Monday, 28 October 2013

'There aren't enough days in the weekend!'


Its been an eventful weekend and although we have done a few things that i could happily write about on seperate posts, i feel exhausted and want to curl up in bed. On friday night my friend Lucie sent me a message to let me know there was a vegan festival on in Wolverhampton, so i mentioned it to Mrs M and we decided to go. We knew that the first mention of Wolverhampton, the boys would want to go to the art gallery. The vegan festival was great, there was loads of great food and new products for Opeie and his collection of allergies.


The festival was pretty busy and when you have young children these sort of events can be a little boring for them so i took them to the art gallery while Mrs M chatted with the people on the stalls, took some photos and did a bit of research for her blog. Mrs M soon caught up with us though.


We were really excited to see that the Ron Mueck exhibition was still on as Mrs M had missed it a few weeks back when i took the boys. I was really glad i got to see the exhibition again the pieces are breath taking. The boys really love the 'Wild Man' and seeing the exhibition again has made me want to see more of his work.


 We had plans for the evening but unfortunately we had to change them due to confusion with times but we got to see auntie Lottie in her new house which was great. The boys were shattered by the time we got home so bed time was inevitable. 

Clearly i must have been a good boy yesterday because today Mrs M brought me breakfast in bed which was amazing and certainly woke me up nicely. Seth was feeling in a Lego mood and wanted to make something Halloween themed so we had a quick building session while Mrs M worked on some things blog related (all will be revealed very soon).


The afternoon was taken up by blog related work and cleaning the house, we're due a serious de-cluttering session so i looked for things to get rid of while i cleaned up, it amazes me how much 'stuff' we have crammed in to this house. at 6 o'clock we decided we were heading out despite the cold weather and crazy winds. A friend of ours had posted some pictures online of the Enchanted City event going on in Wolverhampton and it was still going tonight so we wrapped up nice and warm and jumped in the car, i wasn't sure it was the best idea because of a tired Opeie but we had a great time.

There was a street party with live music, a fire pit with lit torches and the side of Barclays bank along with other buildings in the town had been transformed by amazing light shows.

 

We got to see an old friend which was great too who has opened a shop in the town called 'Shop in the square' a quaint shop full of kitsch items showcasing some of the best local hand crafted items and helping new businesses get their products on to the high street.

It was soon starting to get a little nippy so we went looking for warm drinks, it was getting on a bit and because of Opeie having quite an early nap today he was getting pretty tired and grumpy to go with it. There was a fireworks display to end the night but as that was and hour and a half on we thought it best to get the boys home and tucked up in bed.


We all had such a great weekend but as usual it went so quickly, its great to know that its half term this week though so we can squeeze some fun things in to the week. Stay tuned for Halloween craft and our usual adventures.




Sunday, 27 October 2013

"If we took a holiday. Took some time to celebrate. Just one day out of life. It would be, it would be so nice".


 It seems that summer is now a thing of the past and we are back to having our family days out ruined by the grotty weather. Last weeks pumpkin and conker hunt ended in an inevitable down pour and Mrs M has complained many times in the last week or so that she has soggy feet. Carrying Opeie about on my shoulders has now turned into me trying to avoid muddy foot marks down my coat. We need a holiday! it's been 18 months since our last proper holiday. This thought was only made more clear today when we opened the boot to get an umbrella and saw our Visit Orlando umbrella staring back at us. 


Even Seth has been desperately looking through his books for pictures of bright skies and sunshine to try and cheer himself up. I thought id write a post about booking a holiday to try and take my mind off the rain thrashing it down outside. Plus Seth has been desperate to make some airport related lego pieces.


Booking a holiday can be quite a stressful time (for Mrs M that is). She is quite the negotiator when it comes to planning that perfect family time away, so I leave her to her own devices. I may make many sarcastic comments about her habits but Mrs M's obsession with making lists has never steered us wrong yet (it's a habit that Seth seems to have taken up too, list after list after list). Once the booking is out of the way, transport sorted, insurance, money, cases, those special locks you need for those cases, transfers, car seats, travel adapters and airport parking It's time for Mrs M's pack the car with cases for a test run activity (yes she's very organised).

And then it's time for my least favourite part of the holiday, hanging around the airport waiting to depart. I never like this part and always feel a little anxious but I guess a lot of people feel the same. Sending your cases off through that black hole with plastic tassels wondering if its going to be there waiting at the other end

Having to send your hand luggage through the x-ray machine can be a little daunting too especially with all the limitations of what you can and can't take through.


