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Staycation Plans

Plans for my Staycation:

We’re going to have 5 daytrips over this summer rather than going away with Robin being so little and it’s easier on hubby’s job to spread the time off, and I want to include a trip to the Isle of Wight (to take Elvis on a boat), a farm to see the animals, a zoo and then a theme park type place.

Out of the three farms on the list, Longdown farm sounds the best on their website, Staunton next and then Manor. Longdown recommended by friends, but the most expensive. Seems far more tailored, by website anyway, for visitors. Hubby and I also have tickets for afternoon tea at Staunton which I was hoping to use over the Summer with either Nanny babysitting or accompanying us and taking the children off around the farm/park part. It’s also really quite close to home so perhaps more tailored, for us, for weekend regular visits when we just want to get out of the house. Especaily as their season ticket price is pretty decent. So I reckon Longdown is the one we’ll end up going to.

As for Theme Parks, well, there’s no Disney or Alton Towers in there, is there? We did Paulton’s last year and Elvis preferred the play park areas to the rides. I’m sure that will have changed by now, but it’s not as if us adults can do much there so does it matter about us at all? I like the fact that Jennifer has been to Legoland with toddlers, as had some commenters on her blog. I reckon it could be a nice different place to go rather than Paultons. Especially as the Junior part of Paultons is all about Peppa Pig and I’m not too keen on her. Elvis has never watched her either. Daddy might prefer Legoland, too.

I have no idea what I really want to do on the Isle of Wight, but I found a link to Blackgang Chine and I just might have to do it. The website may make it look a bit tacky. May make it look a bit old and rundown, but Elvis is not going to notice. I quite like the idea of wondering through Fairy Land and the Giant Bug Walk, or singing along in Nursery World. Just me? Okay then.

The oceanarium at Bournemouth is really a test run for potentially heading that way for a convention in August and visiting a bigger aquarium than our local one has to offer. Elvis loves the Blue Reef Center when we go, so he will love it, along with the animals at Marwell and whichever farm we end up deciding on.

I don’t even know when we’re doing this, maybe in June or we might start in May and we might be adding a weekend stay in Milton Keynes for me to attend a convention with both kiddies.

Any recommendations or other suggestions?

~ P

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My Planned Mummy Moments

Back in August of last year, I wrote a blog about things I desperately wanted to do — it was written in a sleep addled, desperation for some sort of normality in those first few months where suddenly you are no longer a person in your own right – you are a mum and that is all!

Here’s what I wanted to do:

1. Attend Hogwarts. Of course I mean the studio tour. As I’ve toured all the major studios in LA, I really need to do the Harry Potter ones. Not managed that one yet. I started to think about doing it this Autumn, either leaving Elvis with Nanny for a day away, or taking him with us, but I can’t survive a whole day like that, especially not with Elvis in tow. My body sometimes aches before I even get out of bed!

2. Go on the London Eye. I promised my mum a trip on the Eye when she had foster children. Well, they left as I had my IUI so we still haven’t been. Not even really considered that one, still really want to do it and maybe in another year or two. I like the idea of a weekend in London with my mum. See the Christmas lights from up high and visit all the Christmassy tourist things!

3. Have a pedicure. Or more than one. This might be doable sooner than a lot of others. Done. Just before Elvis’ first birthday in time for our first family holiday.

4. Visit a spa. This mummy needs a day of pampering! April of this year (actually around the time that I conceived), a friend invited me for a day of jogging, cycling, swimming and saunaing it up! I loved it!

5. Enjoy an afternoon tea. Some friends recently went to a local hotel for afternoon tea and it looked so yummy. It may have a spa there too. Still considering this as a pre-Christmas thing, either with a bunch of friends as a kind of second baby shower thing, or just me and hubby as one final date. I really want scones, cream and all the other fancy cakes. I’d love the spa aspect, but I can’t use half of it so there is very little point.

6. Have a lie in! Can’t remember how frequently this happens! There have been a number of occasions on the weekend that I have had to go and wake hubby up as he’s still asleep, as is Elvis – I try not to wake Elvis up on weekends as we often have to on weekdays. I think this Mummy Moment was written when I was listening to everyone’s horror stories about never sleeping ever again. My first child is a very good sleeper. My second? I hope to God s/he will be!

7. Sleep 8 hours with no interruptions! Has definitely happened, but with my pregnant bladder issues, I can’t remember what it feels like. I definitely got there, and not just the occasion I got a stomach bug.

