The Summer Holiday Fear

The Summer Holiday Fear

The Summer Holiday Fear

Put your hands up in the air (put your hands up in the air) if The Summer Holiday Fear has set in.

 

The Fear encompasses all that goes with trying to entertain small people for an entire 6+ weeks. From the infinite piles of laundry, to the arguments over who sat where last, I felt it was about time it was given a name. 

Holiday Blues makes it sound morose and quiet, which it is anything but. It’s high octane and bloody loud.

Schools Out for Summer whilst it’s an epic song, makes it sound thrilling and exciting. Where in actual fact, particularly if it’s raining, its boring and quite frankly a bit beige.

Summer vibes perhaps? That wonderful warm, sun kissed feeling, feet up with a perfectly chilled glass of Rose in hand, watching the world go by. I bet you can practically taste it. But hold up, you need to fix the soggy, and now unfixable but oh so cute Fairy House, whilst chasing a wasp colony that appears to descend from nowhere, just as you sit down. Then the sun goes in, and a small person kicks your now warm wine over en route to tell you why punching their sibling was a justifiable action. Then you remember why, summer holidays can be, well, a bit shit. 

Whilst we have successfully managed to make it towards our 4th week, it has not been without some epic fighting, both physically and mentally. My usual enjoyment of being with my tribe, some how evaporates upon getting in the car on the last day of term. By the time we are paying homage to Maccy D’s en route home, The Summer Holiday Fear is full on established.  

The Summer Holiday Fear

I can’t decide if it is just because of the impending month(s) ahead of us, or there is a more to it than just The Fear?  I think it is a genuine dread of consistently being a responsible adult. This is not something that comes naturally to me. In my opinion, we have too many years ahead of us where being responsible is the only choice. Therefore I am rebelling. There are no reasons I can see that require me to be an actual bonafide adult in the foreseeable future. I potentially need to put my glasses on, look a little closer,  as Im sure there are many a reason. But, we’ve made it 9 years in on the Mummy front, and survived! Tell me I’m not the only one winging it?

Chalkboard with writing and books

Pink Hair, Don’t Care

As I am sure is the case in every family, we have our little Summer Holiday traditions, like the aforementioned McDonalds on the last day of term. One of our favourites, and the rebel in me loves, is the girls and I having pink hair. This began a few years ago, when we were in Spain and I had bought a pink shampoo and conditioner in duty free. It was literally the most fun, so has become a deep rooted girly pamper, and a quiet interval from The Fear.

As The Hubs works at home through the summer, he isnt with us by rule for very long. So pink hair, don’t care was absolutely no problem, when it is only Team Twiglet and I, in a country where we are just a face in a sea of many. As our summer holidays have taken a different format this year, we are on more of a staycay than a vacay. But, as all responsible (cough cough) mothers would do, I found a solution to our predicament. 

I left the rule book by the door, and we did what we do best. We popped into Terence Paul and watched the magic happen. It was absolutely the most fun we have had in ages. The girls are so proud of their pink hair, as am I! 

Much to my disappointment, Thing 2 wasn’t so keen on having pink hair, but I will work on him.

For now at least 3/4 of Team Twiglet have pink hair, and guess what, WE DON’T CARE! 

Summer Holiday Survival

Summer Holiday Survival

Summer Holiday Survival

I am proud to report we have successfully navigated almost 3 weeks of our ridiculously long 9 week Summer Holidays. Whilst I appreciate that Team Twiglet need to recharge their batteries, I swear 4 weeks would be more than enough to get them back to Duracell powered mini beasts. I am seriously running out of ideas of how to entertain three practically feral attention seekers. How do you entertain your tribe when the school holidays strike? Some days seem to be so much easier than others, but I am yet to figure out what is the formula to success. Other days, it is just a matter of surviving.

#BossBaby’s Squeal

#BossBaby has a very frustrating habit of squealing. Given we are pretty housebound due to my operation, it has become very, very annoying. She squeals in delight, in fright and always within earshot of adults if she is at risk of not getting her own way. Its akin to running your fingers down a chalk board, it practically makes your ears bleed. A completely unnecessary noise, especially if it is going to continue for the duration of the summer holidays!