 There's something about having to walk through the metal detectors that makes you feel a bit like a criminal, I'm always expecting them to go off and that sinking feeling in my stomach only goes when I've stepped through beep free. Maybe that's just me though, I get like it coming out of shops sometimes too.


Once that's out the way though there's the sitting in a waiting area for x amount of time twiddling our thumbs. We took full advantage of virgins V room last year which was great and made our waiting around that little bit more bearable.

(Mrs M has taken to living in her new Pj's while at home so it's only right that her minifigure does too)

Although the airport arrival time can be daunting its usually over within three hours and then you're on your way to your holiday destination, it's a shame that's not now for us as the rain beats off our Lounge window and I'm having to sit here wearing a jumper... And socks!!

I cant wait to get out of this country for a bit at some point this weather always puts me in this gloomy mood.



Friday, 25 October 2013

"Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit."

I don't tend to write overly lengthy posts unless its a personal one about Mrs M or the boys and how I'm feeling etc. I do this mainly because I don't want you all to get bored or seem like I'm just going on. I wrote this post a few weeks back but im only just getting round to reading through it and posting. As I was away for a weekend I thought I'd give writing a long post in parts a go...

We've had some fantastic opportunities through the blog, been to some great places and have received some amazing products, but what has made it great is the new friends we've made along the way. It's always nice to hear from PR companies wanting to work with us but its so much nicer when it's another blogger. A few months back I received an email from Rebecca over at The Beesley Buzz asking if we would like to go away with them, they had recently become bloggers for Center Parcs and were asked if they would like to bring along another family on their weekend away. I was genuinely touched that they had thought of us but was also quite shocked, although I write, I don't tend to read many other people's blogs, I don't like sitting in front of the computer if I'm not writing. I had spoken to Rebecca occasionally since we both started blogging for Nuby but I didn't expect for one second that they would want to meet us (I'll be interested to find out 'why us?' This weekend).

Well It's now 3:30 and I'm sitting outside Seth's school waiting for our weekend to begin. I can see him and Mrs M walking down the road and Opeie is already asleep in the back (he's got the right idea). We're off to Longleat and I'm hoping its a smooth journey down (I'll write some more once were there)....


The Journey was actually stress free apart from Opeie throwing up about 20 miles away from Longleat (luckily he caught most of it on the iPad screen, oh joy). We arrived about 6:45, the weather was looking pretty bleak but we were all in good spirits. 


As we drove up to our cabin we could see Rebecca in the kitchen cooking and the kids running about, its a very odd feeling meeting another blogger, when you read about someones family and what they get up to it can feel like you have been friends with them for years but meeting in person is a little like meeting someone famous. As expected they were very friendly, the kids were great and you could tell they were a very happy and loving family. Richard helped us in with the bags and we had a little chat before heading to our cabin to make some food. Center Parcs had organised a HUGE amount of welcome food for us which was so kind and unexpected.

The cabin was beautiful and clean, with very up to date decor, what i loved most was the placement of each cabin, even though there was a cabin either side of us the positioning of each one made it feel like we were the only cabin in the forest which to me gave it a very private and romantic feel.



Mrs M made a beautiful tea of salmon and scallops but forgot to put the extractor fan on in the excitement so within the first hour of being there we had an (Ear piercing) smoke alarm blaring away and i couldn't get it to stop (oops). Eventually it stopped but the ringing in our heads continued for some time. We unpacked our bags a little and the boys changed in to their Pj's, it was time for cuddles. 


They were both very excited and running about the cabin, The cabin is huge and because Opeie still co sleeps we ended up with a spare room. Because he co sleeps (and is a terrible bed hogger for a 2 year old), we moved one of the spare single beds to our room and made ourselves an uber bed (i was looking forward to a comfortable nights sleep, not sleeping on the edge of the bed).


Around 9 there was a knock at the door, it was Richard letting us know he was moving the car (as you can't park next to your cabin's at Center Parcs). The car park was a fair drive and in the dark i knew the walk back was going to be interesting, there are buses that run to every cabin but we decided to walk and it gave me and Richard a great chance to get to know each other. Instantly we found something in common, we both have very poor navigational skills in rain and darkness. My take a step back and let the other person guide us has never let me down before so i went with that option (at least i had someone to blame if we were out all night). 40 minutes later we found our way back to our families (it will be nice tomorrow to see what Center Parcs looks like in the daylight). The shower was lush and i was happy to get into my PJ's and have a cuddle with Mrs M. As soon as i have finished this part of the post I'm off to try out our make shift mega bed, goodnight...

