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Happy Saturday xx

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Happy Saturday guys, gals and fellow bloggers….👍👍👍

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Monday morning banking chores all done

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So on a hot Monday morning after I had dragged the kids around the various banks, queueing up in the heat, paying in money and paying bills;  I treated them to a milkshake in “Pop-pins” a 50s style cafe and ice cream parlour, Connaught Avenue, Frinton, Essex. (www.poppinsparlour.co.uk )
They loved it and the milkshakes were delicious 😋.

Sunrise in Walton-on-the-Naze

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The sunrise here in Walton-on-the-Naze at 5.23am this morning.
And a wonderful way to to start the week.
Absolutely gorgeous colours and so peaceful.
I really am so lucky to have been able to raise my babies here.
Being able to hear the sea from my bedroom window is a noise that I will truly be upset to leave behind.
I’m going to really utterly miss this when we move *sad face*….😞

If you go down to the woods today…….

School holidays + Easter weekend around the corner + the Hubster taken time off work = the obligatory family day out.

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We took our family day trip yesterday, to Rendlesham Forest in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Despite the weather being a bit iffy of late, we threw caution to the wind, donned our welly boots and coats, packed some sandwiches and off we went. And what a wonderful day we had.

To our surprise the weather decided to give us a beautiful day, sunshine, a small breeze, blue skies and no rain!

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We have been to Rendlesham Forest before, however this time we actually completed the 3 mile walk without much moaning from the rugrats. We spent a lovely, exhilarating two and a half hours walking around the long “red arrowed” trail looking for pine cones, squirrel spotting, muddy-puddle jumping, or in my case avoiding. We collected sticks and the girls pretended to be Maleficent with a large walking stick. I taught the children how to age a tree when we came across a tree stump. We took a break half way around and had a break; we shared a packet of “pink Panther” wafer biscuits and a bottle of drink, got damp bums and laid in the sunshine enjoying the complete silence.

Taking a breakT & G taking a break

L taking a break

It truly was a really family orientated, no technology allowed (you can’t get a signal in the forest!) (n.b. photo taking IS allowed), getting back to nature, getting exercise and fresh air and not spending any money on completely un-needed tat kind of a day.

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Rendlesham Forest is a wonderful experience, and I would urge everyone to pay a visit if at all possible. You are able to dogs, ride bikes, and have picnics. The kids loved the play park, and we all enjoyed our picnic in the sunshine.

Happy Easter. xx

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Boys Vs Girls

It is only recently that I have started to notice a real difference in energy levels between girls and boys. It’s ridiculous that it’s taken me this long. Maybe it’s only now that the “baby years” are now well and truly behind me that I can make a conscious observation.

My son, G, is two and half and a complete bundle of combustible energy, and endless enthusiasm. He simply cannot sit still, unless he is on the potty or asleep! Long gone are the days when he would have a loooooong nap midday. He doesn’t need to recharge his batteries anymore.

I recently commented on my observation during a catch up with a very good friend and fellow SAHM, Trim (her nickname). I was moaning,  there is no other word for it, I was moaning about G and his boundless energy, his need for speed, his need to be in front and faster than everyone else around him. I compared him to a naughty disobedient puppy when using his reins. Trim just nodded and said she knew exactly what I meant and remembers only too well how her son was at that age.

Trim has a daughter who is four months younger than G, and they get on brilliantly. In actual fact when they sit together you could be forgiven for thinking they were twins, they look so alike.

Anyway, we began discussing the differences between girls and boys. I mean, I suppose it’s obvious when you think about it. But only ever having girls meant that I had no fore-warning of just how exhausting a little boy could actually be. I should in theory be a size 8 with all the running around I do, but those damn yummy foods keep finding their way into my mouth! I’m sure I comfort eat to congratulate myself on surviving another day with my kids!

Examples:

Going for a walk with a little boy: It’s physically demanding. You spend a vast majority of the walk almost jogging to keep up with them. Forever apologising to people who have they hurtled into as they are going to damn fast. They’re not interested in browsing through shop windows – unless it’s a food shop and there may be a possibility of getting fed. They will jump in EVERY puddle, regardless of size and what footwear they have on and you can’t stop them, they’re too fast. If you run after them, they run faster and laugh while they’re doing it! They will kick at anything which is on the floor (stone/a leaf/a bit of rubbish, etc) and shout “GOAL”. I’m assuming of course that all little boys are like this, and it’s not just mine!