She is the youngest, the baby of our family and I think she is struggling with the idea of growing up. She likes to be a triplet when it suits her, and join in with Thing 1 and Thing 2. However, she likes to be the baby too. It must be a very difficult road to navigate, especially as the older two are twins. But the squealing is bloody annoying. Luckily for her, I am on some awesome painkillers right now, so I’m a lot more relaxed than usual. I fear for her safety when the pain goes and I am back to my over-strict self. 

On top of a squealing #BossBaby it pains me to say that I think Thing 1 is a hormonal angry pants. Her ability to go from happy to dangerously cross is enough to rival #BossBaby’s squeal to tears ratio. She has always had a temper, as a baby, Thing 1 was a biter. She would get so angry, that if she couldn’t find someone else to bite, she would resort to clamping her razor sharp gnashes around her own arm! The naughty step appeared to be her favourite place to reside in her formative years.

Even to this day, if the red mist descends over her, I suggest you run and take cover. On the upside, at least she only screams and shouts these days, I don’t fancy being bitten by her fully formed adult teeth. 

The naughty step is still in regular use, particularly in the summer holidays. It seems to be the best place to put a child who has lost the ability to be reasonable. #BossBaby has been known to voluntarily put herself on the step in order to give herself some time out. She has always been a solitary creature, and can often be found meditating on the trampoline.

Instagram Worthy Summer Holidays

I often see insta-worthy family pictures of angelic looking kids and stunning parents. Perhaps enjoying an ice cream by the sea, joyfully happy because they are all having the best summer holiday. How do families do this? I would absolutely love to know how everyone looks so angelic and perfect. Stock photos and instagram gems are not good for the soul! I can’t remember the last time we took a picture together. One with everyone looking at the camera, let alone stylishly dressed with perfectly quaffed hair.

Thing 1’s hair is like a rug, sadly she inherited the frizzfro from me, unruly curls that misbehave regardless. Her idea of brushing it, is to do the two side over her shoulders. Who needs to do the back anyway? #BossBaby isn’t much better it has to be said, but as her hair is less curly, so we have less of a fight when it needs brushing. I think I need to buy shares in Tangle Tezeer. We quite literally have one in every room, handbag and even in the car!

Team Twiglet’s Crazy Shake

After a 10 minute search to try and find a picture of us as a family, I have given up hope. I have found pictures of missing socks, shoes and blazers. As well as mouth ulcers and broken toes, but alas, not a single photo of us all, let alone an instagram worthy one!

When I am more proficient at using my fancy pants new camera, I will endeavour to rectify the lack of family photos. However, Im not holding out much hope that we will magically turn into the perfect instagram family. So instead I am going to pop this little delight in. Team Twiglet endeavour to take one nice photo, followed by a Crazy Shake. Which invariably descends into laughter and typically looks like this.

Maybe this is why we have no decent pictures, and live a less than insta-perfect life. I wonder how many filters and photoshop trickery it would take to make us insta worthy? I don’t think anyone has the time or resources to do that. It would be tantamount to working a miracle. So you’ll be pleased to know my squealing, hormonal and hay fever ridden Team Twiglet will regularly be donating a Crazy Shake or two for your entertainment throughout the summer holiday, 

Shake your crazy’s guys, its fun,

The Mummy Concierge

The Mummy Concierge

The Mummy Concierge offers you personalised planning from bump to baby. How amazing does that sound? When I fell pregnant it was a huge, HUGE surprise. Given the amount of treatment I had received, there was little hope that my ovaries were in good enough nick to conceive naturally. I have an ongoing battle with that annoying thing called cancer – more on that here -> https://parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk/the-big-c/. In order to start on the IVF programme, we were advised to “stop being careful” for 18 months, with the view that we would then begin to try to introduce children into this world, however that was possible.

Little did we know, 4 months into our 18 month plan, we would be fortunate enough to conceive naturally! An as if that news couldn’t get any better, we were expecting TWINS.

