brothers

Goodbye Summer…Hello Autumn..

Well that’s it the summer holidays are over for another year! Where has the time gone?

We haven’t been away this year, partly because I’m pregnant, partly because we’re saving for our holidays next year.

At the start of the summer holidays the first few days seemed to drag. How was I going to keep them entertained for 6 and a half weeks?

The youngest is still at nursery 3 days a week over the summer holidays. So for some of the time it was just going to be the boy and I. I am lucky that I am able to take some annual leave from work over the holidays too. Not the whole 6 weeks and not a whole week at a time. Thankfully it meant that between hubby and I the boy didn’t need to go to a holiday club this year.

The summer started well. I somehow survived the first week and was soon hurtling towards weeks two. Although I have to admit the first day was long. I think it always is when you don’t have a purpose for the day or somewhere to go!


In the second week I am very lucky and grateful to have been offered help with he boy by my mum. She let him stay at her house for the 3 days that I had to work and the youngest was still at nursery. His holiday started with a carpet picnic. Is there anything better on a rainy day than a carpet picnic on the floor? We picked all the foods and enjoyed a last dinner together before it was time to leave him there. I don’t really get upset when I leave him at mums for a few nights because I know he’s safe and having a ball with Grandma!

They got up to all sorts, went to a model village, went to the beach, played board games, visited a hall and gardens. I get lots of regular updates from my mum and by all accounts he had a fab time!

blackpool model village

Birthday Week

The next week involved a certain persons 6th birthday! How did my first baby get to 6 years old? He’s made a modest birthday list and we were quite happy to help him obtain his dreams! At first he’d been asking for a Nintendo Switch which is pretty costly at around £300 so we persuaded him to change his mind and he did. He asked for stationary bits (he loves stationary despite not being keen on writing) a microscope, a cricket set, and a nerf gun.

I always like to take a photo of the present set up so that in years to come the boys will be able to remember special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. It was a good job I did take a photo on this occasion as that lovely number 6 balloon didn’t last very long and was sadly popped not long after they got up by littlest person in the family, I was so sad.

For his birthday daddy took the day off work so we could go out on a day trip, sadly the weather didn’t look great so we changed our plans from Alton Towers to Blackpool attractions as they are more indoor based. So we headed off to Blackpool Tower.

Blackpool Tower

I’m trying to take more pictures of myself with the babies these days. I don’t like pictures of me but I know they will want to look back on them in years to come and I don’t want them asking where I was all the time.

After lunch at Pizza Express we headed up the tower to the very top. The boy loved looking out over the town. Not long after we started to come down the rain also started to come down! We were right to chose and indoor day out. The tower also has a children soft play area, so despite my dislike of those places we let them play there for a while too. Followed by a trip to the circus inside the tower. The circus in the tower dates back to 1894. The boys had a great time, laughing at the slapstick comedy and watching in awe at the amazing acts of skill on display.

In the evening although we got back quite late we made time for birthday carrot cake (as requested by the birthday boy) and candles (compulsory on birthdays!).

On the Saturday after his birthday we held a mini birthday party for him with just a couple of close friends. With a party lunch and nerf guns everyone enjoyed themselves I hope!

Birthday party

Summer Illness

The holidays were all going so well then disaster struck! I think it originated from the youngest after he was sick in the night but then I was ill. Really ill with vomiting and diarrhoea. If you’ve read my blog before you may know that I have emetophobia (fear of vomiting) so this to me is my worst fear! But I coped, with the help of my amazing husband I got through it. Thankfully I was able to hide out in the bedroom as we have an ensuite, lock the world out and just get through it. For 3 days I stayed in there, trying to recover, it hit me hard. Maybe because I’m pregnant it seemed worse?

My fabulous husband left me a care package outside the room which really helped.

d & vThe salted pretzels really were the turning point I think. Thankfully the timing of the illness worked out well as hubby was on annual leave from work that week to look after the boys. So I was able to recover in peace and quiet while he took care of everything else. I’m most proud of myself though because I got through my greatest fear and came out the other side, I made it!

