Staycation

It’s the second week of the Easter holidays and the week of our staycation. Last Easter we were lucky enough to be hanging out with Mickey and Minnie in Eurodisney, rx the year before, enjoying forest walks and the indoor subtropical paradise pool at Centre Parcs. This year, we decided to have a staycation. We’ve a busy summer ahead and there’s a to do list as long as my arm of ‘things I want to get done in the house’. So staying at home seemed like the perfect way to spend our first full week off together as family since Christmas. We cajoled ourselves into it with comments such as ‘It’ll do the kids good to learn that they can entertain themselves at home’, ‘we rarely relax and enjoy our own home, it’ll be good to do some of that,’ ‘we can have days out here and there for fun,’ and ‘it’s good that we’re not being frivolous with our money.’

Then Super Daddy got the opportunity to book himself on a course for the week. Harrumph.

So we talked about it, weighed up the pros and cons and he went for booking on the three day option as a compromise, and we agreed I’d have some quality time with the kids until Thursday. Then he’d be home and we’d pack the rest of the week and the weekend with trips away, family picnics and general holiday type activities.

This far, I’ve been happy with the plan, but didn’t quite have that holiday feeling when I packed up my desk at work on Thursday and said Cheerio for ten days. Equally though, I didn’t have a pile of ironing and packing awaiting me at home or the four different lists on the go that I usually need to get ourselves organised for the off. I did have two messy bathrooms that I knew would annoy me all week if I didn’t crack open the Cif and give them some proper elbow grease. So, the weekend was therefore a ‘normal’ one, cleaning, cooking, dancing class, crafting with the kids, food shopping, grandparent visiting and Sunday night film.

Very nice indeed.

But lacking that proper holiday feel.

So I sat the nippers down and we made a list of the best things about holidays. We’d make this staycation feel like a proper holiday filled with all the things we love about going away together.
Some of their additions to the list? Swimming, going to the park, dinners out, reading magazines, staying up late and extra cuddles. Perfect.

Mine was much more basic. Starting today with not getting dressed til noon. Tick. Done.

I’m now off for a Malibu and Pineapple juice before we have a wander to the park.

Adios for now!

Red Car!

With school holidays and half term upon us, ask you might be about to embark on a long car journey’s to reach your chosen holiday destination.  Here are some helpful pointers to ensure the nippers are entertained and your sanity is retained.

  1.  Before even getting into the car, hospital ensure everyone has had a wee (fresh nappy change for those in nappies too!)  Peeing at the side of the M6 is not a pleasant experience and a coin toss is needed to decide whether it’s mum or dad who needs to get out in the pouring rain AND risk getting peed on by the child responsible for such poor bladder control.
  2.  Pack up a handy bag of healthy snacks – raisins, bananas, small bottles of water, little cubes of cheese, and oatcakes are highly recommended.  M&S Percy Pigs, chocolate buttons, marshmallows, fruit pastilles and blackcurrant squash should be kept for arrival at your destination.  Take it from one who knows.
  3. Magazines with stickers are always a winner in the entertainment stakes.  Do be prepared however upon arrival at your destination to find the inside of the doors have been decorated with brightly coloured and difficult to remove Peppa Pig stickers.  A soft, wet cloth and an hour and a half of vigorous scrubbing will do the trick.
  4. Story CD’s – an old fashioned alternative to the in-car DVD entertainment system perhaps, but avoids the pitfalls associated with reading in the car (motion sickness and see point 3 above), and anyway who doesn’t love The Gruffalo on a loop?
  5. Baby wipes are an essential, and will play a massive part in your in-car experience.
    1. Wiping poo and pee bums whilst on route
    2. Wiping sticky fingers arising from snackage (less so if healthy bite are opted for!)
    3. Wiping stickers off the inside of the car door when the soft wet cloth and hour and a half of vigorous scrubbing hasn’t worked.
    4. Wiping CD’s when they start to jump after being played consecutively for 17 times.
  6. The red car game – always a winner. There are no rules. Invented by LPP and LMB, this game involves nothing more than randomly shouting out  any of the following when spotted on the journey:
    1. Red Car (hence the name!)
    2. Van
    3. Taxi
    4. Bus
    5. Bicycle
    6. Motorbike
    7. Caravan
    8. Dumper Truck
    9. Lorry
    10. Cows

Happy Travels!

