Monday, 3 August 2015

Day 18 - Summer hols (Portishead swim & park)

We trundled off to Portishead for another swim visit together. Ellis didn't want to go initially, he just wants to stay at home full stop! But that would drive me insane... Anyway, when we were on our way he had changed his mind and wanted to go. By the end, Ellis didn't want to leave the pool and Ivor kept asking for food and towel! Ellis makes friends very easily, he played with two different boys and had loads of fun on the slides. Ivor loved the slides too. We were there for around two hours so a very long play. I managed to keep Ivor going with ginger biscuits hidden in the locker. After swimming we went to the park. Ellis made friends again and played zomie destruction with them and some of his birthday toys. Ivor and I hung out together while he played. We all had ice lollies then back home. Ivor fell asleep on the way home, so while Ellis watched Sarah Jane adventures and Ivor slept, I manged to do a little bit of work. Then cooked coca cola chicken for dinner. And manged to squeeze in cooking a quick veg and quorn stir fry for Errol. It's pretty much non stop all day. I did get some stuff to the charity shop though so got some more decluttering done.

I keep feeling like I should be making the summer holiday have some kind of long lasting amazing memories for my kids, full of freedom, play, etc etc. I don't know if I'm really achieving that. At least, not in the way I wish it could be. Like it was when I was growing up. But then, seriously, what was I doing when I was six?! I feel reassured by a survey I read recently that says children list playing in parks and in their garden as their favourite things to do in the summer. We are doing a lot of that!

Before dinner, Ellis and Ivor hung out in the garden, playing with water pistols and swinging on their nest swing.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Day 16 - summers obols,(Mansi family bbq)


day 15 - summer hols, water slid

Water slide day.

Day 14 - summer holiday, play date with sam

Sam came to visit,

Day 13 - summer hols (relaxing at home)

Errol back at work. Day at home relaxing after our hols. Ellis shared his chocolates from Orlando and India, so I said I'd buy him a bag of eclairs as he was so good at sharing. So we went to sainsbury to buy them. Watched a movie in the afternoon.

Day 12 - summer hols (legoland day 2)

Another great day had by all!

Day 11 - summer hols (legoland day one)

Great day had by all!

Day 10 - summer hols, ( Ellis's 'birthday' travel windsor)

Up early, Ellis opening birthday present. The power ranger key phone was his 'first best present'!
Travel to Windsor, via the science centre. Great place to stop off. Pizza express opposite the castle for dinner. Ellis made friends with two kids at the table opposite. We applauded the chefs before leaving. Lots of bouncing on the bed by Ellis and Ivor.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Day 9 - Summer Hols (Upfest Lollygate)

What did we do on Saturday - I have absolutely no idea!! Oh I remember now - Errol drove to Manchester to play a gig. What a >>>>>!!! So me and the kids at home alone, again, going to a local festival without Errol - again. Bleuaghgh. It took some persuading to get Ellis out of the house - always does when he's at home on the hols. I managed to persuade him by tempting him with the opportunity to draw on a huge doodle wall. We made our way to the Tobacco Factory only to find that there seemed to be no doodle wall for Upfest - well we couldn't find it to begin with. After much searching by a steward she finally confirmed that, yes, that wall over there is for drawing on. It was completely white, undrawn on, with not a kid in sight... and no pens! The biggest graffiti festival in Europe, one big white wall and nothing to draw on it with. Good thing I brought some sharpies with me. Ellis drew a tardis and Ivor scribbled everywhere in bright pink! So good so far.

Then we bought some healthy icelollies. Distaster! They cost £1.50 each. Ellis didn't like the first one, so I bought him another one. He didn't like the second one, so then he cried. So I bought him a brownie which he chose. He didn't like that either. Four quid down and one crying child saying "This is my worst day ever", meanwhile, Ivor has eaten his ice lolly and is now making his way through the rejected brownie. Looking grubbier by the second! Crying all down North St. I couldn't bear to buy him Mr. Freeze from McCalls! We finally came to an arrangement whereby I bought him some popping candy for 30p. Phew. That was it. That was Upfest. We got out of there and went home to hang out in our peaceful garden. Was very glad to get home.

Day 8 - surviving Summer hols (play date)

Max and Rufus and Rachel came over at 11am for a play. They had a great time, Rachel brought two pizzas which went down very well! After two episodes of Odd Squad, food and muffins, the boys crashed and zonked out in the den. Ellis wanted to carry on playing but Max and Rufus were tired. When they left after lunch, Ellis was really upset, he wanted them to stay for longer - he's used to them staying for a long play I think. I hope we manage to see them again over the Summer as he thinks they are his best friends. I just wish he had friends like I did when I was young - friends he saw all the time and built up a great friendship with. But I think that's sometimes comes down to the luck of the draw - who's in your street, if you have cousins nearby. I think perhaps I need to get on with organising the playing out sessions, maybe we could then find some friends who are really local, who he could see more regularly. He does like Joel who's a bit older. I'll have to send their mum a text and see if he's about for a play.