Just as I was starting to feel better by day 5 the boy was struck down too. If theres anything worse than being ill yourself it’s when your babies are poorly. So I took him into our bedroom. That I had only just finished bleaching and steam cleaning and looked after him to keep him away from hubby.

d & vThankfully just like his brother he only had vomiting symptoms and luckily they only last for about 12 hours before he was much better. Another long day of washing everything that wasn’t glued down on a very hot wash. Bleaching the whole bathroom and I think we were finally on the mend. Not what we wanted for the holidays but I suppose the timing fit in well. I have to look on the bright side for that one!

The Final Weeks

Time was flying. A week written off to illness and there were only a couple of weeks left until school started. I tried to arrange some fun things to do but again the weather hadn’t been great. For the rest of the post I’ll use photos for the memories.

Playing in the sand at a food festival Movie night watching Trolls for the first time now that it’s come onto Now TV Afternoon tea at Brookholes Nature Reserve

brockholes

Playing in the park (with wellies and raincoats!) Donut treat with his Auntie Legoland discovery centre Manchester Sunday lunch on another rainy day!

Walking back hand in hand from the kite festival at Lytham St Annes (in the rain!)

lytham proms

Last night of the Lytham Proms –  the wettest I have ever been from rain! (was just mum and I but had to slip in the memory)

summer holidaysCinema trip to watch the new Disney Cars movie

I hope we made the most of the holidays. I hope the boys will carry some of the memories with them of how much we got up to. Despite not going on a holiday away from home.

I loved writing this post because it reminded me actually how much we did manage to do. We managed to do it all on a small budget. Whilst trying to fit it all in while still working.

Next years summer holiday may be a little bit different with me trying to juggle the 3 of them! Maybe I should start planning now!

Treetop Trek

Treetop Trek is now now open at Heaton Park, Manchester and we were delighted to be invited down to try it out! Well one of us was delighted.

Treetop trek

My 5 year old has been nagging me since he first saw it being built to go. I would have loved to go up and have fun but being pregnant it’s a no no for me sadly. So I recruited some lovely friends of ours who were happy to help out and give the Treetop Trek a try.

There are two types of Treetop Trek available the mini trek and the full trek. As my oldest is only 5 he couldn’t take part in the full trek as you have to be 7 or over. The mini trek takes between 1-2 hours and the full trek is longer taking 2-3 hours.

Starting at 5m high, this lower treetop adventure features 16 fun challenges, including 3 zip lines. Perfect for the younger and less confident trekkers or those with a bit less time on their hands.

The first step is to get the harnesses on and attend a brief safety demo.

treetop trek

treetop trek

Then they were off!

With both the mini trek and the full trek you are continually clipped on. There’s no need to clip and unclip at any part. The wire is continuous and so children should feel extra safe.

Getting Started

Treetop trek

The only issue our children had was getting round the trees, its quite tricky for smaller ones to get the right ‘whipping’ action with the harness to pass to the next obstacle. Staff were on hand to help but if you are the only adult with more than one child I’d recommend being in the middle of them so that you can help each one to make sure the clips get around the trees. It didn’t happen all the time but just sometimes the smaller ones struggled with it and needed a little help.

The obstacles started off at around 5m off the ground but as confidence built the platforms got higher!

The first zip wire came shortly after two obstacles and by then the nerves seem to be fading in all the children, they started to love it! As a spectator you need to wear a wristband to be able to view the start and finish of the Treetop Trek but it’s free to watch. You can view the trek from outside the spectator area but you won’t be able to see it all. The full trek goes much further into the woods and you can’t see most of that one from the spectator area.

Treetop trek

Even my friend was loving the challenge!

The obstacles vary but the children were all agreed that this one was the most nerve wracking, they all completed it though without a wobble or slip!

treetop trek

I was so jealous that I wasn’t up there with them. I love doing activities like this!

