Its finally the 1st of December! Christmas has truly landed in casa Pincay. I love this time of year even though life is a bit busy and chaotic.
The fairy lights are on. Who am I kidding we never really take them down. We blasted out Fairy tale of New York over breakfast. Officially the best Christmas song ever despite the non-child friendly lyrics. Note to self remind the kids never to repeat the words Faggot and Slut!
The kids have been singing along to their new favourite song Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. Thanks Chris Evans for bringing this bizarre tune into our lives via your breakfast show. It has very questionable lyrics about an old lady being trampled by a reindeer! Luckily the kids haven’t noticed. Sofia has also been singing the 12 Days of Christmas since she woke up!
I let the boys go to school in their jazzy Christmas socks today. Sam and Leo had a dress rehearsal for their first nativity play. Sam didn’t want to dress up as an angel but he seems to have been won over with some gold tinsel. I can’t wait to see their play. I’ll have tissues at the ready.
I popped into our local library for some Christmas books. I discovered How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. What a great story! How have I never come across it before?
We started our annual advent activities this evening. Every year we do a little Christmassy activity each evening. Our first activity was drinking hot chocolate with tonnes of marshmallows. I need to get a bit more organised with this years activities as I’m winging it a bit at the moment.
The boys also have a Blox advent calendar from Wilko (its essentially fake Lego!). I had quite low expectations as it was very cheap. However the first model, a little elf, was really cute. The twins are still getting to grips with only opening one door per day and taking turns to get the present! I feel that this month may involve a lot of calendar related refereeing.
We’ve got a really Christmassy weekend planned. Tomorrow we are going to the Mill Road Winter Festival in Cambridge. I’ve heard it is a really great event but in all the years that we have lived here we have never managed to make it. Tomorrow evening we are going to the switching on of our village Christmas lights. Hopefully we will get a chance to put up the Christmas tree on Sunday. We are still debating whether to have a real tree or to buy a good artificial one. At some point I need to do some Christmas shopping and make some things for the school Christmas fair.
Hope you are feeling some Christmas cheer! Have a lovely December.
Happy Halloween! People who know us will know that we absolutely love dressing up for Halloween. We started doing costumes when Sofia was little. It has evolved into a family tradition where we have a theme for everyone’s outfits. The kids don’t like anything scary so we go for fun and cute costumes. You can check out our previous year’s photos, my favourite are the Toy Story and the Flintstones costumes.
It is getting a bit tricky now the kids are older as they are much more opinionated about what they want to wear. We had a moment today when Leo didn’t want to join in. As soon as everyone else was dressed up he changed his mind. I didn’t even bribe him with Halloween sweets.
This years theme was Emojis. Sofia loves all things Emoji and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make Rolando dress up as a poop!
As always my costume making skills are a lot better than my photography. Apologies that the quality of these pictures are not great. Even so I love them and we had fun taking them.
We have never actually been trick or treating. Sofia really wanted to go this year. Halloween is also my birthday and I really wanted to go out for dinner. There just wasn’t really time to fit in trick or treating as well.
Leo getting into the spirit of things after initially being a bit reluctant to get dressed up.
Sofia is totally obsessed with Emojis. I’m going to recycle the costumes to make decorations for her bedroom wall.
Do you love dressing up for Halloween? I’d love to see your Halloween photos over on the Twins Make Five Facebook page.
Life in the Twins Make Five household has been hectic even if the blog has been gathering dust lately. Thank you for popping back to have a read – normal service will resume shortly!
September has been all about the twins starting school and Sofia settling into year 5. It blows my mind that Sofia is speeding into her final years at primary school. I’m tentatively saying things are going quite well for the twins in reception. They enthusiastically tell me what they have had for lunch everyday. They are not massively forthcoming about what they are learning. The logistics of juggling the boys settling in schedule and working have been a stretch. I don’t think I realised quite how tiring the process was going to be for all of us. I’m awarding myself a virtual gold medal for getting everyone uniformed and out of the house every morning with the right bits of kit – this is adulting at it’s most challenging!
We are not quite settled into a new routine yet. The boys are not quite up to doing a full week at school so we have still had a few days with double school runs. Fingers crossed Sam and Leo will be able to add their final 2 afternoons soon. We are making some changes to our childcare which is always a bit nerve wracking. Rolando has come to the end of a work long contact and is finalising his next one. I’m hoping in a few weeks we will be out of this state of flux and will have found our new normal.
