So, we've been on Summer Holidays. Some days I've felt satisfied that I've done lots to entertain the kids and other times, I've worried that we've wasted the holidays away as we've got up late and taken ages to leave the house (if we've even managed to leave the house at all that is). However, I'm beginning to realise that those days when I'm working or tidying and the kids amuse themselves with the TV, reading, craft and playing are as much a part of the holidays as our official "days out". We have definitely had a more chilled out holiday than in the past.
So what have we been up to?
We went away on a Stay, Play, Explore break to Leicester, we loved our day visiting Conkers. We also ticked The National Space Centre off our to-do list.
On our way back, we stopped at Bridgend Designer Outlet and shopped, ate at Pizza Hut and watched Inside Out at the cinema (yes, I cried!).
Danny went off to London with Scouts. He had an amazing time there, staying on the Lord Amory on the Thames. He kayaked, sailed, cycled (in London!) and had a tour of the Houses of Parliament (I am so jealous of this!). It was an amazing experience for him and all the Scouts (and leaders I'm sure) got a lot out of it.
We went to the Tenby Spectacular fun day. These are great, playing on the beach, fun rides, free face painting, food, beer (shame I was driving!) and good music. This year was a lot more enjoyable for me with all the kids being that little bit older. I loved watching them joining in with all the dancing and can't wait for a family holiday with this sort of evening entertainment now (I love to dance!).
We spent the day at one of our favourite beaches, Barafundle Bay. We've also had lovely days out at Broad Haven, Newgale, Angle and of course, our local beach Gelliswick.
We enjoyed a day at Blue Lagoon with friends. Again, this was easier now that the kids are older. The big kids went off and did the slides on their own, while Izzy, Caitlyn and I enjoyed the splash pools, pirate pool and of course, the lazy river. When they are all older, I can go on the slides again and even enjoy the spa pool for the first time!
|Photo c/o Ceri Evans|
While Danny was in London, we visited Kiln Park, a Haven Holiday local to us.
We have spent a few evenings Go-Karting down Gelliswick Hill- there have been lots of rainy days where the sun has come out about 6pm and we've made the most of it until Sunset.
We have made the most of rainy days by either cuddling up watching old films or going out and splashing in puddles.
We have explored Castle Pill Woods again. I've also had lots of walks with Toby Dog down here which has been lovely.
Talking about Toby, we have been dog sitting and cat sitting, Belle, this Summer, which we loved.
After eight months without a visit, we have visited Manor Park twice this month. It has been lovely to see the new tiger, Terima.
We have also been to Scolton Manor once or twice, as well as the local park, Rath and walks.
The girls have done lots of free craft- making houses, junk modelling and decorating t-shirts. We had a lot of craft activities planned that we didn't get to do but Autumn Sundays are perfect for craft and roast dinners, right?
This week we visited Mountain Ranch with fellow South Wales Bloggers. It was so lovely to meet up with everyone (post coming soon!).
After writing this, I'm relieved to see that we have done more than I thought this Summer. We have completely failed however at sorting our garden and house out- we still have three huge boxes sitting in our utility room right now- a shed, a playhouse and a swing set! Dave has worked really hard and really long hours, but we're not in a financial position to pay others to do the work so I'm not quite sure how we're going to manage it. Maybe we'll have a few sunny weekends when work has eased off to get things done (keep your fingers crossed for us!).
So we are back to school on Thursday (eek!). I'm looking forward to a routine of sorts.
Isabelle will now be doing school mornings. One of my aims is to take her swimming at least one afternoon a week, a fun afternoon trip once a week would be most welcome too!
The kids have asked when I'm going to start baking bread again (how do some daily rituals somehow slip from the everyday routine?) so I plan to do this again. I may even just do once a week until it becomes second nature and daily again.
I want to make candles. I think it has been at least a year since I have made some. I love the relaxing ritual, the smells that evaporate through the house and having lovely scented candles to light each evening.
I want to sew, knit and crochet more. When Izzy was feeding, I would be prepared and have my craft projects ready to pick up and get on with while she was feeding. I need to allow myself some free time in the evenings to craft again without having a feeding baby as an excuse!
I'm watching my alcohol intake (that sounds bad!) and want to keep alcohol for weekends only and not every weekend at that. I must remember to make fruit infused water and non alcoholic cocktails for an alternative to the tap water I drink in the day. In the evening, I just feel like "a treat".
We want to go blackberry picking and blackberry baking again. Yes, we have lots in our own garden, but the walk is part of the experience.
As I mentioned earlier: London, baby! I am well overdue a visit to the big smoke so will have fun exploring with the girls again.
A family visit to Legoland and Warner Bros Studios would be fun too!
During the holidays, like a lot of parents, I haven't had any child free time so I'm looking forward to a few things that Dave and I have planned. We are off to watch the Wildhearts in Bristol. I also can't wait to go out for a meal and drinks together. Despite seeing him everyday, I feel like I've hardly spent any time with him this holidays (he may well see this as a good thing!).
We still need to visit Caldey and Skomer Island. We did plan to go to Caldey in August on my birthday but the weather was too wild for a boat crossing (this is typical weather for my "Summer Birthday", hmm).
We also have tickets to use for Go Ape. We were all booked in for the holidays but Danny wasn't well enough so we need to rebook it soon!
I also want a campfire on the beach and in the woods soon. Spending an evening on one of our most western beaches to watch a sunset would be good too.
What have you been up to in the holidays and what plans are you making for Autumn?