As with huge swathes of the UK we found ourselves hammered by gale force wind and blizzards. It started snowing and just didn’t stop for two days. We eventually lost our power supply, closely followed by the phone and of course my beloved internet connection! bad times
The girls thought it was all some huge adventure and of course were itching to get out into the snow. For most of the day it was just too stormy to take them out in it, their little bodies would never have stayed upright in the force of the wind and snow. Eventually though it eased enough to get outside. They charged like things possessed through it, rolled in it, made snow angels, threw snowballs and went through about 3 pairs of gloves and 2 hats each!
However, it got colder and colder and the wind picked up to quite brutal strength and the snow started again, so I had to usher them back inside and they could only gaze longingly out the window.The snow carried on until we ended up snowed in and looking like this!
I am linking up again with the brilliant Fiona from Coombe Mill for Country Kids, pop across and join in the outdoor fun, there are some fantastic ideas for enjoying the outdoors with your children.
I was fortunate enough to win a family ticket to Spots Birthday Party Theatre from a competition held by Ladybird Books newsletter. I was chuffed to bits, because both girls love Spot the Dog.
Initially I had decided to leave our little girl with Granny as the recommended age was 2+ and as most of you know, at 17 months old she’s a real handful. In the end though, I decided to take her too (glutton for punishment) I was excited at the prospect of giving them both their first taste of theatre.
We chose to go to the 13.30 show in the Grand Opera House in Belfast, a gorgeous theatre right in the heart of the city centre.
I filled my bag with food, always a winner at keeping the youngest quiet if she begins to get unruly, programmed my sat nav for the carpark (the road system has changed so much, I wasn’t sure I could remember how to get to the nearest carpark) and off we set.
We got there in plenty of time (a miracle for us these days) and as promised our tickets were waiting for us. We had great seats right down near the front and thankfully at the end of the aisle (in case, I had to make a quick exit).
The show is produced by PW Productions and at 55 mins long, a fantastic introduction to theatre for younger children. The show itself is bright, colourful and full of music and magic. It opens with Sam & Sally, Spots mum and dad looking for Spot for his birthday party. It has coloured doors and like the lift the flap Spot books they open each door in search of Spot, but instead find his favourite friends Tom, Helen and Steve and a surprising magician Marco.
I won’t spoil the show and tell you what happens, but there is lots of counting, singing, dancing and shouting, with the children actively encouraged to participate. All the children there seemed to be having a great time. My girls were loving it. Even the youngest, who was the one that I was worried about (trying to get her to sit still and watch) had an absolute ball. She clapped, cheered, bounced up and down and when the cast told the children to stand up and dance, she was right there with them all.
Our eldest was very impressed with Marco and just shouted a huge “wow” every time he did a magic trick. Their little faces glowed with delight and they were enthralled. There is a little section in the middle where the cast do the story of Cinderella and being honest this lost my girls a bit, even though they know the story of Cinderella and we still read it, they weren’t quite sure about this bit. I noticed a few of the other children in their age group were the same, but the slightly older ones were still captivated.
Unfortunately the theatre has a very strictly enforced no photography rule, so the only picture I got to take was of the girls when we first arrived and they climbed into their theatre seats. Not the easiest picture to take, as I had to hold baby sister’s seat down with my leg as she wasn’t heavy enough to stop the seat folding up on her!
I really do recommend this show if you have young children and would love to give them a taste of theatre. The running time, colour, music and fun all combines to make a great day out for them. I left with two very happy little girls who had tons of fun and didn’t destroy an ancient theatre!
They both also slept the whole way home, which is something they never do. So it was a winner. The show is currently touring the UK and you can see the dates and venues here, along with some official stage shots.
*I haven’t been compensated in any way to write this post. I won the tickets in an open competition. We just had such a great time that I wanted to share it with any of you planning a fun day out with your younger children
My husband was off work on Monday in lieu of St Patricks Day, so we I decided that the girls really needed some new clothes. Off we went into town in the pouring rain, sleet and snow.
We went into Next and I somehow managed to spend £320 just on clothes for them – Jaysus, I’ve driven cheaper cars! I got bugger all and my hubby, well, he got ziltch too.
We went for a nice lunch and of course ended up going to the book shop and coming out of there with more bags. On arriving back home, I started to unpack the clothes and get our eldest to try them on. She’s quite hard to buy clothes for, because although she’s not 3 for another week, she is very tall and gangly. She needs an age 4 in her leg length, but then ends up with the waistband adjusted so much to get them to stay up that it looks like she has no bum! This is made worse of course by the fact she’s nappy free, so there is no padding to help keep them up either.
We got to the last outfit, the one her daddy chose and yes it is lovely. However, the numpty lifted age 2-3, despite the fact I’d told him seven hundred and fifty three times that she needed 3-4 or 4-5 depending on the outfit. Stupidly, I trusted him with this one simple task and didn’t think to check in the shop.
Needless to say, there wasn’t a snowballs chance in hell of this outfit fitting her. So with much grumbling, tutting and sighing, I decided that I would nip down and change it. He dared to suggest I wait until the weekend when he was off again……..WHAT, I’m a woman, I have zero patience and couldn’t possibly wait until the weekend (even though she wouldn’t be wearing the outfit just yet)
I haven’t driven since I hurt my shoulder, but it’s feeling much better and I thought it would be fine. Our eldest came with me and we nipped back into town. This is were, I will openly admit in writing and in public that I SHOULD have listened to my husband and waited until the weekend. I parked in a different car park, one that I never park in, but one that is right beside Next. The car park was busy, however I noticed a great spot, nice and wide, easy to get in and out of and it was empty! I reversed into the space. A task that I am good at (even said husband tells me I am better at parking than him and he rarely reverse parks).