Things we are loving at the moment………..
Billionaire Boy – David Walliams
I’ve just finished reading this book with Sofia and we both really enjoyed it. Such a fun read with some good plot twists and a real moral to the story. I’ve read a couple of other David Walliams book but this is by far my favourite (Ratburger turned my stomach!).
How Hard Can It Be – Allison Pearson
I’ve been really looking forward to reading this book. It is a very long awaited follow up to the brilliant I Don’t Know How She Does it (such a relatable book for working women). I heard Allison Pearson at a book evening reading an extract of this novel absolutely ages ago. It didn’t even have a title at that point. I’m only a few chapters in and I’m already enjoying it, although. The lead character is at a different stage of life than me but I still rooting for her.
Trips to London
I’ve been really lucky to have two lovely trips to London in the last couple of weeks. Sofia is doing a topic about ancient Egypt at the moment. It was a great excuse to take Sofia for a trip to the British Museum to see the Egyptian galleries. I love the British Museum (even though it is basically full of artifacts we stole from other countries).
We also took a quick trip to the Lego Store in Leicester Square. This was heaven for us as big Lego fans! We bought two Lego sets for the twins birthday and made our own Lego men.
I also popped to London this weekend to meet my blogging buddies Angela and Laura for the Brilliance in Blogging Awards. We are so very proud of Angela for making the shortlist of the Inspire category!
I’m not the biggest fan of autumn. Every year try to make myself appreciate the season (looking for beautiful coloured leaves rather than sulking that summer is over). The silver lining for me is great autumn TV. So far I’m loving the return of Strictly Come Dancing, Gogglebox and The Graham Norton Show.
Things we are looking forward to in October………..
October is the birthday month for our family – the twins, my mum and me all have celebrations this month. Bring on the cake!
We love Halloween in our house! I am working on our costume theme for this year.
Is it bad that I’m looking forward to half term already? We don’t really have any big plans but I think we’ll all be ready for a chilled out week.
We had left it a bit late to organise our holiday this year and I was struggling to find a holiday that I really wanted to book. By chance I stumbled on this review of a Feather Down holiday from a blog called Crafts on Sea. The idea of staying on a farm really appealed to me, I knew the kids would love it. Rolando is not the most natural camper but browsing through the lovely photos on the Feather Down website won him over. We decided to stay at Midgham Farm near the New Forest as it was a manageable drive from where we live. We’d also ever been to the New Forest and liked the idea of exploring a new part of the country.
Tents don’t get much better than this!
I really like traditional camping but I don’t find it that relaxing (well for the adults who are organising everything!). We have been glamping before which we really enjoyed and was a nice alternative to regular camping. Our time at Feather Down took glamping to a whole new level! I was completely blown away by how lovely our tent was. At times I forgot that we were under canvas. The wooden floor throughout the tent almost made it feel like we were staying in a little cottage. The main living was really spacious. There was an island area for preparing food with a sink and all of the cooking utensils plus a wood burning stove. Having a sink and running water really felt quite a luxury (no more endless trips to an outdoor tap to collect water.) There was also a big dining table where we could eat together and a sofa bench to relax on.
There were 3 sleeping areas. Rolando and I had our own room with a full size double bed. The boys had a small room with bunk beds. There was also a really cool cupboard bed that Sofia used. When we were arrived we were given fresh bed linen so no sweaty sleeping bags! You can pay extra to have your beds made up but we chose to do it ourselves.
The icing on the cake was having a small bathroom with a fully flushable toilet in our tent – no constant rushing the kids to the toilet block when they decide they are desperate for a wee!
There was an honesty shop in the main farm area which sold quite a good range of staple items like fresh bread, milk, eggs, meat, ice cream, biscuits, pasta, tinned items, jam, honey, marshmallows for toasting on the fire, candles and kindling. We just kept a list of what we’d bought and a running total. You need to settle your tab at the end of your stay, you just need to remember to have cash with you to do this. We also discovered a big Co-op in Fordingbridge which was a short drive away so we could pick up extra supplies quite easily.
One thing I don’t like so mush about regular camping is how much equipment you need to bring with you. It is a bit of a logistical challenge to get it all into our car. I loved how our Feather Down tent had all of the cooking equipment that we needed. I had brought a few bit and pieces just in case they weren’t provided but we only used the tin foil, matches, kitchen scissors and a washing up brush.