Had a great nights sleep but was up at 5:30ish an hour and a half before everyone else (dam body clock). Mrs M cooked an amazing breakfast which set me up for the morning. Mrs M is taking full advantage of the kitchen here so I'm just leaving her to the cooking as its been yummy so far.


Seth wanted to write a little bit this morning...

"I have been so excited and everyone is happy. The Kitchen is attached to the lounge. there are ducks and a pond and we fed them and yesterday we met the Beesley's. I hope we get to see the Beesley's again after Center Parcs they are nice."

We headed out with the Beesleys just before 9am and caught the land train to the plaza area, the boys were so excited about the land train bless them. They run every 20 minutes and being able to sit there and watch the world go by through beautiful scenery was great but we were desperate to pick up our bikes so that we could make our own way around the forest. We were booked In for a game of bowling and then planned to go swimming. The boys were getting competative which was fun but Opeie and trinity were a little restless, it was early so it was understandable. 


I say restless with Opeie but it didn't prepare us for what was brewing. Our time ran out on the bowling before the end of the game which we were all a little disappointed about, you get 45mins but if you're with young children it just isn't enough time to play.

After the game was over though we headed next door to the pool.  Opeie was acting really out of character and ended up having his first full scale meltdown. We're not 100% about what caused it but we think he may have an issue with being in small places with lots of people, plus I think he was still tired. We changed for the pool but then had to get dressed and go as we just couldn't calm him down. Seth was a little upset but being the great brother he is he understood.

We thought it would be best to get him back to the cabin and down for a nap so we walked over to the cycle centre to pick up our pre-booked bikes. The cycle centre was great and packed full of different bikes. Seth chose a tag along but then changed his mind when he saw Opeie in his trailer. Opeie's mood completely changed and he said 'wow this is cool' and he was right, having the bikes to ride about on was one of my favourite parts of the weekend. I'm not sure a break to Center Parcs would be the same without them.



Although the cycle centre and our cabin were at different ends of the forest the ride back was really enjoyable. The scenery was picturesque and the boys loved every moment of being driven around like the pope. Back at the cabin we had lunch and then Opeie had his well deserved nap, it's hard work being chauffeured around obviously. After lunch Mrs M did some writing while Opeie slept and me and Seth went adventuring on the bikes, we had a couple of hours to kill before going out for tea with the Beesleys. We had a good cycle all around the forest which was a lot of fun and considering there were a few hills it seemed like little effort peddling.


11pm: we've been back from dinner about an hour which was really nice, we had a reservation at the grand cafe and it was a really great night, it gave us plenty of time to chat with Rebecca and Richard  , they really are great people and we all got on so well (unless of course their post says differently, we'll have to see). The staff in the restaurant (well actually all over Center Parks) were amazing and so helpful, they did all they could to cater for Mrs M and Opeie's dietary needs and not once did we feel like we were putting them out. It was a nice relaxing atmosphere and everyone was in great spirits. I really loved that Seth and Opeie got on so well with Joshua and Daniel it really made the weekend so much more enjoyable. I was a bit worried before we got there but they hit it off straight away. After dinner we headed for the land train back but it was packed so myself and Richard being the gentleman that we are offered to walk back with Trinity in the pushchair so that the others could get back quicker, turns out that with our athletic legs and Richards new finally tuned on board Satnav we arrived at the cabins at the same time. Everyone was shattered so we said our good nights and headed to bed.


Mrs M has always said that I walk about with my head in the clouds and to say I'm unorganised would be an understatement. While we were heading out to dinner last night it came to my attention that our weekend break was until Monday, oops. How I missed that I don't know but that's me down to a T. Sadly we couldn't have stayed until Monday because of Seth's school so we had to make the most of our last day. Our morning started with some unlikely visitors.


After Opeie's meltdown at the pool I clearly had some making up to do for Seth as he was desperate to go swimming, so after meeting up with Richard, Joshua and Daniel we jumped on our bikes and headed to the Plaza, I take back what I said about Richards finely tuned satnav, he took us on an epic journey with a huge up hill struggle, Mrs M looked like she was going to black out when we reached the top. We got to the pool and Mrs M went off with Opeie (to avoid a repeat of yesterday's drama). Seth was so excited and although stripping down to just shorts is so out of my comfort zone I had a great time and we'll definitely be doing a lot more swimming once were home. The slides were great and Seth loved the rapids so much we went on three times.


