New Adventures

So the big scary move day has came and gone and to be honest this was the most difficult and horrible move we have ever done in our whole time in the military.

Firstly 2 under 5s and a 2year old puppy are not the best thing to have around when moving house loading and unloading especially since they didn’t really understand what was going on. Secondly if you are choosing a company to move with I would avoid whites. Why you ask? After turning up over an hour late and us having to chase them, we went from two small vans to just one as they decided another job needed doing meaning the the men decided to squash and squeeze all our stuff on the wagon, add to this the fact that they loaded and unloaded it about 10 times you can see how long removal day took. All we wanted to do was leave and travel to our new destination but no let’s try unloading a reloading cause that will magically mean the stuff will fit! Oh wait nope it still doesn’t so goodbye garden table and dismantle everything thanks guys so much move work to do at the other end now! 🙄 Well the whole of our stuff was not even loaded when I had to leave I had two children and we had given the house back so they couldn’t understand why they were not allowed in but I had no keys so I decided to take them to Calke Abbey to escape the madness.

Thank God for national trust makes my life so much easier. Plus Calke is lovely it has a nice place area and it’s just of the main road so not too much driving out the way and it was about an hour and half into my drive so a nice stopping point. I hate driving too far it makes be bored especially on motorways.

Probably our last ever visit here and sadly we still never actually made it to the main building. The monsters are always too busy in the play area to pull out plus it’s all about them having fun not us. The downside was the food was very limited here but it was late on in the day so that explains it just sadly everything that was left contained mustard yucky 🤢 but I was hungry so that was another dilemma.

Daddy finally met us and told us the solution to the removals was to loose our garden table and dismantle the play house and the garden bench annoyingly since we were told to leave them up and now the screws etc. Have been shoved who knows where in the manicness to leave. So after waiting for rush hour to pass have toilet times drinks and snack we finally decided it was time to get back on the road.

Surprisingly the children were really good on the drive the boy was in charge of the music in the front. And the girl only had about 40 mins of crying the whole journey and this was cause she wanted to lay down to sleep and the answer was definitely no to this.

Finally we arrived at brize norton time to have a trip to get a pass.

Panic hits as then I realise I need to have my picture took arrrgghhh I look a right state have been up since 7 and working hard carrying and playing with the children all day. My some luck I manage to avoid this my the man finding my.old picture from the pass system win not lumbered with a crappy picture for the next three years. Well off we go in the dark to find the lodge we are staying at. Wow I hate trying to find stuff in the dark and obviously ours is on a corner hidden so we do about 3 laps to try and find the place and every time we stop the boy thinks we are there and wants to get out. Really nice place but just a shame we were so tired we couldn’t take advantage of it.

So the day arrives and its time for us to go to the new place. We arrive early, and white are already there but we have no keys till 11 as we told them so why have they arrived so early? So we do the meet and greet the housing officer is nice but the children are stressed and anxious so I decide to leave dad tocthe March in and we visit the park. It’s walking distance and not too far away a nice pit stop on the way home from school as well. To make the boy smile the play area is in the shape of a plane and it has a trampoline. How exciting for him he even asks if we can come more often.

So I come to our new home for lunch with the children, and discover this is the new location of our couch.

The house we have doesnt have any patio doors to get it in and the turn into the living room from the corridor is to much to fit it in as well. As lunch progressed more of my furniture joined the couch eventually I had my large display cabinet my kallax stand also outside in the garden. I felt like crying but we managed to dismantle the kallax and get that in. Currently we are still hunting someone to take the window out for the rest so if you know anyone let me know. Finally the removal men disappear and we can relax well sort of, they have dumped boxes in the middle of rooms so you need to move loads to get to what you want sadly this means that only one bed will be made, luckily for the boy this was his as I wanted to try and keep everything as close to old room as possible. Which is very difficult when you have downsized homes.