I wasn’t sure how we were going to keep our fresh food cold in the tent. We were relieved to see that we had been provided with a big wooden chest that acted as a fridge. You collected 2 frozen hot water bottles from the shop each day and used these to keep your food cold. We just needed to switch our hot water bottles once a day once the water had thawed.
The tent has a wood burning stove that you can use for cooking. Cooking is one area where we cheated on the authentic camping experience. It was going to take time to get a fire going whenever we wanted to cook and cooking this way is quite slow. I cheated and packed a gas powered camping hob. This meant we could cook much more quickly and didn’t have to spend time lighting and tending the fire. This worked out to be more practical for us. Our kids are not the most patient when they are hungry and I need a cup of coffee first thing in the morning!
We had a barbeque provided for our tent so one night we had a little evening BBQ. There was also a communal pizza oven which was lit twice a week. One evening we all had yummy oven baked pizzas.
Our Feather Down Experience
The thing I absolutely loved about our Feather Down holiday was the experience of being on a working farm. As soon as we arrived we saw chickens running around everywhere (at one point we were trying not to run them over). The kids were greeted by a friendly sheepdog that was very happy to play fetch with them.
On our first day we joined the farm tour which was a great way to see all the animals and to learn a bit more about farm life. The tour was led by Sammy the farmer who told us lots of interesting information. The kids got to see lots of the animals including some adorable baby ducks and some calves that were being bottle fed. There was quite a number of horses on the farm too. You can arrange to help groom the horses but we didn’t try this.
Each day we went to feed food scraps to the pigs and the pygmy goats. There was a bunny in a hutch that the children could stroke too. Every morning I took the kids to the chicken houses to search for fresh eggs for our breakfast. The chance to meet and interact with the animals made the visit so special for the kids. You could see that the kids were making memories that would last a lifetime.
Peace and freedom
You are able to drive your car up to your tent to load and unload your belongings. During the rest of the stay cars stayed in a parking area away from the tents. As there were no cars driving about I didn’t have to worry about the boys running about in the camping area. The kids were outside a lot of the time. Most evenings we ate on the picnic table that was outside of our tent just to make the most of the beautiful surroundings.
There were a lot of other families staying at Midgham Farm during our visit. Sofia had the chance to make friends with children from neighbouring tents. There were three little play areas around the site with trampolines and some simple play equipment. It was great to give Sofia the freedom to explore and hang out with her friends.
One of my favourite moments each day was collecting sticks from around the site and lighting a fire in the fire pit outside our tent. We sat together chatting and toasting marshmallows. It was such a nice way to end each day and really special family time. We let the kids stay up quite late but as they had been running around so much they fell asleep very quickly.
Once the kids were in bed Rolando and I settled into a routine of lighting lots of candles, getting the log fire burning and relaxing. It was really nice to have evenings that were not filled with catching up on work and watching lots of TV.
When we have been normal camping the kids wake up really early as the sun floods into the tent. An unexpected bonus of our tent was that it was made of thick dark coloured canvas that really blocked out the light. One day we all slept in until nearly 9.00 am. This never happens with our kids!
Lots of space in the woods
The tents at Midgham farm are dotted around in a wooded area. There were about 10 tents and 2 log cabins on the site. The tents were quite well spaced out and separated by trees so it didn’t feel busy or overlooked. The tents were a little shaded by the trees so could get a little dark inside. We discovered that it was easy to roll up some of the canvas sections on the front and side of the tent to let lots of natural light flood in. It was stunning to be sat at the table inside but with gorgeous views of nature all around.
The camping area was accessed via a path from the main farm. You needed to walk up a bit of a hill to get to our tent. For our age of children the walk wasn’t an issue. I think if you had very young children it might be worth asking for a tent that was closer to the main farm.
One afternoon we took a walk from the farm to the nearby River Avon. It probably took us about 20 minutes and we brought wellies as it got a bit muddy. The kids paddled their feet in the water and caught little fish with nets. We took a drive to the coast and had a gorgeous day at Avon Beach jumping in the sea and eating fish and chips and ice cream. We also came across a lovely place called Moor Valley Country park. There was a working miniature steam train that the kids loved, trails through the wood, some great play equipment and a nice cafe. After we had checked out from our campsite we took a trip to Monkey World which was another really fun day out.
