I cannot believe as I write this, this year’s school holidays are almost at an end. Usually by this time I am absolutely run ragged with all the activities I’ve tried to fit in with the children and absolutely desperate for them to return to school and our normal routine. I cannot say I’m eager for them to stay at home but I think for the most part this year’s break has gone slightly smoother.
A lot of that is due to me taking the pressure off myself to be here, there and everywhere and constantly entertaining the children. For one thing, it’s just not possible at the moment. My chronic fatigue is at a stage that one day out and I’m done in for the rest of the week, so the children have had to embrace holiday clubs twice a week, whether they liked it or not.
Last year I took it upon myself to take the children to London for two nights as I felt they had never seen the capital and it was about time – this wasn’t the best idea and I know I paid for it come September. This time we’ve stuck to days out locally and a lot more days at home than normal. The children are 6 and 7 now and so much more independent – they get up, watch TV or go on their iPads, get their own drinks and breakfast and don’t need an adult around them constantly. This has meant on days when I haven’t been able to go out, it has been so much more manageable to stay at home, and I have to say the children have been brilliant about it.
As a bit of a look back, here’s some photos on what we have done this summer:
For the last week of school and first week of the holidays we spent two weeks in Spain. There will be a separate post on this soon, and I’ve put together a video of our trip.
On the Saturday after we arrived home John took part in his first Tough Mudder alongside my sister. He completed it and really enjoyed it, so much so that he’s decided to do it again next year.
We had a lovely family trip to the cinemas to see Incredibles 2, which was lots of fun and Jack got to see his namesake Jack-Jack in action.
We also met up with friends and visited a local funfair, and then Holly’s friend came to stay that night as a celebration for her birthday that we had missed whilst we were on holiday. Apart from that, it was a pretty quiet week for us as I tried to catch up on holiday washing and getting the house back in some sort of order.
This weekend also saw my birthday take place, so once the kids had been dropped of with the in-laws a few us went into Manchester to try out Crystal Maze, which was fantastic and I highly recommend. The girls then head to Cloud 23 for a lovely afternoon tea, whilst the boys went bowling and then we all went out into our local town for more than a few celebratory drinks. I was really touched by how many people made the effort and it just a much needed pick-me-up to enjoy my birthday with some fantastic people.
The children and I spent bank holiday Monday sleeping at my friends house, as it was the first time they’d seen their friends over the summer. There was of course lots of playing and the inevitable mess, followed by a couple of glasses of wine for the mums that evening!
On the following day we decided to visit a local woodland, called Fairy Glen, and were accompanied by another friends meaning that with either children, one of which being eighteen months, we were massively outnumbered and hadn’t quite considered the challenge of managing them all and a buggy whilst navigating woodland and ravines. It was a fun day, at least for the children, but we were all definitely worn out at the end of it!
My mum also came to visit this week – the first time we’d seen her since before we went away. It was really lovely as we visited Bents garden centre for lunch an followed it by a visit to the local park where mum and I sat with a cup of tea whilst the children practised riding their bike with daddy. We finished it off with tea at the nearby sports club and mum and I stayed for an extra glass of rose and a natter.
We didn’t really do a whole lot this week, our main activity being a visit to Chester Zoo. We now have yearly passes meaning we can enjoy an inexpensive day out for a change and of course the children love seeing all the animals and the freedom to run around as much as they please. The only rouble I have with Chester Zoo is the size, as it involves so much walking. Unfortunately the mobility scooters were completely booked so I need to remember to book in advance next time as I was wiped out afterwards.
My mum came over again to see us this week and I was robbed blind buying the children’s school shoes – why are those things so expensive?! I finally relented and let Holly have her first pair of Lelli Kelli’s and she adores them. Jack also got a proper haircut and was really pleased with his little flick at the front!
On the Thursday whilst mum and Jack spent the day together, Holly and I went down to London for the day to attend the launch of the Microsoft Surface Go. Holly was so excited to spend some time together and it ended up being a lovely mummy and daughter day.
That weekend we were supposed to be having a night off as my sister had offered to watch the children. Unfortunately I ended up with some sort of stomach flu and spent the next three days really ill, totally ruining the bank holiday. After resting at mum sisters, instead of our planned night out, John and my sister took the children to the Manchester Museum on the bank holiday so at least they got to go out.
Week Six This week wasn’t as planned, due to me still being ill and then my body taking longer to recover from it. The children went to holiday club Tuesday and Thursday and entertained themselves on Wednesday whilst daddy worked from home. Whilst John’s sister babysat Wednesday, John and I had a do-over of our date night with a meal out and then drinks with friends. It ended up being a really enjoyable night, despite me still not being 100%.
On the Friday myself and a school dad took our children on the bus into Manchester to visit the National Football Museum. I wasn’t expecting too much from this as I can’t say I’m a huge football fun, but it really surprised me. As well as football memorabilia and history of the game, there were tons of interactive things for the children and they had a blast. Plus it was huge and after two hours we still had not got round it all.
On Saturday we were planning to go the the kite festival in St Anne’s, which I have been wanting to go to for years. Sadly it was not to be as I still wasn’t up for such a big day out so instead we went to City Airport in Manchester where there was a fun fair and beach on for the children. It was a pretty good event, with wristbands for all the ride only £5 each and you could also watch the planes and helicopters landing and taking off from the observation tower.
Overall our summer has definitely been a quieter one and I hope this pays off for me once we get back into the school routine. I hope everyone else has had a good summer, how do you manage the six week holidays?