To The Man In The Picture

I seem to turn to my blog when I’m hurting. Maybe it is still a little bit therapeutic.

Recently the world lost another soul. But this wasn’t a stranger, this was someone who is so loved, up and down the country and probably around the world.

You never really think about how many lives you touch until you are faced with loss. But this person touched so many lives. Including ours.

I had the most idyllic childhood. The older I get the more I realise just how lucky I was. One thing this childhood contained was the typical yearly holiday. But we didn’t just go anywhere. We went to one place.

Every single year.

This one place has been filled with hundreds of people and faces. It’s a second home for me and mine and it is the most beautiful place I have ever been.

Places like this are always made better by the people you meet. And my god didn’t we meet some amazing people.

We rented the same home every time we went. The people who owned the home became friends. They became real people that we really cared about.

As I grew up we stopped going. I became a moody teen and my brother and sister became adults with their own lives. But eventually, all of us hit that moment when we had to return. Sometimes for a night. Sometimes for several.

We always went back to the same people. People who never forgot us, who never stopped caring and welcomed us home each and every time we came.

I was so excited so give my own children that place we call home. To take them there when we need to escape. To see the people who always greeted us with a smile. Our holiday family.

But time is a bitch, Time takes things away.  Time is not always kind.

Which couldn’t be more true.

The man in the picture..

You made our childhoods amazing. You gave us such amazing memories. The photos and the stories, we wouldn’t have those if it wasn’t for you and your wonderful family.

All the time you gave, all the phone calls with dad, you were are a very special human to us.

Last year we came down. We knew the bad news. We wanted to come to thank you for everything you and yours gave us a family.

A second place we can escape to. A place filled with amazing memories.

And now you’re gone, I didn’t ever think to go to the same place and seeing those people, would give us those type of faraway connections.

But I know so many people feel the same.

Cannot imagine what the family are going through without you.

To anyone else you are the man in the picture, but your family are everything we love about escaping there.

The world lost an amazing man who touched so many lives. Those people are rare. This world needs more of those people.

We will never forget those memories. And our children will carry those memories on.

Thank you. So much, thank you x

Getting Ready For Summer With Education Quizzes!?

I know, the whole year has nearly passed already and you are still eating Christmas chocolate. I am the same. But we have to push on and go forth in the year and face facts that the 6 weeks summer holidays is looming.

We have six whole weeks to plan for! One thing I personally like to make sure I do is to keep the girl’s minds going in terms of learning. Whilst the six weeks is to enjoy, I think it’s equally important to keep it all fresh in their mind and help keep them on track at school, ready for the next educational year.

That is where Education Quizzes comes in. This pay monthly website has everything you need to keep those little minds ticking over. They even have things to keep those big minds ticking over!

From KS1 to KS3 and plenty of specialist subjects, they have something to keep them going year round!

For the girls, we have been using Keystage 1 and Keystage 2. 

As you can see from the image below they offer the whole range of subjects for each stage. Variety and the fact that this is done online means it is far more appealing to kids.

Boredom won’t be a problem here!

I know throughout the summer holidays this will be perfect because they are rarely without a device close by! Incorporating the two together has made this much more appealing.

The quizzes themselves are all setup to be easy to navigate and super easy to read, Evie is 5 and she can navigate her way through the site without much help needed from me. Liv, of course, has no problems. She likes that she can take it in stages. Take the times tables, each number has a separate quiz, meaning that she can concentrate and learn each number in stages. Times tables are something we will be working on more over the summer.

I won’t lie, I have taken some of the quizzes. I may have got a little carried away however there’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition!

An hour or so, several times a week during the holidays will give the girls a boost in confidence when they go back to school. Of course, the site will be great for year-round learning and it would be something I would like to see incorporated into schools in the future.

There is a monthly fee of £9.99 for use of the site, however when you think about it, buying workbooks and extra bits of material throughout the year can be costly, so I think it’s more than worth it, especially if you have multiple kids!

Education quizzes is the next step in online learning and we are really enjoying the experience.

 

This is a collaborative post. However, all opinions are my own.

 

 

Small People and Elastoplast, How We Do It #TearsintoSmiles

Something that is inevitable in kids is accidents. They happen any place, anywhere. Probably even a padded room. My kids could fall over their own feet at a moments notice, seriously. Sometimes I think they do it on purpose, right at the time you have just sat down after cleaning the house, as your butt hits that sofa,

Sometimes I think they do it on purpose, right at the time you have just sat down after cleaning the house, as your butt hits that sofa, someone, somewhere will need you to kiss it better.

So I have been given the chance to work with Elastoplast and Britmums to show other parents how we deal with bumps and scrapes and turn tears into smiles

So we made a video, we love vlogging over on our family vlog channel, so we only thought it appropriate to show you in the same format.