 

Have children, will travel. Have smartphone, will blog.

I’m currently 30000 ft in the air. Destination, viagra sales Edinburgh.

Unfortunately this is the return leg of our very successful family holiday and not the outward bound leg, viagra canada and here I am with three hours stretching ahead of me and not a stitch to read. Now, as some who can devour a book or six on holiday as readily as a lion presented with six lithe gazelles on a plate, this is an unusual situation for me. I feel a little naked.  However, the situation is one by design, as I genuinely did not expect there to be any opportunity for a holiday bonk buster fix.

I do have four items of hand baggage and they are packed to bursting, but not a beach read or trashy gossip mag in sight. I could indulge in ‘Beautiful Bananas’ which is a lovely story about an African girl who picks a bunch of bananas to take with her on a visit to her granddad but she meets a variety of jungle animals and of course mishaps on the way. It is however aimed at preschoolers and has been bedtime story fodder for Little Monster Blue for nearly the last three months. Similarly, ‘Superduck’ is a riveting read….when you’re under five. Ditto for ‘Here comes the crocodile’ and ‘Let’s get a pup’.

We have wax crayons a plenty, a mermaid colouring book, a farmyard colouring book, an animal magazine with odd pictures of cats wearing tiaras, magic picture books that reveal animals when you scratch them with a coin (we went through 14 pages of one before we got to a cow on the outbound flight, much to LMB’s annoyance.) We have a Hello Kitty dress up sticker book and a further four animal sticker books, unsurprisingly the farmyard one being a firm favourite with LMB given his obsession with cows persists (I could devote a whole blog article to that
alone!)

Not only do we have bags full of these traditional means of entertainment for small children on a flight, but as we have Superdaddy, so follows we have gadgetry. Cue, tablet PC, loaded with LPP and LMBs movies of the moment, and somewhere in the region of 342 episodes of Peppa Pig (I know, I didn’t think there were as many as that either given the only episode that ever seems to be on in our house is ‘Pirate Island’.) Even Superdaddy managed to grab a tabloid at the hotel shop and sneak it into my perfectly arranged (and on-trend aztec designed) oversize beach bag. So whilst the nippers are entertained and Superdaddy reads the newspaper back to front, here I am literature-less.

I’ve already engaged in pleasant chit-chat with the lovely older lady sitting to my right about the merits of seat allocation (i.e. sitting Superdaddy beside LMB and LPP and sitting in the aisle opposite them myself).  I’ve read the free in-flight magazine from cover to cover, dawdling over the interview with Olly Murs and wondering when pop stars started giving interviews for airline magazines as opposed to Smash Hits! I’ve chosen which perfume and bronzing set I’d like to buy with my left over holiday Euros when the in flight tax free shopping service commences and I’ve educated myself geographically by studying all of the destinations that the airline flies to. (Gerona is in Spain don’t you know, I always thought it was in Switzerland and when I expressed my surprise to Superdaddy he reminded me just how blonde I am by helpfully pointing out that Geneva and Gerona are not the same place.) I’ve perused the in-flight menu and decided that the fantabulous, super special deal of a Twix for the great price of 80p with a £2.20 cup of tea is not really the amazing bargain you are led to believe when you can buy them separately and independently of one another for, yes, you’ve guessed it, 80p and £2.20 respectively. I’ve partaken in a little spot of people watching. Quickly sussing out those people who would be the most likely to clap when the plane touches down in Edinburgh and those who are going to ‘bing’ the ‘bing-bong’ button to call over an air-stewardesses every five minutes. I’ve worked out which couples had lots of holiday sex (row 14, seats C and D, well, just D actually) and which couples can’t wait to get home to decree their relationship officially over.

So here’s where I have to give some credit to gadget-tastic Superdaddy for convincing me I needed to invest in a new smartphone. In the absence of anything else to read, I say thanks for the dinky notepad functionality that allows me commence much blog activity following our week away. Three days ago (I’m not sure what day that actually was as I’ve been on holiday time for a week and think every day is Sunday) I lay ona sun lounger whilst Superdaddy splashed with the littlies in the pool and again made use of said smartphone to list all of the things I’d plan to blog about post-sunshine.

So here I go…oh wait a minute…..is that the in flight tax free shopping service commencing?  I’ll be back in a jiffy…..might just buzz to see if I can grab a cuppa too, ooh and a twix.

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