Anyway on my first explore of the house it seems ok apart from my garden couch issue. I have a reasonable size bathroom, a bigger pitcher which has space to move. Can even cook with the monsters in here and not have to panic too much about the oven as we have too sides. I have two toilets, two reasonable sized bedroom and sadly a box room for the girl, and a living room diner. My garden is a lot less work. However we have lost a shed and a garage so we seem to have to much stuff. We have some extra cupboard space and built in wardrobes and my favourite the cupboard opposite the stairs that is so small even Harry Potter turned it down.

First we start with the kitchen upon plumbing in the appliances we notice the casing on the washer has been pushed in. Grrrrr. And when hubby plumbs in the dishwasher and we use it it leaks water in the cupboard woohoo another win 🙄😂 Can feel our stress levels rising. All the kids want to do is play and be with us which means they are under our feet. Our shelving unit breaks and most of my storage is in the garden or the shed which mean I still currently have boxes I am unable to unpack as the collections have no where to go.

We have realised how spoilt our children are though they have far too many toys, books, and clothes and I’m not saying this as joke they literally have that many that I cannot fit them all in the house. We need to buy a new set of drawers and some under the bed storage for the girl just for her clothes. I have had to join sales and wants groups to try and get rid of some of the bigger things as we just have no space. The indoor rocker is on sales sites, the boy is happy to part with some Thomas toys, some wooden blocks in a massive tub the boys desk is going to have to go possibly his cars storage unit as well.

Finally when we completed most of the unpacking although some stuff has been hidden in cupboards out of site out of mind. Will get across to them at a later date, and try to reorganize everything we went and visited the local country park. This was a bit of a weird one to get to the parking is basically in a new build housing estate. But it is well worth it the park is huge lots of different play area some for little ones climbing for big ones a sand put area tunnel and bridges and it’s all so widely spread out so that the children aren’t all falling over each over. I instantly decided this is our place to visit regular our new park replacement and I think it will be cyclable with the girl so that’s a bit more exercise for me as well.

We then went on the walk around the park which is nice and we took the fur baby so that’s always good to have somewhere to visit as a family together. It’s a round loop wit lots of oppertunites to make it shorter and go back but we wanted a longer walk for the dog and to see the sculptures. We came across them they are huge compared to what I was expecting and the kids loved them they petted the horses and stroked them they were amazed.

Then it started to rain so it was time to leave the only downside so far to this park was that you have to pay to use the toilet, which might not seem major to some but I never have cash so know one day I will be caught out!

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Dinosaurs raarrr

So this is the weekend that my little boy gas been waiting for since January. Finally it has came around and he is able to see the dinosaurs we bought tickets for. Hoping both the kids will love the show and enjoy seeing some dinosaurs moving around so fingers crossed we don’t need to leave early.

Well both children loved the show they found the narrator a bit boring but they absolutely loved the dinosaurs and the trex especially. Would highly recommend seeing this show it’s the best and we even had seats with plenty of space.

National Railway Fun

So one of the last visits we will make for a while has to be national railway museum. This whole move thing has crept up on us so fast that it has amazingly only left us with three weeks to visit everything we want up north and with working this basically results to three trips or family and friend visits.

So since the boy loves his trains it had to be one final visit to York railway museum. He loves this place and I love it too it’s free entry and easy to ex0lore there is free roam and the children can touch and interact with things. And there’s normally always spaces for a picnic so you can keep it a really cheap day out. Unless your a weak parent like me and then visit the shop where you always buy another new wooden train and with two children this can start to get costly.

So today as it was chucking it down it meant that it was a lot more busy that normal and there seemed to be loads of trips there for some reason which wasn’t exactly what we had planned but we have drove here and we are committed now so in for a penny let’s go.

First thing must visit Stephen the rocket train have to see him he was the first train. And the we follow the route around looking at the ambulance trains and lots of other trains that look like Thomas characters that are listed off to me.

The boy was brave enough to actually walk underneath a train today as well which is amazing. Although we were that family that walked the opposite way to everyone else opppsss yo always get one and to be honest it’s normally us. We saw different parts of the engine the pistols the red parts as you can tell mommy’s knowledge is very limited. But it was fun bluffing my way through.