8. Have a date, or two, with my hubby. Our wedding anniversary last February was the first date since Elvis arrived. It probably won’t happen at the next anniversary, Robin will be far too little. We’ve also had a few Sunday Cinema dates and evenings away for parties.

9. Go to the cinema. With me only managing to get in Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 before giving birth to E, there are many other geeky films that I missed. I’ll settle with most of them on DVD for Christmas though. I didn’t miss a single Geek film that I wanted to see. Thor Dark World, Captain America Winter Soldier and the X-Men film. We didn’t get to the Spiderman film or Guardians of the Galaxy, but we only watched the first Spiderman film on DVD this year! I watched them all in the cinema, and even took Elvis to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 2.

10. Go shopping for new clothes. And I mean when I know what my body’s like and normal tops that don’t need to be nursable. Ummm, yeah, did this and then discovered I was pregnant. I did not get back in to wired bras and I only wore my new wardrobe for a few weeks, including our May family holiday. Next time, eh?

11. Attend my conventions. Now, I’ll happily take E to most of them, but he probably can’t do the Milton Keynes ones due to the distance and cold location so I’ll do those alone. Hopefully! I tried in July, it was an organisational disaster, but I did get there, just never got in. But I went to one in London, October whilst 6 months pregnant and I loved it. I needed lots of breaks and seeing other mums with their toddlers made me crave a cuddle with Elvis (who coped perfectly fine not seeing me all day), but it was really nice just being me!

12. Spend a night in my bed. Maybe with my hubby, but certainly without E! When do night feeds stop???? It’s so strange that I wrote this at the beginning of August, within a few weeks, I had made the decision that I could not handle it anymore, that enough was enough, and Elvis transitioned into his Moses basket by the side of the bed with perfect ease — we had maybe a week of partial co-sleeping. As for his night feeds stopping, well, that was only two months later at the beginning of October. We’ve bought a co-sleeper cot this time to try and keep hubby in our bed!

Is there anything I would have added? No, and, yes, in retrospect, a lot of the above didn’t matter when it came to it. But they did matter at that time. I read somewhere the other day that, once you become a mum, you are never, ever the same person ever again and it is completely true, but I do think that you can start to feel like a new normal. Some mums seem to jump back into their life, have nights away within weeks of giving birth. Some mums still desperately miss their child a year later or refuse nursery places because they can’t bear to be separated. There is no right or wrong. I’m pretty happy now with the balance I have in my life (aside from the pregnancy pains) and I do worry about those first few months when Robin, like Elvis, will depend on me and I will simply, only, just be their mother. But I also know that the day will come when I can spend a night away, go out alone with hubby, socialise with work, be an adult. It might not be at 4 months when Elvis started sleeping 9 hours for Robin, but it will happen.

Hopefully that thought alone, that sentiment from this post will keep me going through those months where all I am is a milk machine. I can remember wishing for 30 minutes to do my hair, pluck my eyebrows, shave my legs and have a relaxing bath. It was so important to me to be able to do something so normal as paint my toenails. Now? I get a bit bored sometimes and really couldn’t care less about painting my nails!

I do, however, have a few pregnant mummy moments that I’d like to plan in!

1. To have a glass of cider. I don’t enjoy alcohol at all whilst pregnant, not even a sip, and I spent all summer wanting a nice icey cider. Hello, next summer!

2. The above mentioned afternoon tea and/or one final hubby date before Robin comes along, or as a first date after Robin’s here.

3. To go swimming and actually swim rather than be in pain and feel utterly inept at simple breaststroke. I may never pay for a swimming membership again, but I will go swimming again. Hopefully next summer.

4. I’m going to say a jacuzzi which obviously I can’t do whilst pregnant, but I only actually really want to do it because I don’t fit in my current bath and I can’t submerge myself in it. A jacuzzi I could. This desire will probably wane, especially if we get the bathroom redone in the next 6 months (yes, I might be crazy).

I’m going to call these 4 things my New Year’s Resolutions and that I will do them all at some point in the New Year. I know I can and will, because I did the equivalent last time!

Happy New Year!

~ P x

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Things I Yearned for on Holiday

A pushchair with a sun shade.

A pushchair that Elvis will actually go to sleep in.

A highchair to make meals not need two adults and meals that will actually include fruit and veg!

My tivo! Although I have loved spending the evenings sitting by the pool re-reading Storm of Swords, I have missed my tele. I’m a week behind on Game of Thrones.

Having stair and door gates, and all the other safety things we have at home!

My bed and duvet.

A spare bed for drunk hubby!

