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!
This year due to the dog not being allowed out till her vaccinations had kicked in, we hosted Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
I was super nervous doing Christmas dinner as I have never done it before and I had 12 people to cook for.
Me and Sam alternate our families for Christmas Day and this year was Sam’s family. Gulp.
We did a lot of prep Christmas Eve and I shouldn’t have worried as it went well! The hostess trolley helped us a lot though as timings are hard.
We did a Jamie Oliver turkey recipe that was amazing and I did a Nigella red cabbage recipe that was delicious.
It was a loud, crazy Christmas with lots of people and the dog weeing and pooing everywhere, but we managed it!
The kids loved their presents and enjoyed showing everyone their new puppy. They also loved seeing Bobby the elf again, which I like too as he works a treat when they start squabbling. Even Red enjoyed the Elf on the Shelf book.
I got my brothers Harry Potter jumpers from the Warner Brothers London Tour shop (and got one for myself!) Me and Joe are Hufflepuffs and Danny is in Slytherin (according to Pottermore). So that was amusing.
In the week leading up to Christmas we baked gingerbread angels, I baked my grandma’s secret mince pie recipe and then ate most of them.
We also went to the Dunham Massey illuminated trail, which the kids really enjoyed. Lots of pretty lights, marshmallows and fairy like music.
I’m not looking forward to a January detox at all. I might do February instead.
We have a puppy! We have done a lot of umming and ahhing over a fourth baby. So in the meantime we decided to get a puppy.
I thought a puppy would be easier. I said to Sam ‘let’s get a puppy and see how we get on’ as I was unsure if I could cope with a fourth.
Well. We should have gone for a baby. Puppies are so much harder than a newborn! Babies wear nappies, puppies wee and poo EVERYWHERE in your house. They also whine all night, ALL night. They are also very tying, which I already knew growing up with dogs.
Having said that, she is super affectionate and the kids adore her. So do me and Sam, I was just a little shocked at how hard a puppy is. Why did I think it was the easier option?!
Jacob insisted on calling her Red – his favourite colour. Bit of a weird name considering she is brown and white but I do like the fact the kids have named her.
Sam wanted to call her various Greek goddess names that no one could pronounce. I wanted to call her anything Disney or Harry Potter related. Nala and Luna were my top picks. I’d tell you sam’s but the spelling is just too hard.
She is going to be a fab member of the family. Although, the cat hates her…..
Since Phoebe was little her left eye wandered outwards when she was tired or if it was sunny she would close it completely.
After many eye tests and eye patches, we learnt that her vision was great. So it was just a case of the muscle needed tightening to stop it from wandering outwards.
This was when we realised she needed an eye operation to fix it. In and out in one day and it would only take an hour to do.
I took her to the Trafford Centre to get a hospital bag to put her pyjamas and toys in. She chose a Dalmatian bag from Cath Kidson so she could put her toy dalmation in.
The staff at Stepping Hill hospital were amazing. Her surgeon Miss Maino told us what she was going to do to correct her eye and a nurse called Beth looked after Phoebe pre and post op.
Phoebe was not nervous at all. Maybe due to the fact that I had to take her to a&e two weeks before for splitting her chin open.
Three stitches and a teddy bear later she was back at home, so that experience definitely helped prepare her.
We arrived at Stepping Hill at 7am and she was in surgery by 10am. Sam took her in whilst she had the anaesthetic, which I was pleased about as my nerves had kicked in.
Only one of us could go into the room with her and she chose Sam. Afterwards she told me that she wanted her daddy to go in because I had been to hospital with her a couple of weeks before and she thought it would be nice for daddy to do something in hospital with her. Quite grown up for a five year old I thought!
After the operation was complete we went into the recovery room. Seeing her covered in wires brought back all the memories of her being in the neonatal unit.
It caught me off guard as I didn’t expect to see all the wires so I was glad she was asleep as I welled up instantly.
Holding back the tears we headed back up to the ward where she slept off the anaesthetic.
Her request when she woke up was chips and mash potato, carb heavy! The nurse added some mini chicken kievs to break up the potato!
Phoebe has recovered well and her eye so far looks great. She has another check up in three months before she is signed off.