Next we ventured for lunch. It was very busy today but we still managed to get a picnic bench and high chair for the girl so it wasn’t too bad. Out comes the Morrison’s meal deals (mummys trademark lunch when out and about) and impressively the boy eats his cheese sandwich, banana, and crisps. The girl as usual eats all of it and mummy and daddy enjoyed theirs too.

So as it was still raining we went to explore more trains we sat in some and walked through others and just looked and tried doors on some which was fun and again we got listed that’s Percy etc. From Thomas characters.

We saw types of baggage that people used to pack on trains and even looked at the toilet. The classic move always have to visit and pose for a pooper piccy.

We got to sit on a train and watch a video advertising travelling by train where the family do a jigsaw and look so relaxed nothing like today but the kids enjoyed watching.

We the went back to the main hall and saw some of the newer trains the boy also got to sit on the bullet train and watch the video

We then also looked at the model railway which is always so busy in there alot of people watching it. Maybe they should consider making it bigger.

We visited the indoor play area which I actually found rather sad we have visited in many an occasion and it has always been full with toys. But this time lots of the trains are missing parts of the assemble your own train have gone missing hats and jackets are limited and everything generally looked a bit tatty. Sadly it’s just wear and tear and abuse but it’s sad to see that a few people will happily destroy stuff for others. 😢

Our Park and Pride Morning

Well with it being one of our last weekend’s in Sheffield we have decided to try and make the most of them so hopefully if the weather allows we will be doing lots of activities these next few weeks. This will make up for the boring time while all I will be doing is unpacking, drinking coffee. However we do have two weeks off to explore our new area and surprisingly I’m feeling rather excited to move. Think all that we have gone through the last few months as a family has made us realise a new start will be good for us.

Any how in the interest of trying something new we decided that since we wanted to visit a park and it happened to be pride why not give it a visit. Now the boy isn’t normally the type to enjoy these sorts of things and because of this and the crowds and the hiding and running we tend to avoid these sorts of situations but when we went everything was all set up so we thought we would have a look around.

From a distance with all the clouds the kids were instantly interested and side the parade hadn’t marched in they were happy to explore. We found lots of boring stands as the boy described just the usual information stands on about reporting road repairs which to be honest moving now don’t really care. Then we discovered the Ikea stand it was so child friendly and the toys were easily recognised and dived on my my children.

We eveb got to see spiderman who is the boys favourite after hulk and ironman and batman lol the words of a child

There was even the opportunity to make your own rainbow horse with paint. It was a colouring competition with different age ranges but I’m not really a competitive mum and can’t be bothered with the while presentation if you do win the boy hates being the center of attention too so it’s just wasted. However I was all yes you can do some colouring till I realised it was paint. Oh my how I hate paint, it never dries quick enough and they always want to cart it home covering you and everything else in the stuff. And worse than that the boy likes it till it touches him then he freaks out arrggghhh! Too late though mummy said yes so time to be a big girl and deal with it.

As it turns out wasn’t too tragic till we had to leave the blinking thing too dry. But we exchanged it for some sweets and he kept watching it on the line to ensure no one stole our art work which sadly no one did. Just what you need when your moving house!

Well just as I send the hubby to get the coffee. Yes I realise that I’m now old as I walked past the beer tent and was more attracted to hunting the coffee stand out! Just as he was getting served the parade came marching band and all, all I wanted was my coffee and all I could think was please hurry up! Lol. In marched the parade with the police and fire car escorts band playing people chanting something or other and people blowing whistles! Off the boy hides inside the Ikea tent at least he had somewhere to go! The girl is torn she wants to see the noise and what it’s all about but wants to be with brother she’s already a carer for him at only 18months bless her. Loves her brother more than fun.

Well after the noise the behaviour suddenly went we struggled with controlling ourselves, following instructions too many distractions. And we were on edge so we made the call as parents to leave and go home for lunch. After leaving the hustle and bustle and some cuddles we easily managed to calm ourselves down getting experienced at this now which is good and we walked home with our rainbow zebra.