Planning our next trip
I would really recommend a trip to Midgham Farm. This kind of holiday would appeal to people who want a simple and outdoorsy break, a chance to unplug from technology and have some family time together. Kids who love being outdoors, getting a bit muddy and exploring in nature will get a lot out of this kind of holiday. I think it would be especially good for people who have done traditional camping before but want to have a bit more of a luxury camping experience.
There were tears in the car as we drove away from Midgham Farm. We were all sad that our time there was coming to an end. I would love to return to this location again. I’m also really keen to check out one of the other Feather Down locations. I may have gone onto their website as soon as I got home!
We have done lots of cheap and cheerful activities this summer – like picnics, trips to the park and country walks. As an extra holiday treat we splashed out on a family trip to Gulliver’s Land, Milton Keynes. I’d got the idea for this day out from a fellow blogger Becky over at Pinks Charming who recently blogged about her day out at Gulliver’s Land. Gulliver’s Land was a great choice for us as it is specifically designed for young children. We were really excited to check it out.
Great for younger children
Gulliver’s Land is a very manageable size. It was easy to find the rides we wanted to go on and everything was within easy walking distance. We went to Gulliver’s on a Friday in the middle of the summer holidays so it was fairly busy. Even so we found that the queues for the rides were quite manageable. Some rides we went on straight away with hardly any waiting. When we did queue the longest wait was about 15 minutes. This is a big plus when you have little kids who are not massively patient!
There are a lot of rides that appeal to younger children. The boys (aged 5) really enjoyed little cars that they can pretend to drive around a track. Sam loved the spinning balloon ride. Leo’s favourite attraction was the River ride a gentle lap around a little water channel. There is a train ride around the park which everyone enjoyed. The train did a lap around the edge of the park we did this just after we arrived so we could get our bearings. The carousel was also a big hit with all the kids.
More adventurous rides are the runaway train, the Python Roller Coaster, the Log Flume and a big tower drop ride. Sofia’s favourites were the flying carpet ride, the big water slide and a spinning castle ride. I think children over 12 or 13 might find the rides at Gulliver’s Land a little too tame.
Children over 90 cm are able to ride on most attractions although children under 110 cm had to be accompanied by an adult. The boys are both under 110 cm and most of the rides took 4 people per carriage. As a family of five we needed to figure out the logistics of going on the rides. Rolando generally took Sam and Sofia (who was big enough to ride without an adult). I rode separately with Leo.
This trip to Gulliver’s Land really highlighted the twins different temperaments. Even though the boys are identical twins they can be so totally different. Sam was such a daredevil! He wanted to go on everything! Leo on the other hand didn’t want to go on anything!
The park is separated into different sections like Adventure Land, Main Street and Lilliput Land each with a different theme. The kids liked exploring the different areas and there were some nice little decorative details in each area. Gulliver’s Land opened in 1999 and there are bits of the park, like the toilets and the food hall are looking a bit dated. The castle in the middle of the park is a big food hall inside. We popped in to buy ice creams rather than have a meal there. The food options looked a bit limited (anything with chips!) Although I was impressed that you could buy Costa Coffee.
Is it good value?
A trip to a theme park is always quite expensive for a family of 5. We booked our tickets to Gulliver’s Land online. We booked our tickets 2 days in advance and paid £16.95 each – £84.75 for our family of 5. In comparison tickets for the 5 of us booked online and in advance at other attractions would cost the following:
Alton Towers = £185
Chessington World of Adventure = £170
Drayton Manor = £115
We spent a full day at the park arriving at about 11.00 am and staying until 5.00 pm and between us we went on a lot of rides. We brought a picnic with us so the only extra that we paid for during the day were ice creams and coffees. I’d say overall the day was good value.
We will definitely go back to Gulliver’s Land. There is a JCB digger section under construction at the moment that looks really cool. It opens later in 2017. There were some extra areas that we didn’t have time to visit like the Dinosaur and Farm park and the Splash Zone (you need to pay extra for these parts of the park).
Overall we had a really fun day at Gulliver’s Land. We got to spend lots of family time together having fun. We all found rides and attractions that we enjoyed. The kids were absolutely shattered and fall asleep in the car on the way home – always a bonus!