I think we watched a movie in the afternoon. I can't quite remember!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

DAY 7 - Summer Hols (The Castle Park magpie...)

Today was a good day. Ravi, Vikram and Veejay came over from nine till twelve as a favour to Fran. It was great to have them all over. They played really well together. There was lots of playmobil play, reading Harry Potter, swinging on the swings, Ellis and Ravi fighting baddies, playing in the bedroom, watching just one episode of Odd Squad then out in the garden on the swings. 
Ivor enjoyed getting into a bit of everything, but then Ellis didn't want him playing in his bedroom, so he watched a good bit of Cbeebies which unfortunately he seems to love at the moment. He loves asking for Mr. Tumble and Peppa Pig! We made dalek and sontar biscuits which Veejay helped with, and they ate the whole lot! 

After the boys left, I took Ellis and Ivor to MacDonalds for a treat. They loved playing the floor game, and Ellis made friends with a little girl. They waved goodbye to each other through the window, and Ivor too. Then we drove to Castle Park where the boys scootered to the play area, and played for ages. Ellis made a friend and played chase while I spent the whole time catching Ivor who liked jumping from heights. 

I spotted a tent on one of the nearby hills and got Ellis to take some food over. Unfortnately he tripped over a tent peg and the man came out to see what was going on. He invited us all over to show us his little magpie which he feeds dog food. He's nursing it back to health it as it was injured. It looked quite happy sitting on his arm. Then we went to find some more people who might need food. Ellis left a can of food and some biscuits next to a sleeping man so he'd have a surprise when he woke up. Then we found one more man who Ellis gave the rest of our food to. I'm hoping giving food will have an influence on Ellis in some way.

We got home about four o'clock. Just enough time for a bit of Sarah Jane Adventures then spaghetti bolognese for tea. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

DAY 6 Summer hols (Portishead swim and Muscaty visit)

Today was a good day! As it was Wednesday we went treasure hunting in peoples' recycling boxes in the morning and came back with treasure to make things out of. Ellis started making straight away, but then we decided to get going swimming. Off to Portishead. 

The boys had a great time in the pools - Ivor running into the pool and splashing his little legs, Ellis going down the slides with Ivor trying it out too, a bit more hesitant, but then he wouldn't let me catch him at the bottom so went straight under, he seemed to like it though! I thought we'd be in there for ages, but then Ivor got hungry and kept signing for food, and wanting to eat the lady's crisps who was sitting by the side of the pool. So we decided to get going. We popped into the Muscatys, didn't think we'd be there for long, but they put on a lovely lunch and Ellis played really well with Aurelian. Lego followed by watching Aurelian play computer games on the computer - Ellis had a bit of a go as well. Ivor enjoyed his hot dog, and eating my lunch as well. He's a big fan of rice. Cheryl's daal was amazing! It was great to catch up with Jenan. Back home for movie and some sweets - we all watched Matilda for the first time. Ellis wanted to not watch it after about half of the film, but we stuck with it and I'm glad we did as I needed him to see that there was a happy ending, with the kids being empowered! Ivor was happy to roll around on the sofa with me while we watched too. Burgers, corn on the cob and mini waffles for dinner. 
Ellis then made a gun out of a bleach bottle. So the recycling adventure was definitely worth it! Then ten minutes of telly before bed. I'm just glad today didn't involve so much TV as it sometimes can on the weekends. If every day of the holiday is like this I'll be very happy!!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

DAY 5 - surviving Summer hols (Chew Magna's most expensive sandwich)

So this is the last day with Errol before he goes back to work. We had a lovely morning hanging out at home, then I decided it would be a great idea to go to the Home from Home cafe at Stanton Drew for lunch. We got there only to find it was closed, so we had to go for lunch at a cafe in Chew Magna... that was such a rip-off, that Errol and I ate the kids crusts for lunch. £3.75 for a basic ham sandwich. Seriously! No wonder we avoid eating out with the kids. Anyway, we made the best of it and joked a lot about it to lift the mood, and left feeling fine. We must have looked like a right bunch of reprobates as no sooner had we left the cafe, when Ivor decided to throw his wooden sword across the road - which bounced off a car. Thankfully there were no marks! It was a pleasure to come home and enjoy the afternoon. Splashing in the paddling pool, watching a bit of Dr. Who, a bit of Mr Tumble, tidying up the garden. Then Tes and Sally joined us for a BBQ in the garden. Ivy bit Ivor on the cheek which upset him - I felt more sorry for Tes and Sal, total nightmare for them. All in all a good day. Ellis tired out again by the end of the day. Watching Scooby Doo with a blanket on him and his icepack. It must take a while to adjust to not being at school. Who says that kids have endless energy. They need to recharge their batteries regularly!