It was a nice experience for the children to have and at least we can say that we have been. There was a lot of bits for families to do however it wasn’t really for our family. Too much loud and in your face once the event started. But on the plus it meant that the park was empty on the morning so every cloud has a silver lining.

Raising kids without a support network sucks

I often see grandparents with children in cafes and hear other parent complain about the grandparent taking over and be overbearing and to be honest I am sat thinking must be nice to have that option. I look in envy at the grandparents walking in the park with there children and wonder what it would be like to have some real regular support?

Now we currently live a maximum of 2 hours from our “family support” and yet still they are so limited in fact it’s been 7 months since one grandparent has bothered to see my children and in fact that visit was limited to two hours.

I look at other parents who have date nights and can go to the dentist or hairdressers alone. But sadly I don’t get that privilege my smear test was accompanied by my 18 month old 🙊 and the joys of a singing teapot.

Luckily the nurse said she understood and she’s had childcare let her down before, what she didn’t understand was that the childcare isn’t there for me. Don’t get me wrong both my two are at a brilliant nursery but it’s costly to pop then in for an afternoon to do general appointments and to work as well. I nearly get any wage as it is with my childcare bill I know my choice but just a little bit of regular support would be nice just a little break.

Now before you ask I have discussed this with the parent s to which our replies consisted of:

  • We never got any support
  • You live so far away and theres no where to stay
  • If you drop them off and collect them we would look after them
  • We don’t like driving at night
  • The kids are so tiring

Now you can see our frustrations, I know the kids are tiring; hence asking for a break for one day. I know it’s difficult looking after two under 5’s one of whom has Asd so has a greater need and more information. But surely you should want to spend time with your grandchildren. The in law likes to support her boyfriend and the other son by giving them a break from their dogs!! But yet we get nothing we have to fight to persuade her to come and see her grandchildren and then it’s only for a couple of hours. Yet then we get complaints that the girl hasn’t really bonded with her. Well I can’t understand why when yours basically a complete stranger.

It just annoys me I’m trying too better myself and make a better life for the children and yet the parents don’t want it they are happy just sitting out and living with the past of well I didn’t get it so why should you? It’s so immature and when we are both working fulltime and moving around as a forces family moving around every few years, life is difficult enough without knowing that in a deployment you will be completely alone. I have already had to give up a promotion at work as we couldn’t even pay the grandparents to look after the children! I know right surely they aren’t that bad!

Now don’t get me wrong we have some brilliant friends that stand in and look after both children for us and help out but there’s only so many times you can ask a favour, before you start to annoy. But it’s days l8ke today for example when I’m at the doctors for a ten minute appointment that support would be really useful; but instead the girl screamed from the moment we arrived in the surgery as she wanted to be running around much to the dismay of the others there then the boy was great till we got in the nurses room when he though laying on the bed was better than a chair (who can blame him) then of course he screamed when the nurse took my bloods which reset the girl off. It’s nice that they care that someone is hurting their mum all be in in the name to making her better. However just a 15min scream free appointment would have been nice where I could focus on me. But I have to come to terms with the fact this will never happen.😭

But it’s sad I see other children talking about time with grandma and grandma sat at their graduations and it’s sad knowing mine will never have that. At the moment we are lucky as James doesn’t really understand with his ASD however there will come a day and what am I suppose to say? How can you explain that they are just too much work for their grandparents? That they are holding onto grudges from the past and taking it out on them? That looking after a dog is more important than them? How do you explain that to a child?

I know everyone has family issues but when you have no support it just sucks. Sometimes all you feel is alone on this massive journey.

I’m happy yet envious of those of you who have the family support and the visits and trips out. And hate it when people complain about how involved the grandparents. I hope you all appreciate what you have.

Holiday adventures

Finally the time has arrived for us to be able to relax and go on holiday. The long awaited center parcs trip with the close friends. The countdown is over and it’s time to play.

Filled the car placed the bikes on the roof and off we went. I got a electric bike for the hills at center parcs. I know some will say it’s cheating but I say it’s being prepared especially carrying a almost two year old on the back.

All excited we arrived at woburn took a few snaps which was good in t be car park and it has some lovely views.

