all these things are being sorted I am often busy making sure I have nappies, change of clothes, spare hats, snacks, money, and everything else we need for the day. Most days I go back in the house at least once as someone as forgot something. Once we are out the house we can enjoy our day…

 

Previously posted on www.familiesonline.co.uk 
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Posted in Days Out, Review

Brixworth Country Park

Today is a nursery day for Persephonie, so it was just me and the boys (plus Beatrix). I booked us onto two events at one of our local country parks, Brixworth.

The first was called Fires and Smores. This event gave the boys the chance to cut up some wood for a fire and then cook marshmallows over it. The boys loved cutting up the wood and Roran was straight there trying as hard as he could to do it first time. Willem needed a little bit of help to get his aim right, but soon cut some up. We then swapped the bits of wood  we had cut up for a marshmallow on a stick. We carefully stood around the fire and waited for them to melt. I dropped two into the fire. When they were ready we were given two chocolate biscuit and made our smores, and they tasted yummy.

The second event was called Kelly Kettle Challenge. This event required the boys to trim wood shavings off of some wood to go onto the fire bowl so that we could boil the ‘Kelly Kettle’, and make a cup of tea. We started with a talk about knives and how the boys should never play with them, it was just the two of them and the previous group with older children had talked about how to use and hold them safely. We were also shown all the different ways we could make fire. We then cut up some wood ready to make our shavings. Once cut up we were told to draw some marker lines on the wood, and then shown how to safely shave the wood, The boys both needed some help, and Roran loved the chance to use the knife.  We then went over to the fire bowls and how the ‘Kelly Kettle’ worked was explained to us. Willem got to use the fire starter to get the fire going and then we all helped put wood shavings on to get the fire burning. When the kettle was boiled we all got a hot drink for our hard work

In between the two events we enjoyed a walk through the woods looking for gnomes and finding all sorts of different wooden structures. The routes were all very well sign posted and although I had Beatrix in her wrap I could have used the pushchair around there. We also had lots of fun in the play park which has equipment suitable or both younger and older children. However Roran spent most of his time trying to run up a wet hill and then slipping back down.

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The boys had a fantastic day, both them and their clothes were muddy which is always a good sign they have been busy. They enjoyed both events, especially as it was something they wouldn’t normally do. They had lots of space to run around and burn off all their energy  They both fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Facilities – We took our own picnic so didn’t try out the cafe facilities. We did use he toilets and baby changing and found them in a good clean condition.

Cost – The events were priced at £2 per child or £5 per family. Parking is £3 for the day, however we have an annual pass for all the local country parks which was £49. So in total we spent less than £10 all day.

For more information visit: Brixworth Country Park

Posted in Family Life

Willem and The Magnet

willem a&eOf all my children Willem is the one that we know we need to watch. He lives in his own little world, which would be amazing, and is always thinking about the next thing he could get up to. Yesterday we got to enjoy a visit to A&E due to a little mishap with a magnet.

Whilst attempting to get my washing out Willem suddenly started to cry, so I came in to see the problem and thought he said he had been sick. I called Rob downstairs and tried to make some sense out of the words come out of his mouth. Now, another thing about Willem is that when he cries he really goes for it, and he has a lovely habit of putting his whole fist in his mouth which cause a huge amount of drool to come out (nice).

At first we thought he was saying he had a penny in his mouth so we encouraged him to learn forward as I tried to look in to see of there was something there. Then he started talking about his throat so we figured he had swallowed whatever it was, but he was telling us it hurt. We were also having to stop him put his hands down his throat, whilst trying to calm him. Eventually he told us it was a magnet (great) and he showed which one it was.magnet A nice small 1 cm square piece which he was calling a ‘plus cross’. I knew he would need to be checked out to make sure it wasn’t stuck anywhere, but was unsure if it was an A&E job or minor injuries. We’re very lucky to have one of each nearby. After a call to 111, they advised A&E in case it was stuck, off we went. Fortunately Roran had been walking around with a bag of books so I grabbed that as entertainment and my purse which had no money in.

We arrived at A&E and booked in, the receptionist was less than nice and with Willem bouncing around I felt a bit like a fraud but I knew he needed checking. We had about a 30 minute wait for the doctor, who was lovely. She spoke to Willem more than me, which I felt was a good thing as he was then happy to listen to her. She asked him simple things at first like name and age, then what happen. He backed up my story. The doctor then explained the concerns of swallowing magnet:

  1. It can get stuck in the oesophagus causing a blockage
  2. It could go down the windpipe, but he was breathing fine so no concern there
  3. If he had swallowed more then one they could be come attracted to each other. This could lead to them attaching and possible pinch some of his bowel which would possible die. I had not even considered that!