It took a little under an hour for all of them to get round the whole mini trek. Which seemed to be just the right amount of time for them not to get too tired.

Finishing the Trek

The trek finished with a zip wire to the floor. Despite all of them trying to run as they hit the ground everyone ended with a muddy bottom! That was all part of the fun though.

And the verdict….

Treetop trek

Two thumbs up from everyone and they are already talking about going again!

Booking, information and prices can be found on the Treetop Trek website. 

Big thank you to Treetop Trek for inviting us to try it out. Special thanks to my lovely friend Kristen who volunteered to everyone on!

Pregnancy Update

So I’m already entering week 20 of pregnancy, I can’t believe the time is going so quickly. This for me is baby number 3, the third and final addition to our family. So I thought it would be nice to do a pregnancy update. That way I can look back and remember what it was like.

You’d think by now I’d remember what being pregnant is like but I didn’t. Thankfully my other two pregnancies were very simple with no complications. This pregnancy so far is also thankfully uncomplicated. I have been given a low risk status and I’m hoping for a home birth. You can read my previous birth story here.

At 20 weeks I don’t really have a bump. I can’t remember if I did with the other two by now.My regular trousers don’t fit anymore so I know something is happening but not a soild bump yet. I think things are just moving up and a little out so far. Still pretty flabby on my tummy.

So far my main complaint would be heart burn. With the previous two boys I had heartburn from very early on. I hate it. It hurts, it makes me feel sick. My early cure seems to be to just keep grazing through the day but this does not help my waistline! I put on quite a bit of weight in the early weeks. So I now take Omeprazole daily and that really really helps. I still sometime have breakthrough symptoms of heartburn and usually this is in the early evening. To help with that I take a liquid solution. Usually a generic heartburn liquid.

I’ve rejoined slimming world at 14 weeks pregnant and in the last 6 weeks I’ve only put on 1lb I’m ok with that, although I really could do with loosing some weight. My goal is to stay the same weight now throughout pregnancy because in theory I will be slowly loosing as baby is growing.

We recently had a night out just the two of us to watch Elbow at a concert in the forest. We don’t go in the evening try often as couple as we don’t really have anyone to babysit. My mum kindly offered but I’m sure when theres 3 of them nobody will be that keen! So instead of a none existent bump picture I have added a snap of us at the concert as our 20 week memory.

It’s a secret we’d love to share.

With any post that starts with a headline like that I’m sure you’re going to guess instantly!

And you’d be right, we are looking forward to welcoming baby number three later this year.

New Baby!

Baby number three is our final edition to the family and we are over the moon to be so grateful to be having a healthy pregnancy so far.

Today I am 19 weeks pregnant.

new baby

We had a private scan at 16 weeks to find out the sex of the baby. It’s a third boy. People often ask me how I feel about this and if I wanted a girl. I’ll be honest, I would have loved a little girl HOWEVER we did not have a third baby for that reason. I have always seen myself with three babies and so I am over the moon to be having a third boy. I know boys. I sometimes imagine myself with a girl but it’s odd, not me, I’m so used to boys now that this little guy will be right at home with his two older brothers.

Financially it makes perfect sense, we already have many things that are boy oriented, clothes, bedding, toys. Not that I believe in gender stereotypes because I don’t. What we do have though, our boys have loved and chosen so I’m sure a third boy will too.

It’s funny having a third, because quite often I forget I’m pregnant, I think of things in the future like Christmas etc and don’t imagine us as a family of 5 I always see a 4.

When it’s your first baby the pregnancy is your sole focus, by baby number two you’re that busy that it goes quickly and you forget and I’m finding that number three is flying by! It doesn’t seem two minutes since we found out.

Looking Forward

I’ve seen a midwife a couple of times now and next week is the 20 weeks scan which I’m looking forward too. It’s the last time we’ll see baby until he arrives earth side.

I’m planning another home birth as I can’t imagine giving birth anywhere else. You can read about my last homebirth here. I’m also hoping to breastfeed as I have done with the other two boys.