Our manky living room carpet is no more! And I am so happy to see the back of it! Pre-kids we had a lovely, pristine cream living room carpet. 3 kids later our cream carpet was completely trashed. It has had everything under the sun spilt onto it – juice, ketchup, soup, tea, coffee the list is completely endless. Then there was potty training, the less said about that the better!
After a particularly bad incident with some chocolate birthday cake I bought a carpet washing machine. It did a good job of cleaning up spills but I was getting sick of having to keep using it. The spot that I’d blitzed would always looked cleaner than the rest of the carpet, highlighting the general grossness. The manky carpet was making the whole living room look a bit grubby. No matter how much I cleaned the living room never looked like I wanted it to.
One Friday a couple of weeks ago I snapped. Lets just say a toilet accident happened. The guilty party will remain nameless (no it wasn’t me!). Rather than scrubbing away the inevitable stain and smell I decided that the carpet had to go. I tend to think that once you decide to do something you should just to go for it. So the kids and I spent the next couple of hours ripping up the carpet and underlay. We quickly discovered that it is actually quite hard to take up carpet especially when you don’t have any of the right tools! But with brute force and kitchen scissors we managed it. Even though this temporarily left us with a black sealed concrete floor it was such a relief to throw away the manky carpet. Rolando got a surprise when he got home from work.
We decided that a hard floor would be much more practical than a new carpet. I spent the next week ordering lots of wooden flooring samples. After a lot of deliberation we decided to go for engineered oak from Homebase. Luckily when we popped into store we found some solid wood flooring that we liked that was on special offer. We snapped it up straight away. It took two trips in the car to get it all home but I love a bargain!
Luckily Rolando is a carpenter. So while I spent a day out having fun and eating ice cream with the kids Rolando laid the new wooden floor. Cleanliness has been restored! The living room looks so much better. I can wipe up everyone’s spills much more easily. I just do a quick sweep once a day to keep on top of the fluff and dirt that seems to appear from nowhere. How gross to think that all of this gunk was getting trapped in our carpet.
Only one thing left to sort out……..does anyone want to buy a carpet shampooing machine?!
It’s 9.15 on a Saturday morning and the house is calm! This feels like a breakthrough moment. Our 3 kids woke up early as usual. However unlike many, many Saturday mornings before no one is fighting, breaking anything or causing chaos. There has been relatively little shouting. Often I let the kids watch endless cartoons to keep them from killing each other or destroying the house before I’ve had a cup of coffee. Today the TV hasn’t been on at all.
Instead Sofia is playing Scratch (an online computer coding game). The boys have been playing with Lego. They are now looking at a Monster High book and making up little stories for each other about the characters. I am having a hot cup of tea!
If I look around there are further signs that times are changing. For the first time in 9 years there is no pushchair next to our front door! I’m quite excited about reclaiming the hallway. There are no potties taking up too much space in our bathroom. I’ve just bagged up lots of jigsaws to take to the charity shop later.
Don’t get me wrong chaos will break out at some point but for now I’m enjoying this peaceful moment.
Hello, is anyone still out there reading my blog! I’ve been a bit absent here for a while. Life has been so manic lately. At times things have felt a bit overwhelming and I have been really tired. In all the craziness Twins Make Five has had to take a bit of a back seat. I’ve really missed getting the chance to write my blog. I thought I’d pop up and give a little update on what is going on with us.
The boys finished preschool
I can’t believe that the boys have had their last session at preschool. It really feels like the end of an era! They have had such a positive experience at their preschool over the last 2 years. They weren’t even talking too much when they first started and were still in nappies. They came out as confident cheeky monkeys. They have made lots of buddies along the way that will join them in reception. A big thank you to all of the staff who have made the boys time at preschool so special. I definitely needed tissues at the leavers presentation!
Onwards and upwards
Watch out reception Sam and Leo are coming! The boys have had 4 settling in session at their new school. It is on the same site as their preschool so it doesn’t feel like too daunting a transition. The boys have been excited about getting to explore the preschool classroom. Leo came out saying “Mummy there is a massive TV!” he means the interactive whiteboard. Sam told me there were LOADS of toys.
