Sunday, 30 August 2015

A fun family day out at Crystal Palace Park!

I feel like I have got so much to tell you about our summer! We have been very busy juggling work and enjoying some quality family time.

But whilst it's fresh in my mind, I will tell you about today! 

I have been wanting to go to Crystal Palace Park for ages, it's about an hour from us and from what I had heard it was a really good, free, day out! 

So this morning we packed a picnic and set off, not really knowing what we would find when we got there! 

The first thing we found was a lovely farm (which was free!) it was part of a college. We saw a pig, with her piglets, some ponies, some goats, llamas, ducks, geese, ferrets, sheep, birds, and lots of reptiles! 

Then we walked round the park hunting for dinosaurs! There were huge models that were actually built in the Victorian era, and it was really interesting to see how scientists imagine dinosaurs to look has changed over the years. 

Chester spotted the boating lake so we thought why not, but of course Millie and I were the passengers! 

We then stumbled across the play park, which was of course dinosaur themed and totally awesome! 

We treated the kiddies to coloured ice creams and wandered over to watch people race their giant remote controlled cars around a track, which both children would of happily watched all day! 

We spent the rest of the day exploring everything else that the park has to offer. It really was a fantastic family day! It was free (apart from the pedalo and the ice creams we brought) and kept the children entertained for the whole day. I really love days like this, and am very pleased that I can add Crystal Palace Park to my list of places were love.

I hope you are having a great bank holiday weekend, what have you been up to so far? 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Celebrating National Doll Day with Zapf Creations.

Honestly, the things I do for my children! I am sure I have told you before, but growing up, I was never in to dolls like most girls my age. I was more into football and scaletrix. I suppose I have my Dad to thank for that! Millie however, is very much in to dolls, in fact she is the exact opposite of me!

So when we were invited to help celebrate National Doll Day at the Museum of Childhood with Zapf Creations, I simply couldn't turn it down! I mean Millie would have never forgiven me!

We had a fantastic time looking at different dolls and doll houses around the museum, discussing how they have changed over the years.

Thank goodness dolls have evolved since the Victorian times, I simply wouldn't be able to sleep at night with those kind of dolls staring at me!

Then it was into a lovely room, that I can only describe as Millie's dream come true! It was full of dolls and doll related items. Ready for everyone to play with them! I don't think Millie knew what to play with first, she was so overwhelmed!

As the morning went on, it became clear that Millie really loved the Baby Born products. From the dolls, to the pushchairs she loved it all.

She became fascinated with changing nappies and clothes. In particular on the boy doll! I think because it had parts that she hasn't got, she really wanted to see how it went to the toilet!

Millie was allowed to choose a doll to bring home with her, and it was no surprise when she chose the Baby Born Interactive boy doll. He has since been named Chester (after her big brother) and he hasn't left her side! She has taken him to the childminders, to the park, around the grandparents houses. His 'cot' which she has made in her bed for him is full of blankets and teddies to keep him company at night, and just like a real baby he had a bedwetting incident the other day, meaning we had to change all the sheets! Millie found this hilarious!

I really love the fact that Millie really wants to use dolls and doll accessories to further her imagination and the way she plays. Its really lovely watching her create her own little world.

Do your children love playing with dolls too? Baby Born have got some fantastic products in their range at the moment and I will be telling you lots more about them very soon, so watch this space!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Summer holiday guilt of a working Mum

I was very aware when taking my new job, that sacrifices would have to be made in order for the new routine to work. I knew that the thing I would find the hardest would be the children's School holidays.

We are now 2 weeks into the summer holidays and I am finding it hard to put in to words the guilt I am feeling. It's a very strange kind of guilt, because I do not regret going back to work, in fact I am really enjoying it. But I do feel incredibly guilty that the children are being pushed from pillar to post so that I can go to work. 

As usual they have both taken it in their stride and so far have been amazing, not complained once. The only way I know that some days have been too much for them is when they either fall asleep early, get up late or have tired tantrums. 

I think the main reason I feel so incredibly guilty is that I remember when I was younger getting passed between grandparents and my mums friends all summer long, so that my parents could go to work. I desperately didn't want to repeat that with my children, but at the same time, I know it is the best option for us. I know that by working we will actually be able to do more fun things as a family. So in the long run it is for their benefit. 

It's slightly different for Chester and Millie, because we have no family (aside from my sister) near by. Sadly when we moved 40 minutes away from family a lot of them decided we were simply too far away to come and visit! My parents actually live even further away, in Dorset. 

So what we are having to do is pay for extra childcare and that has been a massive shock to the system! 

They are either at Millie's childminders or at Chesters after school club (which turns into a holiday club for summer). They are really enjoying the days and have so far been to Pizza Hut, the cinema, played golf and visited a farm! Not to mention all the picnics in the park! I know they are enjoying it, I just feel guilty because I am not doing it with them. 

My Mum has taken a week off of work next week and has offered to have the children down there, then I will join them a week later. I am incredibly grateful to my parents for offering and it has really helped us out, not just financially but for peace of mind too. Chester and Millie are extremely excited about their trip to Nannie and Grandads. 

Craig's Mum works in a School so has the whole summer off, so I have asked her if she wouldn't mind looking after them a couple of times too. This helps me out when I have a couple of things going on at work that mean my days have to start earlier. 

I know in my heart that going back to work full time was the right thing to do, for all of us, and I don't think I would be normal if I didn't feel a little guilty. But I do think the long 6 weeks summer holidays is going to take a lot of getting used to! 

Are you a full time working parent? How are you coping with the holidays so far?