Going for a walk with a little girl: It’s mentally draining. Girls will happily walk, or skip, along side you holding your hand. They will embrace the window shopping. Although they too love puddle jumping, they know that unless they have their wellies on, their shoes will get ruined. They will occasionally run ahead, but they will not do it at full speed and they will not pretend to be a rocket/motorbike/car/lorry/train/tank with the obligatory sound effects. They will however talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good chat. But sometimes they enjoy talking about people who are within earshot, quite loudly! This is most of the time all fine, until some poor unsuspecting sole becomes subjected to a four year olds scrutiny. Everything comes under question; their dress-sense, their hair colour, their choice of bag/shoes/coat. It can be very draining, and sometimes embarrassing.

At home:

With a little boy: oh lordy where do I start. I’ll start with the fact the they do not sit still, unless it is on the potty/toilet or sleeping. They will run around pretending to be “Superman” and rescuing you – this involves running up behind you, usually when you’re in the kitchen cooking dinner and wrapping their arms around your legs shouting “saved you”. They will run up and down the lounge/kitchen/hallway, wherever they happen to be, racing with themselves – slapping the wall and turn around to race back again. I found this lovely to watch at first, but now it just tires me out. They will run up and down the stairs as fast as they can, giving you a mini-heart attack every-time. They will fling themselves over the back of the sofa, headfirst, and find it highly amusing when you try to stop them repeating it, this making them want to keep doing it. Quite simply; THEY DO NOT SIT STILL!

With a little girl: Girls will sit quietly playing with their toys in the corner of the bedroom, tucked behind a chair, under a table. It will be a make believe game and usually involves some kind of doll/Barbie/soft toy. BEWARE: if they are too quiet, it may be worth investigating! My make up drawer was recently been tampered with….! They will cuddle up with you on the sofa, to watch a bit of telly which is absolutely lovely. However, sometimes this is not as straight forward as it sounds. “Mummy, can you tickle my feet?” “Mummy, can you play with my hair?” “Mummy, can you plait Barbie’s hair?” They will come into the kitchen to watch you cooking and ask to help. Please don’t get me wrong with this, but my kitchen is a galley-style kitchen (quite narrow and long) and sometimes having a child asking to help/watch is not what I need when doing dinner. Generally girls do not run around being noisy and boisterous.

So is the difference in the sexes something they are born with. Is it in their DNA to be completely different? Or do we condition them, subconsciously from birth to act and play in a certain manner? I guess it’s the age old argument of dressing girls in pink and boys in boy. If we didn’t do it, would they grow to like those colours naturally? Blue is a masculine colour, whereas pink is girly and “not for boys”.

In the end Trim and I agreed that we should swap children for a day, so that we can each have a break from our own child and embrace a day with a child of the opposite sex. Whether we will actually do this, remains to be seen. But it would be interesting.

A weekend of firsts – Part two.

Ipswich Town F.C.

Ipswich Town F.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Football. I guess it’s a boy/man thing. I don’t understand it. I don’t like it. It bores me to watch it on telly. Footballers are, in my own opinion, overpaid and underworked.  I can’t comprehend how football supporters get so worked up about it, even going to the extreme of fighting/clashing over the game. Going to an actual match though is a very different kettle of fish. I don’t actually mind going to a football match.

G, my youngest, has shown an interest in football for quite a while now – he is only 2 years old – but he will sit and watch it on telly, he loves chasing and kicking a ball around the house (despite yours truly repeatedly telling him not to!), and has even started making goals out of inanimate objects to play shooting goals in the garden. Its exceptionally sweet to watch. But makes me wonder if it is a natural thing for boys to take an interest in sport. Are they drawn to any physical activity that requires a ball? Is it in their DNA? Part of the “cave-man” make up. Is it testosterone related?

It’s not just football G likes. Rugby is also a favourite. (I DO shout LOUD if his rugby ball is thrown around the house Those things have a life of their own!). Cricket, he will also sit and watch this too – whereas it sends me to sleep!

With this in mind the Husband took G to his first football match last Saturday. It has been something we had been discussing for a while. Worried he was too young, would get bored, hungry, etc , etc. However, we bit the bullet and decided to go for it. (I selfishly I encouraged it – it allowed me to do some girly shopping with my girls, without a buggy to manoeuvre around, something I have not done properly in around four years!).