Willem assured her that he had only swallowed one and we were sent off for a X-ray.

After a little more waiting we went into for X-ray, I had quickly explain to Willem what would happen but didn’t think about the fact I, at 32 weeks pregnant, wouldn’t be allowed to stay at his side. The technician was lovely though and spoke to him about everything and that I was only on the other side of the window so he could see me. However, he was more fascinated by everything happening to even notice I had gone.

We headed back to waiting room for the results, which didn’t take long. The doctor called us through and took us in to the reception office. Here she showed Willem his X-ray and explained all the different parts such as his heart, lungs , spine, whilst showing him on his body where they are. He loved this and listened to everything she said. Then she showed us the white image of the magnet, sat nicely in his stomach, waiting to make it’s natural way through his body.

With this news we could head home knowing all should be okay. We were at the hospital just over and hour and a half, which was a nice surprise but I don’t hope to do it again anytime soon.

 

Posted in Family Life, Review

Gruffalo Spotting

Yesterday we went Gruffalo spotting at our local Forestry Commission forest. This is an exciting new activity that has been introduced along one of the popular family trials. Before we left I downloaded the special app which is free, and made sure my phone was charged. The idea is simple you go for a nice walk and along the way there are signs, peep holes and clues to which animal is coming up. When you find the footprints you point your phone, with the app open, at the sign and the animal appears. You then have an opportunity to take a photo of the children with them. When we arrival the children were so excited to get out and run around; we visit this site a lot so they know where they are going.

We headed off to the beginning of the route and sagruffalo spottersw a big sign letting us know we were going the right way. The boys loved running ahead and Roran had the chance to practice his reading skills. Persephonie had decided that she was also going to walk the route today, which made us a little slower than normal. Each animal had a set of signs to encourage the children to guess who was coming up. These included an interactive turning circle with images of the animals eyes, tail, feet, etc. Then a peep hole for them to look through, which was facing another sign with part of the animal on it, giving them a good idea. When it was then obvious who we had found there was a congratulations sign just before the ‘footprints’.

The final sign would be the ‘footprints’, where we aimed our phone to bring up the video. The videos themselves were great. The animals would appear and move around so that they looked real to the children. When they were in position the camera button would come up and you could take a picture. This idea is great but not as easy as it sounds unfortunately. Getting the children in the right position was hard. They couldn’t see the animals from the other side of the camera and would either stand in front of them, blocking the signal and making the video to vanish, or standing behind it where they would then get blocked out by the image. Also, mine were unsure where to look as they were distracted which meant that they often weren’t looking at the camera or video
that they couldn’t see. Maybe some sort of markers on the ground would have helped.

Overall the children enjoyed themselves, which was the main point. They also got some fresh air and a good run around. So did Rufus who remembered it’s that lovely time of year for fox poo! The route is only a short one so, as always, we popped to see the statue of the gruffalo who lives at our local forest, before heading home. There is an opportunity to buy activity bags from the site centre which I am sure would make the trip longer but, as we arrived early, the centre isn’t open at that point. However, it is something we will probably do during the school holidays. We are pleased to have another one of this trails at our local forest as have enjoyed all the others. It is a great way to get the children out and about and enjoying the local area, even if it’s only for a few hours.

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For more information about your local Forestry Commission site and Gruffalo Spotter trial please visit their website

Posted in Family Life

The 48 hour week

Last weekend the boys were came down with a bug, this lead to a long week in our house.

Saturday

Roran started off with a little bit of diarrhoea, and I mean a little bit! We had been to a party and I just thought it was a mixture of too much excitement and rubbishy food. SO we packed him off to bed and thought nothing of it. That night Willem joined us in bed and announced he had been sick in the toilet.

Sunday

My ‘lie in’ and it consisted of me listen to Rob explain to Willem of you need to pump go to the toilet. By the time had come downstairs Willem had already had several ‘pump’ accidents and it was obvious we had a bug.  So it was decided that instead of our planned trip to the woods we would have a chilled day at home.

Monday

No school or nursery as we are in 48 hour quarantine. So I had all 3 children at home by myself, and despite them being ‘poorly’ they were not ill at all! This was a sign of what was to come – argument about who had been on the tablet the longest, who’s turn it was to pick what we watch, who got the toys and didn’t put them away. Added to this I had no food in the house and with my 3 that is a rookie mistake. I did make a quick dash to the shop for some fruit and snacks so that I didn’t have the constant ‘I’m hungry’. That night I was pleased to go to work, but a little annoyed all 3 for the first time in weeks were actually asleep by 7pm. After a stressful day I enjoyed some mindful mediation at my MummyNatal class and looked forward to heading home. Only to have a bump in my husbands car and spend the night awaiting the recovery vehicle. That night Roran came in to tell us he had been sick and was sick again several times in the early hours.

