Surviving The Summer Holidays (with a 3-4 month old).

For the past 4 months I had regular outings planned every week.

On Wednesdays, I went swimming. On Fridays, I had a baby group. On one of the other days I met with my post natal mums for either soft play, coffee, or a walk (or all three!). It was a nice routine and I found T was happy with this. If I’m lucky (and not poor) I also got to meet up with S for lunch!

If I was indoors for 2 days in a row, T wouldn’t be as tolerant when it came to playing on the play mat or being left for that matter. It’s a funny coincidence but it’s like he was bored. So, if I wanted to do any of my housework on one of the other days, I needed to make sure I’d been out the day before.

When the school holidays arrived, my plans were well and truly scuppered. Apart from the days I met with my post natal mums, I didn’t have any real plans. Swimming had finished, and so had the majority of baby groups in the area.

T was too young for anything like baking and crafts, and I couldn’t afford places like soft play every week so I was having to think of things to do for the next four to six weeks to keep us both sane!

Here’s what we go up to…

Walks. There was definitely a lot of these. It may be an obvious one but it was still a planned activity. It also gave me time to enjoy baby wearing. The dog was also happy! This, however, was very much weather dependant!


Swimming. Although not as frequent as before as the local pool is quite expensive, T loves swimming and I can always guarantee T will have a good nap after.

People watching. T loves a busy cafe or noisy park, so we often took ourselves out for afternoons to just sit and watch.

 

Local events. Whether it was a family fun day, a cafe opening, or an open day at a fire station – finding something to do locally meant little money and petrol.

Pet shops. This may sound a bit odd, but let me explain. Since finding his focus, T has become very aware of what’s around him. He’s often found staring at our fish tank or out the window, so one day I took him to our local chain pet shop (which happened to be next to where I needed to go anyway) and let his eyes run loose with the guinea pigs, rabbits, fish, and reptiles. It lasted all of 30 minutes but it was somewhere new (and free!)

Libraries. Libraries are free (my favourite word) and often have activities for young ones during the holidays. I’ve done my fair share of rhyme time already, but keep going back for more!


  
 When T’s older, even by a few months, I’m hoping the activities will be easier to come by but, for now, I think I’ve done pretty well at keeping us both occupied during the summer holidays.

How do/did you get through the week during the summer holidays? What did you get up to?

K

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Last week, our friend Heather over at LezBVeganMoms tagged us to complete a ’10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me…’ Link. I don’t normally do these but the questions sounded fun and I thought it would help me string two words together – something I’m not doing well at at the moment. 

The rules are as follows:

– Link back to the blogger who nominated you and answer their 10 questions

– Add the badge to your post

– Write your own 10 questions and tag 10 bloggers to do the same.

Here are Heather’s questions (and my answers). 

1) What’s the first thing you do each morning? If you count the morning as anything from 6am (and not 3am which is technically the morning) then the first thing I do is feed T. This is when I find out what sort of day I’ll have. 

2) What is the song you sing the loudest when you’re alone and no one else is listening? Depending on my mood this can be anything from Alanyis Morrisette ‘Ironic’ to Marylin Manson ‘Fight Song’. 

3) What is your favourite children’s book? Oh wow. There are so many to choose from. ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ is pretty high in my rankings.

4) When did you get your first kiss and where? I think I was about 8 years old and it was with a boy from my primary school. We were at a school disco. 

5) Do you think Halloween should be an official holiday everyone takes off from school and work? (P.S. You can light yourself on fire if you don’t.) The UK has only just started really getting into Halloween like the U.S. so I never really “celebrated” it as a child but if it means a day off from work then I’m all for it!

6) If you were a sandwich what kind of sandwich would you be? Ha! I think I’d be a really meaty sandwich with lots of firey mustard. 

7) When was the last time you called your mom? Yesterday. 

8) If you could only take one personal item to a des(s)erted island, would you choose cake? I’d love to choose cake but it, sadly, wouldn’t last that long. Plus, I also like pie. 

9) How many hours of sleep did you get last night? Last night I got 8, but the previous night I got 6. I really does depend. 

Who makes you smile the biggest? As a new mum, there’d be something wrong if I didn’t say that T laughing made me smile the biggest, but I actually love it when my wife holds our baby and just looks at me like I’ve given her the best present in the world. 

Here are my questions…

1) Where’s your favourite place in the world. 

2) If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?

3) What is your favourite condiment?

4) If you could have a conversation with one person who is no longer with us, who would it be?

5) Favourite animal, and why?

6) Favourite smell, and why?

7) When is your favourite time of the year?

8) What is your guilty pleasure?

9) What would be the first thing you’d do with a lottery win? 

10) What is the first thing you think about when you wake up? 

I think most of the people I would have liked to have nominated have already been nominated so instead, I open the floor up to anyone who’d like to join in. 

I really like finding out new things about people so please feel free to answer in the comments if you don’t want to write a post. 

K

   

Everyday “Exercises”. 

I probably haven’t seen the inside of a gym since I fell pregnant and, in all honesty, I do miss it (I really do) as it gave me time between work and home to wind down. It also gave me a clean and energised feeling despite getting sweaty. I really enjoyed it.