Now, I wouldn’t swap them for the world, but boy was it tough. From “peeing on a stick” right through to my emergency c-section, it wasn’t plain sailing. On top of that, my level of disorganisation was shameful. Thing 1 and Thing 2 arrived so early we hadn’t even had the car seats delivered. Fail numero uno considering you need to have one in order to take bubs/bubbas home from hospital with you.

Although not required immediately, the nursery still had the lingering odour of fresh paint, the blinds were yet to be hung, and even the heating was a bit sketchy. But alas, they were ready to make their entrance into the world, regardless of how unprepared I was! We landed, twins and all, with a (still ginormous postpartum) bump.

What The Mummy Concierge offers

Tiffany offers a service that will cover all the lists of lists that daunts us all about impending parenthood. Who here loves a list? “Me” I hear you say, but I’m guessing, like me, only the ones you manage to tick off! Which was definitely not the case in the aforementioned scenario. It is so very important to get the help and guidance you personally need, and no amount of blogging me, you or the other millions of wonderful people out there do, can achieve this. I certainly don’t have all the answers or the ability to offer all the guidance you seek for the newest member(s) of your family. 

Aiding in everything from personal confidence to pram purchasing, Tiffany endeavours to ensure the transition from bump to baby is a seamless as possible. Although, I have to say, sleepless nights are pretty much a guarantee, if you were unaware of this, I am sorry to be the one to break it to you. On the upside, Tiffany can even aid in the night time routine, she is practically a real life super hero, who is contactable by email tiffany@themummyconcierge.com day, or night. 

Stylish Mama’s To Be

Bump support and style are two key areas The Mummy Concierge covers, which would have been of such benefit to me and my humongous sized bump. I struggle to tick the “stylish” box naturally, and I definitely didn’t achieve the coveted pregnancy glow. Primarily because I was either being sick, felt sick, or was sick of being sick for pretty much the entirety of both pregnancies. I am gutted this service wasn’t available when I was green (morning sickness/nerves/shit the bed I’m having twins/all of the above) with worry about becoming a first time Mummy. 

If there is an area in parenting you need help, advice or assistance on, I would thoroughly recommend visiting www.themummyconcierge.com

Tiffany’s testimonials go to show what an amazing job she has done for each of her clients, I only wish I had my name on there! Her website is clean, easy to use and informative. Given the multiple ways to contact Tiffany, it leads me to believe she is incredibly dedicated to her clients and the role she plays in the amazing journey of bringing a little bundle of joy in to this world.

I am a full-time hands-on Mama and I know I still need all the help I can get – even if my #BossBaby is 7 (years) old already. Whilst Im a huge advocate of finding your own way in life, sometimes knowing a (wo)man who can is the most emotional and time efficient option available. 

Have a peep, Im sure you will love what she offers just as much as I do,

Summer Holiday’s are here.

School’s Out

Summer Holiday’s

So that’s it, School is breaking up for Summer Holiday’s in T-minus 2 hours. Oh.my.word. I have dread and excitement flowing through my veins in equal amounts. Shortly to be replaced by wine. Well, not too soon, I try to wait until after 5pm, even on a Friday. This is highly dependent on how well this afternoons emergency shopping trip goes. The Twiglets have grown out of EVERYTHING except their school uniform, which is in literal tatters. Come the last term of the academic year, I refuse to replace anything. Even if that means odd socks/shoes/no tie/going to school in pyjamas. This is not because I am a horrible, unloving beast. It is simply a matter of economics.

Whatever I purchase now will inevitably be lost, damaged or grown out of come September, so we go with the feral look for most of June and early July. I feel zero guilt for this, school uniform is chuffing expensive, Thing 2 is rocking size 8 (!!!) shoes. Which come with VAT attached so work out exceptionally chuffing expensive, especially when he lost one (and only one) within the first 2 weeks of Year 4. Yep, he played games with one shoe. I would love to be able to regale the story of him finding it, but alas no, its MIA, probably being used as a boat by the unintended recipient of Big Foots donation.  