Tuesday

Roran was back to square one 48 hours off and was fine, the day followed a similar pattern of arguments and disagreements between the boys. Worse still I ran out coffee by mid morning and forgot to add it to my Tesco order.

Wednesday

Thank god today Persephonie, who has showed no signs of the bug, is at nursery. I decided not to send Willem as he still had diarrhoea the last few days. I however had work so my mother in law came over for a few hours and also Tesco delivered. However not only did I forget my coffee but not chocolate or shampoo or conditioner either.

Thursday

So today Roran goes back to school, yay, NO! He was sick again all night. Not happy about this at all and I’m am now too tired to listen to the arguments. The tablet has been banned as we17078668_10154934745821221_979052638_nll as several shows. We spent the morning doing activity books and drawing, I even had 5 minutes to check my emails before Persephonie spotted my laptop. By the afternoon they were bored and despite having this bug the boys didn’t feel the need to rest or nap. As it was nice outside they had a run around the garden and some well needed fresh air. Willem has been clear for 48 hours and I arranged for Roran to go to my mums in the morning so Willem can have his swimming lesson. Persephonie has nursery.

Friday

My plans were short lived, Willem was sick again all night!  So I packed Persephonie off to nursery and settled in for another day of cabin fever. No tablet still, but we did agree on a film to watch which kept the boys occupied enough for me to tidy the kitc17204539_10154934746176221_1265823762_nhen and do a little bit of work. After that I headed to Starbucks, we have a drive thru so I can grab my coffee and go. No need to take the germy children inside and share with others. This coffee was good, my first in a few days and very well deserved I think. The afternoon was calmer but I made the mistake of allowing the children some time in their rooms alone, and it looked like a pit. So tiding up and tears happened before bedtime. I did have the luxury of my sister dropping off some shampoo and conditioner so I got to wash my hair properly, which was amazing. The children went down early (before 7.30) so Rob and me sat down to watch a film.

Saturday

Rob let me lay in and it was good, I have been so tired and also struggling with back ache and braxton hicks. No one was sick last night but we felt it best not to take Roran swimming. Today felt a little bit back to normal and both boys have some colour. I can’t be 100% sure but I think we may have got past it. Fingers crossed.

 

The Day… We Wore The Frugi Forest Snugs and Crocodile Top

One snugsof the best things about chilly days is that I get to put the boys in Snugs. I love these trouser they are cozy, they are colourful and they are versatile. These are currently too big for Willem but they roll up perfectly so we can wear them for that bit longer. The top was bought to go with the snugs and is very much loved by Willem. He has a soft touch for crocodiles, I don’t know why, and thinks this one is funny as it is trying to catch the fish. Willem is in that stage between being a toddler and becoming a preschooler, so finding tops that are not to ‘babyish’ yet not to grown up is a challenge. I feel this one does a good job.This outfit combination is defiantly a hit and will be seen quite a few times over this autumn and winter.

Shop: The Natal Family (both)

Size: 3 to 4 years (both)

Top: http://thenatalfamily.co.uk/products/new-in/frugi-crocodile-snappy-applique-top/

Snugs: http://thenatalfamily.co.uk/products/new-in/frugi-field-multicheck-checked-snugs/

The Day… We Wore the Piccalilly Fox Top

foxToday was just as chilly as yesterday and the long sleeve tops are still out so I let Roran pick one of his new ones to wear. He choose the Piccalilly Fox Top, yet another of my favourites from this year. I love the fact that the the foxes monocle and whiskers are actually embroidery rather than just print. This helps the top feel more grown up but still not to old for almost 5 year old. The colour is great as it is bright enough for me to spot in a crowd, if needed but not to bright for autumn time. Also the mock layer sleeves again adds to that older boy feel.

Shop: Piccalilly

Size: 5 to 6 Years

http://www.piccalilly.co.uk/tee-fox

The Day… We Wore the Maxomorra Superboy Top

Autumn has arrived and finally we are getting to wear some of my recent purchases. So get ready for lots of  what ‘We Wore’ posts.

superboy
Yesterday Willem got to wear one of my favourite tops of this year, the Maxomorra Superboy Tee. This is a UK exclusive to The Natal Family, who have just started stocking this lovely Swedish brand. They only had two of each size available and i was lucky enough to grab one in his size. We had lots of comments asking who the character was on front of the top And Willem happily told them ‘it’s me’.  I love the contrast of colours and now looking for something in this print for both Persephonie and Roran.