As I know this baby is my last I’m also making endless list of things I’d like to buy. With the other two I didn’t really buy anything new, the pram, cot etc were all scouted from selling sites. Baby things are often so expensive. It’s hard to justify their cost when we have so many other household priorities. A girl can dream though and I’ll be writing about some of my wish lists between now and the baby arriving.

For now though I’m happy to accept advice from mummies (and daddies) or three or more! All advice and tips welcome!

Tree Top Nets – Heaton Park, Manchester

I always like to try and get out and about to do something on the weekend at least for one of the days. This weekend was no exception as we were invited down to Heaton Park in Manchester to try out the newly opened Tree top nets adventure!

tree top nets

It really is what it says – Tree top nets!

Think a safe play space strung between trees which at points is 12m off the ground.

It’s hard to get a full picture because it’s hidden within the woodland area.

Theres 175m of walkways made from nets in the beautiful surroundings of Heaton Park Woodland. Don’t worry though about falling off the nets as you are always completely surrounded by high net sides so you don’t even need to wear a harness.

 

The lack of harness means that it’s suitable for most people age 3 and up.

tree top nets

 

If your children are aged 7-11 you are allowed to supervise up to 5 of them from the ground underneath the nets but I highly recommend taking part. It’s so much fun!

tree top nets

To me it seemed like you were walking on a soft trampoline base all the way around the nets. It’s almost like very slow bouncy running, an odd sensation but one you soon get used to.

tree top nets

What’s it like?

The nets are arranged in a large circle with ‘rooms’ off to the sides. Theres two areas with large inflatable balls which the boys really enjoyed. They joined in with other peoples games as they were rolling the balls to each other. They rolled over the balls, and enjoyed throwing them.

tree top nets

There is also an under 7 areas, which was great for the smaller people. As well as a little chill out area, which is a tree house. As a parent the chill out area was great to get your legs steady again and also to view all the nets and see what the children were up to! The session is also supervised by a qualified  instructor who can often be found in the chill out area keeping an eye on everyone.

The session you pay for is 2 hours long which for young ones was quite a long time so we did come off before the session ended as the boys were getting exhausted. The slightly older children who took part will still very much tearing around though so it prob depends on their age and stamina!

tree top nets

Tree top nets prices and location can be found can be found online here.

 

The Best Part

I think Thomas would say the ‘funnest’ part was the rope slides. There are 4 slides made of rope which you need to use a sack to slide down.

tree top nets

I didn’t take part….I couldn’t…they looked pretty scary and made me nervous even watching. Being a 5 year old though it was a different story! There were lots and lots and lots of goes on the slides!

Treetop nets was great fun, and makes a great alternative to an indoor play area! Although it is a higher priced activity, you do get a longer session. I can testify that your legs will feel it the next day so it’s a great form of exercise too. Something the whole family can enjoy!

We’d like to thank the team at tree top nets for inviting us down to check it!

 

Geronimo 2017 is over! I can’t believe after all the build up and looking forward to it, that it’s already over for another year!

geronimo 2017

I don’t want this to be just another trip report post, I want to let the pictures do the talking.

Geronimo incase you don’t know its a family focused 3 day festival. This year it was in a new bigger and better venue Arley Hall in Cheshire. The festival site was well spread out which we loved. This year the organisers also introduced the option to camp at the event. Initially we were going to camp for the weekend but plans transpired against us and so instead we spent two full days there.