Here is the rundown.

Firstly, watch this awesome video from Elastoplast. I actually really love this video, it sends a really nice message and you can really feel the love they put into it.

Here is my go to list of things to have around the house, for the just in case moments.

1 Always Always ALWAYS have a constant supply of plasters, this is where Elastoplast helps as far as making the plaster more appealing. Not only do they serve a purpose, but they look pretty awesome too. Have different designs and sizes, because you never know when you might need to break out a plaster.

2 Some sort of antiseptic cream. We use Drapolene because my mum did, obviously and because it’s pink and the girls love it.

3 Next is important for the summer months. Bite and sting relief spray and or cream. Essential to stop the sting and help calm your little one. Counting down until they feel the pain ease off can be helpful too. It distracts from that nasty pain and gives them something to focus on.

4 We call it a ‘bashy’ but it’s some sort of cold compress that you keep in the fridge at all times. A bag of frozen peas with a tea towel is also great. This helps with bumps, it will reduce any possible swelling and ease the pain just enough.

5 Next are wipes. We use toilet wipes because they are flushable and they are water based. They don’t tend to cause any further stinging or discomfort but they are still moist enough to clean up properly.

6 Lastly and most importantly is a distraction. I cannot express how much distraction will help when it comes to calming your little one. Whether it be a favourite toy or food, this will help to quickly take the attention away and give them something else to focus on. Find out what we use in our video 😉

So that’s it. I know oh too well how much you want to bundle them up and keep them from the little bumps of life, but we have to let them be kids and enjoy the world around them. Making sure you are prepared for any and all occasions is what us parents do best.

Check out my video below, where we demonstrate what we do when a bump occurs. Enjoy.

Now go have fun!!!!!!!

2016 Review & My Goals For 2017

Another year gone.

Madness.

I feel like this was the fastest year ever. It’s crazy.

so, 2016. I feel like 2016 will be a year that goes down in history for being the worst year ever. The deaths, the politics and the endless fighting, 2016 needs to go and sit in the corner and think about what it has done.

For me personally, it was a year of growth in myself. I’ve learnt how to stay calm in heated situations. I have learnt that family always come first and most importantly I have learnt that I want more for my little family.

More adventures, more fun, more time to be together and to learn from the world around us.

I have learnt that people change, that is life and I am okay with that.

All I can do is try my best and do what is asked of me, even if it wasn’t always well received.

I am proud of who my girls are becoming. They have blossomed at school and they are learning so much and growing as small people. I couldn’t have asked for any more from them. They have made me so incredibly proud and I hope going forward we can nurture that and keep it going.

As far as blogging goes, I am going to be giving it a back seat and concentrate on Youtube. I love the process of filming and making videos, we have so many plans going forward for both my own and the family vlogging channel. So make sure you SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss a thing 🙂

So all in all 2016 has been a year of personal growth, finding new loves and making sure we enjoy time together.

I can only hope 2017 will see us grow online and at home even more.

Hold on tight people!!!

Extreme Co-Parenting

Something that I have noticed we do these days is extreme co-parenting. It is certainly not your average co-parenting scenario.

I have to say, it’s something I struggled with in psychology. The guilt side of it. The fact I am not the be all and end all of my children’s lives. But is that really healthy?

Apparently, my concerns over this subject were unnecessary.

I think the phrase “it takes a village” came into play. And that phrase has more merit than people give it.

With the way we have to co-parent, it’s literally like the girls are being raised by a village.

Now that’s not to say if you are your child’s be all and end all that’s bad, because it most certainly is not. I envy you if this is you. But it just means that our own situation is not as damaging as I feared it was.

The girls have a network of people who love them dearly. They are never without someone to pick them up when they fall and to applaud when they fly.

Because of this extreme co-parenting, when things are hard at home, they have an escape with my own Mum and sister.

I cannot always be the ever present Mum. The hospital appointments and relapses mean sometimes I simply cannot be there.

But I have to trust the fact they have an army of other people ready to jump in when I am at my worst.

MS is a hard mistress. One who isn’t at all forgiving or thoughtful.

It doesn’t take my children into consideration.

So I have to make sure there are people there for them, the two most important people in my life.

I always feared this set up would somehow take away from me as a mother figure. But with my husband and family, we have made it work. We each play a role. A constant role, which is the most important aspect.

Kids need a constant.

All of us together, Ben, me, my Mum, my Dad, Cherry, and other family are all people who play a real role in the girls lives.

Together we have, so far anyway, shaped two incredibly bright and stable individuals who seem to take everything in their stride.

They don’t know any different.

This is their normal.

My psychologist was right, it does take a village sometimes, and it’s okay for me to be thankful for that.

kidsss