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Things I have Learnt This Holiday

Take lidded baby wipes to the beach.

Take spray sun tan lotions to the beach.

Elvis loves dogs, the sea and playing in the sand.

He also loves Mega Blocks building bricks.

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Things I will Miss About Being on Holiday

I will miss falling asleep on a sun lounger whilst Elvis naps in a room nearby.

I will miss the lazy mornings with Elvis playing for half an hour in bed with us.

I will miss watching my son sit in the surf on the beach, throwing sand and shouting with glee.

I will miss sitting by the pool, reading Storm of Swords and drinking Sangria whilst hubby plays the e-book of Game of Thrones next to me.

There are things I won’t miss at all, but that’s for another post!

~ P
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Spanish Sleeping

When we first got here to Spain, the thought of all three of us in the same bedroom was kind of daunting. We haven’t done it in 8 months or so and I can be such a funny sleeper that the thought of two other people in the room breathing and keeping me awake kinda scared me.

But do you know what? It’s actually been really enlightening.

We’ve been woken up in the morning by giggling, rolling over and seeing Elvis lying in his cot, in the pitch black, giggling at… I have no idea. I’ve gotten him to go for a nap simply by lying on the bed where he can see me and he’s stopped screaming and gone to sleep; as did I. We’ve picked him up in the morning and put him in the bed inbetween us and had more giggles and some quiet times, scoring a semi lie-in.

I might miss going home and putting him in a room a whole 5 meters away! Although I do now wonder if he will get too used to seeing us in the morning!

~ P
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Is Sand Yummy?

It honestly,  naively perhaps,  never occurred to me that when taking Elvis to the beach he would try and eat it.

He face-bombed the sand, his version of a cuddle and kiss and then sat up with sand on his forehead, in his eyes, up his nose and in his mouth. Everytime he sneezed more sand appeared. Then he tried to eat stones, then handfuls of sand, then he began chewing the bucket and spade, eating more sand. We gave up and let him eat sand, remaining vigilent on the stone-eating issue.

Then I walked him to the sea and let the waves get him. He loved it, smiling with each incoming wave and wanting to walk further out with each outward wave.

Elvis is so truly amazing, I don’t believe it. Passengers on the plane were in love with him, complimenting on how well he’s been brought up. Old ladies at breakfast fall in love with him. He needs work when he’s tired, but he can be distracted and doesn’t cry. He hasn’t been scared by his Grandparents’ dog. He isn’t afraid of he sea or sand.

How have I made such a little boy?

~ P
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Spanish Food Shopping

Food shopping is done! Just a few little basics to get us through lunches and dinners; Elvis can always eat extra if we head out for a late dinner and he decides not to nap in the pushchair. We also got nappies and baby wipes. I found it really odd in the supermarket. There were lots of Spanish foods which I was at a loss to decipher (luckily hubby knows basic Spanish), but then there were purely British items – tea bags, baby wipes. It was odd.

I always find it a bit odd taking holidays to my in-laws. In their house. You need to find where everything is, you feel like you’re imposing. Maybe next time we’ll stay somewhere local to them and have a bit of space, too. I am really craving one of our normal all inclusive holidays. Nothing to think about at all! Food and drink on tap! Maybe a day trip or enjoy some Greek Mezes!

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The First Night

We survived the first night. Still have no wifi. Elvis slept straight through after a rocky start. I tossed and turned a bit worrying about him, the heat and the travel cot he’s in. Apparently even after almost 12 months, SIDS is something I get paranoid about. I was too hot. Then the air con dried my mouth out and I worried about Elvis. Bit we all slept. And in the same room. I might bring our own travel cot next time. And pushchair.

I can hear E playing with his bricks as I type this and we’re off to do our food shopping. Hopefully we’ll sort out the wifi. I miss the Internet!

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Arrival Day

I am currently writing this on the memo feature of my phone as I’m not connected to the wireless yet. Elvis has been awake for about 12 hours straight other than 30 minutes just before we boarded the plane. He woke up when I tried to get the seatbelt on him. I had been looking forward to a nap or at least a rest. It didn’t happen.

Bless him though, he’s been a good boy. We’ve had a swim and he is in love with his grandparents’ dog. I thought he’d be afraid of her; Elvis has never been around animals amd is  scared of loud noises, but he keeps giggling when he sees he dog walk! He’s even learning to stroke her nicely.

I’m just feeding him before his bedtime and I am hoping that he is happy to sleep here. I need some rest. Now!

~ P
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