We managed to cram so much into two days we were left tired and happy festival goers by the end of the weekend. Next years date will be going in the calendar as soon as we know when it is!

geronimo 2017

Geronimo 2017

geronimo 2017

Our Parenting Highlights

  • Enjoying being outside in massive field to run around in
  • Having time to sit down and watch the children free play with junk modelling
  • Watching the children laugh at the circus act

geronimo 2017

The Childrens’ Highlights

  • Professor Pumpernickel Science show
  • Cirque du Hilarious – they really laughed a lot!
  • Katy Ashworth on stage while we had our packed lunch
  • Monkey Do tree top nets
  • The fairground rides (these were an extra charge of £1 per ride)

geronimo 2017

 

What we thought might be improved for next year

  • The maps could have been a little more detailed
  • We’d really appreciate more hand washing stations near the porta-loos – we took our own hand foam but nothing beats hand washing
  • A list or rough guide of actives that need to be booked for a time slot so we could prioritise – theres just so much to do

But they were just minor points, we had THE most amazing two days at the festival, there was so much to see and do and we will definitely be back for next years. Geronimo just gets bigger and better each year! Thanks for the memories Geronimo 2017!

If theres one photo that sums up the whole festival besides the one above which my eldest adores I think its this one…..

geronimo 2017

 

My Sunday Photo – May 21st 2017

This week I picked a photo of my youngest. We were all having a family day at a local attraction, an ice cream farm. We were playing mini golf and he sat down for a rest. He has such long hair because I love long hair on boys (plus he doesn’t like getting it cut!). The wind caught it at just the moment hubby went to take his picture. His face is funny fighting against the wind, with his hair flying everywhere. I love the boys so much.


 

OneDad3Girls

Fighting my Anxiety

I’ve written about what causes me massive worry before here. I have Emetophobia and it causes me to suffer from anxiety.

This week we had a letter home from school, and this is what it said.

anxiety trigger

In short it says that once again theres a sickness bug going around school. My absolute worst fear. This simple letter sent me into a bit of a panic.

My head was working overtime.

Did the boy look ill?

Was he showing any signs.

Has he washed his hands at school before eating and going to the toilet?

What would the next few days bring.

How would I cope.

What if we all got it.

What if it never stops?

I feel ill myself, wondering if it was starting.

I have a bit of a coping kit and routine. If I think the children are ill I need to set up a camp in the spare room to isolate them in (not alone of course, with one of us!).

I keep a bucket full of all the things we might need which includes:

Kitchen roll

Towels

Antiviral Hand Foam (its the only one that kills norovirus, alcohol gel doesn’t)

Clinell Wipes (again kills norovirus, I buy mine from Amazon)

Bottle of bleach

Black bags to put washing in so I can tie it up and move straight to the washing machine

Box of disposable gloves

This is my coping mechanism, knowing that at a moments notice I can be ready to fight my fear if I have to.

The last coping mechanism is my best friend and hubby, he is amazing when the children are ill and I sometimes wonder what I would do without him. I guess I’d have no choice but to cope but knowing he’s always with me helps my anxiety lessen. He knows how I feel about it and although to him it’s irrational he tries to be sympathetic to it.

For now thankfully after a sleepless night worrying we are thankfully free of anything nasty so far. I’ll keep using the hand foam before and after school and of course keeping up with hand washing at every opportunity.

 

 