When Sofia started school we were in a very different place I was heavily pregnant during her first weeks of school. The twins were born a couple of weeks into her first term of school so days were pretty chaotic! It felt like a miracle that we got her to school in time, most days we only made it by the skin of our teeth. I was quite nervous about how Sofia would adapt to school. She had only just turned 4 when she started school and she seemed so tiny compared to some of her classmates. The boys will be only a month away from their 5th birthday when they enter reception. They also seem to get a confidence boost from being together.
All grown up
All traces of toddlerhood have gone out of the window. We have got rid of the boys potties and switched over to using the toilet. We probably should have done it ages ago but they were quite resistant to give them up. This is one milestone I’m very happy to have finally reached!
I have still been letting the boys take turns to use a single pushchair for school runs when we needed to rush to drop off and pick up Sofia on time. One of the thing that I absolutely love about the summer holidays is the change of pace. No more rushing to school means goodbye pushchair.
The boys have also switched to bunk beds – how grown up is that?! Rolando has made the boys really cool pod bunk beds. They make the most of the space in the bedroom and give the boys their own little bit of space. The boys have spent a few days debating who got to sleep at the top. They had been taking it in turns although Leo has now decided that he likes the bottom bunk better.
Sofia the Spy
Sofia has had such a busy few weeks at the end of term! She had a dance presentation, her school disco, a singing performance at our village fete, school sports day and 3 performances of her school play.
Sofia’s birthday falls during the school holidays so decided to do her birthday party at the end of term before lots of her friends go on holiday. At the beginning of the year we wrote a bucket list for the year. Sofia really wanted to add having a Spy Mission party to the list. Sofia was so excited when I told her I had booked a Spy Mission party at a spy games centre in Cambridge. We had a team of 13 spies. It was really hectic and lots of fun! I was so happy that Sofia got to have her dream party! Sadly I don’t have any photos of Sofia’s party as I was too busy to remember to take any.
I feel we are in a bit of a calmer state since school has broken up. Well as calm as life with 3 kids gets! I’ve deliberately not over scheduled our holiday time. We have lots of ideas of things that we want to do but there will be plenty of hanging out in our pyjamas too. Having my car is already helping us to go out on little adventures.
Rolando and I both have two weeks off work coming up. I can’t wait! We are going glamping on a farm near to the New Forest. I’ve never been to this part of the country before and I’m really looking forward to it. We are all feeling more rested already which is exactly what we needed (so no excuse not to write more regularly!)
Wow how are we halfway through 2017 already?! It seems like the year is absolutely flying by. We did a family bucket list for this year and have managed to tick off quite a few things already. Here are the highlights of the last 6 months.
Buying a new family car
We knew that we would need to replace our family car this year. Our plan got fast forwarded when our old car blew up on the way to Yorkshire! We now have a Kia Carens (the kids call it Karen the car and Sofia is desperate to give it stick on eyelashes).
Getting my driving license and buying first car
Passing my driving test is my biggest achievement for years! I am so happy to have passed my test and bought my little red car. I’m still a bit nervous especially driving routes I’m not familiar with. I feel like I learn a little bit more every time I get behind the wheel. It is all about confidence so I’m going to keep on trying to get as much experience as I can. My parking is definitely a work in progress. My biggest achievement to date was driving from Cambridge to a work event in Northamptonshire. At moments I was a little bit terrified but I’m glad I pushed myself to do it.
On the spur of the moment Sofia and I had a night camping. This was a school fundraising event with families camping out on the school field. We absolutely loved it! Even though I woke up at 4.30 am.
Half marathon – Walk the Moon
I wanted to do a physical challenge this year but I hadn’t decided what. I saw an advert for Walk the Moon event and signed up straight away along with two friends. The theme was 1920’s so we set off into the night in our sparkly bras and pearls. The 15.1 miles were a bit tougher than we had anticipated. It took a lot of Haribos and chat to keep us going!
Hitting the beach
We absolutely love a family trip to the beach but we didn’t manage to get to the coast last year. We have made up for it with a trip to Brighton and a lovely day at the Old Hunstanton Beach in Norfolk. Sunny Hunny was so hot we couldn’t walk on the sand. The kids had an incredible time jumping in the waves.
A day at the zoo
We had such a brilliant day out at ZSL London Zoo with some great friends. We absolutely loved seeing loads of animals. The kids had such a good time doing a Dear Zoo Trail that they had organised for the Easter holidays.
Celebrating half birthdays
We have started a new family tradition this year celebrating half birthdays. It is fun having an excuse to have a special day with cake and a little present.
