Spring walks

The evenings are finally getting lighter after what seems like a long, long winter.

I have really enjoyed walking our dog Red (Jacob’s choice – his favourite colour!) in the winter but walking a dog in spring is so much more pleasurable!

Seeing leaves on the trees, different flowers and hearing birds tweet away. Pure bliss.

I took the kids for an early evening stroll at the weekend to the woods near our house. It has a lovely river running through it and they love getting muddy and wet (so happy we have a porch to strip them down in!)

My little ones are definitely outdoorsy and I can’t wait to go on bike rides when they are a bit older. But for now, we will stroll around the pretty English woods.

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Home schooling the twins

Since the twins were off for a while with chickenpox I tried a bit of home schooling. It lasted one day.

I take my hat off to people who do it as it is hard not to get distracted by other things around the house.

I had so many jobs to do on top of wanting to do some work with them and entertain Jacob was certainly a different challenge for me.

The girls loved it to be fair. We did spellings, reading and number bonds. The weather that week was boiling hot (a rarity in Manchester) so we did spend a lot of time playing outside before the rain returned.

We did lots of gardening including planting beetroot, courgettes and raspberry canes with my mum. We also planted all the herbs out in our garden. See some pics below, I did love having them off but back to school they go!

Becky Adlington Swimming Gala

Phoebe, Tamsin and Jacob have their swimming lessons with Becky Adlington Swimstars.

This year for the first time the company decided to hold its first swimming gala – for free!

Each child took part in three races. They were front, back and an obstacle race. The older kids had the chance to win a rosette for first, second and third place. The younger foundation stage (all three of mine are in this stage) won a gold Becky Adlington medal at the end and had their picture taken.

Unfortunately Becky Adlington was running late and arrived after our races were finished but it was due to childcare and we have all experienced that before!

The twins and Jacob loved it! Jacob got a bit overwhelmed after the first race and watched the rest of the gala sat on my knee.

Tamsin started popping up in chickenpox by the second, she showed no signs before we arrived to the gala and it literally started just as she put her swimming costume on!

We swiftly left afterwards as I was worried she was contagious. I’m so happy we took part in the gala as it was a great experience for them and I enjoyed watching them too!

The pictures below are from the Becky Adlington Swimstars Facebook page.

Chickenpox has entered the house

Well that was grim. A full three weeks of grimness. Chickenpox (apart from potty training) has been my worst experience of parenting so far.

I have never felt so sorry for the twins. Jacob started off with chickenpox the day they finished school for the Easter holidays. He was poorly but didn’t come out in loads of spots.

A week later Tamsin got them and she had loads of spots everywhere. She was so poorly she was whimpering on the sofa for a few days.

The week after that Phoebe started with them. I have never seen her so poorly and she was literally covered from head to toe. She had so many on her face she barely talked.

Phoebe was definitely the worst out of the three. They are now at the stage where they have scabbed over and back at school. Phoebe didn’t want to go in because she was worried people would stare at her.

I had to give her a pep talk every morning and luckily a few friends in her class also had just had chickenpox (I think we infected most of the class, which was embarrassing).

Anyway, I’m now using Dr Organic Manuka Honey Rescue Cream to calm down their skin. I have also got some Dr Organic Scar and Stretch Mark Serum to help when the scabs have gone. Both from Holland & Barrett.

Here’s hoping it works! Any other recommendations are welcome!

Snowy days

We had an unexpected flurry of snow last week. I never pay attention to the news as they say a snow storm is always on its way and it never arrives!

So when I say unexpected it was probably expected by the rest of the country! It was nicknamed on social media as Beast from the East and it was fun all round for the kids (not so fun with cancelled trains and horrendous traffic!)

Lots of schools were closed, which hasn’t happened in a long time. Unfortunately for the the girls and Jacob, their school was one of the very few that stayed open. They didn’t seem to care though and loved playing with their school friends…phew.

Our puppy Red was unsure of the snow at first, then it sent her crazy. She had fun with a lovely Dalmatian called Bella. The girls best friends at school are also twins, Ruby and Clark, and Bella is their dog. Twins, dogs and snow…top few days!

See some pictures below of the kids, they LOVED it!

Lyme Park

Since we have got the puppy we decided to join the National Trust.

We have Lyme Park right on our doorstep and it has been great to socialise Red with lots of other dogs and children.

Dogs are allowed on leads in the children’s play area, which is useful as I’m trying to teach her not to jump up at people.

She has been easy to train so far (I’m probably speaking too soon!) She doesn’t run off and is brilliant off the lead.

The question now is do we go for another baby whilst we have a puppy? If I had my time again, we should have had a baby first. I’m not sure how hard it is walking a dog with a baby?

Baby number four is not set in stone but I thought the dog might make me think ‘no three is enough!’ But to be honest it has been fine so far (now the pooing and weeing everywhere has calmed down).

I’m not sure what will happen in 2018. We have a few exciting things in the pipeline but I will reveal those once they happen!

Chester Zoo

I just love Chester Zoo. I could take the kids every week.

When I was at university I met a guy at the student union called Tristan who was studying Zoology and I immediately thought why didn’t I do that. Dream job.

This year we did the Christmas Lanterns at Chester Zoo and I was just so impressed.

Flamingoes on roller skates (humans dressed up obvs, no animals were harmed!) We listened to the insect orchestra and took pictures by EVERY lantern.

The girls had a chat with the elves, saw Father Christmas resting after a busy Christmas Eve (we went on the 27th, which still worked well as the elves were sorting out thank you cards for Father Christmas).

The kids loved it and the music accompanied with acrobatic monkeys (again humans) and dancing ballerinas was just fab.

The girls loved the ballerinas and were given little tin lanterns with a cut out animal on the front and a tea light. They have it next to their bed and switch the tea light on every night.

The girls and Jacob also loved the fake snow fountains. They found them hilarious, it was definitely their favourite bit!