Boats aside, Team Twiglet are going to be kitted out this avo in order to have actual clothes to play out in, not pjs. Don’t judge, its only in the garden, and is entirely common place of a weekend in The Mad House. When we leave the house they are instructed to at least put a hoody over their polar bear adorned fluffy tops of dreams, but it isn’t a guarantee. I endeavour however to not go out in my pj’s very often, despite them being my most favourite item of clothing. Past this afternoons plan, I have no clue how I am going to keep 3 kids entertained for a near on 9 week long school summer holidays.

Shit a brick, holiday clubs here we come #staycay. We live a little way from school, so I am hoping to utilise local activities as will be without wheels for a while post op. However, have legs, will travel. The set up here is fab https://everybody.org.uk/summer-holiday-activities-launched-at-everybody/ well worth a peep if in need of ideas.  All else fails, the sprinkler is going on, tarpaulin laid over the grass and a good dash of fairy liquid. Nailed it. Health and Safety aside, its pretty much the most fun you can muster in a jiffy. My heart can’t always take the pace of impending danger though, so I leave that to The Hubs. I just get the cleaning up job – yey. FYI fairy liquid turns tiles into death traps, WEAR SHOES as the first line of defence against  inevitable clean up related injuries.

 

Spending the Summer Holiday’s with Friends

 

The Mad House is permanently mental, whether I have 3 or 15 kids. I endeavour to have very much an open house policy for Team Twiglet and their friends to enjoy. We invariably have multiple extra kids throughout most holidays. I even manage to gain extra kids ON holiday, which is harder to facilitate when our entire living space is an adjoining hotel room, but none the less, we give it a whirl. I do find that extra kids, dilute Team Twiglets bickering (that and Harry Potter audio books https://www.audible.co.uk ). Im not sure if it is just because my lot have the fear of death put on them should they misbehave when friends or round, or because it genuinely reduces their entirely unfounded, albeit only occasional mutual hatred of each other.

Cousin Love

 

We are so very blessed to live close to family, and I am endeavouring to completely exploit this fact over the Summer Break. It is such a long time to be without lessons, structure and head space, it is vital I occupy those little minds with something positive instead of incessant cat calls of “Im boorrrreeedd” or “she looked at me funny” or varying versions of the same shit, different day https://parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk/uncategorized/we-have-survived-half-term/ This is where cousins come in super handy. Family in general, not just those related by blood, are invaluable when life kicks off. We all have those kids we treat as our own. The ones we can comfortably feed, water, get to sleep, love unconditionally and bollock because they are practically Team Twiglet anyways. Over summer, spending time with these pocket of people are vital to everyones sanity. Thing 1 is a big advocate of head space, and tries to use it to manage her savage temper (which is DIRE!) and by adding family into the mix, its feasible to dedicate a little time per child, one on one.

When you have twins, one on one time isn’t something you can offer very often. As Team Twiglet comprise of Girl/Boy/Girl, invariably when we divide and concur, I get the girls and The Hubs gets Thing 2. As a result, Thing 1 rarely gets the head space she so desperately craves. But, with a little juggling and a lot of coffee, I am hopeful we can facilitate this.

 

School Summer Holiday’s 2019 Team Twiglet Tactics

 

  • Headspace for each memeber of Team Twiglet and Family.
  • Economical entertainment options such as picnics and danger (water) slides.
  • Fun with friends, adult and child alike.
  • Wine.
  • Braving a potential Road Trip round Europe….I have no words.
  • Completing all homework before the last damn week of the holidays – despite saying this EVERY year, I am determined.
  • Taking up a new hobby we can all learn together – Im thinking learning Spanish maybe – again I say this every Summer…
  • Avoid sunburn – I am going to be an SFF warrior and disregard all protests https://parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk/the-twiglets/childrens-suncream-summer-holidays/ 
  • Exercise – I have established Team Twiglet (The Hubs and I included) are embarrassingly unfit! I am basically going to bootcamp their asses through to September….I might even order a whistle. Whilst I may be out of action physically, I can holler instrcutions to the best of my ability.
  • Yeah, who am I kidding, definitely more wine.
  • Have FUN – I know this should have been the first on the list but I’m yet to remember that is the point of the Summer Holidays, primarily because I can not believe they break up at midday.