Shop: The Natal Family

Size: 98-104

http://www.thenatalfamily.co.uk/products/new-in/maxomorra-superboy-t-shirt/

 

 

 

Posted in Family Life

The Day… Willem ended up at Minor Injuries

Today20160926_104944.jpg is Daddy Hughes’ birthday, yay. With Roran doing his first full day at school and Willem due to go nursery for the day we made plans. Just having Persephonie with us meant we could go out for brunch and it be a bit more relaxed than if we had the boys, after school we could then all go out for a nice meal as a family. However, things did not go to plan.

Willem has been unwell all weekend with his chest, then last night his temperature spiked. We managed to get it under control and with some cuddles he went back to my bed where he spent the night. For a change everyone slept in, until past 7am! Over breakfast we decided that Willem wasn’t right so we would keep him off for the day, we could take him brunch or have a nice one at home. The new plan was made, but it didn’t happen either.

Rob took Roran to school, whilst, thanks to Paw Patrol, I grabbed a quick shower. When Rob got back he made us both a cup of tea, and as usual placed mine in the window sill. As if in slow motion the next thing I saw was Perspehonie, climbing the sofa grabbing my cup and tipping over. Most of the hot freshly made tea landed on Willem. Who burst into tears.

I immediately grabbed him to get him in the shower, taking off his top as that was what he was most worried about. In he went and I could see his chest was red. He cried as I attempted to hold him under the cold running water. I knew this would be a hospital job,
his arm was red and in his struggle I could already see a blister. I told Rob we had to go minor injuries and we got sorted, and out the door. He cried as I tightened his car seat but it needed doing

The doctors and nurses were really nice and helpful. Upon seeing the burn the first the triage nurse ask was if she could given him some paracetamol for the pain, I hadn’t even thought about that. He wasn’t keen to take it but she helped me calm him and waited until he was ready. We had to wait about an hour after triage before we saw the nurse, so snack were brought to keep him happy and a quick feed help Persphonie doze off.

The treatment nurse was again really calm and helpful, she could see that he was shy and unsure but had lots of tricks to getting him involved. She explained what she was going to do and left the room to get some dressing and so that I could talk to him myself about what was going to happen. When she came back Willem was a superstar as she put dressing and bandages on his arm, his chest was fine. The nurse talked to him the whole time and Willem loved that he could see an ambulance outside, which was the main discussion. I also mentioned that he had been unwell at the weekend so t
he nurse offered to check him over and after a quick ears, throat and chest check she gave him some antibiotics for a chest infection.

For being so brave Willem got a little blue teddy, which he isn’t too fussed about. As we missed brunch we treated him to a cookie at our favourite coffee shop, which he was very pleased about. We even sat in. We now just have to get a bandage change every few days, and convince him to take his antibiotics and pain relief.

 

Posted in Family Life

The Day… Willem started his Outdoor Nursery

Today was new chapter in Willem’s life, he started a new nursery, First day at outdoor nursey.jpgbut not just any nursery, an ‘outdoor nursery’. We are so excited that he will have this opportunity as it suits his personality so well and will give him that space he needs to develop into himself, rather than just follow his brother’s footsteps, which is a concern we have with them both being so close in age and only a school year apart.

First of all, what is an outdoor nursery? 

It simply is a nursery outside, okay they do have an indoor area but around 80% of the time he will be outside, everyday, in all weathers. The indoor area is mainly for dropping off, breakfast
, pegs for bags and where the bathrooms are. Everything else is outside. They play outside, learn outside, eat snack outside, it’s all outside. The idea is taken from Scandinavian forest kindergartens, where children explore, learn and develop in the outdoors, whatever the weather and they have much colder weather than we do.

So what is the benefit?

Apart from making great memories for us, we all have them from our own childhood, the outdoors has a positive effect on children’s health. You know how great it feels to have some fresh air especially when feeling sluggish. It helps with concentration and therefore helps the children develop their thinking skills. It gives them the space and freedom to explore and learn their boundaries. With the open space children can test their abilities and develop them further. These days children are outside a lot less than when we were children. As a family we try to get out as much as we can, but it isn’t always possible and we don’t do it as much as we would like. This gives Willem that opportunity.

Willem is a natural explorer, he likes to wander off and investigate his surroundings. He enjoys his own company and spends a lot of time sitting, observing and pondering.  For him this is the perfect environment. However, we have made the decision to also keep him at his old nursery a few days a week in preparation for school next September. Whether that will be full time or flexi-school is yet to be decided.