I’ve been very conscious about improving the way I manage my money this year. I’ve blogged about my money saving but I’m feeling really pleased with how a few tweaks have really made a difference. Finding ways to save money on the necessities has freed up cash for fun family adventures.
It hasn’t all been a walk in the park! At times I have found this year exhausting. The boys seem to get more and more energy as they get older. They are going through a phase at the moment where they hate bedtime! There have been some moments lately when life with 3 kids has felt a bit overwhelming especially the couple of times that we have all been unwell. Things like writing my blog, exercising and housework have started to slide. Even so I’m feeling positive about the next 6 months.
The next 6 months
The rest of 2017 has lots in store. We will hopefully get away on a family holiday. We would like to go to Cornwall although I haven’t got anything booked yet. I’m also planning to have a spa weekend to recharge. I always have a bit of trepidation about the summer holidays as they are always incredibly hectic. I’m hoping I will be able to take the kids on some adventures in my little car!
The biggest milestone coming up will be the twins starting school in September. They are having some settling in sessions coming up over the next few weeks to give them a taster of what is to come! Would it be bad if I spent the time the kids are at school catching up on 5 years of sleep?!
Twins Make Five has been a little bit quiet lately. It’s been a manic May that hasn’t left too much time to publish any blog posts. Here’s a little update of what is going on with me.
Learning to drive
I am desperate to finally get my driving license. Last year I had a lot of driving lessons but failed my driving test. I lost my nerve and took a break from taking any more driving lessons. At the beginning of May I realised that my theory test certificate runs out in June. This gave me the kick up the butt to get back behind the steering wheel.
In the past I dreaded my driving lesson. I didn’t really clicked with my previous driving instructor. I sometimes felt that I ended the session feeling like a small child after having been told off for 2 hours! Even so he taught me enough to get to driving test standard.
I wanted to take a totally fresh approach to learning to drive. I found a local company that specialises in intensive driving courses. We were just about able to squeeze 16 hours of driving tuition into 4 weeks ready for a driving test on 30th May. My driving instructor has been amazing so far. He is very relaxed and positive – constantly pointing out everything that I was doing well as well as pointing out improvements that I could make. It has made my lessons a much more positive experience. I feel quite excited about the learning process and have much more belief in my ability.
I’ve also using a few techniques to help my motivation. I’ve written a long list of the disadvantages of not being able to drive to keep me focused. I also have a list of places that I will be able to go once I can drive. I have started researching different brands of cars and have a shortlist of my ideal first car. I have already bought P plates ready for being a newly qualified driver.
I have one more lesson until driving test day. I’m actually feeling relatively calm about my test. I feel confident that I can pass. I’m going to give it my absolute best shot and try and remember everything that I have learnt and practiced. If I don’t pass (something that I don’t really want to think about) I’m going to book another test straight away and keep on going.
The other big highlight of May has been completing the London Moonwalk to raise money for breast cancer charities. Two friends and I did the half moon challenge which involved walking 15 miles through central London. There was an amazing party atmosphere at the start of the walk with 15,000 people dressed in decorated bras ready to get started. The walk was a bit harder than I had anticipated, mainly due to the tiredness of walking through the night. We started at 11.00 pm and finished at 4.00 am. We kept each other going by chatting and eating sweets. I drank so much Lucazade I felt a bit queasy. I’m very proud to have raised nearly £200. Thank you so much to my family and friends for your sponsorship and encouragement.
We’ve also managed to fit in some really nice family days this month. For the May bank holiday we headed to Brighton. The kids loved running about on the beach and throwing stones into the sea. We had a lovely picnic outside Brighton pavilion and the boys ran around after the seagulls.
We recently discovered Anglesey Abbey a national trust property with gorgeous grounds near to where we live. I can’t believe we have never been here before! There was a brilliant tree house for the kids to explore and a big natural playground to jump about on.
To round up the month Rolando had a weekend away in Dublin to meet a good friend – lots of Guinness was drunk!
Finally in our whirlwind month Rolando and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary with some Sunday night drinks in a lovely local pub that we have just discovered. Here is a very bad quality photo of us looking quite tired as we celebrate!
Phew! I feel a bit dizzy writing this let alone doing it! Maybe I need to think of ways to make June a calm and relaxing month.