Happy Summer Holiday’s, I wish luck and love to one and all, stay strong Team Mad House, we’ve got this (honest),

Sun Creams Out, Sun Burns Out

Sun Creams Out, Sun Burns Out

Sun Screen

The SPF Dream

Finally, the sun is shining. In the Uk. In July. It has indeed taken a while to warm up in to the throws of summer time, but as I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking, I have decided on behalf of the entire country, that this is here to stay. Get your Sun Tan Lotion  ready, it’s going to be a scorcher. I have also established, that the pink spot on my forehead requires regular REAPPLYING of Sun cream  50 to avoid crisping nicely on this balmy evening in The Chesh.

 

SPF is a magical invention. I do not tan. In fact, I burn if I even see the sun peeping through the clouds on a stormy day. Ok, maybe I wouldnt quite burn, but I have successfully been bed ridden from lack of sunblocker with sun stroke in Devon. In March. So its safe to say, my sun survival technique needs work. I have previously show cased my ouchie-ness for all to see https://parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk/uncategorized/life-fails-without-pigtails/ and despite multiple occasions where I should know better, I continue to excel myself in my burn-ability level.

 

This isn’t something I take lightly, my Gramps was a redhead and I most definitely inherited his gene pool, my freckles join up as opposed to my skin goes brown. Buuuut, three kids later and I kinda have to admit to forgetting I need to reapply. I go in cream first, first thing in the morning, and my mental tick list is complete. The reapply method doesn’t seem to make its way on to said list. I am however determined, and learning from many a previous mistake.

 

This summer I have discovered there are different creams for different areas. I actually detest the feel of suncream, and have spent many a year trying to find a good textured cream, that comes in a high enough SPF and doesn’t make me spotty and gross. Oh and it can’t taste gross either, otherwise there is zero hope of it making its way to my face. With the kids Summer Holidays just around the corner (as in Friday folks) I have to be on my suncream A game. 

Suncream/SPF Options 

 

Soltan https://www.boots.com/soltan is a family fave. Reasonably priced, easy to apply and relatively mess free. Downside is, it does seem to stain white clothes an irreversible shade of yellow, so apply carefully. 

Piz Buin https://www.pizbuin.com/# I have tried many various versions and SPFs of Piz Buin and all to some success. My favourite product is their SPF 50 Face cream https://www.pizbuin.com/en/our-products/allergy/ which was great even on my super sensitive skin. 

Nivea https://www.nivea.co.uk/shop/sun is probably my all round favourite for the children particularly. It is easy to apply and comes in various formats that make it easy for the kids to see where they’ve already applied, which is useful as Team Twiglet get older and more independent (awkward)

Hawaiian Tropics https://www.hawaiian-tropic.co.uk It smells divine and goes on like moisturiser, which for a suncream-a-phobe is literally a dream. The face cream is my favourite and whilst not as high SPF as Piz Buin, it goes on in a similar way to a BB cream. Im not sure if there is tint in the cream itself, but I feel less pasty once I’ve put it on, so even if its only psychological, its a win from me.

Unfortunately, I am aware there can be allergies to suncreams, so please only take this as my opinion, it is not based on scientific evidence, simply my experiences and stupidity when it comes to being a strawberry blonde determined to go brown.

I am fully confident however in my assessment of the aforementioned summer that has hit the UK. That I shall have unabashed faith in, get your sunnies out, my legs are at risk of being on show,

We have survived Half Term

Actually, we have survived until the Friday of the Half term. So I potentially need to alter my title, but it wouldn’t be quite as catchy (because it’s ever so witty as it currently stands 🙄🤦🏼‍♀️) Hurrah to all parents who have made it! I hate to break it to you but the ever so, unnecessarily long Summer Holidays are just around the corner. In warm up for such a ridiculously long break from school we have argued/debated/cried over anything and everything. I have yet to understand how children can achieve a crescendo level of screaming in 10 seconds flat because someone used the wrong coloured rubber. Below are just a few examples of my thoroughly enjoyable half term:

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