She’s on the move, and other updates

By | July 29, 2014

About 3 weeks ago, just before she turned 9 months old, T decided she’d had enough of being in one spot and learnt to crawl.  This was all new to us as C never really crawled, preferring instead to bum shuffle.

Within days T had got crawling sussed and now she’s super speedy when she wants to be.  She’s also pulling herself up on anything and everything, something C didn’t do for another 3 months yet.  It’s strange how 2 children can be so different.

Also arrived with this new skill is a complete aversion to sleep.  Once she’s asleep she’s fine and she usually sleeps pretty well but getting her to actually lie down and give in has become a nightmare.  She constantly stands up at her cot, no matter how many times you lay her back down.  I’m fairly sure I must have laid her down 50 times in one session when trying to get her to nap last week.  I know this is just a phase (or I’m hoping so) and cannot wait for it to pass!

In other T news, she now has 3 teeth, is clapping, waving and giving kisses and I’m sure she’s been saying hello in the last few days.

If only she’d learn to like sleep she’d be quite pleasant!



Butlins: Splash Waterworld

By | June 6, 2014

It’s been 2 years since we visited Butlins at Skegness.  The last time we were there, half the pool was closed as it was being upgraded and we finally got to see the results of the new £16 million splash waterworld during our stay there in half term.

M and C couldn’t wait to try it out so that was their first stop when we arrived on Monday.  I was left in the apartment with a napping T and they went for a swim.  They were gone a couple of hours which surprised me as I thought C might get a bit fed up but when we met up outside the restaurant later that afternoon they were both full of tales of how amazing it is and how awesome the slides were.

I got to see this for myself on Tuesday when we all went down for a swim.  The weather was rubbish and the pool very busy but it didn’t feel overcrowded.  The lazy river and turtle beach remain largely unchanged but the slides are all new, and there is a new shallow pool for babies and toddlers and some overhead rope tunnels.

We tried out the raft ride and the outdoor rapids which were both great fun, but the other slides were for older children so we’ll have to wait a few years to go on these.  They did look like a lot of fun though.

splash waterworld

We gave swimming a miss on Wednesday but we were back there on Thursday.  T was asleep when we got there so I spent an hour at the new and improved poolside with a hot chocolate while M and C swam.  When she woke up we joined them in the pool and spent another couple of hours in there.  Needless to say, after 3 hours in splash waterworld, children sleep well!

We were all very impressed with the improvements.  M even said that Skegness splash waterworld is the best pool complex he’s been to.

It was definitely one of the highlights of our holiday.  Well done Butlins!


Hello blog, remember me?

By | June 5, 2014

So it turns out that, for me at least, trying to keep a blog going while looking after a 4 year old and a baby is impossible.  I know some of you do it but I don’t know how?!  I could probably blog at night but if I’m honest I probably only get an hour or two between getting the kids to bed and me going myself and that time is usually spent sorting laundry and lunches, and if I’m lucky, vegging in front of the tv for an hour.

So what have you missed?  Well C turns 5 at the end of the month.  She enjoys school and is doing so well with her reading now, she’s still going to swimming lessons and they’re going great too.  She loves being a big sister and T loves her to bits.


As for T, she’s almost 8 months.  I can’t quite believe it.  I’ve only got another 5 weeks until I return to work which I’m absolutely dreading.  We’re still happily breastfeeding and we’ve done baby led weaning which has been good fun so far.

She sits happily on her own but isn’t moving about much yet.  She’ll slide backwards when you put her on her front, and can roll front to back, but no sign of crawling or rolling the other way yet.

We spent an amazing week at Butlins during half term as part of their ambassadors programme but that will get its own blog post shortly.

I’ve said this before but I really will try and blog more now!


Project 365: Weeks 4 & 5

By | February 8, 2014


Week 4 consisted of T keeping a poorly daddy company, a couple of photos of our furry friends, a sleepy T and the girls having more cuddles.


In week 5 we played Twister, C posed with her artwork, the dog snogged T and I did some slinging.

I’m quite amazed I’ve got past my first month without missing a day, I’ve tried this before and failed after about 3 weeks! I’m getting into the habit of keeping my phone handy at all times now which means I’m capturing some great memories of the girls.


Manchester: Visit the City of Great Discovery

By | January 29, 2014

Manchester is well known for its premier league football, media links, edgy music scene, cultural influences and arty vibe. However, did you know that Manchester is also the home of beautiful architecture, and has preserved its rich history for centuries?

It’s often forgotten that Manchester was the hub of the industrial revolution. The city was crowned as the centre of trade in England, pioneering into the 1800s with its booming cotton industry.  Manchester’s roots in the textile trade and scientific discovery are all around you when you explore the city. Museums and historic architecture are peppered throughout cobbled streets, a stunning contradiction to the progressive and cultural buildings that have only appeared in the last century.

Before you visit, make sure that you book into a hotel near the centre of the city. Novotel’s Hotel in Manchester city centre is a favourite among visitors because of its delicious international cuisine and comfy quarters.

Now that you’ve got your accommodation sorted, you can go on to explore what Manchester has to offer.

Museum of Science and Industry

Back in the Victorian age, Manchester stormed ahead of the rest of the world, becoming the first ever truly industrial city. Today, the city is granted beta status* by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and this is down to Manchester’s early lead on the rest. Discover the roots of Manchester’s fiscal dominance by going back in time with the Museum of Science and Industry. Moreover, they showcase the contemporary too, with exhibits and discussions that explore the cutting edge findings of the best scientists in the world. They even have a 4D cinema, a fantastic attraction for those of you with children.

*Beta status means that the city has a high score on its economic contribution to the global economy.

Manchester Art Gallery

Awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, the prestigious Art Gallery recently went through a 35 million pound expansion, dramatically refurbishing the landmark. Now the staple of a Mancunian day trip, the internationally renowned gallery showcases locally famous work within its grand interiors. Better yet, it is free to visit the gallery and it is open from Monday to Sunday, with late night opening on Thursdays with wine, live music and food. The building has three floors of art and design and a costume collection, featuring fashion from all eras, including contemporary styles.  We recommend that you bring your camera and mini-sketchbook along too; you never know when the spirit of creativity will take you!

art gallery

[Photo of artwork by Anish Kapoor in Manchester Art Gallery is copyrighted by Arts Council Collection via Flickr]

Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate

If you’re interested in how a family would have lived during the industrial revolution, look no further than the Quarry Bank Mill. Visitors flock there to learn how people lived centuries ago. Each part of the landmark has been carefully reconstructed to recreate the conditions of the mill workers during the 19th century. Explore the Apprentice House, where the pauper children who worked at the mill ate, slept and lived. Get a tour from an enigmatic costumed guide, who will detail what the living conditions would have been like for these children, their medical needs and the food they would have eaten. If you really want to get into the spirit of the past, you could even make The Apprentice House children’s favourite, Lobscouse stew, for your own little tykes!

This post was brought to you in association with Novotel