Went and checked out our lodge one room for the boys one for the girl and one each for the adults which was great in theory plenty of sleep. The girl however has her first time in a full size single bed which resulted in a rough first night. We had a tv and two bathrooms, as well as plenty of space for toys and spreading out.

So we had a fun week of swimming and cycling mainly l. The boy loves these and especially the fact we can go when we went and travel where we want is amazing to him as it means he is able to do it in his own time and needs which is a parenting win for us as it reduces any extra stress or meltdowns. Plus with the amount of places to cycle and the size of the pool there’s always somewhere to escape if required. We love the pool and the boy got the confidence to take of his life vest and to try and swim unaided which is amazing. And the girl well she would paddle and go on the slides which is good it’s progress from a girl that clung last time. And the little adrenalin junky loved throwing herself down the slides and even snuck on some she was too little for ooopps.

We explored the beach with was great and we saw lots of boats. The girl ate some sand icky but seemed find mixed it with some water and wanted to try for seconds 🙈

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We had lots of different walks and explores and the children were all so well behaved especially considering the amount of fruit shoot they had consumed. Surprised they weren’t going crazy. We had a few fights and needed to be separated on occasions but that’s only human to be honest.

The boys went to a super hero party and by some miracle for the first time ever the boy dressed up and kept it on. It was so exciting that something this simple we managed to do.

We also went bowling and as with the theme for games this holiday it ended with crying. The girl was more than happy just having on go every of often and picking the colour of the ball. However the boy cried because he wanted to keep going after explaining the whole turn taking thing and announcing who’s turn it was and when his go would come we continued playing until we cried again as we were not knocking enough pins down and everyone else could do it so being a good mum I helped hi. He got a strike woo you might think bit NO more tears as now he knocked too many pins down and lost a go. No amount of telling him this was a good thing would work. So the magic number of pins for bowling with the boy is 9 🙈.

Here was the favourite part of the holiday. Just seeing the kids be kids and having huge smiles on their faces. Just from playing in the park they made such games and achievements it was sad to take them out of there. The boy managed to walk all the ropes unassisted by the end of the holiday and even started to do some imagination play well to a limit. For example I’ll climb the rocket mummy. Oh were you going? To the moon. (Though I was winning he comes down the slide) I’m back! oh did you see some aliens? No mummy the moon is just rocks and dust! That’s my boy all still very factual.

Huck was alright this time round a little bit of a let down to be honest the food was ok and the service was slow. It’s a shame as it’s normally so good. Luckily there was a play area for the kids to be in for the long waits otherwise we would have been stuck eating with tantrums and bored children as there is only so much a sticker and colouring page will do.

I do however love the colouring bags as they can colour it and use if for different things as it’s a little pouch so now we have one used as a first aid bag and one the boy is using for his special toys. Might even turn one into a special potty toy bag for the girl as she is showing she wants to learn.

We were so lucky that we went with our good friends and they even watched bother our gremlins so that we could have some couple time it was amazing just to properly relax. We went to cafe rouge had some delicious croque (sorry no pictures I know I’m rubbish) and the service was so attentive and speedy it was amazing. We even sat outside.

Afterwards we went back for an adult games night how could it go wrong alcohol and cards against humanity?? Plus on a win I discovered the joys of gin too.

Best part of the holiday is the managed to last with minimal meltdowns there was times when you couldn’t tell him from the other children which fill you with confidence that actually it’s not all that bad and school could possibly be a win.

A five star break with five star friends they are more than that they are our second family the one we have chosen. 😻.

https://www.centerparcs.co.uk/

Hardwick hall

Another sunny day and another day with just the girl as the boys is away with his dad climbing Snowdon. Which may I say he did rather successfully even if I wasn’t there.

Well for a girls day what to do. Nothing better than something cheap and cheerful so where else but an national trust place were I only need to pay for petrol to get there. So off we go after a prolonged fight about not wanting to get into the car seat and some scratches on mum the girl is getting very frustrated and angry recently another thing for me to deal with.

Anyway we arrive at Hardwick hall thankfully after the girl has napped in the