Since having T I’ve recently realised that I actually do several “exercises” on a daily basis – or at least that’s what I tell myself when I’m on my second piece of cake.

The (dash-to-the-kitchen-for-tea-during-nap-time) Interval Run. Complete this 2-4 times a day for an all over body workout.

The (desperate-full-bladder) Stair Climb. Likely to also strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, this exercise will also work your thighs, bum, and tum.

The (up-hill-buggy) Bicep Extension. For an added workout, add a bag of shopping to the load as well as a full bladder.

The (quick!-grab-a-muslin) Tricep Extension.  For extra tone, add a cat refusing to move off the other end of the muslin.

IMG_8443

The (other-end-of-the-sofa-forgotten-item) Leg Extension.  Adding a baby to your chest will add tone to your core muscles.

IMG_7620
The (pick-up-washing-with-baby) Squat. Wet towels, and winter jumpers ready for storage will add an extra upper body workout.

The (washing-machine-load-with-baby) Lunge. With a phone, pair of socks, and back door keys in your pocket, it’ll add some extra bruising toning to your thighs.

After the work out, cool down is vital – so I make sure I grab my nearest desert-based product from the fridge.

What are your daily “exercises”?

K

Sunday Walks

Around the area that we live are several places we enjoy walking the dog.   

For years we’ve been coming to these places and whilst there, we chat. A lot.

Before T arrived, the chats would primarily be around “when/if we have kids” and what we’d get up to with them. We’d daydream about days out, holidays, Christmases. We couldn’t wait for it all to become real. We also talked about fun stuff, like; lottery wins, dream jobs, buying a house, you name it. These walks got us away from the hustle and bustle, and into dream land. We’d end up walking for hours, often not realising where we’d got to. 

When I was pregnant, the dreams were slowly becoming real (apart from the lottery win!), although the “off piste” walks quickly became shorter as I was a liability and never wore the right shoes. 

Then T arrived, and although it’s taken us a few months to get back into going for long walks, it hasn’t taken us long to back to where we used to be. Disappearing into our own little bubble, and chatting about the future we now have planned as a family. 

 

Reminiscing With Toys

I was in T’s room the other day, putting his clothes away, and I noticed that his toy drawer was open. After realising that the wife had probably had her own play session and forgotten to shut the draw, I looked inside.

Soft toys, hard toys, toys that play music, toys that react to movement. Bath toys, pram toys, garden toys. We’ve got quite a few already.

My favourite toys, however, aren’t the fancy toys that can tell you your blood type by the way you call it’s name – it’s the toys that I used to play with as a child. Not the actual toys – they’re probably in my mums loft, still covered in spit and god-knows what, but the toys that have never stopped being good.

Here are a few of my favourites.

IMG_8269-0

The Fisher Price Phone. Not exactly the same as the one I had but it’s still there in spirit.

IMG_8270-0
The Tomy Egg Family. Remember these?

IMG_8271-0

Stickle Bricks. Technically not stickle bricks, and these are apparently S’s set but they’ll definitely be in T’s collection when he’s old enough.

IMG_8272
Play-Doh. It still smells the same. It still feels the same. It’ll probably still get stuck in the carpet if you dropped and walked on it. I. Love. Play-doh.

Lego / Duplo. Apart from my collection, T will have so much Lego it’ll be coming out his ears and likely under my feet to cause Lego related injuries.

These toys were so simple, some not even needing a battery. So where did these toys go? I can’t wait to introduce T to some of these toys, I really hope he enjoys playing with them as much as I did.

What were your favourite toys as a child? What are your favourite toys now?

K

In The Garden With Nana

My mum was made to be a nan. She was always telling my sister and I that she “couldn’t wait” to be a nan but very quickly told us she obviously could (we were teenage girls after all).

So when my nephew came along one November, out came the knitting needles. There were jumpers, toys, hats. You name it. It was the same for when T came along.

When our nephew turned two, he was a spitfire and never sat down or stopped running around. So when T came along shortly after, my mum thought it’d be time to start creating her garden haven for the grandkids.

Her first creation was a home made chalk board.


Made with a board of MDF, a can of blackboard paint, and some string. It can be taken off the wall and put on the ground. Our nephew loves drawing on this and keeps him from drawing on nana’s newly paved garden!

Nana’s next creation was her “water wall”:

IMG_8116
Made from an old shelving unit (pallets would also work) and recycled bottles and plastics from around the house and garden, my mum created a fun (and cooling) toy. By attaching the bottles to the shelves using cable ties means that they can be removed or moved around to create something new every few weeks.

The following week came a home made sand box:

IMG_8118

Made from a cheap, plastic box usually found in pound shops, it beats forking out for sand tables from chain stores. The length means it can be easily shared and the lid means it can be left outside.

On top of those creations, there’s a large tub containing soil for digger play, and large, foam jigsaw pieces to sit underneath the slide she got, to create a soft mat. Not to mention the usual garden toys.


There’s no question that my mum enjoys doing this, and if this is what’s created for a two year old; I can’t imagine what will be around by the time T is old enough to play!

K

Mamavsteacher