My car has a parking camera, no sensors, but a camera. I never use the camera, I always use my mirrors and over my shoulder. This time for some unexplicable (should have listened to your husband karma reason) I used the stupid camera. Suddenly there is this horrible horrible goddawful crunch. Our daughter automatically pipes up with “oooh what was that mammy?” My instant reaction was to say “it was nothing” Pah, nothing, who was i kidding. I got out of the car with my stomach in my mouth and walked around to the back. There sticking out of the wall for no feckin reason other than to break my car was a daft overflow type pipe, about 3 ft off the ground and just at the right height to shatter my back light.
Thankfully it was just the light that it broke and nothing else, but boy I felt as sick as a parrot. My daughter kept on asking “what was that mammy, what was that noise?” I carried on lying and saying “it was nothing.” We went into Next and changed her outfit, then left for home. We walked back to the car and I was hoping beyond hope that I’d imagined the whole thing, but no my light was still broken.
The worst part of all though is the fact that I had to go home and admit what happened. My untarnished driving record is now in tatters and the stupid light is going to cost me £149 for a new one. So my day out shopping cost £500 instead of £300. My husband keeps laughing and humming that stupid Crash Test Dummies song! So yes, I should have bloody listened to him….but as I pointed out to him, it is actually his fault. Had he listened to me to begin and picked up the right sized outfit none of this would have happened. As usual being female I am of course right!
I am adding this post to the #PoCoLo Post, Comment, Love linky, hosted by the brilliant Victoria of Vevivos. Just so that everyone else can laugh at my misfortune! By the way the light for my car ended up costing me £174!!!! Why not pop across and add a contribution too, it’s great fun
Discovering that I was pregnant again was both wonderful and terrifying. I worried about every twinge, lack of twinge, pain, lack of pain. I was paranoid from morning till night. My pregnancy was horrendous, not due to sickness, fatigue or discomfort. In fact I had none of those things, the actual pregnancy was very easy, but the paranoia was torture.
With each milestone that passed, I thought things would get easier, but in fact it just got worse. At our 20 week scan with our son, we chose not to find out his gender, we wanted the surprise. Even after he died, I didn’t find out until I delivered him. With this pregnancy, I had to know, I was afraid that I would be having another boy. I know that sounds daft, but I was concerned that if I was carrying a boy, I’d view him as a replacement. I know in reality that wouldn’t have happened, but at the time, it was just another worry in my growing catalogue. My instincts told me this pregnancy was different and I believed that I was carrying a girl, but my head was in such a mess, I refused to trust my instincts.
We discovered that we were indeed having a little girl. I also found out that I had a low anterior placenta and by 24 weeks, I still couldn’t feel our baby move. With our son, I had felt him constantly from about 17 weeks, so this worried me. I even bought myself a Doppler, just so that I would know first if anything bad had happened. I never wanted another Dr to tell me our baby had died.
I began to feel tiny movements at 27 weeks, they were only tiny, not the proper kicks and prods that other women felt and they were so muffled that I couldn’t determine any regular movement pattern. My consultant was wonderful, he began to bring me every week for checkups, he did everything he could to reassure me and I will always be thankful for his care. At 29 weeks, I was lying in bed when I suddenly had an enormous sensation in my stomach, it was a bit like going down the huge dip of a rollercoaster, my stomach rose into my chest, my head spun slightly and I felt nauseous. I remember gripping the edge of the mattress with my heart thumping, thinking something awful had just happened.
Then it happened…….. I got a huge kick in the ribs, my first proper kick, a little foot just stretching out and hitting me right in the rib cage. I actually lay in bed and cried this is what I was desperately waiting for. She had turned around, her head was down and her feet were now in prime kicking position. From that moment on, she became a night-time gymnast. This was a “Magic Moment”, this was a moment I will never forget, a memory I will always cherish. She was letting me know that she was there and she was just fine.
Once again it has been a horrendous week for weather, we’ve had an inkling of spring, followed closely by torrential rain, gale force wind and snow. So at the moment the girls seem to be living in their snowsuits, boots, hats and gloves.
My shoulder has been feeling much better so we’ve been venturing further than the garden. It started to snow again and they were desperate to get out into it, so we went for a big walk down the lanes. The snow wasn’t lying, but it was being driven hard at us by the wind. I didn’t realise until we got away from the shelter of the house, just how cold it was.
I opened the five bar gate and off we set. As we rounded the corner my heart sank a little, the whole lane of course was just full of puddles, great muddy puddles. A magnet to my girls, they took off at a rate of knots, before I had time to even speak and that was it, they charged through them, they splashed through them, they fell into them. All in driving snow and freezing wind.
As I write-up this post, we are on a red weather warning for up to 30cms of snow, the wind is howling and the snowsuits are washed, dried and ready if the Met Office are right!
*Update – I’m linking a little later than normal, because for once the Met Office were spot on. We have had gale force wind and horrendous snow, so I have been without power, phone or internet for about 18 hours
I am linking up again with the brilliant Country Kids and Fiona, who encourages us all to really enjoy the outdoors. Why not pop over and have a read and maybe join in, it is a fun link.