While me and Seth were at the pool Opeie took Mommy for a spot of shopping.


We had planned to drop the bikes back after swimming and drive the car up to the cabin to load our gear in preparation for heading home after lunch. There was a bit of confusion about whether we could drive the car up but a quick trip to the main entrance and they fully explained what to do, The staff at Center Parcs are so helpful. We got back to the cabin as Richard was meeting Rebecca off the land bus so we all arranged to have one last meal together before we made our way home. Mrs M put on a lovely spread and the Beesleys brought some food round too, it turned out being a lovely meal together. They even kindly brought the boys some gifts, not sure how they knew we like spider-man so much? They must have read it somewhere.


After lunch the boys happily played together which was great and we had a brief play at the park before loading the car up. We had had such an amazing weekend. Center Parcs is such a great place for families and has definitely changed my mind about holidays in this country. We are so thankful to the Beesleys and Center Parks for the fun we had but more importantly for bringing our two families together. Who doesn't love new friends. We really hope that at some point in the future we can return the kind gesture and take the Beesley family along with us on something were doing, who knows maybe Center Parks again at some point as there are loads of activities we would love to have a go at.


Thank you Rebecca, Richard, Joshua, Daniel and Trinity you really are a pleasure to spend time with xxx


Check out what Rebecca had to say about our weekend away over at The Beesley Buzz.




Thursday, 24 October 2013

“Mr. Twit was a twit. He was born a twit. And, now at the age of sixty, he was a bigger twit than ever.”


It's that time of year again, the excitement of 'world book day' has been filling our house. Every year Seth comes up with a long list of possible costume ideas but this year there was just one, he knew exactly who he wanted to be. In the two previous school years he had been 'The cat in the hat' (obviously) and last year if you remember the post he was 'The hungry Caterpillar'. When it's time to create a costume me and Mrs M are a great team. 

Yesterday I popped out  hunting for haberdashery supplies and a tweed looking jacket (which shockingly I found). Once Seth's measurements had been taken and the boys were in bed we got to work. Mrs M tackled the wig and I worked on the beard, we even managed to entertain our friend Chris too while working, we're a parenting super team!


After the beard and hair was finished we cut out a sardine, cheese and cornflakes from felt and stitched them in to his beard (I'm quite sure you've guessed who it is by now, the title was a bit of a give away haha).

Seth graced the school playground this morning looking like a vagabond and proud of it. I loved seeing his excited little face as his friends looked at him very confused. Seth's head teacher came over and was very impressed and I'm sure that when his friends saw his box of worm spaghetti to eat later in the day they all had smiles on their faces too.

Seth has already told us he has an idea for next year, the only clue we got was a question...
Do you think my friends will laugh at me if i came in dressed as a girl? Stay tuned to see how that question unfolds!



Wednesday, 23 October 2013

"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."


When I use the term 'best friend' I'm usually referring to Mrs M, Seth or Opeie. These are the three people I trust the most. I really don't find it easy to trust people after the life I've had full of selfish and bitter family members, untrustworthy friends and a list of destructive relationships with people that never really cared about me and had very little respect. Mrs M jokes about me being a little hermit like and sometimes antisocial but other people have pushed me to be this way.


There is someone else though that managed to get past my hardened exterior and I'm so glad he did. Having people to trust in your life is really important and outside of my family he is the one person I completely trust and would go out of my way to help him out. In fact i shouldn't say 'outside of my famiIy' because he is very much a big part of our family. I was going to write a post about the great Saturday afternoon we had and what we got up to but as we drove home I thought I'd just dedicate the post to Chris and use the pictures from the day out (ill leave you to come up with your own story from the pictures).


I've known Chris for quite sometime but we didn't speak for many years. It wasn't until a year and a half ago that we ended up out at the same birthday do and our bromance began to blossom. Unlike many of the people I know, Chris makes a huge effort when it comes to our friendship, he's an all round top bloke and the boys love him too.


One of the things I love most about Chris is that like me he says what he feels, once when me and him were out with Opeie I made a comment about us looking like a happy gay couple, to which he responded 'if I were gay I'd be proud to have a guy like you, you're a great bloke', that was a real compliment.

Having someone else in my life that i can trust pushes me that little bit closer to restoring my faith in humanity, I really couldn't ask for a nicer friend!










P.S Nanny Roo, if you're reading this Opeie picked himself some new wellies this weekend, i thought you would approve...







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