This is my 4th Blog On and I’m just as nervous I think as the first! I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years and I still feel like an utter newbie. At the first blog on I felt so nervous that I drank way too much coffee and ended up with an almost panic attack! I learnt from that first one to stop with the coffee!!
So here it is  – my Blog on linky answers!
  • Share a recent picture of you  – this was me on a recent child free work night out after I’d had all my hair chopped off and changed to blonde! (I used to have really long brown hair)
  • Describe yourself in three words – Tall, friendly, chatty (when I’m not nervous!)
  • How long have you been blogging and what made you start? – 3 years, inspired and encouraged by my good friend Jenny Taylor (Lets Talk Mommy)
  • What was the inspiration behind your blog name? – I’ve always loved the word Lyric it was what my online name used to be so it kind of made sense to call it ‘A Little Lyrical’ as it meant talking about stuff
  • What is the best thing to come from your blog so far? – My memories that I have forever of the children for them to read
  • Your most remembered thing from your childhood – How much my mum loved me and always tried her hardest to provide for us
  • Something interesting you might not know about me is – I really love singing and wish I’d done more with music in my younger years
  • Which social media platform best describes your personality and why? – Instagram, although I don’t use it as much as I should I love how visual it is
  • What is your happy song? – Amazed by Lonestar, it’s mine and hubbys song and reminds me of all our amazing times together
  • What is your favourite alcoholic drink – Baileys!
  • What is your favourite cake? – Syrup sponge pudding and custard
  • What is your favourite takeaway dish? – I love anything from the starters, so nibble bits, popadoms, dips etc
  • Where is your dream holiday destination and why? – Walt Disney World, its addictive, I absolutely love the place
  • What would your superhero name be? – I’m not sure maybe Super Jane (boring!!)
  • If you had a magical power, would you want to have and why?  – To help genuinely poor people, especially children living in poverty
  • What one weapon would help you survive a zombie apocalypse? – A nuclear bunker with a lock – I hate zombies
  • If you could send something into space, what would it be? – Homework for the kids
  • What would you have on your gravestone? – Nothing I’m being cremated to fly in the wind
  • You make headline news around the world in 2 years time… but for what reason? – I marry Prince Harry
  • If an EMP wiped out all mechanical forms of transport, how would you get to BlogOn? – Bike, I don’t live super far away thankfully or is that mechanical, oh well I’d walk then!

I’m really looking forward to Blog On again this year but still I’m nervous, if you see me please say hi, I’m not good with introducing myself outside of work situations!

National Stationery Week

When I found out it was national stationery week I was very excited. To me holding a week to celebrate all things stationery is to many the same as ‘Eat as much chocolate as you can week’. My mum has always said I was born with a pen in my hand. From the moment I could draw I would. I’ve always loved writing from an early age.

national stationery week

I remember one of the jobs at school was to tidy the stationery cupboard, my hand couldn’t go up quick enough. I was in my element getting close to lots and lots of stationery! There something special about the smell of a fresh box or pencils or a pad of paper.

Since growing up and being able to afford my own little luxuries I can often be found online browsing youtube videos of pens and other items. Things I can add to wish lists for when birthdays come around.

Bullet Journal

In the last couple of years I have discovered something called Bullet Journal. If you don’t know what it is then just google it, or look on youtube. Its a paper way of keeping your life organised. I now always carry with me a dotted notebook and keep my whole life in it. List, lists lists! Lists help to keep me organised. I’ve yet to find an app as good a a pen and paper. To me a list or plan on pen and paper is real. An app can easily be closed and ignored. Once pen hits paper it almost becomes more real. My bullet journal is decorated on the outside with wash tape and stickers.

national stationery week

My worst habit it probably buying notepads. I have a whole shelf at home on the bookcase dedicated to notepads. I put myself on a self imposed ban for a while. One person can not possibly need so many notepads…can they?


In the fantastic package I was sent to celebrate National Stationary Week there were lots of fun things including this beautiful dog page markers which I adore!

national stationery week

Favourite Pen

The thing that I really wanted to try was the fountain pen, I’ve not used a fountain pen in many years. Probably since I was at school.

Theres something very special about pushing an ink into the end of a fountain pen, hearing the click as it pops the end so the ink can flow through down to the nib. The shiney nib with its tiny rounded end.

The way it flows on the paper as the ink comes out, its something I’ve fallen in love with all over again.

national stationery week

The Week Ahead

Each day during national stationary week theres a different theme:

Monday 24th April – Pen and Pencil day

Tuesday 25th April – Get Crafty

Wednesday 26th April – World Stationery Day

Thursday 27th April – Thank you Thursday

Friday 28th April – Fountain Pen Friday

Saturday 29th April – Signature Saturday

Sunday 30th April – Write a letter day

All the information about National Stationery week can be found on the website. There’s loads of ideas of how you can get involved and get children involved too. My eldest needs lots of encouragement when it comes to writing. Its not his strongest subject at school but with all the fun things in our package I don’t think it will take him long join in when he’s using rainbow pencils!

Finally why not join in by showing everyone your stationery love or ideas, use the hashtag #NatStatWeek to share!