Husband has had a season ticket at Ipswich Town Football Club for many years and goes regularly to all home matches with Mr D, his long time friend, and sometimes Mr D’s daughter goes too. Last season L used to tag along, but this year she’s decided she’s bored of football. Husband continues to go, albeit childless, therefore leaving all three children with one fully paid up subscribed member for the football widows association.  There are many members; you can see us usually on a Saturday afternoon walking around in whatever town centre is our location of choice/nearest football ground, being harassed by the children left in our care, surrounded by numerous carrier bags, being relentlessly nagged – “Muuuuuuum! can I have insert-an-unneeded-and-so-to-be-unloved-and-discarded-toy-here?”, ” Muuuum! I’m thirsty.”, “Muuuuum, I’m hungry.”, “But Muuuum I reeeeeeeaaallly neeeeeed one of these!”, and my favourite “Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuum I really really need a wee/poo NOW!”  You know who we are, you’ve avoided us and I don’t blame you. We are frazzled, hot, sweaty, shouty, mutter swear words under our breath, give sheepish smiles to those people that our children offend/shove. We are the mums who are close to tears and constantly checking our watch to see how much longer we have to endure this torture while our beloved spouses are tucked away in the football ground thoroughly enjoying their child-free afternoon.

So you can imagine my delight when last weekend Husband announced that he would take G to football! I would tell you that I ran around the house whooping, cheering and punching the air, but I didn’t. I calmly and quietly agreed and voiced the obvious concerns any mum would have – “You’ll have to take his rucksack with a snack, a nappy, a bottle of water/milk, some wet-wipes.”, “how will you cope if he gets bored?” “You won’t leave him unattended will you?”. I voiced these concerns, but actually in all honesty, I was going through the motions. G WAS GOING TO FOOTBALL AND I WAS GOING SHOPPING WITH MY GIRLS! I did a little and very much unwitnessed victory dance and concentrated on my afternoon of no buggy, girly shopping.

Of course I was the teeniest bit nervous about leaving my beautiful boy. Of course I knew he would be fine. Of course I’m worried that he’ll turn into a football hooligan. Of course I hoped he liked it enough to go again.

He looked so miniature walking into the ground with Daddy and “Uncle D”. But he went off with such a face-filled smile, that I relaxed and almost skipped off to the highstreet. And the girls and I had a lovely time. Ok so I still got frazzled and my feet still ached. I had to endure two trips to Claire’s Accessories, fight my way around and spend an age queuing in Primark, I still had to move at the speed of light to stop T from knocking over some gorgeous porcelain figures in a gift shop, do one toilet trip and we finished by a lengthy but in my opinion deserved stop of Costa coffee.

Meeting the boys back at the car, brought home to me just how quickly G has grown up in those few short hours. He was carrying a brand new football and wearing a woollen football hat, he had clearly had a lovely time. It then dawned on me, that this football match was as much for Husband as it was for G. They are each other’s favourite person and this was special time for them, just like my girly shopping was for me and my girls.

The Windy Tower of Walton on the Naze

Windy CastleThe weather man has got the forecast wrong, again! No sunshine, no hot temperatures. But as it’s not raining or windy, we decided to make the most of a lazy Saturday and take the kids up to what we call “Windy Tower”. It’s actually called The Naze Tower, but anyone who enjoys sitting through hours of Peppa Pig will understand the Windy Tower reference.

We bundled the two youngest into the trailer which I usually attach to my bike, however, if you’ve been following you’ll know that my bike is currently out of action due to the lack of saddle! The trailer is able to used a large stroller, slightly wider than a standard double buggy, but with more freedom. The children love it!

We had a lovely time, despite the overcast weather. The Naze Tower is approximately a ten minute walk from our house, but once you’re there, you feel miles away from anywhere.

It is steeped in history and was extremely relevant to World War 2. It’s also a very popular place for dog -walkers, families, school geography excursions. Peace and quiet, fresh air, open space for children to run around. You also occasionally get to see the rescue RNLI helicopter doing a practice flight over head or out at sea.

(for further information I would urge you to visit: http://www.nazetower.co.uk   or http://www.walton-on-the-naze.com).

We stopped off at the Tower before our walk, for a sit down and a cuppa beforehand. Coffee and bacon roll – YUM! That was me anyway. Everyone had something; Husband coffee and bacon roll (copy-cat), T and G shared a jacket potato with cheese and had a fruit squash each and stepdaughter, E, had coffee and a sausage roll. It’s lovely to eat outside and for children to enjoy it too. But before they got too comfortable and began making requests for ice-creams (!) we left and started our walk around the Naze and following the trail from one Pillar box to another.

We let the children run around and walk with us, although G isn’t as fast as the rest of us, but that made us slow down. We’ve done the walk so many times in the past, but don’t ever really get bored of it. Its brilliant for the children to get in amongst the bushes and overgrowth, to touch things (although we had to watch all the stinging nettles), to try to find insects, etc.

I somehow managed to take 106 photos in the space of 2 hours! But I obviously cannot put them all on here, so have picked out a selections for you.

I moan, of course I do, about where I live about the things that aggravate me (who doesn’t). But I know I am very lucky to live here with such a wonderfully important and enjoyable place right on my doorstep!

Husband, T & GWalking home. Can you see my house?