DAY 4 surviving Summer hols (Oxford, Nannie's Birthday)

Me, Errol, Ellis and Ivor went to Oxford for Nannie's 69th Birthday. We were both really looking forward to going. The weather was overcast but warm, so great for hanging out in the garden. Lovely food. The boys enjoyed themselves, though Ellis was very much beyond himself for the most part of the day. I think the journey tired him out, and also he hasn't had one full day at home yet, so he continues to be a bit tired. And when he's tired, his voice changes and he can't stop himself from annoying Ivor constantly! "Ellis don't do that", "Ellis stop that", "Ellis please..." etc etc. We thought we were supposed to be staying the night but as Grandad Howard was there, there wasn't room. It turned out to be for the best anyway, as I hadn't expected Ellis to be so tired out, so it was good to get them home and into their own beds for a good night's sleep. Well - Ellis didn't sleep till 9.30 and they still got up at 6.30am!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

A record of our Summer holiday 2015

I've decided to keep a record of the Summer of our boys being two and six together. It's going to be a long Summer, apparently 52 days in total. I thought by keeping a record, it would encourage me to be well intentioned in making the days really worthwhile... rather than the days involving Ellis and Ivor watching telly and arguing over the ipad infinitum. So here's what's happened so far:


Ok, so it's day one and Ellis is tired out from it being the end of a long Summer term. He's not yet even six, so today's plan was telly, telly, more telly, ipad, relax, do nothing, drink milk, eat biscuits etc. etc. basically, anything goes. But then, Ivor wanted to go to the park in the afternoon. So we went to the park, and Ellis was very happy to discover some of his friends were there, so then he didn't want to leave until they did. Which was a LONG time! So as we walked home, his legs were too tired for walking so I was then carrying a six year old while trying to supervise a two year old on his scooter. So much for conserving Ellis's energy ready for the long haul!

And why did I decide to make carrot and coriander soup, and courgette fritters, and coleslaw etc. etc. on day one of the holiday. It was all a bit too much, and I decided after that, that there would be no more full-on home made cooking while looking after the kids over the hols. Easy food for easy days.


Ok, so it's day two and Ellis is tired out even more and hasn't really recharged his batteries yet. In fact, he's not well. He has thrush and is doing lots of thumb sucking. And Errol's got a gig to go to today. We hung out at home, very relaxed morning. I took Ivor up the shops on the scooter to get some ham for lunch. We all went to the harbour festival - great parking Errol in the "full" carpark!
Amazingly, we discovered BBC Doctor Who was on, and Ellis got to act the part of a cyberman. He really got into his role, even if it was only one minute long... but it involved a death scene, which he took very seriously. Even his arms were in character! Then, we went to Happy City and drew some pictures. Ellis drew for ages, which was really fulfilling to watch. Ivor was happy drawing scribbles. I was happy drawing too. Then Ellis wanted to go back to Dr. Who land to give them his picture, so we all went back and he gave it to the lady presenter. It was a lovely moment!
We rushed off to Errol's gig, which was in the full on sunshine. So we managed to sit for one song while Ivor tried sitting upside down on his head. Then we left, glad to get home. Away from the crowds and the sun.


I've been reading a lot about decluttering and this is one of the reasons why I have restarted my blog, to keep a record of how things are going with getting rid of stuff alongside how that will, I hope, eventually impact on our lives together as a family, or just impact on me, as I seem to be the manager of all the stuff in the house. The keeper of all things and where they live, and that is hard work!

Anyway, today with the kids... another Harbour Festival day. Today was a really good day. I feel like today the boys had a really good day and that makes me happy. We drove to Queen Square and while Errol set up his kit, I took the boys over to the enormous blow up slide (and baby slide). It was supposed to cost £5 each for ten minutes, but the man let us go in for £4 each and let us stay as long as we liked!... so we were there from the start of Errol setting up his kit until he played his last song. Talk about value for money! Ellis came up to me at the beginning crying saying he was too scared to go down the big slide and could I go down with him. SO I hauled Ivor up to the top of the big slide, honestly, it was so high up... and then Ellis managed to go down with the help of another boy anyway... and so there I was stuck at the top of this huge slide with Ivor throwing a mini tantrum because he wanted to go down the slide his own way i.e. probably head first with arms and legs tumbling all over the place. And me holding onto him saying no, while kids were happily walking past bouncing down this huge slide. To be honest, I was too scared to go down it! So I had to then haul Ivor back down the blow up "stairs", while children were climbing up past me. It was no mean feat. Seriously, my most challenging part of the whole day. But I did it. And I didn't thank goodness drop Ivor!!!

When Errol finished his gig, we had sandwiches, met up with Sarah and her kids for a while then went off hat shopping in the sun. Lifting Ellis up to see the boats as we walked over the bridge. Ivor falling asleep in the rucksack. Errol looking cute in his new cowboy hat. All of us deciding it was time to go escape the hoard. Walking back to the car and coming back to our calm home. Very happy day.

Tomorrow we're off to Oxford. So I haven't done a day on my own with the kids yet. I feel prepared though, which is a nice feeling. :-)